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Headquarters (Eighth Air Force)


8th Air Force Headquarters opened in London under the command of General Carl A Spaatz on 19 June 1942. It oversaw all Commands, Wings and Groups engaged in the Strategic Bombing Campaign until February 1944, when it became US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF).

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as Eighth AF on 19 Jan 1942 and activated on 28 Jan. Moved to England, May-Jun 1942, and engaged primarily in bombardment of targets in Europe. Redesignated US Strategic Air Forces in Europe on 22 Feb 1944

Commanding officers
  • Carl Spaatz

    Military | General | Commanding General, 8th Air Force
    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...

  • Ira Eaker

    Military | Lieutenant General | Commanding General, 8th Air Force
    Commanding General of 8th AF 1 December 1942 to 5 January 1944. Following that, Eaker was given command of all Allied air forces in the MTO, and in April 1945 became Deputy CG of the USAAF. Retired July 1947. ...

  • Asa Duncan

    Military | Brigadier General | 8th Air Force Chief of Staff
    En route to Maison Blanche, via Gibraltar on 17 November 1942, with Clark Garber, Co-pilot: Josh Kaplan, Navigator: John Roysden, Bombardier: Les Birleson*, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Welcome Talbot, Radio Operator: Paul Padgett, Ball turret...


Part of
  • 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. ...

  • European Theater of Operations US Army (ETOUSA)

    European Theater of Operations US Army (ETOUSA)

    Headquarters European Theater of Operations US Army (ETOUSA) was established in London by General Order 3, ETOUSA on 8 June 1942. It succeeded Headquarters US Army in the British Isles (USAFBI), established in London by General Order 1, USAFBI, 8...

  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

  • VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command was established as VIII Interceptor Command at Selfridge Field on 2 February 1942.

  • VIII Ground Air Support Command

    VIII Ground Air Support Command

    Constituted as VIII Ground Air Support Command on 24 April 1942, activated 28 April 1942 at Bolling Field, DC under the command of Brig Gen Robert C. Candee. Assigned to the Eighth US Army Air Force. Moved to England, without tactical components, in...

  • VIII Air Support Command
  • 6th Fighter Wing
  • 315th Troop Carrier Group

    315th Troop Carrier Group

    The chief purpose of the 315th Troop Carrier Group when assigned to the Eighth Air Force was to transport troops around the UK in the early part of 1943. Before long though, the Group was used by the Twelfth Air Force and flew from Bilda, Algeria, from...

  • 27th Air Transport Group

    27th Air Transport Group

    The 27th Air Transport Group and the 31st Air Transport Group were unique in the ETO and operated differently from other US Army Air Force units. ...

  • 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group

    67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group

    The four Squadrons of the 67th Recon Group (12th Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron; 107th Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron; 109th Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron and 153rd Observation - later Reconnaissance Squadron)...

  • 13th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron
Previously was
Not yet known
  • US Strategic Air Forces

    US Strategic Air Forces

    Eighth Air Force Headquarters became USSTAF in February 1944 and oversaw all Strategic Air Force activities in the European, African and Middle Eastern Theatre of Operations, particularly the operations of the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces.


Station Location Date
Established 19 January 1942
Based London 18 June 1942 – 25 June 1942
Based Bushey Hall 26 June 1942 – February 1944
Redesignated 22 February 1944



  • Harold Abrams

    Military | Corporal | Weather Observer
    Post war

  • Eileen Abrom


  • Molly Acreman


  • Helen Adams


  • Dorothy Albers


  • Philip Alimo


  • Christina Allan


  • John Allard

    Military | Brigadier General | Chief of Staff
    Entered Army, July 1942; overseas, August 1942. Became chief of staff of 8th under Gen. Doolittle Jan '44 til May '45Ashes spread over Atlantic by James Dolittle. Silver SStar, Legion of Mreit, Dist. Serv. Medal, French Croix de Guerre with Palm

  • James Allen


  • Stephen Alter

    Military | Airman Second Class | Munitions Specialist
    Served from December 1955 to September 1959.

Show more


  • 44-23517

    P-38 Lightning
    RAF Air Commodore Alfred C H Sharp, a former Deputy Chief of Staff HQ 8th AF, was gifted this P-38 Lightning as his personal aircraft when he left to take up a new posting as 54 base commander. Initialy flown soley by Sharp. A 'Droop Snoot*' was lent...

  • V9506

    Westland Lysander Mk IIIa V9506, assigned to 8th Air Force Headquarter Flight USAAF.




Date Contributor Update
04 September 2019 12:48:00 Emily Changes to type, category, us air force combat units of world war ii description, description, unit encompassing associations, commanding officers associations and stations

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2019 10:42:20 Emily Changes to unit part of associations

Bowman, USAAF Handbook 1939-1945, Group Assignments of the 8th Air Force, England 6 June 1943

Date Contributor Update
14 August 2019 11:22:45 Emily Changes to description, commanding officers associations and stations

USAAF Combat Chronology

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:54 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia / Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)