Baseball and bombers. That’s how Historic England describes their latest archival unveiling.
Over 3,600 photographs have been digitized for public consumption — displaying airfields, military bases, towns and the English countryside during the war years of 1943-1944.
Taken by U.S. Army Air Forces photographic reconnaissance units stationed across England, the thousands of images show a nation at war but offers glimpses of relative tranquility afforded to the island nation.
Damage to the main stand of Manchester United’s famed stadium, Old Trafford, can be seen in the 1943 pictures — which, according to The Guardian, “was hit in a bombing raid in March 1941. Old Trafford was not used again for football until 1949.”
Other “photographs show incidental details, including Second World War anti-invasion defences. Traces of earlier times can also be seen, from prehistoric archaeological features to the remains of First World War camps,” according to Historic England.
From capturing remnants of the 1940-1941 Blitz to “capturing fascinating incidental detail, like American troops playing baseball,” the archive is well worth going down a rabbit hole of exploration for aviation and World War II aficionados alike.