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I can’t recall the date (or find any other reminders) of my first visit to the Imperial War Museum Duxford, but it must have been later than 1997, when the American Air Museum, designed by Sir Norman Foster, was reopened on the site (I think it was the publicity surrounding this event that brought the museum to my Mother’s attention and necessitated the family outing).

My American readers might be interested to know that, despite taking home a very British souvenir, one of my most lasting memories of that first visit to Duxford was of seeing the French built Spad XIII First World War biplane, painted in the 94th “Hat in the Ring” Aero Squadron colours of Captain Edward Vernon Rickenbacker, the US Army Air Services’ most celebrated pilot.

Also, if memory serves me well, Duxford was the first place I heard an American accent in a public place, because the American Air Museum was a popular destination for American visitors to the United Kingdom at the time; it probably still is.