Academic journal article Air Power History

So Far from Home: Royal Air Force and Free French Air Force Flight Training at Maxwell and Gunter Fields during World War II

Academic journal article Air Power History

So Far from Home: Royal Air Force and Free French Air Force Flight Training at Maxwell and Gunter Fields during World War II

Article excerpt

So Far from Home: Royal Air Force and Free French Air Force Flight Training at Maxwell and Gunter Fields during World War II. By Robert B. Kane. Montgomery Ala.: New South Books, 2016. Tables. Photographs. Notes. Appendices. Bibliography. Index. Pp. xii, 139. $23.95 paperback. ISBN: 978-1-60306-369-2 (print); 978-1-60306-370-8 (ebook).

Robert Kane became director of history at Air University, Maxwell AFB, Alabama, in 2010. In this, his first book, he has tackled a relatively obscure but important topic--how the Army Air Forces undertook the flight training of British and French pilot candidates during World War II.

Hanging on against Nazi Germany in the first 18 months of the European war, Britain desperately needed more flight crews. One way to increase the numbers was to ship prospective candidates to North America, first to Canada and then to the United States. However, the United States was officially neutral. The Roosevelt administration overcame this obstacle by concluding that such training could fall under the auspices of the Lend-Lease Act passed by Congress in March 1941.

By late summer 1941, the program was well underway. British service members were training side by side with Americans. In addition to providing training, Maxwell served as the regional administrative hub for flight training, a responsibility that also included civilian contractors. …

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