Mitchells Over the Pacific: The Dynamics of B-25 Innovation
AIR UNIV MAXWELL AFB AL SCHOOL OF ADVANCED AIR AND SPACE STUDIES
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This study is a historical analysis of the innovative genius leading to B-25 modifications in the Southwest Pacific Theater during World War II. The writer begins by outlining the B- 25 manufacturer s path of development from the B-25 prototype through the final B-25J models. This establishes a baseline of aircraft development before focusing on two individuals in the Southwest Pacific Theater. Next, the writer analyzes the top-down innovation and leadership of General George C. Kenney. Kenney played a crucial role in fostering the environment where innovative genius could bubble up from lower echelons and have strategic effects during engagements like the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Finally, the author focuses on the bottom-up innovations of Major Paul I. Pappy Gunn. Gunn provides the can-do attitude, mechanical capability, and innovative genius that first spurred innovations in the A-20 Havoc and later in the B-25 commerce destroyer. This study concludes by analyzing the contributions from the actors in the previous three sections. It indicates that each actor had an important role in B-25 development, but the real source if the innovation was the combination of factors. Most importantly, Kenney s leadership fostered an environment where innovation could grow, while he protected the innovators in the lower levels of his organization. One of these innovators was Gunn, whose enterprising actions culminated in the successful modification of the B-25 and turned the war in favor of the Allies after the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
- Administration and Management
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics