July 28, 2015

Building A Strategic Air Force, Moody, 1995 - Reference Documentation

If you've been following along, you'll have noticed I'm embedding more reference material.  That's not an accident, and may be skirting copyright laws, but the idea is to provide you with already freely available documents that you would otherwise need to track down.  While I could provide you with a link to a copy of that document "somewhere" on the internet where I found it originally; sites get redesigned and links get broken, which is why I'm hosting them on Google Docs and embedding them with the available Google embed code.

Here you have:
Building A Strategic Air Force, Walton S Moody, Air Force History and Museums Program, 1995

Of particular note I thought General Curtis E. LeMay's interest in developing Goose AB into a strike base equipped with B-47 bombers which would be able to strike the Soviet Union was extremely interesting. General LeMay was the commander of the SAC from 1948 to 1957 - right in the middle of the expansion into Goose Bay, Morocco, and Spain.

Page 271
LeMay’s staff studied possible solutions to the problem of basing. The
northeastern region of North America was crucial, for a long-range air
striking force based there could reach most of the potential targets. Some
medium-range aircraft would have to land at bases overseas, and a few
sorties launched from Alaska would complete the coverage. The principal
northeast bases then available included Goose Bay, Labrador, and Ernest
Harmon Air Base in western Newfoundland. Both had significant draw-
backs. Goose Bay was ice-bound for half the year and inaccessible by land.
Newfoundland (including Labrador) became a Canadian province in 1949,
raising the prospect of political complications. Eventually, the planners’
choice fell on Limestone, Maine, which SAC had considered a future B-36
base since the start of construction in 1947. LeMay envisioned an installa-
tion large enough to handle sixty B-36s permanently assigned and more
staging through from the interior. Ultimately other fields might be added
in that area. Also, weather permitting, Goose Bay might serve as a
launching field for tankers and medium bombers deployed from the

Page 272
Farther to the northeast, improvements at Goose Bay had come
under consideration. Currently, the base belonged to the Military Air
Transport Service. The war plan called for staging SAC bombers through
Goose Bay on deployment. The installation was thus crucial in the existing
plan as well as for the future. Early in 1948, a team of Army and Air Force
officers visited the area and concluded that Goose Bay could serve as a
staging field for B-36s. On taking command, LeMay argued more strongly
for Limestone, but still saw uses for the Labrador base. He objected to
proposals to use Pepperel Air Base in eastern Newfoundland. It was
nearer the superior port facilities at St. John's and Torbay, to be sure, but
the SAC Commander discounted its value as an airfield and noted that
Goose Bay afforded better coverage of the targets.

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