JANUARY 2 In Washington, D. C., Army Air Forces Chief Major General Henry H. Arnold orders the creation of a new numbered air force, soon to be christened the Eighth Air Force. By 1945 it becomes renowned as the “Mighty Eighth.”

In the Alaskan Defense Command, aerial defenses now consist of two pursuit squadrons and three bombardment squadrons.

JANUARY 3 In Washington, D. C., the War Department orders that all Army and Navy planes will now receive a desig­nated name in addition to a numerical and type designation. The practice is adopted from the British and includes such famous names as Mustang, Corsair, and Flying Fortress.

JANUARY 4 In the Philippines, a handful ofP-40s launched from makeshift airstrips at Bataan try unsuccessfully to stem a large Japanese bomber raid against Corregidor. Many fighters are relocated from Minda­nao after the mission.

JANUARY 5 A handful of B-17s staging from Malang and Samarinda, Netherlands East Indies, strike Japanese shipping at Davao Bay.

JANUARY 6 In Washington, D. C., President Franklin D. Roosevelt chal­lenges the American aviation industry to manufacture 100,000 aircraft this year.

January 9 A small group of B-17s stage out of Kendari, the Philippines, and again attack Japanese shipping in Davao Bay.

JANUARY 10 At Wright Field, Ohio, the Army Air Forces Materiel Command begins researching ways to employ aerial refueling to fight the war in the Pacific.

On the Philippines, the handful of P­40 fighters still operational are completely relocated to the Bataan Peninsula from bases scattered about Luzon.

JANUARY 11 From Malang, Netherlands East Indies, a handful of B-17s drop bombs on Japanese landing forces coming ashore on the island of Tarakan.

JANUARY 13 On Long Island, New York, Igor Sikorsy’s XR-4 helicopter flies for the first time; suitably impressed, the Army Air Forces issues a contract to obtain their first functional helicopters.

JANUARY 14 At Darwin, Australia, orders go out to relocate Far East Air

Подпись: Eaker, Ira C. (1896-1987) Army Air Forces general. Ira Clarence Eaker was born in Field Creek, Texas, on April 13, 1896, and in 1917 he became a pilot in the Aviation Section, Signal Corps. During January 1-7, 1929, he joined Carl A. Spaatz and Elwood Quesada on a seven-day nonstop endurance flight over Los Angeles that required 41 in-flight refuelings. In 1940 Eaker was selected to visit England and study the Royal Air Force in combat and, the following year, he received command of the 20th Pursuit Group at Hamilton Field, California. Once the United States entered World War II, Eaker gained temporary promotion to brigadier general and accompanied Spaatz to England to organize the VIII Bomber Command. A strong advocate of strategic bombing, he personally led the first American B-17 raid in Europe by striking rail yards at Rouen, France on August 17, 1942. In the fall of 1942, Eaker replaced Spaatz as commander of the Eighth Air Force. In January 1943, during the Casablanca Conference, he personally convinced Prime Minister Winston Churchill to continue precision daylight bombing in concert with nighttime raids performed by the Royal Air Force. In June 1943 Eaker transferred to the Mediterranean, and in April 1945 Eaker returned to Washington, D.C., as deputy commanding general of the Army Air Forces, and its new chief of staff. He retired in 1947, and in 1979 Congress awarded him a special gold medal in recognition of his 40 years of distinguished service to the nation. Eaker died at Andrews Air Force Base on August 6, 1987, an accomplished pioneer of modern aerial warfare.

Force (FEAF) headquarters to the island of Java, to better coordinate Allied defenses there.

JANUARY 15 At Elmendorf Field, Alaska, the Alaskan Air Forces are activated under Lieutenant Colonel Everett S. Davis; a month later they are redesignated the Eleventh Air Force.

January 16 A force of six B-17s under Lieutenant Colonel Walter C. Sweeney fly to Palmyra Island en route to Canton Island. This is also the first significant war­time deployment of aircraft from Hawaii.

January 17 Small groups ofB-17s stag­ing from Malang, Netherlands East Indies, raid Japanese positions around Langoan Airfield and Menado Bay.

JANUARY 18 On Canton Island, the Pacific, newly arrived B-17s commence flying antisubmarine aerial patrols. Back in Hawaii, several aircraft launch an unsuccessful attack on what they believe was an enemy submarine.

JANUARY 20 In India, Major General George H. Brett halts the transshipment of aircraft to the Netherlands East Indies owing to heavy losses from Japanese air­craft while flying en route to Java.

JANUARY 22 From Malang, Netherlands East Indies, B-17s bomb Japanese ships moving through the Makassar Strait; over the next week they sink four transport vessels while losing several aircraft to wide-ranging Japanese fighters.

JANUARY 25 On Java, local defense are

bolstered by the arrival of 13 P-40s under Major Charles A. Sprague, 17th Pursuit Squadron; they are arriving from bases in Australia.

JANUARY 26 In Washington, D. C., Gen­

eral Henry H. Arnold suggests to the Army chief of staff that the Army Air Forces in Britain (AAFIB) consist of a headquarters, and a bomber, interceptor, and base command.

In the Philippines, P-40s scrambled from airfields on Bataan bomb and strafe

Japanese targets on Nichols and Nielson Fields, damaging several aircraft and blowing up fuel depots.

JANUARY 28 In Savannah, Georgia,

Brigadier General Asa N. Duncan assumes control of the newly formed Eighth Air Force headquarters. By war’s end this will be the largest aerial strike force in history and senior partner in the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) with the Royal Air Force.

In the Pacific, a small force of B-17s lifts off from Malang, Netherlands East Indies, and attacks Japanese airfields at Kendari and Kuala Lumpur.

JANUARY 29 At Suva, Fiji, men and air­craft of the 70th Pursuit Squadron secure an aerial link between New Caledonia and Samoa; this unit subsequently oper­ates from Guadalcanal.

On Palembang, B-17s sortie against Japanese airfields at Kuantan, destroying several aircraft hangars.

January 30 A force of B-17s departs Canton Islands and returns to Hawaii, having served there since January 16, 1942. This expedition provided valuable experience of the problems associated with long-distance flying over the Pacific region, along with navigation and aircraft maintenance.

JANUARY 31 Major General Ira C. Eaker is appointed the commanding general of Bomber Command, Army Air Forces in Britain (AAFIB), and ordered to depart for there immediately.

FEBRUARY In Washington, D. C., Congress passes legislation which post­humously promotes the late William “Billy” Mitchell to major general.

FEBRUARY 1 In the Philippines, a hand­ful of surviving P-40s from Bataan strafe and bomb Japanese landing barges com­ing ashore at Quinauan Point; heavy casualties are inflicted, but enemy forces are not deterred.

FEBRUARY 3—18 On Java, bad weather

halts most B-17 offensive activity in the Netherlands East Indies. Two air strikes that manage to launch on February 8 and 9 against Singosari and Balikpapan are rebuffed by intense enemy fighter activity.

FEBRUARY 5 At Hickam Field, Hawaii, the Hawaiian Air Force is superseded by the new Seventh Air Force under Major General Clarence L. Tinker. The Far East and Caribbean Air Forces are likewise designated Fifth and Sixth Air Forces, respectively.

February 9-18 B-17s of the Fifth Air

Force fly several air raids in the Southwestern Pacific, but they only claim three hits on Japanese vessels.

FEBRUARY 12 At Patterson Field, Day­ton, Ohio, the new Tenth Air Force is established for service in the China – Burma-India (CBI) Theater.

In Washington, D. C., General Henry H. Arnold declares that no less than six­teen heavy bomber groups, three pursuit groups, and eight photoreconnaissance squadrons will arrive in Great Britain by the end of the year. The “Mighty Eighth” Air Force is beginning to assume a more permanent shape.

FEBRUARY 14 Over Wake Island, a B-17 of the Fifth Air Force runs one of the first photoreconnaissance missions to ascertain Japanese installations.

FEBRUARY 15 Over England, Lieutenant Colonel Townsend Griffiss is the first Army Air Forces airman killed in Europe when his transport is mistakenly attacked by Polish Spitfire pilots of the Royal Air Force.

February 19—20 In Java, a patched up group of Fifth Air Force A-24 dive bombers, B-17 heavy bombers, and P-40 fighters stage from Malang, Madioen, and Jogjakarta, Netherlands East Indies, to attack Japanese landing forces on the island of Bali; heavy damage is claimed. Other P-40s repel an attack by Japanese aircraft against the western portions of Java itself.

Over Port Darwin, Australia, a large Japanese air raid inflicts heavy damage on air and naval facilities. The Army Air Forces can only mount 10 P-40 fighters in its defense, and most of these are shot down.

FEBRUARY 20 In Washington, D. C., the War Production Board prioritizes aircraft construction to that of tanks and ships, and the allocation of resources are shifted accordingly.

In England, Major General Ira C. Eaker and six officers arrive to assess the condition of future air bases to be acquired there.

FEBRUARY 21 In Java, Major General George H. Brett informs the War Department that deteriorating defenses ofJava compel him to evacuate Fifth Air Force aircraft and personnel back to Aus­tralia. This does not prevent his bombers from launching 20 air raids, usually in three-ship formations, against Japanese shipping in the Java Sea and on Bali. Some damage is inflicted, but the inva­sion force is undeterred.

FEBRUARY 23 In England, Major Gen­eral Ira C. Eaker assumes command of VIII Bomber Command, Eighth Air Force, and his staff begins establishing a headquarters.

At Townsville, Australia, six B-17s that survived fighting in the Philippines launch the first Fifth Air Force strike against Japanese targets at Rabaul, New Britain. However, mechanical difficulties force five ofthe aircraft to abort, and only one drops its bombs on target.

The Army Air Forces Materiel Division suggests employment of the British lopped-hose refueling system for refueling American warplanes. This method entails using a 300-foot hose line dangled from the receiver aircraft, with an attached three-pronged grapple, which would then attach itself to a 100-foot weighted line towed behind the tanker aircraft.

FEBRUARY 24 At Bandoeng, Java, Major General Lewis H. Brereton and his staff is ordered to India to command the still­forming Tenth Air Force there. His pri­mary task is organizing an aerial ferry over the towering Himalaya Mountains to support Major General Claire L. Chen – nault’s new China Air Task Force (CATF) at Kunming.

Over Los Angeles, rumors of approaching Japanese aircraft result in a spate of wild firing against enemy “tar­gets,” although the Army subsequently deduces the mishap was caused by the misidentification of five local airplanes.

FEBRUARY 27—28 As an 80-shipJapanese convoy approaches Java, the Fifth Air Force launches every available A-24, B – 17, P-40, and LB-30 against it, but only minor damage is inflicted. Immediately afterwards, most air and ground personnel are hastily evacuated by ship to Australia.

South of Tjilatjap, Java, Japanese land – based bombers strike an American con­voy, damaging the seaplane tender Lang­ley so heavily that it has to be scuttled. Its cargo of 32 Curtiss P-40 fighters intended for the 17th Pursuit Squadron is conse­quently lost.

MARCH 2 In Washington, D. C., the U. S. Army promulgates a new wartime struc­ture: Army Air Forces (AAF) under Major General Henry H. Arnold, Army Service Forces (ASF) under Lieutenant General Brehon B. Somervell, and Army Ground Forces under Lieutenant General Lesley J. McNair. All report directly to Army Chief of Staff Major General George C. Marshall.

In the Philippines, a handful ofBataan – based P-40 fighters sortie to strike Japa­nese shipping in Subic Bay; some hits are claimed but four P-40s are shot down.

On Java, the few remaining Fifth Air Force aircraft at Jogjakarta airfield depart as Japanese land forces approach to within 20 miles.

MARCH 3 Disaster strikes at Broome, northern Australia, as Japanese aircraft strike American airfields and harbor installations without warning. No less than 2 B-17s, 2 B-24s, 12 seaplanes, and 2 Hudson bombers are destroyed on the ground while 20 U. S. servicemen are killed, along with 45 Dutch civilians.

MARCH 5 In India, General Lewis H. Brereton arrives from the Netherlands East Indies to take charge of the Tenth Air Force forming there. Presently, this consists of only eight B-17 bombers.

MARCH 7 In Alabama, Captain Benjamin O. Davis, son of the Army’s first African American general, is among the first avia­tion school class to graduate from the Tuskegee Institute. Most fly Curtiss

P-40s, although several months pass before they are committed to combat.

MARCH 8 In India, 8 B-17s of the Tenth Air Force fly in 474 troops to Magwe, along with 29 tons of supplies, while also evacuating 423 civilians. The head­quarters unit for the Tenth Air Force also departs the Zone of the Interior (ZI) and makes its way towards India.

MARCH 15 On New Caledonia, Southwestern Pacific, the 67th Fighter Squadron becomes the first Army Air Forces tactical unit to deploy for active duty.

MARCH 16 At Del Monte, the Philip­pines, three B-17s of the 435th Recon­naissance Squadron safely evacuate General Douglas MacArthur and his fam­ily and staff to Australia, where he is installed as supreme commander of the Southwest Pacific Area.

MARCH 19 In California, a group of sci­entists and engineers from the California Institute of Technology form the new Aerojet Engineering Company with Dr. Theodore von Karman as president. This soon becomes one of the largest rocket companies in the world and it manufac­tures liquid – and solid-fuel devices for both the Army and Navy.

MARCH 20 The Army Air Forces prom­ulgates the “Plan for Initiation of US Army Bombardment Operations in the British Isles,” which delineates broad outlines for attacking and reducing German national, economic, and indus­trial structure.

In Great Britain, Major General Ira C. Eaker finalizes a report detailing his analysis of Royal Air Force Bomber Command operations. In it he finds that British nighttime tactics dovetail nicely with American plans for precision day­light bombing, and that the two approaches complement each other.

MARCH 25 Over Europe, Major Cecil P. Lessig becomes the first American pilot from the Eighth Air Force to complete a combat mission when he flies one of 36 RAF Spitfires on a fighter sweep across the English Channel. However, the force withdraws after being approached by a larger German force.

MARCH 26 At Santa Monica, California, the Douglas C-54 Skymaster (DC-4) flies for the first time; it serves as a trans­portation workhorse for the Army Air Forces.

In the Philippines, a B-17 from the 435th Reconnaissance Squadron, 19th Bomb Group, safely evacuates President Quezon and his family to Australia.

MARCH 27 In Washington, D. C., the War Department and the Navy Depart­ment reach an agreement whereby the latter assumes responsibility for all anti­submarine operations along both coasts ofthe United States. Moreover, all Army units assigned to assist these missions will remain under Navy control.

MARCH 31 Major General Carl A. Spaatz suggests that the unassigned Eighth Air Force forming in Georgia become the nucleus of Army Air Forces in Britain (AAFIB).

April 1 At Eglin Field, Florida, the Air Corps Proving Ground is redesignated the Proving Ground Command.

April 2 From India, Major General Lewis H. Brereton leads three B-24 Lib­erators on the Tenth Air Force’s first air strike; the targets are Japanese positions on Port Blair, Andaman Islands, in the

Indian Ocean. Earlier, a two-aircraft raid against Rangoon is scrubbed after one B-24 crashes and the other experiences mechanical difficulties.

April 3 At Anasol, India, six B-17s from the Tenth Air Force attack warehouse and docking facilities in Rangoon, start­ing several fires; one bomber is lost to enemy action.

April 8 At Calcutta, India, the first supply mission over the “Hump” (Himalayas) transpires as 10 DC-3s acquired from Pan American Airlines hoist 30,000 gallons of fuel to Yunnan-yi, southern China. The transfer occurs in anticipation of the arrival of 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers launched from the carrier Hornet against Tokyo.

April 6—7 On Bataan, Philippines, Japa­nese troops break through American defenses, necessitating all remaining P-40 fighters on the peninsula to be evacuated to dispersed airfields on Mindanao. All are flown to Australia as of May 1.

April 7—24 In California, an A-20 Havoc aircraft begins testing the safety and utility of liquid-propelled rockets (incorrectly designated as JATO, orjet – assisted takeoffs). The organization con­ducting such flights jocularly becomes known as the “Suicide Club.”

APRIL 1 In Buffalo, New York, the Curtiss-Wright Company unveils the first production C-46 Commando air trans­port, which becomes the largest and heaviest twin-engine aircraft employed by the Army Air Forces. Enjoying distinct advantages in load capacity and high – altitude performance over the older Douglas C-47, it serves with distinction in Asia by flying over the Himalaya Mountains, or “Hump.”

April 12 In Washington, D. C., General Henry H. Arnold forwards plans for Operation bolero to General George C. Marshall in London, England. This direc­tive calls for establishing the Eighth Air Force on British soil.

Captain Edward “Eddie” Ricken – backer requests of Lieutenant General Henry H. Arnold that his World War I “Hat in the Ring” squadron insignia be bestowed upon the new 94th Pursuit Squadron. In 1924 that unit had adopted the “Indian Head” emblem of the 103rd Aero Squadron.

At Mindanao, Philippines, three B-17s and ten B-25s under Brigadier General Ralph Royce, Fifth Air Force, stage through Mindanao and attack Japanese shipping and installations, before returning 4,000 miles to their main base at Darwin, Australia.

April 13 Fifth Air Force B-25s stage through Valencia, the Philippines, to
strike Japanese installations and shipping near Cebu and Davao.

April 15 In England, General Ira C. Eaker establishes the VIII Bomber Com­mand at Wycombe Abbey, High Wycombe.

April 16 In India, six Tenth Air Force B-17s take off from Dum Dum near Calcutta and strike Japanese targets at Rangoon at night; bomb damage assess­ment is not possible in light of enemy searchlights.

Подпись: The first of eighteen B-25 Mitchell medium bombers lifts off from the carrier USS Hornet during the first U.S. air raid on the Japanese mainland, April 1942. (National Archives)

APRIL 18 Sixteen North American B-25 Mitchell medium bombers under Lieu­tenant Colonel James “Jimmy” Doolittle fly from the deck of the carrier Hornet and strike targets 800 miles distant in Tokyo, Yokosuka, Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagoya, Japan, before crash-landing in China (one is forced down in Siberia). Damage proves slight but the attack is a

stunning psychological coup to the United States by finally staging a success­ful assault on an erstwhile invincible enemy.

April 22 Transport and bomber aircraft from the Tenth Air Force begin an immediate evacuation of Allied personnel and supplies from Burma to India in the face of a surging Japanese offensive there. By mid-June, 4,499 passengers and 1.7 million pounds of freight have been removed.

April 29 Rangoon is struck by another wave of Tenth Air Force B-17s, which bomb dock areas and facilities.

APRIL 30 On New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P-39s fly from Port Moresby and strafe Japanese airfields and fuel dumps at Lae and Salamaua. At the time, Australian forces are attempting to contain an enemy offensive across the Owen Stanley Moun­tains.

May 2 At Bolling Field, Washington, D. C., Major General Carl A. “Tooey” Spaatz gains appointment as commander of the Eighth Air Force currently assem­bling in England.

May 5 A night raid by four Tenth Air Force B-17 bombers hits the Japanese air­field at Mingaladon, Burma, wrecking a hangar and a row of parked aircraft. The Americans claimed 40 enemy aircraft destroyed, but the damage assessment is impossible to verify at night.

May 6 Japanese fuel dumps at Mingala – don, Burma, are struck for a second con­secutive time by three Tenth Air Force B-17s; several fires are reputed burning.

May 8 In the Coral Sea, American and Japanese navies clash in the first naval encounter where the main battle fleets never sight each other. Both sides lose a carrier in a costly exchange. Army Air Forces aircraft perform useful reconnais­sance work, but the experience highlights deficiencies in Army-Navy communica­tions and coordination.

May 9 Fifth Air Force B-26 Marauders, led by a single B-17, bomb Japanese sea­planes and shipping at Deboyne Island.

May 10 Off the Gold Coast of Africa, the carrier Ranger launches 68 Army Curtiss P-40s, which then safely land at Accra.

May 11 At High Wycombe, England, the advanced echelon of the Eighth Air Force, numbering 39 officers and 348 enlisted men, deploys and prepares to receive forthcoming arrivals.

May 12 In India, four Tenth Air Force B-17s bomb Japanese airfields at Myit – kyina, Burma, which fell to enemy forces on May 8. Enemy aircraft here pose a direct threat to the Allied base at Dinjan as well as to transport aircraft flying the “Hump” into southern China.

May 13 At High Wycombe, England, the 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), flying Douglas A-20 Havocs, becomes one of the first American com­bat units to deploy. However, they arrive without aircraft of their own and utilize British versions of the bomber for the time being.

In New Britain, Fifth Air Force B-17s and B-26s strike major Japanese airfields and nearby shipping on Rabaul.

May 14 Over Burma, Tenth Air Force heavy bombers hit Japanese airfields at Myitkyina a second time, claiming sev­eral hits on the runway and adjoining buildings.

Подпись: Long lines of A-20 attack bombers roll ceaselessly, night and day, through the Douglas Aircraft plant at Long Beach, California, ca. October 1942.

May 15 In Washington, D. C., the War Department directs that interceptor and pursuit organizations within the U. S. Army Air Forces receive the new desig­nation of “fighter.”

May 16 In India, Tenth Air Force head­quarters completes its transfer to New Delhi as B-17s attack Japanese airfields at Myitkyina a third time, completely neu­tralizing the airfield and, with it, the threat to Allied communications.

Fifth Air Force B-25s, B-26s, and B – 17s launch another round of air raids against storehouses on Lae, New Guinea, and seaplane bases on Deboyne Island.

May 17—30 At Wright Field, Ohio, Igor Sikorsky delivers the prototype XR-4 helicopter to Army authorities for testing. It is accepted into service as the R-4

Hoverfly, the only American helicopter deployed during World War II.

May 18 In the mid-Pacific, the Seventh Air Force begins receiving shipments of new B-17Es in anticipation of a Japanese attack against Midway Island. These begin replacing the older and less capable Douglas B-18 Bolos still in inventory, although these are also pressed into reconnaissance duties.

In Panama, the government signs an agreement with the United States allowing Army Air Forces aircraft to defend the Canal region from a number ofbases.

May 19 In England, General Ira C. Eaker, head of Headquarters, Eighth Air Force, assumes control of all Army Air Forces units in the British Isles.

May 22 Continuing their air offensive, Fifth Air Force B-17s strike Japanese installations on Rabaul, New Britain, while B-26s attack enemy airfields and shipping at Lae, New Guinea.

May 24 In the Zone of the Interior (ZI), the 12th Bomb Group is shifted from Louisiana to California in the face of a perceived threat to the West Coast.

Over Rabaul, New Britain, Japanese A6M Zero fighters intercept and maul Fifth Air Force B-26s, shooting down and heavily damaging several.

May 26 Over Hawthorne, California, the prototype Northrop XP-61 performs its maiden flight; this is the first American aircraft designed from the ground up as a night fighter and enters service as the P­61 Black Widow.

In England, General Henry H. Arnold arrives at 10 Downing Street, London, to attend the first of several Anglo – American air conferences with Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

May 28 In the Aleutian Islands, an Elev­enth Air Force B-17 performs the first armed reconnaissance mission from the secretly constructed airfield at Umnak, but no signs of enemy activity are uncov­ered.

May 30 In Seattle, Washington, the first B-17F Flying Fortress is rolled out. This features an enlarged bombardier’s nose canopy, a revised tail section, and a tail turret. It is the first major production variant.

In London, England, General Henry H. Arnold presents his British counterparts with the “Program of Arrival of US Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom,” which stipulates deploying 66 combat groups, exclusive of reconnaissance squadrons, no later than March 1943.

At Oahu, Hawaii, the Seventh Air Force begins shuttling B-17 heavy bomb­ers to Midway Island in anticipation of a Japanese attack there.

Over Burma, Tenth Air Force B-17s raid Japanese airfields at Myitkyina a fifth time; no enemy activity can be discerned below, so further attacks here are sus­pended.

JUNE 1 In the Zone of the Interior (ZI) fear of an impending Japanese attack results in the cancellation of all transfers of men and equipment to Great Britain for the time being.

Over Rangoon, Burma, Tenth Air Force B-17s strike the dock areas again, and claim sinking one Japanese tanker.

JUNE 2 At Boston, Massachusetts, the 97th Bomb Group, slated for immediate transfer to the United Kingdom, is instead ordered to the West Coast to thwart a possible Japanese attack there.

June 3 At Dinjan, India, six B-25s of the 11th Bomb Squadron fly a mission over the Himalayan Mountains en route to joining the China Air Task Force (CATF) at Kunming. They unload their bombs on Japanese positions at Lashio, Burma, but three aircraft are lost when they crash into mountainsides and another is lost when it runs out offuel. Only two B-25s complete the journey intact.

At Midway Island, nine Seventh Air Force B-17s launch a bombing raid against five large Japanese vessels 570 miles dis­tant; they claim five hits and several near misses.

Over Dutch Harbor, Alaska, Japanese carrier aircraft make a sudden attack on American facilities, killing 52 service members. Several P-40s at Umnak sortie to intercept the attackers but arrive 10 minutes too late and only end up shooting down two enemy craft.

June 4 Over Alaska, Japanese carrier air­craft raid American facilities and airfield at Dutch Harbor a second day. P-40 fighters intercept the raiders, downing three bombers and one fighter at a cost of one of their own. That afternoon two Eleventh Air Force B-17s and five B-26s attack the Japanese fleet, although no hits are scored; two aircraft are shot down.

Nine Boeing B-17Es from the Seventh Air Force participate in aerial bombard­ment of the Japanese fleet at Midway, although with indifferent results. A force of four Martin B-26 Marauders, rigged as torpedo planes, also fares poorly, with only two survivors. Two B-17s are also shot down but two Zero fighters are claimed.

Over Rangoon, Burma, Tenth Air Force B-17s make a final raid on docks and facilities, losing one aircraft. Two months of harassing raids is concluded following the onset of monsoon weather.

June 5 Off the Alaska coast, a force of 18 B-26s, 10 B-17s, and 2 LB-30s are dis­patched by the Eleventh Air Force against Japanese carrier forces, but no contact is made. They bomb a target that radar paints as ships, which turn out to be the Pribilof Islands.

Near Midway Island, a force of six Sev­enth Air Force B-17s make several high altitude raids against the retreating Japa­nese fleet, claiming several hits on a heavy cruiser; one B-17 is shot down and another crashes due to lack of fuel. Total Army Air Forces losses in this, one ofhis – tory’s most decisive encounters, are two B-17s and two B-26s.

June 6 The Army begins procuring light civilian aircraft to serve as reconnaissance and artillery spotters (Grasshoppers); most are based on the popular Piper Cub design.

In the Aleutians, bad weather grounds most Eleventh Air Force operations, but a flight of P-38s en route to Umnak man­ages to mistakenly strafe a Soviet freighter. Meanwhile, Japanese forces come ashore on Kiska.

Near Midway Island, trigger-happy B-17s of the Seventh Air Force mistak­enly attack a U. S. submarine, but fortu­nately miss their intended victim.

June 7 Major General Clarence L. Tinker, commanding officer of the eventh Air Force, becomes the first Army Air Forces general killed in com­bat when his LB-30 fails to return from a bombing mission over Wake Island. He is succeeded by General Howard C. Davidson.

June 8 In Washington, D. C., President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints Major General James E. Chaney to serve as commander of the European Theater of Operations (ETO).

June 9 In Washington, D. C., President Franklin D. Roosevelt awards the Congressional Medal of Honor to newly promoted Brigadier General James H. Doolittle for his role in the recent raid on Tokyo, Japan.

Over Lae, New Guinea, a B-26 Marauder carrying Lieutenant Colonel Lyndon B. Johnson—the future 36th president of the United States— experiences engine trouble and is forced to turn back. Johnson nonetheless wins a Silver Star for his participation.

June 11 Over Alaska, a mixed force of

five B-24 Liberators and five B-17 Fly­ing Fortresses belonging to the Eleventh Air Force strike the Japanese-held island of Kiska, Aleutian Islands, for the first time; one B-24 is shot down by antiair­craft fire.

JUNE 12 At Fayid, Egypt, Lieutenant Colonel Harry A. Halveson leads 12 Army Air Forces B-24 Liberators on a secret air raid (HALPRO) against Axis oil installations at Ploesti, Romania. The raid inflicts little damage, but anticipates greater efforts to come.

Over the Aleutian Islands, six B-17s and one B-24 of the Eleventh Air Force make bomb runs over Japanese shipping off Kiska, claiming hits on a cruiser and a destroyer.

June 13 Japanese shipping at Kiska, Aleutian Islands, is struck for the third consecutive day by five B-17s and three B-24s of the Eleventh Air Force. Due to cloudy conditions, damage assessment cannot be accurately gauged.

June 14 Over the Aleutians, B-17s and B-24s from the Eleventh Air Force bomb Japanese shipping in Kiska harbor a fourth time. The raid is made from only 700 feet and damages two cruisers. A Japanese sea­plane is also claimed but two B-17s suffer heavily from antiaircraft fire.

June 15 In the Mediterranean, seven B-

24s accompany RAF Bristol Beauforts in an attack on the Italian battle fleet; the Liberators claim to damage a battleship and a cruiser while the RAF crews sink a cruiser.

JUNE 17 In the Zone of the Interior (ZI), Army Air Forces C-47s begin practicing with Waco troop gliders for the first time.

Off the coast of Midway Island, P-40s of the 73rd Fighter Squadron are launched off the carrier Saratoga to replace the Navy fighters lost in the battle a week earlier. They conduct aerial patrols of the region until being relieved on June 23.

JUNE 18 In London, England, Major General Carl A. Spaatz assumes command of the embryonic Eighth Air Force; presently no less than 85 airfields are being enlarged to handle B-17 and B-24 bombers.

Подпись: Chennault, Claire L. (1890-1958) Army Air Forces general. Claire Lee Chennault was born in Commerce, Texas, on September 6, 1890, and he gained his lieutenant’s wings in April 1920. He was a natural-born flier and held several important assignments including as commanding officer, 19th Pursuit Squadron, 1923-1926, and instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School, Maxwell Field, Alabama. Here, Chennault honed his interest in fighter tactics, and in 1935 he published an important book, The Role of Defensive Pursuit. He resigned from the Army on account of deafness in April 1937, but his career changed dramatically when he was hired by Madame Jiang Jieshi to serve as an adviser to the Nationalist Chinese government. In 1941 Chennault convinced the American government to organize a group of mercenaries called the American Volunteer Group (AVG) to fight the Japanese in China. Chennault equipped three squadrons of Curtiss P-40s, and they began winning battles against the heretofore invincible Japanese Army air force over China and Burma. They soon became hailed as the “Flying Tigers” and claimed over 100 Japanese aircraft for the loss of 12 pilots. Chennault’s group disbanded in July 1942, and in March 1943 he rose to major general in charge of the newly created 14th Air Force. By war’s end Chennault’s men claimed 2,600 enemy planes shot down and 1.2 million tons of shipping sunk. He resigned from the Army in August 1945 and remained in China as head of the Civil Air Transport (CAT). Chennault died in New Orleans, Louisiana, on July 27, 1958, one of history’s finest aerial strategists.

Over the Aleutian Islands, Eleventh Air Force B-17s and B-24s make a preci­sion daylight raid at high altitude against Kiska Harbor; a transport is sunk and

another set afire. One B-24 crashes due to battle damage and its crew is partially res­cued.

June 19 In Cairo, Egypt, Brigadier Gen­eral Russell L. Maxwell is appointed commander of United States Army Air Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME).

June 20 On Midway Island, Major Gen­eral Willis H. Hales arrives to take com­mand of the Seventh Air Force after the late Major General Clarence L. Tinker.

June 21 In London, England, American and British representatives conclude the Arnold-Portal-Towers agreement; this act commits the United States to a gradual building up of air power in Europe under the codename of Operation bolero.

Over Libya, nine B-24s of USAFIME stage a nighttime raid on Bengasi harbor after a RAF Wellington bomber marks the target area with flares.

June 23 At Presque Isle, Maine, two B – 17s and seven P-38s begin staging out for England even before Operation bolero is officially enacted.

June 25 Major General Lewis H. Brere – ton, facing a new crisis in the Middle East, departs India with all available heavy bombers of the 9th Bomber Squadron. Meanwhile, command of the Tenth Air Force reverts to Brigadier General Earl L. Naiden, who commands few aviation assets for the time being.

June 26 A force of three Seventh Air Force LB-30s stage at Midway, then pro­ceed to drop bombs on Japanese-held Wake Island.

June 28 In Cairo, Egypt, Major General Lewis H. Brereton arrives to serve as commander of United States Army Middle East Air Forces (USAMEAF).

He has at present B-24s of the 9th Bom­bardment Squadron.

June 29 In Europe, Captain Charles G. Kegelman, commander of the 15th Bomb Squadron, becomes the first member of the Eighth Air Force to drop bombs on German targets when he accompanies 12 RAF Bostons (A-20s) on a raid against the Hazebrouck marshalling yards. Mean­while, Lieutenant Alfred W. Giacomini ditches his Spitfire in the English Channel and drowns, becoming the first casualty of the Eighth Air Force.

June 30 Over North Africa, USAMEAF B-24s drop bombs on German and Italian positions at Bengasi, losing the first air­craft lost in the Middle East. General Lewis H. Brereton is also forced to relo­cate his detachment from Cairo, Egypt, to Palestine, as the Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rommel advances.

July 1 In Washington, D. C., the War Department revised Operation bolero downward from 66 combat groups down to 54 owing to commitments in other theaters.

At Polebrook, England, B-17s from the 97th Bombardment Group land after an uneventful Atlantic crossing; it takes a month before the entire group assembles there.

Over China, four B-25s and an escort of P-40s of the embryonic China Air Task Force (CATF) launch from Hen – gyang and attack the docks at Hankow; in light of poor weather conditions, the damage inflicted is not substantial.

July 2 Over China, CATF B-25s and P – 40s strike the docks at Hankow a second time, inflicting considerable damage. The Japanese retaliate by launching a night raid against their base in Hengyang, but fail to destroy any aircraft.

July 3 Over North Africa, B-17s and B – 24s of USAMEAF bomb Tobruk city and harbor.

B-25s and P-40s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) attack the Japanese airfield at Nanchang, damaging and destroying several parked aircraft. That evening, the Japanese launch another retaliatory raid against Hengyang, but fail to hit the airfield.

July 4 Over Holland, Army Air Forces pilots of the 15th Bombardment Squad­ron accompany Royal Air Force Boston bombers on their first raid over occupied Europe. Their six A-20 Havocs attack German airfields; one American airman is lost and another becomes the first American taken prisoner in Europe. Cap­tain Charles C. Kegelman, squadron commander, nurses his crippled Havoc back to England and receives the Distin­guished Service Cross.

In China, the American Volunteer Group (AVG), famously known as the “Flying Tigers,” is disbanded once the China Air Task Force (CATF) activates under Major General Claire L. Chennault; it is eventually designated the 23rd Pursuit Group under Colonel Robert L. Scott.

Over Kweilin, China, P-40s of CATF intercept a formation of Japanese light bombers, and claim to shoot down 13.

July 6 In the Zone of the Interior (ZI), M-8 4.5-inch air-to-ground rockets are test fired by a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk for the first time.

Off the coast of Panama, aircraft of the 59th Bomb Squadron, Sixth Air Force, attack and damage the German submarine U-153; this vessel is subsequently sunk by U. S. Navy destroyers a week later.

In England, the Royal Air Force allows Eighth Air Force personnel to join vari­ous operational committees handling tar­geting, operational research, fighter interception, and bombing operations.

In China, B-25s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) strike the docks ofCanton for the first time. This marks the first raid against coastal facilities along the China coast.

July 7 Off Cherry Point, North Carolina, a Lockheed A-29 Vega of the 369th Bombardment Squadron attacks and sinks the German submarine U-701; this is the first such victory by an AAF aircraft.

Over the Aleutian Islands, Eleventh Air Force B-24s fly to bomb Japanese tar­gets in Kiska, Attu, and Agattu, but are turned back by bad weather.

Major General Millard F. Harmon gains appointment as commanding gen­eral of the South Pacific (COMGENSO – PAC).

July 8 In Alaska, the Eleventh Air Force gains additional offensive muscle in the form of B-24s of the 404th Bomb Squad­ron; this unit was originally destined for North Africa before the Japanese invaded the Aleutians.

Over China, a single China Air Task Force (CATF) B-25 piloted by Colonel Caleb V. Haynes attacks Japanese head­quarters at Tengchung, China, near the Burma border.

July 9 In England, seven P-38 Lightnings of the Eighth Air Force arrive, becoming the first single-seat Army Air Forces air­craft to successfully cross the Atlantic in stages.

July 10 In Washington, D. C., Operation bolero is revised upwards to include 137 Army Air Forces groups deploying in the British Isles by December 1943.

Over El Segundo, California, the proto­type Douglas XA-26 light bomber debuts; it enters service as the A-26 Invader, the most capable aircraft in its class.

July 12 Over France, six RAF Boston (A-20) light bombers with Eighth Air Force aircrews attack German airfields at Abbeville and Drucat.

July 13 Over Bengasi, Libya, USA – MEAF B-17s and B-24s attack the harbor and enemy shipping; one B-24 is lost to antiaircraft fire.

July 16 At Kweilin, China, four B-25s of the China Air Task Force (CATF), with a P-40 escort, attack a storage area at Han­kow, starting several fires. The aircraft re­cover at Hengyang but are attacked by Japanese bombers and have to take off quickly. In the confusion, a P-40 mistak­enly attacks a B-25 and shoots it down; this is the CATF’s first bomber loss.

July 17 In the Aleutians, three B-17s and seven B-24s of the Eleventh Air Force attack Japanese shipping in Kiska Harbor; one B-17 is shot down by enemy fighters.

July 19 Over China, the China Air Task Force (CATF) dispatches two B-25s in support of Chinese forces besieging the Japanese-held town of Linchuan; immediately after the attack, Chinese forces are enabled to enter the city.

July 20 Over China, three B-25s and four P-40s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) bomb and strafe targets at Chin – kiang on the Yangtze River. Several junks are reported sunk.

July 21 In England, General Dwight D.

Eisenhower tasks the Eighth Air Force, assisted by the Royal Air Force, with achieving air superiority over Western Europe by April 1, 1943. This is an essen­tial move to facilitate a cross-channel invasion.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B – 26s attack a Japanese invasion convoy off

Salamaua to forestall enemy reinforce­ments from reaching Buna.

July 22 At New Caledonia, four B-17 squadrons belonging to the 11th Bom­bardment Group deploy from Hawaii; this is also the first heavy bomber group in the region.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P – 40s and P-39s attack Japanese landing craft as they come ashore at Gona; the aim ofthe attack is to halt a Japanese drive across the Stanley Owen Mountains to capture Port Moresby.

July 23 On New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force unleashes B-17s, A-24s, B-26s, and fighter aircraft against Japanese ship­ping, landing barges, and storage dumps at Buna and Gona as Japanese forces begin pushing down the Kokoda Trail.

In the South Pacific, seven B-17s of the Seventh Air Force make a photo­reconnaissance mission over Makin Island, soon to be the object of an over­powering attack by marine raiders.

July 24 In Washington, D. C., the Joint Chiefs of Staff announces that forces allo­cated to Operation BOLERO in England will be further depleted once several heavy and medium bomber groups are to be shifted to North Africa in support of Operation TORCH. They also determine to dispatch 15 combat groups to the Pacific theater.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B – 26s and A-24s continue striking Japanese positions in and around Gona as enemy forces continue pouring down the Kokoda Trail.

July 25 The Fifth Air Force unleashes B – 25s and P-39s against landing barges and troop concentrations at Gona as Japanese troops advance to within six miles of the Kokoda Trail at Oivi.

July 26 Over France, Lieutenant Colonel Albert P. Clark, executive officer of the 31st Fighter Group, is shot down on a fighter sweep, becoming the first officer of the Eighth Air Force taken prisoner.

Over New Guinea, Japanese air defenses repel a raid by Fifth Air Force B – 25s at Gasmata; B-26s also attack shipping off Gona, but fail to score any hits. Mean­while, Australian troops at Kokoda are evacuated in the face of a Japanese jungle onslaught.

July 27 As the Eighth Air Force begins gathering its offensive strength, Major General Ira C. Eaker agrees with RAF officers to employ Spitfire IXs as high – altitude escorts for B-17 bombers until VIII Fighter Command is fully opera­tional. This will also pit Spitfire IXs against superlative Fw-190s for the first time.

At Auckland, New Zealand, Major General Millard F. Harmon arrives to take charge of the newly created U. S. Army Forces in the South Pacific (USA- FIPA); he moves quickly to transfer his headquarters to Noumea, New Guinea, as preparations for a Solomon Islands offensive develops.

July 28 Over North Africa, B-17s and

B-24s of USAMEAF strike docks and shipping at Bengasi, scoring probable hits on two merchant vessels.

In Australia, General George F. Ken­ney arrives to take charge of Allied Air Forces as B-26s of the Fifth Air Force bomb Japanese troops at Gona.

July 29 In the Aleutians, Eleventh Air

Force B-24s and B-17s strike Japanese installations at Kiska, although bomb damage assessment is unobtainable due to cloud coverage.

On New Guinea, Japanese forces cap­ture Kokoda as Fifth Air Force A-24s and P-39s continue working over ship­ping and supply depots in their rear areas. These constant attacks slow, but do not halt, the enemy’s advance upon Port Moresby.

July 30 Over China, a major air battle unfolds as the Japanese dispatch 120 air­craft to strike the main China Air Task Force (CATF) base at Hengyang. P-40s of the 23rd Fighter Group maul the attackers over the next 36 hours, down­ing 17 aircraft and preventing them from reaching the base; three P-40s are also lost.

In the South Pacific, B-17s of the 11th Bomb Group deploy on Espiritu Santo as a reconnaissance and strike force in anticipation for the Marine Corps offen­sive at Guadalcanal, slated for August 7.

July 31 In Palestine, the USAMEAF is strengthened by the arrival of P-40s belonging to the 57th Fighter Group, and B-25s of the 12th Bomb Group. These add greater tactical flexibility to the B-17s and B-24s already in theater.

Over Guadalcanal, Fifth Air Force B- 17s bomb Japanese positions on Kukum Beach and Lunga as marine amphibious forces depart New Zealand for the inva­sion. Other B-17s from the 11th Bomb Group on Efate under Colonel LaVerne G. Saunders attack the landing strip on Lunga Point. Saunders will execute another 56 sorties against the island up through the invasion of August 7.

Over Wake Island, a B-17 reconnais­sance aircraft is pounced by six Japanese Zeroes, and its gunners claim four kills.

AUGUST 1 In the Mediterranean, B-24s of USAMEAF attack an Axis convoy headed for North Africa, sinking a large transport vessel. One B-24 crash-lands back at base and is written off.

AUGUST 2 Over New Guinea, a Fifth Air Force B-17 bombs Japanese shipping and targets south of Salamaua while another unloads ordnance on Gona; neither attack is particularly successful.

AUGUST 3 In Brisbane, Australia, Lieu­tenant General George H. Brett, com­manding the Fifth Air Force, is recalled to the United States for reassignment.

AUGUST 4 Over China, China Air Task Force (CATF) P-40s attack Japanese headquarters at Linchuan, and also strafe barracks and transports in the river.

AUGUST 5 Over France, 11 aircraft of the

31st Fighter Group, VIII Fighter Com­mand, make the unit’s first practice sweep from across the English Channel.

In Egypt, General Lewis H. Brereton issues his first strategic estimate of Middle Eastern objectives, committing the USA – MEAF to the destruction of the Afrika Korps by supporting the British Eighth Army on the ground, securing control of air over the Mediterranean, and the gradual reduction of oil facilities at Ploesti, Romania, and the Caucasus, should they fall to the Germans.

Over China, Japanese aircraft make another attempted surprise attack at Kweilin airfields, but the Americans are tipped off by the Chinese warning net established by General Claire L. Chen – nault. P-40s engage bombers over the tar­get, shooting down two and driving the rest off.

AUGUST 6 In a sharp counterstrike, B-25s

of the China Air Task Force bomb the Tien Ho airfield, damaging the runway and several parked aircraft.

AUGUST 6—7 Captain Harl Pease, Jr., leads B-17s of the 93rd Squadron, 19th Bomb Group, on a strike against Rabaul,

New Britain, from which he does not return. Pease, who had earlier evacuated General Douglas MacArthur from Min­danao, Philippines, to Australia, post­humously receives a Congressional Medal of Honor.

AUGUST 7 Over Vunakanau. New Guinea, 13 B-17s of the Fifth Air Force attack Japanese airfields to neutralize them in anticipation of the forthcoming Guadalcanal invasion. B-26s also strike enemy positions at Lae.

AUGUST 8 Over Canton, China, B-25s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) bomb Tien Ho airfield, claiming two Japanese fighters shot down.

In the Lower Solomons, B-17s sta­tioned in the South Pacific begin flying lengthy reconnaissance missions in order to detect any Japanese reinforcements steaming towards Guadalcanal.

AUGUST 9 Over China, P-40s of the 23rd Fighter Group attack Japanese ground forces at Linchuan in support of the Chi­nese army. Meanwhile, four B-25s and a fighter escort stage through Nanning, to bomb and strafe docks at Haiphong, French Indochina (Vietnam) for the first time.

AUGUST 10 In China, the 23rd Fighter Group under Colonel Robert L. Scott strafes and bombs Japanese warehouses and ammo dumps at Sienning, destroying a mountain of supplies intended for use against American air bases at Hengyang.

AUGUST 11 In England, General Carl A. Spaatz, speaking in reference to opera­tions in North Africa, makes it his opin­ion that only the United Kingdom is well positioned as the only base from which air superiority over Germany can be achieved.

In China, China Air Task Force P-40s strike Japanese airfields at Yoyang and Nanchang, from which bombers have been attacking American bases at Hengyang.

AUGUST 12 At Westhampnett, England, the 31st Fighter Group is declared opera­tional. It is the first fighter unit of the Eighth Air Force to reach that status, but it remains under operational control of the Royal Air Force until it acquires meaningful combat experience.

August 13 Off the coast of northern New Guinea, a Japanese convoy carrying 3,000 construction troops is attacked by Fifth Air Force B-17s, then a wave of B – 26s closer to the shore.

AUGUST 14 Off the coast of Iceland, a pair of P-40s flown by Lieutenants Joseph D. Shaffer and Elza E. Shahan share credit for downing a four-engined Fw-200 Kondor patrol bomber; this is the first victory scored by the Army Air Forces in the European Theater of Operations (ETO). At the time, Shaffer and Shahan were ferrying their aircraft to England.

AUGUST 17 Over France, 12 B-17s under Colonel Frank A. Armstrong, 97th Bomb Group, stage the first large air raid in Europe by hitting the marshal­ling yards at Rouen-Sotteville. The attack proves a deceptively easy, for German re­sistance proves negligible and all aircraft return without damage. Sergeant Kent R. West also downs an Fw-190 German fighter, becoming the first Eighth Air Force gunner to score a kill.

AUGUST 18 In India, General Clayton R. Bissell is appointed the new commander of the Tenth Air Force; General Earl L. Naiden is bumped over to take charge of the India-China Ferry Command.

AUGUST 19 As Allied forces storm ashore at Dieppe, France, 22 B-17s from the Eighth Air Force drop 30 tons of bombs on German airfields at Abbeville and Drucat as a diversion. Lieutenant Sam F. Dunkin, 31st Fighter Group, also becomes the first active-duty American pilot to down a German fighter while fly­ing from England.

AUGUST 20 At Bolling Field, Washing­ton, D. C., the new Twelfth Air Force is activated for service in North Africa and the Mediterranean. There they will spe­cialize in ground support missions with light and medium attack bombers.

In England, the Eighth Air Force for­malizes its principles of coordinating day and night bombing with the Royal Air Force by issuing its “Joint British/Ameri – can Directive on Day Bomber Opera­tions involving Fighter Cooperation.”

AUGUST 21 In England, General Carl A. Spaatz becomes Air Officer ETOUSA (European Theater of Operations) to insure that theater air forces are adequately represented at all levels of operational planning.

The Eighth Air Force dispatches 12 B-17s to strike shipyards at Rotter­dam, the Netherlands, but they abort after being attacked by 25 German fight­ers. Promised Spitfire escorts failed to materialize, highlighting the problems of proper coordination between the two forces.

AUGUST 22 Off the Panama Canal Zone, aircraft of the 45th Bomb Squadron, Sixth Air Force bomb and sink German submarine U-654, the AAF’s second con­firmed kill of the year.

Bell P-400s (export version of the P-39 Airacobra) belonging to the 67th Fighter Squadron are the first Army Air Forces aircraft deployed at Henderson Field,

Guadalcanal. They join Navy and Marine Corps fighters and dive bombers of the so-called “Cactus Air Force,” already present.

AUGUST 24 The Eighth Air Force dis­patches 12 heavy bombers to hit the ship­yard at Ateliers et Chantiers de la Seine Maritime at Le Trait, France. Meanwhile, General Carl A. Spaatz is pleased to report that the attitude of RAF officials toward daytime precision bombings is now one of grudging approval.

Over Rabaul, New Britain, Fifth Air Force B-17s strike at Japanese positions and airfields at Gasmata.

In the Solomon Islands, seven B-17s join Navy aircraft from the carriers Enter­prise and Saratoga in attacking a Japanese reinforcement convoy steaming for Gua­dalcanal; the carrier Ryujo is sunk.

AUGUST 25 On Goodenough Island, New Guinea, P-40s from Milne Bay strafe and sink a number ofJapanese troop barges. An enemy convoy bound for Milne Bay from New Ireland is also struck, but the attack is spoiled by poor weather. Meanwhile, P-400s attack air­field and antiaircraft positions at Buna.

In the Solomon Islands, B-17s flying from Espiritu Santo attack a Japanese troop convoy, sinking the destroyer Mut – suki; after a mauling from Navy aircraft, the convoy retreats.

AUGUST 26 At Yunnani, southern China, CATF P-40s attack the rail center at Lashio, Burma, shooting down at least two intercepting fighters.

At Milne Bay, New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-17s, B-25s, B-26s, and P-40s work over Japanese troop concentrations, sinking a large transport and destroying several supply dumps. They are joined by several Lockheed Hudsons flown by the Royal Australian Air Force.

August 27 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P-40s continue pounding Japanese forces at Milne Bay while B-26s and P – 400s attack enemy positions at Buna.

AUGUST 28 In Washington, D. C., the War Department orders the Air Training Command to allocate aircraft and person­nel to evacuate sick and wounded Ameri­can servicemen throughout the world.

Over France, a force of 15 Eighth Air Force B-17s bomb the Avions-Potez air­craft factory, which is serving as a Luft­waffe repair base.

Over China, eight B-25s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) bomb ammuni­tion dumps at Hoang Su Phi and Phu Lo, Indochina (Vietnam). This is both the largest bomb raid staged by CATF and the first staged without a fighter escort.

AUGUST 29 Over Burma, China Air Task Force B-25s attack Lashio, starting several warehouse fires.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B – 26s and P-400s continue raiding Japanese airfields at Buna, while P-40s work over enemy positions at Milne Bay. However, enemy ground forces continue driving on Port Moresby despite this hard pound­ing.

AUGUST 30 Over Burma, P-40s from the China Air Task Force (CATF) strike Jap­anese airfields at Myitkyina for the first time. Fighters from this base could threaten Dinjan, an important stop on the Assam-Burma air ferry.

AUGUST 31 In North Africa, USAMEAF B-25s begin around-the-clock attacks on targets in Tobruk while P-40s of the 57th Fighter Group escort RAF bombers on a raid against Maryut. Other aircraft hit German and Italian positions along the El Alamein line as the Battle of Alam el Halfa unfolds.

At Milne Bay, New Guinea, Australian troops take to the offensive, assisted by close support missions by Fifth Air Force P-40s, while B-17s attack supply dumps at Buna, and B-26s and A-20s strike air­fields at Lae.

September 1 In North Africa, P-40s of the 57th Fighter Group assist the British Eighth Army during the Battle of Alam el Halfa with fighter sweeps while B-25s of the USAMEAF strike enemy tanks and trucks.

On Milne Bay, New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P-40s attack Japanese headquarters at Wagga Wagga while P-400s strafe enemy columns in the Kokoda Pass in the Owen Stanley Range.

September 2 In North Africa, P-40s and B-25s of USAMEAF continue working closely with the RAF and Eighth Army, delivering hammer blows against the Afrika Korps along Alam el Halfa ridge. Trucks and tanks remain priority targets.

Over China, wide-ranging CATF P – 40s strike rice-laden barges in the Poyang region, airfields at Nanchang, railroad sta­tions at Hua Yang, and manage to destroy a train in the Wuchang Peninsula.

Over New Guinea, P-400s resume strafing and bombing attacks against Japa­nese forces pressing through the Kokoda Pass but fail to stop their offensive toward Port Moresby.

On Guadalcanal, low-altitude P-400s shift from air defense missions, where they are at a disadvantage, to ground support missions for marines on the ground. They prove much better suited for these sorties and attacks against enemy shipping.

September 3 Over the Aleutian Islands,

six bombers and five P-38s of the Elev­enth Air Force strike Japanese targets in Kiska Harbor, destroying several seaplanes. This is also the longest over­water flight—1,260 miles—of the war to date.

In North Africa, USAMEAF B-25s and P-40s continue providing close sup­port missions for the British Eighth Army as the Battle of Alam el Halfa rages; one enemy fighter is claimed in combat.

At Brisbane, Australia, Major General George C. Kenney arrives to take com­mand of the Fifth Air Force, also receiv­ing promotion to lieutenant general. He replaces Lieutenant General George H. Brett, who has been ordered back to the United States.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P – 400s continue bombing and strafing Japa­nese columns advancing upon Port Mor­esby from Kokoda, while B-25s and A – 20s strike the Mubo-Busama-Salamaua region.

A North American B-25 bomber swoops in low over Hanoi, dropping bombs on a Japanese aerodrome and inflicting considerable damage. This is the first American air raid over that city.

September 4 Over North Africa, USA­MEAF B-24s attack an Axis convoy approaching at sea, sinking at least two transports. Meanwhile, B-25s and P-40s continue assisting their RAF counterparts in hammering German positions and vehicles near Alam el Halfa.

At Milne Bay, Australian forces begin mop up operations near Goroni, assisted by Fifth Air Force P-40s. The Japanese, thoroughly bested, begin evacuating the region.

September 5 In London, Major General Carl A. Spaatz convinces Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower that Eighth Air Force operations in Europe should be temporarily scaled back to support Operation TORCH in North Africa.

Подпись: Kenney, George C. (1889-1977) Army Air Forces general. George Churchill Kenney was born on August 6, 1889 and he joined the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps in June 1917. He arrived in France during World War I as a fighter pilot and downed two German aircraft. Kenney spent the next 20 years at the forefront of aeronautical developments by passing through the Army Air Corps Tactical School (1926), the Army Command and General Staff School (1927), and the Army War College (1933). He was also an accomplished aviator, and in May 1938 he flew the lead B-17 bomber that intercepted the Italian liner Rex at sea. Following the onset of World War II, he ventured to Europe as a military observer, was shocked by the tactical efficiency of the German Luftwaffe, and wrote a scathing appraisal of America's obsolete aviation technology. He rose to brigadier general in 1941, but the turning point in his career occurred when he was appointed to the staff of General Douglas MacArthur in August 1942. From his headquarters in Australia, Kenney adopted innovative approaches to render aircraft as deadly as possible, and pioneered low-level “skip bombing” to penetrate the sides of enemy vessels. Proof of his efficiency came in the March 2-3,1943 Battle of the Bismarck Sea, where his aircraft obliterated a 12-vessel Japanese convoy. In March 1945, Kenney advanced to full general and commander of all Allied air power in the Pacific. After the war, he became chief of the new Strategic Air Command in 1946, then headed the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base until his retirement in 1951. He died in Miami, Florida, on August 9,1977, one of the finest aerial tacticians of World War II.

Over France, the Eighth Air Force commits 31 B-17s—its largest raid to date—against the marshalling yards at Rouen-Sotteville.

Over North Africa, USAMEAF P-40s and B-25s continue their relentless ground support attacks as the Afrika Korps falters and begins retreating from the Alma el Halfa ridge.

On New Guinea, with Japanese forces in retreat from Milne Bay, Fifth Air Force P-400s redouble their attacks on enemy troops along the Kokoda Trail. P-40s and A-20s also attack enemy airfields in the vicinity of Buna.

SEPTEMBER 6 Over Meaulte, France, VIII Bomber Command suffers its first combat losses when two Boeing B-17s are shot down as they bombed the Avions-Potez aircraft factory. Mean­while, 12 DB-7s (A-20s) attack German airfields at Abbeville-Drucat.

Over North Africa, USAMEAF P-40s shoot down three Ju-87 Stukas near the Dayr Ar Depression; other fighters con­tinue escorting RAF bomber missions.

On New Guinea, Australian forces continue falling back closer to Port Mor­esby while, overhead, Fifth Air Force P – 400s, A-20s, and B-17s attack enemy positions at Myola, Mubo, Kokoda, Eora Creek, and Milne Bay.

SEPTEMBER 7 The Eighth Air Force dis­patches 29 B-17s to bomb the Wilton shipyards in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, but bad weather forces back all but 7. These make an ineffectual bomb run over the target area, but also claim to have shot down 12 German fighters trying to inter­cept them.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P-400s and A-20s continue pounding away at Japanese forces in the Owen Stanley Mountains, especially at Myola Lake and Efogi. Meanwhile, P-40s escort Australian Hudsons, Beauforts, and Beau – fighters against enemy warships 17 miles off the coast. By this time all organized resistance at Cape Milne has ceased, an impressive, if improvised, Allied victory in which air power played a significant role.

Подпись: View of the pyramids of Egypt from an Air Transport Command C-47 in 1943. Loaded with urgent war supplies and materials, this plane was one of a fleet flying shipments from the United States across the Atlantic and the continent ofAfrica to strategic battle zones during World War II. (National Archives)

SEPTEMBER 8 In England, Major General Carl A. Spaatz suspends all tactical opera­tions in Europe and redirects units involved to support upcoming Operation torch in North Africa. For this reason the new Twelfth Air Force has priority over units slated to arrive in the United Kingdom.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P-400s continue bombing and strafing runs against Japanese forces still forcing the Australians back towards Port Mor­esby. Meanwhile, B-17s and RAAF Hudsons attack enemy warships off the coastline.

September 9 In Washington, D. C., General Henry H. Arnold reveals AWPD-42, the blueprint for aerial war­fare against the Axis, to General George

C. Marshall. It is subsequently approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt within two months and is scheduled to be launched in 1943. This document is basically a continuation of the Combined Bomber Offensive previously agreed upon.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P – 40s attack parts of Goodenough Island as final mop up operations continue near Milne Bay. A-20s also bomb enemy forces surrounding Australian troops in the Efogi Spur region.

September 10 In Washington, D. C., the secretary of war orders the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron formed to transport aircraft from factories directly to U. S. Army airfields across the nation.

SEPTEMBER 11 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s and B-26s continue hammering Japanese forces at Efogi and Menari in the Owen Stanley Range and airfields near Buna. Meanwhile, B-17s assist RAAF Hudsons in attacking enemy destroyers 20 miles off the coast; a B-17 scores a direct hit on the Yayori, sinking it.

September 12 At Bushey Hall, England, the 4th Fighter Group, VIII Fighter Command, becomes operational to pro­vide long-range escorts for bombers of the Eighth Air Force. They are composed mainly of fighter pilots who previously saw service in the Royal Air Force’s Eagle Squadrons.

Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force dispatches P-400s, B-26s, A-20s, and B – 17s against Japanese airfields and transport barges at Buna while mop up operations and air attacks continue on Goodenough Island. Over Buna, New Guinea, aircraft from the 89th Attack Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group, also drop the first parachute-retarded bombs of the war on parked Japanese aircraft.

SEPTEMBER 13 In the Aleutians, an Elev­enth Air Force LB-30, escorted by 2 P – 38s, conducts an reconnaissance run over Kiska harbor; enemy fighter damage the bomber, losing 1 floatplane aircraft to the escorts.

September 14 Over the Aleutian Islands, a force of Eleventh Air Force B – 24 Liberators, escorted by 14 P-38s and 14 P-39s, launches from Adak to bomb Japanese positions on Kiska, 250 miles distant. The attackers claim five floatplane fighters downed and one flying boat destroyed in the water, while two P-38s are lost in a collision.

September 15 In Cairo, Egypt, the 57th Fighter Group becomes the first

USAMEAF unit to transfer there from Palestine.

September 15-29 At Brisbane, Aus­tralia, the 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Infantry Division, is airlifted to Port Moresby, New Guinea. Both military and civilian transport are utilized to assist hard-pressed Australian land forces being pushed back towards Port Moresby by a Japanese offensive. It is a stunning display of modern air power’s tactical flexibility by Lieutenant General George C. Kenney.

SEPTEMBER 17 In Birmingham, Ala­bama, the headquarters, Twelfth Air Force is activated and proceeds directly to North Africa as part of upcoming Operation torch.

Throughout the Mediterranean, USA- MEAF B-24s are actively bombing tar­gets at Bengasi, Libya, and Khalones and Pylos, Greece.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-17s attack Japanese positions on Rabaul, New Britain, while P-400s, P-40s, and P-39s continue strafing runs against enemy troops at Buna. The Japanese offensive to Port Moresby also halts, having run into impenetrable Australian defenses along the Imita Range.

SEPTEMBER 19 Over Lungling, Burma, a raid by China Air Task Force B-25s proves ineffective owing to bad weather, but post-strike reconnaissance missions reveal a high degree ofJapanese troop activity along the Burma Road toward Salween.

SEPTEMBER 20 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s bomb and strafe Japanese troops and installations at Sangara, Arehe, and Popondetta-Andemba in the Owen Stanley Range.

SEPTEMBER 21 Over Renton, Washing­ton, Boeing’s giant XB-29 prototype flies for the first time, and immediately goes into production as the famous B-29 Superfor­tress. This is the most technologically advanced bomber in the world and displays such novel features as powered gun turrets and a pressurized fuselage for operations at high altitude. By war’s end 2,132 B-29s will be delivered and equip 21 bomb groups.

SEPTEMBER 22 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s and P-40s continue working over withdrawing Japanese col­umns at Kokoda and Buna, bombing and strafing all targets of opportunity includ­ing huts and barges. Meanwhile, B-17s are dispatched to hit enemy airfields on Rabaul, New Britain.

SEPTEMBER 23 In England, Brigadier GeneralJames H. Doolittle arrives to take command of the Twelfth Air Force, which is also known as the “Eighth Air Force, Junior.”

Over the Aleutians, a Navy PBY patrol plane makes a reconnaissance run over


View through the nose of B-29 bomber showing target of bombing run during World Warll. (Library of Congress)

Kiska, escorted by two Eleventh Air Force P-38s; the fighters surprise and sink a Japanese submarine at Amchitka.

September 25 In the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force commits nine B-24s, one B-17, eleven P-39s, and seventeen P-40s on a large air raid against Kiska. They are accompanied by a detachment of P-40s flown by the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Heavy damage, fires, and explosions are noted and at least five floatplane fighters are claimed destroyed.

Over Indochina (Vietnam), four B-25s and ten P-40s of the China Air Task Force attack the Gia Lam airfield, shoot­ing down nine enemy fighters attempting to intercept them.

SEPTEMBER 26 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s support an Australian counteroffensive along the Kokoda trail by bombing and strafing Japanese forces. B-17s are also dispatched to Rabaul, New Britain, to hit enemy airfields.

September 27 In the Aleutians, Elev­enth Air Force B-24s, P-39s, and P-40s attack the shore and harbor areas ofKiska, although bad weather forces 13 fighters to turn back.

Over southwestern China, B-25s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) bomb Mengshih, and claim to have destroyed 30 trucks and 400 troops. Concurrently, three flights of P-40s bomb and strafe troop columns along the Burma Road, claiming 15 trucks destroyed.

In New Guinea, Japanese forces are in full retreat as Fifth Air Force A-20s attack them at Ioribaiwa, Myola, and Menari.

September 28 In the Aleutians, seven B-24s, one B-17, and seventeen P-39s are dispatched by the Eleventh Air Force to hit Japanese positions on Attu and Kiska. Five enemy floatplane fighters are shot down in exchange for one P-39.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force P – 40s and P-400s continue to bomb and strafe Japanese forces retreating along the Kokoda Trail.

September 29 In England, volunteers

from the three American Eagle Squadrons transfer to the new 4th Fighter Group, VIII Fighter Command, and stiffen its cadre with experienced leadership.

Over North Africa, P-40s ofUSAMEAF fly interception missions against Ju-87 Stukas near the El Alamein battlefront.

September 30 In the Aleutians, nine B – 24s of the Eleventh Air Force drop bombs on Kiska and Attu, scoring a direct hit on at least one vessel in the harbor.

OCTOBER 1—2 At Muroc Army Base, California, the Bell XP-59, America’s first jet fighter, performs its maiden flight. The craft is powered by two General Electric I-16 engines, which are patterned after the British Whittle design. The fol­lowing day Colonel Lawrence C. Craigie takes it aloft, becoming the first military officer to pilot a jet aircraft.

OCTOBER 2 At the Aeromedical Laboratory, Wright Field, Ohio, Major J. G. Kearby enters an altitude chamber simulating 60,200 feet to test a full-body pressure suit.

In the Aleutians, Kiska Harbor is again raided by Eleventh Air Force B-24s, which bomb several vessels in the harbor and claim four floatplane fighters shot down.

Offthe coast ofFrench Guiana, an air­craft of the 99th Bomb Squadron attacks and sinks the German submarine U-512.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A- 20s and P-400s continue bombing and strafing runs against retreating Japanese forces at Myola and Siorata.

Over France, 30 B-17s are dispatched by the Eighth Air Force to hit the Avions-Potez aircraft factory at Meaulte and some nearby airfields. They are escorted by 400 fighter escorts, and no bombers are lost.

OCTOBER 3 At Peenemunde, Germany, an ominous development occurs as the German A-4 (or V-2 Vengeance weapon) becomes the world’s first mili­tary ballistic missile. This five-and-a-half ton rocket has a range of120 miles while carrying a large conventional warhead; the Allied powers can develop no effec­tive counter other than bombing its launching sites.

Over the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force launches six B-24s, four P-38s, and eight P-39s against Kiska Harbor, striking a beached freighter and downing six float fighters.

In India, the India Air Task Force (IATF) is organized under Colonel Caleb V. Haynes to support Chinese forces along the Salween River by hitting Japanese sup­ply lines in south and central Burma. At present Haynes can call upon the 51st Fighter and 7th and 341st Bomb Groups.

OCTOBER 6 Over Bengasi, Libya, B-24s ofUSAMEAF drop bombs in and around the harbor; two aircraft are lost to fighters and heavy flak.

In the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force unleashes eight B-24s, ten P-39s, and eight P-38s against Japanese shipping in Kiska Harbor; several vessels are struck and at least six float fighters are strafed on the water.

OCTOBER 8 In England, Major General Ira C. Eaker reveals plans to develop highly skilled pathfinder units capable of navigating in bad weather. Eaker intends to use bad weather to cloak small blind­bombing missions against selected targets.

Such attacks will keep German defenses on their toes during bouts of weather when regular air strikes cannot be mounted.

OCTOBER 9 In England, the Eighth Air Force launches its first 100-bomber raid, in which B-17s are accompanied by B – 24s for the first time. They attack various steel, engineering, and locomotive works in Lille, France.

October 10 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-17s raid Japanese installations at Rabaul, New Guinea, while A-20s and P-400s bomb and strafe Japanese forces retreating along the Kokoda Trail.

OCTOBER 11 Over the Solomon Islands, a SOPAC B-17 observes aJapanese task force of cruisers and destroyers sailing toward Guadalcanal, which are driven away on the morrow during the Battle of Cape Esperance.

OCTOBER 13 Over North Africa, USA – MEAF P-40s sweep the region around El Alamein, claiming two Me-109s shot down.

Off the coast of Guadalcanal, Japanese battleships Haruna and Kongo shell Hen­derson Field at night, inflicting heavy damage. This attack prompts all SOPAC B-17s operating there to withdraw the following day.

OCTOBER 14 On New Guinea, as Aus­tralian forces encounter stiff Japanese re­sistance near Templeton’s Crossing, Fifth Air Force B-25s are called in to strike bridges in the vicinity of Lae.

OCTOBER 16 Over the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force launches six B-26s and four P-38s against Japanese shipping in Kiska Harbor, sinking two destroyers; one fighter is shot down.

OCTOBER 19 In North Africa, just as the British Eighth Army is preparing to attack German positions along El Alamein, B – 25s of the USAMEAF are called in to bomb ground targets, while B-24s con­tinue to attack shipping and supplies at Tobruk.

OCTOBER 20 Over North Africa, air activity over the El Alamein battlefield intensifies as USAMEAF B-25s assist the RAF in reducing German positions and equipment.

OCTOBER 21 Over France, the VIII Bomber Command dispatches 15 B-17s to strike U-boat pens at Lorient – Keroman for the first time. The Germans sortie several Fw-190 fighters in their defense and shoot down three bombers.

B-24 Liberators of the Indian Air Task Force (IATF) strike north of the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers for the first time by dropping ordnance on the Lin-hsi coal mine facilities near Kuyeh, China.

OCTOBER 22 The Westinghouse Electric Company begins construction of the first American-designed jet engine, the X – 19A, which incorporates axial-flow tech­nology. A working example emerges in five months.

The Twelfth Air Force relocates its headquarters from London, England, to North Africa to participate in Operation torch. Meanwhile, USAMEAF P-40s escort B-25s attacking dispersed aircraft, then bomb and strafe several German positions along the coastal road near El Hammam; two German fighters are claimed shot down.

OCTOBER 24—25 Over North Africa, B – 25s of the USAMEAF provide close sup­port to Field Marshal Bernard Montgom­ery’s Eighth Army during his famous El Alamein offensive, which drives Germans under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel from Egypt. The bombers strike a variety of troop concentrations, tent areas, gun emplacements, and vehicles in concert with the RAF.

OCTOBER 25 In China, 12 B-25s and 7 P-40s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) bomb Hong Kong and the Kowloon Docks for the first time since the Japanese occupation. Several inter­cepting fighters are shot down for a loss of one B-25 and one P-40. That same evening, another six B-25s make CATF’s first night raid by hitting other targets in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Japanese air­craft bomb airfields at Dinjan and Cha – bua, India, to hobble the India-China air transport route; 10 aircraft are destroyed and 17 are damaged.

Over the Solomon Islands, a SOPAC B-17 observes another strong Japanese naval convoy off Santa Cruz Island and headed for Guadalcanal.

OCTOBER 26 In North Africa, the British Eighth Army halts its offensive to re­group while USAMEAF B-25s and P-40s continue attacking German posi­tions, trucks, and tanks; four enemy planes are claimed shot down. Concur­rently, 30 B-17s and B-24s are dispatched against enemy supply convoys off the Libyan coast.

In India, Japanese aircraft again raid airfields connected to the India-China transportation route, inflicting damage on ground facilities but striking no aircraft. Meanwhile, P-40s attack the Hong Kong-Canton area again, using dive-bomber tactics for the first time.

In the Solomon Islands, the Battle of Santa Cruz unfolds as B-17s attack the main Japanese convoy but score no hits. The U. S. Navy loses the carrier Hornet, but Japanese forces withdraw toward Truk.

October 27 Over China, B-25s of the China Air Task Force attack Japanese airfields near Lashio, Burma, which have been hitting American facili­ties in India.

OCTOBER 28 Over North Africa, B-25s of USAMEAF continue pounding German supply and communications routes at El Alamein while P-40s provide escort, claiming three enemy fighters downed.

October 29 In Washington, D. C., President Franklin D. Roosevelt assigns the production of 107,000 warplanes in 1943 the highest possible priority.

OCTOBER 30 In North Africa, the 9th Australian Division manages to trap a large portion of the Afrika Korps along the coast, supported by P-40s of USAMEAF, but German tanks manage to break through their lines and escape.

OCTOBER 31 In England, Major General Carl A. Spaatz informs General Ira C. Eaker that losses over heavily defended German submarine pens are too costly for the results they are achieving. He therefore intends to send the bomber in lower and accept the higher loss rate for better bombing results.

NOVEMBER 2 In North Africa, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery launches Operation supercharge against the Afrika Korps and USAMEAF B-25s continue bombing in support of the 9th Armoured Division as P-40s also strafe throughout the battle area.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B – 26s strike Dili, B-17s attack Japanese shipping off the coast, and B-25s hit another convoy south of New Britain. All these efforts assist Australian forces as they capture Kokoda and surge across the Owen Stanley Mountains towards Buna.

NOVEMBER 3 Over North Africa, USA – MEAF B-25s and P-40s continue bomb­ing and strafing retreating German columns as the Eighth Army continues its advance. They fly 400 sorties this day alone.

NOVEMBER 4 In North Africa, nine USAMEAF B-24s attack enemy shipping in Bengasi harbor while B-25s and P-40s continue attacking motor transports and retreating columns along the coastal zones. General Frank M. Andrews also replaces General Russell L. Maxwell as head of United States Army Air Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME).

In New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-17s and B-25s strike Japanese positions and shipping at Salamaua while A-20s support Australian troops in their drive against Oivi. The remainders of the 126th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division, are also flown by C-47s to Wangigela.

NOVEMBER 5 In North Africa, Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery declares victory at El Alamein as the Afrika Korps under Field Marshal Erwin Rommel retreats westward from Egypt. USA – MEAF B-25s and P-40s join their RAF counterparts in mercilessly harrying the defeated Axis forces.

NOVEMBER 7 In England the mass trans­fer to North Africa of units belonging to the Twelfth Air Force begins; several ele­ments are on board convoys rapidly approaching the Algerian and Moroccan coasts.

NOVEMBER 8 Over Oran, Algeria, Supermarine Spitfires operated by the Army Air Forces’ 31st Fighter Group are launched from Navy carriers in support of landing operations there; they engage and down three Vichy French fighters which had attacked transport planes.

Colonel Demas T. Craw, XII Tactical Command, Army Air Forces, volunteers to land behind enemy lines at Port Lyau- tey, French Morocco, as an intelligence officer to secretly secure an armistice with the local French commander. However, he is killed shortly after landing, winning a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor. His companion, Major Pierpont M. Hamilton, AAF, survives and reaches Casablanca about the truce in time to pre­vent an American attack by General George C. Patton; he also receives a Medal of Honor.

As Operation torch, the Allied inva­sion of North Africa, commences, C-47s from the 60th Troop-Carrier Group, Twelfth Air Force carry reinforcements to Senia. However, they are fired upon by Vichy French forces and several trans­ports are shot down.

NOVEMBER 9 Over France, the Eighth Air Force dispatches 12 B-24s to bomb the U-boat pens at Saint-Nazaire from 18,000 feet, with average results. How­ever, a flight of 31 B-17s that went in at 7,500 feet loses 3 aircraft to flak, along with 22 damaged. These losses spell the end of experimenting with low-altitude attacks.

Off the North African coast, several Army Air Forces Piper L-4 “Grasshop­pers” (observation planes) are launched from LST decks to assist ground opera­tions during Operation TORCH.

NOVEMBER 10 Off the North African coast, 100 Curtiss P-40 fighters belonging to the 33rd Fighter Group are launched from the escort carriers Chenango and Archer, and proceed to land at Port Lyau – tey, Morocco.

NOVEMBER 11 Over North Africa, USAMEAF B-24s again bomb shipping and dock facilities at Bengasi, Libya, as the Eighth Army drives German forces out of Egypt. P-40s sweeping through the Gambut area also shoot down three Ju-87 Stukas.

NOVEMBER 12 In Egypt, the Ninth Air Force under Major General Lewis H. Brereton arises to replace the U. S. Army Middle East Air Force (USAMEAF). Their initial task is providing close air support to British troops advancing west out of Egypt.

November 12-15 On Guadalcanal, Lockheed P-38s of the 339th Fighter Squadron arrive at Henderson Field to support local defenses; one Lightning is destroyed during a Japanese naval bom­bardment. Men and aircraft of the 11th Bomb Group, 69th, 70th, and 72nd Bomb Squadrons, and the 39th Fighter Squadron are on hand to assist the 339th over this three-day period.

November 13 In the Pacific, a raft con­taining World War I ace Edward V. Rickenbacker, Colonel Hans C. Adam­son, and Private John F. Bartek is rescued by a Navy OS2U Kingfisher 600 miles north of Samoa. The trio survives a plane-ditching 21 days earlier.

NOVEMBER 14 In North Africa, the 79th Fighter Group and the headquarters, 19th Bomb Wing arrive from the United States as part of the Ninth Air Force.

November 15 Republic P-47s flown by Lieutenants Harold Comstock and Roger Dyer reach 725 miles per hour—exceed­ing the sound barrier—during experi­mental dives from 35,000 feet.

At Houston Municipal Airport, the first women’s Flying Training

detachment is redesignated as the 319th Army Air Forces Flying Training detach­ment.

NOVEMBER 16 Over North Africa, B-17 bombers of the 97th Bomb Group, having launched the first combat strike of the Army Air Forces in Europe, repeat that distinction by launching the first AAF bombing raid against German airfields at Bizerte, Tunisia. Meanwhile, Twelfth Air Force C-47 transports drop British para­troopers near Souk el Arba, Tunisia.

NOVEMBER 17 Over France, the Eighth Air Force unleashes 35 heavy bombers against the submarine pens at Saint – Nazaire, unloading 102 tons of bombs.

Over New Guinea, as Australian and U. S. troops gradually advance upon Japa­nese defenders at Buna-Gona, they are supported by Fifth Air Force B-26s. B – 25s also hit airfields at Lae and Gasmata.

NOVEMBER 18 At Maison Blanche air­field, Algiers, several newly arrived P – 38s of the 14th Fighter Squadron, Twelfth Air Force, are damaged in a German air raid.

NOVEMBER 20 In North Africa, German aircraft again bomb Maison Blanche air­field, Algiers, destroying several P-38 fighters on the ground.

Over Mandalay, Burma, eight B-24s from the India Air Task Force (IATF) strike marshalling yards as the Allied air effort intensifies.

NOVEMBER 21 Over New Guinea, Fifth

Air Force A-20s and B-25s attack dug-in Japanese defenders at Buna and Sanananda in support of a joint Australian-American drive there. The Allies are stymied by a strong series of bunker positions.

NOVEMBER 22 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s provide close support to Allied troops advancing up trails near Sanananda as B-26s bomb Japanese posi­tions at Buna.

NOVEMBER 23 Over Saint-Nazaire, France, Eighth Air Force heavy bom­bers continue attacking U-boat pens, although these heavily reinforced struc­tures evince little damage for the effort. Air crews also report a change in enemy tactics as German fighters, aware of the relatively weak firepower at the front of their aircraft, are now resorting to frontal attacks.

Over Indochina (Vietnam), nine B-25s and seven P-40s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) sink a freighter and dam­age other vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin. Another force of six B-25s and seventeen P-40s strike Japanese air installations at Tien Ho, China, and claim to have destroyed 40 aircraft on the ground.

NOVEMBER 24 Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force launches A-20s, B-25s, B-26s, B-17s, P-40s, P-39s, and P-400s in a large series of raids against Japanese positions at Buna and Sanananda Point as Allied ground troops attack the region known as the Triangle.

NOVEMBER 26 Over the Aleutians, Elev­enth Air Force B-26s and P-38s attack Japanese shipping in Holtz Harbor, and one large vessel is set afire.

November 27 Over Hong Kong, China, the China Air Task Force (CATF) mounts one of its largest bombing raids yet, with 10 B-25s and 20 P-40s. Several large warehouses are left in flames and some barges are claimed as sunk.

NOVEMBER 28 A force of nine B-24 Lib­erators of the 7th Bomb Group, Tenth

Air Force, lift off from Gaya, India, fly 2,760 miles, and drop bombs on Japanese-occupied Bangkok, Thailand for the first time.

NOVEMBER 29 Over Tunis, North Africa, 55 C-47s from the 62nd and 64th Troop Carrier Groups, Twelfth Air Force, drop 530 British paratroopers in a failed attempt to seize Oudna Air Base; 300 casualties are incurred.

NOVEMBER 30 In London, the British Air Ministry reaches a joint decision to have British fighters provide aerial defense for American bases while Army Air Forces fighters will operate mainly as bomber escorts over the Continent.

December 1 In London, England, Major General Ira C. Eaker gains appointment as head of the Eighth Air Force to replace outgoing Major General Carl A. Spaatz, recently transferred to North Africa as air aide to General Dwight D. Eisenhower.

In India, the India-China Division of the Air Transport Command is initiated to provide a constant airlift of supplies over the Himalayan Mountains to Ameri­can air forces serving in China. This gradually becomes the greatest sustained aerial supply effort in wartime to this date.

The first issue of Air Force Magazine is issued to replace the Army Air Forces Newsletter.

December 2 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-26s attack the air­field at Al Aouina while B-17s bomb Sidi Ahmed and Bizerte harbor. B-25s and P – 38s also sweep in low over Gabes, destroying several vehicles.

December 3 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-17s attack dockyards and enemy shipping in Bizerte harbor while German fighters mange to down two P-38 escorts. Other fighters, accom­panying RAF Spitfires, make low-level sweeps and photo missions across North­west Africa.

December 4 From Egypt, a force of 24 Ninth Air Force B-24 Liberators strike at military and transportation targets at Naples, Italy, for the first time. Several hits on enemy vessels, including an Italian battleship, are claimed.

December 5 In the Mediterranean, Major General Carl A. Spaatz becomes acting deputy commander in chief for Air, Allied Forces in Northwest Africa. Meanwhile, Twelfth Air Force B-17s hit docks and enemy shipping throughout Tunis; all raids are accompanied by P-38 escorts.

DECEMBER 6 Over Lille, France, the Eighth Air Force commits 36 heavy bombers against the Atelier d’Hellemmes locomotive works with diversionary raids on airfields at Abbeville-Drucat.

DECEMBER 7 Over North Africa, the Twelfth Air Force commits B-17s and P-38s to attack dockyards and enemy shipping at Bizerte while DB-7s (A-20s) strike enemy tanks at Tebourba. P-38s and P-40s also fly patrols and photo mis­sions over the Gabes area.

December 8 In England, a study released by VIII Bomber Command concludes that no current weapon in the American arsenal is capable of destroying heavily reinforced German U-boat pens along the French coast. However, several proj­ects, such as APHRODITE, are under­way to produce glide bombs capable of destroying such targets.

DECEMBER 9 In England, the Eighth Air Force releases a report on the first 1,100 bombers sent over France between August 17 to November 23, and it justi­fies the results of high-level, daylight pre­cision bombing.

Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B – 26s continue pounding the Buna region as Allied forces prepare for a final assault there. The village of Gona also falls to the Australians after hand-to-hand com­bat and intense aerial bombardment.

DECEMBER 11 Over Naples, Italy, Ninth Air Force B-24s raid the harbor area again with adequate results. In Tunis, P-40s also fly close support for the Eighth Army as it prepares to attack El Agheila.

DECEMBER 12 Over France, 17 heavy bombers from the Eighth Air Force strike marshalling yards at Rouen-Sotteville, although poor weather cancels an impending raid on air installations at Romilly-sur-Seine.

December 13 Over North Africa, 15 B – 17s of the 97th Bomb Group, Twelfth Air Force, attack the docks and enemy shipping at Tunis while 10 B-17s of the 301st Bomb Group also attack Bizerte. The latter is followed up by 19 B-24s of the 93rd Bomb Group, Eighth Air Force.

December 14 Along the Mambare River, New Guinea, Fifth Air Force air­craft attack Japanese troops and troop­carrying destroyers as they attempt to land reinforcements.

DECEMBER 15 Over North Africa, nine B-24s from the 376th Bomb Group, Ninth Air Force, attack German and Ital­ian positions at Sfax in a preliminary air campaign against enemy-held ports.

DECEMBER 16 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s and B-26s continue to savage enemy positions at Buna, and also strafe enemy troop barges coming up the Kumusi River.

December 17 The Western Defense Command orders troops in Alaska to construct airfields on Amchitka Island, the Aleutians, once it has been secured by ground forces.

On Guadalcanal, the army’s 132nd Infantry Regiment begins its final offen­sive in the Mount Austen region, receiv­ing close aerial support from Marine Corp aircraft and SOPAC P-39s.

December 18 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-17s and P-38s attack enemy shipping in Bizerte harbor, hitting at least one large vessel. German fighters manage to down one bomber and three escorts at a loss of three of their own.

December 19 On New Guinea, Austral­ian troops launch another determined attack against Japanese-held Buna, receiv­ing close support from Fifth Air Force A – 20s and B-25s. Meanwhile, B-17s and B – 24s attack enemy transports off the coast of Mandang in Astrolabe Bay.

December 20 Over the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force sorties four B-26s, five B-24s, four B-25s, and nine P-38s against Kiska Harbor, hitting an ammo dump and strafing several vessels offshore.

DECEMBER 22 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-25s continue bombing fanati­cal Japanese defenders at Buna, who have repelled yet another Australian attack.

December 22—23 Launching from Mid­way, 26 B-24 Liberators of the 307th Bomb Group, Seventh Air Force, stage their first air raid by attacking Japanese installations on Wake Island.

DECEMBER 23 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s bomb and strafe Japanese positions near Gona while B-25s attack Cape Gloucester Airfield, New Georgia.

December 24 SOPAC P-39s assist Navy and Marine Corps dive bombers to attack Japanese installations on Munda, New Georgia, destroying 24 aircraft without loss.

DECEMBER 26 Over Tunis, Twelfth Air Force bombers and escorts attack enemy installations at Bizerte again, losing two bombers and two P-38s to flak and enemy fighters; the P-38s claim to have shot down two Fw-190s.

December 27 Over New Guinea, Lieu­tenant Richard I. Bong flames two Japa­nese aircraft in his twin-engine P-38 Lightning; 38 more follow for a total of 40, making him America’s top-scoring ace of World War II.

December 29 The Collier Trophy is jointly awarded to the Army Air Forces and private airlines companies of the United States for their sterling war efforts.

Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-17s and P-38s strike against Sousse har­bor while DB-7s and A-20s strike at La Hencha.

DECEMBER 30 Over the Aleutians, Elev­enth Air Force B-25s, covered by 14 P – 38s, make a low-level attack upon Kiska Harbor, and are intercepted by four Zero floatplane fighters. The Japanese down one B-25 and two P-38s for a probable loss of four of their own.

December 31 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-17s bomb enemy positions at Sfax while B-26s attack an airfield near Gabes. P-38s and P-40s, flying escort, also bomb and strafe several enemy vehicles in the Bizerte – Tunis area.


March 28 Wilbur Wright sails with his Military Flyer for Rome, Italy, to put on an aerial display for the Italian military.

June 29 At Fort Myer, Virginia, Wilbur Wright resumes his Military Flyer practice flights, which were cancelled following the serious mishap of the previous September.

July 27 The Wright brothers’ aircraft, flying before a crowd of 10,000 onlookers including President William H. Taft, passes all U. S. Army Signal Corps requirements, and even exceeds the one – hour duration specified by the contract. Orville Wright is accompanied by Army Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm.

July 30 Orville Wright performs a cross­country speed test in his Military Flyer with Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois as a passenger. He averages 42 miles and

hour—two miles an hour faster than specified in the contract—and wins an additional $5,000 bonus.

AUGUST 2 General James Allen, chief sig­nal officer of the U. S. Army, having observed several flights, authorizes acquisition of the first military airplane— a Wright Model A biplane. The machine is dubbed Miss Columbia.

AUGUST 25 At College Park, Maryland, land leased from the University of Mary­land is to serve as its first Signal Corps airfield.

OCTOBER 23 At College Park, Maryland, Wilbur Wright gives Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois his first formal flight lessons.

OCTOBER 26 At College Park, Maryland, Lieutenant Frederick E. Humphreys becomes the first army officer to complete a solo flight, which lasts three minutes and three seconds. He then conducts several flights in concert with another early avia­tor, Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm.


JANUARY 18 At Bolling Field, Washing­ton, D. C., the new Loening amphibian is publicly displayed after a year in secret development; this all-metal biplane oper­ates on either land or water and, carries three passengers for 700 miles.

AUGUST 22 The Army Air Service devel­ops an in-flight system to record an aircraft’s speed and bearing while aloft; this is a pre­cursor to the modern-day “black box.”

September 3 At Cleveland, Ohio, a Granville GB racer piloted by Major James H. Doolittle reaches 294 miles per hour, a world speed record.

September 12 In Washington, D. C., President Calvin Coolidge appoints an aeronautical advisory board under Dwight W. Morrow. He is to report on the state of American aviation and pos­sible future trends.

September 29 In Washington, D. C., Colonel William Mitchell testifies before Congress that the nation needs an inde­pendent air force. He further characterizes contemporary military attitudes respect­ing aviation as out of touch. Mitchell is court-martialed in consequence.

October 15 At Mitchel Field, New York, Lieutenant Cyrus Betts takes the 1925 Pulitzer race in his Curtiss R3C-1 racer and also establishes a new world speed record of 248.9 miles per hour.

OCTOBER 26—27 In Baltimore, Mary­land, a Curtiss R3C-2 floatplane flown by Lieutenant James H. “Jimmy” Doolit­tle wins the Schneider Cup Race with a top speed of 230 miles per hour. On the following day, Doolittle sets a new world record of 245.713 miles per hour in the same aircraft.

NOVEMBER 10 In New York City, an aircraft piloted by Major Thomas G. Lamphier touches down after covering 500 miles from Selfridge Field, Michigan, in 3 hours and 20 minutes.

NOVEMBER 30 In Washington, D. C., the Morrow Board presents its findings to President Calvin Coolidge. While falling short of recommending an inde­pendent air force, it recommends that the Air Service be renamed the Air Corps, that an assistant secretary of war for air be appointed, and that a five – year plan be adopted for expanding of the air arm.

December 6 Dr. Robert H. Goddard successfully test fires a liquid-fuel rocket that produces 100 pounds of thrust and lifts its own weight for 10 seconds.

DECEMBER 14 In Washington, D. C., the Lampert Committee makes its report to the House of Representatives; they favor creation of a Department of Defense, greater aviation representation in higher military circles, and a pay raise for aviators.

December 17 A military court finds Briga­dier General William G. Mitchell guilty of insubordination. He is sentenced to rank and pay suspension for five years, but President Calvin Coolidge revises it to five years’ suspension at half pay. Mitchell none­theless resigns his commission to serve as a one-man spokesman on behalf of air power.

December 24 In Connecticut, the Pratt and Whitney company constructs its famous Wasp radial engine.


JANUARY 1 In North Africa, Brigadier

General John K. Cannon is appointed commanding general of the XII Bomber Command, Twelfth Air Force.

JANUARY 2 Over Burma, P-40s of the China Air Task Force (CATF) bomb and strafe Japanese columns along the Burma Road near Loiwing while B-25s attack airfields at Monywa.

JANUARY 3 Over Saint-Nazaire, France, 68 VIII Bomber Command aircraft strike U-boat pens, losing 7 B-17s, with a fur­ther 47 damaged and 70 aircrew missing. This time, the Germans throw up a wall of predetermined flak instead of trying to track individual bombers. This is also the heaviest air raid to date against submarine facilities.

JANUARY 4 Over Burma, Tenth Air Force heavy bombers strike marshalling yards at Mandalay, while one B-25 and nine P-40s are assigned to strike rail tar­gets at Naba.

JANUARY 5 In Northwestern Africa, the Allied Air Forces under Major General Carl A. Spaatz is officially activated by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. This consists of the Twelfth Air Force and some attached Royal Air Force units.

Brigadier General Kenneth N. Walker, head of V Bomber Command, Fifth Air Force, and an architect of AWPD-1, dies while leading an air raid over Rabaul, New Britain; he is awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor post­humously.

JANUARY 6 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-26s attack Japanese positions at Sanananda Point while B-17s, B-24s, and B-26s attack a Japanese convoy headed for Lae.

JANUARY 7 Over Italy, nine Ninth Air Force B-25s drop bombs on shipping in Palermo harbor; one B-24 with special bombs also attacks Maiouli Quay at Piraeus, Greece.

JANUARY 8 Over Lae, New Guinea, Fifth Air Force heavy bombers, medium bombers, and fighters assist RAAF aircraft in attacking a body of4,000Japanese rein­forcements as they come ashore. Enemy aerial resistance is reported as fierce.

JANUARY 9 Over Burbank, California, the prototype Lockheed C-69, a milita­rized Constellation transport craft, makes its maiden flight; this is presently the larg­est transport aircraft in the world.

JANUARY 10 Over Burma, medium and heavy bombers dispatched by the Tenth Air Force attack the Myitnge Bridge, knocking out one span and temporarily severing Japanese supply lines.

JANUARY 11 Over North Africa, B-17s of the Twelfth Air Force attack enemy positions and bridges near the town of Gadames as escorting P-38s engage German interceptors in a swirling 25- minute dogfight; one German and two American fighters are downed.

JANUARY 12 Over Munda, New Geor­gia, SOPAC B-26s, P-38s, P-39s, and P-40s attack Japanese positions, while other P-39s strafe enemy troops on Gua­dalcanal.

JANUARY 13 On Espiritu Santo and New Caledonia, newly promoted Major Gen­eral Nathan F. Twining takes command
of the 13th Air Force (“The Jungle Air Force”). His instructions are to bomb all Japanese targets within the Southwest Pacific theater, commencing with Munda, New Georgia.

JANUARY 14 In England, one squadron of the 4th Fighter Group is the first Eighth Air Force formation to become fully equipped with P-47 Thunderbolt fighters.

JANUARY 14—23 At Casablanca, French Morocco, Major General Ira C. Eaker per­suades Prime Minister Winston Churchill to accept the Army Air Forces’ strategy of precision bombing during daylight hours. This will be performed to augment night­time saturation attacks by the Royal Air Force, and constitutes a major part of the Combined Bomber Offensive.

JANUARY 15 In the Central Solomon Islands, the Thirteenth Air Force dis­patches B-17s, P-40s, P-39s, and P-38s to attack enemy shipping. On

Guadalcanal, other P-39s assist mopping up efforts and also attack enemy vessels sighted off Kolombangara.

JANUARY 16 Over Yunnai, China, China Air Task Force (CATF) P-40s engage Japanese aircraft attempting to attack their airfield, claiming seven fight­ers shot down. Afterwards, Brigadier General Claire L. Chennault dispatches six B-25s and eleven P-40s to Lashio, Burma, in the expectation that the raiders will land there; none are found so they attack nearby enemy installations.

JANUARY 17 On Guadalcanal, Thir­teenth Air Force P-39s continue assisting army units in their final mop up ofJapa – nese holdouts near Mount Austen. At this time, B-17s based at Henderson Field are used to run in supplies and ammunition to the troops.

Подпись: The B-24 Liberator bomber, designated C-87 when used as a heavy transport, could carry more than six tons of bombs and had a range of 3,000 miles, allowing it to penetrate deep into enemy territory. It was the most widely produced American warplane in history. (Library of Congress)

JANUARY 18 Over Lae, New Guinea, Fifth Air Force B-25s bomb Japanese

motor pool and supply dumps while two B-24s drop bombs on Malahang and Madang airfields.

JANUARY 19 Over North Africa, Ninth Air Force B-24s pound enemy ships and docks at Tripoli, Libya, while B-25s attack enemy motor transports and tanks as they withdraw up the coast.

JANUARY 20 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-17s strike Cape Mangin near Gabes, Tunis, while B-25s begin attacking enemy shipping in the Straits ofSicily.

JANUARY 21 In North Africa, American and British air leaders help formulate the “Casablanca directive,” which declares that the purpose of bombing campaigns is to undermine the morale of the German people while also destroying military, economic, and industrial sys­tems. For this reason, VIII Bomber Com­mand is largely relieved of operations in North Africa and begins returning to England.

JANUARY 22 Over North Africa, Ninth Air Force B-25s attack the road junction near Tripoli, Libya, while the Eighth Army, closely supported by RAF and P – 40s fighter-bombers, presses to within 17 miles of the city.

JANUARY 23 Over France, the Eighth Air Force unleashes 19 heavy bombers against U-boat pens at Brest while another 35 strike at Lorient-Keroman. Air crews report that the Germans are employing a new tactic of attacking in groups of six aircraft; five bombers are shot down.

JANUARY 24 Over Burma, the Tenth Air Force sends nine B-24s from the new 492nd Bomb Squadron on a raid against

Rangoon, which sets several fires on the wharfs and sets a large freighter on fire. Meanwhile, P-40s are called in to strafe enemy positions at Shaduzup.

JANUARY 25 Over Wake Island, seven B-24s of the Seventh Air Force drop 60 bombs while also making a reconnais­sance photo run; they previously staged through Midway.

JANUARY 26 In Hawaii, P-40s of the

73rd Fighter Squadron arrive after flying 1,400 miles from Midway Island. This is one of the longest overwater flights of the war by single-engine fighters.

JANUARY 27 Over Wilhelmshaven and Emden, Germany, the American daylight strategic bombing campaign against industrial targets accelerates when 55 B – 17s and B-24s of the 1st and 2nd Bombardment Wings, Eighth Air Force, strike German port facilities. This attack constitutes the first American day­light raid against the enemy homeland; three bombers are lost and 22 fighters are claimed to have been shot down.

In the Pacific, Major General Nathan Twining, head of the Thirteenth Air Force, crashes in the ocean with 13 members of his staff and survives the next four days in a raft until being rescued on February 1. However, because their raft was not equipped with a radio for sig­naling purposes, dingy radio sets become standard equipment on all aircraft rescue rafts.

JANUARY 28 Over North Africa, the Twelfth Air Force unleashes 60 heavy and medium bombers to attack the har­bor, airfields, and defenses around Sfax, Tunis. Meanwhile, P-40s support French and American land units as they seize control of the western exit of Kasserine Pass.

JANUARY 29 Over Germany, 86 heavy

bombers from the Eighth Air Force bomb military targets in Frankfurt. However, a navigational error forces one formation to bomb Ludwigshaven by mistake; three bombers are shot down.

JANUARY 30 Over Rabaul, New Britain, Fifth Air Force B-17s attack enemy ship­ping and wharves. Meanwhile, at New Guinea, A-20s pound and strafe Japanese positions at Lae while a handful of B-24s attack vessels in Open Bay.

JANUARY 31 Over New Britain, Thir­

teenth Air Force P-39s assist Navy aircraft in attacks on enemy shipping in Vella Gulf. Other P-38s and P-40s attackJapa – nese positions at Munda.

FEBRUARY 1 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force B-17s bomb enemy facilities and shipping at Bizerte and La Gou – lette harbor while A-20s and P-40s strike tank and troop concentrations at Sidi Khalif.

FEBRUARY 2 In the Solomon Islands,

Thirteenth Air Force B-17s, escorted by P-40s and P-38s, attack Japanese shipping off Shortland Island. Around 20 enemy interceptors rise to meet them, and the escorts claim shooting 9 down.

FEBRUARY 3 In Los Angeles, California, the first North America P-51A flies for the first time. An excellent, low-altitude design, it has yet to be fitted with a British Rolls Royce Merlin engine.

FEBRUARY 4 In England, Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews is appointed commander, European Theater of Oper­ations (ETO) while Lieutenant General Dwight D. Eisenhower becomes com­mander, North African Theater of Oper­ations (NATOUSA).

Over the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force dispatches three B-17s, three B – 24s, three B-25s, four P-38s, and eight P – 40s on a raid against Kiska’s North Head submarine base; three of five floatplanes rising to intercept are claimed shot down.

FEBRUARY 5 Over Burma, Tenth Air Force B-24s attack the railroad station at Rangoon while P-40s bomb the railway west of Meza and B-25s attempt to knock out the bridge at Myitnge, but fail.

FEBRUARY 6 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air Force A-20s attack Japanese positions from Mubo to Salamaua as P-39s, P-38s, P-400s, and P-40s tangle with a large intercepting force; they claim to shoot down 24 Japanese craft without loss.

FEBRUARY 8 Over Burma, 18 Tenth Air Force B-24s bomb the Rangoon marshal­ling yard, inflicting heavy damage, while 3 bombers are detached to hit the runway at Mingaladon.

FEBRUARY 10 Over the Mediterranean, Twelfth Air Force B-25s are dispatched to attack Axis shipping between Tunisia and Sicily, sinking one vessel and damag­ing others.

FEBRUARY 12 Over Burma, seven B-24s of the Tenth Air Force attack the bridge at Myitnge but fail to score any hits. This attack also marks the first time that 2,000-pound blockbusters have been used in the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater.

FEBRUARY 13 In the Solomon Islands,

the Thirteenth Air Force sends six B-24s of the 424th Bomb Squadron on a raid against Buin and nearby Shortland Island. The Japanese mount fierce fighter resis­tance, and shoot down three bombers and three fighters.

FEBRUARY 14 Over North Africa, Twelfth Air Force A-20s bomb German tanks in the Faid Pass, Tunis, while P-40 fighters strafe vehicles and gun emplace­ments at El Guettar and Sened-Maknassy.

FEBRUARY 15 In England, Major Gen­eral Ira C. Eaker is directed to head up the Eighth Air Force bombing campaign, while Major General Carl A. Spaatz relo­cates to the Mediterranean to direct Northwest African Air Forces during Operation torch.

Land-based aircraft operating in the southern Solomon Islands fall under a new command, Aircraft Solomons (Air – Sols). This force is both multiservice and multinational in nature.

FEBRUARY 16 Over France, Eighth Air Force B-17s and B-24s strike military tar­gets at Saint-Nazaire; 8 bombers are lost and 30 receive damage.

FEBRUARY 17 In North Africa, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder assumes com­mand of the new Mediterranean Air Command, which encompasses the Northwest African Air Forces of Major General Carl A. Spaatz, the Middle East Air Command, and the Royal Air Force Malta Command.

February 18 Boeing’s giant XB-29 prototype bomber crashes during a flight-test, killing celebrated test pilot Edmund T. “Eddie” Allen.

At Bowman Field, Kentucky, the first class of 39 flight nurses graduates from the Army Air Forces School of Air Evacuation.

FEBRUARY 19 Over Burma, Tenth Air Force P-40s dive-bomb a Japanese head­quarters at Hpunkizup and bomb a rail track passing through a defile, burying it under rubble.

FEBRUARY 20 In North Africa, bad weather prevents all but a handful of Twelfth Air Force P-39s from flying close support missions as Allied forces are stag­gered by a serious German counterattack through Kasserine Pass.

FEBRUARY 21 The 93rd Bombardment Group, having flown 43 missions from North Africa, including the famous Ploesti raid, is reassigned to the Eighth Air Force in England. All told, this unit completes 396 missions as a group, higher than any other unit.

FEBRUARY 26 In England, Major Gen­eral James H. Doolittle assumes control ofXII Bomber Command.

FEBRUARY 27 Over France, Eighth Air Force B-17s and B-24s bomb naval and dock facilities at Brest.

FEBRUARY 28 Over Tunis, fighters and fighter-bombers of the North African Air Force (NAAF) attack Axis troop, tank, and motor transport targets southwest ofMateur and adjoining areas.

MARCH 1 In Algeria, Major General Carl A. Spaatz is appointed head of the Twelfth Air Force. Meanwhile, B-17s of the North African Air Force (NAAF) bomb docks and shipping at Cagliari.

MARCH 2—4 In the Bismarck Sea, Fifth Air Force and Australian fighters and medium bombers attack and savage Rear Admiral Masatomi Kimura’s 16-ship Jap­anese convoy, sinking 8 transports, 4 destroyers crammed with troops, and downing 25 aircraft. The loss of 3,500 men and 40,000 tons of shipping is a major blow to enemy plans for reinforcing Lae, New Guinea. This attack also employs low-level “skip bombing” techniques for the first time and consti­tutes one of Lieutenant General George C. Kenney’s greatest achievements.

MARCH 10 At Kunming, China, the China Air Task Force (CATF) is recon­stituted as the new Fourteenth Air Force under Major General Claire L. Chen – nault. His roster includes an entire wing of Chinese pilots who conduct reconnais­sance missions from Kunming into Burma.

Over North Africa, the Twelfth Air Force dispatches B-17s to hit the harbor at Palermo, Sicily, while B-26s and B – 25s strike at Axis positions in and around Faid Pass, Sidi bou Zid, and Kasserine, Tunis.

MARCH 15 Over the Aleutians, the Elev­enth Air Force dispatches 6 B-25s, 11 B – 24s, and 24 P-38s to strike Japanese posi­tions at Kiska Harbor; 1 P-38 is lost while on a strafing run. Heavy damage and sev­eral fires are reported.

MARCH 18 Over Vegesack, Germany, Lieutenant Jack W. Mathis, lead bombar­dier of the 359th Bomb Squadron, is mor­tally wounded by flak during a bomb run, yet releases his bombs and dies at his post; he receives the Eighth Air Force’s first Congressional Medal of Honor. He is replaced by his brother Mark, who sadly also dies on a mission in 1943.

MARCH 19 In Washington, D. C., Lieu­tenant General Henry H. Arnold, chief of the Army Air Forces, is the first airman pro­moted to the rank of full (four-star) general.

MARCH 26 Army Nurse Lieutenant Elsie S. Ott is the first woman to receive the Air Medal after faithfully escorting five patients across 10,000 miles from India to the Walter Reed Hospital in the United States.

MARCH 31 Over North Africa, B-25s of the Ninth Air Force attack enemy positions at Sfax, destroying six parked aircraft. Meanwhile, P-40s bomb and strafe enemy vehicles along the highway north of Gabes.

April 1 Over China, 25 Tenth Air Force B-25s bomb rail yards at Maymyo and Ywataung. A dogfight also develops between twelve P-40s and Japanese fight­ers over Lingling, with seven of the latter being shot down in exchange for one P-40.

April 2 The Army Air Forces School of Aviation Medicine opens a new research building that houses four altitude decom­pression chambers. The facility is staffed by 27 officers and 35 civilians.

April 4 Over Paris, France, 85 Eighth Air Force bombers strike the Renault armaments factory, inflicting heavy dam­age. Aggressive German fighters manage to claw down four American aircraft.

April 5—22 Allied air units in North Africa commence Operation flax, designed to interdict Axis supply and troop reinforcements in the Mediterra­nean; they also claim to shoot down 60 enemy airplanes.

APRIL 8 In England, the 4th Fighter Group, VIII Fighter Command, is bol­stered by the arrival of the 56th and 78th Fighter Groups. P-47 Thunderbolts are now available in sufficient quantity to begin long-range escort missions to defend the heavy bombers. However, their lim­ited range precludes them from accompa­nying the bombers into German airspace.

April 12 In Washington, D. C., the War Department releases details about its highly secret Norden bombsight, which is highly accurate and designed to remain on target despite aircraft movements.

April 14 Over France, a P-47 from the 4th Fighter Group shoots down a German aircraft for the first time.

In the Pacific, Fleet Radio Unit, Pacific Fleet, receives intelligence that Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is planning an inspection tour of three bases near Bougainville. Admiral William F. Halsey then assigns a P-38 Lightning unit on Guadalcanal to intercept and kill him.

In the Zone of the Interior (United States) the new Weather Wing is acti­vated to assume supervision of the Army Air Forces Weather Service from Head­quarters AAF.

APRIL 15 Over the Aleutians, the Elev­enth Air Force sends 20 B-25s, 23 B – 24s, 25 P-38s, and 44 P-40s to raidJapa – nese positions at Kiska Harbor. These drop 85 tons of bombs on various targets; one B-24 is shot down.

Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force scrambles 40 P-38 and P-40 fighters to intercept a large Japanese air raid over Milne Bay; little damage is done to Allied facilities and the Americans claim 14 enemy aircraft downed.

APRIL 17 Over Bremen, Germany, the Eighth Air Force launches its first 100- plane air raid against the Focke-Wulf fac­tory; German fighters and antiaircraft artillery shoot down 16 bombers for a total loss of 150 men. Consequently, a cry goes out for additional fighter groups as bomber escorts.

April 18 Off the Tunisian coast, Ameri­can P-40 fighters slaughter a force of German transport aircraft and they try desperately to airlift supplies to Panzer Armee Afrika; no less than 51 aircraft are bagged in the space of half an hour.

Over Kahili, Buin (Solomon Islands), a force of 16 P-38 Lightnings under Major John W. Mitchell expertly intercept and shoot down a Japanese bomber carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander in chief, Combined Fleet. The Americans were tipped offas to his impending arrival by cracking Japanese radio codes, and flew from Henderson Field, Guadalcanal, to kill him. Both Lieutenant Rex T. Bar­ber and Captain Thomas G. Lanphier receive credit; one P-38 is shot down by the escorting Zero fighters.

APRIL 20 In the Pacific, Seventh Air Force B-24s stage out of Funafuti, Ellice Islands, and bomb Tarawa Atoll for the first time.

April 22 Over Lashio, Burma, Lieuten­ant John S. Stewart, 76th Fighter Squad­ron, and Lieutenant Chin Hao, Chinese Air Force, commit the first joint recon­naissance mission in the China-Burma – India theater.

April 24 The U. S. Army Air Forces graduates its first class of women pilots.

APRIL 29 The Civil Air Patrol (CAP) is transferred under the jurisdiction of the War Department. It is responsible for operating 4,700 light aircraft, 4,000 vehicles, and a 17,000-radio-station com­munications network.

APRIL 30 Over Sicily, B-24s of the Ninth Air Force strike dock facilities in the Straits of Messina while P-40s drop down to attack enemy shipping. They claim to sink four vessels, including one destroyer, along with five Me-109 fighters; three P-40s are lost.

May 1 Over Saint-Nazaire, France, the

Eighth Air Force commits 56 heavy bombers in two waves against the U – boat pens, while also striking the ship­yard. En route, Staff Sergeant Maynard H. Smith, 423rd Bomb Squadron, bravely administers to a wounded airman, mans waist guns, and fights flames as the rest of the crew bails out of his stricken craft. He becomes the first enlisted AAF man to win the Congressional Medal of Honor; only three others are so honored.

May 3 Over Iceland, Lieutenant General Frank M. Andrews, commanding the European Theater of Operations (ETO), is killed when his plane crashes into a mountainside. Previously, he had been instrumental in educating army senior staff officers in the proper application of air power.

May 4 Over Antwerp, Belgium, 65 Eighth Air Force bombers attack Ford and General Motors factories, while a smaller force launches a diversionary raid against the French coast. A force of 100 German fighters rises to oppose them but they fall for the feint, and the main strike force encounters little opposition.

May 6 Off Long Island Sound, New York, a Sikorsky XR-4 Hoverfly flown by Captain H. Franklin Gregory com­pletes the first landing on a ship by a heli­copter when he touches down on the deck of the merchant tanker Bunker Hill.

May 8 In the Mediterranean, the Italian island of Pantelleria is subject to heavy aerial attacks by Ninth Air Force B-26s, B-25s, and P-40s, assisted by Royal Air Force Wellington bombers. Concur­rently, P-40 fighters strafe and bomb additional targets throughout the Gulf of Tunis.

May 14 In England, the VIII Bomber Command marks another aerial milestone when the first 200-bomber raid is launched against four targets on the European mainland. Submarine yards and naval facilities at Kiel, and factories near Antwerp, Belgium, are the primary targets.

May 15 In England, the Eighth Air Force

dispatches 135 heavy bombers to hit air­fields and naval installations at Helgoland, Emden, and Wilhelmshaven.

Over China, a force of 35 Japanese bombers attacks Fourteenth Air Force airfields at Kunming, but their aim is poor and all bombs fall short of their target. They are attacked in turn by 28 P-40s, who claim to shoot down 13 fighters and 2 bombers.

May 17 In England, a B-17 Flying For­tress named Memphis Belle completes 25 combat missions over Europe under Cap­tain Robert Morgan; they are allowed to return home to tour the United States and sell war bonds.

Over Holland, ten B-26 Marauders of the 322nd Bomb Group are shot down at low altitude by German defenses; only one aircraft returns to base. Such attacks are immediately suspended for all medium bombers.

May 18—25 In Washington, D. C., the Combined Chiefs of Staff approves plans for the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO), which calls for alternating, around-the-clock attacks on German industrial centers by the Army Air Forces and the Royal Air Force. The destruction of German fighter factories is given the highest priority, followed by submarine bases, ball bearing plants, and oil produc­tion refineries. Secondary targets include synthetic rubber plants, tire factories, and military vehicle factories.

May 31 Over Italy, B-17s of the North

African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) bomb airfields and marshalling yards at Foggia while medium bombers and fighters attack Axis positions on Pantelleria Island.

June 1 In the Mediterranean, B-17s and

P-38s of the North African Air Force (NAAF) attack the island of Pantelleria in the wake of an RAF raid. P-40s of the North African Tactical Air Force (NATAF) also strafe and bomb the sea­plane base on Stagnone Island.

June 2 Over Tunis, the first combat mis­sion flown by the African American 99th Fighter Squadron is led by Lieutenants William B. Campbell and Charles B. Hall.

June 10 The Combined Operational Planning Committee arises to coordinate daylight bombing ofGerman targets by the Eighth Air Force and nighttime raids mounted by the Royal Air Force Bomber Command. Together their efforts consti­tute the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO), whose around-the-clock attacks are intended to destroy German industry and morale.

June 10-11 In the GulfofTunis, the Ital­ian island of Pantelleria is continually attacked by British Wellington bombers of the North African Air Force and B-25s from the Ninth Air Force. A month later the island’s garrison unconditionally sur­renders in the first instance of a military objective being gained by air power alone.

June 13 Over Kiel, Germany, an attack by 60 Eighth Air Force bombers under­scores the need for fighter escorts when 26 aircraft are lost to enemy fighters.

June 15 At Marietta, Georgia, the 58th Bombardment Wing is the first Army Air Forces unit outfitted with new Boe­ing B-29 Superfortresses.

Over the Solomon Islands, 120 Japa­nese aircraft approaching Guadalcanal are intercepted by 100 Army Air Forces, Navy, and New Zealand fighters. The

Allies claim to down 79 of the attackers at a cost of 6 of their own. However, the Japanese do manage to hit several ships and damage several land installations on the island.

June 16 Over Buka, Solomon Islands, a

B-17 flown by Captain Jay Zeamer, Jr., is attacked by an estimated 20 Japanese Zeroes. Zeamer, despite severe wounds, remains at his controls while his gunners shoot down at least five fighters. Lieuten­ant Joseph R. Sarnoski, who volunteered to serve as bombardier, also ignores severe wounds and mans his position, dying there. Both men receive Congressional Medals of Honor.

June 17 Over Western Europe, Project window unfolds as American bombers drop chaff (tinfoil strips) to confuse German radar for the first time.

June 22 Over Germany, 182 Eighth Air Force bombers strike industrial targets in the Ruhr Valley for the first time, includ­ing chemical works and synthetic rubber plants at Huls. Ford and General Motors plants at Antwerp are also struck by ancil­lary raids. Damage is extremely heavy and regular production cannot resume for six months.

June 24 Over Ephrata, Washington, Lieutenant Colonel william R. Lovelace of the AAF Aeromedical Laboratory per­forms a record parachute jump from

42,0 feet.

June 30 In England VIII Fighter Com­mand is freed from RAF operational con­trol, whereupon all fighter groups present revert to the 65th Fighter Wing.

General Douglas MacArthur initiates Operation cartwheel, the aerial reduc­tion of Rabaul, New Britain, into effect. American Army and Navy aircraft bomb and strafe the harbor and airfields over ensuing months to keep Japanese rein­forcements from reaching Bougainville and New Georgia Island.

July 1 In Washington, D. C., General

Henry H. Arnold receives a memo from Major General B. Giles stating that at least one fighter group is needed to escort every two bomber groups to avert present heavy loss rates.

July 2 Over the Aleutians, the Eleventh Air Force commits 17 B-24s and 16 B – 25s on a major raid against Japanese posi­tions at Kiska Harbor; two ofthe missions are radar-guided. Antiaircraft fire dam­ages three bombers but several structures are left in flames as the aircraft depart.

July 4 In some noted events, a C-47 Sky – train completes the first transatlantic flight to Great Britain from North America; a Waco CG-4A glider is also safely towed 3,500 miles from England to Russia with medical supplies and other necessities.

July 7 In the Zone of the Interior (ZI), the Army Air Forces Training Command is established and assumes responsibilities formerly accorded the Technical Train­ing and Flying Training Commands.

July 8 Colonel Malcolm G. Grow, a medical surgeon with the 8th Air Force, invents an armored vest and steel helmet for aircrews. For drastically reducing casualties, he receives the Legion ofMerit for saving hundreds of American lives.

July 10 Over Sicily, hundreds of C-47 transports convey the 82nd Airborne Division in the first large American air­borne assault of World War II. Several aircraft are shot down by U. S. Navy ves­sels which, not being informed of their mission, mistake them for German bombers.

July 15 Over Vella Lavella, the Thir­teenth Air Force pits several fighters against an incoming Japanese force of27 bombers and 40-50 escorts; in the ensu­ing scrape 3 American aircraft are lost against claims of 15 bombers and 30 Zeroes shot down.

July 19 Over Italy, 500 American heavy bombers of the North African Strategic Air Force, flying from Bengasi, Libya, strike German and Italian targets in and around the city of Rome. Special care is taken not to damage sites of cultural or religious significance, but 2,000 people are killed. The raid also underscores the preponderance of Allied air power in the theater.

July 21 Over Castelvetrano, Italy, Lieu­tenant Charles B. Hall, 99th Fighter Squadron, becomes the first African American pilot to score an aerial victory after he downs a German Fw-190 fighter.

July 22 In England, British intelligence reports that the Combined Bomber Offensive is slowly grinding down the vaunted German Luftwaffe, forcing it to deploy half its resources to defending the Fatherland and effectively weakening it along other fronts. It is also believed that German industry in the Ruhr Valley has been heavily damaged with respect to rubber, coal, iron, and fuel production.

July 24 Over Her0ya, Norway, 167 Eighth Air Force bombers strike alumi­num and magnesium plants; they employ “splasher beacons” for the first time to form up in poor weather conditions. At 1,900 miles round trip, this is also the lon­gest mission to date.

July 24-AuGUST 3 Hamburg, Ger­many, is the first target of the Operation gomorrah, part of the Combined Bomber Offensive, as 750 British aircraft attack at night, followed up by 200 American Eighth Air Force bombers during the day. The U-boat installations at Kiel are also struck, and the ensuing firestorm kills an estimated 40,000 peo­ple. German defense is nevertheless tena­cious and knocks down 19 American aircraft.

July 25-August 11 At Presque Isle, Maine, a flight of eight P-47s, accompa­nied by two B-24s and one C-87, departs on a transatlantic crossing to Prestwick, Scotland. One Thunderbolt is lost in a landing accident at Greenland while a second develops engine trouble en route and heads back to Iceland. This is the only such flight attempted by fighter air­craft during the war; the pilots are from the 2nd Ferrying Group and include Captain Barry Goldwater, a 1964 presi­dential candidate.

July 26 From Midway Island, 8 B-24 Liberators from the Seventh Air Force attack Japanese installations on Wake Island; they claim 11 intercepting Zeroes shot down.

July 28 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force stages its deepest penetration raid by striking at aircraft factories and assembly plants in Kassel and Oschersle – ben. Twenty-two aircraft are lost from a total of three hundred; for the first time, German fighters also attack the bomber stream with unguided rockets. An escort of P-47 Thunderbolts could not accom­pany the bombers to the targets, but did shoot down nine aircraft for a loss ofone.

Over France, Flight Officer John C. Morgan’s B-17 is attacked by fighters that critically wound the pilot; he manages to control the wobbling aircraft for the rest of the mission and back, winning a Congressional Medal of Honor.

July 29 Over Messina, Sicily, the Ninth Air Force dispatches 200 P-40 Warhawks on a mission to bomb and strafe targets of opportunity; this is the largest sortie of the entire campaign to date.

July 30 Over Hengyang, China, a force of 39 Japanese fighters and 24 bombers attempt to raid Fourteenth Air Force air­fields but are intercepted by 15 P-40s and driven off with a loss of 2 fighters and 3 bombers; 2 P-40s are shot down.

August 1 North ofBucharest, Romania, 177 B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from five bomb groups, Ninth Air Force, con­duct Operation tidalwave by striking the strategic oil fields of Ploesti. The attack, badly mishandled, inflicts 40 percent damage with 311 tons of bombs, while suffering a loss of 54 aircraft and 532 air­men. This is also the longest bombing mission thus far in the war, and five Congressional Medals of Honor are issued.

August 3 Over New Guinea, Fifth Air

Force B-25s, B-17s, and B-24s work over Japanese positions at Lae, striking barges, airfields, villages, and military encamp­ments.

August 5 The new Women Airforce Service Pilots(WASPs) arises after the Women’s Flying Training Detachment merges with the Woman’s Auxiliary Fer­rying Squadron under noted aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran. Meanwhile, Nancy Harkness Love becomes an executive within the Ferrying Division of Air Transport Command. Both retain civilian status and are never considered members of the military establishment.

AUGUST 13 Bombers of the Northwest African Strategic Air Forces lift off from bases in Italy for the first time and attack German targets.

AUGUST 15 Over France and the Netherlands, the Eighth Air Force sends over 300 heavy bombers to strike at Luft­waffe airfields at Vlissingen, Lille, Mer – ville, and Abbeville.

AUGUST 16 In the Southwest Pacific, P­

38 Lightnings and P-47 Thunderbolts of the Fifth Air Force sweep down on Japa­nese targets at various locations, claiming 12 enemy aircraft downed. This is also the combat debut of P-47s in that theater.

AUGUST 17 Over Germany, on the one-

year anniversary of the Eighth Air Force’s first air raid, 315 B-17 Flying Fortresses

stage their first attack on the ball bearing plants in Schweinfurt, Germany, and the Messerschmitt aircraft factory at Regensburg. This is the deepest Ameri­can penetration of enemy airspace to date and 724 tons of bombs are drop­ped, but the bomber streams lose 20 per­cent of their number—60 B-17s—to ferocious resistance. Consequently, no further raids can be mounted until Sep­tember 6.

A raid by 200 American aircraft fly­ing off a secret airstrip 60 miles west of Lae, New Guinea, completely surprises Japanese air units in the Lae-Salamaua region, decimating them as a fighting force.

Подпись: Four female World War II pilots, graduates of the four-engine school at Lockbourne Field, Ohio, walk past a B-17 in 1944. The Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) division was a noncombat corps, charged primarily with transport of aircraft. (U.S. Air Force)

A C-87 Liberator flown by the Air Training Command conveys First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt on the tour of the Pacific theater to boost morale.

AUGUST 18 Over Wewak, New Guinea, 70 Allied bombers, escorted by 100 fight­ers, sweep over Japanese airfields, destroying aircraft on the ground and another 30 in the air. During the attack a B-25 flown by Major Ralph Cheli, Fifth Air Force, is severely damaged but he elects to continue flying the mission, then crashes into the sea. He is captured but does not survive the war, winning a post­humous Congressional Medal of Honor.

AUGUST 20 At New Delhi, India, Major General George E. Stratemeyer is appointed head of Army Air Forces, China-Burma-India (CBI).

AUGUST 21 In Alaska, Eleventh Air Force records reveal that 69 enemy air­craft have been shot down, 21 ships sunk, and 29 damaged, and 29 aircraft lost since June 3, 1942.

AUGUST 25 In England, Eighth Air Force planners commence Operation starkey, designed to prevent Germany from rede­ploying air assets to the Russian front and, instead, keeping them tied down in a war of attrition over the homeland.

Over Foggia, Italy, 140 P-38 Light­nings from the 1st and 82nd Fighter Groups, Twelfth Air Force, make the first mass, low-level strafing attack of the war. Zooming in at treetop level, they claim to destroy 143 enemy aircraft on the ground.

AUGUST 26 The U. S. Army Air Forces, in an attempt to improve high-altitude bombing results, introduces a new kind of perspective map, with targets rendered as they would be seen from the air.

AUGUST 27 Over Watten, Germany, 180 Eighth Air Force bombers unload their ordnance on V-1 and V-2 rocket­launching sites for the first time.

At Carney Field, Guadalcanal, 10 radar-equipped SB-24 “Snooper” bomb­ers, capable of attacking targets in all kinds of weather, begin operations.

AUGUST 28 The 482nd Bomb Group, utilizing Oboe, H2X, and H2S blind­bombing radars, are the first operational Pathfinder unit of the Army Air Forces.

AUGUST 30 Over Rabaul, New Britain, fighter pilot Lieutenant Ken Walsh flames four Zeroes for a total of20 air-to-air vic­tories. He survives crashing in the water and subsequently wins the Congressional Medal of Honor.

AUGUST 31 Over Italy, a force of 150 North African Strategic Air Force (NASAF) B-17s bomb a marshalling yard in Pisa, inflicting heavy damage. Medium bombers and fighters of the North Afri­can Tactical Air Force (NATAF) also strike the railroad junction at Catanzaro and Sapri.

September 1 In the United States, war­plane production has manufactured

123,0 aircraft and 350,000 aircraft engines to date; in a war of protracted attrition, these are levels of production that Axis powers cannot sustain.

Over New Guinea, B-24 and B-25 bombers of the Fifth Air Force unload 201 tons of bombs over Alexishafen – Madang, its heaviest single mission tally to date.

Over China, seven B-25s and eight P – 40s of the Fourteenth Air Force attack a Japanese destroyer anchored off of Shihh – weiyao, although no hits are registered. Other P-40s bomb and strafe shipping and barges at Ichang at Swatow harbor.

SEPTEMBER 5 In the Mediterranean, the Ninth Air Force, having flown 1,060 mis­sions, dropped 36 million pounds of bombs, shot down 666 Axis aircraft, and sunk 109 enemy ships, concludes its mis­sion and begins transferring aerial assets back to England.

On northern New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force deploys 82 C-47 transports to drop paratroopers and seize Nadzab air­field west of Lae. Shortly afterwards, the Australian 7th Division is flown in by transports.

SEPTEMBER 6 Over Stuttgart, Germany, the Eighth Air Force conducts its first 400-bomber mission; poor weather fouls up bombing results and 45 bombers are lost despite P-47 fighter escorts.

SEPTEMBER 9 Near Paris, France, Opera­tion starkey commences with a 300- bomber raid, but the Luftwaffe fails to mount serious opposition.

Over Italy, the Twelfth Air Force commences Operations avalanche and slapstick in support of the Allied inva­sion, and which are continued for the rest of the year.

SEPTEMBER 13 At March Field, California, glider expert Richard Dupont is killed in a training accident; he was previously a spe­cial assistant to General Henry H. Arnold.

Over Salerno, Italy, 80 C-47s of the 52nd Troop Carrier Wing drop 1,200 men of the 82nd Airborne Division directly into the combat zone; the opera­tion, though perilous, succeeds.

SEPTEMBER 15 Over Indochina (Viet­

nam), five Fourteenth Air Force B-24s are sent to bomb a cement factory in Hai­phong; Japanese fighters manage to shoot down four ofthe aircraft and the sole sur­viving B-24 claims ten fighters had been shot down.

SEPTEMBER 18 Over the Gilbert Islands, a

combined force of Army B-24 Liberators and carrier-based aircraft from Task Force 15 under Rear Admiral Charles A. Pownall begin joint air strikes on Tarawa Atoll.

SEPTEMBER 20 Over Bougainville, a P­38 flown by Lieutenant Henry Meigs II, 6th Night Fighter Squadron, flames two Japanese bombers in just minutes.

SEPTEMBER 22 In an attempt to lessen heavy losses, Eighth Air Force B-17s fly a nighttime mission alongside Royal Air Force bombers; however, the Army Air Forces determines to stick to daylight, precision bombing.

After flying its final mission from North Africa, B-24s of the IX Bomber Command transfer to the Twelfth Air Force in Italy.

September 27 In England, two signifi­cant firsts unfold: the first mission is flown with bombers guided by a pathfinder air­craft outfitted with British-developed H2S direction-finding radar, enabling them to bomb accurately through heavy overcast. P-47 Thunderbolts equipped with droppable belly tanks also provide fighter escorts for bombers from Emden and back, a distance of 600 miles. This act constitutes the beginning of long – range fighter escort missions over the German heartland.

SEPTEMBER 30 Over Italy, Twelfth Air Force P-38s, B-25s, and B-26s strike road, bridge, and rail lines at Ausonia, Piana, Castelvenere, Amorosi, and Capua, while fighter-bombers also strafe targets north of Naples.

OCTOBER 1 In England, Eighth Air Force intelligence reports that Germany fighter production, despite a terrific pounding, has actually increased thanks to moving production facilities underground; air resistance over the homeland remains as strong as ever.

Over Indochina (Vietnam), 21 Four­teenth Air Force B-24s, escorted by 21 P-40s, bomb power plant and warehouse areas of Haiphong. Many Japanese fight­ers rise to oppose them and down 2 air­craft, but lose 30 to the escorts.

October 2 The Aerojet XCAL-200, the nation’s first rocket-powered airplane, successfully flies for the first time.

OCTOBER 3 At the Lewis Flight Propul­sion Laboratory, NACA technicians con­duct the first successful test of a turbojet afterburner.

OCTOBER 5—6 In England, Major Gen – eralJames H. Doolittle temporarily repla­ces Lieutenant General Carl A. Spaatz as commander of the Twelfth Air Force.

October 7 Over Paris, France, aircraft of the 422nd Bombardment Squadron, Eighth Air Force, complete their first nighttime drop of propaganda leaflets.

October 8 Over Bremen and Vegesack, German, 350 Eighth Air Force bombers strike industrial targets and U-boat pens, losing 30 aircraft to enemy defenses. This is also the first mission to employ elec­tronic jamming (Carpet equipment) against German radar.

OCTOBER 10 In a significant technologi­cal development, an Army Air Forces air­craft drone flies for the first time using a closed circuit television screen to monitor feedback.

Over Munster, Germany, 313 Eighth Air Force bombers make a determined raid against industrial targets, losing 33 aircraft shot down and 102 damaged.

October 11 Over Wewak, New Guinea, Colonel Neel E. Kearby leads a flight of four P-47 Thunderbolts on a reconnaissance mission. He single – handedly shoots down six Japanese air­craft, receiving a Congressional Medal of Honor.

OCTOBER 12 Over Rabaul, New Brit­ain, 350 Allied fighters and bombers drawn from the Fifth Air Force and the Royal Australian Air Force launch a mas­sive air strike against Japanese shipping and installations; 3 vessels and 50 aircraft are claimed to be sunk or destroyed.

OCTOBER 13 In Sunninghill Park, England, Major General Lewis H. Brere – ton assembles his staff and begins readying his Ninth Air Force for a new mission into Western Europe.

OCTOBER 14 Over Germany, 291 Eighth Air Force B-17s make a second bombing raid against ball bearing plants in Schweinfurt. Sixty-seven aircraft are lost to German fighters, which launch unguided rockets into the massed bomber streams; a further 138 aircraft are badly damaged. In the face ofsuch losses, future deep penetrations of German airspace are cancelled unless fighter escorts are available.

OCTOBER 15 In England, Headquarters, U. S. Army Air Forces, United Kingdom, is established under Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker to serve as a liaison between the Eighth Air Force and the Ninth Air Force, under Major General Lewis H. Brereton. The latter is arriving from the Mediterranean and will be employed as a tactical strike force.

Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force dispatches 50 P-38s and P-40s to inter­cept a Japanese force of 100 aircraft that is bombing Allied shipping in Oro Bay. They claim to shoot down no less than 40 of the attackers.

OCTOBER 16 General Henry H. Arnold

recommends that the Fifteenth Air Force be established in Italy, where better weather conditions will allow it to bomb German targets during usually harsh win­ter weather. In said manner it will supple­ment the Combined Bomber Offensive already in play from England.

In Burbank, California, Lockheed Air­craft Company contracts with the U. S. Army Air Forces to design and build the XP-80, which becomes America’s first operational jet fighter.

October 22 For his role in developing air routes across Africa and the Middle East, Major R. C. Heffner receives a Dis­tinguished Flying Cross.

OCTOBER 25 Over Rabaul, New Brit­ain, 60 B-24s from the Fifth Air Force strike Japanese airfields, destroying 50 air­craft on the ground and in the air. These attacks, made in concert with a ground offensive on Bougainville, continue up through November 1.

OCTOBER 30 Over China, seven B-25s and twelve P-40s bomb and strafe a motor pool and barracks at Shayang while nine P-38s are dispatched to hit the dock­yards at Chiuchiang.

NOVEMBER Because of recent German advances, General Henry H. Arnold instructs greater effort on guided missile programs. Dr. Theodore von Karman, Arnold’s principal scientific adviser, draws up extensive plans to acquire such long-range weapons.

NOVEMBER 1 In England, a Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) progress report estimates that 19 German towns and cities have been almost completely destroyed, with another 9 also heavily damaged. The Ministry of Economic Warfare and

Air Ministry Intelligence Branch also issue a joint report that estimates at least 10 percent of Germany’s war-making potential has likewise been eliminated.

At Tunis, Tunisia, General James H. Doolittle accepts command of the new Fifteenth Air Force, and prepares to relo­cate his men and heavy bombers to Italy for attacks against Germany proper.

NOVEMBER 2 Over Austria, the Fifteenth Air Force under Major General James H. Doolittle flies its first combat mission by launching 74 B-17s and 38 B-24s against industrial targets in Wiener Neustadt. They also enjoy the luxury of a P-38 fighter escort en route.

General Douglas MacArthur orders preemptive air strikes against Japanese forces gathering at Rabaul, New Britain, to forestall any possible offensive against operations at Empress Augusta Bay. The Fifth Air Force complies with B-25 Mitchells and P-38 Lightnings which send

94,0 tons of shipping to the bottom; American losses are 21 aircraft. During the attack Major Raymond H. Wilkins’s B-25 is badly damaged by antiaircraft fire, but he manages to complete his bomb run before crashing; he wins a post­humous Congressional Medal of Honor.

NOVEMBER 3 Over Germany, a force of 530 Eighth Air Force B-17s and B-24s, guided by nine pathfinders employing H2X search radar, strike the port of Wil – helmshaven. The bomber stream enjoys a complete fighter escort of P-38 Light­nings for the first time.

NOVEMBER 5 In England, the 56th Fighter Group is the first Eighth Air Force fighter unit to destroy 100 enemy aircraft.

NOVEMBER 6—7 In India, B-24s belong­ing to the Tenth Air Force commence night mining operations along the Ran­goon River, Burma.

NOVEMBER 11 Over Rabaul, New Brit­

ain, bombers and fighters of the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces strike Japanese airfields, in concert with Navy forces. This is the first time that the Thirteenth Air Force has mounted sorties here.

NOVEMBER 13 Bremen, Germany, wit­nesses the longest American fighter escort of the war thus far, as P-38 Lightnings accompany 115 Eighth Air Force bomb­ers to their target and back; 7 of the fight­ers fall to stiff Luftwaffe resistance. Previously, poor weather forced over 100 other bombers back to their bases.

Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force launches 57 B-24s and 62 B-25s against airfields at Alexishafen and Madang, while other aircraft strike targets at Gas – mata, Kaukenau, and Timoeka. This is one of the largest American raids in the region to date, and they are assisted by Bristol Beaufighters of the Royal Austral­ian Air Force (RAAF).

November 14 Over Bulgaria, 90 B-25 Mitchells belonging to the Twelfth Air Force make their first-ever attack by hit­ting targets in Sofia with 135 tons of bombs.

November 15 Over New Guinea, 30 Fifth Air Force B-24s pound Japanese positions at Alexishafen. Meanwhile a force of 88 B-25s and 16 P-40s headed for Wewak are intercepted by Japanese fighters that are themselves escorting bombers on a raid to Gusap. The Ameri­cans claim 20 aircraft shot down at a cost of2 P-40s.

NOVEMBER 20 In Salina, Kansas, XX

Bomber Command is activated at Smoky Hill Air Field under Major General

Kenneth B. Wolfe, being equipped solely with new Boeing B-29 Superfortresses.

In New York City, the play Winged Victory, written by Moss Hart and spon­sored by the Army Air Forces, debuts on Broadway. It is concerned with the strug­gles of air cadets to earn their wings and features a cast of over 300 actors, virtually all of them active duty personnel.

NOVEMBER 22—26 In Cairo, Egypt, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Generalissimo Jiang Jieshi discuss the pos­sibility of using new B-29 bombers to attack Japan from Chinese bases. The plan, called Operation twilight, is the first aerial offensive launched from the China-Burma-India (CBI) theater.

NOVEMBER 25 Over France, P-47s of the VIII Fighter Command initiate the first fighter-bomber attacks by striking the Saint-Omer Airfield.

Formosa (Taiwan) is the subject of an attack by B-25s, P-38s, and P-51s of the Fourteenth Air Force for the first time.

NOVEMBER 26 Bremen, Germany, is the target of 440 Eighth Air Force bombers, which encounter poor weather and lose 29 aircraft to German defenses.

NOVEMBER 29 Over Sarajevo, Yugo­slavia, 25 B-25 Mitchells from the Twelfth Air Force strike targets for the first time, including several rail yards.

NOVEMBER 30 Over Germany, the 78

Eighth Air Force heavy bombers strike targets in Solingen with the aid of blind­bombing equipment. This comes after nearly 200 aircraft had to abort owing to heavy cloud formations while assembling over England.

December 1 Over Germany a force of 281 Eighth Air Force bombers strikes industrial targets in and around Solingen. The raid, originally intended for Lever­kusen, was switched after Pathfinder equipment failed; the Germans manage to down 20 aircraft.

December 2 In Washington, D. C., the Combined Chief of Staff directs the Allied Expeditionary Force to begin attacking so-called “ski sites” at Pas-de – Calais and Cherbourg, France, once they are positively identified as V-1 missile launchers.

December 3 Operation pointblank, designed to drain the Luftwaffe white prior to the cross-channel invasion of France, begins receiving top priority. Presently, its objectives are still well behind target.

December 5 A force of North American P-51 Mustangs from the 354th Fighter Squadron, Ninth Air Force, escorts Eighth Air Force bombers to northern Germany and back, a total of 490 miles. This is the P-51’s first escort mission of the war and proves essential for defeating the Luftwaffe in its own airspace.

Meanwhile, a force of 250 B-26 Marauders is forced to return to England on account of poor flying weather.

December 8 In England, Lieutenant General Carl A. Spaatz becomes overall commander of American air operations for the forthcoming Operation over­lord.

DECEMBER 13 Over Germany, Bremen, Hamburg, and Kiel are targeted by 649 B-17s and B-24s of the Eighth Air Force, the first time an American bomber stream has exceeded 600 aircraft. The raid would have been even bigger but for poor weather that forced 100 bombers back to base.

December 18 In Washington, D. C., General Henry H. Arnold finalizes his command list for 1944: General Ira C. Eaker, Mediterranean Theater of Opera­tions (MTO); General Cannon, Twelfth Air Force; General Nathan Twining, Fif­teenth Air Force; General Carl A. Spaatz, U. S. Strategic Air Forces; General James H. Doolittle, Eighth Air Force, and Gen­eral Lewis H. Brereton, Ninth Air Force.

DECEMBER 20 Bremen, Germany, is the object of another massive raid by Eighth Air Force bombers, 27 of which are shot down by German fighters. This is also the first American mission to jettison strips of metal foil to confuse enemy radar. Tech Sergeant Forrest L. Vosler wins a Congressional Medal of Honor for ignoring serious injuries and assisting wounded crewmen on his aircraft after its ditches in the English Channel.

British Air Chief Marshal Arthur Ted­der assumes command of the Mediterra­nean Allied Air Forces, while Lieutenant General Carl A. Spaatz heads up the North African Theater of Operations.

December 24 The Eighth Air Force commits its largest bomber raid to date by dispatching 670 B-17s and B-24s against German V-1 launching sites at Pas-de-Calais, France. No aircraft are lost and, by this date, the Americans possess 26 bomber groups in the ETO. Such operations go under the Codename crossbow, of which this is the first.

In the Pacific, Japanese positions on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, are hit by 190 B-25s, B-24s, and A-20s of the Fifth Air Force in relentless daylight attacks.

December 2 Over Burma, a force of 25 Fourteenth Air Force P-40s strafe and bomb Japanese positions around Pailochi, and also claim 3 enemy aircraft destroyed.



Bombs destroy the vital Catapult Aircraft Merchantman ball-bearing plant and the nearby Hispano Suiza aircraft engine repair depot in Paris, France on December 31, 1943. This was part of the ongoing strategic bombing cam­paign against Hitler’s “Festung Europa.” (National Archives)


December 26 Fifth Air Force bombers obliterate targets on Cape Gloucester, New Britain, while escorting P-40s, P – 38s, and P-47s claim an additional 60 aer­ial victories. Hereafter, “Gloucesterizing” enters the military vernacular to imply the total destruction of a target.

December 28 In another aviation first, the VIII Bomber Command assembles a “Radio Countermeasure Unit” consist­ing of 24 especially outfitted B-24 heavy bombers to defeat German radar and communications.

December 31 Along the coast of northern France, the Eighth Air Force launches a 500-plane raid against targets, losing 25 bombers. A landmark is reached when the tonnage of bombs dropped by American bombers finally exceeds that delivered by the Royal Air Force.

Over New Georgia, Fifth Air Force A- 20s continue pounding Cape Gloucester while 50 P-40s and P-47s intercept Japa­nese aircraft attempting to bomb the Arawe beachhead, claiming 12 kills. Meanwhile, 150 heavy and medium bombers strike Jap­anese positions at Madang, Alexishafen, and Bogadjim, New Guinea.

JANUARY 1 In Pasadena, California, California Institute of Technology (Cal-

Project ORDCIT commences as the tech) begins researching a practical,

long-range projectile. This is the origin of the Private A and Corporal tactical mis­siles.

The United States Strategic Air Force in Europe (USSAFE) is created to wield operational control over the Eighth Air Force (England) and the Fifteenth Air Force (Italy).

Over Saidor, New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force commits over 120 B-24s, B – 25s, and A-20s against Japanese troop and supply concentrations in preparation for the coming Allied invasion there.

During a raid in Burma by B-25s and P-38s of the Tenth Air Force on a bridge spanning the Mu River, a bomber flown by Major Robert A. Erdin pulls up sharply to avoid hitting a ground obstacle, then releases his bombs. Two spans of the bridge are hit and collapse, giving rise to the “Burma Bridge Busters.”

In Great Britain, the U. S. Strategic Air Forces is organized and initiated.

JANUARY 2 In Yenangyaung, Burma, oil and power plant facilities are struck by medium and heavy bombers belonging to the Tenth Air Force.

JANUARY 4—5 Over Germany, various

ports are struck by 500 heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force. Operation carpet­BAGGER also begins that evening across Western Europe as Lieutenant Colonel Clifford Heflin flies the first supply mis­sion aimed at bolstering the French underground; such missions originate from Tempsford, England.

JANUARY 6 In England, Lieutenant Gen­eral Carl A. Spaatz gains appointment to command U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSAFE); he also receives operational control of the Fifteenth Air Force. Furthermore, Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle becomes head of the Eighth Air Force in England, while

Lieutenant Ira C. Eaker transfers south to direct Mediterranean Allied Air Forces.

JANUARY 7 In the Pacific, Lieutenant General Hubert R. Harmon assumes command of the Thirteenth Air Force.

JANUARY 8 At Muroc Air Force Base, California, the Lockheed XP-80 chris­tened Lulu Belle flies for the first time; it is destined to become the F-80 Shooting Star, America’s first jet-powered fighter plane and the first to exceed 500 miles per hour in level flight. Noted aircraft constructor Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson designed the prototype, which was con­structed in only 143 days.

JANUARY 10 Over New Britain, P-39 Airacobras attack and strafe Japanese – occupied villages and barges, while Fifth Air Force heavy and medium bombers work over Madang, Alexishafen, and Bogadjim, New Guinea.

Waves of B-24s are dispatched by the Thirteenth Air Force against airfields and supply depots at Lakunai and Vunakanau. This is the beginning ofa protracted night bombardment campaign, while Thir­teenth Air Force fighters also assist the Navy covering carrier dive bombers as they strike targets at Cape St. George.

JANUARY 11 Over Germany, targets in

Halberstadt, Brunswick, and Oschersle- ben are targeted by 600 Eighth Air Force bombers, which lose 60 of their number to an estimated 500 fighters. This is also the first mission to employ radar- equipped B-24 bombers as pathfinder air­craft to strike targets through overcast.

Over Halberstadt, Germany, a P-51 Mustang flown by Major James H. Howard shoots down three German fighters while singlehandedly engaging a formation of 30 aircraft to protect the bomber stream. He is the only Mustang pilot to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor.

A Fifteenth Air Force bombing mis­sion over Piraeus, Italy, goes awry when six aircraft are lost to midair collisions in poor weather.

January 13 A force of 200 B-26 Marauders conducts another Noball raid by striking German rocket sites in northern France and reports being shot at by antiaircraft missiles.

At New Delhi, India, command of the XX Bomber Command passes to Lieuten­ant General Kenneth B. Wolfe. He is tasked with orchestrating the initial moves of Operation Matterhorn, whereby B-29 Superfortresses will begin striking at Japan from bases on the Asian mainland.

January 13—14 Thirteenth Air Force B-24s launch another nocturnal air raid against Japanese airfields at Vunakanau and Malaguna. Army and Navy aircraft also strike targets near Buna, Wakuni, and Simpson Harbor, New Guinea.

January 14 Over Pas-de-Calais, France, 500 Eighth Air Force bombers strike at 20 V-1 weapon launch sites.

Over Italy, Twelfth Air Force bombers assist Fifth Army operations near Monte Trocchio, by launching scores of B-25s, A-20s, A-36s, and P-40s in close air sup­port missions.

January 15 In Italy, command ofMedi – terranean Allied Air Forces (MAAF) for­mally passes to Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker.

In the Pacific, nine B-25s from the Seventh Air Force stage from Tarawa and strike Japanese installations at Maloe – lap, inflicting heavy damage on installa­tions and shipping; one B-25 is downed by antiaircraft fire.

JANUARY 18 Over New Guinea, the

Fifth Air Force dispatches B-24s to bomb Japanese targets at Laha and Hansa Bay. Meanwhile, Madang and Bogadjim are hit by 70 B-25s while P-38 fighters con­duct a sweep over Wewak; 3 Lightnings are lost.

January 21 Across northern France, German V-weapon sites are struck by more than 500 bombers of the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces; 19 targets are spared assault due to low overcast and 400 bombers are forced back to base.

January 22 Over Anzio, Italy, aircraft of the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces conduct over 1,200 close air support and air superiority missions during the landing phase of Operation shingle. German re­sistance remains tenacious and missions are required to be flown well into Febru­ary.

Heavy and medium bombers belong­ing to the Thirteenth Air Force strike the airfields at Lakunai again, inflicting considerable damage. They are escorted by a force of more than 90 fighters.

JANUARY 27 Over Italy, fighters of the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces conduct several sweeps over Rome and Florence, shooting down several dozen German aircraft in support of the Fifth Army there.

January 28 Over Bonnieres, France, Eighth Air Force B-24 Liberators strike German V-weapon launching sites with the new Gee-H blind-bombing radar sys­tem. This new system is more accurate than previous devices, but is limited to a range of 200 miles.

JANUARY 29 Over Frankfurt, Germany, a force of 763 Eighth Air Force bombers strikes numerous industrial targets with 1,900 tons of bombs. German fighters manage to claw down 30 of the giant craft; ominously for them, this is the first American attack mounting over 700 air­craft.

Japanese positions in the Gilbert Islands, Kwajalein, and Mille are struck by Seventh Air Force B-24s, which are then followed up by strafing attacks by P-39s. This “softening up” continues over the next few days until the Allied invasion is launched.

JANUARY 30 Over Germany, a second force of 700 Eighth Air Force bombers, guided by early bomb-guiding radar, strikes at targets around Brunswick and Hannover; fighter defenses claim 20 American bombers.

In Italy, the 451st Bomb Group (B – 24s) joins the Fifteenth Air Force as its nine bomb group. Fighters of the Twelfth Air Force also continue conducting sweeps over the Anzio battleground, encountering no enemy resistance.

JANUARY 31 Over Saint-Pol/Siracourt,

France, 74 Eighth Air Force B-24s attack V-1 launching sites while 70 P-47 fighter-bombers, escorted by 87 P-47 fighters and 47 P-38s, bomb and strafe the Gilze-Rijen airfield. The Germans throw up 84 fighters in a swirling combat; 6 P-38s are shot down while 13 German aircraft are claimed.

FEBRUARY The Army Ordnance Division and the Army Air Forces begin joint development of a guided, supersonic surface-to-air missile to intercept hostile aircraft. This is the origin of the Nike I antiaircraft missile.

The AAF deploys its first VB-1/2 Azon (“azimuth only”) radio-controlled bombs in Europe. These primitive “smart weapons” are dropped from bombers and guided through a radio-equipped bombsight; a total of 15,000 Azons are manufactured through November 1944, although their record in combat is mixed.

FEBRUARY 1 In England, Command of IX Air Support Command reverts to Major General Elwood Quesada; this for­mation includes several fighter and recon­naissance units.

Fighter aircraft belonging to the Sev­enth Air Force deploy on newly captured airfields in the Gilbert Islands prior to beginning attacks on the Japanese-held Marianas (Operation catchpole).

Over Burma, 6 Tenth Air Force B-24s bomb Mingaladon Airfield while 32 P – 51s and A-36s strike the main airfield at Myitkyina.

FEBRUARY 2 In Moscow, Soviet Union, Premier Josef Stalin approves plans to allow U. S. “shuttle missions” against tar­gets in eastern Germany, after which American bombers will land at Soviet bases.

FEBRUARY 3 In England, the newly arrived 358th Fighter Group joins the 354th Fighter Group, Ninth Air Force, to fly escort missions. The Eighth Air Force also launches 1,200 B-17s, B-24s, and escort fighters against targets in Emden and Wilhelmshaven, Germany.

A force of five P-51 Mustangs under Colonel Philip G. Cochran flies the first air-commando mission in the China- Burma-India (CBI) theater.

Japanese airfields on Wewak are struck by fighters and bombers belonging to the Fifth Air Force; an estimated 80 enemy aircraft are destroyed. Enemy shipping in the Bismarck Sea is also struck by P-39s and B-25s.

FEBRUARY 7 This day, U. S. Army Air Forces fighters adopt a peculiar tactic known as the “Luftwaffe Stomp.” If

pursued by German fighters, the Ameri­can pilot would suddenly stall and turn his aircraft, allowing his antagonist to zoom by and become the hunted.

FEBRUARY 8 In Italy, the 454th Bomb Group (B-24) joins the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, bringing the total of bomb groups present to 10. Meanwhile, B-17s continue hammering targets at Orvieto, Piombino, and Prato, heavily escorted by P-47s and P-38 fighters.

FEBRUARY 9 As the Fifth Army opera­tions resume around Cassino, Italy, it receives intense close air support missions by the Twelfth Air Force.

In the Pacific, a force of 250 fighters and bombers from bases ringing the Solo­mon Islands coordinate their efforts in a major attack against Japanese installations on Rabaul, New Britain.

FEBRUARY 11 Over Germany, Eighth Air Force bombers employ radar bomb­ing techniques to strike chemical plants in poor weather.

FEBRUARY 13 In Washington, D. C., the

Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO) is altered by the chief of staff to concentrate on German lines of communication, as well as the destruction of the Luftwaffe. This switch is undertaken in light of suc­cessful German attempts to disperse industrial targets and new tactical prior­ities for the upcoming Operation OVER­LORD.

FEBRUARY 15 Over Indochina, four B – 25s of the Fourteenth Air Force attack enemy shipping in the Gulf of Tonkin and also drop bombs on several targets in Haiphong harbor.

FEBRUARY 15—18 In Italy, German posi­tions in and around the ancient

Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino are bombed by 254 B-17s, B-25s, and B-26 bombers belonging to the Twelfth Air Force. However, three days of con­stant bombing do little to dislodge the defenders and, by allowing them to occupy the wreckage, actually strength­ens their position. The Allied drive spear­headed by the Fifth Army and the British Eighth Army remains stalled for several weeks.

FEBRUARY 18 At Cheddington, England, the 8th Reconnaissance Wing is activated to provide enhanced photo­graphic capability in support of Operation OVERLORD. Command of the unit goes to Colonel Elliott Roosevelt, the president’s son.

February 18—19 At Anzio, Italy, a seri­ous German counterattack threatens the Allied beachhead, so Twelfth Air Force A-20 light bombers, A-36 dive bombers, and P-40 fighters bore in with 200 close – support sorties that drive them back.

FEBRUARY 19 Over Rabaul, New Brit­ain, a 139-aircraft raid hits Japanese air­fields and installations, claiming 23 enemy planes shot down. Consequently, all remaining Japanese aircraft are with­drawn from the island.

In Burma, the Tenth Air Force launches 60 A-36s, P-51s, and B-25s against Japanese fuel depots, rail cars, and river traffic to maintain pressure against enemy units.

In China, B-24s, B-25s, and P-40s belonging to the Fourteenth Air Force begin conducting sweeps between For­mosa (Taiwan) and Indochina. These raids are seeking out targets of opportu­nity and three ships are sunk along with numerous bridges and trains wrecked.

As U. S. forces land and occupy Eniwe- tok, heavy bombers from the Seventh Air

Force bomb Japanese targets near Ponape and Wotje.

FEBRUARY 20—26 Over Germany, heavy bombers and escort fighters of the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces commence “Big Week,” a maximum effort to cripple aviation production capacity and cripple the Luftwaffe’s ability to resist. This is also the first time that the Americans get

1,0 bombers airborne. Their loss holds at six percent which, while, is acceptable. In contrast the Luftwaffe is hard pressed to reconstitute its strength.

Lieutenant William R. Lawley, severely wounded by the same blast that killed his copilot, gingerly nurses his damaged B-17 back to England after learning two of his crew are unable to bail out; he wins the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Lieutenant Walter E. Truemper, navi­gator, takes control of his damaged B-17 after his pilot and copilot are killed. Though desperately injured himself, he refuses to bail out and flies back to England only to die in a crash while landing; he wins a Congressional Medal of Honor. Sergeant Archibald Mathies, Truemper’s gunner, dies with him and also becomes one of four enlisted airmen to receive a Medal of Honor.

FEBRUARY 21 Over Germany, the Eighth

Air Forces unleashes 764 B-17s and B-24s against aircraft factories near Brunswick and Diepholz; results are unclear due to heavy overcast.

In the Pacific, Army bombers belonging to the Air Solomons Command (AirSols) sink two Japanese freighters attempting to evacuate ground crews from Eniwetok Atoll, Marshall Islands.

FEBRUARY 22 Over Germany, the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces put up 101 B-17s against Halberstadt, Germany, while a fur­ther 154 bombers hit aircraft production facilities near Regensburg; German fighters manage to claw down 50 American craft.

February 23 Over England, poor weather grounds most Eighth Air Force operations, but the Fifteenth Air Force manages to launch a B-24 attack against industrial targets in Steyr, Germany; escorting fighters claim 30 German fight­ers downed.

FEBRUARY 24 Over Germany, and fol­lowing the onset of good weather, the Eighth Air Force hurls over 231 bombers at Schweinfurt, 238 against Gotha, and 236 against Rostow. Simultaneously, Fif­teenth Air Force B-17s also strike Steyr and Fiume again, losing 19 aircraft. That evening the Royal Air Force strikes the same targets as part of the Combined Bomber Offensive (CBO).

FEBRUARY 25 Over Germany, aviation – related targets in Regensburg, Augsburg, Furth, Stuttgart, Zara harbor, and Fiume are struck by Eighth Air Force bombers in an attempt to lure Luftwaffe fighters up against their powerful escorts. Casu­alties are heavy on both sides, but the Germans cannot replace their losses as quickly.

FEBRUARY 26 In England, bad weather grounds operations on the final day of Big Week, but hereafter the Luftwaffe begins a precipitous decline towards irrel­evance. American losses are steep but Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle’s gamble pays huge dividends by D-Day, when German aerial resistance proves nonexistent.

FEBRUARY 28 Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force commits B-24 bombers to soften up Japanese airfields in Nubia, Awar, and Hansa Bay in preparation for Allied landings.

Подпись: Bombs being loaded into the bays of one of the American B-24 Liberator bombers, the fleet known as the Travelling Circus, ready for another shuttle raid. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)

Japanese positions on Rabaul, New Britain, are struck by waves of Thirteenth Air Force B-25s and P-38s at low altitude, then by B-24s at high altitude. Some of the attacks also involve glide bombs.

FEBRUARY 29 Over Italy, Twelfth Air Force B-26s strike German airfields at Viterbo and targets of opportunity along the west coast, while B-25s attack troops and gun positions west of Cisterna di Roma. Meanwhile, P-40s and A-36s conduct close support missions for the struggling Allied landing zone at Anzio.

Japanese air bases at Alexishafen, New Guinea, are struck by Fifth Air Force bombers. These attacks are carried out in concert with U. S. landings made on the Admiralty Islands, and part of an overall strategy to isolate the main Japanese garri­son at Rabaul.

MARCH In Washington, D. C., the Office of War Information reports that the Soviet Union has received more than 7,800 aircraft under the Lend-Lease program to date.

The Bell XP-59 undergoes high – altitude testing at the hands ofthe NACA Lewis Laboratory to enhance the devel­opment of turbojet technology.

MARCH 1 At Shemya, Alaska, the XI Strategic Air Force becomes operational to patrol and defend the Aleutian Islands. It consists of the XI Bomber Command and XI Fighter Command.

Over the Admiralty Islands, the Fifth Air Force contributes more than 100 B-24 bombers in raids against Los Negros and Lorengau. Other aircraft go in and soften up Japanese positions at Wewak, New Guinea; these attacks
persist up until the U. S. landing there on April 22.

Over China, 14 B-25s and 16 P-40s from the Fourteenth Air Force attack military targets in northeastern Nanchang.

MARCH 2 In Italy, the 459th Bomb Group joins the Fifteenth Air Force, while 300 heavy bombers, escorted by 150 fight­ers, support Army operations at Anzio.

MARCH 3 In the Caroline Islands, Opera­tion forager commences as Seventh Air Force bombers and fighters attack Japa­nese positions to neutralize enemy air activity around the Marianas. Their over­arching purpose is to seize land bases capable of sustaining B-29 operations against the Japanese mainland.

MARCH 4 Berlin, Germany, experiences its first raid by aircraft of the VIII Bomber Command as 238 B-17s bore in towards Kleinmachnow. However, they are turned back by poor weather and a deceptive “recall” message broadcast by German intelligence. Only 31 B-17s from the 95th Bombardment Group actually reach the target and release bombs from 28,000 feet. Previously, Lieutenant General James H. Doolittle sought permission to lead the raid in per­son, but Lieutenant General Carl A. Spaatz refused.

MARCH 5 Over Burma, army gliders from Colonel Philip G. Cochran’s Air Com­mandos insert 539 British and American troops under British brigadier general Orde C. Wingate 50 miles northeast of Indaw and deep behind enemy lines.

MARCH 6 Over Berlin, Germany, the Eighth Air Force returns with a vengeance as 658 heavy bombers unload 1,600 tons of bombs. German fighters and flak down 69 aircraft, the highest toll of any single mission day. This is despite the fact that the bombers are escorted by P-51 Mustangs, who claim 170 German craft.

MARCH 8 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force unleashes 460 heavy bombers against industrial targets at Erkner; Wildau and Berlin are likewise struck by an additional 75 bombers. Thirty-six air­craft are lost this day.

MARCH 9 The German cities of Berlin, Brunswick, Hannover, and Nienburg are struck by 450 bombers belonging to the Eighth Air Force.

MARCH 11 On Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, B-24 bombers from the Seventh Air Force take off and strike at Japanese installations on Wake Island for the first time.

In India, Operation Thursday com­mences as Army Air Forces transports air­lift 9,000 personnel and 1,400 mules to a point 200 miles behind Japanese lines in Burma.

MARCH 15 In a major tactical shift, P-51 Mustangs are released from escort duty and directed to go after German fighters on the ground and in the air.

Over Italy, the Fifteenth Air Force hurls 300 B-17s and B-24s against German positions at Monte Cassino in support of the Fifth Army; the bulk of air­craft are forced back by poor weather. Meanwhile, P-38s and P-47s sweep through the Viterbo-Canino region, encountering no organized opposition.

On Kwajalein, Marshall Islands, Sev­enth Air Force B-24s lift off from bases and strike at Truk Atoll for the first time. B-25 medium bombers on Tarawa also attack enemy positions at Maloelap.

Lieutenant General Hubert R. Harmon is appointed Commander, Air, Solomon Islands (COMAIRSOLS).

MARCH 16 The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) releases a study calling for a rocket – propelled research aircraft capable of tran­sonic speeds; in 1947 it emerges as the Bell XS-1.

MARCH 18 Over Germany, 679 bombers of the Eighth Air Force strike industrial targets while under heavy escort. The Luftwaffe rises to the occasion, clawing down 43 bombers and 13 fighters while incurring heavy losses of its own. Con­stant attrition is slowly driving the Ger­mans from the skies.

MARCH 19—May 11 Over Italy, Opera­tion strangle commences. This is a seven-week campaign conceived by General Ira C. Eaker to interdict and neu­tralize German supplies, railways, train yards, and ports across the peninsula. By the time the operation ceases, Allied air­craft fly over 50,000 sorties and unload

26,0 tons of bombs; however, it fails to sever German supplies as anticipated.

MARCH 20 Over Normandy, France, the 67th Reconnaissance Group completes 83 missions, and maps the entire region in advance of Operation overlord. No aircraft are lost and 9,500 detailed photos are taken.

As U. s. Marines storm ashore on the Admiralty Islands, bombers from the Thirteenth Air Force attack nearby air­fields to neutralize them. RADAR- equipped sB-24s also played a major role in covering the advance to the island.

MARCH 22 Near Naples, Italy, ancient Mount Vesuvius erupts, destroying or damaging aircraft belonging to the Twelfth Air Force.

MARCH 25 Over Italy, the Brenner Pass to Austria is completely interdicted by bombers and fighters of the Fifteenth Air Force, severely slowing the flow of supplies to German units from Austria. The Americans also employ their radio-guided VB-1 Azon bomb, a lineal predecessor to modern “smart bombs.”

MARCH 26 Over France, Pas-de-Calais and Cherbourg are struck by 500 B-17s and B-24s belonging to the Eighth Air Force in an attempt to cripple V-weapon launching sites. Meanwhile, 338 B-26s strike motor torpedo boat pens at Ijmui – den, the Netherlands, while 140 P-47s and P-51s attack marshalling yards at Creil and other locations.

MARCH 27 Across France, 700 heavy bombers belonging to the Eighth Air Force strike multiple airfields and aircraft works.

MARCH 28 In England, the 801st Bom­bardment Group (Heavy) is activated by the Eighth Air Force; this unit is to con­duct special missions throughout the ETO.

March 28-April 2 Over Italy, the Fifteen Air Force launches a series of heavy air raids in support of ongoing Operation strangle when 400 B-17s and B-24s attack rail yards around Verona and Cesano. They are escorted by P-40s and P-38s and no aircraft are lost; this is also the Fifteenth’s first 1,000-ton raid. This attack is followed by subsequent strikes against Turin, Milan, and Bolzano, where 6 bombers are shot down. Finally, 530 bombers pound ball bearing factories at steyr, Germany, losing 19 aircraft.

MARCH 29 In Burma, the success ofBrit – ish Chindits in rear-area operations against Japanese units results in creation of the 1st Air Commando Group under Lieutenant Colonel Philip G. Cochran.

The unit had functioned on an ad hoc basis for several months previously, but now its operations are formalized.

Over Truk, B-24s from the Thirteen Air Force commit the first daylight raid against the atoll; two bombers are lost.

MARCH 30 Over Bulgaria, 350 B-17s and B-24s ofthe Fifteenth Air Force attack marshalling yards at Sofia, along with industrial zones and airfields at Imotski. Four bombers are lost, but escorting fighters claim thirteen enemy aircraft.

Over Hollandia, New Guinea, Japanese positions are struck by fighters and bomb­ers from the Fifth Air Force. A variety of fuel dumps, troop concentrations, and airfields are targeted from Wewak to Madang.

APRIL 1 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force sends 438 heavy bombers to destroy the chemical industry plants at Ludwigshafen, then the largest in Europe. However, poor weather forces the 192 B-27s launched to turn back while the remaining 246 B-24s become widely dis­persed in heavy cloud cover. Several Swiss and French towns near the target are bombed by mistake.

April 2 At Chakulia, India, the first operational Boeing B-29 Superfortress of the new XX Bomber Command lands under the command of Colonel Leonard F. Harman. As B-29s accumulate there in strength, they are shuttled off to bases in China to begin bombing the Japanese mainland for the first time.

APRIL 3 In England, IX Bomber Com­mand adopts a new leave policy whereby crews receive one week’s leave between their 25th and 30th missions. Between their 40th and 50th missions, they are enti­tled to take off an additional two-week respite.

APRIL 3—4 Over Budapest, Hungary, industrial targets are targeted for the first time by 450 Fifteenth Air Force bombers, while a 300-bomber raid is launched the following day; 10 B-24s are lost along with a score of German fighters.

April 4 In Washington, D. C., the new XX Air Force is secretly activated. This unit is destined to employ giant B-29 Superfortress bombers against the Japa­nese mainland from China and India. The force is regarded as so significant that it is controlled by the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) through General Henry H. Arnold.

April 5 The refineries and marshalling yards at Ploesti, Romania, are struck by the Fifteenth Air Force; 13 bombers suc­cumb to enemy fighters and flak.

APRIL 8 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force launches 13 combat wings in three distinct waves. The city of Brunswick is the hardest hit, being the object of 192 B-17s; 34 bombers are lost.

At Hasselt, Belgium, the Ninth Air Force commits more than 163 B-26s and 101 P-47s in a major tactical raid against German-manned positions.

April 9 Across Germany and Poland, 399 B-17s and B-24s belonging to the Eighth Air Force strike various targets, losing 32 aircraft to doughty German defenses; 3 aircraft also make forced landings in Sweden and are interned. The attack is escorted by 719 P-38s, P-47s, and P-51s culled from the VIII and IX Fighter Commands.

APRIL 11 Over Germany, the Eighth Air

Force launches 800 B-17s and B-24s against fighter production factories and airfields; 64 bombers are shot down, the second-highest loss for a single day. Lieutenant Edward S. Mitchell, ignoring his own wounds, manages to fly his damaged B-17 to safety once his bombardier’s para­chute is damaged; he wins the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Across northern France, 300 B-26s, A-20s, and P-47s from the Ninth Air Force are committed against various military targets.

APRIL 13 In England, General Dwight D.

Eisenhower receives authority to direct American aerial operations relative to Operation overlord, especially those by the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces. Launching sites for v-weapons and German lines of communication remain priority targets.

530 bombers from the Fifteenth Air Force hit numerous targets in Hungary and southern Germany, and claim the destruction of 120 enemy aircraft.

APRIL 15 Over central and western Ger­many, 530 fighters of the Ninth and Tenth Air Forces sweep in low to shoot up airfields and targets of opportunity. Bad


U. S. Fifth Army Air Force planes bomb the Japanese-held base of Hollandia in New Guinea, 1944. (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis)

weather forces most of the aircraft to return to base, but they claim 58 enemy aircraft destroyed in air and ground attacks; 33 American fighters go missing with at least 19 attributable to unknown causes.

April 16 Hollandia, New Guinea, is again hit by the Fifth Air Force, which dispatches 170 A-20s, P-38s, P-40s, and B-25s on the bombing mission. However, the onset of poor weather during the return flight leads to the loss of 37 aircraft—a higher loss rate than that experienced in combat.

April 17 In South China, bases operated by the 308th Bombardment Group are threatened by a Japanese land offensive; this is the only American heavy bomber outfit then in China, and it is especially outfitted for stalking enemy shipping in the South China Sea.

APRIL 22 Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air

Force provides close air support to Allied invading forces at Hollandia and Aitape. This comes after six weeks of continuous air raids on Wewak and Hansa Bay.

April 24 In India, Lieutenant General Kenneth B. Wolfe, commanding the XX Air Force, pilots one of the first two B-29s to cross over the “Hump” (Hima­layas) and land at Kwanghan, China. The American bomber offensive against the Japanese mainland originates here.

APRIL 25 Over France, the Eighth Air Force launches 114 B-117s to attack the Lyon/Bron airfield, while a further 177 B-17s hit the Clermont/Ferrand/Aulnat airfield. A further 22 P-38s and 21 P-47s also conduct a combination of high – and low-altitude bombing attacks on airfields at Orleans/Bricy. One heavy bomber and sixty-five fighters are shot down by German aircraft and flak.

Guam is the target of Seventh Air Force B-24 Liberators operating from Eniwetok for the first time; this is also the first raid by land-based bombers. A Navy PBY reconnaissance aircraft accompanies them to observe results.

In Burma, a Sikorsky YR-2 Hoverfly flown by Lieutenant Carter Harman, 1st Commando Group, executes the first helicopter rescue mission in history by extracting four downed airmen from the jungle.

May 1 In England, the Eighth Air Force sends over 500 heavy bombers to attack 23 V-1 rocket launching sites near Pas – de-Calais, France. Bad weather forces many aircraft to abort their mission.

In China, Operation matterhorn moves a step closer to reality with the opening of the first B-29 base at Chengtu. As bombers, supplies, and bombs accu­mulate, the aerial offensive against the Japanese mainland draws nearer.

May 5 Over Ploesti, Romania, the Fif­

teenth Air Force, enlarged to include 20 heavy bombardment groups, launches 640 bombers against the oil refineries. Over 240 fighter sorties are also launched to escort them; this is the largest raid to date by the Fifteenth Air Force.

May 7 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force breaks its own record when it dis­patches over 900 bombers against indus­trial targets in Munster and Osnabruck, Germany, while additional aircraft are dis­patched against Liege, Belgium. This is the first time that the Eighth Air Force marshals over 900 aircraft one a single day.

May 9—11 Over France and Belgium,

the Eighth Air Force begins a concerted bombing campaign against German air­fields to render them inoperable during the build up to D-Day. Two days later tactical aircraft of the Ninth Air Force are likewise thrown into the fray.

May 10 In China, Project chengtu con­cludes as 400,000 laborers finish work on five heavy bomber and six fighter bases near the city of Chengtu. The Chinese contribution to the project was unglamo­rous and largely unheralded, but also essential to the project. B-29 air raids against the Japanese mainland will com­mence shortly.

May 11 In Italy, Operation strangle

concludes apace, having delivered

26,0 bombs against German lines of communication and supply since March 19. However, it has failed to com­pletely disrupt German supply lines.

May 12 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force dispatches 800 bombers against oil production facilities in Merseburg, Chemnitz, and Brux; the Luftwaffe manages to down 46 American aircraft.

The Ninth Air Force begins Operation EAGLE as a dress rehearsal for airborne operations over Normandy. This maneu­ver tests the tactics and techniques for all specific missions to be executed on June 5.

The Fifteenth Air Force, having reached its authorized strength of 21 bombardment groups, launches 730 bombers against German headquarters at Massa d’Albe and Monte Soratte, Italy. This is the Fifteenth’s largest raid to date and includes 250 escort fighter sorties.

May 13—14 In northern Italy, the Twelfth Air Force commits light bombers and fighter-bombers to assist the Fifth Army as it assaults the German Gustav Line. They are joined by 700 heavy bombers from the Fifteenth Air Force, which conduct interdiction missions against German supply lines.

May 15 Over Bougainville and Shortland Island, the Thirteenth Air Force puts up 25 B-25s and 40 P-40s, P-38s, and P-39s to attack antiaircraft positions, villages, trails and other targets of opportunity.

May 17—18 Over New Guinea, the Fifth Air Force dispatches more than 100 B-24s against Japanese targets as Allied forces come ashore unopposed at Arare and Sarmi. Another 100 medium bombers are dispatched against enemy positions around Wewak.

May 19 In Italy, German aerial opposition north of Rome disappears once the Fifteen Air Force begins pushing attacks into that region.

May 25 Over Anzio, Italy, the Twelfth Air Force harries retreating German forces as they withdraw, and also cover the Fifth Army as it breaks out from the beachhead.

May 27 Across Europe, the Eighth, Ninth, and Fifteenth Air Force put up

2,0 warplanes, which strike targets across France, Germany, and Italy; 24 heavy bombers are lost. From this point forwards, air raids by the Eighth Air Force routinely number 800 aircraft or more.

At Nanchang, China, P-40 fighters from the Fourteenth Air Force fire air-to-ground rockets at Japanese troop positions for the first time.

On Biak, Japanese positions are worked over by B-25s and B-24s oper­ated by the Fifth Air Force. Other medium bombers continue providing close air support for Allied forces at Wewak, New Guinea.

May 29 An A-20 test aircraft named Alcad Nag is used for target practice by gunners who fire.50 caliber machine guns loaded with “frangible bullets.”

These shatter after hitting an aerial target, leaving only a small mark for scoring purposes.

May 31 In the Zone of the Interior (ZI), the VB-7 (vertical bomb) is tested for the first time; this device employs radio- controlled fins and television for guidance to targets.

Over Italy, medium bombers of the 43rd and 57th Bomb Wings, Twelfth Air Force, are unleashed on a ground sup­port mission to assist the Fifth Army and its drive on Rome. Concurrently, A-20s of the XII Tactical Air Command begin blasting German troop concentrations, tanks, and motor vehicles throughout the same region. Incredibly, despite this literal deluge of bombs, the Germans continue mounting fierce resistance.

June 1 In the Pacific, XIII Bomber Com­

mand relocates from the New Hebrides to Los Negroes. Meanwhile, B-25s attack parts of Rabaul while 30 P-38s and P-40s strike at Talili Bay.

June 2 Across northern France, the Eighth and Ninth Air Force contribute

1,0 bombers and fighters for around – the-clock air strikes against airfields and communication facilities, especially at Pas-de-Calais, to deceive German intelli­gence; 8 bombers are lost.

In Italy, the Twelfth Air Force contin­ues launching heavy air raids north of Rome to support the Allied drive.

Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker leads Operation frantic, the first shuttle­bombing run from Italy to targets at Debreczen, Hungary, and then lands at Poltava in the Soviet Union. The strike force consists of 130 B-17s and 70 P-51 fighter escorts.

June 4 In England, Lieutenant General

Dwight D. Eisenhower delays Operation overlord for 24 hours in the face of severe weather, although 500 tactical air strikes continue. The storm also provides a convenient cover for the amphibious operation.

In Italy, the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces continue supporting Allied ground troops as they advance towards the German Gustav Line; aircraft are being siphoned off to support Operation anvil/dragoon, the invasion of southern France.

June 5 Over northern France, as part of the wind-up to Operation overlord, 629 heavy bombers from the Eighth Air Force attack coastal forces; 6 are lost to German flak. Lieutenant Colonel Leon R. Vance, Jr., badly wounded by a direct hit on his B-24, flies his craft long enough to allow it to ditch in the English Channel and save the crew; he wins the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Over Southeast Asia, a force of 75 B-29s of XX Bomber Command strike Japanese rail targets in Bangkok, Thailand. A total of 98 aircraft were launched, but 5 of the new bombers are lost to mechanical prob­lems while others abort for the same reason.

Over Wadke, New Guinea, Japanese fighters attack the Allied airfield, destroying and damaging several aircraft.

June 5—6 Over Normandy, France, Operation overlord kicks off at mid­night as 1,400 C-47s of the IX Troop Carrier Command, Ninth Air Force, begin dropping three full divisions of American and British airborne troops behind German lines. Army Air Forces and Royal Air Force tactical aircraft also fly 15,000 sorties in support of the amphibious operation over the next 24 hours. Heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force, now up to its assigned strength of 40 bomb groups, drop an additional 3,600 tons of ordnance on German supply and communications centers further back from the beaches. Moreover, 1,800 fighter sorties are flown in support of the landings; 36 aircraft fall to enemy flak.

Throughout northern Italy, aircraft of the Twelfth Air Force continue striking German positions and communications for the rest of the war.

From Italy, Fifteenth Air Force heavy bombers continue making shuttle runs against Ploesti, Brasov, and Turin. Oil refineries and storage facilities remain priority targets.

June 6 Over Normandy, France, the Eighth, Ninth, and Royal Air Forces con­duct over 15,000 interdiction, close air support, and airlift sorties in support of ongoing landing operations. The Luft­waffe can mount only token opposition.

June 7 At Freeman Field, Indiana, Colonel E. T. Rundquist initiates the Army Air Forces’ helicopter training program.

Over Normandy, France, the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces fly 2,000 sorties in support of five beachheads established during Operation overlord. Transport air­craft also drop 356 tons of supplies to the troops. Despite the deluge ofbombs, how­ever, German resistance remains resolute.

In Italy, the Fifteenth Air Force reaches its peak strength as its 21 heavy bomber groups are activated; here, as well as in the rest of Europe, American aircraft are flying thousands of sorties daily in the cause of victory.

June 8 In England, Lieutenant General Carl A. Spaatz declares that Axis oil production and storage facilities are the highest priority targets of American air power in Europe.

June 9 Only three days into Operation overlord, the first Allied air units begin operating from airfields in northern France.

June 11 At Poltava, Soviet Union, B-17s and P-51s complete Operation frantic by launching against oil and refinery tar­gets in Eastern Europe and returning to home bases in italy.

June 12 At Normandy, France, General Henry H. Arnold accompanies the Joint Chiefs of Staff as they cross the English channel to inspect the recently acquired beachheads.

In the Russell Islands, Special Task Force Air Group I deploys as the first guided missile unit deployed to the Pacific.

June 13 In a portent of things to come, the Germans launch V-1, or “vengeance weapons,” from sites in France and Bel­gium against Great Britain; one of the pilotless flying bombs strikes Swan – scombe, Kent, and General Henry H. Arnold personally inspects the damage inflicted.

June 15 In England, the Eighth Air Force dispatches 1,225 heavy bombers to strike the oil refinery at Misburg, along with airfields, bridges, marshalling yards, and other targets in northern France.

At Brisbane, Australia, General George E. Kenney becomes commander of the new Far East Air Force (FEAF), which incorporates the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces. Meanwhile, aircraft from the for­mer strikes a Japanese airfield south of Bougainville while bombers of the latter continue pounding enemy positions at Rabaul.

At Chengtu, China, a force of 68 Boe­ing B-29 Superfortresses under Brigadier General LaVerne G. Saunders of XX Bomber Command fly 1,500 miles to bomb steel factories at Yawata, Kyushu. This is the first major air raid against the Japanese mainland since the famous “Doolittle Raid” of April 1942.

However, bombing results are poor owing to encounters with the jet stream at high altitude.

June 21 Over Germany, the Eighth Air

Force mounts its first 900-bomber raid against Berlin, escorted by 900 fighters provided by the Ninth Air Force. Addi­tional aircraft attack rocket launching sites at Siracourt, France.

June 22 On Saipan, the 19th Fighter Squadron, 318 Fighter Group, Seventh Air Force, deploys on Aslito Airfield. Over the next week they will help pio­neer close support using napalm bombs.

June 22—23 Operation frantic continues

as 144 bombers belonging to the Eighth Air Force bomb targets in Eastern Europe and land at bases in the Soviet Union. That evening, German bombers raid Poltava, destroying 43 B-17s and damaging 19 more parked there.

June 23 From England, aircraft of the Eight and Ninth Air Force continue pounding suspected V-1 launching sites throughout northern France.

Over Ploesti, Romania, the Fifteenth Air Force launches 400 bombers and 300 fighter escorts against oil refineries; resis­tance is fierce and costs the Americans 100 aircraft. Lieutenant David R. Kingsley, who refuses to bail out when ordered and instead assists the crewmen to escape— even giving his parachute to the tail gunner—dies when his B-17 crashes, but wins a Congressional Medal of Honor.

The 52nd Fighter Group also scores 12 kills over Romania for a total of 102 aerial victories in only 30 days. This record is never equaled by any other American fighter group in Europe.

June 24 On Saipan, P-47 fighter – bombers of the Seventh Air Force provide close air support to army and marine units fighting on nearby Tinian.

June 25 At Cape Kurubai, Aleutians, two B-24s of the Eleventh Air Force bomb a suspected Japanese airfield. This is despite the fact that the Kiska campaign had ended in August 1943.

June 26 Over Saipan, the night skies are patrolled by Northrop P-61 Black Wid­ows, while P-47 Thunderbolts attack Japanese positions during the day.

June 27 Over Germany, Brigadier Gen­eral Arthur W. Vanaman becomes the first Army general captured in Europe when his bomber is shot down on a raid; he spends the rest ofthe war at Stalag Luft III, southeast of Berlin.

June 30 Over Burma, 47 Tenth Air Force B-25s continue airdropping ammunition to hard-pressed British forces defending Imphal, while an addi­tional 17 B-25s carry gasoline to Kama – ing. Other B-25s and P-38s continue striking at Tamu and Wauinggyo.

July 1 In the Mariana Islands, Seventh Air Force P-47s are dispatched to make strafing runs over Saipan, Tinian, and Rota while B-24s, staging through Eniwe – tok, bomb Japanese naval facilities at Truk.

July 2 In the Southwestern Pacific, fight­ers and bombers belonging to the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) strike at Japanese posi­tions near Kamiri on Noemfoor Island in preparation for an amphibious attack.

July 3 Over France, the Northrop P-61 Black Widow, the sole American aircraft designed as a night fighter, begins flying nocturnal missions.

At New Guinea, the 54th Troop Carrier Wing drops the 1st Battalion, 503rd

Parachute Infantry Regiment over the Japanese airfield at Kamiri.

July 5 Over Harper Dry Lake, Califor­nia, the rocket-powered Northrop MX – 324 performs its maiden flight. Originally designed as a glider, its sports an Aerojet XCAL-200 rocket motor and is unoffi­cially known as the “Rocket Ram.”

July 6 Over Saipan, a Japanese G4M bomber is flamed at night by a P-61 Black Widow flown by Lieutenant Francis Eaton, Lieutenant James Ketchum, and Sergeant Gary Anderson. This is the first confirmed kill for the P-61.

In China, the Fourteenth Air Force launches myriads of P-40s, P-51s, and B – 25s against Japanese targets along the Yangtze River; ground support missions for Chinese forces are also flown at vari­ous locations.

July 7 Over Germany, the aerial cam­paign against petroleum, oil, and lubri­cant (POL) targets intensifies as aircraft of the Eighth, Twelfth, and Fifteenth Air Forces stage 3,000 sorties against them; German defenses claw down 60 aircraft.

July 8 In occupied France, a C-47 flown

by Lieutenant Colonel Clifford Heflin touches down for the first time to rescue down Allied airmen.

July 9 Over Ploesti, Romania, Fifteenth Air Force bombers employ Pathfinder nav­igation devices for the first time; escorting P-38 and P-51 fighters claim 14 German aircraft. Lieutenant Donald D. Puckett flies his damaged B-24 long enough to allow most of his crew to bail out; he dies when it crashes, winning a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor.

At Wright Field, Ohio, a wrecked Fies – eler Fi. 103 (V-1) is delivered for technical inspection. Slightly over two weeks later, a working copy of its pulse-jet engine is replicated by Ford Motor Company engi­neers; copies of the V-1 enter the Ameri­can arsenal as JB-1 Loons.

July 11 On Saipan, Seventh Air Force P-

47s take off to strike Japanese positions in the Marianas Islands, especially Tinian and Pagan, in anticipation offorthcoming amphibious landings there. B-24s also stage out of Eniwetok and bomb Tinian over the next several days until the land­ings are affected.

July 11-16 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force commits over 1,000 bombers and 800 escort fighters in a series of repeated strikes against rail yards and aircraft engine factories in Munich.

In southern France, the Fifteenth Air Force begins attacking ground targets in support of Operation anvil/dragoon. However, heavy bombers are also detailed to strike oil-related targets in Romania.

July 12 Over Italy, Operation mallory major is begun by U. S. Army Air Forces tactical bombers to systematically destroy all bridges over the Po River.

July 15 Over China, the Fourteenth Air Force sorties over 100 B-25s, P-40s, and P-51s, which attack Japanese positions at Sinshih, Chuzhou, Siantan, Siangsiang, Sungpai, and Chaling. Meanwhile, a force of 26 additional P-40s provide ground support to Chinese forces in the Salween area.

July 17 Over Coutances, France, P-38

Lightnings drop napalm (jellied gasoline) on German fuel depots for the first time; it proves to be a frightening and highly destructive weapon.

July 18 Over southern Germany, a P-51 Mustang flown by Lieutenant C. D.

“Lucky” Lester, an African American fly­ing with the 100th Fighter Squadron, 332nd Fighter Group, downs three German fighters while escorting heavy bombers. Ultimately, black fighter pilots complete 15,000 missions and claim 261 enemy aircraft.

July 19 Over Germany, 1,100 bombers from the Eighth and Fifteenth Air Forces strike against Munich and other industrial targets, while escorted by nearly 1,000 fighters. Munich is struck by similar raids for the remainder of the month.

In the Pacific, scores of B-24s from the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) strike Japanese targets on Yap, Ngulu, and Sorol Islands while fighter-bombers provide close sup­port to Allied troops in the Sarmi-Sawar sector of New Guinea.

July 21-August 10 As the struggle for Guam unfolds, bombers and fighters of the Seventh Air Force continue striking Truk and Tinian to pin down Japanese forces and prevent them from interfering.

July 22 From Italy, Operation frantic continues as 76 P-38s and 38 P-51s of the Fifteenth Air Force attack airfields near Ploesti, Romania, then fly on to bases in southern Russia. This is the first all-fighter shuttle mission.

July 24-AUGUST 1 Over Tinian, P-47s belonging to the Seventh Air Force drop napalm bombs on heavy jungle vegeta­tion to deny Japanese defenders tactical cover as U. S. Marines advance inland.

July 25 At Normandy, France, 1,495 heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force commence Operation cobra by carpet bombing German positions around St. Lo and creating paths for American ground forces to pour through. The elite Panzer Lehr tank training division is nearly annihilated by American air power, whose bombs leave the surround­ing landscape as cratered as the moon’s surface. However, several bombs fall short and kill Lieutenant General Leslie McNair, commander of U. S. Ground Forces, along with 102 soldiers. A further 1,500 fighter-bombers of the Ninth Air Force continue hammering enemy posi­tions as they begin to give way.

JULY 29 Over Anshan, China, the Showa Steel Works is struck by B-29s of XX Bomber Command. One bomber is lost to enemy fighters while another, badly damaged, is forced down at Vladivostok, Soviet Union, and the crew is interned. This particular aircraft serves as the model for the Tupolev Tu-4 BULL, the first Soviet strategic bomber which flies in 1947.

July 30 In the Pacific, B-25s and P-47s launched from Tarawa continue pound­ing Japanese positions at Saipan as B-24s stationed in the Marshall Islands bomb naval installations on Truk.

Over Burma, constant attacks by Tenth Air Force fighter-bombers result in a Japanese withdrawal from Myitkyina; after issuing the order, the Japanese com­mander commits suicide.

At the western tip of New Guinea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) aircraft mount an aerial diversion by striking Japanese posi­tions at Wewak and Aitape are likewise attacked.

AUGUST 1 Over France, 191 Eighth Air

Force B-17s drop supplies to under­ground forces as 320 more hit targets in Paris, and a force of 75 heavy bombers strike at Tours. B-24s meanwhile con­duct numerous raids against V-1 launch­ing sites across northern France.

At Fort Shafter, Hawaii, Lieutenant General Millard F. Harmon becomes commander of the new Army Air Forces, Pacific Oceans Areas (AAFPOA). He also serves as deputy commander of the XX Air Force, reporting directly to General Henry H. Arnold.

On Saipan, P-47s and P-61s of the Seventh Air Force continue their day and nighttime patrolling actions over Guam, Rota, and Pagan, in support of Allied ground forces fighting there.

AUGUST 4 Over Pas-de-Calais, France, several worn-down and pilotless B-17s and B-24s participate in the first project aphrodite mission; the aircraft are packed with several tons of explosives and flown by a crew of two that bails out over the English Channel, whereupon a pacing air­craft guides them along via radio control to their target. Considering the dangers such missions pose to the crew, they are abandoned shortly after and television – guided bombs receive increased emphasis.

AUGUST 4—6 Over Western Europe, 1,250 heavy bombers are launched by the Eighth Air Force against multiple tar­gets in Germany and northern France, and the raids are repeated over the next two days. Targets include four oil refiner­ies, four aircraft factories, coastal batteries at Calais, and the rocket research facility at Peenemunde. Concurrently, Opera­tion aphrodite continues as radio – controlled B-17 drones, packed with 20,000 pounds of explosives, are launched against V-1 rocket sites at Pas – de-Calais, France.

Over the Balkans, the Fifteenth Air Force launches another Operation FRAN­tic mission by dispatching 70 P-38s and P-51s to targets in Eastern Europe. This attack is in response to a request by the Soviet high command, the first of its kind.

AUGUST 5 The 63rd Bombardment Squad­ron, Fifth Air Force, commences the first night attack with a single radar-equipped B-24 Snooper II aircraft, which strikes the Sasa Airdrome on the island of Mindanao.

AUGUST 6 Over Brandenburg, Germany, a P-51 Mustang flown by Major George E. Preddy tangles with a horde of inter­cepting German fighters, and he downs six in only five minutes. Before his death by flak on December 15, 1944, Preddy becomes the highest-scoring Mustang ace, with 25 victories.

AUGUST 8 In England, command of the Ninth Air Force is assumed by Lieutenant General Hoyt S. Vandenberg.

Over China, a major air raid by the Fourteenth Air Force strikes Japanese communication and storage facilities at Hengshan, Hamoy, and Swatow, China. Several radio stations and storage facilities are likewise destroyed.

AUGUST 9 Over the Seine River, France, a B-26 Marauder flown by Captain Dar­rell R. Lindsey is set aflame by flak. Lind­sey continues flying his crippled bomber until the crew bails out, then dies in the ensuing crash; he posthumously receives a Congressional Medal of Honor.

AUGUST 10 On Guam, Tinian, and Sai­pan, construction crews begin repairing and enlarging airfields for mounting B – 29 operations against the Japanese home­land. These islands have not yet been declared secure and fighting continues.

Over Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands, the Sev­enth Air Force commits the first B-24 operations against Japanese positions, pre­paring them for an amphibious invasion six months hence. They also attack Chi­chi Jima and the Carolines throughout the period leading up to the U. S. assault.

August 10-11 In China, B-29s of XX Bomber Command flying from Chengtu strike industrial targets in Nagasaki, Japan. Another force staging from China Bay, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), hits oil refineries at Palembang, Sumatra, 3,900 miles away; this is the longest mission flown by B – 29s in the war.

AUGUST 10-14 In the Mediterranean, the Twelfth Air Force launches hundreds of B-25s, B-26s, and P-47s in strikes along the French and Italian coasts west of Genoa. Shortly after, the Fifteenth Air Force unleashes heavy bombers to soften targets for the intended invasion of southern France.

AUGUST 11 To further assist American ground forces in eastern France, the Eighth Air Force launches 956 heavy bombers and 578 escort fighters to strike transportation facilities and other German military targets.

AUGUST 13 At LeHavre, France, Ameri­can aircraft unleash two television- guided GB-4 glide bombs against U – boat pens as part of Project aphrodite.

AUGUST 14 Throughout the Pacific, the Seventh Air Force is reorganized into a hard-hitting tactical force whose aircraft, on this day, strike Japanese targets across a vast arc, including Iwo Jima, Pagan, Rota, Ponape, and the Wotje Islands.

AUGUST 14-15 In the Mediterranean, hundreds of heavy and medium bombers from the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces pound German positions in the Toulon-Nice-Genoa area in support of Operation anvil/dragoon. They are escorted by 200 fighters, although resis­tance is almost nonexistent. This is the largest effort mounted by the Mediterra­nean Allied Air Forces during the war, which flies 4,249 sorties and lands 9,000 airborne troops.

AUGUST 15 Over Belgium and the Netherlands, the Eighth Air force launches 850 heavy bombers against German air­fields, assisted by RAF Mosquito raiders and 607 VIII Fighter Command sorties. The Americans lose 17 bombers and 6 fighters while claiming 27 aircraft downed along with 29 locomotives destroyed. Another force of 33 P-47s also dive bombs a locomotive repair ship at Braine-le-Compte.

AUGUST 16 Over Merseburg, Germany, a flight of B-17 bombers is attacked by Me-163 Komet rocket-propelled fighters for the first time. Though spectacular at 590 miles per hour, the Komet proves ineffective against heavily armed bombers; only 279 are constructed.

In India, following the defeat of a deter­mined and bloody Japanese offensive, the Tenth Air Force commits fighter-bombers and bombers to targets in northern Burma, where they harass retreating enemy columns.

AUGUST 18 In northern France, waves of B-26 and A-20 bombers strike at enemy fuel and ammunition dumps, covered by more than 1,000 escort fighters. The German army is beginning to crack and retreat under the weight ofthese incessant aerial onslaughts.

AUGUST 20 On Saipan, the Seventh Air Force launches B-24s against Yap for the first time, while Marshall Islands-based aircraft continue bombing enemy posi­tions on Truk.

AUGUST 23 Over Burma, the Tenth Air Force commits 32 P-47 fighter-bombers to provide close air support during a British advance. Troop concentrations, batteries, and headquarter buildings are all ravaged.

AUGUST 24 In the Mariana Islands, a B-29

piloted by Brigadier General Edmund “Rosie” O’Donnell, 73rd Bomb Wing Headquarters, deploys. This is the first air­craft of the XX Air Force to deploy there.

AUGUST 26 In another series of major raids, the Eighth Air Force commits 997 heavy bombers and 897 fighter escorts against targets in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany. Enemy resistance remains sharp and downs 13 bombers and 13 fighters while a further 148 bombers and 15 fighters receive damage.

AUGUST 28 Over Germany, P-47 pilots Major Joseph Myers and Lieutenant Manford O. Croy, Jr., team up to down the first Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter claimed by American fighters. This is the first operational jet fighter, packing a top speed of 540 miles per hour, and a formi­dable bomber destroyer. It also stimulates Army Air Forces interest in acquiring jet bombers to counter the threat, and plan­ning for the North American XB-45 begins this year.

Brigadier General Haywood Hansell takes charge of the new XXI Bomber Command, equipped with B-29s, while Brigadier General Lauris Norstad is appointed chiefofstaffwith the Twentieth Air Force.

AUGUST 29 Major General Curtis E. LeMay becomes commander of the XX Bomber Command. LeMay, a hard­hitting strategist, is determined to wring out the best possible performance from his new and expensive B-29s.

AUGUST 31 Over Romania, the Fif­teenth Air Force unleashes 45 P-51s against airfields at Reghin, while an addi­tional 97 fighters strafe and bomb airfields at Oradea and Kecskemet. They claim to have destroyed over 150 aircraft on the ground. Meanwhile, at Bucharest, 36 B-17s begin evacuating U. S. airmen interned in Romania as that city falls to the Red Army.

September 1 In England, the Eighth Air Force sorties 950 heavy bombers for raids in France and Germany, but most are recalled due to poor flying conditions. Meanwhile one P-47 fighter group makes strafing attacks along the Brussels – Antwerp region of Belgium, as an addi­tional seven groups attack rail lines through northeastern France.

Over the Philippines, a force of 555 Fifth Air Force B-24s attack dispersal areas at three airfields near Davao, Min­danao, losing two of their number to Jap­anese antiaircraft fire. Enemy fighters also damaged several of the lumbering craft, but post-strike photography reveals 22 wrecked airplanes on the ground.

SEPTEMBER 3—11 Over Germany, the

55th Fighter Group shoots down 106 enemy fighters and earns a Distinguished Unit Citation.

September 4 At Kunming, China, Brigadier General William H. Tunner is appointed commander of Air Transport Command and he orchestrates the conveyance of thousands of gallons of gasoline and bombs over the “Hump” (Himalayas).

SEPTEMBER 5 Over Germany, Captain William H. Allen, 55th Fighter Group, bags five enemy fighters in a few minutes, becoming an ace. The rest of his flight downed a further 11 aircraft in the same dust up.

September 8 In a major technological breakthrough, one portending ominous implications for future warfare, the

Germans launch their first V-2 rockets. Suburbs in Paris and London are struck, and heavy damage ensues. The Allies pos­sess no comparable technology.

Over France and Belgium, Ninth Air Force bombers drop leaflets—not bombs —while scores of transports drop supplies and pick up wounded troops as a large aerial supply line to the front deploys in force.

Over Anshun, China, 100 B-29s arrive from Chengtu to bomb the Showa Steel Works again. In retaliation, Japanese bombers stage at night attack against Chengtu’s airfields, damaging a B-29 and a C-46.

In England, the Allied high command issues its “Joint British-American Directive on Day Bombing Operations Involving Fighter Cooperation,” which solidifies the outline of around-the-clock attacks on Germany’s industrial base.

SEPTEMBER 10 At Hagerstown, Mary­land, the Fairchild XC-82 cargo plane prototype, which employs twin tail booms, performs its maiden flight. After the war it enters service as the “Flying Boxcar.”

Over south central Germany, the Eighth Air Force commits over 1,000 bombers against industrial targets, while aircraft of the Ninth Air Force continue chewing up railroad targets to sever enemy supply lines.

In central France, as forces of Opera­tions overlord and anvil/dragoon link up, they are supported by 800 transports belonging to the Ninth Air Force.

In the China-Burma-India (CBI) the­ater, Air Transport Command missions begin averaging 300 flights per day to China bases and back.

SEPTEMBER 11 Chemnitz, Germany, is the object of a 1,000-bomber raid by the Eighth Air Force as factories, motor transport parks, and a jet engine facilities are struck. This is also the last shuttle raid whereby the aircraft are recovered in the Soviet Union.

SEPTEMBER 12 Over Germany, the Luft­waffe hurls 400 fighters against a stream of 800 Eighth Air Force bombers, shooting down 45 aircraft along with 12 P-51s. Though crippled, they remain a dangerous adversary.

SEPTEMBER 13 Over Hungary, Eighth Air Force bombers attack and destroy the Diosgyor Steel Works.

September 14 Colonel Floyd B. Wood, Major Harry Wexler, and Lieutenant Frank Reckord intentionally fly their Douglas A-20 Havoc into a hurricane to gather meteorological data. They acquire the nickname “Hurricane Hunters.”

September 15 Over Greece, 276 B-17s and B-24s of the Fifteenth Air Force attack military targets in Salamis, Tatoi, Eleusis, and Kalamaki. Meanwhile, escorting P-38s and P-51s swoop down


Paratroopers, planes, and gliders litter the skies during Operation Market-Garden in September 1944, during which the Allies dropped more than 20,000 paratroopers and landed more than 13,500 glidermen behind German lines in the Netherlands. (Corbis)

low to bomb and strafe enemy units attempting to withdraw from the region.

SEPTEMBER 16 Over Germany, a stream of Eighth Air Force bombers, escorted by no less than seven fighter groups, sav­age targets in Hannover, Bremen, and Osnabruck. Other aircraft are detailed to attack targets in Ahlhorn, Mannheim, and Kaiserslautern.

SEPTEMBER 17—30 Over the Nether­lands, Operation market garden com­mences as 1,546 Allied transports and 476 gliders convey 35,000 men of the First Allied Airborne Army near Arnhem to seize the Rhine River bridges. German defenders manage to down 16 B-24s and 21 fighters over the next two weeks.

September 20 At Farmingdale, New York, the Republic Aircraft Company rolls out its 10,000th P-47 Thunderbolt fighter-bomber. Another 5,000 machines are manufactured over the next 10 months.

SEPTEMBER 21 In France, in order to relieve pressing fuel shortages experi­enced by ground units, the Eighth Air Force begins delivering gasoline to bases. Within a week, 200 spacious B-24 Liberators are acting as flying fuel pumps.

SEPTEMBER 23 In New Guinea, the

Thirteenth Air Force relocates it base of operations to Noemfoor Island from Hol – landia. Meanwhile, B-24s of the Seventh Air Force continue pounding Japanese positions on Chichi Jima, Haha Jima, and Ani Jima in the Bonin Islands.

In La Spezia Harbor, Italy, a force of24 B-25s from the 340th Bomb Group attack and sink the light cruiser Taranto.

September 24 Over Kurabu Cape, Aleutians, B-24s of the Eleventh Air Force are attacked by Japanese fighters, whereupon one damaged Liberator force lands in Soviet territory, and the crew is interned.

SEPTEMBER 28 In China, the Fourteenth Air Force dispatches 100 camera – equipped fighters over targets in southeastern China and Indochina (Southeast Asia).

SEPTEMBER 30 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force unleashes 850 heavy bombers that strike airfields at Bielefeld, Hamm, and Munster. They are escorted by 13 fighter groups, while 2 additional fighter groups sweep in low over the region.

OCTOBER 1 In Italy, the Fifteenth Air

Force reaches its fully authorized strength through the addition of the 5th Photo Group, Reconnaissance. It also possesses 21 heavy bomber groups and 7 fighter groups.

Over China, 18 B-25s from the Four­teenth Air Force bomb Japanese airfields at Tien Ho and White Cloud while over 100 P-40s and P-51s strafe and bomb mili­tary targets south of the Yangtze River.

OCTOBER 2 Over Germany, beginning today and continuing over the next 30 days, the Eighth Air Force launches 1,000-bomber raids against varied locales over two 3-day intervals. Airfields, oil production facilities, and aircraft factories remain priority targets, while Cologne is also hard hit. Another six lesser raids include 450 heavy bombers each, while the number of escorting groups numbers between 5 and 17 per mission.

Over Austria, Lieutenant Valmore Beaudrault is credited with shooting down the first Me-262 jet fighter claimed by the Ninth Air Force.

OCTOBER 2—16 Throughout the China – Burma-India (CBI) theater, transport aircraft of the Tenth Air Force haul sup­plies and troops to distant points in the region, sometimes accomplishing as many as 250 sorties per day.

OCTOBER 12 Over Bologna, Italy, Opera­tion pancake unfolds as the Twelfth Air Force unleashes 700 heavy bombers, escorted by 160 fighters. The targets sought are ammunition and fuel dumps, repair facilities, and munition factories. This action is undertaken in support of Fifth Army offensive operations in northern Italy.

Over Germany, Lieutenant Chuck Yeager is credited with shooting down five German aircraft in one encounter; though better known as a test pilot, his final war­time tally is 12 victories.

On Saipan, Brigadier General Haywood Hansell personally lands Joltin’ Josie, the Pacific Pioneer, the first XX Bomber Command B-29 bomber to reach that island. Elements of the 73rd Bomb Wing also arrive throughout the day.

October 14 At Chengtu, China, the XX Air Force launches 100 B-29s on a strike against an aircraft factory at Okayama, Formosa (Taiwan). The raid coincides with American actions on Leyte, Philippines.

OCTOBER 15 Over Germany, over 1,000

Eighth Air Force heavy bombers attack marshalling yards and a gas unit plant at Cologne; they are escorted by less than twelve fighter groups. Another two P-47 groups swoop in low to bomb and strafe targets in Hannover and MUnster-Kassel.

Aslito Airfield, Saipan, is repaired and enlarged for operations by B-29 Superfor­tresses. From here the Japanese homeland will be within striking distance.

OCTOBER 17 Over Cologne, Germany, a roused Luftwaffe downs 52 bombers
and 15 fighters. Several of these fall to futuristic Me-262s; four of the jets are downed in turn.

October 20-24 At Tacloban, Philip­pines, ground elements of the 308th Bombardment Wing, the Fifth Air Force, and the 475th Fighter Group come ashore with General Douglas A. MacAr – thur’s invasion force to set up shop as quickly as possible for aerial echelons to follow.

October 22 Over Ceram, Netherlands East Indies, P-38s of the 12th Fighter Squadron, 18th Fighter Group, drop napalm on oil storage tanks at Boela. At this time the squadron has been staging out from Sansapor, New Guinea.

October 24 Over the Hannover-Kassel region of Germany, the Eighth Air Force dispatches 415 P-47s and P-51s to per­form tactical fighter-bomber strikes against military targets.

OCTOBER 26 Over China, Fourteenth Air Force B-24s and B-25s strike Japa­nese shipping and rail yards off the Luichow Peninsula and Hsuchang. During the raid, the Liberator flown by Major Horace S. Carswell is crippled by antiaircraft fire, yet he refuses to abandon his burning craft until his crew bails out. He dies once the bomber crashes into a mountainside, winning a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor.

October 27 At Tacloban, Philippines, 34 P-38 Lightnings of the 9th Fighter Squadron become the first American fighters to operate from the islands since 1942. Major Richard I. Bong, the highest-scoring American ace of World War II, is among them and chalks up several aerial kills.

Подпись: Bong, Richard I. (1920-1945) Army Air Forces pilot. Richard Ira Bong was born in Poplar, Wisconsin, on September 24,1920, and he was attending Wisconsin State Teacher's College when the United States entered World War II. Bong enlisted in the Army Air Forces, and was initially assigned as an instructor at Luke Field, Arizona. He also underwent flight training in twin-boomed Lockheed P-38 Lightnings and evinced a desire to see combat. In September 1942, Bong arrived in Australia as part of the 9th Fighter Squadron, 49th Fighter Group. He proved himself a dervish in combat, downing his first five Japanese planes by January 1943. Promoted to captain, Bong rotated home the following August to serve as an instructor. He next reported to Fifth Air Force headquarters, New Guinea, in February 1944, although now as the officer in charge of replacement airplanes. The aggressive Bong chafed in this secondary role and, pressing his superiors for combat assignments, he gradually worked his score up to 28 kills. In May 1944, Bong, now the leading American Pacific ace, rotated back home again as a gunnery instructor at Forster Field, Texas. In October 1944, Bong returned to New Guinea, serving as a gunnery training officer. In between his usual duties, he constantly volunteered for combat missions over Borneo and Leyte Gulf in the Philippines, increasing his score to 40 Japanese aircraft. Bong, now America's ace of aces, was grounded by General George C. Kenney, who ordered him back home for his own safety. Beforehand, General Douglas MacArthur personally awarded him a Congressional Medal of Honor. Bong died on August 6, 1945, when his P-80 Shooting Star flamed out on takeoff over Burbank, California.

October 27-December 31 The Japa­nese aerial units make 1,050 sorties over Leyte while pilots of the V Fighter

Command are credited with 314 con­firmed aerial victories and 45 additional probables.

OCTOBER 28 On the Marianas, a small force of B-29s belonging to XXI Bomber Command fly their first mission from when they strike submarine pens on Dublin Island; the aircraft flown by Brigadier General Haywood Hansell aborts due to mechanical difficulties.

OCTOBER 29 Over Leyte, Philippines, the 49th Fighter Group downs its 500th Japanese airplane.

OCTOBER 30 Over Burma, 10 Tenth Air Force B-25s attack bridges at Namhkai, Wuntho, Theygyaung, and Nankan while 50 P-47s are dispatched to perform similar works at Hpao Nam and other locations.

NOVEMBER 1 In Pasadena, California,

the new Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is created at the California Institute of Technology; it serves as the locus of American rocket research.

In England, the Eighth Air Force sor­ties over 300 heavy bombers against synthetic oil plants at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, the bridge at Rudesheim, and airfields at Koblenz and Hamm.

Over Tokyo, Japan, an F-13 (recon­naissance version of the B-29) becomes the first American warplane to fly over the city since the Doolittle raid of April 18, 1942.

NOVEMBER 2 Over Germany, a huge air battle erupts over the synthetic fuel plant at Merseburg/Leuna, as 1,100 heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force run into determined resistance; 40 bombers and 28 fighters are lost, although 150 German aircraft are also claimed. Navigator Lieu­tenant Robert E. Femoyer, severely wounded by flak, refuses a morphine injection so that he can complete his bomb run and finally dies from loss of blood; he receives a posthumous Congressional Medal ofHonor.

NOVEMBER 3 Fifth Air Force P-38 fight­ers begin attacking targets throughout the Philippines, particularly on the Celebes and Halmahera. These sorties continue unabated until all Japanese resistance is eliminated.

NOVEMBER 4 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force unleashes 1,100 B-17s and B – 24s, which strike military and industrial targets at Hamburg, Hannover, and Saarbrucken.

In Italy, the Twelfth Air Force launches 300 medium bombers against German lines of communication in the Brenner Pass and along the Po Valley. Four P-47s also strafe a hotel in Milan where Hitler is supposedly staying.

NOVEMBER 5 Over Vienna, Austria, the Fifteenth Air Force launches 500 B-17s and B-24s, escorted by 350 fighters, against the Floridsdorf oil refinery. This turns out to be the Fifteenth’s largest single operation directed against a single target.

In the Pacific, 24 B-29s from the XX Air Force lift off from the Marianas to strike Japanese targets on Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands. Another 53 Superfortresses depart Calcutta, India, to bomb the King George VI Graving Dock in Singapore for the first time since 1942.

November 6-December 24 Off the Bonin Islands, the Seventh Air Force dis­patches B-24s on mining operations to prepare that region for an amphibious invasion in the spring.

NOVEMBER 7 General Henry H. Arnold asks Professor Theodore von Karman to investigate possible future trends in aviation technology and their implica­tions for national defense. His report is ultimately issued as Towards New Hori­zons, which establishes the scientific foundation for the new U. S. Air Force.

November 8 From Saipan, the XXI Bomber Command dispatches 17 B-29s on a strike against Iwo Jima; one Super­fortress is lost after it is damaged by phos­phorous bombs dropped by Japanese aircraft into its formation.

NOVEMBER 9 The Eighth Air Force com­mits 1,100 heavy bombers in support of Third Army maneuvers near Metz, Thion – ville, and Saarbrucken, France; German re­sistance proves fierce and 40 aircraft are lost. A B-17 flown by Lieutenant Donald J. Gott sustains heavy damage over Saar – brucken, yet he refuses to bail out, in order to save several wounded crewmen by crash-landing in friendly territory; the plane explodes on contact, killing all on board; Gott receives a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor. Another B-17 flown by copilot Lieutenant William E. Metzger is also crippled over Saarbrucken, he attempts to crash-land to save his gravely injured pilot and radio operator, but all die upon impact; Metzger is also awarded a post­humous Congressional Medal of Honor.

November 10 Over Ormoc Bay, Phil­ippines, the Fifth Air Force unleashes 36 B-25 medium bombers upon Japanese shipping; 3 vessels are sunk.

November 12 To avoid burnout, the combat tour length for fighter pilots is set at 270 flight hours.

November 15 The large Boeing XC-97 cargo plane, based on the B-29 Superfor­tress, flies for the first time. It enters pro­duction in the postwar period as the Stratofreighter.

In light ofrecent German advances, the Army Ordnance Department commences Project hermes to research and develop ballistic missiles of it own.

Over Indonesia, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-25s and fighter-bombers offer close support to amphibious landings at Mapia Island while B-24s and P-38s strike Japanese positions at Lahug. Other targets in the Celebes and Mindanao, Philip­pines, are also bombed.

November 16 In eastern France, as the American First and Ninth Armies com­mence a new offensive, they are supported by 4,000 bombers and 750 fighters, which drop 10,000 tons of bombs. This is the largest single ground-support mission flown to date.

November 18 Over Italy, the Fifteenth Air Force dispatches 680 heavy bombers and 186 P-51 escorts to strike airfields at Aviano, Villafranca di Verona, Udine, and Vicenza.

NOVEMBER 21—25 Over Germany, the Eighth Air Force launches another 1,000-plane raid at oil refineries in Mer – seburg/Leuna, losing 35 aircraft. Four days later 900 bombers return in poor weather, guided by Pathfinders, and hit the same targets; 65 aircraft become lost in the overcast and make emergency landings on airfields in France.

November 22 A Japanese air raid against Morotai (Indonesia) strikes Far East Air Forces installations on the ground, killing two and wounding fifteen. A further fifteen aircraft are destroyed and eight damaged.

November 24 Over Tokyo, Japan, 88 B-29 heavy bombers under General Hay­wood S. Hansell of XXI Bomber Com­mand, operating from Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, strike the Musashino Aircraft Factory for the first time since April 18, 1942. The mission is dogged by technical problems and 17 B-29s are forced to abort en route. One B-29 is lost after it is rammed by a fighter, and another ditches once it runs out of fuel.

NOVEMBER 30 Over Germany, synthetic oil plants in Bohlen, Zeitz, Merseburg/ Leuna, and Lutzkendorf are struck by 1,200 heavy bombers from the Eighth Air Force. These are escorted by no less than 19 fighter groups, but German flak and fighters are relentless and 41 bombers are lost.

From Saipan, 23 B-24s of the Seventh Air Force make a bombing run over Iwo Jima, Bonin Islands. Another 37 Liberators launched from Angaur also strike Japanese installations on Legaspi.

DECEMBER 1 Over Burma, the Tenth Air Force commits 30 P-47s to support Allied ground forces in the vicinity of Bhamo. Meanwhile, a like number of Thunder­bolts strike troop concentrations, supply dumps, and bridges at Myitson, Mingon, and Old Lashio. Transport aircraft also fly 240 supplies sorties to the forward areas.

DECEMBER 1—16 At Camp Irwin, Cali­fornia, technicians from the Jet Propul­sion Laboratory (JPL) fire off two-dozen Private A rockets developed over the past 11 months as part of Project ordcit.

DECEMBER 5 Over Germany, 500 heavy bombers of the Eighth Air Force and P-47s and P-51s from the Ninth Air Force struggle with 300 German fighters over Berlin and Munster; dozens of aircraft are lost on either side.

December 8 In the Pacific, Lieutenant General George Kenney, Far East Air Forces (FEAF), recommends Major

Richard I. Bong for the Congressional Medal of Honor after he downs eight Japanese aircraft on a series ofsweeps over Balikpapan, Borneo. His score now stands at 38 kills, making him America’s leading ace.

Japanese aerial raids against the Mariana Islands destroy 11 B-29s and damage 43, so the XX Air Force launches 60 of the giant bombers against airfields on Iwo Jima to stop them. By the time the raids stop in February 1945, 11 B-29s are destroyed and 43 more are damaged.

DECEMBER 13 Over Nagoya, Japan, the XX Air Force launches another large B-29 raid against the Mitsubishi aircraft engine factory, inflicting considerable damage.

DECEMBER 15 Over the Bay of Biscay, a Noorduyn C-64 Norseman carrying Major Glenn Miller, director ofthe Army Air Forces Band, disappears without a trace.

Over western Germany, 300 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s of the Ninth Air Force attack German troop concentrations, ammunition dumps, and oil storage areas at Heimbach, Wollseifen, Ruthen, and Dorsel. Close support missions are also flown for the 2nd and 99th Infantry Divisions along the Westwall fortifications, and the 78th Infantry Division at Kesternich.

December 17 At Wendover Field, Utah, the 509th Composite Group forms under Colonel Paul W. Tibbets, Jr.; this is a highly classified unit tasked with delivering the atomic bomb once it is developed.

Over the Ardennes, Belgium, poor weather grounds most American bomb­ers, but over 1,000 fighters belonging to the Ninth Air Force sortie to provide close air support to hard-pressed Army units in the Battle of the Bulge. All air­craft are then grounded the following day and remain inoperative until the 23rd.

Major Richard I. Bong shoots down his 40th Japanese airplane over Mindoro, Philippines, making him America’s top­scoring ace of World War II. Lieutenant General George Kenney immediately grounds him and arranges his transfer back to the United States.

DECEMBER 18 Over Hankow, China, the docks are the object of the first firebombing raid conducted by XX Bomber Command B-29s, assisted by 200 aircraft belonging to the Fourteenth Air Force.

December 19 Over Santa Monica, Cali­fornia, fighters of the Fourth Air Force are scrambled after receiving reports that Japanese balloons have been spotted over the city; none are intercepted.

December 21 In Washington, D. C., General Henry H. Arnold gains pro­motion to five-star general ofthe Army; he is the first and only aviator so decorated.

December 23 In Belgium, bad weather lifts sufficiently over the Ardennes region, allowing clouds of A-20 and B-26 bombers from the Ninth Air Force to strike German tank and infantry formations during closing phases of the “Battle of the Bulge”; the Americans lose 31 bombers, but claim to down scores of German aircraft.

December 24 Over western Europe, the Eighth Air Force launches 2,000 heavy bombers, escorted by no less than 13 fighter groups, at select targets across Europe, including 11 airfields, 14 com­munications centers, and 5 cities. The

Germans muster 200 fighters and lose approximately 50 in swirling aerial actions. One B-17 piloted by Brigadier General Frederick W. Castle is crippled by German fighters, but he flies on, allowing his crew to bail out; he receives a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor and Castle Air Force Base, California, is named in his honor.

Over Belgium, fighter-bombers and medium bombers of the Ninth Air Force brave poor weather to fly thousands of sorties in support of the Army’s III, VIII, and XII Corps along the southern fringes of the Ardennes. They persist until the U. S. 4th Armored Division breaks the siege of Bastogne.

DECEMBER 26 Over Luzon, Philippines, P-38 fighters sweep over Mabalacat Aerodrome, encountering numerous Japanese fighters. Major Thomas B. McGuire, the Army’s second-highest scoring ace, downs four fighters while defending a crippled bomber, raising his tally to 38—second only to Major Richard I. Bong.

DECEMBER 31 Above Germany, 1,200 Eighth Air Force bombers attack a series ofrefineries, aircraft plants, U-boat yards, and airfields across northern Germany. Over Hamburg, 14 escorting fighter groups tangle with 150 German intercep­tors, claiming to down 60; 14 bombers are lost to fighters and flak.

Brigadier General Haywood Hansell relocates his XXI Bomber Command headquarters from Saipan to Guam, a sign that the air war is moving ever closer to the Japanese mainland.

This year the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) conducted 163,397 sorties throughout the Pacific region, dropping 92,134 tons of bombs and destroying 2,518 Japanese aircraft. FEAF lost 2,584 aircraft of all kinds, mostly to antiaircraft fire.


JANUARY 10 Near Los Angeles, California, the Aero Club of California hosts the first American air meet. Present in the audi­ence is James H. Doolittle, who is inspired to join the U. S. Army and become a pilot.

JANUARY 19 Over Los Angeles, California, Lieutenant Paul Beck conducts the first “bomb run” when he drops three sand­bags from his Farman biplane during a flying meet.

FEBRUARY 15 In an attempt to avoid wintry conditions, the U. S. Army Signal Corps transfers flight training operations from College Park, Maryland, to Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, Texas, further south. Gusty winds en­countered there, however, severely limit flying time.

MARCH 2 Over Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois is the first military aviator to fly west of the Mississippi River when he performs his solo flight. Foulois remains the only pilot assigned to the Aeronautical Divi­sion, Army Signal Corps.

MARCH 19 At Montgomery, Alabama, Orville Wright opens a flying school; years hence, this becomes the future Maxwell Field (and Air Force Base).

JUNE 30 On Keuka Lake, New York,

Glenn Curtiss conducts history’s first aer­ial bombing test by dropping several dummy weapons. His target is a series of buoyed flags laid out in the shape of a battleship and 15 of his 17 projectiles score “hits.” Several admirals observing the proceedings blithely dismiss any potential threat to capital vessels.

JULY 1 Captain Arthur S. Cowan gains appointment as head of the Aeronautical Division, Army Signal Corps.

AUGUST 18 At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, civilian mechanics add wheels to Signal Corps Airplane No. 1, therefore eliminat­ing the need for rails and catapults while launching.

AUGUST 20 Over Sheepshead Bay Race Track, New York, Lieutenant Jacob E. Fickel is the first man to fire a weapon from an airplane when he shoots a.30-caliber Springfield rifle at targets from a Curtiss biplane; four passes result in two hits.

OCTOBER 10 At College Park, Mary­land, Lieutenant Thomas DeWitt Milling takes his Wright Flyer aloft to test a bomb-sighting and -dropping device cre­ated by Riley E. Scott.

OCTOBER 11 Over St. Louis, Missouri, ebullient Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first former commander in chief to pilot an airplane.


JANUARY 8 Over Scott Field, Illinois,

Lieutenant Orvil Andersen pilots the RS-1, then the world’s largest semi-rigid airship, being 282 feet long, 70 feet in diameter, and displacing 755,500 cubic feet when inflated. Andersen and his crew of eight circle the airfield at speeds of 40 miles per hour.

JANUARY 27 Brigadier General William G. Mitchell resigns from the Army, intend­ing to champion American air power as a civilian. This move costs him retirement benefits commensurate with his rank, but he presses his beliefs with urgency.

JANUARY 29 At Dayton, Ohio, a XCO – 5A flown by Lieutenant John A. Macready reaches 38,704 feet over McCook Field, a world record.

MARCH 8 At Clark University, Massa­chusetts, Dr. Robert H. Goddard tests an oxygen-pressure-fed rocket motor on a static stand for the first time.

MARCH 16 Near Auburn, Massachusetts, Dr. Robert H. Goddard successfully launches his first liquid-fueled rocket, a major technological development. The propellant burns but 2.5 seconds, yet pro­pels the missile 184 feet. However, mili­tary implications for such new technology remain pending.

July 2 In Washington, D. C., Congress, cognizant of the growing importance of military aviation and recommenda­tions of the Morrow Board, founds the Army Air Corps (AAC) as a separate branch of the service. This new arm is authorized at 16,650 men and 1,800 air­craft, and includes a new assistant secre­tary of war for air. Major General Mason M. Patrick is also appointed chief of the new Army Air Corps. Congress further mandates that no less than 20 percent of all military pilots must be drawn from enlisted ranks.

The Distinguished Flying Cross medal is established for all military individuals who distinguish themselves through some aerial activity; the award is retroactive to April 6, 1917.

July 16 In Washington, D. C., F. Trubee Davidson gains appointment as the first assistant secretary of war for air within the War Department.

December 7 Flight surgeon Captain Charles T. Buckner, in the world’s first study in aerospace medicine, flies a DH-4B to 28,000 feet without an oxygen tank to study the effects of high altitudes.

December 21 At Kelly Field, San Anto­nio, Texas, five Loening AO-1A

Amphibians under Major Herbert A. will Tour of South and Central America,

Dargue commence a Pan-American Good – covering 25 nations and 22,000 miles.


JANUARY 15 Flying in a Wright biplane at 1,500 feet, Lieutenant Myron S. Crissy drops a live 36-pound bomb on a target. The aircraft in question is flown by Philip O. Parmalee.

JANUARY 16 Over the San Bruno Hills, California, a Wright Flyer piloted by Lieutenant G. E. M. Kelly conducts the first aerial reconnaissance mission when he tries unsuccessfully to photograph and detect camouflaged troops from 2,000 feet.

JANUARY 17 At San Diego, California,

Glenn H. Curtiss opens an aviation school on North Island, which sub­sequently serves as the Signal Corps Avia­tion School.

JANUARY 21 Over Selfridge Field, Michigan, a Wright Flyer piloted by Lieutenant Paul W. Beck relays the first radio-transmitted message while airborne. The test is conducted at an altitude of100 feet and picks up a message 1.5 miles away.

FEBRUARY 7 Over Tijuana, Mexico, a biplane flown by Harry S. Harkness delivers a message to U. S. Army forces; the trip from San Diego, California, 25 miles distant, took only 25 minutes.

FEBRUARY 27 Near Fort McIntosh, Laredo, Texas, a Wright B Flyer piloted by Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois and Philip O. Parmalee demonstrates the potential of aircraft to cooperate with ground forces.

MARCH 3 In Washington, D. C., the Sec­retary of War authorizes the Army’s first aviation appropriation of $125,000 to fund 51 members of its Aviation Section.

Over Texas, a biplane flown by civilian pilot Philip Parmalee and Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois travels between Laredo and Eagle Rock to demonstrate the utility of such technology for relaying military communications.

MARCH 17 A Curtiss D pusher aircraft becomes the first machine adopted by the U. S. Army Signal Corps to utilize tricycle landing gear and it receives the designa­tion Aeroplane No. 2.

MARCH 21 Over Fort William McKinley, Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm flies Signal Corps No. 7, a Wright Flyer, in the first overseas flight of an American warplane.

MARCH 31 In Missouri, the National Guard Signal Corps detachment organizes
an air section to teach aviation and ballooning for the first time.

April 5 At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, the first provisional aero company is organi­zed by the U. S. Army.

April 11 At Augusta, Georgia, the Army

establishes its first, permanent flying school outside College Park, Maryland, and seeks permission to build four hang­ars. Fliers train there during winter months, although the school eventually relocates to San Diego, California.

APRIL 21 Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold is

ordered to Dayton, Ohio, for flight instructions at the Wright Flying School; he is accompanied by another early avia­tor, Lieutenant Thomas DeWitt Milling.

April 27 At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, a Curtiss IV Model D and a Wright Type B become the second and third Signal Corps small aircraft.

May 4 In Washington, D. C., the War Department approves the transfer of Signal Corps Aeroplane No. 1, the Wright Military Flyer, to the Smithsonian Institution, where it will be put on display.

May 7—13 In Dayton, Ohio, Lieutenants Henry H. Arnold and Thomas DeWitt Milling arrive for flight instruction at the Wright Flying School. They graduate six days later.

May 10 At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, a Curtiss D pusher aircraft piloted by Lieu­tenant George E. M. Kelly crashes, killing him. His becomes the first fatality in Army aviation history, and Kelly Field, San Antonio, is named in his honor in 1917.

Подпись: Thomas DeWitt Milling and Lt. Sherman in airplane at Texas City after breaking American duration and distance record. (Library of Congress)

May 13 At Dayton, Ohio, Lieutenants Henry H. Arnold and Thomas DeWitt Milling graduate from the Wright avia­tion school.

June 7 At College Park, Maryland, Lieu­tenant John P. Kelly becomes the first medical officer assigned to the Signal Corps Aviation Field.

June 20 Captain Charles DeForest Chan­dler replaces Captain Arthur S. Cowan as head of the Aeronautical Division, Army Signal Corps.

July 3 At College Park, Maryland, the Signal Corps Aviation School is formally established under Captain Charles DeForest Chandler. He employs two lieutenants, Henry H. Arnold and Thomas DeWitt Milling, who recently earned their wings at the Wright aviation school at Dayton, Ohio.

September 4 Over Boston, Massachu­

setts, Lieutenant Thomas DeWitt Milling is the first army pilot to finish the 160- mile tri-state air race. He arrives at night, guided by the light of gasoline flares out­lining the landing zone.

September 26 Flying a Burgess-Wright biplane, Lieutenant Thomas DeWitt Milling wins the Rodman Wanamaker Trophy by flying a three-man flight for a duration of 54 minutes and 42 seconds.

September 30 Over Nassau Boulevard, New York, Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold serves as a “stunt pilot” during filming of the movie The Military Air Scout.

OCTOBER 10 Lieutenant Thomas DeW­itt Milling is the first army pilot to test drop live bombs from an aircraft while using a primitive bombsight invented by Riley E. Scott.

OCTOBER 18 Captain George W. McKay of the Michigan National Guard is the first member of that branch of service to become qualified as a pilot.

November 5 Calbraith R. Rodgers completes the first-ever cross-country flight by touching down at Long Beach California in a Burgess biplane. It has taken him seven weeks to cover 3,220 miles and he remains airborne for a total of 82 hours and four minutes— Rodgers only glided in after his engine completely failed.

November 28 The Signal Corps Army Aviation School temporarily relocates from College Park, Maryland, to Barnes Farm in Augusta, Georgia, to enjoy better flying conditions. However, the region suffers from one of its worst blizzards on record and operations are suspended until the spring.


May 2 At Bolling Airfield, Washington, D. C., President Calvin Coolidge awards eight Army pilots the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying from San Antonio, Texas, to South America, and back. The so-called “Goodwill Flight” lasted 122 days and covered 20,000 miles. The fliers also receive the Mackay Trophy for that year.

May 4 At Scott Field, Illinois, Captain H. C. Gray pilots an untethered balloon to an unofficial world record of 42,479 feet.

May 20—21 In Paris, France, Captain

Charles A. Lindbergh, 110th Observation


Charles A. Lindbergh, an Army reserve officer, poses next to his record-breaking Ryan aircraft, the Spirit of St. Louis. (Library of Congress)

Squadron, Missouri National Guard, lands his Ryan monoplane named The Spirit of St. Louis after a historic solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean from New York. His flight covered 3,648 miles in 33 hours and 39 minutes and he receives the Distinguished Flying Cross and a special Congressional Medal of Honor.

May 25 Lieutenant James H. Doolittle performs the first outside loop in his Cur­tiss P-18 fighter.

June 28—29 The Fokker C-2 Bird of Paradise piloted by Lieutenants Lester J. Maitland and Albert F. Hegenberger flies 2,407 miles between Oakland, California, to Oahu, Hawaii, in 25 hours and 50 minutes. They receive the Distin­guished Flying Cross and the Mackay Trophy for their efforts.

October 12 In Dayton, Ohio, McCook Field closes and is replaced by Wright Field, where aeronautical testing and development continues apace.

NOVEMBER 4 An Army hydrogen bal­loon flown by Captain Hawthorne C. Gray breaks all altitude records by reaching 42,470 feet, but he dies from lack of oxygen. His demise highlights the need for pressure suits and oxygen systems.

December 10 In Washington, D. C., Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh is voted a Congressional Medal of Honor for his epic transatlantic crossing.

December 14 Major General James to a command position, gains appoint-
Fechet, who rose from the enlisted ranks ment as chief of the Army Air Corps.