The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force. During the interwar period, German pilots were trained secretly in violation of the treaty at Lipetsk Air Base. With the rise of the Nazi Party and the repudiation of the Versailles Treaty, the Luftwaffe was established on 26 February 1935, just over a fortnight before open defiance of the Versailles Treaty through German re-armament and conscription would be announced on March 16; the Condor Legion, a Luftwaffe detachment sent to aid Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War, provided the force with a valuable testing ground for new tactics and aircraft. As a result of this combat experience, the Luftwaffe had become one of the most sophisticated, technologically advanced, battle-experienced air forces in the world when World War II broke out in 1939.
By the summer of 1939, the Luftwaffe had twenty-eight Geschwader. The Luftwaffe operated Fallschirmjäger paratrooper units; the Luftwaffe proved instrumental in the German victories across Poland and Western Europe in 1939 and 1940. During the Battle of Britain, despite inflicting severe damage to the RAF's infrastructure and, during the subsequent Blitz, devastating many British cities, the German air force failed to batter the beleaguered British into submission. From 1942, Allied bombing campaigns destroyed the Luftwaffe's fighter arm. From late 1942, the Luftwaffe used its surplus ground and other personnel to raise Luftwaffe Field Divisions. In addition to its service in the West, the Luftwaffe operated over the Soviet Union, North Africa and Southern Europe. Despite its belated use of advanced turbojet and rocket propelled aircraft for the destruction of Allied bombers, the Luftwaffe was overwhelmed by the Allies' superior numbers and improved tactics, a lack of trained pilots and aviation fuel.
In January 1945, during the closing stages of the Battle of the Bulge, the Luftwaffe made a last-ditch effort to win air superiority, met with failure. With dwindling supplies of petroleum and lubricants after this campaign, as part of the entire combined Wehrmacht military forces as a whole, the Luftwaffe ceased to be an effective fighting force. After the defeat of Germany, the Luftwaffe was disbanded in 1946. During World War II, German pilots claimed 70,000 aerial victories, while over 75,000 Luftwaffe aircraft were destroyed or damaged. Of these, nearly 40,000 were lost entirely; the Luftwaffe had only two commanders-in-chief throughout its history: Hermann Göring and Generalfeldmarschall Robert Ritter von Greim for the last two weeks of the war. The Luftwaffe was involved in Nazi war crimes. By the end of the war, a significant percentage of aircraft production originated in concentration camps, an industry employing tens of thousands of prisoners; the Luftwaffe's demand for labor was one of the factors that led to the deportation and murder of hundreds of thousands of Hungarian Jews in 1944.
The Luftwaffe High Command organized Nazi human experimentation, Luftwaffe ground troops committed massacres in Italy and Poland. The Imperial German Army Air Service was founded in 1910 with the name Die Fliegertruppen des deutschen Kaiserreiches, most shortened to Fliegertruppe, it was renamed Luftstreitkräfte on 8 October 1916. The air war on the Western Front received the most attention in the annals of the earliest accounts of military aviation, since it produced aces such as Manfred von Richthofen and Ernst Udet, Oswald Boelcke, Max Immelmann. After the defeat of Germany, the service was dissolved on 8 May 1920 under the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles, which mandated the destruction of all German military aircraft. Since the Treaty of Versailles forbade Germany to have an air force, German pilots trained in secret. Civil aviation schools within Germany were used, yet only light trainers could be used in order to maintain the façade that the trainees were going to fly with civil airlines such as Deutsche Luft Hansa.
To train its pilots on the latest combat aircraft, Germany solicited the help of the Soviet Union, isolated in Europe. A secret training airfield was established at Lipetsk in 1924 and operated for nine years using Dutch and Soviet, but some German, training aircraft before being closed in 1933; this base was known as 4th squadron of the 40th wing of the Red Army. Hundreds of Luftwaffe pilots and technical personnel visited and were trained at Soviet air force schools in several locations in Central Russia. Roessing, Fosse, Heini, Makratzki and many other future Luftwaffe aces were trained in Russia in joint Russian-German schools that were set up under the patronage of Ernst August Köstring; the first steps towards the Luftwaffe's formation were undertaken just months after Adolf Hitler came to power. Hermann Göring, a World War I ace, became National Kommissar for aviation with former Luft Hansa director Erhard Milch as his deputy. In April 1933 the Reich Aviation Ministry was established; the RLM was in charge of production of aircraft.
Göring's control over all aspects of aviation became absolute. On 25 March 1933 the German Air Sports Association absorbed all private and national organizations, while retaining its'sports' title. On 15 May 1933, all military aviation organizations in th
Hamilton Army Airfield
Hamilton Field was a United States Air Force base, inactivated in 1973, decommissioned in 1974, put into a caretaker status with the Air Force Reserves until 1976. It was transferred to the United States Army in 1983 and was designated an Army Airfield until its BRAC closure in 1988, it is located along the western shore of San Pablo Bay in the southern portion of Novato, in Marin County, California. Hamilton Field was named after First Lieutenant Lloyd Andrews Hamilton of the 17th Aero Squadron. Hamilton was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for "extraordinary heroism in action" in Varsenare, where he led a low level bombing attack on a German airdrome 30 miles behind enemy lines on August 13, 1918. Thirteen days Hamilton died in action near Lagnicourt, France. What would become Hamilton Air Force Base has its origins in the late 1920s, when the airfield was first established, it was first unofficially named. It was termed from 1929 until 1932 the "Air Corps Station, San Rafael." When formal development beginning, it was named Hamilton Field on July 12, 1932.
Construction of the airfield began about July 1, 1932, with the airfield being designed to accommodate four bomb squadrons and their personnel. Captain Don Hutchins of the Army Air Corps reported on duty as the first commanding officer of the new field on June 25, 1933, Captain John M. Davies' 70th Service Squadron arrived that December as the first squadron assigned to the base; the Hamilton Field Station Complement replaced the 70th Service Squadron on March 1, 1935. The original construction program was completed on May 12, 1935, at which time the field was ceremonially handed over to Brigadier General Henry'Hap' Arnold, commanding the First Wing, by Governor Frank Merriam of California; the U. S. Weather Bureau had an official cooperative weather station on the base from 1934 to 1964. Hamilton Field was a bomber installation. On May 5, 1934, the first planes assigned to Hamilton were Martin B-10 and B-12 bombers of the 7th Bombardment Group, having been transferred from March Airfield. Shortly thereafter, amphibious reconnaissance aircraft of the 88th Observation Squadron were assigned to Hamilton.
The B-12 bombers housed at Hamilton Field were phased out in 1937, the 7th Bomb Group was re-equipped with the Douglas B-18 Bolo. The B-18 was a standard two-engine short-range bomber, was capable of airlifting combat-equipped troops en masse, an important advance in combat techniques at the time; the next step forward in bomber technology was the development of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, a four-engine airplane, bigger and heavier than any previous bomber and required a longer and stronger runway to operate. Because the runway at Hamilton Field was not adequate for the B-17, the larger planes had to go elsewhere. In 1939, the 7th Bombardment Group was designated a "heavy" bomb group and was moved to Fort Douglas, Utah on September 7, 1940, to train with B-17s. Hamilton became a fighter base under the USAAC Air Force Combat Command in December 1940, becoming the home of the 9th, 10th and 11th Pursuit Wings; the 9th PW was reassigned from March Field, bringing the 14th and 51st squadrons equipped with the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.
Two other pursuit wings, the 10th, with the 20th and 35th Pursuit Groups, the 11th, with the 51st, 54th and 55th Pursuit Groups, were activated at Hamilton in December 1940, all equipped with P-40s, the Republic P-43 Lancer, a scattering of older Curtis P-36 Mohawks. The arrival of the pursuit wings and their crews caused crowding at the base and initiated the first of many housing problems. Hamilton was assigned to the USAAC 4th Air Force, on December 7, 1941, the airfield was designated an air defense base for the West Coast as part of the Western Defense Command on January 5, 1942. In response to the growing crisis in the Pacific, on December 6, 1941, the 38th Reconnaissance Squadron with four B-17Cs and two new B-17Es left Hamilton Field bound for Hickam Field, Hawaii on their way to Clark Field in the Philippines to reinforce the American Far East Air Force there. None were armed. After leaving Hamilton, flying all through the night, the bombers arrived over Oahu on the morning of December 7, 1941, faced an unusual welcome.
The B-17s had arrived over Oahu during the Japanese air attack on Hawaii which triggered American entry into World War II. They arrived at Pearl Harbor at the height of the attack. Two of the planes managed to land at a short fighter strip at Haliewa, one made a belly-landing at Bellows, one set down on the Kahuku Golf Course, the remainder landed at Hickam under the strafing of Japanese planes; the B-17Es of the 7th Bombardment Group were moved back to Hamilton from Utah for deployment to the Far East. Six of them arrived in Hawaii just after the Pearl Harbor attack, but the rest of them were ordered to remain in the United States to defend California and were sent south to Muroc AAF near Rosamond. During World War II, Hamilton was an important West Coast air training facility, its mission was that of an initial training base for newly formed fighter groups. The airfield was expanded to a wartime status, with construction of additional barracks, mess halls, administration buildings, Link trainer buildings, schools and other structures.
The following units trained at Hamilton: Auxiliary training fields used by Hamilton Field during World War II were: Montague Air Force Auxiliary Field 41°43′45″N 122°32′30″W Napa Army Airfield 38°12′56″N 122°16′49″W Willows
Semi-Automatic Ground Environment
The Semi-Automatic Ground Environment was a system of large computers and associated networking equipment that coordinated data from many radar sites and processed it to produce a single unified image of the airspace over a wide area. SAGE directed and controlled the NORAD response to a Soviet air attack, operating in this role from the late 1950s into the 1980s, its enormous computers and huge displays remain a part of cold war lore, a common prop in movies such as Dr. Strangelove and Colossus; the processing power behind SAGE was supplied by the largest computer built, the AN/FSQ-7. Each SAGE Direction Center housed an FSQ-7 which occupied an entire floor 22,000 square feet not including supporting equipment. Information was fed to the DCs from a network of radar stations as well as readiness information from various defence sites; the computers, based on the raw radar data, developed "tracks" for the reported targets, automatically calculated which defences were within range. Operators used light guns to select targets on-screen for further information, select one of the available defences, issue commands to attack.
These commands would be automatically sent to the defence site via teleprinter. Connecting the various sites was an enormous network of telephones and teleprinters. Additions to the system allowed SAGE's tracking data to be sent directly to CIM-10 Bomarc missiles and some of the US Air Force's interceptor aircraft in-flight, directly updating their autopilots to maintain an intercept course without operator intervention; each DC forwarded data to a Combat Center for "supervision of the several sectors within the division". SAGE became operational in early 1960s at a combined cost of billions of dollars, it was noted that the deployment cost more than the Manhattan Project, which it was, in a way, defending against. Throughout its development, there were continual concerns about its real ability to deal with large attacks, the Operation Skyshield tests showed that only about one-fourth of enemy bombers would have been intercepted. SAGE was the backbone of NORAD's air defense system into the 1980s, by which time the tube-based FSQ-7's were costly to maintain and outdated.
Today the same command and control task is carried out by microcomputers, based on the same basic underlying data. Just prior to World War II, Royal Air Force tests with the new Chain Home radars had demonstrated that relaying information to the fighter aircraft directly from the radar sites was not feasible; the radars determined the map coordinates of the enemy, but could not see the fighters at the same time. This meant the fighters had to be able to determine where to fly to perform an interception but were unaware of their own exact location and unable to calculate an interception while flying their aircraft; the solution was to send all of the radar information to a central control station where operators collated the reports into single tracks, reported these tracks out to the airbases, or sectors. The sectors used additional systems to track their own aircraft, plotting both on a single large map. Operators viewing the map could easily see what direction their fighters would have to fly to approach their targets and relay that by telling them to fly along a certain heading or vector.
This Dowding system was the first ground-controlled interception system of large scale, covering the entirety of the UK. It proved enormously successful during the Battle of Britain, is credited as being a key part of the RAF's success. However, the system was slow providing information, up to five minutes out of date. Against propeller driven bombers flying at 225 miles per hour this was not a serious concern, but it was clear the system would be of little use against jet-powered bombers flying at 600 miles per hour; the system was extremely expensive in manpower terms, requiring hundreds of telephone operators, plotters and all of the radar operators on top of that. This was a serious drain on manpower reserves, making it difficult to expand the network; the idea of using a computer to handle the task of taking reports and developing tracks had been explored beginning late in the war. By 1944, analog computers had been installed at the CH stations to automatically convert radar readings into map locations, eliminating two people.
Meanwhile, the Royal Navy began experimenting with the Comprehensive Display System, another analog computer that took X and Y locations from a map and automatically generated tracks from repeated inputs. Similar systems began development with the Royal Canadian Navy, DATAR, the US Navy, the Naval Tactical Data System. A similar system was specified for the Nike SAM project referring to a US version of CDS, coordinating the defense over a battle area so that multiple batteries did not fire on a single target. However, all of these systems were small in geographic scale tracking within a city-sized area; when the Soviets tested RDS-1 in August 1949, the topic of air defense of the US became important for the first time. A study group, the "Air Defense Systems Engineering Committee" was set up under the direction of Dr. George Valley to consider the problem, is known to history as the Valley Committee, their December report noted a key problem in air defense using ground-based radars. A bomber approaching a radar station would detect the signals from the radar long before the reflection off the bomber was strong enough to be detected by the station.
The committee suggested that when this
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, supersonic interceptor aircraft which became used as an attack aircraft. It was developed by Lockheed for the United States Air Force, but was produced by several other nations, seeing widespread service outside the United States. One of the Century Series of fighter aircraft, it was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from 1958 to 2004, its design team was led by Kelly Johnson, who contributed to the development of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Lockheed U-2, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird, other Lockheed aircraft. The F-104 set numerous world records, including altitude records, its success was marred by the Lockheed bribery scandals, in which Lockheed had given bribes to a considerable number of political and military figures in various nations to influence their judgment and secure several purchase contracts. The poor safety record of the Starfighter brought the aircraft into the public eye in German Air Force service. Fighter ace Erich Hartmann was forced to retire from the Luftwaffe due to his outspoken opposition to selection of the F-104.
The final production version of the fighter model was the F-104S, an all-weather interceptor designed by Aeritalia for the Italian Air Force, equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. An advanced F-104 with a high-mounted wing, known as the CL-1200 Lancer, was considered, but did not proceed past the mock-up stage. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, the chief engineer at Lockheed's Skunk Works, visited Korea in December 1951 and spoke with fighter pilots about what sort of aircraft they wanted. At the time, the U. S. pilots were confronting the MiG-15 with North American F-86 Sabres, many felt that the MiGs were superior to the larger and more complex American design. The pilots requested a simple aircraft with excellent performance. Armed with this information, Johnson started the design of such an aircraft on his return to the United States. In March, his team was assembled. To achieve the desired performance, Lockheed chose a minimalist approach - a design that would achieve high performance by wrapping the lightest, most aerodynamically efficient airframe possible around a single powerful engine.
The engine chosen was the new General Electric J79 turbojet, an engine of improved performance in comparison with contemporary designs. The small L-246 design powered by a single J79 remained identical to the L-083 Starfighter as delivered; the design was presented to the Air Force in November 1952, they were interested enough to create a General Operating Requirement for a lightweight fighter to replace the North American F-100. Three additional companies replied to the requirement: Republic Aviation with the AP-55, an improved version of its prototype XF-91 Thunderceptor. Although all were interesting, Lockheed had what proved to be an insurmountable lead, was granted a development contract in March 1953 for two prototypes. Work progressed with a mock-up ready for inspection at the end of April, work starting on two prototypes late in May. Meanwhile, the J79 engine was not ready; the first prototype was completed by early 1954 and first flew on 4 March at Edwards AFB. The total time from contract to first flight was less than a year.
When the USAF revealed the existence of the XF-104, they only gave a vague description of it. A drawing in the August 1954 edition of Popular Mechanics was close to the actual design; the prototype had hopped into the air on 18 February, but, not counted as a first flight. On the first official flight, it experienced landing gear retraction problems; the second prototype was destroyed a few weeks during gun-firing trials, but in November 1955, the XF-104 was accepted by the USAF. Based on the XF-104 testing and evaluations, the next variant, the YF-104A, was lengthened and fitted with a General Electric J79 engine, modified landing gear, modified air intakes; the first YF-104A flew on 17 February 1956, with the other 16 trial aircraft, were soon carrying out aircraft and equipment evaluation and tests. Modifications were made to the aircraft including airframe adding a ventral fin. Problems were encountered with the J79 afterburner. On 28 January 1958, the first F-104A to enter service was delivered to the 83rd Fighter Intercepter Wing.
A total of 2,578 F-104s was produced under license by various foreign manufacturers. The F-104 featured a radical wing design. Most jet fighters of the period used a swept-wing or delta-wing design, which provided a reasonable balance between aerodynamic performance and internal space for fuel and equipment; the Lockheed tests, determined that the most efficient shape for high-speed supersonic flight was a small, mid-mounted, trapezoidal wing. The new wing design was thin, with a thickness-to-chord ratio of only 3.36% and an aspect ratio of 2.45. The wing's leading edges were so thin that they presented a cut hazard to ground crews: protective guards had to be installed on the edges during ground operations maintenance; the thinness of the wings re
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain; the RAF's mission is to support the objectives of the British Ministry of Defence, which are to "provide the capabilities needed to ensure the security and defence of the United Kingdom and overseas territories, including against terrorism. The RAF describes its mission statement as "... an agile and capable Air Force that, person for person, is second to none, that makes a decisive air power contribution in support of the UK Defence Mission". The mission statement is supported by the RAF's definition of air power.
Air power is defined as "the ability to project power from the air and space to influence the behaviour of people or the course of events". Today the Royal Air Force maintains an operational fleet of various types of aircraft, described by the RAF as being "leading-edge" in terms of technology; this consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft. The majority of the RAF's rotary-wing aircraft form part of the tri-service Joint Helicopter Command in support of ground forces. Most of the RAF's aircraft and personnel are based in the UK, with many others serving on operations or at long-established overseas bases. Although the RAF is the principal British air power arm, the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm and the British Army's Army Air Corps deliver air power, integrated into the maritime and land environments. While the British were not the first to make use of heavier-than-air military aircraft, the RAF is the world's oldest independent air force: that is, the first air force to become independent of army or navy control.
Following publication of the "Smuts report" prepared by Jan Smuts the RAF was founded on 1 April 1918, with headquarters located in the former Hotel Cecil, during the First World War, by the amalgamation of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service. At that time it was the largest air force in the world. After the war, the service was drastically cut and its inter-war years were quiet, with the RAF taking responsibility for the control of Iraq and executing a number of minor actions in other parts of the British Empire; the RAF's naval aviation branch, the Fleet Air Arm, was founded in 1924 but handed over to Admiralty control on 24 May 1939. The RAF developed the doctrine of strategic bombing which led to the construction of long-range bombers and became its main bombing strategy in the Second World War; the RAF underwent rapid expansion prior to and during the Second World War. Under the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan of December 1939, the air forces of British Commonwealth countries trained and formed "Article XV squadrons" for service with RAF formations.
Many individual personnel from these countries, exiles from occupied Europe served with RAF squadrons. By the end of the war the Royal Canadian Air Force had contributed more than 30 squadrons to serve in RAF formations approximately a quarter of Bomber Command's personnel were Canadian. Additionally, the Royal Australian Air Force represented around nine percent of all RAF personnel who served in the European and Mediterranean theatres. In the Battle of Britain in 1940, the RAF defended the skies over Britain against the numerically superior German Luftwaffe. In what is the most prolonged and complicated air campaign in history, the Battle of Britain contributed to the delay and subsequent indefinite postponement of Hitler's plans for an invasion of the United Kingdom. In the House of Commons on 20 August, prompted by the ongoing efforts of the RAF, Prime Minister Winston Churchill eloquently made a speech to the nation, where he said "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few".
The largest RAF effort during the war was the strategic bombing campaign against Germany by Bomber Command. While RAF bombing of Germany began immediately upon the outbreak of war, under the leadership of Air Chief Marshal Harris, these attacks became devastating from 1942 onward as new technology and greater numbers of superior aircraft became available; the RAF adopted night-time area bombing on German cities such as Hamburg and Dresden, developed precision bombing techniques for specific operations, such as the "Dambusters" raid by No. 617 Squadron, or the Amiens prison raid known as Operation Jericho. Following victory in the Second World War, the RAF underwent significant re-organisation, as technological advances in air warfare saw the arrival of jet fighters and bombers. During the early stages of the Cold War, one of the first major operations undertaken by the Royal Air Force was in 1948 and the Berlin Airlift, codenamed Operation Plainfire. Between 26 June and the lifting of the Russian blockade of the city on 2 May, the RAF provided 17% of the total supplies delivered du
Paine Field known as Snohomish County Airport, is a small international airport serving part of the Seattle metropolitan area in the U. S. state of Washington. It is located in unincorporated Snohomish County, between the cities of Mukilteo and Everett, about 25 miles north of Seattle. PAE covers 1,315 acres of land; the airport was built in 1936 by the Works Progress Administration and began commercial service in 1939. It was named for Topliff Olin Paine in 1941, shortly before the Army Air Corps began occupation of Paine Field for military use; the airport returned to civilian use in the late 1940s, before conversion into an air force base during the Korean War. In 1966, the Boeing Company selected Paine Field for the site of its Everett assembly plant as part of the Boeing 747 program. By the 1970s, the airport had grown into a hub for light aviation and manufacturing, lacking commercial service; the county government sought to begin commercial service at Paine Field as early as the 1980s, but was halted by opposition from neighboring cities.
In March 2019, Paine Field resumed commercial service at a funded terminal served by Alaska Airlines and United Airlines. It is served by a Federal Aviation Administration control tower, has precision and non-precision instrument approaches available to pilots, it is included in the Federal Aviation Administration National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2017–2021, in which it is categorized as a national reliever facility. Paine Field has three runways: 16R-34L, 16L-34R and 11-29. 16R-34L, at 9,010 feet in length, is suited for the majority of aircraft and sees occasional heavy traffic. It is in good condition. Runway 16L-34R is 3,004 feet in length, suitable only for small aircraft, its pavement is in fair condition, with a noticeable rise in elevation mid-field, when compared with the ends. Runway 11-29 is closed except for taxiing, Boeing is leasing some of the runway space to park completed 787 aircraft; the airport has 456 general aviation hangars, of which 326 are leased by the County, 130 are "condominium" hangars.
Wait time for a hangar ranges between 6 months and 5 years, depending on type. Paine Field is home to the Boeing Everett Factory, the world's largest building by volume, the primary assembly location for Boeing's wide-body 747, 767, 777, some 787 aircraft. Paine Field is home to Aviation Technical Services, one of the nation's largest aviation maintenance facilities. ATS operates a 950,000-square-foot facility operated by Goodrich, sold to ATS in the fall of 2007. ATS does'heavy' checks for a number of airlines and cargo companies. According to their web page, they average 443 aircraft redeliveries each year. Paine Field is home to four flight schools — Chinook Flight Simulations, Regal Air, Northway Aviation, Everett Helicopters — making it a popular destination for flight training. There are a number of flying clubs on the field; the FAA-operated control tower maintains limited hours, operating only between 7 AM and 9 PM local time. During times that the tower is operational, both runways are active, but after hours, only runway 16R-34L is open.
Paine Field was constructed in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration project. At the time of development, it was envisioned that the Airport would create jobs and economic growth in the region by becoming one of the ten new "super airports" around the country. Paine Field was taken over by the U. S. Army Air Corps prior to entry into World War II as a patrol base, air defense base and fighter training base and was controlled by the U. S. Army Air Forces. With the end of the war, the airfield began to be returned to the civilian control of Snohomish County. In 1947, as transition activities were still underway, military control of the then-Paine Army Airfield was transferred to the newly established U. S. Air Force, with the facility renamed Paine Field. Transfer of the property to the Snohomish County government was completed in 1948, the Air Force continued to maintain various Air Defense Command units at the airport as military tenants. Before Snohomish County could start planning for the continued development of a "super airport", the United States was again involved in an armed conflict—this time in Korea and the breakout of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.
When the Pacific Northwest defense installations were reviewed House Representative Henry M. Jackson recommended more military presence in the area and Paine Field was reactivated as a military airbase. Paine Field was returned to USAF control in 1951, renamed Paine Air Force Base, placed under the jurisdiction of the Air Defense Command. While the county relinquished most of its commercial facilities to house USAF personnel and assets, the site did not have an exclusive military presence; the airfield remained a joint civil-military airport with the Air Force operating the control tower and other air traffic control facilities, while the county, in a shared use agreement, rented commercial lease hold areas to businesses such as Alaska Airlines. The 4753rd Air Base Squadron was activated on the new Air Force base on February 1, 1952 as a placeholder unit. Although inactive for only six years, significant military construction was necessary to bring the World War II training base up to postwar USAF standards.
In 1951, additional land surrounding the Paine AFB site was appropriated for military facilities and extended runways. A 9,000-foot jet runway was constructed along with accompanying taxiways, permanent concrete buildings and other support facilities to replace the temp
Cuban Missile Crisis
The Cuban Missile Crisis known as the October Crisis of 1962, the Caribbean Crisis, or the Missile Scare, was a 13-day confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union initiated by the American discovery of Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba. The confrontation is considered the closest the Cold War came to escalating into a full-scale nuclear war. In response to the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion of 1961 and the presence of American Jupiter ballistic missiles in Italy and Turkey, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev agreed to Cuba's request to place nuclear missiles on the island to deter a future invasion. An agreement was reached during a secret meeting between Khrushchev and Fidel Castro in July 1962, construction of a number of missile launch facilities started that summer; the 1962 United States elections were under way, the White House had for months denied charges that it was ignoring dangerous Soviet missiles 90 miles from Florida. The missile preparations were confirmed when an Air Force U-2 spy plane produced clear photographic evidence of medium-range and intermediate-range ballistic missile facilities.
The US established a naval blockade on October 22 to prevent further missiles from reaching Cuba. The US announced it would not permit offensive weapons to be delivered to Cuba and demanded that the weapons in Cuba be dismantled and returned to the Soviet Union. After several days of tense negotiations, an agreement was reached between US President John F. Kennedy and Khrushchev. Publicly, the Soviets would dismantle their offensive weapons in Cuba and return them to the Soviet Union, subject to United Nations verification, in exchange for a US public declaration and agreement to avoid invading Cuba again. Secretly, the United States agreed that it would dismantle all US-built Jupiter MRBMs, deployed in Turkey against the Soviet Union; when all offensive missiles and Ilyushin Il-28 light bombers had been withdrawn from Cuba, the blockade was formally ended on November 21, 1962. The negotiations between the United States and the Soviet Union pointed out the necessity of a quick and direct communication line between Washington and Moscow.
As a result, the Moscow–Washington hotline was established. A series of agreements reduced US–Soviet tensions for several years until both parties began to build their nuclear arsenal further. With the end of World War II and the start of the Cold War, the United States had grown concerned about the expansion of communism. A Latin American country allying with the Soviet Union was regarded by the US as unacceptable, it would, for example, defy the Monroe Doctrine, a US policy limiting US involvement in European colonies and European affairs but holding that the Western Hemisphere was in the US sphere of influence. The Kennedy administration had been publicly embarrassed by the failed Bay of Pigs Invasion in May 1961, launched under President John F. Kennedy by CIA-trained forces of Cuban exiles. Afterward, former President Dwight Eisenhower told Kennedy that "the failure of the Bay of Pigs will embolden the Soviets to do something that they would otherwise not do." The half-hearted invasion left Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev and his advisers with the impression that Kennedy was indecisive and, as one Soviet adviser wrote, "too young, not prepared well for decision making in crisis situations... too intelligent and too weak".
US covert operations against Cuba continued in 1961 with the unsuccessful Operation Mongoose. In addition, Khrushchev's impression of Kennedy's weaknesses was confirmed by the President's response during the Berlin Crisis of 1961 to the building of the Berlin Wall. Speaking to Soviet officials in the aftermath of the crisis, Khrushchev asserted, "I know for certain that Kennedy doesn't have a strong background, nor speaking, does he have the courage to stand up to a serious challenge." He told his son Sergei that on Cuba, Kennedy "would make a fuss, make more of a fuss, agree". In January 1962, US Army General Edward Lansdale described plans to overthrow the Cuban government in a top-secret report, addressed to Kennedy and officials involved with Operation Mongoose. CIA agents or "pathfinders" from the Special Activities Division were to be infiltrated into Cuba to carry out sabotage and organization, including radio broadcasts. In February 1962, the US launched an embargo against Cuba, Lansdale presented a 26-page, top-secret timetable for implementation of the overthrow of the Cuban government, mandating guerrilla operations to begin in August and September.
"Open revolt and overthrow of the Communist regime" would occur in the first two weeks of October. When Kennedy ran for president in 1960, one of his key election issues was an alleged "missile gap" with the Soviets leading; the US at that time led the Soviets by a wide margin that would only increase. In 1961, the Soviets had only four intercontinental ballistic missiles. By October 1962, they may have had a few dozen, with some intelligence estimates as high as 75; the US, on the other hand, had 170 ICBMs and was building more. It had eight George Washington- and Ethan Allen-class ballistic missile submarines, with the capability to launch 16 Polaris missiles, each with a range of 2,500 nautical miles. Khrushchev increased the perception of a missile