In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section US Air Power

  • Introduction
  • Bibliographies
  • Journals
  • Other Wars, 1945–1990
  • Commercial Aviation, 1945–2000
  • Rockets, Missiles, and Space

Military History US Air Power
Joe Caddell
  • LAST REVIEWED: 19 March 2013
  • LAST MODIFIED: 19 March 2013
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0079


The history of aviation can be divided into two basic categories, civilian and military. Sadly, the majority of the histories written since 1903 have dealt with the military applications of flying. This bibliography reflects this imbalance, but it is important to note that neither military nor civilian aviation can be understood in isolation from the other. Another aspect of the field worth noting is the range of perspectives. For obvious reasons, many works focus on the complex technological issues inherent to the subject. Others are descriptive narratives of the type referred to by one prominent military historian as the “Look mom, I am flying” school of writing. Nevertheless, there are many serious and scholarly treatments of this interesting and vital topic. What follows is a modest attempt to annotate a few of the more important works. And, while this is a bibliography focused on American air power, it includes a number of works dealing with aviation in other countries. This is a simple reflection of the reality that air power evolved as an international phenomenon, in both its military and civil applications.

General Overviews and Reference Works

The works in this section were chosen based on their scholarship, their scope, and their expected value to researchers. The categories reflect the fact that the study of air power is usually organized by type of aviation and by types of military missions. Works dealing with topics that are, strictly speaking, outside the parameters of American air power have been included because of the importance of their subject matter to the development of American air power.

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