Browsing: History

Taking our “Here’s Why” from the paper to the blog. An explanation for why something is the way it is in the Air Force/military. Whether you’re riding on a jet ski or are an Air Force aircrew flight equipment journeyman, life vests are part of protocol. During World War II, life vests were nicknamed “Mae Wests” after the popular 1930s and 40s actress Mae West. Could you guess why? Linguist and author Henry Alexander explains that members of the Royal Air Force and Army Air Forces who were issued flight gear began calling their life vests — manufactured by Peter…

Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower. On Nov. 21, 1963, President John F. Kennedy dedicated six new buildings as part of the Aerospace Medical Division at Brooks Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas. His dedication at Brooks AFB — which closed in 2011 — was in line with his Texas tour, with stops planned for San Antonio, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas and Austin. In National Geographic’s “JFK: The Final Hours,” the documentary sheds light on the unexpected moments of the president’s trip before tragedy struck in Dallas. Even though Kennedy was on…

Taking our “Here’s Why” from the paper to the blog. An explanation for why something is the way it is in the Air Force/military. Back by popular demand, this “Here’s Why” ran in the Oct. 8, 2012 issue of Air Force Times, with a few additions: When frustrated with another person, you may be inclined to throw up one of the most famous gestures of all time, otherwise known as “flipping the bird.” Skepticism remains about its origin, but scholars and historians say it actually has a military ancestry. In “Digitus Impudicus: The Middle Finger and the Law,” author and…

By Oriana Pawlyk and wire reports As three of the four remaining Doolittle Raiders honored one another with a toast Saturday, Nov. 9, veterans, active-duty members, family and friends toasted to the Raiders’ last gathering at the American Veterans Center annual awards gala in Washington, D.C. The 80 men who risked their lives on a World War II bombing mission on Japan after the attack on Pearl Harbor were honored in Ohio with a wreath laying ceremony and a B-25 flyover that morning, followed by the toast at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. Hennessy donated 48 bottles…

The Air Force will soon announce how it plans to cut 25,000 airmen over the next five years if sequestration continues, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Air Force Times reporter Stephen Losey. In this week’s Air Force Times, you can read how the Air Force expects to make those cuts. In other news, a plan to rapidly deploy F-22 fighters is closer to reality after a successful test this summer at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The concept would drastically cut the logistics and overhead needed to schedule a deployment. Meanwhile, the Air Force Academy is allowing junior cadets…

The Air Force will soon announce how it plans to cut 25,000 airmen over the next five years if sequestration continues, Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh told Air Force Times reporter Stephen Losey. In this week’s Air Force Times, you can read how the Air Force expects to make those cuts. In other news, a plan to rapidly deploy F-22 fighters is closer to reality after a successful test this summer at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The concept would drastically cut the logistics and overhead needed to schedule a deployment. Meanwhile, the Air Force Academy is allowing junior cadets…

Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower. On Nov. 9, 1961, during the first full-throttle flight of the X-15, Air Force Maj. Robert M. White became the first pilot to exceed Mach 6, attaining a top speed of 4,094 mph during a flight just under 8 minutes between Mud Lake, Nev., and Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. Likewise, the rocket-powered X-15 aircraft was the first airplane to exceed Mach 6. According to his L.A. Times obituary, White was also the first pilot to exceed Mach 4 and Mach 5 before his Nov. 9…

Taking our “Here’s Why” from the paper to the blog. An explanation for why something is the way it is in the Air Force/military. Sharpshooter: a marksman, or one skilled in shooting. This label has carried through each war, even into present day. The term became well-known for Alexander Gardner’s photograph, “Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter,” photographed in July 1863 (right). The image depicts a man lying dead between two rocks. “The sharpshooter had evidently been wounded in the head by a fragment of shell which had exploded over him, and had laid down upon his blanket to await death,”…

The Air Force Academy Class of 1963 will dedicate a comrade’s long-lost ring when they gather Thursday to celebrate their 50th reunion. The class ring belonged to 1st Lt. Patrick Wynne, who was the backseater in a F-4 Phantom shot down near the Chinese border during a risky raid over North Vietnam in 1966. He was just 24. Wynne and the pilot, Capt. Lawrence Golberg, were listed as missing in action for more than a decade. In 1977, their remains were found and returned to the U.S. Wynne was interred at the Air Force Academy. His class ring hadn’t been…

Reviewing history in the military, the Air Force and triumphs and misadventures in airpower. One could say no man loved the seagull more than Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker … and for good reason. The American WWI fighter ace and Medal of Honor recipient was a civilian supporting WWII aboard a B-17D Flying Fortress on Oct. 21, 1942. He was traveling to Hawaii for a base inspection tour when, en route to the refueling point on Canton Island, the aircraft’s faulty navigation forced Rickenbacker and the crew to ditch the aircraft due to fuel exhaustion. The crewmen ended up drifting in life…

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