Transcribed and compiled by Kimberli Faulkner Hull
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© Kimberli Faulkner Hull
Independence Army Flying School 1943 Yearbook is from the military documents of Lt. Col. Ernest L. Faulkner, who was stationed at the Independence, Kansas Airbase 1942–1943. The yearbook has been transcribed, which is split into three parts:
Note: The book is tightly bound; if a clearer image of a service member is needed, please use the contact form with the soldier’s name and we will attempt to re-scan the image for you.
Independence Army Flying School 1943 Yearbook Gallery
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Independence Army Flying School 1943 Yearbook Transcription
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For their assistance in furnishing pictures and editorial assistance for this volume and their co-operation in numerous other way, grateful acknowledgment is made to the following: Air Forces Division, War Department Bureau of Public Relations, Washington, D.C.; Public Relations Office, Army Air Forces Training Command; Public Relations Offices, Army Air Forces Southeast Training Center; Army Air Forces Gulf Coast Training Center; Army Air Forces West Coast Training Center Public Relations Offices; Fourth and Fifth Districts Army Air Forces Training Commands.
General H. H. Arnold letter
As members of the United States Armed Forces you do not have to be told of the magnitude and importance of the task that lies before you.
At every base, station and training field of the United States Army Forces you are preparing yourselves for the great test of arms which will prove that the forces of democracy can destroy the evil power of the totalitarian nations.
Soon you will take your places as Bombardiers, Navigators, Pilots, and Gunners alongside of our allies who have been fighting so valiantly. As mechanics and supply personnel, and in every type of ground duty, you will have the vital responsibility of making sure that our airplanes will be second to none.
We can win this war, and we will win it, but only if every officer and enlisted man puts forth all the fortitude and resourcefulness that Ameri cans have always displayed in time of war.
There are trying times ahead, times that will test the mettle of all of us, but I am confident that the personnel of my command will acquit themselves with honor and distinction, no matter where and when we shall meet the enemy.
H. H. Arnold
General, U. S. Army
Commanding General, Army Air Forces
The Development of the Army Air Forces
With the reorganization of the aviation setup of the United States Army, on March 9, 1942, has come the latest phase of the development of the nation’s military aviation from its groping, experimental days to its present status as an autonomous unit within the structure of the Army.
The story of the rapid growth of our nation’s military aviation, from an unimportant subdivision of the Signal Corps before the first World War, through the period when it was a corps of its own, the Air Corps, and now to a degree of tremendous importance as the Army Air Forces, co-equal in prominence with all the other Army combat arms combined, is a stirring saga of courage and inspiration, of indomitable will and far-sighted genius, all within the short space of 33 years.
The utilization of aviation by the Army, however, antedates 1909, the official birth year. Civilian aeronauts made observations from captive balloons for the Army of the Potomac during the American Civil War, and later the Army purchased a balloon in France which was used in Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
It was not, however, until the experiments of Langley, Maxim, Lillienthal, Bleriot, the Wrights and others had focused attention on the possibilities of heavier-than-air machines that the Army considered seriously this newest military adjunct. It was not until the Wrights had demonstrated that a heavier-than-air machine was no.t only feasible, but practical that the Army advertised for bids for the construction of an airplane. An aeronautical division of the Army was created in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army on July I, 1907.
The Wright brothers produced an airplane which was delivered to Fort Myer, Virginia, on August 28, 1908. It was a biplane with a wing spread of about 40 feet and a wing area of some 500 square feet weighing approximately 800 pounds. The lateral controls were affected by warping the wings, The double elevator and the rudder were supported in front of the wings by an outrigger. The landing gear consisted of two runners, or skids, and the plane was launched from a monorail. After a series of disappointing accidents and many tests, the Board of Officers appointed to examine the plane made a favorable recommendation on August 2, 1909, and the Chief Signal Officer approved the recommendation the same day. This date is considered the birthday of the Army Air Forces.
While thus inaugurating the air arm of the service on this date, the value of aircraft in a military way was not immediately apparent, particularly to a nation at peace, and it was not until March, 1911, almost two years later, that Congress for the first time specifically appropriated money for aviation … to the tune of $125,000. By September, 1913, Army aviation had grown slowly until it had 17 planes, with a personnel of 23 officers and 91 enlisted men.
Inasmuch as the original conception of the role of aircraft in warfare was purely that of observation, the control of military aviation was left in the hands of the Signal Corps, and, indeed, aviation remained in this branch until 1918, when it was divorced from the Signal Corps and expanded into two departments-the Bureau of Military Aeronautics and the Bureau of Aircraft Production. Upon the termination of the war these two departments were consolidated into the Air Service.
The first actual use of aircraft by the Army began in March, 1916, when the First Aero Squadron, composed of 16 officers, 77 enlisted men and eight airplanes began operations with the Punitive Expedition in Mexico.
The World War, of course, with its constantly accelerating emphasis…
Top: 1908. Orville Wright First Flight, September 5, 1908.
Bottom, left: Wilbur Wright at Fort Myer, July 27, 1909. Right: Orville Wright in flight, Maxwell Field, 1910.
The Development of the Army Air Forces (cont.)
…upon air power, was responsible for the rapid expansion of American aviation. By the time of our declaration of war upon Germany in April of 1917, Army aviation consisted of 65 officers (35 of whom were flyers), 1,087 enlisted men and 55 airplanes. No better commentary can be made upon the changing role of air power at the beginning of the World War and of the present conflict than to compare this number with the 10,697 officers, 126,660 enlisted men a d 8,707 aviation cadets which we had on June 30, 1941, with the number constantly increasing under the impetus of the greatest expansion program in history.
During the first eight years of its existence, 1909-1916-a total of 142 airplanes had been delivered to Army Aviation. Congress, in July of 1917, appropriated $640,000,000 for Army Aviation, the largest appropriation which had ever been made up until that time for any single purpose. Working as rapidly as possible, the country began the gigantic task of catching up in production with countries long at war. The first task was to train American flyers and for this purpose flying schools and ground schools were set up at a number of schools and colleges. Nearly 15,000 flying cadets received training in this country, d about 1,800 in Europe. By March, 1918, our Army Aviation strength was 11,000 officers and 120,000 enlisted men.
At the time of the Armistice we had 757 pilots, 481 observers, with 740 planes and 77 balloons at the front, and 1,402 pilots, 769 airplanes and 252 balloon observers had entered the Zone of Advance.
While at the time of the Armistice less than 25 per cent of the planes flown by American pilots were of American manufacture, were already beginning to swing into large scale production, principally of British designed DeHavillands and Handley-Page’s equipped with the American Liberty motor, the greatest contribution of American manufacturers to the war effort.
American aviators were officially credited with the destruction of 491 enemy airplanes, of which 462 were accounted for by 63 aviators. We had 43 squadrons at the front at the time of the Armistice.
Following the conclusion of the war, our air strength was allowed to dwindle to 1,000 officers and 10,000 men.
The Army Reorganization Act of 1920 provided for 1,516 officers and 10,300 enlisted men for the Air Service, and the Air Corps Act of 1926 authorized a “Five Year Program” which contemplated at its conclusion a personnel strength of 1,650 officers and 15,000 enlisted men with 500 cadets, and equipment consisting of 1,800 serviceable planes.
On March I, 1935, the famous GHQ Air Force was established, embracing all tactical Air Corps Units within the Continental United States. Prior to its formation combat squadrons were trained under widely different methods, depending upon the conception of the Group Commanders. The purpose, which was accomplished, of the GHQ Air Force, was to co-ordinate …the systems of training so as to produce uniformity and the ability to operate together as a team. Another accomplishment was the later development of the combat crew as a fighting team. In practice, the same officers and men were assigned to the same airplane, and each team, through constant co-operation and practice, was able to attain a high degree of efficiency.
Even more important than all these innovations, however, was the fact that the Air Corps, as it was known then, was, for the first time, under a unified command, and under an air officer, Major General Frank M. Andrews, later Lieutenant General, whose untimely death over the barren wastes of Iceland brought a major loss to the Army Air Forces. Here was another notable step toward the fullest development of our Army Air arm as an independently-functioning entity, complete within itself.
This organization of air power into a highly mobile striking force of great unified power had, as its backbone, the function of Bombardment. The GHQ Air Force was divided into three Wings.
The First Wing, with headquarters at March Field, California, comprised two Bombardment Groups, one Attack Group, and two Reconnaissance Squadrons.
The Second Wing, with headquarters at Langley Field, Virginia, comprised two Bombardment and two Pursuit Groups, and two Reconnaissance Squadrons.
The Third Wing, at Barksdale Field, Louisiana, was composed of one Attack and one Pursuit Group.
But even this organization was to be changed soon by the pressure of ever-increasing expansion of our Army Aviation. On June 23, 1941, the Army Air Forces was established. These included the Headquarters, Army Air Forces; the Air Force Combat Command (which superceded the GHQ Air Force), the Air Corps and all other air…
Bottom, left: They Flew Them When–Major H. H. Arnold, Major Thomas Dewitt Milling, pioneer artillery aviators, and Army places of 30 years ago–taken in 1912 when Army air strength consisted of two planes.
Bottom, right: Burgess Tractor–1914.
World War No. 1 and Our Air Force Strength Grows
… units. At the same time an Air Council was created to review and co-ordinate major Army aviation projects. The Air Council included Assistant Secretary of War for Air, Robert A. Lovett (ex officio), General H. H. Arnold, president of the council, Lieutenant General Delos C. Emmons, Lieutenant General George A. Brett, and the Chief of the War Plans Division of the War Department General Staff.
In addition to his duties as Deputy Chief of Staff (Air), General Arnold became Chief of the Army Air Forces. General Emmons was made Chief of the Air Force Combat Command, and General Brett, Chief of the Air Corps.
At the end of May, 1941, the Ferrying Command was organized to speed up the process of getting bombers to our English allies. Originally under the command of Colonel Robert Olds (later a Brigadier General in command of the Second Air Force at Spokane, Washington, now deceased), it is now commanded by Major General Harold L. George, and designated Air Transport Command. Since Pearl Harbor its activities have been vastly expanded into a huge world-wide organization engaged in the transport of all types of aircraft, plus supplies, equipment, and personnel to all the fighting fronts.
By the final reorganization, or “streamlining,” which took place last March, the Air Corps ceased to exist, even as a purely administrative organization, and the Combat Command was eliminated, as well. The various combat Air Forces, which are complete units, of themselves, are now directly under the command of overall field commanders such as General MacArthur, another step forward in unified command. It is interesting to note that many of these field commanders, whose commands comprise all arms of the service, are themselves air officers, such as General Brett, in the Caribbean. Each Air Force is, of course, commanded by an Air Force Officer, of general grade, whether within the continental United States or overseas.
These combat forces include all units of military aviation such as bombardment, interception (fighter squadrons), Observation, and ground-air support, together with the necessary maintenance service.
As a result of the March 9 change, the Air Forces are recognized as one of the three elements of the Army, together with Ground Forces and Supply. This new organization, designed to simplify and speed up the chain of command, and to provide the flexibility and efficiency of operation necessary to accomplish the enormous task that lies ahead, designates General H. H. Arnold as Commanding General, Army Air Forces, and also as Deputy Chief of Staff for Air on the Army General Staff. By the same reorganization, Lieutenant General Joseph T. McNarney, one of the ablest American air strategists, was made Deputy Chief of Staff.
In addition to these two officers, however, the Air Forces have a far greater representation than ever on the General Staff. As a matter of fact, the General Staff, as now constituted, is about onehalf composed of officers from the Air Staff.
The Air Staff, which is rather like a Staff within a Staff, and which is purely Air Forces organization, is similar in general outline to the General Staff, but on a slightly smaller scale.
The complexity and extension of Army aviation from its simple Signal Corps days until the present is no better illustrated than by a brief review of the various branches of the Air Forces. The overall picture of the Army Air Forces organization may be summed up under three key words: Policy, Commands, and Forces.
The Policy function has already been discussed at the start of this article. It is handled by the Commanding General of the Army Air Forces and the Air Staff, plus the Air Forces’ participation in the Army General Staff. In addition to the Assistant Chiefs of the Air Staff there is an Air lnspector, Air Surgeon, etc.
Operating directly under the Commanding general of the Army Air Forces, nine great commands compose the last stages of Air Forces preparation for combat units. It may be of great interest to outline the functions of these various Commands.
- The FLYING TRAINING COMMAND.
- The TECHNICAL TRAIING COMMAND.
- The TROOP TRANSPORT COMMAND.
- The AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND.
- The MATERIEL COMMAND.
- The AIR SERVICE COMMAND.
- The PROVING GROUND COMMAND.
Top: Early Curtiss Training Plane No. 30-at North Island, San Diego, California.
- The ANTI-SUBMARINE COMMAND.
- The FLIGHT CONTROL COMMAND.
- The MATERIEL COMMAND. Experimental aviation activities, which were carried on at Washington by a few technicians prior to the World War, were concentrated at Dayton, Ohio, on November 5, 1917, under the command of Colonel V. E. Clark, Signal Corps. The laboratories, located at McCook Field, were supplemented by offices in Clayton. In 1926, the Air Services became the Air Corps and the functions of supply, procurement and maintenance of aircraft were added to this division, and the name changed to “Materiel Division.”
The location of the division was changed from McCook Field to Wright Field in 1926.
The Materiel Division has figured directly or indirectly in nearly all important aircraft developments, commercial as well as military. It is the great experimental and testing branch of the Air Force and includes, among its many accomplishments, superchargers, the “Whirlwind” engine, use of ethylene glycol for high temperature cooling, high octane gasoline, vibration control, metal propellers, night and instrument flying, haze penetrating film for aerial photography, night and color photography, and many other developments.
- The FLYING TRAINING COMMAND. While the Headquarters of the Air Corps Training Center began to function at Duncan Field, San Antonio, Texas, in 1936, flying training in the Army has been continuous almost since the purchase of the first Wright airplane in 1909.
The first Army flying school was established at College Park, Maryland, in October, 1909. Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm and Frederick E. Humphreys were the first students of the Wright brothers. Lieutenant Lahm later became a Brigadier General and commanded the Training Center from its inception in September, 1926, until August 31, 1930. Among the first five Army aviators was Lieutenant H. H. Arnold, now a four-star General. Among them also was Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois, now Major General, retired. General Foulois became a Brigadier General at the age of 38 as Chief of the Air Service of the First Army, American Expeditionary Force. He became a Major General and Chief of the Air Corps on December 20, 1931.
The function of the flying Training Command is, of course, to coordinate and direct the immense job of providing officers and men for the vastly expanding Air Forces. In order to accomplish this with the greatest efficiency and to eliminate the possibility of administrative bottlenecks, General Arnold set up the Flying Training Command, as it now exists, under the command of Major General Barton K. Yount, with headquarters at Fort Worth, Texas. This command is divided in three great regional training areas, one in the Southeast, one in the Gulf Coast region, and one in the Southwest. All of these regional training areas are complete within themselves, providing their own Reception Centers, Replacement Centers, Primary, Basic, and Advanced Schools (for pilot trainees), and Navigator Schools. Bombardier trainees, however, are all sent to schools located in the Southwestern part of the country, where weather conditions are best for this particular type of training. The Flying Training Command also provides for instruction in fixed and flexible gunnery.
- The TECHNICAL TRAINING COMMAND. The first effort to…
Top Picture: 213th Aero Squadron, Second Army-Enlisted Men.
Bottom Picture: Officers and Planes-N 13 Pursuit Squadron. Third Pursuit Group.
World War No. 1 and Our Air Force Strength Grows
…train Army aviation mechanics systematically was during the early days of the World War utilizing state universities and civil technical schools. The system was a failure due to the large costs involved, as well as other reasons. Therefore, the Aviation Section, Signal Corps, established schools at St. Paul, Minnesota, and at Kelly Field, Texas. The Kelly Field school was discontinued after the Armistice.
In 1921, the school was moved to Chanute Field, Illinois, and in 1922 the Photographic School, at Langley Field, and the Communications School, at Fort Sill, were consolidated with it.
The school outgrew its area, and in 1935 another site was sought for a second school, and a second school was established at Lowry Field, near Denver, Colorado.
The Army Air Forces Technical Training Command now has its Headquarters at Southern Pines, North Carolina, and is commanded by Major General Walter R. Weaver.
The present expansion program of Army Aviation has necessitated the further expansion of the mechanic training program in order to provide the ever-increasing Air Forces with an adequate supply of trained mechanics, particularly in view of the fact that engines and equipment are constantly becoming more complex as well as progressively more modern.
The Technical Training Command provides technical training for Army Air Forces personnel not trained by the Flying Training Command. Under this category came not only ground crew personnel,…
Top: Captain C, Def. Chandler and Lieutenant Roy T, Kirtland Wright Type B airplane with Lewis machine gun, June 7, 1912.The first machine gun ever fired from airplane (Lieutenant Kirtland was pilot for test).
Bottom: Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold in Wright B airplane, College Park, Maryland, 1911.
…such as mechanics, but also such aircrew members as the aerial engineer and communications officer.
- The AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND, as discussed previously, is concerned with air transport, for military use all over the world.
- The AIR SERVICE COMMAND operates air depots, repairs aircraft, and distributes aircraft, equipment, and supplies to air units in the United States.
- The TROOP TRANSPORT COMMAND transports air-borne troops equipment, and parachute troops and equipment, and tows troop and cargo-carrying gliders.
- The PROVING GROUND COMMAND operates proving grounds to test aircraft and equipment.
- The ANTI-SUBMARINE COMMAND.
- The FLIGHT CONTROL COMMAND.
The various combat units have been formed into fourteen Air Forces, of which the first four are in the United States, the other ten overseas. Each of these Air Forces includes:
I. A BOMBER COMMAND. 2. A FIGHTER COMMAND. 3. A BASE SERVICE COMMAND, and 4. An AIR SUPPORT COMMAND.
It is quite probable that it is entirely too soon to attempt to define the role of the airplane in relation to the other combat forces of nation. In spite of that fact there has been raging, and indeed still goes on, a debate between those who feel that air power has to a large extent superceded sea power and even land power as the deciding element in modern warfare, and those who feel that this extreme theory has yet to be supported by actual facts. There are
extremists who argue, like the Russian designer Seversky and the Italian General Douhet, that the day of the surface fleet is over, and that the future wars will be decided by the relative merits of the air forces of the combatants. On the other hand, we have the sure evidence of the failure of bombing alone either to permanently disrupt the war effort of a country or to terrorize its civilians into demands that its government surrender. In neither the Spanish Civil War nor in this war, up until the present, has it been possible for the advocates of air power alone to prove their contentions.
At the same time it must be granted that no nation has as yet been able to mount the type of air attack envisioned by those who hold that it will be air power that will decide the war. It seems likely, however, that this theory will be given a thorough test before the war is done.
Certainly, it is true that the conception of the airplane has already undergone a remarkable series of changes since the beginning of the WorId War, when it was regarded not in the light of a combat weapon at all. Indeed the first airplanes used in the World War were almost always of one type, a two-seater designed for reconnaissance work. As the war progressed specialization appeared and a class of airplanes designed first for air fighting, then for bombing, appeared. Several nations, prior to the war, had experimented with the arming of aircraft with machine guns, but on the outbreak of the war no plane on the front was so armed. Rifles, carbines, pistols, and hand grenades were carried by the pilot and observer. The tactics of air fighting were rudimentary. The pilots simply flew close to the enemy and when within range the pilot and the observer blazed away with any weapon they happened to have handy.
In the summer of 1915, belligerents began to mount machine guns in the planes, usually on a swivel bar at the back of the observer’s seat. The observer could only fire the gun backwards toward the tail of the plane, firing over the pilot’s head, which made for a very restricted zone of fire. This necessitated that in order to fire on an opponent, the plane had to fly away from the enemy, thus making it very difficult to be effective. The British experimented with a type of plane in which the gun was mounted in the front and the motors faced the rear. This type gave the advantage of frontal firing, but was so slow on climbing and flight that it was abandoned within a short time.
The first real fighting aircraft to make its appearance was ·the German Fokker monoplane. Fast, maneuverable, and of the tractor type, the plane had a machine gun mounted in such a fashion as to synchronize with the revolutions of the propeller, thus allowing it to be fired straight ahead. The pilot aimed the gun by aiming the airplane. This plane was so obviously superior to those of the Allies that command of the air passed to the Germans throughout the rest of the year. In 1916, however, the British were able to challenge the Germans by producing their own type of front-firing plane, although it was not until near the end of 1916 that the Allies were able to produce machine gun mounted planes of the Fokker type.
The success of the Fokker airplane was responsible for the advent of formation flying. Casualties among the French and British had grown so heavily that individual flights were discontinued and flights of three or more planes took their place. The Germans retaliated, and by the end of the war patrols were the accepted form of air tactics.
It early became apparent to air-minded officers that great damage could be inflicted upon the enemy by dropping bombs from aircraft on his troops, ammunition dumps, factories and other military installations. Indeed, many of the early fighters attempted some rudimentary bombing flights, using hand grenades. These were usually…
Bottom left: Wright airplane–First plane in Philippine Islands at Fort McKinley, 1912-Lieutenant Frank P. Lahm, pilot.
Bottom right: First plane used by American aviators in France during World War I 1918), Morane Roulier airplane.
World War No. 1 and Our Air Force Strength Grows (cont.)
99th Aero Squadron officers in front of planes. Salinsen plane, 91st Squadron.
Wright machine; with P. Parmalee and Lieutenant M. S. Crissy with first explosive aerial bomb.
… ineffective except in rare instances. Bombs were then devised which could be dropped from the plane. In early bombing raids the bombs were carried in the cockpit of ordinary fighter planes and heaved over the side by the observer whenever he judged himself to be in a position to hit his target. This was a clumsy, inaccurate system, however, that soon lead to the design of an entirely different craft made for bombing alone, and equipped with machine guns for protection. These planes, which were growing larger and larger as the war progressed, were equipped with bomb racks controlled by mechanisms within the bomber, and carried crews of from three to six men. They were utilized at first as lone raiders, depending on stealth and surprise to accomplish their tasks, but by 1917 there had evolved the system of formation attacks by squadrons of bombers escorted by fighter planes as a protective screen. The Germans used this system first to great advantage, and by concentrating very large flights were able not only to concentrate the power of the bombing assault, but have enough fighters to sweep the skies of the opposition.
In addition to the duties of Reconnaissance, the original role of the airplane, had been added the duty of patrol, straffing and bombing, with the Bombardment arm always tending to become more and more important.
After the war the Air Services of all countries began to experiment more and more with the development of bombing planes of increased power and destructive ability. It was realized that it was increasingly possible for planes to inflict very heavy damage on the enemy from the air.
The development of bombsights by all the major powers was to a large degree responsible for this. The American bombsight was recognized as being probably the most accurate of any developed in his period. Accuracy in hitting a predetermined target was coupled with increased altitude which made the planes more safe from enemy fighters and antiaircraft attack. Increased speed and range of the planes has developed down until the present time, when every belligerent possesses bombers capable of flying immense distances with heavy bomb loads.
The United States was among the first to develop the art of dive bombing, wherein the plane is pointed downward at the target and releases its bomb very low, depending upon the tremendous speed of the dive for protection. The dive bomber is very accurate inasmuch as the pilot has the target before him on the way down and does not release his bombs until just above it. It remained for the Germans to develop this to the highest, and it was employed with great success in the battle of France. Many military experts say that the Stuka dive bomber is the greatest single contribution of the war to air combat. The Germans also experimented with and developed the use of airborne soldiers, utilizing the parachute, originally a safety device, as an instrument for the dropping of offensive men behind the enemy lines. The Russians also have used this extensively, and paratroops are now a part of every belligerent Army. Troop transports capable of carrying many men, supplies and equipment have also been developed, and in the battle of Crete the Germans used airborne troops to carry the brunt of the battle.
The Japanese and the British have both added chapters to the development of air combat by the use of the torpedo-carrying planes as an effective weapon with which to attack enemy warcraft which are not heavily protected by fighter planes. The English at Taranto and the Japanese at Pearl Harbor and off Malaya demonstrated that unprotected warships can be sunk with relative ease by planes of this type unless they are in turn protected by fighter planes based either on land or on accompanying aircraft carriers.
The day of the spectacular individual air “ace” has apparently closed, as pilots are taught more and more to fly and to fight in absolute formation. Formations are increasing in size as the strength of the warring nations in the air continues to grow.
There has been a growing belief on the part of military men that the day of air power in combat is only begun, and that this war will produce innovations and changes equally as great as those produced in the World War. It is certain that each day, all over America, more and more fighters, bombardiers, navigators, observers, gunners, mechanics and technicians are being trained for whatever role shall be assigned them in America’s growing air armada.
CHIEFS OF THE AIR CORPS (Now Army Air Forces)
During the World War, Army Aviation was divided into the Bureau of Military Aeronautics, directed by Major General William L. Kenly, and the Bureau of Aircraft Production, directed by Mr. John D. Ryan, the copper magnate. With the advent of peace, these bureaus were consolidated under one title-Air Service-under the command of Major General Charles T. Menoher, who had commanded the 42nd (Rainbow) Division overseas.
On October 4, 1921, General Menoher was succeeded by Major General Mason M. Patrick. He remained in command until his retirement on December 13, 1927, and was succeeded by Major General James E. Fechet, who served until his retirement in 1931.
Major General Benjamin D. Foulois served for four years, until December, 1935, when he was succeeded by Major General Oscar Westover, who served until his death in a flying accident in 1938. At that time Major General (now General) H. H. Arnold took over, and to him has fallen the immense task of directing the Air Forces through the present period of war.
96th Aero Squadron officers (Lieutenant Samuel Lunt, fourth from right)
GEORGE H. BRETT, Lieutenant General
DELOS C. EMMONS, Lieutenant General
MILLARD F. HARMON, Lieutenant General
GEORGE C. KENNEY, Lieutenant General
JOSEPH T. McNARNEY, Lieutenant General
JOHN B. BROOKS, Major General
WILLIAM 0. BUTLER, Major General
JAMES E. CHANEY, Major General
JOHN F. CURRY, Major General
JAMES A. DOOLITTLE, Major General
IRA C. EAKER, Major General
MUIR S. FAIRCHILD, Major General
JACOB E. FICKEL, Major General
DAVENPORT JOHNSON, Major General
RUSH B. LINCOLN, Major General
FREDERICK L. MARTIN, Major General
HENRY J. F. MILLER, Major General
HENRY C. PRATT, Major General
CARL SPAATZ, Lieutenant General
CLAYTON L. BISSELL, Major General
FOLLETT BRADLEY, Major General
GERALD C. BRANT, Major General
LEWJS H. BRERETON, Major General
CLAIRE L. CHENNAULT, Major General
RALPH P. COUSINS, Major General
WALTER H. FRANK, Major General
HAROLD L. GEORGE, Major General
BARNEY McK. GILES, Major General
WILLIS H. HALE, Major General
HUBERT R. HARMON, Major General
RALPH ROYCE, Major General
GEORGE E. STRATEMEYER, Major General
WALTER R. WEAVER, Major General
ENNIS C. WHITEHEAD, Major General
BARTON K. YOUNT, Major General
From the end of the World War to the present time, the Air Forces have pioneered in numerous aviation activities, A few of these flights and activities, chronologically arranged, are as follows:
1920-February 27. Major Rudolph W. Schroeder established a world’s altitude record of 33,000 feet.
1921-February 12. The Army Air Service successfully completed a Washington, D. C., to Dayton, Ohio, flight.
1921-September I. The Army Air Service successfully completed a total of 396 forestry patrol flights in the Northwest.
1922-October 6. Lieutenants Oakley G. Kelly and John A. Macready established a world’s endurance record of 35 hours, 18 1-4 minutes.
1922-October 18. Brigadier General William Mitchell established a world’s record for speed over a measured 3-kilometer course of 224.38 m.p.h.
1922-November 4. lieutenants Kelly and Macready established a world’s record for distance with a flight of 2,060 miles, from San Diego, California, to Fort Benjamin Harrison, Indiana.
1923-Aprll 3. Six Army land planes completed a flight to Porto Rico and return.
1923-April 19. Marooned inhabitants of South Fox Island, off the coast of Michigan, were afforded relief through the dropping from Army planes of food and clothing.
1924-March 17. Four Army Douglas World Cruisers departed on an aerial journey around the world. Two of the planes successfully completed the flight of 27,550 miles in 175 days.
1925-November 20. Lieutenant George W. Goddard, Air Corps, made the first successful night aerial photographs.
1926-April 19. The first maneuvers involving the entire Air Service were held at Fairfield, 0hio, in which a total of 45 officers and 67 enlisted men participated, utilizing 44 airplanes.
1927-May 2. The “Good Will” flight returned from South America, after covering a distance exceeding 20,000 miles since December 21, 1926.
1927-May 4. Captain Hawthorne C. Gray, Air Corps, in a free balloon, reached 42,470 feet, the highest altitude ever attained by man up to that time.
1927-June 29. Lieutenants Lester J. Maitland and Albert F. Hegenberger, Air Corps, landed at Honolulu, Hawaii, after having spanned 2,400 miles over the Pacific Ocean from Oakland, California.
1928-June 30. Captain William E. Kepner and Lieutenant William O. Eareckson, aide, representing the Air Corps in the International Free Balloon Race, won first honors, giving the United States permanent possession of the Gordon Bennett Trophy, since it marked the third consecutive time American aeronauts won this trophy.
1929-August 31. Captain Albert W. Stevens, Air Corps, photographed Mt. Rainier from an airplane which was at a distance of 227 miles from this mountain, exceeding by 50 miles any previous record in long-distance aerial photography.
1929-September 24. Lieutenant James H. Doolittle, Air Corps, in a public demonstration of “instrument flying,” accomplished a take-off and a landing solely through use of instruments, for which he received the International League of Aviators Trophy.
1930 June 20-21. Randolph, San Antonio, Texas, Headquarters of the Air Corps Training Center, was dedicated.
1931-May 18-30. The annual Air Corps Field Exercises began at Dayton, Ohio and ended at Washington, D. C. The Atlantic seaboard from Maine to Virginia covered. The First Air Division participated, comprising 692 officers, 69 flying cadets and 643 enlisted men. A total of 667 airplanes of all types was utilized in these exercises.
1932-May 9. Captain Albert F. Hegenberger accomplished the first solo flight entirely by instruments.
933-Master Sergeant Ralph W. Bottriell, of Kelly Field, Texas, was presented the Distinguished Flying Cross for having made the first jump from an Army airplane with the free type parachute, in May, 1919. It was as a result of Sergeant Bottriell’s pioneering that the Air Corps developed the present type of parachute.
1934-December 27. The Secretary of War approved the GHQ Air Force organization, and Lieutenant Colonel Frank M. Andrews, designated as its first Commander, was appointed a Major General.
1935-March I. The GHQ Air Force was officially organized.
1935-August 29. Air Corps engineers made the first flight using the radio compass to control the automatic pilot and thus providing automatic radio navigation.
1935-November II. Captains Albert W. Stevens and Orvil A. Anderson, Air Corps, reached 72,395 feet in the strathosphere balloon.
1935-December 27. Army bombers scored direct hits on the lava flow from the Mauna Loa volcano in Hawaii which was menacing the city of Hilo. The bombing tended to divert the lava flow to other channels.
193t.-March. The Second Bombardment Group of Langley Field, Virginia, dropped 8,000 pounds of food and medical supplies to communities in Pennsylvania isolated by flood waters. A total of 45 officers and 100 enlisted men participated in these relief missions, utilizing 30 airplanes.
1936-February 10. Major Barney M. Giles, Air Corps; Second Lieutenant J. H. Patrick, Air Reserve; Staff Sergeant D, E. Hamilton and Corporal Frank B. Connor, Air Corps, took off from Concord, New Hampshire, about midnight and located seven CCC youths marooned on drifting ice in Cape Cod Bay. Major Giles circled over the party to show their position to Coast Guard personnel and other planes, which dropped food and blankets. Each of the four airmen received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
1936-June 29. Major General Frank M. Andrews made a non-stop distance record for amphibian planes by piloting the Douglas OA-5, 1,425 miles from Porto Rico to Langley Field, Virginia, in 11 hours and 9 minutes.
1937-August 5. The Air Corps substratosphere plane, the Lockheed XC-35, made its initial performance flights at Wright Field, Ohio. Being equipped with a supercharged cabin, oxygen equipment was unnecessary.
1937-August 23. Captains Carl J. Crane and George V. Holloman, Air Corps, and Mr. Raymond K. Stout, Project Engineer, all of Wright Field, made two entirely automatic landings under adverse wind conditions.
1938-April 20. Four officers and five enlisted men began instruction at Patterson Field, Fairfield, made two entirely automatic landings under adverse wind conditions.
1938-February 15-27. Six B-17 bombers flew from Langley Field, Virginia, to Buenos Aires, Argentina, and return. The trip south involved landings at Miami, Florida, Lima, Peru, and Buenos Aires. Returning, landings were made at Santiago, Chile, Lima, and Albrook Field, Panama Canal Zone.
1938-April 14. During a period of four days, all food, grain, and supplies necessary for a Cavalry detachment of 30 men and 30 horses were dropped from an airplane in the mountains of the Big Bend District in Texas.
1939-February 4-6. Major C. V. Haynes, Air Corps, with a crew of 10 officers and men, flew the XB-15 bombardment plane from Langley Field, Virginia, lo Santiago, Chile, with a load of vaccines and other medical supplies, totaling over 3, needed for earthquake sufferers. The distance of about 5,000 miles between Langley Field and Santiago was accomplished in 49 hours, 18 minutes elapsed time, and in a flying time of 29 hours and 53 minutes.
Army Air Forces Training Command
The Texas and Pacific Railway Station in Fort Worth, Texas, is a twelve-story building within a Texan’s lariat range of downtown Forth Worth. Of its 200 oak-finished offices some 110 are rented by the Army Air Forces Training Command. From these remote offices Major General
Barton K. Yount and his immediate family of some 160 staff officers direct the nation’s air crew training program.
The domain of the Command extends from Stewart Field, West Point, New York, to Chico Field, California. There are over 150 additional schools in most of the Southern States in between.
No one realizes the magnitude of the Command’s task more keenly than does General Yount. In
the trying days of the air forces’ tremendous expansion General Yount created an axiom, “I don’t want to know why it can’t be done; tell me how it can be done.” “Our task is elemental, our responsibility enormous,” he has remarked. The responsibility of which he speaks is simply this: to see that the United States Army Air Forces is equipped with the best trained, most proficient pilots, bombardiers, gunners and navigators in the world. The record of United States airmen in combat who have downed at least four enemy ships to every one of our losses indicates that General Yount is successfully fulfilling his responsibility.
The General himself a healthy, active grey haired man of 59 who directs his staff and through it the entire training program, with a certain quiet and constant force. He is tense without being nervous or bombastic, sympathetic and humorous without being soft.
General Yount was born at Troy, Ohio, January I 8, 1884, and graduated from West Point on June 14, 1907. His first assignment was in the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps- grandparent of the Air Forces-was as Commandant of the School of Aeronautics at Austin, Texas. He won his wings at Rockwell Field at San Diego, California, in 1919. He has served in China, Cuba, Hawaii and several European countries, as well as at numerous posts within continental United States. While in France General Yount served as Military Attache at the American Embassy.
In July of 1932 General Yount was placed in Command of Bolling Field, District of Columbia, where he served for two years prior to his assignment as a student officer at the Army Industrial College. In 1935 he was detailed as a student at the Army War College from which he graduated in 1936. In January, 1939, he was transferred to duty in the office of the Chief of the Air Forces, Washington, D. C., as chief of the training group. In August, 1941, General Yount took Command of the Army Air Forces, West Coast Training Center, one, of three geographical components of the Training Command. From the West Coast Training Center he advanced to the Command of the Training program with direction of the entire aircrew training effort.
General Yount is proud of the work the men of his command are doing. He is proud of the instructors, who while they would give their landing breaks and deicers to be in combat realize that the job they are doing is equally as essential as that of the flyers “in action.” He is proud of the graduates of his command who are speaking so well for themselves on a dozen battle fronts.
General Yount knows as well as anyone that the job is far from complete-that there may be heart-breaking assignments yet to come from Washington. But if there are those who know the General know that he will find out “How they CAN be done.”
GERALD C. BRANT, MAJOR GENERAL
Commanding AAF Gulf Coast Training Center
Major General Gerald C. Brant is Commanding General of the Army Air Forces Gulf Coast Training Center.
General Brant, who was awarded a Distinguished Service Medal in March, 1943, “for especially meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility” for his work in organizing and developing the Newfoundland Base Command from July 11, 1941 to January 7, 1843, has been identified with aviation in the Army also continuously since September, 1917. He was promoted to Major General on July 11, 1941. His present tour of duty as Commanding General of the Gulf Coast Training Center-his second-began in January, 1943.
A native of Chariton, Iowa, General Brant graduated from West Point in 1904, and served in the Cavalry and Signal Corps before receiving flying training at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, in 1917. He was appointed Commanding Officer of Kelly Field No. 2 in April, 1918. Rated a Junior Military Aviator in November 1918, he received the rating of Airplane Pilot as of October 5, 1920.
After graduation from the Army School of the Line, the General Staff School and the Army War College, General Brant served as a member of the War Department General Staff, and in 1928, then a Lieutenant Colonel, was placed in command of Crissy Field, California. He subsequently served at Mitchell Field, Long Island, was transferred to the Hawaiian Department, and in August, 1934, was assigned to Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas, as Commanding Officer of the 12th Observation Group. In February, 1935, he was transferred to Barksdale Field, Shreveport, La., as Commanding Officer of the Third Wing, GHQ Air Force, with the temporary rank of Colonel.
In 1 937, General Brant commanded the Second Wing, GHQ Air Forces at Langley Field, Va., and in February, 1938, became Commandant of the Army Air Forces Technical Schools comprising Chanute, Scott and Lowry Fields and 14 civilian schools. Appointed a Brigadier General in October 1, 1940, General Brant originally assumed command of the Army Air Forces Gulf Coast Training Center on October 24, 1940.
Gulf Coast Training Center
From the thin whine of a C.A.A. Trainer over Texas Lubbock, to the staccato chatter of a 50 caliber machine firing on the range at Matagorda, the Gulf Coast Training Center day goes about its part of the job of creating 2,000,000 men for the Army Air Forces. A “center” in name only, Gulf Coast embraces the whole of the enormous ranges of Texas; parts of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Illinois and north to the Canadian border. One of the Training Command’s three great Training Centers for America’s great air force, it is in reality many widely separated fields under one central administrative set-up which happens to be located at Randolph Field, Texas.
It could as well be Dallas, Fort Worth or Podunk, however, because it is not in the administration halls of Randolph that the work of the Center is done, but in the far reaches of thin air above Midland, where bombardiers learn to set their sights on tiny targets thousands of feet below; in the burning heat of the sandy wastes of the gunnery ranges, where men learn to handle the tail guns in bombers and learn to turn and send a rolling crash machine gun fire from pursuit ships that twist and arc at terrific speed; at the “desks” in the planes where navigators trace limit lines across their charts and learn to pilot bombers across isolated wastes of land and sea to their objectives and home again; in the rollicking primaries where dodos solo and men learn wear their goggles on their foreheads; in all these places is the work of the Center done, and its sole aim and purpose is to aid in the immense task of making America the greatest air power on earth in order that she may strike and strike hard at the foes who would assail her liberties and destroy her freedoms.
Men to man the 185,000 planes that will roar from the assembly lines of American factories by 1943; that is the task of Gulf Coast. It too uses assembly-line methods. In 60 weeks it can move an average American youth through three flying schools and into the a combat plane as a flying Second Lieutenant. In 147 days a lad who probably never destroyed anything more valuable than a greenhouse window in his life can learn to drop a ton of the most destructive bombs ever invented by man upon a space the size of a baseball diamond from 20,000 feet. A bomber load of fire and brimstone for the Axis is guided 1,000 miles by charts of a navigator schooled in 24 weeks. A boy who never squeezed a trigger before is taught, in six weeks, how to bring down a Zero with a .50 caliber aerial machine gun, and so it goes, mass production for a nation’s defense, mass production utilizing the best of American manpower, trained in the best of American ships, and schooled in the best traditions of American democracy.
Every step of the process is in keeping with the American traditions. Borrowing from the personnel practices of our great corporations, each man is assigned to the job for which he is best suited; there is no favoritism. Jim Jones, the butcher lad from a whistle stop on the Norfolk and Southern, is the equal of Jimmie Gotrocks from Park Avenue.
His life in Uncle Sam’s Army Air Forces starts off strange as it may seem, with the boy going back to school; back to college as a matter of fact. The AAF Training Command has launched a revolutionary training program of five months duration in which the future air men receive 700 hours of academic and military instruction prior to entering the Air Forces Classification Center. Students, enrolled in the course as privates, receive instruction in mathematics, physics, current history, geography, English and civil air regulations in addition to military drill, ceremonies and customs. Also, he gets 10 hours of dual instruction light air planes.
The placing of the round peg in the round hole begins at the great Classification Centers where Jim gets his first real taste of what his life is to be. Here is that his future as a pilot, navigator, bombardier is decided. Here he is appointed as Aviation Cadet. He gets the works here, new insignia and a new job. He is tested both mentally and physically, by the latest and finest testing apparatus and by competent, trained psychologists.
From Classification, if it is indicated that he is qualified to be a pilot, he goes to a pilot Pre-Flight where he learns Army discipline, brushes up on his rusty mathematics, learns military customs and traditions, and gets a large dose of conditioning exercises designed to toughen his body and sharpen his mind for the grueling tests ahead.
He then goes to one of the many Primary schools, where he is taught the fundamentals of flight by civilian instructors and where he first gets the thrill of the solo, probably an experience he will treasure longer and remember longer than any other experience in his life. He will learn how to land, bank, take off, dive, recover…
Reading from Left to Right.
Above: The aviation cadets flying training begins in light primary trainers like this. For nine weeks the embryo bird men will fly this plane learning the basic fundamentals; Flying high-flexible gunnery training keeps this AT6 in the air; The words “U. S. Army,” borne to the sky on the wings of this training glider, will appear on thousands of motorless crafts in the near future … gliders capable of bearing men and supplies silently into enemy territory; Getting a foretaste of future mass bombing raids over enemy targets, cadets in twin engine trainers practice accurate information flying. These are AT-17s.
100-lb. practice bombs in place prior to take-off.
The student navigator learns to gun for the heavenly signposts that guide the bomber to its target.
Citing this page: Kimberli Faulkner Hull, transcriber and compiler, “Independence Army Flying School 1943 Yearbook, Independence, Kansas,” Chasing Light Media, Cool Adventures
( https://cooladventures.com/collection/independence-kanas-army-flying-school-1943/ : published 2020); Independence Army Flying School 1943 Yearbook (Independence, Kansas, 1943), from the collection of Lt. Col. Ernest L. Faulkner; privately held by the Faulkner–Hull Collection, Massachusetts.