Concept

William H. Tunner

Summary
William Henry Tunner (July 14, 1906 – April 6, 1983) was a general officer in the United States Air Force and its predecessor, the United States Army Air Forces. Tunner was known for his expertise in the command of large-scale military airlift operations, first in Air Transport Command (ATC) during World War II, commanding The Hump operation, and later in Military Air Transport Service (MATS) during the Berlin Airlift in 1949–1951. He eventually rose to the rank of Lieutenant general and commanded MATS itself. Tunner appointed Nancy Love to the staff of his first major command in 1942 and was a key figure in the planning and creation of the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service. Tunner entered the United States Military Academy on July 1, 1924, appointed from the 5th District of New Jersey by United States Representative Ernest R. Ackerman. He was commissioned on June 9, 1928, as a second lieutenant of field artillery, then selected the Air Corps as his branch of service, commissioned 2nd lieutenant AC on September 8, 1928, when he entered flight training at Brooks Field, Texas. At the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, he received his final flight check from Capt. Claire Chennault and was awarded his pilot's wings in September 1929. His first assignment was to Rockwell Field, California, as a pilot in the 11th Bombardment Squadron of the 7th Bomb Group, flying a bi-wing Keystone LB-5 bomber. There he was introduced to transport aircraft, ferrying a Fokker tri-motor to Sacramento with passengers aboard. In October 1931 he was assigned to Randolph Field as a flying instructor, but was ill-suited to the task. After a board of review, Tunner was assigned to squadron officer duties during his tour so that he could continue flying. He was promoted to first lieutenant on July 1, 1934. In January 1935 he transferred to France Field, Panama Canal Zone, as a pilot with the 7th Observation Squadron. Again he worked a variety of staff duties in his squadron and as assistant operations officer of the 19th Composite Wing, advancing to the temporary rank of captain on September 26, 1935.
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