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Can_They_Bomb_Us

34 THE SATURDAY EVENING POST December 2,1239 shaving C .1V Bored with N THEY = ODE UtO? Scrapes and stings? (Continued from Page 7) Get the coolness The Navy's Sikorsky flying dreadnought, a giant patrol bomber. Ingram's brings Thrifty Ingram's brings you speedy, cool, soothing shaves! FOR SHEER beard-soaking speed— you can't top Ingram's. For all through your shave, that famous Ingram's KICK makes a cooling, bracing difference to your skin. Still—it's after shaving that you get your most welcome surprise. Your face feels cool as an April morning—fresh, soothed, comforted. Ingram's, you see, helps relieve shave irritation. For more shaving satisfaction, get Ingram's today—in the thrifty tube or economical jar. INGRAM'S awe,70-ei SHAVING CREAM A little goes a longer way in their ability to stay in the air for long periods of time, with ranges of more than 10,000 miles. They operate from a series of bases extending right around the Continental United States—from the new bases in Alaska to Seattle, to San Francisco, to San Diego, to the Canal Zone, to the other new bases at Puerto Rico, to the Virginia capes, to Newport, and to Bath, Maine. In war, as on the present neutrality patrol, they cover everything for 500 miles at sea with a chain of eyes. The field of their operations includes everything within the danger circles, even everything within the outsize 1000-mile danger circles, with the single exception of the Island of Newfoundland. Patrol flights around Newfoundland would be child's play for planes that can cover three times the necessary distance. This chain of eyes might miss an isolated ship or plane, but it is in the last degree unlikely—indeed, it is flatly impossible—that in day-by-day patrols they would overlook the changed landscape, the ship and aerial movements incident to the establishment of a major air base. The same goes for the parade of fighting -hips and auxiliaries necessary to support a large-scale carrierbased bombing expedition. When such a base or expedition is discovered, the G. H. Q. Air Force of the Army would go into action at once. This G. H. Q. Air Force is our independent air arm; it operates directly under the chief of the Army General Staff, in distinction to the rest of the Army planes, which operate with the various corps organizations and are supposed never to be very far from the troops with whom theyare work- ing. Having no ground attachments, it can be concentrated as fast as its 250- mile-an-hour planes can fly at one of the six bases from which it operates— March and Hamilton fields, California; Mitchel Field, New York; Selfridge Field, Michigan; Langley Field, Virginia, and Barksdale Field, Louisiana. Uncle Sam's Air Ace These fields are at, or just off center of, the focal points of all the danger circles, which is to say that an enemy establishing a base from which we could be bombed must place that base within the danger circle of the bombers of our G. H. Q. Air Force. There is no answer to bombing airplanes quite equal to that made by other bombing airplanes which get there first. When Germany attacked Poland, the Nazi bombers raided the Polish airdromes in the first days, and a good half the Polish air force never got off the ground at all—burned in its hangars, or wrecked trying to taxi across the explosion-pitted landing fields. This is the sort of experience that a would-be air invader of the United States would face in trying to establish a base. This and worse than this, for the G. H. Q. Air Force has in its possession the Sperry bomb-sight, an absolutely revolutionary invention, which allows our planes to dominate everything 800 miles from their bases. This bombsight is probably the greatest single military secret in the world today, so important that it was whispered around military circles that the reason why the Bremen was detained in New York and gone over with a fine-toothed comb recently was solely because one of these marvelous mechanisms was not in the place it should have been at Mitchel Field. Nobody knows what makes this bomb-sight so good; not even the men who operate it. The fact remains that it is the best thing of the kind in the world. Using it, American Army or Navy planes can drop a bomb into a pickle barrel from 18,000 feet up. They have scored direct hits on a 200-foot target from as high as 24,000 feet; they have scored direct hits from 15,000 feet while the bombing plane was twisting, in a bank or a barrel roll. Nobody in the world outside can come anywhere near this accuracy. The universal practice elsewhere is to use either pattern bombing or dive bombmg. Pattern bombing requires a whole squadron of planes, flying in a tight formation, which all let go bombs at once. Most of them will miss, but the idea is that one or more bombs in the pattern will hit the target. The system has the disadvantage that the planes have to fly fairly low even to get the pattern on the target, and that their formation, covering a considerable area of air as it does, makes them suckers for antiaircraft gunners. In dive bombing, a single plane—or more, if they can be spared—dives directly at the target, full power, releasing a bomb at the lowest point of the dive and then zooming upward. It has the disadvantage that the pilot stands about a 10 per cent chance of never pulling out of his dive, and the further disadvantage that he comes down a straight line, even into machine-gun range. Dive bombing has thus far proved a conspicuously dangerous business in Europe. But our Air Force has the Sperry bomb-sight. It does not have to waste planes in dive bombing, so it can accomplish the same results with fewer machines. It does not have to waste bombs in pattern bombing, so the planes can carry fewer bombs, and the weight thus saved can be put into other factors. As a matter of fact, this is what has happened—the weight saving as a result of the Sperry bomb-sight has been put into cruising range on the Boeing and Douglas machines for our G. H. Q. Air Force, with the result that they are said to have a radius of nearly 750 miles. The Army is extremely tight-lipped about still newer machines, but they are believed capable of even greater range. When the Enemy Strikes For American defense purposes this means that the G. H. Q. Air Force can hit the enemy in his bases, helpless on the ground, not only early in time, before he can get a bombing raid started, but farther in space, at distances from which no retaliation is possible to him. But suppose, again, that the enemy does get his base established and his raid started; suppose word comes through that a squadron of thirty hostile bombers are on their way to New York or Chicago. Does this mean we have nothing to depend upon but the regular and National Guard anti- aircraft regiments? Not yet. The de- fense against the airplane is another airplane. Behind its squadrons of bomb- ers the G. H. Q. Air Force has pursuit planes, fighters, and each corps area has many more, includ- ing our National Guard and reserve pursuit flyers, who are beautifully trained and who mount fighting planes probably superior to any in the world. Dispatch from Paris: "The Amer. ican-built Curtiss Hawks are the only airplanes on the Western Front that have consistently outflown and outfought the German Messerschmidts." Now, that Curtiss Hawk is an export model. It was not the best thing we had, even when exported—otherwise our Army would not have let it go—and on the recorded figures, its only superiority over the Messerschmidt is the fact that it can stay in the air for about three hours. The German machine, by cutting fuel capacity to give it only an hour and a half of flight, attained a world's record speed and had it certified under test conditions. Its service speed is supposed to be about 333 miles an hour. But the Hawks turned out better when the chips were down, and on this side of the Atlantic there are now at least three machines in production so good that they have superseded the Hawk. One of them, a Lockheed type, is supposed to have made an all-butincredible 460 miles an hour while carrying its military load of four machine guns and a shell-firing cannon, and to be capable of 360 miles an hour at ordinary cruising speeds. Before such a machine, even the 300-mile-anhour bomber, which so far exists only as a hope, would be practically a stationary object. The Lockheeds could (Continued on Pas* 37)


Can_They_Bomb_Us
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