Air University historian receives Air Force level historical studies award


Dr. Robert Kane, Air University historian, was awarded the Frank Futrell Excellence in Historical Studies Award 2017 Air Education and Training Command, by Air University Commander Lt. Gen. Steven L. Kwast during a small ceremony at the Air University Headquarters building.

During the ceremony, Kwast announced that Kane is also the winner of the award at the Air Force level.

The Frank Futrell Excellence in Historical Studies Award, named for Robert F. Futrell, a former Army and Air Force civilian historian and a professor of military history at Air University, recognizes the most outstanding publication by an Air Force historian during the past calendar year.

Kane was awarded this award, May 2017, for his book titled, “So Far from Home Royal Air Force and Free French Air Force Flight Training at Maxwell and Gunter Fields during World War II,” which covers the beginning of the U.S. Army Air Forces and how they trained pilots and aircrews from the 31 Allied countries engaged in war against the Axis powers.

 It then focuses specifically on flight schools at Maxwell Field and Gunter Field in the early 40s

“It started out as a thesis for a second masters in Air Warfare, to use up my VA education benefits, but when I realized the significance and the lessons learned and specifically how they applied to Maxwell Air Force Base today with our education of our International Officers, I thought it would provide us some important lessons by looking back in the past and seeing what we’ve done with them,” Kane said. “That to me is the purpose of history and historical writing.”

Kane said he was honored to have received this award and thanked the many people across Maxwell who helped him in creating this book. He spoke specifically about the research hours saved with help from the staff of the Historical Research Agency here.

The award showcases one of the many outstanding people who work at Air University and on Maxwell Air Force Base.

“Representation that he is among the best we have in the Air Force at this brilliant gift, at translating history into a story that teaches us how we should behave and how we can behave in the future,” said Kwast.

 Kwast also noted that it was important that everyone should read Dr. Kane’s book as we take a step forward into the future where we will be integrating even further with coalition forces, as all the lessons from working with the British and French during World War II, come back full circle to us today.