Sunday, September 8, 2013

50th Anniversary U.S. Air Force 1.8.1957

The 6c stamp on this cover postmarked on the first day of issue namely, at Washington D.C. on 1st August 1957, marks the 50th anniversary of the United States Air Force as a part of US National Defense System. The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress which is shown on the stamp, was first flown in 1952. It was built to carry nuclear weapons during the Cold War, but dropped only conventional munitions in combat. These jets have been in continuous service for more than 50 years.
The War Department created the first antecedent of the Air Force in 1907, which through a succession of changes of organization, titles, and missions advanced toward eventual separation 40 years later. In World War II, almost 68,000 U.S airmen died helping to win the war; only the infantry suffered more enlisted casualties. In practice, the USAAF was virtually independent of the Army during World War II, but officials wanted formal independence. The USAF became a separate military service on 18 September 1947, with the implementation of the National Security Act of 1947. The Act created the National Military Establishment (renamed Department of Defence in 1949), which was composed of three subordinate Military Departments, namely the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and a newly created Department of the Air Force. Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was shared between the Army (for land-based operations), the Navy (for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious aircraft), and the Marine Corps (for close air support of infantry operations). The 1940s proved to be important in other ways as well. In 1947, Captain Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in his X-1 rocket powered aircraft, beginning a new era of aeronautics in America. 
Thank you Merja for this cover.

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