Happy 73rd Birthday U.S. Air Force

National MOS celebrates our Air Force service members and veterans with some quick history about this service. On Aug. 1, 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps formed the Aeronautical Division, which later evolved into the U.S. Army Air Force. Between 1909, when the US military purchased its first aircraft, and 1947, the U.S. Air Force did not exist as an independent military service organization, World War II illustrated the value of airpower and the need to change the basic organization of U.S. Military Forces.

In 1947, President Truman signed the National Security Act which created a single Department of Defense with Joint Chiefs of Staffs. It also established the U.S. Air Force as an independent service, equal to the U.S. Army and US Navy and created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The official birthday of the U.S. Air Force is 18 September 1947.

Here are three interesting facts related to the Air Force:

• Flying Ace: An “ace” is a military aviator who has shot down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat. The top scoring jet ace in U.S. Air Force history is Joseph C. McConnell, a “Triple Ace.” He is credited with shooting down 16 MiG fighters during the Korean War while flying North American F-86 Sabres. McConnell was the first American triple jet-on-jet fighter ace and is still the top-scoring American jet ace.
• North Dakota’s Nuclear Power: During the Cold War, the US wanted to draw Soviet weapons away from American cities as well as to protect the country’s counter-strike capability. It put its newest missiles and warheads in hardened silos in the Midwest. About 250 Minuteman III missiles were packed with up to three warheads each in sites across North Dakota. At that time, it was the largest missile arsenal of any state, leading to North Dakota getting the nickname “world’s third-largest nuclear power.”
• Chuck Norris: Carlos Ray “Chuck” Norris joined the Air Force and was stationed in South Korea. It was there that he realized he wasn’t physically able to do his job as an Air Policeman (now called Security Forces). This happened while on duty one night when he was unable to arrest a rowdy drunk without pulling his weapon. This led to him being introduced to Korean marital arts and he quickly developed an interest in Tsang Soo Do and Tae Kwan Do. South Korea is also where he earned the nickname “Chuck.”

Today there are approximately 320,000 Active Duty airmen, 70,00 Air Force Reserve airman and 105,000 Air National Guard airman currently serving across the globe. The core missions of the U.S. Force are air superiority, global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control.

This September 2020, Military Outreach for Service wishes current and former members of the United States Air Force a very happy 73rd birthday.