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Curtis LeMay
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Military Personnel
    (November 15, 1906-October 1, 1990)
    Organized the strategic bombing campaign against the Japanese during World War II
    Reorganized the Strategic Air Command as a nuclear arm for conducting the Cold War
    Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force (1961-1965)
    Vice presidential candidate to segregationalist George Wallace (1968)
    His policy of low-flying firebombing of Japanese cities killed over 100,000 Japanese civilians.
    In Japan, he is known as 'brutal LeMay.'
    He called the peaceful end of the Cuban Missile Crisis 'the greatest defeat in our history.'
    During the crisis, he advocated an all-out air raid on Cuba and nuclear retaliation on the Soviet Union if they responded.
    He was unsuccessful as Chief of Staff and lost many appropriation battles because of his inflexibility.
    His mantra: 'If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting.'
    He lamented over the fact that the U.S. did not nuke the Soviet Union when they had no nuclear weapons.
    His colleagues in the Air Force gave him the nickname 'Iron Ass.'
    His infamous solution to the Vietnam War: 'Bomb them back into the Stone Age.'
    He never masked his true feelings on war and current events like other high-ranking military officers.
    He reorganized the U.S. Air Force into an all-jet fighting force and kept it the best in the world.
    He always felt that he was doing what was in the best interest of his nation.
    His political career did not get off the ground.
    He retreated from the public eye after his defeat and humiliation in the 1968 presidential election.
    It is said that he is the inspiration for George C. Scott's hilarious performance as General Turgidson in the black comedy 'Dr. Strangelove.'

Credit: Captain Howdy


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