Edwin W. Rawlings was in some ways indicative of the new Air Force generals that emerged after World War II. Although he had been an observation pilot before the war, he was then sent to Harvard Business School to learn the latest techniques regarding supply and inventory control. As a result, he was never able to secure a combat assignment, and his experience during the war was limited to materiel and supply. After the war he was named the first comptroller of the Air Force, and in that capacity was instrumental in introducing the first computers into the service. He finished his career in 1959 as a full general and commander of the Air Materiel Command. His privately printed autobiography, Born to Fly (Minneapolis, Minn.: Great Way Publishing, 1987), recounts these events, but is a disappointment. Quite simply, Rawlings waited too long to write his story, and as a result, his memory of the great events of his career are clouded. Instead, we have a series of anecdotes loosely strung together between a discussion of various fishing trips that provide little point or purpose.
The conclusions and opinions expressed in this document are those of the author cultivated in the freedom of expression, academic environment of Air University. They do not reflect the official position of the US Government, Department of Defense, the United States Air Force or the Air University.
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