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.
Posts related to this topic:
- The year air power came of age | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- A first-of-its-kind bomber test 20 years before World War II spelled the beginning of the end of the battleship era | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- William 'Billy' Mitchell -- 'The father of the United States Air Force' | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- The Army Air Corps at the Battle of the Bulge | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
- Carl Spaatz: An Air Power Strategist | The Runway (airforce.gov.au)
References from the Web:
- 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