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Mobilised on the 20 August 1942, the 12th US Army Air force was at first sent to Great Britain before leaving for North Africa where it took an active part in Operation Torch, the Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco, starting on 8 November 1942. After contributing to the expulsion of the Axis troops from Tunisia, the 12th Air Force's planes - fighters, medium and heavy bombers - then took part in the Sicily landings in July 1943, then those in Italy in the folowing months. Apart from constant activity over the Peninsula, the 12th AF also played a not negligible part in the landing in Provence, starting on 15 August 1944. Its light bomber and fighter-bombers groups based in Corsica and Sardinia then pursued their activities in France and Northem Italy, following the Allied armies' progression northwards until the German troops in Italy finally surrendered on 29 April 1945. The 15th Air Force was formed on 1 November 1943 to operate on the Mediterranean front, its fighter and bomber groups - some of which came from the 12th AF - being based mainly in the south of Italy. Its principal objectives were enemy oil refineries and aircraft production plants and it's estimated that as a result of its activity, the enemy transport network was paralysed over more than half of Europe, while oil refining activity was reduced by half and fighter production by a third. After supporting the Allied advance in Italy during the battles of Anzio, Monte Cassino and Rome, after the conflict the 15th AF was given the task of repatriating POWs before being finally disbanded on 15 September 1945.
Created in 1942, and immediately placed under the command of General Doolittle, the 12th Air Force was responsible for conducting Operation Torch on November 8, 1942. The unit served with the Northwest African Air Forces from February to December 1943, then with the Allied Air Forces in the Mediterranean (MAAF) until the end of the war alongside the other unit presented in this work: the 15th ...
In the fall of 1943, the 'heavy metal' groups and selected fighter groups were transferred to the newly-created 15th Air Force. Whether providing CAS, fighter sweeps, anti-shipping sweeps or strikes against Axis aircraft factories, airfields, etc., the 12th and 15th Air Forces were major players in Allied ops.