17 de febrero de 1943

17 de febrero de 1943

17 de febrero de 1943

Guerra en el mar

Submarino alemán U-201 hundido con todas las manos fuera de Terranova

Submarino alemán U-205 hundido frente a Cyrenaica

Submarino italiano Asteria hundido después de ser gravemente dañado por los destructores británicos Easton y Wheatland.

África del Norte

El contraataque alemán llega a Kasserine, Feriana y Sbeitla

El 8. ° ejército británico captura Medenine



168.a infantería estadounidense y última parada n. ° 8217 en Kasserine Pass

El segundo batallón, 16o regimiento de infantería del ejército de los Estados Unidos marcha a través del paso de Kasserine y continúa hacia Kasserine y Farriana, Túnez el 26 de febrero de 1943

El malestar de Estados Unidos en el Kasserine Pass iba a continuar durante varios días. Aunque el Ejército de los Estados Unidos trajo refuerzos rápidamente y endureció la línea, había muchos grupos de hombres que habían soportado la peor parte del ataque inicial que no habían sido capturados.

El coronel Thomas D. Drake de la 168ª Infantería quedó al mando de un grupo mixto de unos 400 hombres. Fueron aislados de otras unidades estadounidenses y estaban tratando de regresar a las líneas estadounidenses caminando a través del país. Cuando intentaron cruzar una carretera, una columna motorizada alemana les disparó por la carretera. Fue aquí donde tuvieron que hacer una última resistencia. El coronel Drake iba a escribir un informe oficial del encuentro para el ejército de los Estados Unidos algún tiempo después. En este informe se refiere a sí mismo en tercera persona al describir los hechos del 17 de febrero:

El enemigo se detuvo y comenzó a saltar de sus camiones, mientras que los tanques enemigos inmediatamente comenzaron a rodear la columna estadounidense. Un avión estadounidense sobrevoló en este punto y abrió fuego contra la columna. Nuestros hombres, con la moral en alza, pensaron que era el apoyo aéreo prometido, pero aparentemente era un luchador de noche solitario, un poco tarde para regresar de su misión.

Un camión alemán fue alcanzado e incendiado. El coronel Drake desplegó inmediatamente su mando mixto y abrió fuego con las armas que tenían. En ese momento había unos 400 hombres en el mando y no más de la mitad de ellos estaban armados.

El coronel Drake pidió voluntarios de un oficial y hombres el oficial para llevar al grupo de hombres a un montículo en su retaguardia mientras la infantería alemana corría para rodearlos. El primer teniente William Rogers, oficial de enlace de artillería de la 91a artillería blindada, se ofreció como voluntario para liderar a los doce hombres y los instó a que lo siguieran. Ganaron el terreno deseado, una pequeña loma en el desierto, y pudieron mantener a raya al enemigo durante aproximadamente una hora. Al final de la hora, el teniente Rogers y todos sus hombres habían sido asesinados.

Los alemanes subieron varios tanques, todos con tigres amarillos pintados en los costados y abrieron fuego. También establecieron posiciones de ametralladora y lo complementaron con fuego de rifle. Mientras hacían esto, su infantería rodeó completamente a la pequeña fuerza estadounidense. Después de tres horas y media de lucha, el poder de fuego estadounidense disminuyó y luego prácticamente cesó ya que los hombres se quedaron sin municiones o se habían convertido en víctimas. Finalmente, un vehículo blindado con una bandera blanca entró corriendo en el círculo estadounidense.

El coronel Drake ordenó a sus hombres que apartaran el coche. Cuando el automóvil no respondió, ordenó a sus hombres que dispararan contra el automóvil alemán. Algunos de los hombres comenzaron a disparar pero otros no pudieron, ya que no tenían municiones y luego comenzaron a rendirse en pequeños grupos.

Los tanques alemanes entraron siguiendo ese vehículo sin ninguna negociación para la rendición. Los alemanes habían utilizado la bandera blanca como subterfugio para entrar en el círculo de defensa sin provocar fuego. Sus tanques se acercaron desde todas las direcciones cortando las fuerzas del coronel Drake y # 8217 en pequeños grupos.

Los hombres que no se rindieron fueron asesinados por los alemanes. Un tanque se acercó al coronel Drake y un oficial alemán que le apuntaba con un rifle gritó: "Coronel, ríndete". El coronel respondió: "Vete al infierno" y le dio la espalda. Luego se alejó y dos soldados alemanes con rifles lo siguieron a una distancia de unos cincuenta metros. El coronel Drake fue detenido entonces por un mayor alemán que hablaba bien inglés y se le pidió que se subiera al automóvil del Mayor Alemán y # 8217, donde lo llevaron al Cuartel General de la División de Alemania.

El Coronel Drake fue llevado ante el General Schmidt, Comandante de Grupo de las Divisiones Panzer 10 y 21 en el Cuartel General de la División Alemana, donde el General Alemán inmediatamente se adelantó para verlo, se detuvo en posición de firmes, saludó y dijo: & # 8220 Quiero felicitar su comando. por la espléndida lucha que libraron. Fue algo inútil desde el principio, pero lucharon como verdaderos soldados. & # 8221

El comandante alemán le prometió al coronel Drake que todos los heridos estadounidenses serían atendidos y que podría dejar que el personal médico estadounidense los cuidara adecuadamente, pero inmediatamente después de que el coronel Drake abandonara el campo, el personal médico estadounidense fue llevado como prisionero y el estadounidense muertos y heridos abandonados a los estragos de los árabes, quienes procedieron a desnudar a los muertos y heridos ya golpear insensibles a los heridos que protestaban por el despojo de sus ropas.

Los prisioneros estadounidenses se reunieron en grupo y, bajo vigilancia, marcharon de regreso durante la tarde y la noche a lo largo del camino hacia DJ. LESSOUDA. Aquellos estadounidenses que resultaron levemente heridos o que se enfermaron debido a la fatiga, la falta de comida y agua y no pudieron seguir el ritmo de la columna fueron golpeados sin piedad con bayoneta o fusilados. Muchos caminaban descalzos porque los árabes les habían quitado los zapatos bajo la supervisión de los soldados alemanes.

Prisioneros de guerra

Los hombres habían sido abandonados al robo sistemático de los soldados alemanes y algunos oficiales subalternos, durante un período de aproximadamente media hora. Durante este tiempo, se registraron minuciosamente los bolsillos y los kits, a menudo en la punta del rifle o la bayoneta presentada en el vientre desprotegido y se incautaron sin piedad relojes, anillos, carteras, bolígrafos y todos los objetos de valor. Luego vistieron formados en una columna de cuatro, oficiales a la cabeza, y comenzaron a la retaguardia. Tres tanques alemanes subieron a la retaguardia de la columna, que estaba flanqueada por guardias armados, esperando para atacar, disparar con bayoneta o disparar, a cualquiera que por cualquier motivo se rezagara.

Todo el día marcharon por las arenas del desierto con una sed insoportable casi insoportable. El coronel Drake apeló al comandante alemán en nombre de la humanidad común para que les diera un trago de agua a los hombres, pero se encontró con la declaración: & # 8220Sólo tenemos suficiente para nuestras tropas & # 8221 Cerca de la medianoche finalmente se detuvieron para el horas restantes de oscuridad. Los hombres fueron conducidos en círculo en el desierto abierto y allí prácticamente se congelaron en el frío penetrante de la noche de Aftican.

THOMAS D. DRAKE, 015364 Coronel, G.S.C., WDGS (Anteriormente al mando de la 168th Inf)

Otra vista del terreno de la zona. Un tanque mediano M3 & # 8220Lee & # 8221 de la 1ra División Blindada de EE. UU. Durante la Batalla del Paso Kasserine, Túnez.


WW II B-17 Survival Story & # 8211 ¡Prácticamente reducido a la mitad por una colisión en el aire con un caza alemán, la tripulación volvió a casa!

El 1 de febrero de 1943, hubo una colisión en el aire entre un bombardero B-17 y un avión de combate alemán sobre el área del muelle de Túnez en Túnez, África del Norte. Las imágenes del bombardero dañado se convirtieron en algunas de las fotografías más legendarias de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Comienza cuando un caza enemigo, atacando la formación del 97 ° Grupo de Bombarderos, que presumiblemente tenía un piloto herido, estaba girando fuera de control y se estrelló contra la parte trasera del fuselaje de un bombardero B-17 Flying Fortress que se llamaba 'All American . & # 8217 El B-17 fue pilotado por el teniente Kendrick R. Bragg, del 414 ° Escuadrón de Bombas. La nave de combate alemana se rompió cuando golpeó la Fortaleza, pero dejó algunas piezas en el bombardero.

El elevador izquierdo y el estabilizador horizontal izquierdo del B-17 fueron completamente arrancados. Las radios, el sistema de oxígeno y el sistema eléctrico resultaron gravemente dañados. El estabilizador vertical y el timón habían sido destrozados. El fuselaje se había dividido casi por completo a través de solo dos partes pequeñas del marco y el corte en el cuerpo principal llegaba hasta la posición de disparo de los mejores artilleros.

Ambos motores de estribor estaban apagados, y un motor en el lado de babor tenía una fuga severa en la bomba de aceite, y también había un agujero en la parte superior del bombardero que tenía más de 4 pies de ancho en su punto más ancho y 16 pies de largo. .

La sección de la cola en realidad se bamboleaba y rebotaba durante el vuelo y se retorcía cuando el avión giraba. Todos los cables de control estaban desconectados, excepto un solo cable de ascensor que aún funcionaba. Milagrosamente & # 8211 ¡la Fortaleza Voladora todavía volaba!

No había piso que conectara la sección de cola con el resto del avión, por lo que el artillero de cola del bombardero quedó atrapado. Los artilleros de la sección media y los artilleros de la sección de la cola utilizaron algunas de las partes del caza alemán que estaban alojadas en el B-17 y sus propios grilletes de paracaídas para evitar que la cola se rompiera y tratar de mantener unidos los dos lados del fuselaje.

Mientras la tripulación trabajaba febrilmente para evitar que el bombardero se desgarrara, el piloto continuó hacia su objetivo y lanzó con éxito sus bombas.

Cuando el piloto abrió las puertas de la bahía de bombas, la inestabilidad del B-17 y la turbulencia del viento fue tan grande que impulsó a uno de los artilleros de la sección media hacia la sección de cola rota. Cuatro miembros de la tripulación tardaron varios minutos en pasarle el cordón de los paracaídas y llevarlo de regreso a la parte delantera del avión.

Pensaron en hacer lo mismo con el artillero de cola, pero no tuvieron en cuenta que el artillero proporcionaba un peso estable para la sección de cola, por lo que regresó cuando la cola comenzaba a romperse.

Después de la finalización de la carrera de bombardeo, el tren de regreso a Inglaterra tenía que ser muy lento y meticuloso para que la cola no se rompiera. El giro a casa en el devastado B-17 en realidad cubrió casi 70 millas.

La Fortaleza Voladora estaba tan seriamente dañada que la altitud estaba disminuyendo lentamente, estaba perdiendo velocidad y pronto volaba sola en el cielo. De camino a casa, el B-17 tuvo un breve encuentro con dos cazas ME-109 de la Luftwaffe más.

Los ametralladores pudieron repeler estos asaltos a pesar del daño generalizado y rápidamente ahuyentaron a los combatientes. Los dos artilleros de la sección media tuvieron que pararse con la cabeza sobresaliendo por el agujero en la parte superior de la sección principal del bombardero para disparar sus ametralladoras.

El artillero de cola estaba en una situación extraña ya que estaba disparando, el retroceso del arma estaba haciendo que el avión girara, por lo que decidió que podía disparar en ráfagas cortas.

Los cazas P-51 que despegaban de Inglaterra se encontraron con la Fortaleza Voladora "All American" cuando cruzaba el Canal de la Mancha y tomaron una de las fotografías que se hicieron instantáneamente famosas. Se pusieron en contacto con el cuartel general de la base y les contaron que el conjunto de la cola se agitaba como la cola de un pez y que el avión no llegaría a aterrizar.

Los pilotos sugirieron que se enviaran botes para rescatar a la tripulación cuando rescataran. El teniente Bragg estaba transmitiendo mensajes a los pilotos del P-51 con señales de mano mientras volaban junto al B-17 y los pilotos, a su vez, pasaban los mensajes al comando de la base.

El teniente Bragg comunicó que todos los paracaídas se habían utilizado para reparar secciones del avión, por lo que la tripulación no pudo rescatar. Les dijo a los pilotos que, dado que no podían escapar, él se quedaría con el bombardero y lo aterrizaría.

La Fortaleza Voladora hizo su giro final hacia la pista dos horas y media después de haber sido casi destruida, cuando aún estaba a más de 40 millas de distancia. Cayó en picada a una situación de emergencia y un aterrizaje de panza con las ruedas arriba.

La ambulancia fue despedida cuando se detuvo porque ningún miembro de la tripulación había resultado herido. Era increíble que el B-17 todavía pudiera volar en tal estado de deterioro.

La Fortaleza se sentó tranquilamente en la pista hasta que cada miembro de la tripulación se bajó del avión a través del agujero en el fuselaje y el artillero de cola había bajado una escalera, momento en el que la sección trasera completa de la aeronave cayó al suelo. El viejo pájaro rudo había completado su misión.

B-17 & # 8220 All American & # 8221 (414th Squadron, 97BG) Tripulación
Piloto- Ken Bragg Jr.
Copiloto- G. Boyd Jr.
Navegante- Harry C. Nuestrossle
Bombardier- Ralph Burbridge
Ingeniero- Joe C. James
Operador de radio: Paul A. Galloway
Artillero de torreta de bolas - Elton Conda
Artillero de cintura- Michael Zuk
Artillero de cola: Sam T. Sarpolus
Jefe de equipo de tierra: Hank Hyland

Video

Del diario del teniente coronel Kermit D. Wooldridge, escuadrón de bombas 525, grupo de bombas 379, fuerza aérea 8. La delgada línea entre la vida y la muerte se describe con sus propias palabras en una entrada del diario fechada el 17 de julio de 1943.


Borger Daily Herald (Borger, Texas), vol. 17, N ° 77, Ed. 1 Domingo 21 de febrero de 1943

Periódico diario de Borger, Texas que incluye noticias locales, estatales y nacionales junto con amplia publicidad.

Descripción física

ocho páginas: mal. página 22 x 18 pulg. Digitalizada desde 35 mm. microfilm.

Información de creación

Contexto

Esta periódico es parte de la colección titulada: Programa de periódicos digitales de Texas y fue proporcionada por la biblioteca del condado de Hutchinson, sucursal de Borger a The Portal to Texas History, un depósito digital alojado por las bibliotecas de UNT. Ha sido visto 22 veces. Más información sobre este problema se puede ver a continuación.

Personas y organizaciones asociadas con la creación de este periódico o su contenido.

Editor

Editor

Audiencias

¡Consulte nuestro sitio de Recursos para educadores! Hemos identificado esto periódico como un fuente principal dentro de nuestras colecciones. Los investigadores, educadores y estudiantes pueden encontrar útil este tema en su trabajo.

Proporcionado por

Biblioteca del condado de Hutchinson, sucursal de Borger

La biblioteca del condado de Hutchinson se esfuerza por brindar servicios de manera justa y equitativa a todas las personas y grupos de la comunidad. Su objetivo es ser una fuente de aprendizaje permanente para ayudar a satisfacer la necesidad de información y respuestas a preguntas generales de todos los ámbitos de la vida. También contiene la Sociedad Genealógica del Condado de Hutchinson.


El motín racial de Detroit de 1943

El 20 de junio de 1943, estalló una pelea entre los afroamericanos y los blancos de Detroit que pasaban el domingo en Belle Isle, el gran parque de la ciudad en medio del río Detroit. La lucha se extendió por el continente y los rumores atravesaron la ciudad, avivando las tensiones raciales que habían estado aumentando y amenazaban con convertirse en violencia durante meses. Los disturbios se extendieron, con pocos intentos por parte de la policía de detenerlos (de hecho, muchas pruebas apuntan a que muchos policías blancos facilitaron e incluso participaron en la violencia contra los afroamericanos), y cuando el presidente Franklin Roosevelt envió tropas federales en la noche de junio 21, cientos habían resultado heridos y 34 personas habían muerto: 25 afroamericanos (17 de los cuales fueron baleados por la policía) y 9 blancos. De los arrestos realizados posteriormente, el 85% eran afroamericanos.

Muchos factores contribuyeron a la tensión que finalmente se liberó durante los disturbios raciales de 1943. Con la entrada de Estados Unidos en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, las fábricas de automóviles de Detroit se convirtieron en material de fabricación para el esfuerzo bélico. Como resultado, Detroit experimentó una gran afluencia de personas de todo el país para cubrir los puestos de trabajo creados por la demanda de la guerra. Entre 1940 y 1943, la población de Detroit aumentó en aproximadamente 500.000, aproximadamente un tercio de su población anterior. Muchos de los recién llegados eran sureños blancos que a menudo traían consigo una tradición de discriminación contra los afroamericanos. Los negros también acudían en masa a la ciudad y, con frecuencia, había competencia por los puestos de trabajo.

Paros laborales relacionados con el avance afroamericano.

Al mismo tiempo, United Auto Workers (UAW) estaba ganando fuerza en sus esfuerzos por organizar a los trabajadores de las fábricas. La UAW apoyó la igualdad racial y abogó por miembros de todas las razas. A pesar de este apoyo, los trabajadores blancos resentidos solían convocar huelgas cuando los trabajadores negros ganaban ascensos. Estas huelgas por el avance de los afroamericanos contribuyeron a la tensión racial en la ciudad.

La vivienda presentó otro problema. Durante años, la mayoría de los negros habían estado aislados en algunos barrios de la ciudad, como Black Bottom y Paradise Valley. Las viviendas en estos barrios marginales eran pésimas y estaban extremadamente superpobladas. Especialmente a medida que la población crecía, la gente necesitaba cada vez más viviendas adecuadas. En 1941, el gobierno federal decidió construir un proyecto de viviendas en el noroeste de Detroit para trabajadores de defensa afroamericanos llamado Sojourner Truth Housing Project. La agitación de la comunidad blanca convenció al gobierno de cambiar el proyecto para acomodar a los inquilinos blancos. Este cambio provocó una protesta no solo de los defensores de los derechos civiles y la comunidad afroamericana, sino también del alcalde Edward Jeffries. El gobierno volvió a revocar su decisión y devolvió el proyecto a los inquilinos negros. Cuando llegó el día de la mudanza a fines de febrero de 1942, multitudes blancas sometieron a las familias afroamericanas al acoso y la violencia. Finalmente, las fuerzas de seguridad se desplegaron en abril para intimidar a los provocadores blancos, y finalmente las familias afroamericanas comenzaron a ocupar el proyecto de viviendas. Muchos ven este incidente como un precursor de los disturbios de 1943.

El UAW y otros que luchan por la igualdad racial a menudo apelaron al patriotismo como punto de reunión. A menudo se lamentó que tal animosidad racial solo alimenta a las potencias del Eje, que luego pueden afirmar que los Aliados no son más tolerantes que ellos. Además, los problemas presentados por la falta de vivienda y los propios disturbios a menudo se cuantificaron en el número de horas-hombre perdidas por el esfuerzo de guerra.

Si bien otros factores como la corrupción política, la falta de representación afroamericana en la fuerza policial, la falta de instalaciones recreativas adecuadas y los agitadores racistas contribuyeron a los disturbios de 1943, la competencia por el empleo y la vivienda desempeñó los papeles más importantes. A fines de 1943, como respuesta a los disturbios, el alcalde Jeffries nombró al Comité Interracial para hacer recomendaciones diseñadas para mejorar los servicios gubernamentales que afectan las relaciones raciales para investigar y abordar situaciones de discriminación y tensión racial y producir programas informativos para aumentar el entendimiento mutuo dentro de la comunidad. comunidad.

Aquellos interesados ​​en seguir investigando los disturbios raciales de 1943 en Detroit pueden encontrar muchos recursos en la Biblioteca Reuther. Las fotos del evento y sus secuelas se pueden ver en nuestra galería de imágenes, y se puede encontrar una descripción general en nuestro archivo vertical. Los documentos de Lewis B. Larkin, los registros de la sucursal de Detroit de la NAACP y los registros del Departamento de Derechos Humanos de la Comisión de Relaciones Comunitarias de Detroit (DCCR), que se desarrollaron a partir del Comité Interracial, brindan información sobre los disturbios de 1943. Los documentos de Charles A. Hill ofrecen información sobre el proyecto de vivienda Sojourner Truth de 1942.

Johanna Russ fue archivista de la Federación Estadounidense de Empleados Estatales, del Condado y Municipales (AFSCME) desde 2008 hasta 2013.


17 de febrero de 1943 - Historia

Nuestros editores revisarán lo que ha enviado y determinarán si deben revisar el artículo.

B-17, también llamado Fortaleza voladora, Bombardero pesado estadounidense utilizado durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. El B-17 fue diseñado por Boeing Aircraft Company en respuesta a una especificación del Cuerpo Aéreo del Ejército de 1934 que requería un bombardero cuatrimotor en un momento en que dos motores eran la norma.

El bombardero estaba destinado desde el principio a atacar objetivos estratégicos mediante bombardeos diurnos de precisión, penetrando profundamente en el territorio enemigo volando por encima del alcance efectivo de la artillería antiaérea. Los motores radiales turbo sobrealimentados (un desarrollo exclusivamente estadounidense) debían proporcionar el rendimiento necesario a gran altitud, y el armamento defensivo pesado debía proporcionar protección contra los cazas atacantes. La precisión se lograría con el visor de bombas Norden, desarrollado y desplegado en gran secreto durante la década de 1930. El Norden consistía en una mira telescópica estabilizada giroscópicamente acoplada a una computadora electromecánica en la que el bombardero introducía datos de altitud, condiciones atmosféricas, velocidad del aire, velocidad respecto al suelo y deriva. Durante la ejecución de la bomba, la mira estaba subordinada al piloto automático para guiar la aeronave al punto de liberación preciso. En manos de un hábil bombardero, el Norden era una vista extraordinariamente precisa.

El primer prototipo de bombardero voló a mediados de 1935, y el B-17 entró en producción a pequeña escala en 1937. Las primeras versiones demostraron ser más vulnerables al ataque de los cazas de lo previsto, pero cuando la versión B-17E comenzó a comercializarse poco antes de que Estados Unidos entrara en la guerra en 1941, el avión estaba equipado con torretas en la parte superior del fuselaje, el vientre y la cola. Todas excepto la última torreta eran accionadas por motor y cada una montaba un par de ametralladoras de calibre 0,50 (12,7 mm). Este aumento de la potencia de fuego convirtió al B-17 en un oponente formidable para los cazas enemigos, particularmente cuando volaba en formaciones defensivas apiladas para protección mutua. El elemento básico de una formación típica era una “caja” de escuadrón de 9 o 12 aviones, tres cajas de escuadrón escalonadas verticalmente y horizontalmente formaban un grupo, y tres grupos en la pista formaban un ala de combate. En el caso, la necesidad de mantener formaciones defensivas tan estrechas sobre Europa comprometió la precisión de la mira de Norden, ya que no era posible ejecutar bombas individuales sin romper la formación. Las formaciones de bombas enteras tuvieron que dejar caer sus cargas en el comando del bombardero líder, y las inevitables pequeñas diferencias en el tiempo y el rumbo llevaron a patrones de bombas dispersas.

La versión definitiva del B-17 fue el modelo G, que entró en servicio en el verano de 1943. Armado con no menos de 13 ametralladoras calibre 0.50, incluidas dos en una nueva torreta de “mentón” para la defensa contra ataques frontales. , el B-17G estaba bastante erizado de ametralladoras. Fue operado por una tripulación de 10, incluidos el piloto, el copiloto, el navegador-radiotelegrafista, el bombardero y los artilleros. El techo de servicio del avión de 25.000 a 35.000 pies (7.500 a 10.500 metros), dependiendo de la carga de la bomba, lo colocó por encima de lo peor de la artillería antiaérea alemana, pero, a pesar de la potencia de fuego, las formaciones de B-17 demostraron ser incapaces de abrirse camino sin escolta. a objetivos en lo más profundo de Alemania frente a una decidida oposición de luchadores sin incurrir en pérdidas excesivas. Las redadas profundas se cancelaron a mediados de octubre de 1943 y no se reanudaron hasta febrero de 1944, cuando los cazas de escolta de largo alcance como el P-51 Mustang estuvieron disponibles. Una carga de bomba de 4.000 libras (1.800 kg) era típica para misiones largas, aunque el B-17 podía transportar hasta 8.000 libras (3.600 kg) internamente para distancias más cortas a altitudes más bajas e incluso más en bastidores externos debajo de las alas. Estas cargas de bombas aumentadas se utilizaron con buenos resultados en ataques contra las industrias aeronáutica y petrolera alemanas antes de la invasión de Normandía de junio de 1944 y en incursiones de "bombardeo de alfombra" en apoyo de la ruptura aliada en Bretaña y el norte de Francia a finales de ese verano.

Al compartir la producción con las compañías Douglas, Lockheed y Vega, Boeing supervisó la fabricación de unas 12.730 fortalezas voladoras, casi todas comprometidas con bombardeos a gran altura sobre Europa. Aunque producido en menor número que su socio, el B-24 Liberator, el B-17, con un rendimiento superior a gran altitud y una mayor resistencia al daño de batalla, fue el pilar de la campaña de bombardeo estratégico. El B-17 tenía excelentes características de vuelo y, a diferencia del B-24, era casi universalmente bien considerado por quienes lo volaban. Dejado obsoleto por el B-29 Superfortress más grande y poderoso, el B-17 sirvió después de la guerra en pequeñas cantidades como un avión de búsqueda y rescate modificado para lanzar balsas salvavidas en paracaídas.


Fondo

Al mando del contralmirante Monzo Akiyama, las tropas japonesas en las Marshalls consistían en la 6ª Fuerza Base, que originalmente contaba con alrededor de 8.100 hombres y 110 aviones. Si bien era una fuerza relativamente grande, la fuerza de Akiyama se diluyó por el requisito de extender su mando sobre todos los Marshalls. Además, gran parte del mando de Akiyama incluía detalles de mano de obra / construcción o tropas navales con poco entrenamiento de infantería. Como resultado, Akiyama solo pudo reunir alrededor de 4,000 efectivos. Anticipándose a que el asalto golpearía primero a una de las islas periféricas, colocó a la mayoría de sus hombres en Jaluit, Millie, Maloelap y Wotje.

Planes Americanos

En noviembre de 1943, los ataques aéreos estadounidenses comenzaron eliminando el poder aéreo de Akiyama, destruyendo 71 aviones. Estos fueron reemplazados parcialmente por refuerzos traídos desde Truk durante las siguientes semanas. En el lado aliado, el almirante Chester Nimitz inicialmente planeó una serie de ataques en las islas exteriores de las Marshalls, pero al recibir noticias de la disposición de las tropas japonesas a través de interceptaciones de radio ULTRA decidió cambiar su enfoque.

En lugar de asaltar donde las defensas de Akiyama eran más fuertes, Nimitz ordenó a sus fuerzas que se movieran contra el atolón Kwajalein en las Marshalls centrales. Atacando el 31 de enero de 1944, la 5.ª Fuerza Anfibia del Contraalmirante Richmond K. Turner desembarcó elementos del V Cuerpo Anfibio del Mayor General Holland M. Smith en las islas que formaban el atolón. Con el apoyo de los portaaviones del contralmirante Marc A. Mitscher, las fuerzas estadounidenses aseguraron Kwajalein en cuatro días.

Cambio de línea de tiempo

Con la rápida captura de Kwajalein, Nimitz voló desde Pearl Harbor para reunirse con sus comandantes. Las discusiones resultantes llevaron a la decisión de actuar de inmediato contra el atolón Eniwetok, a 330 millas al noroeste. Inicialmente programada para mayo, la invasión de Eniwetok fue asignada al mando del general de brigada Thomas E. Watson, que se centró en el 22º Regimiento de Infantería de Marina y el 106º Regimiento de Infantería. Avanzado hasta mediados de febrero, los planes para capturar el atolón requerían desembarcos en tres de sus islas: Engebi, Eniwetok y Parry.


Wheels West Day en Susanville History & # 8211 17 de febrero de 1943

La familia de ocho miembros de Chester Van Etten ha hecho todo lo posible por servir al Tío Sam.

La Sra. Van Etten es ayudante de electricista en Maxwell Field en Sacramento, su esposo, Chester Van Etten, se alistó en la marina y ahora está destinado en Virginia, un hijo, Billy Ramser, alistado en el cuerpo aéreo del ejército, Arcadia, California, acaba de completó su vuelo en solitario, otro hijo, James Ramser, en la marina, se encuentra ahora en Ames, Iowa y un tercer hijo, OW Ramser, alistado en la marina, ha visto acción en Pearl Harbor.

Una hija, la Sra. Willa McDow, y una nuera, Donna Ramser, están haciendo trabajo de oficina en Maxwell Field, Sacramento, mientras que una segunda nuera, Joyce Ramser, trabaja en el trabajo de defensa en Herlong.

Los cadetes ayudan en la recaudación de fondos

Uno de los gestos más generosos y espontáneos de donación de fondos en el condado de Lassen desde el comienzo de la guerra, siguió a una carta de la oficina regional solicitando una contribución de 10 centavos por cada cadete de la escuela de entrenamiento de guerra de aeronáutica civil en Susanville para el Fundación Parálisis Infantil.

Según el teniente oficial naval residente. F. O. Reed, cuando hizo el anuncio a los niños, solicitando una posible donación de 25 centavos si se sentían capaces de pagarla, resultó en una subasta instantánea y entusiasta. Los muchachos plantearon cada oferta hecha para superarse unos a otros en sus contribuciones. En una hora se recaudó la suma de más de $ 500, una cantidad total de más de $ 6,50 por cadete. Se sabía que dos de los cadetes habían contribuido con 25 dólares cada uno.

Según los oficiales de la escuela, el espíritu de los cadetes es aún más notable si se tiene en cuenta que su salario mensual asciende a 75 dólares.


A lo largo de la guerra se hizo una distinción entre entrenamiento individual, por un lado, y entrenamiento de la tripulación y la unidad, por el otro. El primero preparó a los estudiantes en sus especialidades individuales, como piloto, navegante o artillero, el segundo enseñó a esos individuos a trabajar eficazmente en equipo. Después de julio de 1940, el entrenamiento individual del personal de vuelo fue principalmente función de los tres centros de entrenamiento del Cuerpo Aéreo, que operaban bajo la dirección de la Oficina del Jefe del Cuerpo Aéreo. En febrero de 1942 se delegó esta función a un único Comando de Entrenamiento Volador, que, como se recordará, en 1943 se fusionó con el Comando de Entrenamiento Técnico para formar el Comando de Entrenamiento, con sede en Fort Worth, Texas. El entrenamiento de la tripulación y la unidad de combate se llevó a cabo desde principios de 1941 por las cuatro fuerzas aéreas continentales.

Entrenamiento previo al vuelo

Como había sido el caso en la Primera Guerra Mundial, cuando se establecieron escuelas terrestres para cadetes aéreos en universidades seleccionadas en todo el país, se hizo necesario proporcionar a los posibles pilotos, bombarderos y navegantes una amplia instrucción previa al vuelo antes de su asignación a las escuelas de vuelo. . Durante el intervalo entre las dos guerras esto no había sido necesario. El pequeño establecimiento aéreo en tiempos de paz permitió el establecimiento de altos requisitos educativos para la selección de cadetes, y se permitió suficiente tiempo para el adoctrinamiento militar en las escuelas de vuelo. La rápida expansión que comenzó en 1939, sin embargo, presentó problemas especiales de entrenamiento militar.

para los posibles oficiales - líderes de las tripulaciones de combate, y la necesidad temprana de rebajar los estándares educativos para la admisión a los programas de cadetes obligó a prestar atención a los medios por los cuales se podía asegurar un nivel mínimo de preparación académica. La escuela de verificación previa proporcionó una solución a este problema de dos caras. 1

En febrero de 1941, el Departamento de Guerra autorizó el establecimiento de tres centros de entrenamiento de reemplazo del Cuerpo Aéreo para la clasificación e instrucción previa al vuelo de los candidatos para el entrenamiento de piloto, bombardero y navegante. La designación oficial de "escuela previa al vuelo" se autorizó el 30 de abril de 1942 y se eliminó el término centro de capacitación de reemplazo. En ese momento, las escuelas de verificación previa estaban en funcionamiento en Maxwell Field, Alabama Kelly y Ellington Fields, Texas y la Base Aérea del Ejército de Santa Ana, California. La escuela en Kelly Field fue trasladada poco después a un sitio contiguo, designado Centro de Cadetes de Aviación de San Antonio.

Hubo una diferencia de opinión en cuanto a si los candidatos a piloto y no piloto deberían ser asignados a la misma escuela previa al vuelo. Al principio, todos los alumnos estaban incluidos en la misma organización, pero poco después se crearon escuelas independientes. La regla general de formación separada, aunque similar, se siguió hasta abril de 1944. Para entonces, la tendencia a la baja en el número de estudiantes exigía la consolidación, y el Comando de Formación ordenó que se combinaran las escuelas de pilotos y bombarderos-navegantes. A partir de entonces, los estudiantes ingresaron a las escuelas de verificación previa con solo una clasificación general de tripulación aérea y no fueron asignados a una especialidad hasta cerca del final del curso de verificación previa. A medida que la guerra llegó a su punto culminante, la escuela unificada demostró ser más adaptable a las cambiantes demandas de cada tipo de personal de la tripulación aérea. En noviembre de 1944, cuando el flujo de estudiantes se había reducido a un goteo, toda la capacitación se consolidó en una escuela previa al vuelo en el Centro de Cadetes de Aviación de San Antonio. 2

Aunque existía un acuerdo sobre la necesidad de algún tipo de formación previa al vuelo, las ideas sobre el contenido del curso eran vagas cuando se abrieron las escuelas. Al anunciar la decisión de llevar a cabo dicha instrucción, OCAC declaró que el período de verificación previa consistiría en & quot; entrenamiento físico, entrenamiento militar, atletismo supervisado y el procesamiento completo de los estudiantes asignados & quot; así como & quot; instrucción y entrenamiento adicional como sea posible. . . 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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Ver el vídeo: Liberación. Película 4ta. Batalla de Berlín 4K, militar, dirigida por Yuri Ozerov, 1971