Eighty years ago, the concept of high-altitude, daylight strategic bombing was put to the test. The Eighth Air Force was the outfit tasked with the responsibility to carry out this unproven war doctrine. The odds were long, and success was anything by guaranteed.

The Eighth Air Force grew up quickly during World War II, becoming mighty in the process. Since 1942, the Eighth Air Force has been involved in every major conflict. From seventeen Medals of Honor in World War II to nuclear alert and deterrence to supporting the Commander-in-Chief following the September 11 terrorist attacks on the American homeland, the Eighth Air Force has continued its tradition of defending our freedoms and liberty.

With the theme of 80 Years of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, tonight we recognize with enduring gratitude the men and women of the Eighth Air Force. 

This year’s Legacy Ball is being held where the Eighth Air Force began. Eighty years ago, seven Army officers came together at what was known as the Chatham Artillery and made history. 

Join the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force for this very special anniversary. Your support of the museum ensures that its unique mission of preserving and presenting Eighth Air Force history is sustained for generations.