Re: Seeking photos of Col. Jacob Smart
The rapid transition, the speed with which a country can act in time of war is a revelation. If our nation worked with the same urgency and effort in time of peace as it does in time of war, even the author of "Buck Rogers" would hesitate to speculate on the results a few decades would bring.
In peace time airline pilots have years of training and pilot time and then usually serve several years as a co pilot before they are entrusted with planes which cost several hundred thousand dollars. But when we entered the war we had to have pilots and we had to have them quick. The Army gathered thousands of bank clerks, soda jerks, farmers and college students, gave them 9 months of intensive training and turned them loose not only as pilots on expensive aircraft but also as Commanders of fighting units. And it worked!!The bomb-wreaked factories, railway yards, bridges, munition plants and oil refineries of German controlled countries will bear testimony to that.
Two years ago I was a civilian who had never been up in an airplane even as a passenger. A year ago I was a student pilot wondering if I would every learn to fly well enough to earn my wings. Today I am a squadron Leader and an instructor pilot. The story has been repeated a thousand times. Thousands of other young Americans can tell the same story.
The American system teaches adaptability and trains the mind to grasp new problems quickly. The American youth has a heritage of pride and perseverance which will not let him admit defeat with any problem which may confront him. If he is challenged to invent a better gun, he does it. It is a precious heritage and a precious way of life. Let us take care that we shall never lose it.
.......Wow that was written 70 years ago!!! And if that does not sum up our country's character (even today) I do not know what does!!! Lance