On Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists hijacked four U.S. airliners, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center towers in New York and one into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. Heroic passengers rushed hijackers in the fourth aircraft and crashed into a Pennsylvania field.
The onset of Operation Desert Storm in the 1990s remains one of the seminal events in Air Force history.
March 17, 1971: Jane Leslie Holley became the first woman commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program.
Though the U.S. Air Force mission in Vietnam was initially training and advising the South Vietnamese air force, U.S. involvement began to escalate in 1964. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered Operation Rolling Thunder with the intent of destroying the North Vietnamese supply network and air defense system.