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United States Army Air Forces (USAAF)
Us army air corps shield.svg
USAAF Shoulder Sleeve Insignia ("Hap Arnold Emblem")
Active 20 June 1941–September 17, 1947
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army
Size 2.4 million members (March 1944)
79,908 aircraft (July 1944)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Gen. Henry H. Arnold, 1941-1946
Gen. Carl Spaatz, 1946-1947

The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) was the military aviation arm of the United States of America during and immediately after World War II. It was a component of the United States Army, divided functionally by executive order in 1942 into three autonomous forces: the Army Ground Forces, the Services of Supply (which in 1943 became the Army Service Forces), and the AAF. Each of these forces had a commanding general who reported directly to the Chief of Staff of the United States Army.

The AAF controlled all parts of military aviation formerly distributed among the Air Corps, General Headquarters Air Force, and ground forces corps area commanders, and thus became the first air organization of the U.S. Army to control its own installations.

The direct precursor to the United States Air Force, its peak size was over 2.4 million men and women in service and nearly 80,000 aircraft in 1944, and 783 domestic bases in December 1943.[1] By VE Day it had 1.25 million men stationed overseas and operated from more than 1,600 airfields worldwide.[2]

The Air Corps became the Army Air Forces in June 1941 to provide the air arm a greater autonomy in which to expand more efficiently, and to provide a structure for the additional command echelons required by a vastly increased force. Although other nations already had separate air forces independent of the army or navy (such as the British Royal Air Force and the German Luftwaffe), the USAAF remained a part of the United States Army.

Contents

Lineage of the United States Air Force

* The Air Corps became a subordinate element of the Army Air Forces, and no longer an organization, on 20 June 1941. It continued to exist as a combat arm of the Army (similar to Infantry) until disestablished by Congress with the creation of the U.S. Air Force in 1947.

Creation of the Army Air Forces

Background

The roots of the AAF arose in the formulation of theories of strategic bombing at the Air Corps Tactical School that gave new impetus to arguments for an independent air force. Despite a perception of resistance and even obstruction by the U.S. Army General Staff, much of which was attributable to lack of funds, the Air Corps made great strides in the 1930s, both organizationally and in doctrine. A strategy stressing precision bombing of industrial targets by heavily armed, long-range bombers began to emerge, formulated by the very men who would become its future leaders.[3]

A major step toward a separate air force, after the establishment of an "Air Corps" in 1926, came in March 1935 when command of all combat air units within the Continental United States was centralized under a single headquarters called General Headquarters Air Force. Since 1920, control of aviation units had resided with commanders of the Corps Areas (a peacetime ground forces administrative echelon), following the model established by General John Pershing during World War I. GHQ Air Force represented a compromise between strategic airpower advocates and ground force commanders who demanded that the Air Corps remain tied to the mission of the land forces.[4] GHQ Air Force organized combat groups administratively into a strike force of three wings deployed to the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts. A division of the air defense of the United States into four geographical districts followed in 1940 that laid the foundation for the subsequent numbered air forces.

GHQ Air Force was small in comparison to European air forces. Lines of authority were difficult, at best, since GHQ Air Force controlled only its combat units while the Air Corps was still responsible for doctrine, acquisition, and training. The corps area commanders continued to control all airfields and the support personnel manning them. The commanders of GHQ Air Force and the Air Corps, Major Generals Frank Andrews and Oscar Westover respectively, clashed philosophically over the direction in which the air arm was taking which added to the difficulties.[5]

Creation of the Army Air Forces

General of the Army Henry H. Arnold

The likelihood of U.S. participation in World War II prompted the most radical reorganization of the aviation branch in its history, developing a structure that both unified command of all air elements and gave it total autonomy by March 1942. On 20 June 1941, under a revision by the United States Department of War of Army Regulation 95-5,[6] Major General Henry H. Arnold, then Chief of the Air Corps, assumed the title of Chief of Army Air Forces, creating an echelon of command over all military aviation components. The AAF was directly under the orders of the Army Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall.[7]

Arnold and Marshall agreed that the AAF would enjoy autonomy within the War Department until the end of the war, while its commanders would cease lobbying for independence. Marshall, a strong proponent of airpower, left understood that the Air Force would likely achieve its independence after the war. Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, in recognition of importance of the role of the Army Air Forces, Arnold was given a seat on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the planning staff that served as the focal point of American strategic planning during the war, so that the United States would have an air representative in staff talks with their British counterparts on the Combined Chiefs, and in effect gained equality with Marshall. While this step was never officially recognized by the United States Navy, and was bitterly disputed behind the scenes at every opportunity, it nevertheless succeeded as a pragmatic foundation for the future separation of the Air Force.[8]

GHQ Air Force was replaced by the Air Force Combat Command, and its four geographical districts were converted in January 1941 into numbered air forces, with a subordinate organization of 54 groups. Organizationally, the Army Air Forces was created as a higher command echelon encompassing both Air Force Combat Command and the Army Air Corps, thus bringing all of the air arm under a centralized command for the first time. Yet these reforms were only temporary, lasting just nine months as the air arm streamlined in preparation for war, with a goal of centralized planning and decentralized execution of operations.[7]

Executive Order 9082 [1] changed Arnold's title to "Commanding General, Army Air Forces" on 9 March 1942, making him co-equal with the commanding generals of the new Army Ground Forces and Services of Supply, the other two parts of the Army of the United States. War Department Circular No. 59 carried out the executive order, intended as a wartime expedient to expire six months after the end of the war.[9]

In addition to dissolving Army General Headquarters and assigning its training functions to the Army Ground Forces, War Circular 59 reorganized the Army Air Forces, disbanding the Combat Command (formerly GHQAF) and changing the Air Corps to a non-organizational combat arm, eliminating their layer of command.[10] Replacing them were eleven numbered air forces (later raised to sixteen) and six major commands (which became eight in January 1943: Flying Training, Technical Training, Troop Carrier, Air Transport, Materiel, Air Service, Proving Ground, and Anti-Submarine Commands). In July 1943 Flying Training and Technical Training Commands merged into a single Training Command.

Most members of the Army Air Forces, however, also remained members of the Air Corps. In May 1945, 88 per cent of officers serving in the Army Air Forces were commissioned in the Air Corps, while 82 per cent of enlisted members assigned to AAF units and bases had the Air Corps as their combat arm branch.[11]

Expansion of the Army Air Forces

The Air Corps began a rapid expansion in the spring of 1939 at the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide an adequate air force for defense of the Western Hemisphere. An initial "25-group program", developed in April 1939, called for 50,000 men. When war broke out in September 1939 the Air Corps still had only 800 first-line combat aircraft and 76 bases, including 21 major installations and depots.[12]

Following the successful German invasion of France and the Low Countries in May 1940, accelerated programs followed that repeatedly revised goals, resulting in plans for 84 combat groups, 7,799 combat aircraft, and the annual addition to the force of 30,000 new pilots and 100,000 technical personnel.[13] The accelerated expansion programs resulted in a force of 156 airfields and 152,125 personnel at the time of the creation of the Army Air Forces.[14]

"In its expansion during World War II, the AAF became the world's most powerful air force. From the Air Corps of 1939, with 20,000 men and 2,400 planes, to the nearly autonomous AAF of 1944, with almost 2.4 million personnel and 80,000 aircraft, was a remarkable expansion. Robert A. Lovett, the Assistant Secretary of War for Air, together with Arnold, presided over an increase greater than for either the ground Army or the Navy, while at the same time dispatching combat air forces to the battlefronts."

"The Evolution of the Department of the Air Force" - Air Force Historical Studies Office[15]

The German invasion of the Soviet Union, occurring only two days after the creation of the Army Air Forces, caused an immediate reassessment of U.S. defense strategy and policy. The need for an offensive strategy to defeat the Axis Powers required further enlargement and modernization of all the military services, including the new AAF. In addition, the invasion produced a new Lend lease partner in Russia, creating even greater demands on an already struggling American aircraft production.[16]

An offensive strategy required several types of urgent and sustained effort. In addition to the development and manufacture of aircraft in massive numbers, the Army Air Forces had to establish a global logistics network to supply, maintain, and repair the huge force; recruit and train personnel; and sustain the health, welfare, and morale of its troops. The process was driven by the pace of aircraft production, not the training program,[17] and was ably aided by the direction of the new (April 1941) Assistant Secretary of War for Air, Robert A. Lovett.

A lawyer and a banker, Lovett had prior experience with the aviation industry that translated into realistic production goals and harmony in integrating the plans of the AAF with those of the Army as a whole.[18] Lovett initially believed that President Roosevelt's demand following the attack on Pearl Harbor for 60,000 airplanes in 1942 and 125,000 in 1943 was grossly ambitious. However, working closely with General Arnold and engaging the capacity of the American automotive industry brought about an effort that produced almost 100,000 aircraft in 1944.[19]

The logistical demands of this armada were met by the creation of the Air Service Command to provide service units and maintain 250 depots in the United States; the elevation of the Materiel Division to full command status to develop and procure aircraft, equipment, and parts; and the Air Technical Service Command to ship the materiel overseas.[20] In addition to carrying personnel and cargo, the Air Transport Command made deliveries of almost 270,000 aircraft worldwide while losing only 1,013 in the process.[21] The operation of the stateside depots was done largely by more than 300,000 civilian maintenance employees, many of them women, freeing a like number of Air Forces mechanics for overseas duty.[22]

Growth of the USAAF, aircraft

Type of aircraft 31 Dec 1941 31 Dec 1942 31 Dec 1943 31 Dec 1944 31 Aug 1945 Date of maximum size
Grand total 12,297 33,304 64,232 72,726 63,715 July 1944 (79,908)
Combat aircraft 4,477 11,607 27,448 41,961 41,163 May 1945 (43,248)
Very heavy bombers - 3 91 977 2,865 August 1945 (2,865)
Heavy bombers 288 2,076 8,027 12,813 11,065 April 1945 (12,919)
Medium bombers 745 2,556 4,370 6,189 5,384 October 1944 (6,262)
Light bombers 799 1,201 2,371 2,980 3,079 September 1944 (3,338)
Fighters 2,170 5,303 11,875 17,198 16,799 May 1945 (17,725)
Reconnaissance 475 468 714 1,804 1,971 May 1945 (2,009)
Support aircraft 7,820 21,697 36,784 30,765 22,552 July 1944 (41,667)
Transports 254 1,857 6,466 10,456 9,561 December 1944 (10,456)
Trainers 7,340 17,044 26,051 17,060 9,558 May 1944 (27,923)
Communications 226 2,796 4,267 3,249 3,433 December 1943 (4,267)
SOURCE: Army Air Forces Statistical Digest (World War II), Table 84

Growth of the USAAF, personnel

Tuskegee Airmen War bonds poster

The huge increases in aircraft inventory resulted in a similar increase in personnel, and changed the personnel policies under which the Air Corps had operated since its inception in 1926. No longer could pilots represent 90% of commissioned officers. The need for large numbers of specialists in administration and technical services resulted in the establishment of an Officer Candidate School in Miami Beach, Florida, and the direct commissioning of thousands of professionals.[23] Even so, 193,000 new pilots entered the AAF during World War II, while 124,000 other candidates failed at some point during training or were killed in accidents.[24]

The requirements for new pilots resulted in the Aviation Cadet program, which had so many volunteers that the AAF created a reserve pool that held qualified pilot candidates until they could be called to active duty, rather than losing them in the draft. By 1944 this pool became surplus, and 24,000 were sent to the Army Ground Forces for retraining as infantry, and 6,000 to the Army Service Forces.[25] Pilot standards were changed to reduce the minimum age from 20 to 18, and eliminated the educational requirement of at least two years of college. One beneficiary of this change went on to become a general in the United States Air Force, Charles E. Yeager.[26]

1943 portrait of WAC air controller

Air crew needs resulted in the successful training of 43,000 bombardiers, 49,000 navigators, and 309,000 flexible gunners, many of whom also specialized in other aspects of air crew duties. 7,800 men qualified as B-29 flight engineers and 1,000 more as radar operators in night fighters, all of whom received commissions. Almost 1.4 million men received technical training as aircraft mechanics, electronics specialists, and other technicians. Non-aircraft related support services were provided by airmen trained by the Army Service Forces, but the AAF increasingly exerted influence on the curricula of these courses in anticipation of future independence.[27][28]

African-Americans comprised approximately six per cent of this force (145,327 personnel in November 1943).[29] In 1940, pressured by Congress, General Arnold agreed to accept blacks for pilot training, albeit on a segregated basis. A flight training center was set up at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. Despite the handicap—caused by the segregation policy—of not having an experienced training cadre as with other AAF units, the Tuskegee Airmen distinguished themselves in combat with the 332nd Fighter Group. The Tuskegee training program produced 673 black fighter pilots, 253 B-26 Marauder pilots, and 132 navigators.[30]

The vast majority of African-American airmen, however, did not fare as well. Mainly draftees, most did not fly or maintain aircraft. Their largely menial duties, indifferent or hostile leadership, and poor morale led to serious dissatisfaction and several violent incidents.[31]

Women served more successfully as part of the war-time Army Air Forces. Nearly 40,000 served in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps/Women's Army Corps as AAF personnel,[32] more than 1,000 as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs), and 6,500 as nurses in the Army Air Forces, including 500 flight nurses.[33] 7,601 USAAF WACs served overseas in April 1945, and women performed in more than 200 job categories.[34]

Date Total USAAF Tot Officers Tot Enlisted # overseas Officers o/s Enlisted o/s
31 July 1939 24,724 2,636 22,088 3,991 272 3,719
31 December 1939 43,118 3,006 40,112 7,007 351 6,656
31 December 1940 101,227 6,437 94,790 16,070 612 15,458
31 December 1941 354,161 24,521 329,640 25,884 2,479 23,405
31 December 1942 1,597,049 127,267 1,469,782 242,021 26,792 215,229
31 December 1943 2,373,882 274,347 2,099,535 735,666 81,072 654,594
31 March 1944 (Peak size) 2,411,294 306,889 2,104,405 906,335 104,864 801,471
31 December 1944 2,359,456 375,973 1,983,483 1,164,136 153,545 1,010,591
30 April 1945 (Peak overseas) 2,329,534 388,278 1,941,256 1,224,006 163,886 1,060,120
31 August 1945 2,253,182 368,344 1,884,838 999,609 122,833 876,776
SOURCE: Army Air Forces Statistical Digest (World War II), Table 4. 1939-1940 totals were U.S. Army Air Corps

Growth of the USAAF, installations

The USAAF operated 156 airfields at the beginning of 1941. An airbase expansion program had been underway since 1939, attempting to keep pace with the increase in personnel, units, and aircraft, and using existing municipal and private facilities where possible. However the outbreak of war and the resulting accelerated expansion necessitated a wide variety of facilities for both operations and training within the Continental United States (CONUS).

In addition to the construction of new permanent bases and the building of numerous bombing and gunnery ranges, the USAAF utilized civilian pilot schools, training courses conducted at college and factory sites, and officer training detachments at colleges. In early 1942, in a controversial move, the USAAF Technical Training Command began leasing resort hotels and apartment buildings for large-scale training sites (accommodation for 90,000 existed in Miami Beach, Florida, alone).[35] The leases were negotiated for the USAAF by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, often to the economic detriment of hotel owners in rental rates, wear and tear clauses, and short-notice to terminate leases.[36]

In December 1943 the USAAF reached a war-time peak of 783 airfields in the Continental United States.[37]

Installations

CONUS Installations
Type of facility 7 Dec 1941 31 Dec 1941 31 Dec 1942 31 Dec 1943 31 Dec 1944 VE Day VJ Day
Total all installations 181 197 1,270 1,419 1,506 1,473 1,377
Main bases 114 151 345 345 377 356 344
Satellite bases - - 71 116 37 56 57
Auxiliary fields - - 198 322 309 291 269
Total CONUS airfields 114 151 614 783 723 703 670
Bombing & gunnery ranges - - unk - 480 473 433
Hospitals & other owned facilities 67 46 29 32 44 30 30
Contract pilot schools unk unk 69 66 14 14 6
Rented office space - - unk unk 79 109 103
Leased hotels & apartment bldgs - - 464 216 75 75 75
Civilian & factory tech schools - - 66 47 21 17 16
College training detchs - - 16 234 2 1 1
Specialized storage depots - - 12 41 68 51 43
SOURCE: USAF Historical Study No. 69 Development of AAF Base Facilities in the United States, 1939-1945, Chart I, p. 169.
Overseas airfields
Location 31 Dec 1941 31 Dec 1942 31 Dec 1943 31 Dec 1944 VE Day VJ Day
US possessions 19 60 70 89 130 128
North America 7 74 83 67 66 62
Atlantic islands 5 27 - 20 21 21
South America - 27 28 22 32 32
Africa - 73 94 45 31 21
Europe - 33 119 302 392 196
Australia - 20 35 10 7 3
Pacific islands - 21 65 100 57 56
Asia - 23 65 96 175 115
Total overseas 31 358 559 751 911 634
SOURCE: AAF Statistical Digest, Table 217: Airfields outside the CONUS, 1941-1945.

Organization and equipment

Command structure

By the end of World War II, the USAAF had created 16 numbered air forces (First through Fifteenth and Twentieth) distributed worldwide to prosecute the war and defend the Americas, plus a Zone of the Interior general air force within the continental United States to support the whole.[38]

Several air forces were created de novo as the service expanded during the war. Some grew out of earlier commands—for example, the Eighth Air Force was originally VIII Bomber Command, then later had its designation again assigned to the command when that organization was discontinued—as the service expanded in size and organization, and higher echelons such as United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF) in Europe and U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific became necessary to control the whole. In August 1945, the U.S. Strategic Air Forces became the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). A subordinate organizational tier, the command, was created to segregate units of similar functions (fighters and bombers) for administrative control.

An additional eight air divisions served as an additional layer of command for the vast organization, capable of acting independently if the need arose. Inclusive within the air forces and divisions were administrative headquarters called wings to control groups (operational units; see section below). As the number of groups increased, the number of wings needed to control them multiplied, with 91 ultimately activated, 69 of which were still active at the end of the war. As part of the Air Service and Air Corps, wings had been composite organizations, that is, composed of groups with different types of missions. Most of the wings of World War II, however, were composed of groups with like functions (denoted as bombardment, fighter, reconnaissance, training, antisubmarine, troop carrier, replacement, or composite).[39]

USAAF recruitment poster.

Several support organizations, also called commands, remained under the control of Headquarters Army Air Forces. These were created, or expanded from earlier Air Corps organizations, in 1941 and 1942 to support and supply the numbered air forces, to which the operational units (groups and squadrons) were assigned.[40][41]

These commands were:

While officially the air arm had become the Army Air Forces, colloquially the term Air Corps persisted among the public as well as veteran airmen, whose branch remained the Air Corps; in addition, the singular "Air Force" often crept into popular use, reflected by usage of the term "Air Force Combat Command" in 1941-42. This misnomer crept onto official recruiting posters (see image on right) and was important in promoting the idea of an "Air Force" as an independent service. The term appeared prominently in Frank Capra's War Department indoctrination film War Comes to America, of the Why We Fight series, as an animated map graphic of equal prominence to that of the Army and Navy.

Combat groups

The basic combat component of the Army Air Forces was the group, an organization of three or four flying squadrons and attached or organic ground support elements, which was the rough equivalent of a regiment of the Army Ground Forces. The Army Air Forces fielded a peak of 269 combat groups during World War II, and an operational peak in 1945 of 243 groups.[39] The Air Service and its successor the Air Corps had established 15 combat groups between 1919 and 1937,[42] which on 1 January 1940 were designated:

USAAF recruitment poster.

With the buildup of the military forces beginning 1 February 1940, the Air Corps expanded from 15 to 30 groups. By the time the United States entered World War II, the number had increased to 67, but half were in the process of being organized and were unsuitable for combat.[56] Of the 67 groups formed or being organized, 26 were bombardment: 13 Heavy Bomb groups (B-17 Flying Fortress and B-24 Liberator), and the rest Medium and Light groups (B-25 Mitchell, B-26 Marauder, and A-20 Havoc). 26 were Pursuit groups (renamed fighter group in May 1942), 9 Observation (renamed Reconnaissance) groups, and 6 Transport (renamed Troop Carrier or Combat Cargo) groups.[39]

The Army Air Forces expanded rapidly in the first half of 1942. The training establishment then in place was inadequate to train units wholesale, and the concept of training cadres who in turn would direct the training of their assigned units was adopted. The Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics (AAFSAT) was established 9 October 1942, to provide this training. By the beginning of 1944 there were 269 groups. 136 were deployed overseas, and of the remainder still in the United States, 77 were being organized and trained for overseas deployment. The other 56 served as defense units, as Operational Training Units (OTUs) preparing new units for combat, and as Replacement Training Units (RTUs) to train personnel replacements.[39]

Early in 1944, all training was assigned to base units (non-standard administrative organizations of all units at a particular airfield under a single headquarters) and the OTUs and RTUs inactivated, reducing the number of groups to 218. However, with the formation and deployment of the remaining 25 new groups, the USAAF grew to its final form and at the time of the Invasion of Normandy in June 1944, 148 combat groups were fighting against Germany. By August 1945, when all combat operations ended, 86 groups were deployed in the Pacific and Far East, and the remaining force was either in occupation duties in Europe or re-deploying to the United States.

After the operational deployment of the B-29 Superfortress bomber, Very Heavy Bombardment units became part of the force structure. In February 1945, in its final organizational structure, the USAAF fielded 243 combat groups:

1,226 combat squadrons were active in the USAAF between 7 December 1941 and 1 September 1945.[60] In 1945 a total of 937 squadrons remained active, with 872 assigned to the various groups. 65 squadrons, mostly reconnaissance and night fighter, were not assigned to groups but as separate units under higher command echelons.[39]

Aircraft

The United States Army Air Forces used a large variety of aircraft in accomplishing its various missions, including many obsolete aircraft left over from its time as the Air Corps, with fifteen designations of types.[61]

The following were the most numerous types in the USAAF inventory, or those that specifically saw combat. Variants, including all photo-reconnaissance ("F") variants, are listed and described under their separate articles. Many aircraft, particularly transports and trainers, had numerous designations resulting from differences in power plants.

Bomber

B-17G Fortresses of the 306th Bomb Group

Fighter

P-51 Mustangs of 361st Fighter Group, 1944
Taylorcraft L-2M

Observation

C-47 of the 438th Troop Carrier Group

Transport

Trainers

PT-19 primary trainer

Utility, rescue, and gliders

UC-64 Norseman

Impact of World War II

Strategic planning

Changing USAAF Bombing Priorities

On 13 August 1941, the Air War Plans Division of the USAAF produced its plan for a global air strategy, AWPD-1.[65] Formally known as "Annex 2, Air Requirements" to "The Victory Program," a plan of strategic estimates involving the entire U.S. military,[66] the plan was prepared in accordance with strategic policies drawn earlier that year in the ABC-1 agreement with the British Commonwealth and the U.S. war plan Rainbow 5. Its forecast figures, despite planning errors from lack of accurate information about weather and the German economic commitment to the war, were within 2 percent of the units and 5.5 percent of the personnel ultimately mobilized,[67] and it accurately predicted the time frame when the invasion of Europe by the Allies would take place.[68]

AWPD-1 called for an air defense of the Western hemisphere, a strategic defense against Japan in the Pacific, and strategic bombardment by 6,800 bombers against Germany, identifying 154 key targets of the German economic infrastructure it considered vulnerable to a sustained campaign.[69] A strategic bomber requirement of 7,500 aircraft, which included the intercontinental B-36[69] (then still in the design phase), was far too large for American industry to achieve to be practical, and an interim plan to attack Germany with 3,800 bombers was included in AWPD-1.[69]

AWPD-1 was approved by General Marshall and Secretary of War Henry Stimson in September 1941.[70] Although war began before the plan could be presented to Roosevelt, it became the foundation for establishing aircraft production and training requirements used during the war, and the concept of a strategic bomber offensive against Germany became policy of the U.S. government,[71] in accordance with United States strategic policy stated in Rainbow 5, as the only means available to the United States to take the war to Germany.[70]

In August 1942 Roosevelt called for a revision of proposed air requirements. AWPD-42 was presented on 6 September 1942, and although never accepted by the U.S. Navy, its revised estimates (which more than doubled production requirements to nearly 150,000 aircraft of all types, including those of the Navy and exports to allies) guided the Roosevelt Administration in 1943. The estimate was later reduced to 127,000, of which 80,000 were combat aircraft.

Like its predecessor, AWPD-42 laid out a strategic plan for the daylight bombing of Germany by unescorted heavy bombers, but also included a similar plan for attacks on Japan. Unfortunately the B-17 bomber command of the U.S. Eighth Air Force had flown just six missions when AWPD-42 was drawn up, and the prior mistake in AWPD-1 of disregarding the need and feasibility of long-range fighter escorts was repeated.

Both plans called for the destruction of the German Air Force (GAF) as a necessary requirement before campaigns against priority economic targets. AWPD-1 established four target sets in order of priority: electrical power production, inland transportation, petroleum production, and Berlin;[72] while AWPD-42 revised the priorities, placing U-Boat facilities first, followed by transportation, electricity production, petroleum production, and rubber production.[73]

Operations summary

The Air Force Historical Studies Office summarizes the execution of USAAF strategy during World War II:[15]

"Arnold's staff made the first priority in the war to launch a strategic bombing offensive in support of the RAF against Germany. The Eighth Air Force, sent to England in 1942, took on that job. After a slow and often costly effort to bring the necessary strength to bear, joined in 1944 by the Fifteenth Air Force stationed in Italy, strategic bombing finally began to get results, and by the end of the war, the German economy had been dispersed and pounded to rubble.

Tactical air forces supported the ground forces in the Mediterranean and European theaters, where the enemy found Allied air supremacy a constant frustration. In the war against Japan, General Douglas MacArthur made his advance along New Guinea by leap frogging his air forces forward and using amphibious forces to open up new bases. The AAF also supported Admiral Chester Nimitz's aircraft carriers in their island-hopping across the Central Pacific and assisted Allied forces in Burma and China.

Arnold directly controlled the Twentieth Air Force, equipped with the new long-range B-29 Superfortresses used for bombing Japan's home islands, first from China and then from the Marianas. Devastated by fire-raids, Japan was so weakened by August 1945 that Arnold believed neither the atomic bomb nor the planned invasion would be necessary to win the war. The fact that AAF B-29s dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, nevertheless, demonstrated what air power could do in the future. The Strategic Bombing Survey provided ammunition for the leaders of the AAF in the postwar debates over armed forces unification and national strategy."

USAAF statistical summary of World War II

The United States Army Air Forces incurred 12% of the Army's 936,000 battle casualties in World War II. 88,119 airmen died in service. 52,173 were battle casualty deaths: 45,520 killed in action, 1,140 died of wounds, 3,603 were missing in action and declared dead, and 1,910 were nonhostile battle deaths. Only the Army Ground Forces suffered more battle deaths. 35,946 non-battle deaths included 25,844 in aircraft accidents, more than half of which occurred within the Continental United States.[74] 63,209 members of the USAAF were other battle casualties. 18,364 were wounded in action and required medical evacuation, and 41,057 became prisoners-of-war.[74][75] Its casualties were 5.1% of its strength, compared to 10% for the rest of the Army.[76]

Total aircraft losses by the USAAF from December 1941 to August 1945 were 65,164, with 43,581 lost overseas and 21,583 within the Continental United States.[77] Combat losses of aircraft totaled 22,948 world wide, with 18,418 lost in theaters fighting Germany and 4,530 lost in combat in the Pacific.[78] The USAAF credited its own forces with destroying a total of 40,259 aircraft of opposing nations by all means, 29,916 against Germany and its allies and 10,343 in the Pacific.[79]

The cost of the war to the USAAF was approximately $50 billion, or about 30% of the cost to the War Department,[80] with cash expenditures from direct appropriations between July 1942 and August 1945 amounting to $35,185,548,000.[81]

Total sorties flown by the AAF during World War II were 2,352,800, with 1,693,565 flown in Europe-related areas and 669,235 flown in the Pacific and Far East.[82]

Demobilization and Air Force independence

With the defeat of Japan, the entire United States military establishment immediately began a drastic demobilization, as it had at the end of World War I. The USAAF was hit as hard or harder as the older services by demobilization. Officers and members were discharged, installations were closed, and aircraft were stored or sold. Between August 1945 and April 1946, its strength fell from 2.25 million men to just 485,000, and a year later to 304,000. Aircraft inventory dropped from 79,000 to less than 30,000, many of them in storage. Permanent installations were reduced from 783 to 177, just 21 more than pre-war.[83][84]

By July 1946, the Army Air Forces had only 2 combat-ready groups out of 52 that remained on the list of active units. A rebuilt air force of 70 groups, the authorized peacetime strength, was anticipated, with reserve and national guard forces to be available for active duty in an emergency. However considerable opposition to a large peacetime military establishment, and to the financial cost of such an establishment, resulted in planning cuts to 48 groups.

General Carl A. Spaatz

In February 1946, ill health forced the retirement of General Arnold before he could fulfill his goal of achieving independence of the Air Force as an equal service with the Army and Navy. General Carl A. Spaatz replaced Arnold as the only other commanding general of the USAAF, and he oversaw both the demobilization of the largest air force in military history and its rebirth as envisioned by Generals Billy Mitchell and Arnold.

Arnold left the USAAF with two important legacies, based on his experiences in World War II, which shaped the post-war USAAF and its independent successor. The first was a requirement that the command staff of the service must include staff officers of varying expertise besides pilots. The second was the belief that despite the unqualified success of training methods that had expanded the Air Forces, the United States would never again have the time to mobilize and train the reserve components as it had in 1940, necessitating that reservists and National Guardsmen be immediately ready for service in case of national emergency.[85]

For his part, Spaatz consulted closely with the new Army Chief of Staff, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, and reorganized the USAAF into three major commands (Strategic Air Command, Tactical Air Command, and Air Defense Command) that would not require a second restructuring once the Air Force became independent.[86] He also re-structured the reserve components to conform with Arnold's concepts, including creation of the Air National Guard in April 1946.[87]

Following the immense buildup in aviation infrastructure and personnel during the war, and in recognition of the tremendous new importance and strength of airpower, President Harry S. Truman created the Department of the Air Force in 1947. This legislation renamed the air arm as the United States Air Force, elevating it to a completely separate branch of the U.S. military. The initial delineation of service roles, Executive Order 9877, was supplanted on 21 April 1948, by the approval by President Truman of the Key West Agreement, which outlined the air assets that each service would be permitted to maintain. The Air Force was assigned the bulk of strategic, tactical, and transport aircraft, but the issue remained divisive well into the 1950s.[88]

Culture of the U.S. Army Air Forces

USAAF Uniforms

Major Richard Bong in Officer's No. 1 Service Dress
M-1944 service dress "Ike jacket" in OD shade 54

Members of the USAAF wore a wool serge service uniform very similar to that of other U.S. Army forces with few modifications. Officers wore a "No. 1" service uniform in "shade No. 51 (dark-shade)" olive drab, nicknamed "greens", while enlisted personnel wore "Class A" service dress of "shade No. 54 (light-shade)" OD. In garrison most officers, although authorized wear of the lighter shade trousers, wore khaki chino cotton or wool trousers that appeared pinkish in hue in contrast with the dark No. 51 shade, leading to the nickname "pinks and greens" for the combination.[89] Personnel stationed in Europe were authorized wear of the wool, shade No. 54 (light OD) M-1944 short dress jacket, nicknamed the "Ike jacket", in lieu of the full-length tunic of the service dress uniform.

Shirts for all ranks were either khaki shade No. 1, a light tan; dark shade No. 33 olive drab wool, or light shade No. 50 cotton.[90] Neckties were of the same colors. Summer and tropical dress for all ranks was in khaki. Leather items, including shoes, were russet in color, and the USAAF became known as the "Brown Shoe Air Force" after the United States Air Force became a separate service.[91]

Headgear for service uniforms consisted of two types, similar to those in use in the Army ground forces, in olive drab for winter wear and khaki for summer. The garrison cap, commonly called the "flight cap" in the Air Forces, had been authorized for all ranks since the early 1930s to facilitate the wearing of radio headsets during flights. The oval service cap was fitted with a spring stiffening device called a grommet, and prior to World War II uniform regulations authorized officers to remove the grommet to permit the use of headsets. This style became widely popular during World War II as a symbol of being a combat veteran, and was known as a "50-mission crush" cap.[92]

Flight clothing varied widely by theater of operation and type of mission. Innovative aviation flight suits, boots, leather helmets, goggles, and gloves were issued as early as 1928 to the United States Army Air Corps, and at least one style, the Type A-3 flight suit, continued in service until 1944.[92] However A-2 flight jackets, made standard issue in 1931, became one of the best known symbols of the USAAF. Made of seal brown leather with a beige spun silk lining, the jackets featured an officer's stand-up collar, shoulder straps, knit waistbands and cuffs, a zipper closing, and unit insignia.[93] Heavy, sheepskin-lined B-3 and B-6 flight jackets, A-3 winter flying trousers, and B-2 "gunner's" caps, all in seal brown shearling, proved insufficient for the extreme cold temperatures of high altitude missions in unpressurized aircraft and were supplemented by a variety of one-piece electrically heated flying suits manufactured by the General Electric Company.

AAF uniforms were subject to Army Regulations, specifically AR 600-40, authorizing wear of emblems, badges, and insignia on the uniform. Authorized badges and insignia are covered in sections below. The vast size of the service saw the wearing of many custom-made variants of authorized emblems, badges, and insignia, and numerous examples of unauthorized insignia and emblems appeared throughout the forces, particularly in combat units overseas.

USAAF Badges

SOURCE: Martin Bowman, USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, p. 156. Reproduction of relevant page from The Officer's Guide, Military Service Publishing Co., July 1943.

To denote the special training and qualifications required for membership in the USAAF, the following military badges (known colloquially but ubiquitously throughout the service as "wings") were authorized for wear by members of the Army Air Forces during World War II:

Aerial Gunner Badge
Bombardier Badge
Flight Engineer Badge
Navigator Badge

These aviation qualification badges were typically worn in full three-inch (76 mm) size on service or dress uniforms, but two-inch versions (nicknamed "sweetheart wings") were also authorized for less-formal shirt wear. Most aviation badges were made of sterling silver or were given a silver finish, and various devices were used to attach them to uniforms. These included the traditional pin and safety catch and, later, clutch-back fasteners. Most USAAF badges of World War II became obsolete, having been superseded by later designs, and were not authorized for wear on the uniform after 1955.

USAAF Emblems

The first shoulder sleeve insignia authorized for Air Corps wear was that of the General Headquarters Air Force, approved 20 July 1937.[94] This sleeve insignia, which consisted of a blue triskelion superimposed on a gold circle was retained after GHQ Air Force became Air Force Combat Command on 20 June 1941. The triskelion represented a stylized propeller that symbolized the three combat wings of GHQ Air Force.[95] On 23 February 1942, the GHQ AF patch was discontinued and the service-wide AAF sleeve insignia ("Hap Arnold Emblem") approved. The patch was designed by a member of Gen. Arnold's staff, James T. Rawls, and was based on the V-for-Victory sign popularized by Winston Churchill.[96]

The wearing of sleeve insignia was authorized for members of numbered air forces based overseas on 2 March 1943, and for air forces in the United States on 25 June 1943. From that date forward, the "Hap Arnold Emblem" was worn only by personnel of units not assigned to a numbered air force. AR 600-40, "Wear of the Service Uniform," subsequently limited sleeve insignia to the 16 air forces and the AAF patch. The Quartermaster Corps, responsible for the design and supply of all authorized insignia, resisted further designs for the AAF until 28 July 1945, when command arcs (arc-shaped tabs) were authorized for wear above the AAF insignia by members of the various commands. {The 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th Air Force emblems are not shown here as these were post World War II organizations}

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Nalty, Bernard C. (1997). "Reaction to the war in Europe", Winged Shield, Winged Sword: A History of the United States Air Force Vol. I, ISBN 0-16-049009-X, pp. 176 and 378. Also, see growth tables above.
  2. ^ AAF Statistical Digest, List of Tables Table 215 Airfields in CONUS 1941-1945; Table 217 Airfields outside CONUS 1941-1945.
  3. ^ Shiner, John F. (1997). "The Coming of the GHQ Air Force, 1925-1935", Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.112-113.
  4. ^ Shiner, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.130.
  5. ^ Shiner, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.131-133.
  6. ^ Mark Skinner Watson, Chief of Staff: Pre-war Plans and Preparations, "Chapter IX: The Movement Toward Air Autonomy", p.293.
  7. ^ a b Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.181.
  8. ^ Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.179-181.
  9. ^ Correll, John T. "GHQ Air Force", AIR FORCE Magazine, September 2008, Vol. 91 No. 9, p.68.
  10. ^ Ray S. Cline (1990). Washington Command Post: The Operations Division "Chapter VI: Organizing the High Command for World War II", p.92.
  11. ^ Correll, John T. (July 2009). "But What About the Air Corps?". Air Force Magazine, Journal of the Air Force Association. , p. 64-65.
  12. ^ Futrell, Robert (1951). USAF Historical Study No. 69: Development of AAF Base Facilities in the United States, 1939-1945, Air Force Historical Research Agency, pp. 2-7.
  13. ^ Wesley F. Craven and James Cate, editors. Army Air Forces in World War II: Vol. I: Plans & Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942, p.105-106.
  14. ^ AAF Statistical Digest, Table 3: Strength of the AAF 1912-1945
  15. ^ a b "The Evolution of the Department of the Air Force". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/Evolution.htm. Retrieved 6 July 2008. 
  16. ^ Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.173.
  17. ^ Watson, George M, Jr. (1997). "Building Air Power", Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.231.
  18. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.235.
  19. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp.233-235.
  20. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp.246-248.
  21. ^ AAF Statistical Digest, Table 206: AAF Ferrying Operations Jan 42 to Aug 45
  22. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp.248-249.
  23. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.250.
  24. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.259.
  25. ^ Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.325.
  26. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.255.
  27. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp. 260-263.
  28. ^ "The US Army Air Forces at war: a statistical portrait of USAAF in World War II", AIR FORCE Magazine, June 1995, Vol.78 No. 6, p.36, summarizing AAF Statistical Digest released after World War II. The exact reported figures were 193,440 pilots; 43,051 bombardiers and bombardier-navigators; 48,870 navigators in all three disciplines (celestial, dead reckoning, and radar); and 309,236 flexible gunners.
  29. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p.160.
  30. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p.161.
  31. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp.251-252.
  32. ^ ""Women in the AAF", Army Air Forces in World War II". HyperWar Foundation. http://www.ibiblio.net/hyperwar/AAF/VII/AAF-VII-16.html. Retrieved 26 October 2008. , p.514. 39,323 WACs were assigned to the AAF in January 1945. Approximately 1,100 were African-American women assigned to ten segregated AAF units.
  33. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp.253-254.
  34. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p.158.
  35. ^ Futrell, USAF Historical Study No. 69, p.112.
  36. ^ Futrell, USAF Historical Study No. 69, p.167.
  37. ^ Futrell, USAF Historical Study No. 69, p.156.
  38. ^ Bowman, Martin W. (1997). USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, Stackpole Books, ISBN 0-8117-1822-0, p.16.
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Maurer, Maurer (1986). "Overview". Air Force Combat Units of World War II. New York Military Affairs Symposium. http://libraryautomation.com/nymas/usaaf1.html. Retrieved 2 July 2008. 
  40. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, p.17-18.
  41. ^ Army Air Forces Historical Study No. 13 "The Development of Tactical Doctrines at AAFSAT and AAFTAC"
  42. ^ Maurer, Maurer (1986). "Introduction: Air Force Combat Organization:1919-1939". Air Force Combat Units of World War II. New York Military Affairs Symposium. http://libraryautomation.com/nymas/usaaf1.html. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  43. ^ "1st Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9594. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  44. ^ "2nd Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9595. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  45. ^ "3rd Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9602. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  46. ^ Watson, Richard L., Jr.. "USAF Historical Study 111: Army Air Action in the Philippines and Netherlands East Indies, 1941-1942". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://afhra.maxwell.af.mil/numbered_studies/467695.pdf. Retrieved 27 February 2009. , p. 9.
  47. ^ "5th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9625. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  48. ^ "6th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9627. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  49. ^ "7th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9629. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  50. ^ "8th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9629. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  51. ^ "9th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9629. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  52. ^ a b c Maurer, Maurer. "Part 2". Air Force Combat Units of World War II. New York Military Affairs Symposium. http://libraryautomation.com/nymas/usaaf2.html. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  53. ^ "18th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9629. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  54. ^ "19th Air Refueling Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9653. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  55. ^ "20th Operations Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. http://www.afhra.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=9655. Retrieved 27 February 2009. 
  56. ^ Spaatz, Gen. Carl A. "Strategic Airpower in the European War", Foreign Affairs, April 1946. Spaatz calculated combat-ready groups at 43.5 at the end of January 1942.
  57. ^ Employing P-38 Lightning, P-40 Warhawk, P-47 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, or P-80 Shooting Star aircraft.
  58. ^ The four combat cargo groups, numbered 1-4, served in the CBI and 5AF in 1944-45. Two were later redesignated troop carrier groups and became part of the USAF.
  59. ^ These were the 509th CG (B-29/C-54), 28th CG (B-24/B-25), and the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Air Commando Groups. The air commando groups were created for service in the CBI and 5AF with one cargo and 2 fighter squadrons each. A medium bomb group, the 477th BG, converted to a P-47/B-25 composite group in June 1945.
  60. ^ Maurer Maurer (1969). USAF Historical Study No. 82: Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Research Agency. This total is for combat-coded squadrons only. Flying squadrons not included in the total are more than 100 Air Transport Command squadrons, advanced flight training squadrons, or flexible squadrons within AAF Base Units between August 1, 1944 and the end of the war.
  61. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p. 113. The types were: A — Attack; AT — Advanced Trainer; B — Bomber; BT — Basic Trainer; C — Cargo/Transport; CG — Cargo Glider; F — Reconnaissance; L — Liaison; O — Observation; OA — Observation-Amphibian; P — Pursuit; PT — Primary Trainer; R — Rotary wing (helicopter); TG — Trainer Glider; and UC — Utility.
  62. ^ Maurer Maurer (1986). Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Spitfire Mk.Vs equipped the 4th Fighter Group until early 1943; Mk.Vs and Mk.IXs were the primary fighter of the 31st and 52nd FGs until 1944.
  63. ^ Maurer Maurer (1969). Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II. Approx. 100 Beaufighters partially equipped four night fighter squadrons of the 12th AF between 1943 and 1945.
  64. ^ Irving, David (2002 - electronic version) [1989] (pdf). Göring: A Biography. fpp.co.uk: Parforce UK Ltd.. pp. 666. http://www.fpp.co.uk/books/Goering/index.html. Retrieved 3 January 2009. 
  65. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, p.19.
  66. ^ Griffith, Charles (1999). The Quest: Haywood Hansell and American Strategic Bombing in World War II. Air University Press ISBN 1-58566-069-8, p. 66.
  67. ^ Griffith, The Quest, p.78.
  68. ^ Griffith, The Quest, p.77.
  69. ^ a b c Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.188.
  70. ^ a b Nalty, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.190.
  71. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, pp.19-20.
  72. ^ Griffith, The Quest, pp. 67.
  73. ^ Griffith, The Quest, pp. 96-97.
  74. ^ a b "Battle casualties by type of casualty and disposition, and duty branch: 7 December 1941 -31 December 1946". Army Battle Casualties and Non-battle Deaths in World War II: Final Report. Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. 1953. http://cgsc.cdmhost.com/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/p4013coll8&CISOPTR=130&REC=1. Retrieved 2 December 2009. 
  75. ^ "Table 34 - Battle Casualties in All Overseas Theaters, By Type of Casualty and Type of Personnel: Dec 1941 to Aug 1945". Army Air Forces Statistical Digest, World War II. U.S. Air Force. http://www.afhra.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-090608-039.pdf. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  76. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p.268.
  77. ^ "Table 99 - Airplane Losses in Continental US and Overseas, By Type of Airplane: Dec 1941 to Aug 1945". Army Air Forces Statistical Digest, World War II. U.S. Air Force. http://www.afhra.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-090608-042.pdf. Retrieved 1 December 2009. 
  78. ^ "The US Army Air Forces at war: a statistical portrait of USAAF in World War II", AIR FORCE Magazine, June 1995, Vol. 78 No. 6, summarizing AAF Statistical Digest, p.34.
  79. ^ "The US Army Air Forces at war", p.33.
  80. ^ Watson, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p. 268.
  81. ^ AAF Statistical Digest Table 203
  82. ^ "The US Army Air Forces at war", p.32.
  83. ^ Wolk, Herman S. (1997). "The Quest for Independence", Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p. 378.
  84. ^ Futrell, USAF Historical Study No. 69, p. 156. These installations included main bases, sub (satellite) bases, and auxiliary airfields.
  85. ^ Wolk, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p. 374.
  86. ^ Wolk, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p. 375.
  87. ^ Wolk, Winged Shield, Winged Sword, p. 377.
  88. ^ Trest, Warren A. and Watson, George M. Jr. (1997). "Framing Air Force missions", Winged Shield, Winged Sword, pp. 418-424.
  89. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, pp. 166-167.
  90. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p. 167.
  91. ^ Janet R. Daly-Benarek (1995). The Enlisted Experience: A Conversation With the Chief Master Sergeants of the Air Force. Diane Publishing Company. ISBN 0788128248. By extension "brown shoe" refers to any practice or idea that harks back to the Army Air Forces era.
  92. ^ a b Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p. 171.
  93. ^ Bowman, USAAF Handbook, p. 172.
  94. ^ "Up from Kittyhawk", AIR FORCE Magazine.
  95. ^ Rottman, Gordon L (1998). U.S. Army Air Force - 1, Osprey Publishing. ISBN 1-85532-295-1. P. 54.
  96. ^ "Army Air Forces World War II Shoulder Sleeve Insignia" USAF Historical Studies Office.

References

External links

Preceded by
United States Army Air Corps
United States Army Air Forces
1941-1947
Succeeded by
United States Air Force







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