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Curtis Lemay - Father of the Strategic Air Command

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Curtis LeMay, Father of the Strategic Air Command

"Curtis E. May (1906-1990) was one of the outstanding combat leaders of World War II who helped lead the strategic bombing of Japan and Germany, built the Strategic Air Command, and was Air Force chief of staff from 1961 to 1965." (Encyclopedia of Word Biography, 2004) Curtis E. LeMay's life as well as his military's career was the epitome for the development of U.S. military forces as America progressed from segregation in the 1930s to the superpower as we know it today. During the 1930s, Curtis assisted and aided in the ideas and equipment that America used in World War II. Early in his career, Curtis participated in assisting the Army's support of the Civilian Conservation Corps where he helped Franklin D. Roosevelt fly mail when the Air Corps needed it delivered, where he got his title as a pioneer of aerial navigation. Because of that training, he was widely known as one of the best navigators as well as pilot in the Air Corps.

After some extensive reading, this book does not mention the details surrounding the events that LeMay participated in. "The decision to reverse three decades of American airpower doctrine with incendiary attacks against Japanese cities raises profound questions of morality and legality." (Meilinger, 2011) Ultimately LeMay experience and expertise was recognized as the epitome of strategic bombing. There are critics out there that are judging LeMays potential decision to use bombs over the cities of Japan, but when General Arnold ordered him, they were extremely justified. The manufacturing industry in Japan resembled Germany at the time. There were large manufacturing plants there, but they were supplied with parts made in home ran based industries. They were situated in residential areas of the cities, and the main building material used in Japan at the time was wood and paper.


"Curtis E. LeMay." Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2004. Retrieved June 29, 2011 from

Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3404703813.html

Meilinger, Phillip. (2011). American airpower biography: a survey of the field. Retrieved from




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