Logistics Warrior Perspective Series

Tunner Arrives to the China Burma India Theater, August 1944

Women Air force Service Pilots (WASPs) organized 5 August 1943

Brig Gen William Tunner, Spring 1943

“I was fully aware, as I increased military discipline, cleanliness and courtesy, and ordered parades and inspections on Saturdays, that I might be jeopardizing any chance of winning a popularity contest. This did not bother me a bit; I was not there to be a good fellow, but to get results.  I had already become known as a cold, hard driver, with the nickname “Willie the Whip” whispered behind my back, and I didn’t lose any sleep over it…

I was by no means unaware that a positive result of this new-found cleanliness, pride, and patriotism might well result in increased efficiency and performance. I have been taught . . . bases that were well run, clean, orderly and soldierly did a better operating job.”

Lt Gen William H. Tunner

[DOWNLOAD] Chapter 4 When You Get a Job to Do—Do It
Architect of the Berlin Airlift

William Tunner may not be as well known as other airpower giants; however, his contributions to mobility and logistics are commensurate with the contributions of his fellow bomber and fighter generals.

Tunner was given the tough assignment of increasing tonnage and decreasing the deadly accident rates experienced in the China-Burma-India (CBI) Theater flying “The Hump.”

He may not have been very popular after officially taking command on 4 September 1944; however, the maintenance and flying safety programs he demanded reduced the accident rate to less than a quarter prior to him assuming command.

Tunner was also a trailblazer appointing Nancy Love to the staff of his first command in 1942.  Love went on to play a role in the planning and creation of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Service which would become the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) on 5 August 1943.  Select link for additional information.

Nancy Harkness Love–Female Pilot and First to Fly for the U.S. Military

Tunner would eventually lend his leadership and logistical talents to the post-war Air Force mobility and transport efforts including the Berlin Airlift.  He would retire from active service on 31 May 1960.

Remember, when you get a job do it!

Tribute to Lt Gen Tunner (3:24)

C-46 Commando flying “The Hump”

The “When You Get a Job to Do, Do It” PDF book is one of the best short reads regarding one of our World War II air power giants.  His lessons are definitely applicable as we work towards the 80% MC rate objective and maintenance of an older fleet.

Until Next Month…

Col (ret) Jeff Decker
LOA Historian