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United States Army Air Force
Glossary and Abbreviations



A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y - Z
Command Examples:
V FC: 5th Air Force Fighter Command
VIII BC = 8th Air Force Bomber Command
IX TAC = 9th Air Force Tactical Air Command

AA: Anti-aircraft (artillery), "Ack-ack" or Flak
AAB: Army Air Base
AAC: Army Air Corps (Proper for USAAC)
AACS: Army Airways Communications System
AAF: Army Air Forces (Proper for USAAF)
AAFIB: Army Air Force in Britain
AAFld: Army Air Field
AAFSC: Army Air Forces Service Command
AAFWS: Army Air Forces Weather Service
AB: Air Base
Abbeville Boys: Slang for elite JG 26 German Fighter Regiment
ABDA: American-British-Dutch-Australian Forces
ABDACOM: American-British-Dutch-Australian Forces Command
Abort: Turn back from a mission before reaching the target.
A/C: Aircraft
Acceptable Loss: Affordable combat loss versus results obtained.
Ace: Pilot destroying 5 or more Enemy Aircraft in the air.
Ace in a Day: Term for downing 5 or more E/A in one sortie.
Ace Maker: Slang for K-14 lead-computing gunsight
Ace Race: Term for the unofficial chase toward Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker's WWI victory tally of 26 Aerial Destroyed.
ACG: Air Commando Group
ACM: Air Cooperation Mission or close air support of ground troops.
AD or Air Div: Air Division
A/D: Aerodrome or Airdrome, an Airfield
ADC: Air Defense Command
Adv: Advance
ADVON: Advanced Echelon
AEAF: Allied Expeditionary Air Force
AEF: Allied Expeditionary Force
Aerial combat: Combat between or among hostile air forces.
A/F: Airfield
AFB: Air Force Base
AFBC: Air Force Base Command
AF Comp Cmd: Air Force Composite Command
AFPAC: US Army Forces Pacific
AFSC: Air Force Services Command
AG: Adjutant General
AGF: Army Ground Forces
Ailerons: Wing control surfaces for aircraft's bank and roll.
Airacobra: Bell P-39 Fighter Aircraft
Air Strip: Aircraft landing field.
Air Support: Tactical Air Cooperation mission with ground troops.
Air Support Party - Communications team assigned to Air Strike.
AJRS: Air Jungle Rescue Squadron
ALO: Air Liaison Officer
Altitude: Position of height of in the air.
AM: Air Medal
AMET: Africa-Middle East Theater
Ami: Euro-slang for "American"
Ammo: Ammunition
Anchor: Apply air brakes, flaps, ect. - Attempt to rapidly reduce speed.
Angels: Altitude in thousands of feet - "Angels 20" = 20,000'
Angle-off: Angle between the line of flight of target a/c and line of sight of an attacking a/c.
Ann: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki. 30, IJAAF Light Bomber
Anoxia: Absence of oxygen in the blood, experienced at high-altitudes
A.N.R.: Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana or (Fascist) Italian Republican National Air Force.
ANVIL: Plan for invasion of Southern France.
API: Armor-Piercing Incendiary ammunition
Ar or AR: Arado (German aircraft)
ARCADIA: Code for Washington Conference for Anglo-American offensive against Germany, Dec 20 - Jan 14, 1942.
ARGONAUT: Code name for the Malta and Yalta Conference of Jan.-Feb, 1945.
ARGUMENT: Plan of USSTAF air operations against German aircraft factories, February 1944.
Arm.: Aircraft Armorer
Armd: Armored
Arty: Artillery
Armed Recce: Armed Reconnaissance, search and attack.
ASC or A Spt Cmd: Air Support Command
ASF: Army Service Forces, renamed from Services of Supply.
ASP: Air Support Party
ASR: Air-Sea Rescue
Asst.: Assistant
Asst. C/C: Assistant Crew Chief
ATC: Air Transport Command
ATF: Air Task Force
Atlanta: Production name for first Lockheed P-38's - AAF later adopted the British RAF term "Lightning"
ATS: Air Transport Squadron
Attitude: Aspect of aircraft's angle.
Attrition: Permanent loss of a/c to all operational or defined causes.
Auger (in): Slang for crashing an aircraft, sometimes referring to death.
Authenticate: Secret code challenges and answers, usually changed daily.
Auxiliary: Secondary
AV or Avn: Aviation
AVALANCHE: Allied Invasion of Italy at Salerno, September 9, 1943.
AVG: American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, "Flying Tigers"
AWPD: Air War Plans Division
AWS: Aircraft Warning Service
Axis: Fascist allies Germany, Italy, Japan ect.
Axis Sally: English-speaking German radio broadcast propagandist.
B: Bombadier
B-Dash-Crash-Two-Four: Derogatory slang for Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Babs: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki.15, IJAAF Recon and C5M, IJNAF Recon
BACU: Battle Area Control Unit (CAAU with precision radar)
Bag: A Victory or a mission tally. To "bag" an E/A.
Bail out or Bale out: Eject, Parachute, jump out of an aircraft, "Chute".
Balls Out: Full speed ahead, full throttle; an all-out effort.
Baltimore Whore: derogatory Martin B-26 Marauder Medium Bomber
Banana Boat: derogatory Consolidated B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber
Bandit: Slang for Enemy Aircraft
Bank: Aspect of Rotation of airplane about its longitudinal axis.
Barrel Roll: Airplane rolled about a line offset but parallel to its longitudinal axis.
BC: Bomber Command
BD or Bomb. Div.: Bombardment Division
Beat up the field: Unauthorized high-speed "buzz" over friendly airfield.
Bee Tee: Vultee BT-13 Valiant (slang=Vibrator)
Belly-in: Slang for Wheels-up/Landing gear-up landing.
Betty: Allied code for Mitsubishi G4M, IJNAF Attack Bomber
B/F: Bomber Force
B/G: Rank of Brigadier General
BG or Bomb. Gp.: Bombardment Group
Big B.: Berlin
Big Friends: Fighter crew slang for Friendly Bombers
Bigger game: Large formation of enemy aircraft
Big Week: Air crews' term for all out CBO versus German targets, beginning Feb. 19/20, 1944.
Billy's Bomber: Slang for North American B-25 Mitchell
Bird: Airplane
Bird Colonel: Rank of full "Silver Winged" Colonel
"Birds are walking": Heavy overcast cloud cover
Black-out: When pulling too many G's, blood leaves the brain , sight is lost and pilot becomes unconscious.
Black Widow: Northrop P-61 twin-engined Night Fighter
Blind approach: Approach to landing under very low visibility conditions with the aid of R/T
Bingo: Point of maximum fuel level for successful return flight to base.
Blitz Week: Big Week
Blow job: Jet Aircraft
Blown canopy: Full-view "bubblETOp" canopy.
Bmr: Bomber
Bn: Battalion
Boa Cumulus: Clouds around a mountain top.
B.O.B.: Battle of Britain
Bodenplatte, Operation: Germany's last all out air-offensive of WWII, January 1, 1945.
Bogey or Bogies: Unidentified Aircraft or sighting of U/I.
BOLERO: Code for plan of operations against Germany and for the build-up of US forces and supplies in the UK.
Bomb.: Bombardment
Bomber Box: Flight of bombers, spaced strategically to best utilise each aircraft's arc of defensive armament "fire".
"Bombing the leader": Holding formation and toggling when the leader drops his bombs; "Drop on leader".
Bomb racks: Internal and external devices for mounting bombs.
BOOMERANG: Code for Pre-Normandy invasion exercise.
BOQ: Bachelor Officer's Quarters
Boston: Douglas A-20 twin-engined Light Attack Bomber (or "Havoc")
Bounce: Attack, by surprise, another aircraft or a ground target.
Brassed or brassed off: RAF Slang for anger, angry or being angered.
Brass hats: Slang for High Command.
Break: Sharp evasive turning manouvre.
Break off: Halt attack.
Brit: Slang for British citizen
Briefing: Detailed instructions given to Combat Crews prior to mission.
BS or Bomb. Sq.: Bombardment Squadron
BT or BTG: Ball-turret Gunner
Buck fever: Slang for rookie nervousness (as in a deer hunt).
Buster: Maximum Emergency Power
Busting: Strafing attack
Buzz: To fly low over the Deck
Buzz Bomb: Slang for German V-1 unguided missle
BW or Bomb Wg: Bombardment Wing
CAAU: Close Air Attack Unit
CACW: Chinese-American Composite Wing
CAF: Chinese Air Force
Call Sign: A Code Word for Pilot Identification over R/T.
Canopy: Plexiglass covering for cockpit area.
CAP: Combat Air Patrol
Capt.: Rank of Captain
CARPETBAGGER: Code for operation to airdrop supplies underground patriot forces in Western Europe.
Carpet bombing: Concentrated bombing saturation of enemy positions in the way of progressing Allied troops.
CATCHPOLE: Operations against EniwETOk and Ujelang Atolls, Marshall Is.
Caterpillar Club: Unofficial "award", Parachuting to save life
CATF: China Air Task Force
CBI: China-Burma-India Theatre
CBO: (Allied) Combined Bomber Offensive
CC or Comp. Cmd.: Composite Command
C/C: Crew Chief
CCRC: Combat Crew Replacement Center
CCS: Allied Combined Chiefs of Staff
CCS: Combat Cargo Squadron
C-1-O-Boom or Cee-One-Oh-Boom: derogatory nickname for Consolidated C-109 (B-24 modification) Liberator
Ceiling: Height above the earth's surface of the lowest layer of clouds.
Ceiling Zero: Less than 50 feet from the ground to cloud base.
CG: Center of Gravity
CG: Commanding General
Chaff or Window: Metal foil strips dropped for aircraft to disrupt and confuse radar detection.
Chandelle: Reversal of course by a sharp climbing turn.
CHATTANOOGA: Code Name for a mission against rail targets.
CHATTANOOGA CHOO CHOO: Operations against rail targets.
Chatter: Excessive, unnecessary talk over R/T
Check Six: Look behind to make sure the "6 O'Clock" position is clear.
CinC: Commander-in-Chief
Chute: Parachute
Chomp on the Binders: RAF slang for applying brakes.
Chop Up: Tear the target to pieces.
CIRCUS: Early Code Name for a Large-formation Bomber Escort mission.
Claim: Petition for credit for a victory over E/A.
Claude: Allied code for Mitsubishi A5M, IJNAF Fighter
CLARION: Code for Air Assault against transportation and communications targets in Germany, Feb 22-23, 1945.
Clobber: Destroy or damage an airplane or area
Clobber College: Slang for an OTU or indoctrination of "fledgling" pilots by a combat veteran.
Cmd: Command
CMNDO: Commando
CMS: Combat Mapping Squadron
Cockpit: The pilot's seating and control area in an aircraft.
C.O.: Commanding Officer
Cold Turkey: Straightforward talk without "mincing" words or a sure kill.
Col.: Rank of Colonel
Column Cover: Continuous Fighter protection over friendly ground column.
Combat Box: Combat formation of bombers of three or more Bomber Groups.
Comm.: Communications
Commando: Curtiss C-46 Transport Aircraft
Commerce Raider: Medium bomber converted to strafer, mainly used for attacking transport ships.
Comp.: Composite
Compressibility: In a dive, aircraft becomes progressively nose-heavy with increased dive angle and control loss.
Contrails: Vapor condensation trails behind engines of high flying A/C.
Controlled Interception: Aircraft directed to the target by air or ground station radio communication and/or radar.
Control Tower: Airfield facility for controlling air and ground traffic.
CONUS: Continental United States
Coordinates: System per a map for location.
"Copy": R/T acknowledgement for "Received and understood."
CORKSCREW: Code name for Allied air assault operation in preparation for the Invasion of Italy.
CoS: US Chiefs of Staff
COSSAC: Chief of Staff, Supreme Allied Commander
COVER: Code name for pre-Normandy Invasion diversionary air strikes mainly in the Pas de Calais, France.
CP: Command Post
CP: Co-Pilot
Cradle: Slang Fairchild PT-19 Trainer
Credit: A confirmed victory claim.
Cripple: Slang for a damaged aircraft attempting to return from the combat area and in need of assistance/escort.
CROSSBOW: Allied code for Plan to counter V-1 launch sites.
CW: Combat Wing
CWS: Chemical Warfare Service
DAF: Desert Air Force
Damaged: Aircraft victory claimed versus and E/A as partially destroyed but likely repairable.
DATF: Desert Air Task Force
Dave: Allied code for Nakajima E8N1, IJNAF Recon Floatplane
D-Day: Disembarkation Day; Date for planned action of landing.
Dead stick: Slang for No Engine Power; A "dead stick (glide in) landing".
Deck: Ground Level or very close to the ground!
Def.: Defense
Deflection Angle: Angle of moving target from the firing A/C.
Deflection Shot: Gunnery fire at a moving target from a side angle while "leading" the target.
Dep.: Deputy
Det.: Detachment
DIADEM: Code for Allied offensive in Italy, May 1944.
Dinah: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki.46, IJAAF Recon and Heavy Fighter
Ditch: Crash-landing into water, intending to abandon.
Div.: Division
Dive Bomb: Drop bomb on target from a high angle diving approach.
Diver: RAF Slang for V-1 unguided missle.
Diver Patrol: Aircraft in flight to be vectored to intercept V-1 unguided missiles.
Dogfight: Aerial battle between aircraft, aerial combat, melee, "scrap".
Doodlebug: Slang for German V-1 unguided missle
DP: Displaced Person(s)
Droop Snoot: P-38 Lightning - guns replaced with plexiglass nose and bombadier compartment, used as Bomber/Pathfinder/Recon.
Drop on leader: See "bombing the leader".
Drop tanks: Expendable external fuel containers to be "dropped" (jettisoned) before engaging target.
DS: Detached Service
DSC: Distinguished Service Cross
DFC: Distinguished Flying Cross
Do or DO: Dornier (German Aircraft)
DRAGOON: Code for Allied Invasion of Southern France, Aug. 15, 1944, drawing air forces from the Italian Campaign.
Drome: Short for Airdrome
Dry run: Rehearsal
DUC: Distinguished Unit Citation
E: Engineer
E/a or E/A: Enemy Aircraft
EAC: Eastern Air Command
EAGLE: Code for pre-Normandy Invasion preparation exercise utilising glider/towing/paradrop techniques.
Eagle Squadrons: 71, 121 and 133 Squadrons of the British RAF composed of American Volunteer Pilots.
EAME: European-African-Middle East Theater
Element: The basic Fighter Unit of two aircraft, Lead and Wingman.
Elevators: Control surfaces on the horizontal tail of aircraft for controlling Pitch.
E&E: Airman Evadee or Escapee
EM: Enlisted Man or Men
Emily: Allied code for Kawanishi H8K, IJNAF Flying Boat
Escort: Fighter protection for Bombers
E.T.A.: Estimated Time of Arrival
E.T.O.: European Theater of Operations
EUREKA: Code name for Tehran Conference, November 1943.
FAA: British Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
FAC: Forward Air Controller
Fat Cat: Ace
Fat Man: Atomic Bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan
FC: Fighter Command
FD: Fighter Division
FDP: Forward Director Post
FEAF: Far-East Air Force
Ferry: A flight for delivering an aircraft from one location to another.
Festung Europa: Fortress Europe
FFI: Free-French Forces of the Interior
Field: Term for Air Base, Airdrome, ect.
Fifties: Standard USAAF aircraft armament; the Colt-Browning M2HB "Heavy Barrel" .50 caliber Machine Gun.
FG: Fighter Group (Ftr. Gp.)
Fighter Sweep: A Fighter mission to an area without a specific target.
Firewall: Fireproof wall between cockpit and engine; as slang - to "Firewall" or go "Full throttle"
Flak: Anti-aircraft Fire. From the german - FLieger Abwehr Kanonen.
Flak City: St. Nazaire, France
Flak happy: Fear of flying, or stress accompanying flying, into flak
Flaking: Loss of a flight's member aircraft to "Aborts".
Flamed: Shot down an aircraft.
Flaps: Control surfaces of inner wings to increase lift on take-off/manouevring and braking upon landing.
Flat-hatting: High speed flying on the "Deck".
FLAX: Code for Allied interdiction operation to cut Axis supplies to the remaining german "Afrika Korps", April-May 1943.
Fledgling: A Rookie pilot fresh from training.
Flight: Formation of two Elements or four aircraft.
Flight Leader: Leader of four aircraft Flight, a position unrelated to a rank.
FLINTLOCK: Code name for operations against Kwajalein and Majuro Atolls in the Marshall Islands.
Flying Boot: Unofficial award and emblem for Escapee & Evadee.
Flying Bedstead: Nickname for Lockheed P-38 Lightning, both derogatory and accepted.
Flying Pinball: Bell RP-63 Kingcobra, piloted gunnery-practice target.
Flying Prostitute: derogatory, Martin B-26 Marauder Medium Bomber
FM: Frequency Modulation
F.O.: Field Order from higher command providing mission details.
F/O: Rank of Flight Officer
FORAGER: Code name for the operations to capture and the defense of Marianas Islands - Saipan, Tinian and Guam in Spring - Summer 1944.
Foray: Intrusion into unfriendly territory.
Forced Landing: Unintentional landing of aircraft due to any circumstances.
Fort: Nickname for the B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber.
Four-motor: RAF slang for bomber.
FOXHUNT: Code for Bombing mission using MEW radar control.
Frags: Fragmentation Bombs
Frank: Allied code for Nakajima Ki. 84 Hayate IJAAF Fighter
Frances: Allied code for Yokosuka P1Y1 Ginga IJNAF Light Bomber, a night-fighter version was developed.
FRANTIC: Code name for a "Shuttle Mission" to and returning from USSR from AAF bases in the UK and Italy.
FS: Fighter Squadron (Ftr. Sq.)
Ft.: Fort or Fortifications
Full Bore: Full speed ahead or Full throttle.
Full throttle: Full speed ahead
FUSA: First U. S. Army, paired with IX TAC.
FW: Fighter Wing
Fw or FW: Focke-Wulf (German Aircraft)
G-1: Group Personnel Officer or Section
G-2: Group Intelligence Officer or Section
G-3: Group Operations Officer or Section
G-4: Group Supply Officer or Section
G or G's: Amount of Gravity; 1 G = One Force of Gravity; 5+ G's to "Gray out", 6+ G's to "Black out".
G-Suit: Form-fitting "Anti-G" suit inflated with water or air to restrain blood flow during high-speed manouevers.
GAF: German Air Force (Luftwaffe)
Gaggle: Collection or assemblage of flying aircraft in loose formation.
GALVANIC: Code for assault on the Gilbert Islands, late 1943.
Gandy dancing: Slang for "skirting the issue".
Gardening: Missions to disrupt transportation on or near rivers by mining, sometimes accompanied by attack.
GASC: Ground Air Support Command
Gear: Short for landing gear/wheels
George: Allied code for Kawanishi N1K1-J and N1K2-J Shiden, IJNAF Fighter/Interceptor
Gen.: Rank of General
GHQ: General Headquarters
G.I.: General Inductee; Government Issue
Glamour Girl: derogatory slang for Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber
Glen: Allied code for Yokosuka E14Y, IJNAF Recon Floatplane; "Glens" attacked U.S. Mainland in 1942
Glide Bomb: Drop bomb on target from a medium angle diving approach.
Glider: Unpowered A/C, towed by another powered A/C, to and released at altitude to soar the air currents.
Glider: Slang for Loss of engine power.
Glycol: A thick alcohol used as a coolant for liquid-cooled engines.
GO: General Order
Gold Fish Club: Unofficial award, Survival in a dinghy.
Gooney Bird: Slang for Douglas C-47 Sytrain/Dakota
Gothic Line: German positions in Northern Italy
GP: General Purpose Bomb
Gp.: Group
Grace: Allied code for Aichi B7N Ryusei, IJNAF Attack Bomber
Gray-out: Start of a "Black out" when pulling too many G's, blood leaves the brain and vision is lost.
Greenhouse: Slang for cockpit canopy or canopy framing.
GREEN PROJECT: Project devised to transport returning servicemen to the USA aboard returning combat aircraft."Homebound Airlines".
Ground loop: Loss of lateral control or purposefully braking one wheel to turn sharply while on the ground.
Ground pounder: Ground Crewman
Group: Three or four Squadrons, usually 48 aircraft.
Gustav Line: Enemy German positions in Central Italy, blocking Allied forces' progress along the inland passage to Rome, Italy.
GYMNAST: Allied plan for seizure of Casablanca and Invasion of NW Africa.
Gypsy Rose Lee: "Stripped-down model" Curtiss P-40L Warhawk Fighter A/C.
Gyro gunsight: K-14 gyro-stabilised lead/deflection computing gunsight.
(H): Heavy
HALPRO: Provisional Detachment of B-24's in the CBI Theatre, under command of Col. Harry Halverson.
Hamp: Allied code - Mitsubishi A6M3-32 Reisen (Zero, Zeke), IJNAF Fighter.
Hap: Initial codename for IJNAF A6M3-32 Reisen - Changed to "Hamp" in regard to Gen. Henry H. "Hap" Arnold. Havoc: Douglas A-20 twin-engined Light Attack Bomber (or "Boston")
HB: Heavy Bomber
HC: Smoke Bomb
Head-on: Frontal approach or attack
Heavy or Heavies: Four-motor bomber or bombers
Hedge-hopping: "Contour chasing" or flying low to the deck and manoeuvering to avoid obstacles on the ground.
H.E.: High Explosive
HE: Heinkel (German Aircraft)
Helen: Allied code for Nakajima Ki.49 Donryu, IJAAF Heavy Bomber
Herman, the German: Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering
HF: High Frequency (radio)
H-Hour: Specific time for commencing a plan of action
Hitler first: Concentration toward winning the war in the ETO versus PTO.
Hit the silk: Parachute from an aircraft, "Chute"
Homebound Airlines: Ex-bomber aircraft utilised to serve as transports for service personnel returning to the USA; (GREEN PROJECT).
Hq or HQ: Headquarters
Hump, the: Air Transport route/lifeline over the Himalayas and encompassing the CBI Theater.
Hun: Slang for German enemy.
HVAR: High Velocity Aircraft Rocket w/5" Explosive warhead.
Hyperventilation: Excessive oxygen in the blood; an effect from breathing too rapidly and/or deeply.
Hypoxia: Insufficient oxygen in the blood.
I or Is.: Island or Islands
IAS: Indicated Air Speed
IATF: India Air Task Force
I.D.: Identification
Ida: Allied code for Tachikawa Ki.36, IJAAF Direct Army Cooperation A/C
IFF - Identification, Friend or Foe (radar)
IC: Interceptor Command
IJAAF: Imperial Japanese Army Air Force
IJNAF: Imperial Japanese Naval Air Force
Incendiary: Flammable - Incendiary bomb; incendiary bullet.
Inertia starter: Hand-held or mechanical or electrical starter for aircraft engines.
Inf: Infantry
Invasion Stripes: Alternating Black & White identification stripes adorning Allied aircraft for D-Day invasion of Normandy - June 6, 1944.
IP: Initial Point, start of the run on target.
I.P.: Instructor Pilot
Irving: Allied code for Nakajima J1N1 Gekko, IJNAF Night Fighter/Recon a/c.
Italian Co-Belligerant Air Force: Allied designation for post-1943 Armistice (Allied) Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force).
Jack: Allied code for Mitsubishi J2M Raiden, IJNAF Fighter/Interceptor
JACKPOT: Code Name for mission against enemy airfields (an A/D).
Jake: Allied code for Aichi E13A, IJNAF Recon Floatplane
Jap: Derogatory, short for anything Japanese
JCS: Joint Chiefs of Staff
JG: Jagdgeschwader or German Fighter Regiment, equivalent to USAAF Group.
Jerry: Slang for German enemy.
Jill: Allied code for Nakajima B6N Tenzan, IJNAF Attack Bomber
Jink: A sudden evasive manoeuver.
Jock or Jockey: Slang for Pilot, short for slang "Throttle-Jockey"
Joy stick: Slang for control stick of an airplane.
Ju or JU: Junkers (German Aircraft)
Judy: Allied code for Yokosuka D4Y Suisei, IJNAF Dive Bomber
Jug: Slang for P-47 Thunderbolt Fighter
Jump: Attack an enemy aircraft
JUNIOR: Code for Twelfth Air Force.
KAS: Killed in Active Service
Kate: Allied code for Nakajima B5N, IJNAF Attack Bomber
Kenney Cocktail: M-47 bomb that sprayed streamers of incendiary phosphorus on impact. Named for Gen. George C. Kenney.
KG: Kampfgeschwader or German Bomber Regiment
KIA: Killed in Action
Kicker: An aircrew member that "kicked" cargo attached to parachutes out of bay of flying cargo planes over forward areas.
KIFA: Killed in Flying Accident
Kill: Slang for Confirmed Victory or destroyed a/c, not an enemy pilot's death.
Kite: RAF slang for aircraft
Klunker: Derogatory slang for Bell P-39/P-400 Airacobra Fighter Aircraft
(L): Light
LANDGRAB: Invasion of Attu Island.
LB: Light Bomber
L/F: Landfall, Point of crossing the coastline.
Lead or Leader: First Aircraft and Pilot in an Element
Leading: Firing in the path of a moving target, a Deflection Shot.
Lib: Nickname for the Consolidated B-24 Liberator Heavy Bomber.
Lift: Amount of upward force to and generated by an aircraft's wings.
Lightning: Lockheed P-38 twin-engined Fighter and F-5 Recon Aircraft
Lily: Allied code for Kawanishi Ki.48, IJAAF Light Bomber Aircraft
Limey: Slang for Englishman, both derogatory and acceptable.
Little Boy: Atomic Bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan
Little Friends: Bomber crew slang for Friendly Fighters
Lord Haw-Haw: English-speaking German radio broadcast propagandist
Lorna: Allied code for Kyushu Q1W1 Tokai, IJNAF Patrol Bomber
LS: Liaison Squadron
Lt.: Rank of Lieutenant. 2/Lt. = 2nd Lt.
Lt. Col. or L/Col.: Rank of Lieutenant Colonel
Lt. Gen. or L/Gen.: Rank of Lieutenant General
"Lucky Bastard Club": Unofficial award for Bomber crewman having completed his combat tour of operations
Lufberry, Lufbery or Lufbery Circle: Tight turning offensive or defensive circle (for Raoul Lufbery of WWI)
LUSTY: Code for Operation of gathering LUftwaffe Secret TechnologY, in regard to advanced aircraft; "Watson's Whizzers".
LW or LWG: Left (port-side) Waist Gunner
(M): Medium
MAAF: Mediterranean Allied Air Forces
MAC: Mediterranean Air Command
Mae West: Slang for inflatable life-vest.
Maj.: Rank of Major
Malcolm Hood: One-piece, plexiglas, canopy center section replacement for cockpit canopy "greenhouses".
MALLORY MAJOR: Code for offensive against Po River bridges, July 1944.
Maquis: French Underground Freedom Fighter(s)
MARKET-GARDEN: Allied code for Operation to secure bridgehead over the Rhine River, September 1944.
Marston Matting: Perforated steel planks laid to create a temporary air field.
Mary: Allied code for Kawasaki Ki.32, IJAAF Light Bomber
MASAF: Mediterranean Allied Strategic Air Force
MATAF: Mediterranean Allied Tactical Air Force
MATTERHORN: Plan for bombing of Japan by B-29's based in India.
MAYDAY: International R/T "emergency/distress" call.
Maytag Messerschmitt: Ryan PT-22 Recruit Trainer
Mavis: Allied code for Kawanishi H6K, IJNAF Flying Boat
MB: Medium Bomber
M-Day: Mobilization Day
"Medium Bomber": derogatory, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Heavy Bomber
MEW: Microwave Early Warning (radar)
MPI: Mean Point of Impact
Me or ME: Messerschmitt (German Aircraft)
ME-109: Common term for Messerschmitt Bf 109 German Fighter Aircraft.
Methanol: Volatile alcohol to be used as an emergency engine power-boost.
M/Gen: Rank of Major General
MIA: Missing in Action
Mickey: Radar-dome, in place of ball-turret, equipped B-17 Bomber.
"Milk Run": An easy mission.
Mission: A pre-planned foray or objective of any number of sorties.
Mossie: Slang for De Havilland Mosquito
MP: Military Police
M/Sgt.: Rank of Master Sergeant
M/T: Motor Transport or Military Transport.
MTO: Mediterranian Theatre of Operations
Mustang: North American P-51 Fighter and F-6 Recon Aircraft.
M/V: Motor Vehicles
M/Y: Rail Marshalling Yards
Myrt: Allied code for Nakajima C6N Saiun, IJNAF Recon a/c
NAAF: Northwest Africa Air Forces, Allied units under Maj. Gen. Carl Spaatz
NAASC: Northwest African Air Service Command
NACAF: Northwest African Coastal Air Force
Napalm: Fire Bomb of jellified gasoline.
NAS: Naval Air Station
NASAF: Northwest African Strategic Air Force
NATAF: Northwest African Tactical Air Force
NATBF: Northwest African Tactical Bomber Force
NATC: Northwest African Training Command
Nate: Allied code for Nakajima Ki.27, IJAAF Fighter
NATO: North African Theater of Operations
NCO: Non-Commissioned Officer
NEI: Netherlands East Indies
Nell: Allied code for Mitsubishi G3M "Type 96", IJNAF Attack Bomber
NEPTUNE: Actual operations within OVERLORD.
N.F.: Night Fighter Aircraft
NFS: Night Fighter Squadron
Nick: Allied code for Kawasaki Ki.45 Toryu, IJAAF Heavy Fighter
Nickling: Dropping propaganda leaflets. Post-hostility, aimed at DP.
Nip: Derogatory, short for Nipponese and anything Japanese.
NMF: Natural Metal Finish
NOBALL: Mission against V1 launch sites.
Noncom: NCO or Non-Commissioned Officer
Norm: Allied code for Kawanishi E15K Shuin, IJNAF Recon Floatplane
Nose-over: Aircraft tips over it's nose during landing or while moving on the ground.
"No sweat": Slang for "without difficulty".
"No visible means of support": Slang for A/C or pilot of sub-par performance.
NUSA: Ninth U. S. Army, paired with XIX TASC.
NYR: Not Yet Returned
NZ: New Zealand
Oboe: A blind-bombing device operationally dependent upon beams transmitted by ground stations.
O'Clock: Reference Direction from observer's point. 12 O'Clock - directly ahead; 6 O'Clock - directly behind.
OCS: Officer's Candidate School
OCTAGON: Code for US-British conference at Quebec, September 1944.
OD: Olive-Drab Color
Office: RAF slang for Aircraft Cockpit
OG: Observation Group
OLC: Oak Leaf Cluster - for additional Awards of a particular Medal.
One-two punch: USAAF practice of Leader-Wingman teams.
On the Board: Scheduled Mission
Ops: Short for Operations
O.R.S.: Operational Research Section
Ordinance: Ammunition, Bombs and Rockets
OS: Observation Squadron
Oscar: Allied code for Nakajima Ki.43 Hayabusa, IJAAF Fighter
OTU: Operational Training Unit
Other pilot, the: Co-pilot
"Out": R/T acknowledgement for end of communication.
Outfit: Slang for Group
OVERLORD: Code for Allied Invasion of Northwest Europe, June 6, 1944.
Overshoot: Fly past the enemy aircraft during an attack.
P: Pilot
(P) or Prov.: Provisional
P or Pur.: Pursuit
Pair: Another term for a two-plane element.
PANCAKE: Code for Operation to destroy enemy forces, supplies and equipment in Bologna, Italy area, December 1944.
Parafrag: Small fragmentation bombs delayed to impact point by parachute.
Pathfinder: A Lead aircraft preceding a combat formation to mark the target-area for the following main force.
Paul: Allied code for Aichi E16A, IJNAF Recon Floatplane
PCBW: Provisional Combat Bomber Wing
PCS: Photo Charting Squadron
Peashooter: Bomber crew slang for Friendly Fighter; "Little Friend"; from "P" for Pursuit Fighter
Peashooter: Boeing P-26 Peashooter fighter aircraft
Peel off: Breaking formation to engage enemy
Peggy: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki.67 Hiryu, IJAAF Heavy Bomber
Perch: Slang for position of tactical advantage prior to initiating aerial attack.
Perry: Allied code for Kawasaki Ki.10, IJAAF Fighter and Advanced Trainer
Pete: Allied code for Mitsubishi F1M, IJNAF Recon Floatplane
PG or PRG: Photo-Reconnaissance Group
Phil Is: Philippine Islands
Photo Recce: Photographic Reconnaissance
Pitch: The attitude or rotation of an aircraft about its lateral axis.
PLUNDER: Code for Allied assault across the Rhine River, March 24, 1945.
POINTBLANK: Intensified CBO vs. German-occupied targets; "Big Week"
POPULAR: Code for General Tactical Recon mission against coastal targets
Port: Left-side of aircraft or vessel facing forward.
POA: Pacific Ocean Areas
POE: Point of Embarkation
POW or PW: Prisoner of War
Prang: RAF slang for crashing an aircraft.
Press: RAF term for Starting Engines
PRO: Public Relations Officer
Probable: A Victory claim in which the E/A is considered so badly damaged as to be likely destroyed but unconfirmed as a "kill".
Prop: Short for propeller.
PRU: Photo-Reconnaissance Unit
Pt: Point
R, RO or R/O: Radio Operator
R: River
RA: Regia Aeronautica or Italian Royal Air Force
RAAF: Royal Australian Air Force
Rack: Sudden, violent evasive manoeuver.
RAF: Royal Air Force
RAMROD: Code for Bomber/Fighter-Bomber Escort mission
Randy: Allied code for Kawasaki Ki.102, IJAAF Heavy Fighter/Interceptor
RCAF: Royal Canadian Air Force
Rcn: Reconnaissance
RDX: Special explosive for HE Bombs
Recce or Recon: Short for Reconnaissance
Recip: Short for reciprocating engine
Red Alert: Enemy Attack is or seems to be imminent.
Red Line: Safe maximum indicated on flight instruments.
Redout: Too many Negative G's cause temporary loss of vision from excessive blood to the eye's retinas.
Reef it in: Sudden violent change of flight direction.
Repl: Replacement
REUNION: Code for Evacuation Operations of US airmen POWs once interned in Rumania, from Bucharest.
Rev: Revolutions, RPM or to increase RPM's
Rex: Allied code for Kawanishi N1K1 Kyofu, IJNAF (Floatplane) Fighter
RG: Reconnaissance Group
RHUBARB: Code for a harassment Sweep or Raid by a few aircraft while utilizing existing cloud cover.
Rhubarb: Slang for a aerial dogfight.
RIPSAW: Tactical control center for XIX TASC
RN: British Royal Navy
RNZAF: Royal New Zealand Air Force
ROADSTEAD: Code for Bomber/Fighter-Bomber Escort mission against transport shipping targets.
RODEO: Code for fighter mission using bombers as bait/diversion.
"Roger": R/T acknowledgement for "Received O.K."
"Roger-Wilco": R/T acknowledgement for "Received O.K. Will comply."
Roll: Rotation of airplane about its longitudinal axis.
ROUNDUP: Plans for invasion of Western Europe, Spring 1943.
RPM: Revolutions per minute
R/R: Railroad
R&R: Rest and Recuperation
R.S.I.: Repubblica Sociale Italiana or (post-September 1943 Armistice, Axis) Italian Socialist Republic
R/T: Radio onboard aircraft. Short for Radiotelephone or Radio Transmitter.
RTU: Replacement Training Unit
Rudder: Control surface on vertical tail unit of aircraft to control its Yaw.
Rufe: Allied code for Nakajima (built) A6M2-N, IJNAF Floatplane Fighter
R/V: Aerial Rendezvous
RW or RWG: Right (starboard-side) Waist Gunner
RW: Reconnaissance Wing
S-1: Squadron Personnel Officer or Section
S-2: Squadron Intelligence Officer or Section
S-3: Squadron Operations Officer or Section
S-4: Squadron Supply Officer or Section
Sally: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki. 21, IJAAF Heavy Bomber
Salvo: Release all bombs, ammo or fire all rockets at once.
S/C: Set Course Time
Scramble: Getting into the air quickly usually to intercept E/A.
Scrap: Slang for dogfight against opposing forces.
Scrub: Abort or cancel a flight, mission or sortie before take-off time.
S/E: Start Engine
S/E: Single-engined aircraft
SEAC: Southeast Asia Command
Section: Formation of Two Flights or eight aircraft.
Serv: Service
SEXTANT: Code for International Cairo Conference, Nov-Dec 1943.
Sgt.: Rank of Sergeant
SHAEF: Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces
Shakedown: Shallow penetration operational training mission with little or no enemy resistance expected.
Shave tail: Slang for rank of 2nd Lieutenant
Show: RAF slang for a mission
Short-snorter: Chain of paper currency, taped end-to-end, from various countries visited - usually autographed by friends and comrades.
Sidekick: Wingman
Skip Bomb: Delayed fuse bomb dropped at shallow angle to bounce or skip into the intended target.
Skipper: Slang for C.O.
Skytrain: Douglas C-47 Cargo/Transport Aircraft
SNAFU: "Situation Normal, All F**ked Up."
Snaking: Aircraft yawing from side-to-side (like a snake).
Snap roll: Abrupt manouever aided by the engine torque/prop rotation; possible to "snap" out of control.
Sonia: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki.51, IJAAF Attack/Recon a/c
SOP: Standard Operating Procedure
SOPAC: South Pacific
Sortie: Flight, sally or foray of each individual aircraft inin a mission.
SOS: Service of Supply
Sp: Special
Spam Can: North American P-51 Mustang, both derogatory and accepted.
Spit: Slang for Vickers Supermarine Spitfire
Split-S(ess): To half-roll into the inverted position, pull the stick back to effectively dive and reverse direction.
Spt: Support
Squadron: 12 to 20 aircraft; three Squadrons or sometimes four, to a Group.
Squirt: Short sharp burst of gunfire; RAF slang "Quick squirt" or "Quickie"
S/Sgt.: Rank of Staff Sergeant
Starboard: Right-side of aircraft or vessel facing forward.
STARKEY: Code for Plan of diversion of attention to the Pas de Calais as potential Allied Invasion site.
Stella: Allied code for Kokusai Ki. 76, IJAAF Command Liaison (Stellas were the only IJAAF aircraft-carrier based aircraft)
Stick: Steering Control stick of an airplane; "Joystick"
Stinger: Slang for "tail gun position".
Stooging: Delaying, flying slowly.
Strafe or Straff: Dive at or otherwise attack ground targets with gunfire.
Straggler: Aircraft, too damaged to keep up with formation, requiring assistance and escort; a "Cripple"
STRANGLE: TAF interdiction operation to cut Axis supplies in Central Italy (Gustav Line), March-May 1944.
Strat.: Strategic
Strategic Air Power: Air superiority; destruction of enemy means of production, supplies, home bases, communications and transportation facilities.
Strike: Offensive attack mission or observed hit while firing at E/A
Strip: Aircraft landing field
Stuka: Shortened german for Sturzkampfflugzeug or "diving battle aircraft"; usually referring to the Junkers Ju 87 "Stuka"
Superbolt: "Bubble-top" P-47 field-modified with less armament/ammo plus finely "finished" surfaces to improve performance.
SWPA: Southwest Pacific and Australia Theatre of Operations
Tabby: Allied code for Nakajima L2D, IJNAF Transport Aircraft which was a license-built Douglas DC-3 Dakota
Tac: Tactical
TAC: Tactical Air Command
TAC/R: Tactical Reconnaissance
Tactical Air Power: Air Superiority; isolation of battlefield (interdiction) and close-support of frontline troops.
Tail End Charlie: Rearmost aircraft in a formation
Tailfin: Vertical Tail and Rudder assembly
TALO: Tactical Air Liaison Officer
TAP: Tactical Air Party
TASC: Tactical Air Support Command
T-Bolt: Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
TCC: Tactical Control Center
TCG: Tactical Control Group, operates TCC
TCG: Troop Carrier Group
TCS: Troop Carrier Squadron
TCW: Troop Carrier Wing
T/E: Twin-engined aircraft
TG: Tail Gunner
Tgt: Target
Thalia or Thelma: Allied code for Kawasaki L0, IJAAF Transport Aircraft which was a license-built Lockheed Electra)
Throttle-Jockey: Slang for a Pilot. "Throttle-Jock" or "Jock"
Thunderbolt: Republic P-47 Fighter
TIB: Target Indicator Bomb
TIDALWAVE: Code name for the low level attack mission on Ploesti, Rumania oil refineries, by heavy bombers.
T/Sgt.: Rank of Technical Sergeant
T/O&E: Table of Personnel Organization and Equipment
T/O: Take-off time
T/O: Target of Opportunity
Tojo: Allied code for Nakajima Ki.44 Shoki, IJAAF Fighter
Tokyo Rose: English-speaking Japanese Radio Broadcast Propagandist.
Tokyo Tanks: Extra internal fuel tanks added to B-17's for extended range and endurance, as if to fly "to Tokyo."
Tony: Allied code for Kawasaki Ki.61 Hien, IJAAF Fighter
Top Dog: Ace
Topsy: Allied code for Mitsubishi Ki.57, IJAAF Transport
TORCH: Allied code name for Anglo-American Invasion of Northwest Africa
T.O.T.: Time Over Target
Tour of Duty: Officially, 25 Combat Missions for bomber crew and 50 Combat Missions for fighter crew.
Tracer: Pyrotechnic bullet or other projectile to be made visible when fired.
TRG: Tactical Recon Group
Trg: Training
Trg and Repl Cmd: Training and Replacement Command
TRIDENT: US-British Conference in Washington, May 1943.
TRS: Tactical Recon Squadron
TTG: Top-turret Gunner
TTS: Target Tug Squadron
TUSA: Third U. S. Army, paired with XIX TASC
TWILIGHT: Plan to base B-29's in the CBI.
Twin(s): Twin-engined Fighter(s)
Type 16 Control: Radar-vectored mission
U-Boat: German "Unterseeboot" or Submarine
U/I: Unidentified
UK: United Kingdom
USAAF: United States Army Air Forces
USMC: United States Marine Corps
USN: United States Navy
USS: United States Ship
USSR: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
USSTAF: United States Strategic Air Forces
USSTAFE: U. S. Strategic Air Forces in Europe
V-1: German Vergeltungswaffen 1 (Revenge weapon 1), pulse-jet and pilotless unguided missle.
V-2: German Vergeltungswaffen 2 (Revenge weapon 2), rocket and unguided stratospheric ballistic missile.
Val: Allied code for Aichi "Type 99", IJNAF Dive Bomber
Vector: Direction and distance to a specific point.
V-E Day: Victory in Europe
VHB: Very Heavy Bomber
VHF: Very High Frequency (radio)
Vibrator: Nickname for Vultee BT-13 Valiant
Victory: Confirmed destruction of E/A.
Victory Roll: Barrel roll to celebrate a victory.
V-J Day: Victory in Japan
VLR: Very long range
WAAC: Women's Army Auxiliary Corps
WAC: Women's Army Corps
Warhawk: Curtiss P-40 Fighter Aircraft
War-weary: A/C removed from combat assignment but kept on roster; identified by a "WW" serial number prefix.
WASP: Women Air Service Pilot
Watson's Wizzers: Unit under Col. Harold Watson in charge of Operation LUSTY.
WD: War Department
WDAF: Western Desert Air Force
WFO: Wing Field Order from Fighter Command
WIA: Wounded in Action
Window or Chaff: Metal foil strips dropped by aircraft to disrupt and confuse radar detection.
Windscreen: Aircraft glass windshield.
Wizard Kite: RAF slang for a "great airplane".
W/O: Warrant Officer
WPB: War Production Board
WRS: Weather Reconnaissance Squadron
"Wilco": R/T acknowledgement. Short for "Will comply." or "Will cooperate."
Wingman: Second Aircraft and Pilot in an Element.
Wings: Insignia for "Qualified Pilot" or "Qualified Aircrew"
Yank or Yankee: Slang for American.
Yaw: Rotation or aspect of an aircraft upon its horizontal plane.
Zeke: Slang for Mitsubishi A6M Reisen (Zero), IJNAF Fighter
Zero: Slang for Mitsubishi A6M Reisen (Zero), IJNAF Fighter
ZG: Zerstorergeschwader or German Heavy Fighter Regiment
ZI: Zone of the Interior (Continental U.S.A.)


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