The 489th Bombardment Squadron in Corsica

1. 489th BS Insignia from B-25 at MAAM, 
2. 340th BG Insignia from Q. Kaiser's A2 flight jacket (1944), 
3. NASA space shuttle photo of Corsica,
4. 12th Air Force patch,
5. U.S. Army Air Corps Patch .

12th Air Force Organization, August 20, 1942
Operation Torch

XII Bomber Command       XII Air Support Command       XII Fighter Command

5th Bomb Wing    7th Fighter Wing

*97th BG (B-17)         47th BG (A-20)         33rd FG (P-40)         *1st FG (P-38)
*301st BG (B-17)       310th BG (B-25)       *81st FG (P-39)       *14th FG (P-38)
     17th BG (B-26)                                       *350th FG (P-39)       *31st FG (Spitfires)
    319th BG (B-26)                                     *82nd FG (P-39)       *52nd FG (Spitfires)      320th BG (B-26)
     321st BG (B-25)
     *15th BS (Bostons)

*51st Troop Carrier Wing                    Recon

                    60th TCG (C-47)                    *3rd PG (B-17, F-4)
             62nd TCG (C-47)                   68th OG (A-20)
                                       64th TCG (C-47)

    *from the 8th Air Force

The 12th Air Force was activated on August 20, 1942 with the organization shown above. General H. H. "Hap" Arnold and US Chief of Staff, General George C. Marshall chose General Jimmy Doolittle as head of the 12th Air Force and Doolittle formally assumed command in the UK on September 23, 1942.

The B-25 Mitchells of the 310th Bombardment Group were the first planes in the 12th AF to arrive in Europe during October, 1942. They flew over by way of Maine, Labrador, Greenland, Iceland and finally Prestwick, Scotland. The 310th BG B-25s were followed by A-20 Havocs from the 47th Bombardment Group and B-26 Marauders of the 319th Bombardment Group but winter weather interfered with this route and subsequent groups took the southern route via Florida; Boringuen Field, Puerto Rico; Waller Field, Trinidad; Atkinson Field, British New Guiana (Guyana); Belem and Natal, Brazil; Dakar, Marrakech, Telergma, and some other North African destinations.

The 12th AF was initially assigned some 70,000 men and 1400 planes for the invasion of Vichy French held North Africa (Operation Torch) on November 8, 1942. Below the organization of the 12th AF is shown in July, 1943 at the time of Operation Husky or the invasion of Sicily. Prior to this was the invasion of Pantelleria or Operation Corkscrew. For several weeks 12th AF bombers pounded the island of Pantelleria using 1100 planes and 1571 tons of bombs during one four day period causing the Italians to surrender on June 11, 1943. It is believed to have been the first time ground troops surrendered due to air power alone.

12th Air Force Organization, July, 1943

Operation Husky (Sicily)

Northwest African Strategic Air Force

       5th Bomb Wing       47th Bomb Wing       2686th Bomb Wing      

       97th BG (B-17)       310th BG (B-25)       17th BG (B-26)      
       301st BG (B-17)       321st BG (B-25)       319th BG (B-26)      
       2nd BG (B-17)       82nd FG (P-38)       320th BG (B-26)      
       99th BG (B-17)                                              325th FG (P-40)      
       14th FG (P-38)                                              1st FG (P-38)      

Northwest African Tactical Air Force

Tactical Bomber Force       XII Support Command       Desert Air Force       Coastal Air Force

47th BG (A-20)               31st FG (Spitfires)             *57th FG (P-40)             81st FG (P-39)
*12th BG (B-25)             27th FBG (A-36)             *79th FG (P-40)             350th FG (P-39)
  *340th BG (B-25)                86th FBG (A-36)           *324th FG (P-40)             52nd FG (Spitfires)
           33rd FG (P-40)           415th NFS (Beaufighters)

51st Troop Carrier Wing       52nd Troop Carrier Wing       Photo Recon Wing       Training Command

    60th TCG (C-47)                     61st TCG (C-47)                3rd PG (B-17, F-4)          68th OG (A-20)
   62nd TCG (C-47)                   313th TCG (C-47)               

*The 12th BG (B-25s) moved to the 10th Air Force (India/Burma) in February, 1944.
+The 325th FG was actually with the 15th Air Force around this time (January, 1944).

The above 12th AF organizational information is from the USAAF Film "History of the 12th Air Force."

12th Air Force Organization, November, 1944

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