|About the Book|
Few U.S. military or naval bases in this century have had a more enduring influence on their branch of service than the Maxwell air field in Montgomery, Alabama. Built during WWI on the site where the Wright brothers had conducted the first AmericanMoreFew U.S. military or naval bases in this century have had a more enduring influence on their branch of service than the Maxwell air field in Montgomery, Alabama. Built during WWI on the site where the Wright brothers had conducted the first American flight training for civilians, by the 1930s it had become a post for the Air Corps Tactical School. This school was a combination think tank that later significantly influenced the air operations of WWII, and an educational institution for officers who would go on to fill most of the top Army air commands in that war.The Air Corps Tactical School was superseded in 1940 at Maxwell by the headquarters for all operational training of the U.S. Army Forces east of the 42nd meridian. The training provided commanders and crews for all the far-flung war fronts. Maxwell itself trained thousands of aviation cadets and support personnel. It provided transitional training for commissioned pilots on the heavy bomber, the B-24, and the super heavy bomber, the B-29. Maxwell-trained airmen fought in the skies from Pearl Harbor to the final assault on the Japanese home islands.Maxwells operational training mission came to an end in 1946, when another combination think tank and educational institution, the Air University (AU), was founded there. Four main dramas have played since 1946 at Maxwell: the impact of the Cold War on the base and the Air University- the up-and-down struggle of the professional military schools (particularly the Air War College, AUs crown jewel) and the Air Command and Staff College for respect both within and outside the Air Force- the relationship between base and community- and closely related to the others, the impact ofthe great movements for social change involving race and gender.The Wisdom Eagles is the first comprehensive history of a U.S. military or naval base by professional historians that touches all aspects: social, economic, operational, and educational. Accompanying the text is a grand array of photographs.