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1942 losses

U.S.A.A.F Losses 1942

January -

THURSDAY, 8 JANUARY 1942

UNITED KINGDOM: Major General James E Chaney is designated Commanding General US Army Forces in British Isles USAFBI); he continues as the Chief, Special Observer Group, US Army (SPOBS).

February -

SUNDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 1942

ETO - THEATER OF OPERATIONS: In the UK, Lieutenant Colonel Townsend Griffiss, aide to Major General James E Chaney, is killed when the aircraft in which he is a passenger is mistakenly shot down by RAF Polish fliers. He is the first US airman to die in the line of duty in Europe since the US entered World War II. The 8AF base at Bushy Park is later named Camp Griffiss in his honour.

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Lieutenant Colonel Townsend Griffiss


FRIDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 1942

ETO - THEATER OF OPERATIONS
Brigadier General Ira C Eaker arrives in the UK with 6 staff officers.

MONDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): HQ VIII BC arrives at Daws Hill, England from the US; Major General Ira C Eaker assumes command.

WEDNESDAY, 25 FEBRUARY 1942

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS [ETO, US Army Forces in British Isles (USAFBI)]: Major General James E Chaney, Commanding General USAFBI, instructs Brigadier General Ira C Eaker and the staff of the VIII BC to proceed to HQ, RAF BC for a study of bombing operations, and to make reconnaissance of certain airfields and submit plans for the reception and assignment of Army AFs units.

March -

FRIDAY, 20 MARCH 1942

ZONE OF INTERIOR (HQ AAF): "Plan for Initiation of US Army Bombardment Operations in the British Isles" further elaborates previous AAF plans outlining the intention of launching strategic bombardment from the UK against facilities supporting German national, economic, and industrial structure.

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS [ETO, Army AFs in Britain (AAFIB)]: A report submitted by Brigadier General Ira C Eaker in compliance with Major General James E Chaney's instructions of 25 Feb indicates completion of studies of RAF BC operations and of airfields, training, tactical doctrine, equipment, and methods of conducting air offensive in cooperation with the RAF. The report also indicates much dependence upon the British for the present but emphasizes the apparent compatibility of the tactical doctrines of the US (daylight precision bombing) and RAF (night area bombing), and implies the principle of coordinating these attacks to complement each other.

WEDNESDAY, 25 MARCH 1942

EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (ETO) (AAFIB): Major Cecil P Lessig becomes the first AAF pilot to fly a mission over France in World War II. Flying a Spitfire VB with RAF 64 Squadron from Hornchurch, England, Lessig participates in a 36-aircraft fighter sweep that is recalled when 50 Luftwaffe fighters challenge them.

TUESDAY, 31 MARCH 1942

ZI - ZONE OF INTERIOR: (HQ AAF): Major General Carl Spaatz suggests that the now "task-less 8AF" be made the nucleus for AAFIB.

April -

WEDNESDAY, 8 APRIL 1942

ZI - ZONE OF INTERIOR: (HQ AAF): V Air Support Command (activated 1Sep 41) is re-designated 9th AF with HQ at New Orleans AAB, Louisiana.

ETO - THEATER OF OPERATIONS: Harry L Hopkins, Special Assistant to President Franklin D Roosevelt, and General George C Marshall, US Army Chief of Staff, arrive in London for talks with British service and supply chiefs concerning the integration of US and British manpower and war production for action in Europe. General Marshall urges an offensive in the west to relieve pressure upon the USSR and promises a constant flow of US troops, including many air units, to the UK.

SUNDAY, 12 APRIL 1942

ZI - ZONE OF INTERIOR: (HQ AAF): Lieutenant General Henry H "Hap" Arnold sends air plans for Operation BOLERO, the build-up of US armed forces in the UK for an attack on Europe, to General George C Marshall in London. The plan calls for establishment of the 8AF in the UK.

TUESDAY, 14 APRIL 1942

ETO - THEATER OF OPERATIONS: The British Government and Chiefs of Staff (CoSs) accept General George C Marshall's Operation BOLERO plan for the Allied build-up in the UK for an attack on Germany.

SATURDAY, 18 APRIL 1942

PACIFIC OCEAN AREA (POA): Doolittle Raid on Japan. 16 B-25's launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) carry out the first AAF attack on the Japanese mainland. 15 of the B-25's bomb in Japan, the principal targets being Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, and Nagoya. Since the bombers had to be launched earlier than scheduled they are unable to reach planned bases in China and have to be crashlanded or abandoned, 15 in China and the other in the USSR.

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MONDAY, 27 APRIL 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Advanced echelon (ADVON) of HQ 8AF and bomber, interceptor and base commands, along with 15BS(L), 2Air Depot Group, and a weather detachment totalling about 1,800 men, sail from Boston, Massachusetts for the UK.

TUESDAY, 28 APRIL 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): HQ VIII Ground Air Support Command is activated at Bolling Field, Washington, DC.

SATURDAY, 2 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Major General Carl Spaatz is designated 8AF commander.

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Pilot Officer. Ben Freeman Mays. R.A.F.V.R. 106509. Age. 29. Killed. 12th April 1942. No. 71 (Eagle) Squadron.

12.04.1942 No 71 Squadron (Eagle) Spitfire Vb AB810 P/O Mays
Location: South East of St. Omer, France.

May -

TUESDAY, 5 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Major General Carl Spaatz assumes command of HQ 8AF at Bolling Field, Washington, DC.

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MONDAY, 11 May 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): The transport SS ANDES docks in the UK, carrying about 1,800 personnel for various 8AF units. This is the first large shipment of AAF troops to the UK.

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TUESDAY, 12 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): 39 officers and 348 enlisted men of HQ and the bomber, interceptor and service commands arrive at High Wycombe, England where the VIII Interceptor Command sets up HQ.

WEDNESDAY, 13 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Flying personnel of the 15BS(L), VIII BC, the first US bomb unit sent to the UK, arrive at Newport, UK without aircraft.

THURSDAY, 14 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Major General Ira C Eaker is designated commander of Detachment, HQ 8AF in addition to his duties as Commanding General VIII BC. Brigadier General Frank O'D Hunter assumes command of VIII Interceptor Command. 15BS(L), VIII BC, arrives at Grafton Underwood, England without aircraft.

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Major General Carl Spaats left and Major General Ira C Eaker.
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FRIDAY, 15 MAY 1942


ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): HQ VIII Bomber Command transfers to Daws Hill, High Wycombe, England.

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SUNDAY, 17 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Detachment, 8AF, with the help of the VIII BC staff, issues a directive defining its mission, which is the organization, training and supplying of units advanced echelons of 8AF to prepare for immediate operations upon arrival of tactical elements of the 8th. 50 US intelligence officers arrive in the UK for training by the RAF Bomber Command.

SATURDAY, 23 MAY 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Agreement is reached on a plan to transfer the repair depot at Burtonwood, UK to US forces following a period of joint control to begin at the end of Jun 42; Burtonwood later becomes the greatest AAF depot overseas.

TUESDAY, 26 MAY 1942

ETO - THEATER OF OPERATIONS: Lieutenant General Henry H "Hap" Arnold, Rear Admiral John H Towers and Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal attend an Anglo-American air conference in London. Topics of discussion include allocation of aircraft and the establishment of US air forces in the UK. The meeting begins at 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister Winston S Churchill.

SATURDAY, 30 MAY 1942

ETO - THEATER OF OPERATIONS: During conferences with Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles F Portal, Lieutenant General Henry H "Hap" Arnold presents "Programme of Arrival of US Army AFs in the United Kingdom" providing for 66 combat groups, exclusive of OSs, by Mar 43.
June -

THURSDAY, 4 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): A HQ AAF schedule, with tables of composition and strength, indicating a total of 3,649 aircraft, is set up for the AAF in the UK.

FRIDAY, 5 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): VIII AF Base Command, activated in the US on 28 Jan 42, is redesignated VIII AF Services Command. Colonel Harold A McGinnis assumes command.

TUESDAY, 9 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): The second contingent of personnel for HQ 8AF and subordinate commands, including the main body of the VIII AF Services Command, arrives in the UK.

WEDNESDAY, 10 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): The main part of the ground echelon, including ground echelons of the 97BG(H), 1 and 31FGs, 60TCG and 5th Air Depot Group, and service units arrive in the UK aboard the QUEEN ELIZABETH. Units arriving in England from the US: HQ 1FG, 71 and 94FSs at Goxhill (first missions are 1Sep and 3 Aug respectively); 12TS, 60TCG, at Chelveston with C-47s; and 308FS, 31FG, at Atcham (first Mission is 17 Aug).

THURSDAY, 11 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Units arriving in England from the US: HQ 31FG at Atcham; 10th and 11TS, 60TCG, at Chelveston; 307FS, 31FG, at Atcham (first Mission is 17 Aug); and 340th and 414BS(H), 97BG(H) at Polebrook with B-17s (first Mission is 17 Aug).

MONDAY, 15 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Major General Carl Spaatz, Commanding General 8AF, arrives in the UK. The VIII BC takes a significant step toward development of the organization for control of combat operations by establishing the 1BW (Provisional) at Brampton Grange, England.
The First Air Division HQ was established at the Grange Hotel, Brampton and very quickly became operational on 15th June 1942 under the command of Colonel Claude E Duncan; on 19th August, Brampton was officially activated as the First Bomb Wing Headquarters. This was also the site of No 16 'Splasher' medium frequency radio beacons used to enable formation assembly in 'solid overcast' weather.

WEDNESDAY, 17 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): 5(Photo)RS, 8AF, arrives at Molesworth, England from the US with F-4s; first Mission is in Nov 42.

THURSDAY, 18 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): HQ 8AF opens in London with Major General Carl Spaatz commanding. The British Air Ministry publishes a tentative list of 87 airfields to be made ready for the 8AF.

SATURDAY, 20 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): General George C Marshall's letter of instruction to Brigadier General Dwight D Eisenhower reveals plan to integrate all US air units in the UK into the 8AF.

TUESDAY, 23 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Major General Carl Spaatz is informed that Operation ROUNDUP (plans for the invasion of Western Europe) has been put off until Spring 1943. This postponement is due to a decision to mount Operation TORCH (plan for Allied landings in North and Northwest Africa in Nov 42), which will necessitate the diversion of large numbers of aircraft earlier slated for the 8AF in the UK.

FRIDAY, 26 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Air echelons of the 3FG are established at Atcham and High Ercall, England by this date. These are the first combat personnel of the VIII Fighter Command to reach the UK.

MONDAY, 29 JUNE 1942

ETO - EUROPEAN THEATER OF OPERATIONS (8AF): Captain Charles C Kegelman [Commanding Officer, 15BS(L)], flying on a mission with 12 RAF Bostons against Hazebrouck marshalling yard, France, becomes the first member of the 8AF drop bombs on enemy-occupied Europe.

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Major Charles C Kegelman [Commanding Officer, 15BS(L)]

MONDAY 29 JUNE 1942

The first pilot fatality of the 8AF in the ETO is suffered when
First Lieutenant Alfred W Giacomini of the 31FG crashes a Spitfire while landing at Atcham, England.


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July -

04 July 1942

First 8th Air Force Operation

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12 Boston (A-20) aircraft are despatched from Swanton Morley by No. 2 Group, 226 Squadron, RAF, to bomb four German airfields in Holland: De Koog airfield, Bergen/Alkamaar airfield, Haanstede airfield and Valkenberg airfield. 6 of these aircraft are assigned to 15th Bomb Squadron (8th AF USAAF) and are crewed by American airmen.

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August -

September -

October -

November -

December -
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