US Army Air Force Patch United States 9 AAF 1942 N Africa Europe
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US Army Air Force Patch United States 9 AAF 1942 N Africa Europe

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US Army Air Force Patch United States 9 AAF 1942 Offensive North Africa Italy France Germany Fully Embroidered cut edge 68mm by 60mm two and five eighth inches by two and three eighth inches.

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9 United States Army Air Force USAAF was activated on 12 November 1942 in North Africa on the renaming of US Army Middle East Air Force which had been activated on 28 June 1942. 9 AAF provided offensive and defensive air support to the British 8 Army to gain air superiority deny the enemy the ability to replenish or replace losses and to offer close air support to ground forces. After success in North Africa 9 AAF took on an even more essential mission, the invasion of Sicily and the mainland of Italy.  Bombers fighters troop carriers and support units were reinforced and given new designations. In 12 months the small beleaguered Middle East Air Force had developed into a formidable air armada. Highlights of the North Africa and Sicily campaigns include the Palm Sunday Massacre on 18 April 1943, when Ninth Air Force fighters caught hundreds of German JU52 transports low over the Mediterranean attempting to evacuate troops from North Africa and the Ploesti oil refinery raids in July 1943.


In October 1943 Ninth Air Force relocated to England in preparation for the Invasion and was assigned to operation Point Blank in conjunction with the Eighth Air Force to destroy the German Luftwaffe in the air and on the ground to bring about complete air supremacy.  Medium bombers of 8 AAF were reassigned to the Ninth and it prepared for its major role of direct tactical support for ground forces in the coming invasion. By D Day 6 June 1944 Ninth Air Force had become the largest tactical Air Force ever assembled under one command with 250000 personnel 3500 aircraft in 1500 units and comprised fighters bombers troop carriers air defense engineering and service commands. Air supremacy was achieved allowing the breakout to commence with the German Armies continually harassed in retreat by 9 AAF. Hardly a German unit could move in any kind of visibility without being gunned rocketed and bombed. With the war with Germany ending on 7 May 1945 Ninth AAF began planning for a transfer to the Pacific Theater and invasion of Japan but victory against Japan was achieved before they were needed. At the end of August 1945 personnel began returning to the US and on 2 December 1945 the Ninth Air Force was inactivated while headquarters in Germany.  In just seven months after victory the greatest tactical Air Force in history was dismantled.





This patch dates from 1942.










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