MacArthur’s Air Force

American Airpower over the Pacific and the Far East, 1941–51

MacArthur’s Air Force cover

MacArthur’s Air Force

American Airpower over the Pacific and the Far East, 1941–51


General Douglas MacArthur ended World War II controlling one of the most powerful air forces in the world. This fascinating history, now available in paperback, traces its development from its origins in the Philippines through to its eventual victory in the skies over Japan and its key role in the Korean War.

General Douglas MacArthur is one of the towering figures of World War II, and indeed of the twentieth century, but his leadership of the second largest air force in the USAAF is often overlooked. When World War II ended, the three numbered air forces (the Fifth, Thirteenth, and Seventh) under his command possessed 4,004 combat aircraft, 433 reconnaissance aircraft, and 922 transports. After being humbled by the Japanese in the Philippines in 1942, MacArthur and his air chief General George Kenney rebuilt the US aerial presence in the Pacific, helping Allied naval and ground forces to push back the Japanese Air Force, retake the Philippines, and carry the war north towards the Home Islands. Following the end of World War II, MacArthur was the highest military and political authority in Japan and at the outbreak of the Korean War in June 1950 he was named as Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command. In the ten months of his command, his Far East Air Forces increased dramatically and saw the first aerial combat between jet fighters.

Written by award-winning aviation historian Bill Yenne, this engrossing and widely-acclaimed title, now available in paperback, traces the journey of American air forces in the Pacific under General MacArthur's command, from their lowly beginnings to their eventual triumph over Imperial Japan, followed by their entry into the jet age in the skies over Korea.

Table of Contents

Prologue: MacArthur and Airpower

Chapter 1: Starting Out in the Crosshairs of Calamity
Chapter 2: Shoestring Air Force
Chapter 3: Who's in Charge of What?
Chapter 4: Making Do with Nothing
Chapter 5: Clinging to New Guinea
Chapter 6: The Battles of Buna
Chapter 7: Airpower Over Naval Power
Chapter 8: The Battle of the Bismarck Sea
Chapter 9: Japanese Air Superiority Challenged
Chapter 10: Japanese Air Superiority Met Head-On
Chapter 11: Allied Air Superiority Achieved
Chapter 12: Cartwheel Over Rabaul
Chapter 13: Expanding the Perimeter
Chapter 14: The Ploesti of the Pacific
Chapter 15: MacArthur's Return to the Philippines
Chapter 16: MacArthur's Expanding Air Force
Chapter 17: Victory in Leyte and Mindoro
Chapter 18: The Bloody Road to Manila
Chapter 19: The Superfortress
Chapter 20: From Borneo to Formosa
Chapter 21: First Strikes on Japan
Chapter 23: After the War
Chapter 24: MacArthur's Air Force in Korea

Epilogue: By the Numbers

Product details

Published Sep 07 2021
Format Paperback
Edition 1st
Extent 320
ISBN 9781472833242
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 16pp plate section in b&w
Dimensions 234 x 153 mm
Series General Aviation
Short code GNA
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Bill Yenne

Bill Yenne is the author of ten novels and more th…


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