From the editor.
Stephen Craft leads off this issue with an article on primary flight training during World War II. Even before the start of the war, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the urgent need to prepare to fight. Tasked to expand the U.S. Army Air Corps, Gen. Henry H, "Hap" Arnold developed a plan to train 4,500 pilots annually. And, because the Air Corps lacked both aircraft and trainers to undertake the mission, Arnold's plan involved the use of civilian contractors and facilities. Some of Arnold's closest subordinates, including "Tooey" Spaatz and Ira Eaker, railed against using civilian contractors. In the end, however, Arnold's plan succeeded far beyond expectations.
In the second article, Richard Dunn analyses the performance of the iconic U.S. fighter plane in the Pacific, the P-38 Lightning. While Dunn readily acknowledges that the P-38 was a stellar performer throughout the war, he is perplexed by references that Rabaul was neutralized. Comparing the air combat claims and other factors, by both the Americans and Japanese, Dunn concludes that maybe it was because the P-38 lost at Rabaul. Moreover, he suggests that historians measure the results of other campaigns based on verifiable facts, rather than on claims.
Douglas Dildy was curious about the origin and structure of the North Korean air force. But it was not until the dissolution of the USSR, that the former Soviet Union opened some of its records and, more recently China's archives were opened, that researchers were able to investigate the subject.
In Part I, the author describes the growth of the Korean People's Air Force in the Fatherland Liberation War--we call it the Korean War, 1950-1953. In part II, scheduled for winter 2012, Dildy will examine the demise of the NKPAF.
In "The Korean War and the Maturation of SAC Reconnaissance," Bill Cahill examines the evolution of Strategic Air Command's (SAC) reconnaissance forces from 1946 through 1953. During this seven-year period, SAC was transformed from a force with a marginal capability equipped with obsolescent aircraft flying insignificant mapping missions to a state of the art organization overflying enemy nations at the President's behest to gather critical intelligence. The Korean War provided an opportunity for SAC's Commander-in-Chief, General Curtiss E. LeMay, to find the right role for his recce assets and how to best utilize them in the expanding Cold War.
I don't know how he does it, but Scott Willey, our book review editor manages to squeeze out about twenty superb book reviews every quarter. Speaking of reviews, John Kreis and his band of judges evaluated all of the books reviewed in Air Power History in 2011 and chose Mark Clodfelter's Beneficial Bombing as the winner. (See page 68.) If you're interested in news from the Foundation's leadership and interested in helping, turn to the President's Message on page 66.
We note with sadness the passing of the astronaut Neil Armstrong and historian John Keegan. Both men performed giant leaps for mankind. (See pages 67 and 69.) Other items of interest include upcoming symposia (see pages 64-65) and reunions (see pages 70-71.) Finally, Bob Dorr closes out this issue by unveiling the X-5 as the Summer issue's mystery plane, and challenges readers to identify the new mystery plane (see page 72).
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|Publication:||Air Power History|
|Date:||Sep 22, 2012|
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