• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Happy Birthday, Air Force

    The Heritage Foundation is proud to wish the United States Air Force a happy 64th birthday. Sixty-four may not sound old in the context of American history, considering that some of the founding members of the Army Air Corps are still living. Yet the history of these men and women goes back to early aviation itself.

    The U.S. Air Force (USAF) has much to boast. It developed aerial combat and produced the nation’s first Ace. From World War I and the plains of western Europe, it conquered the skies. In June of 1942, it accomplished the inconceivable by flying land-based bombers off a 700-foot aircraft carrier—one-fourth the required take-off distance—and did it 16 times.

    In 1991, the world saw the awesome capabilities of the Air Force. They saw intrepid pilots fly hundreds of feet over Baghdad, one of the most heavily defended skies, to deliver precision-guided munitions within an arm’s length of a target. There are countless stories of daring flyers who constantly push the envelope. The U.S. Air Force is second-to-none.

    This service is entrusted to transport and protect the President in Air Force One. The Air Force has had an important role in America’s space program since the first U.S. manned space flight in 1961 and continues to lead the way in space technology. Never afraid of new domains, it also provides critical cyber and intelligence capabilities to the warfighter. Those who have seen them can never forget the thrill of watching the Thunderbirds overhead.

    The USAF boasts four pillars of helping to provide for the nation’s security: gaining control in air, space and cyberspace; holding targets at risk anywhere in the world; providing responsive intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance; and rapidly transporting people and equipment around the world. Without it, the U.S. would not be able to move troops and equipment to war zones, send relief to countries devastated by natural disasters, provide air support to troops on the ground, or gather crucial intelligence through electronic warfare and stealth technology. If the past 64 years are any indication of their future, we can look ahead with confidence as these fighting men and women continue to accomplish what was thought impossible. Aim high!

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to Happy Birthday, Air Force

    1. West Texan says:

      The USAF didn't exist before 1947. So to say the department gave us our first ace in WWI, and so forth, is misleading. True, the U.S. Air Force’s history is tied to the Army Air Corp. But it’s the Army, and not the Department of Air Force, that can rightfully claim the earlier history you mentioned prior to the split. Give credit where it’s due.

      • Ron says:

        I disagree. It was the Army Air Corps. In 1947 they split, the Army Air Corps becoming the US Air Force and the US Army remaining the US Army. When both were under the Army name they were still seperate.
        In my view the Air Corps history goes with the Air Force.

        Proud Air Force Veteran (rondevous radar tech for in flight refueling)

        • West Texan says:

          Fair enough. The Marine Corps' history is their own regardless of being part of the Navy. Just the same, the Navy retains a shared history and family connection to the Marines. As an Air Force brat, those were my "Go Navy" bumper stickers on dad's rear bumper as he entered the base. Little did he know.

          From a proud Navy veteran, wishing the Air Force Happy Birthday.

          • GMH says:

            The Marine Corps is NOT part of the Navy, it is part of the Department of the Navy. But it IS the Men's Department.

        • Mark says:

          You're completely incorrect. The Army Air Corp was owned and operated by the Department of the Army. There was no Department of the Air Force until 1947…period!

    2. haine dama says:

      Happy Birthday!! Keep up the good work!!

    3. Dick says:

      I was involved with weapons development for birthdays 21-31 and would not trade the experience for anything. Happy Birthday USAF!

    4. Karon Downs says:

      Happy Birthday USAF! God Bless our Country and the USAF!

    5. Phil says:

      I served four years (1960 – 1964) and thoroughly enjoyed it. I was able to use my experience to gain a civilian job that kept me employed for 27 years and I only took early retirement becasue of an impending sale of the company.
      Happy Birthday USAF and God bless our Country!!

    6. Paul says:

      I was an Air Force brat, Bolling, Hector, Langley – didn't get to go on foreign tours. I understand we WERE slated to go to Wheelus, but then the heart attack. I was proud to be an Air Force kid; I'm still in the Auxiliary (Civil Air Patrol) and disappointed I couldn't serve (stick in the eye routine). Happy Birthday, people! OWN the sky!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.