Upward Mobility: The Civilian Pilot Training Program, War, and Society in the American Century
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL MAXWELL AFB United States
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Technology and progress are inextricably bound in the American mind. The airplane not only promised adventure, and faster travel, many viewed it as means to rise above socially imposed limits. The exponential growth of aviation during the 1920s could not be sustained following the economic collapse that ushered in the Great Depression. The early years of the 1930s proved particularly tough on private aviation, with the number of pilots and aircraft dropping sharply between 1929-1932. Although the number of pilots and aircraft manufactured slowly crept upward, the totals for each category had not yet returned to pre-1932 levels. The Roosevelt administrations Civil Aviation Authority CAA developed a plan to boost private aviation by sponsoring a pilot-training program that would be conducted through a cooperative between colleges and nearby flying schools. Beyond the economic-relief aspects of the program, the CAA felt the program would enhance national defense by creating a pool of pilots the nation could call on in case of emergency. President Roosevelt signed the Civilian Pilot Training Act in June 1939, creating a program of government-sponsored flight training for college-aged individuals. The legislation included provisions which allowed women and other minority groups to participate in the program. Social norms and discriminatory practices had previously limited the participation of women and minorities in aviation, but the Civilian Pilot Training Program CPTP helped to break down some of these barriers by providing them increased access to training at an affordable price. When World War II began, the exclusively white Army Air Forces AAF view of women and blacks mirrored that of greater American society.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Personnel Management and Labor Relations
- Humanities and History