“I really believe that some people may say the image of the Air Force is the Hap Arnold emblem, or an aircraft, or a general, or something to that effect … but I believe that the image of the Air Force is the uniform,” said Waid.
The interactive uniform exhibit at Air Force Materiel Command Headquarters, Bldg. 262 on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is on the first floor, north hallway. It showcases images of uniforms from the 1940s to present day. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO
The inspiration and history behind the exhibit are monumental, and it starts with a very impactful member of the Air Force.
“In the display case is a flight suit that belonged to Walter Boyne. He was born in 1929 and was known as a nuclear ace…he was selected for the 4925th nuclear test group and dropped five nuclear weapons during testing,” said Waid. “There’s a connection there with his uniform and AFMC and actually our National Commands. We’ve been working on putting together legendary figures of the AFMC … Boyne is the inspiration, and we wouldn’t have known about these people if it weren’t for this [exhibit].”
The History Office team is excited for people to walk through AFMC Headquarters and be able to see the history of the uniforms.
“There are multiple people that have walked in this hallway since World War II. People who may have worn one of these uniforms since even before that time. We walk in the footsteps of greatness, whether it’s someone that is remembered in history books, or people like you and me that walk down this hall today,” said Waid. “I hope the takeaway that people realize is that they’re not alone; these people have walked with them.”
A new, interactive uniform exhibit at Air Force Materiel Command Headquarters traces the history and evolution of Air Force clothing and the command’s role in the uniform process. This uniform was donated by the family of retired Col. Walter J. Boyne who was an internationally recognized author and aviation historian. He joined the Air Force in 1951 and served as a bomber pilot, logging thousands of hours of flight time. U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO