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Old 29th January 2006, 02:20
Larry Larry is offline
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What was an ATF in 8th Air Force in 1944?

I have been studying the support that various 9th Air Force Fighter Groups gave the 8th Air Force in the spring of 1944 and many of the Operational Records give details of various withdrawal support missions for various ATF's of the the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Divisions. But what was an ATF?

For example in the orders for 100th, 84th, & 71st Fighter Wings it says for 21st April 1944:-

'Eighth USAAF is attacking Targets in Central Germany, 1st ATF, 2nd Division, 9 CW's Approximately 39 B-24's Flying CW's abreast in trail targets CQ-1507 and GY-4865..etc..etc...(It then gives details of the '2nd ATF of the 3rd Division, 4 CW's 60 B-17s and then 3rd ATF of the 1st Division)

I assume ATF stands for Air Tactical Force but where does an ATF fit in with the Squadrons, Groups, Combat Wings and Air Divisions that were already 'available' to use in distinguishing various parts of an attacking force? And if 9th AF records at Group level refer (on other dates) to support for 'bombers of 3rd ATF' does that always mean support for the 8th AF or did the 9th AF also use ATF for its own B-26 and A-20 operations?
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