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USAAF (Miss Josefine's World)

Part of the United States Army: United States Army Air Force (s) USAAF


Length of time of your existence;


1942 - today

Airmarshal of the United States;

  • John McKinnley (1942-1944)
  • Henry H. Arnold (1944-1946)
  • James Harold Doolitle (1946-1953)
  • Nathan F. Twining (1953-1957)
  • Curtis E. LeMay (1957-1960)
  • Ronald Reagan (1960-1964)

The USAAF is the successor organization to the US Army Air Corps. It is part of the US Army but has its own high command based in the Pentagon. USAAF was founded on February 2, 1942 and was instrumental in America's victory against Japan in the American-Japanese War from 1941 to 1945. (see World War II) The US Air Force is one of the most modern and largest air forces in the world, and the USAAF sees the German Reich Air Force as its dark nemesis. However, it did not develop its importance as America's support, defense and attack force until the Cold War. This article is part of Miss Josefine's World Timeline and covers the history, technical development, and operations of the United States Air Force (s) between 1942 and 1964.

United States Army Air Force (s)

Transformation of the US Army Air Corps to Pearl Harbor in 1942

After the devastating attack by Japan on the Pearl Harbor naval base in 1941, the United States is surprised. Japan's surprise attack comes in peacetime. Although the Americans are aware that Japan with its Greater East Asian sphere of affluence is reaching for power in Asia, no one suspected that an attack was imminent in December. America, which had been suffering from the recession and economic crisis since 1929, was on the mend thanks to the Great Deal. US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1937-1945) reacts immediately to the act of war by Japan, which was carried out without a declaration of war. So the US enters what is perhaps the most important war in its history, the Japanese-American War.

The US military has already recognized that an independent air force is essential for a quick victory. Therefore, the conversion of the US Army Air Corps into the US Army Air Force, which had been discussed for a long time, was carried out on February 2, 1942. The head of the US Army Air Corps, pilot and career officer John McKinnley, is responsible for restructuring the air force. The new independent air force remains part of the US Army armed forces but has its own air force command. The USAAF headquarters was in the War Department in Washington DC until the Pentagon opened in 1943. The Air Force also receives a Commander in Chief of the Airmarshal of the United States. This is John McKinnley. General McKinnley's new rank of air marshal, who acts as the head of the US Air Force, is similar in rank to a German marshal. As the Army leadership itself admits, the title Airmarshal is copied from the German Reich Air Force and its Reich Air Marshal Ernst Udet (since 1941). Udet is also admired in the USA because he was responsible for building the strongest European air force from 1926 onwards. Due to the (partial) independence from the Army, USAAF has completely new possibilities. The USAAF is divided into three major areas, also known as the wings. The Air Force is therefore pronounced with an "S" at the end in your plural because there are three air forces. However, among normal Americans it is called Air Force not Air Forces. The US Navy operates its own air force, the naval aviation.

The three wings of the USAAF:

As part of the complete restructuring of the US Army and USAAF in 1942, the Air Forces were divided into three categories. The USAAF's three air forces have very specific tasks that they use in combined missions. Cooperation is the be-all and end-all, all three wings receive their orders from the Airforces headquarters. Therefore, there are no misunderstandings such as with Army - Navy missions. But the new system is not that new, because it is the further development of an earlier system that has been in use since 1938. In 1941, John McKinnley was the commanding officer of the predecessor US Army Air Corps.

(USAAC) McKinnley has held this post since 1938, when he was appointed to this position in place of General Henry H. Arnold. In his 3 years as Commander of USAAC he divided the Air Force into two parts; Attack and defense. He consistently built up this simple division of the Air Corps until 1941. After the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, he was entrusted with building the new, far more independent US Army Air Forces. His biggest opponent is Arnold who has been railing against him since the introduction of the attack and defense system. Arnold accuses the commander of the USAAF of having willfully replaced an existing system with a dubious new one. He says that the attack on the Pearl Harbor naval base was only so successful because the air force was undergoing reconstruction. McKinnley does not accept this argument, however. He refines the "Defender & Attacker" system and adds support. The head of the new USAAF is of the opinion that a surprise attack like Pearl Harbor could not have been prevented by the old system. In his opinion, the US Navy and Army planes are out of date. From 1944 Arnold took over the USAAF, meanwhile he has also recognized that McKinnley's new "Defender, Attacker & Supporter" system works in practice. The importance of each individual wing air force is undisputed. Nevertheless, there is a healthy competition between them, which manifests itself in the different seasons of the wings teasing each other and measuring against each other. The USAAF holds annual exercises in which the sword goes against the shield and has the task of taking down the air defense. Wing Support rarely takes part in such maneuvers because it has neither the necessary offensive nor defensive capabilities. The need for support has nonetheless been shown in numerous missions. All three wings are a pillar of the American army and an indispensable part of America's defense policy.

The Sword Wings:

"Don't give them anything but take everything away from them"

Motto of the sword

The sword forms the offensive forces within the Air Force. From 1945 on, your equipment also included nuclear-equipped bombers. In the early days of the USAAF there were only a few heavy bombers and fighter-bombers, but over the years they were replaced by better models. The Consolidated B-24 becomes the template for the new Flying Fortress after the war against Japan. In addition, special air superiority fighters, the headhunters, are used. Headhunters try to get opposing hunters out of the sky in the manner of Manfred von Richthofen. These fighters are rarely used as escorts because they mostly have the task of penetrating into enemy territory in order to "clear" the sky. In the 1940s and 1950s, the air forces relied for the most part on their "Flying Fotress" air forces with multinuclear bombs. Since American missile research was still in its infancy, they relied on bombers. The principle of the flying wing was also taken up as an attack weapon. Despite the technical superiority of German machines, especially around 1941, the USAAF quickly followed suit and developed its own jet bombers. During the Cold War of the Three Powers, the sword was feared as a tool of annihilation and the US armed forces monopoly on nuclear weapons. The most famous bomber of the Second World War was a Boeing BFF-29 Superfortress

by the name of Blue Owl. The Blue Owl brought the Fat Boy atomic bomb to the Japanese on August 5, 1945. The destruction of Nagasaki by a nuclear weapon was the only and so far last time that nuclear weapons were used. The use of the sword is therefore based on conventional warheads. Nuclear weapons are considered a deterrent. The sword is owned by the best parachutists in the US Army.
Sword fighter-bomber Republic P-47, American-Japanese War 1945
Consolidated B-24, Heavy Bomber a Flying Fotress of the American-Japanese War
BFF-54 "Bigger Flying Fortress" biplane with 8 engines 1953

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The Shield Wings - The Shield:

The shield forms the defensive forces within the Air Force. The aim of this air force is to protect its own airspace, its own aircraft and ground facilities. The shield therefore has a large number of high-speed hunting machines for air defense and escort protection. In addition, the shield has a large number of ground personnel. Because radar and air protection are an important part of defense. Shield therefore operates the Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) air defense system. In 1942, air defense used the same types of hunters as the sword. However, in the 1950s, aircraft development split into attack and defense fighters. The shield's defenders often have short ranges. These short-range fighters make up the air defenses of the United States of America. They only rise when there is something to intercept. But there are also exceptions such as the escort hunters. Escort fighters are usually capable of escorting sword bombers over long distances. Therefore, a functional shield is also essential for the sword. The shield's fighters are also indispensable for protecting various transport planes from Wings Support. On the ground, the Schild operates Flak (anti-aircraft cannons) and Flarak (anti-aircraft missiles). These air-raid rifles are available both stationary and mobile. There are therefore air armored vehicles that are equipped with cannons and missiles (from 1951). The shield is also very interested in experimental defense weapons against nuclear and missile attacks. For this reason, the possibility of a defense against nuclear-armed Intercontinental People's Revenge missiles of the Germans was discussed in 1954. The result is attempts to introduce new surface-to-air missiles for defense against nuclear missiles. As of 1964, however, such protective missiles did not yet exist, but the shield expected these technologies for the coming decade of the 1970s. Another point worth mentioning is the Air Force Secret Service sign. The Airforce Abwehrdienst has the task of protecting the country from enemy forces and has been operating several listening stations since it was founded in 1950. In doing so, the Airforce rivals the other secret services, the CIA and NSA. The defense of the Air Force is not identical to the military secret services of the US Army or US Navy.

North American P-51 Shield Wings fighter aircraft, American-Japanese War 1943
Canadian-American anti-aircraft tank "Skink" in action at Shield
Airspace surveillance by Shield, Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE)

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The Support Wings - The support:

"We deliver what you need!"

Support motto

The support forms the support units within the Airforce. This makes the Supportwing the most versatile air force in the USAAF. The air support emblem shows a thumbs up. The thumb means so much that the support delivers everything that is needed. Because the support delivers, transports, organizes and even fights on the ground with its "Aircavallary" One of the greatest challenges was the transpacific airlift San Francisco-Tokyo after the Second World War. In 1950 Wing Support took over the full supply of troops and supplies to the US Army. The support aircraft are also extremely diverse. From small single-engine passenger aircraft to the huge "Support Fortress" aircraft and the transport / attack helicopters of the Aircavallary, everything is included. In addition to its military transports, the support also employed private pilots with charter planes. Around 1953 during the Turkish conflict. There were also irregularities. Private support pilots smuggled opium from Kurdistan into the American part of Turkey. From there the drug was shipped to the USA. Such things did not happen from 1955, since then there have only been military pilots. In the 1950s, USAAF also recognized the need for modern transport helicopters. From 1956 onwards, Piasecki H-21 Workhorse transport helicopters were used in the Turkish conflict. The "Flying Banannanas" became an asset to the Allied forces in Turkey. From 1957 the USAAF commissioned new, very experimental helicopters which, like German helicopters since 1947, could also transport vehicles and tanks. The new Sikorsky Amored Transport Gun Ship (ATGS) are suitable for transporting, supporting troops and bringing up tanks. These new support helicopters ultimately led to the founding of the Aircavallary in 1960. The Aircavallary consists of well-trained elite soldiers who are flown in and out for their missions with helicopters. In the US Army, vehicles are landed in the air using transport helicopters and gliders from the support team. The gliders are able to drop tanks and other heavy equipment in war zones. The use of parachutes to deliver tanks was not started again until 1963. The USAAF is years behind the Germans because they have been using a parachute drop system since 1946. A support subdivision is also responsible for media reporting, advertising and recruiting for the USAAF.

Piasecki H-21 Workhorse "Flying Bananna" of the USAAF Support Wings transports load in 1956
Sikorsky Amored Transport Gun Ship of the US Aircavallary 1960
Fairchild C-121 "Boxcar" (freight wagon "support transport machine" 1962)

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History of the United States Army Air Force (s)

The American-Japanese War and the USAAF 1942-1945

"The war is a plague."

Quote from US President Franklin D. Roosevelt

The Japanese-American War begins on December 7, 1941 with the attack by the Japanese Navy on the naval base of the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor and ends with the US invasion of Japan. The surrender of Japan on September 1, 1945 heralds a new chapter for the USA, from then on America is the dominant power in the Pacific region. The war is also known as the Pacific War and forms part of World War II. This Second World War, however, is not a coherent conflict but a global struggle between democracy and fascism. While America's democracy celebrated its victory over Japan, the New German Reich (NDR) and the fascists took control in Europe. Due to the attack by the US Pacific Fleet, the more isolationist USA and its President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected in 1940, slide into the largest American conflict since the First World War. The devastating attack by Japan in 1941 marked a turning point for the Navy and Army Air Corps. The calls for a strong air force and navy became louder and louder. Hence USAAC became USAAF. USAAF had new competencies and tasks. Retribution for Pearl Harbor should be swift and precise by the sword. The Army Air Force's offensive forces were subordinated to Air Force General Henry H. Arnold. Arnold in turn commissioned Colonel James Harold Doolitle to work out a plan for an American air war against the Japanese Empire.

The American command of the “Pacific War Operation” was split in two. Navy Admiral Chester W. Nimitz and Army General Douglas MacArthur take the lead.

But it quickly becomes clear that US fighters from the 1930s were inferior to modern Japanese aircraft. (Boeing P-26, Curtiss P-36 HawkHawk, Bell P-39) So new fighters and bombers should fill the void. Under US President Herbert Hoover