Andrews, Frank

Andrews, Frank (Maxwell)

(1884–1943) soldier, aviator; born in Nashville, Tenn. The son of a newspaperman, he graduated from West Point in 1906 and served in the aviation section of the Signal Corps during World War I. As the first commander of the army's General Headquarters Air Force (1935–39), Andrews helped develop the B-17 bomber (which would be a key weapon of World War II), and became a prominent advocate of air power as an offensive weapon. Rugged in looks, and firm but softspoken, he campaigned to establish the Air Corps as an independent service. Andrews held senior commands in the Caribbean and the Middle East (1941–43) before succeeding Eisenhower (who had become supreme Allied commander in North Africa) as the head of U.S. forces in Europe (1943). He was killed in an air crash in Iceland on May 3, 1943. Andrews Air Force Base near Washington, D.C., is named after him.
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