HomeVisitMuseum ExhibitsFact SheetsDisplay

Evolution of the Air Force Song

DAYTON, Ohio -- Evolution of the U.S. Air Force Song exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio -- Evolution of the U.S. Air Force Song exhibit at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

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. 

Click here to return to the Other Exhibits index.


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)
Note: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the National Museum of the USAF, the U.S. Air Force, or the Department of Defense, of the external website, or the information, products or services contained therein.

Mask Policy:
In accordance with the updated guidance released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Defense (DoD) and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force will require all visitors to wear face masks indoors effective July 30, 2021 until further notice.

Visitors ages three and up will be required to wear masks while indoors at the museum. This policy applies to all visitors, staff and volunteers regardless of vaccination status. Visitors may wear their own masks or a free paper mask will be provided. Cloth masks will also be available for purchase in the Museum Store.
Additional information available here.

Featured Links

Plan Your Visit button
E-newsletter Sign-up button
Explore Museum Exhibits button
Browse Photos button
Visit Press Room button
Become a Volunteer button
Air Force Museum Foundation button
Donate an item button