U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East

U.S. Army Forces In The Middle East

U.S. Army Forces in the Middle East

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United States Army Forces in the Middle East (USAFIME) was a unified United States Army command during World War II established in August, 1942 by order of General George Marshall to oversee the Egypt-Libya Campaign.

The small USAFIME was headquartered in Cairo—which simplified liaison with its much larger British counterpart, Middle East Command. USAFIME had command over all United States Army forces in North Africa and the Middle East, except the Army Air Forces Ferrying Command. It was composed of:
  • Iran-Iraq Service Command, later renamed the Persian Gulf Service Command (PGSC) and then finally the Persian Gulf Command; this was the successor to the original US Iranian Mission and was responsible for US troops manning the Persian Corridor. It was originally commanded by Col. Don G. Shingler, who was replaced late in 1942 by Brig. Gen. Donald H. Connolly.
  • The North African Mission.


The first commander of the USAFIME was Maj. Gen. Russell L. Maxwell. He was replaced in November 1942 by Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), and in January 1943 by Maj. Gen. Lewis H. Brereton.

Maxwell was an army general because at the time he was appointed it was expected that the Americans would contribute ground troops to assist in the Allied Western Desert Campaign. Initially the only US combat forces which were allocated to the Middle East theater were USAAF squadrons. As plans for Operation Torch began to take shape the it became clear that the...
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