History Corner – January 20, 2023

Did you know, that U.S. Air Forces in Europe is older than the Air Force? Established on Jan. 19, 1942, USAFE’s initial designation was Eighth Air Force and arrived in the UK in June 1942 to command the strategic bombing campaign against Germany. Brig. Gen. Asa N. Duncan served as the first commander, followed by then-Maj. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz. Other notable commanders include Gen. Curtis LeMay, Gen. Ira Eaker, and Gen. John P. Jumper.

Although USAFE started out as Eighth Air Force, the current Eighth Air Force in Global Strike Command derives its history from the VIII Bomber Command. The U.S. Army Air Forces began using major commands on Feb. 22, 1944, when Eighth Air Force was redesignated as United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe and VIII Bomber Command was redesignated Eighth Air Force. USAFE has been stationed in Europe since June 18, 1942, and in Germany since Sept. 28, 1945, including what is now Lucius D. Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden from 1945-1973 and Ramstein AB since 1973. 

U.S. Air Force courtesy/archive photo