THOUSANDS OF U.S. AIRPLANES ON THE WAY TO WESTERN FRONT
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) One hundred years ago tonight, June 17, 1917, Secretary of War Newton D. Baker* endorsed a plan "to put an overwhelming force of American airplanes on the European battle front in the shortest possible time."
The Chicago Daily Tribune reported that 100,000 airplanes were "to land (the) first U.S. war punch." The War Department expected to spend $600,000,000 on construction of the "vast fleet." The Tribune suggested that Baker's endorsement indicated President Woodrow Wilson himself was "squarely behind the proposition."
The Secretary of War said...
"It will take no more shipping space to send a thousand air pilots abroad than a thousand infantrymen. It will take no more space to send airplanes and motors than to send artillery."
Mr. Baker added...
"American airmen and aeroplanes may turn the tide. They furnish our supreme opportunity for immediate service on the fighting line."
*Newton Diehl Baker, Jr. (1871-1937) was born in Martinsburg, West Virginia & graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1892. NDB graduated from Washington & Lee School of Law in 1894.
Baker served as City Solicitor & later Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio & as the 47th Secretary of War 1916-1921.
"100,000 Airplanes To Land First U.S. War Punch", The Chicago Daily Tribune, June 18, 1917.