- United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific
Infobox Military Unit
unit_name= United States Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific
dates= June - 6 Dec 1945
United States of America
United States Army Air Forces
role= Command and Control
* World War II: Asiatic-Pacific Campaign (1945)
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 IIcommand and control authority of the strategic United States Army Air Forcesin the Pacific Theater.
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 Forceand Eighth Air Force. [ [http://www.af.mil/bios/bio.asp?bioID=7210 General Carl A. Spaatz] , Retrieved 2008-09-08] General Curtis E. Lemaywas 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 Commandand 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 Commandwas 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
firebombingof Japanese cities and industrial targets during June and July 1945 by Twentieth Air Force. No Eighth Air Force combat missions were flown. The Atomic Bombmissions to Hiroshimaand Nagasaki were carried out by direct order of USAAF Chief of Staff General Henry "Hap" Arnold" though the 509th Composite Group.
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, Japanon 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
* [http://www.35thptuguam.freeservers.com/guam_photos.htm Photos of USASTAF facilities on Guam, 1945]
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