Air Force History Quiz

F-16 Fighting Falcon

The Air Force might be the youngest branch of the U.S. military services, but it doesn't lack for memorable moments and famous members. In celebration of the service's birthday on September 18, we present this Air Force History quiz -- see how well you can score!

How Well Do You Know Your Air Force History?

Sure it might be the newest official member of the services, but the U.S. Air Force has had more than its share of historic firsts. From humanitarian missions like the Berlin Airlift to force projection and commanding the skies over Bosnia, Korea, and Iraq, the Air Force has been an indispensable part of the United States' ability to project power and maintain global security since its birth.

Put your knowledge to the test... can you aim high and get a perfect 10/10?

1. In the legendary Berlin Airlift from 1948-49, approximately how many sorties were flown?

A. 77,000

B. 125,000

C. 195,000

D. 275,000

2. Who is the U.S. Air Force's all-time leading ace?

A. Don M. Beerbower

B. Edward V. Rickenbacker

C. Richard I. Bong

D. Robert W. Aschenbrener

3. Okay - who's the Air Force's top ace in the jet age?

A. Manuel J. Fernandez

B. Joseph C. McConnell

C. Richard S. Ritchie

D. Randell H. Cunningham

4. How many U.S. Presidents have served in the U.S. Air Force?

A. 1

B. 2

C. 3

D. 4

5. One of the Air Force's most revolutionary aircraft, the F-117 is often thought to use aerodynamics originally discovered studying:

A. Children's paper airplane creations

B. Migrating Monarch butterflies

C. Floating dandelion seeds

D. The common bumblebee

6. When did Jeannie Leavitt become the Air Force's first female fighter pilot?

A. 1991

B. 1993

C. 1995

D. 1997

7. Who is often considered the 'father' of the Air Force?

A. William J. Donovan

B. William "Billy" Mitchell

C. Jimmy Doolittle

D. Curtis LeMay

8. What type of plane was the first official Air Force One?

A. Boeing 747 (VC-25)

B. Boeing 707 (VC-137)

C. C-54 Skymaster

D. Lockheed Constellation

9. Actor Jimmy Stewart ("It's a Wonderful Life") retired with what Air Force rank?

A. Lieutenant Colonel

B. Colonel

C. Brigadier General

D. Major General

10. The Air Force is the same age (and shares a birthday with) what other governmental organization?






1. D

2. C

3. B

4. A

5. D

6. B

7. B

8. D

9. C

10. B

Pilot Candidate (1-4 correct answers)

You put in a good effort, Airman - but you're not a no-load, are you? We're sure you can do better. Hit the books, brush up on your Air Force history, and come back gung ho for a return engagement.

Flight leader (5-7 correct answers)

Nice work! Your depth of knowledge is a credit to the service, and you avoided some of the tricky situations that would trip up the less-experienced. But the Air Force isn't happy with 'good enough' -- you can always improve. Study, hit the books, and come back to max this test next time around.

Squadron commander (8-10 correct answers)

Impressive result, commander -- you're placed in the highest percentile of test takers, proving you know your stuff. From famous pilots to Air Force aircraft and history, nothing trips you up. But don't get cocky! Sure you might know the past 68 years, but the story of the Air Force is constantly being written.

Story Continues