A Century of Air Force Magazine

August 1, 2018

August 01, 2018

A Century of Air Force Magazine

Adam J. Hebert

This editorial that you are reading in your paper magazine, on your phone, tablet, or desktop computer, marks a milestone in a long, convoluted history. Air Force Magazine was published by the US Army for its first 28 years and has been an Air Force Association product for the past 72 years. It repeatedly changed names and formats, and this month it is 100 years old.

The very first issue of the Army Aeronautical Information Branch’s Weekly News Letter was for the week of Sept. 15 to Sept. 21, 1918. It was a simple publication, a newsletter in the truest sense of the word—typewritten words on a page. But it began a philosophy that continues to do this day: Get useful information about airpower to the readers in an accessible, engaging way.

That first issue began with news that the Air Service needed more mechanics, pilots, bombers, observers, and balloonists. World War I was in full force.

“The fast moving overseas of air squadrons, planes, motors, and material for American airdromes, fields, and assembly plants in France and England” required skilled airmen, that first issue read. “The Air Service, alone, is now half as large again as the whole American Army was at the outbreak of the war,” we noted. Yes, there were pilot and mechanic shortages in 1918.

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