Published Airpower Journal - Winter 1988
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

Tactical Employment of Strategic Air Power in Korea

Dr. Robert F. Futrell

Early on the evening of Saturday, 24 June 1950,press news flashes
informed Washington that the North Korean People's Army had crossed
the 38th parallel in an invasion of the Republic of Korea.

PRESIDENT Harry Truman was in Missouri, and in the first hours Washington policy makers hoped that the South Koreans could withstand the invasion. When the situation worsened, Truman flew back to Washington for a Sunday-evening dinner meeting with the secretaries of state and defense and the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. For some time Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, chief of staff USAF, had feared that an outbreak of war was going to come somewhere in the world. He also knew that after the postwar demobilization, the US Air Force was, in his words, "a shoe string air force."

Vandenberg would remember that most of the discussion at the Sunday meeting was speculation about whether the Soviet Union or China might take a hand in the fighting. There was no argument or discussion about the difficulties that were going to be involved if the poorly prepared American armed forces were ordered into combat. However, one thing was certain: Vandenberg knew and frequently told listeners that the US Air Force was on trial in Korea. Based on his wartime experience as a foremost tactical air commander, Vandenberg had an interesting view of the unitary nature of air power. He had hoped to rid the Air Force of the arbitrary separation of combat units into "tactical" and "strategic" forces. In Korea, strategic B-29 bombers were going to deliver the heaviest blows against the Communist invaders.

At the outbreak of the war, General Headquarters (GHQ), US Far East Command (FEC), in Tokyo had no combat mission relevant to the Republic of Korea. The Far East Air Forces (FEAF) was geared for air defense provided by the Fifth and Thirteenth Air Forces. FEAF had, however, managed to retain the Twentieth Air Force with one B-29 wing on Guam. This unit was the 19th Wing, and it was the only strategic wing not assigned to Strategic Air Command. In an expedited movement, the 19th Group's air echelon immediately moved to Kadena Air Base on Okinawa, from which location an Army staff group in GHQ undertook to direct its employment in support of friendly ground forces in Korea.

The effort to manage the B-29's from GHQ as somewhat successful. For an initial strike, aircraft were loaded with fragmentation bombs and directed to hit Red aircraft at Wonsan. The strike was diverted to attack Han River bridges at Seoul, where the frags were virtually useless. In the days that followed, the B-29 crews were ordered to search out and bomb enemy tanks. Another mission was ordered out to destroy bridges at coordinates on a supposed east coast rail line. This task was difficult since the rail line, though shown on a map consulted, had never been built. Out of 220 targets designed by the GHQ Target Group from 17 July to 2 August, some 20 percent did not exist. The principal reason was inaccurate maps, but in one instance the Target Group misread a map and ordered B-29s against a river "bridge" that was marked as a ford on the map consulted.

In Tokyo, Lt Gen. George Stratemeyer acknowledged that Korea would doubtless have fallen to onrushing Communist tank columns without all-out air attacks of some sort. He also knew, however, that continued air employments at the front lines in always "urgent" strikes would be extremely wasteful in a war of any duration. Acting on his own initiative in Washington, General Vandenberg got approval to move two medium-bomber groups--the 22d and 92d--from Strategic Air Command's Fifteenth Air Force to the Far East on temporary duty. He sent the B-29 groups because of "the vital necessity of destruction of North Korean objectives north of the 38th parallel." "While I do not presume to discuss specific targets," he informed Stratemeyer, "it is axiomatic that tactical operations on the battlefield cannot be fully effective unless there is a simultaneous interdiction and destruction of sources behind the battlefield." Vandenberg sent out Maj. Gen. Emmett O'Donnell, Jr., Fifteenth Air Force commander, to serve as the first of a succession of bomber commanders. O'Donnell would remember being called to Washington, where Vandenberg simply said, "Rosie, go out there and do some good and take some pictures of it."

General O'Donnell established Headquarters FEAF Bomber Command (Provisional) at Yokota Air Base in a directly subordinate status to FEAF. From this location on 13 July, only nine days after movement orders were issued, O'Donnell sent the 19th and 22d Groups against railway yards and a major oil refinery at Wonsan. O'Donnell would later recall:

It was my intention and hope that we would be able to got out there and to cash in on our psychological advantage in having gotten into the theater and into the war so fast, by putting a very severe blow on the North Koreans, with an advanced warning, perhaps, telling them that they had gone too far in what we all recognized as being a case of aggression ... and go to work burning five major cities in North Korea to the ground, and to destroy every one of about 18 major strategic targets.... Tell them to either stop the aggression and get back over the thirty-eighth parallel or they had better have their wives and children and bedrolls to go down with them because there is not going to be anything left up in Korea to return to.

When Stratemeyer heard O'Donnell's proposal, he told him that overriding political and diplomatic considerations prevented its acceptance. The order was out that indiscriminate use of incendiaries would not be sanctioned and that no unnecessary civilian casualties would come from air attacks. Before long, O'Donnell remarked, "We are fighting distinctly 'under wraps'."

After the attack on Wonsan, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief (CINC), United Nations Command (CINCUNC)/Far East Command (CINCFE), gave the Eighth US Army in Korea (EUSAK) first claim on all B-29 resources for supporting strikes to be flown between the battle line being drawn around the Pusan perimeter and the 38th parallel. Maj. Gen. Otto P. Weyland, who was FEAF vice commander and who would take command when Stratemeyer suffered a heart attack, argued for a comprehensive air-interdiction plan reaching far into North Korea. Otherwise, Weyland said, "It was like trying to dam a stream at the bottom of a waterfall."

On 24 July, Weyland persuaded the FEC staff to accept a general scheme whereby two B-29 groups would attack deep communications, and one would provide close support. Since this plan meant that no B-29s would be available to bomb war-supporting industrial targets in North Korea, the Joint Chiefs of Staff indicated that they were prepared to dispatch two additional B-29 groups on temporary duty to be used against targets they would name in North Korea. General MacArthur accepted, and the 98th and 307th Groups commenced moving across the Pacific. The 98th joined the 92d Group at Yokota, and the 307th joined the 19th and 22d Groups at Kadena. A Bomber Command Advance Echelon was opened at Kadena to handle any last-minute changes in mission orders issued by FEAF. Logistic support for the B-29s was scarce; accordingly, it became standing procedure that there would be no changes in bomb loadings at Kadena.

The FEAF Bomber Command had no difficulty handling the industrial targets in North Korea, but its major task was in cutting bridges and knocking out marshaling yards ranging roughly from the Han River toward the Yalu. Enjoying control of the air and operating without meeting much ground fire, the B-29s cut concrete-span bridges rather easily with 500-pound general-purpose (GP) bombs--admittedly not the best choice in armament but versatile enough to be used despite frequent last minute changes in targets. The Japanese had previously spanned major streams with heavy steel bridges, and these were more difficult to drop. No bridge was so perverse as the steel-cantilever, west railway bridge across the Han at Seoul. Only the 19th Group had racks for large bombs, so its planes attacked the bridge almost daily with 1,000-pound, 2,000-pound, and 4,000-pound GP bombs. A Navy carrier-based squadron joined the strikes on 19 August, and that night the weakened structure collapsed. In all, the destruction of this bridge had used up 80 Bomber Command sorties and 643 tons of bombs.

By mid-August 1950, General MacArthur, feeling that the defense of the Pusan perimeter was stabilizing, was planning an amphibious landing at Inchon, near Seoul. The Eighth Army, however, was still fighting hard to keep the key city of Taegu, and an enemy force was believed to be building up just across the Naktong River. MacArthur called in Stratemeyer and O'Donnell on 14 August and gave the entire B-29 force to the Eighth Army for a carpet-bombing mission. According to O'Donnell, MacArthur went to his situation map, laid his hand flat--covering terrain behind the Naktong--and said, "Rosie, I want you to make a wilderness of this area." With 98 B-29s, O'Donnell would say, "I was supposed to make a wilderness out of 27 square miles, in which no one knew any whereabouts of an enemy, if indeed any enemy forces were there." But Bomber Command took on the mission for psychological reasons if for nothing else. The area was divided into 12 equal squares, and each squadron was assigned an aiming point in the center of each square. just before noon on 16 August, the B-29s went over the target in 30 minutes, dropping 3,084 500-pound and 150 1,000-pound GP bombs. O'Donnell remained over the area for two and one-half hours without seeing any evidence of enemy activity. The Eighth Army did not advance into the area, so an assessment of the results of the massive Waegwan carpet-bombing attack was never possible.

The combination of Eighth Army defense and the aerial interdiction of daytime movement southward sapped the strength of the North Korean army. Captured consumption figures for one North Korean division showed that the division had received 206 tons a day to mid-July, 51 tons a day to mid-August, and 21.5 tons a day to mid-September. Early in September, the Korean Reds were desperate. On 9 September, attacks launched against the US 2d Division on the Naktong line were in five waves; the first three waves were armed, and the last two were sent onto the battlefield to pick up weapons from the dead and dying. To hasten the North Korean collapse, General MacArthur launched the US X Corps in an amphibious landing at Inchon on 15 September 1950. Remnants of the North Korean People's Army fled into North Korea, and United Nations forces followed with little initial opposition.

To accompany the collapse of the North Korean armed forces, FEAF had been urging an all-out incendiary assault against the North Korean capital at Pyongyang. Headquarters USAF, however, instructed that any such attack would have serious political implications and would not be undertaken. Since United Nations forces were not meeting much opposition and were expecting to occupy North Korea, the joint Chiefs on 26 September canceled any further strategic targets. In late September and early October, B-29s hit enemy troop cantonments, but these strikes were suspended on 11 October when it was reported that friendly prisoners of war were being held in these camps. With the Eighth Army forging ahead in western Korea and the X Corps advancing in eastern Korea, it was no longer advisable to cut bridges. Targets got so scarce that one 92d Group crew chased an enemy motorcyclist down a road, toggling off bombs until one threw him into a ditch. On 10 October, FEAF reduced Bomber Command's sorties to about 25 a day, some of which dropped psywar surrender leaflets. And on 25 October, MacArthur released the 22d and 92d Bombardment Groups to return to the United States.

From the start of the Korean conflict, United Nations airmen were charged to keep well clear of the Manchurian and Siberian borders. The rule became more restrictive as ground forces moved closer to the Yalu. The restriction was tightened further still after the 98th Group inadvertently bombed the Chinese city of Antung on the night of 22 September. Unknown to the United Nations Command, Chinese Communist troops began to cross the Yalu on 14 October. Hiding in tunnels by day, they traveled south by railroad into the gap between the Eighth Army and the X Corps. Swept-wing MiG-15 jet fighters showed up across the Yalu, and on 2 November an American cavalry regiment was mauled by Chinese troops in northwestern Korea. In his office in Tokyo, MacArthur did not believe that the Chinese would cross the Yalu in force. If they did, he was sure that they would be slaughtered by air attack. On 5 November, MacArthur ordered FEAF to lay on two weeks of maximum effort. He said, "Combat crews are to be flown to exhaustion if necessary."

Starting southward from the Yalu and exempting only a few proscribed objectives, FEAF was "to destroy every means of communication and every installation, factory, city, and village." The first overwater spans of all international bridges on the Yalu were to be destroyed. In all, there were 12 of these strongly built, steel bridges of much the same construction as the Han River bridge that had been so difficult to drop. The bridge targets plus cities and towns were assigned to Bomber Command. Because of the magnitude of the task, the use of incendiaries on the cities and towns was authorized in order to destroy shelter that would be used by troops coming in from Manchuria. With Fifth Air Force fighter cover, 79 B-29s dropped 584.5 tons of 500-pound incendiary clusters and 1,000-pound bombs against Sinuiju on a November, devastating the city's built-up area and hitting the approaches to the international bridge.

In the next two weeks, fire attacks destroyed large portions of 10 other cities immediately south of the Yalu, depriving the Chinese of badly needed shelter. Chinese prisoners would later reveal that they had suffered markedly in the harsh, frigid weather. Most of the troops of the Third Chinese Field Army were natives of a mild climate in Shantung Province and felt the cold sorely. Nevertheless, soldiers from this field army detrained at Chian in Manchuria, crossed the Yalu on pontoon bridges shortly after 10 November, and passed through the city of Manpojin before the B-29s burned it. From there, they traveled south by train to get into the position from which they were going to ambush US Army and Marine Corps troops around the Choshin Reservoir in the east-central Korean mountains.

The Japanese had built the Yalu River bridges to withstand great natural adversity. They would have been difficult targets for iron bombs in soy event, and the difficulty was compounded by the high-level injunction that B-29s must not fly over Manchuria. The presence of MiG fighters and antiaircraft artillery added to the bombing problem. The B-29s started bridge bombing on 8 November, but the strikes were then delayed by unfavorable cloudy weather. Since the B-29s were not getting results, US Navy dive-bombers were added to the fray, beginning on 12 November. By the end of November, the United Nations air effort had cut four of the international bridges and had damaged most of the others. By this time, the Chinese had thrown a number of pontoon bridges across the Yalu. The river was freezing hard enough so that heavy loads could cross on the ice. Accordingly, the Yalu bridge attacks were suspended as of 5 December, to be renewed again with the spring thaw in 1951.

On 9 December 1950, FEAF ordered that the main medium-bomber effort would be an interdiction program to limit hostile troop movements and resupply by rail southward from the Yalu. This program would focus on enough bridge cutting so that the enemy would have no stretch of usable rail longer than 30 miles. Because of the MiG interceptors, most bridge attacks were now made by four-ship flights for mutual support and with fighter cover. During February, these demands for fighter cover were so great that the Fifth Air Force attempted to take over the job of bridge cutting in the area of northwestern Korea that was being described as "MiG Alley." The tactical fighters, however, could not carry enough ordnance to handle the task, and effective 1 March the detail was given back to Bomber Command.

At the end of March, Yalu River ice was beginning to break up, and the B-29s sought to resume the international bridge attacks. Adverse target weather plagued what had to be visual bombing and diverted attacks to alternates quite frequently. By mid-April, however, persistent Superfortress attacks had severed most of the key bridges with the notable exception of the massive railway bridge at Sinuiju, which refused to fall, even after being attacked on 12 April by 39 aircraft using 2,000-pound bombs. Even though the B-29s were covered and escorted by F-80s and F-86s, the MiG fighters were able to penetrate the cover. They shot down a B-29 on 7 April and three more on 12 April. On 12 April, seven other B-29s were damaged but managed to survive.

Even though the Sinuiju bridge was still standing, Bomber Command had to shift to a more ominous target system on 13 April. The Soviet Union had elected to equip the Chinese Communist air force with MiG interceptors that did not have range enough to get to the battlefields in South Korea if they flew from operational bases in Manchuria. In preparation for their spring offensive in 1951, Chinese ground troops were led to believe that they Would have tactical air support, even though the MiGs would require forward airfields within North Korea. In March, the Chinese began to repair 10 airfields in North Korea. It was Bomber Command policy not to strike an airfield until it was nearing operational status. After 13 April, the medium bombers began a priority neutralization of all North Korean airfields. Bomber Command scheduled an average of 12 planes a day to crater runways and strew delayed-action explosives over each 11 fields. This activity continued to get main emphasis until the end of April, by which time the Communists gave up the repair effort. That FEAF had not been stalking a bogey was later obvious when a copy of a report by a Red Chinese aviation inspection group came to hand. This report bitterly deplored the lack of success in rehabilitating North Korean airfields and asserted, "If we had had a strong air support we could have driven the enemy into the sea."

Since Communist ground forces generally preferred to fight at night, General Stratemeyer announced quite early that FEAF must find control techniques to permit close air support during limited visibility. Strategic Air Command had developed AN/MPQ-2 radars for judging simulated bombing, and three detachments equipped with this radar were brought to Korea. At the end of February 1951, the MPQ-2 radars were able to control both B-26 and B-29 aircraft in strikes along the front lines. Starting on 6 March, Bomber Command committed one or more B-29s to MPQ missions each night. In these strikes, 58 B-29 missions dropped 557.95 tons of bombs in April, and in May 208 sorties dropped 2,042 tons immediately behind the front lines.

The radar-controlled missions were essentially simple. The MPQ-2 radars (later replaced with AN/MSQ-1 sets) were detached to each US corps. Individual B-29s reported to the "tadpole" controllers each 30 minutes, flew assigned courses, and dropped bombs as directed. Ordnance was usually 500-pound general-purpose bombs, with proximity-fused nose, delayed arming, and nondelay tail fusing. Each B-29 so loaded could rain down 600,000 high-velocity fragments, which by all reports proved deadly to enemy personnel caught in the open forming for attack. Especially with the X Corps, the B-29 night bombing was highly successful. The X Corps got targets from prisoners, observation posts, artillery observers, last-light fighter pilots, and spotted areas where enemy troops were disposed. Lt. Gen. E.M. Almond, X Corps commander, called the ground-radar-controlled night bombing "an epic in our warfare."

Nevertheless, the Fifth Air Force opted to emphasize a rail interdiction effort that was nicknamed "Strangle." Most work would be done by tactical fighters against stretches of rail track, while Bomber Command was tagged to make strikes on major bridges and marshaling yards. The interdiction program apparently took the Reds by surprise and was initially going well. But at the end of September, a tactical reconnaissance plane discovered an entirely new runway under construction far south, near the end of MiG Alley. More recce showed two or more new fields, evidently designed for permanent occupancy. With MiGs based so far forward, the Communists could expect to extend air coverage as far south as Pyongyang.

On 18 October, the B-29s commenced daylight attacks against the airfields and met determined MiG opposition. The B-29s were covered by F-84s and F-86s, but no amount of cover could prevent the Red interceptors from getting through. The MiGs shot down a B-29 on 22 October, and the disaster was capped when three B-29s were downed on 23 October and five received major damage. The old Superfortresses could no longer work against Communist jets in daytime skies. At this time, some B-29s had been equipped for SHORAN* bombing so they could lead formations in adverse weather. This capability enabled the B-29s to keep flying against MiG Alley airfields and bridges during nighttime. There was some difficulty with mapping errors that had to be corrected, but the bombers kept the airfields under attack.

The SHORAN (short-range navigation) bombing system paired two ground radar beacons and a transceiver in the aircraft to give the aircrew a positive location above an enemy objective at night or in bad weather. In Southeast Asia, the system would be called SKYSPOT.

For a while, Communist ground repair kept pace with bomb craters, but during December the Reds called a halt to the repair effort. As it happened, the Communists had ample supplies of manual labor, and they could repair several craters as quickly as they could one crater. Bomber Command, moreover, habitually used 100-pound GP bombs to get good patterns. Intelligence would later point out that most of the Red airfields were built on low-lying flood plains. Consequently, hits by 500- or 1,000-pound bombs penetrated the water table, making waterlogged craters that were quite difficult to repair.

In eagerness to speed cease-fire negotiations, United Nations representatives proposed in October 1951 that existing battle lines become lines of demarcation at the conclusion of a cease-fire. On 15 November, Gen. Matthew Ridgway, who had become CINCUNC/CINCFE, directed the Eighth Army unilaterally to cease offensive actions and begin an active defense on its front. The Communists took advantage of this respite. They first secured their forward positions and then echeloned the preponderance of their armies back toward the Yalu, thereby greatly simplifying their logistic support requirements in the forward areas. After November-December 1951, the situation in Korea was rather much like it would be in South Vietnam two decades later. The Chinese fought only when they wished, expended supplies judiciously, and offered few gold targets to air power until the closing weeks of the war. At that time, they launched large ground attacks, apparently to pretend that they were ending the conflict on a winning note.

With the ground front stalemated, the Fifth Air Force early in January 1952 sponsored an interdiction plan aimed at then developing interdiction targets. One thought was that the bombers (either B-26s or B-29s) could saturate a given chokepoint on rail and road nets, thereby backing up traffic for destruction by tactical fighters. One such happening was the so-called Wadong chokepoint attack: in 44 days of bombing ending in March 1952, the bombers saturated a rail and road link through a supposedly impassable defile. This massive effort blocked the rail line for only seven days and the highway only four days. Elsewhere during the spring, B-29S were able to cut bridges with SHORAN-directed strikes, but the Communists got the bridges back in operation very quickly.

In April 1952, Gen. Mark Wayne Clark became CINCUNC/CINCFE, and before long he informed the Joint Chiefs of Staff that the "underlying reason for the failure thus far to achieve an armistice is that we have not exerted sufficient military pressure to impose the requirements for an armistice on the enemy." On 10 July 1952, FEAF issued a new operational policy directive calling for applying the pressure of air power against the Communists to speed armistice talks. Bomber Command was to direct its efforts against communications centers, manufacturing facilities, supply concentrations, and the like. The idea was to undermine the North Korean regime by inflicting economic damage that would become a drain on peacetime recovery. Bomber Command expected to hit between 60 and 80 diversified SHORAN targets a month, many of which were inexactly located on existing maps. A number of the targets also lay up near the Yalu, and Communist MiGs, which voice traffic analysis showed to be flown by Russians, had begun to appear at night.

Another difficulty was a worsening shortage of B-29 replacement crews; Strategic Air Command was fast converting to jet aircraft, and conventional pilots were becoming scarce. In the last months of the Korean hostilities, the US Air Force had some headaches in attempting to provide requisite rotational B-29 personnel. Communist night air defenses became effective in the winter of 1952-53, and between 18 November 1952 and 30 January 1953, five B-29s were destroyed, and three others so badly damaged as to require depot reclamation.

At this juncture, Bomber Command gave rigid attention to mission planning. For one thing, Red interceptors were locating the B29s by trailing their contrails on moonlit nights. Such nights were now avoided. Another useful undertaking was the provision of high cover for the bombers by Marine Corps night fighters. Intervals between planes in SHORAN-guided bomber streams were greatly compressed, thereby reducing the time in hazardous areas. After January 1953 no more B-29s were lost. Quite fortunately, however, the Communists did not elect to use night interceptors equipped with airborne intercept radar.

After the conclusion of the armistice agreement with the Communists in July 1953, the Far East Air Forces noted appreciation for the role played by B-29s, but its official report was reluctant to suggest that happenings in the limited Korean conflict were indicative of the future. In a final statistical summary of the Korean conflict, the B-29s had flown 20,448 sorties(10,125 by day and 10,323 at night). They had dropped 168,368 tons of the total 386,037 tons of bombs dropped by all US Air Force aircraft. Lost to enemy action were 24 B-29s, including 17 in air-to-air combat. In retrospect, it is difficult to see how the United Nations air forces would have managed the interdiction of major bridges and the neutralization of Red airfields without the large bomb capacity of the Superfortresses. The radar-controlled MPQ and MSQ nighttime close air support by the B-29s was a substantial aid to the United Nations defeat of the Communist human-wave ground attacks.

In a summary article on the Korean War, General Weyland was highly complimentary of the B-29s, saying that their employment served notice that air power was indivisible and ought not to be arbitrarily classified by types of aircraft, targets, or operations. Examining the experience from the vantage point of more recent times, it is apparent that the cooperative employment of the Fifth Air Force and FEAF Bomber Command was successfully orchestrated. In the last months, enemy opposition was such that our strike and support forces had to begin integrating into packages, foreshadowing arrangements that would be used over North Vietnam. This successful integration of tactical and strategic aircraft was facilitated by the change of operational control of bombers from Strategic Air Command to the FEAF commander. And, to put the bottom line bluntly, tactical employment of strategic B-29s in Korea was essential to the success of the United Nations air campaign.


This essay is principally based upon three declassified historical monographs prepared by the authors official Air Force histories. They are USAF Historical Study no. 71, United States Air Force Operations in the Korean Conflict, 25 June-1 November 1950 (1 July 1952): USAF Historical Study no. 72, United States Air Force Operations in the Korean Conflict, I November 1950-30 June 1952 (1 July 1955); and USAF Historical Study no. 127, United States Air Force Operations in the Korean Conflict, 1 July 1952-27 July 1953 (1 July 1956). These three monographs and other sources were used by the author in a more popular history, The United States Air Force in Korea, 1950-1953 (New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1961). This history was reprinted by the office of Air Force History in 1983. Discourse of the irrepressible Maj. Gen. Emmett "Rosie" O'Donnell, Jr., is recalled from a conversation with the author at Yokota Air Base in October 1950. Views of General Vandenberg appear in Brig. Gen. Noel F. Parrish, "Hoyt S. Vandenberg: Building the New Air Force," in Makers of the United States Air Force, ed. John L. Frisbee (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1987), 205-23.


Dr. Robert F. Futrell (BA, MA, University of Mississippi; PhD, Vanderbilt University) was senior historian at the Albert B. Simpson Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, and professor of military history, Air University, when he retired from US Civil Service in 1974. During World War II he served as historical officer of AAF Tactical Center, Orlando, Florida, and assistant historical officer of Headquarters Far East Air Forces in the Philippines. Dr Futrell is the author of many books and articles on the history of the US Air Force. He is a nonresident graduate of Air Command and Staff College, Air War College, and Industrial College of the Armed Forces.


The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the U.S. Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.

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