For Systems Architecture, subject “Modeling” – in case you were curious (many pretty pictures for the bandwidth constrained to beetle their Luddite brows over):
In 1972, the US Air Force went to the aviation industry with Request for Proposals for a new, lightweight fighter design. Northrop contended with the YF-17, while General Dynamics competed with the ultimately successful F-16 design. Although not successful in the USAF’s lightweight fighter competition, the YF-17 had desirable characteristics satisfying the US Navy’s emergent requirement for a high volume, “low end” strike fighter to replace both the F-4 and A-7 aircraft, especially on the Navy’s smaller, conventional aircraft carriers – ships like USS Coral Sea and Midway – whose flight decks were not large enough to accommodate the “high end” fleet air defense aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat.
They are going so fast now, the veterans of WW2. Growing up in the 50s, they were all around me. My father, of course. He had a good friend who was an Army tank commander in North Africa. Another family friend was in the 2nd wave at D-Day. My uncle was a Marine.
“After that, I have no expectation of success.” — Imperial Japanese Navy Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto, speaking to the Japanese Cabinet during planning for war with the United States in 1940.
On December 7th, 1941 Yamamoto’s fleet delivered a crushing surprise attack on the US at Pearl Harbor. Exactly six months later, four of his six fleet carriers: Soryu, Hiryu, Kaga and Akagi went to the bottom in the waters off Midway Island. The battle began 65 years ago today and was a turning point in the Pacific War, and as US industrial capacity ramped up to wartime production levels the strategic tide had turned.
The only questions remaining was how long it would take to end the fighting, and how many would have to die along the way.
The thought just came to me that he is the last President we had for which there was no polarization. Whether people voted for him or not, he was recognized as a good and decent man by the country.
One thing I want to add: While it is well known that he was the youngest US Naval aviator to enlist, and that he was shot down in the Pacific and rescued, it is not well known what would have been his fate had he been captured by the Japanese.
Something that stayed with me after years ago reading James Bradley’s book, Flyboys. This was his follow up book to Flags of our Fathers, the story of the Iwo Jima landing.
Chichi Jima is about 150 miles north of Iwo Jima, and was a hub for Japanese radio transmissions in the Pacific. Eight U.S. Navy Airmen were captured, with only Bush able to evade capture.
On the orders of the garrison commander, 5 of them were beaten, tortured and then beheaded. The Japanese then ate their livers.
The future of the country depended on a submarine commander seeing him in a raft on the Pacific.
“Pacific Crucible,” by Ian Toll, who also happened to author the wonderful “Six Frigates” recommended to me a few months back. Covering the period just before the Pearl Harbor attack until just after the tide turned at Midway, “Crucible” covers familiar territory for the hobbyist naval historian, but does so in a compelling manner, with vivid prose that fleshes out sympathetic and informative portraits of flag officers and captains on both sides, highlighted by short sketches about sailors in the gun tubs and engine rooms.
Appropriate attention is paid to Joseph Rochefort and his dogged team of cryptanalysts who made the Midway victory possible, and who paid for it – Rochefort in particular – with outrageous treatment by his Washington “superiors“.