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:
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”
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 see. The best option then is if you know the individual sqns concerned, search for their dedicated websites. Often they have flight plans and photos on there.
All the mission on Terni (Italy), with photos, fly plan ect. In particular the most distructive was the one of 8/11/1943.
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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.
How can i find the reports of bombing Italy in WWII?
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Is is particular ones you want or general missions? RAF or USAAF? As a start try here for USAAF missions
Click to access AFD-100525-035.pdf
This one will give RAF aircrew losses, search the database by place, squadron, name etc
and this one a time line of RAF operations.
finally for specific RAF records a little more complex try the U.K. national archives.
That should get you going. Once you have them try searching for specific squadrons / groups using whatever you have. I do not know of a single book that records them, try Amazon for that.
Hope it helps and you are able to find what you are looking for.
Wow Andy, that’s a very good informing post you’ve placed…another one I mean. You’re doing your research very well!
Thank you. It’s a very complicated project, units swap, get renamed disbanded and reformed. I’ve only scratched the surface here. The project goes on!
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
Thank tou. It has taken quite a bit of time to try and break it down. The last stage is proving to be a real challenge!