Carl Andrew Spaatz

media-24001.jpeg UPL 24001 General Carl A. Spaatz

Object Number - UPL 24001 - General Carl A. Spaatz

A few weeks after Pearl Harbor, in January 1942, General Spaatz was assigned as chief of the Army Air Force Combat Command at Washington and promoted to the temporary rank of major general. In May 1942, Spaatz was designated commander of the Eighth Air Force at Bolling Field, transferring to the European theater of operations in that capacity in July 1942, to prepare for the American bombing of Germany. His accomplishments earned him an award of the Legion of Merit. On July 7, he was appointed commanding general of the U.S. Army Air Forces in the European Theater, an addition to his duties as commander of the Eighth. His promotion to the permanent rank of colonel was made on Sept. 17, 1942.

On Dec. 1, 1942, General Spaatz became commanding general of the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa. In February 1943, he assumed command of the Northwest African Air Force, which he organized. He received a temporary promotion to Lieutenant General March 12, 1943.

After Rommel's Afrika Korps had been driven out of the North Africa and the invasion of Italy was launched, General Spaatz became deputy commander of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, including the 12th Air Force in Africa and the 15th Air Force and the Royal Air Force in Italy. He returned to England in January 1944, to command the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe, which he headed throughout the pre-invasion period and the ensuing campaign which culminated with the utter defeat of Germany. His service in Africa won an award of the Distinguished Service Medal, and the accomplishments of his Strategic Air Force in 1944, earned him the Robert J. Collier Trophy for that year, awarded annually to the American making the outstanding contribution to aviation.

Post-war, Gen. Spaatz became the first Commanding General of the USAF.

Retired 30 June 1948.


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Units served with


  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: US Strategic Air Forces
  • Highest Rank: Colonel
  • Role/Job: Director of Personnel
Katherine Spaatz at the rear door of her ARC Clubmobile
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: American Red Cross
  • Role/Job: American Red Cross Clubmobile
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 379th Bomb Group 524th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-010506
  • Highest Rank: Major General
  • Role/Job: Pilot, Combat Observer, A-2 Berlin 1938-41, AWPD-42 Secretary of Air, Ultra-cleared, POW


  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Boops


Event Location Date Description


Boyertown, Pennsylvania 28 June 1891


Arrived in UK

UK 15 June 1942


Washington, DC, USA 14 June 1974


Mt St Francis Cemetery, Colorado Springs, CO 80919, USA Buried United States Air Force Academy Cemetery.



Personal research & 4th Fighter Group 'Debden Eagles' by Chris Bucholtz.


Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / The Mighty Eighth by Roger Freeman

Carl Andrew Spaatz: Gallery (30 items)