14th January 2021

The role of ‘comfort’ food in building morale amongst members of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) serving in East Anglia during the Second World War has been explored in a new article by Dr Derwin Gregory, Programme Leader for Archaeology and Heritage at BGU.

Titled ‘I do feel good because my stomach is full of good hotcakes’: Comfort Food, Home and the USAAF in East Anglia during the Second World War’, the article discusses current theories on comfort food before examining letters, diaries, and memoirs held by the 2nd Air Division Memorial Library (2ADML), Norwich, UK.

Speaking after publication, Dr Gregory discussed what drew him to that area of research:

“As a conflict archaeologist, I am fascinated by military material culture. This article formed part of a wider body of research into the United States Army Air Force based in East Anglia during the Second World War. Based on the letters written by the American personnel, this research gave an insight into the importance of comfort food on morale

It is clear that food played an important role in maintaining morale. Certain foods had the ability to evoke nostalgic thoughts of home. Not only did the food provide solace, it also reminded the troops of what they were fighting for. This article also demonstrates that USAAF personnel in East Anglia had a wide selection of foods from which they could gain comfort”.

You can read the article in the Wiley Online Library by clicking here.

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Image credit (©IWM FRE 293)