Thursday, January 17, 2008

Read: A History of Military Aviation in San Antonio (up to pg 64)

The book is 117 pages long, and I was reading ten percent of at a time, about twelve pages. This time, I read as much as I could in an hour. There is no need to drag out the days in reading a book, especially if it's a quick read.

Brooks was a Primary Instruction School from 1921 to 1931, when Primary was moved to Randolph field. This book will cover Randolph later. Kelly was Advanced Training while Brooks was Primary. After Primary moved, Brooks got some observation squadrons, but bombardment training overshadowed it by the late 1930s.

During World War II, Brooks assisted Kelly in Advanced Training due to the increase in demand. Formal observation training ceased in 1943. Advanced Training took on the B-25 bomber, which needed newer runways and larger hangars than what Brooks had before WWII. Construction activity increased significantly, including runways and hangars, by the end of the war.

The military established a school of aviation medicine in 1917, which was moved to Brooks in 1926. Brooks lost it and Primary the same year, 1931, to the same field, Randolph. The school moved back to Brooks in 1957. From then, it evolved to the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, still in operation.

Once one doesn't need heroic individuals to make history, the development of institutions can actually become compelling in its own right. I am again struck by how much progress was made in the first half of the twentieth century in aeronautics, both as mac. There is perhaps a contemporary analog to this pace of progress, such as Information Technology, and another to come. Maybe biotechnology?

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