Spaatz file photo [994]

Carl Spaatz

Given NameCarl
Born28 Jun 1891
Died14 Jul 1974
CountryUnited States


ww2dbaseCarl Andrew Spaatz was born in Boyertown, Pennsylvania. He attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and graduated in 1914. He was assigned to military aviation in Oct 1915. During the expedition to Mexico in 1916 he served in the First Aero Squadron under General John Pershing. Spaatz was promoted to First Lieutenant in July 1916 and to Captain in May 1917. During WW1, he served as the squadron commander of the 31st Aero Squadron and also spent time as the commander of the American Aviation School at Issoudun, France. He received the Distinguished Service Cross for WW1. He was promoted to major in Jul 1920.

ww2dbaseDuring the inter-war years, Spaatz served as commander of various posts and completed the Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel in September 1935.

ww2dbaseAt the start of WW2 in Europe, Spaatz was sent to observe the Battle of Britain. In Oct 1940 he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general and appointed assistant to the Chief of the Air Corps. One year later, when the United States entered the war after Pearl Harbor, he became the Chief of the Army Air Forces Combat Command with the war time rank of major general. In May 1942, he was named the commander of the Eighth Air Force and then his responsibility grew to cover all US Army Air Forces in Europe; in this role he became a critical component of Dwight Eisenhower's campaign in North Africa and Sicily. In Mar 1945, he was promoted to the rank of general, and in Jul of the same year he was given responsibility over all US Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific with headquarters in Guam. Eisenhower, after the war, commented that Spaatz was one of the most talented and valuable leaders in the European Theater of Operations in WW2.

ww2dbaseAt the end of the war, Spaatz was present at three important surrendering events: the German surrender to the western Allies at Reims, the German surrender to the Russians at Berlin, and the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. He was the only general present at all three surrenders.

ww2dbaseAfter the war, President Harry Truman nominated Spaatz to the permanent rank of major general; with this promotion, he was appointed the commanding general of the Army Air Forces (Feb 1946). In Sep 1947, he became the first Chief of Staff of United States' newly created independent Air Force. He retired from the military in Jun 1948 and passed away in 1974. He rests in peace at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia.

Last Major Revision: Jan 2006

Carl Spaatz Interactive Map


Arthur Coningham, Carl Spaatz, Arthur Tedder, and Laurence Kuter, Apr 1943Brigadier General Jesse Auton, General Dwight Eisenhower, Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz, Major General James Doolittle, Major General William E. Kepner, Colonel Donald M. Blakeslee, RAF Debden, Essex, England, United Kingdom, 11 Apr 1944. VIPs were present for the presentation of Blakeslee with the Distinguished Service CrossSupreme Allied Commander General Dwight Eisenhower (left) and other dignitaries examining a 4,000-pound bomb at RAF Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire, England in the spring of 1944.Carl Spaatz, George Patton, James Doolittle, Hoyt Vandenberg, and Otto Weyland in France, 1944
See all 17 photographs of Carl Spaatz

Carl Spaatz Timeline

28 Jun 1891 Carl Spaatz was born.
5 Jan 1942 Major General Carl Spaatz assumed command of the USAAF Fifth Air Force, which would be renumbered Eighth Air Force on the following day. Spaatz established his headquarters at Bolling Field, Washington DC, United States.
5 May 1942 USAAF Fifth Air Force, under the command of Major General Carl Spaatz and based at Bolling Field, Washington DC, United States, was renumbered as Eighth Air Force.
5 Jan 1943 General Carl A. Spaatz relinquished his post as commander of the US 8th Air Force on his transfer to the Mediterranean Theatre. He was replaced by Major General Ira C. Eaker.
18 Feb 1943 The Northwest African Air Forces (NWAAF) commanded by Major General Carl A. Spaatz came into existence under the Allied Mediterranean Air Command.
8 Dec 1943 US Lieutenant General Carl Spaatz was appointed Chief of US Strategic Air Forces in Europe.
24 Sep 1944 US Ambassador to the United Kingdom John Winant met with US Army Air Forces generals Carl Spaatz and Ira Eaker to discuss the possibility of conducting another major supply drop for resistance fighters in Warsaw, Poland. They concluded that similar missions should not be conducted due to the closure of US bases in the Soviet Union (the closure was planned for 5 Oct 1944), the shortening of daylight hours, and the rate of aircraft loss.
16 Jul 1945 General Carl Spaatz became the commanding officer of the US Army Strategic Air Forces based at Guam, Mariana Islands.
18 Jul 1945 The headquarters of the US Army Strategic Air Forces in the Pacific was established on Guam, Mariana Islands under General Carl Spaatz.
14 Jul 1974 Carl Spaatz passed away.

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Xavier SAUREL says:
13 Aug 2006 06:58:25 AM

Looking for any informations concerning Spaatzs personal B-17G named Boops after his daughter. B-17G-95DL cn 44-83259. Thank you.
2. James Jones says:
12 Nov 2010 11:35:01 AM

I have this information if you've not already found it. My grandfather was Navigator on this aircraft.
3. Andreas Dort, Giessen/Germany says:
15 Dec 2010 10:13:21 PM

I┬┤m a WWII USAAF photo collector from germany.
Send me a email to I have a picture from the cn 44-83259

4. John P. DeMuth says:
9 Jul 2011 07:00:50 PM

one thing that is was forgotten was that he was the first Maj. General of the Civil Air Patrol.
5. Dave Tarrant says:
1 Aug 2012 08:33:14 AM

Looking to connect with Mr. James Jones, who entered a comment regarding VB-17G 483259 "Boops" indicating his grandfather was navigator on this aircraft.

6. Xavier SAUREL says:
4 Nov 2012 10:00:37 AM

Looking to connect with Mr. James Jones, who entered a comment regarding my comment on VB-17G 483259 "Boops" indicating his grandfather was navigator on this aircraft or to Mr. Dave Tarrant who may also help me.
7. Anonymous says:
21 Mar 2016 11:59:48 AM


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More on Carl Spaatz
Event(s) Participated:
» Conclusion of the Desert War
» Germany's Surrender
» Japan's Surrender

Carl Spaatz Photo Gallery
Arthur Coningham, Carl Spaatz, Arthur Tedder, and Laurence Kuter, Apr 1943
See all 17 photographs of Carl Spaatz

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