Almost everyone you meet has heard about the Tuskegee Airmen, but surprisingly few can answer with accuracy questions relating to their most important leaders, aircraft, missions, stations, phases of flight training, and unique accomplishments. Some of the Tuskegee Airmen stories in circulation are downright false. This book, designed primarily for students and teachers but also useful for general readers, answers 76 of the most common questions that people ask about the Tuskegee Airmen, enabling readers to separate the facts from the fictions. This short and accurate summary of Tuskegee Airmen history honors the first African American pilots in U.S. military service -- pioneers in the continuing struggle for racial equality.
One of the most heroic World War II air raids by US forces was the one that killed Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, the commander of the Combined Japanese Fleet and the man who planned the Pearl Harbor and Midway attacks in 1941 and 1942. The raid occurred on April 18, 1943, exactly one year after the famous Doolittle raid on Japan, but it accomplished more by eliminating Japan's most important admiral and leading strategist. This account stresses the crucial teamwork and planning, by codebreakers, strategic leaders, and pilots of the US Marine Corps, the US Navy, and the Army Air Corps, which achieved an almost miraculous interception. Those issues outweigh in significance the great controversy that emerged over the question of which of the pilots actually shot down the Yamamoto aircraft.
In early 1942, Japanese military forces dominated a significant portion of the earth’s surface, stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Bering Sea and from Manchuria to the Coral Sea. Just three years later, Japan surrendered, having lost most of its vast domain. Coordinated action by Allied air, naval, and ground forces attained the victory. Air power, both land-and carrier-based, played a dominant role.
Understanding the Army Air Forces’ role in the Asiatic-Pacific theater requires examining the context of Allied strategy, American air and naval operations, and ground campaigns. Without the surface conquests by soldiers and sailors, AAF fliers would have lacked bases close enough to enemy targets for effective raids. Yet, without Allied air power, these surface victories would have been impossible.
The High Road to Tokyo Bay concentrates on the Army Air Forces’ tactical operations in Asia and the Pacific areas during World War II. A subsequent pamphlet will cover the strategic bombardment of Japan.