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Air Force Song History and Lyrics

Each branch of the United States armed forces has adopted a themed tune to represent the spirit of the specific military corp. These tunes are meant to inspire patriotism and foster an appreciation for the legacy of our military forces. The Air Force theme song is best known from the words “Off we go into the Wild Blue Yonder,” but the official title to the song is “The Air Force Song”

The song was penned in 1938 by Robert Crawford and submitted to Liberty Magazine to be entered in the Army Air Corps song writing contest. Originally titled “What do you Think of The Air Corps Now?”, the tune was selected unanimously by a committee made up of Air Corp. wives. As an amateur pilot, Crawford was able to convey the soaring emotions of a pilot with his lyrics. Robert Crawford sang the first rendition as the official Air Corps theme song at the Cleveland Air Races in 1939. The third verse, or bridge, carries a softer, more somber, melody as it pays tribute to the fallen heroes of the Air Corps. This verse is sometimes sung independently and is known as “Here’s a Toast”

Fittingly, an all-Air Force Apollo crew was commissioned to honor tribute to Mr. Crawford and the US Air Force by carrying the original score of the song on their mission to the moon on July 30, 1971. As the Lunar Module, Apollo 15 piloted by Col. David R. Scott and Lt. Col. James B. Irwin departed the moon’s surface for its return voyage to earth, Maj. Alfred W. Worden Jr. broadcast the “Air Force Song” worldwide from the “Endeavor” command module. What a fitting tribute to the composer and to our Air Force!

The Air Force Song

Off we go into the wild blue younder,
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 Hell-of-a roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame,
(shout)Nothing will stop the U.S. Air Force!

Minds of men fashioned a crate of thunder,
Sent it high into the blue;
Hands of men blasted the world asunder,
How they lived God only knew!
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer
Gave us wing, ever to soar.
With scouts before and bombers galore,
Nothing can stop the US Air Force!

Here's a toast to the host of those who
love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send this 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 US Air Force!

Off we go into the wild sky yonder
Keep the wing level and true
If you'd live to be a gray haired wonder
Keep the nose out of the blue
Flying men, guarding our nation's borders
We'll be there followed by more
In echelon, we carry on
Nothing can stop the US Air Force!

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