The III Bomber Command is a disbanded United States Air Force headquarters. It was established in September 1941, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor to command bomber units assigned to 3rd Air Force. Following the entry of the United States into World War II, it flew patrols off the south Atlantic and Gulf coasts. However, its main efforts soon began organizing and training medium bomber units and aircrews. Its last assignment was with Third Air Force at MacDill Field, Florida. It was inactivated on 8 April 1946 and disbanded in October 1948.
|III Bomber Command|
|Branch|| United States Army|
United States Air Force
|Role||Command and training of bomber units|
GHQ Air Force (GHQ AF) had been established with two major combat functions, to maintain a striking force against long range targets, and the air defense of the United States. In the spring of 1941, GHQ AF reorganized its Southeast Air District as 3rd Air Force. To carry out its mission of training and maintaining a strike force, 3rd Air Force organized 3rd Bomber Command at Drew Field, Florida in September 1941, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. The command soon moved to MacDill Field, Florida, where it was located when the attack on Pearl Harbor occurred. Shortly afterwards, it moved to Army Air Base, Savannah, Georgia, but returned to MacDill, where it spent the remainder of the war.
It patrolled in search of enemy submarines.
The command trained medium bomber units and crews for Third Air Force, and training for this type of unit was virtually a monopoly for the command. Until August 1943, it also conducted training for dive and light bomber units and crews. However their training was transferred to III Air Support Command in August 1942.
In late 1943, some heavy bomber training was moved from Second Air Force, which had been the primary command for that training, to the command in order to enable combined training between fighters and bombers. In conjunction with this transfer, the command adopted the three phase training system for its training units: Phase I (individual training); Phase II (crew training) and Phase III (unit training).