12th Air Force
Created in 1942, and immediately placed under the command of General Doolittle, the 12th Air Force was responsible for conducting Operation Torch on November 8, 1942.The unit served with the Northwest African Air Forces from February to December 1943, then with the Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean (MAAF) until the end of the war alongside the other unit: the 15th Air Force. Formed in November 1943, the 15th Air Force was established to operate in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations (MTO), primarily from air fields located in southern Italy where they were stationed. The objectives of both units were to destroy all the oil refineries and aircraft factories. The 12th and 15th Air Forces had many aircraft utilized by these two great units, bring to life many of the objectives and results that are now the historical reality of World War II. The scope of Twelfth Air Force operations in 1944 is indicated by the advances of the Allied Forces on the ground to the present line across Northern Italy; the destruction or capture of thousands of enemy trucks, rolling stock, and material; and the destruction, probable destruction, or serious damage of 973 enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground. The Twelfth flew 182,122 sorties, and dropped 75,495 tons of bombs in 1944. It lost 1,081 planes through enemy action, antiaircraft, and other losses on missions during the same period.
Enemy railroads suffered the heaviest bombardment. Rail yards, troop concentrations, highways, bridges, ports, and supply centers were attacked, to deny the enemy his supplies and mobility.
The period under review starts with the invasion of Italy on 3 September 1943, but the preparation for the operation had been going on since the fall of Sicily on 17 August, with the Twelfth assisting the strategic heavy bombers in neutralizing enemy airfields in southern Italy. The main weight of the Twelfth Air Force cooperated with the Fifth Army landing at Salerno on 9 September and subsequently its medium bombers put road blocks around Naples which aided in its capture on 1 October.
With the taking of Naples and the Foggia region and the islands of Corsica and Sardinia, the Twelfth Air Corps moved to new bases on the islands and on the mainland. By now, winter had set in, yet in spite of bad weather, tactical planes continued to operate with the armies on the Cassino-Pescara line.
In an effort to break the winter stalemate, the Allied plans provided an end-run assault at Anzio by the Ground Forces. The Air Forces bombed out German airdromes in Italy and southern France and guarded the invasion convoys closely. The Anzio landing achieved complete surprise and it was not until D-plus-3, 5 January, that air or ground opposition developed. In the ensuing weeks, though handicapped by bad weather and the lack of an airfield on the beachhead, Twelfth Air Force was made responsible for isolating the battle area and preventing the enemy from bringing up the reinforcements and supplies necessary for a successful counterattack.
This report was prepared by the Army Air Forces and is dated Feb. 27, 1945.
Owner: Barbi Ennis Connolly
Size: 20 items