Andrew "Tooey" Spaatz (June 28, 1891
July 14, 1974) was an American World War II general and
the first Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force.
He was of German descent.
as Carl Andrew Spatz, he 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".
(The name is thus correctly pronounced "spots".)
The result was intended to suggest a Hollander rather
than a Germanic lineage.
received his nickname "Tooey" 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 June 1914, ranked 97th out of a class of
107. He was assigned as a student in the Signal Corps
Aviation School at San Diego, California, between 13 October
1915 and 15 May 1916. He was detached to the Aviation
Section, U.S. Signal Corps in Mexico on 8 June 1916.
served in the First Aero Squadron which was attached to
General John J. Pershing during the Punitive Expedition.
Spaatz was promoted to First Lieutenant on 1 July 1916
and to Captain on 15 May 1917.
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
(DSC); during the time he was promoted to the temporary
rank of major on 17 June 1918.
1919 he served in California and Texas and became assistant
department air service officer for the Western Department
in July 1919. Spaatz experienced the chaotic ups and downs
in rank common to Regular officers in 1920, when the National
Defense Act of 1920 reorganized the military. He first
reverted to his permanent rank of captain of Infantry
27 February 1920. On 1 July 1920, when the Air Service
became a combatant arm of the line, he transferred to
the Air Service as a captain, then was promoted to major
on the same date by virtue of a provision in the National
Defense Act that allowed officers who earned their rank
in service with the AEF to retain it. This made him senior
to a number of officers, including Henry H. Arnold (his
superior at the time), with greater longevity of service.
On 18 December 1922 he was discharged when Congress set
a new ceiling on the number of majors authorized the Air
Service, and reappointed as a captain, then promoted again
to major on 1 February 1923.
a major, he commanded Kelly Field, Texas, from October
5, 1920, to February 1921, served at Fort Sam Houston
as air officer of the Eighth Corps Area until November
1921, and was commanding officer of the 1st Pursuit Group,
first at Ellington Field, Texas, and later at Selfridge
Field, Michigan, until September 24, 1924. He graduated
from the Air Corps Tactical School, Langley Field, Virginia,
in June 1925, and then served in the Office of the Chief
of Air Corps at Washington, D.C
January 1 to January 7, 1929, Spaatz along with fellow
Air Corps officers, Captain Ira Eaker and Lieutenant Elwood
Quesada, both of whom would later become senior United
States Army Air Forces (USAAF) generals, established an
aviation record by keeping the airplane Question Mark
in the air over the Los Angeles vicinity for over 150
May 8, 1929, to October 29, 1931, Spaatz commanded the
7th Bombardment Group at Rockwell Field, California, and
the 1st Bombardment Wing at March Field, California, until
June 10, 1933. He then served in the Office of the Chief
of Air Corps and became chief of the Training and Operations
Division. In August 1935, he enrolled in the Command and
General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and
while there was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 16 September.
He graduated in June 1936, and then served at Langley
Field on the staff of Maj. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, commander
of General Headquarters Air Force, until January 1939,
when he returned to the Office of the Chief of Air Corps
at Washington as assistant executive officer.
7 November 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 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
Chief of Staff George Marshall 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 Eighth 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.
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
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
the chimera of one air operation that
will end the war
does not exist", and:273
advocated Tedder's plan "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.:260-1 Spaatz's
Oil Plan became the highest bombing priority in September
1944. After the war, Eisenhower said that Spaatz, along
with General Omar Bradley, was one of the two American
general officers who had contributed the most to the victory
received a temporary promotion to the rank of general
on March 11, 1945. After VE day 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 May 7, 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 acts
July 1945, President Truman nominated Spaatz for promotion
to the permanent rank of major general. Spaatz was appointed
Commanding General of the Army Air Forces in February
1946 following Arnold's retirement. After the creation
of the independent Air Force by the National Security
Act of 1947 and Truman's Executive Order No. 9877, Spaatz
was appointed as the first Chief of Staff of the new United
States Air Force in September 1947.
retired from the military at the rank of general on June
30, 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 Civil Air Patrol's National Board Chairman. In 1954,
Spaatz was appointed to the congressional advisory board
set up to determine the site for the new United States
Air Force Academy. Spaatz died on July 14, 1974 and is
buried at the Academy's cemetery in Colorado Springs,