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1942 - 1945
The "Jungle Air Force"

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On 13 January 1943 Major General Millard Harmon, the Commanding General of the South Pacific region (COMGENSOPAC) established the 13th Air Force which was to be known as the "Jungle Air Force". The 13th Air Force was placed under the command of Brigadier General Nathan F. Twining.

The Headquarters for the 13th Air Force were established at Espirito Santo in the New Hebrides, which is located about 560 miles south east of Guadalcanal. 13th Air Forces Fighter Command was under the command of Colonel Dean Strother.

The Fifth Air Force and the Thirteenth Air Force were combined to become the Far East Air Forces under General George C. Kenney on 15 June 1944. General Ennis C. Whitehead was appointed to command the Fifth Air Force. Major General St. Clair Street was in command of the Thirteenth Air Force. Some US Navy search squadrons from the 7th Fleet and Aircraft Northern Solomons of the US Marine Corps air units were attached to the Fifth Air Force. Far East Air Service Command was formed on the same date.

The Thirteenth Air Force had transferred from the South Pacific Area to the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA) and was placed under the operational control of Allied Air Forces, Southwest Pacific Area. Thirteenth Air Task Force was dissolved at the same time and Thirteenth Air Force Headquarters obtained immediate operational control of its heavy bombardment units that were stationed in the Admiralties. The Thirteenth Air Force Headquarters had previously only fulfilled an administrative role. Operational control of the Thirteenth Air Force's medium bombers came under their control on 30 September 1944. Earlier on 15 June 1944, operational control of its medium bombers had passed from COMAIRSOLS to COMAIRMORSOLS. (Note:- Perhaps that should be COMAIRNORSOLS which is "Commander Aircraft Northern Solomons".

The Thirteenth Air Force also lost the Thirteenth Air Depot Group which came under the new Thirteenth Air Service Command as of 15 June 1944.




347th Fighter Group

67 Fighter Squadron
68th Fighter Squadron
70th Fighter Squadron
339th Fighter Squadron

44th Fighter Squadron *
12th Fighter Squadron *

* temporarily attached to the 347th FG



5th Bomb Group  
11 th Bomb Group  
69th Bomber Squadron  
70th Bomber Squadron  









"The Fifth Air Force in the War Against Japan - United States Strategic Bombing Survey"


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This page first produced 1 April 2001

This page last updated 01 October 2017