ARMY: The Airlines Join Up

Into the Army went the biggest, most important draftee yet—the entire U.S. air-transport system. The Presidential order gave the Army control of 19 privately owned airlines, some 275 sleek transports, millions of dollars' worth of vital aircraft parts, hangars and machinery, and 24,000 skilled workers (including 2,500 badly needed pilots, 5,900 crack mechanics and ground men). The Army did not take over the airlines to increase their efficiency—that has been tiptop for years. The reason was urgent need: Army air-freight and passenger traffic has priority on grounds of overwhelming volume alone....

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