Before he retired as Chief of Staff of the Air Force in 1965, General LeMay (1906-1990) became a symbol of the nation’s air power through his combat experience in WWII and his leadership in building up the Strategic Air Command.
He participated in the B-17 mass flight to South America in 1938, pioneered air routes over the South Atlantic to Africa, and the North Atlantic to England.
He organized and trained the 305th Bombardment Group, developing formation procedures and bombing tactics; and led the Regensburg raid, a B-17 shuttle striking Germany and Africa during World War II.
He planned the B-29 air raids over Japan during World War II and organized the Berlin Airlift as commander of the U.S. Air Force in Europe.
In 1948, he assumed the command of the new SAC (Strategic Air Command) where he laid plans for the ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile).