Brereton, Major General Lewis Hyde, 1890-1967

Brereton was a US flying and fighting General who fought on most fronts in World War II. First and foremost an aviator, in 1941 when Japan threatened war Brereton was appointed Commander of the US Far East Air Force under General MACARTHUR. Unfortunately he only had a limited number of B-17s in the Philippines and the Japanese were able to destroy most of them on the ground. He was transferred to India and became Commander of the newly established US Middle East Air Force and had to build up supplies and supervise the training of inexperienced American pilots. In October 1942 he was sent to the Desert Front in command of the US 9th Air Force and made a valuable contribution to the end of the Tunisian campaign. In October 1943 he was transferred to the UK to build up the 9th into a formidable tactical air unit. His groups attacked the German transport network prior to Operation Overlord, attacking the bridges over the Seine, the Oise and the Meuse. In August 1944 he became the first Commander of the 1st Allied Airborne Army and took part in planning operations, coordinating airborne and troop carrier units. This was frustrating because after he had planned an airborne operation he found that it had to be canceled because ground troops had overrun the site of the drop. The biggest operation he was involved in was Operation Market Garden at Nijmegen, Eindhoven and Arnhem. The American landings were successful but the British landings were not. Arnhem turned into a nightmare of missed opportunities for the airborne troops. The German strength near Arnhem had been seriously underestimated.

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