With a Foreword by George Herbert Walker Bush
Published to coincide with the centennial celebration of U.S. Navy aviation, this book details the history of U.S. Navy aviation from its earliest days, before the Navy's first aircraft carrier joined the fleet, through the modern jet era marked by the introduction of the F-18 Hornet. It tells how naval aviation got its start, profiles its pioneers, and explains the early bureaucracy that fostered and sometimes inhibited its growth. The book then turns to the refinement of carrier aviation doctrine and tactics and the rapid development of aircraft and carriers, highlighting the transition from propeller-driven aircraft to swept-wing jets in the period after World War II. Land-based Navy aircraft, rotary-wing aircraft, rigid airships, and balloons are also considered in this sweeping tribute.
Douglas V. Smith is professor of strategy and policy and head of the Strategy and Policy Division, Naval War College, in Newport, RI. A 1970 graduate of the Naval Academy, he is also the author of Carrier Battles.