Seventy years ago, the country was deep into World War Two, and the US was on the offensive in the air. Commentator Dan Patterson says that the big US four engine bombers were being shot down in shocking numbers.
Think about this: on one mission, we lost sixty bombers. That's six hundred men. It was just too much.
The US needed a fighter plane with long pegs, one that could go all way deep into Germany and protect the bombers, essentially win the air war and provide the long sought after supremacy of the air.