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James Eucene Chaney


James E Chaney was a Military Officer he served with the Army until 1917, when he was detailed to the US Air Service to act as Chief of Air Service for the American Expeditionary Force during the First World War.

From October to November 1940 Chaney was dispatched to London to act as an observer during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz. He was formally assigned to the UK in May 1941 where he acted as Special Army Observer and Head of the Special Army Observers Group, which he headed from May 1941 to 20 June 1942.

From 8 January 1942 Chaney was appointed Theatre Commander in Europe. He oversaw the establishment of ETOUSA on 8 June 1942, when he was replaced by Dwight D Eisenhower.

Chaney returned to the USA in July 1942, and was later assigned to the Pacific Theatre of Operations, where he oversaw the Battle of Iwo Jima.



  • Townsend Griffiss

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Aide de Camp
    Lieutenant Colonel Townsend Griffiss, aide to Major General James E Chaney, was killed when the aircraft in which he was a passenger was mistakenly shot down. He was the first US airman to die in the line of duty in Europe after the USA entered the war...

Units served with

  • Special Army Observers Group

    Special Army Observers Group

    Major General James E Chaney, an Army Air Corps officer, arrived in the United Kingdom on 18 May 1941 and established , Headquarters, Special Observer Group (SPOBS) on the following day in London. ...

  • United States Army Forces in the British Isles

    United States Army Forces in the British Isles

    General James E Chaney had been posted to the UK to act as a Special Observer during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, he also oversaw preparations for the possible establishment and employment of US Ground and Air Forces in the UK in 1941. ...


Event Location Date
Born Maryland 16 March 1885
US Army 1910 – 1917
US Air Service 1917 – 1947
Died Washington DC 21 August 1967
Buried Arlington National Cemetery


Date Contributor Update
13 August 2019 13:41:56 Emily Created entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, highest rank, role, biography, events and person associations

USAAF Combat Chronology