EIGHTH AF HQ., Britain, May 6,–Eighth AF airmen-their strategic bombing mission in Europe finished—are settling back and becoming anything from champion horseshoe pitchers to musicians or masters of languages while awaiting new assignments.

During the redeployment months, bombers and fighter groups will be converted into virtual athletic and educational organizations, designed to “shift emphasis from teamwork and individual effort toward winning the war to the personal betterment of the soldier.”

The policy of the Eighth AF yesterdays announcement said, will be to give the soldier, through a vast recreational and educational program, an opportunity to use his time constructively while sweating out reassignment.

eighth air force

Aircrew of the Eighth Air Force during a pre-mission briefing.

Checkers to Higher Education

The program stretches all the way from checkers and horseshoe pitching tournaments to study at Oxford, Cambridge and other English universities and American colleges and technical schools which will be established in England.

Unit “universities” have been established in all groups, with faculties made up of unit officers.

Curricula of an average unit school embraces agriculture, business, English, languages, mathematics, sciences, social studies and music, physical education, Bible studies and trade and technical courses. Some 200 men a month will be allowed to attend courses at the English universities.

Athletic Program Set Up

Apart from classroom and textbook work there will be special courses to teach song writing, dancing, art, acting and dramatic production and the playing of musical instruments.

A vast athletic program has been established. This calls for tournaments and contests in baseball, softball, fencing, table tennis, badminton, and even checkers, chess and horseshoe-pitching.

Special contests and tournaments for Eighth AF Wacs have been planned.

For More on the Bombing Campaign Against Germany Check Out:

Masters of the Air: America’s Bomber Boys Who Fought the Air War Against Nazi Germany

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