The 'Mighty 8th' (US 8th Airforce WW2) (*scroll down page for links for background, itinerary, costs etc)
Bomber Command was the premier strike bomber force with the Royal Air Force using UK AND Commonwealth crews. We must however NEVER forget the terrible price that the US Army Airforce suffered in the bombing raids that helped turn the tide of WW2 in the allies favour. The US equivalent to Bomber Command was the Mighty 8th - the US 8th airforce (and the 100th Bomb Group) based in England also.
Here is a link to a 'must read' - a 'gut churning' read (quite horrific) on the also 'braver than brave' men who flew in their so called B17 'Flying Fortresses' and B24 'Liberators' - and died in their tens of thousands in the US Army Airforce daylight bombing raids during the war, especially before the advent of the new long range fighters (Mustang fighter aircraft predominately) that could fly all the way to the bomber target with the bombers, protecting them against hitherto ferocious Luftwaffe fighter attacks.)
On 4th January 1944, the B-24s and B-17s based in England flew their last mission as a subordinate part of VIII Bomber Command. On 22 February 1944, a massive re-organization of American airpower took place in Europe. VIII Bomber Command and the Ninth Air Force were brought under control of a centralised headquarters for command and control of the United States Army Air Forces in Europe, the United States Strategic Air Forces (USSTAF).
VIII Bomber Command was re-designated as Eighth Air Force, with VIII Fighter and VIII Air Support Commands being brought under the command of the new Eighth Air Force. This is from where the present-day Eighth Air Force's history, lineage and honours derive.
General Carl Spaatz returned to England to command the USSTAF. Major General Jimmy Doolittle relinquished command of the Fifteenth Air Force to Major General Nathan F. Twining and took over command of the Eighth Air Force from Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker at RAF Daws Hill. Doolittle was well known to American airmen as the famous "Tokyo Raider" and former air racer. His directive was simple: 'Win the air war and isolate the battlefield'.
Spaatz and Doolittle's plan was to use the US Strategic Air Forces in a series of co-ordinated raids, code-named Operation 'Argument' and supported by RAF night bombing, on the German aircraft industry at the earliest possible These missions, however, carried a terrible price.
Half of the U.S. Army Air Force's casualties in World War II were suffered by Eighth Air Force (more than 47,000 casualties, with more than 26,000 dead). 17 Medals of Honor went to Eighth Air Force personnel during the war. By war's end, they had been awarded a number of other medals to include 220 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 442,000 Air Medals. Many more awards were made to Eighth Air Force veterans after the war that remain uncounted.
LEST WE FORGET