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The Air Force was assigned the bulk of strategic, tactical, and transport aircraft, but the issue remained divisive well into the s. By the close of the war the AAF had emerged as virtually a third independent service. Officially, the AAF never became anything other than a subordinate agency of the War Department charged to organize, train, and equip air units for assignment to combat theaters.

Its jurisdiction was wholly limited to the Zone of Interior today called the CONUS , and it could communicate with air organizations in combat theaters only through channels extending up to the Chief of Staff, and then down through the theater commander to his subordinate air commander. The position of the AAF, in other words, was no different from that of the Army Ground Forces and the Army Service Forces, the other two of the three coordinate branches into which the Army had been divided.

So, at any rate, read the regulations. He moved at the very highest levels of command in the wartime coalition with Britain. He chose the commanders of the combat air forces. He communicated regularly with the air commanders overseas. He exerted a powerful influence on the development of strategy, tactics, and doctrine wherever AAF units fought. A world-wide system of air transport moved at his command through all theaters, denying their commanders their traditional prerogative of controlling everything within their area of responsibility.

Throughout the war he ran the air war in whatever part of the world there seemed to be need for attention by Headquarters. The contrast between theory and fact is USAAF uniforms for all members consisted of a winter service uniform of olive drab wool worn in temperate weather and a tropical weather summer service uniform of khaki cotton the same as those of other U.

Army forces. In addition to the service uniforms usually worn for dress purposes and on pass from posts there were a variety of fatigue and flying uniforms. Summer and winter service uniforms were both worn throughout the year in the continental U. During World War II the European theater of operations was considered a year-round temperate uniform zone and the Pacific theater of operations a year-round tropical uniform zone.

Shirts with two patch pockets and without shoulder straps were either 8. Either shirt could be worn under the coat; however, the cotton shirt could not be worn as an outer garment with the wool trousers.

The enlisted man's summer service uniform consisted of the same cotton khaki shade No. Whenever the shirt was worn as an outer garment the necktie was tucked between the second and third button of the shirt. The male officer's winter service uniform consisted of a coat of finer wool fabric in olive drab shade No.

Officers could wear trousers matching the color and fabric of the coat, or optionally they were allowed taupe colored, officially called "drab shade 54", trousers of the same material as the coat, nicknamed "pinks", leading to the nickname "pinks and greens" for the iconic combination. Officers wore same cotton khaki shade No. Officers also had additional shirt color and fabric options, OD dark shade No. Officers wore black and khaki neckties until after February when neckties of wool cotton blend khaki shade 5 were authorized. An OD wool shirt and cotton khaki trouser combination was also authorized.

However, for dress purposes they also had the option of purchasing a khaki shade 1 summer service uniform of tropical weight suiting fabric. This uniform was identical in cut to the winter officers' uniform except for the color and cloth. However, the cloth belt of the winter coat was omitted. Personnel stationed in Europe, and after in the U. Headgear for service uniforms consisted of two types, similar to those in use in the Army's ground forces, in olive drab for winter wear and khaki for summer.

The garrison cap , commonly called the "flight cap" in the air forces, had been authorized for all ranks since to facilitate the wearing of radio headsets during flights. The caps of warrant officers were piped with black and silver cord; commissioned officers had black and gold piping except for general officer caps, which used gold cord. This style became widely popular during World War II as a symbol of being a combat veteran, and was known as a "mission crush" cap.

Armed Forces. Nurses attached to the AAF wore Army hospital whites, or prior to , the ANC winter service uniform consisting of the ANC pattern dark blue cap or garrison cap with maroon piping, suit jacket with maroon cuff braid and gold army buttons, light blue or white shirt, black tie and light blue skirt, shoes were black or white. The ANC summer service uniform consisted of a similar suit in beige with maroon shoulder strap piping and cuff braid, beige ANC cap or beige garrison cap with maroon piping, white shirt, and black four-in-hand tie.

During World War II the first flight nurses uniform consisted of a blue wool battle dress jacket, blue wool trousers and a blue wool men's style maroon piped garrison cap. The uniform was worn with either the ANC light blue or white shirt and black tie. Female service dress went through an evolution of patterns over the course of the war years, however throughout the period the service uniforms both summer and winter generally consisted of the WAC pattern hat or women's garrison cap, suit coat winter only for enlisted women , shirtwaist, four-in-hand tie, skirt, russet leather women's service shoes and hand bag.

The women's olive drab wool "Ike jacket" was also worn as were women's service trousers. The colors essentially mirrored those of their male counterparts of corresponding rank in the equivalent service uniform although fabrics differed. There were also special off duty dresses of summer beige and winter tan. The off duty dress was a separate ANC pattern in olive drab shade 51 or beige.

The ANC beige summer service uniform with maroon trim was retained except that the tie was changed to maroon.

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Army during World War II. However, when women's versions of these items were not available, as was often the case during the war, men's issue items were used instead. Flight clothing varied widely by theater of operation and type of mission. Innovative aviation flight suits, boots, leather helmets, goggles, and gloves were issued as early as to the Air Corps, and at least one style, the Type A-3 flight suit, continued in service until Made of seal brown horsehide leather later supplemented by goatskin with a beige spun silk lining cotton after , the jackets featured an officer's stand-up collar, shoulder straps , knit waistbands and cuffs, a zipper closing, and unit insignia.

In addition to men's flight clothing, flight nurses wore specially manufactured women's lightweight and intermediate weight flight jackets and pants. In early the AAF did not renew its contracts for leather flight garments and began production of flight jackets and flying trousers made of cotton twill and nylon blends with alpaca pile linings.

The AAF standardized the sage green or light olive drab B flight jacket on 22 July , accompanied by matching A-9 flying trousers with built-in suspenders, and the combination became widespread in the Eighth Air Force by early The heavier B jacket followed at the end of the year, with the A trousers issued in the last months of the war. Most jackets featured a Mouton fur or shearling collar, but a popular variation known as the "tanker jacket" had a wool knit collar that was less confining. These new jackets were lighter in weight than their leather predecessors while just as warm.

Hooded variants designated B-9 and B also appeared in early but because they were bulky and their fur-lined hoods impractical in combat, these were worn primarily by noncombat personnel or during ground duties. AAF uniforms were subject to Army Regulations, specifically AR and AR , authorizing the wearing of badges, insignia, and emblems on the uniform.

The vast size of the service saw the wearing of many custom-made variants of authorized badges, insignia, and emblems, and numerous examples of unauthorized insignia and emblems appeared throughout the forces, particularly in combat units overseas. To denote the special training and qualifications required for air crew and technical personnel in the USAAF, in most categories known as being rated , the following military badges known familiarly but ubiquitously throughout the service as "wings" were authorized for wear by members of the Army Air Forces: [].

Most aviation badges were made of sterling silver or were given a silver finish, and various devices were used to attach them to uniforms. These included the traditional pin and safety catch and, later, clutch-back fasteners. Most USAAF badges of World War II became obsolete, having been superseded by later designs or with their aeronautical rating discontinued, and were not authorized for wear on the uniform after In order to recognize and differentiate combat aircrews from other airmen in Europe, on March 29, the European Theater Headquarters of the U.

According to General Order 18 Hq ETOUSA the patch was to be worn by personnel of the Army Air Forces who held currently effective aeronautical ratings or who were authorized to wear the aviation badge for air crew members, during the time such personnel were currently assigned to combat flight duty. The patch was to be promptly removed when the individual ceased to serve in such capacity or left the theater. The rank structure and insignia of the U. The first shoulder sleeve insignia authorized for Air Corps wear was that of the General Headquarters Air Force, approved 20 July The triskelion represented a stylized propeller that symbolized the three combat wings of GHQ Air Force.

USAAF in WW2 Volume 2 Europe Torch to Point Blank Aaf in World War 2 Vol 2

The patch was designed by a member of Gen. Arnold's staff, James T. Rawls, and was based on the V-for-Victory sign popularized by Winston Churchill. The wearing of sleeve insignia was authorized for members of numbered air forces based overseas on 2 March , and for air forces in the United States on 25 June From that date forward, the "Hap Arnold Emblem" was worn only by personnel of units not assigned to a numbered air force.

The Quartermaster Corps , responsible for the design and supply of all authorized insignia, resisted further designs for the AAF until 28 July , when command arcs arc-shaped tabs, see example above in Command structure were authorized for wear above the AAF insignia by members of the various support commands. Tenth Air Force India Burma. Thirteenth Air Force South Pacific. Fourteenth Air Force China. Fifteenth Air Force Mediterranean. For the current active service branch, see United States Air Force.

Army Air Forces shoulder sleeve insignia. Play media. From the Air Corps of , with 20, men and 2, planes, to the nearly autonomous AAF of , with almost 2. Robert A.

World War II: The War in the Air - Full Documentary

Lovett, the Assistant Secretary of War for Air, together with Arnold, presided over an increase greater than for either the ground Army or the Navy, while at the same time dispatching combat air forces to the battlefronts. Main article: List of military aircraft of the United States. In such a manner for the first time in the history of American aviation the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces definitely took a stand in favor of an independent military air arm. Though far from providing the initial impulse, the President 's message of 19 December contributed considerable impetus to a series of developments within the executive and legislative branches of the government which led directly, if belatedly, to the adoption of the National Security Act of See also: United States military aircraft national insignia.

Main article: Obsolete badges of the United States military. Eighth Air Force Europe. Eleventh Air Force Alaska. United States Air Force portal.

Twelfth Air Force - Wikiwand

First, Maj. Walter C. Short , commanding general of the U. Army's Hawaiian Department , held the opinion that the Hawaiian Air Force was grossly overstaffed and mandated in July that its non-flying AAF personnel complete infantry training, a program that took them from their primary jobs for a period of six to eight weeks. Second, efforts in October and November to complete gunnery training for B gunners were stifled when aircrew were used by the Hawaiian Department to guard warehouses in Honolulu. Finally, after the War Department issued a war warning to Pacific commands on 27 November, Short insisted despite objections from his air commanders that aircraft be parked close together on open ramps as a security measure against sabotage rather than being dispersed in revetments for protection against air attack.

Arakaki and Kuborn, pp. James G. Scrugham D-Nev. Craven and Cate Vol. The AAF began the war with this air staff but replaced it in the March reorganization. Mooney , p. The chiefs of the other combat arms, including Infantry, were also abolished.


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Futrell, Historical Study , p. Trubee Davison wrote: "Ours may not be the biggest air force in the world, but, my gracious, it is one of the best! XVII No. Wayne's character asks, "And where is the Air Force? Less than two weeks later Congress passed a supplemental appropriation of more than a half billion dollars greater than requested.

Tate, p. Lovett had been elevated Assistant Secretary for Air to resolve the unity of command organizational problems of the Air Corps and had fashioned the compromise that had resulted in creation of the AAF. Nalty, p. Craven and Cate, Vol. In its mission changed and it became the Strategic Air Command. Its responsibility was to direct and coordinate the training activities of National Guard observation squadrons inducted into federal service with those of light bomber units training with the Army Ground Forces.

It became superfluous for its purpose and was discontinued in April , redesignated "9th Air Force" as the basis for the future tactical air force. The 24th Composite Wing was in essence a fighter organization and served in Iceland between December and June , when it was disbanded. Both served in combat through the end of the war.

Maurer, Combat Units , pp. ASC was abolished on 31 August It was redesignated I Concentration Command on 14 August and disbanded on 5 December when its functions were redistributed to the numbered air forces. Navy over tactics and jurisdiction of long-range, land-based air striking forces. Composite groups had as few as two th Composite and as many as six fying squadrons the three air commando groups. White, p. It began the training of the th , th , and th Fighter Groups but was assigned to Operation Torch and the Twelfth Air Force on 19 September Mayock, p.

RTUs distributed graduates as individual replacements or replacement crews to combat units and thereby obviated having such replacements drawn from organized units or training staffs in the United States, as was done for infantry replacements. Staff functions in the base units were performed by directors of administration, operations, and materiel. White p.

Two were later redesignated troop carrier groups and became part of the USAF. The air commando groups were created for service in the CBI and 5AF with one troop carrier, two reduced-strength fighter, and three liaison squadrons each. AAF Statistical Digest , p. Not included in the total of flying squadrons are more than Air Transport Command, advanced flight training, and flexible squadrons of AAF Base Units between 1 August and the end of the war. Bowman, p. Vs equipped the 4th Fighter Group until early ; Mk. Vs and Mk.

IXs were the primary fighter of the 31st and 52nd FGs until Maurer Combat Units , pp. Maurer Combat Squadrons , pp. Jesse D. Auton 65th FW , Gen. Dwight D. James H. Doolittle 8th AF , Brig. Donald Blakeslee 4th FG. Daly-Benarek, p. It continued to exist as one of the combat arms of the Army along with infantry, armor, and artillery until abolished by reorganization provisions of the National Security Act of 61 Stat. National Archives. Retrieved 15 June Also, see growth tables above. Report on England, November New York: Simon and Schuster. Air Force Historical Studies Office.

Retrieved 11 October Civil Service Commission publication, p. Retrieved 22 November Reproduction of relevant page from The Officer's Guide , July Army Insignia, William K. Retrieved 9 October Washington, D. June Correll, John T. September July Volume Six — Men and Planes Darby, Pennsylvania: Diane Publishing Company. Finney, Robert T. Greenfield, Col.

Kent Roberts Study No. Center For Air Force History. Archived from the original PDF on 13 March Retrieved 10 November Griffith, Charles Air Force Historical Research Agency. Little, Donald D. Office of Air Force History. Albert F. Earl Retrieved 31 May Mooney, Chase C. Army, U. Office of the Adjutant General Retrieved 8 October Reither, Joseph Army Air Force — 1. Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing. Dressed for Duty: America's Women in Uniform — San Jose, California: R. April Foreign Affairs.

Tate, Dr. James P. Watson, Mark Skinner Chief of Staff: Pre-war Plans and Preparations. Wolk, Herman S. Toward Independence: The Emergence of the U. Air Force — [ permanent dead link ]. Bolling AFB, D. The Officer's Guide , 9th Edition July Army Regulations No.

United States Air Force. Awards and decorations Badges Equipment Uniforms. This website is a mirror of Wikipedia, and is not affiliated with the Wikimedia Foundation. Bowen, Ezra. Knights of the Air Epic of Flight. New York: Time-Life Books , Borth, Christy. Masters of Mass Production. Indianapolis, Indiana: Bobbs-Merrill Co. Bowman, Martin W. P Mustang vs Fw Europe — Oxford, UK: Osprey Publishing, Boylan, Bernard.

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Johnson James B. Pruitt Louis R. Purnell Sr. Lawrence E. Roberts Isaiah Edward Robinson Jr. Coleman Young. Freeman Field Mutiny. Maycie Herrington Buford A. Johnson Noel F. PD of th Fighter Squadron, with underwing drop tanks. January RAF [2]. Retired from military service Dominican Air Force [3]. More than 15, [4]. X Cavalier Mustang. Built at Inglewood, California. First production version to be equipped with the Merlin engine. First P variant to be built at North American's Dallas plant. Identical to PB. Built at Dallas, Texas. Identical to the PD except fitted with a four-bladed Aeroproducts propeller.

Same as PH, but with non-water injected VA engine for low-altitude operations. Intended to enter full production at Dallas, but the contract was later cancelled. License production in Australia of were originally ordered PD. One PD modified for use on an aircraft carrier. Although the conversions were highly successful, the planned production of examples was cancelled. PH for the U.