ANDREWS, Frank Maxwell, United States Army officer: b. Nashville, Tenn., 3 Feb. 1884; d. on active duty in airplane crash over Iceland, 3 May 1943. He was graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1906, and commissioned second lieutenant of cavalry; earned his pilot’s wings in 1918; studied at the Air Corps Tactical School in 1927-28; the Command and General Staff School in 1928-29; and in 1933 was graduated from the Army War College. He remained with the cavalry 11 years, including service in Hawaii and the Philippines; transferred to the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps when the United States entered the First World War in 1917, during which he commanded various air stations and served with the General Staff at Washington; was with the United States Army of Occupation in Germany, 1920-23; and from 1923-25 was the executive officer of Kelly Field. He was a member of the General Staff, 1934-35; and from 1935-39 organized and commanded the General Headquarters Air Force, holding temporary rank of brigadier general and later major general, over his regular army rank of colonel. One of the best informed men of military aviation, and a skilled pilot with fine flying record; General Andrews advocated a strong air force; and urged, as early as 1935, the construction of great fleets of four-motored bombers. He held the latter the only practicable defense in the air, since in sufficient numbers the bombers could defeat an enemy airpower by striking at its bases and destroying its planes on the ground.
Appointed brigadier general in the United States Army 14 July 1939, he again served on the General Staff in 1939-40; and in November 1940 he was assigned to command the Panama Canal Zone and restored to the temporary rank of major general, his responsibilities later being extended to include command of a Caribbean military forces. He was made temporary lieutenant general 19 Sept. 1941, and in November, 1942, upon the launching of the Allied Offensive in North Africa, was placed at the head of the United States troops in the Middle East, with headquarters at Cairo, Egypt; and he represented that command at the Roosevelt-Churchill conference at Casablanca, French Morocco, in January 1942. His appointment to command all the United States forces in the European theater of war, 5 Feb. 1943, brought to use his expert knowledge of military aviation, and his announced purpose, made from his London headquarters, was, “My first job is to increase and intensify the bombing of the enemy.” Co-operating with Maj. Gen. Ira C. Eaker, chief of the Eighth United States Air Force, he launched the highly increased daylight bombing of Germany that marked the air campaign of 1943. His untimely death while on an inspection tour, occurred only three months after he assumed his command. He had a record of 5,812 flying hours, and held the Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross, and Panama Medal of Merit.