A large part of the success enjoyed by this Archive, still in its infancy, is due to the sense of ownership that surviving veterans and the families of deceased veterans have in this not-for-profit facility. Donations of original WWII records, photographs, letters, diaries and memorabilia of all sorts are literally pouring into the research center, as are offers of help from volunteers with exceptional backgrounds and dedication. All of this activity has not gone unnoticed or unheralded. At the 2016 reunion of 416th veterans, hosted by the Archive in Gainesville, Dr. Vernon L. Williams recognized the Archive and its founders with the East Anglia Air War Project's George Bledsoe Preservation Award. Dr. Williams is the Air War Project's Director and Professor of History at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas.
George Bledsoe Preservation Award for 2016 to
Doris and Wayne Sayles, founders of the 416th Bomb Group Archive
The Archive plays an ever-increasing role in reconsructing the life and times of those who played such a crucial role in the tactical air war over Europe in 1944 and 1945