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VIII Air Support Command
Eighth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).png
World War II era emblem of Eighth Air Force
Active 1942–1943
Country United States
Branch United States Army Air Force
Role Medium Bombardment; Troop Carrier

The VIII Air Support Command is an inactive United States Army Air Forces unit. Its last assignment was with Eighth Air Force, stationed at Sunninghill, Berkshire, England. It was inactivated on 1 December 1943.

VIII Air Support Command engaged in training, with one reconnaissance and one troop carrier group assigned, until July 1943. Afterward, carried out medium bombardment operations against the enemy on the Continent until October 1943 when all components and personnel were withdrawn from the command

The command was inactivated and its units reassigned to other Eighth and Ninth Air Force units on 1 December 1943.

History

Lineage

  • Constituted as VIII Ground Air Support Command and activated on 24 April 1942
Redesignated VIII Air Support Command in September 1942
Disbanded on 1 December 1943.

Assignments

Components

Reassigned to IX Bomber Command (Ninth Air Force) on 16 October 1943 (Redesignated as 98th Bombardment Wing)
322d Bombardment Group
RAF Bury St. Edmunds (USAAF Station 468), 1 December 1942
RAF Andrews Field (USAAF Station 485), 1 January – 16 October 1943
323d Bombardment Group
RAF Horham (USAAF Station 119), 1 May 1943
RAF Earls Colne (USAAF Station 358), 14 June – 16 October 1943
386th Bombardment Group
RAF Snetterton Heath (USAAF Station 138), 3 June 1943
RAF Boxted (USAAF Station 150), 10 June 1943
RAF Great Dunmow (USAAF Station 164), 24 September – 16 October 1943
387th Bombardment Group
RAF Chipping Ongar (USAAF Station 162), 25 June – 16 October 1943

Reassigned to Twelfth Air Force on 23 November 1942
60th Troop Carrier Group
RAF Chelveston (USAAF Station 105), 12 June 1942
RAF Aldermaston (USAAF Station 467), 7 August – 7 November 1942
62d Troop Carrier Group
RAF Keevil (USAAF Station 471), 25 September – 15 November 1942
64th Troop Carrier Group (Attached from Twelfth Air Force)
RAF Ramsbury (USAAF Station 469), 1 August – 7 November 1942

Stations

  • Bolling Field, DC, 28 April 1942
  • Savannah, AAB, Georgia, 29 May-c. 20 July 1942
  • Bushy Park (AAF-586), England, July 1942
  • RAF Membury (AAF-466), England, 21 August 1942
  • Sunninghill Park (AAF-472), England, 19 October 1942 – 1 December 1943.

Operational history

The VIII Ground Air Support Command (GASC) was constituted on 28 April 1942 at Bolling Field, Washington, D.C. commanded by Col. Robert C. Candee and assigned to Eighth Air Force. Col. Candee was promoted to Briadier General and deployed the VIII GASC to England, but did not open its headquarters at Membury in Berkshire until 17 August where took control of a troup carrier wing whose two groups, the 60th and 64th, were stationed at Aldermarston and Ramsbury, both places in the vicinity of Membury.

The mission of VIII Ground Air Support Command was initially training and reconnaissance and troop transport. The transport units were reassigned to the new Twelfth Air Force in late 1942. In February 1943, the command's mission was expanded to carrying out medium bombardment operations against the enemy on the Continent.

In February 1941, the first Martin B-26 Marauder medium bombers were accepted by the USAAF. It was to be in the European theatre where the Marauder was to achieve its greatest success. In the United Kingdom, the Marauder formed the basis of the medium bomber forces of the VIII Air Support Command. The first B-26s arrived in the United Kingdom in February 1943. They were to be used in low-level missions against German military targets on the Continent.

On 16 October 1943, the B-26 Marauder units were reassigned to IX Bomber Command, leaving VIII Air Support Command without any operational units. Its command staff was reassigned to other units, and the command was inactivated on 1 December 1943

References

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer, Air Force Combat Units of World War II, Office of Air Force history (1961). ISBN 0-405-12194-6
  • Maurer, Maurer, Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Office of Air Force history (1982). ISBN 0-8317-1501-4

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
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