National Geographic : 1942 Jul
The National Geographic Magazine Official Photograph U. S. Navy A Carrier Puts Up Her Air Umbrella Here a dive-bombing squadron circles the mother ship. The planes might be waiting for a signal to dart out and attack an enemy picked up by a scout far over the horizon. Others are still taking off from the flight deck. The remaining planes will have to be moved forward before this squadron can return aboard. of your enemies. What's more, they would be there today and gone tomorrow-the ideal hide-out for airplanes." "But if we could do that, the enemy could, too, off our coasts. What then, Genie?" "Don't worry, that won't happen to you. President Roosevelt's 185,000 planes will take care of that. There's your protection." To Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske goes much credit for the carrier's success. It was this farseeing American officer who, in 1912, invented the torpedoplane, the carrier's most potent weapon. Just before he died, on April 6, 1942, the Admiral wrote for the U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, May, 1942, an illuminating ar ticle, "Air Power 1913-43." He concluded his swan song with these prophetic words: "The air battles for the control of the Atlantic and the Pacific of the near future may dwarf the greatest battles held so far." Conservative people may say that our big carrier program cannot be completed in time or that it sounds utterly fantastic. But nothing is fantastic or impossible in this age to American industry. When our mighty fleet of carriers with its armada of planes steams across the Pacific let the Japanese beware. From our massed planes will fall such a deluge of shells, bombs, and torpedoes as the world has never seen. Japanese ships and planes will be annihi lated. The evil yards and factories that built them will be wiped forever from the face of the earth. Following in the wake of our airplanes and their carriers and our battle fleet, our massed armies will march in and mop up in such a continuous tidal wave that the Japanese ad vances to date will seem as child's play. No, Admiral Yamamoto, you won't dictate peace in the White House at Washington; but the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, will. Our conquering pilots, sailors, and soldiers will see to that!