United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSAFE). United
States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSAFE) is established
for operational control of Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces
Eighth Air Force. The Operational Research Section, organised
at Headquarters VIII Bomber Command in October 1943, is made
a special staff section, accountable directly to the Chiefs
of Staff. It is composed mostly of civilian specialists trained
in statistical analysis and other disciplines pertinent to
studying operations of a strategy bombing force. The section
subsequently proves of great value in improving effectiveness
of strategy bombing.
Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (AAFMTO).
Complete reorganisation of United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
units in Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (MTO) takes place.
United States Army Air Forces, North African Theatre of Operations
(USAAFNATO) is redesignated Mediterranean Theatre of Operations
(MTO) Army Air Forces, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations
(AAFMTO). XII Air Force Services Command becomes Army Air
Forces Service Command, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations
(AAFSCMTO); III Air Service Area Command (Special) becomes
XII Air Force Services Command (AFSC)Cameron II Air Service
Area Command becomes XV Air Force Services Command. XII Air
Force Engineer Command (Provisional) becomes Army Air Force
Engineer Command, Mediterranean Theatre of Operations (MTO)
(Provisional) and XII Air Force Training Command is changed
to XII Air Force Training and Replacement Command. XII Bomber
Command is reorganised as an medium bombers organisation (3
B-25 Mitchell medium bombers groups and the 3 B-26 Marauder
medium bombers groups of 42d Bomber Wing) under General Knapp.
Fifteenth Air Force. The 3 remaining medium bombers groups
(B-26 Marauder medium bombers) of Fifteenth Air Force are
transferred to Twelfth Air Force, leaving the Fifteenth with
6 heavy bomber (2d, 93d, 97th, 99th, 301st, 376th) and 4 fighters
groups (1st, 14th, 82d, and 325th), or 4 B-17 Flying Fortress
heavy bombers, 2 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, 1 P-47 Thunderbolt
fighters, and 3 P-38 Lightning fighters groups.
Tenth Air Force. 6 United States Army Air Force (USAAF) B-25
Mitchell medium bombers, along with 16 P-38 Lightning fighters,
attack bridge on Mu River between Ywataung and Monywa. Major
Robert A Erdin, piloting the lead medium bombers, pulls up
during his bomb run to avoid a tree. He releases his bombs
as he noses up, and topples 2 spans of the bridge into the
river. Subsequent tests prove this is a good bridge bombing
manoeuver The tactic is refined and the squadron (490th Squadron)
becomes so proficient as to gain the sobriquet Burma Bridge
Busters. Further North, 11 A-36 Apache dive bomber and 15
P-51 Mustang fighter-bombers pound airfield at Myitkyina.
Fourteenth Air Force. 4 United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
P-40 fighters bomb and strafe targets in Indochina, including
barracks and rafts along the Yuan River in the Cam Duong-Lao
Fifth Air Force. 120 United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, B-25 Mitchell medium bombers,
and A-20 Havoc light bombers pound Saidor area in preparation
for Allied invasion. Other B-25 Mitchell medium bombers bomb
Madang and Alexishafen. A-20 Havoc light bombers continue
to hit troop concentration in Cape Gloucester area. B-25 Mitchell
medium bombers hit positions at Borgen Bay. P-39 fighters
strafe barges along New Britain's North coast.
Thirteenth Air Force. 868th Bomber Squadron is activated to
work directly under XIII Bomber Command. The unit, equipped
with SB-24 Liberator heavy bombers (radar equipped aircraft
used for night missions), becomes known as the Snooper Squadron.
15 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers, escorted by 70 P-38 Lightning
fighters and F6F Hellcat fighter, bomb Lakunai airfield. Fighter
and antiaircraft opposition is heavy, with 80 to 90 fighters
attempting interception. United States aeroplanes claim 20
fighters shot down. 1 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers is shot
down and 2, severely damaged, crash land at Torokina. Allied
fighters join Navy dive bombers in support of ground forces
in Torokina area. 6 B-25 Mitchell medium bombers and 2 B-24
Liberator heavy bombers bomb Kahili. 4 B-24 Liberator heavy
bombers hit Manob.
Seventh Air Force. 16 United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
P-39 fighters strafe Mille harbour and attack shipping North
of Mille. 2 small vessels are heavily damaged.
Go To: 2nd
The Second Great War.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
The War Illustrated.
Edited by Sir John Hamilton
2194 Days Of War.
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