Become a volunteer
If you're interested in the history of US personnel in Norfolk during the Second World War, you can help us with a major project.
The Red Cross Service Club registers provide an unofficial but comprehensive list of American servicemen who were in the county between 1943 and 1946.
We’ve recently started a project to transcribe them and are seeking some new recruits to help us with this mammoth task.
Our ultimate goal is to create a fully searchable index for the registers.
If you’d be interested in helping with this project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The registers, held in our archive at Norfolk Record Office, have been digitised and are available to view online.
The American Red Cross Service Club, at the Bishop’s Palace in Norwich, opened in 1943.
It was designed to provide American servicemen visiting the city a home away from home, where they could enjoy refreshments, recreational activities and a place to stay.
Service personnel would sign the current register on their first visit to the club, giving their name, date of visit, home town and Army Post Office number.
They would sometimes also provide their service number, rank, full home address, bomb group and squadron numbers and even scribble notes to their friends.
Servicemen could consult the registers to find contact details of other serving personnel from their home state and use the APO system to initiate correspondence.
The registers are arranged alphabetically by American state name.
Carol Tuckwiller, one of our transcribers, was thrilled to discover her father’s signature in the West Virginia pages of the registers.
S/Sgt David E Tuckwiller from Lewisburg, West Virginia, was a B-24 waist gunner.
He was serving with 565th Bomb Squadron, 389th Bomb Group at Hethel when he visited the Bishop’s Palace on 9 November 1944.
David left England on 27 January 1945 after waiting a few weeks to return home by ship.
He had no desire to fly again - and according to Carol he never did.
The picture below shows David E Tuckwiller's signature in the West Virginia pages of the first volume of the registers (Norfolk Record Office, MC 371/919 USF OVR/9).