The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the "union") bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternating with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America, and the 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the US. Nicknames for the flag include The Stars and Stripes,Old Glory,and The Star-Spangled Banner.
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The United States Merchant Marine Academy (also known as USMMA or Kings Point) is one of the five United States service academies, located in Kings Point, New York. It is charged with training officers for the United States Merchant Marine, branches of the military, and the transportation industry. Midshipmen (as students at the Academy are called) are trained in marine engineering, navigation, ship's administration, maritime law, personnel management, international law, customs, and many other subjects important to the task of running a large ship.
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USAFE originated as the United States Army Air Forces' Eighth Air Force in 1942. Eighth Air Force commanded VIII Bomber, VIII Fighter and VIII Air Support Commands. On 22 February 1944 American airpower in Europe was reorganized. Eighth Air Force was redesignated as United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe (USSTAF). The VIII Bomber Command was redesignated as Eighth Air Force and brought under the control of USSTAF. The tactical air force in England, Ninth Air Force was also brought directly under its control. USSTAF also controlled Twelfth Air Force and Fifteenth Air Force, both in Italy. On 7 August 1945, USSTAF was redesignated as United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE). Its headquarters was relocated from Saint Germain-en-Laye, France, to Lindsey Air Station, Wiesbaden, Germany, on 28 September 1945.
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On 6 June 1944, D-Day, First Army came under 21st Army Group and commanded all American ground forces during the invasion. Three American divisions were landed by sea at the Western end of the beaches, and two more were landed by air. On Utah Beach the assault troops made good time, but Omaha Beach came nearest of all of the five landing areas to disaster. The two American airborne divisions that landed were scattered all over the landscape, and caused considerable confusion amongst the German soldiers, as well as largely securing their objectives, albeit with units completely mixed up with each other. First Army captured much of the early gains of the Allied forces in Normandy. Once the beachheads were joined up, its troops struck west and isolated the Cotentin Peninsula, and then captured Cherbourg. When the American Mulberry harbour was wrecked by a storm, Cherbourg became even more vital.
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