Today is the first of two unofficial US Air Force Days. The first is August 1. It is rooted in the creation of the Aeronautical Division of the US Signal Corps of August 1, 1907. Yeah, 1907.
This first division of what would one day evolve into the US Air Force consisted of one officer, Captain Charles de Forest Chandler and two enlisted servicemen, Corporal Edward Ward and Private First Class Joseph Barrett. The division really didn’t need much more in personnel, since the aircraft consisted of kite balloons. The following year, this new division purchased its first flying machine from the Wright Brothers. Before long, more aircraft and men were recruited to the Aeronautical Division. World War I would provided these green aviators with a true test of their capabilities and limitations in the skies.
By order of President Harry Truman, US Air Force Day was established on August 1, 1947 in recognition of this first division of military flight. When President Truman signed the decree, the Air Force was split in two divisions of existing military branches, one as a part of the Army and another as a part of the Navy. That same year, on September 18, the Air Force broke away to form its own branch of service. An August 1 Air Fore Day was last observed in 1949. Today all branches of the military are celebrated on Arm Forces Day, while still acknowledging each branches’ birthday independently. So the second Air Force Day would be to mark its birthday in September.
When my father enlisted in the Army, they saw that he had flying experience, so he was ordered to serve in the Air Force instead. While a part of the Air Force, Dad never did fly. His experience as a civilian pilot was that of a barnstormer who bought a plane and recklessly flew it by the seat of his pants. Dad spent his entire service as an MP.
Today is also National Mahjong Day. To me, it seems fitting to bring up the birth of the Air Force and my dad’s service on Mahjong Day. Mahjong is very popular in the Philippines. Dad learned to play mahjong when he met my mother while stationed at the Military Port in Manila. So in a way, our family connection to the Air Force and Mahjong are intertwined. It’s another example of the tapestry of life – seemingly random moments woven together.
Now I know what you are thinking – what does all of this have to do with a Raspberry Cream Pie? Nothing, and everything. Today is also National Raspberry Cream Pie Day. Enjoy!
No Bake Chocolate Raspberry Cream Pie
1 (5.9 oz) box Instant Chocolate Fudge Pudding Mix
2-1/2 cups Milk
1 pint Fresh Raspberries
1 Chocolate Cookie Crust
8 oz Cool Whip Topping, thawed
1 Dark Chocolate Candy Bar for garnish
In a glass mixing bowl, whisk pudding mix with milk until soft-set, about 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate until fully set, at least 30 minutes.
While the pudding sets, rinse raspberries. Set on paper towels to dry.
Pour chocolate pudding into the cookie crust pie shell. Spread smooth. Cut raspberries in half; cover top of pudding with sliced raspberries. Gently plop Cool Whip topping over the raspberries, spread smooth. Top with additional raspberries. Place in the freezer to fully chill, at least 1 hour.
Remove from freezer about 10 minutes before serving. Shave chocolate bar over pie as a garnish just before serving.