Category Archives: World War II

The NACA, World War II Aircraft, and Drag Clean-Up


I have often wondered just what research took place at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) during World War II in relation to “drag clean-up.” John F. Victory, NACA’s secretary boasted in 1942 that “The employees of the NACA … Continue reading

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Video of Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Flyover, May 8, 2015


Recently video premiered at the annual International Council of Airshows convention that captured last May 8th’s Arsenal of Democracy World War II Victory Flyover. This took place in Washington, D.C., and the assembled aircraft are stunning. Here is the video. … Continue reading

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Flying the Hump


Some fighter and bomber pilots jokingly referred to Air Transport Command as an acronym for “allergic to combat.” But the men of the command who flew over the Himalayan mountains during World War II knew better. They delivered more than 650,000 … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Selling War in a Media Age”


Selling War in a Media Age: The Presidency and Public Opinion in the American Century. Edited by Kenneth Osgood and Andrew K. Frank. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2010. Collected works are always problematic. There is always the challenge of … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Eismitte in the Scientific Imagination”


Eismette in the Scientific Imagination: Knowledge and Politics at the Center of Greenland. By Janet Martin-Nielson. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013. Eismette means “middle ice” in German, and this book is about the quest to reach that middle point on … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “WarStars”


WarStars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination. By H. Bruce Franklin. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 2008. Revised and Expanded Edition. Americans have long viewed as necessary to the survival of the United States an absolute protection from foreign attack. … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Path to the Greater, Freer, Truer World”


The Path to the Greater, Freer, Truer World: Southern Civil Rights and Anticolonialism, 1937-1955. By Lindsey R. Swindall. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2014. This is a moderately interesting, marginally satisfactory study of two organizations operating between the 1930s and … Continue reading

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A Short History of Air 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 European belief in the sanctity of life, (2) the high … Continue reading

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United States Aerospace Corporations and the Changing Nature of Global Markets


During the period between the 1960s and the 1990s the share of the market enjoyed by American aerospace manufacturers fell sharply as foreign corporations—either private or state-run—gained greater portions of the market. In 1986, for example, United States high‑technology imports exceeded … Continue reading

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Fielding New Army Air Forces Fighter Aircraft for World War II


During the 1930s the United States fell behind other nations in the development of fighter aircraft. This was explained in part by the Army Air Corps’ concentration on developing long-range bombers. At the opening of the war the U.S. relied … Continue reading

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