Happy Birthday to the United States Air Force!
The Air Force will celebrate its 73rd birthday on September 18th commemorating the service's most valuable asset, its Airmen!
August 1, 1907, the US Army Signal Corps established a small Aeronautical Division to take "charge of all matters pertaining to military ballooning, air machines, and all kindred subjects." There were, at the time, few aeronautical "subjects" upon which to build. From the close of the Civil War until 1907, the Signal Corps had acquired only eight balloons, though two more were procured in 1907. But not until May 26, 1909, did Lt Frank P. Lahm and Lt Benjamin D. Foulois make their first ascent and qualify as the airship's first Army pilots.
Four years after the Signal Corps took charge of air matters, Congress, for the first time, appropriated funds for Army aeronautics: $125,000 for fiscal year 1912. By the close of October 1912, the Signal Corps had acquired eleven aircraft but possessed only nine.
May 20, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order transferring aviation from the Signal Corps to two agencies under the Secretary of War: the Bureau of Aircraft Production, headed by Mr. John D. Ryan, and the Division of Military Aeronautics, directed by Maj. Gen. William L. Kenly. On May 24 the War Department officially recognized these two Army agencies as comprising the Air Service of the U.S. Army.
March 1, 1935, the General Headquarters Air Force, which had existed in gestation since October 1, 1933, became operational and assumed command and control over Air Corps tactical units.
The National Security Act of 1947 became law on July 26, 1947. It created the Department of the Air Force, headed by a Secretary of the Air Force. Under the Department of the Air Force, the act established the United States Air Force, headed by the Chief of Staff, USAF. On September 18, 1947, W. Stuart Symington became Secretary of the Air Force, and on September 26, Gen. Carl A. Spaatz became the USAF's first Chief of Staff. #USAF73
U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) | CMSAF JoAnne S. Bass