ARMED FORCES: The Man for the Job

When General Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg, then a youthfully handsome man of 49, hurdled his seniors to become Chief of Staff of the new U.S. Air Force in April 1948, even his airmen friends agreed that "Van" was hardly the man for the job. The Air Force definition of its strategic mission had not been accepted, savage fights over increased air power were obviously ahead, and planning was restricted by the balance-of-forces system, which parceled out equal funds to the three services. Vandenberg, one of the finest pilots the Air Force ever had,...

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