December 2, 2017

1942. American Air Corps in Britain Hope to Establish Second Front

Looking to Western Europe
"The van of 702 heavy bombers threw an impressive wake of condensation contrails across the skies of western Europe," March 6, 1944 (source)
U.S. Air Fighters on Job
Men and Machines Are Passing Into England to Join in Establishing Second Front
Proud of Aircraft
One Officer Says Invasion Will Be Needed to Get Space Enough for Airdromes
United Press Staff Correspondent

At a United States Army Air Force Fighter Station, Somewhere in Great Britain — (UP) Men and machines for the American army "second front" Air Corps are streaming into Great Britain, it may be said today, and more and more airdromes are being established.

As Maj. Cass Hough of Detroit and Plymouth, Mich., prewar manager of the Daisy Air Rifle company, put it:

"If we keep comin' over we'll have to start a second front in order to get enough airdromes for our ships."

The first fighter pilots to arrive in Britain are at this big air base, eager to go.

With them is a ground crew with armorers and mechanics, already thoroughly organized and equipped with the latest British guns, ready to go into action in less than one minute against glider or parachutist troops in the event of a German invasion.

"We like the idea that we are in on a shooting war, too, not just sitting around some airdrome for the duration nursing fighters," said Pvt. Leroy Nelson, Maywood, Calif.

The revelation that United States fighter planes are here at American airdromes, and the fact that some American army fighter pilots are training in British Spitfires, presumably indicates that some of these planes will accompany Boeing Flying Fortresses and Douglas light bombers already here.

The fighter pilots know that they are going up against some of the best fliers and planes in the world, and against the most experienced air force in the world, but they are confident and eager.

"Get a load of this plane," said Lt. David Thomas, Niagara Falls, N. Y., to me. "She'll fly higher, faster and longer than anything on this side of the Atlantic.

"The guys who built her back home and maintain her here knew more about airplanes when they were 10 years old than most of the Krauts know now.

"That leaves it up pretty much to us guys with the trigger fingers."

These American planes are super-fighters, and they are highly secret still.