Air superiority in World War II and Korea : an interview by Richard H Kohn, Joseph P Harahan

By Richard H Kohn, Joseph P Harahan

Air Superiority in international conflict II and Korea: An Interview with Gen. James Ferguson, Gen. Robert M. Lee, Gen. William Momyer, and Lt. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada (USAF Warrior reports)

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Additional info for Air superiority in World War II and Korea : an interview with Gen. James Ferguson, Gen. Robert M. Lee, Gen. William W. Momyer, and Lt. Gen. Elwood R. Quesada

Example text

So in that respect I have misspoken. Momyer: Yes, I was on those maneuvers. I recall that we were sent out in formations to intercept incoming bombers. We were sent out on formations to engage other fighters. But the primary emphasis during that entire maneuver was really in support of the ground forces. These were the kinds of missions, just like you said. I can remember taking off on so-called dawn patrol on airfield defense in anticipation of a bomber attack coming in, and then fighters were sent out for intercept.

See Wesley F. Craven and James L. Cate, eds, The Army Air Forces in World War II, 7 vols (Chicago, 1948-58), Vol VI: Men and Planes, 48G81. 29 AIR SUPERIORITY British concept, as I could see it at that time, was not to use small numbers of aircraft for close support. When they went out to do it, they used large numbers, relatively large numbers. The maximum size force on the Western Desert at that time was about twelve hundred airplanes. When they did go out, aircraft were used like massed artillery.

These kinds of gut issues keep coming up. People keep asking me-and I didn’t want to get into Vietnam-but they keep asking me these kinds of questions as if there is a scientific answer. There is no scientific answer to this. It’s a combination of a lot of things. I am sure you will bring it out, too, but it’s a combination of your experience and everything else. Quesada: That was an issue, and that answer was given to Eisenhower. My memory tells me it was given to him because of experience. We were confident that we could knock the hell out of the German Air Force wherever it was.

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