The idea for the magazine came from
Egbert White, who had worked on the newspaper
Stars and Stripes during
World War I. He proposed the idea to the Army in early 1942, and accepted a commission as lieutenant colonel. White was the overall commander, Major
Franklin S. Forsberg was the business manager and Major
Hartzell Spence was the first editor.
 White was removed from the Yank staff because of disagreements about articles which had appeared.
 Soon afterward, Spence was also assigned to other duties and Joe McCarthy became the editor.
The first issue was published with the cover date of June 17, 1942.enlisted rank soldiers only and was made available to the soldiers, sailors, and airmen serving overseas. The last issue was published in December 1945.
Scott Corbett (later known as a writer of novels for children) served as the last editor.
The magazine was written by
In 2014, the 1st
Brigade Combat Team,
1st Armored Division,
Texas, revived Yank as the official publication for the brigade. Each cover of the 1/1 Yank features Soldiers from the brigade recreating a cover photo from the original Yank magazine.