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IX Air Defense Command


IX Air Defense Command was established in the ETO to carry out Air Defence, it over saw fighter aircraft, anti-aircraft artillery and signal warning units.

In 1943 the War Department determined air defence to be the responsibility of the US Army Air Forces. The 9th Air Force drew up a plan for an Air Defence Command in late 1943 and set up a head quarters using personnel form the 51st and 52nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Brigades, and from the 118th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group. The organisation was then officially announced on 30 March 1944 under the Command of Brigadier General William L Richardson

In January 1944, IX Air Defense command coordinated the defence of Ninth Air Force and Communications Zone installations during operation Overlord. This was combined with the training of air, Anti-aircraft artillery and signal troops in the performance of their air defense missions.

During February and March, antiaircraft units in increasing numbers began to arrive in the United Kingdom and a number of them were attached to the Command and used to defend Ninth Air Force operational airfields. Other AAA units were given additional combined training
with air force units, while AA personnel trained 9th Air Force Ground Crewmen on how to use Anti-Aircraft guns, to supplement the defence of airfields.

The command was formerly established in July 1944, and activated on 1 July 1944, where its mission changed to to provide air defense for liberated areas of Western Europe consisting of France and later, the Low Countries. In addition to their air defence duties, the command saw it's units engaged in combat at St Lo in July 1944, undertook attacks on retreating tanks, trucks, and troop concentrations and provided armed reconnaissance for advancing Allied armored columns.

In September 1944, the units of the command attacked flak positions near Eindhoven during Operation Market-Garden, and bombed enemy communications and transportation lines in western Germany. The flying units also flew armed reconnaissance missions over Battle of the Bulge during December 1944 – January 1944 and missions against enemy transportation systems including motor vehicles, bridges, trains, railway bridges, and marshalling yards during February and March 1945.

The Command finally moved to Germany in April 1945, flying last combat missions on 3 May 1945.

US Air Force Combat Units of World War II Description

Constituted as IX Air Defense Command on 19 Jun 1944. Activated in England on 1 Jul 1944. Assigned to Ninth AF. Provided air defense for areas behind the advancing ground forces in northern Europe. Inactivated in Europe on 25 Jun 1946. Disbanded on 8 Oct 1948.


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Previously was
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Station Location Date
Established Hampstead Borough 1 July 1944



  • Ricco Taddeucci

    Military | Private First Class
    Taddeucci enlisted in January 1943, and served with Battery D of the 391st Anti-Aircraft Automatic Weapons Battalion. While stationed in England he signed his name in a building at Raydon airbase.




Date Contributor Update
06 May 2020 10:02:14 Emily Changes to description and person associations

The Activities of IX Air Defense Command by William L Thorkelston in Anti-Aircraft Journal, March - April 1949, pp 2-8

Date Contributor Update
25 September 2019 13:39:36 Emily Changes to motto, insignia, us air force combat units of world war ii description and stations

Air Force Combat Units of World War II

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:42:43 AAM AAM ingest

Units in the UK from ETOUSA Station List, as transcribed by Lt. Col. Philip Grinton (US Army, Retired) and extracted by IWM; air division data from L.D. Underwood, based on the 8th Air Force Strength Report of 6th August 1944, as published in 'The 8th Air Force Yearbook' by Lt. Col. John H Woolnough (1980)