In fact, the concept of “U.S. Air Force” is not appropriate for use during World War II, because its main force was only the Army Air Corps, which was part of the U.S. Army, and the Navy Air Corps, which was part of the Navy, they each do their own job and work together to accomplish various combat tasks.
Army Air Corps enlistment began long before the draft act was officially passed, and in 1939 Congress agreed to Roosevelt’s request to expand the size of the Army Air Corps and allocated an additional $300 million in construction funds, known as the 25-Group Program. After the German invasion of the Low Countries, Congress again passed the 54-Group Program on July 12 and appropriated $1 billion in construction funds to build 50,000 aircraft (36,500 of which were to be used by the Army Air Corps). The program was revised several times and was finally finalized in late 1941: 30,000 Land Air Pilot and 100,000 ground personnel were recruited each year, the minimum age for recruitment was lowered from 20 to 18, and the previous requirement that recruits must have at least two years of college education was eliminated. In addition, after repeated persuasion by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the Army Air Corps agreed to recruit black recruits, but this seemingly equal policy was not fair, because the black recruits did not enjoy equal treatment with other white youths in training, but were sent to a separate academy for flight training, and only a small number of these blacks became pilots or navigators, and most of them did not even qualify as ground crew.
The Department of the Army soon realized that they needed to reorganize the training department in order to cope with the large number of recruits, so on January 23, 1942, it decided to formally establish the Air Corps Flying Training Command (ACFTC) and in mid-February established the largest Air Force Candidate School in Miami Beach, Florida. In mid-February, the largest Air Force Officer Candidate School in the United States was established in Miami Beach, Florida, the school can accommodate 90,000 cadets and meet training conditions,
For the core pilot training component, the Air Corps Technical Training Command divides the training into four parts: primary flight, consolidation flight, advanced flight, and position finalized. The training cycle is nine weeks, after completing the training work, this group of trainees will have to pass the final judgment of the instructor’s assessment, which is the position finalized. Some of the cadets with excellent performance are directly awarded the rank of second lieutenant in the Air Force and will be added to the Air Corps in batches, while those with slightly inferior performance but who pass the exam will be awarded the rank of warrant officer II as alternate land pilots, these two groups are the main source of U.S. Army land pilots.
On July 1, 1943, the Army Aviation Department reorganized the Army Aviation Training Command at its base in Fort Worth, Texas, and its training was more carefully divided. In addition to the required pilot training, other Army recruits received specialized training in machine gun fire, bomb-drop training, aircraft maintenance, flight navigation, weapons overhaul, mechanic inspection, and many other special types of training, depending on their positions.
By March 1944, the number of recruits to the Army Air Corps reached a peak of more than 2,411,000, and the infrastructure of the Army Air Corps began to improve in order to accommodate such a large training force. On the day of Pearl Harbor, the United States had 114 military airfields of all types on the mainland, but by the end of 1941 that number had increased to 151. Just one year later, that number had almost quadrupled to a staggering 614. Auxiliary agencies such as logistical aid stations and civil aviation certification training schools were also growing in size.
Recruiting for the Naval Air Corps and the Marine Corps Air Corps was apparently more tortuous than for the Army Air Corps. The Navy Department had been using the principle of selecting about 30 percent of recruits as pilots, but they soon found that the Navy’s budgetary expenses were escalating. In 1932, Congress decided to reduce the percentage of Navy pilots to be recruited, and all training of Navy pilots was suspended from that year onward. It was not until 1935, when economic conditions improved a bit, that the Aviation Cadet Act was passed, essentially saving the Navy from a severe shortage of airmen.
In addition, after the formation of the Fleet Marine Force (FMF) in December 1933, the Marine Corps Air Corps began to refocus its operations on amphibious landing operations and seizure of coastal positions. This was followed by the Navy Department’s Naval Aviation Cadet Program and the Naval Expansion Act (NEA), which further expanded the number of Naval Airmen.
Under the reissued Air Cadet Amendment Act, the training pattern of the Naval Air Service gradually began to converge with that of land aviation, and cadets would receive the title of “Naval Air Cadet” after passing the training and examination.
The radical improvement in naval aviation recruitment, excluding the passage of the Draft Act, and more importantly, the fact that the Americans suffered a big loss at Pearl Harbor.
In late January 1942, Secretary of the Navy Ernest King decided to refine the HNA Pilot Training Program and reintroduce the same cadet ranking system as the Army Air Corps. During the latter part of the program, several changes were made, from the initial training in the same areas as the Army Air Corps to more detailed training than the Army Air Corps.
By the end of 1943, the NAVFAC had again formed the Naval Air Training Command (NATA), and this marked the beginning of a unified and coordinated training effort for the NAVFAC. By the end of that year, U.S. naval airmen had completely outnumbered the Japanese pilots. The American training was further improved, and the number of Japanese pilots was not only significantly reduced, but their effective training period was also gradually compressed, while the American training was further improved, and the American advantage became more and more obvious, and this American advantage actually began to appear in the Marshall Islands campaign in 1944 and was maintained until the Japanese surrender.