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United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe

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United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe

United States Strategic and Tactical Air Forces (in Europe)
United States Strategic and Tactical Air Forces emblem
Active

28 January 1942 – 22 February 1944 (as Eighth Air Force)

22 February 1944 – 7 August 1945
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army Air Forces (1944–1945)
Role Command and Control
Garrison/HQ Bushy Park, England
February 1942–September 1944
St Germain-en-Laye, France
September 1944–August 1945
Engagements   
World War II Victory Medal
European Campaign (1944–1945)
Commanders
Notable
commanders
General Carl Spaatz
Area of operations, United States Strategic and Tactical Air Forces 1944–1945

The Mediterranean region air force operations.

With the in-depth Allied contacts and overall responsibility directly affecting the strategic bombing of industrial regions of Germany the Eighth's planning and intelligence staffs were the natural best choice to assert overall coordinated control with the D-Day pre-invasion needs of the Allies, under General Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Allied Commander. Subsequently, the strategic bombing effort's intelligence, targeting and planning, co-ordination, including mission designation command and control were separated—not without controversy and opposition—from actual operations commands in direct control of air forces on 23 February 1944. The new command was organized on the large nucleus of Eighth Air Force planning staff members, thereby creating the USSTAF—at which time the USSTAF was also given mission planning control over other US Air Forces opposing Germany and Italy, and shrinking the man-power assigned to the Eighth Air Force in WWII.

The USSTAF was established with the redesignation of the former VIII Bomber Command as the Ninth Air Force in the European Theater of Operations, and to an extent, the operations of Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations—all of which had theretofore exercised their own strategic planning. USSTAF was the functional equivalent in Europe of U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific.

Formation of USAFE

Shortly after United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE) and headquarters USAFE was relocated to Wiesbaden, Germany, on 28 September 1945.

USAFE was planned to be a small organization in Europe, exclusively for communication and transport purposes. By the end of 1946, the American Air Force in Europe was reduced drastically, to around 75,000 personnel and less than 2,000 aircraft.

See also

References

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