to the men and women
who served in the
5th Air Force
in World War II
The 5th Air Force
Commanded initially by General George C. Kenney the 5th Air Force, although holding a low priority for men and equipment, wrested control of the air from the Japanese over the skies of New Guinea in late 1942 and helped stop the Japanese drive in Papua. From there the 5th led the way for a combination of Army and Navy forces to neutralize the islands of the Bismarck Archipelago, the Netherlands East Indies, and to liberate the Philippines. When the war ended in August of 1945 elements of the 5th were moving to the Ryukyus in preparation for the invasion of Japan.
The 5th Air Force fought not only in WW II but in the Korean War as well. It remains stationed in the Far East on the date this memorial is dedicated and proudly claims to be serving on "the tip of the spear."
Countries and Islands Where 5th Air Force WW II Units Served
Australia · New Guinea · Schouten Island (OWI) · Biak · Noemfoor · Morotai · Leyte · Tanauan · Angaur · Mindoro · Samar · Luzon · Okinawa · Japan
WW II Medal of Honor Winners
Major Richard I. Bong, 49th Ftr Gp
Major Ralph Cheli, 38th Bomb Gp
Lt JG Nathan G. Gordon, USN, Navy Patrol Sq 34
Colonel Neel E. Kearby, 348th Ftr Gp
Major Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., 475th Ftr Gp
Captain Harl Pease, Jr., 19th Bomb Gp
Lt Joseph R. Sarnoski, 43rd Bomb Gp
Major William A. Shomo, 71st Tac Recon Gp
Brig. Gen. Kenneth Walker, V Bomber Command
Major Raymond H. Wilkins, 3rd Attack Gp
Major Jay Zeamer, Jr., 43rd Bomb Gp
The 5th Air Force Insignia
The crowing feature of this memorial is a representation of the 5th Air Force insignia which consisted of an ultramarine blue disc with the five stars of the Southern Cross in white. Hurling across the disc is a flaming comet, the head of the comet consisting of a white five pointed star, charged with a red roundel, within a blue disc outlined in white, and its tail of three white streamers; all surrounded by a golden orange Arabic number "5". The stars of the Southern Cross are symbolic of the skies of the Southwest Pacific area where the 5th Air Force was organized in early 1942. It was formed from remnants of the Army Air Force organizations which escaped to Australia from the Philippines and from units freshly arrived from the United States.
Dedicated June 24, 1988