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A 50th Anniversary Tribute to the United States Air Force from America Remembers
The United States Air Force – for 50 years, the sky has echoed with its thunder. In times of war and peace, America’s best and brightest have patrolled the airways of the world, keeping our most cherished ideals aloft on the “Wings of Freedom.”
Now the 50th anniversary of America’s Air Force is honored with the “Wings of Freedom” USAF Golden Anniversary Tribute, a working Colt .45 pistol, authorized and issued by the Armed Forces Commemorative Society and America Remembers. Each is polished, blued and decorated in a 24-karat gold by master artisans specifically commissioned by America Remembers for this project.
On September 18, 1947, Congress established the United States Air Force as a separate branch of the U.S. military. The very next summer, the Berlin airlift marked the beginning of a long tradition of USAF relief efforts around the globe. In all that time, and to this very day, the USAF has defended America and her allies, protected the skies, brought disaster relief to the peoples of the world, taken the lead in developing satellite technology, and provided NASA with generations of astronauts. The “Wings of Freedom” Tribute honors this tradition of service, a tradition that has spread the Wings of Freedom wide enough to encircle the entire globe.
The B-29 “Superfortress,” the B-52 “Stratofortress,” the F-86A “Sabre” and the F-16 “Fighting Falcon” – four of the most celebrated military aircraft of the last half-century – take wing in the pistol’s meticulously detailed, 24-karat gold images. Each represents an important era in the history of America’s air superiority.
Right side of the slide features two of the USAF’s most famous bombers – the B-29 and the B-52. The B-29 was first used by the Army Air Force in WWII and later served the USAF with distinction in the Korean conflict. The B-52 has been the primary long-range bomber of the Strategic Air Command since 1955, and it also provided air support for the ground forces in Southeast Asia. Left side features two of the Air Force’s most celebrated fighter jets. To the left is the F-86A “Sabre,” the USAF’s first swept-wing jet fighter. In Korea, Sabres shot down 792 Russian MiG-15’s compared with only 76 Sabres lost, setting the success ratio for all fighters to follow. To the right is the F-16; in service since 1980, it was instrumental in “Operation Desert Storm” and remains in service today. Between the two fighters, the American eagle holds a banner with the inscription, “Established Sept. 18, 1947,” commemorating the birthday of the USAF.
Certainly no firearm has been so closely identified with the U.S. military as the Colt .45 Pistol. When it was adopted in 1911, the Military Board of Review called it “the most powerful, accurate and rapid-firing pistol that has yet been produced.” This was the sidearm in use at the founding of the USAF in 1947. Dependable, powerful and accurate, it serviced generations of USAF officers and airmen on their missions around the globe.
Handsome Display Case
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