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And then we actually taught all the basic reports and their use so that when the men went out in the field, they could serve the various elements of the unit. In other words, they reported to the commander of the wing or the group. And there was one statistical officer per group and there were three squadrons per group. But they had to work with the maintenance people. They had to work with personnel people. They had to work with Flying R Program, which was the basis of our gasoline projections, and all the other things.

And so, the important thing is that what we tried to teach in the Stat School was several things. One is, what basic reports do you have to file. And we gave them experience in working them out on the basis of cases. We also gave them training in programming and estimating. And, for example, we took a wing or a group in South Carolina, as I recall, and our stat officers, our students, gathered material from the group on the progress of training. We predicted that they were behind schedule. We predicted how long it would take to complete the schedule. And the commanding general was shocked by the accuracy of our estimates. This raised the opinion.

Now, we got that kind of evidence by sending our men out in the field to collect case material. George Lombard wrote the most brilliant case on the “Umpteenth Fighter Squadron,” which was in Lexington, which was a magnificent story of a commander. In fact, if you never said anything more then to mention the “Umpteenth Fighter Squadron,” I would say it was worthwhile. Because our men, regardless of who they were, whether they were teaching personnel or they were teaching combat statistics or whether they were teaching procurement and statistics or supply reports, they all wanted to teach the “Umpteenth Fighter Squadron.”

I had a commanding general of the training command visit us with Colonel Rogers. I remember Colonel Rogers. And he happened to visit this class when this case was being discussed. I never saw two men get so lyrical in my life. . . .

The General asked me—he says, “What’s the prescribed answer?” And I said, “General, we don’t have any prescribed answer. We’re trying to teach these boys to get answers that help generals and colonels.” And when he got—he went back to his—and Rogers said, “Can I have a copy of the case?” Post-war, that case was taught in the Air Academy in Colorado.

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Edmund P. Learned