Title Banner: The Army Air Forces in World War II

Section IV


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Chapter 18: Air Logistics in the ETO

THE indorsement of the CBO Plan by the Combined Chiefs of Staff and the decision of the TRIDENT conference at Washington in May 1943to mount an invasion of western Europe in the spring of 1944 posed for the Eighth Air Force and its service command an immense logistical problem. That problem was simple enough to formulate: to support adequately and continuously the ever expanding operations of the Combined Bomber Offensive while building up the air forces that would be required in support of the scheduled invasion. But to translate that mission into terms of effective action imposed upon AAF leaders one of the more difficult assignments of the entire war. Of assistance was the fact that from the very first the Eighth Air Force had faced in some degree a dual obligation to prepare itself for both strategic and tactical operations. In the spring of 1943 the task imposed a heavier burden because through the intervening months uncertainties of basic strategy, the imperious demands of TORCH, and the critical shortage of shipping had left the Eighth Air Force undermanned, underequipped, and in some ways organizationally underdeveloped. It is pertinent, therefore, to look first into the experience of that air force through the months which had followed its original establishment in the United Kingdom.*

From June to September 1942 the growth of the Eighth had been rapid, but after doubling in numbers during August (from15,000 to 30,000 officers and men) its strength had declined to a low of less than 23,000 by the end of November.1 These figures reflect, of course, the

* For a discussion of the establishment of the Eighth Air Force in the United Kingdom, see Volume I, 612-54.


influence of TORCH. Beginning in September, the Eighth had transferred more and more of its men and units to the Twelfth, until in the end it was estimated that no less than 27,000 officers and men had been transferred to the younger air force.2

The months immediately preceding and following the North African landings had been a period of hectic and confused activity for the personnel accountants of the Eighth Air Force. Almost daily shuffling and reshuffling of individuals and units between the two air forces caused great difficulty. Some units originally intended for the Twelfth were in the end permanently assigned to the Eighth, their place in General Doolittle's Twelfth Air Force being taken by some of the more experienced and better-trained organizations in the older air force. In general, the Eighth had relinquished the most experienced units and much of its most skilled staff and operational personnel.3 The replacements received, altogether aside from the question of numbers, for some time to come could not hope to fill the gaps created by departures for North Africa. Nor did the losses of the Eighth Air Force end with the original transfers to the Twelfth, for during the six months which followed the North African landings the Eighth served as a replacement pool from which TORCH drew men, units, and equipment as needed. Under these circumstances, statistics regarding AAF strength in the United Kingdom can be regarded as no more than approximate.

By the end of January 1943 the reassignment of Twelfth Air Force units still in England and the arrival of replacements from the United States had brought the strength of the Eighth Air Force up to 36,000 officers and men.4 But not until the spring of 1943 was the build-up of the Eighth seriously resumed. The more immediate and pressing demands of the North African campaign continued to hold the higher priority for both shipping and trained units until the victory in Tunisia and the decisions reached at the TRIDENT conference in May gave to the Eighth the priorities required for the execution of its share in the combined offensive.5

In June 1943, with units of all types flowing into the theater, the strength of the Eighth Air Force mounted steadily toward the 100,000 mark and, indeed, passed it by the end of the month.6 At that time more than half of all U.S. Army forces in the European theater belonged to the Eighth, which for some time yet would enjoy a higher priority than either Army ground or service forces in the build-up preparatory to the continental invasion.7 Having increased the effective strength of its


three heavy bombardment wings. from six to twelve groups in May, the Eighth Air Force had a total of seventeen operational combat groups of all types by the end of June and an assigned combat strength of twenty-six groups in the United Kingdom, on detached service in North Africa, or en route from the United States.8 In addition, there were nineteen service groups and seven of the badly needed air depot groups.9

The bomber command, from a low of barely 10,000 officers and men at the end of November 1942, had grown by the close of June 1943 to more than 40,000, a figure which represented approximately 40 per cent of the current strength of the Eighth Air Force. Almost two-thirds of this growth had taken place in the preceding two months.10 Second in size to the bomber command was the service command. Numbering on 30 November 1942 little more than 8,000 men, it had doubled its strength by the end of the following June, but its approximately 16,000 personnel at that time represented less than one-sixth of the Eighth's total strength11 This disparity between combat and service personnel contributed to the supply and maintenance difficulties experienced throughout the early history of the Eighth Air Force. The fighter command, having shrunk after the North African invasion to one fighter group and a strength of no more than 2,000 men, had continued with only one operational group until April. The air support command, left practically with no mission to perform by the decision to postpone indefinitely an invasion of western Europe, had been denuded of all its bombardment and troop carrier units and all its personnel except for barely 500 officers and men. When, in the spring of 1943, fighter and medium bombardment units flowed once more to the United Kingdom, both fighter and air support commands began a steady growth. By the end of June each had a strength in excess of 10,000 officers and men.12

The 12th Replacement Control Depot, which since September 1942 had been operating stations at Stone and Chorley for receiving, processing, and assigning all casual air force personnel who arrived in the theater, had handled fewer than 1,800 persons during 1942. But in the first six months of 1943, nearly 5,600 casuals passed through the replacement depots, almost two-thirds of them in June.13 In March the depots were given responsibility also for the reception of replacement combat crews, of which there would be few until summer. The 14th

* The Eighth had also one medium bombardment wing.


Replacement Control Depot arrived in April to be stationed at Chorley and under the jurisdiction of the 12th, whose station at Stone continued to act as headquarters for the replacement depot organization. A shortage of qualified permanent personnel to staff these depots contributed to serious difficulties initially experienced in handling the troop flow, but a beginning had been made toward providing the machinery for channeling the floods of casuals who would be fed into the Eighth Air Force over the ensuing years.14

Heaviest responsibility for the diverse problems inherent in the rapid build-up to which the Eighth Air Force could now look forward fell upon the VIII Air Force Service Command (commanded by Maj. Gen. Walter H. Frank until November 1942 and afterward by Maj. Gen. Henry J. F. Miller) and the Services of Supply, European Theater of Operations (Maj. Gen. John C. H. Lee). In accordance with an arrangement of 1942, problems of construction, debarkation, priority for shipping, and supply of items common to both ground and air forces were left to the control of SOS, but under its over-all control the VIII Air Force Service Command enjoyed a large degree of autonomy with reference to supply and maintenance peculiar to the air force. In an attempt to smooth out some of the difficulties naturally arising from the semi-autonomous position thus conceded to the service command and from its natural tendency thereafter to seek an enlargement of its autonomy, an air force division had been established at SOS headquarters in the fall of 1942.15

At all echelons, and especially in the handling of logistical problems, there existed a need for close collaboration with corresponding British agencies. Accordingly, the Eighth Air Force and the Air Ministry exchanged liaison officers, and General Eaker in December 1942 even had appointed as a deputy chief of staff Air Cdre. A. C. H. Sharpe of the RAF, who thus held a unique distinction for a non-American. The service command in turn exchanged liaison officers with British service agencies which included the Ministry of Aircraft Production and the RAF Maintenance Command. Similarly, at each combat base and depot of the Eighth the RAF had stationed liaison and equipment officers with appropriate staffs.16

The very concept of the air service command was in 1942 a new one for the AAF. Its Air Service Command in the United States had been established as recently as October 1941 and AAF Regulation No. 65-1, which prescribed the organization and functions of a typical air service


command, had not been issued until August 1942. This regulation assigned to the air service command of an overseas air force the responsibility for echelons of supply and maintenance beyond the capacities of combat units.* For the fulfillment of this function the command would depend chiefly upon service and air depot groups. The service group normally would maintain a service center to provide third-echelon maintenance for two combat groups operating from dispersed squadron airdromes. Located perhaps as much as four hours' truck-transport distance to the rear of the advanced airdromes, this center might service as many as six or eight squadrons on a comparable number of airdromes. Still farther to the rear, an air depot group would operate an air depot providing fourth-echelon services of supply and maintenance for two service centers.17

From the very beginning of operations in the United Kingdom the Eighth Air Force deviated from the organization prescribed in AAF Regulation No. 65-1. As early as July 1942, General Spaatz had ruled that service groups and their third-echelon functions would be assigned to the combat commands--bomber, fighter, and air support--rather than to the service command.18 Within the next few months it was also decided to do without the service centers. The limited geographical area available for the use of the Eighth Air Force, not to mention the equally limited supply of labor and material, argued for a reduction in the number of separate installations. Consequently, it was decided to build larger airdromes capable of holding a full combat group instead of one or two squadrons and to place the service groups on the combat airdromes. For the sake of operational efficiency it was further decided, against the wishes of the service command, that base commanders must control all units located on the base.19 Thus, the service command was left chiefly with the function of fourth-echelon supply and maintenance, its chief unit instrument being the air depot group. It was understood that the command would perform all such service functions as lay beyond the capacities of the combat base, but the base had been made much more nearly self-sufficient.20

* First-echelon maintenance includes repair and service that can be provided by the crew of the plane; second-echelon is that provided by the ground crew forming a part of the combat unit; third-echelon maintenance is normally provided by more or less mobile organizations possessed of heavier equipment than that of a combat unit; fourth-echelon covers general overhaul and reclamation involving the use of heavy equipment in more or less fixed installations. The terms have a parallel meaning in the distribution of supplies.


The organization of this new type of combat base had reached a stable pattern by June 1943. The core unit of the base, of course, was the combat group, comprising either three or four squadrons and varying in size from the 900 men of a fighter group to the 1,600 men of a heavy bombardment group. As a logical result of the abandonment of the service centers, service groups had been split into two equal parts for assignment to separate airdromes. Service units on a combat base usually included an ordnance company and quartermaster, signal, chemical, and military police detachments in addition to a service squadron and a detachment of the service group headquarters and headquarters squadron. A few miscellaneous detachments--weather, finance, gas defense, and infantry--were often stationed on the base also. The total strength of these service units averaged about 500 men, so that the average strength of a fighter base was about 1,400 or 1,500 and that of a bomber base over 2,000.* combat squadrons performed their own first- and second-echelon supply and maintenance, while in theory the service units concentrated on third-echelon service. But in actual practice these distinctions often had little meaning, and all hands cooperated to get done the work that had to be done.21

Fourth-echelon supply and maintenance depended largely on the air depot at Burtonwood--between Liverpool and Manchester--which was operated jointly with the Ministry of Aircraft Production. Even Burtonwood, however, was still in an early stage of development and its greatest expansion would not begin until the summer of 1943. Langford Lodge, on the other hand, was in full operation by June 1943, but its location in Northern Ireland limited its usefulness to the combat groups. Warton, the third base depot, was still under construction and would be of little value until late in 1943.

Since Burtonwood alone could not meet all needs and was somewhat removed from the combat bases, the service command in 1942 had undertaken to establish an advanced depot in each of the bombardment wing areas. The depot at Honington, which originally had been established in September, was formally activated in November to serve all bombardment groups for the time being. Little Staughton, one of the original airdromes of the 1st Bombardment Wing, had been selected as the site of the depot for that wing; pending the completion of necessary.

* By the middle of 1944, as a result of the increased number of combat crews assigned and larger service units, most of the fighter bases had more than 1,600 men and the bomber bases more than 2,500.


construction, the combat base at Thurleigh was utilized as an advanced supply depot for the 1st Bombardment Wing. Development of facilities for a depot at Watton still lagged in June 1943, but plans at that time called for the activation of a total of at least six and possibly more advanced depots--one for each of the four bombardment wings, and one each for the fighter and air support commands. For the supervision of the advanced depots the service command in February 1943 had established a new headquarters, the Advanced Air Service at Milton Ernest, some fifty miles north of London and a few miles above Bedford. By June the new headquarters had under its direction the operation of three depots (at Little Staughton, Honington, and Wattisham) and was directing the preparation of three additional depots: Watton, for the 2d Bombardment Wing; Stansted, for the 4th Bombardment Wing; and Greenham Common, for the air support command.22 The service command retained direct control over the development of the larger base air depots at Burtonwood, Warton, and Langford Lodge.

The headquarters organization of VIII Air Force Service Command, like its over-all structure, responded to the pressure of problems demanding a more functional staff arrangement than the conventional Army staff. Revisions in staff organization had first minimized and finally, in June 1943, done away with the traditional Army staff structure.* Two additional divisions-the supply division and the maintenance and repair division-had been set up in September 1942, and over the intervening months they had absorbed so largely the functions of A-4 that the latter organization was dropped from the staff in June 1943.23 The new divisions, together with the plans division, served as the main channels through which Headquarters, VIII Air Force Service Command (located at Bushy Park alongside the headquarters of the Eighth Air Force) exercised its diverse responsibilities. A more Detailed discussion of these responsibilities falls naturally under the headings of installations, supply, and maintenance.


The Eighth Air Force airdrome and depot construction program, undertaken by British authorities early in 1942, had made substantial progress despite the ever changing plans of the Americans for the ultimate size and composition of the Eighth Air Force. It had proved impossible

* The Army "G" staff--"A" staff in the autonomous-minded AAF--consisted of G-1, Personnel; G-2, Intelligence; G-3, Operations; G-4, Supply.


to get from Washington commitments on build-up that would remain firm for more than a few months at most. Nevertheless, a core of construction work had been carried steadily forward with enough flexibility of plan to permit future expansion or contraction of the program. Not until the fall of 1943 did it prove possible to proceed with plans for construction on a relatively firm basis.

Theater headquarters had vested in SOS the responsibility for all U.S. Army construction in the United Kingdom, but it was agreed that the Eighth Air Force would control the planning of air force construction subject to the approval of SOS. As a last resort, the Eighth could appeal to the theater commander to reverse SOS decisions. This arrangement would continue throughout the war despite protests from the Eighth that the complex machinery of control delayed construction.24 General Lee's headquarters also controlled the aviation engineer battalions assigned to the. construction of airdromes and other installations for the Eighth Air Force. To the complexities of the American organization were added certain others peculiar to the British agencies charged with responsibilities for construction work. It was necessary to deal with the War Office, the Air Ministry, and the Ministry of Aircraft Production in planning and developing installations for the Eighth.25

The basic agreements with British authorities had been reached in the summer and fall of 1942. It had been planned that VIII Bomber Command would ultimately take over from the RAF five areas of fifteen airdromes each in the East Anglian region. Since none of these fields was itself large enough to house one full American bombardment group, the planning initially proceeded on the assumption that each American group would occupy a parent field and one satellite airdrome. It soon became evident, however, that there would be greater economy in developing all airdromes to a capacity equal to the requirements of a full group, and at a conference in November 1942, Portal, Spaatz, and Eaker agreed upon such a policy. This conference also settled a long-standing question regarding the location of American fighter units. It had been the desire of the British to integrate U.S. units with their own fighter system, but the American commanders had been anxious to avoid any commitment for the defense of the British Isles in order that the planes might be used exclusively in support of bomber operations. It was accordingly agreed in November that the American fighters would be housed on bombardment airdromes in the bomber


command areas.26 In January 1943, however, Eaker had reconsidered and then asked that his fighter groups occupy fighter airdromes. An anticipated shortage of bomber airdromes and the more elaborate communications facilities required for fighter operations dictated the decision.27 The location of these fighter fields in the general area already assigned to the bomber command tended to convert that area into an American zone except for certain RAF units stationed there.

The chief engineer of SOS had subsequently set up, in consultation with the Eighth's own engineers, a double set of priorities: one in terms of the dates by which bases would be required for the accommodation of groups, the other to govern the order of construction for the various types of installations on each airdrome.28 Aside from the ever present shortages of men, materials, and space, the chief problems of construction centered about the task of expanding the British airdromes to a capacity beyond that for which they were originally designed. Satellite airdromes, in particular, lacked sufficient technical and housing facilities. Construction had lagged, almost inevitably, but it did not prevent the use of airdromes on schedule. American and British personnel joined hands to rush the installation of communications facilities, always of the greatest importance to operations. Other work might be completed after the field had been occupied by the Americans. At the end of the fall in 1942, VIII Bomber Command had almost 2,000 of its men still in tents, and at least two of the occupied airdromes lacked hangars or storage facilities.29

Among the several commands of the Eighth Air Force, bomber command's needs continued to hold first priority. Its program of construction had been revised since November as a result of extended study and negotiation with interested British agencies. It was found possible to reduce the authorized number of airdromes from seventy-five to sixty-two, of which forty-nine were scheduled for immediate construction. Adjustment of the internal structure of the command to the existing RAF system of communications and other factors had led in the preceding summer to a plan for grouping of the several units and their airdromes under five bombardment wings. The number was reduced early in 1943 to four in accordance with a plan to put B-17 groups in the 1st and 4th Wing areas, B-24's in the 2d Wing, and B-26's in the 3d Wing. In each wing area one airdrome was to be set aside for use as an advanced depot of the air service command.30 This airdrome, however, would be ultimately released for use by a combat unit


through fulfillment of plans to construct separate depot facilities immediately adjacent to the field.31

The typical bomber airdrome in the Eighth Air Force, as it took shape in the spring of 1943, was carefully blended into the countryside, with its major sites dispersed to guard against enemy air attack. These sites, each designed for the performance of a distinct category of duties, reflected the functional organization of the base. The technical site, adjacent to the runways, was the scene of the repair and supply services. Perhaps as much as a half-mile to a mile away was the headquarters site, from which came the administrative and operational direction of the base. The mess and recreational site, usually close to the living quarters, generally contained the mess halls, a large shower bathhouse, a PX, some quartermaster warehouses, and clubs for officers and enlisted men. The several housing sites, up to seven or eight in number, were also separated by distances ranging up to a mile or more. In all, it was estimated that technical personnel on many bases had to walk or ride bicycles (which came into great demand) an average of seven miles per day in order to get to and from the various places at which they worked, ate, and slept.32 Most of the buildings were of the prefabricated type erected on a concrete foundation. In general, the Eighth's bomber bases were adequate for their purposes and compared favorably with many air bases in the United States.

The slow build-up of American fighter units in the United Kingdom made the demands of the fighter command much less urgent. An overall program of construction of 25 March 1943 assumed that there would be three fighter wings and called for fourteen fighter airdromes.33 But after the TRIDENT conference of May 1943 and its decisions in favor of the CBO and OVERLORD, the Eighth Air Force anticipated an ultimate strength of five fighter wings with a total of twenty-five groups by July 1944.34 Until the required fighter airdromes had been prepared in East Anglia some groups would occupy bomber airdromes.35 The decisions at TRIDENT gave new life also to the air support command, but firm plans for meeting its needs depended upon further action on the organization of air support for the continental invasion, action not to be taken until the summer and fall.36 In June 1943 the VIII Composite Command, originally established for purposes of operational training, was still marking time in Northern Ireland.

Operational training for newly arrived units was handled in England at Bovingdon and Cheddington by the bomber command and at Atcham


and High Ercall for fighter organizations. Three combat-crew replacement centers were scheduled for construction in Northern Ireland, but action awaited the impetus of more definite plans for the build-up of the Eighth Air Force.37 Plans for handling incoming casual personnel envisioned no more than an expansion of the facilities at Stone and Chorleys38--a decision which would prove to be a serious miscalculation of needs.


The great bulk of supplies for the Eighth Air Force necessarily came from the United States, and there, as in the organization of American forces in the United Kingdom, the responsibility for air force supply was divided. As an indispensable prerogative of its newly acquired autonomy, the AAF had secured authority to procure, stock, and distribute supplies and equipment peculiar to the Air Corps--aircraft and almost all items pertaining thereto, chiefly parts, spares, tools, and special equipment. For this purpose the AAF Air Service Command at Patterson Field, Ohio, acted as the principal agency. The Army Service Forces* retained responsibility for all other supplies, especially for items common to both the AAF and the rest of the Army. Included in this category of "common user items," as a characteristic barbarism of the Army put it, were food, clothing, bombs and other ammunition, automotive vehicles, many items of signal equipment, and medical, chemical, and engineer supplies.

The United Kingdom served as a secondary but indispensable source of supply for the Eighth Air Force, and this was especially true in 1942 and 1943 when as yet the problem of shipping remained acute. Channels of supply between the Eighth Air Force and a variety of British agencies had been well established by the end of 1942. The Eighth procured supplies from the British through three channels: requisition on the RAF Master Provisioning Office at Stafford by the VIII Air Force Service Command, direct requisition on RAF sources by the RAF equipment liaison officers stationed at individual American installations, and by direct procurement.39 The Services of Supply initiated direct procurement in the summer of 1942, tapping directly the resources of local industry through appropriate British government agencies, with the British government assuming responsibility for payment

* The War Department's Services of Supply became the Army Service Forces in March 1943, but In ETO the theater service organization continued to be known as the SOS until May 1944.


under reverse lend-lease. The Eighth on its own initiative had already undertaken direct procurement through the Air Ministry, and when the Air Ministry supported the Eighth's request that it be permitted to handle procurement to meet its own requirements, the SOS agreed.40

British assistance was varied and extensive. In addition to building the great majority of all American air installations, the British provided the initial housekeeping equipment and supplies for them and replenished such supplies throughout the war. The RAF also supplied much of the Americans' rations during 1942, although by the end of the year nearly all of the Eighth was eating American rations. The British arranged for station services such as shoe repair and laundry and made available to the American air installations much signal, ordnance, medical, and engineer equipment and supplies41 Especially helpful was the assistance rendered in the field of Air Corps technical supply. Through the first year of the Eighth's existence in the United Kingdom, this assistance extended all the way from the provision of hand tools to the provision of combat aircraft. In accordance with over-all agreements for the allocation of aircraft between the RAF and the AAF, the Eighth acquired hundreds of Spitfires and other British aircraft. As late as April 1943 its oldest fighter group was still equipped with Spitfires.42 The numbers received fell far short of the thousands of American-built aircraft made available to the RAF under lend-lease, but the planes were handed over cheerfully by an organization which could have used them for its own operations. By agreement the RAF and the Eighth pooled spare parts for planes used by both air forces.43

Perhaps of even greater aid to the performance of Eighth Air Force operations in 1942 and 1943 were the communications equipment and supplies provided, for in this field the British were further advanced than were the Americans.44 Mobile VHF/DF radio equipment, VHF dynamotors, and aircraft radar equipment were obtained chiefly from the British, partly because they were not forthcoming from the United States and partly because it was necessary to use much British equipment in order to fit into the RAF communications system. The British also made available many common items of signal equipment and supply which could not be procured from other sources. For medical and chemical supplies and equipment the Eighth was also heavily dependent on RAF sources through 1943.45

Some of the Americans were naturally impatient to achieve independence of British assistance in adherence to the "Pershing Principle"


of the national integrity of forces.46 But in April 1943 it was still possible for Col. Myron R. Wood, chief of the Supply Division of the service command, to report that the Eighth Air Force had received greater benefit from British services than it had been able to render in return. "Were not the resources of the United Kingdom at our disposal," he declared, "a more critical situation would most certainly have arisen through lack of spare parts and supplies." 47 And this was true despite the responsibility, optimistically assumed by the Americans in 1942, for the supply of spares for all American-built aircraft used by both the Eighth and the RAF in the United Kingdom.*

The shortage of shipping available for the needs of the United Kingdom plus unanticipated operational needs led to additional demands on British sources of supply. The frequent failure of the Americans to plan sufficiently far in advance for requisitions on an industrial system functioning within the limits imposed by severe shortages made it difficult at times for the British to meet American demands. But eloquent testimony to the extent of the aid rendered is provided by the following breakdown of the estimated percentages of American--and British--procured supplies for all U.S. Army forces in the United Kingdom during the period 1 June 1942-31 July 1943:48

  United Kingdom United States
Air Force   49%   51%
Quartermaster 53 47
Engineer 53 47
Ordnance 8 92
Medical 75 25
Signal 19 81
CWS 64 36
Transportation 12 88

The American supply services further estimated that of the 5,576,000 measurement tons of supplies received by the American forces in the United Kingdom, 1,919,000 tons, or 34 per cent, had been procured locally.49 The VIII Air Force Service Command estimated that by the end of 1943 it had procured for the Eighth Air Force 422,271 ship tons of supplies from British sources. If to this figure is added the tonnage represented by the materials used in the construction and equipment of air bases and depots, the total would amount to 1,050,000 ship tons, or the equivalent of 175 vessels.50 Virtually all local purchases

* Not until 1 January 1944 was this responsibility actively assumed by the AAF in the European theater.


were paid for by the British government, which was anxious to avoid the inflationary effects that might have resulted from direct American payment.51

Even with generous assistance from the British, the provision of an adequate and steady flow of supplies and equipment from the United States presented a most complex problem. At the beginning of the war the War Department had based its plans for overseas supply on the principle that supplies should be automatically forwarded from the United States and replenished at regular intervals in accordance with a purpose to maintain a desirable supply level in each of the theaters. Theoretically, this approach was sound enough, but it soon required modification under conditions of actual warfare. Automatic supply tables for the flow of aircraft, spare parts, and other Air Corps supplies became quickly outmoded in 1942, for they were the product chiefly of peacetime experience and planning. Actual needs of both combat and service units were found to be far greater than had been anticipated and often different in nature, for the units themselves were being expanded and reorganized in accordance with the lessons of experience. Automatic supply as originally conceived produced huge surpluses of little-needed items and serious shortages of critically needed items. It resulted in a waste of valuable shipping space in 1942 and early 1943 and led to a demand for realistic revision of the plan.52

In the search for an answer to the problem, VIII Air Force Service Command undertook Detailed studies of automatic supply and consumption rates. Its officers conferred in England with representatives of the AAF's Air Service Command and delegates attended a general conference on overseas supply held in April 1943 at Patterson Field. The conference resulted in drastic revision of current supply tables; adjustments were made both as to item and quantity. Moreover, the items included in the tables were to be packaged in the United States in the specified quantities.53 Use of these "automatic supply pack-ups," initiated in the middle of 1943, proved helpful, but methods of supply from the United States continued to be a subject of concern.54 From the first, automatic supply was supplemented by special requisitions from the VIII Air Force Service Command on the Air Service Command at Patterson Field. The vast bulk of supplies came, however, through normal channels by use of routine requisitions for six-month periods based on actual consumption records and correlated with automatic supply tables.55


It soon became evident that the effective functioning of any system of supply depended greatly upon the maintenance of accurate control records. With no less than 500,000 different items of Air Corps supply to be stocked at the base depots in England, it was necessary at all times to be in position to determine with speed and accuracy the inventories on hand. The field service section of the service command's supply division, to which had been intrusted the task of maintaining a master stock record, soon found itself handicapped by inadequate and inexperienced personnel and by an outmoded system of posting data by hand on tens of thousands of stock record cards. As both supply and consumption mounted rapidly during 1943, the record fell behind and became a less accurate guide to stock levels.56 But not until 1944 would the solution be found through the installation of an automatic machine controlled recording system.

Within the theater, the organization originally conceived proved to be well suited to the distribution of items of Air Corps supply. The combat base sent requisitions to the advanced depot, which, in turn, received its stocks from the base depot at Burtonwood, chief repository for Eighth Air Force supplies and equipment in the theater.57 Channels for the supply of items of common use, all of which fell under the control of the Services of Supply rather than the service command, were different. Since at first neither the base nor the advanced depots stocked common supply items, the combat bases submitted requisitions for these items directly to VIII Air Force Service Command headquarters, which in turn made requisitions on SOS. By February 1943 it had been recognized that a considerable saving in time and effort could be effected by permitting the advanced depots to stock common items, and thereafter the combat base was able to requisition on the advanced depot, which forwarded to service command headquarters such requisitions as it could not fill.58 Certain common supply items, particularly rations, had always been issued directly by the SOS to combat bases and other AAF consumers, since it was not economical for the Eighth to duplicate existing SOS depot facilities.

More fundamental than any other problem was that of shipping. From the launching of TORCH until well into 1943, the European theater had a lower shipping priority than any other overseas theater in which American forces were actually engaged in combat. As a result of the TRIDENT conference the Eighth Air Force was given a relatively high priority, A-1b-4, other U.S. Army forces in the theater retaining


for a while the A-1b-8 priority.59 The story is adequately summed up in the following statistical table of cargo landed in the United Kingdom for all U.S. Army forces there during the months listed:60

  Month Long Tons
1942 August 186,281
September 239,747
October 143,830
November 54,228
December 36,927
1943 January 38,562
February 20,373
March 24,719
April 60,784
May 36,593
June 176,033

Little wonder that in November 1942 General Eaker described the shipping situation as "tragic" or that optimism spread throughout the Eighth Air Force in June 1943.

Under these circumstances the allotment of shipping priorities among the several claimants in the theater had assumed crucial importance. Accordingly, SOS headquarters had undertaken a study to determine how best the allocations of tonnages might be made to reflect accurately the true needs of the theater. The resulting plan, adopted in mid-1943, undertook to achieve the closest possible coordination among interested agencies in England and between responsible authorities there and in the United States. Upon receiving monthly notification of shipping space allotted to the theater, SOS would indicate the priorities and tonnage allocations assigned by the theater. The new system, its inauguration coinciding with a sharp increase in the shipping made available for the European theater, operated successfully into 1944.61 Still another problem of special concern to the Eighth Air Force was that of shipments lost at sea, all of which in 1942 the AAF Air Service Command had promised to replace. The Eighth could ill afford the loss of even a small percentage of its shipments and, in April 1943, expressed alarm over the failure to replace those lost. Fortunately, abatement of the submarine menace by June 1943, together with the increased tonnage allotted to the Eighth, eliminated this as a serious problem.62

Only to a small extent could air transport remedy the shortage of shipping, although ambitious hopes had been entertained in 1942.63 Not


until January 1943 was there a European wing of the Air Transport Command; meanwhile, shipments by air were uncertain and the Volume small, most of it during the winter of 1942-43 reaching the British Isles by way of the South Atlantic route.64 In April the Eighth Air Force, which was looking increasingly to air transport for shipment of critical and emergency supplies from the United States, requested that a more adequate air transport service be established between the United States and the European theater, and a gradual increase in shipments began soon thereafter.65 As with surface vessels, theater headquarters was the final arbiter in allocating air tonnages and priorities among claimants in the theater, and not until November 1943 did the VIII Air Force Service Command secure from it a regular monthly allotment of transport space. Even so, because it was the only force in the European theater currently engaged in combat, the Eighth received more than 80 per cent of the three million pounds of air cargo which arrived in the United Kingdom during 1943.66

Distribution within the theater was aided by Britain's excellent if hard pressed transportation system, which was supplemented by such trucking equipment as the Americans could supply. The control of rail and water transportation for all U.S. Army forces in the theater had been vested in the Services of Supply, but the Eighth Air Force, in keeping with the general AAF trend toward autonomy, tended to win an increasing responsibility for the reception and distribution of its own supplies.* This tendency had become apparent in the early development of plans for the reception of supplies at British ports. Originally, all supplies coming into the British ports, of which Liverpool, Glasgow, Bristol, and Cardiff were the most important for the Americans, were received and moved from the docks by the SOS. But the VIII Air Force Service Command was not satisfied in 1942 with the handling of its supplies by the SOS, claiming that much time had been lost and much damage done to Air Corps supplies by inexperienced ground supply troops. Accordingly, the theater was prevailed on to permit the service command to set up an intransit depot of its own at Liverpool late in 1942. The bulk of incoming Air Corps supplies continued to be sent for sorting and distribution to Burtonwood, but the

* In a similar development in the United States late in 1942 the Air Service Command established the' New York Air Service Port Area Command which became in 1943 the Atlantic Overseas Air Service Command, with headquarters at Newark. This organization controlled all air service activities at the port and provided an important link between Patterson Field and the VIII Air Force Service Command.


new AAF Intransit Depot, by virtue of its specialized knowledge of Air Corps supply, routed large quantities of supplies directly to the new advanced depots and to the combat bases. The service command established additional AAF intransit depots in the Liverpool and Bristol port areas during 1943.67 As a result of the development of the trans-Atlantic air traffic in 1943 the service command organized the first air intransit depot at the air terminal at Prestwick, Scotland, in Apri1.68

The trend toward greater autonomy for the air force was also apparent in the development of ammunition depots, where stockpiles of bombs required handling by trained personnel under special conditions. Two Eighth Air Force depots were in operation by June 1943 at Sharnbrook in Bedfordshire and Barnham in Suffolk, and in July the SOS turned over to the service command its ammunition depots at Braybrook and Melton Mowbray in the 1st Bombardment Wing area and at Wortley in Yorkshire. Thus, the service command was able to control the allocation and distribution of all ammunition to combat bases from its own depots.69

The tendency to establish separate air force channels of distribution was less marked in other areas of non-Air Corps supply. The SOS continued to handle, store, and issue most items of chemical warfare supply, although the service command, in the spring of 1943, was planning to build two advanced chemical parks in the VIII Bomber Command area. The service command established at the advanced depots distributing points for medical supplies received from SOS depots. As has already been noted, base and advanced depots stocked many quartermaster items, and the aviation engineers drew their supplies directly from SOS engineer depots. Thus, the SOS continued to playa major role in the Eighth Air Force supply system for items other than Air Corps supply.70

The distribution of probably the two most important items for the air war--aircraft and gasoline--deviated from normal supply channels. Tactical units which had flown their own planes across the ocean and were sent directly to their new bases presented no special problem, but replacement aircraft ferried in by the Air Transport Command were something else. To be sure, until the spring of 1943, the flow of replacement aircraft was small. Only sixty-seven planes, all heavy bombers, left the United States for the United Kingdom during the first three months of 1943,71 but thereafter with a steady flow of combat groups


Fog and Mud in England

Fog and Mud in England

Fog and Mud in England

Eighth Air Force Bomb Dumps

Eighth Air Force Bomb Dumps

Eighth Air Force Bomb Dumps

B-17 Milk Run
B-17 Milk Run

Eighth Air Force in Rural England

Eighth Air Force in Rural England

Eighth Air Force in Rural England

and a greatly accelerated rate of operations in prospect, arrangements for a pool of replacement aircraft in the theater became an absolute necessity. In April 1943, the Eighth Air Force made the service command responsible for the initial reception of all replacement tactical aircraft and for their delivery to the proper destination. Through the months that followed, replacement aircraft, depending on the urgency of the current need, were sent directly to combat bases or placed in service command replacement pools at the base depots and on special storage airdromes. The service command was also responsible for ferrying within the theater, but until it could secure enough crews, it had to rely on assistance from crews provided by the tactical commands. Meanwhile, replacement aircraft departed from the United States in constantly growing numbers during the spring of 1943, jumping from 136 in April to 194 in May and 256 in June. Most of them were heavy bombers.72

The critical importance of aviation gasoline had produced joint Anglo-American machinery for control of its production and allocation. It was agreed in 1942 that all American aviation gasoline used by both the RAF and the AAF in the United Kingdom would be consigned to the British, on lend-lease, at American ports.* British tankers then transported the gasoline to the United Kingdom for storage by the British Petroleum Board. This common pool was then drawn on by the RAF and the Eighth Air Force, with the Petroleum Board providing the vehicles which transported the gasoline to the American bases. In emergency situations, the American stations sometimes used their own vehicles to haul the fuel. The quantities distributed to the Americans were credited to the British reverse lend-lease account. The proportions of the job thus taken on by the British agencies are indicated by the fact that during 1942 the Eighth and the RAF consumed an average of 13,300 tons of aviation gasoline per week and during 1943, 28,900 tons per week.73 In the opinion of qualified American observers, U.S. needs were well served.

The British Petroleum Board also stored and distributed other bulk gasoline items. The chief quartermaster, Services of Supply, controlled packaged POL (petroleum, oil, lubricants) items for the Americans and was in charge of their receipt, storage, and issue. The Eighth Air

* Virtually all of the gasoline used in the United Kingdom from 1941 to 1945 came from American sources. The British were responsible for gasoline supply to the Middle East and China-Burma-India theaters.


Force's contribution was primarily one of participating in the planning of future supply and for the more efficient organization of distribution.74

While in the movement of the bulk of supplies from ports of entry to the base depots it was possible to depend on rail transportation, it became apparent as early as the summer of 1942 that the needs of the advanced depots, and even more of the combat bases, could not be met quickly enough by the overburdened British railway system. Accordingly, the service command had organized in the fall of that year a truck transport system linking Burtonwood with the advanced depots and combat bases. The truck companies of the various service groups were pooled under the Provisional Truck Transport Service, which thereafter exercised a central operational control over truck transport in the Eighth Air Force. By April 1943 the transport service had evolved into the 1511th QM Truck Regiment (Avn.), which operated along regular routes between Burtonwood and the advanced depots. Truck transport proved to be of particular importance to the regular delivery of bombs from the depots to the combat bases. The service command's trucks even handled considerable quantities of cargo for the SOS at intervals during 1943. As truck operations increased in scope during 1943, the trucking service proved itself more than a mere supplement to rail transportation; it became an indispensable means for the flow of supplies within the Eighth Air Force.75 This flow was regular and speedy in spite of the narrow and winding British roads and the hazards of weather and blackout conditions.

In July 1942 the VIII Air Force Service Command had organized an air transport service for the rapid movement within the theater of personnel, cargo, and mail, using three borrowed C-47's. In October; it established the Ferry and Transport Service for control of intra-theater transport activities and in April 1943 replaced it with the 27th Air Transport Group. Its major functions of ferrying aircraft and carrying cargo increased in importance with the growing stress on ferrying operations during 1943. The transport service established regular routes for passengers and cargo among the various headquarters and depots of the Eighth. The 27th Air Transport Group lent strong logistical support to the combat units of the Eighth by flying spare parts and other important supply items to bases and depots where there were grounded aircraft. In the second half of 1942, it moved little more than 800,000 pounds of cargo and ferried some 500 aircraft; during the first


six months of 1943, it carried more than 4,500,000 pounds of cargo and mail and ferried more than 2,000 aircraft.76

Overshadowing all problems of supply through the winter of 1942-43 had been the effect, still apparent in the spring of 1943, of obligations imposed on the Eighth Air Force for equipping and dispatching the Twelfth Air Force to Africa. Shortages of organizational equipment in Twelfth Air Force units, almost the rule rather than the exception, had been remedied by the simple expedient of taking the equipment from the Eighth and giving it to the Twelfth. Burtonwood had devoted most of its efforts during October and November to meeting the supply requests of the Twelfth and to the preparation of special ten-day pack-up supply kits for use in North Africa. After the Twelfth's departure from England it was estimated that it had taken 75 per cent of the Eighth's current stock of supplies. The Eighth turned over to the Twelfth all its steel plank runways, except for some in Scotland. Large numbers of vehicles were given to the Twelfth, 390 having been taken from heavy bombardment groups in the last ten days of October alone. Aircraft and spare parts belonging to the Eighth, or originally intended for its use, were fed into the Twelfth in large quantities. The Eighth performed the task on short notice, under great pressure, and with an organization as yet not even equal to its own needs. Although the estimate of the service command's supply division that the Twelfth Air Force "was approximately 99% equipped" when it left England was doubtless optimistic, it is clear that the extraordinary supply effort made by the Eighth achieved its purpose.77

British agencies controlled the movement from England to North Africa of the larger part of the Twelfth Air Force, which went by water, and supplied most of the ships.78 But the dispatch of aircraft, which were flown to North Africa by the tactical units themselves or by Eighth Air Force ferrying crews, fell under the supervision of VIII Fighter Command. Later, when the job had been reduced to the ferrying of replacement aircraft, the fighter command turned it over to the service command. Prior to February 1943, General Spaatz gave to the Twelfth first claim on all replacement planes reaching the United Kingdom, and when the last replacement aircraft was finally ferried to North Africa in June 1943 it brought the total number of replacement aircraft dispatched from the United Kingdom to 1,072, of which more than half had been fighters.79

Unfortunately, the Twelfth's departure from England in October


and November 1942 had not freed the Eighth from responsibility for the provision of further supplies in support of TORCH. Although the Twelfth Air Force was supposedly to be supplied after D-day from the United States, the War Department had directed that the Eighth maintain a thirty-day supply reserve for the Twelfth and that all emergency requests be honored.80 There were many calls through the earlier phases of the North African operation, and not until February 1943 was the Eighth relieved of responsibility for maintenance of the thirty-day reserve. Even then the older force was required to fill emergency requests from North Africa, some of which were honored as late as the summer of 1943.81

The effects of TORCH on the fortunes of the Eighth Air Force reached all the way down to the individual aircraft rendered inoperative for want of spare parts which had been shipped to North Africa and aggravated an already existing deficiency in organizational equipment.* Standard procedure in 1942 usually called for the dispatch of a unit and its equipment on the same vessel or in the same convoy, but it was apparently not always possible to do this, for many combat and service organizations arrived in the theater with little or no organizational equipment. Often the equipment arrived months late and sometimes only part of it instead of all. Improper markings on containers and confusion at the ports of embarkation and debarkation contributed to the delays.82 In January 1943 it was estimated that the Eighth Air Force as a whole had less than 50 per cent of its authorized equipment on hand. Service units, including ordnance, signal, and engineer organizations, suffered especially. In April, the service command estimated that its units had only 55 to 60 per cent of their equipment.83 More than one service unit, lacking tools and other necessary equipment, had been reduced to performing housekeeping duties for combat units--an uneconomical but at times necessary use of its personnel.84 The situation improved somewhat during the spring of 1943, when much of the original organizational equipment of the Twelfth Air Force, which had arrived in England after the Twelfth's departure and had been stored at Burtonwood, was made available for the use of the Eighth.85 But even in June there were still heavy bombardment groups which possessed only a fraction of their organizational equipment.86

Ground and SOS units had encountered comparable difficulties, and

* The equipment permanently issued to a unit on shipping ticket for use of the organization as a whole in performing its combat or service mission.


in the spring of 1943 the Army Service Forces decided to institute a scheme for the preshipment of unit equipment, that is, the shipment of equipment in advance of the unit. An easing of the shipping shortage enabled ASF to inaugurate the new plan late in the spring, a plan later recognized as having contributed greatly to the successful invasion of France. Meanwhile, improvement in the marking of containers and the provision of more specific advance notices of shipments to the Eighth Air Force further helped to overcome the earlier difficulties. Under the new arrangement, equipment preshipped was stored by the service command at Sudbury, in Derbyshire, until arrival of the unit for which intended.87

Additional shortages of various types of supplies--both Air Corps and common user--created their own problems. Since the aircraft could be flown to the theater but spare parts in the main had to be shipped by water, a time lag in the provision of spare parts forced resort to every possible expedient to keep planes in the air. Particularly short were the supplies of spark plugs and spare parts for superchargers, turrets, bombsights, instruments, and accessories. Difficulty was also experienced in securing an adequate number of special-purpose vehicles.*88 Spare parts for other vehicles were constantly in short supply, with a resultant hindrance to truck transportation. Shortages of parts for ordnance equipment, particularly for caliber .50 aircraft machine guns, became so acute that it was necessary to pool available spares in a single depot under a plan to fill telephone requests for them by special truck service. A gradual improvement with reference to ordnance supply was noticeable in the spring of 1943 when the service command began to stock combat stations with spare parts and supplies hitherto in critical shortage even at the depots.89

That operations theretofore had been restricted by inability to keep the logistical machine properly fueled is obvious, but ingenuity and improvisation had overcome many of the difficulties. Nowhere was this more evident than in the work of those charged with maintenance, to whose story the narrative now turns.


When General Eaker, in April 1943, stated flatly that "Our Air Service Command is our weakest single factor in the Eighth Air Force, "

* Special-purpose vehicles were those built to be used only for particular purposes, i.e., tank trucks, low loaders, etc.


he had chiefly in mind problems of maintenance.90 These problems were in no small part a consequence of the closely related shortages of supply. Although the Eighth Air Force operated with a mere handful of planes in comparison with the numbers originally planned, it also had too little of everything else to permit maintenance organizations to perform their all-important function of keeping the maximum number of aircraft operational.

The over-all problem of maintenance in itself proved to be one of growing proportions and complexity, and the Americans had repeated occasion to be thankful for Britain's highly developed industrial system and her earlier experience in the maintenance of American-built planes. Originally, it had been assumed that maintenance in the Eighth Air Force would include chiefly the assembly, repair, overhaul, inspection, and general service of aircraft and related equipment.91 And such proved, of course, to be the case. But German opposition of growing intensity to daylight bomber operations by 1943 had made the repair of battle damage a greater problem than had been anticipated, greater in fact than that met in any other American theater of war. Moreover, the constant struggle with the Germans for technical supremacy produced a vastly expanded demand for modification of American planes and stimulated the VIII Air Force Service Command to undertake in 1943 a program of engineering research and development.

The organization of maintenance services followed the broad outlines indicated on an earlier page. The base depot was responsible for complete overhaul of aircraft, the manufacture of certain items, on-site repairs in special cases, and for all fourth-echelon work that could not be done by the advanced depots. These advanced depots did fourth echelon maintenance and repair, such third-echelon maintenance as was beyond the capacity of the combat bases, on-site repairs, and rendered other technical assistance to combat units. Service groups located on the combat stations carried the main burden of third-echelon repair, while the combat squadrons performed their own first and second echelons of maintenance. The Maintenance Division of the service command provided general supervision of all maintenance and held responsibility for policies and procedures.92

In practice no hard and fast lines divided the echelons of maintenance. The three echelons supposed to be performed on the airdrome were virtually fused into one, primarily because the work was done on the same base by units which worked closely together. Failure


of the advanced depots to lend any real measure of assistance to the combat bases until well into 1943, and the seeming remoteness of Burtonwood, produced a reluctance on the part of combat units to intrust their planes and materiel to hands other than their own. The combat bases showed an inclination to perform as much maintenance and repair on their own planes as they possibly could, and sometimes more than was advisable, even though they were not supposed to undertake repairs which would require more than fourteen days of work. Thus the bases tended to become bogged down with work while Burtonwood and later the advanced depots had sometimes a dearth of such work.93

Limitations imposed on operations by maintenance difficulties forced close study of the problem, by the interested commands no less than by the air force headquarters. Thus a bomber command study covering the period 21 October 1942-31 March 1943 reported that 588 aircraft, or 21 per cent of all dispatched on the 34 missions of the period, had suffered battle damage and that 512, or 87 per cent of the damaged planes, had been repaired by the bomber command itself. The small number of planes sent to the service command, 58, or 10 per cent of the total damaged, had taken much longer to repair. Of the planes sent to the service command during the first three months of 1943, only 46 per cent had been repaired within thirty days.94 The service command could point out, of course, that the planes sent to it were the more severely damaged and naturally required more time to repair. It could also point to the fact that its personnel had rendered special assistance in some of the work accomplished on combat bases. But it was clear that a disproportionate share of the burden had been carried by the combat bases and that this practice was attributable in part to the desire of the combat group, hard pressed to keep a maximum number of its planes ready for operation, to save time. It was no less clear that the practice often proved uneconomical and that close attention must be given to the whole problem of maintenance.95

Further study and experience indicated, however, that no basic fault existed in the original organization, that subsidiary and related problems of supply and training were as much responsible for the difficulties experienced as anything else. Of vital importance were the lack of spare parts and the shortage of tools and other equipment. The 1st Bombardment Wing, largest in the VIII Bomber Command, reported that on 20 November 1942 one-fifth of its aircraft were out of commission


because of a lack of such items as spark plugs and spare parts for propellers and turrets.96 The need received emphasis from the widespread practice of cannibalizing; as the number of "hangar queens" increased, many of them were immobilized for long periods of time or completely ruined.97 During a trying period of operations, these planes had served to keep other planes in the air, but the practice was obviously wasteful and could best be remedied by an adequate supply of parts.98 Similarly, a shortage of such tools as jacks, reamers, and rivet guns contributed to keeping aircraft nonoperational. The shortage, moreover, resulted in a maintenance of low quality which was reflected in the number of airplanes failing to complete missions because of mechanical faults.99 And this condition, in turn, further increased the over-all work load.

Both the service command and the combat commands found reason to complain that ground crews and service unit mechanics had been inadequately trained. It was natural that they should have considered this problem, in common with other overseas commands, from the point of view of their own urgent needs and that they should have failed to appreciate fully the tremendous problems of training faced by the AAF in the United States.100 Within the Eighth Air Force itself, the service command complained of improper use by the combat commands of service units, which at times had been relegated to base housekeeping duties as "dog robbers" for the combat units.101 This situation would be fully remedied only by the arrival of the eagerly sought station complement squadrons,* beginning in the summer of 1943.On the question of training, as with the problem of supply, men could point to the adverse influence of TORCH. Many of the better-trained maintenance units and men had been turned over to the Twelfth Air Force, not to mention the work done by Eighth Air Force mechanics on planes destined for TORCH.l02

The tendency of combat units to do most of their own maintenance could be explained partly by the delayed development of the advanced depots.l03 Although the need for at least one advanced depot had been so great that in November 1942 the development of Little Staughton had been given the highest construction priority of all installations for the VIII Bomber Command area,104 the first B-17 did not arrive at Little Staughton for maintenance until 25 April 1943.105 During May

* These units, with an authorized strength of 11 officers and 108 enlisted men, had responsibility for station defense, transportation, utilities, messing, etc.


the only advanced depots actually in operation, Honington and Little Staughton, completed repair work on a total of eight aircraft. Most of their work, which was concerned largely with technical inspections, repair of aircraft parts, and installation of nose guns on heavy bombers, was curtailed by the lack of skilled personnel, machinery, and too1s.106

Meanwhile, mobile repair units had helped to provide much-needed help for the combat bases. Originally planned by the service command in September 1942, these units of sixteen to nineteen specialists were equipped with a truck, a jeep, and two trailers fitted out with required tools and supplies for on-the-spot repairs. Their primary task was to repair crash-landed aircraft at the site of the landing to the extent that would permit their being flown to the depots for more extensive repairs, and thus to save the time that would be lost through use of the alternative procedure of disassembling the plane for transfer to the depot. But the mobile repair unit, working out of an advanced depot, also proved to be a repeatedly useful emergency crew for the assistance of overworked maintenance facilities at the combat base.107 The first mobile repair unit had been turned out, with full equipment and personnel, at Langford Lodge in December 1942 and began its operations early in 1943. In February, the service command decided to provide fifty more such units, the task falling chiefly on Burtonwood and Langford Lodge. By the end of June mobile units had done repair work on almost 200 aircraft, far more than the advanced depots themselves had done. During the last six months of 1943, when their numbers steadily increased, the mobile units repaired an average of sixty-seven aircraft per month, thereby establishing themselves as an invaluable part of the Eighth's maintenance system.108

If much of the trouble traced to a disinclination of combat stations to send their planes the relatively long distances which separated them from the base depots, it was still true that these depots in the spring of 1943 were not yet ready for anything approaching full operations.

Though the service command from the first had given its chief attention to the development of the base depots under a plan to assign to them the heaviest burden of maintenance, only Burtonwood was in position to carry any considerable load and that thanks chiefly to the almost 5,000 British civilians who constituted the main part of its staff.

Warton, destined eventually to share with Burtonwod the bulk of heavy maintenance, operated in June 1943 at about 10 per cent of its planned capacity.109 To meet the need for trained personnel, the service


command had suggested during the spring that Warton be operated by the Lockheed Overseas Corporation with American civilian personnel. But AAF Headquarters rejected the proposal in accordance with its plan eventually to operate all depots with military personnel.110

Langford Lodge, meanwhile, had begun substantial maintenance operations by November 1942. The Lockheed Overseas Corporation operated the depot under contract with the War Department and under the supervision of the VIII Air Force Service Command. Manned by some 3,000 civilians, of whom half were skilled American technicians and half were local Irish workers, Langford Lodge handled virtually all types of aircraft; by January 1943 it performed a large portion of the engine and aircraft overhaul and aircraft modification for the Eighth. In addition to these maintenance activities, which were its most important activities during the first half of 1943, Langford Lodge assembled some fighter aircraft, repaired instruments and accessories, and manufactured and assembled modification kits. In all, more than 600 aircraft passed through the depot from November 1942 through June 1943. The inaccessibility of Langford Lodge from the combat bases in eastern England minimized its value as a repair depot, however, for only "fly in" aircraft could economically be brought there for repair.111 Increasingly, it devoted its efforts to modification and to engineering and research.

Burtonwood, which remained the key depot for maintenance as well as for supply and eventually performed almost every type of maintenance work, continued to function under joint British-American control. In addition to its British civilian staff, it had about 1,500 American soldiers and approximately 1,000 American civilians who had been brought from the San Antonio Air Depot in Texas during the fall of 1942.112 The efficiency of operations suffered at times from differences of opinion between British and American authorities. The much lower-paid British civilians resented the highly paid but poorly qualified American civilians. Military personnel, working side by side with the American civilians, found cause for resentment in the latter group's inferior abilities and higher pay.113

Burtonwood did most of the work entailed in the overhaul of engines, which reached a rate of 100 per week in the service command by the middle of 1943. It overhauled propellers, carried the main responsibility for inspection of aircraft, repaired instruments and accessories, performed fourth-echelon aircraft repair, and gave increasing


attention to modification. In April 1943, for instance, the depot modified 75 aircraft while repairing only 11.114 The Eighth Air Force had pledged itself in 1942 to take over all responsibility for the heavy maintenance on British-operated aircraft of American construction in the United Kingdom. Not only did it prove impossible to fulfil this pledge but the Americans in fact remained more heavily dependent for assistance with their own work than had been intended. Although one-third of the engine overhaul capacity at Burtonwood was being used in the spring of 1943 for British-operated planes, two-thirds of the depot's labor force was also British. British civilian firms still performed fourth echelon overhaul of certain items of equipment--chiefly superchargers, propellers, and instruments.115 British agencies also rendered especially vital assistance in the work of assembly and salvage which marked the beginning and the end for American planes in the theater.

Since bomber aircraft were flown from the United States under their own power, the planes to be assembled were chiefly fighters. Shipped by water after the BOLERO route was closed to fighters in the fall of 1942, they were assembled for the most part at plants which operated under the control of the Ministry of Aircraft Production at Speke, near Liverpool, and in addition during the latter part of 1943 at Renfrew, near Glasgow. Langford Lodge and Burtonwood assembled some planes, but during 1943 the Eighth proved unable to assume full responsibility for assembly of its aircraft as in 1942 the service command. had intended. To reduce the burden on the theater, AAF Air Service Command decided in the spring of 1943 to ship fighters partially or almost wholly assembled on aircraft carriers and on the decks of tankers, rather than as heretofore disassembled in crates. But this practice, while of some help, presented in itself new problems.116

Salvage involved the stripping of usable parts from nonreparable aircraft, which crashed in virtually all parts of the United Kingdom, and disposing of the rest as scrap. As with assembly, the VIII Air Force Service Command in 1942 had intended to perform its own salvage, but the familiar shortages of manpower and equipment argued against the establishment of a salvage organization. Accordingly, the RAF No. 43 Group undertook to salvage Eighth Air Force planes in addition to those of the RAF. Although No. 43 Group requested assistance from the Eighth and received a nominal amount from time to time, it continued to perform virtually all of the salvage work for the Eighth into


1944, by which time the abundance of replacement aircraft and spare parts had reduced salvage to little more than a scrapping operation.117

The modification of aircraft was destined to become the largest, and probably the most significant, of the maintenance functions of the VIII Air Force Service Command. Operational experience had quickly demonstrated the need for changes in both the structure and equipment of the American planes, and an enterprising foe allowed no time for relaxation. In this field of modification, the VIII Air Force Service Command occupied a key position in the maintenance of channels extending from the combat units, with whom the original impetus for change tended to originate, through AAF agencies in the United States to the aircraft manufacturers who would incorporate approved changes in their later models. Nineteen modification centers, whose task was to modify planes already built, had been set up by the AAF in 1942, and these centers had handled a total of more than 4 000 aircraft by the end of that year118 But agencies in the United States, however well conceived and equipped, could not meet the full need for modification. The time lag between the determination of an operationally required modification in the theater and the arrival there of the modified plane from the United States was too great for combat groups whose needs were usually urgent in the face of dynamic German aerial tactics. Constant additions to the list of desired modifications meant that practically every aircraft which arrived in the theater, no matter how many changes had been made on it in the United States, required additional modifications before it could be used in combat.119

The VIII Air Force Service Command had made no early plans for the establishment of modification centers in the United Kingdom. Indeed, it seems to have had a rather casual attitude toward the whole problem of modification, as though its implications had not been grasped. Modification in the theater was to be kept to a minimum, and in general its accomplishment would follow the echelons of maintenance. As much as possible would be done on the combat bases, and advanced and base depots would devote their attention almost wholly to fourth-echelon work. The Maintenance and Repair Division of the service command would provide supervision, among its other duties.120 By the end of the year, however, it had become apparent that no casual approach to the problem would do. The frantic drive to install nose guns in the B-17's beginning in November and December 1942, coming on top of the work being done for the Twelfth Air Force, greatly increased


the heavy modification burden. Many of the combat units continued to perform modification of their own planes, but it was becoming increasingly necessary to depend upon the superior equipment of the depots.121

The resultant pressure on the depots soon forced General Miller to ask for assistance from the modification centers in the United States. In a letter to General Stratemeyer, chief of Air Staff, on 20 March 1943, Miller spoke feelingly:

At the present time all of my activities are swamped with modifications upon new aircraft arriving in the Theater. . . . These modifications vary from 100 to 1,000 man hours and even beyond that. It is vital that the modification centers in the United States get into full-out operation and ensure that aircraft arriving in the Theater will be operational . . . I know that with the pressure on, the combat Command agrees to take the aircraft as is. However, as soon as it arrives over here then they are equally insistent that I perform the modification as of yesterday.122

Whatever the help that could be gained in the United States, it was nonetheless evident that something further must be done to meet the need in the United Kingdom. In February 1943, the bomber command and the service command agreed on standard lists of modifications for the B-24 and the B-17 and set up priorities for the various items. The great need for P-47's, which began arriving in the ETO early in 1943, caused the service command to fit them into its priority system immediately behind the top priority planes for TORCH but ahead of the heavy bombers. This priority system, which also listed items within each type of aircraft, proved difficult to follow because of the conflicting demands from within and among the combat commands for rush and special jobs by the advanced depots and because of the frequently changing nature of their requests, even for the same modification item.123

In May 1943 a special committee composed of representatives of the service command and the combat commands attacked the problem afresh. Its careful review of the subject during the next four months was accompanied by changes in organization and practice recommended by the committee. The combat commands undertook to publish periodic statements of the relative priority of their modification requests. In July the service command for its part began publishing so-called "staging letters" on the various types of aircraft, detailing the nature and the priority of modifications to be performed and the stages at which the work should be done.124 It was agreed that modification of


replacement aircraft would be done at Langford Lodge, but changes during the summer of 1943 led to the division of the work among all three base depots, which also fabricated sorely needed modification kits which became indispensable for performance of modification at lower echelons. Aircraft arriving with combat groups were modified on their home bases with the assistance of mobile repair units and working parties sent out from the service command depots.125

Despite the progress accomplished in line with the committee's recommendations, modification remained a major problem. Hundreds of man-hours had to be expended in the modification of each aircraft reaching the theater. Early B-17 modifications had been limited chiefly to the installation of gun mounts, flame dampeners, and IFF equipment, but by June 1943 the list of standard modifications included fifty-five items for B-17's and forty-three for B-24's. Fighter modifications were concerned chiefly with propeller blades, ignition systems, armament, and jettisonable tanks. The first P-47 staging letter listed forty-eight items for modification.126 At the end of June 1943, according to available records, the service command had modified 228 heavy bombers, 6 medium bombers, 83 light bombers, and 609 fighters--a total of 926 aircraft, not including an unknown number of C-47's and other aircraft. Of this total, a large proportion, chiefly P-38's, P-40's, and A-20's, had been modified for the Twelfth Air Force. These figures would soon be dwarfed by the great outpouring of modified planes from the huge and revitalized base depots.127


Table of Contents
Previous Chapter (17) * Next Chapter (19)

Notes to Chapter 18:

1. Ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 11 Sept. 1942; Hq. 8th AF, A-1 Periodic Rpt., July, Aug., Nov. 1942.

2. History, 8th AF, II, 20.

3. Ltr., Eaker to CG 8th AF, 24 Oct. 1942; ltr., Spaatz to Arnold, 31 Oct. 1942.

4. Hq. 8th AF A-1 Periodic Rpt., Jan. 1943.

5. Ltr., Stratemeyer to Spaatz, 30 Jan. 1943. Stratemeyer called the ETO "our marginal effort." For a discussion see Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, Pt. III, pp. 80-84.

6. Hq. 8th AF A-1 Periodic Rpt., June 1943.

7. ETO Stat. Sum., June 1943.

8. Hq. AAF, Stat. Sum. of 8th AF Operations, 17 Aug. 1942-8 May 1945, p. 9; Office of Stat. Control, AAF Stat. Digest, Dec. 1945, p. 8.

9. Stat. Control Office, Hq. USSTAF Organization Status Rpt.; Stat. Control Office, Hq. AAF Organization Status Rpt., SC 127-9.

10. Hq. 8th AF A-1 Periodic Rpt., June 1943.

11. II. Ibid., Nov. 1942, May, June 1943.

12. Ibid.; Stat. Sum., 8th AF, pp. 8-9.

13. Hq. 70th Replacement Depot, Review of Operations (UK Stations Only), 3 Mar. 1945.

14. Ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 15 Mar. 1943; ltr., Col. H. H. Holland, CO 12th RCD to CG VIII AFSC, 26 Apr. 1943; History, 8th AF Replacement Depot, pp. 33, 37.

15. Hq. VIII AFSC Bulletin 9, 19 Oct. 1942, p. 3; Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, Pt. II, Volume 1, 128-30; Hq. SOS, ETOUSA Circular 44, 3 Nov. 1942.

16. 1st ind. (ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 7 Feb. 1943), Hq. VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF, 10 Feb. 1943; ltr., Eaker to CG 8th AF, 27 Feb. 1943; memo for CG 8th AF from CG VIII AFSC, 24 July 1942; ltr., Eaker to A/Cdre. A. C. Sharpe, RAF, 1 Feb. 1943.

17. See also ltr., Arnold to Spaatz, 14 Aug. 1942.

18. VIII BC Diary, 13 July 1942.

19. Memo for AG Cable Sec., 8th AF from A-4, 9 Feb. 1943; ltr., Eaker to Stratemeyer, 12 Feb. 1943; Hq. 8th AF Memo 65-2, 2 Oct. 1942; ltr., Col. D. H. Baker, Hq. VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF, 25 Apr. 1943. For a discussion see Hq. VIII AFSC, U.S. Army Air Force Maintenance and Supply Organization, n.d. but prob. late 1943.

20. Hq. 8th AF Memo 65-2, 2 Oct. 1942; 3d ind. ltr., CG VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF,5 Nov. 1942), Brig. Gen. L. W. Miller to CG 8th AF, 20 Nov. 1942.

21. Ltr., Eaker to Stratemeyer, 12 Feb. 1943; memo for C/S, Hq. VIII AFSC from Maintenance and Repair Div., 20 Apr. 1943; Hq. 8th AF Station Lists and Strength Rpts., 7 June 1943, pp. 2-11, 6 June 1944, pp. 4-27, passim.

22. Hq. 8th AF GO 23, 3 Sept. 1942; memo for C/S VIII BC from Lt. Col. F. W. Castle, A-4, VIII BC, 13 Oct. 1942; VIII AFSC Staff Conf. Minutes, 16 Oct. 1942; ltr., Brig. Gen. N. Longfellow, CG 1st Bomb. Wing to all tactical groups, 1st Bomb. Wing, 24 Oct. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 65-9, 27 Oct. 1942; ltr., Col. Castle to A-3, VIII BC, 22 Nov. 1942; ltr., Brig. Gen. J. M. Clark, Chief, M&R Div. to CG VIII AFSC, 13 Dec. 1942; ltr., Col. J. P. Kirkendall, Acting A-4 to CG 8th AF, I7 Dec. 1942; 3d ind. cited in n. 20; ltr., Hq. VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF, 26 Feb. 1943; Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 160-9, 25 Feb. 1943; Hq. VIII AFSC GO 4, 11 Mar. 1943; ltr., Eaker to CG SOS, 10 Apr. 1943; ltr., CG VIII AFSC to Chiefs of Hq. VIII AFSC Staff Secs. and CO's of Stations Concerned, 1 June 1943.

23. Hq. VIII AFSC Memos 160-2 (31 Aug. 1942), 160-6 (10 June 1943); ltr., Col. D. H. Baker, Chief, Plans Sec. to CG VIII AFSC, 17 Dec. 1942.

24. Ltr., Spaatz to CG SOS, 7 July 1942; ltr., Hq. SOS to CG AAF, 26 June 1942; Construction, Supply and Maintenance Problems in the United Kingdom, n. s., n.d. but prob. 1943.

25. History, Engineer Sec., 8th AF and VIII AFSC, 23 Apr. to 31 Dec. 1942, pp. 1-2.

26. Minutes of a Meeting between ACM Portal, Gen. Spaatz and Gen. Eaker at 4:05 P.M. Nov. 28, 1942.

27. Notes on confs., Gens. Spaatz, Eaker, and Doolittle, 21, 24-25 Dec. 1942; ltr., Col. S. VV. Towle, C/S, VIII FC to CG 8th AF, 10 Dec. 1942; ltr., Eaker to Portal, 9 Jan. 1943.

28. Ltr., Office of Chief Engineer, SOS to Under Sec. of State, Air Ministry, 18 Nov. 1942; ltr., Eaker to CG 8th AF, 22 Nov. 1942.

29. Ltr., Hq. VIII BC to CG 8th AF, 5 Sept. 1942; ltr., Col. Castle to A-3, VIII BC, n.d. but prob. Oct. 1942; memo for CG 8th AF from Col. Kirkendall, 17 Apr. 1942; History, Engineer Sec., 8th AF and VIII AFSC, 1 Jan. to 31 Dec. 1943, pp. 2-3.

30. Ltr., Eaker to CG ETOUSA, n.d. but prob. Apr. 1943.

31. Eighth Air Force Construction Program, 25 Mar. 1943, as amended 1 May 1943.

32. Hq. 8th AF, U.S.A.A.F. Stations in United Kingdom (photographic album); Report of Lt. Gen. Eaker on USAAF Activities in the U.K. Covering Period from Feb. 20, 1942 to Dec. 31, 1943 (hereinafter cited as Eaker Rpt.), p. 3.

33. Ltr., Hq. 8th AF to Under Sec. of State for Air, Air Ministry, 26 Mar. 1943.

34. Eighth Air Force Construction Program, 1 Aug. 1943.

35. Construction Program, USAAFUK, 15 Nov. 1943, as amended 1 Jan. 1944.

36. Ibid.; Eighth Air Force Construction Program, 1 Aug. 1943.

37. Ltr., CG 8th AF to Under Sec. of State for Air (DDOP), Air Ministry, 15 Apr. 1943.

38. Ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 14 May 1943; ltr., Col. H. H. Holland, CO 12th RCD to CG VIII AFSC, 28 June 1943.

39. History, Hq. VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43, Organization of the Supply Div., pp. 4-6.

40. Hq. SOS GO 2, 17 June 1942; memo for Chairman, General Purchasing, ETOUSA from Maj. G. A. Spiegelberg, Recorder of General Purchasing Board, Sept. 1942; ltr., Lee to CG VIII AFSC, 22 Sept. 1942.

41. Ltr., Col. Wayne R. Allen, SOS to Cols.L. C. Dill and Kirkendall, Hq. VIII APSC, 31 July 1942; memo for CG VIII AFSC from Col. Dill, 31 Aug. 1942; History, QM Sec., Hq. USAAF in UK, 8th AF, and VIII AFSC, pp. 1-2.

42. AFSHO Special File 77 (ltrs.); Msg. R4702, Arnold to Maj. Gen. R. P. Hartle, Hq. ETOUSA, 29 Dec. 1942.

43. Minutes of a [Joint] Conference Held in Room 271, Adastral House on October 2nd 1942; Minutes of a [Joint] Meeting Held at Stafford on November 18th 1942; memo for C/S Hq. VIII AFSC from Supply Div., 20 Apr. 1943; Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 65-12, 18 May 1943.

44. Memo for Asst. Chief from Col. M. R. Wood, Chief, Supply Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 19 Apr. 1943; ltr., Lt. Col. K. Collins, Chief, Procurement Br., Supply Div. to Chief, Supply Div., 22 May 1943; VIII BC Signal Sec., Commander's Rpt., Mar.June 1943, passim.

45. Ltr., Col. D. H. Baker to CG 8th AF, 15 Apr. 1943, p. 3; History of Signal Section, Eighth Air Force and Service Command, 1942-43, pp. 4-8, 10-12; Narrative Rpt., Medical Dept. Activities, 8thAF, 1942-43, pp. 10-11; History of the Chemical Sec., 8th AF and VIII AFSC, 21 Apr.-31 Dec. 1943. pp. 19, 22-25.

46. Minutes of Meeting Held at WIDEWING, Bushy Park, on Tuesday, 28 July 1942; memo for Arnold from Brig. Gen. T. J. Hanley, Jr., DC/AS, 30 Apr. 1943; memo for Asst. Chief, Supply Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Col. Wood, 19 Apr. 1943.

47. Memo for C/S, Hq. VIII AFSC from Wood, 20 Apr. 1943.

48. Progress Div., Hq. SOS, ETO Stat. Sum. LVIII, 30 Aug. 1943, pp. 23-24.

49. Ltrs., Col. Collins to Chief, Supply Div., 1 Mar., 30 Sept. 1943; History of Procurement from the British, p. 5, in History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43. The British side of the story may be found in HMSO (London), Mutual Aid, Third Rpt., Oct. 1946.

50. Ltr., Col. Collins to Chief, Supply Div., Hg. VIII AFSC, 4 Jan. 1944.

51. See sources in n. 49.

52. Memo for C/S 8th AF from Col. Kirkendall, 21 Dec. 1942; History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43, Supply System, p. 1. For a discussion, see Hq. ATSC, Estimating Requirements for AAF Equipment, Supplies, and Spare Parts, Jan. 1946, Pt. I, pp. 89-90. An additional factor causing unbalance of supplies in overseas theaters was the effort of the Transportation Corps to make a showing in loading ships without regard to the types of supplies. (See memo for C/S SOS from Maj. Gen. LeRoy Lutes, AC/S for Opns., SOS, 5 Mar. 1943.)

53. History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43, Supply System, pp. 1-2.

54. Ibid. For a discussion, see AMC, AAF Supply of the Overseas Air Forces, Aug. 1946, pp. 21-25.

55. History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43, Supply System, p. 5.

56. Ibid., Organization of the Supply Div., pp. 3-5.

57. Hq. VIII AFSC Reg. 65-1, 25 July 1942. The procedure outlined in this regulation was actually followed.

58. Ltr., Col. Casrle to C/S VIII BC, 13 Oct. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 65-12, 12 Feb. 1943.

59. Memo for Eaker from Kirkendall, 11 Feb. 1943; ltr., Eaker to Stratemeyer, 2 Mar. 1943; ASF, The Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow in Preparing the European Invasion, 1943-44, pp. 2-6; Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, Pt. III, pp. 78-79, 140-42, 170; unsigned memo for ASF, 25 May 1943.

60. Hq. SOS, ETOUSA, Transportation Corps Semi-Monthly Progress Rpt., 31 Mar. 1944, table 4.

61. Ltr., CG SOS to CG ETO, 17 Dec. 1942; memo for Col. E. P. Mechling, A-4 Sec., Hq. 8th AF from Kirkendall, n.d. but Jan. 1943; 1st ind. (ltr., CG SOS to CG 8th AF, 30 Dec. 1942), Hq. 8th AF to CG SOS, 12 Jan. 1943; memo for CG 8th AF from CG SOS, 20 Apr. 1943; ltr., Hq. ETOUSA to CG 8th AF, 3 July 1943; The Problem of Troop and Cargo Flow, p.154.

62. Ltr., Capt. Fred Thomas to Chief of Air Force Sec., Wright Field, Ohio, 15 Aug. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Bulletin 43, 29 Mar. 1943, p.4; Hq. VIII AFSC Weekly Activity Rpt., 3 Apr. 1943, p. 3; memo for C/S 5th AF from Kirkendall, 11 Apr. 1943.

63. Msg., Marshall to Eisenhower, 23 July 1942; ltr., CG AAF to CG ETOUSA, 10 Aug. 1942.

64. The European Wing, ATC was activated by ,European Wing, ATC GO 1, 14 Jan. 1943. (A History of the European Wing [ATC] from early 1943 to D-day 1944, pp. 1-2, 25-26.)

65. Memo for C/S 8th AF from Kirkendall, 21 Apr. 1943; msg. 4037, Maj. Gen. W. H. Frank, CG ASC to Maj. Gen. H. J. F. Miller, 25 Apr. 1943.

66. Hq. ETOUSA GO 56, 27 Aug. 1943; memo for Supply Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Transportation Sec., item 2, 3 Nov. 1943; History, European Wing (ATC), pp. 25-29, 57-58.,

67. Memo for Eaker from Kirkendall, II Feb. 1943; Eaker Rpt., App. D, p. 3; History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., Intransit Depots, pp. 1-2; VIII AFSC Staff Conf. Minutes, Dec. 1942, 13 Jan. 1943; Notes on Burtonwood Air Depot Visit by Majs. A. A. Tappan and W. P. Munsell, Air Technical Sec., Hq. ETOUSA, 10 Dec. 1942.

68. Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 65-14, 20 Apr. 1943.

69. History, Ordnance Sec., Hq. VIII AFSC, 1942-43, pp. 15, 18.

70. History, Chemical Sec., cited in n. 45, pp. 18-19, 20-21; Narrative Rpt., Medical Dept. Activities, 8th AF, 1942-43, pp. 9-10

71. Stat. Control Div., Hq. AAF Rpt. SC-SS- 19S9, 14 Aug. 1947.

72. Ibid.; ltr., CG 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 18 Apr. 1943.

73. Ltr., Brig. Gen. L. W. Miller, C/S VIII AFSC to Air Council, Air Ministry, 13 Oct. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 65-16, 10 May 1943; memo (and incl.) for Col. J. F. Whitely, A-4. 8th AF from Lt. Col. B. F. Johnson, Petroleum Sec., Supply Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 17 Aug. 1943; ltr., Col. E. E. Adrian to CGVIII AFSC, 10 Oct. 1942; General Info. Memo-Petroleum Products-ETOUSA, by Col. C. G. Irish, Deputy Area Petroleum Officer, ETOUSA, 28 Aug. 1943; Aviation Fuel Pertinent Statistics, chart I, 5 Nov. 1943; USFET General Board Rpt. 128, pp. 23-25; History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., Petroleum Sec., 1942-43, pp. 14-15.

74. USFET General Board Rpt. 128, pp. 23-25.

75. Hq. VIII AFSC GO's 31 (4 Nov. 1942), 10 (15 Apr. 1943); memo for Staff Secs., Hq. VIII AFSC from CG VIII AFSC, 21 Nov. 1942; History and Development of the Combat Support Wing (Prov.), 31 Dec. 1943, pp. 2-4; Notes on Staff Conf., Hq. SOS, ETOUSA, 3 May 1943.

76. Memo for CG VIII AFSC from A-3, 7 Aug. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC GO's 26 (1 Oct. 1942), 10 (15 Apr. 1943); memo, Plans and Statistics Sec., Hq. VIII AFSC, 13 Jan. 1943; History, 27th Air Transport Group, 1942-43. pp. 4, 7-8.

77. 1st ind. (ltr., Hq. VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF, 17 Sept. 1942), Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 19 Sept. 1942; ltrs., Eaker to CG 8th AF, 24 Oct., 1 Nov. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Bulletins 10 (25 Oct. 1942, p. 3), 4214 (21 Nov. 1942, p. 2); Minutes of Meeting Held in Col. C. L. Booth's Office, 8 Nov. 1942; History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43, Supplies to 12th AF; memo for Eaker from Kirkendall, 11 Feb. 1943, p. 2. A memo for Chief of Ordnance, XII AFSC from Maj. L. W. Light, 9 Nov. 1942, mentions equipment shortages of Twelfth Air Force units at time of departure from England.

78. Administrative and Logistical History of the ETO, Pt. II, Volume I, pp. 162-64; Notes on Staff Conf., Hq. SOS, ETOUSA,7 Dec. 1942, pp. 162-64; Notes on Staff Conf., Hq. SOS, ETOUSA, 7 Dec. 1942, p. 1.

79. Ltr., Brig. Gen. L. W. Miller, CG VIII AFSC to CO Ferry and Transport Service, VIII AFSC, 2 Dec. 1942; ltr., Col. A. J. Pierce, CO FTS to Signal Officer, VIII AFSC, 28 Jan. 1943; ltr., Pierce to CG VIII FC, 5 Feb. 1943; ltr., CG VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF, 9 June 1943; Conferences, Spaatz, Eaker, and Doolittle, 21, 24-25 Dec.1942, p. 1; msg. R6015, AGWAR to ETO, 20 Feb. 1943.

80. Digest of a [Joint] Conference Held in the Conference Room at Park House, 31 Oct. 1942, p. 1.

81. Msg. RS938,Marshall to Andrews, 17 Feb. 1943.

82. Ltr., Eaker to CG 8th AF, ,6 Sept. 1942; ltr., Castle to A-3, VIII BC, n.d. but Oct. 1942, p. 2; VIII AFSC Staff Conf. Minutes, 29 Dec. 1942; ltr., Capt. E. B. Cunningham, M&R Div. to Chief, Supply Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 17 Oct. 1942.

83. Ltr., Eaker to CG 8th AF, ,6 Sept. 1942; ltr., Castle to A-3, VIII BC, Oct. 1942; memo for Dir. of Bomb. from Col. F. L. Anderson, 3' Jan. 1943; 1st ind. (ltr., CG ASC to CG 8th AF, 15 Feb. 1943), CG 8th AF to CG ASC, 14 Apr. 1943, with, incl.; ltr., Col. D. H. Baker, Acting C/S VIII AFSC to CG 8th AF, 15 Apr. 1943,

84. Memo for C/SVIII AFSC from Supply Div., 20 Apr. 1943.

85. Memo for C/S VIII BC from Castle, 25 Apr. 1943; memo for C/S 8th AF from A-4, 15 Mar. 1943.

86. Hq. VIII AFSC Weekly Activity Rpt., 3 July 1943, p. 5.

87. Ltr., Frank to Eaker, 7 July 1943; History, VIII AFSC Supply Div., 1942-43, Organizational Equipment, pp. 1-2; Troop and Cargo Flow, cited in n. 59, pp. 82, 147-53; ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG SOS, 14 Oct. 1943; ltr., AGO to CG's, ETO, NYPE, and Chiefs of Technical Services, 16 May 1943,

88. Memo for C/S VIII AFSC from Supply Div., 20 Apr. 1943; memo for C/S 8th AF from A-4, 14 Mar. 1943; ltr., Col. Baker to CG 8th AF, 15 Apr. 1943, p. 3; draft of ltr. from Eaker to McNarney, May 1943, p. 9; ltr., Col. Kirkendall, Exec., Supply Div. to Chief, Supply Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 12 Nov. 1943; Rpt. of IG, 8th AF, 23 Nov. 1942, Pt. IV; memo for Col. Baker, Chief, Plans Sec., VIII AFSC from Maj. W. Wheelock, 7 Jan. 1943.

89. History, Ordnance Sec., Hq. VIII AFSC, 1942-43, p. ,6.

90. Ltr., Eaker to Arnold, 12 Apr. 1943.

91. VIII AFSC Staff Conf. Minutes, 5 Aug. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 70-7, 25 Sept. 1942; ltr., Engineering Officer, AAF Station 590 to Brig. Gen. J. M. Clark, Chief, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 29 Nov. 1943; memo for C/SVIII AFSC from M&R Div., 20 Apr. 1943.

92. Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 70-7, 25 Sept. 1942.

93. Memo for Chief, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Capt. J. C. Bach, 4 Dec. 1942; memos for Lt. Col. G. W. Noland, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from D. M. Cushman, 30 Mar., 14 Apr. 1943; memo for Lt. Col. T. M. Imlay, Hq. VIII BC from Castle, 20 Feb. 1943, pp. 1-2; memo for Longfellow from Castle, 30 Mar. 1943; ltrs., Longfellow to CG 8th AF, 8 Feb., 1 May 1943,

94. Ltr., Longfellow to CG 8th AF, 1 May 1943.

95. Memo for Col. Baker, Hq. VIII AFSC from Wheelock, 7 Jan. 1943; Rpt. of IG, 8th AF, 23 Nov. 1943, Pt. IV; ltr., Maj. Gen. H. J. F. Miller to CG 8th AF, 26 July 1943.

96. Memo. prob. from Col. J. S. Griffith, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, n.d. but prob. Nov. 1942; memo for Col. M. R.Wood, Chief, Supply Div. from Brig. Gen. J. M. Clark, Chief, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 7 Jan. 1943.

97. Memo for Chief, Supply Div.. Hq. VIII AFSC from Col. Kirkendall, Exec., 12 Nov. 1942; memo for Chief, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Capt. J. E. Bach, 4 Dec. 1942; Conf. on Maintenance, 23 Nov. 1942 (attended by Eaker, L. W. Miller, J. M. Clark); ltr., Col. Castle to Lt. Col. Imlay, 20 Feb. 1943, pp. 1-2; rpt., Visit to Air Support Command by Lt. Col. E. W. Starr, Jr., n.d. but prob. Mar. 1943.

98. Rpt. of IG, 8th AF, 23 Nov. 1943, Pt. IV; 2d wrapper ind. (to same rpt.) , Chief, M&R Div. to CG VIII AFSC, 15 Dec. 1942, p. 2; memos from Cushman cited in n. 93; 8th AF Commanders' Mtg., 7 June 1943.

99. Conf. on Maintenance cited in n. 97; memo for CG 8th AF from Col. Kirkendall, 17 Dec. 1942; ltr., Col. B. E. Beaman, Exec. Officer, 1st Bomb. Wing to CG VIII BC, 31 Jan. 1943; ltr., Gen. Longfellow to CG 8th AF, 8 Feb. 1943.

100. Ltr., Col. Castle to Lt. Col. Imlay, Hq. VIII BC, 20 Feb. 1943; ltr., Maj. Gen. Virgil Peterson, IG, U.S. Army to DC/S,WD, 5 Aug. 1943; unsigned memo for Dir. of Maintenance, Hq. ASC-USSTAF, History of Maintenance, 31 Mar. 1944.

101. Conf. on Maintenance cited in n. 97; memo for Maj. D. K. Kirkpatrick, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Lt. E. N. Hall, 28 Nov. 1942; Proceedings of a Board of Officers Appointed under Par. 4, SO 160, Hq. 8th AF, 27 Nov. 1942; memo for C/S,VIII BC from Col. Castle, 14 Mar. 1943.

102. Memo for Chief, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Col. J. S. Griffith, 26 Oct. 1942; ltr., Spaatz to Arnold, 10 Nov. 1942; Rpt. of IG, 8th AF, 23 Nov. 1942, Pt. IV; ltr., Eaker to Stratemeyer, 19 Feb. 1943.

103. Memo for A-3, Hq. VIII BC from Col. Castle, 22 Nov. 1942; ltr., Col. Kirkendall to CG 8th AF, 17 Dec. 1942; ltr., Col. Baker to CG VIII AFSC, 17 Dec. 1942; ltr., Eaker to Arnold, 12 Apr. 1943. See histories of strategic depots.

104. Conf. on Maintenance cited in n. 97.

105. Hist. Journal of AAF Station 127 (2d SAD), p. 12.

106. Ibid., pp. 9, 12-13; Notes for Col. John Griffith on Technical Difficulties Being Experienced in This Theater, by Lt. Col. D. K. Kirkpatrick, Maintenance Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, 13 Apr. 1943; memo for Col. Kirkendall from Lt. Col. C. A. Jones, 28 May 1943; Outline of History, 1st SAD, passim; ltr., Col. A. W. Martenstein, CO Advanced Air Service to CG VIII AFSC, June 1943.

107. Memo for CG VIII AFSC from Gen. Clark, 13 Dec. 1942; memo for Gen. Longfellow from Col. Castle, 10 Mar. 1942; Lockheed Overseas Corp. Annual Rpt., July 1, 1942--July 1, 1943 (hereinafter cited as Lockheed Rpt.) , V, Service, Salvage, and Mobile Units.

108. Lockheed Rpt.; History, VIII AFSC, chap. v, pp. 132-33; ltrs., Col. A. W. Martenstein, CO Advanced Air Service to CGVIII AFSC, I, 16 June, 1 July 1943.

109. Ltr., Miller to Stratemeyer, 20 Mar. 1943; memo for C/S, 8th AF from Col. Kirkendall, 11 Apr. 1943; memo for Kirkendall from Col. Beasley, 13 May 1943; memo for C/S, 8th AF from A-4, 8 June 1943.

110. Ltr., Eaker to CG ETOUSA, 5 Apr. 1943, and 1st ind., CG ETOUSA to CG 8th AF, 15 Apr. 1943; R&R, Maj. Gen. O. P. Echols, AC/AS, MM&D to CIAS,Hq. AAF, 11 May 1943; memo for Lovett from Arnold, 5 July 1943.

111. Memo for Maj. Gen. H. J. F. Miller from Gen. Clark, 29 Jan. 1943; Lockheed Rpt., Production Dept., passim, Industrial Relations, p. 3.

112. Ltr., Gen. Clark to Maj. Gen. H. J. F. Miller, 8 Dec. 1942; Notes on Burtonwood Air Depot Visit cited in n. 67. For a full discussion of the American civil service detachment, see History, USSTAF, III, chap. ii, 136-46.

113. See sources in n. 112. Notes of a [Joint] Meeting Held in Lord Burgle's Room at 3:30 P.M.on 5th January, 1943 (MAP); memo for Lt. Col. G. W. Noland, M&R Div., Hq. VIII AFSC from Capt. J. L. Saunders, 27 Apr. 1943.

114. Notes on Burtonwood Air Depot Visit cited in n. 67; unsigned memo, Burtonwood Air Depot, 5 Sept. 1943.

115. Msg. USFOR 282, Eaker to Stratemeyer, 10 Feb. 1943; draft of ltr., Eaker to McNarney, May 1943, pp. 7-8; File 77.

116. Memo for A-4, 8th AF from Plans Sec., Hq. VIII AFSC, 6 Feb. 1943; ltr., Col. J. S. Griffith, Chief, Maintenance Div., Hq. VIII AFSC to CO BADA, 9 Aug. 1943; Maintenance Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, Notes on Assembly, n.d. but prob. late 1943, pp. 1-3.

117. Ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG ETOUSA, 6 Mar. 1943; Notes of a (Joint) Conference Held 30.3.43 to Consider the Salvage of U.S. A. A. F. Aircraft in United Kingdom; memo, Maintenance Div., Hq. VIII AFSC, Salvage of U.S. Aircraft, n.d. but prob. Feb. 1944; ASC-USSTAF Meeting 167, 20 Mar. 1944.

118. History, AAF Materiel Comd., 1942, pp. 40-44.

119. Eaker Rpt., p. II.

120. Hq. VIII AFSC Memo 160-5, 12 Sept. 1942.

121. Ltr., Col. R. T. Zane, G-4, H Hq. VIII AFSC to Plans Sec., 31 July 1942; VIII AFSC Staff Conf. Minutes, 22 Oct. 1942; Hq. VIII AFSC Bulletin 42-18, 19 Dec. 1942, p. 2; Lockheed Rpt.; memo on modification, n.s. but prob. from Maintenance Div., Hq.VIII AFSC, n.d. but prob. late 1943, pp. 4-7; ltr., Maj. Gen. H. J. F. Miller to Eaker, 10 June 1943; Lockheed Overseas Corp., Plans for the Modification Program in the ETO, n.d. but prob. summer 1943, pp. 1, 3-4; ltr., Col. Beaman, Exec., 1st Bomb. Wing to CGVIII BC, 2 June 1943.

122. Ltr., H. J. F. Miller to Stratemeyer, 20 Mar. 1943.

123. Ltr., Col. Castle to Lt. Col. Imlay, Hq.VIII BC, 20 Feb. 1943; memo on modification cited in n. 121, pp. 7-9; Minutes of Meeting Held at WIDEWING, Bushy Park, on Thursday, 4 Feb. 1943.

124. Memo on modification cited in n. 121, pp. 9-12; ltr., Hq. 8th AF to CG VIII AFSC, 10 May 1943; Modification Board, Minutes of Mtgs., 12, 21 June, 12 July 1943; Hq. 8th AF SO 22, 10 Aug. 1943, par. 7.

125. Ltr., Maj. Gen. H. J. F. Miller to CO AAF Station 597, 18 June 1943; ltr., Miller to Eaker, 10 June 1943.

126. Ltr., Col. J. S. Griffith, Chief, Maintenance Div., Hq.VIII AFSC, Modifications, P-47's, 7 July 1943; ltr., Col. Griffith, Modifications (B-17, B-24), 22 June 1943; memo on modification cited in n. 121, pp. 5-6.

127. History,VIII AFSC, chap. v, pp. 203-4.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Terry Welshans for the HyperWar Foundation