United States Army Air Corps

The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) was the statutory forerunner of the United States Air Force. Renamed from the Air Service on 2 July 1926, it was part of the United States Army and the predecessor of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), established in 1941. Although abolished as an administrative entity in 1942, the Air Corps (AC) remained as one of the combat arms of the Army until 1947.

The Air Corps was renamed by the United States Congress largely as a compromise between advocates of a separate air arm and those of the Army high command who viewed the aviation arm as an auxiliary branch to support the ground forces. Although its members worked to promote the concept of airpower and an autonomous air force between 1926 and 1941, its primary purpose by Army policy remained support of ground forces rather than independent operations.

On 1 March 1935, still struggling with the issue of a separate air arm, the Army activated the General Headquarters Air Force for centralized control of aviation combat units within the continental United States, separate from but coordinate with the Air Corps. The separation of the Air Corps from control of its combat units caused problems of unity of command that became more acute as the Air Corps enlarged in preparation for World War II. This was resolved by the creation of the Army Air Forces on 20 June 1941, when both organizations became subordinate to the new higher echelon.

The Air Corps ceased to have an administrative structure after 9 March 1942, but as "the permanent statutory organization of the air arm, and the principal component of the Army Air Forces," the overwhelming majority of personnel assigned to the AAF were members of the Air Corps.

Read more about United States Army Air CorpsCreation of The Air Corps, General Staff Resistance To Air Corps Doctrine, GHQ Air Force

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