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Carl A. Spaatz

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Gen. U.S. Air Force

Pioneer Military Airman

Distinguished Air Commander

Born Boyertown, Pennsylvania

June 28, 1891—July 14, 1974


At the first opportunity after graduation from the U.S. Military Academy in 1914, Carl Andrew Spaatz sought wings in the embryo flying service of his country. In 1915 at the aviation school in San Diego, he was rated Military Aviator.

Combat flying for "Tooey" Spaatz began in 1916 with service on the Mexican Border. With his country at war in 1917, he became architect and commander of the American Training Center at Issoudon, France, which provided the pilots and mechanics for the fledgling U.S. Air Service. In the short time of three weeks, with the 13th Aero Squadron, he achieved three combat victories.

The qualities of leadership and dedication to air power continued in the years between wars, including the record breaking endurance flight of the Question Mark, and support of the Mitchell airpower philosophy: the quest of Air Force autonomy.

With his country again at war in 1942, he returned to combat, and formed the Eighth Air Force in England, and led the U.S. Strategic Air Forces in the European Theatre of Operations. He designed the plan and forged the structure, which through "round the clock" precision bombing hastened the Allied victory. The war in Europe won, this great air commander moved to the Pacific and applied his genius once more, again in victory.

The quest continued in postwar peace, and finally in 1947 as first Chief of Staff of the United Sates Air Force, he finished the task as planned.

Invested 1977 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984

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Updated: March 12, 2004