Constituted as Fifteenth AF on 30 Oct 1943. Activated in the Mediterranean theater on 1 Nov 1943, at Tunis, Tunisia, with Maj . Gen. James H. Doolittle as its Commanding General. On activation of th
... Moree Fifteenth, eleven combat groups were permanently transferred to it by the Twelfth Air Force. Also sent to the new Fifteenth were the 5th Bomb Wing (which controlled four B-17 groups, and two B-24 groups); the 42nd Bomb Wing with three B-26 groups and the 47th Bomb Wing including the Twelfth's original two B-25 groups. The later two groups were returned to the Twelfth on 3 Nov 1943 and the 47th Wing became a heavy bomb wing. The 42nd Bomb Wing and its three B-26 groups returned to the twelfth at the end of the year. The 15th began operations on 1 Nov 1943, with the target being the Spezia Naval Base. The 15th engaged primarily in strategic bombardment of targets in Italy, France, Germany, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans until the end of the war. Transferred to Bari, Italy on 1 Dec 1943. Maj. Gen. Nathan F. Twining would succeed Maj. Gen. Doolittle on 3 Jan 1944. In Jan 1944, reconnaissance of strategic targets was assigned to six aircraft form the 15th Squadron of the 5th Photo Group, Twelfth Air Force, which were placed under Fifteenth control. On 29 Apr 1945 the war in Italy came to an end with the surrender of German forces in-county. The 15th dropped 303,842 tons of bombs on enemy targets in 12 countries of Europe, including military installations in eight capital cities. Its combat personnel made 148,955 heavy bomber sorties and 87,732 fighter sorties against the enemy. It loss 3364 aircraft and 21, 671 personnel killed, wounded, missing and taken prisoner - 20430 bomber crewman and 1187 fighter pilots. The 15th was inactivated in Italy on 15 Sep 1945. Activated in the United States on 31 Mar 1946, at Colorado Springs, CO., and assigned to the Strategic Air Command (SAC). Transferred to March Air Force Base, and continued to be part of SAC through 1 Jun 1992, when it was transferred to the Air Mobility Command. Transferred to Travis Air Force Base on 1 Jul 1993. Re-designated 15th Expeditionary Mobility Task Force on 1 Oct 2003, and transferred to Eighteenth Air Force. On 20 Mar 2012 the 15th Expeditionary Task Force was inactivated at Travis Air Force Base.
Sources: Air Force Combat Units of World War II; www.wikipedia.org; Fifteenth Air Force Story by Kenn C. Rust; B-24 Liberator Units Of The Fifteenth Air Force by Robert F. Dorr. Hide
The European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal was awarded for for qualifying service within the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations between December 7, 1941, and March 2, 1946,
... Moreunder any of the following conditions: On permanent assignment within the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater; or, For service in a passenger status or on temporary duty status for 30 consecutive days or 60 non-consecutive days; or, For service in active combat in the European-African-Middle Eastern Theater of Operations against the enemy and awarded a combat decoration or furnished a certificate by the commanding general of a corps, higher unit, or independent force that the individual actually participated in combat. Hide