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'US Air Force in the South West Pacific' souvenir pennant ww2


Well-Known Member


Maker Unknown
Place made Australia
Date made c 1942
Banner commemorating the establishment of the USAAF (later 5th Air Force) in Australia in the aftermath of the Japanese entry into the war in December 1941. Surviving elements of the Phillipines-based Far East Air Force retreated via Java to Australia in late 1941 ahead of the advancing Japanese and these survivors formed the core of the 5th Air Force in Australia. At the time, most of the bomber units were composed of early model Boeing B-17 Flying Fortresses, as depicted here on the banner. Indeed, this depiction owes much to the earlier model Y1B-17 or possibly the B-17B. The early date of manufacture of this banner is confirmed by the inclusion of the central red dot in the wing and fuselage star markings - these were deleted by the end of March 1942 in Australia by painting out the red with white, as they were being confused with Japanese markings.