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AIR FORCE ONE
Brookfield, Conn. : Millbrook
IL 5-8, RL 7.0
I'm sure you have heard of
Air Force One. Not the shoes but the airplane. But do you know
why it's called that? Believe it or not, it is not the name of the
airplane itself. Any plane that carries the President of the United
States is called Air Force One. It is the call name of the plane.
The first presidential flight was made by Franklin Roosevelt. The
pilot was not even told who his passenger would be but he knew it was someone
important. Since then, special planes have been built and equipped
for the presidents. This is the story of the presidential airplane.
[READ EXCERPT FROM BOOK]
On January 11, 1943, pilot Howard Cone began preparing his airplane for
a top-secret flight. Secret missions were nothing new to Cone.
The United States had been fighting in World War II for just over a year,
and the war had turned the Atlantic Ocean into a dangerous battlefield.
Prowling German submarines threatened any ship that tried to cross the
ocean. The safest way to cross was in a plane. And the only
plane that could make it across was the Boeing 314 Clipper. It was
the plane that Howard Cone flew.
What was the top-secret mission? Howard Cone was flying President
Roosevelt to North Africa for a war planning meeting with British Prime
Minister Winston Churchill. In fact, Roosevelt was the first president
to fly in an airplane while in office.
Since then, Presidents have flown millions of miles, but always in Air
Force One. How can one plane have flown so many miles? Well,
itís not just one plane. "As soon as the President steps on board
any Air Force plane, that plane becomes Air Force One."
Over the years, presidents have had many planes with lots of different
features. President Roosevelt flew in a troop transport plane called
a C-54 Skymaster. Lyndon Johnson actually became president on Air
Force One. And President George W. Bush was kept safe thousands of
feet in the air on Air Force One during the September 11 attacks.
To learn more about the history of this important and impressive service,
read Andrew Santellaís AIR FORCE ONE. (Melissa Henderson, email@example.com,
Ela Area Public Library, Lake Zurich, IL)