Curtis LeMay: Introduction (01:40)
LeMay was born in Columbus, Ohio and became fascinated with aviation at the age of four. He joined the army and became a pilot, leading successful missions in WWII.
LeMay's Early Career (02:33)
Born in 1906, LeMay became fascinated with aviation at a young age. He graduated college in 1928, attended flight training at Kelly Field, and received a commission in 1930. He began flying B-17 bombers at Langley Field and became a lead navigator in 1938.
Iron Eagle (03:10)
LeMay pioneered air routes over the Atlantic and became commander of the 305th Bombardment Group; he had a reputation for being tough but fair. He developed new formation tactics, increasing defense and bombing accuracy.
Command Posts (03:35)
In 1943, LeMay led the Shuttle Mission from England to Africa. In 1944, he led the 20th Bomber Command and in 1945 became commander of the 21st Bomber Command; leading a bombing campaign on Japan.
End of WWII (01:38)
In August 1945, the Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima; a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki three days later. Hear praise for the B-29 bombing group from Gen. Carl Spaatz.
Post-War Assignments (03:51)
LeMay became the first Deputy Chief of Staff for Research and Development in 1945. He became Commander General of U.S. Air Forces in Europe in 1947, organized air operations to deliver rations in 1948, and assumed command of the Strategic Air Command.
SAC Command (03:10)
SAC laid plans for developing an intercontinental ballistic missile. In 1957, LeMay became Vice Chief of Staff for the U.S. Air Force, set flying records, and became Chief of Staff of the Air Force in 1961. He remained committed to the welfare and professionalism of military personnel.
LeMay's Retirement (02:03)
LeMay advocated for the use of intercontinental ballistic missiles. He became George Wallace's vice presidential running mate in 1972. In 1987, he created a foundation to assist indigent Air Force widows; he died in 1990.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Curtis LeMay (00:49)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Curtis LeMay
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