BOMBERS AND THE DEPRESSION THIRTIES
Carl Spaatz's professional direction shifted during the 1930s. Until then, he was recognized as one of the deans of the world of pursuit pilots, and pursuit planes were still considered the mainstay of war in the air. He took command of one of the Air Corps' few bomber units just at the time research was producing the first big bombers with long range and large load capacity and the idea was taking hold that daylight bombers could find and destroy vital centers of the enemy's military and industrial power. In the ensuing years, he helped develop the theory that airpower could cheaply and effectively defend the U.S. against seaborne threats. During the thirties, Spaatz also served again near the seat of power during the airmail crisis (when the army served briefly as the mail carrier for the U.S. Postal Service), and he became an important figure at Langley Field, home of the General Headquarters (GHQ) Air Force and its premier flying unit, the Second Wing. This new air force was, in embryonic form, the organizational expression of the evolving long-range bombing ideas, and the wing at Langley was the first in the Air Corps to receive the new B-17 Flying Fortresses, the technological expression of the same ideas.
Tooey and Ruth arrived in southern California just before the onset of the Great Depression, but their personal world was largely insulated