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Air Force Day is a celebration of airpower in the aftermath of World War Two. This observance is slightly complicated due to the nature of American air power at the time, but the designation of Air Force Day was an important step toward the recognition of United States air superiority in both Europe and Asia at the time.
Air Force Day was last observed on August 1, 1949. The Air Force Birthday is celebrated on September 18th each year.
It also likely brought the Department of Defense a step or two closer to establishing what we now know as the United States Air Force, thanks to the increased awareness of air power as an effective tool in modern warfare.
The Establishment of Air Force Day
On July 10, 1947, President Harry S. Truman issued Proclamation 2737—Air Force Day, 1947. His recognition of the Army Air Forces includes the following praise:
Whereas the Army Air Forces contributed immeasurably to our victory over the enemy in Europe and Asia, and stands ever ready to defend our nation in time of danger; and
Whereas our appreciation of liberty is strengthened by our recollection of the achievements of the living and the sacrifices of the dead, which through four decades have nurtured the growth of American air power…in order that we may more justly honor the men and women of the Army Air Forces and more fully acknowledge the contributions of all those who have developed and maintained our nation’s air strength, do hereby proclaim Friday, August 1, 1947, as Air Force Day.