Flexible air power: The fifth Air force in World War II



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Texas Tech University


Attack and bombardment aviation in the Fifth Air Force is, to say the least, a big topic. I have done my best to present an accurate picture of the nature of the air war in the Southwest Pacific Area during World War II. This study is not, however, an allencompassing operational summary. My aim is to present a representative picture, rather than a catalog, of American bombardment through the war in the Southwest Pacific.

The genesis and focus of this work is the history of light attack and medium bombardment aircraft. That other, heavier, platforms have been incorporated into the thesis reflects the complexity of the theater itself. Aircraft and missions were interchanged more freely in the Southwest Pacific than in any other American theater. Although my primary interest has remained on light attackers and medium bombers, I have tried to do justice to each of the other bomber platforms and missions.



Air warfare -- Decision making, World War, 1939-1945 -- Pacific Ocean, World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American, United States. Army Air Forces. Air Force, 5th, Military history, Modern