Accession Number : ADA304176

Title :   On Celestial Wings,

Corporate Author : AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s) : Whitcomb, Edgar D.

PDF Url : ADA304176

Report Date : NOV 1995

Pagination or Media Count : 211

Abstract : In August 1940 a group of young men from all parts of the United States converged upon Coral Gables, Florida, to become cadets in a military navigation training program. Raised as children of the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s, what they wanted more than anything else in life was to fly airplanes. They had all volunteered for the US Army Air Corps with hopes for becoming pilots, but the Air Corps had other ideas. They would become navigators on the world's finest bomber, the B- 17 Flying Fortress. The cadets did not think of themselves as warriors. None of them had ever seen a Flying Fortress. They were civilians who wanted to fly and joining the Air Corps was a means to that end. The thought of flying where man had never flown before or of bombing cities all around the world was farthest from their minds as they struggled with the intricacies of celestial navigation. On Celestial Wings tells of the development of the first program to mass produce celestial navigators as America geared up for entry into WWII. It also tells of heartrending tragedies resulting from America's lack of preparedness for war and the fight against overwhelming odds in experiences of members of the US Army Air Corps Navigation School class of 40-A. It tells of their honors and victories and their disappointments and bitter defeats in a war unlike any that will ever occur again.

Descriptors :   *MILITARY HISTORY, *PILOTS, *BOMBER AIRCRAFT, *CELESTIAL NAVIGATION, WARFARE, AIR FORCE, GLOBAL, MILITARY APPLICATIONS, MILITARY TRAINING, FLORIDA, ARMY AVIATION, URBAN AREAS, NAVIGATORS, BOMBING, CADETS.

Subject Categories : Bombers
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Air Navigation and Guidance

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE