Air Force

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1. General Henry Harley Arnold was born in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania on 25 June 1986. He enlisted in the West Point military academy in 1904 and was commissioned on 14 June 1907. General Arnold was initially selected for the fields of infantry albeit, on 1911 he was selected for under going flying training with Write brothers. With his devotion towards the flying training, he became top of the best pilot's list and in the year 1912, he won the ‘Mackay Trophy' for successful completion of an Arial Reconnaissance mission. General Arnold was nicknamed as ‘Hap'by his collogues, the reason could be simply identified by looking at his face[1].

2. General Arnold's main objective was to establish an independent, balanced Air Force Therefore he firstly concentrated on establishment of a separate Air Force, and then establishment of a balance Air Force, both of the ambitions were succeeded. As when he started his flying training there were only two aircraft and two pilots had only been available with United States Army, but ultimately he expanded the number as 78,757 aircraft and 23, 72,292 personnel by year1911. His plan was to establish equal ratio between Aircraft, Personnel and Air Basses.

3. As a part of implementation of a balanced Air Force he decided to establish women's flying training detachment. Therefore, he established the same on 14 Sep 1942 and nominated Jacqueline Cochran as the director of the detachment. The aim was to get male pilots released for combat duties.

4. In WW-II era, he mainly concentrated on establishment of a long-range strategic bomber force, therefore, he selected B-17 and B-29 Aircraft for modification and with relevant improvisation the aircraft were successfully employed in offensive missions. Eg- ‘Do little Raid'. In addition, he had concentrated on many technological implements. Such as;

a. Bomb sights.

b. Radars.

c. Jet assisted take off.

d. US first guided missile (Flying bug)

e. Windshield de-icing.

f. US first Jet Engine (Air Comet).

5. General Arnold is identified as a controversial character because of some of his decisions; some times the media also criticized his decisions. As an example, General Arnold nominating himself as the twentieth Air Force commander is one incident. However, the media expressed that he failed in delegation of command, though; his intention was to supervise the project closely which was an added advantage as far as the success of the project was concerned. However, his swift decision making ability could be identified as one reason for strategic and tactical development of the organization.[2]

6. However, General Arnold had concentrated his vision, political understanding, flying skills and engineering experience and knowledge to make the United State's Air Force better and far superior than any other force in the earth.


7. To study the life and analyze the leadership qualities of General Henry Harley (Hap) Arnold and compare them with those of contemporary military leaders.


1. General Henry Harley Arnold was born on 25 June 1886 in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania of United States of America. He was the second son of a family of five children His father Herbert Arnold was a stern and humorless physician who was a member of the prominent political and military Arnold family. Henry Arnold was baptized in religious belief but he had strong Anglican ties with his family background. Young Arnold's early life was spent in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, just west of Philadelphia. Young Arnold's father and the great grand fathers actively participated and contributed for the country during American war for independence and young Hap's father Henry Arnold also served as a doctor during the Spanish War in 1898.

2. Young Arnold attended Lower Marion High school in Ardmore, Pennsylvania and completed his studies in 1903. As soon as he left the school, he sat for the entrance examination in the West Point, the United State's Military Academy and became the second in the order of merit. However, Young Arnold was not supposed to enter the Army as his father wanted his elder son Thomas to join the West Point Military Academy, in order to continue the Arnold's family tradition of American Military service. Despite the military legacy, Thomas refused to do so and joined the Pennsylvania state university, rejecting his parent's request urging to attend West Point. As a result, young Henry Arnold got the opportunity to carry on the families' military tradition which he did with great distinction. Initially, young Arnold did not have a chance due to delay in responding and then luckily, he received a delayed appointment when the nominated cadet confessed to being married, which was against academy regulations.


3. Young Arnold entered the West Point Military Academy in 1903 as a Cadet Officer. Cadet Arnold was one of the youngest ever admitted to West Point Military Academy at 17 years and one month. He loved much in horseback riding during his cadet period and that made a strong desire to join the Cavalry unit for his future in the Army. He, along with many West Pointers in the class of 1907 yearned for a Cavalry assignment. The dashing uniforms, the thunder of the charge and the perceived class distinction between Cavalry and every other branch of the Army, except the Engineering Corps, did not escape observation by members of the Corps of Cadets.

4. Cadet Arnold became a founding member and eventually the leader, of the “Black Hand”. This semi secret squad was responsible for many of the most spectacular student pranks ever completed in the West Point Military Academy history. Cadet Harley was called “Pwet” and “Benny” by his colleagues as he could not achieve the rank above that of private in the Cadet Corps.

5. Cadet Arnold channeled his spirit into sports. He achieved success on the field track team as a shot putter and played as a half back in the football on the football team and excelled at Polo too. Academically, Cadet Arnold had a very good memory. He could memorize several pages of logarithmic tables, which, although impressive, did not raise his final class standing any higher than 66 out of 111. These results would have been much higher if he had scored high marks on the military discipline.

6. Last weeks of Cadetship of Arnold at the military academy was perhaps typical for the soon to be Lieutenant. During the rehearsals of Cavalry drill, Arnold was given demerits for chewing tobacco during formation which act was strictly forbidden.

Considering these infractions, he was not considered for many of the graduation festivities and moreover, it had provided necessary lever-age for the authorities in charge of graduation assignments to select Cadet Arnold straight away into the Infantry. His graduation standing was too low for engineering school and after a brief but high powered struggle, arranged by Cadet Arnold's supporters, he accepted his commission and assignment as an Infantryman.


7. After the graduation ceremony in June 1907, Lieutenant Arnold joined the 29th Infantry Regiment in Manila for an assignment in the Philippine island. Since he was not happy with the infantry unit, he had been working hand in hand with engineering corpsmen, mapping various islands. However, his unit was transferred to Fort Jay on Governor's Island, New York. There, Lieutenant Arnold became aware of the airplane as more than just a curiosity. He wanted to escape the Infantry since his first love was Cavalry unit. Therefore, Lieutenant Arnold sat for the tests for the Ordnance Department, which held the most promise for early promotion. Lieutenant Arnold received a letter while waiting for the results of the exams, from the War Department which offered him the opportunity of a lifetime, the chance to learn how to fly. However, his commander did not want to release him but recognizing an opportunity to free from infantry unit, he accepted orders for flight instruction. Lieutenant Arnold recalled his commanding officer's warning “Young man, I know of no better way for a person to commit suicide”. The young Second Lieutenant considered these words as a challenge.


8. On 10 September 1913, Lieutenant Arnold married Eleanor Pool and the newly wedded couple spent twelve days honeymoon in Canal Zone, Kentucky. In January 1914, they went to the Philippines to spend married life and to perform peace time duty. He was quartered next door to 1st Lieutenant George Catlett Marshal's who became his mentor, friend and lifelong supporter and later became as the Army Chief of Staff. General Arnold was blessed with three children. On 29 January 1917, just few days after his second son was born, Lieutenant Arnold was promoted to temporary Captain and reported for duty as a supply officer in the Aviation Section, U.S Signal Corps.


1. Lieutenant who was totally unaware of his future destination when he happened to observe the airplane for the first time in his life in 1909, in Paris. He witnessed Louis Bleriot flying a fragile monoplane across the English Channel on his way to return home from Philippines via Hong Kong, Egypt and Europe. He observed the second airplane at Governor's Island which was his next appointment. That airplane was landed there by Wilbur Wright after flying over the Hudson River. His third encounter with flying machines was at Belmont Park international air meet, in 1910. At the air meet aircraft from US, Great Britain and Brazil competed.

2. But the young infantry officer was not impressed by flying until he was nominated for flight training with the Wright brothers at Dayton, Ohio, in April 1911. It was really a challenge to embark on a totally new military aviation career. He accepted the challenge and began flying with instructor Albert L. Welsh that spring. Before their first flight, Welsh pointed out to the local undertaker, who came there daily to watch the flying training and said he comes out every day and drives back empty. Let's keep it that way.'
3. Lieutenant Thomas DeWitt Milling was also nominated for flying training by Capt Arthur Cowan. He was also sent to the Wrights for training and the two Lieutenants took their training together. Lieutenant Arnold soloed in 10 days, after 3 hours and 48 minutes of instruction, in 28 flights.
Both the Lieutenants received civilian airplane pilot license in July 1911. They reported to College Park, Maryland, the country's first military airfield, with two US Wright Flier airplanes to continue further flying training. In June 1912, Lieutenant Arnold recorded an unprecedented altitude of 6,540 feet while flying a Burgess-Wright biplane. He received military aviator rating in July 1912 and became an instructor. At that time, there were only three qualified Army pilots: Arnold, Milling and Lieutenant Benjamin D. Foulois, a Signal Corps officer. Two others Lieutenants Frank P. Lahm, a Cavalry officer and Frederic E. Humphries of the Corps of Engineers from US Army were also trained by the Wright brothers. However, two of them were grounded after airplane accidents.

4. At the time, the major concern of the US Army was reconnaissance. Hence, the pilots had to undergo training in wireless radio communication, photography and bomb dropping, in addition to flying training. They also had to learn the mechanics of the airplane since there was no separate maintenance crew. Both Lieutenant Arnold and Lieutenant Milling succeeded in producing the first air plane technical manual named “Dash-1” which included a complete nomenclature for the parts of the airplane. Pilots also had to practice shooting ground targets with rifles and dropping small bombs on ground targets while flying. He also made a reconnaissance flight under simulated combat conditions that took him from College Park, Maryland to the Army barracks in Washington, D.C., then to Fort Myer, Virginia, to locate an enemy troop of cavalry, and then back to the starting point on a triangular route. Lieutenant Arnold won the most coveted Mackay Trophy for outstanding aerial accomplishments by proving the value of the reconnaissance flights. The Mackay Trophy was subsequently awarded for outstanding ventures of flying annually in the name of Clarence H. Mackay, publisher of Collier's magazine. Later, Lieutenant Arnold was posted to Fort Riley, Kansas and he served there as the first reconnaissance pilot to report observations to ground artillery batteries, through radio communication.

5. His instructor, Al Welsh died in a plane crash in June 1912. Two more Army aviators were killed in airplane accidents in September 1912. Fatalities and accidents became common in US Army air arm. Lieutenant Arnold faced with a near fatal airplane accident in Nov 1912, when his Wright Model C plane went into an uncontrollable spin, with rapid drop of altitude of 300ft/10 sec. Although the spin ended just above ground zero, he didn't know why the spin had happened and he was so traumatized by the incident that he developed a fear of flying. In a report, he even admitted “I cannot even look at a machine in the air without feeling that some accident is going to happen to it.”[4] He was grounded soon after the accident and he assumed desk duties in the office of the chief signal officer.

6. Even after grounding Lt Hap Arnold never lost his faith in air power. He continued to have the interest in aircraft technology. He suggested improving the performance of US airplanes. He proposed to have some stress test to assure flight safety. He actively involved in designing specifications for airplanes. He was called to resume flying duties in Signal Corps in Nov 1916.

7. With German U-boat warfare threatening US shipping trade with Europe, President Woodroe Wilson decided to break America's political neutrality and to enter into World War I in April 1917 and US government allocated more funds for development of the military. In August 1917, Capt Hap Arnold was appointed as executive officer of the Air Division, Washington DC. He got involved in building of US Army air arm. He personally got involved with aircraft production and development of technology. In 1918, he teamed up with a task force of civilian scientists in invention of the first guided missile of America. It was named “Flying Bug” project. The “Flying Bug” was a mini biplane which housed a two stroke Ford engine and a 300 lb war head.

It was launched by a wagon running on a track and it flew to a preset altitude. Then the wings got folded and it dived on to the target. Among the team of scientists were Charles Kettering, Henry Ford and Elmer Sperry. The project was stopped at the experimental level and it was abandoned soon after the World War I. Capt Hap Arnold got involved in many other similar projects which gave birth to new aircraft technology.

8. On recapitulating the salient features of Gen Hap Arnold's early aviation career, it is evident that he has displayed great characteristics of initiative in research and innovation and sheer interest in development of technology. He accepted challenges. He faced difficulties and failures but succeeded through perseverance.

9. World War I ended in 1919 and Capt Arnold was posted to Rockwell Field to supervise the post- war demobilization in Western District.


1. Aftermath of the World War I brought in new challenges to young Captain Arnold and on 21 December 1918, he was ordered back to Rockwell Field to supervise the demobilization of 8000 airmen and surplus aircraft which survived the war. Whilst engaged in the primary task assigned, he concentrated on preserving and promoting aviation among the general public utilizing a different approach and it was through organizing huge aviation shows and publicity stunts. His life at Rockwell Field mainly revolved around two special characters and it was his executive officer, Captain Carl Spaatz and his adjutant, first Lieutenant Ira Eaker. He was promoted to the permanent rank of Captain on 30 Jun 1920 and was fortunate to be promoted to the permanent rank of Major, on the next day, the 1 July 1920.

2. Major Arnold was unexpectedly assigned to attend the Army Industrial College in August 1924, to pursue further studies. On completion of the course, he was reassigned to duty as Chief of Air Service Information, in January 1925 under the command of Brigadier General Mitchell whom he had much respect for. In a later incident, Brigadier General Mitchell was court-martialed, and Major Arnold and some other associates vocally supported Brigadier General Mitchell to safeguard him. But their aim became fruitless and on 17 December 1925, Brigadier General Mitchell was convicted. Though Brigadier General Mitchell was convicted, Major Arnold never gave up and continued to use his position in the information office to provide propaganda to Air Power friendly journalists in defiance of orders from the General Staff.

3. In February 1926, Secretary of War Mr. Dwight F Davis, who was concerned about disciplining the leakers ordered General Patrick to carry out same and General Patrick chose Major Arnold for the task though they had mutual dislikes. On the information leaking issue Major Arnold was given the choice of resignation from the Army or to face a General Court- Martial. Major Arnold stood against the allegation and he chose the latter and the Army, to avoid any public fiasco, instead of having a Court- Martial transferred Major Arnold to command the 16th Observation Squadron at Fort Riley adopting a diversionary tactic. Major Arnold accepted his exile and in May 1927, he participated in war game at Fort Sam Houston in Texas. There he met Major General James Fechet, who had already succeeded General Patrick as the head of the service.

4. Some time later, ending the exile due to General Fechet's intervention Army Chief of Staff General Charles Summerall assigned Major Arnold to the Army's Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth. The year long course was highly unpleasant on many issues for Major Arnold mainly because of doctrinal differences with the school's Commandant, but Major Arnold graduated in June 1929 with outstanding performances. His next assignment was Commander of Fairfield Air Service Depot, Ohio. In 1930, he also became the executive officer of the Air Material Division and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on 1 February 1931.

5. Few months later, on 27 November 1931, he took the command of March Field, California. There he was appointed with a special purpose and the assignment included refurbishing of the base into a showcase installation of the Air Corps and reestablishing the strained relations with citizens of Riverside, California.

Whilst as the Base Commander at March Airfield, personnel under Colonel Arnold's command flew food drops during snow storms in the winter of 1932-1933. Further, he coordinated relief operations during the Long Beach earthquake in March 1933 and established a camp for 3000 boys of the Civilian Conservation Corps[5]. A significant Incident took place in September 1933 when Colonel Arnold designated a portion of the Rogers dry Lake near Muroc as a training site for his March Field squadrons. Presently, this site has become the home for the Edwards Air Force Base.

6. His next engagement was during the Air Mail scandal[6] in 1934, during which he successfully commanded one of the three military zones in the complicated operation. In this operation, though his pilots performed well, his own reputation was relatively untouched by the fiasco. Later in the same year he won his second Mackey Trophy, for leading a newly rolled out B-10 bomber formation on an 8290 mile flight from Washington to Fairbanks, Alaska and back.

7. The General Headquarters Air Force (GHQ) was created on 2 March 1935, to take control of all flying units of the Army and its first commander, Major General Frank Andrews appointed Colonel Arnold to command its First Wing, headquartered at March Field immediately elevating him to the temporary rank of Brigadier General, with effect from 9 March 1935.

8. On 28 December 1935, Brigadier General Arnold was summoned to Washington by the Army Chief of Staff General Malin Craig and over his protests, was made Assistant Chief of the Air Corps and placed him under Major General Westover. Though Brigadier General Arnold's desire was to command operational units, with the latest move he was made in charge of procurement and supply.

In September 1938, Major General Westover was killed in an air crash and Brigadier General Arnold was appointed as the Chief of Air Corps, with an immediate promotion to the Major General rank. Even this strategic move did not return Major General Arnold to the operational Air force, but it did empower him to plan for expansion of the Air Corps into a branch of the Army, coequal with ground forces.

9. In this context, his first move was to streamline research and development efforts, particularly the B-17 and the concept of Jet assisted takeoff[7]. For that matter, he encouraged the use of civilian expertise and the California Institute of Technology became an important beneficiary of the Air Corps in the project. Further, Major General Arnold was highly concerned on rapid returns from R&D investments and he moved towards exploiting proven technologies to provide operational solutions to counter the rising threats of the axis powers.


1. WW I was the birth of strategic bombing towards the latter stages. It was not very significant at that time. However, USA carried out many research and development projects regarding strategic bombing. In addition, need for a separate Air Force was also in the proposals. With that back ground The United States prepared for war in late 1930s[8].

2. During the beginning of the WW II, General Arnold was appointed as the Chief of the Army Air Force as well as acting Deputy Chief of Staff of Air. Few months later the entire air arm organization became under Command of General Hap Arnold. One of his main tasks was to prepare a war plan to fight with Germany and Japan. He along with other officials produced a document which was called as “Air War Plan Division One” (AWPD -1). Ultimately, this plan became the foundation strategy during the World War II era. The plan defines four tasks, they are;

a. Defending of Western Hemisphere.

b. Initial Defensive strategy against Japan.

c. Strategic air offensive against Japan.

d. Strategic air offensive against Germany.

3. AWPD-1 plan also included the expansion of aircraft and personnel. This includes deployment of 24 groups of B-29 bombers at Northern Ireland. In addition there was a proposal of developing a strategic bomber for intercontinental bombing.

4. General Arnold supported Great Britain but was careful when committing his air assets at the will of the British. General Arnold is one of the main figures who promoted Strategic Bombing. Moreover, he closely assisted the establishment of Eighth Air Force in England to restrict the employment of Army Bombers in Anti Submarine role in the Pacific Theater.

5. General Arnold was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General on 15 December 1941 days after the Pearl Harbour attack. But US had bitter experiences in both theaters in Europe as well as the Pacific. Because of the escalation of war, on 9 March 1942, USAAF was granted full autonomy equal to and fully separate from the Army ground forces and supply services. As a result the office of the Chief of the Air Corps and Air Force Combat command were eliminated. Subsequently, General Arnold became the Commanding General of the USAAF and a member of Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Combined Chiefs of Staff.

6. A requirement of a re estimate of the situation was felt and General Arnold was appointed as the Director Air War Plan Division to initiate it. Soon, General Arnold set the footing to create Air War Plan Division 42. It Included;

a. Requirement of 75,000 aircraft.

b. Enlistment of 2.7 million personnel.

c. Requirement of 8,000 gliders.

d. Production of 8,000 aircraft for use of other allies.

e. Refrain earlier strategic points and increased the list of targets from 23 to 177.

f. Ranking the German Luftwaffe first and its submarine force second in destruction.

g. Stopping the B-29 bombers in Europe because of the problem in development.


7. General Arnold was a promoter of strategic bombing. For some reason it was evident that he could not come in to terms with his subordinates regarding tactical air campaigns. Eighth Air Force was the primary bombing force against Nazi Germany. Arnold appointed General Spaatz as the Commander and General Eaker as the head of the Bomber Command. The famous Doolittle attack was also a proposal of General Arnold. The attack was not very successful. The US lost all aircraft and only eight crew members survived due to bad planning. Controversy surrounds that General Arnold did not care for the lives of the crew but only concentrated on carrying out the bombing over Japanese main land.

8. Due to attrition there was a severe shortage of male pilots and General Arnold was quick to realize it. He approved a plan to recruit women pilots which was submitted by Jacqueline Cochran. The plan included of young women pilots to fly military aircraft within the US to relieve the male pilots for combat duty. On 14 Sept 1942, the Women's Flying Training Detachment was established at the Houston Municipal Airport, with Jacqueline Cochran as its Director.

9. With much hesitance, General Arnold was forced to divert resources from Eighth Air Force to support operations in North Africa. General Eaker believed that daylight precision bombing tactics, which included escort aircraft is not required. It was suggested that heavily armed bombers could penetrate and reach any target within distance, without the help of escort fighters. General Arnold opposed the idea.

10. Fighters with jettisonable fuel tanks were introduced in order to increase the range. General Arnold requested to increase his small size bombing force. With this ideologies and requirements, he had many arguments even with his fighter Commanders as well. During the summer of 1943, heavy losses occurred to the US forces. General Arnold decided to replace General Eaker. Ironically, the change of command made the Eighth Air Force significant in defeating Germany using the day light bombing doctrine.

11. General Arnold decided to develop B-29 bombers, as it was the key component of the -strategic campaign. It was the only bomber which was capable of reaching the territory of Japan. B-29s faced unending series of development problems as such General Arnold was subjected to criticism by the press and some of the field commanders.

12. General Arnold decided to personally involve in the B-29 development project. He commenced a three day visit starting from 8 March 1944 over the training bases which conducted the modification program. His main aim was to find shortages and work failures and make speedy actions to terminate them.

13. By Jun 1944, operations against Japanese targets in China and Southeast Asia had escalated. The results were not exactly up to expectation. Twentieth Air Force faced many difficulties, which is similar to Eighth Air Force . General Arnold made the decision of replacing General Kenneth Wolf who was the B-29 Commander in China, by major General Curtis Le May[10].

14. Few months later, the second B-29 bomber campaign began its operation from Marina Islands. 21st Bomber Commander, Brigadier General Hayhood S Hansell, who was a member of the committee which prepared the AWPD-1 and AWPD-42, came across many problems.

Due to his low results and because he refused the campaign of firebombing campaign against the population of Japan, General Arnold replaced General Hansel with general Le May in January 1945.

15. General Arnold nominated himself as the Commander of Twentieth Air Force after convincing his superiors. He decided to make the Decisions in respect of command and administration of twentieth Air Force personally by himself. However, he was criticized for failure of delegation of command.

16. General Arnold wanted to deploy B-29s only according to the strategic policy; however, theater commanders such as General Douglas Mac Arthur, Chester Nimitz and Joseph Stilwell coveted that B-29s for tactical operations. This created a friction between him and field commanders. With much commitment and sacrifice, Allied troops closed in on Japanese mainland. And finally, USA made a decision to drop an Atomic bomb on civilian population and one of the main supporters of that decision was General Hap Arnold.

CHAPTER -VIComparison with other successful leaders

1. General Hap Arnold and General Mac Arthur have shown their outstanding brilliance as military leaders during their careers in the military. General Douglas Mac Arthur served as supreme commander of the Allied war effort in the Pacific, as well the director of the post-war occupation of Japan. Following World War I, General Macarthur became a General and served as the superintendent of West Point, served in the Philippines and was posted to various other assignments.

2. General Mac Arthur who served for number of Presidents of United States was one of the greatest generals in the American history. General Mac Arthur who fought and defeated the Japanese, subsequently was loved by the very same people for his effort in rebuilding their country. He was one of the most loved and became a controversial General in America.

3. Like General Macarthur, General Arnold also dedicated and committed his career to achieve desired military goals. This resulted him reaching the heights position in military hierarchy as he was promoted to a full General in the USAAF on 19 March 1943. Subsequently, he was appointed as a five star General of the Army on 21 December 1944, placing him fourth in the US Army rank structure, just behind Generals George C. Marshall, Douglas Mac Arthur and Eisenhower.

4. General Douglas Mac Arthur's Courage was always depicted and famous among the comrades. Even when the Japanese forces were crushing the Allied forces in Philippines, he never wanted to flee away until the US president ordered General Mac Aarthur to relocate to Australia. There he made the famous speech “I shall return”, on March 20, 1942 which he successfully achieved by defeating the Japanese on Aug 1945.

5. General Mac Arthur despite being a recognized leader, believed in victory at any cost. He organized the triumphant landing at Inchon, which allowed the UN forces to push the North Koreans back to near the Chinese border. Chinese Communists then entered the conflict and General Macarthur urged that the United States should go to war with China and advocated the use of nuclear weaponry against China. He kept on insisting to use the nuclear bombs, in spite of the disagreement of the government. That made him to openly criticize his counter parts in the government, which resulted in eventual removal of his command.

6. On the other hand General Arnold as an ardent leader insisted on strategic bombing and advocated to use fire bombs against civilian population. He was a firm believer of the power of an Air Force to win wars. General Hap Arnold's strong opinion was that merely defeating an enemy in the field or in the air is not enough but will of the population supporting the adversaries army also had to be broken. He had gained a reputation as a bomber man, hence committed to develop the B - 17 Flying Fortress and B - 24 Liberator four engine planes and was keen on the precision training of aircraft crewmembers. At this date General Arnold's strategy of heavy aerial bombardment on civilian targets seems a bit heavy handed.

7. The above incidents envisage that both Generals had the ability to weigh facts and possible courses of action in order to make sound decisions in military strategy but lacked in political and public view as their decisions led to much criticism in political and public arena. Here, the strategy of using strategic bomber missions is common to both leaders.

8. Another leadership quality is the ability to make decisions promptly and to announce them in a clear, forceful manner. But, at times General Macarthur's decisions were doubtful. For an example, when the Japanese forces were tightening their grip towards the Philippines, in spite of repeated advices, he overruled his air commander famous Geeral. Kenny, who had requested permission to launch air attacks against Japanese bases on nearby Taiwan. Consequently, much of the US Far East Air Force was destroyed on ground in the Philippines.

9. The strategic bombing crisis that evolved in Europe influenced General Arnold to fully concentrate on accomplishment of the much controversial B-29 project to concentrate attack on Japan. Even with so much of efforts and enormous expenditure, B-29 program had been stuck with unending series of problems. But, General Arnold never left any flexibility to change and insisted on his decisions while countering much resistance from others. Although he was determined to use B-29's effectively against Japan, he had doubts on placing the new bombers within the normal chain of command under Army General Douglas Mac Arthur and Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz. General Arnold's seemingly stubborn decision led to much criticism in the press and from his contemporary field commanders.

10. The ability to deal with others without creating hostility is a bit controversial with General Macarthur even, though he had very good connections with Australia, Philippine and with Japan after the war.

11. General Arnold was a real taskmaster who never had left any sympathy for anyone who was reluctant to accept tasks or who did not try to sort out problems. He sorted out industrial leaders who were undertaking his research projects and never hesitated to express his impatience in colourful language. He knew how to convince the press and made persuasive speeches to bring attention of the public to emphasize the importance of a greater role of an independent Air Force.

12. The other prominent and classic example of military leadership is General Eisenhower of the USA, the supreme commander of the Allied Forces against Axis powers in WW II. His commitments during WW II and contemporary era immensely contributed not only to win the war but also to make US Armed Forces so strong. In 1941, when Japan attacked Pearl harbour the next day US entered WW II. Gen. Eisenhower's selection as in charge of the war plan division over 366 senior officers, is a clear indication of his reputation and subsequently he secured the highest military appointment in USA and its allies.

13. General Arnold also earned a similar reputation as he was the thriving power behind the creation of an independent Air Force and played a pivotal role in the struggles over it with the hierarchies of the United States Army and United State's Navy. He took over the command of the Army Air Forces immediately prior to US entering into World War II and directed its expansion into the largest and most powerful Air Force in the world. Being the mastermind behind the success of technological research and development, General Arnold was the pioneer in the development of the intercontinental bomber, the jet fighter, the extensive use of radar, global airlift and atomic warfare as mainstays of modern air power.

14. During WW II, General Eisenhower favoured the strategy of “Europe First”, meaning United States would make its main effort against Germany. As a result, the entire world on 6 June 1944, witnessed one of the largest and successful amphibious attacks in the history of man kind. During so called Normandy invasion, General Eisenhower had only enough landing crafts to open the attack to bring in 8 divisions at a time, while his counterpart Field Marshal Rommel, Commander of the German forces in France, had more than 50 divisions. Nevertheless, due to the degree of surprise they could achieve, General. Eisenhower succeeded at the end. During the operation he insisted on using the allied bomber fleet to destroy the French railways, over the objections of the bomber commanders, who wanted to bomb factories and cities inside Germany,

General Eisenhower felt so strongly about this that he even threatened to resign his command unless his approach called the Transportation Plan was adopted. Finally, it really worked. German's couldn't shift their forces. General Eisenhower's intuition made a big difference and contributed immensely to the victory of WW II.

15. General Arnold also on the other hand was a rigid leader who stuck to his decisions. He was convinced of the power of an Air Force to win wars. About the fire bombing of Dresden in World War II, he wrote, “We must not get soft. War must be destructive and to a certain extent inhuman and ruthless.” General Arnold's decisions were subjected to much opposition from the other services, politicians and industry leaders which sometimes led General Arnold to engage in verbal brawls with those who could not accept his concepts of air power[11].

16. General Arnold also made influencing speeches and wrote articles emphasizing importance of more a powerful Air Force to counter the expansion of German air power, whilst making tremendous efforts to convince the white house about expansion of air power. Though his campaign for the expansion of the Army Air Corps became an unpopular idea, later his judgment become true by fall of 1938. President Roosevelt called for the production of 10,000 planes in 1940, 20,000 the year after and later 50,000. General Arnold timely exploited the directive and started expanding the Army Air Corps.

17. General Eisenhower was quick to get rid of anyone who could not cooperate and his reputation for toughness spread widely. He also readily demonstrated his tremendous abilities in forging and maintaining relationships among the allies and managing large scale operations.

18. General Arnold had little patience for those who did not try to overcome obstacles. His style of leadership was unique for the size of such a force. He was reluctant to trust the second hand information. Therefore, he adopted the practice of writing personal letters regularly to his top commanders and encouraged them to come out with their problems and also the way they were handling.

19. Leadership qualities of an individual are vital to identify his commanding techniques. Qualities are always the same but the deference is how an individual applies them as per the situation. Therefore, it is important to understand that the leadership qualities are the basic traits of a leader and the application of those traits depend on the situation.


1. As per General Arnold's characteristics, he owned inherent quality of closely supervising every work, which he was supposed to do. As such, during the WW-II, he travelled extensively between theaters that made him farcically unstable. Eg trip to the Casablanca conference. On 28 Feb 1943, he had a heart attack and he admitted to Walter Read army hospital for a few days. After he was recovered, with the instruction of US President Franklin Ruswelt, he was allowed to remain in the service under the condition of light duty.

2. General Arnold received his promotion as Full General on 21 Dec 1944 and became the fifth in line of USAAF. Moreover, on 28 Feb 1946, General Arnold left the active duty but he never got the official retirement. It is also one of the unique characteristic of his service. General Arnold was honored for being the first General of the United States Army Air Force. Moreover, he was awarded the status of five star General of the United States Air Force on 7 May 1949, by an act approved by the US Congress.

3. On 15 Jan 1950, General Arnold died when he was at his home in Sonoma. He was given a state funeral in Washington D.C. His remains were buried in Section 34, Arlington National Cemetery. It marks the end of a great Flyer, Tactician, Theorist, Technologist who sacrificed almost all of his lifetime for the implementation and development of the United State's Air Force by never retiring from the service.

4. With respect to his distinguished contribution towards the service, he was awarded with many gallantry awards. Among them Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Service Medal were very prominent.

5. The government of United State recognized his great contribution towards the service as well as the country as a whole. And as appreciation “Tenecy” Air Base was renamed as “General Arnold Air Base” and aeronautical research center named as “Arnold Engineering Development Centre” was established.

6. Moreover, for further appreciation of his devotion, inculcating Physical, Moral and conceptual means to the enhancement of status of organization and the nation, General Henry Harley (Hap) Arnold warrants the title of “Father of The US Air Force[12]”.


1. American Air Power comes of Age, World War II Diaries.-Air University Press Maxwell AF Base Alabama- By Maj Gen JW Huston.

2. HH Arnold “Global Mission” of the Air Force, 1949 and Brothers publishers, NewYork.


http// Arnold hap. html








[8] American Air Power comes of Age, World War II Diaries.-Air University Press Maxwell AF Base Alabama- By Maj Gen JW Huston

[9] American Air Power comes of Age, World War II Diaries.-Air University Press Maxwell AF Base Alabama- By Maj Gen JW Huston

[10] American Air Power comes of Age, World War II Diaries.-Air University Press Maxwell AF Base Alabama- By Maj Gen JW Huston



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