The Boeing Company and the Military-Metropolitan-Industrial
Complex, 1945-1953

Richard S. Kirkendall

Pacific Northwest Quarterly 85:4 (Oct. 1994), p. 137-149


This Boeing bomber embodies the transition to jet aircraft and the dependence on military that characterized company operations during the years following World War II. (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Negative #10703. Photo by Boeing Company)

The years of Harry Truman's presidency were crucial to the success of the Boeing Airplane Company. The president himself did not have close ties with the firm or great confidence in air power, but one part of the American state--the air force--recognized Boeing's ability to serve air force interests and was in a stronger position than ever before to pursue those interests. Furthermore, the company now had another ally willing to enter the political arena on its behalf. This was Seattle. The people there had a new commitment to Boeing. Taking advantage of cold war fears, air force leaders lobbied for funds to be spent on bombers, and Seattle people worked to draw that money to their city by way of Boeing. As a consequence of the successes of these two groups in the Truman years, the company acquired the resources it needed to become the world leader in building commercial jets.

In battling for Boeing, Seattle participated in what President Dwight D. Eisenhower later called the "military-industrial complex." A historian, Roger Lotchin, recently proposed "metropolitan-military complex" as a substitute for Eisenhower's term. According to Lotchin, cities use military spending to promote their development. The metropolitan-military complex unites urban groups despite class and other differences, includes congressional representatives, and reaches out beyond the city. Seeing cities as the great driving force in the complex, Lotchin suggests that we cannot fully understand urban history without understanding the military, nor can we understand military history without understanding cities and their ambitions. Although he uses California communities for illustrations, he could also have employed Seattle.1

Before World War II, however, Seattle did not view military contracts with the Boeing Company as a means of urban growth. In fact, in 1934, one of Washington's U.S. senators, Homer Bone of Tacoma, a progressive Democrat hostile toward big business, the military, and imperialism, had denounced William Boeing, the founder of the company, arguing that the firm made excessive profits from government contracts. Furthermore, Marion Zioncheck and Warren Magnuson, Seattle's congressional representatives during much of the 1930s, served on the Naval Affairs Committee, and if Seattle was associated with the military in that period, it was as a "navy town."2

During the second half of the decade, Boeing's chief customer was the Army Air Corps, a precursor of today's air force. Earlier, the company had found markets in the new airline industry and the navy as well as the army, but now its main product was a four-engine bomber, the B-17, capable of carrying heavy loads to distant targets and doing so at what was then a high rate of speed. Competing for scarce funds with champions of naval and ground forces and hoping to obtain independence from the army, the air corps saw its interests linked with the company's. The Boeing bomber seemed capable of proving the importance of air power. Staging spectacular public relations stunts with the B-17, including long-range flights to Latin America and the interception of an Italian passenger ship approaching the Atlantic Coast, the airmen built support for government purchases of the big bombers.

The deteriorating international situation may have been the basic factor at work, but though it generated pressure for a military buildup, it did not dictate that money be spent on bombers. It only created opportunities for advocates of competing ways of defending the United States and fighting wars. There was, in other words, room for political influence, and the key players on Boeing's behalf at this time were the leaders of the air corps.3


Boeing was not yet a major employer in Seattle when this photo of Plant 1 was taken on August 24, 1935, but by 1945 locals knew that the company was essential to urban growth and prosperity. (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries; Original Negative, Washington State Historical Society, Photo by Asahel Curtis, Negative #61461)

By mid-1945, however, another group of players had joined the game: people who identified with Seattle and championed its development. The war had increased Boeing's work force there from 4,000 in 1940 to about 50,000 in 1944. Seattle now hosted the biggest manufacturer in a state in which manufacturing was considerably more important than it had been before the war. Boeing depended heavily on government spending, and soon after the war ended, the negative side of that dependence became obvious to the company and the city as well. On September 5, 1945, the Army Air Forces, as the air corps was now designated, slashed orders for the B-29, a Boeing-built bomber that had played a large role in the last year of the Pacific war. This move by its chief customer forced Boeing to dismiss over 20,000 workers, nearly half of the firm's work force in the city. It was a much greater cut than the air forces had projected only a few weeks before.4

Cancellation of contracts for the B-29, the bomber that had insured victory in the Pacific war, roused Seattle citizens to defend Boeing. (Special Collections, UW Libraries, Negative #15275. Photo by Boeing Company)

The civilian response demonstrated how important Boeing had become in the region. Even before September 5, one of the state's senators, Hugh B. Mitchell of Seattle, had warned of the collapse of the aircraft industry, and he held hearings in San Francisco, Spokane, and Seattle on the problems of reconversion for the industry and the closely linked aluminum industry. Then, beginning on September 5, the other Washington senator, Warren Magnuson, a Seattle Democrat who had replaced Bone in 1944, went into action on Boeing's behalf in meetings with army officials.5

Seattle leaders did not depend only on their representatives in Washington to make their case. The mayor, the president of the chamber of commerce, and a union officer, among others, made appeals of their own, and the chamber staged a mass protest meeting in downtown Seattle. Many people now considered Boeing's economic health essential to Seattle's welfare. Support for the company ran across class lines.

Although Boeing's champions argued that its bombers could safeguard America's future, they did not define a threat to national security or advocate a new military buildup. Instead, they emphasized how much Boeing had contributed to victory and how the army's insistence on maintaining production of B-29s to the very end of the war had hurt the company. They proposed reinstating the canceled orders so that the company and its employees could move smoothly into peacetime production by gradually substituting airliners for bombers. To Seattle participants in this episode, world conditions seemed not to offer a rationale for further large-scale military spending.6

In 1946 when this photo was taken, Boeing employment had dropped below 9,000; Senator Warren Magnuson, here addressing General Warren Carter and Stuart Symington, concentrated on securing future military contracts for the company, while Senator Hugh Mitchell, left, explored commercial possibilities. (Warren G. Magnuson Papers, Photo box 2/6. Manuscripts and University Archives, University of Washington Libraries. Photo by US Air Force, Lowry A.F.B., Denver, CO)

The campaign failed. By year's end, Boeing employment in Seattle had dropped below 9,000, and the company closed the plant it used in nearby Renton, hurting that community. During 1946, Boeing operated at a loss, as did Douglas Aircraft, even though the California firm had quickly returned to production of its commercial line in 1945. The war, however, had generated widespread confidence in air power and enlarged interest in air travel. While Senator Magnuson was trying to position Boeing to benefit whenever the air forces again increased purchases of bombers, Senator Mitchell, who was interested in commercial aviation and convinced that Boeing had exciting commercial prospects, proposed the establishment of an air policy board that would recommend government policies to develop aviation and the aircraft industry. Boeing meantime had introduced a new airliner, the Stratocruiser, and a freighter, both similar to the B-29, and had begun to receive orders for them.7

The company, however, could not escape its dependence on the military. Busily working to strengthen itself politically, the Army Air Forces had developed a postwar plan that posited the need for a strong military force and presented bombers as the most important form of military power. The plan called for a large air force of 70 groups, backed up by a healthy, technologically advanced aircraft industry and controlled by a new branch of the armed forces, independent of the army and navy.8

In the summer of 1947, the airmen achieved one of their ambitions: what had been the United States Army Air Forces became the United States Air Force. Although air power advocates had come out of the war with great prestige and benefited also from the bold and dynamic leadership of W. Stuart Symington, the undersecretary of war for air, President Truman had not given them total support in their battle with leaders of the navy over such issues as the continued need for a navy, especially one with planes of its own. Nevertheless, the airmen had been freed of army control and now seemed favorably placed to make their branch of the armed forces the main component of America's military system. That, it seemed obvious to them, was what they deserved, given their great importance in World War II and, even more, in the new atomic age.9

Neither humble nor politically passive, the leaders of the new air force were in fact shrewd. They recognized the importance for them of the aircraft industry, were troubled by its sharp decline since the war, and sought ways to strengthen it. They now obtained a new opportunity when President Truman appointed the Air Policy Commission, which he empowered to develop and propose a national policy on aviation.10

William Allen, president of Boeing, lessened his company's dependence on federal military contracts by developing a large commercial jetliner before the competition could. (Boeing Company Archives)

The commission gave Boeing's president, William M. Allen, a chance to make a case for air power and the company. Testifying in the fall of 1947, Allen insisted that in the new world situation the U.S. must have "a usable striking force" and "be at all times prepared in the air." He also argued that the air force would suffer if Boeing continued to decline, for the company would lose its capacity to do research. As a corollary, he added, the military would benefit if the company could produce more bombers, for cost per plane would drop. Suggesting further that the industry could not depend solely on commercial sales, Allen clearly wanted the commission to recognize how important Boeing was and to recommend policies that would result in more business for the company from both the airlines and the air force.11

Although he did not refer to the Soviet Union in his testimony, Allen was thinking in cold war terms by now, but the Truman administration favored economic aid as a means of fighting the cold war and feared that large increases in both aid and military spending would damage the economy. Furthermore, the president and his secretary of defense, James Forrestal, preferred a balanced buildup of three forms of military power--land and sea as well as air--to reliance on the air force. They wished to expand the air force from 48 to 55 groups, not 70, build up the army and navy in comparable ways, reintroduce the draft, and establish universal military training. A variety of groups and individuals, among them the Bureau of the Budget, the secretary of state George Marshall, the army, the navy, and corporate executives interested in foreign markets, backed the president's policies.12

Champions of air power, however, campaigned for a budget that would expand the air force farther, and the commission proposed late in 1947 that the nation base its defense on air power and develop the required industrial base. Stuart Symington, now secretary of the air force, fought for this proposal and picked up support in Congress where confidence in air power ran high. There, conservative Republicans had isolationist leanings and ties with businesses that had little or no interest in foreign trade. To those Republicans, reliance on air power would prevent the costs of security from rising too high and avoid the deployment of American troops in Western Europe. In the early months of 1948, the Republican-controlled 80th Congress endorsed the Marshall Plan, rejected universal military training, limited the draft to two years, and voted overwhelmingly for increased appropriations for aircraft procurement and the plan for a 70-group air force. The plan would increase plane purchases from fewer than 2,000 per year in 1946 and 1947 to more than 5,000 by 1952.13

It should be noted that a representative of the corporation, its president, in fact, was no more than a minor contributor to this development. A representative of the state was much more important. Symington defied his superiors, Truman and Forrestal, and battled for more spending on airplanes than they favored. Once again, just as they had in the campaign for purchases of B-17s in the 1930s, federal champions of air power opened up an opportunity for the Boeing Company--and for Seattle.

Even before passage of the military budget in the spring of 1948, Boeing had begun to expand. Emergence of both the cold war and the air force in 1946-47 stimulated the military market somewhat, and the company sold transports and bombers in that market. By mid-1947, Boeing had increased employment in Seattle to nearly 14,000 and, by the spring of 1948, to 18,400. During 1948, it began deliveries of the B-50, its improved version of the B-29, and also the Stratocruisers and Stratofreighters, moved forward on the development of jet bombers and guided missiles, and reopened government-owned plants in Renton and Wichita that it had operated during the war. Clearly, Boeing--and its communities--had benefited from the rise of the air force and now seemed poised to profit from increased congressional support.14

At this juncture, much of Boeing's work force went out on strike. Local 751 of the International Association of Machinists (IAM) had organized most of Boeing's workers in 1936, doing so with encouragement from management. Having received a production order for B-17s and expecting many more, the executives wanted to stabilize their labor force and prevent the new and militant CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) from gaining a foothold. They offered Local 751, an affiliate of the long-established and cautious American Federation of Labor, the closed shop and the highest wage in the industry and received, in exchange, promises of no strikes during the life of the contract and vigorous efforts by the IAM to organize the company's low-wage competitors in the bomber market. The Machinists had trouble organizing other aircraft manufacturers, however, and during the war Boeing management, in turn, resisted demands to raise wages to keep pace with the cost of living.15

The strike began bravely in April 1948, when themembership of Local 751, disgruntled with Boeing management's intractability in contract negotiations, disregarded the advice of the national IAM and voted to strike. But as the summer wore on, the ranks of striking mechanics thinned, many men drawn back to Boeing by the lack of other employment in the city. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer, April 29, 1948; photos, Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751, Seattle)

After the war, agreement between management and labor that government should promote Boeing's development did not prevent the two from clashing on other issues. Management, representative of conservative forces in American industry and unable to be as generous to workers as more profitable companies, was determined to lower labor costs so as to strengthen the company's competitive position within the industry, but it encountered an equally determined work force, one eager to catch up with the rising cost of living and safeguard its work rules. Although the two sides disagreed on wages, seniority was the key issue. Allen, convinced that it generated inefficiencies, wanted greater freedom to transfer, lay off, and rehire workers. Willing to raise wages only if the union conceded on seniority, he expected Local 751 leaders to persuade the membership, but the union saw his demands as a threat to its existence. After months of fruitless discussion, the local, on April 22, 1948, rejected advice from the IAM and struck.16


Allen fought back. He refused to negotiate, arguing that the strike was illegal for it violated both the existing contract and the requirement, imposed by the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, of 60-day notice prior to a strike. Insisting that the union had forfeited its collective bargaining rights, management sought to divide workers and union leaders, encouraging the former to remove the latter from office and cross the picket line, and it called upon the IAM to punish Local 751. Boeing also took the fight beyond the combatants. It advertised in a Seattle newspaper: "If the Company is to engage in substantial production in Seattle, it must have the opportunity of establishing, under a fair and workable labor contract, a satisfactory relationship with its factory employees," and then it transferred some work to plants elsewhere. The union charged that the company was "applying the Mohawk Valley Formula, ... a ... program designed to break strikes." That reference was to a technique sometimes employed by corporate managers whereby they threatened to move away if the community did not support them in a dispute with a union. Seattle citizens recognized Boeing's action as a clear threat.17

Boeing opposed intervention by any government agency, but several federal groups could not stay out. The National Labor Relations Board and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service encouraged management to negotiate; the refusal to do so, they claimed, was harming national defense. Allen asked Symington to explain the company's position to the nlrb so that it would not see Boeing management as stubborn and antiunion.18

Worried about deliveries from its number-one supplier, the air force kept a close watch on the strike. Symington, himself a former wartime military contractor, reminded Allen that by battling for appropriations he, Symington, had angered important people and might be forced to cancel contracts for failure to deliver planes. In response, Allen urged him to use the company's argument about the illegality of the strike and maintained that Boeing's goal in the dispute was to produce airplanes ever more efficiently. Allen thus appealed to two of Symington's major biases: the businessman's concern for costs and profits and the state's concern for national security.19

The issue, however, could not be contained. The union president, Harold J. Gibson, spearheaded a petition campaign to persuade President Truman to pressure the company to negotiate. Noting that many of the strikers had produced B-17s and B-29s during the war, the petitioners claimed that Allen's stubbornness damaged workers, Seattle, the region, and national defense. Earl S. Coe, Washington's secretary of state and chair of the state Democratic party, backed up the petitioners, pointing out to the White House that the union was one of the strongest supporters of the party in the state. Obviously worried about the labor vote, White House staffers encouraged the air force to persuade Boeing to negotiate but found it reluctant to impose heavy pressure.20

White House worries were understandable, for though Gibson remained a loyal Democrat, Boeing workers did have alternatives in this presidential election year. In Seattle, as elsewhere, a battle raged between those who remained Democrats and those who supported Henry A. Wallace, a third-party candidate who had broken with the Democratic party to run for the presidency. Taking an interest in aircraft politics, Wallace in 1948, like Senator Bone in the 1930s, charged that the aircraft industry had subordinated the development of commercial aircraft to the pursuit of lucrative military contracts. He also accused the industry and air force generals of producing a war scare so as to obtain larger appropriations. Wallace called for nationalization of the industry in order to remove the profit motive from the decision-making process. His running mate, Senator Glen H. Taylor of Idaho, proposed that, because the company refused to negotiate, the air force cancel Boeing's contracts.21

Workers loyal to the Machinists and strike supporters did not rally behind Wallace and Taylor, however. Nationalization of the industry conflicted with Seattle's sense of dependence on Boeing that extended to the city's working class. Contract cancellation would shift business to a Boeing competitor far from the city.

Rather than swing to Wallace's Progressive party, workers continued to look to the Democrats for help. Unionists maintained pressure on the White House to force Boeing to reach a settlement. Much of organized labor in Seattle staged a mass rally on August 27, 1948, praised Boeing workers for their contributions to the nation's welfare, and accused Boeing management of failing to recognize its responsibilities to the community. Individual strikers wrote to Truman, recalling their contributions to victory in World War II, charging that they were being treated shabbily now, and reminding him of the importance of the labor vote. Some petitioners did refer to Taylor's proposal, although only, one suspects, to reinforce their demands for pressure on the company, not in hopes that another firm would get Boeing's business.22

Whatever their impact on the White House, the threats did not move Allen. He was building up a new work force, appealing to patriotism in his efforts to gain support, encouraging workers, including strikers, to cross the picket lines, and managing without the seniority rule. By summer 1948, Boeing employment was growing, the number of strikers was shrinking, and the company was meeting production schedules. Symington praised Allen for increasing efficiency, though later he backed away publicly, apparently out of concern for Truman's reelection.23

Local 751's president, Harold Gibson, countered the Teamsters' assault on his union by urging the strikers back to work and conceding on the seniority issue. (Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751, Seattle)

Allen's refusal to negotiate with Local 751 opened up an opportunity for another part of the labor movement. The local leader of the Teamsters, the powerful and ambitious Dave Beck, moved in and attempted to become the new bargaining agent for Boeing workers, arguing that the strike was hurting Seattle and warning that the company might shift operations to Wichita. Though other labor leaders and labor organizations denounced him, Beck did not back off, and Boeing management appeared to regard him as "responsible" and a "labor statesman."24

The strike ended on September 13, 1948. Machinists leaders, obviously fearful that if the strike continued the Teamsters would take over and Boeing would free itself from 751, persuaded reluctant workers to return to work. The issues continued to be debated before the NLRB and the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Members and leaders of the IAM local, often blaming the Taft-Hartley Act for their plight, believed that the company and the Teamsters were collaborating against them. On May 31, 1949, the court ruled that Local 751 had violated both the Taft-Hartley Act and the no-strike provision of the 1946 contract and thus forfeited its right to be the collective bargaining agent for Boeing employees, but on November 1 that year the Machinists defeated the Teamsters by a wide margin in a representation election conducted by the NLRB. Beck appealed, but the NLRB upheld the election on January 19, 1950.25

Although Beck had not displaced Gibson and Allen continued to complain about high labor costs, Boeing management could not be deeply distressed by the relationship that it now obtained with its organized workers. In 1936, the company had hoped to avoid radical unionism when it encouraged the Machinists to move in; although the IAM had left the AFL in 1945 over a dispute with another affiliate, it now reunited with the conservative national labor federation. Like other "job conscious" unions, Local 751 was interested primarily in better wages and benefits, not a larger role in decision making or access to Boeing's books. The local now gave in to Allen on the seniority issue. The new contract, while guaranteeing wages and fringe benefits equal to or better than those paid by other airplane manufacturers, sharply reduced the application of the seniority principle. As one labor economist defined it, the contract reestablished "thoroughgoing managerial control over . . . the workforce."26

Well before the strike issues were resolved, the contest between the Machinists and the Teamsters had merged with another issue: Boeing's future and the future of Seattle. New thinking inside the air force threatened those futures, especially the city's.

The change occurred just as Boeing appeared to be entering an era of rapid expansion. During the second half of 1948, the company received additional orders for B-50s and a military transport plane, the C-97, and the air force approved mass production of the B-47, Boeing's first jet bomber, a year earlier than expected. Facing heavy demands, the company had to turn to subcontractors for help.27

Symington, however, did not feel secure. Congress had appropriated funds in 1948 to start the five-year program aimed at a 70-group air force but had not actually authorized full implementation, and the program faced persistent opposition from Secretary Forrestal, the army, and the navy, among others. Thus, the air force secretary felt compelled to repeat the arguments for air power and press his contractors to step up production while funds were available.28

Truman's victory in the 1948 election led to difficulties for the air force. Strengthened by the election, backed by Forrestal and then his successor, Louis Johnson, and pressured by the Bureau of the Budget, the president now withdrew his support for 55 groups and advocated an air force of only 48 groups and reductions in aircraft procurement. The economy, he and his advisers believed, could support a military budget of no more than $15 billion for fiscal year 1950,even less in 1951; a 70-group air force and comparable increases in the army and navy would cost an estimated $23 billion. The administration and Congress as well, now controlled by Democrats, shifted emphasis from military buildup to fiscal retrenchment, stimulating a new round of interservice rivalry. The air force, which promised low-cost security, enjoyed more success with the secretary of defense and Congress than its chief rival, the navy. Nevertheless, its new budget, though larger than Truman favored, was not nearly enough to satisfy air force leaders and their industrial and urban allies.29

Boeing employment in and near Seattle reached 25,800 by the summer of 1949, with 16,800 working on air force contracts, but federal spending cuts meant that the work force devoted to military production would be slashed by 6,400 by the following September when the B-50 contract would be fulfilled. Under the plan for 70 groups, that gap was to have been filled by a new plane, the B-54, but the new plan canceled that plane. In the commercial sector, Boeing faced tough competition from Douglas, was losing money on the Stratocruiser, and had no work scheduled beyond 1949. Thus, the company's employment in the Seattle area appeared likely to drop to 10,000 by the end of 1950, only slightly above the level of five years earlier.30

When this forecast emerged, it generated belated alarm over a decision made the previous fall to produce the B-47 in the Wichita plant. Although the jet bomber project might eventually employ 15,000 workers, the decision urged by the air force had provoked no protest at the time, for the company was then growing impressively in Seattle. William Allen had been unhappy, for he preferred Seattle, in part because its work force was more experienced, but he had not appealed for public support. In the summer of 1949, however, a debate erupted. Seattle representatives guessed that the air force considered their city strategically more vulnerable than Wichita. On August 19, 1949, an air force officer publicly confirmed that this was indeed the reason.31

Even before the confirmation, however, Senator Warren Magnuson had sensed, while working on the military budget, that Seattle was threatened by more than the federal economy drive, and he alerted local leaders. The other Democrats in the Washington delegation, Congressmen Henry Jackson and Hugh Mitchell, also took action. (The latter, after losing his senatorial contest in 1946, had been elected to the House from the First District in 1948.) Magnuson, however, who met frequently during the summer with military officials and others in the capital, gained recognition as the leader there. His greatest accomplishment was to bring Symington to Seattle on September 7, 1949, for meetings with interested parties.32

Although these Democrats could not appear to be mere defenders of the air force and the Truman administration, they did have an advantage: easy access to both the White House and the Department of the Air Force controlled by their own party. Republicans who wanted to help Boeing and Seattle had to do so in other ways. The Republican governor, Arthur B. Langlie, drew the Republican governors of Oregon and California into the battle and charged that the air force, by wrecking the regional economy, would open up opportunities for Communists in West Coast politics. The Republican senator, Harry Cain, did not enter the fight until September.33

Boeing remained in the background, no doubt fearful of angering its major customer, but others waged the battle for it or, more accurately, for Seattle. Not surprisingly, leaders of both unions in the labor dispute moved in quickly, each arguing that it could make the company more attractive to the air force: the Machinists as representatives of skilled and experienced workers, the Teamsters as a union that did not stage illegal strikes.34

Meanwhile, the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, on August 16, 1949, announced the establishment of the Save Boeing Committee, which soon became, more appropriately, the Keep Boeing--Defend Seattle Committee, headed by E. L. Skeel of the chamber. This in turn led to the development, under the leadership of another chamber veteran, Christy Thomas, of an elaborate organization to preserve the city's interests, an organization that reached out to other parts of the state, region, and nation and to many groups while remaining under the control of the Seattle business organization.35

The battle for Seattle took on large proportions. In the city, business and labor organizations, fraternal and service groups, officials in local government and the political parties, veterans, and newspapers joined in. The range of participation indicated how valuable Boeing now seemed to the whole community. Furthermore, other groups, especially business and labor organizations, from as far away as Yakima, Walla Walla, and Spokane got involved in the cause, for the economic health of Boeing and Seattle affected eastern Washington markets for aluminum, fruit, and grain as well as revenues for state programs. Even organizations from Alaska, Idaho, California, and beyond found reasons of their own to join in. They sensed that if Seattle were vulnerable to Soviet bombers so were they.

The campaigners made use of several arguments in publicizing the cause. Air force cutbacks harmed Boeing workers, who were being forced either to move away or to join the ranks of the unemployed. Air force policy would seriously damage the economy of Seattle and the Northwest. National security would suffer from the breaking up of a highly qualified work force. And finally, Seattle was no more vulnerable than other parts of the country, but to be certain, the defenses of the West must be strengthened.36

Democrats, chiefly by effectively using the issue of public power, had dominated state politics since the early 1930s, and now the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and local Republicans saw an opportunity to change that. They hoped to persuade the people of Washington that strengthening Boeing, a private corporation, not establishing a Columbia Valley Authority, a government agency favored by liberal Democrats, was the best way to promote the state's economic growth and prosperity. They also worked to elevate national security in the state's system of values, suggesting that a strong national defense was even more basic than Boeing and what the area most needed at the moment. In promoting a defense buildup, they received encouragement from Symington, who wanted support in his budget battle with Secretary Johnson, and they pressured Democrats in the Washington delegation to step up their own efforts to strengthen western defenses.37


Part of the metropolitan-military-industrial complex at work in 1949: here a delegation of lawmakers representing the interests of Seattle-and Boeing-confers with Louis Johnson, secretary of defense. (Warren E. Magnuson Papers, Photo Box 1/42. Manuscripts and University Archives, University of Washington Libraries. Photo by F. Clyde Wilkinson, Arlington, VA)

Whatever their goals, the campaigners did eventually get what they wanted from Symington. While defending the decision to build the B-47 in Wichita, he assured citizens and lawmakers that the air force did not intend to move Boeing from the West Coast and promised the Seattle facility enough business to maintain employment well above the pre-World War II level. Magnuson and others were not satisfied, however, for it seemed that their city would take a secondary position in the company's operations. Placations from Secretary Johnson and other members of the Truman administration and the defense establishment failed to disarm them.38

The key question became: Would the B-52 be produced in Seattle? Intended to be the successor to the B-36, a Convair-built piston-engine aircraft that had replaced the B-29 as the nation's heavy bomber, the B-52 would also supersede Boeing's own B-47. That plane, powered by six jet engines, was faster than the B-36, but it could carry only one bomb. Proposed and approved in 1948, the eight-jet B-52 would carry more, farther, higher, and just as fast. It would also have a much smaller crew than the B-36. It could, in other words, serve air force interests in the competition with the navy just as the B-17 had in the 1930s. Its producer would surely be the largest firm in the industry.39

Although Boeing employment in Seattle dropped close to 19,000 by the spring of 1950, repeated assurances about the B-52 calmed fears in the city. In early December 1949, Symington suggested to Magnuson, among others, that Seattle would be the construction site, and Magnuson held a press conference in the city to pass on the good news. He, Mitchell, and Jackson now believed that the "vulnerable Seattle" argument had been defeated and that the military was committed to a proper defense of the Pacific Coast; the air force strengthened confidence still more by announcing on March 6 that even if the B-52 were never produced Boeing would continue to be regarded as a "vital part" of the industry.40

The battle for Seattle positioned the city to benefit from the military buildup proposed by the National Security Council in the early months of 1950. The proposal, outlined in NSC-68, defined as global the Soviet challenge to which the United States must respond. Persuaded that military spending would stimulate rather than damage the economy, the planners called for development of all means required to frustrate Kremlin ambitions. Believing Soviet strength to be expanding dangerously and the likelihood of war to be increasing, they insisted that the U.S. be willing to spend about $50 billion per year on the armed forces. To make the U.S. capable of responding to every kind of military challenge, they urged that all three branches of the military be enlarged and strengthened.41

Symbolic, perhaps, of the metropolitan-industrial alliance forged between Seattle and Boeing was the chamber of commerce's Action Board, created to study aviation in the area; shown here are representatives from Boeing, the union, various local businesses, and commercial airlines. (Aerospace Machinists Industrial District Lodge 751, Seattle)

NSC-68 expressed a change in thinking in high levels of government. Another change of significance for Boeing and Seattle had taken place in public opinion. Atomic and hydrogen weapons were now widely perceived not as something to be negotiated out of existence but as the best means of national defense. Nuclear bombs should be constructed and stockpiled to maintain American supremacy. "The dread destroyer of 1945 had become the shield of the Republic by 1950," a historian has written of the change. Once such thinking was fully implemented, a firm that built a means of carrying the shield would surely prosper.42

Truman's decision early in the summer of 1950 to intervene in the Korean War provided an opportunity to implement NSC-68. The military budget now soared from the $13.5 billion that had been appropriated for fiscal year 1951 to $50.4 billion for fiscal 1953. Republicans came forward once again urging reliance on air power, but the administration wanted "flexible, multipurpose forces to meet the varied threats that confront us." This meant ships and tanks as well as bombers, but there was now plenty of money for everyone, so allocations for the air force, the army, and the navy rose rapidly.43

Boeing received a large share of air force funds. It expanded its Seattle work force once again, resumed heavy subcontracting, constructed new buildings, extended runways, contributed to traffic congestion, displaced homes and businesses, and forced local government to construct roads and bridges. Because the military refused to invest in production facilities, the company invested heavily, much more than it had during World War II. The most rapidly growing part of the manufacturing economy of Seattle and King County, it employed 28,000 people there by the summer of 1951 to work on C-97s, guided missiles, a device for inflight refueling, B-50s, and the B-52.44

The company had nearly as many people at work in Wichita, but when the air force issued a contract for further development of the B-52--even before the first flight of this giant jet bomber on April 15, 1951--it called for the work to be done in Seattle. To Magnuson, this appeared to be persuasive evidence that the air force did not regard the city as "expendable."45

The pressure to go forward with the B-52 came from the air force's Strategic Air Command and its commander, General Curtis LeMay. They hoped to maintain American supremacy in the new weapons of mass destruction by giving the U.S. a delivery system better than Soviet bombers. Their argument was that a superior American force would deter the Soviet Union. But what delivery system would do the job? Because the B-52 would be expensive, budget officers had proposed, when funds were still tight, that the air force stay with the B-36 and the B-47, but LeMay wanted greater speed than the B-36 could supply, greater range and payload than could be obtained from the B-47. He picked up support from key officials, most notably Thomas Finletter, the new secretary of the air force. Early in the war, Finletter, faced with many demands for his scarce funds, had resisted LeMay's pressure, but in July 1952, with the budget at a high level, the air force placed a large order for B-52s.46

Boeing's first postwar commercial airliner, above, and its definitive passenger jet, right, represent the company's successful bid for a share of the nonmilitary market. (Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries, Negative #'s 15276 & 15274. Photos by Boeing Company)

By then the company was making money, but Bill Allen remained dissatisfied with the company's relations with the federal government. He disliked the outside control that came with the money and resented critics who charged that Boeing made too much from military sales. Dependence on government also brought with it uncertainty and profit margins that, from his point of view and that of his peers in the industry, were unsatisfactory. Perhaps, he reasoned, these drawbacks could be eliminated. He proposed a new military procurement policy that would guarantee a continuing program, at a high level, so that Boeing and others could avoid the ups and downs they had experienced in recent years and develop and maintain the work forces and organizations needed to serve the military and the nation. He also advocated more generous contracts and lower taxes so the companies would acquire the financial resources to serve more effectively.47


What Allen hoped for even more was success in the commercial market. The company had begun to plan a jet airliner in 1949, and it had sought subsidies from the federal government in order to compete with the British, who were subsidized and ahead in developing a commercial jet. Boeing management found it "incredible" that federal funds "support our agricultural products, our ship building industries and our foreign commerce but no avenue is open to the United States Aircraft Manufacturers." It predicted that jet transports of the sort Boeing proposed would "assure our commercial world air supremacy for years to come."48

Failing to get the proposed subsidy, fearful of the costs of building a jet airliner, and restrained also by the airlines' apparent lack of interest in jet planes, Allen held back, but by 1952, large military contracts and improvement in company earnings encouraged him. He was also stimulated by the progress of the British and the enthusiasm of his top people. On April 22, he persuaded his board of directors to invest heavily in what became the 707. He moved before any of his American competitors and decided on a much bigger plane than the British Comet.49

The risky venture turned out to be a great success. Boeing would test the plane in 1954, begin to receive orders for it in 1955, begin deliveries in 1958, a year ahead of what was by then its chief competitor, Douglas's DC-8, and hold the lead in sales of commercial jets. The company achieved this success even though it was known mainly as a producer of bombers and Douglas as a maker of airliners.50

Although the company was seeking to reduce its dependence on government, government was the springboard for the change. Boeing's financial resources for its commercial venture came from its sales to the military, both before the 707 decision and for several years thereafter; the company gained the knowledge and the ability to apply it to airliners from its experiences with jet bombers, the B-47 and the B-52. The decision to go forward with the 707, it should be noted, was made a week after the first flight of the B-52. At that point, Boeing had more experience with large jets than any of its American competitors.51

In making the 707 decision, Allen was not trying to free Boeing from the state and the political process. In fact, he planned to sell the 707 to the military as a tanker and transport as well as to the airlines, and he assumed that military business would continue to be very important for the company, perhaps its main activity. According to one report, he believed that "the only thing worse than government business is no government business." His aim was simply to add a commercial market to the established military one. Boeing would remain in politics.52

By the end of Truman's presidency, Boeing operated in a much friendlier political atmosphere than it had in the days of Homer Bone's attack upon its founder. The rising star of Washington State politics was Henry Jackson, elected to the Senate in 1952, defeating the incumbent, Harry Cain, even though that year was unusually favorable for Republicans. Jackson shared the conviction of many of his contemporaries that the lessons of history were clear. They dictated that the United States and other Western nations must not repeat what was widely regarded as the great mistake of the past: the weak response to aggression in the 1930s. He had expressed this publicly by rallying immediately behind Truman's decision to intervene in Korea, and he continued to back the American role there, seeing it as a successful deterrent to the spread of communism.

The new senator had established himself as a consistently strong supporter of national defense with an emphasis on air power. He had supported the air force in the budget battles of 1948 and 1949 and made much of this, as well as his participation in the battle to keep Boeing in Seattle, in his highly successful campaign for reelection to the House in 1950, and he promoted the military buildup of the early 1950s. In 1952, he called for even more buildup, especially more atomic and hydrogen bombs. He saw nuclear weapons as the centerpiece of American defense forces and insisted that the U.S. must continue to have more bombs than the Soviet Union. Reliance upon them, he argued, as did other champions of air power, would be less expensive than reliance upon the "conventional" weapons of the army and navy. Jackson's conception of a strong America gave, of course, a large role to Boeing-built bombers.53

It seems unlikely that a politician with Homer Bone's attitude toward William Boeing could have succeeded in Washington State politics by the late Truman period, for the people of the state's biggest city had developed a strong sense of dependence on the Boeing Company. They demonstrated that most obviously in the 1949 battle for the continued building of bombers in Seattle. Rallying to Boeing's defense, Seattle citizens sought to influence thinking and decisions within the air force, a principal agent in the political process that was shaping the career of the company. The latter's subsequent economic success derived in significant part from its political successes during the Truman years, which themselves resulted from Boeing's association with a metropolitan-military complex.

Perhaps a better term would be metropolitan-military-industrial complex or, given the importance of the air force and its predecessors in the Boeing story, the military-metropolitan-industrial complex. Boeing succeeded first of all because it served the interests of one group of military leaders. After World War II, it received additional help from Seattle, for by expanding, the company served the city's interests in growth and jobs. During the Truman years, the company itself was not nearly as active in the political arena as the military and the metropolis were. Pursuing their own interests, they brought Boeing successes in politics that enabled it to become the world leader in its specialty: producing jet-powered commercial airliners.

Richard S. Kirkendall, a native of Spokane and a 1950 graduate of Gonzaga University, is the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History at the University of Washington. His latest book is Uncle Henry: A Documentary Profile of the First Henry Wallace (1993). For help on the present essay he thanks manuscript and archives staffs at the Truman and UW libraries, colleagues in the History Research Group, students in History 498A (1993), and Carla Bush, research assistant.


1. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-61 (Washington, D.C., 1961), 1035-40; Roger W. Lotchin, Fortress California, 1910-1961: From Warfare to Welfare (New York, 1992).

2. Jacob A. Vander Meulen, The Politics of Aircraft: Building an American Military Industry (Lawrence, Kans., 1991), 142; Timothy J. McMannon, "Warren G. Magnuson and Consumer Protection," Ph.D. dissertation (University of Washington, 1994), 115-17.

3. Jeffery S. Underwood, The Wings of Democracy: The Influence of Air Power on the Roosevelt Administration, 1933-1941 (College Station, Tex., 1991).

4. Gregory Hooks, Forging the Military-Industrial Complex: World War II's Battle of the Potomoc (Urbana, 1991); Robert E. Ficken and Charles P. LeWarne, Washington: A Centennial History (Seattle, 1988), 130-32, 142-44; William F. Devin to Warren Magnuson, Sept. 6, 1945, schedule, Sept. 5, 1945, Richard H. Powell to Magnuson, n.d., box 40, Warren G. Magnuson Papers (3181-3), University of Washington (UW) Libraries; Seattle Times, Sept. 6, 1945; American Aviation Daily, Sept. 7, 1945.

5. Press releases, Aug. 10, 14, 1945, box 6, Hugh B. Mitchell Papers (281-2), UW Libraries; box 40, Magnuson Papers.

6. Box 40, Magnuson Papers; W. A. Sourwine to Henry Jackson, n.d., box 54, Henry M. Jackson Papers (3560-2), UW Libraries; Powell to Harry S. Truman, Sept. 6, 1945, Howard Costigan to Truman, Sept. 7, 1945, boxes 14, 510, General File, Truman Papers, Harry S. Truman Library, Independence, Mo.

7. Box 77, Magnuson Papers; U.S. Tariff Commission, "Industries of the Pacific Northwest," October 1946, box 2, Mitchell Papers; John B. Rae, Climb to Greatness: The American Aircraft Industry, 1920-1960 (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), 173-76, 190. "Mitchell: Editorials," "Background," Dec. 3, 1945, "National Aviation Policy," June 31, 1946, "A National Air Policy Board," and "Aviation in the Pacific Northwest," boxes 1, 2, 6, 8, and 66, Mitchell Papers (281-2 and 281); Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Aug. 24, 1947 (hereafter cited as P-I with appropriate date); New York Times, Nov. 29, 1945, March 10, 1946; Robert J. Serling, Legend and Legacy: The Story of Boeing and Its People (New York, 1992), 72-79.

8. Hooks, 221-35; New York Times, April 25, 1946; box 40, Magnuson Papers; Perry McCoy Smith, The Air Force Plans for Peace, 1943-1945 (Baltimore, 1970).

9. Steven L. Rearden, History of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Vol. 1: The Formative Years, 1947-1950 (Washington, D.C., 1984), 18-27, 313; Richard S. Kirkendall, "Harry S. Truman and the Creation of the Air Force," Aerospace Historian, Vol. 34 (1987), 176-84.

10. John B. Montgomery to Stuart Symington, Aug. 17, 1946, Brackley Shaw to Symington, Dec. 26, 1946, Dwight D. Eisenhower memorandum, April 30, 1946, T. A. Sims to Symington, May 12, 20, 29, 1947, boxes 19, 11, W. Stuart Symington Papers, Truman Library; National Planning Assoc., F National Policy for Aviation (1946), "The Aircraft Industry One Year after V-J Day" (1946), box 8, Mitchell Papers (281-2); Thomas K. Finletter to William M. Allen, Sept. 10, 1947, box 8, Air Policy Commission Papers, Truman Library.

11. Allen statement, Sept. 30, 1947, Allen to S. Paul Johnson, Oct. 16, 1947, box 8, Air Policy Commission Papers.

12. Rearden, 9-11, 311-15, 318-21, 323-24, 326-30; Lynn Eden, "Capitalist Conflict and the State: The Making of United States Military Policy in 1948," in Statemaking and Social Movements: Essays in History and Theory, ed. Charles Bright and Susan Harding (Ann Arbor, 1984), 242, 245, 250-51.

13. Rearden, 313-19, 321, 324, 327-28; Eden, 242-43, 245, 247-53; Rae, 193- 94; New York Times, Aug. 15, 1948; Aviation Week, Sept. 6, 1948; A Selection of Information about the Long-Term Program for Air Power, box 19, Mitchell Papers (281).

14. New York Times, April 25, 1946, April 5, May 2, 8, Aug. 15, 30, 1948; Seattle Times, May 12, 1946, May 9, 1948; P-I, Aug. 24, 1947. Background Information on Witnesses, Allen statement, Allen to Charles H. Colvin, Oct. 10, 1947, and Questions-Allen, box 8, Air Policy Commission Papers; Harold J. Reynolds to Magnuson, box 77, Magnuson Papers; A Selection of Information about the Long-Term Program for Air Power; Additional Procurement, April 13, 1948, Symington memorandum for Mr. Barrows, May 22, 1948, box 2, Symington Papers; Aviation Week, April 19, 1948.

15. Reed Hansen, "Collective Bargaining between the Boeing Airplane Company and the Aero Mechanics Union," M.A. thesis (University of Washington, 1951), 31-44; John McCann, Blood in the Water: A History of District Lodge 751, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (Seattle, 1989), 103; Vander Meulen, 212-17.

16. Hansen, 59-77, 91, 93, 94, 96-98, 107-13, 127-28, 192-93; J. B. Gillingham, The Teamsters Union on the West Coast (Berkeley, 1956), 67-68; McCann, 99-103; Serling, 81-82; Nelson Lichtenstein, "Labor in the Truman Era: Origins of the 'Private Welfare State,'" in The Truman Presidency, ed. Michael J. Lacey (New York, 1989), 135-37, 149; Harold J. Gibson to Mitchell, Jan. 12, 1950, box 24, Mitchell Papers (281); Machinist, July 8, 1948; New Republic, Aug. 30, 1948; Business Week, May 8, 1948, Sept. 29, 1951; memoranda, April 21, 22, 1948, box 1118, Official File 407B, Truman Papers; Allen-Symington telephone conversation (transcript), June 7, 1948, box 1, Symington Papers.

17. Allen-Symington phone conversation; New Republic, Aug. 30, 1948; New York Times, May 8, 1948; Business Week, June 19, 1948; Hansen, 98-99, 116-21, 123 (1st qtn.), 124-26, 128 (2d qtn.), 129; McCann, 106-107, 116-17, 119; Gillingham, 68.

18. White House memorandum, May 6-7 [1948], R. B. Landry-Howard T. Colvin telephone conversation (transcript), [Aug. 9, 1948], boxes 1118, 1119, Official File 407B, Truman Papers; Allen-Symington phone conversation; Machinist, July 8, 1948; New Republic, Aug. 30, 1948.

19. Memoranda, April 21, 22, May 7, 1948, box 1118, Official File 407B, Truman Papers; Symington remarks to board of directors, Aircraft Industries Association, May 19, 1948, Allen-Symington phone conversation, Symington to Styles Bridges, June 30, 1948, boxes 1, 8, Symington Papers; Business Week, June 19, 1948.

20. Gibson to Truman, June 10, 1948, Earl Coe to Matt Connelly (telegram), June 16 [?], 1948, Landry to secretary of the air force, Aug. 9, 1948, E. M. Powers to Landry, Aug. 13, 1948, Landry to H. Colvin, Aug. 18, 1948, Kessler memorandum, Aug. 13, 1948, box 1119, Official File 407B, Truman Papers.

21. New York Times, April 11, May 17, 1948; Kessler memorandum. On Wallace's charges, see Frank Kofsky, Harry S. Truman and the War Scare of 1948: A Successful Campaign to Deceive the Nation (New York, 1993).

22. Boxes 222, 2329, General File, Truman Papers.

23. Business Week, June 19, 1948; Symington to Allen, June 23, 1948, April 20, 1949, Allen to Symington, July 20, Dec. 16, 1948, boxes 1, 11, Symington Papers; New Republic, Aug. 30, 1948; Powers to Landry, Aug. 13, 1948, and Landry-Colvin phone conversation; Hansen, 115, 124-25, 131; Gillingham, 71; McCann, 114, 120, 121, 123; Serling, 81; AFL Aero Mechanic, Aug. 16, 1948.

24. Machinist, July 8, 15, 1948; New Republic, Aug. 30, 1948; McCann, 118 (qtns.), 119-23, 138-39; Serling, 82.

25. Boxes 3 and 24, Mitchell Papers (927 and 281); box 44, Magnuson Papers; box 9, Jackson Papers; Aviation Week, Oct. 11, 1948; Business Week, Nov. 12, 1949; New Republic, Sept. 27, 1948, Nov. 14, 1949; Hansen, 115, 133, 134; McCann, 126, 130-31, 133, 139, 142.

26. Fortune, September 1951; Business Week, Sept. 29, 1951; Aviation Week, Sept. 22, 1952; Allen, "Industry and National Defense," Sept. 17, 1952, box 8, Mitchell Papers (281-2); Raymond Poore to Truman, n.d., Official File 407B, Truman Papers; Gillingham, 74 (qtn.), 75; Lichtenstein, 131-39, 148-50; McCann, 106.

27. Aviation Week, Sept. 6, 1948, Jan. 10, 1949; Washington Post, Sept. 10, 1948; Business Week, Sept. 18, 1948; Henry C. Huglin to J. Nelson Tribby, Feb. 23, 1949, box 44, Magnuson Papers.

28. Business Week, Sept. 18, 1948; Aviation Week7, Jan. 24, 1949; Symington to James Forrestal, Jan. 17, March 24, 1949, box 4, Symington Papers.

29. Aviation Week, Jan. 24, 1949; Symington to Forrestal, March 24, 1949; Rearden, chaps. 12-14.

30. Aviation Week, May 9, 16, Aug. 15, 1949, Jan. 16, 1950; Business Week, Sept. 16, 1950; Mary Feckley to Magnuson, n.d., packet of information on campaign for defense, Symington to A. J. Hayes, Aug. 19, 1949, to Mitchell, May 5, Aug. 31, 1949, Robert E. L. Eaton to Magnuson, Aug. 31, 1949, Magnuson interview with Thomas Pelly, Dec. 26, 1949, boxes 44, 83, 171, Magnuson Papers; Mitchell to George E. Ryan, Oct. 14, 1949 (note on Symington call) on Andrew S. Low to Mitchell, Aug. 15, 1949, memorandum on Allen conversation, Aug. 22, 1949, boxes 33 and 6, Mitchell Papers (281 and 281-2); Gibson to Jackson, April 27, Aug. 4, 1949, box 9, Jackson Papers.

31. P-I, Aug. 20, 1949; Aviation Week, Oct. 11, 1948, Jan. 10, 1949; Seattle Times, June 25, 1950; Hayes to Symington, Aug. 4, 1949, Mitchell speech, ca. Aug. 19, 1949, memorandum on Allen conversation, box 6, Mitchell Papers (281-2), and Mitchell to Ryan, Oct. 14, 1949; Jackson to G. G. Ruben, Aug. 16, 1949, to Gibson, Aug. 17, 1949, Eaton to Jackson, Aug. 31, 1949, box 9, Jackson Papers; "The Boeing Situation" (August 1949), C. B. Lindeman to Magnuson, Aug. 2, 1949, Christy Thomas to George E. Thomas, Aug. 24, 1949, and insert on brief, boxes 83, 150, 171, Magnuson Papers; Serling, 95.

32. See correspondence dated: June-October 1949 in box 171, Magnuson Papers; August 1949, box 9, Jackson Papers; and August-September 1949, boxes 33, 34, 63, and 3, Mitchell Papers (281 and 927). Symington to Johnson, July 21, 1949, box 6, Symington Papers; Mitchell to Truman, Aug. 24, 1949, box 859, Official File 249, Truman Papers; P-I, Aug. 25, 27, Nov. 8, 1949; Seattle Times, Aug. 25, 28, 1949; AFL Aeronautical Worker, Sept. 14, 1949; Business Week, Sept. 24, 1949.

33. Seattle Times, Aug. 22, 26, 28, 1949; Broderick to Magnuson, Aug. 12, 1949, Interim Report on Boeing and National Defense Campaign, and Symington to Harry Cain, Sept. 21, 1949, boxes 83, 171, Magnuson Papers; P-I, Aug. 23, 24, 1949.

34. Memorandum on Allen conversation and Hayes to Symington, Aug. 4, 1949, box 6, Mitchell Papers (281-2); Symington to Allen, Oct. 11, 1949, box 1, Symington Papers; boxes 83, 171, Magnuson Papers; Gibson to Jackson, Aug. 4, 1949, box 9, Jackson Papers; Seattle Times, Aug. 14, 26, Sept. 1, 1949; P-I, Aug. 2, 31, 1949; AFL Aeronautical Worker, Sept. 14, 1949; Business Week, Sept. 17, 1949.

35. P-I, Aug. 22, 25, 27, 31, Sept. 1, Nov. 2, 1949; Seattle Times, Aug. 24, 25, 1949; [Howard MacGowan?] to Magnuson, Aug. 25, 1949, Christy Thomas to Magnuson, Aug. 27, 1949, information packet, Organization Plan for Operation, E. L. Skeel, "Notes of Progress," Oct. 11, 1949, Interim Report on Boeing and National Defense Campaign, boxes 83, 150, 171, Magnuson Papers.

36. Box 824, General File, box 857, Official File 249 misc., and box 890, Official File 264 misc. E, and Official Files 526 and 1285 misc., Truman Papers; boxes 83, 150, 171, Magnuson Papers; box 9, Jackson Papers; boxes 24, 32, 34, Mitchell Papers (281), box 6 (281-2), and box 3 (927); Seattle Business, Aug. 18, 1949; Seattle Times, Aug. 21, 1949; P-I, Aug. 21, 1949.

37. Paul Kleppner, "Politics without Parties: The Western States, 1900-1984," in The Twentieth Century West: Historical Interpretations, ed. Gerald D. Nash and Richard W. Etulain (Albuquerque, 1989); P-I, Sept. 17, 26, 27, Nov. 2, 20, 1949; boxes 83, 150, 171, Magnuson Papers; Symington to Johnson, Dec. 5, 1949, Jan. 9, 1950, First Thoughts on Items for Consideration as Agenda of National Air Council, boxes 6, 9, Symington Papers; box 9, Jackson Papers; boxes 18, 21, 63, 106, and 3, Mitchell Papers (281 and 927); New York Times, May 15, 1949; Seattle Business, Aug. 18, 1949; AFL Aeronautical Worker, Sept. 14, 1949; Business Week, Sept. 24, 1949.

38. Symington to Mitchell, Aug. 31, 1949, Magnuson to Fuecker, Sept. 29, 1949, Skeel, "Notes of Progress," John R. Steelman statement, Oct. 7, 1949, Symington to Skeel, Jan. 18, 1950, boxes 83, 171, Magnuson Papers; Mitchell to Ryan, Sept. 9, Oct. 11, 1949, Mitchell to Fuecker, Jan. 31, 1950, boxes 21, 33, Mitchell Papers (281); Landry to Gerald G. Dixon, Sept. 27, 1949, box 857, Official File 249, Truman Papers; AFL Aeronautical Worker, Sept. 14, 1949; Time, Sept. 19, 1949; Business Week, Sept. 24, 1949; American Aviation Daily, Sept. 29, 1949; P-I, Nov. 2, 1949.

39. Jim Lucas, "U.S. Plane Industry Is Moving Inland" (clipping), Skeel, "Notes of Progress," Skeel address, Nov. 4, 1949, Christy Thomas to Skeel, Dec. 7, 1949, boxes 83, 171, Magnuson Papers; memorandum on Allen conversation; Seattle Times, Aug. 21, Dec. 11, 1949; Rearden, 344, 393, 410-22; Serling, 86, 88, 93, 101, 103, 104, 106, 107; Roger E. Bilstein, Flight in America, 1900-1983: From the Wrights to the Astronauts (Baltimore, 1984), 180-12.

40. Seattle Times, April 2, 1950; P-I, April 19, 1950; Christy Thomas to Jim Ficken, Dec. 7, 1949, Magnuson interview with Thomas Pelly, Dec. 26, 1949, Air Force Memorandum for the Press, March 6, 1950, boxes 83, 171, Magnuson Papers; Mitchell to Fuecker, Jan. 31, 1950; Northwest Defenses Form Letter, box 51, Jackson Papers.

41. John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment: A Critical Appraisal of Postwar American National Security Policy (New York, 1982), 89-109.

42. Paul Boyer, By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age (New York, 1985), chap. 27 (qtn., 349).

43. Gaddis, 113-25 (qtn., 125).

44. Business Week, Sept. 16, 1950, Sept. 29, 1951; P-I, Oct. 6, 1951; Aviation Week, Jan. 14, April 14, 1952; Andy Hess to Mitchell, Dec. 7, 1950, response, Dec. 7, 1950, Mitchell to J. P. Murray, July 31, 1951, response, Aug. 15, 1951, George F. Meier to Mitchell, Oct. 23, 1951, Eaton to Mitchell, Sept. 14, 1951, Ross Cunningham to Mitchell, Oct. 2, 1951, "The Seattle Chamber of Commerce Economic Summary of 1951," boxes 19, 24, and 2, Mitchell Papers (281 and 281-2); Willard S. Grow to Jackson, Sept. 13, 1951, box 9, Jackson Papers; Lyle H. Truax to Frank Dobbins, Dec. 12, 1950, Hess to Magnuson, March 17, 1951, box 45, Magnuson Papers; John S. Day, "Accelerating Aircraft Production in the Korean War," in The History of the American Aircraft Industry: An Anthology, ed. G. R. Simonson (Cambridge, Mass., 1968), 212-13.

45. Harold Mansfield, Vision: The Story of Boeing (New York, 1966), 197; Serling, 107; Magnuson to Seattle press, March 2, 1951, box 45, Magnuson Papers.

46. Seattle Times, June 25, 1950, July 31, 1952; Mansfield, 185, 187, 192; Serling, 103.

47. Fortune, September 1951; Business Week, Sept. 9, 1951; Aviation Week, Sept. 2, 1952; Allen, "Industry and National Defense"; Mansfield, 183, 189-90; Serling, 142-143.

48. Wellwood E. Beall, "No U.S. Jet Transports-Why?" Boeing Magazine, September 1949; P-I, Sept. 8, 1949; Aviation Week, Dec. 16, 1949; Business Week, Sept. 29, 1951; Skeel address; Prototype Aircraft Development, Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, United States Senate, May 1950 (Washington, D.C., 1950), 185-86; Drew Pearson column, Robert L. Twiss column, Frederick B. Collins to Mitchell, Aug. 29, 1950 (qtns.), boxes 42, 6, and 8, Mitchell Papers (281, 281-2, and 927); Mansfield, 183-85.

49. Twiss column, Sam Dawson column, box 8, Mitchell Papers (927); Mansfield, 185-86; Serling, 122-24.

50. Bilstein, 228-29, 262; Serling, chap. 9 and 156-59.

51. Mansfield, 182, 184-85, 187-89, 191, 195, 198; Serling, 121-24, 132, 144, 159; Bilstein, 228.

52. Mansfield, 194, 198-99; Serling, 122, 135, 159 (qtn.).

53. Boxes 3, 4, 9, 47, 48, 56, 65, 67, Jackson Papers; Preliminary Observations on Campaign Strategy and Tactics II, James B. Wilson to Mitchell, Dec. 13, 1951, and to Reginald Zalles, Feb. 20, 1952, boxes 5, 18, Mitchell Papers (281).

Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest