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USN Aircraft Carrier Air Units. Volume I 1946-1956 (Vietnam studies group 6160)
By D. Kasulka
Publisher: Squadron/Signal Publications 1985 67 Pages
PDF 29 MB
In the immediate post war years the United States Navy was dominated by problems of demobilization, an uneasy international situation, and a re-organization. Demobilization was rapid with the number of aircraft carriers in service reduced from 109 in 1945 to twenty-five a year later, and by the middle of 1950 to nine. The unsettled international situation in vastly separated areas of the world resulted in the formation of Carrier Task Groups to operate in the North Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Western Pacific, providing tangible evidence of America's presence and support for their Allies and the Free World.
The first of the international crises was quick in coming as President Truman dispatched US Naval forces to Turkey in March of 1946, responding to a massive build-up of Soviet forces along the Turkish border. The next major US foreign policy test came when French, British, and American air forces provided a massive airlift into the city of Berlin, breaking the Soviet surface blockade of the former German capitol.
In some respects this period was almost a repeat of the post World War I twenties. Political clamoring for both a separate air force and a merger of all the military services, was satisfied, to a greater or lesser degree, with the creation of the Department of Defense (DOD) in 1947, which combined the three services (the Air Force, Army and Navy) under a single Secretary of Defense. In the Fleet itself, the main problems were the transition to a severely lower force level, the incorporation of World War II combat experience, and the introduction of new weapons and technology. Jet aircraft, guided missiles and nuclear weapons, all required great adjustments in plans, organization and tactic.