Long lost archive from the Air Force in 1953 highlights the ways that airpower changed the game in WWII.
During the second half of 1943 the Allies were beginning to turn the tide against the German U-Boats and seeing successes against them using long-range airborne anti-submarine patrols using radar-equipped Consolidated B-24 Liberators. When the Army Air Forces turned these aircraft over to Navy crews late in 1943 the aircraft were re-designated PB4Y-1s. One result of these successes was that American-built fighters like Republic P-47 Thunderbolts and North American P-51 Mustangs were getting through to their bases in England, eventually to take on the Luftwaffe over occupied Europe.
In the China-Burma-India Theater (CBI) supplies were being flown by the fledgling 10th Air Force from Tibet over “the hump” of the Himalayas to General Claire Chenault’s needy 14th Air Force “Flying Tigers” in China. In the Aleutian Islands the 11th Air Force was slugging it out with and winning against the Japanese invaders on Attu and Kiska Islands.
In the Southwest Pacific the offensive against Japanese-held Munda on New Georgia took place. Many of the missions against Munda were flown from Henderson Field on recently-secured Guadalcanal. Once Munda was taken the Army Air Forces and the Marines used the airstrips in the area to launch missions against the next objectives up the Solomon Islands chain in the overall offensive known as Operation Cartwheel.
The video is a transfer from volume 12 of a 1953 film series produced by the US Air Force.