Quesada, E. R. "Pete"

1977 TLS of the pioneer aviator, as Major General led 9th Air Force at Normandy, 1st FAA administrator 1959-61, Washington Senators owner 1961-63

Price: $60.00

Description:
(1904-1993) Pioneer aviator, US Air Force officer. Enlisted in the Army Air Corps Sept. 1924, commissioned reserve officer 1925. He was part of a team with Ira Eaker and Carl Spaatz that developed and demonstrated air-to-air refueling in 1929 on the “Question Mark”, setting a 150-hour endurance record; all were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for that mission. Promoted to Brigadier General 1942, Major General 1944 (9th Air Force), Lieut. General 1947 (Tactical Air Command). While a junior officer he was interested in the concept of close air support of ground forces, thoroughly developed by the 9th Air Force while its commander in North Africa and Europe, supporting Bradley at Normandy landings and Hodges' 1st Army in the Normandy breakout. Innovations attributed to him included adapting microwave early warning radar for real-time direction of fighter bombers already in flight, as well as placing pilots on the front lines as forward air controllers inside tanks equipped with VHF aircraft radios. Besides reducing friendly fire incidents, such tactics allowed ground troops to use close air support with greater precision and speed, allowing for air cover to take the place of artillery in a rapid armored advance. These tactics enormously expanded the contributions of tactical air power to the Allied defeat of Germany. In 1947, he was appointed 1st commander of the Tactical Air Command (TAC) in the new independent US Air Force. However, TAC was ignored while funding and promotions largely went to the Strategic Air Command. In Dec. 1948, Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt Vandenberg stripped TAC of its planes and pilots and reduced its status to that of a planning headquarters under the new Continental Air Command; Quesada requested early retirement at age 47 in 1951. Lockheed Aircraft executive 1953-55, President Eisenhower's Special Advisor for Aviation 1957, 1st Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) 1959-61. Quesada became owner of the expansion Washington Senators in 1961, selling his stake in the team in 1963. TLS “Pete Quesada” on 9x7 personal letterhead as Lt. Gen. USAF (Ret.), Washington, April 28 1975, to Major General DeWitt C. Smith, commanding General, US Army Military History Research Collection, Carlisle Barracks, Penna. General Quesada informs General Smith that he will gladly participate in the Oral History Program being conducted at the Army War College. DeWITT C. SMITH,JR. (1920 -1985) US Army officer, former deputy Army Chief of Staff, twice (and longest-serving) Army War College commandant 1974 -77, 1978-80. In 1942, he joined the US Army and commissioned a 2nd lieutenant, served with the 4th Armored Div. in combat after Normandy to the end of the War. He was wounded 3 times and awarded the Silver Star, 2 Bronze Stars for Valor, and 3 Purple Hearts. Discharged in 1946, he returned to active duty for the Korean War and stayed in the military. He was an aide to Chief of Staff Gen. Maxwell Taylor, served in the "Old Guard" at Fort Myer, and was a battalion executive officer and commander in Germany. He served at the Pentagon before going to the Army War College. He commanded a combat brigade of the 1st Infantry Div. in Vietnam. In 1970, under his leadership, Fort Carson, Colo. was made an initial test site for the modern volunteer Army concept. After his stints at the War College, he retired in 1980.

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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