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Makers of the United States Air Force: USAF Leaders and Pioneers of Military Aviation - Foulois, Kenney, Vandenberg, Twining, Schriever, Davis, Quesada, George, Risner, Wright Brothers

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This is an indispensable reference work for anyone interested in the history of the United States Air Force and, particularly, in the role that key individuals have played in its evolution. Many of the individuals profiled in this book are well-known to students of air and space power. Most had notable combat careers. Others were organizers, men who shaped the service acco This is an indispensable reference work for anyone interested in the history of the United States Air Force and, particularly, in the role that key individuals have played in its evolution. Many of the individuals profiled in this book are well-known to students of air and space power. Most had notable combat careers. Others were organizers, men who shaped the service according to far-seeing vision. They are a diverse bunch of over-achievers, many of whom were strongly opinionated, even about each other. But all of them were dedicated to an ideal: to produce a new form of military force, a force that would achieve victory in war by exploitation and dominance of the third dimension. In this, they were totally and uncompromisingly unified, a band of brothers who took this vision from the ground and brought it, with devastating force, to the skies of America's enemies. Makers of the United States Air Force (USAF) * Chapter 1 - Introduction: Men with a Mission * Chapter 2 - Benjamin D. Foulois: In the Beginning * Chapter 3 - Frank M. Andrews: Marshall's Airman * Chapter 4 - Harold L. George: Apostle of Air Power * Chapter 5 - Hugh J. Knerr: The Pen and the Sword * Chapter 6 - George C. Kenney: The Great Innovator * Chapter 7 - William E. Kepner: All the Way To Berlin * Chapter 8 - Elwood R. Quesada: Tac Air Comes of Age * Chapter 9 - Hoyt S. Vandenberg: Building the New Air Force * Chapter 10 - Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.: History on Two Fronts * Chapter 11 - Nathan F. Twining: New Dimensions, a New Look * Chapter 12 - Bernard A. Schriever: Challenging the Unknown * Chapter 13 - Robinson Risner: The Indispensable Ingredient In a relative sense compared to the several thousand years of evolution in ground and sea warfare, air power developed very rapidly. When Benny Foulois retired from his post as Chief of the Air Corps at the close of 1935, the B-17 Flying Fortress of World War II fame had completed its test flights and in January 1936, a contract for the first 13 Fortresses was signed by the Army. General Foulois died in 1967, just 6 decades after the Army's Aeronautical Division was formed. At the time of his death, the United States Air Force, which he had helped to create, was equipped with supersonic fighters, bombers with a range of 8,000 miles or more, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and thermonuclear weapons. But an air force is more than an agglomeration of aircraft, bombs, and bullets. It needs several other elements: a clear understanding of its purpose, or mission; a body of ideas (concepts and doctrine) governing in broad terms how it will carry out its mission; strategy and tactics for the efficient use of its equipment; a system for supplying its material and human needs; a research and development organization to keep ahead of potential enemies; experienced leaders; and sound organization to coordinate and direct its activities. These elements were lacking when the Army's only aviation unit first took to the field on March 15, 1916, commanded by Capt. Benny Foulois. The 1st Aero Squadron was ordered to help Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing scout out the bandit, Pancho Villa, and bring him back from Mexico, dead or alive. The squadron's unarmed, underpowered Curtiss JN-2 biplanes could not make it over the mountains or cope with the strong winds of northern Mexico. By April 20, only two of its eight planes were in commission.


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This is an indispensable reference work for anyone interested in the history of the United States Air Force and, particularly, in the role that key individuals have played in its evolution. Many of the individuals profiled in this book are well-known to students of air and space power. Most had notable combat careers. Others were organizers, men who shaped the service acco This is an indispensable reference work for anyone interested in the history of the United States Air Force and, particularly, in the role that key individuals have played in its evolution. Many of the individuals profiled in this book are well-known to students of air and space power. Most had notable combat careers. Others were organizers, men who shaped the service according to far-seeing vision. They are a diverse bunch of over-achievers, many of whom were strongly opinionated, even about each other. But all of them were dedicated to an ideal: to produce a new form of military force, a force that would achieve victory in war by exploitation and dominance of the third dimension. In this, they were totally and uncompromisingly unified, a band of brothers who took this vision from the ground and brought it, with devastating force, to the skies of America's enemies. Makers of the United States Air Force (USAF) * Chapter 1 - Introduction: Men with a Mission * Chapter 2 - Benjamin D. Foulois: In the Beginning * Chapter 3 - Frank M. Andrews: Marshall's Airman * Chapter 4 - Harold L. George: Apostle of Air Power * Chapter 5 - Hugh J. Knerr: The Pen and the Sword * Chapter 6 - George C. Kenney: The Great Innovator * Chapter 7 - William E. Kepner: All the Way To Berlin * Chapter 8 - Elwood R. Quesada: Tac Air Comes of Age * Chapter 9 - Hoyt S. Vandenberg: Building the New Air Force * Chapter 10 - Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.: History on Two Fronts * Chapter 11 - Nathan F. Twining: New Dimensions, a New Look * Chapter 12 - Bernard A. Schriever: Challenging the Unknown * Chapter 13 - Robinson Risner: The Indispensable Ingredient In a relative sense compared to the several thousand years of evolution in ground and sea warfare, air power developed very rapidly. When Benny Foulois retired from his post as Chief of the Air Corps at the close of 1935, the B-17 Flying Fortress of World War II fame had completed its test flights and in January 1936, a contract for the first 13 Fortresses was signed by the Army. General Foulois died in 1967, just 6 decades after the Army's Aeronautical Division was formed. At the time of his death, the United States Air Force, which he had helped to create, was equipped with supersonic fighters, bombers with a range of 8,000 miles or more, intercontinental ballistic missiles, and thermonuclear weapons. But an air force is more than an agglomeration of aircraft, bombs, and bullets. It needs several other elements: a clear understanding of its purpose, or mission; a body of ideas (concepts and doctrine) governing in broad terms how it will carry out its mission; strategy and tactics for the efficient use of its equipment; a system for supplying its material and human needs; a research and development organization to keep ahead of potential enemies; experienced leaders; and sound organization to coordinate and direct its activities. These elements were lacking when the Army's only aviation unit first took to the field on March 15, 1916, commanded by Capt. Benny Foulois. The 1st Aero Squadron was ordered to help Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing scout out the bandit, Pancho Villa, and bring him back from Mexico, dead or alive. The squadron's unarmed, underpowered Curtiss JN-2 biplanes could not make it over the mountains or cope with the strong winds of northern Mexico. By April 20, only two of its eight planes were in commission.

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