III Fighter Command

Summary

The III Fighter Command is an inactive United States Air Force unit. Its last assignment was at MacDill Field, Florida. It was inactivated on 8 April 1946.

III Fighter Command
P-51B 42d Fighter Squadron Hillsborough Army Airfield FL 1944.jpg
Active1941-1946
Country United States
Branch United States Army
 United States Air Force
RoleCommand and training of fighter units
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Clarence L. Tinker
Ralph Royce

HistoryEdit

BackgroundEdit

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.[1] In the spring of 1941, the War Department established four strategic defense areas and GHQ, AF reorganized its Southeast Air District as 3rd Air Force with responsibility for air defense planning and organization in the southeastern.[2] 3rd Air Force activated 3rd Interceptor Command at Drew Field, Florida in 1941, under the command of Major General Walter H. Frank.[3] The command's initial tactical component was the 8th Pursuit Wing.[4]

Air defenseEdit

The attack on Pearl Harbor put all units on heightened alert.[5] The command was charged with control of "active agents" for air defense in its area of responsibility, which included interceptor aircraft, antiaircraft artillery and barrage balloons. Civilian organizations provided air raid warnings and enforced blackouts and came under the authority of the Office of Civilian Defense and the command worked "feverishly" to create a ground observer corps as elements of its Aircraft Warning Service.[6] However, it soon became apparent that having two commands responsible for air defense in the Eastern Theater of Operations was impractical. 1st Interceptor Command was given the mission of defending the East and Gulf coasts, while 3rd concentrated on the training mission starting early in 1942.[7] Although the command retained responsibility for air defense on the Gulf coast west of the Apalachicola River, no "vital air defense zone" was established for this area, as it was for the Pacific and East coasts.[8]

Unit and crew trainingEdit

The command trained fighter organizations and personnel.[3] By the end of 1942, the command's training consisted almost entirely of Replacement Training Units (RTU).[9]

The command was inactivated in April 1946. It was transferred in inactive status to the newly-independent United States Air Force in September 1947, and was disbanded in October 1948.[3]

LineageEdit

  • Constituted as the 3rd Interceptor Command on 26 May 1941[note 2]
Activated 17 June 1941[note 3]
Redesignated 3rd Fighter Command on 15 May 1942
Redesignated III Fighter Command c. 18 September 1942
Inactivated on 8 April 1946
Disbanded on 8 October 1948[3]

AssignmentsEdit

ComponentsEdit

Wings

Groups

Squadrons

Other

StationsEdit

  • Drew Field, Florida, 17 June 1941
  • MacDill Field, Florida, c. 1 December 1945 – 8 April 1946[3]

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

Explanatory notes

  1. ^ Aircraft is North American P-51B-1-NA Mustang, serial 43-12252. The squadron was part of the 54th Fighter Group.
  2. ^ Maurer indicates unit was constituted as the "III" Interceptor Command. However, the unit was constituted and activated with an arabic number in its name. The use of roman numerals to designate Army Air Forces combat commands did not begin until September 1942. "Air Force Historical Research Agency Organizational Reconds: Types of USAF Organizations". Air Force History Index. 9 January 2008. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  3. ^ Maurer indicates that there is a question whether the command was activated on this date or not until about 14 July. Maurer, p. 440.
  4. ^ Robertson says attachment was to I Ground Air Support Command, but the command had been redesignated a division by this time. Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 440-441

Citations

  1. ^ Cate & Williams, p. 152
  2. ^ Cate & Williams, p. 154
  3. ^ a b c d e Maurer, Combat Units, p. 440
  4. ^ a b Staff Historian (5 October 2007). "Factsheet 57 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  5. ^ Goss, p. 278
  6. ^ Goss, p. 290
  7. ^ Goss, pp. 294-295
  8. ^ Goss, p. 295, map p. 297
  9. ^ White, p. 37
  10. ^ Haulman, Daniel L. (4 April 2019). "Factsheet Third Air Force (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 9 December 2021.
  11. ^ Staff historian (4 October 2007). "Factsheet 19 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 22 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  12. ^ Staff historian (5 October 2007). "Factsheet 22 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Archived from the original on 24 October 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
  13. ^ Haulman, Daniel L. (18 May 2017). "Factsheet 352 Special Operations Wing (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  14. ^ Musser, James (14 October 2021). "Factsheet 353 Special Operations Wing (AFSOC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  15. ^ Robertson, Patsy (27 June 2017). "Factsheet 31 Operations Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  16. ^ Robertson, Patsy E. (7 July 2017). "Factsheet 48 Operations Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  17. ^ Robertson, Patsy E. (7 July 2017). "Factsheet 49 Operations Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  18. ^ Robertson, Patsy (10 July 2017). "Factsheet 50 Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  19. ^ Robertson, Patsy (7 May 2013). "Factsheet 52 Operations Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  20. ^ Haulman, Daniel (25 November 2018). "Factsheet 54 Fighter Group (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  21. ^ Dollman, TSG David (27 July 2017). "Factsheet 56 Operations Group (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  22. ^ Dollman, TSG David (8 February 2018). "Factsheet 58 Operations Group (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  23. ^ Robertson, Patsy E. (21 June 2017). "Factsheet 59 Medical Wing (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  24. ^ Haulman, Daniel L. (22 July 2019). "Factsheet 80 Flying Training Wing (AETC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  25. ^ Robertson, Patsy (29 September 2008). "Factsheet 85 Group". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 10 January 2022.
  26. ^ Hauman, Daniel L. (21 November 2014). "Factsheet 405 Air Expeditionary Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  27. ^ Lineage & Honors History of the 408 Armament Systems Group (AFMC), 15 May 2006, Air Force Historical Research Agency
  28. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 159
  29. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 166
  30. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 329
  31. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 493
  32. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 544
  33. ^ Lacomia, John M. (29 April 2018). "Factsheet 521 Air Mobility Operations Wing (AMC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 16 January 2022.

BibliographyEdit

  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Cate, James L.; Williams, E. Kathleen (1948). "Prelude to War, Chapter 4, The Air Corps Prepares for War, 1939-41". In Craven, Wesley F; Cate, James L (eds.). The Army Air Forces in World War II (PDF). Vol. I, Plans and Early Operations. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48003657. OCLC 704158. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Goss, William A. (1955). "Tactical Demands, Chapter 8, Air Defense of the Western Hemisphere". In Craven, Wesley F; Cate, James L (eds.). The Army Air Forces in World War II (PDF). Vol. I, Plans and Early Operations. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. LCCN 48003657. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. Retrieved 17 December 2016.