Savannah, Georgia played a significant role in the establishment of the first fighter association and air force in the United States. In 1916, the U.S. Army established a flying school on the outskirts of Savannah. This school trained cadets on various aspects of aviation, including aerial gunnery and reconnaissance. As a result, many pilots were trained, and aircraft began to be produced here for the war effort.
The first formal fighter association, the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), was established in Savannah in 1917, with Carl Spatz, a native Georgian, as its leader. The AEF was instrumental in training fighter pilots for World War I and played a crucial role in the country’s victory.
In 1940, the U.S. Army Air Corps established the Savannah Air Base, which would later become the Savannah Air National Guard Base. The base trained pilots and conducted operations during World War II, the Korean War, and the Gulf War. Today, the base houses the 165th Airlift Wing of the Georgia Air National Guard and supports numerous other military operations. Savannah remains a critical center of aviation and military history in the United States.