Talk:United States Army Air Forces

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Move request[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was This is a candidate for a page move to United States Army Air Forces, which is the correct name. --Jpbrenna 03:30, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Support--Clawed 22:01, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. 'Common names'1 (about 2 to 1) and 'avoid plurals'2 both support the singular, as it stands. Niteowlneils 23:49, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  • oppose go for the simple use GraemeLeggett 08:52, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
But that wasn't the official and correct name!!! It would be like calling the United States "United State" because it satisfied some naming convention. The official name was United States Army Air Corps, then United States Army Air Forces, then, in 1947, the independent United States Air Force. United States Army Air Force is historically incorrect, even if it violates your sacred Wikipedia canons. Apparently, FDR and Hap Arnold didn't get the memo --- maybe because they both died 50 years before the founding of Wikipedia.

--Jpbrenna 18:14, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Let's be clear about this, it was NOT "United States Army Air Corps". It was the "Air Corps, United States Army", just as it was the Quartermaster Corps, United States Army, and Corps of Engineers, etc. But it WAS "United States Army Air Forces".--Buckboard 03:32, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

It was requested that this article be renamed but there was no consensus for it to be moved. violet/riga (t) 12:19, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)


[[United States Army Air Force]] to [[United States Army Air Forces]]. There is one official, historically correct term, used by the men who worked, flew, fought and died in the non-naval air service of the United States between 1941 and 1947 — and "United States Army Air Force" is not it! Viz.

  2. United States Army Center of Military History "Green Book" Chief of Staff: Prewar Plans and Preparations. Chap. IX: The Movement Toward Air Autonomy
  3. Army Air

Please inform yourself about the historically correct official terminology before voting. Jpbrenna 20:51, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

  • Support. This is the historically correct name, just as Royal Welch Fusiliers is the correct name for that famous regiment, Wikipedia naming conventions be damned. --Jpbrenna 20:51, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    • Notice that the above vote is the proposer so this vote should not be counted twice. Philip Baird Shearer
  • Support. Incidentally, whatever happened to the 16th-19th air forces? --Carnildo 03:02, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Support Philip Baird Shearer 20:21, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
  • Support The War Department Memorandum of 9 March 1942, ordering and announcing reorganization of the Army, named three plurals -- Army Ground Forces, Army Air Forces, and Services of Supply (shortly renamed Army Service Forces). CoppBob 03:29, 17 August 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Same reasons (actually, it looks like the singular gets almost 4 times as many hits, about the same as "Royal Welch Fusiliers" vs. "Royal Welch Fusilier"). Plenty of Wikipedia articles aren't at the "official" name, including many, if not most, cities, counties, states, and nations. Niteowlneils 22:01, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
My point was not about the pluralization, it was the archaic spelling of "Welsh." They are the Welch Fusiliers instead, apparently since their Colonel Commandant hasn't gotten the Wiki Spelling Conventions memo. Another example: the Afro-American Choral Ensemble at Indiana University calls itself that instead of the more up-to-date "African-American." One of the reasons they do this is because the group is comprised of stuents who are black, white and other ethnicities who sing songs from an African or African-American repetoire; it is not exclusively for African-Americans. The intent is to use Afro- in the vaguer sense of "having to do with Africa or African or Africa-derived cultural traditions" and as opposed to the usual physical appearance or ancestry meaning attached to "African-American." Why do I mention this? To show that sometimes the correct English-language name for something may not neatly fit into Wikipedia conventions. Rules were made to be broken. They should usually be obeyed for the sake of clarity and consistency, but never slavishly adhered to when doing so would cause Wikipedia to give incorrect information. This article should be moved to its proper place, and a redirect created. --Jpbrenna 29 June 2005 19:48 (UTC)
Maybe we should move Royal Marines to Royal Marine?--Jpbrenna 1 July 2005 06:31 (UTC)
  • Support According to the official United States Air Force website, , the Deptartment of the Air Force references the name "United States Army Air Forces"
Since that is what the U.S. Air Force calls the "USAAF" I support this change to "United States Air Forces". -Signaleer 11:45, 21 April 2007 (UTC)



Date of maximum size for Heavy Bombers is lower than the maximum stated per month.

Comment. The second recruitment poster on the article suggests that there wasn't complete uniformity of spelling within the USAAF. Gdr 00:13, 2005 Jun 18 (UTC)

Comment. There will still need to be a proper article (albeit a short one) rather than a simple redirect at U..S..A..A..F (singular) since there were several army air forces. GraemeLeggett 10:52, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
The recruiting poster uses a colloquialism to attract people most familiar with an alternative name. Many recruiting posters of the era also continued to advertise the "Air Corps" even after the official change, and many newspapers, movies etc. of the era reflect this misuse as well. But remember, these were produced, for the most part, by civilians. In official circles, the name was always plural; however, in common parlance, it was referred to as the "Air Force", especially by members of other branches of the Army or the other services --- e.g. a GI in Bastogne griping "Where in the hell is the Air Force." However, the name United States Army Air Forces is used consistently in official documents. Thus, it is the hostirically correct name under which the article should be listed. We can add discussion of the popular confusion about the name to the article, but it should be listed under its correct, official name, with redirects from common colloquial names.
There was only one United States Army Air Forces. The components were just called "Air Force" and numbered, not "Army Air Force." Thus, the Eighth Air Force, flew from bases in Britain against the Third Reich. It was a part of the United States Army Air Forces. There were numerous Air Forces and high-level commands in WWII, which should eventually be listed in the article. We should be careful about linking to them though, because some of them have descendant organizations which are components of the United States Air Force. If there are existing articles with these titles, it may call for disambiguation or integration of its pre-1947 history into the article, depending on the case. But first things first --- let's get this moved. --Jpbrenna 18:21, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I wrote up a little "Sixteen air forces" history section. Hopefully it will help. --Jpbrenna 18:50, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I've read all that again and it appears I was typing too fast and the whole think gets a bit confused and redundant. I'll try a list to briefly outline the points.
  1. There was only one United States Army Air Forces
  2. Its secondary components were called "(ordinal 1st-15th & 20th) Air Force" or "(1st-8th) Air Division."
  3. Often colloquially referred to as the "Air Corps" or "Air Force," its official name after 1941 was still United States Army Air Forces. A recruit wanting to join the "Air Force" after 1941 usually enlisted in the Army of the United States (a component of the United States Army, which also included the Regular Army, Enlisted Reserve Corps and Officer Reserve Corps) for a term to be decided "at the convenience of the government." He could also be drafted. He was then assigned to the USAAF.
  4. Here are four recruiting posters for the "United States Army Air Forces." [1].I have seen a few for the "Air Corps" and "Air Force," but the majority use the correct designator. Remember that they were contracting some of these out to private advertisers who were more interested in advertising concepts than correct vocabulary.--Jpbrenna 20:13, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Incidentally, whatever happened to the 16th-19th air forces? --Carnildo 03:02, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I'm not sure. Army/Air Force lineages can get pretty complicated. They might have been the 16th-19th Bombardment (or Pursuit, etc.) Groups under the Air Corps, and might have become part of the air divisions, or attached to some other unit or command, like the Zone of the Interior. I'll try to find out. --Jpbrenna 05:09, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
For those interested, the Twentieth Air Force was so numbered because it was the only air force not assigned to a theater of operations [it operated across three--CBI (Stilwell), Southwest Pacific (MacArthur), and Central Pacific (Nimitz)], and the separation was to be symbolic of a truly world-wide strategic air force. In the 1950s the 16th-19th air forces came into creation in Europe and in MATS, followed by the 21st and 22nd in 1966, and 23rd in 1983.--Reedmalloy (talk) 01:54, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

This article has been renamed as the result of a move request. violet/riga (t) 4 July 2005 21:11 (UTC)


Is there a reason General Mitchell's name appears nowhere in this wiki? Censored even in death.

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:44, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Sorry, but the USA Air Corps was NOT a "Corps Level" unit. Rather, the USAAC was what we call today an "Eschelon Above Corps" unit, or - more to the point, a Basic Branch equal with Infantry, Cavalry, etc. Actually, the USAAC was carved out of the Signal Corps after World War I. The senior officer of the AAC was known as the Branch Chief, and he was equal with the Chief of Infantry, the Chief of Cavalry, etc. What confused you was the fact that it was called the Air Corps, like the Signal Corps, the Quartermaster Corps, and the Transpoortation Corps. All of them are "Basic Branches".

SSG Cornelius Seon (Retired) 22:01, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

The current article text says that the name Army Air Forces was adopted as the name of the service in June 1941 when the Army reorganized into three major components in anticipation of of U.S. entry into World War II. The organization of Army Ground Forces and Services of Supply (later Army Service Forces) actullay occurred in March 1942. If agreeable all around, I would to change the wording sightly as follows: The name Army Air Forces was adopted in June 1941 in anticipation of the Army's March 1942 reorganization into three major components. CoppBob (talk) 16:28, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

The name USAAF was adopted in June 1941, and the 3 three autonomous U.S. Army Commands were created in March 1942, as you said. However, the US Air Force History Overview link on the USAF website doesn't support a connection between the two events, as the word "anticipation" would suggest. - BillCJ (talk) 16:53, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

Units Emblems[edit]

I've removed the image galleries for the WWII wings, groups, and squadrons. There are WAY too many of them and most that were used were not the ones used in WWII. As a compromise I've linked to the appropriate WikiCommons pages. If one was ambitious enough a comprehensive list of wings, groups, and squadrons may be appropriate, however, even that may be too long. Ndunruh (talk) 02:11, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

Concur. Moving them is appreciated. The compromise is sound, but there were 90+ wings, 243 groups and over 900 squadrons notable for inclusion. Keeping track of the squadrons, with all the changes in designations (number as well as type), would be a huge task in and of itself (and the size outlandish), but I doubt if that many insignia will be found. --Reedmalloy (talk) 10:15, 19 February 2009 (UTC)

name for Enlisted Members[edit]

What was the name for enlisted members of the USAAF? Were they soldiers as in the U.S. Army, or were they airmen as in the US Air Force or what? Hmains (talk) 20:24, 11 June 2010 (UTC)

The titles "airman" and "airmen" were not officially approved until 1950, after the USAF had been in being two years. Until then all enlisted men were referred to as "soldiers". However, in checking all of its usage in this article, "airmen" is a generic term to provide necessary distinction of members of the Army Air Forces from other soldiers in the Army (as example, those who replaced soldiers of the Army Service Forces to provide basic functions at airbases after March 1942: Non-aircraft related support services were provided by airmen trained by the Army Service Forces).--Reedmalloy (talk) 13:09, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Third Air Force link error?[edit]

The Third Air Force protects Europe, not Southeast North America. I think that may need to be fixed... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Innereye1276 (talkcontribs) 20:35, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

The areas of responsibility shown are those with the USAAF, during World War II when the insignia were created, not currently.--Reedmalloy (talk) 15:26, 27 May 2012 (UTC)