“We Live in Fame or Go Down in Flame”


A-26 Invader from my father’s squadron on a mission during the Korean War. Photo by Stanley Kay.

Today, September 18, 2016, is the 69th anniversary of the creation of the United States Air Force, which became an independent military service on September 18, 1947.

The Air Force evolved from the United States Army Signal Corps in the early 1900s, and then into the United States Army Air Corps and the Army Forces in World War II.

My father, Stan Kay, in the U.S. Air Force in Korea during the Korean War.

The mission of the Air Force declared to be:

  • to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States;
  • to support national policy;
  • to implement national objectives;
  • to overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States.

The stated mission of the USAF today is to “fly, fight, and win in air, space, and cyberspace.

My father, Stan Kay, served in the United States Air Force during the Korean War, flying A-26 Invaders  on bombing missions against North Korean targets.

A-26s from my father’s bomber squadron flying on a mission during the Korean War. View from my father’s perspective as navigator.

He never fully recovered his hearing.

He never considered himself a hero.

But he was.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me to “Aim High.”

Happy Birthday to the United States Air Force and thank you to all the brave men and women who have served and are serving in the United States Armed Forces.