The Waynesville Mountaineer (Waynesville, … /
Aug. 6, 1942, edition 1 /
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THE WAYNESVILLE MOUNiAlNEER
lieutenant-Colonel Reed Heads New England Fighter Command
AUGUST 6, 1942
Ue Of Waynesville , .Is
jJJ fle Protects Air
Thp Boston Sunday
reproducing the story
K rReed, "son of M,
James W. Reed, of Way-
By Sam Gibson.
divine conditions seemingly
feleh for any pilot, a lone
f iver took off from East bos
Lfoi for Mitchell
..wn'nn Long Island.
Sti on the eve of the army
over the flying of the air
afromthe con.mercia air hneg,
s fi.at wppV. when
l mm Winter handed them every
L of dirty weather that has ever
ept down over inw vuunj.
bi. flwr out 01 Boswiu gui. mo
L, weather the day before the
W t TT7l am. Iia urn a
CorpS tOOK OVer. YVUCii us noo
than an hour out of Boston, his
stuck its nose into nowiing
L..ni Hp knew that he was
kef here near Hartford air field,
he jwooped down ana maae ii
e!y. Before morning, mo miuw
Hriftine clean over his plane.
(Hut was young Lieutenant Min
im. W. Reed, heading for his
L field after making a survey
Sew England air lanes lor tne
w mail service. For a year alter
it. h: flew the mail between New
rk and Boston, was one of the
my dyers who made a fine job of
(air weather and low.
Now, Minthorne Reed is back in
ton again. He's still quite a
lung fellow, only 37 years old,
it silver leaves that show he s a
utenant-colonel perch on his
lulders. That isn't a whole lot
rank, either, for an army officer
Piling down the job he took on
after Pearl Harbor.
Boss of Hot Fighters
me'i regional commander of the
ht Fighter Command, which cov-
practically all of New England.
latmake him the boss of swarms
lighter pilots, based with their
k little pursuit jobs, on a secret
imber of tiny camouflaged land-
I fields all over the New England
They're the boys whose job it is
take to the air on a second s rio-
engines hot, machine guns
idy, whenever unidentified planes
( reported winging their way
Fard Boston or anywhere else in
Being commander of these flying
18 a Dig job in itself, but
His Job Is To Protect New England Homes From Air Raids
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL MINTHORNE REEO, a Waynesville man, is stationed in Boston, and is
nmm.Hf nf t.h lTirt Fio-htr Command, which covers most all of New England. ( Sketch by J. F.
Maleanfaut, Sunday Boston Post staff artist). ,:, ; J.':'J
behind them Lieutenant-Colonel
Reed directs the efforts of nearly
150,000 Civilians who are contrib
uting their time, working at all
hours of the day and night, the
clock around, to set up a network
of observation posts past which no
raiding bomber : has a chance to
It's a great observation system
that the army flyer has set up. Let
any unidentified aircraft stick its
nose over even a far corner of
Maine and Colonel Reed, sitting in
his control centre, whose location
is as secret as that of the fighter
fields, guarantees to have nearby
fighter planes in the air to inter
cept the stranger within two min
utes.; . -
That's for the farthest point from
the information centre. If a strange
or so from the centre, the inter
ceptor planes will be taking the air
in less than SO seconds. That's the
sort of proction against bomb
raids that this Minthorne Reed has
set up, with a lot of civilian help,
which he characterizes as the most
efficient, the most unselfish that he
has ever found, in or out of the
Praise New England People
"You cant beat New England
pepole for taking hold of a job and
seeing it through," Lieutenant
Colonel Reed told this reporter,
then added with a grin, "But New
England weather is just as unpre
dictable as it was when I flew the
mail up there."
This tall, slender, straight flyer
of fighting planes hails from Way
nesville, N. : Ci but most of his
flying life has been spent in the
Northern part of the nation. A
letter man at track, he got out of
Duke University in 1928 just in
time to get into the last army air
corps class, before Congress de
cided that there weren't going to
be any more wars, anyway, so why
spend money to train young men to
fly fighting planes.
After graduating from the fly
ing school, Minthorne Reed went to
the 1st Pursuit Group at Selfridge
Feld, Mt. Clements, Mich. He has
been flying hot jobs ever since,
save for interludes taking courses
in engineering, maintenance, radio
communications, blind flying and
the like, And there was the year
out flying the mails. .
However, all the time he was
known as a pursuit pilot, finally
wound up at Mitchell Filed with
the 3.'5rd Pursuit Group. He was
with the group, : serving in the
Carolina maneuvers under General
Kepner, when he was ordered to
Boston, arriving here Dec. 11, just
four days after Pearl Harbor.
"Seems like something is always
setting me down in Boston, but that
doesn't make me mad," he said.
His first visit to The Hub was
in 1931. With the 1st Pursuit
Group he flew here from Selfridge,
put on an air show during the first
Boston Legion convention that
thrilled millions. They were pilot
ing Boering Prl2s, which were pret
ty hot ships then. He has flown
with General Jimmy Doolittle at
many an air show, deems that
spectacular airman the daddy of
them all, even though he has gone
over to the bombers, now. :
These Men Alert
The heart of the whole setup that
is to protect Boston from air at
tack is the information centre.
The nerve centres are in "filter"
pfane shows up'off Boston harbor, stations all over New - England
or anywhere within a hundred miles w mwl . "
Heads Ground Forces
1.1. ' .
It was announced in London by
Lieut. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower,
commander of all American forces
in the European theatre of war,
that Maj. Gen. M. W. Clark (above)
ting into the air. In short, the cen
tres have advance information on
every friendly plane in the air at
all times. Or, at least, they're sup
posed to have.
The other day, a service plane
took off on sudden orders. It was
in the air just about two minutes
before it was reported into the cen
tre. That was too late. It had
been spotted in 15 seconds by an
observer and reported and check
ed. In less than a minute after the
take-off, interceptor planes were
up after it.
That's what would happen should
the Axis try aerial invasion of New
England. The fields are installed,
the interceptor fighter planes are
on them and the pilots are con
stantly on the alert. They have
to be, for the Fighter Command
is likely to flash the word of an un
identified plane anywhere, any
time. And when theye're ordered
out after an intruder they never
know whether its only a test or
whether there'll be shooting to do.
They get the word by radio.
"Strikes me that flying an unre
ported plane around here would be
a pretty hazardous . occupation,"
the reporter observed. "Might get
has been annotated to head the
ground forces in England. This is a J stot up before those interceptor
out you weren't a
save that time for the main office.
The nerves reach out to an undis
closed number of observation posts
scattered everywhere, where the
more than iZ&.UUO observers are,v, j;.i.f ij4i u i8t. -
they'd look for Axis markings, then
"Well, that hasn't happened yet,
and we don't believe it will," Colo
nel Reed explained. "Once an in
terceptor gets on the tail of an un
reported plane, he's usually able
to identify it very quickly. If
on duty, day and night.
"Try and fool those observers,"
challenges Colonel Reed. "We've
tried it every wuy in the world and
never yet has a test plane got by
them to any stategic centre; they've
spotted it in plenty of time, every
test, to get the fighters up and the
anti-aircraft and civilian air raid
protection groups notified and on
In that short statement, one gets
a working knowledge of the func
tioning of the air-raid protection
wall that has been set up, not all
over New England, but in every
coastal section of the nation. Gath
ered in the Information Centre
are representatives of the Army
and Navy Air Corps, the Civilian
Aeronautics Administration, the
Coast Artillery, that operates anti
aircraft guns, and civilian air raid
No army or navy plane takes off
or flies into the district without
notifying representatives at all
centres concerned. Regular scheduled-
transport- plane- report to
the CAA representative before get-
at the silhouette. They spend
days, weeks, most of their off time,
studying the silhouettes of enemy
planes of all classes; they're pretty
hard to fool, now."
Several formations of bombers
thundered over Boston, last Tues
day. Those were test formations.
Of course, it hasn't been told what
field they took off from, but inter
ceptor outfits were on top of all
of them long before they got any
where near Boston or any other
Don't Worry about bombers slip
ping in over the ocean, either; that
contingency has been taken care of.
The means of spotting planes ap
proaching over the water is a se
cret, but remember that one lone
listener spotted the Japs' bombers
roaring in on Pearl Harbor a full
hour before the bombs began to
drop. And interceptor planes can
streak a long way in an hour,
clean across New England, if need
be.. , '
When the) "interceptor ,' pilots
(Continued on page 16)
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