From the editor.
In the lead story, "Making Do," Dan Kostecka takes us to East Africa in 1940, where an ill-equipped and ill-supplied contingent of the Royal Air Force and its British Commonwealth allies face off against Italy's Regia Aeronautica. Fortunately for the British, the Italians' air arm was in no better shape. After seventeen months of fierce fighting, the Allies won and secured for themselves air and sea lines of communications to North Africa, the Middle East, Iran, and India.
The second article, "The Bamboo Fleet," by John Farrell, is another story of wartime scarcity. Here, a group of U.S. Army Air Forces pilots flew decrepit, unarmed military and civilian planes through hostile skies to deliver ammunition, fuel, medicine, and personnel to relieve their beleaguered comrades stuck on Corregidor and Bataan. Although the outcome was never in doubt, the pilots of the Bamboo Fleet sought only to delay the inevitable Japanese takeover.
Article three, "American Airmen Held as POWs in Far East Russia," by George Larson, concerns the treatment of B-29 crews by the Soviets. Although the U.S. and the USSR were allies in the European theater, the situation was quite different in the Far East, where Joseph Stalin practiced neutrality to avoid having to go to war against Japan. The American airmen, who were forced to land in the Far East, were caught in the middle, while U.S. diplomats developed strategies to free them.
In the fourth article, "Closing the North Atlantic Air Gap," John O'Connell, a former U.S. Navy submarine commander, asks why the most effective antisubmarine weapon--the very long range B-24 Liberator--was not made more available to RAF Coastal Command. In the course of his research, O'Connell came across disturbing allegations that blamed Admiral King, the U.S. Navy CNO for the shortfall presumably because King wanted the planes for the Pacific theater. O'Connell followed the evidence and found the allegations against King baseless. Actually, during 1941 and 1942, the British received a great number of B-24s. But most of the planes went to bombardment and transport units. Moreover, of the few B-24s assigned to Coastal Command, very few went to 15 Group.
Don't miss the twenty new book reviews by our steadfast gang of reviewers. Also, check new books received, upcoming symposia and professional meetings, reunions, news, letters to the editor, and the ever-popular "History Mystery."
Who won the Best Article published in 2011? Turn to page 60 for the answer.
Finally, keep up with the latest developments concerning the Foundation. See General Meyerrose's report on page 56.
The most significant consequence of the Foundation's financial woes is that the Fall and Winter 2012 issues will be published only on-line. This practice of two paper issues and two electronic issues, will continue until further notice.
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