April 16, 1943: Lt. General Carl A. Spaatz Leads War Efforts through Example, Survives Bomb Attack


By Margaret Leidy Harner from her book One Day at a Time: A Social History of Boyertown, PA.

April 16, 1943: Lt. General Carl A. Spaatz participated in a Flying Fortress raid on Sicily today, flying in the nose of a bomber that was heavily attacked, and his tail gunner shot down two enemy aircraft. Of the 48 bombers that took part, three of them were lost.

He was greatly respected by his men for taking the same risks he assigned to them, but he did not want General Eisenhower to find out about it. The Commander would not have been pleased if the man in charge of planning the air war against the Nazis had been on one of the missing planes.

Spaatz, a laconic, unassuming leader who got his point across with quiet but persistent force, was one of the first army officers to recognize the possibilities of using the airplane as a weapon of war.

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