Researching US Army Air Force combat missions
Many records are only available online, sometimes on more than one site. We have listed the main sources but there may be others. Some records are free to view but others may entail a fee for access (£/$).
Summaries of all combat missions flown by the United States Army Air Forces during the Second World War can be found in the USAAF Combat Chronology. More detailed narratives of some of these missions can be found in The Army Air Forces in World War II series, which can be downloaded from the Air Force Historical Support Division and is searchable at Hyper War
Orders and reports for many operations can be found online at the Combined Arms Research Library
The Army Air Forces Statistical Digest provides a statistical outline of the disposition of the USAAF throughout the Second World War
Information on USAAF missions including narratives, summaries, loading lists and intelligence are recorded in Combat Operations Reports (also known as Mission Reports) available at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
You may be able to find information taken from these sources on many of the individual Bomb Group and Fighter Group websites.
Eighth Air Force
A summary of all Eighth Air Force combat missions can be found in The Mighty Eighth War Diary by Roger Freeman (1981)
The Eighth Air Force Historical Society also provides information on Eighth Air Force missions and targets.
Ninth Air Force
Overviews of Ninth Air Force missions can be found in operational documents at the Combined Arms Research Library
A detailed overview of IX Troop Carrier Command on Operation Overlord can be found on 6 Juin 1944
Twelfth Air Force
Monthly operations bulletins for the Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force- the integrated command which oversaw the Twelfth Air Force and the RAF Desert Air Force are available at the Combined Arms Research Library
Fifteenth Air Force
Fifteenth Air Force against the Axis by Kevin Mahoney (2013) provides a month-by-month narrative of most missions from November 1943- May 1945