Since its founding, the United States Air Force Academy has trained and
developed outstanding young men and women to be leaders for the United
States Air Force and for the nation.
has consistently produced professional officers who possess the knowledge,
character and motivation necessary to lead the world's greatest Air Force.
Men and women from across the United States have marched across the
Academy's Terrazzo, worshipped in the awe-inspiring chapel, trained in the
shadows of Pike's Peak in the Colorado Rockies, and graduated from the
United States Air Force Academy possessing the training and confidence to
serve in leadership positions. With an on-going Commitment to Excellence,
Academy graduates have consistently excelled in both the military, as well
as in the civilian realm.
In December of 1903, an
event occurred that would revolutionize military history and tactics. With
Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina,
the stage was set for dramatic changes that would drastically alter the
America's Air Force began in
1907 with the establishment of the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army
Signal Corps. By World War II, military aviation was conducted by the Army
Air Corps and later the United States Army Air Force. In 1947, the United
States Air Force was established as a separate branch of the U.S.
As America's commitment to air power
grew, the need for highly trained personnel became evident. For decades,
pioneering aviators had lobbied for an Academy to train Air Force
officers, but without success. World War II proved the importance of air
power, and after World War II, support for a new school to train Air Force
On April 1, 1954, President
Dwight Eisenhower signed Public Law 325, commonly known as the "Air Force
Academy Act." The bill stipulated that a location needed to be selected
for the Academy. Many sites were considered for the new Academy, and a
site near Colorado Springs was finally selected.
In 1955, ground was broken and construction began on the Air Force
Academy. On July 11, 1955, the first class of Air Force Academy cadets was
sworn in at a temporary site that had been selected - Denver's Lowry Air
Force Base. The Cadet Wing moved to the new campus in 1958. The Class of
1959 was the first class to graduate from the Air Force Academy, and
graduation was held in Arnold Hall on June 3, 1959. It was a historic
occasion, and the culmination of a decades-long dream for the proponents
who had campaigned for a separate United States Air Force Academy.
On March 29, 1911, the Colt Government Model 1911
semi-automatic pistol, caliber .45 ACP, was officially approved by Jacob
M. Dickinson, Secretary of War, as America's official service sidearm.
Powerful, rugged and impervious to abuse, it immediately started
proving its worth in military battle. The pistol was an essential element
in America's many military campaigns, from World War I through World War
II, Korea and Vietnam. Today, even after its "official retirement from
active duty," the Government Model .45 is still one of the most respected
and most copied of all handgun designs.
historic Air Force Academy 50th Anniversary Tribute, we selected the
legendary Colt Government Model Pistol. As the sidearm of choice for our
armed forces for most of the 20th century, and for police forces and
private gun owners as well, the Colt .45 combines attractive design with
complete reliability. Collectors the world over recognize it as the
classic automatic firearm. Each pistol is decorated by craftsmen
specifically commissioned for this project by America Remembers, and
features artwork in elegant 24-karat gold and nickel, with special
blackened patinaed highlights capturing the spirit and commitment of all
the cadets who have graduated from the United States Air Force Academy.
"The United States Air Force Academy 50th Anniversary
Tribute Pistol" is certain to be a prized possession and cherished
keepsake for graduates of the Academy, and for firearms collectors and
military enthusiasts who appreciate the significant contributions made by
the Academy and its graduates to our Nation's security. Issued in a
strictly limited edition of only 300 working pistols, the Tribute is
available only from America Remembers, and is officially authorized by the
Association of Graduates of the United States Air Force Academy.