History of the Air Force Thunderbirds - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

UPDATED

History of the Air Force Thunderbirds

Posted: Updated:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -
Power, precision, pride.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds are the epitome of a team and all this week, Derek Steyer will have an exclusive, in depth look at the worlds best air demonstration squad.

First up, a history lesson. The Thunderbirds were formed in 1953. Seven officers and 22 enlisted personnel were selected for the squad. Their first air show, lasted only 15 minutes.

They've certainly come a long way in the past 60 years, performing thousands of shows for millions of people across the world.

"You get to see that your tax dollars are paying for young, bright American men and women who are going out and either working on these amazing jets, or whatever other job it may be. This team has 30 different career fields represented within the Air Force. It's a great way to showcase who the Air Force is to the American public," said SSGT Jarid Watson, a Video Production Specialist with the Air Force.

The Thunderbirds name is a nod to their southwestern roots, but they were originally called the "Stardusters". That name doesn't exactly paint a picture of power, precision and pride does it?

Coming up tonight at 11 p.m., Derek Steyer will Tell you how that name was vetoed.

Also, a deadly plane crash in 1982 nearly grounded this air demonstration squad.  Derek will also explain how a change of planes and one General's vision kept it going.
  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

    What is lava haze? A look at Hawaii's latest volcanic hazard

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 3:45 PM EDT2018-05-22 19:45:48 GMT
    (U.S. Geological Survey via AP). In this image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, lava from fissure 20 enters the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii on Sunday, May 20, 2018. The volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii's Big Island has gotten...(U.S. Geological Survey via AP). In this image provided by the U.S. Geological Survey, lava from fissure 20 enters the ocean near Pahoa, Hawaii on Sunday, May 20, 2018. The volcano that is oozing, spewing and exploding on Hawaii's Big Island has gotten...
    White plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass are billowing into the sky over Hawaii as molten rock from Kilauea volcano pours down a hillside and into the ocean.More >>
    White plumes of acid and extremely fine shards of glass are billowing into the sky over Hawaii as molten rock from Kilauea volcano pours down a hillside and into the ocean.More >>
  • School shooting victims killed attempting to ward off gunman

    School shooting victims killed attempting to ward off gunman

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 2:57 PM EDT2018-05-22 18:57:28 GMT
    (AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...(AP Photo/Fareed Khan). Abdul Aziz Sheikh, center, father of Sabika Sheikh, a victim of a shooting at a Texas high school, shows a picture of his daughter in Karachi, Pakistan, Saturday, May 19, 2018. The Pakistani foreign exchange student is among tho...
    An outgoing and 'really funny' student who blocked the door to try to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom and an exchange student who aspired to work in civil service were among the 10 people killed at a...More >>
    An outgoing and 'really funny' student who blocked the door to try to prevent the gunman from entering the classroom and an exchange student who aspired to work in civil service were among the 10 people killed at a Texas high school.More >>
  • Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

    Miss Nebraska wins Miss USA competition

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 4:13 AM EDT2018-05-22 08:13:46 GMT
    The show has begun to see who will go home with the Miss USA title.More >>
    The show has begun to see who will go home with the Miss USA title.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms