17 de fevereiro de 1943

17 de fevereiro de 1943

17 de fevereiro de 1943

Guerra no mar

Submarino alemão U-201 afundado com todas as mãos de Newfoundland

Submarino alemão U-205 afundado na Cyrenaica

Submarino italiano Asteria afundado depois de ser seriamente danificado pelos destróieres britânicos Easton e Wheatland.

Norte da África

Contra-ataque alemão atinge Kasserine, Feriana e Sbeitla

O 8º Exército britânico captura Medenine



Última resistência da American 168th Infantry & # 8217s em Kasserine Pass

O 2º Batalhão, 16º Regimento de Infantaria do Exército dos Estados Unidos marcha pela Passagem de Kasserine e para Kasserine e Farriana, Tunísia, 26 de fevereiro de 1943

A confusão nos Estados Unidos na passagem de Kasserine iria continuar por vários dias. Embora o Exército dos EUA rapidamente trouxesse reforços e endurecesse a linha, muitos grupos de homens que suportaram o impacto do ataque inicial não foram capturados.

O coronel Thomas D. Drake, da 168ª Infantaria, foi deixado no comando de um grupo misto de cerca de 400 homens. Eles estavam isolados de outras unidades dos EUA e tentavam voltar para as fronteiras dos EUA caminhando pelo país. Ao tentarem atravessar uma estrada, foram alvejados por uma coluna motorizada alemã que subia a estrada. Foi aqui que eles tiveram que fazer uma última resistência. O coronel Drake escreveria um relatório oficial do encontro para os militares dos EUA algum tempo depois. Neste relatório, ele se refere a si mesmo na terceira pessoa ao descrever os eventos de 17 de fevereiro:

O inimigo parou e começou a pular de seus caminhões, enquanto os tanques inimigos imediatamente começaram a cercar a coluna americana. Um avião dos EUA sobrevoou neste ponto e abriu fogo contra a coluna. Nossos homens, com o moral em alta, pensaram que era o apoio aéreo prometido, mas aparentemente era um caça noturno solitário, voltando um pouco tarde de sua missão.

Um caminhão alemão foi atingido e incendiado. O coronel Drake imediatamente implantou seu comando misto e abriu fogo com as armas de que dispunham. Nessa época, havia cerca de 400 homens no comando e não mais da metade deles estavam armados.

O coronel Drake pediu voluntários de um oficial e homens, o oficial, para liderar o grupo de homens até uma colina na retaguarda enquanto a infantaria alemã corria para cercá-los. O primeiro-tenente William Rogers, oficial de ligação da artilharia da 91ª Artilharia Blindada, ofereceu-se para liderar os doze homens e instou-os a segui-lo. Eles alcançaram o terreno desejado, uma pequena colina no deserto, e foram capazes de conter o inimigo por cerca de uma hora. Ao término da hora, o tenente Rogers e todos os seus homens haviam sido mortos.

Os alemães trouxeram vários tanques, todos com tigres amarelos pintados nas laterais e abriram fogo. Eles também estabeleceram posições de metralhadoras e complementaram isso com tiros de rifle. Enquanto faziam isso, sua infantaria cercou completamente a pequena força americana. Depois de três horas e meia de combate, o poder de fogo americano diminuiu e praticamente cessou porque os homens estavam sem munição ou haviam se tornado vítimas. Finalmente, um carro blindado com uma bandeira branca entrou correndo no círculo americano.

O coronel Drake ordenou a seus homens que mandassem o carro embora. Quando o carro não respondeu, ele ordenou que seus homens atirassem contra o carro alemão. Alguns dos homens começaram a atirar, mas outros não conseguiram, porque não tinham munição, e então começaram a se render em pequenos grupos.

Tanques alemães chegaram seguindo aquele veículo sem nenhuma negociação de rendição. Os alemães usaram a bandeira branca como subterfúgio para entrar no círculo de defesa sem disparar. Seus tanques se aproximaram de todas as direções, dividindo as forças do Coronel Drake e # 8217 em pequenos grupos.

Os homens que não se renderam foram mortos pelos alemães. Um tanque veio em direção ao coronel Drake e um oficial alemão apontando um rifle para ele gritou, & # 8220Colonel, você se rende. & # 8221 O coronel respondeu, & # 8220Você vai para o inferno & # 8221 e deu as costas. Ele então se afastou e dois soldados alemães com rifles o seguiram a uma distância de cerca de cinquenta metros. O coronel Drake foi então parado por um major alemão que falava bem inglês e foi solicitado a entrar no carro do major alemão & # 8217, onde foi levado ao quartel-general da divisão alemã.

O coronel Drake foi levado ao General Schmidt, Comandante do Grupo da 10ª e 21ª Divisões Panzer no Quartel-General da Divisão Alemã, onde o General Alemão imediatamente se apresentou para vê-lo, ergueu-se em posição de sentido, saudou e disse: & # 8220Eu quero cumprimentar seu comando pela esplêndida luta que eles travaram. Era impossível desde o início, mas eles lutaram como verdadeiros soldados. & # 8221

O comandante alemão prometeu ao coronel Drake que todos os feridos americanos seriam cuidados e que ele poderia deixar o pessoal médico americano para cuidar deles adequadamente, mas imediatamente após o coronel Drake deixar o campo, o pessoal médico americano foi levado como prisioneiro e o americano mortos e feridos deixados para a devastação dos árabes, que passaram a despir os mortos e feridos e a espancar os feridos insensíveis que protestaram contra o despojamento de suas roupas.

Os prisioneiros americanos foram reunidos em um grupo e sob guarda marcharam de volta durante a tarde e noite ao longo da estrada para DJ. LESSOUDA. Os norte-americanos que ficaram levemente feridos ou que adoeceram por causa do cansaço, da falta de comida e água e não conseguiram acompanhar a coluna foram cruelmente baionetas ou baleados. Muitos caminhavam descalços porque os árabes haviam tirado seus sapatos sob a supervisão dos soldados alemães.

Prisioneiros de guerra

Os homens foram deixados para o roubo sistemático dos soldados alemães e de alguns oficiais subalternos por um período de cerca de meia hora. Durante esse tempo, bolsos e kits foram minuciosamente revistados, muitas vezes na ponta do rifle ou baioneta apresentada na barriga desprotegida & # 8211 relógios, anéis, carteiras, canetas e todos os objetos de valor foram impiedosamente apreendidos. Eles usaram então formados em uma coluna de quatro, oficiais na frente, e começaram a retaguarda. Três tanques alemães ergueram a retaguarda da coluna, flanqueada por guardas armados, esperando para atacar, baioneta ou atirar, qualquer um que por qualquer motivo se dispersasse.

Durante todo o dia eles marcharam pelas areias do deserto com uma sede incontrolável quase insuportável. O Coronel Drake apelou ao Comandante Alemão em nome da humanidade comum para dar aos homens um gole de água, mas foi recebido com a declaração, & # 8220Nós só temos o suficiente para nossas tropas. & # 8221 Perto da meia-noite eles finalmente foram parados para o horas restantes de escuridão. Os homens foram agrupados em um círculo no deserto aberto e praticamente congelaram no frio penetrante da noite africana.

THOMAS D. DRAKE, 015364 Coronel, G.S.C., WDGS (anteriormente Commanding 168th Inf)

Outra visão do terreno da região. Um tanque médio M3 & # 8220Lee & # 8221 da 1ª Divisão Blindada dos EUA durante a Batalha de Passo Kasserine, Tunísia.


WW II B-17 Survival Story & # 8211 virtualmente cortado pela metade por uma colisão no ar com um caça alemão que trouxe a tripulação para casa!

Em 1 de fevereiro de 1943, houve uma colisão no ar entre um bombardeiro B-17 e um avião de combate alemão sobre a área das docas de Túnis, na Tunísia, Norte da África. As fotos do bombardeiro danificado se tornaram algumas das fotos mais lendárias da Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Começa quando um caça inimigo, atacando a formação do 97º Grupo de Bombardeiros, que presumivelmente tinha um piloto ferido, estava girando fora de controle e bateu na parte de trás da fuselagem de um bombardeiro B-17 Flying Fortress chamado 'All American . & # 8217 O B-17 foi pilotado pelo tenente Kendrick R. Bragg, do 414º Esquadrão de Bombardeios. O caça alemão se partiu ao atingir a Fortaleza, mas deixou alguns pedaços no bombardeiro.

O profundor esquerdo e o estabilizador horizontal esquerdo do B-17 foram totalmente arrancados. Os rádios, o sistema de oxigênio e o sistema elétrico foram todos gravemente danificados. O estabilizador vertical e o leme foram destruídos. A fuselagem foi dividida quase totalmente e presa com apenas duas pequenas partes da estrutura e o corte no corpo principal foi até a posição de tiro dos artilheiros de topo.

Ambos os motores de estibordo estavam desligados e um motor do lado de bombordo tinha um vazamento grave na bomba de óleo, e também havia um orifício na parte superior do bombardeiro com mais de 4 pés de largura em seu ponto mais largo e 5 metros de comprimento .

A cauda realmente balançou e saltou durante o vôo e torceu quando o avião fez uma curva. Todos os cabos de controle foram desconectados, exceto um único cabo do elevador que ainda funcionava. Milagrosamente & # 8211, a Fortaleza Voadora ainda voava!

Não havia chão ligando a seção da cauda ao resto do avião, consequentemente, o artilheiro da cauda do bombardeiro estava preso. Os artilheiros da seção mediana e da cauda usaram algumas das peças do caça alemão que estavam alojadas no B-17 e suas próprias algemas de paraquedas tentando evitar que a cauda se partisse e tentando segurar os dois lados da fuselagem.

Enquanto a tripulação trabalhava febrilmente para evitar que o bombardeiro se partisse, o piloto continuou em direção ao alvo e lançou com sucesso suas bombas.

Quando o piloto abriu as portas do compartimento de bombas, a instabilidade do B-17 e a turbulência do vento eram tão grandes que impeliram um dos artilheiros da seção intermediária para a seção da cauda quebrada. Quatro membros da tripulação demoraram vários minutos para passar a corda do pára-quedas e puxá-lo de volta para a parte dianteira do avião.

Eles pensaram em fazer o mesmo com o artilheiro da cauda, ​​mas não levaram em consideração o fato de o artilheiro fornecer peso estável para a seção da cauda, ​​então ele voltou quando a cauda estava começando a se quebrar.

Após a conclusão do bombardeio, o trem de volta para a Inglaterra teve que ser muito lento e meticuloso para que a cauda não se soltasse. A volta para casa no devastado B-17 cobriu quase 70 milhas.

A Fortaleza Voadora foi tão seriamente danificada que a altitude estava caindo lentamente, estava perdendo velocidade e logo estava voando sozinha no céu. No caminho para casa, o B-17 teve um breve encontro com mais dois caças ME-109 da Luftwaffe.

Os artilheiros conseguiram repelir esses ataques, apesar dos danos generalizados, e rapidamente expulsaram os caças. Os dois artilheiros de seção intermediária tiveram que ficar com as cabeças projetando-se pelo orifício no topo da seção principal do bombardeiro para disparar suas metralhadoras.

O artilheiro da cauda estava em uma situação estranha enquanto atirava, o coice da arma estava fazendo o avião virar, então ele decidiu que poderia atirar em rajadas curtas.

Os caças P-51 voando da Inglaterra alcançaram a Fortaleza Voadora "All American" quando ela cruzou o Canal da Mancha e tirou uma das fotos que se tornou instantaneamente famosa. Eles contataram a sede da base recontando que a montagem da cauda estava balançando como uma cauda de peixe e que o avião não conseguiria pousar.

Os pilotos sugeriram que barcos fossem enviados para resgatar a tripulação quando eles saíssem. O tenente Bragg estava retransmitindo mensagens para os pilotos do P-51 com sinais manuais enquanto voavam ao lado do B-17 e os pilotos, por sua vez, passavam as mensagens para o comando da base.

O tenente Bragg comunicou que todos os pára-quedas foram utilizados para fazer reparos em seções do avião, de modo que a tripulação não conseguiu escapar. Ele disse aos pilotos que, uma vez que eles não poderiam escapar, ele ficaria com o bombardeiro e pousaria.

O Flying Fortress fez sua curva final para a pista duas horas e meia depois de ser quase destruído, enquanto ainda estava a mais de 40 milhas de distância. Ele caiu em uma situação de emergência e uma aterrissagem de barriga para cima.

A ambulância foi dispensada quando estacionou ao lado porque nenhum membro da tripulação havia se ferido. Era inacreditável que o B-17 ainda pudesse voar em tal estado de abandono.

O Fortress sentou-se calmamente na pista até que cada membro da tripulação saiu do avião pelo buraco na fuselagem e o artilheiro de cauda desceu uma escada, momento em que toda a seção traseira da aeronave desabou no chão. O velho pássaro robusto havia completado sua missão.

Tripulação B-17 & # 8220All American & # 8221 (414º Esquadrão, 97BG)
Piloto- Ken Bragg Jr.
Copiloto- G. Boyd Jr.
Navigator- Harry C. Nuessle
Bombardier- Ralph Burbridge
Engenheiro - Joe C. James
Operador de rádio - Paul A. Galloway
Artilheiro da torre de bola - Elton Conda
Artilheiro de cintura - Michael Zuk
Tail Gunner - Sam T. Sarpolus
Chefe da Tripulação Terrestre - Hank Hyland

Vídeo

Do diário do tenente-coronel Kermit D. Wooldridge, 525º Esquadrão de Bombardeiros, 379º Grupo de Bombardeios, 8ª Força Aérea. A linha tênue entre a vida e a morte é descrita em suas próprias palavras, em um diário de 17 de julho de 1943.


Borger Daily Herald (Borger, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 77, Ed. 1 domingo, 21 de fevereiro de 1943

Jornal diário de Borger, Texas, que inclui notícias locais, estaduais e nacionais, juntamente com ampla publicidade.

Descrição física

oito páginas: mal. página 22 x 18 pol. Digitalizado a partir de 35 mm. microfilme.

Informação de Criação

Contexto

Esse jornal faz parte da coleção intitulada: Texas Digital Newspaper Program e foi fornecida pela Hutchinson County Library, Borger Branch para The Portal to Texas History, um repositório digital hospedado pelas Bibliotecas da UNT. Já foi visto 22 vezes. Mais informações sobre este assunto podem ser vistas abaixo.

Pessoas e organizações associadas à criação deste jornal ou ao seu conteúdo.

Editor

Editor

Audiências

Confira nosso site de recursos para educadores! Nós identificamos isso jornal como um fonte primária dentro de nossas coleções. Pesquisadores, educadores e alunos podem achar este assunto útil em seu trabalho.

Fornecido por

Biblioteca do condado de Hutchinson, Borger Branch

A Biblioteca do Condado de Hutchinson se esforça para fornecer serviços de forma justa e equitativa a todos os indivíduos e grupos da comunidade. Tem como objetivo ser uma fonte de aprendizagem ao longo da vida para ajudar a atender às necessidades de informação e respostas a perguntas gerais de todas as esferas da vida. Ele também contém a Sociedade Genealógica do Condado de Hutchinson.


Detroit Race Riot de 1943

Em 20 de junho de 1943, uma briga estourou entre os afro-americanos e os brancos de Detroit que passavam o domingo em Belle Isle, o grande parque da cidade no meio do rio Detroit. A luta se espalhou para o continente, e rumores se espalharam pela cidade, alimentando tensões raciais que estavam aumentando e ameaçando transbordar em violência por meses. Os tumultos se espalharam, com poucas tentativas da polícia de pará-los (na verdade, muitas evidências apontam para muitos policiais brancos facilitando e até participando da violência contra afro-americanos), e quando o presidente Franklin Roosevelt enviou tropas federais na noite de junho 21, centenas ficaram feridos e 34 pessoas morreram: 25 afro-americanos (17 dos quais foram baleados pela polícia) e 9 brancos. Das prisões feitas posteriormente, 85% eram afro-americanas.

Muitos fatores contribuíram para a tensão que finalmente foi liberada durante os motins de corrida de 1943. Com a entrada da América na Segunda Guerra Mundial, as fábricas de automóveis de Detroit foram convertidas em material de manufatura para o esforço de guerra. Como resultado, Detroit experimentou um grande fluxo populacional de pessoas de todo o país para preencher os empregos criados pela demanda da guerra. Entre 1940 e 1943, a população de Detroit aumentou em cerca de 500.000 - cerca de um terço de sua população anterior. Muitos dos recém-chegados eram sulistas brancos, que muitas vezes traziam consigo uma tradição de discriminação contra os afro-americanos. Os negros também se aglomeravam na cidade e freqüentemente havia competição por empregos.

Paradas de trabalho relacionadas ao avanço afro-americano.

Ao mesmo tempo, o United Auto Workers (UAW) estava ganhando força em seus esforços para organizar os trabalhadores da fábrica. O UAW apoiou a igualdade racial e defendeu membros de todas as raças. Apesar desse apoio, os trabalhadores brancos ressentidos muitas vezes convocavam greves quando os trabalhadores negros eram promovidos. Essas greves devido ao avanço afro-americano contribuíram para a tensão racial na cidade.

A habitação apresentou outro problema. Durante anos, os negros ficaram isolados em alguns bairros da cidade, como Black Bottom e Paradise Valley. As moradias nessas favelas eram péssimas e extremamente superlotadas. Especialmente à medida que a população crescia, as pessoas precisavam cada vez mais de moradias adequadas. Em 1941, o governo federal decidiu construir um projeto habitacional no noroeste de Detroit para trabalhadores da defesa afro-americanos, denominado Sojourner Truth Housing Project. A agitação da comunidade branca convenceu o governo a mudar o projeto para acomodar inquilinos brancos. Essa mudança gerou protestos não apenas de defensores dos direitos civis e da comunidade afro-americana, mas também do prefeito Edward Jeffries. O governo voltou a reverter sua decisão, devolvendo o projeto aos inquilinos negros. Quando o dia da mudança chegou no final de fevereiro de 1942, multidões brancas sujeitaram as famílias afro-americanas a assédio e violência. Eventualmente, as forças de segurança foram enviadas em abril para intimidar os provocadores brancos e, finalmente, famílias afro-americanas começaram a ocupar o conjunto habitacional. Muitos vêem este incidente como um precursor dos Tumultos de 1943.

O UAW e outros que lutam pela igualdade racial frequentemente apelam ao patriotismo como ponto de convergência. Muitas vezes lamentou-se que tal animosidade racial apenas alimenta as potências do Eixo, que podem então afirmar que os Aliados não são mais tolerantes do que eles. Além disso, os problemas apresentados pela falta de moradia e os próprios Motins eram frequentemente quantificados no número de horas de trabalho perdidas pelo esforço de guerra.

Enquanto outros fatores como corrupção política, falta de representação afro-americana na força policial, falta de instalações recreativas adequadas e agitadores racistas contribuíram para os distúrbios de 1943, a competição por empregos e moradia desempenhou os papéis principais. No final de 1943, em resposta ao motim, o prefeito Jeffries nomeou o Comitê Interracial para fazer recomendações destinadas a melhorar os serviços governamentais que afetam as relações raciais para investigar e abordar situações de discriminação e tensão racial e produzir programas informativos para aumentar o entendimento mútuo dentro do comunidade.

Os interessados ​​em pesquisar mais sobre os motins raciais de 1943 em Detroit podem encontrar muitos recursos na Biblioteca Reuther. Fotos do evento e suas consequências podem ser vistas em nossa galeria de imagens, e uma visão geral pode ser encontrada em nosso arquivo vertical. Os papéis de Lewis B. Larkin, os registros da filial de Detroit da NAACP e os registros da Comissão de Relações com a Comunidade de Detroit (DCCR) / Departamento de Direitos Humanos - que evoluíram a partir do Comitê Interracial - fornecem informações sobre os distúrbios de 1943. Os documentos de Charles A. Hill oferecem informações sobre o 1942 Sojourner Truth Housing Project.

Johanna Russ foi Arquivista da Federação Americana de Funcionários Estaduais, Municipais e Municipais (AFSCME) de 2008 a 2013.


17 de fevereiro de 1943 - História

Nossos editores irão revisar o que você enviou e determinar se o artigo deve ser revisado.

B-17, também chamado Fortaleza Voadora, Bombardeiro pesado dos EUA usado durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. O B-17 foi projetado pela Boeing Aircraft Company em resposta a uma especificação do Army Air Corps de 1934 que exigia um bombardeiro com quatro motores em uma época em que dois motores eram a norma.

O bombardeiro foi planejado desde o início para atacar alvos estratégicos por bombardeio de precisão à luz do dia, penetrando profundamente no território inimigo voando acima do alcance efetivo da artilharia antiaérea. Motores radiais turbo-supercharged (um desenvolvimento exclusivamente americano) deveriam fornecer o desempenho necessário em alta altitude, e o armamento defensivo pesado deveria fornecer proteção contra ataques de caças. A precisão deveria ser alcançada com a mira de bombardeio Norden, desenvolvida e colocada em campo em grande segredo durante a década de 1930. O Norden consistia em uma mira telescópica giroscopicamente estabilizada acoplada a um computador eletromecânico no qual o bombardeiro alimentava dados de altitude, condições atmosféricas, velocidade do ar, velocidade do solo e deriva. Durante a operação da bomba, a mira foi subordinada ao piloto automático para guiar a aeronave até o ponto preciso de lançamento. Nas mãos de um bombardeiro habilidoso, o Norden era uma visão extraordinariamente precisa.

O primeiro protótipo de bombardeiro voou em meados de 1935, e o B-17 entrou em produção em pequena escala em 1937. As primeiras versões provaram ser mais vulneráveis ​​ao ataque de caças do que o previsto, mas, quando a versão B-17E começou a entrar serviço pouco antes de os Estados Unidos entrarem na guerra em 1941, o avião foi equipado com torres na parte superior da fuselagem, barriga e cauda. Todas, exceto a última torre, eram movidas a motor e cada uma montava um par de metralhadoras calibre 0,50 (12,7 mm). Este aumento de poder de fogo fez do B-17 um oponente formidável para os caças inimigos, particularmente quando voando em formações defensivas fortemente empilhadas para proteção mútua. O elemento básico de uma formação típica era uma “caixa” de esquadrão de 9 ou 12 aeronaves, três caixas de esquadrão escalonadas vertical e horizontalmente formavam um grupo, e três grupos em trilha formavam uma ala de combate. No evento, a necessidade de manter essas formações defensivas apertadas sobre a Europa comprometeu a precisão da mira de bombardeio Norden, uma vez que os ataques de bombas individuais não eram possíveis sem quebrar a formação. As formações de bombas inteiras tiveram que largar suas cargas sob o comando do bombardeiro líder, e as pequenas diferenças inevitáveis ​​em tempo e direção levaram a padrões de bombas dispersos.

A versão definitiva do B-17 era o modelo G, que entrou em serviço no verão de 1943. Armado com nada menos que 13 metralhadoras calibre 0,50, incluindo duas em uma nova torre “chin” para defesa contra ataques frontais , o B-17G bastante eriçado com metralhadoras. Era operado por uma tripulação de 10 pessoas, incluindo o piloto, copiloto, navegador-rádio-homem, bombardeiro e artilheiros. O teto de serviço do avião de 25.000 a 35.000 pés (7.500 a 10.500 metros), dependendo da carga da bomba, o colocava acima do pior da artilharia antiaérea alemã, mas, apesar do poder de fogo, as formações de B-17 se mostraram incapazes de abrir caminho sem escolta para alvos bem dentro da Alemanha em face da oposição de lutadores determinada, sem incorrer em perdas excessivas. As incursões profundas foram canceladas em meados de outubro de 1943 e não foram retomadas até fevereiro de 1944, quando caças de escolta de longo alcance, como o P-51 Mustang, tornaram-se disponíveis. Uma carga de bomba de 4.000 libras (1.800 kg) era típica para missões longas, embora o B-17 pudesse carregar até 8.000 libras (3.600 kg) internamente para distâncias mais curtas em altitudes mais baixas e ainda mais em racks externos sob as asas. Essas cargas aumentadas de bombas foram usadas com bons resultados em ataques às indústrias alemãs de aviões e petróleo antes da Invasão da Normandia de junho de 1944 e em ataques de "bombardeio de tapete" para apoiar a fuga dos Aliados na Bretanha e no norte da França no final daquele verão.

Compartilhando a produção com as empresas Douglas, Lockheed e Vega, a Boeing supervisionou a fabricação de cerca de 12.730 Fortaleza Voadora, quase todas comprometidas com bombardeios de alta altitude na Europa. Embora produzido em menor número do que seu parceiro, o B-24 Liberator, o B-17, com desempenho superior em alta altitude e maior resistência a danos de batalha, foi o esteio da campanha de bombardeio estratégico. O B-17 tinha excelentes características de vôo e, ao contrário do B-24, era quase universalmente bem visto por aqueles que o pilotavam. Tornado obsoleto pelo maior e mais poderoso Superfortress B-29, o B-17 serviu depois da guerra em pequenos números como uma aeronave de busca e resgate modificada para lançar botes salva-vidas por paraquedas.


Fundo

Comandados pelo contra-almirante Monzo Akiyama, as tropas japonesas nos Marshalls consistiam na 6ª Força Base, que originalmente contava com cerca de 8.100 homens e 110 aeronaves. Embora fosse uma força relativamente grande, a força de Akiyama foi diluída pela necessidade de espalhar seu comando sobre todos os Marshalls. Além disso, grande parte do comando de Akiyama incluía detalhes de trabalho / construção ou tropas navais com pouco treinamento de infantaria. Como resultado, Akiyama só conseguiu reunir cerca de 4.000 efetivos. Antecipando que o ataque atingiria uma das ilhas periféricas primeiro, ele posicionou a maioria de seus homens em Jaluit, Millie, Maloelap e Wotje.

Planos americanos

Em novembro de 1943, os ataques aéreos americanos começaram a eliminar o poder aéreo de Akiyama, destruindo 71 aeronaves. Estes foram parcialmente substituídos por reforços trazidos de Truk durante as semanas seguintes. Do lado dos Aliados, o Almirante Chester Nimitz planejou inicialmente uma série de ataques nas ilhas externas dos Marshalls, mas ao receber a notícia das disposições das tropas japonesas por meio de interceptações de rádio ULTRA, optou por mudar sua abordagem.

Em vez de atacar onde as defesas de Akiyama eram mais fortes, Nimitz ordenou que suas forças se movessem contra o Atol Kwajalein no centro de Marshalls. Atacando em 31 de janeiro de 1944, a 5ª Força Anfíbia do Contra-almirante Richmond K. Turner pousou elementos do V Corpo Anfíbio do Major General Holland M. Smith nas ilhas que formaram o atol. Com o apoio dos porta-aviões do contra-almirante Marc A. Mitscher, as forças americanas asseguraram Kwajalein em quatro dias.

Mudança de cronograma

Com a rápida captura de Kwajalein, Nimitz voou de Pearl Harbor para se encontrar com seus comandantes. As discussões resultantes levaram à decisão de avançar imediatamente contra o Atol de Eniwetok, 330 milhas a noroeste. Inicialmente programada para maio, a invasão de Eniwetok foi atribuída ao comando do Brigadeiro General Thomas E. Watson, que estava centrado no 22º Fuzileiro Naval e no 106º Regimento de Infantaria. Avançado para meados de fevereiro, os planos para capturar o atol exigiam desembarques em três de suas ilhas: Engebi, Eniwetok e Parry.


Wheels West Day in Susanville History & # 8211, 17 de fevereiro de 1943

A família Chester Van Etten de oito pessoas fez de tudo para servir ao Tio Sam.

A Sra. Van Etten é ajudante de eletricista no Maxwell Field em Sacramento, seu marido, Chester Van Etten, alistou-se na marinha e agora está servindo na Virgínia um filho, Billy Ramser, alistado no corpo de aviação do exército, Arcadia, Califórnia, acaba de completou seu vôo solo outro filho, James Ramser, na marinha, está agora em Ames, Iowa e um terceiro filho, OW Ramser, alistado da marinha, viu a ação em Pearl Harbor.

Uma filha, Sra. Willa McDow, e uma nora, Donna Ramser, estão fazendo trabalho administrativo em Maxwell Field, Sacramento, enquanto uma segunda nora, Joyce Ramser, trabalha na defesa em Herlong.

Cadetes auxiliam na arrecadação de fundos

Um dos gestos mais generosos e espontâneos de doação de fundos no condado de Lassen desde o início da guerra, seguiu-se a uma carta do escritório regional solicitando uma contribuição de 10 centavos de cada cadete da escola de treinamento de guerra da aeronáutica civil em Susanville para o Infantile Paralysis Foundation.

De acordo com o oficial da marinha residente Tenente. F. O. Reed, quando fez o anúncio aos meninos, solicitando uma possível doação de 25 centavos se eles se sentissem em condições de pagar, resultou uma licitação instantânea e entusiástica. Os meninos aumentaram cada lance feito para superar uns aos outros em suas contribuições. Em uma hora, a soma de mais de $ 500 foi arrecadada, uma quantia totalizando mais de $ 6,50 por cadete. Dois dos cadetes contribuíram com US $ 25 cada.

De acordo com os oficiais da escola, o espírito dos cadetes é ainda mais notável quando se leva em consideração que o salário mensal é de US $ 75.


Durante a guerra, foi feita uma distinção entre o treinamento individual, de um lado, e o treinamento da tripulação e da unidade, do outro. O primeiro preparou os alunos em suas especialidades individuais, como piloto, navegador ou artilheiro, o último ensinou esses indivíduos a trabalhar com eficácia em equipe. Depois de julho de 1940, o treinamento individual de pessoal de vôo passou a ser função principalmente dos três centros de treinamento do Air Corps, operando sob a direção do Gabinete do Chefe do Air Corps. Em fevereiro de 1942, essa função foi delegada a um único Comando de Treinamento de Voo, que, recorde-se, em 1943 foi incorporado ao Comando de Treinamento Técnico para formar o Comando de Treinamento, com sede em Fort Worth, Texas. O treinamento da tripulação e unidade de combate foi conduzido desde o início de 1941 pelas quatro forças aéreas continentais, o treinamento de tripulações de carga e balsa foi realizado pelo Comando de Transporte Aéreo.

Treinamento Pré-Voo

Como havia acontecido na Primeira Guerra Mundial, quando escolas terrestres para cadetes aéreos foram estabelecidas em faculdades selecionadas em todo o país, tornou-se necessário fornecer aos futuros pilotos, bombardeiros e navegadores uma extensa instrução pré-vôo antes de sua designação para escolas de aviação . Durante o intervalo entre as duas guerras, isso não foi necessário. O pequeno estabelecimento aéreo em tempo de paz permitiu o estabelecimento de elevados requisitos educacionais para a seleção de cadetes, e foi concedido tempo suficiente para a doutrinação militar nas escolas de aviação. A rápida expansão que começou em 1939, no entanto, apresentou problemas especiais de treinamento militar

para futuros oficiais - líderes de tripulações de combate, e a necessidade precoce de reduzir os padrões educacionais para admissão em programas de cadetes forçava a atenção a meios pelos quais um nível mínimo de preparação acadêmica pudesse ser assegurado. A escola de pré-vôo forneceu uma solução para esse problema de dois lados. 1

Em fevereiro de 1941, o Departamento de Guerra autorizou o estabelecimento de três centros de treinamento de substituição do Air Corps para classificação e instrução pré-vôo de candidatos a treinamento de piloto, bombardeiro e navegador. A designação oficial de & quotpreflight school & quot foi autorizada em 30 de abril de 1942, e o termo centro de treinamento de substituição foi retirado. Naquela época, as escolas de pré-vôo estavam em operação em Maxwell Field, Alabama Kelly e Ellington Fields, Texas e na Base Aérea do Exército de Santa Ana, Califórnia. A escola em Kelly Field foi logo depois transferida para um local vizinho, denominado San Antonio Aviation Cadet Center.

Houve uma diferença de opinião quanto a se os candidatos a piloto e não-piloto deveriam ser designados para a mesma escola de pré-vôo. No início, todos os trainees foram incluídos na mesma organização, mas logo depois escolas separadas foram fornecidas. A regra geral de treinamento separado, embora semelhante, foi seguida até abril de 1944. Nessa época, a tendência de queda no número de alunos exigia consolidação, e o Comando de Treinamento determinava que as escolas de pilotos e navegadores de bombardeiros fossem combinadas. Depois disso, os alunos ingressaram em escolas pré-vôo com apenas uma classificação geral da tripulação e não foram designados para uma especialidade até perto do final do curso pré-vôo. À medida que a guerra chegava ao clímax, a escola unificada mostrou-se mais adaptável às demandas variáveis ​​de cada tipo de tripulante. Em novembro de 1944, quando o fluxo de alunos foi reduzido a um gotejamento, todo o treinamento foi consolidado em uma escola de pré-vôo no Centro de Cadetes de Aviação de San Antonio. 2

Embora houvesse acordo sobre a necessidade de algum tipo de treinamento pré-voo, as idéias sobre o conteúdo do curso eram vagas quando as escolas foram abertas. Ao anunciar a decisão de realizar tal instrução, a OCAC afirmou que o período de pré-vôo consistiria em "treinamento físico, treinamento militar, atletismo supervisionado e o processamento completo de alunos atribuídos", bem como "instrução e treinamento adicionais conforme possível. . . to further qualify trainees for instruction as pilots, bombardiers, or navigators." 3 Brig. Gen. Walter R. Weaver, commanding the Southeast Air Corps

Training Center, leaned toward military discipline and physical conditioning as the primary aims of preflight, and his view was supported by many officers who viewed the academic program as sub-ordinate. Curricular development, however, followed the direction favored by those who stressed the need for technical knowledge on the part of aircrew members. There was a steady increase in the relative amount of time and recognition given to academic subjects, and this phase of the program became the paramount function of the preflight schools. Military training doubtless suffered from this trend, but the development was a logical response to the increasingly technical nature of air combat. 4

Four weeks was the standard length of training at the replacement training centers until March 1942, when a nine-week course was instituted. Separate curricula were issued at that time for pilot and nonpilot training the distinguishing feature of the latter curriculum was greater emphasis upon mathematics, target identification, photography, and meteorology. Until 1943 each preflight school exercised broad discretion in executing the prescribed program. The lack of uniform instruction proved a handicap in subsequent stages of aircrew training, and to correct this situation a single curriculum for all preflight students was published in April 1943. Final developments of the course were incorporated in a revision of May 1944, when the period of training was extended to ten weeks. 5

Under the various preflight curricula, students spent four to five hours daily in academic training. Many students entering preflight were so deficient in the fundamentals of mathematics and physics that considerable time had to be given to rudimentary drills, with emphasis upon problems related to performance of flying duties. Theory was reduced to a minimum, and matter inapplicable to aviation was progressively screened out of the courses. Since ability to use aeronautical maps and charts was basic to flying operations, an elementary course in that subject was also developed in the preflight schools. The course became increasingly practical as the necessary materials were made available for teaching purposes a large portion of the allotted hours was reserved for student exercises in simulated operational problems which required use of aeronautical charts. 6

The subject of aircraft and naval vessel recognition slowly gained acceptance in recognition of its combat importance. Early teaching of planes and ships was largely ineffectual because too much was

attempted with too little time and equipment, but by 1943 the pre-flight recognition program was fairly satisfactory. The time allotted to the course was extended, and the number of visual aids greatly increased. During 1994 and 1945, with an adequate supply of projectors, slides, and screens, the schools were quite successful in training students to recognize, almost instantly, close-up views of the principal American and British aircraft. The scope of naval vessel recognition was gradually restricted to identification of ships by general type, including merchantmen and landing craft, rather than by nationality or individual class. 7

Pilot trainees, in particular, were unhappy in having to take radio code instruction. It was admittedly a dull subject, requiring concentration and repetition. Student motivation was weakened by the fact that flyers returned from combat generally declared that overseas they had little use for code. Headquarters, AAF, however, repeatedly directed that code be taught, and all preflight students, except those who demonstrated proficiency, had to attend one hour of code daily. By 1944 both sending and receiving of code, by aural and visual means, were taught. The proficiency required was six words per minute. 8

Of the 175 hours of instruction called for in the official academic program of 1944, 110 were allotted to basic military and officer training. One-half of this time was set aside for close order drill, ceremonies, and inspections the remainder went to classroom or squadron instruction in customs and courtesies of the service, chemical warfare defense, small-arms familiarization, and related military subjects. The West Point code of cadet discipline and honor was regarded as the model for the preflight schools. The traditional class system, with its more or less stereotyped forms of hazing, was introduced at first, but this practice came under severe public attack, and in spite of its defense by the responsible military authorities, the class system was abolished by order of the Flying Training Command in May 1943. 9 While there may have been disciplinary advantages in the supervision of each lower class by upperclassmen, the hazing associated with the system interfered with the primary mission of the schools and was ill suited to the temperament of the civilian soldier.

Physical conditioning was one of the major purposes of preflight, and after initial uncertainty regarding the nature of such training, a comprehensive and balanced program was evolved. Experimentation

was the rule during the early period, when calisthenics, in varying amounts, were mixed with competitive sports, cross-country hikes, and obstacle courses. In September 1943 a weekly minimum of six hours of physical training was established for all aviation cadets. The trend toward uniform conditioning culminated in November 1949 when the Training Command published a detailed outline of exercises for each stage of aircrew training. This memorandum provided for a steady progression of physical hardening and a specified division of time among standard drills, team games, and aquatic exercises. 10

The chief problem in developing an effective preflight program was the lack of qualified academic instructors. Because few military personnel were available and they were inadequately prepared as teachers, it was realized that they could not be depended upon exclusively, and in July 1941 authority was granted to hire civilians. Within a year it was recognized that professional training and educational experience were prime requisites of academic instructors, and such men were procured in large numbers. Although these civilians were generally satisfactory, their status as civilians proved troublesome. They were authorized to wear military-type uniforms, but such quasi-military status did not make them feel at home in Army schools. Some of the men, furthermore, were in the process of being drafted by their selective service boards, and others were accepting commissions offered by the Navy. To hold on to these teachers, the AAF in the latter part of 1942 and during 1943 gave direct commissions to civilian instructors at the schools, as well as to several hundred procured directly from colleges, and sent them to the AAF administrative officer training school. Instructors under thirty-five were allowed to enlist and were then assigned to the officer candidate school. Practically all of the men who thus became officers were returned to their preflight teaching positions. In addition, a few instructors who were physically ineligible for commissions remained at the schools as enlisted men, and a small number of civilians were also retained. 11

Although most of the instructors were experienced college or high school teachers, some had almost no knowledge of some of the subjects they were assigned to teach. In order to deal with this problem, practical in-service training, consisting of classroom observations, individual study of textual materials, and conferences with veteran pre-flight teachers, was given at each school. Attention was limited at first to preparing each instructor in the subjects he was required to

teach, but programs to improve teaching techniques and develop familiarization with the entire curriculum were later developed. In the summer of 1943 these local efforts were supplemented by a special course at the central instructors school at Randolph Field. After a considerable number of teachers had attended the six-week program there, the course for ground-school instructors was dropped in January 1944. 12

The typical aviation cadet was an eager learner in preflight school. Ground training in any form was viewed with some misgivings by the average cadet, but he responded willingly to preflight instruction. Pilot and navigator students usually showed the highest morale, because their classification most commonly coincided with their first preference. Many of the bombardier students, up to 1943, were eliminees from pilot training who, required to repeat preflight instruction, naturally resented the delay and repetition of subject matter. In 1943 bombardier morale was greatly improved when it was decided that an eliminee from one type of aircrew training, who had completed preflight, would no longer be required to retake that phase of training. As the war neared its end, the attitude of all students be-came less inspired. Delays in the progress of training, caused by curtailments in the aircrew program, proved especially disheartening. 13

The preflight schools formed an integral part of aircrew training throughout the war. In 1943 an additional phase of pre-flying instruction was introduced: the aircrew college training program, which lasted until July 199.4. The college program, to put it bluntly, came into existence not so much to meet an educational need as to hold a backlog of aircrew candidates. As has been previously noted,* the AAF had found it advisable in 1942 to recruit aviation cadets in excess of its immediate needs and to hold them in an inactive enlisted reserve until needed. By December 1942 approximately 93,000 men were awaiting classification and instruction, and many of them had been in this limbo for six or seven months. Not only did this extended in-active period discourage some of the men, but the pool of idle man-power received increasing notice from selective service boards and the War Manpower Commission. Accordingly, General Arnold proposed to the War Department that these men be called to active duty and given a period of college training designed to make up educational deficiencies.

In January 1943 the Secretary of War, after making certain modifications, ordered Arnold's recommendations into effect. The Services of Supply, then in the process of establishing the Army specialized training program in various colleges, was directed to set up aircrew college training as a separate project. The curriculum was planned to cover a five-month period, and all aircrew candidates were to be assigned from basic training centers to the colleges unless they could pass a special educational test. The relatively few who passed this test were sent directly to preflight schools. 14 Special boards within the Flying Training Command made preliminary selection of colleges for the program, and the contracts for instruction, housing, messing, and medical care were later negotiated by the AAF Materiel Command. Implementation of the project suffered because of the haste in which it was conceived and executed by April 1943 over 60,000 men were in aircrew college training detachments at more than 150 institutions. 15 Since the AAF viewed the college enterprise primarily as a personnel rather than a training activity, it failed to establish a clear definition of its educational purpose. The educational objectives, as stated by the Flying Training Command, varied from a limited "Preparation . . . both mentally and physically, for intensive ground training in the Preflight Schools" to the broader "attempt to diminish individual differences in educational background for subsequent air crew training." 16

Academic subjects, taught by college faculty members, included mathematics, physics, current history, geography, English, and civil air regulations. Military indoctrination, the responsibility of the officers of each detachment, consisted of drill, inspections and ceremonies, guard duty, customs and courtesies, and medical aid. Military training was carried into the academic phase by having the students march to and from classes and by insisting upon proper military courtesies at all times. Although there was a great variance in the degree of emphasis upon discipline at the colleges, this phase of the program was probably more valuable than any other, in that it at least helped adapt students to the standard regimen of Army training. Physical conditioning, required one hour daily, included calisthenics, running, and competitive sports. 17

Perhaps the most controversial phase of the curriculum was the ten hours of flight indoctrination. The AAF did not desire this instruction in the college program it was prescribed by the War Department

and conducted in cooperation with the Civil Aeronautics Administration. Flying schools located near the colleges provided the training under contract. Since the purpose of this flying was only familiarization, operations were restricted to simple maneuvers in light aircraft, under dual control by instructor and student. AAF observers criticized the training as of little value, charging that the students were "merely riding around for 10 hours." A study conducted in 1944 showed that the indoctrination course helped students materially in the regular primary stage of flying training but gave them no appreciable advantage in later stages. Whatever its long-range value, the course was a morale booster for men who had waited months to learn to fly. 18

As early as November 1943 moves were made toward liquidating the college program. By that time sufficient aircrew personnel were in the training pipeline, and the backlog of men on inactive status was relatively small. The Training Command took the view that the college program was not essential and that it was creating an unfavorable public attitude by holding combat-age personnel in colleges while fathers were being drafted into military service. In January 1944 en-trance of aircrew students into college was cut almost in half, and contracts with many institutions were terminated. In March, as a consequence of the general manpower shortage, the AAF was directed to return to the Army Ground Forces and Army Service Forces all personnel recruited from those branches who had not reached the preflight stage of aircrew training. This order resulted in large withdrawals of students from the college detachments and sealed the fate of the program. Shortly thereafter, the Secretary of War approved its final liquidation by July 1944 since procurement of aircrew candidates had been suspended, there appeared to be insufficient personnel in the backlog to sustain the program beyond that time. 19

Although the number of enlisted reservists awaiting training had been greatly diminished by the middle of 1944, the general problem of backlogs, or personnel pools, was by no means ended. During the year requests from combat theaters for aircrew personnel declined sharply entry of students into the flying stages of training was accordingly reduced, and this had created pools in intermediate stages of the training sequence. The Training Command concluded that the best solution to the problem was to distribute personnel from the pools to flying fields for on-the-job instruction. AAF Headquarters

accepted the recommendation and authorized the beginning of on-the-line training, with a dual objective: to provide storage and training of delayed students and to alleviate the growing shortage of regularly assigned personnel at the airfields. On-the-line training was first put into effect in February 1944, and after termination of the college program in July, it became the principal holding device for pre-flying personnel pools. 20

Higher headquarters provided little guidance in the development of an instructional program for on-the-line students. The Training Command advised only that "trainees will be given duty assignments with aircraft maintenance and servicing where they will get more practical training for their future instruction." Responsibility for implementing the program was left almost entirely to individual station commanders, and this fact resulted in considerable variation in the training. Some commanders reasoned that the students would shortly be returned to the normal sequence of aircrew instruction and gave them slight attention others saw the possibility of a longer period of delay and devoted a great deal of consideration to their training, work, and recreation.

Some stations offered a few elementary academic courses, but attendance was voluntary a formal thirty-day mechanic course was established at stations of the Western Flying Training Command. At every field, however, student training consisted chiefly of apprentice experience in aircraft maintenance. Because of the increasing shortage of regularly assigned enlisted personnel, permission was eventually granted to use trainees for administrative and nontechnical duties, as well as on the flight line. Such permission tended to draw students ever closer to enlisted and further from cadet status. As progressive cuts in the aircrew program continued, large numbers of aircrew candidates were transferred to regular enlisted status and classified in their appropriate military occupational specialties. 21

In no other stage of aircrew training was the problem of morale so serious as in on-the-line training. Lack of an explicit program was partially responsible, but delay and uncertainty concerning the students' future were of primary importance. Each step in curtailing the aircrew program was an added blow to morale. Although many of the trainees eventually reached flying schools, large numbers remained in the pools by the end of 1944 some men had been in pre-aircrew status for almost a year. Higher headquarters showed concern over

the attitude of such students and explained each curtailment of air-crew training quotas as the result of unexpected combat success. To young and ambitious men this explanation was hardly satisfying as they moved toward enlisted status, many experienced bitter disappointment and sense of failure. 22

Pilot Training

Although the importance of other specialties was increasingly recognized during the war, the pilot remained the principal object of Air Corps training. While each member of the aircrew was essential to performance of assigned missions, the general success and safety of the crew depended mainly upon the pilot, who was the aircraft commander. Although the AAF made a substantially successful effort to give all flying personnel due recognition, it properly put flying training in top priority.

Development of a military pilot required a succession of training stages, for it was not feasible to train a man to fly a powerful combat or service airplane without preparation in simpler and less specialized aircraft. During the 1920's and 1930's pilots had received a total of twelve months' instruction, divided into three stages. After 1931 the primary and basic stages were given in an eight-month combined course at Randolph Field, Texas a four-month advanced course, providing specialization in bombardment, pursuit, observation, or attack aviation, was taught at Kelly Field, Texas. This peacetime system of training was successful in producing a small number of graduates who were both skillful pilots and highly qualified junior officers. 23

In July 1939 the total instructional time was reduced from twelve to nine months. In the following May, with the war pressure mounting across the Atlantic, the period was cut to seven months. Although the introduction of preflight training in the following year compensated somewhat for the loss of time allotted to flying schools, the seven-month period, which allowed only ten weeks each for primary, basic, and advanced flying, was considered insufficient by existing standards. But national danger required unprecedented steps, and shortly after Pearl Harbor the time for each stage was forced down to nine weeks. In March 1944 each stage was lengthened to ten weeks, and after V-J Day to fifteen weeks. The post-hostilities schedule raised the time for individual pilot training to a level approximately that of the 1930's. 24

The three stages--primary, basic, and advanced--were common to the training of all Air Corps pilots, and upon graduation from advanced, students received their wings and bars. This step, however, did not signify the end of their training the new pilots were given additional periods of specialized instruction suited to their military assignments. Such instruction included in all cases a period of transition flying.

The term "transition" was applied generally to a pilot's learning to operate an unfamiliar plane thus all students underwent several brief transition phases as they progressed through the normal stages of pilot training. In primary they learned to fly a small aircraft of low horsepower in basic they transitioned to a heavier plane with more complex controls in advanced they learned to fly a still more powerful machine which approximated the characteristics of combat aircraft. Transition to combat planes, which generally did not occur until after a pilot had earned his wings, was a larger undertaking than previous transitions to training planes. It involved not only learning to fly a complex, high-performance aircraft, but also the acquisition of flying techniques, preliminary to operational unit training. In order to make adequate provision for this step, a special stage, called transition, was evolved in the major pilot programs.

When the Air Corps' expansion began in 1939, transition to combat aircraft was a function of the GHQ Air Force and units in overseas departments the four continental air forces took over this job and carried it on until 1942. By that time the program had become too large for the air forces alone to direct in addition to their operational unit training. Consequently, transition of pilots to heavy and medium bombardment aircraft was assigned to the Flying Training Command, the agency primarily responsible for individual flying instruction. Light bombardment and fighter transition, however, remained a function of the continental air forces' operational units. 25

The time allotted to pilot transition to combat planes varied throughout the war, but by May 1944 it was stabilized at ten weeks for bombardment transition. Fighter pilots received five weeks of transition on obsolescent combat types before being assigned to operational units, where they were given transition on current fighter types prior to tactical training. Transition to the specific aircraft to be flown in combat was the last stage of a pilot's individual training. Upon completion of this stage, he was ready to start training as a

member of an aircrew and a combat unit. Crew and unit indoctrination normally required about twelve weeks, after which the aerial teams were sent to staging areas to prepare for movement overseas. Even though the time for primary-basic-advanced training of pilots was reduced during the war to seven months or less, a pilot was not ready for combat until a year or more after he started flying instruction. 26

Until July 1939 primary training, as well as other phases of pilot training, had been conducted exclusively at Air Corps stations by military instructors. Thereafter, as described above,* the Air Corps depended increasingly upon civilian schools working under contract to provide primary instruction to air cadets by May 1943 there were fifty-six contract primary schools in operation. At each school the AAF maintained a small military contingent whose services were gradually expanded, but the military element in the activity of these schools was subordinated to the task of learning to fly. 27 The termination of contracts began with the curtailment of pilot training in

1944, and by the end of the war the responsibility for primary training had been returned to regular AAF establishments. 28

The instruction given at the contract schools was an adaptation of the primary phase formerly taught at Randolph Field. Although the number of weeks allotted to primary training was sharply reduced, the number of flying hours remained almost constant after the original requirement of sixty-five hours had been trimmed to sixty in March 1942. In that year an unsuccessful attempt was made to add instrument, night, and navigation instruction to the curriculum, but otherwise the program remained virtually the same during the war. As given at the height of the effort, primary flying training was divided into four standard phases. In the pre-solo phase students became familiar with the general operation of a light aircraft and achieved proficiency in forced landing techniques and in recovering from stalls and spins. In the second, or intermediate phase, pre-solo work was reviewed, and precision of control was developed by flying standard courses or patterns, known as elementary 8's, lazy 8's, pylon 8's, and chandelles. The third, or accuracy, phase demanded high proficiency in various types of landing approaches and landings the fourth, or acrobatic, phase required ability to perform loops, Immelmann turns, slow rolls, half-rolls, and snap rolls. The ratio of dual to solo hours was flexible within the limitation that a minimum of 40 per cent and a maximum of 50 per cent of the total time was to be dual. Each student in primary was required to make at least 175 landings. 29

It was the mission of the basic schools to make military pilots out of primary graduates hence, these schools were completely controlled and operated by the military. Although basic flying was conducted by a few private contractors, on a trial basis, from 1941 to 1943 and the experiment met with some success, AAF officials questioned the ability of civilians to teach military flying techniques, and by the end of 1943 curtailment of the pilot program removed any necessity for using private agencies in basic training. The student at basic learned to operate a plane of greater weight, power, and complexity than the plane which he had mastered in primary. In addition, the student was introduced to new aspects of airmanship, learning to fly by instruments, at night, in formation, and cross-country. The military instructors emphasized precision and smoothness of airplane operation, and a large portion of flying time was devoted to repetition of maneuvers to develop proficiency. 30

After 1939 the basic stage was accomplished in from 70 to 75 hours of flying, as compared with the loo hours required before that time. It was divided into a transition phase, involving familiarization with the plane and fundamental operations, and a diversified phase, which included accuracy maneuvers and acrobatics, and formation, instrument, navigation, and night flying. Reduction in training time was at first effected by eliminating navigation and formation flights and decreasing slightly the hours allotted to other portions of the diversified phase. In 1940 formation and day navigation flights were restored to the curriculum, and Link trainer instruction was added. Soon after Pearl Harbor, in response to observed combat requirements, increasing emphasis was placed upon the diversified phase, but the change was unsatisfactory, because it allowed too little time for fundamental transition exercises. The root of the difficulty lay in the fact that the nine weeks given to basic from 1942 to 1944 were not enough to permit satisfactory development of proficiency in both phases of training. Since it was impracticable to accomplish the full objective, there was a serious controversy over which phase should receive principal emphasis. During 1943 the curriculum was modified to favor transition at the expense of diversified training and, as might have been expected, graduates showed greater proficiency in the so-called flying fundamentals but were weak in formation and instrument flying. Criticisms of this weakness from combat units brought a change in basic curricular requirements in May 1944, at which time the length of training was extended to ten weeks. Although the hours allotted to flying were held constant, there was a shift of hours within the diversified phase, instrument time being increased at the expense of acrobatics. 31

Instrument training was doubtless the most important part of the basic curriculum. Experience in combat underlined the necessity of flying at night and under all weather conditions, and such missions required operation of aircraft by instruments. The nature and extent of the instrument indoctrination given to pilots at basic schools were insufficient until late in 1943, partly because of the traditional peace-time attitude of training officers who subordinated instrument work to conventional visual maneuvers. Another reason for this deficiency was the acute shortage of instructional time and equipment more-over, the system of instrument flying used by the AAF before June 1943 was not the most efficient. The AAF system relied almost exclusively

upon the three rate instruments: the needle, or rate-of-turn indicator the ball, or bank indicator and the airspeed indicator. Gyroscopic instruments were practically ignored. During 1942 the Navy developed an improved method of instrument flying, the full-panel system, which relied chiefly upon the directional gyroscope and the artificial horizon. AAF instructors who observed the new method found it to be more accurate than the traditional one hence, the full-panel system was introduced at basic and advanced pilot schools in June 1943. Assistance in establishing the new system was given by officers from the central instructors school (instrument pilot), which had been activated in March 1943 as a means of strengthening the AAF instrument program. During the succeeding year a substantial improvement in the instrument proficiency of basic graduates was achieved this resulted from standardized employment of the more efficient system, proper training of instructors, procurement of adequate equipment, and allocation of more flying hours to instrument work. 32

The traditional basic curriculum had always been confined to training on single-engine aircraft differentiation of students for single-engine or two-engine instruction did not normally occur until advanced training. But during 1943 and 1944 an attempt was made, in the interest of improving the proficiency of multiengine pilots, to begin two-engine training for them in basic. Although the majority of students continued to receive the standard single-engine curriculum, small numbers were entered into one of two experimental curricula. The first of these was a combination course after transitioning on the single-engine basic trainer, the student received familiarization instruction on a two-engine plane. The second course was conducted exclusively with two-engine aircraft. Although the experimental curricula showed some promise, they were abandoned in 1945 The combination course allowed too little time for the student to gain more than familiarization with either type of plane the second course proved impracticable because of the shortage of appropriate two-engine aircraft. The experiment indicated, however, that if adequate numbers of satisfactory trainers were planned for and provided, differentiation of instruction at the basic stage would prove more efficient than the conventional curriculum. 33

Although twin-engine training did not become a permanent part of the basic curriculum, one of the responsibilities of the basic schools

was the selection of students for single- or two-engine advanced training. Assignment was based upon a combination of factors--current requirements for fighter and multiengine pilots, the student's aptitude, his physical measurements, and preference. After the middle of 1944, however, student choice was generally disregarded. Preferences for fighter training exceeded the demand, and there were not enough men with the requisite physical qualifications who desired bombardment. Some schools found it necessary to assign all men with the required physique to advanced two-engine schools.

The differentiation of single-engine from two-engine training in the advanced stage was not effected until the spring of 1942 although planning for the change dated back to October 1940. 34 As it had evolved by 1944, the single-engine curriculum consisted of seventy hours of flying instruction, compared with seventy-five hours in 1939. It included five phases--transition, instrument, navigation, formation, and acrobatics Link trainer time was also required. Instrument operation was a continuation of the methods learned in basic the transition, navigation, and formation phases all required night flights. In response to the lessons of war, increasing emphasis was placed on formation flying, especially at high altitudes and using the close, three-plane V-formation. Acrobatics included all conventional combat maneuvers within the performance limits of the advanced trainer. 35 Although some of the graduates of the advanced single-engine school eventually were assigned as noncombat pilots or were sent to bombardment operational training units for service as co-pilots, the principal mission of the school was to prepare students for subsequent flying in fighter aircraft. To achieve this end, the advanced schools stressed the handling of maneuverable, speedy training planes and the development of instantaneous control reactions in students.

But besides expert flying ability, the fighter pilot needed skill in fixed aerial gunnery. Hence, during the course of advanced training the more promising students, those who were to become combat fighter pilots, were assigned to a fighter-transition and gunnery stage. This preparation for operational unit training consisted of some twenty hours of fixed gunnery practice in the standard advanced training plane and about ten hours of transition in an obsolescent combat type (P-40 or P-39). Development of proper techniques and equipment for fixed gunnery training came slowly, although gradual improvement was noted after 1942 when better teaching methods and use of


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