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Happy Birthday 8th Air Force

Today was the 80th Anniversary of the Eighth Air Force, the "Mighty Eighth".

The Eighth Air Force was the parent organisation of the 4th Fighter Group's Eagle Squadrons, and was formed in WWII, originally named VIII Bomber Command.

When the Eighth was reorganised into Divisions, the fighter groups were organised into Wings, and came under the control of the aforementioned Air Divisions.

Today the 8th lives on and is a numbered Air Force of the United States Air Force's "Air Force Global Strike Command" (AFGSC), encompassing squadrons of B1, B2 and B-52 Bombers.

Today, they sent two B-1b Lancer Bomber on a mission to Britain to comemmorate the anniversary.

A statement from US Air Forces Europe and Africa was released on their Facebook page today ....

"This afternoon, two United States Air Force B-1B Lancers from Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. participated in a long-distance, roundtrip flight from the United States to the United Kingdom to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Eighth Air Force, Feb. 1, 2022.

The Air Force Global Strike Command bombers were joined by Royal Air Force F-35 aircraft and RAF Lakenheath F-15s over the RAF Duxford area. Duxford houses Europe’s largest air museum and was once home to an Eighth Air Force P-51 unit.

B-1b over Duxford Airfield, home of the American Air Museum

B-1b over the British countryside, escorted by two USAF F-15's from RAF Lakenheath, and one RAF F-35b from 617 Squadron at RAF Marham.

“The Eighth Air Force has a long, rich history that dates back to World War II,” said Maj. Gen. Andrew Gebara, Eighth Air Force and Joint-Global Strike Operations Center commander. “Not only does this flight signify the longevity and reach of the United States’ bomber force, but it also pays tribute to our closest Ally, the United Kingdom. Eighth Air Force has had a close relationship with the Royal Air Force since its beginning.”

A flypast was also undertaken at the Cambridge American Cemetery at Madingley, Cambridgeshire, in honour of the 3811 war dead resting in peace on the site.

Salute to all the members of the Mighty Eighth, past and present.


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