In this Special Report, we look at the B-17 and its role in World War II.
The report has been generated by the opportunity to honor a B-17 crew in a ceremony this June in France.
We start in the report by remembering the Greatest Generation and a piece by the Honorable Bill Anderson, which does so with grace.
But the thrust of this report is to bring this generation back to earth and to place the B-17 decision in the context of the 1930s. The B-17 barely made it through the decision-process of the 1930s and was not built in the numbers necessary to ensure that it was used effectively and appropriately.
Only after the Germans and the Japanese taught the United States a great deal about air combat, did the B-17 concepts of operations get adjusted with appropriate technology and operational approaches to become effective.
It is this from this perspective of operational hard landings, that today’s situation can learn a great deal. Hopefully, it will not come through the crucible of war but from the standpoint of pro-active wisdom.