PenFed - Grow Your Dough

The U.S. Air Force Song

(chorus I)
OFF we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder
At ‘em boys, Give ‘er the gun!
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!
(chorus II)
Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder
Sent it high into the blue
Hands of men blasted the world a-sunder
How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wings, ever to soar!
With scouts before And bombers galore.
Nothing can stop the U.S. Air Force!
(verse)
Here’s a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly.
We drink to those who gave their all of old
Then down we roar to score the rainbow’s pot of gold.
A toast to the host of men we boast, the U.S. Air Force!
(Chorus III)
Off we go into the wild sky yonder,
Keep the wings level and true
If you’d live to be a grey-haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue!
Flying men, guarding the nation’s border,
we’ll be there followed by more!
In echelon we carry on, Hey!
Nothing’ll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Originally entitled “The Army Air Corps” when it was published in 1939, the song’s name changed officially to “The U.S. Air Force” in 1947 when the Air Force became its own separate branch of the military.
Selected by a committee of Air Corps wives, Robert MacArthur Crawford’s score was one of 757 submitted to Liberty Magazine’s song contest in 1938. The Air Corps was looking to find a spirited composition that would endure through the years to be their official song. It was introduced on September 2, 1939, at the Cleveland Air Races with Crawford singing its first public rendition.
The only all-Air Force Apollo crew carried the first page of the score to the surface of the moon aboard the Apollo 15 ‘Falcon’ lunar module on July 30, 1971. It was carried by Colonel David R. Scott and Lieutenant Colonel James B. Irwin. As the ‘Falcon’ blasted off the surface of the moon, Major Alfred W. Worden Jr. broadcasted the song to the world via a tape recorder from the command module ‘Endeavor.’
Crawford’s vision for the song was long reaching, even to the honoring of the Air Force’s fallen heroes. The verse “Toast to the Host” has and can be sung as a separate piece. It is a commemoration and has a more reflective and reverent melody. And so it is no surprise that what started out as a song entered in a magazine contest turned into a memorable and enduring tribute to the men and women of the United States Air Force…past, present and future.

Sources: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_U.S._Air_Force_%28song%29, www.hill.af.mil/library/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=5975, nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=1326.

Notes: “Hey” was not originally part of the lyrics. It replaced “Shout,” which was never noted to be shouted. And the words in parentheses are not sung, they are spoken.


About Jenifer Chrisman

Jenifer joined the MWR Marketing team in 2011 as graphic designer. In 2014, she went back to her roots when she joined the Fort Gordon FYI Magazine team as a writer, along with her designer duties. As of 2015, she has created a series of briefs about the history, culture and traditions of the military called Culture.Mil, as well as writing various other pieces, including her favorite ... A Thin Line Of Many Colors.

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