National Geographic : 1969 Jul
While the drums of war crescendoed in Europe in the late 1930's. Lieutenant Colonel Eisenhower served in the Philippines, which were being groomed for independence. His task, as senior military assistant to Gen. Douglas MacArthur (page 12), was to help organize the defense of these islands. "Duty with troops was my first desire." he later wrote, but he performed his staff duties with great effectiveness. While building a Philippine air force, Ike PHOTOGRAPHS BYJOHNS. D. EISENHOWER took flying lessons (above). "Because I was learning to fly at the age of 46, my reflexes were slower than those of the younger men. But it was fun...." Back in the States in 1938. Eisenhower ap pealed for more aid to the Philippines, con vinced that the islands would play a key role in the event of an Asian war. A visit to Denver (below) finds Ike at the controls of one of the Doud family's cars, a vintage 1914 Rauch and Lang electric.