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When is the Air Force Birthday?

September 18th is the birthday of the U.S. Air Force.

What is the Air Force Birthday?

The wild blue yonder has called many a man and woman into the Air Force. As our pilots patrol the skies, supported by weather teams, mechanics, and many other soldiers, we remember that the Air Force’s birthday was not that long ago.

The U.S. used aircraft in warfare as early as World War I, first for reconnaissance and later for machine gun support. The Second World War demonstrated the value of aircraft in a fight. It prompted the American military to reconfigure, giving air support its own branch.

Two years after the end of World War II, the U.S. Air Force came into being on September 18th, 1947. That was the day President Truman signed the National Security Act while onboard a VC-54C “Skymaster” (a.k.a. “Sacred Cow”), the very first Air Force One.

Fun facts about the Air Force Birthday!

  • The Air Force started in the Army before becoming its own branch.
  • The CIA was created the same day as the Air Force.
  • An Air Force “ace” is a combat pilot with five or more confirmed aircraft kills. Joseph C. McConnell is the top ace. He took down 16 MiGs during the Korean War, all within 4 months.
  • There is no single airplane called “Air Force One.” That’s just the radio call sign of whatever plane is carrying the president.
  • Chuck Norris learned martial arts while stationed with the Air Force in Korea. He was an Air Policeman (what we now call Security Forces) and wanted to be sure he could do his job.

How to celebrate the Air Force Birthday:

  • Thank an airmen you know for their part in protecting our country.
  • Read up on the history of the Air Force. For instance, look into the controversy surrounding its origins and the court martial of General Billy Mitchell.

What’s the hashtag for the Air Force Birthday?

Use #AirForceBirthday on social media to thank Air Force personnel for their service.