The Air Force Song - Full Lyrics

by Robert Crawford, courtesy USAF Heritage of America Band

Air Force Air Demonstration Squadron
The Thunderbirds fly the F-16 Fighting Falcons and performs precision aerial maneuvers demonstrating the capabilities of Air Force high performance aircraft to people throughout the world.. Official USAF Photo

The Air Force Song - actually titled, "The U.S. Air Force" was created when Liberty Magazine promoted a contest for a song for the then Army Air Force back in 1938.  A committee of Army Air Force wives selected Robert MacArthur Crawford (1899-1961) composition which was officially introduced to America at the Cleveland Air Races in 1939 by Robert Crawford himself.

The song lyrics are listed below:

Off we go into the wild blue yonder, 
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder, 
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun!

(Give 'er the gun now!) 
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar! 
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey! 
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Additional verses:

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! (God only knew then!)
Souls of men dreaming of skies to conquer 
Gave us wings, ever to soar! 
With scouts before And bombers galore. Hey! 
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Bridge: "A Toast to the Host"

NOTE:  This verse commemorates those fallen Air Force service members and our great country. This is a different melody and reflects a more somber and reverent mood.  

Here's a toast to the host
Of those who love the vastness of the sky,
To a friend we send a 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 U.S. Air Force!


Off we go into the wild sky yonder, 
Keep the wings level and true; 
If you'd live to be a grey-haired wonder 
Keep the nose out of the blue! (Out of the blue, boy!)
Flying men, guarding the nation's border, 
We'll be there, followed by more! 
In echelon we carry on.

Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

Notes: Crawford didn't write "Hey!"; he actually wrote "SHOUT!" without specifying the word to be shouted. Wherever they appear, the words "U.S. Air Force" have been changed from the original "Army Air Corps." Words in parentheses are spoken, not sung.  from History of the Air Force Song

"The U.S. Air Force" song and lyrics won the contest out of more than 750 submitted and has stood the time as the country's Air Force has continued to evolve into jet propulsion, missiles, rockets, and part of the nuclear triad. Having a branch of service that dominates the air has been a technological marvel by world class engineers and brave pilots, and government officials with genius foresight.

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