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8th Air Force

Eighth Air Force Bomber Command became the Eighth Air Force on February 1944, it oversaw bombardment of strategic targets in Europe until 1945.

The Eighth Air Force earned the unofficial nickname 'The Mighty Eighth' in the 1970s following the publication of Roger Freeman's book 'The Mighty Eighth'.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as VIII Bomber Command on 19 Jan 1942, the command conducted the heavy bombardment operations. Redesignated Eighth AF on 22 Feb 1944. Afterward, engaged primarily in bombardment of strategic targets in Europe. Transferred, without personnel, equipment, and combat elements, to Okinawa on 16 Jul 1945. Although some personnel and combat units were assigned before V-J Day, the Eighth did not participate in combat against Japan. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to the US on 7 Jun 1946. Re manned and re-equipped as part of Strategic Air Command.

Commanding officers
  • Earle Partridge

    Military | General | Commanding General
    Formerly command pilot. CG 3rd AD 21 June 1944 to May 1945. Retired 31 July 1959. DSCSSLMDFC w/ 2 Oak Leaf ClustersAM w/ 9 Oak Leaf Clusters

  • 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...

  • William Kepner

    Military | Lieutenant General | Commanding General, 8th Air Force Fighter Command
    From 1909 to 1913, Kepner served in the US Marine Corps. By 1916 he was a second lieutenant in the Indiana National Guard. After a short spell in the US cavalry, in 1917 he transferred to the infantry as a captain and commanded a company at the Battle...

Structure

Part of
  • 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.

Encompassing
  • VIII Air Force Composite Command
  • VIII Air Force Service Command
  • VIII Fighter Command

    VIII Fighter Command

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

  • 1st Air Division

    1st Air Division

    Division
    In December 1944, the 1st Bomb Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 1st Bomb Division

    1st Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 1st Bomb Wing came under the command of the 1st Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 1st Air Division.

  • 2nd Air Division

    2nd Air Division

    Division
    In December 1944, the 2nd Bomb Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

  • 2nd Bomb Division

    2nd Bomb Division

    Division
    The groups under the command of the 2nd Bomb Wing came under the command of the 2nd Bomb Division in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 2nd Air Division.

  • 3rd Air Division

    3rd Air Division

    Division
    In December 1944, the 3rd Bomb Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

  • 3rd Bomb Division

    3rd Bomb Division

    Division
    The 3rd Bomb Division was Constituted in August 1943. In December 1944, the Division was redesginated the 3rd Air Division.

  • 325th Photographic Wing

    325th Photographic Wing

    Wing
    8 Reconnaissance Wing (P) established by 8th Air Force order No. 69 on 19 February 1944 and headquarters established at AAF Station 113 Cheddington on 23 February 1944. ...

Previously was
  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    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.

Became
Not yet known

Missions

  • 8th Air Force

    8 October 1944
    Black Week

  • 824

    9 February 1945

  • 833

    16 February 1945

  • 835

    19 February 1945
    1,100 Heavies Hit Nazi Rails ...

  • 8th Air Force 851

    27 February 1945
    1,107 bombers and 745 fighters are dispatched to hit road and rail communications at Halle and Leipzig using H2X radar

Stations

Station Location Date
Based High Wycombe 22 February 1944 – 16 July 1945

Connections

People

  • Clarence Aaberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Command Pilot | 447th Bomb Group
    Lt. Clarence Aaberg was killed (KIA) on his 3rd mission, flying the B-17, 42-37855, returning from a mission to Regensburg, Germany, 25 February 1944. His Fortress was hit and lost the #3 engine 10 minutes after bombing it's target. The crew saw quite...

  • Olger Aal

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 353rd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 350FS, 353FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) bombing mission to Brussels, one of five A/C bombing Diest aerodrome, failed to rejoin after attack, cause unknown 29-Aug-44. 1st Lt Aal Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 8312. ...

  • William Aaron

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Radio Operator, Top Turret Gunner | 445th Bomb Group
    Killed in Action (KIA) 09/27/44 Shot down on Kassel mission crashed at Krauthausen in B-24 #42-51355

  • Anthony Abad

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 44th Bomb Group The Flying Eightballs
    Assigned to 67BS, 44BG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Brunswick mission 8-Apr-44 in B-24 42-7767 'Shack Rabbit'; Shot down by fighters, baled out. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 3849. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Jack Abadie

    Military | Major | Bombardier, Nose Gunner | 95th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 334BS, 95BG, 8AF USAAF. Crashed at Sommerda on 10-Jul-44 in B-17 42-107050 'Tornado Jr', Prisoner of War (POW). Awards: BS, POW, WWII Victory, EAME. Post war: Volunteered for the infantry, commisioned, served in Korea, rising to Major.

  • Robert Abb

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 91st Bomb Group The Ragged Irregulars
    Flew 25 missions on 'Delta Rebel #2'

  • Earl Abbott

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 352nd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 89FS, 80FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 322FS, 326FG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 328FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) fighter sweep to Aachen area. Last seen in pursuit of enemy A/C near Aachen in P-51D 'Flossie III' 44-14710 24-Jan...

  • George Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Togglier/ Bombardier | 398th Bomb Group
    He had been a waist gunner in training to take over the Bombardier role and was in the nose. A German 88 anti aircraft shell had exploded in his lap, killing him instantly. The plane with its nose blown off and up into the windshield made it back to...

  • James Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Ground crew | 379th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 524BS, 379BG, 8AF USAAF. Ground crew for 'Swamp Fire' 100 missions no aborts. ETD Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • William Abbott

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner; Flight Engineer | 381st Bomb Group
    ETTG, Malleus, V. crew. 381st BG, 535th BS, 8th AF. Credited with 1 German fighter destroyed on the 7 January 1944 Mission #58 to Ludwigshafen, Germany.

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Aircraft

  • 42-30612 'Hot Foot II' aka 'Freestrider'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 29/6/43; Gore 30/9/43; Dow Fd 18/7/43; Assigned 333BS/94BG [TS-D] Rougham 29/7/43; returning from mission (where?) on 24/12/43 landed too far down the runway onto soft soil and nosed up, with Harry McKee, Co-pilot: Earl Resorick,...

  • 44-10513 'Old Glory'

    B-24 Liberator
    Involved in a mid-air collision with another 389th BG aircraft 42-50452 during formation assembly near Carleton Rode, on 21 November 1944.

  • 44-11197 'Jakes Jet Job'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 55FS, 20FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) strafing mission to Madgeburg Area. Lost 25-Feb-45 - Lt Raymond H Soleau details unknown, contacted control but did not pass details of problem. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12742.

  • 44-11336 'Buffalo Bertie'

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Suffered engine failure, crashed near Hengelo, Holland on 31-Mar-45, pilot F/O Kenneth E Foster captured before reaching freindly territory. POW. MACR 13945.

  • 44-11339

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 335FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Lost due to Mechanical Failure, abandoned over north sea 17-Jan-45, pilot Lt Robert L Stallings KIA. MACR 11920.

  • 44-11356

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) aircraft struck by flak while strafing an aerodrome. After crash landing, pilot Capt Kendall E 'Swede' Carlson continued to direct his airborne comrades onto targets about the airdrome via the R...

  • 44-11651

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to HQ Sqn, 359FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) escort to Lutzendorf last seen going down to strafe a Locomotive north of Gotha crashed Helmsdorf Capt Charles C Ettlesen Killed in Action (KIA). 9-Feb-45 MACR 12336.

  • 44-11652

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 82FS, 78FG, 8AF USAAF. Personal aircraft of Lt Rex C Boeckman. Failed to Return (FTR) lost on an escort mission to Ulm. Hit by flak strafing a Locomotive 25 miles west of Kassell crashed near Paderborn, Germany in P-51K 44-11652. 1-Mar-45....

  • 44-11661 "Iron Ass"

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 334FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Lost on bomber escort mission to Herford, Germany. On return whilst strafing canal traffic, A/C bellied in Fehndorf, Meppen county, Ger. Pilot F/O Alvin L Hand POW. 24-Feb-45. MACR 12625.

  • 44-11665

    P-51 Mustang
    Assigned to 336FS, 4FG, 8AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) crash landed near Weimar after aircraft was struck by ground fire or flak at Weimar Airdrome. Pilot 2nd Lt Harold R Crawford Jr was seen to emerge from the wreck, waving his arms while running...

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Citations

None

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
20 January 2022 12:27:22 Emily Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Removed aircraft with a serial number from fiscal year 1943 or earlier, due to increased likelihood of being an erroneous association. The 8th Air Force did not officially exist as a unit before February 1944, as such aircraft would have been assigned to Headquarters (8th Air Force), or one of the commands it encompassed before this date.

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2022 19:35:45 dmccullo Changes to media associations
Sources

Updated key image

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2022 18:43:44 dmccullo Changes to media associations
Sources

Changed key image.

Date Contributor Update
07 June 2021 11:18:41 Emily Changes to motto
Sources

Removed Motto, which pertains to 8th Air Force post 1945.

Date Contributor Update
04 September 2019 11:05:21 Emily Changes to us air force combat units of world war ii description and commanding officers associations
Sources

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2018 14:30:39 ajgoebel Changes to category
Sources

Correction

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2018 14:05:46 ajgoebel Changes to category
Sources

June 18, 2018

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2018 14:03:15 ajgoebel Changes to type and media associations
Sources

June 18, 2018

Date Contributor Update
18 June 2018 13:52:45 ajgoebel Changes to nicknames, motto, insignia and media associations
Sources

June 18, 2018

Date Contributor Update
17 March 2017 16:45:12 dwgdallas Changes to media associations
Sources

From the Personal Collection of Lt. Billy J. Murray

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 12:52:55 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 12:23:40 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
04 January 2015 10:40:01 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2015 20:06:12 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
03 January 2015 17:53:38 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2015 16:13:28 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2015 13:07:06 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2015 12:56:48 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
02 January 2015 11:56:46 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

USAAF Photo.

Date Contributor Update
31 December 2014 17:43:15 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
31 December 2014 13:14:37 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 15:44:57 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 13:59:33 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 07:33:25 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 07:24:14 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
30 December 2014 07:06:36 Al_Skiff Changes to unit encompassing associations and aircraft associations
Sources

http://aviation-safety.net

Date Contributor Update
29 December 2014 21:07:14 Al_Skiff Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Production list / mossie.org

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

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