BLUFUnlike the RAAF, the United States Air Force wasn't officially established as an independent force until 1947. However, in 1942 during WW2, an executive order made it an autonomous force, and its commander General Henry H. 'Hap' Arnold, was made a member of the Joints Chief of Staff.
This timeline, developed from an article in Military.com, makes the following points:
- 1907. U.S. Army Signal Corps established a small Aeronautical Division for ballooning and air machines.
- The Signal Corps worked with Orville Wright.
- 1909. U.S. Army "Airplane No. 1," accepted.
- 1914. U.S. Army Aviation, 66 personnel & 6 aircraft.
- 1918. Bureau of Aircraft Production and the Division of Military Aeronautics was created as part of the Air Service of the U.S. Army.
- Nov 1918. 185 aero squadrons.
- 1920. Less than 10,000 personnel.
- 1920- 1938. Air units primarily support ground forces.
- 1939. $300 million for an Air Corps "not to exceed 6,000 serviceable aeroplanes "approved.
- 1945. U.S. Army air forces 2,253,000 personnel and 63,715 aircraft.
- 1947. by order of the President, the United States Air Force became a separate and independent force.
- MILITARY HISTORY: INDEX of PAGES AND COLLECTIONS ON THE RAAF RUNWAY
- SEP 2016 A Brief History of the U.S. Air Force- Air Force Space Command
- NOV 2018 How American Air Power Came From Way Behind to Win World War II-Daily Beast.
- SEP 2020 US Army Air Forces- National WW2 Museum
- The Sky Was Never the Limit-US Air Force