By Daniel R. Mortensen, ed.
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Additional resources for Airpower and Ground Armies: Essays on the Evolution of Anglo-American Air Doctrine, 1940-1943
The first pursuit monoplane was the Boeing P-26, which first flew A year later. This does not necessarily indicate that pursuit thinking was less than current, for the wing stress requirements were doubtless greater. But neither is it an indicator that attack aviation was being ignored, unlikely in any event because of the necessity to keep the Army General Staff pacified. 15 Curtiss A-8 Contrary to a common misconception, the Air Corps did not ignore tactical aviation between the wars. The liquid-cooled A-8, circa 1928, which was designed for the air-to- ground attack mission, was the first monoplane in regular line service in the United States.
The minuscule Army would require a long, long time to activate the industrial base and to mobilize significant surface forces. Thus, it made sense to relegate ground support airpower to the Air Guard and Reserves to be mobilized while surface forces were being prepared. Coastal defense units would meanwhile hold off enemy fleets until the armies and their air support units were ready. Many of the maneuvers that were held as late as the mid-1930s employed a scenario of defending against an invading fleet aimed at Panama, Hawaii, or San Francisco.
1748, 1-10. 51 Tedder, 397-98. 52 Spaatz Papers, Library of Congress, box 23, February 1943. 53 Davis, 2: Harry C. Butcher, My Three Years with Eisenhower: The Personal Diary of Captain Harry C. Butcher, USNR, Naval Aide to General Eisenhower. 1942-1945 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1946), 343. 54 Baron Solly Zuckerman, Six Men Out of the Ordinary (London: Peter Owen, 1992), 6566. 99. 55 Tedder, 411. 56 Orange, 146. 57 Davis, 98-103. 58 Orange, 149. 59 Interviews with Maj Frederick S. Wildman and Lt Col C.