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Eaker, General Ira, 1898-1987

Eaker was a US General and the chief advocate of the strategic bombing of Germany. He led the first US bombing raid in western Europe, on marshaling yards outside Rouen on 17 August 1942. As Commander of the 8th Air Force he attended the Casablanca conference where he convinced the Combined Chiefs to allow the US bombers to continue their policy of daylight precision bombing alongside the RAF’s nighttime area bombing offensive. In June 1943 he was promoted to Lieutenant General and a year after succeeded Tedder as Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Area Command. His Air Force was based in Italy and he continued the strategic bombing offensive against Germany and the Balkans. In March 44 Eaker planned the bombing of the monastery at Monte Cassino. In August of the same year he was Air Commander in Chief of Operation Dragoon, the Allied invasion of southern France. He had 5000 aircraft whereas the Germans had only 200; his forces destroyed the German defenses and the ‘Mediterranean Wall.’

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