The Air National Guard: The Early Years, 1946–1965

Author(s): Kennard R. Wiggins

ISBN: 9781781559321
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**THIS BOOK WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR DISPATCH IN MAY 2024**
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The untold story of the pioneer airmen, high-performance aircraft, and hometown units that defined the early years of the Air National Guard.
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**PUBLICATION DATE: MAY 2024**
(Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Pre-Order below)

  • Includes newly discovered material, with eyewitness accounts and previously unpublished illustrations

  • Examines in detail the aerial races and gunnery competitions of the period, and the record-breaking flights of Air Guard pilots

  • In the appendices, catalogues the role of the Air National Guard in the Korean War and the unit’s team winners in Air Force aerial competitions

  • Includes a foreword by the legendary Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway (ANG Ret.) former director of the Air National Guard and chief of the National Guard Bureau

When it was established alongside the United States Air Force in 1947, the Air National Guard consisted of a colorful mix of World War II veterans and a dubious collection of “flyable storage” aircraft, mostly obsolete. Four years later, it was mobilized for the Korean War, which, after producing a handful of National Air Guard jet aces, precipitated an influx of new equipment for the unit.

The Air Guard had entered the “Jet Age,” an era in which it truly belonged, and began entering air races and aerobatic competitions, winning public appeal as an elite unit with crack pilots and state-of-the-art jet aircraft.

This book is a detailed history of the first two decades of the Air National Guard as it evolved from a post-war hometown “flying club” for World War II veterans to a critical operational force integral to U.S. aerial strength. It uncovers the dramatic stories of the combat aces, the record-breaking jet racers, the pioneers who established the Air Guard on a wing and a prayer, and those who molded it into a first-rate fighting force.

BOOK ISBN 9781781559321
FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
BINDING Paperback
PAGES 160 pages
PUBLICATION DATE May 2024
TERRITORY World
ILLUSTRATIONS 79 illustrations
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Brig. Gen. Kennard R. Wiggins, Jr., (DE ANG Ret.) lives in Elkton, Maryland. He is a fourth generation Delaware National Guardsman and a veteran of over thirty-seven years’ service to the Air National Guard and the United States Air Force. A University of Delaware graduate, Wiggins’ military career has spanned various positions, including in aircraft maintenance, public affairs, recruiting, personnel, strategic planning, and training. He holds a master’s degree from National Defense University and serves as curator for the Delaware Military Museum and history advisor to Wilmington University and the Pencader Heritage Museum.

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