1943-1947 - Struggle for Air Force Independence By World War II marked a climax in the long struggle of the Army airmen to establish an independent Air Force. In Europe and the Pacific, the United States Army Air Forces made impressive contributions to the Allied war effort; mounting massive strategic bombing campaigns against enemy industry and transportation targets as well as supporting major invasions and action on the ground. Yet amid the turbulence of war, key military planners were already considering what types of organizations and force structure would be needed in peacetime. They were determined to build a permanent military establishment capable of defending America's interests by deterring war among the world powers. An independent United States Air Force, many believed, would allow the nation to fully develop the awesome potential of aviation, as air power became America's "first line of defense". Despite inter service rivalries and cost cutting policies of the early postwar period, General Eisenhower, General Arnold and other air advocates set in motion the modern Air Force. See these AFHSO publications: Makers of the United States Air Force by John L. Frisbee. The Struggle for Air Force Independence, 1943-1947 by Herman S. Wolk. Planning and Organizing the Postwar Air Force: 1943-1947 by Herman S. Wolk. Reflections on Air Force Independence by Herman S. Wolk.