Category Archives: World War II

The NACA’s Quietly Effective Director of Research: George W. Lewis


I have been researching the early history of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and decided to share some information about one of its formative leaders. Very few people today have heard of George W. Lewis (Mar. 10, 1882-Jul. … Continue reading

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The Origins of Air/Sea Rescue in World War II


The idea of establishing a specialized and elite force for the rescue of downed aircrews grew out of three interlocked circumstances just before the Second World War: (1) a deep‑seated belief in the sanctity of life, (2) the high expense … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Stars Are Back: The St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, and Player Unrest in 1946″


The Stars Are Back: The St. Louis Cardinals, the Boston Red Sox, and Player Unrest in 1946. By Jerome M. Mileur. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2013. In honor of the opening of the 2013 World Series between the St. … Continue reading

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John J. Ide: The NACA’s “Spy” in Pre-WWII Europe


Most people have never heard of John Jay Ide (Jun. 20, 1892-Jan. 12, 1962), who was an international aviation pioneer and European representative for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). Born at Narragansett Pier, Rhode Island, he was the son … Continue reading

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Notes on a New Book: “Landing in Las Vegas: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Tourist City”


Landing in Las Vegas: Commercial Aviation and the Making of a Tourist City. By Daniel K. Bubb. Las Vegas: University of Nevada Press, 2012. Shepperson Series in Nevada. How did Las Vegas become the gambling capital of the world, outstripping … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “School Book Nation: Conflicts over American History Textbooks from the Civil War to the Present”


School Book Nation: Conflicts over American History Textbooks from the Civil War to the Present. By Joseph Moreau. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003. The premise of School Book Nation: Conflicts over American History Textbooks from the Civil War … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Testing the Limits: Aviation Medicine and the Origins of Manned Space Flight”


Testing the Limits: Aviation Medicine and the Origins of Manned Space Flight. By Maura Phillips Mackowski. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2005. Centennial of Flight Series. Maura Phillips Mackowski has written a very interesting, readable, and significant book that I … Continue reading

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The Federal Government and the Development of Aerospace Technology


Since 1903, the United States has spent hundreds of billions of dollars developing aerospace technology, on the management of the infrastructure necessary to support its operations, and on the military and other practical applications that it affords. Accordingly, through a … Continue reading

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Remembering Wernher von Braun on his 100th Birthday: Blog Repost


I published a blog post on the National Air and Space Museum this morning on the 100th anniversary of the birth of Wernher von Braun. For anyone who might be interested in  reading that post it is here. I wanted to … Continue reading

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Conspiracy Theories in Aerospace History: A Lesson in Critical Thinking for the Internet Age


Check out the educational webinar that I participated in on Friday, October 28. “Conspiracy Theories in Aerospace History: A Lesson in Critical Thinking for the Internet Age” brought together several curators from the National Air and Space Museum, an educator … Continue reading

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