On This Day in History / November 8, 2023 November 2, 2023 1942: The invasion of North Africa begins. Operation TORCH, commanded by Maj. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, is supported by Twelfth Air Force airlift and fighter aircraft. Royal Air Force Supermarine Spitfires also participate by providing air cover. C-47 aircraft attempting to land troops find French fighter planes hostile as they shoot down several transports. Spitfires flown by the 31st Fighter Group respond by shooting down three French fighters.