Aviation's War Communique No 43

Maj. Gen. Curtis E LeMay, commander of the 21st (Marianas) Bomber Command, recently stated at a press conference in Washington, that American air power can and will knock industrial Japan out of the war. LeMay is the first high authority in aviation to make such a definite prediction. He said that, because the B-29s carry heavier loads, Japan is already getting a rougher beating than Germany got from a thousand B-17s and 24s. Superfortress attacks, he promised, very soon will be on the thousand-plane scale. In addition, of course, the enemy will be pounded by the Navy's aviation and by the Army's Eighth and other sky forces.

Superfortresses and other aviation started, July 1, to drop destruction on the enemy at the rate of 2,000,000 tons per year, according to General H H Arnold, chief of the Air Forces. That may be compared with the rate last May of 288,000 tons per year. The two million ton rate will "scale" at 5,480 tons per day. Of the two million tons, 1.3 million will come from the Marianas and Okinawa, and .3 million from Gen George C Kenney's air forces under Gen MacArthur. Gen Arnold said he did not mean to imply that the Japs can take this sort of punishment "by the year," but our forces are ready for them if they can.

Marking AAF Day (Aug 1) a force of 882 B-29's hit Japan.

This article was originally published in the August, 1945, issue of Aviation magazine, vol 44, no 8, p 205.