By Matthew K. Rodman
This paintings makes an attempt to give a correct account of the character of the air conflict within the Southwest Pacific in the course of global conflict II, focusing typically upon the 5th Air strength. The learn doesn't presume to be an all-encompassing operational precis; as an alternative, it goals to supply a consultant photo of yankee bombardment in that sector. This was once a second in historical past while wrestle air energy performed a key position in attaining victory. the writer recounts how the 5th Air strength fast constructed new strategies and approaches that "saved the day." The perfection of low-altitude bombing, strafing, and pass bombing made changes that during hindsight are effortless to acknowledge and quantify. with out them the 5th could have came across itself in an extended, dearer struggle with an doubtful consequence. besides the fact that, those new strategies damage the enemy to the level that the Allies ultimately prevailed. the true worth of this learn lies now not rather a lot in its retelling of important advancements in air energy as in its pushing the necessity for the army to be versatile, adaptive, opportunistic, and entrepreneurial whereas safeguarding center values and capitalizing on center advantage. Many elements make sure good fortune -- practise, assets, wisdom, and backbone to call a couple of. yet none of those have approximately the significance of the artistic skill to evolve successfully to confront the possibility and bring victory.
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Extra info for A War of Their Own: Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific
Col Phillip S. Meilinger, USAF, retired, Airpower: Myths and Facts (Maxwell AFB, AL: Air University Press, 2003), 18. 11. Cox, Beyond the Battle Line, v. 12. 222-52. 13. Air Corps Tactical School, Attack Aviation (Langley Field, VA: ACTS, 1930), 37. 14. Thomas H. Greer, The Development of Air Doctrine in the Army Air Arm, 1917–1941 (Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History, 1985), 67. 15. , 55. 16. 24 B63. 17. , 81. 18. Ibid. 19. , 58–59. 20. , 11–12. 21. , 5. 22. , 6. 23. Finney, History of the Air Corps Tactical School, 63.
Properly executed, these tactics surprised the Japanese—and they had worked. Experiments continued through the fall of 1942. The primary target was Rabaul Harbor, where a few months earlier the Japanese had felt so secure that they disregarded the bomber threat and indiscriminately packed the harbor full of warships and supply ships. On 15 November 1942, the 43d BG again launched on Rabaul at night: McCullar bombed from 1,200 feet and hit the one destroyer he was after. Lieutenant Anderson made one run at 7,000 feet with no hits.
By 2 October 1942, the planes and crews were ready to put their new tactics to the test. The 43d BG took off for Rabaul. Jim Murphy and his crew were among the first trained in lowaltitude B-17 work. That night they broke out [of the weather] at 2,500 feet. Dawn was just breaking and [they were] flying east right into the sun. . [The] bombardier and navigator both saw the huge transport about forty degrees off to our left, I [Murphy] dropped down and angled into the biggest ship I had ever seen.
A War of Their Own: Bombers Over the Southwest Pacific by Matthew K. Rodman