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Fifth Air Force

From Academic Kids

The Fifth Air Force (5AF), which is based in Japan, is one of the few numbered air forces of the United States Air Force never to have been based in the United States itself. It is is also one of the oldest and continuously active of the US air forces.

The unit has its origins in the US Far East Air Force (FEAF), formed in The Philippines in September 1941 under Major General Lewis H. Brereton. Immediately after the outbreak of the Pacific War, Brereton sought permission to conduct raids against nearby Japanese forces and was refused. As a consequence, FEAF was largely destroyed on the ground, in Japanese air attacks. Following the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, the remnants of FEAF relocated southwards to bases in the Dutch East Indies, before it too fell to Japan, and Australia.

US Army Air Force units in Australia were significantly reinforced and re-organised. In August 1942, under the command of Major General George Kenney, the Fifth Air Force was formed, with its headquarters in Brisbane. The unit undertook operations in the South West Pacific Area for the remainder of World War II. It then relocated to Japan as part of the Allied occupation forces.

The Fifth Air Force was the main United Nations ait formation during the Korean War. Following the end of that conflict, 5AF returned to Japan.

Commands During World War II

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