KTLA Armed Forces Week- The U.S. Air Force & The Tuskegee Airmen

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May is National Military Appreciation Month!

This week is Armed Forces Week, which is commemorated annually on the second Saturday of May and ends on the Sunday after Armed Forces Day. This year, Armed Forces Day is Saturday, May 21st.

In honor of KTLA Armed Forces Week, today’s segment focuses on the U.S. Air Force and the 75th anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen.

About U.S. Air Force- Courtesy Air Force

On August 1, 1907, the U.S. Army Signal Corps formed an Aeronautical Division. At first, the Aeronautical Division was mainly interested in balloons and dirigibles, but it accepted delivery of its first airplane from the Wright brothers in 1909. By April 1917, when the United States entered the war on the side of the Allied Powers, each of the major combatants had developed aircraft industries far superior to those of the United States. In 1918, its name was changed to the Army Air Service.

The Army Air Service was rename the Air Corps in 1926. The Air Corps (as well as the rest of the Army) remained a small, peacetime establishment with only limited funds for growth or modernization. On June 20, 1941, the Department of War created the Army Air Forces (AAF) as its aviation element and shortly thereafter made it coequal to the Army Ground Forces. The Air Corps remained as one of the Army's combat arms, like the infantry.

While the United Kingdom had recognized the importance of air power by creating the Royal Air Force, independent of the British Army and Royal Navy, in April 1918, the United States did not create a separate air force until 1947. Based on the AAF’s wartime achievements during World War II and future potential, the U.S. Air Force won its independence as a full partner with the Army and the Navy on September 18, 1947.

Today's Air Force operates in keeping with a three-part vision: global vigilance, reach and power. This vision empowers a technologically advanced force of more than 300,000 troops focused on air, space and cyberspace superiority. For more information, visit their website.

Air Force Day was established on August 1, 1947, by President Truman. August 1 was chosen to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment, in 1907, of the Aeronautical Division in the Office of the Chief Signal Officer of the Army. Air Force Day came into being immediately after the signing of the National Security Act of 1947, although the status of the air element of the military was uncertain. Thus, although it was called Air Force Day, its first celebration was staged by the Army Air Forces and not by the U.S. Air Force. It was last observed on August 1, 1949. Courtesy Defense.gov

Gayle Anderson was live at the Lyon Air Museum in Santa Ana with Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col. Robert (Bob) J. Friend about his time with the Tuskegee Airmen. Born on February 29, 1920, Lt. Col. Friend is one of the few surviving Tuskegee Airmen. During World War II, he was assigned to the 332nd Fighter Group and stationed in Europe. He stayed in the military for the next 30 years and even served in Vietnam.

May is National Military Appreciation Month!
KTLA Armed Forces Week 2016
Saturday, May 14th through Sunday, May 22nd

Lyon Air Museum
19300 Ike Jones Road
Santa Ana, CA 92707
(714) 210- 4585

Tuskegee Airmen Inc. National Office
P.O. Box 830060
Tuskegee, AL 36083
(334) 725-8200
(334) 725-8205 FAX


If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com

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