389th Strategic Missile Wing
The 389th Strategic Missile Wing is an inactive unit of the United States Air Force. Its last assignment was with the 13th Strategic Missile Division at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, where it was inactivated on 25 March 1965; the wing was first active during World War II as the 389th Bombardment Group, a Consolidated B-24 Liberator unit that served with VIII Bomber Command in England. The group was stationed at RAF Hethel in early 1943, it was one of three Eighth Air Force B-24 groups that took part in Operation Tidal Wave, the Ploiești Mission of 1 August 1943. For his actions during the Ploiești operation, Second Lieutenant Lloyd Herbert Hughes was awarded the Medal of Honor; the group continued in combat until the surrender of Germany in 1945 returned to the United States where it was inactivated. The 389th Strategic Missile Wing was activated in 1961, when it assumed the assets of the inactivating 706th Strategic Missile Wing, it operated Atlas missiles at Warren until they were phased out in 1965.
In early 1984, the group and wing were consolidated into a single unit, but have not been active since. The wing was first activated as the 389th Bombardment Group on 19 December 1942 at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona with the 564th, 565th, 566th and 567th Bombardment Squadrons assigned; the group prepared for duty overseas with Consolidated B-24 Liberators. The group moved to RAF Hethel England in June and July 1943, where it was assigned to Eighth Air Force; the 389th was assigned to the 2nd Combat Bombardment Wing, the group tail code until high visibility markings were adopted in May 1944 was a "Circle-C". Upon its arrival at Hethel immediately the group sent a detachment to Libya, where it began operations on 9 July 1943; the detachment flew missions to Crete, Italy and Romania. The group received a Distinguished Unit Citation for the detachment's participation in Operation Tidal Wave, the 1943 low-level attack against oil refineries at Ploiești, Rumania on 1 August 1943. For his action during the Ploiești attack, Second Lieutenant Lloyd Herbert Hughes was awarded the Medal of Honor.
Refusing to turn back although gasoline was streaming from his flak-damaged plane, Lt Hughes flew at low altitude over the blazing target area and bombed the objective. His plane crashed; the detachment returned to England in August and the group flew several missions against airfields in France and the Netherlands. The unit deployed again to Tunisia during September and October 1943 to support Allied operations at Salerno during Operation Avalanche. While deployed the unit hit targets in Corsica and Austria; the 389th resumed operations from England in October 1943 the group concentrated on strategic objectives in France, the Low Countries, Germany. Targets struck by the group included shipyards at Vegesack, industrial areas of Berlin, oil facilities at Merseburg, factories at Münster, rail yards at Sangerhausen, V-weapon sites in the Pas de Calais; the group participated in the intensive air campaign against the German aircraft industry during Big Week from 20–25 February 1944. It flew support and air interdiction missions on several occasions, bombing gun batteries and airfields in support of Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy, in June 1944.
It struck enemy positions to aid the breakthrough at St Lo in July 1944, hit storage depots and communications centers during the Battle of the Bulge from December 1944 – January 1945 and dropped food, ammunition and other supplies to troops participating in the Operation Varsity. The airborne assault across the Rhine in March 1945. On April 7, 1945, the 389th Bomb Group was one of the targets of the Sonderkommando Elbe, Luftwaffe aerial ramming unit. Two B-24s were destroyed by Heinrich Rosner in one ramming attack; the 389th Bomb Group flew its last combat mission late in April 1945. It returned to Charleston Army Air Field, South Carolina on 30 May 1945 and was inactivated there on 13 September 1945. During the Cold War, the 389th Strategic Missile Wing was organized in 1961 at Francis E. Warren Air Force Base, as a Strategic Air Command intercontinental ballistic missile unit; the unit assumed the mission, personnel and SM-65 Atlas missiles of the 706th Strategic Missile Wing. Two of the wing's World War II squadrons, the 564th and 565th Strategic Missile Squadrons were stationed at Warren and were transferred from the 706th.
The 566th Strategic Missile Squadron, another of the units World War II units, moved to Warren from Offutt Air Force Base, trading places with the 706th wing's 549th Strategic Missile Squadron. The wing conducted strategic missile training operations; the Wing was placed on alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis in November 1962. In May 1964, as the Atlas D missiles were being phased out, the 389th Strategic Missile Wing received SAC's last operational readiness inspection for this system. In September 1965, SAC inactivated the wing. 389th Bombardment Group Constituted as the 389th Bombardment Group on 19 December 1942Activated on 24 December 1942 Redesignated 389th Bombardment Group, Heavy on 20 August 1943 Inactivated on 13 September 1945Consolidated with the 389th Strategic Missile Wing as the 389th Strategic Missile Wing on 31 January 1984389th Strategic Missile Wing Constituted as the 389th Strategic Missile Wing and activated on 26 April 1961 Organized on 1 July 1961 Discontinued and inactivated on 25 March 1965Consolidated with the 389th Bombardment Group on 31 January 1984 II Bomber Command: 24 December 1942 Eighth Air Force: 8 June 1943 VIII Bomber Command: June 1943 2d Bombardment Wing: 11 June 1943 – 30 May 1945 (a
Romania is a country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeastern Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast, Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Hungary to the west, Serbia to the southwest, Moldova to the east, it has a predominantly temperate-continental climate. With a total area of 238,397 square kilometres, Romania is the 12th largest country and the 7th most populous member state of the European Union, having 20 million inhabitants, its capital and largest city is Bucharest, other major urban areas include Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iași, Constanța, Brașov. The River Danube, Europe's second-longest river, rises in Germany's Black Forest and flows in a general southeast direction for 2,857 km, coursing through ten countries before emptying into Romania's Danube Delta; the Carpathian Mountains, which cross Romania from the north to the southwest, include Moldoveanu Peak, at an altitude of 2,544 m. Modern Romania was formed in 1859 through a personal union of the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia.
The new state named Romania since 1866, gained independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Following World War I, when Romania fought on the side of the Allied powers, Bessarabia, Transylvania as well as parts of Banat, Crișana, Maramureș became part of the sovereign Kingdom of Romania. In June–August 1940, as a consequence of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact and Second Vienna Award, Romania was compelled to cede Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the Soviet Union, Northern Transylvania to Hungary. In November 1940, Romania signed the Tripartite Pact and in June 1941 entered World War II on the Axis side, fighting against the Soviet Union until August 1944, when it joined the Allies and recovered Northern Transylvania. Following the war, under the occupation of the Red Army's forces, Romania became a socialist republic and member of the Warsaw Pact. After the 1989 Revolution, Romania began a transition back towards a market economy; the sovereign state of Romania is a developing country and ranks 52nd in the Human Development Index.
It has the world's 47th largest economy by nominal GDP and an annual economic growth rate of 7%, the highest in the EU at the time. Following rapid economic growth in the early 2000s, Romania has an economy predominantly based on services, is a producer and net exporter of machines and electric energy, featuring companies like Automobile Dacia and OMV Petrom, it has been a member of the United Nations since 1955, part of NATO since 2004, part of the European Union since 2007. An overwhelming majority of the population identifies themselves as Eastern Orthodox Christians and are native speakers of Romanian, a Romance language. Romania derives from the Latin romanus, meaning "citizen of Rome"; the first known use of the appellation was attested to in the 16th century by Italian humanists travelling in Transylvania and Wallachia. The oldest known surviving document written in Romanian, a 1521 letter known as the "Letter of Neacșu from Câmpulung", is notable for including the first documented occurrence of the country's name: Wallachia is mentioned as Țeara Rumânească.
Two spelling forms: român and rumân were used interchangeably until sociolinguistic developments in the late 17th century led to semantic differentiation of the two forms: rumân came to mean "bondsman", while român retained the original ethnolinguistic meaning. After the abolition of serfdom in 1746, the word rumân fell out of use and the spelling stabilised to the form român. Tudor Vladimirescu, a revolutionary leader of the early 19th century, used the term Rumânia to refer to the principality of Wallachia."The use of the name Romania to refer to the common homeland of all Romanians—its modern-day meaning—was first documented in the early 19th century. The name has been in use since 11 December 1861. In English, the name of the country was spelt Rumania or Roumania. Romania became the predominant spelling around 1975. Romania is the official English-language spelling used by the Romanian government. A handful of other languages have switched to "o" like English, but most languages continue to prefer forms with u, e.g. French Roumanie and Swedish Rumänien, Spanish Rumania, Polish Rumunia, Russian Румыния, Japanese ルーマニア.
1859–1862: United Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia 1862–1866: Romanian United Principalities or Romania 1866–1881: Romania or Principality of Romania 1881–1947: Kingdom of Romania or Romania 1947–1965: Romanian People's Republic or Romania 1965–December, 1989: Socialist Republic of Romania or Romania December, 1989–present: Romania Human remains found in Peștera cu Oase, radiocarbon dated as being from circa 40,000 years ago, represent the oldest known Homo sapiens in Europe. Neolithic techniques and agriculture spread after the arrival of a mixed group of people from Thessaly in the 6th millenium BC. Excavations near a salt spring at Lunca yielded the earliest evidence for salt exploitation in Europe; the first permanent settlements appeared in the Neolithic. Some of them developed into "proto-cities"; the Cucuteni–Trypillia culture—the best known archaeological culture of Old Europe—flourished in Muntenia, southeastern Transylvania and northeastern Moldavia in the 3rd m
Martin B-26 Marauder
The Martin B-26 Marauder is an American World War II twin-engined medium bomber built by the Glenn L. Martin Company in Middle River, Maryland from 1941 to 1945. First used in the Pacific Theater in early 1942, it was used in the Mediterranean Theater and in Western Europe. After entering service with the United States Army aviation units, the aircraft received the reputation of a "Widowmaker" due to the early models' high accident rate during takeoffs and landings; the Marauder had to be flown at exact airspeeds on final runway approach and when one engine was out. The 150 mph speed on short final runway approach was intimidating to pilots who were used to much slower speeds, whenever they slowed down to speeds below what the manual stated, the aircraft would stall and crash; the B-26 became a safer aircraft once crews were retrained, after aerodynamics modifications. The Marauder ended World War II with the lowest loss rate of any USAAF bomber. A total of 5,288 was produced between February 1941 and March 1945.
By the time the United States Air Force was created as an independent military service separate from the United States Army in 1947, all Martin B-26s had been retired from U. S. service. The Douglas A-26 Invader assumed the "B-26" designation — before returning to the earlier "A for Attack" designation in May 1966. In March 1939, the United States Army Air Corps issued Circular Proposal 39-640, a specification for a twin-engined medium bomber with a maximum speed of 350 mph, a range of 3,000 mi and a bomb load of 2,000 lb. On 5 July 1939, the Glenn L. Martin Company submitted its design, produced by a team led by Peyton M. Magruder, to meet the requirement, the Martin Model 179. Martin's design was evaluated as superior to the other proposals and was awarded a contract for 201 aircraft, to be designated B-26; the B-26 went from paper concept to an operational bomber in about 2 years. Additional orders for a further 930 B-26s followed in September 1940, still prior to the first flight of the type.
The B-26 was a shoulder-winged monoplane of all-metal construction, fitted with a tricycle landing gear. It had a streamlined, circular section fuselage housing the crew, consisting of a bombardier in the nose, armed with a.30 in machine gun, a pilot and co-pilot sitting side by side, with positions for the radio operator and navigator behind the pilots. A gunner manned a dorsal turret armed with two.50 in machine guns, an additional.30 in machine gun was fitted in the tail. Two bomb bays were fitted mid-fuselage, capable of carrying 5,800 lb of bombs, although in practice such a bomb load reduced range too much, the aft bomb bay was fitted with additional fuel tanks instead of bombs; the aircraft was powered by two Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp radial engines in nacelles slung under the wing, driving four-bladed propellers. The engines were manufactured at the Ford Dearborn Engine plant in Dearborn, Michigan, USA; the wings were of low aspect ratio and small in area for an aircraft of its weight, giving the required high performance, but resulting in a wing loading of 53 lb/sq ft for the initial versions, which at the time was the highest of any aircraft accepted for service by the Army Air Corps.
The first B-26, with Martin test pilot William K. "Ken" Ebel at the controls, flew on 25 November 1940 and was the prototype. Deliveries to the U. S. Army Air Corps began in February 1941 with the second aircraft, 40-1362. In March 1941, the Army Air Corps started Accelerated Service Testing of the B-26 at Patterson Field, near Dayton, Ohio; the B-26's small wing area and resulting high wing loading required a high landing speed of 120 to 135 mph indicated airspeed depending on load. At least two of the earliest B-26s suffered hard landings and damage to the main landing gear, engine mounts and fuselage; the type was grounded in April 1941 to investigate the landing difficulties. Two causes were found: insufficient landing speed and improper weight distribution; the latter was due to the lack of a dorsal turret. Some of the earliest B-26s suffered collapses of the nose landing gear, they were said to be caused by improper weight distribution, but, not to have been the only reason. The incidents occurred during low-speed taxiing and landings, the strut unlocked.
The Martin electric dorsal turret was retrofitted to some of the first B-26s. Martin began testing a taller vertical stabilizer and revised tail gunner's position in 1941; the Pratt & Whitney R-2800-5 engines were reliable, but the Curtiss electric pitch change mechanism in the propellers required impeccable maintenance, not always attainable in the field. Human error and some failures of the mechanism placed the propeller blades in flat pitch resulting in an overspeeding propeller, sometimes known as a "runaway prop". Due to its sound and the possibility that the propeller blades could disintegrate, this situation was frightening for aircrews. More challenging was a loss of power in one engine during takeoff; these and other malfunctions, as well as human error, claimed a number of aircraft and the commanding officer of the 22nd Bombardment Group, Colonel Mark Lewis. The Martin B-26 suffered only two fatal accidents during its first year of flight, from November 1940
French Protectorate in Morocco
The French protectorate in Morocco known as French Morocco, was a territory established by the Treaty of Fez. It existed from 1912, when the protectorate was formally established, until independence and dissolution in 1956, it shared territory variously with the Spanish protectorate and dissolved the same years. Despite the weakness of its authority, the Alaouite dynasty distinguished itself in the 18th and 19th centuries by maintaining Morocco’s independence while other states in the region succumbed to French or British domination. However, in the latter part of the 19th century Morocco’s weakness and instability invited European intervention to protect threatened investments and to demand economic concessions; the first years of the 20th century witnessed a rush of diplomatic maneuvering through which the European powers and France in particular furthered their interests in North Africa. French activity in Morocco began during the end of the 19th century. In 1904 the French government was trying to establish a protectorate over Morocco, had managed to sign two bilateral secret agreements with Britain and Spain, which guaranteed the support of the powers in question in this endeavour.
France and Spain secretly partitioned the territory of the sultanate, with Spain receiving concessions in the far north and south of the country. The First Moroccan Crisis grew out of the imperial rivalries of the great powers, in this case, between Germany on one side and France, with British support, on the other. Germany took immediate diplomatic action to block the new accord from going into effect, including the dramatic visit of Wilhelm II to Tangier in Morocco on March 31, 1905. Kaiser Wilhelm tried to get Morocco's support if they went to war with France or Britain, gave a speech expressing support for Moroccan independence, which amounted to a provocative challenge to French influence in Morocco. In 1906 the Algeciras Conference was held to settle the dispute, Germany accepted an agreement in which France agreed to yield control of the Moroccan police, but otherwise retained effective control of Moroccan political and financial affairs. Although the Algeciras Conference temporarily solved the First Moroccan Crisis it only worsened international tensions between the Triple Alliance and the Triple Entente.
In 1911, a rebellion broke out in Morocco against the Abdelhafid. By early April 1911, the Sultan was besieged in his palace in Fez and the French prepared to send troops to help put down the rebellion under the pretext of protecting European lives and property; the French dispatched a flying column at the end of April 1911 and Germany gave approval for the occupation of the city. Moroccan forces besieged the French-occupied city. One month French forces brought the siege to an end. On 5 June 1911 the Spanish occupied Ksar-el-Kebir. On 1 July 1911 the German gunboat Panther arrived at the port of Agadir. There was an immediate reaction from the French, supported by the British. France established a protectorate over Morocco with the Treaty of Fez, ending what remained of the country's de facto independence. From a legal point of view, the treaty did not deprive Morocco of its status as a sovereign state; the Sultan did not rule. Sultan Abdelhafid abdicated in favour of his brother Yusef after signing the treaty.
On April 17, 1912, Moroccan infantrymen mutinied in the French garrison in Fez, in the 1912 Fes riots The Moroccans were unable to take the city and were defeated by a French relief force. In late May 1912, Moroccan forces again unsuccessfully attacked the enhanced French garrison at Fez. In establishing their protectorate over much of Morocco, the French had behind them the experience of the conquest of Algeria and of their protectorate over Tunisia. There were, important differences. First, the protectorate was established only two years before the outbreak of World War I, which brought with it a new attitude toward colonial rule. Rejecting the typical French assimilationist approach to culture and education as a liberal fantasy, Morocco's conservative French rulers attempted to use urban planning and colonial education to prevent cultural mixing and to uphold the traditional society upon which the French depended for collaboration. Second, Morocco had a thousand-year tradition of independence and had never been subjected to Ottoman rule, though it had been influenced by the civilization of Muslim Iberia and there were periods during the Almoravid and Alhomad dynasties when areas on both sides of the Strait of Gibraltar were under the same rulers.
These circumstances and the proximity of Morocco to Spain created a special relationship between the two countries. Morocco was unique among the North African countries in possessing a coast on the Atlantic, in the rights that various nations derived from the Conference of Algeciras, in the privileges that their diplomatic missions had acquired in Tangier, thus the northern tenth of the country, with both Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, were excluded from the French-controlled area and treated as a Spanish protectorate. Although being under protectorate, Morocco retained -de jure- its personality as a state in international law, according to an International Court of Justice statement, thus remained a sovereign state, without discontinuity between pre-colonia
Medal of Honor
The Medal of Honor is the United States of America's highest and most prestigious personal military decoration that may be awarded to recognize U. S. military service members who have distinguished themselves by acts of valor. The medal is awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U. S. Congress; because the medal is presented "in the name of Congress", it is referred to informally as the "Congressional Medal of Honor". However, the official name of the current award is "Medal of Honor." Within the United States Code the medal is referred to as the "Medal of Honor", less as "Congressional Medal of Honor". U. S. awards, including the Medal of Honor, do not have post-nominal titles, while there is no official abbreviation, the most common abbreviations are "MOH" and "MH". There are three versions of the medal, one each for the Army and Air Force. Personnel of the Marine Corps and Coast Guard receive the Navy version; the Medal of Honor was introduced for the Navy in 1861, soon followed by an Army version in 1862.
The Medal of Honor is the oldest continuously issued combat decoration of the United States armed forces. The President presents the Medal of Honor in Washington, D. C. at a formal ceremony, intended to represent the gratitude of the U. S. people, with posthumous presentations made to the primary next of kin. According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, there have been 3522 Medals of Honor awarded to the nation's soldiers, airmen and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration's creation, with just less than half of them awarded for actions during the four years of the American Civil War. In 1990, Congress designated March 25 annually as "National Medal of Honor Day". Due to its prestige and status, the Medal of Honor is afforded special protection under U. S. law against any unauthorized adornment, sale, or manufacture, which includes any associated ribbon or badge. The modern-day Medal of Honor had a number of precursors; the first medal for military service in the United States was issued in 1780, after its creation in the same year by the Continental Congress.
Known as the Fidelity Medallion, it was a small medal worn on a chain around the neck, similar to a religious medal, awarded only to three militiamen from New York state. They received it for the capture of John André, a British officer and spy connected directly to General Benedict Arnold during the American Revolutionary War; the capture saved the fort of West Point from the British Army. The first formal system for rewarding acts of individual gallantry by U. S. soldiers was established by George Washington when he issued a field order on August 7, 1782, for a Badge of Military Merit to recognize those members of the Continental Army who performed "any singular meritorious action". This decoration is America's first combat decoration and was preceded only by the Fidelity Medallion, the Congressional medal for Henry Lee awarded in September 1779 in recognition of his attack on the British at Paulus Hook, the Congressional medal for General Horatio Gates awarded in November 1777 in recognition of his victory over the British at Saratoga, the Congressional medal for George Washington awarded in March 1776.
Although the Badge of Military Merit fell into disuse after the American Revolutionary War, the concept of a military award for individual gallantry by members of the U. S. Armed Forces had been established. After the outbreak of the Mexican–American War a Certificate of Merit was established by Act of Congress on March 3, 1847, "to any private soldier who had distinguished himself by gallantry performed in the presence of the enemy". 539 Certificates were approved for this period. The certificate was discontinued after the war and reintroduced in 1876 effective from June 22, 1874, to February 10, 1892, when it was awarded for extraordinary gallantry by private soldiers in the presence of the enemy. From February 11, 1892, through July 9, 1918, it could be awarded to members of the Army for distinguished service in combat or noncombat; this medal was replaced by the Army Distinguished Service Medal, established on January 2, 1918. Those Army members who held the Distinguished Service Medal in place of the Certificate of Merit could apply for the Army Distinguished Service Cross effective March 5, 1934.
During the first year of the Civil War, a proposal for a battlefield decoration for valor was submitted to Winfield Scott, the general-in-chief of the army, by Lt. Colonel Edward D. Townsend, an assistant adjutant at the War Department and Scott's chief of staff. Scott, was against medals being awarded, the European tradition. After Scott retired in October 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles adopted the idea of a decoration to recognize and honor distinguished naval service. On December 9, 1861, U. S. Senator James W. Grimes, Chairman on the Committee on Naval Affairs, submitted Bill S. 82 during the Second Session of the 37th Congress, "An Act to further promote the Efficiency of the Navy". The bill included a provision for 200 "medals of honor", "to be bestowed upon such petty officers, seamen and marines as shall most distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action and other seaman-like qualities during the present war..." On December 21, the bill was passed and signed into law by P
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
2nd Air Division
The 2nd Air Division is an inactive United States Air Force organization. Its last assignment was with Military Airlift Command, assigned to Twenty-Third Air Force, being stationed at Hurlburt Field, Florida, it was inactivated on 1 February 1987. Conducted strategic bombardment of Axis targets in Europe. Between 29 August 1944 and 2 October 1944 division aircraft dropped food to the French population in liberated areas, it airdropped food and supplies to Allied forces engaged in the airborne attack on the Netherlands, as well as troops engaged in the assault across the Rhine River. From January 1949 to May 1951, in West Germany it participated in numerous training exercises. Activated in April 1953, it remained unmanned and existed in name until moving in March 1954 to Dhahran Airfield, Saudi Arabia where it remained until the Saudi government terminated US rights to the field in 1962. Organized at Tan Son Nhut Air Base, South Vietnam in October 1962 to control USAF operations there. From December 1962, it controlled all activities and units in Southeast Asia USAF tactical forces FARM GATE C/H- 47, B/RB-26, T-28, U-10 counterinsurgency forces, MULE TRAIN C-123 assault airlift forces.
Forces assigned and attached to the 2nd Air Division trained Vietnamese Air Force and Royal Thai Air Force personnel, flew reconnaissance and defoliation missions, operated a tactical control system. Escalation of fighting in South Vietnam in early 1965 brought new offensive assignments. On 8 February 1965 USAF and VNAF aircraft assaulted targets north of the demilitarized zone in the first of a series of continuing strikes. On 19 February 1965, USAF F-100 Super Sabres and B-57 Canberras attacked the Viet Cong inside South Vietnam, the first use of jets for such offensive actions. In July 1965, a major reorganization of the division saw tactical fighter wings established at Bien Hoa Air Base and Danang Air Base, five separate combat support groups at other South Vietnamese bases; the rapid expansion of the division's personnel and facilities continued well into 1966, with a matching expansion in both the volume and variety of air operations. On 1 April 1966, the division's resources were absorbed by the newly activated Seventh Air Force.
From March 1983 – February 1987, 2nd Air Division forces, with worldwide responsibilities and assignments, engaged in deployment and training programs. Subordinate units flew drug interdiction missions under Operation BAT; the 2nd Air Division came into being following the reorganisation of the VIII Bomber Command as the Eighth Air Force. Existing as a separate entity the 2nd Bomb Wing started operations on 7 November 1942, was reorganized as the 2nd Bomb Division on 13 September 1943, redesignated the 2nd Air Division in January 1945; the division continued operations until the end of the war, flying the last combat sortie on 25 April 1945. The group completed 493 operational missions in Europe during World War Two consisting of 95,948 individual aircraft sorties; the 2nd Air Division operated the Consolidated B-24 Liberator aircraft from airfields in Norfolk, England. Within the 2nd Air Division, six groups received presidential citations for outstanding actions. Five airmen received the highest US award for bravery, the Medal of Honor, four of them posthumously.
A total of 1,458 B-24 aircraft were lost in 6,700 men lost their lives. The 2nd Air Division was organized in Saigon in October 1962 under the authority of the Military Assistance Command, Vietnam; until the build-up of American forces in 1965, the 2nd Air Division provided air support to the forces of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam. The unit consisted of propeller-driven aircraft, but the build-up in US forces saw the arrival of jet aircraft and, by the end of 1965, the US had deployed nearly 500 US combat aircraft in South Vietnam. By the time the unit was transformed into the Seventh Air Force on 1 April 1966, it consisted of nearly 1,000 aircraft and 30,000 personnel. 2nd Air Division aircrews received an important role in the vice president's South Florida Drug Task Force. Aircrews from the 20th SOS helped curb the flow of illegal drugs into the United States through the Bahamas in Operation BAT by transporting Bahamian authorities and American drug enforcement agents to sites of drug action.
In two and a half years, the squadron flew more than 1,100 sorties which supported the capture or destruction of more than $1.5 billion in drugs, aircraft and weapons. During the operation, one 20th SOS UH-1N helicopter crashed at sea resulting in the death of three squadron members. In late October 1983, the 2nd AD provided three AC-130H Spectre gunships and five MC-130E Combat Talons to support Operation Urgent Fury on the island of Grenada, off the coast of Venezuela; the U. S. government considered Americans medical students studying in Grenada, in imminent danger from anti-American elements. The U. S. organized a joint task force of Air Force, Army and Marine elements to expedite their rescue with the 1st SOW aircraft leading the air assault. Established as 2nd Bombardment Division on 30 August 1943Activated on 13 September 1943 Redesignated 2nd Air Division on 19 December 1944 Disestablished on 28 August 1945. Reestablished on 14 January 1949Organized on 1 June 1949 Discontinued on 7 May 1951.
Activated on 20 April 1953Discontinued, inactivated, on 1 April 1962. Activated on 10 September 1962Organized on 8 October 1962 Discontinued, inactivated, on 1 April 1966. Activated on 1 March 1983Inactivated on 1 February 1987 RAF Horsham St Faith, United Kingdom, 13 September 1943 Ketteringham Hall, England, 10 December 1943 London, England, 22 June 1945 – 24 June 1945 Sioux Falls AAFld, South D