"Air Force Spoken Here": General Ira Eaker and the Command of the Air
Price: 45.00 USD
Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler, 1986. 24 cm, 557 pages, illus., bibliography, index, former owner's embossed stamp on several pages, DJ in plastic sleeve, tear at rear DJ. The author was the founding publisher of American Heritage, the innovative magazine in hardcover book form that chronicled various periods of U.S. history and won a Pulitzer Prize for its "Picture History of the Civil War". Parton was also founding publisher of Horizon magazine and the 1940s newspaper the Los Angeles Independent. The eclectic publisher had a lifelong love affair with words. He wrote the annual musical comedy of the Hasty Pudding Club as a Harvard undergraduate, and he was a writer, editor and management assistant for 13 years with Time Inc. Parton later served as president of Encyclopaedia Britannica, head of the National Advertising Review Board, and assistant librarian of Congress. He was the author of the well-received 1986 book "Air Force Spoken Here." But Parton's greatest legacy remains American Heritage. General Ira Clarence Eaker (April 13, 1896 - August 6, 1987) was a general of the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Eaker, as second-in-command of the prospective Eighth Air Force, was sent to England to form and organize its bomber command. However while he struggled to build up airpower in England, the organization of the Army Air Forces kept evolving and he was named commander of the Eighth Air Force on December 1, 1942. Although his background was in single-engine fighter aircraft, Eaker became the architect of a strategic bombing force that ultimately numbered forty groups of 60 heavy bombers each, supported by a subordinate fighter command of 1,500 aircraft, most of which was in place by the time he relinquished command at the start of 1944. Eaker then took overall command of four Allied air forces based in the Mediterranean Theater of operations, and by the end of World War II had been named Deputy Commander of the U.S. Army Air Forces. He worked in the aerospace industry following his retirement from the military, then became a newspaper columnist. As Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, Eaker had under his command the Twelfth and Fifteenth Air Forces and the British Desert and Balkan Air Forces. He did not approve of the plan to bomb Monte Cassino in February 1944, considering it a dubious military target, but ultimately acquiesced and gave in to pressure from ground commanders. Historians of the era now generally believe Eaker's skepticism was correct and that the ancient abbey at Monte Cassino could have been preserved without jeopardizing the allied advance through Italy. On April 30, 1945, General Eaker was named deputy commander of the Army Air Forces and Chief of the Air Staff. He retired on August 31, 1947, and was promoted to lieutenant general in the newly established United States Air Force on the retired list June 29, 1948. Almost 40 years after his retirement, Congress passed special legislation awarding four-star status in the U.S. Air Force to General Eaker, prompted by retired Air Force Reserve major general and Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) and endorsed by President Ronald Reagan. On April 26, 1985, Chief of Staff General Charles A. Gabriel and Ruth Eaker, the general's wife, pinned on his fourth star. Second Edition. Presumed First Printing. very good.