I wish that I could claim to have planed it that way. But, in fact, the theme of biography in the Winter 2011 issue of Air Power History simply evolved. Of course, I am pleased that it did because my formulation of history is: "change over time, plus people."
"Stalag 17B," by Joseph Kurtenbach, is a personal account of the author's grandfather, Technical Sergeant Kenneth Kurtenbach. After his capture and internment during World War II, the latter was elected to represent the non-commissioned officer POWs. In contrast with the descriptions in the film and Broadway play versions of Stalag 17, this account tells what life behind the wire was really like.
In the second article, Zachary Matusheski, delves into the controversy between Air Force Gen. Curtis E. LeMay and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara. Matusheski uses the protagonists' sharp differences over funding for the B-70 bomber to illustrate their basic disagreement over the meaning of strategic deterrence. Learn how the background and experience of each man influenced his position.
Col. John R. Boyd was another controversial individual. In the third feature article, author Scott McIntosh examines Boyd's limited combat experience in the Korean War. However, Boyd had an outstanding talent for teaching fighter tactics. Boyd's influence continued on to the Vietnam War and his development of the energy maneuverability theory. That theory figured prominently in the design of the F-15 fighter. Boyd went even farther. In any endeavor, he posited, victory went to the combatant best able to manage the rate of change. For example, in air-to-air combat, Boyd believed that a pilot had to get inside his opponent's OODA Loop. While there, in order to win, one had to Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act as quickly as possible.
Finally, Jeffery Bateman presents the extraordinary accomplishments of Gen. Samuel C. Phillips, the ultimate program manager....