Segments in this Video

Carl "Tooey" Spaatz: Introduction (01:16)


Spaatz's career spanned the formative years of American military aviation. He trained American pilots, flew in combat, pioneered air-to-air refueling, and commanded the Strategic Air Forces during WWII.

Credits: Agile Method (00:30)

Credits: Agile Method

Spaatz's Early Career (03:45)

Spaatz participated on the Punitive Expedition to Mexico in 1916. In 1917, he married Ruth Harrison and took command of flight training in Issoudun, France; he spent four weeks in combat. After the war, Spaatz testified that the War Department was purposefully slowing the development of air power.

Modern War (02:08)

Spaatz was promoted to Lt. Col., assigned to the General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, transferred to Fort Langley where he implemented a modern pilot training program, and witnessed air power in London during WWII. George Marshall gave the Air Corps a measure of autonomy and made Spaatz the first Chief of Staff for the Army Air Forces.

Air Campaigns (02:38)

Spaatz moved to Alexandria, Virginia five days before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; he became commander of the 8th Air Force. The British used area bombing while the U.S. preferred daylight bombing. Spaatz went to North Africa to strengthen British and American ties.

Strategic Campaigns (03:22)

Spaatz became commander of all strategic forces in Europe. President Eisenhower devoted half of the bombers to German plane factory destruction and the other half to the destruction of German transportation; Spaatz received permission to bomb oil infrastructures.

Allied Air Power (02:45)

P-51 Mustang pilots successfully targeted the Luftwaffe. In June 1944, the Allies invaded Normandy; the Germans mounted a final counterattack in December. Spaatz ordered attacks on Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg, and initiated Operation Clarion.

End of WWII (02:22)

Spaatz commanded the 8th Air Force in Okinawa and the 20th Air Force in Guam. While visiting family, he learned about the atomic bomb and insisted the order to drop the bomb be put in writing. Spaatz attended the surrender ceremony.

Post-War Career (01:28)

Congress liberated the U.S. Air Force from Army command in 1947 and Spaatz became its first Chief of Staff. In 1952, he chaired a committee to determine the location of the Air Force Academy. Spaatz died in 1974.

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Carl "Tooey" Spaatz (00:20)

Credits: Legends of Air Power: Carl "Tooey" Spaatz

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Legends of Air Power: Carl "Tooey" Spaatz

Part of the Series : Legends of Air Power
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Carl “Tooey” Spaatz is one of the genuine characters of American aviation. In the wild and woolly days of flight, he was a guitar-strumming free spirit who often offended the military establishment. But over the course of his career, Spaatz did as much to shape the modern Air Force as any other single person. He trained most of the American pilots who fought in WWI, pioneered air-to-air refueling, and his command of WWII’s strategic air forces forever changed the way war is fought. When he retired, President Eisenhower paid tribute to him saying that Tooey Spaatz had never been wrong.

Length: 23 minutes

Item#: BVL129015

ISBN: 978-1-64023-382-9

Copyright date: ©2001

Closed Captioned

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