Friday, January 5, 2018
"The Mighty 8th"-- Part 4: 262 Fighter Aces and Still Most Powerful Air Striking Force in the World
There were 261 fighter aces in the 8th AF in World War II. (A fighter ace is generally considered as having shot down five or more enemy planes in aerial combat.)
To honor these brave acts and others, the Eight Air Force was awarded 17 Medals of Honor in World War II. They were also awarded 20 Distinguished Service Crosses, 852 Silver Stars, 7,000 Purple Hearts, 46,000 Distinguished Flying Crosses and 442,000 Air Medals.
Even more awards were made after the war. They still remain uncounted.
The 8th AF has continued in active service since its inception, with its units serving in every armed conflict the United States has engaged ever since.
It presently consists of most of the SAC units in the eastern half of the United States, plus England, Germany, Spain and Greece, with about 50,000 persons assigned. A recent 8th AF Commander has stated that it is still the most powerful air striking force in the world.