U.S. Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay retired Monday (1 February). He was presented with?
U.S. Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay retired Monday (1 February). He was presented with his fourth distinguished service medal by President Johnson, and received a full honours ceremonial from the Air Force at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington.
At the colourful military review, troops marched smartly past and aircraft flew overhead dipping their wings in salute. The fly-past included World War II fighter and bomber aircraft as well as the latest jets. It culminated in a star-burst maneuver staged by World War II Thunderbirds, the U.S. Air Force's principal fighter plane in the last years of that conflict.
General Le May, 58 years old, ended a distinguished career that began before World War II. After service in various fighter units, he transferred to bombers in 1937. He commanded the third Bombardment Division of B-17 Flying Fortresses in England during World War II as a 36 year old Brigadier General. He led the Regensburg Raid, a B-1 attack which originated in Britain and terminated, after bombing deep inside Germany, in Africa. In July of 1944 he was transferred to the Pacific and directed B-29 bombing activities first in the China-Burma-India theatre and later in Guam. Ultimately he became chief of staff of Strategic Bomber Activities in the Pacific.
After the war, he commanded various major bomber groups and then assumed command of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) when it was formed in 1948. The present SAV owes its organization, tactics and capability to General LeMay. He also supervised the operational development of SACs present intercontinental ballistic missile capability.