By Henry H. Arnold, John W. Huston
AMERICAN AIRPOWER COMES OF AGE: common HENRY H. "HAP" ARNOLD'S international conflict II DIARIES, quantity 2
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Additional info for American Air Power Comes of Age: General Henry H. Hap Arnold's World War II Diaries, Vol. 2
Two weeks after the Quadrant decision to use Italian bases, the raid by groups on loan from the Eighth against aircraft factories in Wiener Neustadt, Austria, together with the losses on the Schweinfurt attack of 17 August, convinced Spaatz of the need to establish permanent bases in Italy. ”63 He had earlier tried to convince Arnold that the shorter distances to be flown to southern German and Austrian targets and the prospects of better weather in Italy were significant advantages. He argued that an important further advantage from operating in Italy would accrue by forcing the Germans to split their fighter and antiaircraft (AA) flak opposition between the two theaters.
In his typical blunt fashion, and in part responding to Lovett’s memos of four days earlier, Hap instructed his deputy, Barney M. Giles, “you have got to get a fighter to protect our bombers. ” One author has labeled this the most important memo written by Arnold during the war. 46 Arnold journeyed to the West Coast himself for, in his words, “the main purpose of putting the fear of God in the . . ”47 Arnold never seemed to appreciate the reasons for the difference between the numbers of aircraft and aircrews reported to be in theater and their dispatch on combat missions.
The raid, flown from the Bengasi area of Libya on 1 August, was the longest major bombing mission yet attempted by the AAF. It resulted in the heaviest losses sustained to date in a single operation. Of 177 B-24s dispatched, 54 were lost, as were 532 airmen. 51 Although it had been only 11 weeks since their last meeting, the CCS, Churchill, and Roosevelt met at the Quadrant Conference in Quebec from 14 through 24 August. ”52 It is curious that Arnold’s day-by-day account of the Quebec meeting has not survived even though his diary of the other 12 World War II journeys are among his papers.