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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces part of
History of
United States Naval Aviation

Archibald D. Turnbull
and Clifford L. Lord

published by
Yale University Press
New Haven

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Chapter 1
This site is not affiliated with the US Naval Academy.

 p. vii  Preface

The preparation of this book was first suggested by the Honorable Artemus L. Gates when Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, and the work begun at his instigation has had the sympathetic support of his successors, the Honorable John L. Sullivan and the Honorable John Nicholas Brown. With this strong encouragement, the book has been written ostensibly by two authors, but the names of those who actually helped to write it could not be crowded upon any title page.

It was the foresight of Adm. John Towers, as Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, which perceived the need of a Naval Aviation History Unit, and it was he who established it. Flying flag officers who have continued his work, as Deputy Chiefs of Naval Operations, have been Vice Adms. Aubrey W. Fitch, A. W. Radford, D. B. Duncan and John D. Price and the late Adm. Marc A. Mitscher and Vice Adm. J. S. McCain. Chiefs of the Bureau of Aeronautics who have been similarly helpful are Adm. D. C. Ramsey, Vice Adm. H. B. Sallada, and Rear Adm. Alfred M. Pride. In direct supervision of the research have been Capts. W. R. Hollingsworth and E. W. Parish, Jr., Lt. Comdrs. R. J. Monahan and W. T. Amen. Coordination of the work with other historical efforts has been by the Office of Naval History, created in 1944 under Adm. Edward C. Kalbfus, later headed by Rear Adms. Vincent R. Murphy and John B. Heffernan.

It has been a pleasure to meet, in person or by letter, so many who played their part in bringing aviation in the Navy to its present high place. Some of them have read the manuscript in whole or in part; others, recalling past experiences, have brought to life the personalities of long-gone shipmates and recreated an atmosphere that does not hang over documents, however voluminous. Space permits no detailed account of  p. viii their contributions, but to those already named these should be added: Vice Adms. P. N. L. Bellinger, T. T. Craven, A. W. Johnson, S. M. Kraus, and E. S. Land; Rear Adms. F. D. Wagner, A. C. Davis, E. C. Ewen, R. E. Byrd and A. C. Read; Commodore D. W. Knox; Capts. H. C. Richardson, W. McEntee, V. D. Herbster, R. S. Barnaby, F. R. McCrary, W. S. Diehl, J. W. McElroy, R. R. Paunack and H. C. Wick; Comdrs. G. C. Sweet and C. W. Mitchell, Jr.; Lt. Comdr. Nelson Blake; Lt. Gen. R. S. Geiger; Maj. Gens. P. T. Hill and R. E. Rowell; Brig. Gens. W. O. Brice and L. H. M. Sanderson; Col. Jarvis Butler and Lt. Col. F. T. Evans; Drs. J. C. Hunsaker and A. F. Zahm; Messrs. James C. Fahey, J. B. May, Jr. and Fred Schmitt.

The Naval Aviation History Unit has been indefatigable. Its present scholarly heads, Dr. Henry M. Dater and Mr. Adrian O. Van Wyen, themselves the authors of innumerable authoritative monographs and papers, have shown an inexhaustible patience at every step and so inspired the unit to cooperation that the complete roll must be called: M. C. Welborn, L. M. Pearson, E. L. Smith, D. M. Foerster, R. M. Carrigan, D. A. Bergmark, M. B. Chambers, M. E. Jarchow, M. D. Schwartz, R. C. Weems, J. DuVon, T. A. Miller, R. J. Doyle, K. K. Weed, C. F. Stanwood, J. E. Jennings, Jr., J. P. King, L. H. Hurlbert, W. C. Bryant, K. Hermans, M. F. Shelley, A. M. Sanchez, W. G. Land, G. Tobias, G. M. Fennemore, A. F. Vaupel, R. W. Dittmer, W. O. Shanahan, I. D. Spencer, R. W. July, A. R. Buchanan, G. H. Wright, R. L. Golden, J. M. Grimes, H. F. Bennett, R. M. Whitney, D. Daly, A. R. Hilen, Jr., P. E. Garber, P. G. Sullivan, P. E. Varg, P. N. Cary, F. E. Abbot, R. H. Kelsey, G. McColley.

In one way or another many more have helped. Lt. Comdr. Shirley Baraw did much to facilitate the preparation of the manuscript and to iron out mechanical obstacles. Miss Izetta Winter Robb, experienced as an editor, made many valuable suggestions, particularly on the chapters dealing with the early twenties. Dr. Robert G. Albion has been lavish with professional advice. Chief Yeoman R. E. Barton, Miss Eddie Jane Poindexter, Miss Harriette Baker, Miss Betty Kirkley,  p. ix and Mis Shirley Zimmermann have not only typed many pages themselves but also supervised the work of others less skilled, checked names, dates, and facts, and run the endless errands which have been necessary.

Much assistance has been received from personnel of the Navy Department, who have opened their files and offered knowledge come to them through their years of service. Special thanks are owed to Messrs. Carlisle Fliedner, C. A. Burgess, and A. D. Micotti of the Bureau of Aeronautics; to Lieuts. Olive Webb and Harrison Fiddesof, Mrs. Olive Finch, and Mrs. Thelma Barthelmess, all of the Bureau of Naval Personnel. Other keepers of files, with their assistants, have searched long hours for documents and answered innumerable questions. Notable help has been received from Mr. Omar Whaley of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, Mrs. P. N. Graves of the Bureau of Aeronautics, and Miss L. I. MacCrindle, Mrs. A. R. Lawrence, and Chief Yeoman B. R. Yantz, all of the Office of Naval Records and Library. Finally, the staffs of the National Archives, the Library of Congress, and the library of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics have contributed their specialized knowledge as well as documents and publications from their respective collections.

Given so much assistance of such high quality, there should not be one error in the book. To the charge that there are errors, the authors can plead only that they are human and therefore fallible.

A. D. T.
C. L. L.

Washington, April 1, 1949

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