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History of the U.S. Air Force

What is the United States Air Force?

The United States Air Force (USAF) acts as the aerial branch of Americaís military forces. It was started shortly after the Wright brothers and their first successful airplane flight in 1903, but the original organization wasnít nearly the same as it is today, though. There was much controversy and many hindrances throughout the growth of the Air Force, but it still managed to develop from a rough unit of pilots into the military branch of utmost importance that it is today.

The Civil War

The Air Force was created during the Civil War as a small organization under the United States Army Signal Corps. The official start of the Air Force today is seen as when the Aeronautical Division of the United States Signal Corps was formed, a couple of decades later, in 1907. Soon, they had purchased a Wright Brotherís airplane, and they started becoming more like the modern air force. More

World War One

The American Expeditionary Force (AEF), which was the new aviation-based military force World War One, continued to develop rapidly as aviation technology did, and as warfare around the world increased, their abilities did as well. While they developed swiftly, the Army was always hesitant to use new technology right away, and therefore, being underneath the Armyís control started to frustrate many airmen, such as Air Corps Senior Officer, Billy Mitchell, who began a campaign for separation that ended his career. More

World War Two

The aviation portion of American military became much more independent with the development of the Army Air Forces in 1941. They may still have been organized underneath the Army, but they had many more independent operations in World War Two. The war allowed the Army Air Forces to show that they are much more effective when free from the strict control the Army had enforced before, and they started to grow a worldly renown. More

The Cold War

The US Department of the Air Force was officially created and their true legal independence from the Army was forged in 1947, and so in the Cold War, they were much more effective and influential than ever before. The new military branch developed swiftly, not only to catch up with the vast sizes of the other branches but also to compete with the Soviets in the Arms Race. More

The Vietnam War

The Air Force was a major aspect of the United Statesí military forces involved in the Vietnam War. They aided in transporting soldiers, as well as in defensive and offensive operations. They started a bombing campaign that seemed like it was going to break the morale of North Vietnam, but the natives of South Vietnam wanted American forces to leave, so they withdrew in the end. More

The Gulf War to the Global War on Terror

The Air Forces became quickly involved in the Gulf War during the 90ís. They gave much support to the Allied forces with strategic bombing missions against the Taliban. They continued to aid the Allied forces in further conflicts in the Middle East during the invasion of Iraq. The conflicts helped give the Air Force more worldly renown. More

Modern Day

In modern times, the United States Air Force is the most developed and largest air force in the world. They have a vast amount of influence on the world today and use this influence to aid them in all of their operations. Learn more about the modern Air Force here.

Article Citation (MLA format):

"History of the U.S. Air Force." Military Ranks Online. 30 Jun 2016. 23 Oct 2016. <>