Nathan Twining was born October 11, 1897 at Monroe, WI. He came from a family of military achievers. His contributions to U.S. military aviation strategy and policy are well-documented by over 12,000 web citations. This one provides a thumbnail biography and several excellent photographs. Because of his fame and web presence, I will not repeat a lot of common biographical information here. Rather, I'll leave it to you to seek that out on the web, or among many history books.
Lt. Nathan Twining signed the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register four times between 1926 and 1929. His itineraries were typical for Army pilots of the era: east and west between the Army Air Corps fields in California, Arizona and Texas. His military destinations were Ft. Huachuca, AZ, Brooks Field, San Antonio, TX and March Field, Riverside, CA. He carried a passenger only once, Lt. N.E. Whitson, on March 20, 1928. They were southeast bound from March Field to Douglas, AZ. There was no mention in the Register of the purpose of their flight.
Later, during WWII, Major Gen. Nathan Twining commanded the 13th and 15th Air Forces. During his 1943 tour with the 13th Air Force in the Pacific, Twining was flying in a B-17 that was shot down over the water. He and 14 crewman survived for six days in a life raft before rescue by a PB-Y.
The image, below, from the NASM shows him posed with his Operations Staff in the role of 15th Air Force commander in Europe. The photo caption states they are, "planning attack on Nazi".
Nathan Twining, Seated, WWII in Italy, Sometime Between Late 1943 and August 2, 1945
On August 2, 1945 he was reassigned to the Pacific Theater, replacing Gen. Curtis LeMay. He directed the final raids on Japan, including the B-29s that dropped the first nuclear weapons.
He remained in the new United States Air Force and, during the 1950s, he became Vice Chief and then Chief of Staff. He was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1957 under President Eisenhower. He was responsible for shepherding the foundation of the strategic air force that formed the basis of Cold War retaliation. He retired in 1960 and was elected vice chairman of Holt, Rinehart and Winston Publishing Company. He died March 29, 1982 at age 84.
UPLOADED: 02/05/08 REVISED: