Today, Sept. 18, 2021, marks the 74th birthday of the United States Air Force. This branch of the United States Armed Forces was created in the years immediately following World War II.
To mark this important occasion, a very special message dedicated to the brave men and women of this branch was shared on social media.
“Today is our 74th Birthday! From humble beginnings in 1947, we stand on the shoulders of great Airmen who have helped build the world’s greatest Air Force. We thank each and every person who has helped to build credibility and trust for our nation and our allies. #USAF74,” reads a tweet shared on Saturday.
Many Twitter users – both famous and not so famous – joined in on the celebration of the 74th birthday of the United States Air Force.
One of the famous users was Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “Happy birthday to our @USAirForce! Thank you for 74 years of service & sacrifice to the greatest nation in the history of the world. Fly-Flight-Win! #USAF74,” the governor’s message said.
Also, the account of the National Air & Space Museum also shared a celebratory message: “Happy Birthday @USAirForce! On this day in 1947, the U.S. Air Force was established as a separate service. #USAF74.”
Other users shared their appreciation for the service of the men and women who have served in the Air Force over the years.
Also, others remembered how the branch has impacted their lives. One example of such a message came from user @MrsJSJamison. “Happy 74th Birthday Big Blue! Today will always be one of the most important days of my life. On this day 22 years ago, I graduated @usairforce Basic Training. #USAF74,” she also tweeted.
Beginnings of the United States Air Force Date Back to 1907
While the United States Air Force officially became a branch of the United States Armed Forces in 1947, the beginnings of this branch date back all the way to 1907.
According to Britannica, it was during that year that the Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps of the U.S. Army was created. In 1911, the United States Congress appropriated funds for aeronautics. Also, in 1914, the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps began. The first time the United States used a military aircraft was in 1916 in Mexico against Pancho Villa.
With the beginning of World War I in 1917, more funds were appropriated. And in 1918, the U.S. Army Air Service was created. At the time World War I ended, the U.S. Army Air Service had 195,000 people. There were also 740 planes and 45 squadrons. Between World War I and World War II, those numbers declined.
However, in 1940, the numbers began to grow again in order to prepare the nation for combat in Europe. In 1942, the Army’s air units were joined together to become the Army Air Forces. The expansion also continued. The number of individuals in its service reached 2.4 million. It also had 80,000 aircraft.
Following World War II in 1947, it was decided that the Army Air Forces should become a separate branch. Thus, the United States Air Force was created and has been serving the nation ever since.