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12th Air Force

The 12th Air Force was established in the USA during the Second World War to provide the Army Air Force component of Operation Torch (the invasion of French North Africa) in 1942. The Air Force initially moved to England for training before participating in the invasion of North Africa. It then engaged in tactical operations in the Medieterranean Theatre of Operations for the remainder of the war.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as Twelfth AF on 20 Aug 1942 and activated the same day. Moved to England, Aug-Sep 1942, and then on to North Africa for the invasion of Algeria and French Morocco in Nov 1942. Operated in the Mediterranean theater until the end of the war, serving with Northwest African Air Forces from Feb to Dec 1943, and afterward with Mediterranean Allied Air Forces. Inactivated in Italy on 31 Aug 1945.

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...

  • James Doolittle

    Military | General | Commanding General
    Became Commanding General of 12th AF September 1942; Commanding General of Northwest African Strategic Air Force March 1943; assumed command of 15th AF November 1943; Commanding General of 8th Air Force 6 January 1944 to 9 May 1945. Medal Of Honor for...


Part of
Not yet known
  • XII Bomber Command
  • XII Tactical Air Command
  • XXII Tactical Air Command
  • 68th Reconnaissance Group

    68th Reconnaissance Group

    The group was first established as the 68th Observation Group in 1941 at Brownwood Army Air Field, Texas, on 1 September 1941. Its primary mission was observation aircraft training and antisubmarine patrols. The group moved to several different U.S....

  • 320th Bomb Group

    320th Bomb Group

    Constituted as 320th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 June 1942. ...

  • 31st Fighter Group

    31st Fighter Group

    The 31st Fighter Group only flew missions from England between June and September 1942 but during this period they supported the Dieppe raid, the assault on occupied Europe, predominantly by the Canadian army. The attack was forced into early retreat...

  • 82nd Fighter Group

    82nd Fighter Group

    The 82nd Fighter Group flew training missions from bases in Northern Ireland between October and December 1942. They then joined the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa, supporting the ground invasion of Tunisia, Sicily and Italy. Between October 1943...

  • 350th Fighter Group

    350th Fighter Group

    The 350th Fighter Group was always intended to join the Twelfth Air Force in the North African campaign as a tactical fighter organisation, using P-39 Airacobras in ground attacks. The pilots flew practice missions from the UK before flying their...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

  • 12th Bomb Group
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Previously was
Not yet known
Not yet known


Station Location Date
Established Bolling Field 20 August 1942



  • Carroll Abrahamson

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 47th Bomb Group

  • John Adair

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Gunner/Armament Inspector/Armament Cheif | 47th Bomb Group

  • Leonard Adcock

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 321st Bomb Group

  • Russell Ahlstrom

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Flight Engineer | 340th Bomb Group

  • Marion Akers

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot - Squadron Commander | 47th Bomb Group

  • Nicholas Albanese

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 340th Bomb Group

  • Joseph Albury

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 17th Bomb Group
    Joseph Leonard Albury, Jr was born on 13 February 1917, in Miami, Florida, his father, Joseph, was 38 and his mother, Mary Olive (Millard) Albury was 27. Joseph was referred to by his family members using his middle name Leonard. He had four brothers,...

  • Hugh Allen

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 340th Bomb Group

  • Dominic Angelini

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 340th Bomb Group

  • Gerald Ashmore

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 340th Bomb Group

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  • 41-24342 'Stinky Jr'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bovingdon 8/42; 414BS/97BG Polebrook 24/8/42; transferred Maison Blanche, Alg. 20/11/42; Missing in Action Foggia 7/9/43 with Bill Bispham, Pilot: Everett Blogg, Navigator: Glenn J. Rhodes Jr., Co-pilot: Dan Grover, Flight engineer/top...

  • 41-24406 'All American'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 13/7/42; transferred 414BS/97BG Polebrook 6/42; Maison Blanche, Alg. 13/11/42; Tafaraoui, Alg. 22/11/42; Biskra, Alg. 25/12/42; on Tunis mission was rammed by Me109G 1/2/43 almost slicing rear fuselage and tail of plane off; made...

  • 42-27912

    P-47 Thunderbolt

  • 42-2985 'The Nutcracker'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered W Palm Beach 8/1/43; Assigned 414BS/97BG Biskra 28/1/43; Chateau-du-Rhumel 8/2/43; Missing in Action Naples 1/8/43 with Bob Rast, Alvarado, Ponemone, Bigelow, Dibble, Shea, Anderson, Nichols, Smith, Mathews; flak hit knocked off wing, crashed...

  • 42-30319

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 13/5/43; Gore 26/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Morrison 8/6/43; Assigned 419BS/301BG St Donat 6/7/43; Oudna 6/8/43; transferred 49BS/2BG Massicault 7/10/43; 9m 419BS/301BG Oudna 14/11/43; 44m 414BS/97BG Amendola 10/5/44; Missing in...

  • 42-31640 'Miss Hettie'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 30/11/43; Paine 2/12/43; Kearney 23/12/43; Dallas 3/1/44; Morrison 5/1/44; Assigned 96BS/2BG Amendola 7/1/44; Missing in Action `11m` Steyr 24/2/44 with Jim McCord, Co-pilot: Harlan Wisner, Navigator: Allison Lunan, Bombardier: Don...

  • 42-3392

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 4/6/43; Presque Is 31/7/43; Assigned 96BS/2BG Massicault 8/8/43; transferred 353BS/301BG Cerignola; 89m 97BG Amendola as weather ship in summer of ‘44; depot 11/10/44; Reconstruction Finance Corporation (sold for scrap metal in USA)...

  • NT249

    Assigned to 416th Fighter Squadron, 12th AF. Posted Missing - Lt Eldon W Blake (pilot) and 2nd Lt Max W Galowich (nav.) - Killed in Action (KIA). 29-Mar-45. MACR 13453

  • NT248

    Assigned to 416th Fighter Squadron, 12th AF. Posted missing near San Benedetto, Italy, having set out from Pontedera Airfield its base. 22-Apr-45. 2 x POW MACR 14064 ...

  • ER130

    Supermarine Spitfire ER130 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...

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Date Contributor Update
05 December 2021 03:24:52 466thHistorian Changes to unit part of associations

12th & 15th Air Forces - Gerard Paloque

Date Contributor Update
02 February 2020 13:56:09 phil marchese Changes to aircraft types

Rust, K.; Twelfth Air Force Story

Date Contributor Update
09 January 2019 09:27:02 Emily Created entry with type, category, name, insignia, us air force combat units of world war ii description, description, commanding officers associations and media associations