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Texas native given command of both American air forces in England

October
15
1943

On this day in 1943, Texas native Ira Eaker was promoted from commander of the Eighth Air Force to assume command of both American air forces in England, the Eighth and the Ninth. Eaker, an aviation pioneer, joined the army in 1917 and transferred to the Army Air Corps in 1918. He was one of ten pilots chosen to make the Pan American Goodwill Flight in 1926, and pioneered in flight refueling in the inter-war years. During his World War II service in England between 1942 and 1944, Eaker was instrumental in the development and application of daylight precision bombing in the European Theater. He went on to command the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces in 1944-45. He died in 1987.

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