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The War Beat, EuropeThe American Media at War Against Nazi Germany$
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Steven Casey

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190660628

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190660628.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 May 2021

A High-Octane Outfit

A High-Octane Outfit

(p.106) Chapter 7 A High-Octane Outfit
The War Beat, Europe

Steven Casey

Oxford University Press

When the newspaper correspondents were grounded after Robert Post’s death, the Eighth Air Force exploited the opportunity to publicize the air war on its own terms. Major General Ira C. Eaker, the Eighth’s commander, led the way. He began with simple numbers, detailing the missions undertaken, the number of bombs dropped, the amount of damage inflicted, and the casualties sustained. But, along with a team of pushy publicists, including the aggressive Major Richard R. “Tex” McCrary, Eaker’s Eighth soon developed more eye-catching methods, from graphic photographs to a Hollywood movie, The Memphis Belle. Dubbed a “high-octane outfit” by reporters, this publicity team seemed well positioned to dominate how the home front perceived the air war, especially when it forged a close and constructive relationship with Henry Luce’s two powerful flagship magazines, Time and Life.

Keywords:   bombing, Eighth Air Force, Ira Eaker, Henry Arnold, “Tex”, McCrary, Memphis Belle, William Wyler, photojournalism, Hollywood, propaganda

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