Authored by Office of Air Force History, U.S. Air Force
Historians generally agree that the birth of American air power occurred in the two decades between the world wars, when airmen in the U.S. Army and Navy forged the aircraft, the organization, the cadre of leadership, and the doctrines that formed a foundation for the country to win the air war in World War II. Nearly every scholarly study of this era focuses on these developments, or upon the aircraft of the period; very few works describe precisely what the flyers were doing and how they overcame the difficulties they faced in creating air forces. In this detailed, comprehensive volume, Dr. Maurer Maurer, retired senior historian of the United States Air Force Historical Research Center, fills this void for land-based aviation.
As Dr. Maurer explains in his personal note, this book grew out of his previous editing of the documents of the American Air Service in World War I. He decided to write a descriptive rather than an analytical book, taking the vantage point of the Army flyers themselves. While policy, organization, and doctrine form the background, they are not addressed or explained explicitly. Instead, Dr. Maurer focuses on men and planes, describing in the process how the Army Air Corps came to possess a supporting structure and the nationwide network of airfields. He exposes the difficulties encountered in training and organizing tactical units. However, Dr. Maurer does not write solely about problems and setbacks. In his capable narrative hands, readers cross the country and the continents on the many dramatic record flights with the flyers of the Army Air Corps.
The value of this book is twofold: the wealth of detail Dr. Maurer provides about the scope, structure, and activities of interwar Army aviation; and the comprehensive portrait that emerges of a military service struggling with limited resources to develop a new weapon of tremendous destructive potential. As such, the book fills a gap in the literature and contributes to knowledge about the history of the Army air arm.
Feb 16 2015
150848757X / 9781508487579
US Trade Paper
7″ x 10″
Black and White
History / Military / Aviation