Places and Faces

Joe Kennedy Jr.

The Friendly Invasion - Joe Kennedy Jnr
Joseph Patrick "Joe" Kennedy Jr. (July 25, 1915 – August 12, 1944) was a United States Navy lieutenant. He was killed in action over Suffolk while serving as a land-based patrol bomber pilot in World War II and was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. He was the eldest of nine children born to Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. Joe Sr. had plans for Joe Jr. to become President. However, after Joe Jr. was killed the high expectations of the father then fell upon Joe Jr.'s younger brother John who was later elected President.

Jimmy Stewart

The Friendly Invasion - Jimmy Stewart
James Maitland Stewart (May 20, 1908 – July 2, 1997), also known as Jimmy Stewart, was an American actor and military officer, known for his distinctive drawl and down-to-earth persona. Stewart starred in many films that are considered to be classics, and was nominated for five Academy Awards, He also had a noted military career and was a World War II, serving in England at bomber bases in Norfolk and Suffolk.

Joe Louis

The Friendly Invasion - Joe Louis
Joe Louis was boxing’s Heavyweight Champion of the world when war broke out. Joe joined the army and helped to raise morale amongst serving African- American troops. In 1944 Joe came to the east of England to meet many of the Black American GIs serving here. He visited a number of air bases and attend a huge rally in Stowmarket, Suffolk. The US army was a segregated force. This mean that formal racial segregation came to England for the first time. However, white British people lived alongside the Black American GIs, and many Black Americans took this experience of equality back into the civil rights movement following the war.

The Queen

The Friendly Invasion - The Queen

The Queen Her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, then Princess Elizabeth, visited many airfield sites in the region in support of the war effort. Her visits really helped to cement the special relationship between the UK and America that endures to today. A friendship honoured when in 1944 a B17 bomber was christened ‘ Rose of York’ in her honour.

Did you know...
The future queen was not the only member of the Royal family to visit the region and meet with the Americans stationed here. The Royal family still have a presence here today with their home at Sandringham on the regions North Norfolk coast. What;’s more Prince William, the heir to the throne, was a pilot for the region’s air ambulance service.