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17 Aug, 2019 00:12

Pentagon to name new facility after Curtis ‘Bombs Away’ LeMay

Pentagon to name new facility after Curtis ‘Bombs Away’ LeMay

The US Strategic Command, which oversees America’s nuclear arsenal, plans to name a new facility after the legendary but controversial bomber General Curtis LeMay, who notoriously said there are ‘no innocent civilians.’

The new 900,000 square-foot Strategic Command headquarters at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, one of the most secure buildings on Earth, will be named after LeMay, STRATCOM’s chief of military construction told the Washington Free Beacon. The previous HQ also bore the controversial general’s name.

LeMay made a name for himself in helping to draw up Washington’s strategic bombing campaign in the Pacific theater during the Second World War. Though considered “effective” in the war effort, the general’s enthusiastic firebombing of Japanese civilian centers attained him the reputation reflected by one of his nicknamed, “The Demon.”

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Adding to the notoriety, LeMay often expressed such heart-warming sentiments as “There are no innocent civilians.” 

“It is their government and you are fighting a people … so it doesn't bother me so much to be killing the so-called innocent bystanders,” as he told author Michael Sherry in an interview for his 1989 book, The Rise of American Airpower.

Asked about the morality of the Pacific bombing campaign LeMay once admitted that he “would have been tried as a war criminal” had the United States lost the war, but insisted that “killing Japanese didn’t bother me much at the time.”

LeMay continued his belligerent streak after 1945, believing that a nuclear war with the Soviet Union could be easily won within a month, and calling for a bombing and invasion of Cuba during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. He reportedly served as the inspiration for not one but two characters in Stanley Kubrick’s grim 1964 nuclear comedy ‘Dr. Strangelove,’ Gen. Jack D. Ripper and Gen. Buck Turgidson.

LeMay retired from the US Air Force in 1965, after the Johnson administration rejected his plans for strategic bombing of Vietnam. In 1968, he was the running mate of pro-segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace, after which he retired from public life.

The new headquarters in Omaha, located only about 250 yards away from its predecessor, will hold its ribbon-cutting ceremony in October. 

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