|Mighty Eighth' Returns to England |
'Mighty Eighth' Returns to England
RAF Mildenhall, England -- February 3, 2001 (ACCNS) -- The 488th Intelligence Squadron here officially became part of Air Combat Command's 8th Air Force Feb. 1 in a formal command-realignment ceremony at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, outside of Cambridge, England.
Col. Ronald Haygood, 26th Information Operations Group commander, replaces the Air Intelligence Agency patch with an Air Combat Command patch on the arm of Staff Sgt. Kristin Raupp, a linguist with the 488th Intelligence Squadron at RAF Mildenhall, England. In the center is Chief Master Sgt. Alan Dowling, 26th IOG command chief. Squadron members swapped patches at a formal ceremony held at the Imperial War Museum to mark the AIA's realignment under ACC.
Air Force photo by Senior Airman Rasheen Douglas
The realignment marks the return of 8th Air Force to the United Kingdom. The command traces its lineage to the U.S. Army Air Force and World War II, when the "Mighty Eighth" was famed for its bombing missions over Nazi-occupied Europe.
Under the leadership of commanders including Generals Ira Eaker and Jimmy Doolittle, 8th Air Force boasted a peak strength of more than 3,000 aircraft and 200,000 people who fought and flew against the Axis powers. Thirty-thousand U.S. airmen gave their lives while flying from British bases, including Duxford, during World War II.
Units from 8th Air Force wouldn't see combat in Europe again until Operation Allied Force more than 50 years later, when B-52 Stratofortresses, B-1B Lancers and B-2 Spirits flew from RAF Fairford, England, and Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, in support of NATO operations against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The 488th Intelligence Squadron is part of the 67th Information Operations Wing, headquartered at Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, which falls under 8th Air Force with the realignment of the Air Intelligence Agency under Air Combat Command.
The ceremony took place inside the Imperial War Museum's American Air Museum, which tells the story of American air power and its effect on twentieth-century history.
(Courtesy of Air Combat Command Public Affairs, United States Air Force, ACC/PAB)