Eighth Air Force (originally VIII Bomber Command)

Constituted as VIII Bomber Command on 19 Jan 1942. Activated in the US on 1 Feb 1942. An advanced detachment was established in England on 23 Feb and units began arriving from the US during the spring of 1942. The command conducted the heavy bombardment operations of Eighth AF (see US Strategic Air Forces in Europe) from 17 Aug 1942 until early in 1944. Redesignated Eighth until AF on 22 Feb 1944. Afterward, engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets in Europe. Transferred, without personnel, equipment, and combat elements, to Okinawa on 16 Jul 1945. Although some personnel and combat units were assigned before V-J Day, the Eighth did not participate in combat against Japan. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US on 7 Jun 1946. Remanned and re-equipped as part of Strategic Air Command.

Components. 1st Bombardment Wing: 1942-1943. 2d Bombardment Wing: 1942-1943. 3d Bombardment Wing: 1942-1943. 4th Bombardment Wing: 1942-1943. 12th Bombardment Wing: 1942-1944. 301st Fighter Wing: 1945-1946. 316th Bombardment Wing: 1945-1946. 1st Air Division: 1943-1945. 2d Air Division: 1943-1945. 3d Air Division: 1943-1945. VIII Fighter Command: 1944-1945.

Stations. Langley Field, Va, 1 Feb 1942; Savannah AB, Ga, c. 10 Feb 1942; Daws Hill, England, 23 Feb 1942; High Wycombe, England, 15 May 1942-16 Jul 1945; Okinawa, 16 Jul 1945-7 Jun 1946; MacDill Field, Fla, 7 Jun 1946; Ft Worth AAFld, Tex, 1 Nov 1946; Westover AFB, Mass, Jun 1955-.

Commanders. Maj Gen Ira C Eaker, 23 Feb 1942; Brig Gen Newton Longfellow, 2 Dec 1942; Maj Gen Frederick L Anderson, 1 Jul 1943; Lt Gen James H Doolittle, 6 Jan 1944; Maj Gen William E Kepner, 10 May 1945; Maj Gen Westside T Larson, 21 Jun 1945; Lt Gen James H Doolittle, 19 Jul 1945; Maj Gen Earle E Partridge, 12 Sep 1945; Brig Gen Patrick W Timberlake, 30 Nov 1945-unkn; Col Nell B Harding, c. 16 Aug 1946; Brig Gen Roger M Ramey, 1 Nov 1946; Maj Gen Clements McMullen, 12 Nov 1946; Maj Gen Roger M Ramey, 16 Dec 1946; Maj Gen Archie J Old Jr, 15 Jun 1950; Lt Gen Samuel E Anderson, 14 Aug 1950; Maj Gen John B Montgomery, 8 May 1953; Maj Gen James C Selser Jr, 13 Jun 1955; Maj Gen Walter C Sweeney Jr, 6 Aug 1955-.

Campaigns. Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe; Asiatic-Pacific Theater.

Decorations. None.

Insigne. Azure, in the lower lobe of the winged Arabic numeral "8" or a mullet throughout argent charged with a torteaux. (Approved 20 May 1943.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986






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