Bomber: The Formation and Early Years of Strategic Air - download pdf or read online

By Phillip S Meilinger

Bomber makes an attempt to explain SAC within the context of what was once then a brand new worldwide dynamic, later dubbed the chilly battle, exhibiting the way it confronted the continuously evolving demanding situations of its time.

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Additional info for Bomber: The Formation and Early Years of Strategic Air Command

Example text

The argument for founding such a school was logical: if one believed that the services and even branches within a service were so technically or theoretically unique as to require a separate school for the further education of officers in that specialty, then an Air Service school was clearly necessary. The Field Officers’ School opened at Langley Field in November 1920. Two years later, it was renamed the Air Service Tactical School, and four years after that, when the Air Service became the Air Corps, the name changed again.

In December 1927 the Air Corps was informed that a bridge over the Pee Dee River in North Carolina was scheduled for destruction, so they could use it for target practice. Over a six-day period aircraft dropped bombs on the bridge from high and low altitude. The results were not gratifying. There were some hits among the hundreds of bombs dropped, but overall accuracy was poor—and this was in clear skies, in daylight, with no one shooting at them. 63 In August 1931 they were given another chance to prove their prowess.

At the Geneva Disarmament Conference that year, a number of proposals were advanced regarding arms limitations. An American delegate, Jay Pierrepont Moffat, was nonetheless stunned when on 4 April the Army chief of staff, Gen Douglas MacArthur, told him he would support the abolition of all military aviation. ”35 One of MacArthur’s top subordinates felt similarly. In 1933 ­MacArthur directed the Drum Board (chaired by Maj Gen Hugh Drum) to study Army aviation needs. ” Of these, 1,660 should be combat types, and 400 of those—or 24 percent—should be bombers.

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Bomber: The Formation and Early Years of Strategic Air Command by Phillip S Meilinger


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