5 May 1943
First flight of a production P-51B Mustang powered by the Merlin engine.
War at Sea
German submarine U-638 sunk with all hands in the North Atlantic
Attack on Convoy ONS 5 ends. Thirteen ships are sunk at the cost of six U-boats
Soviet troops capture Krymskaya
British forces recapture Djebel Bou and Aoukaz
1943 – Born on this day, Vincent Crane, keyboards, The Crazy world of Arthur Brown, (1968 UK No.1 and US No.12 single ‘Fire’), Atomic Rooster, (1971 UK No.4 single ‘The Devil’s Answer’). He died on 14th February 1989.
1943 – Bassist Jack Bruce of Cream is born today in Lanarkshire, Scotland. John Symon Asher “Jack” Bruce (born 14 May 1943) is a Scottish musician, composer and singer. He is best-known as an electric bass guitarist, harmonica player and pianist, and was most famous as a vocalist and the bass guitarist for the 1960s [&hellip]
5 May 1943 - History
Jan 1 In the Caucasus region, Germany's 1st Panzer Army retreats to avoid a cut off by Soviet forces from the northeast.
Jan 4 Seven Soviet armies launch "Operation Ring," against the Germans at Stalingrad. It should be obvious to Hitler that he had grossly underestimated the Soviet Union's ability to defend itself. The German army still has a lot of power, but all that Hitler can hope for is the spending of a vast amount of money and men in continuing to occupy the Soviet Union. Finland's government already sees Germany as losing the war and is interested in getting out as soon as it can.
Jan 18 A six-day offensive, Operation Spark (Iskra), establishes a land bridge to Leningrad.
Jan 18 People in Warsaw's Jewish Ghetto rise up and try to defend themselves.
Jan 19 Romania's foreign minister, Mihai Antonrscu, asks Mussolini to start negotiations with the Allies.
Jan 20 Chile's government sees the handwriting on the wall. It severs diplomatic relations with Germany, Italy and Japan.
Jan 21 Italian occupation authorities on French territory refuse to deport Jews.
Jan 23 World War II: British forces capture Tripoli from the Nazis.
Jan 24 Roosevelt, Churchill and two French leaders, Henri Giraud and Charles DeGaulle conclude a ten-day meeting at Casablanca and decide that the war must end with unconditional surrender of enemy nations.
Jan 24 Hitler orders troops at Stalingrad to fight to the death.
Jan 27 The United States makes its first bombing raid on Berlin without British bombers.
Jan 28 Japan's Prime Minister Tojo tells parliament of his government's intention to recognize the independence of Burma and the Philippines and to aid India in its liberation from British rule.
Jan 30 The British bomb Berlin in daylight for the first time.
Jan 31 German troops at Stalingrad surrender, including their commander, Field Marshal Paulus and 16 other generals. The Soviet offensive in the southern region, begun on December 17 and known as "Little Saturn," ends. Since December 11, Italy has suffered 84,830 killed.
Feb 1 Wanting to make their government in Norway appear more Norwegian, Germany's authority in Norway appoints the unpopular fascist leader, Vidkun Quisling, prime minister.
Feb 3 Hitler's government cannot hide its defeat at Stalingrad. German radio announces three days of mourning for the German troops who died there. A government directive orders journalists to put a special spin on the loss. Rather than the result of Hitler's mistakes, the defeat at Stalingrad is described "as an example of the highest heroism and complete willingness to sacrifice for the victory of the German people."
Feb 7 Across the land bridge to Leningrad, within range of Germany artillery, a Soviet train arrives at a bomb-damaged station in Leningrad. People weakened by hunger and hardship are jubilant over the breakthrough.
Feb 8 Japan ends its three-day evacuation of Guadacanal.
Feb 16 Three students paint with tar on a university building and other buildings in Munich, the words "Freedom" and "Down with Hitler." Some copycat signs are posted by others elsewhere in the city.
Feb 17 Dutch churches protest persecution of Jews.
Feb 20 In the United States, studio executives agree to allow the Office of War Information to censor movies.
Feb 22 In Munich, five students and a professor have been reported by those viewing their graffiti and leaflet-making as treason, and on this day the six are beheaded.
Mar 2 Germany begins to transport Dutch Jews to the Sobibor concentration camp.
Mar 5 The Japanese have decided to take 100,000 troops from China and Japan and put them on New Guinea. At the five-day Battle of the Bismarck Sea, north of New Guinea, much of Japan's navy is destroyed. According to the Australians, 2,890 Japanese soldiers and sailors have been killed. About 800 Japanese soldiers make it to New Guinea.
Mar 13 Plans by army officers to assassinate Hitler when he visits army headquarters at Smolensk fail. Hitler has arrived with too many SS body guards. During Hitler's return trip by air, a bomb in a package fails to explode.
Apr 12 The Germans announce their discovery of a grave in Katyn forest containing the bodies of some 4,100 murdered Polish military officers.
Apr 19 Germans launch a large-scale attack on Jews fighting street by street in the Warsaw ghetto.
May 13 British and US forces defeat the German and Italian forces in North Africa.
May 15 The uprising since January in Warsaw's Jewish ghetto is defeated.
Jun 21 The war between Germany and the Soviet Union is two years-old.
Jul 5-12 Against the Red Army at Kursk, the Germans strike back with their last major offensive on their Eastern Front. The battle is the largest armored engagement of all time. The Soviet position consists of numerous lines of trenches 95 miles deep. They have some 1,300,000 men, 3,600 tanks, 20,000 artillery pieces and 2,400 aircraft. The Germans have some 2,700 tanks and assault guns, 1,800 aircraft and 800,000 men. The Germans lose between 50,000 and 57,000 men. Russian casualty figures are a mystery, perhaps around 96,000. The Russians win. The war between Germany and Russia is fairly well decided.
Jul 8 The Gestapo has captured a French resistance leader, Jean Moulin. He refuses to disclose the identities of other resistance members and is tortured to death.
Jul 10 British and US forces land on on the southeast coast of Sicily.
Jul 11 The Germans begin to evacuate Sicily.
Jul 19 Mussolini believes that he needs Germany's protection. He visits Hitler and approves of Germany taking military control over Italy. The US airforce bombs Rome.
Jul 25-26 Mussolini's fascist colleagues have turned against him and speak with king Emanuel III. With this support, the king has had Mussolini arrested. A new government is formed, headed by the conservative military leader, Marshal Pietro Badoglio.
Jul 27-28 Bombing with explosives and incendiaries at Hamburg creates many little fires that unite into a firestorm that kills 30,482, including 5,586 children.
Jul 31 Hitler is still holding on to his siege of Leningrad. For July, casualties from shelling the city add up to 210 killed, and 921 wounded.
Aug 6 Sweden cancels its agreement with Germany about the passage of German soldiers and war material across Sweden to and from Norway.
Aug 6 The former Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini, has been working with the Germans in the creation of an army of about 20,000 Bosnian Muslims. Heinrich Himmler, leader of Hitler's SS, writes of these Muslims having "come to us out of hatred for the common Jewish-Anglo-Bolshevik enemy."
Aug 17 Germany's evacuation of Sicily is complete.
Sep 3 In secret with the Allies, the government of Pietro Badoglio signs an unconditional armistice. British and Canadian troops cross from Sicily to Italy at Calabria.
Sep 8 In a radio broadcast, Prime Minister Badoglio announces that hostilities against the Anglo-American forces will cease, wherever they may be. German radio speaks of "treacherous intrigue which for weeks had been enacted by an Italian clique, serfs to Jews and alien to their own people." German forces take over the north and disarm Italian ground units.
Sep 9 US and British forces land at the Gulf of Salerno, just south of Naples, in southern Italy.
Sep 11 German forces occupy Rome.
Sep 12 Germans rescue Mussolini from his prison in the Abruzzi mountains. Germans begin an attack against the Allied forces around Salerno.
Oct 1 British and US forces have pushed northward to Naples.
Oct 1 In China's north, Mao Zedong, guerrilla leader against the Japanese, calls for a reduction in rents. The Communists have been appealing to and organizing peasants and spreading their influence. Meanwhile, government forces under Chiang Kai-shek are angering peasants with dire taxation and price increases that will amount to a multiple of 250 between 1942 and 1944.
Oct 13 Prime Minister Badoglio tells General Eisenhower that "His Majesty the King of Italy has declared war on Germany."
Oct 14 The US Air Force bombs ball-bearing factories at Schweinfurt. Sixty of its aircraft are shot down, 599 airmen killed and 40 wounded.
Oct 25 The Japanese open the railway from Burma to Siam, built with British and Commonwealth prisoner-of-war labor.
Nov 3 London says that Finland is an Axis power and the principle of unconditional surrender applies also to Finland.
Nov 5 Prime Minister Tojo, like his ally Adolf Hitler, is engaged in wishful thinking. He speaks to foreign dignitaries at the Greater East Asia Conference, in Tokyo, and states that "The countries of Greater East Asia will cultivate friendly relations with all the countries of the world, and work for the abolition of racial discrimination, the promotion of cultural intercourse and the opening of resources throughout the world, and contribute thereby to the progress of mankind."
Nov 6 The Soviet army has been pushing the Germans back in the Ukraine and has taken Kiev.
Nov 10 Ambassador Litvinov says in Moscow that the principle of unconditional surrender does not include Finland.
Nov 10 The destroyer USS Spence attempts to rescue four Japanese in a raft. With his pistol a Japanese officer kills the other three and then himself.
Nov 20-23 A US force consisting of 17 aircraft carriers, 12 battleships, 8 heavy and 4 light cruisers, 66 destroyers and 36 transports, carrying 35,000 US Marines and part of the Army's 27th Infantry Division, attack the atoll (24 little islands) of Tarawa. It is a point in a drive northward toward Japan. The US loses more than 1,000 killed and 2,200 wounded. The Japanese lose 4,690 killed. On the Japanese side, only 110 survive.
Nov 22-26 President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill and Generalissimo Chiang Kai‑shek meet in Cairo, Egypt. They agree that Japan will be "stripped of all the islands in the Pacific which she has seized or occupied since the beginning of the First World War in 1914," and that "all the territories Japan has stolen from the Chinese, such as Manchuria, Formosa, and the Pescadores, shall be restored to the Republic of China."
Dec 4 Josip Broz Tito, guerrilla war leader and Communist, proclaims a provisional democratic Yugoslav government.
Dec 24 General Eisenhower is made supreme commander of the Allied invasion of western Europe.
Dec 30 Subhash Chandra Bose has announced in Japanese occupied Singapore the creation of a liberated Indian government in exile. The Japanese have given him nominal rule on the Andaman islands (between Burma and India) and there, at Port Blair, Bose raises the flag of Indian independence.
5 May 1943 - History
The 5. Panzer-Division was formed in November 1938 in Oppeln. It fought in Poland and France before supplying Panzer Regiment 15 to the forming 11. Panzer-Division.
It took part in the campaign in the Balkans before transferring to the Eastern front where it fought on the central sector. It took part in the drive against Moscow and later fought at Kursk before being pushed back into Latvia, Kurland and finally East Prussia where it surrendered to the Red Army in April 1945 near Danzig.
Following the Balkan campaign the 5. Kompanie of Panzer-Regiment 31 with 5 Panzer II and 17 Panzer III was detached from the division to be used in the invasion of Crete where it was used to form Panzer-Abteilung Kreta. Two Panzer II from this kompanie were transfered to Crete by a small harbor tug under the command of Oberleutnant-zur-See Albert Oesterlin following urgent requests from the airborne troops fighting on the island.
Kradschützen-Bataillon 55 were also sent to Crete to take part in the invasion. 2./ KSB 55 and 5./ KSB 55 to be transferred by boat but convoy was attacked and largely destroyed by the Royal Navy. 3./KSB 55 were transferred by Ju 52 aircraft on 26 May and was soon followed by the other elements of the battalion. Under the command of Oberstleutnant Schacke they fought to help break the encirclement around the fallschirmjäger, engage the retreating Allied forces and establish the liaison with the Italian forces landing in the east of the island.
In the following days it advanced east in pursuit of the Allies, at Rethimnon some 400 Greek soldiers were taken prisoner on 29 May and on the 30th it took part in the attack on the Australian forces near Rethimnon capturing some 1.500 Australian soldiers and freeing 300 German POWs.
Generalleutnant Heinrich von Viettinghoff genannt Scheel (24 Nov 1938 - 22 Oct 1939)
Generalleutnant Max Hartlieb genannt von Walsporn (23 Oct 1939 - 22 May 1940)
General der Artillerie Joachim Lemelsen (22 May 1940 - 24 Nov 1940)
Generalmajort Gustav Fehn (25 Nov 1940 - 30 Apr 1942)
Oberst Kurt Haseloff (01 May 1942 - ?? Jun 1942) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalleutnant Gustav Fehn (?? Jun 1942 - 25 Sep 1942)
Generalmajor Eduard Metz (25 Sep 1942 - 1 Feb 1943)
Oberst Johannes Nedtwig (1 Feb 1943 - 07 May 1943) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Ernst Felix Fäckenstedt (07 May 1943 - 31 Aug 1943)
Oberst Eduard Crasemann (31 Aug 1943 - 7 Sep 1943) m.d.F.b.
Oberst Karl Decker (7 Sep 1943 - 30 Nov 1943) m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Karl Decker (1 Dec 1943 - 29 Dec 1943)
Oberst Heinrich-Walter Bronsart von Schellendorf (30 Dec 1943 - 29 Jan 1944) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalleutnant Karl Decker (30 Jan 1944 - 15 Oct 1944)
Oberst Rolf Lippert (16 Oct 1944 - 31 Dec 1944)m.d.F.b.
Generalmajor Rolf Lippert (1 Jan 1945 - 10 Feb 1945) (1)
Generalmajor Günther Hoffmann-Schönborn (18 Feb 1945 - 8 Apr 1945)
Oberstleutnant der Reserve Hans Herzog (9 Apr 1945 - 18 Apr 1945) m.d.st.F.b.
Generalmajor Karl Koetz (18 Apr 1945 - 8 May 1945)
Area of operations
Poland (Sep 1939 - May 1940)
France (May 1940 - Apr 1941)
Balkans & Greece (Apr 1941 - June 1941)
Eastern front, central sector (June 1941 - July 1944)
Eastern front, northern sector (July 1944 - Mar 1945)
Danzig (Mar 1945 - May 1945)
Holders of high awards
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army (4)
- Aust, Friedrich, 07.10.1943 (2224), Unteroffizier, Pz.Jäg.Fhr. i. d. 2./Pz.Jäg.Abt. 53
- Cetto, Walter, 16.10.1942 (1326), Oberstleutnant, Kdr. III./Pz.Art.Rgt. 116
- Gudelius, Alfred, 08.02.1942 (659), Major, Kdr. II./Schtz.Rgt. 14
- Henrici, Friedrich-Karl, 17.12.1943 (2630), Major, Kdr. II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 13
Holders of the Commendation Certificate of the Commander-in-Chief of the Army for Shooting Down Aircraft (1)
- Meißner, [first name not listed], 01.05.1944 (485), Leutnant, Stab/Pz.Gren.Rgt. 14
Holders of the Honor Roll Clasp of the Heer (24)
Holders of the German Cross in Gold (128)
Holders of the German Cross in Silver (2)
- Hartmann, Martin, 27.09.1944, Heeres-Hauptwerkmeister, Versorgungs-Kp II./Pz.Gren.Rgt. 13
- Moolen van der, Heinrich, 30.11.1944, Heeres-Werkmeister d.R., Werkstatt.Kp. 2./85
Holders of the Knight's Cross (57)
Holders of the Knight's Cross to the War Merit Cross (1)
- Benoit, Wilhelm 13.09.1943 Heeres-Hauptwerkmeister Pz.Inst.Kp/Pz.Rgt.31
Order of battle (September 1939)
- 85. Motorcycle Messenger Platoon
- 85. Mapping Detachment (mot)
5. Schützen Brigade
- 2 x Regiment
- Light Infantry Column (mot)
8. Panzer Brigade
- 2 x Regiment
8. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- 2 x Armored Car Platoon
- Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Company (mot)
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
116. Artillery Regiment
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- Weather Detachment (mot)
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
53. Panzerabwehr Battalion
- Signals Platoon (mot)
- 3 x Battery (mot)
77. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Signals Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Panzer Signals Supply Column
89. Pioneer Battalion
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko H (mot)
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
Support & Supply Units
Order of battle (1943)
- Divisional Staff
- 85. Mapping Detachment (mot)
31. Panzer Regiment
14. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Staff Company (mot)
- Battalion (half-track)
- Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
13. Panzergrenadier Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- Regimental Staff Company (mot)
- 2 x Battalion (mot)
- Infantry Gun Company (self-propelled)
53. Panzerjäger Battalion
- Panzerjäger Company (mot)
- Panzerjäger Company (self-propleed)
2. Reconnaissance Battalion
- Armored Car Company
- 3 x Motorcycle Company
- Heavy Reconnaissance Company (mot)
- Light Reconnaissance Supply Column (mot)
116. Panzer Artillery Regiment
- Regimental Staff
- 2 x Battalion
- Battalion (self-propelled)
- Battalion (mot)
- Observation Battery (mot)
288. Army Flak Battalion
- Staff & Staff Battery
- 2 x Heavy Flak Battery
- Light Flak Battery
- Flak Battery (self-propelled)
- Light Flak Supply Column (mot)
39. Panzer Pioneer Battalion
- Pioneer Company (half-track)
- 2 x Pioneer Company (mot)
- Brüko K Bridging Column
- Light Pioneer Supply Column (mot)
77. Panzer Signals Battalion
- Panzer Telephone Company
- Panzer Radio Company
- Light Signals Supply Column (mot)
85. Feldersatz Battalion
- 4 x Company
Supply & Support Units
Rolf Lippert (Gold medal winner in the Team eventing in the 1936 Olympics)
Panzer IV Ausf D of 5. Panzer-Division in France 1940
(Courtesy of Magnus)
15 cm sIG 33 auf Panzer I in Greece 1941
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)
Panther of 5. Panzer-Division in the east during the summer of 1944
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)
Vehicles of the reconnaissance battalion enter Athens 27 April 1941
(Courtesy of Bundesarchiv/Wikimedia, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0 Germany)
1. Generalmajor Lippert became ill on 10 February, was evacuated to Germany and died on 1 April, 1945.
Microfilm Publication A-3356, German Officer Personnel files, NARA
RKT & DKiGT karteikarten, BA/MA
Walter Ansel - Hitler and the Middle Sea
Dermot Bradley, Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Markus Rövekamp - Die Generale des Heeres 1921-1945
Wolf Keilig - Die Generale des Heeres
Andris Kursietis - Die Wehrmacht at War 1939-1945
François de Lannoy & Josef Charita - Panzertruppen: German armored troops 1935-1945
Kurt Mehner - Die Deutsche Wehrmacht 1939-1945: Führung und Truppe
Samuel W. Mitcham Jr - The Panzer Legions: A guide to the German Army Tank Divisions of WWII and Their Commanders
Peter Schenk - Kampf um die Ägäis
Peter Schmitz, Klaus-Jürgen Thies, Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Die deutschen Divisionen 1939-1945 (4 Vol)
Georg Tessin- Verbände und Truppen der deutschen Wehrmacht 1933-1945
Günther Wegmann - Die Ritterkreuzträger der Deutschen Wehrmacht, Teil VIII a: Panzertruppe, Band 1
Günter Wegmann & Christian Zweng - Formationsgeschichte u. Stellenbesetzung der deutschen Streitkräfte, 1815-1990, Teile IV, Abt. 1: Die Dienststellen, Kommandobehörden u. Truppenteile des Heeres, Oct.35-May.45
On May 5, 1943, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969) writes to Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall (1880-1959) to urge the adoption of a new shorter, smarter-looking army service jacket. Soon dubbed the Ike jacket, the new uniform will become U.S. Army standard in November 1944. The iconic jacket, the most famous item of clothing to come out of World War II, traces its origins to the state of Washington. In 1941 Eisenhower, then a colonel serving at Fort Lewis, sought a sharp-looking alternative to the standard army service coat. He had Fort Lewis Post Exchange tailor Joseph Rome (1885-1971) alter a service coat from mid-hip length to waist length and make it form fitting, but as a colonel Eisenhower lacked the rank to make this jacket part of the official army uniform. In 1943 as a general he again has a tailor create a shorter, more attractive jacket, and now he can also advocate for it to be issued army wide. After the war the Ike jacket will also be adopted by the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Post Office, and various commercial companies, and will be widely worn by both veterans and civilians.
Joseph Rome and the Original Jacket
For the most part, the World War II era was a time of plain fashions. However one garment demonstrated, style, comfort, and innovation, and won lasting fame. The Ike jacket, described as very short, very comfortable, and very natty looking, and eventually worn by millions of service members, became the most famous apparel of the war. The iconic jacket had its beginning several years earlier at Fort Lewis in Pierce County south of Tacoma. In February 1940 Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower reported to duty at Fort Lewis. He had reached his goal to lead troops after more than a decade of desk jobs. Eisenhower became a battalion commander in the army's sharpest regiment, the 15th Regiment.
A quality of Eisenhower that would serve the country well was his concern and caring for the soldiers who served under him. While the 15th Regiment was sharp, the men's appearance in the standard-issue service coats was anything but sharp. The mid-hip-length coat was more like a poorly fitting sport coat than a uniform. In 1941 Colonel Eisenhower could not do anything to correct the army uniform's shortcomings. However he could demonstrate that a sharper uniform could be made. To create a better jacket he asked the Post Exchange tailor, Joseph Rome, to cut and alter one of the olive-drab wool-serge service coats. Rome cut it from mid-hip length to waist length and made it more form fitting. Eisenhower and Rome were both pleased with the jacket design.
Joseph Rome immigrated to Tacoma from Russia in 1913 and became a tailor. He worked in tailor shops and in 1924 became the head tailor at Tacoma's Drury the Tailor. In 1940 he acquired the concession tailor shop in the Fort Lewis Post Exchange. After the war he had a shop in Tacoma, and he returned to the Fort Lewis tailor shop during the Vietnam War, operating it from 1967 to 1970.
Eisenhower Promotes the Ike Jacket
Colonel Eisenhower left Fort Lewis in July 1941 and rapidly advanced to general. In 1942, following U.S. entry into World War II, he was given command of allied forces in Europe. There he made a substantial effort to get soldiers a better uniform. General Eisenhower asserted that the unattractive everyday uniform caused soldiers to present a sloppy appearance. Not only was the standard jacket unattractive, but it was also too restrictive in combat situations. In March 1943 Eisenhower called in his tailor, Sergeant Michael Popp (1905-1968), and asked him to alter a jacket to be more form-fitting, shorter, and attractive. Sergeant Popp, a tailor from Ohio, had joined the Army in 1942 and was assigned to Eisenhower's staff during the North African campaign.
Eisenhower told Popp that he wanted his jacket shortened and that it should be comfortable and good looking. The waist-length British Army jacket offered some hints for design. Popp took the service uniform and cut it to waist length and, instead of flaring out, made it tight-fitting around the waist. He also gave the collar a more streamlined look and altered the shoulder design. Eisenhower liked it and started wearing the new jacket. Soon his staff officers went to Sergeant Popp to get similar jackets. Eisenhower wore several versions of the jacket with different pockets and waist tabs.
General Eisenhower worked through channels to replace the standard army service jacket. On May 5, 1943, he wrote to General George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, urging that the new jacket design be adopted for European Theater of Operations. In his letter, Eisenhower wrote that soldiers wearing the standard army service coat created an impression of a disorderly mob. He argued that poor discipline resulted from this poor appearance and that to realize satisfactory discipline a smarter-looking jacket was required. General Eisenhower suggested that the Army Quartermaster rush to create a better woolen uniform.
The army quartermaster did just that, developing a new service coat. The olive-drab wool-serge field jacket was accepted into service in November 1944. Its designation was the M-1944 field jacket, and it was similar to Sergeant Popp's design of early 1943. The M-1944 was a battle uniform, but soldiers saved it for regular wear. After the war many veterans wore it as a symbol of honor.
Ike Jackets Today
In 1949 the U.S. Air Force adopted a carbon copy of the Ike jacket as its standard uniform the winter version was blue, while the lighter summer model was tan colored. The Air Force used the Ike jacket uniform until May 1964. During the Eisenhower presidency (1953-1961), the U.S. Post Office adopted the jacket for its uniform, in blue (a different shade than the Air Force). Variations of the jacket were used by a number of commercial companies. Widespread surplus sales also found civilians wearing the jackets, sometimes in ways that some service members and veterans considered to be demeaning.
The Ike jacket remained the army's standard uniform until the late 1950s, when it was replaced with a longer jacket in a green color. The original jacket that Joseph Rome designed for Eisenhower is lost to history. Surviving are many military-issued M-1944 jackets. A number of them are on exhibit in museums. An Ike jacket worn by Audie L. Murphy (1925-1971), one of America's most decorated soldiers, is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Audie Murphy became a national hero after the war. In 1945 he was on the cover of Life magazine. He wrote his autobiography, To Hell and Back, and starred in the 1955 film adaptation. The movie was shot at Fort Lewis and Yakima Firing Center.
The Kansas Museum of History in Topeka has on display an Ike jacket that Eisenhower wore, donated by his son John Eisenhower, a graduate of Tacoma's Stadium High School. A number of other museums have Ike jackets on display. Eisenhower was buried in a plain army casket, in his famed Ike jacket, on the grounds of the Eisenhower Presidential Library in Abilene, Kansas.
Cultural Resources Program, Joint Base Lewis-McChord
U.S. Army staff officer's jacket ("Ike jacket"), ca. 1945
Courtesy National Park Service (Eisenhower National Historic Site, EISE 14676)
World War II Database
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"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."
The World War II Database is founded and managed by C. Peter Chen of Lava Development, LLC. The goal of this site is two fold. First, it is aiming to offer interesting and useful information about WW2. Second, it is to showcase Lava's technical capabilities.
I. Rationing & Controlling Prices
During World War II fewer manufactured goods were available because of military needs. A system of rationing and price controls were established to provide resources needed for the war and to avoid the kinds of economic problems that had resulted during World War I, such as high inflation. Government programs for rationing and price controls were administered by the Office of Price Administration (OPA) whose activities were especially important at the local level and affected virtually every household in the United States.
Selected records of the Office of Price Administration, Record Group 188, NARA's Northeast Region, Boston:
- Minutes, July 13, 1944 (5 pages), February 5, 1944 (4 pages), New Haven, Connecticut Price and Rationing Board, Records of the War Price and Rationing Boards
(9 pages), Transcripts of Radio Broadcasts, Information Division, Records of Region 1 (Boston)
(8 pages), Transcripts of Radio Broadcasts, Information Division, Records of Region 1 (Boston)
(6 pages), Records of the War Price and Rationing Boards
, Area Price Representative, August 16-21, 1943 (3 pages) August 23-28, 1943 (3 pages) Weekly and Monthly Narrative Field Reports, Price Board Management Division, Records of the Connecticut District
, 1946 Newsclippings, Cambridge Price and Rationing Board, Records of the War Price and Rationing Boards
, Reading Chronicle, August 13, 1943, News Clippings, Reading [Massachusetts] Price and Rationing Board, Records of the War Price and Rationing Boards
(Pamplet, 10 pages, nd, ca. 1945), Regional Publicity Files, Information Division, Records of Region 1 (Boston)
, Information Division, Records of Region 1 (Boston)
, nd., Records of the War Price and Rationing Boards
, 1943, Concord Price and Rationing Board, Records of the War Price and Rationing Boards
(located in Cambridge, Massachusetts), filed 1946, Survey Files, Massachusetts District (Boston)
While the Eighth Air Force pressed home the bomber offensive against Germany, the Ninth Air Force prepared for its role in the crowning offensive of the war in Europe-the invasion of Normandy. Though called upon to support the CBO in its later phases and required to assume a major share in the Allied campaign against C ROSSBOW targets, the Ninth Air Force had as its primary mission assistance to the amphibious landings in France and cooperation with the ground armies in their subsequent sweep into the heart of Germany. For the accomplishment of that mission this second of the American air forces in ETO was transformed, within a period of seven and one-half months, from little more than a name into the most powerful single tactical air force engaged on any of the world's battle fronts.
Prior to the summer of 1943 it had been anticipated that the VIII Air Support Command, established in 1942,* would be developed into a tactical air force for support of the invasion. On that assumption Brig. Gen. Haywood S. Hansell, Jr., by July 1943 had drafted for COSSAC a detailed build-up plan which proved to be a remarkably accurate forecast of the tactical forces to be deployed by the AAF in support of the invasion of Normandy. 1 But General Arnold, having in that same month selected Brereton for command of these forces, decided in August on the organization in ETO of a separate tactical air force and the transfer to the European theater of the Ninth Air Force, Brereton's old command in the Middle East.&dagger
The combat units and most of the service units currently serving with the Ninth were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force, while the air force headquarters and three command headquarters prepared for
the move to England. 2 On a visit to Eaker in September, Brereton completed arrangements for the movement of his staffs from Egypt and for the transfer of combat and service units from the Eighth Air Force to the Ninth, and then went on to Washington for a briefing on build-up plans. 3 While Brereton was in Washington, the headquarters staffs of the Ninth and of its bomber, fighter, and service commands, plus a handful of small headquarters service units, chiefly signal companies, began the move from Egypt to the United Kingdom. The advance echelon left Cairo by air on 28 September, and additional air echelons followed at intervals until the close-out party under Brig. Gen. Victor H. Strahm, chief of staff of the Ninth, departed on 18 October. Before the end of November, all of the "boys with sand in their shoes" had arrived in England and had been assigned to their stations. 4
Brereton's return to England and his assumption of command on 16 October was the starting signal for the Ninth, which inherited little more than its name, its commanding general, and the nuclei of four experienced headquarters staffs from its antecedent in the Middle East. On the preceding day the Eighth Air Force had transferred to the Ninth the whole VIII Air Support Command and the VIII Tactical Air Service Area Command. Down to the end of 1943 most of the Ninth's units and men came from the Eighth Air Force. 5 Thereafter, the great bulk of the more than 170,000 troops who manned the Ninth on D-day came from the United States.
Organization and Build-up
The task of placing the Ninth Air Force within the organizational framework of the European theater did not prove to be easy. After 15 December 1943, when AEAF assumed operational control of the Ninth, 6 the new air force found itself in the position of a vassal owing homage to two suzerains who had conflicting conceptions of their authority, for General Eaker's United States Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom* retained administrative control, a control which passed in January to USSTAF. General Spaatz assumed administrative control over all American air forces in the theater as of 20 January, 7 and soon found himself in conflict with Leigh-Mallory over the training of Ninth Air Force units for participation in O VERLORD . Spaatz had no doubts about the extent of his prerogatives. On 24
February he addressed an official letter to Brereton in which he stated categorically: "The Commanding General, USSTAF, will exercise control of all administrative and training matters pertaining to the Ninth Air Force, and will assume direct responsibility to higher headquarters for the proper performance of those functions." 8 Thus was it made clear to both the AEAF and the Ninth Air Force that USSTAF would suffer no transgression of its sovereignty. For Brereton, who had visions of a Ninth Air Force independent of both USSTAF and the AEAF, there was no other choice but to comply. For Leigh-Mallory it was another demonstration of the inadequacy of his powers as commander of the Allied tactical air forces.
During 1943 tactical air force planners had assumed that the Ninth Air Force would become increasingly independent of the administrative and logistical control of the theater air headquarters in the United Kingdom. With its lodgment on the continent, it was contemplated that the Ninth would sever its connection with the United Kingdom base and rely directly on the United States for its base support and on theater headquarters for its administration. General Brereton and his service commander, Maj. Gen. Henry J. F. Miller, acted on this assumption during 1943 and early 1944, establishing a base air depot under the IX AFSC and otherwise taking steps to free themselves of reliance on the theater air service command. 9 This tendency was given impetus by the widely current Ninth Air Force belief that USSTAF discriminated against the Ninth in favor of the Eighth Air Force when allocating men, units, aircraft, and supplies. In response to representations from Brereton and Leigh-Mallory, USSTAF maintained that the allocation of men and equipment was governed by operational priorities and that since P OINTBLANK held first priority for the air forces in the European theater, the needs of the Eighth Air Force must be met first. 10 In spite of the logic of the situation, this explanation could not satisfy an organization which was under intense pressure to build and prepare a new air force for tactical operations on the continent in the near future. But the Ninth Air Force was in no position to dispute USSTAF's authority, much as it may have been inclined to do so. Spaatz and Brig. Gen. Hugh J. Knerr, USSTAF's deputy for administration, strongly opposed all moves on the part of the Ninth toward self-containment and insisted on retaining unified administrative and logistical control of all American air forces in the theater, even after the move to the continent, in order to avoid possibly
harmful competition between the Eighth and Ninth for supplies. Although as late as May and June 1944 some plans officers at AAF Headquarters in Washington were still recommending that the Ninth Air Force be logistically independent of the United Kingdom base when it moved to France, Arnold agreed with Spaatz and Knerr in July. The Ninth Air Force was destined to remain under the full administrative and logistical control of USSTAF. 11
There was also a major organizational issue, at least from Brereton's point of view, in relations between the Ninth Air Force and the AEAF. Leigh-Mallory wished to establish an Allied tactical air force headquarters, under command of Air Marshal Sir Arthur Coningham, for the operational control of the Ninth Air Force and RAF's Second Tactical Air Force, an arrangement that would leave Leigh-Mallory free to coordinate the efforts of the strategic and tactical air forces at the highest air level in the theater. Brereton vigorously resisted this proposal to interpose another headquarters between himself and the Allied air commander, and not until April 1944 was the issue settled. At that time it was agreed that Coningham should direct the operations of both tactical air forces through an advanced headquarters of the AEAF during the assault phase of O VERLORD . Thereafter, Brereton and Coningham would be directly responsible to AEAF headquarters for the operations of their respective air forces. 12
While the Ninth Air Force was seeking to find its place within the organizational framework of the theater, it worked swiftly to develop its internal organization in response to the constant pressure of time. The headquarters at Sunninghill was organized along traditional staff lines with most of the key positions occupied by officers who had come from Egypt or from the headquarters staff of the VIII Air Support Command, which had been long resident at Sunninghill. 13 The merger of the two staffs not only combined the operational experience of the two organizations but preserved the continuity of control over the various subordinate echelons which had been transferred from the Eighth Air Force.
On arrival in England, IX Bomber Command headquarters joined and absorbed the headquarters of the 3d Bombardment Wing* at Marks Hall, Essex. Col. Samuel E. Anderson, whose command of the 3d Wing since July 1943 had afforded him much experience as a medium bomber commander, was appointed commander of the IX
Organization of the Ninth Air Force 6 June 1944
Bomber Command, a position he retained until the end of the war. The 3d Wing brought with it to the Ninth four medium bombardment groups the 322d, 323d, 386th, and 387th which became the nucleus of the bomber command. 14 Until February, these four groups, divided between the 98th and 99th Combat Bombardment Wings, constituted the total operational strength of the bomber command. In a two-month period beginning in February, four more medium (B-26) and three light (A-20) bombardment groups arrived from the United States. The eight medium groups were divided between the 98th and 99th Wings and the three light bombardment groups were placed under the 97th Combat Bombardment Wing. Before D-day the bomber command had reached its full strength of eleven groups* and more than 21,000 men. 15
The development of the IX Fighter Command was much more complicated than that of the bomber command. Like the IX Bomber Command, the nucleus of the fighter command's headquarters staff came from Egypt and was augmented by personnel from the Eighth Air Force, in this instance, the headquarters and headquarters squadron of the 1st Fighter Division (Prov.) of the VIII Air Support Command, Brig. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada, who had acquired an outstanding reputation as a fighter commander with the old Ninth Air Force, came from Africa to take command of the IX Fighter Command. By the end of November he had assembled his staff and established a headquarters at Middle Wallop, in Hampshire. 16
The Ninth Air Force intended from the beginning that the IX Fighter Command should be primarily a training headquarters, preparing fighter groups for combat and aiding in the development of air support commands, of which there was to be one for each of the two US. armies participating in O VERLORD . It had been planned that after the establishment of the air support commands the fighter command would cease to be active, that its personnel would be divided between the new air support headquarters, add that IX Air Support Command, under Quesada, would foster the fledgling XIX Air Support Command, of which Brig. Gen. Otto P. Weyland assumed command three days after its activation on 1 February 1944. In the end, however, it was decided to retain the fighter command as an organization under Quesada's command. In February the AEAF established at
* The additional groups were the 344th, 391st, 394th, and 397th (B-26) and the 409th, 410th, and 416th (A-20).
Uxbridge, west of London, a combined fighter control center which was to control all fighter operations against the continent. The Second 'Tactical Air Force was represented by the officer commanding No. 11 Group, an air vice marshal, and the Ninth decided to retain the fighter command with Quesada as commander " simply," as General Strahm put it, "for the purpose of preserving that level to give General Brereton's representative parity with the Composite Group level at Uxbridge." 17 Quesada selected an operational staff from both the IX and XIX Air Support Commands (redesignated in April as the IX and XIX Tactical Air Commands) to man the control center. 18 Through IX Fighter Command, Quesada was able to retain control of the operations and training of all of the Ninth's fighter groups down to D-day.
The build-up of the fighter command and its subordinate tactical air commands was complicated by competition between the Eighth and Ninth Air Forces for the fighter groups arriving from the United States. In the fall of 1943 it was expected that eventually there would be thirty-six fighter groups in the two air forces, of which the Eighth would get fifteen and the Ninth twenty-one. All three major fighter types P-38, P-47, and P-51 were available in the theater, but it was decided that the Ninth would get the P-51's. The outstanding performance of the P-51 as a long-range escort fighter,* however, led to a change in allocations. By the end of January, when it seemed likely that there would be only thirty-three instead of thirty-six groups in the theater, USSTAF had decided to allocate the fighters as follows: 19
|Eighth Air Force||Ninth Air Force|
|Seven P-51 groups |
Four P-38 groups
Four P-47 groups
|Thirteen P-47 groups |
Three P-38 groups
Two P-51 groups
A steady flow of fighter groups began arriving in February, and by May all eighteen Ninth Air Force groups were assigned to five fighter wings: the 70th, 71st, 84th, 100th, and 303d. During the pre-assault period the revivified fighter command also controlled miscellaneous photo reconnaissance, tactical reconnaissance, night fighter, and liaison units. All told, the command included approximately 36,000 men and 1,500 aircraft. 20
Of the operational commands, the IX Troop Carrier Command was the slowest in reaching its ultimate strength because most of its groups did not arrive in the theater until March 1944. When Brig. Gen. Benjamin
F. Giles, who had been engaged in troop carrier operations in the Mediterranean during 1943, assumed command on 16 October 1943, he had on hand the nucleus of a headquarters staff from the provisional troop carrier command of the Eighth Air Force, which had been in existence since September and was now disbanded. Giles's new command consisted of the 50th Troop Carrier Wing, including the 315th and 434th Groups. 21 In February the 53d Troop Carrier Wing arrived in the theater from the United States, and in March, the 52d Wing came from Sicily with its four groups. The arrival of other groups from the United States brought the total strength of the command to three wings comprising fourteen groups.* A reshuffling of the command during the spring assigned five groups each to the 52d and 53d Wings and four groups to the 50th. On 25 February, Brig, Gen. Paul L. Williams, who had commanded the XII Troop Carrier Command in the Mediterranean, succeeded General Giles as commander, and augmented the headquarters staff with a number of experienced officers he brought with him from the Mediterranean area. At the beginning of June, the troop carrier command numbered almost 30,000 men. 22
Unique among the commands of the Ninth Air Force was the IX Air Defense Command, which came into existence as the result of the Ninth's desire for an organization which would leave the tactical air commands free of any rear-area defense responsibilities on the continent. During almost the entire existence of the defense command, it had assigned to it only a headquarters and a few miscellaneous units, chiefly signal air warning battalions, and its actual assigned strength ranged from fewer than 1,400 to a little more than 5,200 men. Nevertheless, it directed, at times, the operations of more than 30,000 men, most of them antiaircraft artillery units attached to the command. These ground force units, much to the disappointment of General Arnold and the Ninth Air Force, remained assigned to the ground forces until almost the very end of the war in Europe. 23 The major elements of the air defense command were the antiaircraft units signal air warning battalions and night fighter squadrons. The basic antiaircraft units, the battalions, were organized into groups of three each, and these, in turn, into brigades. The organization of the air force elements of the command was never stable for very long, as conditions changed and units were transferred in and out of the command. 24
* The twelve additional groups were the 61st, 313th, 314th, 316th, 435th, 436th, 437th, 438th, 439th, 440th, 441st, and 442d.
In accordance with earlier plans, the Ninth Air Force had set up at Sunninghill, under Brig. Gen. Dale D. Hinman, a staff to plan the organization of an air defense command. In December 1943, Brig. Gen. William L. Richardson, an experienced antiaircraft officer, succeeded General Hinman. After many appeals to the War Department and much shuffling of administrative papers, the IX Air Defense Command was legitimatized by the War Department in March 1944 and activated by the Ninth Air Force on the 30th of that month, 25 but not until after the landings on the continent did the IX Air Defense Command come into its own as a combat agency of the Ninth Air Force.
The IX Air Force Service Command* was more clearly patterned after its Eighth Air Force opposite number than any of the other Ninth Air Force commands. A number of officers and enlisted men had been brought to England from Egypt, but most of the key members of the headquarters came from the Eighth Air Force. General Miller,&dagger for most of the past year the commander of the VIII AFSC, took over the IX AFSC in October 1943 and brought with him members of his former staff. From the Tactical Air Depot Area&Dagger came additional officers and men to round out a headquarters staff rich in experience. In mid-November, the service command headquarters moved into newly constructed quarters across from the Ascot race course, adjacent to the Ninth Air Force headquarters at Sunninghill Park. 26
The projected size of the Ninth Air Force and the scope of its operations clearly required a large and mobile service command. The service command, in turn, recognized early that its own size and wide-flung operations made decentralization of its organization desirable. Accordingly, borrowing from the experience of VIII AFSC,§ in October it set up a base air depot area (BADA) and an advanced air depot area (AADA) which were areas in terms of function rather than geography. The base air depot area was intended primarily for supply and aircraft assembly functions. In December the IX AFSC divided the advanced air depot area into a 1st and 2d AADA. This further decentralization of the command was purportedly in preparation
* Originally known as the IX Air Service Command, the name was changed to IX Air Force Service Command by an unnumbered Ninth Air Force Memorandum of 29 Jan. 1944. The latter form is used throughout this chapter for convenience.
&dagger On 5 May, Brig. Gen. Myron R. Wood succeeded General Miller as commander of the IX AFSC.
for the move to the continent, where mobile warfare would require decentralized operations. In addition, the two headquarters could be, and were, of value in organizing and training the many service units formed in the United Kingdom by the IX AFSC. 27 General Miller and his staff succeeded in having the service groups, as well as the air depot groups assigned to the service command. All of these groups, in turn, were assigned to the advanced air depot areas, which contained the bulk of the service command strength and performed the major part of its functions. In all, the IX AFSC had twelve air depot groups by the spring of 1944. From the VIII AFSC came five experienced and three inexperienced air depot groups, and the IX AFSC organized four new ones by splitting old ones in two and adding personnel. 28
The success of the strategic air depots in the Eighth Air Force pointed the way for the organization of the tactical air depots in the Ninth. The air depot groups were paired, usually an experienced and an inexperienced group, and six tactical air depots were established. The two depot groups, although sharing the same stations, remained independent insofar as their actual operations were concerned and no attempt was made to set up a depot headquarters. This type of organization was desirable because it permitted maximum utilization of existing sites and of the specialized types of units which were usually attached to air depot groups signal companies, military police companies, station complements, etc. Furthermore, the device of two air depot groups working together would produce a continuity of service when the time came to move to the continent, for one group could go ahead and while it was in transit and establishing itself, the other could carry on with the work in England. The tactical air depots theoretically specialized in different types of aircraft, but in practice there was much overlapping. The six depots were divided equally between the 1st and 2d AADA's. 29
The service groups, which were assigned to and administered by, the advanced air depot areas, were under the technical control of the tactical air depots, each of which supported anywhere from four to fourteen service teams. Like the Eighth, once again, the IX AFSC found it expedient, beginning in December 1943, to split the service group into two equal parts (designated teams A and B),* each of
* Each team usually consisted of one service squadron one ordnance supply and maintenance company one-half of a supply and maintenance signal company one-half of a QM company, service group one-half of a QM truck company, aviation four units of the mobile reclamation and repair squadron one-half of the chemical section of the service group headquarters and a detachment of the medical section of service group headquarters, Each team contained about 500 men.
which was stationed with a combat group. Unlike the Eighth, which was forming subdepots out of its service groups, the IX AFSC retained the service group headquarters, which usually resided with Team A and administered both teams. 30 Once again, this was done with an eye to future operations on the continent, where it might be necessary to operate the service group as an entity rather than as two teams.
The structure of the service command was completed by the organization of several miscellaneous agencies. The 13th and 20th Replacement Control Depots permitted the command to handle the receipt, processing, and distribution of personnel, with the exception of combat crews, for the whole air force. Two truck regiments, one of which was a provisional organization, and an air transport group, also responsible directly to service command headquarters, formed an integral and indispensable part of a command which would depend heavily upon mobility for the performance of its function. 31
Testifying to the ubiquitous role played by the IX AFSC in support of Ninth Air Force operations was its No. 1 rank in size among the Ninth's commands from the very beginning. Unlike the combat commands, which received from the Zone of Interior groups already organized and trained, the service command had to organize and train in the theater a large number of its units particularly air depot and service groups. During the "Gold Rush" period of late 1943 and early 1944,* the service command received thousands of casual officers and men who had to be trained and organized into units in a short period of time. By D-day the command had reached its maximum strength of approximately 60,000 officers and men, ten times its strength of 16 October 1943 and more than a third of the total strength of the air force. 32
Early tactical air force planning during 1943 had made no provision for an engineer command, but the Ninth Air Force recognized the need for one from the beginning. The example of the North African campaign, while the aviation engineers had functioned as an integral part of the air force, was still fresh in the minds of Brereton and his
commanders. Accordingly, Brereton urged that the AAF secure from the War Department permission for the Ninth to activate an engineer command. In November he directed the engineer section of his headquarters to assume the functions of a command. After a long period of negotiations with AAF Headquarters and the War Department, during which a provisional engineer headquarters directed the training of engineer battalions, the Ninth received permission to activate the IX Engineer Command on 30 March 1944. Early organization, planning, and training were carried out under the direction of Col. Karl B. Schilling on 25 January, Brig. Gen. James B. Newman assumed command of the provisional organization. 33
The engineer aviation battalions and regiments in the theater had been under the control of the Services of Supply since 1942 and had been performing construction work on all types of military installations. It was vital that they be trained thoroughly in the type of construction work they would be doing on the continent, and to this end arrangements were made to transfer the units to the IX Engineer Command, beginning 1 December 1943. Even more than the other commands of the Ninth Air Force, the engineer command would have to be mobile and flexible in order to carry out its task of building and repairing airfields in the wake of the Allied armies on the continent. Accordingly, sixteen battalions were grouped under four regimental headquarters and the command headquarters itself retained control of the three airborne battalions and the camouflage battalion. 34
Although it possessed its own engineer command by the spring of 1944, the Ninth Air Force, like the Eighth Air Force before it, was largely dependent in the United Kingdom on the building program undertaken by the British Air Ministry on behalf of the American air forces. The race between the construction of airdromes and the arrival of combat groups in the theater continued until the Ninth received its last group in April 1944, but at least minimum facilities were always available when needed. 35
The problems faced by the Ninth in accommodating its units were similar to those which had faced the Eighth during its first twelve to eighteen months in the United Kingdom. The almost daily multiplication of headquarters within the various commands during the fall and winter created a demand for headquarters sites which had not been foreseen in original building plans. Additional facilities were found, but often only at the expense of extra construction work. 36 The lack
of time or means to enlarge bases which were overcrowded caused resort to tent camps which could be erected easily and quickly. Many larger units, particularly service and air depot groups, had to parcel out their men among many small camps in order to house them, and the task of reassembling them at one place sometimes took months. Storage space for equipment and supplies, large quantities of which had to be housed under canvas or left in the open, was particularly inadequate at many depots and bases. Finally, runways on the fighter bases had been built originally for the light British planes, but it was the comparatively heavy P-47 which became the Ninth's chief fighter aircraft. During the winter and early spring of 1944 an extensive program for strengthening and lengthening runways was undertaken. 37
The advanced landing grounds, the last combat installations to be occupied by the Ninth in England, were especially deficient in facilities of all kinds. Since they were only temporary airfields, most of them had merely grass or Sommerfeld track runways. These proved to be inadequate for the Ninth's fighters and had to be extended or replaced by a more durable surface, usually pierced-steel plank. Most of the landing grounds were crowded to more than twice their capacities, and the units which occupied them lived under virtual field conditions, in tents, short of water, and with difficult sanitation problems. 38
By May 1944 the tactical disposition of the Ninth Air Force in England was complete. In East Anglia, IX Bomber Command headquarters and its eleven bases all in Essex were situated immediately to the north and northeast of London. 39 Fighter bases, divided between IX Tactical Air Command and the newly formed XIX Tactical Air Command, were concentrated in two distinct areas. The IX TAC's eleven fighter and fighter-bomber groups and its 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group were closely concentrated in the Hampshire area, extending south to the coast. All of the XIX TAC's seven groups were on advanced landing grounds in Kent, the corner of England immediately to the southeast of London and opposite the Pas-de-Calais. 40 The troop carrier command's fourteen combat bases were more scattered than those of the other combat commands. Six bases were clustered in the counties on the western edge of East Anglia, in the vicinity of the command headquarters at Grantham Lodge in Lincolnshire. Five other groups occupied fields in Berkshire and Wiltshire,
Tactical Disposition of Ninth Air Force, June 6, 1944
southwest of Oxford and a third cluster of three stations was still farther to the southwest, close to the coast of Devon and Somersetshire, in accordance with the wishes of the IX Troop Carrier Command. 41
The service command's depots and other installations were centrally situated with reference to the stations of the tactical commands. Four of the tactical air depots were in Berkshire and Hampshire, west and southwest of London, while the other two were in Essex and Lincolnshire, close to large clusters of combat stations. The other service command installations minor depots, truck transport stations, replacement depots, etc. were scattered throughout the area stretching to the coasts south and west of London. 42
Prior to April 1944, Ninth Air Force operations were dictated largely by requirements of P OINTBLANK and C ROSSBOW . Directives from the Combined Chiefs of Staff accorded first claim on all the theater's air resources to the Eighth Air Force's climactic campaign against the GAF. While the Ninth's medium bombers struck at enemy airfields and other installations along the coast of the continent in coordination with the deeper penetrations of enemy territory by the heavy bombers, Ninth Air Force fighters flew escort for the bomber formations of the Eighth. The emergence of the V-weapon menace late in 1943 introduced a new set of high-priority targets whose claims for a time also took precedence over operations directly related to the impending invasion of Normandy.
The early combat history of the Ninth Air Force in ETO is largely the story of its bomber command, which in October 1943 took over the four B-26 groups that had been operating under the VIII Air Support Command. These groups, after an ill-fated low-level attack on Ijmuiden in the preceding May,* had resumed operations on 16 July. The improved showing of the B-26's, now flying at 12,000 to 15,000 feet rather than at the low levels employed in May, helped allay many of the fears concerning the Marauders which had been current after the Ijmuiden operation. 43 VIII ASC reached the peak of its activities in the Anglo-American S TARKEY operations of late August and early September&dagger and on 9 October directed its last
&dagger Ibid ., 688-89. Between 25 August and 9 September VIII ASC dispatched more than 1, 700 aircraft of which number 1,300 actually attacked continental targets with a total loss of 9 planes.
mission a strike against the Woensdrecht airfield in Holland. 44 When next the B-26's operated, in a minor strike on 22 October against. the Évreux/Fauville airdrome, it was under the aegis of IX Bomber Command. 45
That command found itself bound by the same directives which had previously governed the operations of the medium bombers, and their pattern of operations remained substantially unchanged, except for the addition of C ROSSBOW targets beginning in November. Even when the Ninth passed to the operational control of the AEAF on 15 December, the basic objective of the mediums remained the same to reduce the enemy fighter force in northwest Europe by attacking enemy airfields and industrial installations. Operations in support of VIII Bomber Command thus remained the first priority and C ROSSBOW operations were placed second. 46
Against enemy airdromes in France and the Low Countries the B-26's achieved indifferent results, at best merely denying the GAF use of those fields for short periods of time, It had been hoped that the medium attacks would serve to draw enemy fighters away from the heavy bombers, and the heavy and medium missions were accordingly coordinated for that purpose. But the Germans elected to withdraw their fighters from the advanced fields for concentrations against the heavies, and seldom were any enemy aircraft found on the fields under attack. "Never," wrote Brereton in November 1943, "so far as is known, have enemy fighters been drawn from adjacent areas to attack the mediums when a large force of heavies was on the screen." 47 Even when Leigh-Mallory acted on Brereton's suggestion that the efficient escort for medium bombers provided by 11 Group of the RAF be reduced as an invitation to the enemy to engage the B-26's, 48 German fighter reaction showed no great increase and medium bomber losses remained low. Some of the attacks on airdromes produced good results in terms of damage to installations and facilities, as in the attack of 3 November by seventy-two Marauders on the airdrome at St.-André-de-l'Eure. On 1 December successful attacks were made on airfields at Cambrai/Niergnies and Lille/Vendeville in northern France, and on 13 December, in the largest mission yet undertaken by IX Bomber Command, 199 planes dropped almost 400 tons of bombs on the Amsterdam-Schiphol airdrome, inflicting severe damage. But the attrition forced upon the enemy remained small, and in January 1944 only one attack was directed against an airdrome target at Cherbourg/Maupertuis on the 7th. 49
The growing concern in December over the V-weapon threat caused Leigh-Mallory to direct the mediums increasingly against V-weapon sites. This change found justification in the feeling on the part of tactical air commanders that the attacks against enemy airfields had proved ineffectual, 50 but the strategic air commanders disagreed." It is absolutely essential," Spaatz wrote Arnold on 1 February 1944," that mediums attack airdromes properly timed with our attacks to secure not only the maximum protection to our own formations, but the maximum destruction of the German Air Force." 51 As the result of visits and letters from Spaatz and Fred Anderson, the Air Ministry early in February asked Leigh-Mallory to make it clear to all concerned that C ROSSBOW'S claim to the services of the medium bombers ranked second to that of P OINTBLANK . Nevertheless, Spaatz continued to find during February reason to complain of AEAF's refusal to send the mediums against airfields as requested by USSTAF. 52 The failure to achieve cooperation between USSTAF and AEAF, coupled with other differences over the training of Ninth Air Force units and over control of the strategic air forces themselves, created an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion between the two headquarters, which was the exception rather than the rule in Anglo-American relations in the European theater. The fact that medium attacks on N OBALL targets (German launching sites) were usually coordinated with heavy bomber missions so as to provide some diversion had little effect in easing the tension.
Whatever the justification for Eighth Air Force complaints regarding the use of the Ninth's medium bombers, there existed no cause for dissatisfaction over the employment of Ninth Air Force fighters. Through January the 354th Fighter Group, which had reached the theater with its P-51's in November and was assigned to IX Fighter Command, operated under the control of VIII Fighter Command. The first operation by Ninth Air Force fighters came on 1 December, when twenty-eight P-51's executed a sweep over northwestern France. On 5 December the Mustangs flew their first escort mission, a comparatively short one to the Amiens area, and on 13 December the P-51's, in company with the Eighth's 55th Fighter Group (P-38's), escorted the B-17's 490 miles by a dogleg course across the North Sea to Kiel and back. This was the longest fighter escort mission yet flown and presaged the loss by the GAF of control of the air over Germany during American heavy bomber attacks. 53 In January the Mustangs flew 325 effective sorties, 36 less than in December a decline
attributable in part to a firing defect in the P-51's guns which caused many abortive sorties. 54 But corrective action had been initiated by the end of the month, and with the addition of jettisonable tanks the P-51 became the outstanding long-range escort fighter so much so, in fact, that most of the newly arriving P-51 groups thereafter went to the Eighth Air Force.
With only five operational groups four medium bombardment groups and one fighter group Ninth Air Force operations continued on a relatively small scale through January, but in February 1944 its operations were marked by a sharp upward swing. In a period of little more than three months after the opening of February, virtually all of the Ninth's bomber and fighter groups became operational. The IX Bomber Command added four more medium and three light (A-20) bombardment groups, and the 354th Fighter Group was joined by seventeen additional fighter groups.* 55 Contributing further to the increase in the bomber command's operational rate was the development of a pathfinder squadron employing blind-bombing equipment and techniques developed by the RAF and the Eighth Air Force. As early as 21 February pathfinder planes led B-26's of the 322d Bombardment Group to their target Coxyde airdrome in Holland. 56
The medium bombers expended the major part of their growing effort against V-weapon sites during February. On 8 February, for the first time, the bomber command sent out two missions on a single day, and on 9 February the first of a long series of attacks on marshalling yards was carried out against Tergnier in northern France. In coordination with the Big Week operations of the Eighth Air Force against the German aircraft industry the medium bombers, on 24 and 25 February, attacked enemy airfields in Holland Leeuwarden, Gilze-Rijen, Venlo, and St.-Trond and N OBALL sites in France. During February the B-26's flew 2, 328 effective sorties and dropped more than 3,300 tons of bombs. They lost twenty aircraft, more than the total for the preceding three months. 57 Through the early days of March the N OBALL sites continued to provide the
* The fighter groups, arranged in the order of the date on which they became operational, were:
major targets for IX Bomber Command, but by the middle of the month that command had turned its attention primarily to the pre-invasion phase of the operations for which the Ninth Air Force had originally been created. Henceforth targets for its bombers would be selected chiefly in accordance with the program for wrecking the enemy's transportation facilities on the continent.*
Escort missions still claimed the major share of the fighter effort. During February the number of effective sorties (1,778) was more than four times the number flown in January. The fighter groups, heretofore under the direct control of the VIII Fighter Command for operations, were placed under the 70th Fighter Wing of the IX TAC, and the Ninth moved toward complete control of its air units. On 3 February the 70th Fighter Wing controlled two of its groups in the air for the first time, and in March the fighter command took over operational planning control of its fighter groups. Ninth Air Force fighters played an important role in escorting Eighth Air Force bombers to aircraft targets in Germany during the Big Week of February, and on 4 March the fighters flew over Berlin for the first time. 58 In addition to escorting the heavy bombers the fighters also accompanied the Ninth's medium and light bombers on their missions, replacing in March the RAF Spitfires of 11 Group, which had heretofore provided most of the escort for these missions. More than 4,600 effective sorties were flown by the fighters during March, all but a few hundred of them in escort of bombers. With the advent of April the fighters definitely came into their own, executing strafing and bombing missions greater in number than those involving escort alone. On 9 May, the eighteenth and last of the Ninth's fighter groups, the 367th, became operational. 59
From being an adjunct of the Eighth Air Force the Ninth had emerged by the end of April as a full-fledged tactical air force. Beginning with a small attack by seven planes of the 366th Fighter Group against St.-Valéry airdrome on 15 March, Ninth Air Force fighters increasingly turned their attention to practicing the techniques of fighter bombing against continental targets.&dagger On 26 March some 240 fighters drawn from five groups attacked marshalling yards and C ROSSBOW targets in France. The fighters dropped 102 tons
&dagger After 20 May 1944 the Ninth Air Force referred to all fighter groups as fighter-bomber groups. The terms were eventually used interchangeably.
of explosives in March and more than ten times that amount in April. 60 Already the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group, an experienced and hard-working organization, had carried out the enormous task of photographing 160 miles of French coast and two inshore strips of 120 miles each under exceedingly hazardous conditions. 61
Especially difficult were the tasks of logistical organization and planning, and from its very inception in the United Kingdom IX Air Force Service Command enjoyed a position of eminence within the Ninth Air Force beyond that of the average service command. Not only did air force headquarters divest itself of some of its administrative functions, as with the assignment to the service command of control over all personnel replacement depots, 62 but it was recognized that a war of movement on the continent would require an unusually large, strong, and flexible logistical organization because of the wide dispersion of combat groups and the consequently long extension of supply lines.
Fortunately the IX AFSC, as a result of USSTAF's assumption of administrative authority over both U.S. air forces in ETO, came under the control of the theater's chief air logistical officer, for General Knerr insisted on eliminating all avoidable duplication of effort. Beginning in March 1944, Air Service Command, USSTAF progressively took over all base service functions. The IX AFSC did away with its base air depot area and on 17 May transferred its most important installations (Baverstock and Filton) to ASC, USSTAF,
which continued to use them to provide base services for the Ninth. Knerr actually went still further and assumed responsibility for and authority over service command functions below the level of advanced depots, "with such exceptions as experience may prove to be desirable." 63 During 1943 and early 1944, the IX AFSC had sought to organize a system which would give it maximum control of its own supply procurement. Against the opposition of Knerr this effort made little headway, although, for a while, from December 1943 until March 1944, the Ninth received permission to deal directly with the Air Service Command in the United States and the SOS in the theater for certain items of supply-specifically, Air Corps supplies for aircraft peculiar to the Ninth Air Force (A-20's, B-26's, and C-47's) and certain ordnance, signal, and quartermaster supplies, particularly rations. Burtonwood, having been designated the supply control depot, in March 1944 was "charged with the responsibility for receiving and processing all requisitions for supplies to be obtained from the United States, the SOS, and the British, with such exceptions as may be authorized by ASC Headquarters, USSTAF from time to time." The exceptions were rare. 64
The Ninth's supply system for both Air Corps and common-user items followed routine channels: from base depots through tactical air depots and service teams to the combat groups. Exceptions were made for certain signal and quartermaster items which the tactical air depots were permitted to secure directly from the SOS depots. Because of the special bomb and ammunition requirements of the Ninth, it was permitted to retain its own ordnance depot at Grovely Wood, Wiltshire, even after it had given up its other base depot functions. The tactical air depots were authorized a ninety-day level of supplies, which was attained or exceeded for some items and never reached for others. 65
The supply system was bound together by a truck and air transport service which operated under the direction of the Transportation Division of IX AFSC headquarters. The truck companies, drawn from the service and air depot groups and organized into regiments, never reached the number actually authorized for the command and, indeed, there was delay and difficulty in equipping those on hand. The 31st Air Transport Group was a valuable cog in the distribution machinery of the air force, flying cargo and personnel in support of operations,
playing the same role that the 27th Air Transport Group did for the Eighth Air Force. 66
Supply problems of the Ninth prior to D-day were similar to those which had faced the Eighth during 1942 -43. The unit equipment problem was particularly aggravating because of the approach of D-day, which imposed a more rigid obligation on the Ninth than the Eighth had ever faced. The many special types of units which were activated in the theater complicated the problem because adequate arrangements had not been made for their supply. Then, too, the Eighth Air Force was organizing its subdepots, which were given priority for equipment ahead of the Ninth's units. As late as April 1944 a number of IX AFSC depot and supply squadrons possessed as little as 5 to 15 per cent of their equipment, but the IX AFSC as a whole was more than 80 per cent equipped in March. In April, IX AFSC officers were given permission to visit the base depots and the Eighth Air Force service units in search of any equipment that could be made available. The speeding-up of the supply flow from the United States during the spring enabled the Ninth Air Force to have its units, with few exceptions, ready for full action on D-day. 67
The higher priority of the Eighth Air Force for fighter planes for a time slowed the flow of aircraft to the Ninth. As fighter aircraft flooded into the theater during the late winter and spring of 1944, however, assembly and modification depots expanded their output and fighter groups received their full complements of planes. The prodigious increase in the rate of operations by both the Eighth and the Ninth led in May 1944 to a shortage of 75-gallon jettisonable tanks, which was remedied only by diverting to England from the United States tanks which had been intended for the China-Burma-India theater. By D-day the Ninth had almost reached its full strength in aircraft, including replacements more than 4,500 tactical planes plus almost 2,700 gliders. 68
Other supply problems were solved in similar fashion by the arrival of huge quantities of supplies and equipment in the months before D-day. Bombs and ammunition had to be carefully husbanded, even during the spring, because the stockpiles in the theater were being consumed at a much faster rate than planners in the United States had expected as a result, the Ninth's bombers could not always have the type of bomb they requested for use against particular targets. Complaints about the shortage of small bombs were frequent. Aviation fuel
presented primarily a distribution and storage problem, particularly at the advanced landing grounds, which had been expanded far beyond their original capacities. 69
The Ninth's maintenance organization was patterned after that of the Eighth and leaned heavily on ASC, USSTAF for assistance. During its earlier months in England, while it still anticipated that it would be logistically independent of ASC, USSTAF, the IX AFSC made arrangements to perform much of its own assembly and modification work. Assembly depots were constructed in open fields at Filton in Gloucestershire and at Greenham Common in Berkshire, the latter for gliders. Assembly of aircraft increased steadily, reaching a peak of 496 in April and declining to 301 during May, when Filton was transferred to ASC, USSTAF. Glider assembly made slow progress until April when 930 gliders were assembled, and by the end of May the IX AFSC had assembled more than 2,000 gliders for the troop carrier command. By this time arrangements had been made for ASC, USSTAF to take over this work also, but the aircraft and glider assembly program of IX AFSC made a definite and substantial contribution to equipping the combat groups of the air force, for the ASC, USSTAF assembly depots could not have met the needs of both the Eighth and the Ninth at a time when dozens of new groups had to be equipped. 70
By the end of 1943, when modifications had become a major function of the base air depots in the theater, the IX AFSC, in the interest of a faster flow of aircraft to the fighting units, undertook to modify planes at the tactical air depots. In December 1943 the tactical air depots were modifying B-26's, P-47's, and P-51's by March 1944 they were also modifying P-38's, C-47's, and gliders. The chief fighter modification involved the installation of jettisonable tanks. Service teams, some of whose combat groups had not yet arrived in the theater or were not yet in combat, were of great assistance in performing modifications on aircraft, using modification kits which had been sent from the base air depots via the tactical air depots. In all, from February through May, the tactical air depots and the service teams modified approximately 2,400 aircraft, more than 1,500 of them in April and May. After the Ninth began to move to France in June, the modification output of its service command declined to a fraction of April and May production and the base air depots of ASC, USSTAF assumed the larger part of the modification load. Thus, after D-day, the
theater air service command, which was already responsible for the receipt of all aircraft in the theater, assembled, modified, and delivered virtually all of the Ninth's planes. 71
Day-to-day maintenance and repair services remained in the hands of the tactical air depots and the service teams. The depots performed fourth-echelon repair and maintenance, overhauling engines and propellers and doing major repairs on heavily damaged planes what they could not handle they sent on to Burtonwood and Warton. The two advanced air depot areas specialized in handling the various aircraft of the Ninth: the first area concentrated on bombers and miscellaneous aircraft the second area handled the fighter aircraft. Service teams, like the Eighth Air Force subdepots, were located on the same stations with the combat groups and handled third-echelon repair and maintenance for them. 72 Each service team had four of the nine self-sufficient and completely mobile units which comprised the reclamation and repair squadron assigned to the service group the ninth unit was generally assigned to the service group headquarters.* The several mobile units could be sent wherever needed they performed on-site repairs and routine maintenance work, salvaged aircraft, and even assisted in glider and aircraft assembly. In the period from February through May 1944 the service command performed maintenance and repair work on almost 2,400 aircraft. Most of the work was done by service teams, for the tactical air depots were largely occupied by the time-consuming modification of aircraft. 73 By D-day the Ninth Air Force itself was completely self-sufficient in the performance of the first three echelons of maintenance, but it would remain partly dependent on the base air depots of ASC, USSTAF for fourth-echelon maintenance.
Meanwhile, a group of IX AFSC officers headed by Col. Vernon M. Babcock, one of the most experienced planning officers in the theater, had worked out in close collaboration with representatives of the British Second Tactical Air Force and of U.S. ground and naval headquarters the Ninth Air Force Administrative Plan for O VERLORD . Issued on 21 April 1944 and, after some revision, reissued on 8 May, this plan was based on three major assumptions: the air force would operate initially from England and would move to the continent as rapidly as possible after D-day the United Kingdom would be the main base for O VERLORD and the major repair facilities and the
* For the composition of these teams, see again p. 116 n.
main reserves of men and equipment would remain also in the United Kingdom. The detailed plan itself was at almost all points subject to factors beyond the control of the air force the availability of invasion shipping, the movement priority actually accorded the air force, and the rate of build-up. 74
In preparation for D-day, the service command would pre-stock the combat bases in the United Kingdom about D minus 15 and especially would stock each of the advanced landing grounds of IX and XIX Tactical Air Commands with 90,000 gallons of aviation gasoline, a precaution against the road congestion that would blanket all of southern England in the several weeks preceding D-day. With the supply of the combat bases thus assured, the service command could then use its trucks to help combat groups, airdrome squadrons, and service teams move to the ports of embarkation. The actual movement machinery would be in the hands of other agencies, but at key points in the transportation pipeline the Ninth would provide liaison officers who would help smooth the way for air force units. To replace anticipated losses of noncombat personnel on the continent, the service command would establish a reserve manpower pool of some 3,000 men in England. 75
The build-up of units on the opposite shore was based on the availability of airfields to be constructed in France by IX Engineer Command. A construction program, worked out by a planning staff under Col. Herbert W. Ehrgott, called for two emergency landing strips* to be prepared on D-day, one on each of the two landing beaches. By D plus 3 there were to be two refueling and rearming strips&dagger on O MAHA beach, and by D plus 8, four advanced landing grounds on O MAHA and one on U TAH . On D plus 14 there were to be five advanced landing grounds on O MAHA and three on U TAH one runway on each beach was to be 5,000 feet, the others only 3,600 feet because of insufficient shipping for construction materials during the early build-up period. It was estimated that if the planned rate of ground advance was attained, a total of thirty-five advanced landing grounds would have to be constructed during the first forty days in order to accommodate all of the Ninth's fighter and reconnaissance
* Rough, graded strips a proximately 2,000 feet long, designed to provide a place for belly landings of aircraft.
&dagger Strips near the front lines, each with a runway and a marshalling area on each end of the runway, designed for use by aircraft whose bases were in England.
groups. Accordingly, the planned build-up of service forces was as follows:
|D plus 3--||elements for the operation of two refueling and rearming strips.|
|D plus 8--||elements for the operation of the refueling system* for 9 fighter squadrons, 5 fighter-bomber squadrons, and 1 fighter-reconnaissance squadron.|
|D plus 14--||elements for the operation on the continent of one fighter-reconnaissance, 12 fighter-bomber, and 12 fighter squadrons.|
|D plus 24--||elements for the operation of 37 squadrons.|
|D plus 40--||elements for the operation of 58 squadrons.|
All of these squadrons would use fighter-type planes the bomber and troop carrier aircraft would not come to the continent until later when larger and better airfields would be available. 76 Since it was imperative that fighter groups be moved to the continent with a minimum of interference with their operations, it was planned that airdrome squadrons would precede the groups to the beaches and prepare the airfields for operations. After the flight echelons had established themselves in France, the ground echelons and then the service teams would follow. The airdrome squadrons would then move on to still more advanced airfields and the cycle would be repeated. 77
Specially trained beach squadrons of the VIII AF Intransit Depot Group&dagger would initiate service command operations on the beaches on D-day. Attached to ground force engineer special brigades, these squadrons would operate the air force's supply dumps on the beaches, receiving, sorting, and distributing supplies. Army beach brigades would operate intransit areas on the beaches for the reception of both ground and air units and would route them to their destinations. Over-all direction of air service command activities in Normandy was to be in the hands of an advanced command headquarters, made up of personnel from IX AFSC headquarters and 2d Advanced Air Depot Area which, it will be remembered, specialized in serving fighter groups. 78
Initial Air Corps supply would be in the form of ten-day pack-up kits provided by the service command and carried by the airdrome squadrons. The service teams that were to follow later would bring with them a thirty-day supply for the aircraft they were to service. Prior to the arrival on D plus 29 of the first air depot group, bringing
* Use of an advanced field for a period of a few days by squadrons whose bases were in England or elsewhere in the rear. When the limits of servicing had been reached the squadrons would return to their regular bases and be replaced by fresh squadrons.
&dagger In spite of the designation this unit belonged to the IX AFSC.
with it the supplies it actually had on hand in England, the flow of supplies would be from the air force dumps on the beaches to the airdrome squadrons or service teams and thence to the combat groups. After the air depot group was set up, it would receive supplies from England via the beach dumps and issue them to the airdrome squadrons and service teams. There was no specific plan to set up a base depot on the continent, but if and when one was established it would come under the control of USSTAF. 79
The supply of POL (petrol, oil, lubricants) for all forces would be in the hands of the Communications Zone,* since the air force had no organization for the purpose. The air force would draw its POL from Communications Zone dumps and transport it in its own vehicles. After D plus 20 no packaged aviation POL would be sent to Normandy as the Communications Zone guaranteed that pipeline facilities for bulk gasoline would be in operation by D plus 15. The service command assumed responsibility for flying replacement aircraft to the combat units from its reserve pools at Membury and Chilbolton in England. 80
The service command's truck companies would go ashore in Normandy with the airdrome squadrons and service teams but immediately thereafter would revert to the control of their own battalion and regimental headquarters. Combat units and service teams would use their own vehicles to meet their needs, but the truck regiments would have to supply the bulk of the transportation for hauling supplies from the beaches and depots to the airfields. To the 31st Air Transport Group was assigned the task of operating a mail carrier service between England and the continent and transporting such materiel and personnel as it could handle. 81
Aircraft maintenance would be initially in the hands of the airdrome squadrons, to be relieved later by the ground echelons of the combat groups. On their arrival on the continent, the service team would resume performance of third-echelon maintenance. As much repair as possible would be done on aircraft, but those which could still fly would be sent back to depots in England for repair. All engines in need of overhauling would be sent back to England also, for the air depot groups would not bring their engine overhaul equipment with them. Aside from this, the air depot groups would perform fourth-echelon maintenance and repair once they had established
* The Services of Supply, ETO was thus redesignated in June 1944.
themselves on the continent. Mobile reclamation and repair squadrons attached to the service teams would be responsible for third-echelon and some fourth-echelon maintenance of field artillery liaison aircraft. Salvage would be held on the continent until ports became available. 82
Training a tactical air force presented special problems of coordination with the ground armies, and many units required training for complex amphibious operations during the initial stages of O VERLORD . It was particularly important that mutual understanding of the principles of air-ground cooperation should exist between air and ground staffs. Accordingly, the Ninth Air Force conducted at its headquarters several series of lectures on air support operations for both ground and air officers, beginning in December 1943 and running through the spring of 1944. Those attending ranged all the way from ground and air force commanders down to division staff officers. Special attention was paid to the training of ground force officers who were assigned to combat groups as liaison officers for the purpose of interpreting the ground situation for the air force personnel. 83
Experience in tactical air force operations was at a premium. Some of the commanders -- notably Brereton and Quesada and their staffs had had much combat experience but all of the combat units, with the exception of four medium bombardment and four troop carrier groups (these last did not arrive from the Mediterranean until March 1944 ), were new and inexperienced. The tactics and techniques of the European air war had reached heights of refinement not fully incorporated in training programs in the United States and there was need for thoroughgoing indoctrination of all new combat groups in the theater. The Eighth Air Force made available its schools and training aids, which were of special importance to the IX Fighter Command. The Ninth, also, made great use of the RAF's special tactical schools, particularly the gunnery, army cooperation, and low-level attack schools. 84
One theme ran constantly through the training programs undertaken by Ninth Air Force units, and that theme was mobility. All units were urged to "Keep Mobile" by retaining only a minimum of impedimenta and obtaining a maximum of transportation. All units were required to engage in mobility exercises, which often consisted of overnight moves from home stations to other stations or to bivouac areas and then return-exercises of more value and significance than many of the harassed and exasperated participants realized. 85
The commands supervised the training programs of their units under the general direction of air force headquarters. The bomber command, thanks to its heritage of four medium bombardment groups from the VIII Air Support Command, possessed a greater reservoir of experience than was available to the other combat commands, but it still lacked experience in air-ground cooperation. Information was sought from the Twelfth Air Force in Italy, and in March and April, General Anderson and members of his staff visited Italy and observed tactical operations there. 86 Much effort was devoted to the training of bomber crews in the use of the radar aids developed by the RAF and the Eighth Air Force, and in January a provisional pathfinder squadron was established. With an eye to future operations on the continent, groups were given experience in night flying. Bomber command units also participated in some of the joint amphibious exercises which were carried out at Slapton Sands, on the southern coast of Devonshire near Dartmouth, at intervals during the winter and spring. 87 Even the four original bombardment groups of the Ninth Air Force, whose bombing incidentally showed diminishing returns in the spring, were withdrawn one a t a time from operations in April and May for a week of intensive bombing practice. This training proved its worth in the increased efficiency of the groups during the pre-D-day operations. 88
The IX Fighter Command retained control of fighter training down to D-day. The unavoidable use of the fighters to support the strategic bombing campaign delayed their training as fighter-bombers until the late winter and spring of 1944, when the Ninth was released from the major part of its commitment in support of P OINTBLANK . In February the training program was further retarded by the decision to equip virtually all of the fighter command's groups with long-range tanks. The subsequent slowdown in delivery of aircraft and in training delayed the operational dates of several groups. 89 Beginning in January, when Brig. Gen. Ned L. Schramm, commander of the 71st
Fighter Wing, and ten other officers visited Italy, the fighter command sent several groups of officers to the Twelfth Air Force to learn the lessons of air support. These officers did more than observe they participated in regular missions and learned from personal experience. Qualified Twelfth Air Force officers were brought to England to help prepare programs and supervise the training of the Ninth's fighter groups. The AEAF established a fighter leaders' school, where skilled American and British pilots from Italy instructed more than one hundred Ninth Air Force pilots, as well as RAF pilots, by the beginning of May. 90 By the end of that month, a number of groups still needed additional training in air support operations, but they all possessed the minimum necessary for combat. 91
Since the IX Troop Carrier Command, unlike the other combat commands, engaged in no combat operations prior to D-day, it was able to devote most of its energies to training its groups. Of its fourteen groups, four had gained experience in the Mediterranean before being transferred to the Ninth in 1944. The other ten groups, all new units from the United States, had to be trained in the complexities of large-scale airborne operations. Like the bomber and fighter commands, the IX TCC sent representatives to the Mediterranean to study troop carrier operations. A large number of joint exercises with British and American airborne troops were carried out, particularly during April and May, with as many as three or four groups participating. Additional experience was gained by flying supply and medical evacuation missions within the United Kingdom. Like the bomber command, the troop carrier command established a pathfinder school for selected crews and devoted much time to night exercises in preparation for the pre-dawn D-day airborne landings. 92
The IX Air Force Service Command had one of the most difficult training tasks because large numbers of its troops arrived from the United States as casuals or fillers, unorganized and with a bare minimum of basic training. Others arrived with their qualifications obscured, and the Ninth had to carry out a major reclassification program which ultimately affected thousands of the new arrivals. The greater part of training was conducted on the job by the units themselves. This training was hampered by a shortage of unit equipment which persisted almost until D-day. The specialized training in RAF and ASC, USSTAF schools was accelerated in March when USSTAF gave the IX AFSC first priority on available technical training facilities
for the ensuing ten weeks. Much time was spent in preparing the special type units which would be required on the continent. 93
The IX Engineer Command training program could not get under way until the SOS began to turn over to the Ninth Air Force the engineer battalions which would compose the command. Many of these had been in the theater for a year or more and were considered proficient in general construction work, but they needed training in advanced landing ground construction and the use of lightweight surfacing materials and, particularly, in basic infantry tactics, for more than any other Ninth Air Force units they would be subject to ground attack. Although there was difficulty in obtaining training sites for the battalions, the program was begun in December 1943 and carried forward steadily down to May 1944 when additional battalions were turned over by the SOS or arrived from the United States. In the course of their training some of the battalions had the opportunity to build or improve advanced landing grounds in East Anglia and in Kent and Southampton areas, but most of them later had to undertake the task on the continent without this experience. About 50 per cent of the training schedule time was devoted to basic infantry and engineering subjects. The command helped train the other Ninth Air Force commands in the use of camouflage and the handling of booby traps. 94
It could hardly be said that the Ninth Air Force training program was in all particulars a model one, but the job got done and stood the test of critically important operations. If at points there was inefficiency there was also the mounting pressure of many other claims on time, resources, and men. The accomplishment, to be judged properly, must be viewed in the context of the over-all achievement credited to the air force. That achievement bespeaks much careful planning and efficiency of execution it speaks too of a will that repeatedly overcame the mistakes and the confusion inherent in so large a military effort. More than one of those who shared in the effort can appreciate the comment of a highly experienced supply officer after his inspection of IX AFSC in May 1944: excellent results had been obtained, he observed, "by brute force [and] wasted manpower, transportation, and storage space rather than by efficiency of operation." 95
Notes to Chapter 5:
2. Hq. 9th AF GO's 73, 74, 87, 22 Aug., 23 Aug., 13 Sept. 1943.
3. Ltr., Lt. Gen. J. L. Devers, CG ETO to C/S U.S. Army, 11 Sept. 1943 Lewis H. Brereton, The Brereton Diaries (New York, 1946), pp. 213-17.
4. Hq. USAFIME Movement Order to CG 9th AF, 21 Sept. 1943 9th AF Station List, 17 Nov. 1943 History, IX BC, Dec. 1943, p. 3 memo by Lt. Col. Robert H. George, Hist. Off. 9th AF, Movement of the Ninth Air Force from the Middle East to the European Theater of Operations (July-Oct. 1943), n.d. but early in 1944.
5. See 8th AF and USAAFUK ltr. orders for the period. Memo by Maj. Robert C. Angell, historical officer, concerning Sources of Units of the Ninth Air Force, 24 Dec. 1943.
6. Ltr., Hq. 9th AF to CG IX BC and CG IX FC, 15 Dec. 1943.
7. Hq. USSTAF GO 6, 20 Jan. 1944.
8. Ltr., Gen. Spaatz to CG 9th AF, 24 Feb. 1944 interview with Spaatz by B.C. Hopper, 20 May 1945, pp. 6-8.
9. IX AFSC Staff Meeting Minutes, 25 Oct. and 3 Nov. 1943 memo for CG 9th AF from Gen. Miller, CG IX AFSC, 30 Nov. 1943 memos for Lt. Col. Jerome Preston, Chief, Plans and Statistics Sec., Hq., VIII AFSC from Maj. A. Lepawsky, 8 and 17 Dec. 1943.
10. IX AFSC Staff Mtg. Min., 25 Nov. 1943 ASC, USSTAF Staff Mtg., 12, 18 Jan. 1944 R&R, C/AS, Hq. AAF to AC/AS, MM&D, 8 Feb. 1944 historical memo by Maj. Robert C. Angell, The First Six Months of the Ninth Air Force in Britain, 15 Apr. 1944, pp. 10-11 (hereinafter cited as First Six Months in Britain) The Planning and Preparation of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force for the Invasion of North West France, pp. 30-31.
11. Memo for C/AS Hq. AAF from Operational Plans, n.s., 19 May 1944 memo for Gen. Timberlake, DC/AS Hq. AAF from Gen. Kuter, AC/AS Plans, 15 June 1944 Daily Diary of Liaison Off. ASC, USSTAF, at Washington, D.C., 15 June 1944 memo to Dir. of Maintenance, Hq. ASC, USSTAF from Gen. Knerr, 6 July 1944.
12. 9th AF Planning Journal, 25 Apr. 1944 Directive to Comdr. Advanced AEAF AEAF/TS 378/AIR, 1 May 1944 ltr., Hq. AEAF to CG 9th AF, AEAF/TS 378/AIR, 9 May 1944 The Brereton Diaries , pp. 264, 295.
13. Hq. 9th AF GO's 101,106, 16 and 23 Oct. 1943.
14. Hq. 9th AF GO's 101,102, 16 Oct. 1943 History, IX BC, Dec. 1943, pp, 3, 7.
15. Hq. IX BC GO 67, 5 Dec. 1943, 9th AF Organization Chart, 12 may 1944 26th SCU, Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., 16 Oct. 1943 - 8May 1945, pp. 5, 6.
16. Hq. IX FC GO 15,18 Oct. 1943 History, IX FC, 18 Oct.-31 Dec. 1943, p. 1.
17. Hq. 9th AF GO's 138 (4 Dec. 1943 ), 2 (4 Jan. 1944 ) 9th AF Orgn. Chart, 12 May 1944 The Ninth Air Force and Its Principal Commands in the E. T. O. , in The Ninth Air Force, Vol. I, Pt. 1, pp. 92-94.
18. 9th AF Planning Journal, 21 Feb. 1944 IX ASC Mtg., 27 Feb. 1944.
19. IX AFSC Staff Mtg., Min., 27 Jan. 1944 ltr., Gen. Anderson, D/CG Opns., USSTAF to CG's 8th AF and 9th AF, 30 Jan. 1944 File 706, 24 Jan. 1944.
20. Hq. 9th AF GO 103, 18 Apr. 1944 9th AF Orgn. Chart, 12 May 1944 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., pp. 3, 5-6.
21. Hq. IX TCC GO's 3 and 4, 16 Oct. 1943 Hq. IX TCC SO 3,24 Oct. 1943.
22. Hq. 9th AF GO's 38, 40 82, 22, 25, 29 Mar. 1944 90th AF Orgn. Chart, 12 May 1944 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 4.
23. Ltr., Arnold to Brereton, 11 May 1944 History, IX ADC, pp. 16-17 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., pp. 4, 6.
25. Ibid ., p. 17 Hq. 9th AF GO's 127, 16 Nov. 1943, and 83 and 84, 30 Mar. 1944.
26. Hq. 9th AF GO 101,16 Oct. 1943 Hq. IX AFSC GO's 2, 23, 24, 16 Oct., 6, 7 Nov. 1943.
27. Hq. IX AFSC Memo 160-1,18 Oct. 1943 Hq. IX AFSC GO 40, 6 Dec. 1943 Hq. IX AFSC, IX AFSC in Operation O VERLORD , D minus 15 to D plus 90, pp. 2-3 memo for IX AFSC hq. staff officers and comdrs. of areas from CG, IX AFSC, 16 Oct. 1943.
28. IX AFSC in Opn. O VERLORD , pp. 4-6 IX AFSC Staff Mtg. Min., 27 Oct. 1943 Hq. 9th AF GO 117, 4 Nov. 1943 Hq. IX AFSC GO 43, 14 Dec. 1943.
29. Hq. IX AFSC Memos 20-8 and 20-12, 16 Feb., 3 Mar. 1944 Hq. IX AFSC, The Tactical Air Depots, 20 Apr. 1944 IX AFSC in Opn. O VERLORD , pp. 4-5.
30. Hq. 9th AF Memo 20-8, 3 Dec. 1943 Hq. IX AFSC Memo 20-11, 7 Jan. 1944. See histories, 1st and 2d Adv. Air Depot Areas.
31. Hq. 9th AF GO's 109,130, 146, 28, 104, 111,28 Oct., 21 Nov., 16 Dec. 1943, 4 Feb., 13 Apr., 22 Apr. 1944 History, IX AFSC, 16 Oct. 1943 -9 May 1945, pp. 41-44.
32. IX AFSC Weekly Activity Rpt., 25 Nov. 1943 IX AFSC Staff Mtg. Min., 6 Jan. 1944 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 6 History, IX AFSC, June 1944, pp. 21-23.
33. Ltr., Hq. 9th AF to all units 9th AF, 27 Nov. 1943 9th AF Engr. Hq. GO 1,25 Jan. 1944 msg. 2750, Brereton to Arnold, 24 Jan. 1944 Hq. 9th AF GO 83, 30 Mar. 1944.
34. IX EC Orgn. Chart, 6 June 1944 History, IX EX, pp. 33-34.
35. First Six Months in Britain, pp. 7-8.
36. Ibid . See also histories of commands and AADA's.
37. History, IX AFSC, June 1944, p. 23 First Six Months in Britain, p. 7.
38. 9th AF Commanders Mtgs., 28 Apr., 18 May 1944 ltr., Col. R. C. Sanders, C/S IX BC to CG 9th AF, 1 May 1944 XIX TAC General and Special Staff Mtg. 2, 2 May 1944 IX AFSC Periodic Staff Rpt., 3 May 1944. For a discussion of the advanced landing grounds see History, IX FC and IX ASC, Mar. 1944, pp. 16-19.
39. Hq. 9th AF, Memo on Tactical Disposition of 9th AF, 13 Mar. 1944 9th AF Station List, 5 May 1944 map, 9th AF Tactical Installations in Britain, 1 June 1944.
40. Ltr., Leigh-Mallory to Brereton, 3 Mar. 1944 ltr., Col. P. D. Berrigan, Office of Chief Engr. ETOUSA to CG Southern Base Sec. SOS, 5 Apr. 1944 9th AF Station List, 5 May 1944 map, 9th AF Tac. Instls. in Britain, 1 June 1944.
41. Memo on Tactical Disposition of 9th AF, 13 Mar. 1944 9th AF Station List, 5 May 1944 map, 9th AF Tac. Instls. in Britain, 1 June 1944.
42. See sources cited in n. 41.
43. Ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII ASC, 7 June 1943 Memo for Record by Col. S.E. Anderson, 1 July 1943 ltr., Anderson to CG VIII ASC, 30 Sept. 1943 ltr., Hq. VIII ASC to CG 3d Bomb. Wing (M), 18 Aug. 1943.
44. 9th AF Tactical Mission Rpt., Sum. of Mission 81,9 Oct. 1943.
45. 9th AF T/M Rpt. 85, 22 Oct. 1943.
46. Ltrs. Col. S.E. Anderson to CG 9th AF, 23 Oct. Anderson to A-3 IX BC, 3 Nov. CG 9th AF to CG's IX BC and IX FC, 15 Dec. 1943.
47. Ltr., Brereton to Eaker, 10 Nov. 1943.
48. Ltr., Leigh-Mallory to Brereton, 19 Nov. 1943.
49. Ltr., CG 9th AF to CG IX BC, 25 Dec. 1943 T/M? Rpts. 91 and 103, 3 Nov. and 1 Dec. 1943 Mission Sums. 107 and 136A, 13 Dec. 1943 and 7 Jan. 1944 Sums. of Opns. in History, IX BC, Dec. 1943, pp. 28-29, Jan. 1944, pp. 15-16.
50. Ltrs., Brig. Gen. A. C. Strickland, D/SASO AEAF to CG 9th AF, 212 Dec. 1943 Anderson, D/CG Opns., USSTAF to AM Sir Douglas Evill, VCAS, 29 Jan. 1944 Evill to Leigh-Mallory, 2 and 16 Feb. 1944 Spaatz to Arnold, 5 Feb. 1944.
51. Ltr., Spaatz to Arnold, 1 Feb. 1944 ltr., Portal to Spaatz, 15 Feb. 1944.
52. See sources in nn. 50 and 51 also ltr., Evill to Anderson, 2 Feb. 1944 ltr., CG 9th AF to CG IX BC, 25 Dec. 1944 Minutes of a Meeting held at Hq. AEAF on Friday, 4 Feb. 1944 ltr., Spaatz to Portal, 18 Feb. 1944 USSTAF Air Intel. Sum. 20, 31 Mar. 1944, p. .6 The Planning and Preparation of the AEAF for the Invasion of North West France, p. 427.
53. VIII FC Narrative of Opns. 13 Dec. 1943 History, 354th Ftr. Gp. , Nov.-Dec. 1943, p. 1 Brief Chronological Record of VIII Fighter Command from June 1942 to 10 Oct. 1944, p. 5.
54. IX FC Weekly Activity Rpts., 21 Jan. and 4 Feb. 1944 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns, p. 14.
55. Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 5 History, IX BC, Apr. 1944, p. 7.
56. Ltr. CG IX BC to CO's all combat bomb wings, 18 Mar. 1944 History, IX BC, Feb. 1944, pp. 8, 44.
57. Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 14 History, IX BC, Feb. 1944, pp. 21,27-28.
58. Memo by Maj. Angell, 2 June 1944.
59. History, IX BC, Mar. 1944, p. 42 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 14 History, IX FC and IX TAC, May 1944, p. 5.
60. Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 14 Opnl. Mission Sum., in History, IX FC and IX ASC, Mar. 1944, pp. 7-8.
61. History, 67th TAC. Recon. Gp. , Mar. 1944, pp. 1-5.
62. See especially IX AFSC Staff Mtg. Min., 28 Mar. 1944 Hq. 9th AF Memo 20-1C, 19 May 1944.
63. ASC USSTAF Staff Mtgs. 147, 154, 157, 21 Feb., 1 Mar., 6 Mar. 1944 ltr., Knerr to CG 9th AF, 1 Mar. 1944 USSTAF Reg. 20-1, 7 Mar. 1944 ltr order, Hq. USSTAF to 9th AF, 15 May 1944 ltr., Hq. 9th AF to CO's 1st AADA, 2d AADA, BADA IX AFSC, 16 May 1944.
64. Hq. USAAFUK Policy 65-1,17 Dec. 1943 USSTAF Regs. 65-1 and 65-10, 1 Mar. and 17 Apr. 1944 ltr. with incls., Hq. ASC, USSTAF to CG 9th AF, 22 Mar. 1944 ltr., CG 9th AF to CG USSTAF, 3 Apr. 1944.
65. IX AFSC Memo 65-1,17 Nov. 1943 and 8 Jan. 1944 VIII AFSC Daily Staff Mtg., 1 Feb. 1944 Hq. ASC, USSTAF, G-4 Periodic Report for the Quarter Ending 31 Mar. 1944, dtd. 31 Mar. 1944 1st Ind. (ltr., Hq. USSTAF to CG 9th AF, 29 May 1944 ), Hq. 9th AF to CG USSTAF, 7 June 1944 Hq. IX AFSC Memo 140-4, 11 June 1944.
66. IX AFSC Weekly Activity Rpt., 10 Feb. 1944 ltr., Gen. Miller to CO 31st AT Gp. , 5 Apr. 1944 memo for Stat. Control Office, H1. ASC, USSTAF from Ord. Off., 7 Apr. 1944 9th AF Commanders' Mtg., 18 May 1944 memo for Brig. Gen. C. P. Kane, H1. ASC USSTAF from Gen. Miller, 29 May 1944.
67. ASC, USSTAF Staff Mtgs., 124 and 186, 18 Jan. and 14 Apr. 1944 IX AFSC Staff Mtg. Min., 9 Mar. 1944 ltr., Gen. Miller to CG USSTAF, n.d. but April. Three depot repair squadrons had only 70 per cent of their equipment. See IX AFSC Per. Staff Rpt., 13 June 1944, p. 6.
68. IX AFSC Per. STaff Rpts., 5 Apr., 13 May, 23 May 1944 Stat. Sum., 9th AF Opns., p. 7 First Six Months in Britain, p. 12.
69. IX AFSC Per. Staff Rpts., 11 Nov., 9 Dec. 1943, 17 Feb., 28 Mar., 5 Apr., 13 Apr., 23 Apr., 23 May 1944 msg. U61850, Spaatz to Arnold, 8 May 1944 History, IX AFSC, p. 90.
70. IX AFSC Per. Staff Rpts., 16 Dec. 1943,24 Jan., 3 Feb. 1944 IX AFSC Monthly Progress Rpts., Apr. 1944, p. 4, May 1944, p. 3 H1. IX AFSC, Glider Assembly CG-4A, 1943 -44 ETO, 16 Oct. 1944, p. 14.
71. IX AFSC Periodic Staff Rpts., 11 Nov. 1943,24 Jan. 1944 IX AFSC Monthly Progress Rpts., Feb. 1944, pp. 22-26, Mar., p. 22-26, Apr., May 1944 memo for CG BAFA ASC, USSTAF from Dir. of Maintenance, H1. ASC, USSTAF, 11 May 1944 History, IX FC and IX ASC, Feb. 1944, p. 9.
72. IX AFSC Memos 70-8 and 20-8, 11 and 16 Feb. 1944 Hq. IX AFSC, The Combat Group The Service Team, 21 Feb. 1944 9th AF Station List, 4 May 1944 History, 1st AADA, Initial Installment thru May 1944, Personnel Sec., p. 11.
73. IX AFSC Memos 20-11 and 70-10, 7 Jan. and 2 Mar. 1944 IX AFSC Monthly Progress Rpts., Feb.-May 1944 IX AFSC in Opn. O VERLORD , p. 6.
74. Hq. IS AFSC, Administrative Plan, O VERLORD , 8 May 1944 P&O Sec., Hq. IX AFSC, Notes on Planning Operation N EPTUNE , 9 Dec. 1944 Hq. IX AFSC, Support of Operation O VERLORD , Pt. 1, D minus 14 to D plus 24, p. 3 IX AFSC in Operation O VERLORD , pp. 11-12, 33 Hq. IX AFSC, Notes on Interview with Col. Vernon M. Babcock and Col. J. J. O'Hara, Apr. 1945.
75. Adm. Plan, O VERLORD , p. 2 and Annex 4, p. 1 Hist. Sec., 9th AF, Ninth Air Force Invasion Activities, April thru June 1944, pp. 35-36.
76. Adm. Plan. O VERLORD , p. 1 History, IX EC, pp. 53-54.
77. Adm. Plan, O VERLORD , p. 9 IX AFSC in Opn. O VERLORD , pp. 6-7.
79. Adm. Plan, O VERLORD , pp. 2, 9, and Annex 1, pp. 1-3 IX AFSC in Opn. O VERLORD , p. 4.
80. Adm. Plan, O VERLORD , Annex 4, p 2 IX AFSC in Opn. O VERLORD , pp. 16-17.
81. Adm. Plan, O VERLORD , Annex 4, pp. 1-2.
83. Memo by Maj. R. C. Angell on Air Support Indoctrination Courses, 25 Feb. 1944 memo for CG 9th AF, n.s., 19 Apr. 1944.
84. IX FC Daily Staff Mtg., 4 Nov. 1943 memos by Maj. Angell on Training Schools and Fighter Leaders' School, 10 Jan. 1944 and 1 May 1944 IX ASC Daily Staff Mtgs., 2, 12, 19, 20, 25 Feb. 1944.
85. Hq. 9th AF Memos 50-2 and 50-6, 8 and 29 Nov. 1943 IX AFSC Per. STaff Rpt. 28 Mar. 1944 ltr., Hq. 9th AF to CG IX TAC, 28 Apr. 1944 IX TAC Daily Staff Mtg., 4 May 1944 ltr., Brig. Gen. D. M. Schlater, A-3 9th AF to CG 9th AF, n.d. but late May 1944.
86. Ltr., Brig. Gen. S.E. Anderson to CG 9th AF, 18 Apr. 1944.
87. IX BC Memo 50-12, 31 Dec. 1943 Hq. IX BC GO 28, 13 Feb. 1944 History, IX BC, Feb., p. 98, Apr. 1944, p. 39 memo by Maj. Angell on Pathfinder Schools, 13 Mar. 1944 ltr. Col. J. C. Kilborn, Opns. Off. IX BC to CG IX BC, 5 May 1944 ltr., Spaatz to Arnold, 10 May 1944.
88. Memo for CG IX BC from Brig. Gen. R. E. Nugent, DC/S Opns. 9th AF, 29 Mar. 1944 ltr., Hq. IX BC to CO's 98th and 99th Combat Wings (M), 23 Apr. 1944 ltr., Hq. IX BC to CG Adv. Hq. 9th AF, 20 May 1944 ltr., Spaatz to Arnold, 10 May ORS Hq. IX BC Memo 18, Rpt. on Bombing in may 1944, 14 June 1944, pp. 1-2.
89. IX FC Memo 50-2, 29 Dec. 1943 IX ASC Daily Staff Mtg., 29 Feb. 1944 History, IX FC and IX ASC, Feb. 1944, p. 9 First Six Months in Britain, p. 12.
90. History, IX FC and IX ASC, Mar. 1944, pp. 11-12 IX ASC Daily Staff Mtg., 1 Apr. 1944 RAF Rpt. 4, Fighter Leaders' Course, Milfield, From Apr. 6th 1944 to Apr. 21st 1944 ltr., Gen. Schramm to CG IX ASC, 12 Feb. 1944.
91. Ltr., Col. J. E. Mallory, Air Insp. IX TAC to CG IX TAC, 25 Apr. 1944 History, IX FC and IX ASC, Mar., pp. 9,13, Apr., p. 6, May 1944, p. 8.
92. Ltr., Brig. Gen. B. F. Giles to CG 9th AF, 26 Nov. 1943 Hq. IX TCC A-3 Per. Staff Rpts., 26 Mar., 12, 22 Apr., 2, 12, 22 May 1944.
93. IX AFSC Weekly Activity Rpts., 11,18, 25 Nov., 23 Dec. 1943, 5 Apr. 1944 IX AFSC Per. Staff Rpts., 21 mar., 3 May, 13 June 1944 memo by Maj. Angell on Exercise B OOMERANG , 22 Apr. 1944.
95. Ltr., Col. J. F. Early to CG ASC, USSTAF, 21 May 1944.
Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey and Terry Welshans for the HyperWar Foundation
I am assuming that Russia maintains their alliance with Germany and Japan throughout the war. It is hard to imagine the Americans staying out of the war, but without Pearl Harbor, the massive commitment made by Americans may not have been as strong until it was too late.
1. Germany invades Great Britain immediately upon France’s capitulation. Despite huge German casualties, Great Britain, Ireland and Iceland would likely fall into German hands before the United States could enter the war. Without a Atlantic base of operations, there could have been no Normandy invasion.
2. Germany does not invade Russia. Hitler, instead sends his entire invasion force to Egypt and the middle east. All of North Africa, and Asia are in Axis hands by the summer of 1943. Without the Suez canal, the Allies could not resupply the Far east as effectively.
3. Japan does not attack Pearl Harbor. The Japanese forces attack British held Burma and India and take control of the entire Indian Ocean by the end of 1943. Japan was defeated by the British in India in 1944, but the British would be less powerful with Egypt and the Suez canal lost.
4. Japan and Russia (who were allies) invade China. Japan takes control of China proper, and Russia controls Manchuria and Korea by the end of 1943.
5. Russia invades Alaska and Canada. Japan invades Australia and the Philippines. Germany invades South Africa, and on to South America. The U.S. would have to hope for a favorable peace treaty in this scenario.
If the political Allaince of Germany, Russia, and Japan could maintain their peace, They could have controlled the world. This is a wild assumption of course knowing the personalities of Hitler and Stalin. Individual Revolutions would eventually spring up and the Axis controlled world would likely crumbled by the 1950’s.
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One Response to ways the Axis could have won World War II.”
The Soviets would have been kicked out of Alaska and Canada. They wouldn’t have been able to supply their troops with the US Army and Canadian Armies pressing from the South and East. While the Navy and Army Aircorp would have devastated what little Navy the Soviets had. The US Navy in growing strength and size could have stopped any invasion into the Western Hemisphere. The United States would have invented the Atomic Bomb in the 40’s as well as the Axis later on. It would have become a Cold War type of scenario. Like above, the Axis would face a massive insurgency and infighting would have led to the end of the Axis.
The best case scenario for Axis victory (besides not invading the Soviet union or attacking the United States) would have been a joint attack on the Soviet Union. Germany from the West and Japan from the East. There were plans drawn up by the Imperial Japanese Army called the North plan. The plan was scraped after the German/Soviet non aggression pact. So believing that Germany would not Invade the Soviet Union the Imperial Navy was given the go ahead to prepare for the South plan. The rest is history.