United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific


United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific

Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific


caption=
dates= June - 6 Dec 1945
country= United States of America
allegiance=
branch= United States Army Air Forces
type=
role= Command and Control
size=
command_structure=
current_commander=
garrison= Guam
ceremonial_chief=
colonel_of_the_regiment=
nickname=
patron=
motto=
colors=
march=
mascot=
battles=


* World War II: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1945)
notable_commanders= General Carl Spaatz
anniversaries=
The United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF) [Also known as United States Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific (USASTAF)] was a World War II command and control authority of the strategic United States Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater.

Overview

USASTAF was the Pacific counterpart of the United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF). Its mission was to coordinate strategic bombing of the Japanese Home Islands during the expected Invasion of Japan. The atomic bombings of Japan made this unnecessary.

The Joint Chiefs agreed to the established of the USASTAF on 2 July 1945, it would have a headquarters in Quam and be commanded by General Carl Andrew "Tooey" Spaatz,Robert Frank Futrell. "'Ideas concepts doctrine: basic thinking in the United States Air Force" Published by DIANE Publishing ISBN 1428993193. [http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=kps2EhXM-lwC&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&source=web&ots=g_gZEUp5iE&sig=OHQysIzZ1Jm9aqaUrfwZ9Noz3D0&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=8&ct=result#PPA166,M1 p. 166] ] and consisted of the combat commands (VII Fighter, XXI Bomber) of the Twentieth Air Force and Eighth Air Force. [ [http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7210 General Carl A. Spaatz] , Retrieved 2008-09-08] General Curtis E. Lemay was appointed Spaatz's Chief of Staff. [ [http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1115 Gen. Curtis E. Lemay] , Retrieved 2008-09-08]

Quam was the headquarters of the XXI Bomber Command and until the arrival of the Eight Air Force would provide the bulk of men and equipment of the new command. On 16 July the headquarters of the Twentieth AF was officially moved from Washington, DC to Harmon Field, Guam Island; the headquarters of the XX Bomber Command was inactivated, effective 18 July, and the "Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, XXI Bomber Command" was redesignated "Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Twentieth Air Force"; thus the Bomber Commands were brought to an end as actual establishments and their wings passed to direct control of Headquarters Twentieth Air Force of which Major General Curtis Emerson LeMay took command on that date. On the same day the Eight was reassigned to Okinawa, as a paper transfer as it arrived without men or equipment. [http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/PopTopics/chron/45jul.htm U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II: Combat Chronology July 1945] , [http://www.airforcehistory.hq.af.mil/index.htm Air Force History Office] Retrieved 2008-09-08] Spaatz arrived in theater on 29 July and began organizing his forces—a task he had not completed by the war's end.

The primary combat missions carried out by USASTAF forces were the firebombing of Japanese cities and industrial targets during June and July 1945 by Twentieth Air Force. No Eighth Air Force combat missions were flown. The Atomic Bomb missions to Hiroshima and Nagasaki were carried out by direct order of USAAF Chief of Staff General Henry "Hap" Arnold" though the 509th Composite Group.

Inactivation

On 6 December 1945 USASTAF was abolished by the inactivation of its headquarters and headquarters squadron. Its personnel, equipment and aircraft were assigned to Pacific Air Command, United States Army (PACUSA) which was assigned to United States Army Forces, Pacific (AFPAC). [ [http://www.history.army.mil/documents/8-5/8-5.htm Chronology of the Occupation] ]

PACUSA was reassigned to Tokyo, Japan on 17 May 1946. The USAAF Air Forces in the Pacific region were reassigned as follows: [ [http://www.afhra.af.mil/organizationalrecords/numberedairforces.asp USAF Historical Research Agency] ]

* Fifth Air Force: Assigned to Tokyo, Japan
* Seventh Air Force: Assigned to Hickam Field, Territory of Hawaii
* Eighth Air Force: Assigned to Kadena Army Air Base, Okinawa
* Thirteenth Air Force: Assigned to Clark Field, Philippines
* Twentieth Air Force: Assigned to Harmon Field, Guam, Mariana Islands

There was also the Pacific Air Service Command, later Far East Air Service Command which was attached to HQ PACUSA. [ [http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/AAF/VII/AAF-VII-17.html Army Air Forces in World War II Vol. VII: Services Around the World CHAPTER 17 REDEPLOYMENT AND DEMOBILIZATION] ]

The USAAF Air Forces in the Pacific region had a total of six very-heavy-bombardment groups, nine fighter groups, two light-bombardment groups, and two troop-carrier groups, along with three tactical reconnaissance, five air-sea rescue, five night-fighter, two liaison, two tow-target, and two very-long-range photographic-reconnaissance squadrons. Although by December 1945 most of these units were in the process of being reassigned to the United States or demobilzing in-theater and the personnel returning to processing centers for discharge.

Notes and References

External links

* [http://www.35thptuguam.freeservers.com/guam_photos.htm Photos of USASTAF facilities on Guam, 1945]


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