From the Editor
Neufeld, Jacob, Air Power History
The Fall 2012 issue of Air Power History is the first "digital only" version. Currently, the Air Force Historical Foundation still plans to alternate between printed and electronic versions.
Stephen Craft leads off this issue with an article on primary flight training during World War II. Even before the start of the war, in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt recognized the urgent need to prepare to fight. Tasked to expand the U.S. Army Air Corps, Gen. Henry H, "Hap" Arnold developed a plan to train 4,500 pilots annually. And, because the Air Corps lacked both aircraft and trainers to undertake the mission, Arnold's plan involved the use of civilian contractors and facilities. Some of Arnold's closest subordinates, including "Tooey" Spaatz and Ira Eaker, railed against using civilian contractors. In the end, however, Arnold's plan succeeded far beyond expectations.
In the second article, Richard Dunn analyses the performance of the iconic U.S. fighter plane in the Pacific, the P-38 Lightning. While Dunn readily acknowledges that the P-38 was a stellar performer throughout the war, he is perplexed by references that Rabaul was neutralized. Comparing the air combat claims and other factors, by both the Americans and Japanese, Dunn concludes that maybe it was because the P-38 lost at Rabaul. Moreover, he suggests that historians measure the results of other campaigns based on verifiable facts, rather than on claims.
Douglas Dildy was curious about the origin and structure of the North Korean air force. But it was not until the dissolution of the USSR, that the former Soviet Union opened some of its records and, more recently China's archives were opened, that researchers were able to investigate the subject.
In Part I, the author describes the growth of the Korean People's Air Force in the Fatherland Liberation War--we call it the Korean War, 1950-1953. …