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Evolution of the Air Force Song

Note: This exhibit is located in the hallway between the Early Years and World War II Galleries.

In 1938 Liberty magazine sponsored a contest for a spirited, enduring musical composition to become the official Army Air Corps song. Of 757 scores submitted, one written by Mr. Robert Crawford was selected by a committee of Air Corps wives. The song was officially introduced at the Cleveland Air Races on Sept. 2, 1939. Fittingly, Mr. Crawford sang it in its first public rendition.

Mr. Crawford's original title was "What Do You Think of the Air Corps Now?" However, he changed it for the contest to "Nothing'll Stop the Air Corps Now." By the time the song was published in 1939 as "The Army Air Corps," the phrase had been changed again, this time to "Nothing'll Stop the Army Air Corps." With the creation of the separate U.S. Air Force in 1947, the official name became "The U.S. Air Force" and the phrase was changed to "Nothing'll Stop the U.S. Air Force."

The first page of the score that Mr. Crawford submitted to the selection committee in July 1939 was carried to the surface of the moon on July 30, 1971, aboard the Apollo 15 "Falcon" lunar module by Col. David R. Scott and Lt. Col. James B. Irwin. Ironically, at the moment the "Falcon" blasted off the surface of the moon with Col. Scott and Lt. Col. Irwin on board, a rendition of the "Air Force Song" was broadcast to the world by Maj. Alfred W. Worden Jr., who had a tape recorder aboard the "Endeavor" command module, which was in orbit above the moon. Col. Scott, Lt. Col. Irwin and Maj. Worden comprised the first and only all-Air Force Apollo crew and arranged to take the page of sheet music with them as a tribute to Mr. Crawford and the U.S. Air Force. 

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Find Out More
Related Fact Sheets
Apollo 15 Command Module
Other Resources
Recording of U.S. Air Force Song (USAF Heritage of America Band)
Words to U.S. Air Force Song (AFNOA)