Fifth Air Force

Marine Air Power in the Philippines

By Eric Hammel

After the Japanese stopped resisting in the skies over Rabaul and pulled their aircraft out of the Solomons and Bismarcks battle area in mid-February 1944, it began to appear that U.S. Read more

Major Richard Bong was America’s Ace of Aces.

Fifth Air Force

Richard Bong (1920-1945)

By Sam McGowan

Without dispute, the P-38 was the airplane of the aces. While other fighter types had their share of aces, the P-38 was flown by most of the top scorers, of whom Major Richard Ira Bong was at the top of the heap. Read more

Fifth Air Force

Ralph Coyne: The Dark Blue Double Diamond

by Ken Wright

“We shall not be content with a defensive war,” stated British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during his speech to the House of Commons immediately after the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces from Dunkirk on June 4, 1940. Read more

The Douglas C-47 was a workhorse of air transport during World War II.

Fifth Air Force

Tale of the Biscuit Bomber: The C-47 in WWII

By Sam McGowan

Even though, technically at least, it was not a combat airplane, the performance of the Douglas C-47 transport led General of the Army Dwight Eisenhower to label it as one of the most important weapons of World War II. Read more

Allied POWs suffered tremendous hardships but managed to survive in captivity at Rabaul.

Fifth Air Force

Hell on New Britain

By Adam Lynch

The American effort to neutralize the big Japanese air-sea base at Rabaul on the island of New Britain in the South Pacific was heating up, and 18-year-old aviation radioman John Kepchia was about to feel the heat. Read more

Fifth Air Force

Flying with the Jolly Rogers

By Glenn Barnett

The 90th Heavy Bombardment Group, known as the Jolly Rogers, was an element of the Fifth Air Force headquartered in Brisbane, Australia. Read more

WWII skip bombing

Fifth Air Force

WWII Pioneers of Skip Bombing

By Gene Eric Salecker

By September 1942, after numerous aerial strikes against the advancing Imperial Japanese Navy, the Battle of the Coral Sea in May, and numerous attacks against enemy convoys along the New Guinea coast in the summer of that year, Maj. Read more