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Contact! Early Naval Aviation (Hardback)


By Alan Carey
Imprint: Key Publishing
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 300
ISBN: 9781802826470
Published: 25th August 2023



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The development of US naval aviation was much in doubt, especially during its formative years between 1910 and 1913. The lack of interest and allocation of money for aviation changed in 1916, when it became clear that the United States could be drawn into the war in Europe. Yet, the naval and marine air sections were woefully unprepared for warfare when the United States declared war against the Central Powers and had to rely on its European allies to provide bombers and pursuit aircraft throughout the war.

There was initially tension between the Navy and Marine Corps as the naval hierarchy saw no need to provide land-based aircraft as the duty of aviation was to patrol and for antisubmarine operations by using seaplanes and flying boats. Negotiations brought forth the concept of the Northern Bombing Group, a land-based unit equipped primarily with British and Italian aircraft. This historical narrative encompasses the formation and development of the US Navy and Marine Corps air services from 1911 to 1918. It includes pre-war and wartime training, aircraft development, operations, and personalities such as the Navy’s Theodore “Spuds” Ellyson and Marine Alfred A. Cunningham. Both pioneers continuously fought to maintain and grow their service’s air arms. Their tenacity would, within seven years, lead to the organization of wartime scouting, pursuit, and bombing units.

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About Alan Carey

Alan C. Carey is an internationally published author of military history specializing in aviation topics with over two dozen books to his credit. His first book, The Reluctant Raiders, was published in 1999. He has been cited in several published works and on television on his expertise in aviation-related topics including an interview with the TAAS News Agency regarding the 75th Anniversary ending of World War II and the HBO Series “Dogfights.”
He attended Southwest Texas State University where he earned undergraduate and graduate degrees. He served in the US Marine Corps as a machine gunner/team leader and with the US Army Reserve/Army National Guard as a nuclear, biological, and chemical defense specialist.

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