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Though the United States had explored using air refueling to extend the reach of strategic bombing missions during the Second World War, nothing operational had come of the work by the time the war ended in 1945. In the immediate post war years, the newly independent United States Air Force and its nuclear deterrent arm, the Strategic Air Command, had both the weapons and the aircraft to carry out nuclear strikes, but what was lacking given the technology and geopolitical climate of the day was overseas bases that would allow SAC's bombers to reach the Soviet Union. As it was, the Boeing B-29 Superfortresses that were the main strike force of SAC lacked the range to hit Soviet targets nonstop from bases in the United States. While the US government placed priority on securing overseas bases for SAC, the USAF made inquiries to the leading experts of air refueling of the day......