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Twining, Nathan F.

Twining, Nathan F. (1897–1982), World War II general.Twining was a 1918 graduate of U.S. Military Academy and served in U.S. National Guard during World War I. Throughout his career, from private to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS), Twining never lost touch with his great fund of common sense or his ability to work with others. After becoming a pilot in 1924, Twining served in various postings until joining the Air Corps Staff in 1940. In January 1943 Twining became commander of the Thirteenth Air Force, in the south Pacific—a job that placed him, for practical purposes, under U.S. Navy command. General Twining almost died when he and fourteen others spent six days in a life raft after crashing into the ocean. In January 1944, he assumed command of the Fifteenth Air Force in Italy, in a theater dominated by the British. This posting reinforced his belief in strategic bombing. After V‐E Day he returned to the Pacific to take charge of the Twentieth Air Force. He ordered both atomic bomb missions. In 1950 the service promoted him to USAF Vice Chief of Staff—the person responsible for the day‐to‐day operations of the U.S. Air Force (USAF). In 1953 he became USAF Chief of Staff and in 1957 President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed him Chairman of the JCS. Twining's views on strategic deterrence and cooperation among the armed services meshed perfectly with the administration's emphasis on collegiality and a defense strategy based on atomic weapons. Twining retired in 1960.


Nathan F. Twining , Neither Liberty Nor Safety, 1966.
Donald J. Mrozek , Nathan F. Twining: New Dimensions, a New Look, in John L. Frisbee, ed., Makers of the United States Air Force, 1987.

Richard G. Davis

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