Command Structure of the USAAF WWII

Following on from the Structure of the USAAF During the Second World War – ‘Air Force’, The next step down are the commands.

Each of the sixteen air forces has subordinate commands (sometimes called Divisions) which brought together the wings and groups of the air force. As mentioned previously, the nature of the sixteen air forces, meant that further development created  additional commands that had wider responsibilities and these would sometimes encompass two or more air forces. Further more, some air forces were created without commands and were allotted Wings or Groups.

The commands for the sixteen air forces were:

 Air Force

Command and details

First I  Bomber (later assigned to Second AF and re-designated XX Bomber Command) : 1941-1942.
I Bomber (Antisubmarine Command prior to assignment to First AF) : 1943-1946.
I Fighter: 1941-1946.
I Ground Air Support: 1941-1942.
Second II Air Support: 1941-1943.
II Bomber: 1941-1943.
II Fighter: 1941-1942.
IV Air Support: 1942-1943.
XX (formerly I) Bomber: 1943.
XX Bomber (constituted Nov 1943) : 1943-1944.
XXI Bomber: 1944.
XXII Bomber: 1944-1945.
Third II. Air Support: 1943.
III Air Support: 1941-1942.
III Bomber: 1941-1946.
III Fighter: 1941-1946.
III Reconnaissance (formerly I Ground Air Support): 1942-1946
III Tactical Air: 1942-1945
Fourth IV Bomber: 1941-1944.
IV Fighter: 1941-1944.
IV Ground Air Support: 1941-1942.
Fifth V Bomber: 1941-1946.
V Fighter : 1942-1946.
Sixth VI Bomber: 1941-1946.
VI Fighter: 1941-1942.
XXVI Fighter: 1942-1946.
XXXVI Fighter: 1942.
Seventh VII Bomber: 1942-1946.
VII Fighter: 1942-1945.
Eighth* Originated as the VIII Bomber Command, re-designated Eighth AF Feb 1944 and latterly the strategic Air Command
1st Bombardment Wing: 1942-43
2nd Bombardment Wing: 1942-1943.
3rd Bombardment Wing:1942-1943.
4th Bombardment Wing: 1942-1943.
12th Bombardment Wing:1942-1944.
301st Fighter Wing: 1945-1946.
316th Bombardment Wing: 1945-1946.
1st Air Division: 1943-1945.
2nd Air Division: 1943-1945.
3rd Air Division:1943-1945.
VIII Fighter Command: 1944-45
Ninth Originated as the V Air Support Command, re-designated  Ninth AF April 1942
9th Air Division (formerly IX Bomber Command): 1942-1945.
IX Air Defence Command: 1944-1945.
IX Fighter Command: 1942-1945.
IX Tactical Air Command: 1943-1915.
IX Troop Carrier Command: 1943-1944.
XIX Tactical Air Command: 1944-1945.
XXIX Tactical Air Command: 1945.
Tenth 3rd Combat Cargo: 1944-1945.
7th Bombardment: 1942-1945.
12th Bombardment: 1944-1945.
33rd Fighter: 1944-1945.
80th Fighter: 1943-1945.
311th Fighter: 1943-1944.
341st Bombardment: 1942-1944.
443rd Troop Carrier: 1944-1945.
Eleventh XI Bomber: 1943-1944.
XI Fighter: 1942-1944.
Twelfth XII Bomber : 1942-1944.
XII Tactical Air: 1942-1944.
XXII Tactical Air (formerly XII Fighter) : 1942-1945.
Thirteenth XII Bomber: 1943-1946.
XIII Fighter: 1943-1946.
Fourteenth Assigned first to Air Defence Command and later (1948) to Continental Air Command. Supervised reserve and national guard activities.
68th Composite Wing: 1943-1945.
69th Composite Wing: 1943-1945.
312th Fighter Wing: 1944-1945.
Fifteenth Post War – assigned to Strategic Air Command:
5th Bombardment Wing: 1943-1945.
42nd Bombardment Wing: 1943.
47th Bombardment Wing:1944-1945.
49th Bombardment Wing: 1944-1945.
55th Bombardment Wing: 1944-1945.
304th Bombardment Wing: 1943-1945.
305th Bombardment Wing: 1943-1945.
306th Fighter Wing: 1944-1945.
307th Bombardment Wing: 1944.
Twentieth VII Fighter: 1945.
XX Bomber: 1944-1945.
XXI Bomber: 1944-1945.
*US Strategic Air Forces in Europe Originated as the Eight AF (VIII BC) on 19th Jan 1942, re-designated the US Strategic Air Forces in Europe (Eighth AF) Feb 22 1944.
VII Air Support: 1942-1943
VIII Bomber: 1942-1944
VIII Fighter: 1942-1944










































Sources: Office of Air Force History Washington D.C. (1961) Maurer Maurer



10 thoughts on “Command Structure of the USAAF WWII

  1. I find some information in 301st BG web site. The bombardament of 8/11/1943 was particularly heavy. It killed 1000 civilians . This is the reason why i’m looking for more and detailed information. In particular pictures and flight plan.


    • I think you will need a specific book or document unless you search through different websites and records. Have a look at the links I sent, pull out the various missions you want and then go from there. You could try WordPress reader and search by key word maybe there is a blog about them. I presume you have tried Amazon / Google etc? Sadly I have very little on those operations myself.


  2. Andy, Another fine page created with dedication and patience at finding ways to help teach us how this all fit together during World War II. Thank you for taking all the time and effort to so carefully research and then to put it all together in an easy-to-understand table. Well done as always. Marcella


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