Eighth Air Force

The Eighth Air Force was the primary component of the U.S. Army Air Forces based in England during World War II. It carried out bomber operations against Nazi-occupied Europe and the German homeland, bombing by day while the British Royal Air Force carried out night raids. Eighth Air Force fighter aircraft also engaged the German Luftwaffe in intense dogfights for mastery of the skies above Western Europe.

Eighth Air Force

P-47 Thunderbolts at the Battle of the Bulge

by Robert F. Dorr & Thomas D. Jones

The captured German pilot was cocky and boastful. He had just parachuted into the American airfield, now lit up by the fires of burning Republic P-47 Thunderbolts, a sprinkling of bright torches amid the gray January gloom and the dirty white snow. Read more

Eighth Air Force

Jimmy Stewart’s rise from Private to Colonel

By Sam McGowan

Jimmy Stewart is arguably the only prewar American actor of superstar magnitude to have served in a sustained combat role during World War II, and the only one to have served in a position of command. Read more

Eighth Air Force

WWII Warplanes: The Superb Supermarine Spitfire

by Sam McGowan

In the annals of World War II, one of the most famous airplanes is the British-developed Supermarine Spitfire, an agile, elliptical-wing fighter that has become synonymous with the Royal Air Force victory in the Battle of Britain. Read more

Complex weather patterns and varied Allied forecasting techniques posed challenges that were overcome prior to D-Day.

Eighth Air Force

Mission Critical Overlord Weather

By Gene J. Pfeffer

Operation Overlord, the cross-Channel attack that hit the Nazi-occupied beaches of Normandy in 1944, was the culmination of a grand strategy adopted early in the war, followed sporadically during the years of conflict, and aimed at defeating Hitler’s Reich by striking directly at Germany by invasion. Read more

The fire-bombing raids on Japan constituted all-out war on a civilian population.

Eighth Air Force

War on Civilians

The fire-bombing raids on Japan constituted all-out war on a civilian population. By Sam McGowan

It was a method of warfare that would have been anathema to Americans only a few short years before. Read more

With typical German efficiency, homeland antiaircraft defenses were put into place to counter the Allies’ bombing campaign over the Third Reich.

Eighth Air Force

German Antiaircraft Defenses

By Allyn Vannoy

During the Allied air campaign against the Third Reich in World War II, well over a million tons of bombs were dropped on German territory, killing nearly 300,000 civilians and wounding another 780,000. Read more