BIRTHPLACE OF EIGHTH
- Birthplace of Eighth Air Force
State Historical Marker
- Located at Old Chatham Armory, Bull St. near Park
- 32°03.855, 081°05.841
On 28 January 1942, the Eighth Air Force,
was activated in the adjacent building, a National Guard Armory
at the time.
Having moved to England, the Eighth was
ready on 17 August to test the theory that daylight bombing raids
could be made with profitable results. Twelve B-17's participated
in this mission, striking the railway marshalling yards at Rouen,
France, and returning safely to their home base. This highly
successful mission established the pattern for the strategic
bombardment of Nazi Germany -- the Eighth Air Force by day and
the RAF by night.
Under the leaderships of Generals Carl
A. Spaatz, Ira C. Eaker and James H. Doolittle, it flew over
600,000 sorties delivering over 700,000 tons of bombs and destroying
over 15,000 German aircraft. On one single mission, December
24, 1944, it was able to send 2,000 B-17 Flying Fortresses and
B-24 Liberators and nearly 1,000 fighters in the Battle of Germany.
The renowned winged-eight, the emblem of
the Eighth Air Force, was designed by former Air Force Major
Ed Winter, a native of Savannah.
025-86 GEORGIA HISTORICAL
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