Cold War Peacemaker by Don Pyeatt and Dennis R. Jenkins

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

Click on cover image to purchase a copy

MWSA Review

Cold War Peacemaker is the history of the B-36, America's largest strategic bomber. But more than that, it is a brief history of the city of Forth Worth, Texas. The book provides a glimpse of the power and politics of Amon G. Carter to bring the aircraft industry to 'his' city. His political power was best illustrated by the following event.

Consolidated Aircraft in San Diego was manufacturer of the PBY Catalina "Flying Boat." As war was beginning in Europe, Consolidated was to ferry PBY's to England. They needed refueling way-stations. When Amon G. Carter learned of this need, he marshaled the resources of Forth Worth, and within days (not years, months, or weeks, but days) had prepared a refueling station on Lake Worth. This station was the genesis of an Army Air Corp training base, that became Carswell AFB, that is now a Naval Air Station. It is also adjacent to the site of Plant Four, the manufacturing and assembly facility for the B-24, the B-36, and later the F-16 "Fighting Falcon."

The book is a pictorial history of the B-36 -- from assembly, to crash sites, to demolition.  The appendices (seven) provide details of the plane's variants and its contribution to aviation development.  It became the first wide-body aircraft and was the test bed for atomic powered aircraft.
 "Cold War Peacemaker" is a recommended read for anyone interested in aviation history and the politics of the Cold War.

Reviewed by: John R. R. Faulkner (2010)

Author's Synopsis

Great airplanes don't simply appear in history, they evolve through a myriad of technological, political,  and economic processes. In this book you will experience one of the most unlikely developments in aviation history -- the Convair B-36 very-long-range nuclear bomber. From its beginnings during the world's greatest conflict, through construction in a former wild-west cattle town, and deployment into the Cold War, the story of the Convair B-36 and how it intimidated the Soviet Union is an interesting study in politics and technology. In Cold War Peacemaker, you will experience life during the Cold War as your parents and grandparents lived it. You will meet military leaders, politicians, cowboys, tycoons -- and a cowboy tycoon -- who worked together to save the free world from communist domination. You will also see up-close the amazing technology of aviation at the beginning of the nuclear age and how it was manifested in the B-36.