This book seeks to recount the air experience and development before World War II, to describe the objectives, plans and effects of strategic air warfare in Europe and in the Pacific, and to offer criticism, opinion, and lessons of that great conflict. In retrospect I find that I have been singularly fortunate in my associations and assignments. I have been associated with many great men and have been in position to observe great events. In the decade before World War II, I had a priceless opportunity to work with Bob Olds, Harold Lee George, Ken Walker, Don Wilson, and Muir "Santy" Fairchild, under the guidance, inspiration, and benign protection of the Commandant of the Air Corps Tactical School at Maxwell Field, Col. John F. Curry. My associates also included Ira C. Eaker, who combined great ability as a staff executive with superlative leadership as Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force in England. I worked under that superb airman, Carl "Tooey" Spaatz, Commanding General, United States Strategic Air Forces in Europe. I was caught up in the dedication and driving spirit of Henry H. "Hap" Arnold, Commanding General, U.S. Army Air Forces, Air Member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Commanding General, Twentieth Air Force. And I had the special privilege of working for the greatest soldier of our day, and perhaps of any day, a man of superb integrity and highest character: Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Catlett Marshall. The observations contained in this book constitute a memoir, with all the shortcomings of faulty memory, bias, personal viewpoint, personal experience, and inadequate research that are implied in the term. They lead to speculation on probable results ofalternative actions or conditions, and that speculation is likewise suspect because it reflects personal judgment. But the compendium may lead others to derive lessons and conclusions which fit into a broader mosaic.