IX Fighter Command

Summary

The IX Fighter Command was a United States Army Air Forces formation. Its last assignment was with the Ninth Air Force, based at Erlangen, Germany, wheret was inactivated on 16 November 1945.

IX Fighter Command
365th Fighter Squadron Republic P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt 42-29259.jpg
Command P-47 Thunderbolt, the most common tactical aircraft in the command[note 1]
Active1942–1945
Country United States
Branch United States Army (1942-47)  United States Air Force (1947-48)
RoleCommand of fighter units
EngagementsEuropean Theater of Operations[1]
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Maj Gen Elwood Richard Quesada

IX Fighter Command was the primary tactical fighter air arm of Ninth Air Force in the Western Desert Campaign in North Africa during 1942-1943. Transferred to England, it became the dominant tactical air force over the skies of Western Europe during the 1944 Battle of Normandy and the Western Allied invasion of Germany in 1945.

After its inactivation, the majority of its (along with Twelfth Air Force) units were incorporated into the postwar United States Air Force Tactical Air Command.

HistoryEdit

North AfricaEdit

In Egypt during January 1943, IX Fighter Command became the control organization for Ninth Air Force fighter units assigned to the Western Desert Campaign (Libya and Tunisia).

Although wings were officially subordinate to the command, combat groups were attached to the Desert Air Force, which included squadrons of the Royal Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force and South African Air Force.

IX Fighter Command moved to England in November 1943 as part of Normandy invasion planning. Its subordinate units were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force.

Western EuropeEdit

 
370th Fighter Group P-38 Lightning

During the winter of 1943/44 IX Fighter Command expanded at an extraordinary rate so that by the end of May 1944, its complement ran to 45 flying groups operating some 5,000 aircraft. Initial missions from England consisted of fighter sweeps over troop concentrations and attacks on enemy positions and airfields, primarily on German 15th Army units in the Pas-de-Calais region of France as well as around Normandy and Cotentin Peninsula. On D-Day IX Fighter Command units carried out massive air attacks on German forces in Normandy area with North American P-51 Mustang and Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter bombers. Air cover during the morning amphibious assault by Allied forces on the beaches of France was flown by Lockheed P-38 Lightnings.

With the beaches secure, groups began deploying to France on 16 June 1944, ten days after the Normandy invasion by moving P-47 Thunderbolts to a beach-head landing strip. During the Battle of Normandy, its tactical air units then provided the air power for the Allied break-out from the Normandy beachhead in the summer of 1944 during the Battle of Cherbourg, Battle for Caen, and the ultimate breakout from the beachhead, Operation Cobra.

 
Captain Edwin O. Fisher, 362d Fighter Group, 7 aerial victories; 3 V-1 Flying Bombs; 25 enemy vehicles and 5 locomotives.

By early August most IX Fighter Command groups moved to bases in France and were assigned to missions supporting the Twelfth United States Army Group. The command then reorganized, with units transferred to three tactical air commands and which directly supported United States Army ground units, along with an air defense command to defend Allied-controlled areas.

After its units were reassigned, it remained active until after VE-Day when performed occupation duty in Germany. It was inactivated in November 1945.

In 1947, when the United States Air Force (USAF) became independent, the Army transferred all Army Air Forces, Air Service and Air Corps units (there were a number of Air Corps units that had never been in the Army Air Forces, and a few Air Service units) to the USAF. A year later, the newly forming USAF permanently disbanded the command.

LineageEdit

  • Constituted as the 9th Interceptor Command on 19 January 1942[note 2]
Activated on 1 February 1942
Redesignated 9th Fighter Command on 15 May 1942
Redesignated IX Fighter Command c. 18 September 1942
Inactivated on 16 November 1945
Disbanded on 8 October 1948[1]

AssignmentsEdit

ComponentsEdit

North AfricaEdit

Wings
Groups

Western EuropeEdit

Wings
Groups
Squadrons

StationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

Explanatory notes
  1. ^ Aircraft is Republic P-47D-28-RA Thunderbolt, serial 42-29259 of the 358th Fighter Group.
  2. ^ Maurer indicates unit was constituted as the "IX" 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.
Citations
  1. ^ a b Maurer, Combat Units, pp. 447-448
  2. ^ Ream, Margaret (5 October 2020). "Factsheet Ninth Air Force (Air Forces Central) (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 20 December 2021.
  3. ^ "Factsheet 57 Air Division". Air Force Historical Research Agency. 5 October 2007. Archived from the original on 13 October 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  4. ^ Robertson, Patsy (29 July 2009). "Factsheet 57 Operations Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  5. ^ Stevens, Maj Sonia (11 July 2017). "Factsheet 53 Test and Evaluation Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  6. ^ Robertson, Patsy (16 December 2008). "Factsheet 404 Air Expeditionary Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  7. ^ Ream, Margaret (21 March 2021). "Factsheet 67 Cyberspace Operations Group (AFSPC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 7 January 2022.
  8. ^ Robertson, Patsy (5 April 2012). "Factsheet 354 Operations Group (PACAF)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  9. ^ Robertson, Patsy (10 July 2017). "Factsheet 363 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  10. ^ Dollman, TSG David. (18 October 2016). "Factsheet 366 Operations Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  11. ^ Haulman, Daniel L. (21 November 2014). "Factsheet 405 Air Expeditionary Group (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  12. ^ Dollman, TSG David (5 August 2016). "Factsheet 4 Air Support Operations Group (USAFE)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 14 January 2022.
  13. ^ Robertson, Patsy (31 July 2009). "Factsheet 6 Combat Training Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 4 July 2018.
  14. ^ Dollman, TSG David (16 May 2019). "Factsheet 11 Air Support Operations Squadron (ACC)". Air Force Historical Research Agency. Retrieved 15 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, pp. 85-87
  16. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 350
  17. ^ Maurer, Combat Squadrons, p. 350
  18. ^ Station number in Anderson, p. 31.
  19. ^ Station number in Johnson, p. 23.
  20. ^ Station number in Johnson, p. 77.
  21. ^ Station number in Johnson, p. 54.
  22. ^ Station number in Johnson, p. 42.
  23. ^ Station information in Maurer, pp. 447-448, except as noted.

BibliographyEdit

  •   This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.
  • Anderson, Capt. Barry (1985). Army Air Forces Stations: A Guide to the Stations Where U.S. Army Air Forces Personnel Served in the United Kingdom During World War II (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Retrieved 1 March 2021.
  • Johnson, 1st Lt. David C. (1988). U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO) D-Day to V-E Day (PDF). Maxwell AFB, AL: Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  • 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. Retrieved 17 December 2016.
  • 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.