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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Strategic Bombardment | Pursuit Aviation | Air Corps Tactical School | Airpower Debates | Ascension of Bombardment | GHQ Air Force | GHQ Air Force Organization | Roles for GHQ Air Force | Response to Roles Proposal | GHQ Air Force—Pros & Cons | GHQ Air Force Stimulates Doctrine | Planning for War | AWPD-1 | AWPD-1 Objectives | Response to AWPD-1 | Field Manual 100-20 | FM 100-20 Concepts | FM 100-20 Centralized Control | Impact of FM 100-20 | Airpower Evolution | Increasing Autonomy | Doctrine Evolves | USAF as Separate Service | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Pursuit Aviation

Action: Begin screen with a picture of a Nieuport military style bi-plane at screen center:

Voice: In the years immediately following World War One, pursuit aviation, a function we now call counter air operations, was generally considered to be the primary mission of the air service. Believing that control of the air was vital to military operations,…

Action: When Mitchell name is mentioned show a picture of a young Billy Mitchell to the left of the screen. Later in the same passage of the narration present the following quote on Pursuit aviation:

“Pursuit aviation is the basis of an air force, just as infantry is the base on which an army rests.”

William Mitchell, “Tactical Application of Military Aeronautics”, Staff Paper, 5 Jan 1919

Voice: …Brigadier General Billy Mitchell viewed pursuit aviation as the basis of an air force. Within the War Department, pursuit aviation and missions that supported ground forces dominated. Even bombardment aviation was viewed within the context of large-scale surface operations and seen largely as a supporting operation. But soon, this thinking began to change.

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