Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Fifteenth Air Force

Headquarters

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.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as Fifteenth Air Force on 30 October 1943. Activated in the Mediterranean Theatre on 1 November 1943. Began operations on 2 November and engaged primarily in strategic bombardment of targets in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans until the end of the war. Inactivated in Italy on 15 Sep 1945.

Commanding officers
  • 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...

Structure

Part of
  • US Strategic Air Forces

    US Strategic Air Forces

    Headquarters
    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.

  • Mediterranean Allied Air Forces
Encompassing
Previously was
Became
Not yet known

Stations

Station Location Date
Established Lycée Carnot de Tunis 1 November 1943
Based Bari 3 December 1943 – 15 September 1945

Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
30 May 2022 14:59:08 Emily Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
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.

Date Contributor Update
26 May 2022 08:05:59 Emily Changes to person associations and aircraft associations
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.

Date Contributor Update
23 May 2022 11:31:59 Emily Changes to aircraft associations
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.

Date Contributor Update
20 May 2022 11:16:24 Emily Changes to aircraft associations
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.

Date Contributor Update
03 June 2021 14:10:39 Emily Changes to insignia, us air force combat units of world war ii description, aircraft types and stations
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

Date Contributor Update
30 October 2018 14:58:11 Emily Changes to type, description, unit encompassing associations and commanding officers associations
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

WIki

Date Contributor Update
03 October 2018 16:09:52 mbowen Changes to type, air forces and aircraft types
Sources

mwbowen1970@gmail.com

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:43 AAM AAM ingest
Sources

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

Share