The USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on 18th of September, 1947 under the National Security Act of 1947. One must surely then think - “Why does a force so important as this only receive recognition after the Second World War, where it proved it’s worth?”. The answer is fairly simple.
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The United States Air Force was brought into life with the signing of the National Security act in 1947. Before that, air power was prevalent in the American military. The first air corps was created on the 1st of August 1907, with the creation of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. In the First World War, American pilots took part in the conflict as part of the American Expeditionary Force. After the “Great War”, the US Army Air Corps was established and started to pioneer new advancements in the field of aviation, such as mid-air refueling or the adoption of full-metal monoplanes instead of biplanes seen in the arsenal of other Air Forces around the world.
In 1941, the Air Corps was transformed into the United States Army Air Force. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the consequence of which was the United States of America actively joining the second world war, the USAAF began combat operations. The US pilots fought in Western Europe, Africa and Asia, along with other allied air forces. Even so, they were controlled by the Army and were not autonomous.
Regardless of this, the war effort of the pilots and ground crews of the USAAF cannot be downplayed - it was the Air Force that suffered 12% of the overall Army casualties in the war. Also, 36 members of the USAAF received the highest American decoration - the Medal of Honor - for their bravery in face of combat.
After the Second World War, the American Congress, with President Truman decided, that the Air Force should be separated into a standalone branch of the US Military. After some initial planning, President Truman ordered the creation of the Department of the Air Force in 1947, separate from the Army. Since that day, the United States Air Force has taken part in several conflicts around the globe, such as the Korean War, the Vietnam war and Operation Desert Storm. Currently, it’s strength lies with over 5000 aircraft, 450 ICBM’s and nearly 700 thousand personnel, ready to defend their homeland.
We salute all who serve and who had served in the US Air Forces throughout the years.
The War Thunder Team