The 10th Air Force was one of the smallest combat air forces in the USAAF. While other air forces were made up of divisions or wings, the 10th Air Force was made up of at most eight groups.
The first commander of the force, Colonel Harry A Halverson never even reached the theatre. His detachment, known as HALPRO, reached the Middle East during a period of crisis, and remained there to fight the Germans. His successor, Major-General Lewis H. Brereton arrived in March 1942 to find himself in command of eight heavy bombers which to carry out his ambitious tasks. These included support for the British in Burma, the defense of the supply lines to China, and even possible bombing attacks on the Japanese Home Islands! A small number of extra fighter aircraft appeared before Brereton was moved on to take over in the Middle East.
The 10th Air Force carried out its first combat mission, an attack on Japanese shipping near the Andaman Islands on 2 April 1942. Led by Brereton in person, this mission was flown by a grand total of two B-17s and one LB-30 Liberator!
The early history of the 10th Air Force was complicated by the seemingly endless disputes between the American theatre commander, General Stilwell, and just about everybody he came into contact with.
even tinier when Brereton took over
14th March 1943 for China - get two units from 10th (51st Fighter and 341st Bombardment) 1943 and two more in 1944 (33rd and 311th FG) 33rd later returned to 10th
China Air Task Force (CATF) formed 3 July 1942 under command of Chennault.
492-502 497 484-85 494 502-10 500-2 509-10 336 339-40 496 508 312-3 340 354 497-8 508 511-13
51st FG - Dinjan, India: 10 October 1942-Octobner 1943, defnding hump plus fights in 1943 Japanese offensive in northern Burma
33rd FG - September 1944 onwards - ground support Burma
341st BG - early 1943 to early 1944, attacking ground targets in Burma
311st FG - A-36/P-51 mixed fighter and fighter bomber duties from September 1943-August 1944
80th FG - ground attack Burma, India, autumn 1943 to end of war
7th bg - joins March 1942, not really effective until later in year, requippes with B-24, operating from bases in eastern India against the Japanese in Burma. It also hit targets further away, including oil refinaries in Thailand, power stations in China and enemy shipping. The unit was also used to ferry fuel across the hump to China.
Colonel Harry A Halverson, 17 February 1942
Major General Lewis H Brereton, 5 March 1942
Brigadier General Earl L. Naiden, 26 June 1942
Brigadier General Clayton L. Bissell, 18 August 1942
Major-General Howard C Davidson, 19 August 1943
Major-General Albert F Hegenberger, 1 August 1945
|4 February 1942||Constituted|
|12 February 1942||Activiated|
|March-May 1942||Moved to India|
|May 1942-March 1943||Served in India, Burma and China|
|March 1943-July 1945||Served in India and Burma|
|July 1945-December 1945||Served in China|
|December 1945-January 1946||Returned to United States|
|6 January 1946||Inactivated|
|3rd Combat Cargo Group||1944-1945||C-47|
|7th Bombardment Group||1942-1945||B-17, LB-30, B-24|
|12th Bombardment Group||1944-1945||B-25|
|23rd Fighter Group||1942-1943|
|33rd Fighter Group||1944-1945||P-38, P-47|
|51st Fighter Group||1942-1943||P-40|
|80th Fighter Group||1943-1945||P-38, P-40, P-47|
|311th Fighter Group||1943-1944||A-36, P-51|
|341st Bombardment Group||1942-1944||B-25|
|443rd Troop Carrier Group||1944-1945||C-47|