Fifteenth Air Force

Headquarters
Second World War formation badge for the United States 15th Air Force (United States Army Air Force). The shoulder sleeve insignia was approved by the US Quartermaster General on 19 February 1944. Formation note: the 15th Air Force (US Army Air Force, Fifteenth Air Force) was formed on 1 November 1943 at Tunis in North Africa and moved to Italy on 1 December. The Force was disbanded on 15 September 1945 having participated in twelve campaigns.© IWM (INS 7304)

Object Number - INS 7304 - Second World War formation badge for the United States 15th Air Force (United States Army Air Force). The shoulder sleeve insignia was approved by...

The Fifteenth Air Force was one of two Strategic Air forces in Europe, along with the Eighth Air Force.

It was established on 1 November 1943 in Tunis, Tunisia, and commenced combat operations the following day. The Air Force was formed as part of reorganisation of the Twelfth and Ninth Air Forces, and activated with a strength of 90 B-24 Liberators and 210 B-17 Flying Fortresses, inherited from its predecessors. From December 1943 13 new groups arriving from the US were added to the Fifteenth Air Force, most equipped with B-24 Liberators.

Like the Eighth Air Force in Britain, it was hoped that the Fifteenth would be able to attack Occupied Europe from Italy and the Mediterranean, and keep up the offensive when bad weather in Britain grounded the Eighth Air Force. When the Allies progressed into Italy the Fifteenth were able to reach targets in South France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia and the Balkans which were out of the range of the Eighth Air Force.

During the Second World War the Fifteen heavy bomber groups of the 15th Air Force lost 2,110 Bombers on operations. Its seven Fighter Groups claimed 1,836 enemy aircraft destroyed.

The Fifteenth was inactivated in Italy on 15 September 1945.

Commanding Officers

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: Headquarters (Eighth Air Force)
  • Service Numbers: O-271855
  • Highest Rank: General
  • Role/Job: Commanding General

Connections

See how this entry relates to other items in the archive by exploring the connections below.

Unit stations

Station Location Date

Based

Bari 1943-12-03 - 1945-09-15

Established

Lycée Carnot de Tunis 1943-11-01

Previously was

  • Unit Hierarchy: Command
  • Air Force: Twelfth Air Force
  • Type Category: Combat organisation

Encompassing

  • Unit Hierarchy: Wing
  • Air Force: Twelfth Air Force Fifteenth Air Force
  • Type Category: Bombardment

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Service Numbers: 19192279
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Service Numbers: 15341640
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Service Numbers: 19159401 / O-786238
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Service Numbers: 16190036
  • Highest Rank: Corporal
  • Role/Job: Waist Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Service Numbers: 14122021
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-26 Marauder
  • Nicknames: Alabama Express
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Aircraft Type: P-39 Airacobra
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Unit: Fifteenth Air Force

Revisions

Date30 May 2022 14:59:08
ContributorEmily
Sources

Regular removal of erroneous people and aircraft associations to record- individual people and aircraft were never directly assigned to the USAAF's Combat Air Forces.

Date26 May 2022 08:05:59
ContributorEmily
Sources

Regular removal of erroneous people and aircraft associations to record- individual people and aircraft were never directly assigned to the USAAF's Combat Air Forces.

Date23 May 2022 11:31:59
ContributorEmily
Sources

Regular removal of erroneous people and aircraft associations to record- individual people and aircraft were never directly assigned to the USAAF's Combat Air Forces.

Date20 May 2022 11:16:24
ContributorEmily
Sources

Regular removal of erroneous people and aircraft associations made to record- individual people and aircraft were never directly assigned to the USAAF's Combat Air Forces.

Date3 Jun 2021 14:10:39
ContributorEmily
Date30 Oct 2018 14:58:11
ContributorEmily
Date3 Oct 2018 16:09:52
Contributormbowen
Date27 Sep 2014 18:42:43
ContributorAAM
Sources

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia

Fifteenth Air Force: Gallery (324 items)