Air Corps Tactical School
The Air Corps Tactical School known as ACTS and "the Tactical School", was a military professional development school for officers of the United States Army Air Service and United States Army Air Corps, the first such school in the world. Created in 1920 at Langley Field, Virginia, it relocated to Maxwell Field, Alabama, in July 1931. Instruction at the school was suspended in 1940, anticipating the entry of the United States into World War II, the school was dissolved shortly after. ACTS was replaced in November 1942 by the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics. In addition to the training of officers in more than 20 areas of military education, the school became the doctrine development center of the Air Corps, a preparatory school for Air Corps officers aspiring to attendance at the U. S. Army's General Staff College; the motto of the Air Corps Tactical School was Proficimus More Irretenti—"We Make Progress Unhindered by Custom". The Air Corps Tactical School was notable as the birthplace of the Army Air Forces doctrine of daylight precision bombing.
This doctrine held that a campaign of daylight air attacks against critical targets of a potential enemy's industrial infrastructure, using long-range bombers armed for self-defense, could defeat an enemy nation though its army and navy remained intact. The Tactical School, in formulating the doctrine, rejected the idea of attacking civilians. Four former instructors of the school, the core of a group known as the "Bomber Mafia", were grouped together in the Air War Plans Division to produce the two war-winning plans—AWPD-1 and AWPD-42—based on the doctrine of precision daylight bombing that guided the wartime expansion and deployment of the Army Air Forces. In a broader sense, the strategic bombing doctrine, adapted by factors encountered during combat, was the foundation for the final separation of the Air Force from the Army as a military service independent of and equal to the other services. In 1946 the AAF created the Air University to carry on the work and traditions of the ACTS. At the end of World War I, observation remained the main role of the Air Service.
However, air combat and limited bombardment operations indicated to veterans of the Air Service, including Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell, that while ideally the service should be separate from the Army, it at the least should be centralized under an Air Service commander with some missions independent of direct support of troops. In reorganizing the post-war Army, the Armed Forces Reorganization Act of 1920 rebuked these ideas but did establish the Air Service as a statutory entity and assigned it status as a "combatant arm of the line."The Air Service followed the precedent of the other combat arms and began planning for its own service schools. An "Air Service School of Application" for technical training in aeronautical engineering, similar to the Ordnance School of Application at Sandy Hook, New Jersey, was set up at McCook Field, began its first class 10 November 1919. Maj. Gen. Charles Menoher, Director of Air Service, wrote the War Department in October 1919 for permission to establish a tactical school at Langley Field, Virginia, to train field grade officers in the operation and tactics of the Air Service as a requirement for higher command or staff work.
On 25 February 1920, the War Department authorized the Air Service to establish its service schools. In addition to six pilot and advanced pilot training schools, two technical training schools, an Air Service School was planned, it proposed to host courses for enlisted personnel as balloon observers, balloon mechanics, aerial photography, but its main course was to be the Field Officers Course. Major Thomas DeWitt Milling was assigned as officer-in-charge of the Field Officers Course at the new school and sent to Langley in July 1920 to set it up. War Department General Order No. 18 authorized the school on 14 August 1920. The balloon courses were split off into a separate school in a different area of Langley and the Air Service School was renamed the Air Service Field Officers School on 10 February 1921, after its primary function; the Air Service ordered 17 officers to Langley, eight as students and nine as instructors, although several officers swapped roles and some instructors were students as well.
The 1920–1921 class opened on 1 November 1920, although scheduled to last nine months, was concluded in May when both students and instructors were assigned to the 1st Provisional Air Brigade, as part of the experimental bombing of captured warships by the Air Service and the United States Navy. 11 officers, including four instructors, graduated the first course. The second class, beginning in October 1921, was devoted to the further training of instructors, the creation of a sound administrative system, development of a well-rounded course curriculum. In the first two classes, despite the school's title and function, only six of the first 23 graduates were field grade officers. A board reviewing all service schools of the United States Army observed that the Field Officers School had a course load that in other branches of the Army was distributed among several schools; because all other Air Service schools were technical training in nature, the board recommended that the school be opened to all air service officers regardless of rank.
Accordingly, Army regulations changed the name of the school to that of Air Service Tactical School on 8 November 1922. With the passage of the Air Corps Act of 1926, the school again changed its name, becoming the Air Corps Tactical School on 2 July 1926. While at Langley, the ACTS was hampered by a chronic shortage of instructors, caused by a lack of policy within the Army for filling vacancies despite a rapid turnover in staff in the first three years. Sch
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress is a four-engined heavy bomber developed in the 1930s for the United States Army Air Corps. Competing against Douglas and Martin for a contract to build 200 bombers, the Boeing entry outperformed both competitors and exceeded the air corps' performance specifications. Although Boeing lost the contract because the prototype crashed, the air corps ordered 13 more B-17s for further evaluation. From its introduction in 1938, the B-17 Flying Fortress evolved through numerous design advances, becoming the third-most produced bomber of all time, behind the four-engined B-24 and the multirole, twin-engined Ju 88; the B-17 was employed by the USAAF in the daylight strategic bombing campaign of World War II against German industrial and military targets. The United States Eighth Air Force, based at many airfields in central and southern England, the Fifteenth Air Force, based in Italy, complemented the RAF Bomber Command's nighttime area bombing in the Combined Bomber Offensive to help secure air superiority over the cities and battlefields of Western Europe in preparation for the invasion of France in 1944.
The B-17 participated to a lesser extent in the War in the Pacific, early in World War II, where it conducted raids against Japanese shipping and airfields. From its prewar inception, the USAAC promoted the aircraft as a strategic weapon, it developed a reputation for toughness based upon stories and photos of badly damaged B-17s safely returning to base. The B-17 dropped more bombs than any other U. S. aircraft in World War II. Of the 1.5 million tonnes of bombs dropped on Nazi Germany and its occupied territories by U. S. aircraft, 640,000 tonnes were dropped from B-17s. In addition to its role as a bomber, the B-17 was employed as a transport, antisubmarine aircraft, drone controller, search-and-rescue aircraft; as of May 2015, 10 aircraft remain airworthy, though none of them were flown in combat. Dozens more are on static display; the oldest of these is a D-series flown in combat in the Caribbean. On 8 August 1934, the USAAC tendered a proposal for a multiengine bomber to replace the Martin B-10.
The Air Corps was looking for a bomber capable of reinforcing the air forces in Hawaii and Alaska. Requirements were for it to carry a "useful bombload" at an altitude of 10,000 ft for 10 hours with a top speed of at least 200 mph, they desired, but did not require, a range of 2,000 mi and a speed of 250 mph. The competition for the air corps contract was to be decided by a "fly-off" between Boeing's design, the Douglas DB-1, the Martin Model 146 at Wilbur Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio; the prototype B-17, with the Boeing factory designation of Model 299, was designed by a team of engineers led by E. Gifford Emery and Edward Curtis Wells, was built at Boeing's own expense, it combined features of 247 transport. The B-17's armament consisted of five.30 caliber machine guns, with a payload up to 4,800 lb of bombs on two racks in the bomb bay behind the cockpit. The aircraft was powered by four Pratt & Whitney R-1690 Hornet radial engines, each producing 750 hp at 7,000 ft; the first flight of the Model 299 was on 28 July 1935 with Boeing chief test pilot Leslie Tower at the controls.
The day before, Richard Williams, a reporter for The Seattle Times, coined the name "Flying Fortress" when – observing the large number of machine guns sticking out from the new airplane – he described it as a "15-ton flying fortress" in a picture caption. The most unusual mount was in the nose, which allowed the single machine gun to be fired toward any frontal angle. Boeing had it trademarked for use. Boeing claimed in some of the early press releases that Model 299 was the first combat aircraft that could continue its mission if one of its four engines failed. On 20 August 1935, the prototype flew from Seattle to Wright Field in nine hours and three minutes with an average cruising speed of 252 miles per hour, much faster than the competition. At the fly-off, the four-engined Boeing's performance was superior to those of the twin-engined DB-1 and Model 146. Major General Frank Maxwell Andrews of the GHQ Air Force believed that the capabilities of large four-engined aircraft exceeded those of shorter-ranged, twin-engined aircraft, that the B-17 was better suited to new, emerging USAAC doctrine.
His opinions were shared by the air corps procurement officers, before the competition had finished, they suggested buying 65 B-17s. Development continued on the Boeing Model 299, on 30 October 1935, Army Air Corps test pilot Major Ployer Peter Hill and Boeing employee Les Tower took the Model 299 on a second evaluation flight; the crew forgot to disengage the "gust locks", which locked control surfaces in place while the aircraft was parked on the ground, after takeoff, the aircraft entered a steep climb, nosed over, crashed, killing Hill and Tower. The crashed Model 299 could not finish the evaluation. While the air corps was still enthusiastic about the aircraft's potential, army officials were daunted by its cost. Army Chief of Staff Malin Craig cancelled the order for 65 YB-17s, ordered 133 of the twin-engined Douglas B-18 Bol
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps
For the current active service branch, see United States Air ForceThe Aviation Section, Signal Corps, was the aerial warfare service of the United States from 1914 to 1918, a direct statutory ancestor of the United States Air Force. It absorbed and replaced the Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps, conducted the activities of Army aviation until World War I, when its statutory responsibilities were suspended for the duration of the war; the Aviation Section organized the first squadrons of the aviation arm and conducted the first military operations by United States aviation on foreign soil. The Aviation Section, Signal Corps was created by the 63rd Congress on 18 July 1914 after earlier legislation to make the aviation service independent from the Signal Corps died in committee. From July 1914 until May 1918 the aviation section of the Signal Corps was familiarly known by the title of its administrative headquarters component at the time, seen variously as the Aeronautical Division, Air Division, Division of Military Aeronautics, others.
For historic convenience, the air arm is most referred to by its official designation, the Aviation Section, Signal Corps, is the designation recognized by the United States Air Force as its predecessor for this period. The Aviation Section began in turbulence, first as an alternative to making aviation in the Army a corps independent of the Signal Corps with friction between its pilots, who were all young and on temporary detail from other branches, its leadership, who were more established Signal Corps officers and non-pilots. Despite the assignment of Lieutenant Colonel George O. Squier as chief to bring stability to Army aviation, the Signal Corps found itself wholly inadequate to the task of supporting the Army in combat after the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917, it attempted to expand and organize a competent arm but its efforts were chaotic and in the spring of 1918 aviation was removed, first from the jurisdiction of the Office of the Chief of Signal where it had resided since its inception, from the Signal Corps altogether.
The duties of the section were not resumed following World War I and it was formally disestablished by the creation of the Air Service in 1920. The Aviation Section, Signal Corps was created by the Act of 18 July 1914, Chapter 38 Stat. 514, to supersede the Aeronautical Division, an administrative creation of the Signal Corps within the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, as the primary agency for military aviation. Earlier legislation to make the aviation service independent from the Signal Corps died in committee after all officers connected with aviation save one, Captain Paul W. Beck, testified against it. Provisions of the National Defense Act, 3 June 1916, the Aviation Act, 24 July 1917, permitted aviation support functions to be transferred from the Aeronautical Division to newly established aviation section organizations; the new law established the purpose and duties of the section, authorized a significant increase in size of U. S. military aviation to 60 officers and 260 enlisted men, increased the size of the Signal Corps by an equal number of personnel to provide them, stipulated that pilots be volunteers from branches of the line of the Army, detailed them for four years.
The Aeronautical Division became the administrative component of the Aviation Section until its abolition in 1918. The first funding appropriation for the Aviation Section was $250,000 for fiscal year 1915; the new law decreed restrictions that only unmarried lieutenants of the line under the age of 30 could be detailed to the section, provisions which encouraged a lack of discipline and professional maturity among the aviators that handicapped the growth of the service, hampered retention of pilots, prevented flying officers from commanding flying units. Officers on aviation duty who were promoted to permanent captain in their branch arm were automatically returned to the line. Aggravating the situation, the 11 remaining pilots of the 24 rated as Military Aviators all had their ratings automatically reduced to Junior Military Aviator when requirements were changed to include three years experience as a JMA before qualifying for the higher rating; this placed them on the same level as newly graduated pilots, none of those so reduced regained their ratings before 1917.
At its creation, the Aviation Section had 101 enlisted men. The Aeronautical Division, a quasi-headquarters with three officers and 11 enlisted men, issued orders in the name of the Chief Signal Officer. All other personnel of the aviation section were organized on 5 August 1914, by Signal Corps Aviation School General Order No. 10 into the: Signal Corps Aviation School, 1st Aero Squadron, 1st Company, 1st Aero Squadron 2nd Company, 1st Aero Squadron,totaling 16 officers, 90 enlisted men, seven civilians, seven aircraft. Most of the air service had just returned to San Diego from detached service in Texas for the second time in as many years to support Army ground forces in a possible war with Mexico over the Tampico Affair; the impending war was defused by the resignation of Victoriano Huerta on 15 July. By December 1914, the Aviation Section consisted of 44 officers, 224 enlisted men, 23 aircraft. Chief Signal Officer Brigadier General George P. Scriven announced on 9 April 1915 that following the establishment of an aero company at San Antonio, three additional companies would be sent overseas, to the Philippine Depar
United States Army Air Forces
The United States Army Air Forces, informally known as the Air Force,or United States Army Air Force, was the aerial warfare service component of the United States Army during and after World War II, successor to the previous United States Army Air Corps and the direct predecessor of the United States Air Force of today, one of the five uniformed military services. The AAF was a component of the United States Army, which in 1942 was divided functionally by executive order into three autonomous forces: the Army Ground Forces, the Services of Supply, the Army Air Forces; each of these forces had a commanding general. The AAF administered all parts of military aviation distributed among the Air Corps, General Headquarters Air Force, the ground forces' corps area commanders, thus became the first air organization of the U. S. Army to control its own installations and support personnel; the peak size of the AAF during the Second World War was over 2.4 million men and women in service and nearly 80,000 aircraft by 1944, 783 domestic bases in December 1943.
By "V-E Day", the Army Air Forces had 1.25 million men stationed overseas and operated from more than 1,600 airfields worldwide. The Army Air Forces was created in June 1941 to provide the air arm a greater autonomy in which to expand more efficiently, to provide a structure for the additional command echelons required by a vastly increased force, to end an divisive administrative battle within the Army over control of aviation doctrine and organization, ongoing since the creation of an aviation section within the U. S. Army Signal Corps in 1914; the AAF succeeded both the Air Corps, the statutory military aviation branch since 1926, the GHQ Air Force, activated in 1935 to quiet the demands of airmen for an independent Air Force similar to the Royal Air Force, established in the United Kingdom / Great Britain. Although other nations had separate air forces independent of their army or navy, the AAF remained a part of the Army until a defense reorganization in the post-war period resulted in the passage by the United States Congress of the National Security Act of 1947 with the creation of an independent United States Air Force in September 1947.
In its expansion and conduct of the war, the AAF became more than just an arm of the greater organization. By the end of World War II, the Army Air Forces had become an independent service. By regulation and executive order, it was a subordinate agency of the United States Department of War tasked only with organizing and equipping combat units, limited in responsibility to the continental United States. In reality, Headquarters AAF controlled the conduct of all aspects of the air war in every part of the world, determining air policy and issuing orders without transmitting them through the Army Chief of Staff; this "contrast between theory and fact is...fundamental to an understanding of the AAF." The roots of the Army Air Forces arose in the formulation of theories of strategic bombing at the Air Corps Tactical School that gave new impetus to arguments for an independent air force, beginning with those espoused by Brig. Gen. Billy Mitchell that led to his court-martial. Despite a perception of resistance and obstruction by the bureaucracy in the War Department General Staff, much of, attributable to lack of funds, the Air Corps made great strides in the 1930s, both organizationally and in doctrine.
A strategy stressing precision bombing of industrial targets by armed, long-range bombers emerged, formulated by the men who would become its leaders. A major step toward a separate air force came in March 1935, when command of all combat air units within the Continental United States was centralized under a single organization called the "General Headquarters Air Force". Since 1920, control of aviation units had resided with commanders of the corps areas, following the model established by commanding General John J. Pershing during World War I. In 1924, the General Staff planned for a wartime activation of an Army general headquarters, similar to the American Expeditionary Forces model of World War I, with a GHQ Air Force as a subordinate component. Both were created in 1933 when a small conflict with Cuba seemed possible following a coup d'état, but were not activated. Activation of GHQ Air Force represented a compromise between strategic airpower advocates and ground force commanders who demanded that the Air Corps mission remain tied to that of the land forces.
Airpower advocates achieved a centralized control of air units under an air commander, while the WDGS divided authority within the air arm and assured a continuing policy of support of ground operations as its primary role. GHQ Air Force organized combat groups administratively into a strike force of three wings deployed to the Atlantic and Gulf coasts but was small in comparison to European air forces. Lines of authority were difficult, at best, since GHQ Air Force controlled only operations of its combat units while the Air Corps was still responsible for doctrine, acquisition of aircraft, training. Corps area commanders continued to exercise control over airfields and administration of personnel, in the overseas departments, operational control of units as well. Between March 1935 and September 1938, the commanders of GHQ Air Force and the Air Corps, Major Generals Frank M. Andrews and Oscar Westover clash
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon the United States against the naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii on Sunday morning, December 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States' formal entry into World War II the next day; the Japanese military leadership referred to the attack as the Hawaii Operation and Operation AI, as Operation Z during its planning. Japan intended the attack as a preventive action to keep the United States Pacific Fleet from interfering with its planned military actions in Southeast Asia against overseas territories of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the United States. Over the course of seven hours there were coordinated Japanese attacks on the U. S.-held Philippines and Wake Island and on the British Empire in Malaya and Hong Kong. Additionally, from the Japanese viewpoint, it was seen as a preemptive strike; the attack commenced at 7:48 a.m. Hawaiian Time; the base was attacked by 353 Imperial Japanese aircraft in two waves, launched from six aircraft carriers.
All eight U. S. Navy battleships were damaged, with four sunk. All but USS Arizona were raised, six were returned to service and went on to fight in the war; the Japanese sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship, one minelayer. 188 U. S. aircraft were destroyed. Important base installations such as the power station, dry dock, shipyard and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building, were not attacked. Japanese losses were light: 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, 64 servicemen killed. One Japanese sailor, Kazuo Sakamaki, was captured. Japan declared war on the United States on December 8. According to historians David M. Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen: The sneak attack aroused and united America as nothing else could have done. To the day of the blowup, a strong majority of Americans still wanted to keep out of war, but the bombs that pulverized Pearl Harbor blasted the isolationists into silence. The only thing left to do, growled isolationist Senator Wheeler, was to'lick hell out of them.'
The following day, December 8, Congress declared war on Japan. On December 11, Germany and Italy each declared war on the U. S; the U. S. responded with a declaration of war against Italy. There were numerous historical precedents for the unannounced military action by Japan, but the lack of any formal warning while peace negotiations were still ongoing, led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proclaim December 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy"; because the attack happened without a declaration of war and without explicit warning, the attack on Pearl Harbor was judged in the Tokyo Trials to be a war crime. War between Japan and the United States had been a possibility that each nation had been aware of, planned for, since the 1920s; the relationship between the two countries was cordial enough. Tensions did not grow until Japan's invasion of Manchuria in 1931. Over the next decade, Japan expanded into China, leading to the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. Japan spent considerable effort trying to isolate China, endeavored to secure enough independent resources to attain victory on the mainland.
The "Southern Operation" was designed to assist these efforts. Starting in December 1937, events such as the Japanese attack on USS Panay, the Allison incident, the Nanking Massacre swung Western public opinion against Japan. Fearing Japanese expansion, the United States, United Kingdom, France assisted China with its loans for war supply contracts. In 1940, Japan invaded French Indochina, attempting to stymie the flow of supplies reaching China; the United States halted shipments of airplanes, machine tools, aviation gasoline to Japan, which the latter perceived as an unfriendly act. The United States did not stop oil exports, however because of the prevailing sentiment in Washington: given Japanese dependence on American oil, such an action was to be considered an extreme provocation. In mid-1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the Pacific Fleet from San Diego to Hawaii, he ordered a military buildup in the Philippines, taking both actions in the hope of discouraging Japanese aggression in the Far East.
Because the Japanese high command was certain any attack on the United Kingdom's Southeast Asian colonies, including Singapore, would bring the U. S. into the war, a devastating preventive strike appeared to be the only way to prevent American naval interference. An invasion of the Philippines was considered necessary by Japanese war planners; the U. S. War Plan Orange had envisioned defending the Philippines with an elite force of 40,000 men. By 1941, U. S. planners expected to abandon the Philippines at the outbreak of war. Late that year, Admiral Thomas C. Hart, commander of the Asiatic Fleet, was given orders to that effect; the U. S. ceased oil exports to Japan in July 1941, following the seizure of French Indochina after the Fall of France, in part because of new American restrictions on domestic oil consumption. Because of this decision, Japan proceeded with plans to take the oil-rich Dutch East Indies. On August 17, Roosevelt warned Japan that America was prepared to take opposing steps if "neighboring countries" were attacked.
The Japanese wer
Mitchel Air Force Base
Mitchel Air Force Base known as Mitchel Field, was a United States Air Force base located on the Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York, United States. Established in 1918 as Hazelhurst Aviation Field #2, the facility was renamed that year as Mitchel Field in honor of former New York City Mayor John Purroy Mitchel, killed while training for the Air Service in Louisiana. Decommissioned in 1961, Mitchel Field became a multi-use complex, home to the Cradle of Aviation Museum, Nassau Coliseum, Mitchel Athletic Complex, Nassau Community College, Hofstra University, Lockheed. In 2018 the surviving buildings and facilities were recognized as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the American Revolutionary War it was known as the Hempstead Plains and used as an Army enlistment center. In the War of 1812 and in the Mexican War, it was a training center for Infantry units. During the American Civil War, it was the location of Camp Winfield Scott. In 1898, in the Spanish–American War, Mitchel's site was known as Camp Black.
In 1917, Hazelhurst Field #2 was established south of and adjacent to Hazelhurst Field to serve as an additional training and storage base, part of the massive Air Service Aviation Concentration Center. Curtiss JN-4 Jennies became a common sight over Long Island in 1917 and 1918. Hundreds of aviators were trained for war at these training fields, two of the largest in the United States. Numerous new wooden buildings and tents were erected on Roosevelt Field and Field #2 in 1918 in order to meet this rapid expansion. Mitchel Field continued to grow after World War I and between 1929 and 1932. An extensive building program was undertaken after the war to turn the temporary wartime facilities into a permanent Army post, with new barracks, hangar space, administrative buildings. Much of this construction still exists today. In the 1920s and 1930s, various observation and bomber units were stationed at the airfield, it became a major aerodrome for both the Air Corps as well as various civilian activity.
The 1920s was considered the golden age of air racing and on 27 November 1920, the Pulitzer Trophy Race was held at Mitchel Field. The race consisted of four laps of a 29 miles course. Thirty-eight pilots took off individually; the winner was Capt. Corliss Moseley, flying a Verville-Packard VCP-R racer, a cleaned-up version of the Army's VCP-1 pursuit plane, at 156.54 miles per hour. In October 1923, Mitchel Field was the scene of the first airplane jumping contest in the nation. During the same year, two world's airplane speed records were established there. In 1924, the airmail service had its inception in experimental flights begun at the airfield. In September 1929, Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle a Lieutenant, made the world's first blind flight. In 1938, Mitchel was the starting point for the first nonstop transcontinental bomber flight, made by Army B-18 Bolo bombers. Mitchel Field served as a base from which the first demonstration of long-range aerial reconnaissance was made. In May 1939, three B-17s, with Lt. Curtis LeMay navigating, flew 620 miles out to sea and intercepted the Italian ocean liner SS Rex.
This was a striking example of the range and accuracy of modern aviation at the time. On September 21 of that year the base was struck by the "Long Island Express" hurricane. Flooding produced water, over knee-deep, numerous trees were toppled and the glass was smashed atop the traffic control tower. In 1940 Mitchel Field was the location of the Air Defense Command, a command charged with the mission of developing the air defense for cities, vital industrial areas, continental bases, military facilities in the United States. First Air Force, was given the responsibility for air defense planning and organization along the eastern seaboard. Under its supervision an aircraft patrol system along the coast for observing shipping was placed into operation. During 1943, Mitchel AAF became a staging area for Consolidated B-24 Liberator bombers and their crews before being sent overseas. Mitchel Field was a major source of supply in initial garrisoning and defense of North Atlantic air bases in Newfoundland and Iceland.
From the airfield the planning for the air defense of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland was conducted. Antisubmarine patrol missions along the Atlantic coast were carried out in 1942 by the United States Army Air Forces Antisubmarine Command aircraft based at Mitchel. Under the direction of the First Air Force, Mitchel Army Airfield became a command and control base for both I Fighter and I Bomber Command. Tactical fighter groups and squadrons were formed at Mitchel to be trained at AAF Training Command bases before being deployed to the various overseas wartime theaters. Additionally, thousands of Army Air Force personnel were processed through the base for overseas combat duty. With the end of World War II, returning GIs were processed for separation at Mitchel. Mitchel aircraft crashes included a P-47 that struck Hofstra University's Barnard Hall on 23 March 1943. In March 1946, the headquarters of Air Defense Command was established at Mitchel Army Airfield. With the establishment of the United States Air Force as a separate service in 1947, Mitchel AAF was redesignated as Mitchel Air Force Base.
In December 1948, ADC's responsibilities were temporarily assumed by the Continental Air Command located at Mitchel AFB. ConAC was responsible for the reorganization of the Air Force Reserve after World War II. In 1949, the reserve mission was assigned to First Air Force, headquartered at Mitchel AFB. First Air Force became the command a