Military Army Air Forces Patches

Page 2 of 6
Information extracted from the book
by Barry Jason Stein
Used by permission

All army air force insignia shown with dates after 26 July 1947 became units within the newly established United States Air Force.

11th Air Force patch
11th Air Force

Worn from:  13 August 1943 - 1 July 1948.

The Eleventh Air Force was constituted as the Alaskan Air Force on 28 December 1941 before it was re-designated in February of 1942.  It participated in the offensive that drove the Japanese from the Aleutians, attacked the enemy in the Kuril Islands, and, both during and after the war, served as part of the defense force for Alaska.  The patch has a winged star in flight on a blue (sky) background with the arabic number eleven, which is the unit's designation.  Activated 5 February 1942 at Elmendorf Field, Alaska.

Campaigns:  World War II (Air Offensive, Japan; Aleutian Islands).

12th Air Force patch
12th Air Force

Worn from:  1 December 1943 - January 1958.

This unit participated in the invasion of Algeria and French Morocco and then operated in the Mediterranean theater until the end of the war.  The arabic number twelve, the unit's designation, is superimposed on the winged star, the symbol of the army air forces.  The background is ultra- marine blue representing the sky.  Activated 20 August 1942 at Bolling Field, Washington D.C.

Campaigns:  World War II (Air Combat, European-Africa-Middle East theater; Algeria-French Morocco; Tunisia; Sicily; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Southern France; North Apennines; Po Valley).

13th Air Force patch
13th Air Force

Worn from:  18 January 1944 - May 1955.

The Thirteenth Air Force served in the South Pacific and, later, the Southwest Pacific, participating in the Allied drive north and west from the Solomons to the Philippines.  The winged star is the symbol for army air forces.  The arabic number thirteen is the numerical designation of the unit.  Activated 13 January 1943 at Noumea, New Caledonia.

Campaigns:  World War II (China Defensive, Guadalcanal, New Guinea, Northern Solomons, Eastern Mandates, Bismarck Archipelago, Western Pacific, Leyte, Luzon, Southern Philippines, China Offensive.

Decorations:  Philippine Presidential Unit Citation.

14th Air Force patch
14th Air Force

Worn from:  6 August 1943 - Mid 1950's.

The Fourteenth Air Force served in combat against the Japanese, operating primarily in China, until the end of the war.  The star encompassing a red circle is a symbol for army air forces.  The "Flying Tiger" is the emblem of the famous American volunteer group under the command of Major General Clair Chennault, and pays tribute to that group.  Activated 10 March 1943 at Kunming, China.

Campaigns:  World War II (India-Burma, China Defensive, China Offensive).

15th Air Force patch 1
15th Air Force

Worn from:  November 1943 - 1 December 1943.

Approved for local wear only.

This design, using the roman numerals for ten and five (totaling fifteen) with a winged star above symbolizing army air forces, was personally approved by General James Doolittle in Tunis, North Africa in November 1943 and worn for a short time before introduction of the official patch.

15th Air Force patch 2
15th Air Force

Worn from:  19 February 1944 - Mid 1950's.

Activated in the Mediterranean theater on 1 November 1943, the Fifteenth Air Force began operations on bardment of targets in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans until the end of the war.  The winged star symbolizes the army air forces.  The arabic number fifteen indicates the unit's designation.  Activated 1 November 1943 at Tunis, Tunisia.

Campaigns:  World War II (Air Combat, European-African-Middle East theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Naples-Foggia; Anzio; Rome-Arno; Normandy; Northern France; Southern France; North Apennines; Rhineland; Central Europe; and Po Valley).

20th Air Force patch
20th Air Force

Worn from:  26 May 1944 - 1 March 1955.

Some combat elements of this unit moved in the summer of 1944 from the United States to India where they carried out very heavy bombardment operations against targets in Japan, Formosa, Thailand, and Burma.  Other combat elements began moving late in 1944 from the United States to the Marianas, being joined there early in 1945 by the elements that had been in India.  From the Marianas, the Twentieth conducted a strategic air offensive that was climaxed by the dropping of two atomic bombs on Japan.  This unit also served in combat for a short time at the beginning of the Korean War.  Among the commanders of this air force were General of the Army, Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Major General Curtis E. LeMay and Lieutenant General Nathan F. Twining.  The winged star represents the arm air forces, and the arabic number twenty is the unit's designation.  Both are superimposed upon a globe.  Activated 4 April 1944 at Washington D.C.

Campaigns:  World War II (American theater; India-Burma; Air Offensive, Japan; China Defensive; Eastern Mandates; Western Pacific; Central Burma).

Hq Cmd USAF patch

Worn from:  10 October 1949 - 17 March 1958.

The capital dome indicates the area of operation in the Military District of Washington.  The significance of the twenty-six segments surrounding the dome is unknown.  Activated 17 March 1948 at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington D.C.

USAF patch

Worn from:  27 December 1944 - 1 August 1945.

The shape suggests the shield of the United States. The winged star symbolizes army air forces.  Three air forces serving under the command are represented by the three small stars at the top of the shield.  The letters "USSTAF" are the command's designation.  As the re-designated United States Air Forces in Europe, this unit directed United States Air Force operations in the Berlin airlift from June 1948 to September 19459.  Activated 1 January 1944 at Bushy Park, England.

Campaigns:  World War II (Air Combat, European-African-Middle East theater; Air Offensive, Europe; Normandy; Northern France; Rhineland; Ardennes-Alsace; Central Europe).

 US Strategic AF patch 
 US StrategicAF

Worn from:  24 July 1947 - 1 July 1956.

The winged star is the traditional air force symbol.  A flaming sword taken from the patch of the United States Forces European theater shows the relationship of the two commands.  Established near Paris in August 1945.

Desert Air Force patch
Desert Air Force

Worn from:  9 October 1941 - 1945.

Worn by local authority only.

The cross and shield at the base of the patch represent the British Eighth Army.  The wings represent air support.  The letters indicate the unit's designation.  The British and American aircraft markings are represented at the upper portion of the patch and indicate the assignment of personnel from both nations to the force.  Activated 9 October 1941 in the Western Desert, North Africa

Far East Air Force patch
Far East Air Force

Worn from:  30 April 1945 - September 1947.

The star and wings symbolize army air forces.  The Philippine sun and the stars in the form of the Southern Cross indicate the area of operations.  Activated 3 August 1944 at Brisbane, Australia.