5th Air Force (5th AF) "Forgotten Fifth"
U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF)
The 5th Air Force (5th AF) was part of the U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF). On February 5, 1942 the prewar Far East Air Force (FEAF) was redesignated the 5th Air Force (5th AF) in Australia. Also known as the Fifth Air Force (Fifth AF) or V Air Force (V AF). Unofficially dubbed the "Forgotten Fifth" as forgotten in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) at the end of the supply chain.
On September 3, 1942 the 5th Air Force (5th AF) was assigned to Major General George C. Kenney becomes Commanding Officer (C.O.) with its Headquarters in Brisbane and retains command of the Allied Air Forces in the Southwest Pacific. On October 15, 1942 promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and was the the highest ranking officer under General Douglas MacArthur.
As the leader of the 5th Air Force, Kenney fought an innovative and creative war against the Japanese using available aircraft and weapons effectively. Officers under his command created strafer variants of aircraft adding forward firing extra machine guns to the nose of A-20 Havocs and B-25 Mitchells. The 5th Air Force used ordnance including the daisy cutter (wire wrapped bombs) and parachute-retarded fragmentation bomb (parafrag bomb) that were suited for destroying parked aircraft and inflicting damage in jungle areas. Officers under his command pioneered "skip bombing" flying bombers at low level to skip bombs off the surface of the sea to hit an enemy ship instead of ineffective high altitude bombing runs that allowed the target to maneuver away once bombs were released.
On June 15, 1944 the Far East Air Force (FEAF) was reformed and combined the 5th Air Force (5th AF) in the South West Pacific Area (SWPA) and 13th Air Force (13th AF) in the South Pacific (SOPAC) under the command of General George C. Kenney. The FEAF continues until the end of the Pacific War.
V Fighter Command
V Bomber Command
Fighter Group (FG)
8th Fighter Group (8th FG) "Cyclone's Flying Circus"
35th Fighter Group (35th FG)
49th Fighter Group (49th FG)
58th Fighter Group (58th FG)
347th Fighter Group (347th FG)
348th Fighter Group (348th FG)
475th Fighter Group (475th FG) "Satan's Angels"
Bombardment Group (BG)
3rd Bombardment Group (3rd BG) "The Grim Reapers"
19th Bombardment Group (19th BG)
22nd Bombardment Group (22nd BG) "Red Raiders"
38th Bombardment Group (38th BG) "Sun Setters"
43rd Bombardment Group (43rd BG) "Ken's Men"
90th Bombardment Group (90th BG) "Jolly Rogers"
312th Bombardment Group (312th BG) "Roarin' 20's"
345th Bombardment Group (345th BG) "Air Apaches"
380th Bombardment Group (380th BG) "Flying Circus"
417th Bombardment Group (417th BG) "Sky Lancers"
Photographic Reconnaissance Group (PRG)
6th Photographic Reconnaissance Group (6th PRG)
Tactical Reconnaissance Group (PRG)
71st Tactical Reconnaissance Group (71st TRG)
Night Fighter Squadron (NFS)
418th Night Fighter Squadron (418th NFS)
421st Night Fighter Squadron (421st NFS)
Troop Carrier Wing (TCW)
54th Troop Carrier Wing (54th TCW)
Troop Carrier Group (TCG)
63rd Troop Carrier Group (63rd TCG)
317th Troop Carrier Group (317th TCG)
374th Troop Carrier Group (374th TCG)
375th Troop Carrier Group (375th TCG)
433rd Troop Carrier Group (433rd TCG)
Service Group (SG)
Far East Air Force - Combat Replacement Training Center (FEAF-CRTC, 360th Service Group, 8th Service Group)
Commanding Officers (C.O.)
Lt. General George C. Kenney
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