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13th Air Force

Known as the Cactus Air Force, the 13th AF served in the South and Southwest Pacific.

Visit our 13th Air Force Honor Project with rosters of servicemen who served in the groups of the 13th.

 13th Air Force

Constituted as Thirteenth AF on 14 Dec 1942. Activated in New Caledonia on 13 Jan 1943. Served in the South Pacific and, later, Southwest Pacific, participating in the Allied drive north and west from the Solomons to the Philippines. Remained in the Philippines, as part of Far East Air Forces, after the war. Transferred, without personnel and equipment, to Okinawa in Dec 1948 and back to the Philippines in May 1949.

Commands. XIII Bomber: 1943-1946. XIII Fighter: 1943-1946.

Stations. New Caledonia, 13 Jan 1943; Espiritu Santo, 21 Jan 1943; Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1944; Los Negros, 15 Jun 1944; Hollandia, New Guinea, 13 Sep 1944; Noemfoor, 23 Sep 1944; Morotai, 29 OCt 1944; Leyte, 1 Mar 1945; Clark Field, Luzon, c. 1 Jan 1946; Ft William McKinley, Luzon, 20 May 1946; Clark Field, Luzon, 15 Aug 1947; Kadena, Okinawa, 1 Dec 1948; Clark AFB, Luzon, 16 May 1949-.

Commanders. Maj Gen Nathan F Twining, 13 Jan 1943; Brig Gen Ray L Owens, 27 Jul 1943; Maj Gen Hubert R Harmon, 7 Jan 1944; Maj Gen St Clair Streett, 15 Jun 1944; Maj Gen Paul B Wurtsmith, 19 Feb 1945; Maj Gen Eugene L Eubank, 4 Jul 1946; Maj Gen Charles T Myers, 1 Dec 1948; Maj Gen Howard M Turner, Jun 1949; Maj Gen Ernest Moore, 16 Oct 1951; Maj Gen John W Sessums Jr, 10 Oct 1952; Brig Gen William L Lee, 27 Aug 1954-.

Campaigns. China Defensive; Guadalcanal; New Guinea; Northern Solomons; Eastern Mandates; Bismarck Archipelago; Western Pacific; Leyte; Luzon; Southern Philippines; China Offensive.

Decorations. Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

Insigne. On a blue disc, bordered golden orange, a pair of golden orange wings surmounted in base by a white star charged with a red disc; all below the Arabic numeral "13" in white. (Approved 18 Jan 1944.)

Data from Air Force Combat Units of World War II By Maurer, Maurer, Published 1986


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