Read the entire history of how the USAF flies, fights, and wins.
From its beginning in 1907 as the Aeronautical Division of US Army's Signal Corps, with just one officer and two enlisted men, the United States Air Force has grown to become the foremost aerial armed force. American aviators performed valiantly in World War I with intrepid pilots such as Eddie Rickenbacker and Frank Luke leading the way.
Between the wars, aviation, commercial, and military resources around the world grew by leaps and bounds as the numbers of aircraft in service and their capabilities tremendously increased. Although the Army Air Corps, as it was known at the time, was no better prepared for World War II than the rest of the army, it had developed a highly professional corps of experienced officers who would be able to take advantage of the latest American aircraft technology like the B-17 Flying Fortress and the P-51 Mustang.
With the end of the war and the creation of an independent armed force in 1947, the United States Air Force leapt into the jet age with such icons as the F-86 Sabre and the remarkable B-52 Stratofortress. "Air Force: An Illustrated History" is a book that no enthusiast of the world's largest, most powerful, and most versatile air-combat force will want to miss