Looking Back

“Which Way Did He Go? Up!”

Looking Back, October 2023 By Mark Albertson “Which Way Did He Go? Up!” By Lieutenant Colonel Jack W. Hemingway Army War College Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania Edited by Mark Albertson Source: Pages 228, 250-252, Army Aviation, Vol. 7, No. 6, Army Aviation Publications, Westport, Ct., June 22, 1959. * * * * * Lieutenant Colonel Jack W. Hemingway, received his commission in 1942 by way of the Citizens Military Training Program. Following his assignment to the 35 th Infantry Division, he joined the 78 th and fought with that division on the European Theater of Operations. A unit commander at Camp...

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Army Aviation: Italian Campaign

Looking Back, September 2023 By Mark Albertson 80th Anniversary of World War II Army Aviation: Italian Campaign   September 3, 1943, the main weight of the British Eighth Army on Sicily crossed the Straits of Messina to establish a toehold on the Italian mainland. On September 9, elements of Eighth Army and 1st Airborne Division landed at the port of Taranto. That same day, General Mark Clark’s Fifth Army landed up the coast at Salerno. Opening phases of the Italian campaign, featuring the invasion routes by Anglo-American forces. “Fifth Army air artillery officer, Major John T. Walker, organized the Fifth...

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Army Aviation: The Coop That Flew

Looking Back, August 2023 By Mark Albertson Army Aviation: Some Gems from Art and Dottie, 1959 “The Coop That Flew” Development of a new highly mobile, air transportable communications center, designed to direct fast moving U.S. Army forces was announced recently by the Department of the Army. The system, which has an extremely high degree of mobility, can be set down almost anywhere by helicopters, and be flown out immediately for relocation elsewhere. It can also be moved rapidly from place to place on conventional Army trucks. Developed by the U.S. Army Signal Corps, it provides the vital nucleus for...

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Army Aviation: Part I: 70 Years Ago: Korea

Looking Back, May 2023 By Mark Albertson Army Aviation: Part I:  70 Years Ago: Korea The Korean War opened spectacularly on June 25, 1950.  In blitzkrieg-like fashion, over 90,000 troops of the North Korean People’s Army, backed by upwards of 150 Soviet-supplied T-34 tanks, crashed over the 38th parallel.  However strongman Kim Il-sung’s bid to unify the peninsula failed.  For in one of the decisive actions of the war, Kim’s army failed to liquidate the Pusan abscess in the southeast corner of South Korea; which together with General Mac Arthur’s bold stroke at Inchon on September 15, 1950, tilted the...

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Branchhood: Part III: Completing the Circle

Looking Back, April 2023 By Mark Albertson Branchhood: Part III:  Completing the Circle As with many of Man’s distinguished endeavors, success is attained most always with a decision that is hardly unanimous.  Why should the quest for branchhood be any different?  And so it was not.  Many had concerted opinions for; with others expressing convictions against; while there were some, such as Major General Robert L. Wetzel, commandant of Infantry at Fort Benning who, in Part II of this series, seemed to be mired in No Man’s Land.  Yet branchhood was coming, despite the contrarian viewpoints of the naysayers.  For...

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Branchhood: Part II: Discourse and Debate

Looking Back / Army Aviation, March 2023; By Mark Albertson   Branchhood Part II: Discourse and Debate Within a three-and-a-half-year study conducted by the Officer of Personnel Management System in the seventies, Major General George Putnam, Director of Military Personnel Policy, recommended that Army Aviation should be organized as a branch.  Such was disapproved by General Bernard Rogers, then Chief of Staff.  “Aviation is an ‘entry specialty’ within a combat arms affiliated ‘carrier’ branch, stressing that aviators, . . . ‘must be experts in aviation.’”[1] Yet, even among the Aviation community, opinions varied with regards to branchhood.  For instance, Brigadier General...

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Branchhood: Part I: Technology, Command and Control

Looking Back / Army Aviation, February 2023; By Mark Albertson   Branchhood, By Mark Albertson Part I: Technology, Command and Control Army Aviation breaks friction with the ground, operates in the ground regime, and greatly enhances the capability of the force. . . [1] ***** The remarkable evolution of aerial observation, together with the aerial direction of artillery fire within the United States Army, began with the War Between the States and a military application known to history as the Balloon Corps. The suitable starting date is June 18, 1861, when Thaddeus Lowe lifted off from the Columbia Armory[2] and from the...

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Women in Aviation: Celebrating the Past, Building the Future

Looking Back / Army Aviation, January 2023; By Mark Albertson   Branch Update, By Major General Ronald E. Adams Women in Aviation: Celebrating the Past, Building the Future The U.S. Army Aviation Warfighting Center hosted a Women in Army Aviation Symposium in Late February. Over 90 aviation soldiers of both genders and all ranks traveled to the conference representing DOD-wide backgrounds and experiences. The goal of our symposium was twofold: First, to recognize and celebrate women’s 21 years of service within Army Aviation and second, to identify and discuss current “gender issues” within the branch. There are differing, sometimes contentious, opinions as...

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80th Anniversary of Army Aviation, Operation: TORCH: Grasshoppers Earn Their Wings

Looking Back / Army Aviation, December 2022; By Mark Albertson   80th Anniversary of Army Aviation: Operation: TORCH Grasshoppers Earn Their Wings The lack of success of Army Aviation in its first time at bat against the Germans at Fedala, fueled Hap Arnold’s aversion to seeing Cubs in a combat zone, and, certainly inflamed the AAF’s desire to abort the Air Observation Post program. Work horse of the Air OPs, the Piper L-4 Cub.  This plane established itself in a combat theater with the aerial direction of artillery fire, observation and reconnaissance, photo reconnaissance, route column control, light transport, air...

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80th Anniversary of Army Aviation, Combat Debut: Operation: TORCH

Looking Back / Army Aviation, November 2022; By Mark Albertson   80th Anniversary of Army Aviation: Combat Debut: Operation: TORCH It was agreed between London and Washington that the Third Reich posed the greatest threat among the Axis Powers.[1]  Yet it was Japan which attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor.  Hitler solved a potential dilemma by declaring war on the United States on December 11, 1941.  Therefore what had been, for the most part, a European war was now a global conflict, December 1941, then, is the turning point of what we call the Second World War. ...

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