Aviation Trails

 

Structure of the USAAC – Airforces

The structure of the American Air Force is complex and confusing. Much of it was formed hurriedly during the Second World War, but elements can be traced back as far as the First World War. At its peak, there were almost 2.5 million people employed within its scope both within the United States and overseas in one of the many theatres of operation.

At the start of the Second World War, there were 4 air forces, (designated by district), which were then renumbered 1 – 4 in early 1941. These stayed based within the U.S. covering the West Coast and some training operations on the East Coast and in the southern U.S. The newly established forces were then formed for overseas service. The Fifth, Seventh, Tenth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth and Twentieth covering the Pacific / Asia campaigns; the Eighth, Ninth, Twelfth and Fifteenth, the European / African / Middle East Theatre; the Sixth covering Panama and finally the Eleventh covering Alaska. During the period 7th December 1941 to 2nd September 1945, there were 16 …..

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About GP

Everett Smith served with the Headquarters Company, 187th Regiment, 11th A/B Division during WWII. This site is in tribute to my father, "Smitty." GP is a member of the 11th Airborne Association. Member # 4511 and extremely proud of that fact!

Posted on March 1, 2021, in WWII and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. As always, thank you for educating me, GP.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. An interesting history of the structure of the Air Force, GP. Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I have a letter from Maj. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault to Capt. WIllard Simpkins of the 396th Signal Corp (AVN) dated April 20, 1945. It was sent from the Fourteenth Airforce Headquarters in New York. How can I get you a copy? My father was stationed with this unit in support of the Flying Tigers.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Another great history news, GP! Thank you for sharing. Will head over to read the full posting there. Have a nice day! Michael

    Liked by 1 person

  5. GP, Great March 1 repost of this detailed article on the MANY divisions of the USAAC!!! With my father’s service with the 20th Air Force in Saipan, 1944-1945, , I was very surprised to read, ” From the Marianas, the Twentieth conducted a strategic air offensive that reached a climax with attacks using the world’s first atomic bombs against the two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” May all be well with you & yours free from COVID & working on getting the vaccine as we are. Wife Geri is now 100% well after those 3 surgeries over the past 1 & 1/2 years for diverticulitis. Have you ever heard of the Dragonman’s Military Museum in Colorado Springs? If you have not, it will blow your mind a thousand times over in size & content. HUGE COLLECTION ON EVERYTHING!!! It’s a private museum & was denied federal money. But it beats BY FAR the Smithsonian & New Orleans WWII museums!!! Here’s the link below to a 12 minute video that you will be glad you viewed!!! Be well! Phil

    Liked by 3 people

    • So great to hear from you once again. In this day and age, I am so leery of going to a site and asking how everyone is doing – I’ve already received far too much in the way of bad news these past 12 months (and not just covid related). Happy to hear about your wife!! She must be thrilled that those operations are over! 👍
      I am definitely going to get on that link you sent. I have not heard about that museum, so I am eager to learn about it!
      Take care, Phil and you and yours stay safe! 😷

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Interesting post! I learned something today!! I’m only familiar with the Far East Air Force (Fifth) since they were in the Philippines during the war. I have this book, “Doomed at the Start” by William H. Bartsch that I want to read about the failed mission of the FEAF in the Philippines but I’ve been so busy lately with other projects.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. It’s not so easy to understood. The American Airforces are very complicated

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, they are, but I chose this article to explain it because I would have made a complete mess of it. Thank you for reading it, Marylou!!

      Like

  8. My gracious! I certainly wouldn’t want to be the one tasked with diagramming that structure. It’s understandable, though; changes and additions were made because of necessity as much as by before-the-fact planning. The various parts reminded me of the houses you used to see — the ones that had sections added as children married, kids were born, spinster aunts came to live, and so on. All of those wings and extra rooms could look a little funny!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I had no idea. What an interesting history.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Leave it to the military to make it so complicated. I appreciate the attempt to clarify the way the Air Corps chose to organize itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I never realized the Air Force was so complex. Thanks, GP

    Liked by 3 people

  12. That was interesting. Avaiation Trails sure knows his stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Concur with Equipsblog. >grin<
    Seriously, I learned much from this source. I hadn't realized how complex that Army Air Force really was. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. I went to site and stayed a long while! Some of my old stomping grounds in his trails there!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Clear as mud and still an informative piece of historical research. Thanks for sharing. I’d be so dizzy from the research, not sure I would ever be able to get it written up.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You are right, this is really very detailed and great piece of work, GP Cox.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Hope you and yours are fine and doing well.
    Warm greetings from Norfolk,
    The Fab Four of Cley

    Liked by 3 people

  17. That’s a detailed history of a huge air force, GP. Thanks for the link.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Thank you for creating such a wonderful post for the US Army Air Corps!!!

    Like

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