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 new history 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, re-take 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 book 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 17 2019
Format Hardback
Edition 1st
Extent 320
ISBN 9781472833235
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations 32pp plate section in b&w
Dimensions 9 x 6 inches
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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