The chronology is concerned primarily with operations of the US Army Air Forces and its combat units between December 7, 1941 and September 15, 1945. It is designed as a companion reference to the seven-volume history of The Army Air Forces in World War II, edited by Wesley Frank Craven and James Lea Cate. The research was a cooperative endeavor carried out in the United States Air Force historical archives by the Research Branch of the Albert f. Simpson Historical Research Center.

Such an effort has demanded certain changes in established historical methodology, as well as some arbitrary rules for presentation of the results. After International and US events, entries are arranged geographically. They begin with events at Army Air Forces Headquarters in Washington then proceed eastward around the world, using the location of the headquarters of the numbered air forces as the basis for placement. For this reason, entries concerning the Ninth Air Force while operating in the Middle East follow Twelfth Air Force. When that headquarters moves to England in October 1943, the entries are shifted to follow Eighth Air Force. The entries end with those numbered air forces which remained in the Zone of the Interior, as well as units originally activated in the ZI, then designated for later movement overseas, such as Ninth and Tenth Air Forces. The ZI entries do not include Eighth and Twentieth Air Forces, which were established in the ZI with the original intent of placing them in those geographical locations with which they became historically identified. For these two units, original actions are shown either under AAF or in their intended geographic area of location.

All times and dates used are those of the area under discussion. The entry "1/2 Jun" indicates that an event occurred during the night between the two given dates, while "1-2 Jun" indicates an action over a period of time.

In dealing with people, again arbitrary decisions were implemented. For military men below the general officer or equivalent level, full grade and name were used. For general officers and those of equal grade in other US and foreign services, the complete rank (both that at the time first mentioned and the highest rank held prior to the end of the war) and names will be found in the index1. Only an abbreviated rank (e.g., Gen or Adm) and last name are used in the text. The exception is where two general officers had the same last name; in such cases, the first name is also included. Similarly for civilian leaders, only the last name is used; full name and title are given in the index.

In all cases, attempts were made to cite place names in use by the native population at the time of or immediately before the war. No names imposed by a conqueror are used. For example Pylos Bay, and Navarino Bay, us used. Further, as appropriate, native geographic terms are used: Shima for island in Japanese island groups, See for lake in Germany. However, two exceptions were made. In cases in which the place became infamous because of the actions of the conquering power, that name is preferred—for example Auschwitz would be used rather than the Polish name of Oswiecim. Also, in larger international cities, such as Roma, Köln and Wien, the anglicized name is used. Where a village or hamlet was difficult to locate or where there were several such places with the same name in a general area, the coordinates are given in the index. In some cases, with no extant navigational aids of the attacking force, the best possible guess was made based upon all available evidence. In other instances, such as the bridge at Hay-ti—attacked so often by Tenth Air Force—even a logical guess could not be made. In these cases, a question mark is placed in brackets after the index entry. Accent marks, such as umlauts, were omitted.

Abbreviations are found extensively throughout the text. These are all explained in the Glossary of Abbreviations. Similarly, a list of code names and descriptions for all operations is provided in a separate Glossary of Code names.

In addition to the two compilers, many others played a major role in completing this volume. In addition to those in the Research Branch including reserve officers assigned as mobilization augmentees, particular recognition and thanks should go to Mr. Gurvis Lawson and other members of the Cartographic Information Division, Air University Library, who gave willingly and often of their talents and provided many valuable suggestions in identifying remote and almost uncharted villages, hamlets, and "populated" places.

Invaluable help in locating documents was provided by the members of the Circulation Section of the Center’s Archives Branch. Dr. Maurer Maurer, head of the Research Branch when this chronology was begun, and now chief of the Center, accomplished the early editing and provided much of the direction and guidance necessary to carry the work to completion. The final manuscript was ably and patiently typed by Mrs. Myra Dean, Mrs. Jean Jocelyn and Mrs. Jane Hanlin of the Center. Final editing by

Mr. Max Rosenberg, Deputy Chief Historian, in the Office of Air Force History, eliminated many of the more embarrassing errors which can creep into such a detailed work when the effort extends over a number of years. Mr. Lawrence Paszek of the same office maintained a close liaison with the Air Force’s Publishing Division and the Government Printing Office, to insure timely resolution of problems so often encountered in the final printing phases. Special recognition must go to MSgt. Robert Jakob of the Research Branch at the Center, whose patient and detailed editorial assistance was invaluable in proofing the galleys and page-proofs for this work. Also providing much help in this effort was Airman La Vern Lowe.

Finally, it would be remiss not to mention the thorough and highly useful volume, The U.S. Army in World War II: Chronology, 1941-1945, prepared by the U.S. Army’s Office of the Chief of Military History. This work was both an incentive and a guide and one can only hope this volume will serve as a complement thereto.


Maxwell AFB, Alabama


1 June 1973

Chief, Research Branch

The Albert F. Simpson Historical Research Center


1 Index not included. Use the search function in browser to find single words or phases.

Format of The U.S. Army in World War II: Chronology, 1941-1945 online entries. Each entry includes the date (mm/dd/yy), Major Command (Hawaiian AF, Eighth AF, FEAF, etc.), and actions taken. At the end of each month, a navigation table allows the viewer to review the previous month or proceed to the next month, go to the glossaries, and return to the table of contents or the online publications directory. An example is given below:


Hawaiian AF

First wave of Japanese carrier-based airplanes (almost 200) hits US naval base at Pearl Harbor and Hickam Field at 0755. Attacks follow quickly against Wheeler and Bellows Fields. A second wave of Japanese airplanes strikes other naval and military facilities. Hawaiian AF loses 163 men, with about 390 others wounded or missing; has 64 of its 231 assigned aircraft destroyed. Only 79 of the remaining aircraft are deemed usable, and much of the AF's ground facilities are destroyed. These losses are light in comparison with the Navy's: more than 2,000 killed or missing, and more than 900 wounded; 4 battleships sunk; 3 battleships, 3 cruisers, and 3 destroyers damaged; and over half of the Navy's 169 airplanes in the area destroyed. The Japanese lose 20 aircraft over Hawaii, including 4 claimed destroyed by 2d Lt George S Welch (47th Pur Sq) piloting a P-40,one of the few US ftrs to success fully attack airplanes during the day. About 20 other aircraft are lost by the Japanese during carrier landings. Altogether the Japanese pay a small price for the damage done to the Americans on Oahu. For the remainder of the day, following the attacks, AAF carries out fruitless searches for the carriers.

Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations

Table of Contents


Glossary of Code Names

Online Publications