Lemay, General Curtis, 1906-1990

Lemay was the architect of the US bombing offensive against Germany and Japan. He was sent to England in 1942 with the 8th Air Force and instituted a daylight bombing campaign against specific targets. He led many raids himself and devised the best defensive formation : aircraft flying at staggered heights. In July 1944 Lemay went to the China- India-Burma Theater to take command of the 20th Bomber Group and greatly improved the bombing offensive against Japan. He used B-29s and flying long distances from China they were able to hit targets in western Japan and Formosa, providing there was good visibility. In November 1944 the Marianas were ready to be used as air bases and Lemay now sent out missions to bomb the Imperial homeland. Since bomber losses were high in daylight raids, Lemay switched to night-time low-level area bombing using fire bombs. The most spectacular raid was the Tokyo raid on the night of 10 March which destroyed sixteen and a half square miles of the capital.

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