Army Air Forces
World War II

Vol. I: Plans & Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942

Prepared Under the Editorship of
Wesley Frank Craven Princeton University
James Lea Cate University of Chicago



I. The Early Heritage

1. Origins of a Mission
      James Lea Cate, University of Chicago
2. The Army Air Arm Between Two Wars, 1919-39
      James Lea Cate, University of Chicago
      Wesley Frank Craven, New York University

II. Prelude to War

3. Air War, 1939-41
      E. Kathleen Williams, Louis E. Asher Fellow, University of Chicago
4. The Air Corps Prepares for War, 1939-41
      James Lea Cate, University of Chicago
      E. Kathleen Williams, Louis E. Asher Fellow, University of Chicago
5. Deployment of the AAF on the Eve of Hostilities
      E. Kathleen Williams, Louis E. Asher Fellow, University of Chicago
6. Pearl Harbor and Clark Field
      Richard L. Watson, Duke University
7. Establishment of the Fundamental Bases of Strategy
      James Lea Cate, University of Chicago

III. Tactical Demands
Concentration versus Dispersal of Forces

8. Air Defense of the Western Hemisphere
      William A. Goss, City College of San Francisco
9. The Early Development of Air Transport and Ferrying
      John D. Carter, West Virginia University
10. Loss of the Netherlands East Indies
      Richard L. Watson, Duke University
11. The Defense of Australia
      Richard L. Watson, Duke University
12. Drawing the Battle Line in the Pacific
      Kramer J. Rohfleisch, San Diego State College
13. The Problem of New Guinea
      Richard L. Watson, Duke University
14. Commitments to China
      Herbert Weaver, Georgia Teachers College
15. The AAF in the Battle of the Atlantic
      Arthur B. Ferguson, Duke University

IV. Preparations for the Air War Against Germany

16. Plans, Policies, and Organization
      James Lea Cate, University of Chicago
17. Establishment of the Eight Air Force in the United Kingdom
      Alfred Goldberg, Office of Air Force History
18. Rouen-Sotteville No. 1, 17 August 1942
      Arthur B. Gerguson, Duke University


(Footnotes are included/hyperlinked with each chapter.)


Representation of Relative Strength of AAF Units, 1941
Selected List of Planes in Use by the AAF, December 1941-August 1942
Explanatory Notes
Approximate Normal Ranges in statue miles US Aircraft--Spring, 1942


List of Maps and Charts

  1. Hawaiian Islands
  2. Luzon
  3. The Philippines and Northern Australia
  4. Northeastern Australia
  5. Organization of Army Air Forces, March 1942
  6. Boundaries of Continental Defense, June 1942
  7. Eastern and Western Approaches to Panama Canal
  8. Alaska and the Aleutian Islands
  9. Principal Sea and Air Routes as Designated by Washington Conference, December 1941
  10. Atlantic Ferrying and Transport Routes Prior to 7 December 1941
  11. Principal Foreign Transport and Ferrying Routes, Army Air Forces, 30 June 1942
  12. The ABDA Area
  13. Java
  14. The Southwest Pacific
  15. Australia and the United States
  16. Australia and New Guinea
  17. Island Chain of the South Pacific
  18. The Tokyo Mission
  19. The Coral Sea
  20. The North Pacific
  21. The Aleutian Islands
  22. New Guinea and the Solomons
  23. China-Burma-India
  24. Sinkings of Merchant Vessels, September 1940-August 1942:
  25. AAF Antisubmarine Operations
  26. Western Atlantic Defense Areas as of 1 August 1942
  27. Schematic Organization Recommended by Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom for U.S. Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom
  28. Schematic Organization, U.S. Army Air Forces in the United Kingdom
  29. Eighth Air Force Installations, August 1942
  30. Routes of BOLERO Movement
  31. Organization of Eighth Air Force as of August 1942

List of Illustrations

  1. General of the Army Henry H. Arnold
  2. The DH-4B
  3. The Martin Bomber, 1921
  4. The Barling Bomber, 1923
  5. The B-10B
  6. The B-18A
  7. B-17s in Formation, May 1937
  8. B-17s Over New York, 1939
  9. The B-15 and a P-36
  10. The B-19
  11. Potential Spheres of Air Influence
  12. Potential Spheres of Air Influence
  13. Hemisphere Defense--Bases and Operating Radii B-17 and B-24
  14. Air Offensive Against Germany, AWPD/1
  15. Construction of Alaskan Landing Field, August 1941
  16. Construction at a Camp in Iceland, November 1941
  17. P-26
  18. P-35
  19. Plan for Employment of Bombardment Aviation in Defense of Oahu--Search Sectors
  20. B-34
  21. P-36
  22. A-20
  23. A-24
  24. Japanese Photograph of Wheeler Field, 7 December 1941
  25. Hangar No. 11, Hickam Field
  26. Improvised Machine Gun Nest, Hickam Field
  27. Damage to Barracks, Wheeler Field
  28. Damage at Wheeler Field
  29. Cavite Navy Yards, Philippine Islands, 10 December 1941
  30. Port Area, Manila, 24 December 1941
  31. Window Display in New York Department Store
  32. Ground Observation Posts
  33. Operations Room, Philadelphia Information Center
  34. B-24As Used in the Ferrying Command's Pioneer North Atlantic Transport Service
  35. LB-30 Used in Pacific Transport Service Inaugurated in the Spring of 1942
  36. First Test Landing on Steel Matting, Carolina Maneuvers, 1941
  37. Atkinson Field, British Guiana, June 1942
  38. Parnamirim Field, Natal, Brazil, June 1942
  39. Bluie West 1, June 1942
  40. Reykjavik Airfield, Iceland, April 1942
  41. The Night Shift, Patterson Field, Iceland, 1942
  42. Camouflaged P-38 Belonging to 41st Fighter Squadron, 1942
  43. The Same Plane with Camouflage Partly Removed
  44. Reconnaissance Photo of Vukakanau Airfield (Rabaul), April 1942
  45. Port Moresby, 1 June 1942
  46. A B-25 Ready for Take-Off from USS Hornet
  47. One of the B-25s Takes Off
  48. Chinese Carry Doolittle Raiders to Safety
  49. Japanese Carrier Under Attack by B-17s, 4 June 1942
  50. Japanese Installations on North Head, Kiska, July 1942
  51. RAINBOWRAINBOW Headquarters, 35th Fighter Group, Port Moresby, 1942
  52. RAINBOWRAINBOW Headquarters, 35th Fighter Group, Port Moresby, 1942
  53. RAINBOWRAINBOW Karachi Air Base, 1942
  54. A B-18 on Patrol in the Caribbean
  55. RAINBOWRAINBOW The AAF Officially Takes Over RAF Airdrome, December 1942
  56. RAINBOWRAINBOW Burtonwood as it Appeared at the Close of the War
  57. RAINBOWRAINBOW The Spitfire MK-5
  58. RAINBOWRAINBOW The Spitfire MK-5, Side View
  59. RAINBOWRAINBOW Crash-Landed Planes of the Eight Air Force--Greenland, Summer 1942
  60. RAINBOWRAINBOW Ceremonies Attending Transfer of Eagle Squadrons to USAAF, September 1942
  61. Briefing of Bomber Crews, Polebrook, August 1942
  62. Reconnaissance Photo, Rouen-Sotteville I

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation