Spaatz, Carl, born 28-06-1891 in Boyerton, Pennsylvania, added the second “a” in 1937 at the request of his wife and daughters to clarify the pronunciation of the name, as many pronounced it “Spats”. He added the second “a” to draw it out to sound like “ah”, like the “a” in “father. Spaatz received his nickname at West Point because of his resemblance to another red-headed cadet named F.J. Toohey. He graduated as a second lieutenant of Infantry 12-06-1914. He was assigned as a student in the Signal Corps Aviation School at San Diego, California, between 13-10-1915 and 15-05-1916. He was detached to the Aviation Section, U,S. Signal Corps in Mexico on 08-06-1916. Following America’s entry into World War I, Spaatz was sent with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in command of the 31st Aero Squadron. Spaatz was appointed Officer in Charge, American Aviation School at Issoudun, France but after receiving orders to return to the United States, he saw three weeks of action during the final months of the war with the 13th Aero Squadron as a supernumerary pilot. In this brief period, Spaatz shot down three enemy planes and was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, during the time he was promoted to the temporary rank of major on 17-06-1918. On 07-11-1939, Spaatz received a temporary promotion to colonel, and during the Battle of Britain in 1940, spent several weeks in England as a special military observer. In August 1940, he was assigned in the Office of the Chief of Air Corps, and two months later was appointed assistant to the chief of Air Corps, General Henry “Happy” Arnold with the temporary rank of Brigadier General. He became Chief of the Plans Division of the Air Corps in November 1940, and the following July was named chief of the air staff at Army Air Forces Headquarters. Arnold named Spaatz commander of Air Forces Combat Command in January 1942 and promoted him to the temporary rank of Major General. In May 1942 Spaatz became commander of the Eight Air Force and transferred its headquarters to England in July. Spaatz was placed in overall command of the USAAF in the European Theater of Operations, while retaining his Eighth Air Force command. He was promoted to the permanent rank of Colonel in September 1942 and subsequently assigned command of the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa in December 1942. He was named commander the Allied Northwest African Air Force in February 1943, the Fifteenth Air Force and Royal Air Forces in Italy in November 1943, and the U.S. strategic Air Forces in europe in January 1944. Spaatz received a temporary promotion to Lieutenant General in March 1943. As commander of Strategic Air Forces, Spaatz directed the United States portion of the strategic bombing campaign against Germany, directing the Eighth Air Force, which was now commanded by Lieutenant General Jimmy Doolittle based in England, and the Fifteenth Air Force, which was now commanded by Lieutenant General Nathan Twining, based in Italy. As the commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe, Spaatz was under the direct command of Gen. Dwight Eisenhower. In March 1944, Spaatz proposed the Oil Plan for bombing and in June 1944 during the Operation Crossbow priority bombing of V-1 sites aimed at the UK, Spaatz advocated, and received authorization from Eisenhower for, bombing of those targets at a lower priority. Spaatz also identified that “…the chimera of one air operation that will end the war…does not exist”, and advocated Tedder’s plane “which retained the oil system in first position, but more clearly placed Germany’s rail system in second priority”, which encouraged Eisenhower to overrule Air Ministry fears that the “thrust against the oil industry” might be weakened. Spaatz’s Oil Plan became the highest bombing priority in September 1944. After the war, Eisenhower said that Spaatz, along with General Omar “Brad” Bradley
was one of the two American General Officers who had contributed the most to the victory in Europe. Spaatz received a temporary promotion to the rank of General on 11-03-1945. He was transferred to the Pacific and assumed command of the U.S. strategic Air Forces in the Pacific as part of the Pacific Theatre of Operations, with headquarters on Guam, in July 1945. From this command, Spaatz directed the strategic bombing of Japan, including the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Spaatz had been present at Reims when the Germans surrendered to the Americans on 07-05-1945; at Berlin when they surrendered to the Russians on May 9; and aboard the battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on September 2. He was the only man of General rank or equivalent present at all three of these surrenders. Spaatz retired from the military at the rank of general on 30-06-1948 and worked for Newsweek magazine as military affairs editor until 1961. He also served on the Committee of Senior Advisors to the Air Force Chief of Staff, from 1952 until his death. From 1948 until 1959, he served as National Commander of the civil Air Patrol. In 1954, Spaatz was appointed to the congressional advisory board set up to determine the site for the new United states Air Force Academy.
Death and burial ground of Spaatz, Carl Andrew “Tooey”.
Carl Spaatz died on 14-07-1974, old age 83 of congestive heart failure and is buried at the Academy’s cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.