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Newspaper Page Text
Alert Around the Clock
PROTECTION of American cities from air raids depends largely on the swift, lethal fighting planes of the Interceptor Commands, located at strategic points and on the alert around the clock. Experience has shown that hostile aircraft have much more to fear from fighter planes than from anti-aircraft batteries, useful as the lattdr are. Interceptor planes are kept ready to toke the air at a moment's notice and set off in pursuit of the enemy. America's fighter planes, like her bombers, are considered the finest in the world. Listening posts have secret devices that will pick up strange planes long be fore they come into the area which each command is ossigned to guard. Their mission, as their name indicates, is to intercept enemy planes before they reach cities or military ob jectives. Washington, like other potential objectives of Axis bombers, is well guarded by an In terceptor Command. From its nearest headquarters would come orders for an air-raid alarm should the Capital be threatened. And, having warned the city, the command would send its fast planes winging toward the foe, their pilots bent on destroying him before he could reach the Metropolitan Area. These pictures, taken somewhere on the East Coast, show operations at typical small dis persal airfields which form a chain of defense for the entire Eastern Seaboard. In this scene, token near New York, pursuit pilots of the 1st Interceptor Command, charged with the air defense of the Northeast, are shown relaxing in the pilots' room. They are held on reserve duty, ready to jump into action the instant they receive an alert. Contact! This pilot of the 1st Inter-A ceptor Command is about to take off. I Washington is guarded by such flyers, trained to an edge and imbued with the fighting spirit that already has made American pilots hated and feared by our enemies. Pursuit pilots ready for the take-off check their orders with the commander. They won't be starting a stone-cold motor, for motors are warmed up every hour of the 24-hour alert. Wide World and A. P. Photos. The orders hove been completed. It's double time now for the wait ing pilots. They're hurrying out to hop into their planes at an un disc losed dis persal field in the East. Here Hie flight commander (center) is receiving orders from the controller of the information center that will send pursuit pilots of the command into the air. The others are waiting to learn their mission. Similar scenes are common these days at interceptor commands scattered over the country. Into the plones. In o moment these fighter pilots will be burning up the skies in pursuit of an-enemy—theoretical or actual. They must practice constantly to be ready to take the air without the loss of a precious second.