• October 12, 2019

“Aim high, Fly-Fight-Win” - The Gilman Star: News

“Aim high, Fly-Fight-Win”

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Posted: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 10:29 am | Updated: 10:30 am, Wed Sep 18, 2019.

Is there anything more special than seeing a service branch celebrate another birthday? Another year of protecting our country, another year of history in the books, another year of celebrating the relentless sacrifice, dedication and commitment of troops to the branch and the United States?

Nothing quite like it.

And so, what if the Air Force is turning 72, instead of, say, 249? Yeah, yeah, the Army, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard are all older than us. Well, guess what? There were no planes back then, so we are right on schedule. 

The US Air Force was officially founded on 18 September 1947, and in the decades since it has established itself as an air force second-to-none. Yet the Air Force’s history and heritage goes back the turn of the twentieth century.

Between 1909 -- when that the US military purchased its first aircraft and 1947, the US Air Force did not exist as a separate and independent military service organization. It went through a series of designations: Aeronautical Section, Signal Corps (1909); Aviation Section, Signal Corps (1914); United States Army Air Service (1918); United States Army Air Corps (1926), and United States Army Air Forces (1941).

WWII illustrated the value of airpower, and the need to change the basic organization of the US Military Forces. The result was the creation of a single Department of Defense with a strong Joint Chiefs of Staff with Army, Navy, and Air Force chiefs. In 1947 President Truman signed the National Security Act which established this new defense organization, and along with it the creation of the US Air Force as an independent service, equal to the US Army and US Navy. The official birthday of the US Air Force is 18 September 1947.


Air Force Milestones

1949: The flight of the “Lucky Lady II” demonstrated the Air Force’s capability to fly, non-stop round the world, showing it could take off from the U.S. and drop bombs anywhere in the world.

1950-1953: USAF engaged in the first completely jet aerial combat During the Korean War.  The F-86 Saber jet scored impressive aerial victories against the enemy MiG-15.

1954: The first B-52 Stratofortress came into the USAF Inventory and has served in every conflict since its appearance.

1960s: The development and deployment of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) as a major component of the aerial defense capability of the United States.

1964-1973: War in Vietnam

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