1947 The United States Air Force becomes an independent branch of the United States armed forces.
1948 The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 557 which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
1948 The United States Air Force accepts its first female recruits into a program called Women in the Air Force (WAF).
1950 Korean War: United States Air Force Lt. Russell J. Brown shoots down two North Korean MiG-15s in the first jet aircraft-to-jet aircraft dogfight in history.
1952 United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns in Moses Lake, Washington killing 87.
1953 A United States Air Force C-124 crashes and burns near Tokyo, Japan killing 129.
1954 Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.
1958 A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb is lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia, never to be recovered.
1958 United States Air Force C-130A-II is shot down by fighters over Yerevan in Armenia when it strays into Soviet airspace while conducting a sigint mission. All crew members are killed.
1959 A United States Air Force F-100 Super Sabre from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, crashes into a nearby elementary school, killing 11 students plus six residents from the local neighborhood.
1962 Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force becomes the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane is shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.
1966 One of the XB-70 Valkyrie prototypes is destroyed in a mid-air collision with a F-104 Starfighter chase plane during a photo shoot. NASA pilot Joseph A. Walker and United States Air Force test pilot Carl Cross are both killed.
1968 Vietnam War: United States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescues an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire and is later awarded the Medal of Honor.
1969 Project Blue Book: The United States Air Force closes its study of UFOs, stating that sightings were generated as a result of "A mild form of mass hysteria, Individuals who fabricate such reports to perpetrate a hoax or seek publicity, psychopathological persons, and misidentification of various conventional objects."
1975 Gays in the military: US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appears in his Air Force uniform on the cover of ''Time'' magazine with the headline "I Am A Homosexual". He is later given a general discharge.
1994 A United States Air Force (USAF) F-16 aircraft collides with a USAF C-130 at Pope Air Force Base and then crashes, killing 24 United States Army soldiers on the ground. This later became known as the Green Ramp disaster.
1994 In a U.S. friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shoot-down two United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people.
1994 A United States Air Force B-52 aircraft crashes at Fairchild Air Force Base killing all four members of its crew.
1994 Eugene Bullard, The only black pilot in World War I, is posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.
1995 United States Air Force Captain Scott O'Grady's F-16 is shot down over Bosnia while patrolling the NATO no-fly zone.
1996 A United States Air Force airplane carrying United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown crashes in Croatia, killing all 35 on board.
2008 The United States Air Force retires the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service.