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General Earle E. Partridge, USAF Airpower Leadership In A Limited War

Length: 68 pages1 hour


This study analyzes the career of General Earle Everard “Pat” Partridge, USAF, with a focus on the airpower lessons that inspired his craftsmanship of the first air campaign of the United States Air Force. The author separates Partridge’s career into three sequential periods: company grade operational experiences; field grade instructional and doctrinal studies; and finally Partridge’s flag grade leadership and innovation. The conclusion, drawn from a career spanning both World Wars and culminating in the Korean War, is that Partridge generally endorsed official doctrine as a training goal; a goal to be adjusted to meet the unique and unpredictable contextual demands of an explicit war scenario. Next, the writer evaluates Partridge’s leadership in the Korean War-the first to follow the National Security Act of 1947-where service doctrine, joint training and technology deficiencies demanded unprecedented compromise and innovation. The final section of the study illustrates the lessons learned by Partridge in the aftermath of the Korean War, lessons that are as valuable today as they were fifty years ago on the Peninsula where America and its allies fought Communist expansion.

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