Heritage Preservation Project

Thousands of documents, photos and objects from the beginning of military aviation are being saved

for future generations to enjoy and learn from through the Daedalian Heritage Preservation Project.

As we scan these precious records and photos, we’ll post some of them here online for easy access.

Come back to this page often as we plan on updating it frequently!

Founder Spotlight

Cmdr. Theodore G. Ellyson

Founder Member #4377

Naval Aviator #1

Theodore Gordon “Spuds” Ellyson was Naval Aviator No. 1, the first Navy officer to qualify as an airplane pilot. He also piloted an A-1 (later AH-1) during the Navy’s first attempt to launch an airplane by catapult in 1912, and later that year tested the Navy’s first C-1 flying boat.

Founder Spotlight Archives

Col. John A. Macready

Founder Member #469

Maj. Gen. Herbert A. “Bert” Dargue

Founder Member #1738

Maj. Gen. Clements McMullen

Founder Member #15

Gen. Henry H. “Hap” Arnold

Founder Member #2182

A 109-year-old pass to the 1909 Wright brothers flight demonstrations held on Fort Myer during the summer. The 1909 flights involving both Orville and Wilbur Wright proved the flyer’s versatility and endurance. (Photo courtesy of The Library of Congress)

Army, aviation bonded at Fort Myer

By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff Writer

In December, 1905, two bike mechanics from Dayton, Ohio, successfully performed the first controlled, powered aircraft flight on the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Orville and Wilbur Wright soon became the parents of the United States Army Air Corps and the United States Air Force. Two occasions of flight above Fort Myer proved the brothers were sound aeronautic engineers and their journeys to the skies were neither a novelty nor a stunt. Serious demonstration of their flying machine took place in the sky above present day Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

Three years following Kitty Hawk, the Wrights found themselves, not facing a fork in the road, but a fork in the sky. After some interest and wooing from European countries, the brothers took their American ingenuity overseas, but the United States Army came calling with interest about a military version of the Wright flyer.

On January 3, 1908, the Wrights receive a copy of Signal Corps Specifications 486, a request to deliver a heavier-than-air flying machine to the government and more specifically, the military.

The specifications also stated the testing of the flying machine would take place at Fort Myer.

Dr. Tom Crouch, Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum aeronautics senior curator explained why the Arlington, Virginia Army installation was selected for the test flights. While Kitty Hawk was out of the way, Washington, D.C., was a world capital with thousands looking for amusement.

READ THE FULL STORY

This Month in Aviation Heritage

We feature “This Month in Aviation Heritage” as an integral part of our mission — to “honor those who flew and fly in defense of our nation.”

Heritage highlights are featured in our monthly “Aviator” newsletter and weekly “Airpower Blog Update” email. As we publish those products, we’ll continue to add to and update this section of the Heritage Preservation Project page. Information for these heritage events are researched on a variety of online historical sources, along with records at Daedalian headquarters.

For more information or to submit an event for possible publication, please email communications@daedalians.org.

Sept. 1, 1942

The first members of the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps began to serve with the Army Air Forces at Aircraft Warning Service stations. During the same month, the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron was activated at New Castle, Delaware, under the command of Nancy Harkness Love, and the Women’s Flying Training Detachment under Jacqueline Cochran was established under Flying Training Command.

Sept. 2, 1977

The first 10 female officers to graduate from the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program did so as members of Class 77-08 at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. They were: Captains Connie Engel, Kathy La Sauce, Mary Donahue, Susan Rogers and Christine Schott; 1st Lieutenants Sandra Scott and Victoria Crawford; and 2nd Lieutenants Mary Livingston, Carol Scherer and Kathleen Rambo.

Sept. 3, 1954

At the Dayton Air Show, held for the first time at the James M. Cox Municipal Airport, Air Force Maj. John L. “Jack” Armstrong flew his North American Aviation F-86H-1-NH Sabre, 52-1998, to a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale World Record for Speed Over a Closed Circuit of 500 Kilometers Without Payload, averaging 1,045.206 kilometers per hour (649.461 miles per hour).

Sept. 4, 1922

First Lt. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, Air Service, United States Army, made the first transcontinental crossing of the U.S. in a single day when he flew a DH.4B-1-S single-engine biplane, Air Service Serial Number 22-353, from Pablo Beach, Florida, to Rockwell Field, San Diego, California, a distance of 2,163 miles. He made one refueling stop at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, which lasted 1 hour, 16 minutes. The total duration of the flight was 21 hours, 19 minutes.

Sept. 5, 1983

A KC-135A Stratotanker from the 42nd Air Refueling Squadron at Loring AFB, Maine, was sent to rendezvous with a flight of F-4E Phantom II fighter bombers crossing the Atlantic Ocean enroute to Europe. As they began to refuel the fighters, one F-4E began to lose power in one of its engines, and also lost part of its hydraulic system. The Phantom’s pilot had difficulty maintaining speed and altitude as he tried to hook up with the tanker, and the second engine began to overheat. The two aircraft flew at just above the Stratotanker’s landing speed so that the Phantom could keep up, but as it slowed further, the Phantom’s angle of attack had to increase to maintain lift. This exceeded the mechanical limits of the refueling boom and the two airplanes separated without the fighter having received a full fuel load. The crew of the F-4E was in serious danger. It was unlikely that the airplane could remain in the air much longer. It was decided to head for Gander, Newfoundland, the closest place to land, 500 miles away. Capt. Robert J. Goodman, aircraft commander of the Stratotanker, decided to escort the crippled fighter which continued to lose altitude. It was necessary to try to refuel it three more times, and on occasion, the tanker actually towed the fighter back to altitude. With the help of the tanker, the Phantom II finally arrived at Gander and landed safely. For their efforts to save the lives of the crew of the F-4E, Captain Goodman and his crew, Capt. Michael F. Clover, 1st Lt. Karol F. Wojcikowski and Staff Sgt. Douglas D. Simmons, Crew E113, were awarded the Mackay Trophy “For outstanding achievement while on a routine refueling mission involving F-4E aircraft, saving a valuable aircraft from destruction and its crew from possible death.”

Sept. 6, 1919

Maj. Rudolph William Schroeder, Chief Test Pilot of the Engineering Division, McCook Field, Ohio, with Lt. George W. Elsey as a passenger, flew a Packard Lepère LUSAC 11 biplane to two Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Records, reaching an altitude of 28,268 feet. The biplane was powered by a turbo-supercharged 1,649.3-cubic-inch-displacement liquid-cooled Liberty L-12 single overhead cam 45° V-12 engine which produced 449 horsepower at 2,000 r.p.m. Aeronautical engineer Dr. Sanford Alexander Moss developed the use of a turbocharger on aircraft engines. Learn more about this feat here: https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/6-september-1919/. Schroeder was Daedalian Founder Member 1382.

Sept. 7, 1911

A memorable experiment in the Navy’s search for a shipboard launching device concluded at Hammondsport, New York, when Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson made a successful takeoff in a Curtiss plane from an inclined wire rigged from the beach down to the water. Capt. Charles F. Pond, who commanded Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4), had suggested the technique, and Capt. Washington I. Chambers of the Bureau of Navigation and Glenn H. Curtiss had developed the method to the point of the test. Ellyson’s report described the historic experiment, “The engine was started and run at full speed and then I gave the signal to release the machine … I held the machine on the wire as long as possible as I wanted to be sure that I had enough headway to rise and not run the risk of the machine partly rising and then falling … Everything happened so quickly and went off so smoothly that I hardly knew what happened except that I did have to use the ailerons, and that the machine was sensitive to their action.”

Sept. 8, 2001

Special Air Mission 27000, a Boeing VC-137C, serial number 72-7000, served as an airborne office and transport for seven U.S. presidents over 29 years. It made its last flight from Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, to San Bernardino International Airport, California, where technicians from Boeing disassembled the aircraft and transported it in sections to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum at Simi Valley, California. It was reassembled and is on display inside the Air Force One Pavilion. Aboard for its final flight were Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche, Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Lance W. Lord, and former First Lady of the United States, Nancy Reagan. The VC-137C was a specially built Model 707-353B four-engine jet airliner. Known by the call sign Air Force One when the president is aboard, it otherwise is referred to as Special Air Mission 27000. Its sister ship, 72-6000, is at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, where it recently was returned to display after renovation.

Sept. 9, 1972

Air Force Capt. Charles Barbin DeBellevue, a Weapon Systems Officer flying on F-4D and F-4E Phantom II fighters, became the high-scoring American Ace of the Vietnam War when he and his pilot, Capt. John A. Madden Jr., shot down two MiG 19 fighters of the Vietnam People’s Air Force, west of Hanoi. Captain DeBellevue was assigned to the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, at Udorn Royal Thai Air Force Base. With Capt. Richard S. “Steve” Ritchie, he had previously shot down four MiG 21 fighters using AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided missiles. Then while flying a combat air patrol in support of Operation Linebacker, he and Captain Madden, aboard F-4D-29-MC Phantom II 66-0267, call sign OLDS 01, used two AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking missiles to destroy the MiG 19s. These were Madden’s first two aerial victories, but for DeBellevue, they were number 5 and 6. To learn more about Captain DeBellevue, a Daedalian Life Member, go to https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/9-september-1972/.

Sept. 10, 1932

Maj. Jimmy Doolittle set the world’s high speed record for land planes at 296 miles per hour in the Shell Speed Dash. Later, he took the Thompson Trophy race at Cleveland in the notorious Gee Bee R-1 racer with a speed averaging 252 miles per hour. After having won the three big air racing trophies of the time – the Schneider, Bendix, and Thompson – he officially retired from air racing stating, “I have yet to hear anyone engaged in this work dying of old age.”

Sept. 11, 1953

At Naval Ordnance Test Station China Lake, California, the experimental XAAM-N-7 Sidewinder heat-seeking air-to-air missile scored its first “hit” when it passed within 2 feet of a radio-controlled Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat. The missile was fired from a Douglas AD-4 Skyraider flown by Navy Lt. Cmdr. Albert Samuel Yesensky, the Officer-in-Charge of Guided Missile Unit 61.

Sept. 12, 1918

Brig. Gen. William “Billy” Mitchell commanded the largest air armada ever assembled—1,481 Allied airplanes—during the first major American offensive of the war at Saint-Mihiel, France, from Sept. 12-15, 1918.

Sept. 13, 1985

Air Force Maj. Wilbert D. Pearson, flying McDonnell Douglas F-15A-17-MC, 76-0084, Celestial Eagle, launched an anti-satellite missile in a test, approximately 200 miles west of Vandenberg AFB, on the central coast of California. From level flight at Mach 1.22, Major Pearson pulled into a 3.8 G zoom to a 65° angle of climb. On reaching 38,100 feet and having slowed to 0.934 Mach, the LTV ASM-135 missile was automatically launched. At 1:42 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time, the 30-pound kinetic interceptor collided with the Solwind P78-1 satellite at an altitude of 345 miles and a closing speed of 15,000 miles per hour. For more on this event, visit: https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/13-september-1985/.

Sept. 14, 1939

Igor Sikorsky made the first tethered flight of the Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 prototype helicopter at Stratford, Connecticut. The duration of the flight was just 10 seconds but demonstrated that the helicopter could be controlled. The Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 was the first successful single main rotor, single tail rotor helicopter. The three-bladed main rotor had a diameter of 28 feet and turned approximately 255 rpm.

Sept. 15, 1924

An N-9 training seaplane equipped with radio control and without a human pilot on board conducted a 40-minute flight at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Virginia. Although the aircraft sank from damage sustained while landing, this test demonstrated the practicability of radio control of aircraft.

Sept. 16, 1911

In a letter to the Navy Department, Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson described plans to purchase flight clothing in the hope of persuading the Navy to pay for them later. The Navy had outlined the requirements as a light helmet with detachable goggles, or a visor, with covering for the ears, yet with holes so the pilot could hear the engine; a leather coat lined with fur or wool; leather trousers; high rubber galoshes and gauntlets; and a life preserver of some description. Ellyson purchased some of this gear from Brooks Brothers clothiers using his own funds. Ellyson was Daedalian Founder Member 4377.

Sept. 17, 1908

Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge of the Army became the first U.S. military member to die in an airplane accident when he crashed with pilot Orville Wright during a flight test at Fort Myer, Virginia. A propeller split and broke a wire supporting the rudder. The accident delayed Signal Corps acceptance of an airplane for almost a year. In the photo, Selfridge (left) and Wright are shown just before take-off. Selfridge was Daedalian Founder Member 544.

Sept. 18, 1947

Happy birthday, U.S. Air Force! On this day in 1947, President Harry S Truman signed the National Security Act which created the U.S. Air Force as an independent service.

Sept. 19, 1902

At Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright brothers begin testing their new, larger glider with technical information received from Octave Chanute. The device flies consistent with calculations that had been figured in advance. That winter the Wrights begin construction of a special four-cylinder motor and propellers for their glider.

Sept. 20, 1918

While assigned to the Royal Air Force’s No. 213 Squadron, U.S. Navy Lt. j.g. David Sinton Ingalls shot down a Fokker D.VII reconnaissance airplane near Vlissegham, Belgium, while flying a Sopwith Camel. This was Ingalls’ fifth confirmed aerial victory, making him the U.S. Navy’s only fighter ace of World War I – at the age of 19. David Sinton Ingalls was born Jan. 28, 1899, in Cleveland, Ohio. He was the son of Albert Stimson Ingalls, a vice president of the New York Central Railroad, and Jane Ellison Taft Ingalls, niece of President William Howard Taft. He was educated at the University School, a private school for boys in Cleveland. He entered Yale University at New Haven, Connecticut, in 1916. Ingalls was a member of The First Yale Unit, which would become the U.S. Navy’s first aviation unit. To learn more about Daedalian Founder Member 3603, visit https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/24-september-1918/.

Sept. 21, 1964

The first prototype North American Aviation XB-70A-1-NA Valkyrie, serial number 62-0001, flown by Chief Test Pilot Alvin S. White and Air Force Col. Joseph F. Cotton, made its first flight from Air Force Plant 42, Palmdale, California, to Edwards AFB. Originally a prototype Mach 3 strategic bomber, 62-0001 (also known as AV-1) and its sister ship, XB-70A-2-NA, 62-0207, (AV-2), were built and used by the Air Force and NASA as high-speed research aircraft. The third Valkyrie, XB-70B-NA 62-0208 (AV-3), was never completed. Valkyrie 62-0001 made 83 flights with a total of 160 hours, 16 minutes flight time. It’s on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Mr. White was inducted as an Honorary Daedalian in 1994. He passed away in 2006.

Sept. 22, 1928

The number of lives saved by parachute jumps passes the 100 mark when Lt. Roger Q. Williams jumped at San Diego, California. Williams was Daedalian Founder Member 1522.

Sept. 23, 1967

Air Force Col. Robin Olds, wing commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ubon-Rachitani Royal Thai Air Force Base, flew the final combat mission of his military career in an F-4D-31-MC Phantom II, serial number 66-7668.

Sept. 24, 1929

Lt. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle made the first instruments-only flight, from takeoff to landing. He flew over Mitchel Field, New York, in a Consolidated NY–2 airplane with a completely covered cockpit, accompanied by a check pilot who monitored the flight.

Sept. 25, 1918

For his actions near Billy, France, First Lt. Edward V. “Eddie” Rickenbacker of the 94th Aero Squadron, Air Service, was awarded the Medal of Honor. The citation read: “While on a voluntary patrol over the lines, 1st Lt. Rickenbacker attacked seven enemy planes (five type Fokker, protecting two type Halberstadt). Disregarding the odds against him, he dived on them and shot down one of the Fokkers out of control. He then attacked one of the Halberstadts and sent it down also.” To learn more about the “Ace of Aces,” Daedalian Founder Member 169, go to https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/25-september-1918/.

Sept. 26, 1910

The Secretary of the Navy informed the Aeronautical Reserve (an organization of private citizens formed to advance aeronautical science as a means of supplementing the national defense) that Capt. Washington I. Chambers, Assistant to the Aid for Material, had been designated as the officer to whom all correspondence on aviation was to be referred. This is the first recorded reference to a provision for aviation in the Navy Department organization.

Sept. 27, 2008

A U.S. Air Force Sikorsky MH-53M Pave Low IV special operations helicopter, serial number 68-8284, assigned to the 20th Expeditionary Special Operations Squadron, flew its final combat mission before being withdrawn from service and retired after 40 years and 12,066.6 flight hours. To learn more about the MH-53M, visit: https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/27-september-2008/.

Sept. 28, 1918

Lt. Everett R. Brewer, pilot, and observer Sgt. Harry Wershiner, both Marines, flying a plane with No. 218 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force, shot down a German Fokker aircraft to score the first Marine Corps victory in aerial combat. He was awarded the Navy Cross for his actions that day. The citation, in part, reads: “Lieutenant Brewer was attacked over Cortemarck, Belgium, by 15 enemy scout planes. During the severe fight which followed, his plane was shot down and although both himself and his observer were very seriously wounded, he brought the plane safely back to the aerodrome.” Brewer was Daedalian Founder Member 6769.

Sept. 29, 1918

Second Lt. Frank Luke of the 27th Aero Squadron lost his life in aerial combat after having destroyed 18 enemy balloons and airplanes in 17 days. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously. Luke is the namesake of Luke AFB near Phoenix, Arizona, and was Daedalian Founder Member 548.

Sept. 30, 1931

The Bureau of Aeronautics reported that it was conducting studies for catapulting landplanes on wheels. The investigators visualized the installation of powder catapults on hangar decks. The technology was expanded to include the use of compressed air to launch a plane, and by the end of 1932 the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia used this method to successfully launch an O2U-3 Corsair.

Oct. 1, 1906

Army Lt. Frank Lahm won the first Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race. The race started from Paris, France, the day before. The Gordon Bennett Cup is the world’s oldest gas balloon race and is “regarded as the premier event of world balloon racing.” The event was sponsored by James Gordon Bennett Jr., millionaire sportsman and owner of the New York Herald newspaper. The contest ran from 1906 to 1938, but was suspended in 1939 when the hosts, Poland, were invaded at the start of World War II. The event was not resurrected until 1979, when American Tom Heinsheimer, an atmospheric physicist, gained permission from the holders to host the trophy. The competition was not officially reinstated by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale until 1983.

Oct. 2, 1918

The United States successfully flight-tested a pilotless aircraft called the Kettering Bug at Dayton, Ohio. Learn more about it here: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/198095/kettering-aerial-torpedo-bug/.

Oct. 3, 1953

Navy Lt. Cmdr. James F. Verdin set a new official world speed record in an F4D-1 Skyray of 752.943 mph over a three-kilometer course at Edwards AFB, California. The achievement marked the first time that a carrier aircraft established the record in its normal combat configuration.

Oct. 4, 1909

Wilbur Wright made a 33-minute-long flight during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration in New York with more than a million people watching. Wright started from Governors Island to fly up the Hudson River to Grant’s Tomb and back.

Oct. 5, 1913

The Navy’s first amphibian flying boat, the Over-Water-Land type, completed its initial trials at Hammondsport, N.Y., under the supervision of Assistant Naval Constructor Lt. Holden C. Richardson. The aircraft, which was subsequently redesignated E-1, was hydroaeroplane A-2 (later AH-2), in which a flying boat hull containing a three-wheel landing gear replaced the pontoon. Richardson was Daedalian Founder Member 13115.

Oct. 6, 1912

Lt. John H. Towers took off in A-2 (later AH-2) from the water at Greenbury Point, Maryland, at 6:50 a.m., and remained in the air 6 hours, 10 minutes, 35 seconds, setting a new American endurance record for planes of any type.

Oct. 7, 1910

Navy Capt. Hutch I. Cone, Chief of the Bureau of Steam Engineering, wrote a letter to Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer that pointed to “the rapid improvement in the design and manipulation of airplanes and the important role they would probably play” and requested authority to requisition an airplane for Chester (Cruiser No. 1) and the services of an instructor to teach one or more officers to fly the machine.

Oct. 8, 1940

The Royal Air Force announced formation of the first Eagle Squadron composed of volunteer pilots from the United States.

Oct. 9, 1905

The Wright brothers wrote to the U.S. War Department, describing their new flying machine and offering it to the Army for purchase. Misunderstanding the offer as a request for funds to conduct invention research, the Board of Ordnance and Fortification turned them down.

Oct. 10, 1911

At College Park, Maryland, Lt. Thomas DeWitt Milling tested a bombsight and bomb-dropping device invented by Riley E. Scott, who accompanied him in a Wright Flyer. These were the first Army tests of such devices.

Oct. 11, 1910

In a Wright biplane piloted by Arch Hoxsey over Saint Louis, Missouri, former president Theodore Roosevelt became the first U.S. president to fly.

Oct. 12, 1940

Wasp (CV 7) launched 24 Army Curtiss P-40 Warhawks of the 8th Pursuit Group and nine North American O-47s of the 3rd Observation Squadron off the Virginia Capes, marking the first launches of Army aircraft from a U.S. carrier. The participants gathered data on the comparative takeoff runs of Army and Navy planes.

Oct. 13, 1922

Air races were extremely popular in the early days of aviation. An estimated 200,000 spectators watched the opening race at the National Air Races, held at Selfridge Field near Mount Clemens, Michigan, from Oct. 8-14, 1922. On Oct. 13 at Event No. 4, 1st Lt. Theodore Joseph Koenig, Air Service, United States Army, won the Liberty Engine Builders’ Trophy Race, a race for observation-type aircraft powered by the Liberty 12 engine. Flying a Packard Lepère L USA C.II, Air Service serial number A.S. 40015, Koenig completed 10 laps of the triangular racecourse in 2:00:01.54, at an average speed of 128.8 miles per hour. In addition to a trophy, cash prizes were awarded to the competitors for first, second and third place finishes. First place received $1,200 (about $16,747 in 2017 dollars); second place, $600; and third place, $200.

Oct. 14, 1947

Air Force Capt. Charles “Chuck” Yeager became the first person to fly faster than sound. Yeager “breaks the sound barrier” in his Bell X-1 airplane, “Glamorous Glennis,” named after his wife. He was able to reach 670-mph or Mach 1.015 at Muroc Dry Lake, California.

Oct. 15, 1958

The North American Aviation X-15 research aircraft was unveiled.

Oct. 16, 1943

The Navy accepted its first helicopter, a YR-4B (HNS-1) Hoverfly, following a one-hour acceptance test flight by Lt. Cmdr. Frank A. Erickson, USCG, at Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Oct. 17, 1922

Lt. Virgil C. Griffin (Daedalian Founder Member 8391 and Naval Aviator No. 41) completed the Navy’s first carrier takeoff flying a VE-7SF biplane, BuNo A-5932, from Langley (CV 1) at anchor at Berth No. 58 in the York River, Virginia.

Oct. 18, 1984

The B-1B Lancer made its first flight. Learn more about the aircraft here: https://www.af.mil/About-Us/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/104500/b-1b-lancer/.

Oct. 19, 1918

While flying as part of a convoy escort in the Lough Foyle sector off northern Ireland, Ens. George S. Montgomery Jr. (Naval Aviator No. 300 and Daedalian Founder Member 12626) sighted and bombed a U-boat stalking the convoy. The explosions brought heavy turbulence and oil to the surface. Montgomery received a commendation for “probably damaging” the submarine and preventing the Germans from attacking the convoy.

Oct. 20, 1922

First Lt. Harold Ross Harris of the U.S. Army Air Service was test flying a PW-2A monoplane, a single-engine, single-seat fighter over Dayton, Ohio. The PW-2A, serial number A.S. 64388, had experimental balance-type ailerons. Harris was the chief, Flight Test Branch, Engineering Division, at McCook Field in Dayton. During this flight, Lieutenant Harris engaged in simulated air combat with Lt. Muir Fairchild (future U.S. Air Force vice chief of staff), who was flying an MB-3. While banking the PW-2A into a right turn, Harris’ control stick began to vibrate violently from side to side and the airplane’s wings were “torn apart.” With the plane diving uncontrollably, Harris jumped from the cockpit at approximately 2,500 feet. After free-falling about 2,000 feet, he pulled the lanyard on his parachute which immediately deployed. Harris then descended with his parachute providing aerodynamic deceleration, coming safely to earth in the back yard of a home at 335 Troy Street. He suffered minor bruises when he landed on a trellis in the garden. Harris’ PW-2A crashed into a yard at 403 Valley Street, three blocks away. It was completely destroyed. This was the very first time a free-fall parachute had been used in an actual inflight emergency. Lieutenant Harris became the first member of the Irvin Air Chute Company’s “Caterpillar Club.”

Oct. 21, 1942

Eight men, including World War I ace Capt. Edward V. Rickenbacker, USAAC (Ret.), crashed in a B-17D Flying Fortress in the Central Pacific as a result of a navigational error while Rickenbacker toured Allied forces in the Pacific. At one point, Sgt. Alexander Kaczmarczyk, USAAF, died and the castaways buried him at sea. On Nov. 12, Lt. j.g. F. E. Woodward and ARM2 L. H. Boutte flying a Vought OS2U-3 Kingfisher of VS-1 Detachment 14, spotted a life raft containing the pilot of the Flying Fortress, Capt. William T. Cherry Jr., USAAF. A patrol torpedo boat rescued him. The next day, Lt. William F. Eadie and Boutte crewed the same Kingfisher and spotted the raft carrying Rickenbacker, Capt. Hans C. Adamson, USAAF, and Pvt. John F. Bartek, USAAF, off Nukufetau in the Ellice Islands (Tuvalu). Eadie landed the Kingfisher, rescued the three men, and taxied 40 miles to the nearest land. The Navy later rescued the other three survivors.

Oct. 22, 1955

In spite of being powered by a less potent J57-P-25 engine with 15,000 pounds-force of afterburning thrust, the YF-105A prototype attained the speed of Mach 1.2 on its maiden flight. The F-105 Thunderchief remained in service until 1984 after being replaced by the F-4G Wild Weasel V.

Oct. 23, 1909

Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois took his first flying lesson from Wilbur Wright.

Oct. 24, 1944

Navy Capt. David McCampbell shot down nine Japanese fighters in a single day, a record unequaled by any other U.S. pilot. McCampbell later became the Navy’s leading ace, with 34 aerial victories.

Oct. 25, 1979

The 5,057th and very last Phantom II—an F-4E-67-MC, U.S. Air Force serial number 78-0744—was rolled out at the McDonnell Douglas Corporation plant, Lambert Field, St. Louis, Missouri, and the production line was closed.

Oct. 26, 1909

At College Park, Maryland, after instruction from Wilbur Wright, Lt. Frederick E. Humphreys and Lt. Frank P. Lahm became the first Army officers to solo in a Wright airplane.

Oct. 27, 1919

A board led by Maj. Gen. Charles T. Menoher, director of the Air Service, released a report that rejected the proposals of Rep. Charles F. Curry of California and Sen. Harry S. New of Indiana for an air force department separate from the Army and Navy.

Oct. 28, 1995

In an operation called VIGILANT SENTINEL, the Air Force first tested the air expeditionary force concept, deploying F–16 Fighting Falcons of the 20th Fighter Wing and the 347th Wing to Bahrain from Oct. 28 to Dec. 18, 1995.

Oct. 29, 1975

The first F–5E Tiger II aircraft entered the Air Force’s inventory at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada.

Oct. 30, 1918

Capt. Edward V. “Eddie” Rickenbacker, the highest-ranking U.S. ace of World War I, scored his 26th and final aerial victory. Learn more about Daedalian Founder Member 169 here: http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/Visit/Museum-Exhibits/Fact-Sheets/Display/Article/196753/capt-edward-v-rickenbacker/.

Oct. 31, 1954

Ens. Duane L. Varner of VF-34 completed a 1,900-mile nonstop unrefueled transcontinental flight in an F2H-2 Banshee in 3 hours, 58 minutes, from NAS Los Alamitos, California, to NAS Cecil Field, Florida.

Nov. 1, 1954

The U.S. Air Force retired its last Boeing B-29 Superfortress from service.

Nov. 2, 1942

NAS Patuxent River, Md., was established to serve as a facility for testing experimental airplanes and equipment, and as a Naval Air Transport Service base. The station eventually assumed the role of the Navy’s principal flight testing and of the Naval Test Pilot School in place of NAS Anacostia, D.C.

Nov. 3, 1909

Lt. George C. Sweet became the first Navy officer to fly when he accompanied Lt. Frank P. Lahm of the Army on a flight at College Park, Maryland. Lieutenant Sweet was the official observer for the Navy at the trials for the Wright Flyer.

Nov. 4, 1923

Navy Pilot Lt. Alford J. Williams raised the world speed record to 266.59 mph in an R2C-1 racer equipped with a D-12 engine at Mitchel Field, New York, bettering the record set two days before by Lt. Harold J. Brow.

Nov. 5, 1912

The Army used aircraft for artillery adjustment for the first time at Fort Riley, Kansas, from Nov. 5-13, 1912. Capt. Frederick B. Hennessy, Lt. Henry H. Arnold, and Lt. Thomas DeWitt Milling signaled the ground, using radiotelegraphy, drop cards, and smoke signals.

Nov. 6, 1915

Navy Cmdr. Henry C. Mustin launched the first airplane by catapult from a moving vessel—the USS North Carolina—in Pensacola Bay, Florida.

Nov. 7, 1917

Eugene J. Bullard, an American in French service, became the first black fighter pilot to claim an aerial victory.

Nov. 8, 1911

Ens. Victor D. Herbster, later designated Naval Aviator No. 4, reports for flight instruction at the aviation camp at Greenbury Point, near Annapolis, Maryland.

Nov. 9, 1919

Flying a Martin bomber, Lt. Col. Rutherford S. Hartz and his Army crew completed the first flight around the rim of the United States, covering 9,823 miles in 108 days. Hartz was Daedalian Founder Member 11681.

Nov. 10, 1918

The 3rd Aero Squadron flew the last Army Air Service patrol over enemy lines in World War I. The next day, the Allies and Germany agreed to an armistice.

Nov. 11, 1918

Armistice Day marked the end of World War I at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Today we mark the 100th anniversary of that significant moment in time and reflect on the sacrifices of those who served. In particular, we honor those pilots who were the first to take to the skies in our nation’s defense – the more than 14,000 aviators whose names are forever etched into our history as Daedalian Founder Members.

Nov. 12, 1912

Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson, the Navy’s first pilot, successfully launched a Curtiss seaplane, using a catapult mounted on a float anchored in the Anacostia River opposite the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. This device was a forerunner of the catapult used on aircraft carriers. Ellyson was Daedalian Founder Member No. 4377.

Nov. 13, 1957

A Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker, piloted by Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, sets a new distance nonstop record, flying 6,350 miles from Westover AFB, Massachusetts, to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The KC-135’s return trip set a new speed record, Buenos Aires to Washington, D.C., over 5,200 miles in 11 hours, 5 minutes.

Nov. 14, 1910

Flying a 50 hp Curtiss plane, civilian exhibition stunt pilot Eugene B. Ely made the first takeoff from a ship. Ely flew from an 83-foot slanted wooden platform built onto the bow of Birmingham (Cruiser No. 2) at anchor off Old Point Comfort, Hampton Roads, Va. Despite light rain and fog, the pilot elected to continue with the flight. As he left the platform, the plane settled slowly and touched the water, but rose again and landed about 2½ miles away on Willoughby Spit. The aircraft sustained slight splinter damage to the propeller tips.

Nov. 15, 1961

The 2nd Advanced Echelon, 13th Air Force, activated in Saigon, Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam), marking the official entry of the Air Force into the Vietnam War. In an operation called FARM GATE, a detachment of the 4400th Combat Crew Training Squadron began deployment to South Vietnam with special-operations aircraft.

Nov. 16, 1927

The Navy commissioned its second aircraft carrier, the USS Saratoga. Much larger than the earlier USS Langley, the ship displaced 36,000 tons and had a flight deck almost 900 feet long, with an island superstructure for flight control.

Nov. 17, 1916

Efforts to develop high-speed seaplanes for catapulting from ships led Chief Constructor Rear Adm. David W. Taylor to solicit suitable designs from manufacturers. The requirements included a speed range of 50 to 95 miles per hour, a 2½-hour endurance, and provisions for radio.

Nov. 18, 1917

Naval aviation began aerial coastal patrols in European waters, from Le Croisic, France. Lt. j.g. Reginald C. Coombe and Ens. Henry H. Landon of the First Yale Unit piloted a pair of Tellier flying boats on a two-hour familiarization flight. The aircraft were unarmed because they had not received ordnance. A consignment of bombs reached Le Croisic two days later, enabling the station’s planes to stand ready to fly combat patrols.

Nov. 19, 1996

The Space Shuttle Columbia (OV-102) lifted off from Launch Complex 39B at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-80. The veteran flight crew was led by mission commander, Navy Capt. Kenneth D. Cockrell, on his third space flight, with shuttle pilot Navy Capt. Kent V. Rominger, on his second. Mission Specialist Story Musgrave, M.D., was on his sixth flight; Thomas D. Jones, Ph.D., (formerly an Air Force captain and B-52 aircraft commander) was on his third; Tamara E. Jernigan, Ph.D. was on her fourth. On STS-80, Story Musgrave became the only person to have flown on all five space shuttles. At 61, he was the oldest person to have flown into space at the time. STS-80 was the longest mission of any space shuttle flight, with a duration of 17 days, 15 hours, 53 minutes, 18 seconds. Columbia landed at the Shuttle Landing Facility at Kennedy Space Center on Dec. 7, 1996.

Nov. 20, 1963

The U.S. Air Force Tactical Air Command (TAC) accepted its first two production McDonnell F-4C Phantom II jet fighters, F-4C-15-MC 63-7415 and F-4C-15-MC 63-7416. These aircraft were the 9th and 10th production F-4Cs. They were flown to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, by Brig. Gen. Gilbert Louis Meyers, commanding the 836th Air Division, and Col. Frank Kendall (“Pete”) Everest, a world-famous test pilot, commanding the 4453rd Combat Crew Training Squadron. Lt. Gen. Charles B. Westover, TAC vice commander, formally accepted the new fighters on behalf of TAC. Up until this time, the 4453rd had been training crews with McDonnell F-4B Phantom IIs on loan from the United States Navy.

Nov. 21, 1919

Engineering plans for the conversion of the collier Jupiter (Fuel Ship No. 3) to an aircraft carrier were modified and the Bureau of Construction and Repair issued a summary specification. In addition to an unobstructed “flying-on and flying-off deck,” stowage space for aircraft, and facilities for repair of aircraft, the new plans provided for catapults to be fitted on both forward and aft ends of the flying-off deck. The photos shows the Jupiter in 1913. With its conversion, it became the USS Langley (CV-1).

Nov. 22, 1988

The Northrop Grumman B-2A “Spirit” stealth bomber rolls out on this date.

Nov. 23, 1947

The Convair XC-99 made its first flight, piloted by Russell R. Rogers.

Nov. 24, 1944

B–29s bombed Tokyo for the first time. Previously unable to reach the Japanese capital from China, they took off this time from bases in the Mariana Islands. This was the first mission of XXI Bomber Command, under Brig. Gen. Haywood S. Hansell, Jr., and the first time Tokyo had been bombed since the Doolittle raid of April 18, 1942. General Hansell is shown at left in the photo, with then Col. Curtis E. LeMay on the right.

Nov. 25, 1920

Lt. Corliss Champion Moseley, Air Service, United States Army, won the first Pulitzer Trophy Race flying an Engineering Division-designed-and-built Verville-Packard R-1, serial number A.S. 40126. The race, the first of a series, started at Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York. Turning points were at Henry J. Damm Field, near Babylon, and Lufberry Field at Wantagh. The total length of the race was approximately 132 miles. Weather was cold and cloudy, with a threat of snow. The New York Times reported that, “With the sun for the most part of the time concealed behind snow clouds, it was possible to watch the contest without suffering eye strain…” Still, more than 25,000 spectators watched the race at Mitchell Field, and several thousand more at each of the turns. Lieutenant Moseley was Daedalian Founder Member 208.

Nov. 26, 1957

An RF-101 Voodoo establishes a round-trip transcontinental speed record of 6 hours, 42 minutes, 6.9 seconds.

Nov. 27, 1933

The Army accepted delivery of its first production-model Martin B–10, the nation’s first all-metal monoplane bomber produced in quantity. The twin-engine airplane featured an internal bomb bay, retractable landing gear, rotating gun turret, and enclosed cockpit. A precursor of World War II bombers, the B–10 could fly faster than contemporary pursuit aircraft and much faster than previous biplane and triplane bombers.

Nov. 28, 1911

The Signal Corps Army Aviation School moved temporarily from College Park, Maryland, to Augusta, Georgia, because the climate there was better for winter flying.

Nov. 29, 1929

Commander and navigator Cmdr. Richard E. Byrd Jr., civilian pilot Bernt Balchen, civilian copilot and radio operator Harold June, and photographer Capt. Ashley C. McKinley, USA, made the first flight over the South Pole in a Ford 4-AT trimotor named Floyd Bennett. The plane took off from Little America on McMurdo Sound at 1529 on Nov. 28, reached the pole at 0114 on Nov. 29, stopped briefly for fuel at Axel Heiberg Glacier, and returned to Little America at 1008. Byrd was Daedalian Founder Member 10364.

Nov. 30, 1943

The Navy authorized a department of aviation medicine and physiological research at the Naval Air Material Center to study physiological factors related to the design of high-speed and high-altitude aircraft.

Dec. 1, 1941

By executive order, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civil Air Patrol to facilitate civil defense during World War II. Including among its members 17-year-old men not yet of draft age, the CAP flew small liaison aircraft on disaster-relief missions or on missions to patrol the U.S. coasts to detect enemy submarine activity. In the fall of 1943, the CAP became an auxiliary of the Army Air Forces. In 2015, CAP became an Air Force Total Force partner.

Dec. 2, 1908

Rear Adm. William S. Cowles, Chief of the Bureau of Equipment, submitted a report on aviation prepared by Lt. George C. Sweet to Secretary of the Navy Truman H. Newberry. The report outlined the specifications of an airplane capable of operating from naval vessels on scouting and observation missions, discussed the tactical advantages of such capability for naval forces, and recommended that the service purchase a number of aircraft and place them “in the hands of the personnel of the Navy to further develop special features adapted to naval uses.”

Dec. 3, 1915

Lt. j.g. Richard C. Saufley set a U.S. altitude record for hydroaeroplanes in AH-14 at 11,975 feet over Pensacola, Florida, surpassing the pilot’s own record of 11,056 feet, which he had set only three days before. The Aero Club of America awarded Saufley its Medal of Merit for “twice breaking the American Hydroaeroplane altitude record in one year.”

Dec. 4, 1950

Navy Ens. Jesse L. Brown was the first African American to complete the Navy’s basic flight training program for pilot qualification and to be designated a naval aviator. He was shot down over North Korea on Dec. 4, 1950. Read about him here: https://www.military.com/navy/we-ll-be-back-for-you.html.

Dec. 5, 1961

A Navy F4H Phantom II, piloted by Cmdr. George W. Ellis, sets a new world altitude record of 66,443 feet for sustained horizontal flight.

Dec. 6, 1995

Transports began airlifting American troops and equipment into Bosnia in support of a North Atlantic Treaty Organization peacekeeping operation called JOINT ENDEAVOR. The operation enforced a peace agreement initialed by the presidents of Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, and later signed in Paris, France.

Dec. 7, 1941

Japanese torpedo bombers, dive-bombers, and fighters from six aircraft carriers attacked naval and air installations around Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, crippling the U.S. Pacific Fleet. In two waves, the Japanese airplanes sank four U.S. battleships and damaged nine other major warships. The surprise attack, which killed some 2,390 personnel, propelled the United States into World War II. Air strikes on Hickam, Wheeler, and Bellows Fields killed 193 members of the Army Air Forces and destroyed 64 of the Hawaiian Air Force’s airplanes. Six Army Air Forces pilots shot down 10 Japanese aircraft that day. Second Lt. George S. Welch shot down four, 2nd Lt. Kenneth M. Taylor shot down two, and four other pilots each shot down one.

Dec. 8, 1912

The Signal Corps established an aviation school at North Island, San Diego, where Lt. Thomas DeWitt Milling developed the quick-release safety belt.

Dec. 9, 1956

The 463rd Troop Carrier Wing received the Air Force’s first C–130 Hercules tactical-airlift aircraft. This four-engine turboprop airlifter had an unrefueled range of over 2,500 miles, could carry outsized cargo of almost 50,000 pounds or up to 92 troops, and could take off and land within about 3,600 feet.

Dec. 10, 1987

Jim Blades and his 6-year-old son, Clint, made a distress call to the Coast Guard after fierce winds and waves forced their fishing vessel, the Bluebird, onto rocks off the coast of Sitka, Alaska. A rescue helo was sent out and immediately encountered heavy snow and severe turbulence. Go to https://cgaviationhistory.org/sar/the-bluebird-rescue/ to view a video featuring the firsthand accounts of the aircrew and Captain Blades.

Dec. 11, 1914

Flying a Burgess-Wright biplane, Lt. Herbert A. Dargue and Lt. Joseph O. Mauborgne of the Army demonstrated two-way radio communications between the air and ground in the Philippines.

Dec. 12, 1918

Airship Officer Lt. George Crompton Jr. at NAS Rockaway, New York, conducted a test to determine the feasibility of carrying fighter aircraft on lighter-than-air craft. Crompton piloted airship C-1 and lifted 1st Lt. A. W. Redfield, USA, commanding officer of the 52d Aero Squadron at Mineola, in an Army JN-4 Jenny in a wide spiral climb to 2,500 feet over Fort Tilden, New York. Crompton then released Redfield from that height, and the Jenny made a free flight back to earth.

Dec. 13, 1973

General Dynamics rolls out its prototype YF-16 lightweight air superiority fighter at Fort Worth, Texas. It enters production as the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Dec. 14, 1903

Wilbur Wright makes the first and unsuccessful attempt at powered flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. His aircraft stalls after 3½ seconds in the air and crash-lands 105 feet away.

Dec. 15, 1964

The first Air Force gunship, the AC-47 Spooky, enters combat in Vietnam.

Dec. 16, 1941

Lt. Boyd D. “Buzz” Wagner became the first U.S. ace of World War II, after shooting down five enemy aircraft in four days. He flew with the 17th Pursuit Squadron against the Japanese in the Philippines.

Dec. 17, 1903

Orville and Wilbur Wright piloted a powered heavier-than-air aircraft for the first time at Kill Devil Hill, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Controlling the aircraft for pitch, yaw, and roll, Orville completed the first of four flights, soaring 120 feet in 12 seconds. Wilbur completed the longest flight of the day: 852 feet in 59 seconds. The brothers launched the airplane from a monorail track against a wind blowing slightly more than 20 miles per hour.

Dec. 18, 1912

Lt. John H. Towers reported completion of a series of tests begun on Oct. 26 to determine the ability to spot submarines from aircraft. Towers concluded that the best altitude for observation was about 800 feet, and that aircraft could detect submarines running a few feet below the surface. Noting that the waters of Chesapeake Bay were too muddy for a fair test, he suggested that additional trials be held at NS Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

Dec. 19, 1915

The 1st Aero Squadron flies six Curtiss JN-3s in from Fort Sill, Oklahoma to Fort Sam Houston, Texas; this is also the first cross-country flight by an entire aviation unit.

Dec. 20, 1931

Maj. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois succeeded Maj. Gen. James E. Fechet as chief of the Air Corps. Foulois was Daedalian Founder Member 321. Fechet was #1338.

Dec. 21, 1944

Gen. Henry H. Arnold became General of the Army. No other airman has ever held five-star rank.

Dec. 22, 1918

Four Curtiss JN–4 “Jenny” aircraft, with pilots under the command of Maj. Albert D. Smith, completed the Army’s first transcontinental flight, landing at Jacksonville, Florida, after departing San Diego on Dec. 4.

Dec. 23, 1907

Brig. Gen. James Allen, chief signal officer, issued the first specification for a military airplane. It called for an aircraft that could carry two people, fly at a minimum speed of 40 miles per hour, go 125 miles without stopping, be controllable for flight in any direction, and land at its takeoff point without damage.

Dec. 24, 1943

A total of 670 B–17s and B–24s bombed the Pas de Calais area of France, in the first major Eighth Air Force attack on German V–weapon sites.

Dec. 25, 1941

Two-plane detachments from various Navy squadrons at Pearl Harbor and Kaneohe in the Territory of Hawaii began patrols across the Central and South Pacific from Palmyra Island, a principal staging base to the South Pacific.

Dec. 26, 1911

The search for a shipboard launching device continued when Capt. Washington I. Chambers of the Bureau of Navigation reported on interest by the Bureau of Ordnance concerning experimentation with a catapult for launching aeroplanes, somewhat after the manner of launching torpedoes. Chambers noted that the bureau decided to make a trial “with a device that gathers speed more gradually, something like the Curtiss air cylinder such as we use in ammunition hoists.” These observations indicate the genesis of the Navy’s compressed air catapult.

Dec. 27, 1942

Second Lt. Richard I. Bong, flying a P–38 against the Japanese in the Pacific, scored his first two aerial victories. By the end of the war, he had earned 40 such credits, making him the top U.S. ace.

Dec. 28, 1948

On Dec. 9, 1948, an arctic storm forced the crew of a C–47 Skytrain to land on the Greenland ice cap, stranding a crew of seven. Subsequent rescue attempts by a B–17 and a towed glider failed, stranding five rescuers as well. On Dec. 28, Lt. Col. Emil Beaudry landed a ski-equipped Skytrain on the ice cap, rescuing the 12 airmen and subsequently winning the Mackay Trophy.

Dec. 29, 1990

The 169th Tactical Fighter Group was the first Air National Guard unit to deploy to the Persian Gulf region for Operation DESERT SHIELD.

Dec. 30, 1916

The Army established an aviation school just north of Hampton, Virginia. Renamed Langley Field in 1917, it is the oldest currently active U.S. Air Force base.

Dec. 31, 1908

At Auvours, France, Wilbur Wright makes the first flight over 2 hours. He flies for 2 hours, 18 minutes and 33 3/5ths seconds, covers 77 miles, and wins the Michelin Cup for 1908, capturing a 20,000 franc ($5,000) cash prize.

Jan. 1, 1965

The Air Force’s first SR–71 Blackbird unit, the 4200th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, activated at Beale Air Force Base, California. The SR–71 could attain a speed of more than Mach 3 and altitudes beyond 70,000 feet.

Jan. 2, 1967

In Operation BOLO, F–4 Phantom pilots of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing shot down seven MiG–21s over the Red River Valley, North Vietnam, to establish a one-day aerial victory record. The record was matched only once, on May 13, 1967, during the Vietnam War. Col. Robin Olds, 8th TFW commander, shot down a MiG–21 to become the only USAF ace with aerial victories in both World War II and Vietnam. Olds was a Daedalian Hereditary Life Member.

Jan. 3, 1905

In efforts to interest the U.S. government in the use of airplanes for the military, Wilbur Wright speaks to Congressman Robert M. Nevin, who asks him to prepare a letter for submission to the Secretary of War that Nevin would deliver and endorse. The Army declines the offer.

Jan. 4, 1944

On Jan. 4-5, Lt. Col. Clifford Heflin flew the first Army Air Forces mission in Operation CARPETBAGGER from Tempsford, England, to France to drop supplies at night to resistance forces.

Jan. 5, 1935

The U.S. Navy’s Bureau of Navigation ordered Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) John R. Poppen, to the Naval Dispensary at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, with additional duty at the Naval Aircraft Factory in that city to observe pilots, conduct their annual physical exams, and work on hygienic and physiological aspects of research and development projects. Poppen’s orders marked the first assignment of a flight surgeon to the factory other than as part of a specific mission.

Jan. 6, 1944

Lt. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz, who had commanded U.S. air forces in the Mediterranean theater, assumed command of Eighth Air Force, replacing Lt. Gen. Ira C. Eaker. Spaatz had been Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s air commander in the Mediterranean. Eisenhower was moving to England to prepare for the invasion of France. At the same time, Eaker replaced Spaatz in the Mediterranean. General Spaatz is Daedalian Founder Member #309. General Eaker is Daedalian Founder Member #289.

Jan. 7, 1929

Maj. Carl Spaatz, Capt. Ira C. Eaker, 1st Lt. Harry A. Halverson, 2nd Lt. Elwood R. Quesada and SSgt. Roy W. Hooe set an endurance record for a refueled airplane in flight, having flown for 150 hours, 40 minutes, and 15 seconds since Jan. 1 in the Question Mark, a Fokker C–2 Trimotor airplane. Refueling 37 times in the air, they demonstrated the practicality of aerial refueling. Two Douglas C–1 aircraft, each with a three-man crew, provided the fuel. Capt. Ross G. Hoyt, 1st Lt. Auby C. Strickland, and 2nd Lt. Irvin A. Woodring served as one tanker crew. First Lt. Odas Moon, 2nd Lt. Andrew F. Solter, and 2nd Lt. Joseph G. Hopkins served as the other. Spaatz, Eaker, Halverson and Moon were all Daedalian Founder Members.

Jan. 8, 1973

Air Force Capt. Paul D. Howman and 1st Lt. Lawrence W. Kullman, flying an F–4D Phantom, scored the last aerial victory of the Vietnam War when they shot down a MiG southwest of Hanoi, North Vietnam, with a radar-guided AIM–7 missile.

Jan. 9, 1976

The first operational F–15 Eagle, a new air-superiority fighter aircraft, arrived at the 1st Tactical Fighter Wing, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia. The F–15 was the first fighter to have a thrust greater than its weight, allowing it to accelerate while going straight up.

Jan. 10, 1917

The Navy initiated its first production order for aerial photographic equipment when the Naval Observatory issued requisitions for 20 aero cameras and accessories for manufacture by the Eastman Kodak Co.

Jan. 11, 1928

Naval Air Officer Cmdr. Marc A. Mitscher made the first takeoff and landing in a UO-1 observation biplane on board the Saratoga. Mitscher was Daedalians Founder Member #4135. The Naval aviation pioneer went on to become an admiral, and served as commander of the Fast Carrier Task Force in the Pacific in the second half of World War II. He is buried in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.

Jan. 12, 1961

Air Force Maj. Henry J. Deutschendorf, assigned to the Strategic Air Command’s 43rd Bomb Wing, flew from Carswell AFB, Texas, to Edwards AFB, California, in a Convair B-58A-10-CF Hustler, serial number 59-2442, named Untouchable. There, he flew two laps of a 1,000 kilometer circuit between Edwards and Yuma, establishing six new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) speed records at an average of 1,708.82 kilometers per hour (1,061.81 miles per hour). Major Deutschendorf and his crew, Capt. Raymond R. Wagener, Defensive Systems Officer, and Capt. William L. Polhemus, Radar Navigator/Bombardier, were each awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The major’s son, Henry Deutschendorf Jr., was better known as singer John Denver.

Jan. 13, 1975

Secretary of the Air Force, Dr. John L. McLucas, authorized purchase of the General Dynamics F–16 – a low-cost, lightweight, highly maneuverable aircraft.

Jan. 14, 1957

The Air Force signed at $74 million contract for Convair F-102A “Delta Dagger” supersonic all-weather fighters.

Jan. 15, 1914

The Signal Corps Aviation School in San Diego issued an order prescribing the first safety regulations, which required aviators to wear helmets and coats.

Jan. 16, 1975

In “Operation Streak Eagle,” the Air Force set new climb-time records with the F-15A Eagle aircraft, operating from Grand Forks AFB, North Dakota. The “Streak Eagle” reached a height of 3,000 meters (9,843 ft.) in 27.57 seconds; 6,000 meters (19,685 ft.) in 39.33 seconds; 9,000 meters (929,528 ft.) in 48.86 seconds; 12,000 meters (39,370 ft.) in 59.38 seconds; and 15,000 meters (42,212 ft.) in 1 minute, 17.02 seconds.

Jan. 17, 1951

F-86 Sabre jets flew missions for the first time as fighter-bombers against ground targets in Korea.

Jan. 18, 1911

Eugene Ely landed on the deck of the USS Pennsylvania, while it was anchored in San Francisco harbor, becoming the first pilot to land on the deck of a ship.

Jan. 19, 1910

The Army’s Lt. Paul W. Beck (Daedalian Founder Member #2938), flying with Louis Paulhan in a Farman airplane, dropped three two-pound sandbags over a target at an air meet in Los Angeles, testing the feasibility of using aircraft for bombing.

Jan. 20, 1918

Col. William “Billy” Mitchell became chief of Air Service, I Army Corps, upon its organization at Neufchateau, France.

Jan. 21, 1987

The first B-1B Lancer was delivered to the 28th Bomb Wing at Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota. The airplane, serial number 85-0073, was named Wings of Freedom. It was flown to Ellsworth by Gen. John T. Chain, Jr., commander of Strategic Air Command.

Jan. 22, 1931

The Navy ordered its first rotary-wing aircraft, an XOP-1 autogiro, from Pitcairn Aircraft Co.

Jan. 23, 1951

Chesley Burnett “Sully” Sullenberger III was born on this date. The 1973 Air Force Academy graduate became known worldwide on Jan. 15, 2009, as the “Hero of the Hudson.” Shortly after the US Airways Airbus A320 he was piloting took off from LaGuardia Airport, the plane lost all power when it hit a large flock of Canadian geese. He was able to safely land on the Hudson River. All passengers and crew members were rescued.

Jan. 24, 1962

Two Navy F4H-1 Phantom IIs arrived at Langley AFB, Virginia, for use in orientation courses prior to the assignment of Phantoms to the Air Force’s Tactical Air Command.

Jan. 25, 1990

The SR-71A “Blackbirds” were retired from service in Strategic Air Command.

Jan. 26, 1957

The last operational North American P-51 “Mustang” fighter was retired to the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, Ohio.

Jan. 27, 1967

Astronauts Lt. Col. Virgil Grissom and Lt. Col. Edward H. White, USAF, both Daedalians, and Lt. Cmdr. Robert B. Chaffee, USN, were trapped and killed by a flash fire in an Apollo capsule while conducting a preflight rehearsal at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The mission was officially known as Apollo-Saturn 204 until a few months later when NASA retroactively named the mission Apollo I in honor of the crew.

Jan. 28, 1911

Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson became the first Navy officer to pilot an airplane when he inadvertently took off in a Curtiss pusher airplane while taxiing in San Diego. Ellyson is Daedalian Founder Member 4377.

Jan. 29, 1920

President Woodrow Wilson appointed Orville Wright to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).

Jan. 30, 1942

The Secretary of the Navy authorized a glider program for the Marine Corps consisting of small and large types in sufficient numbers for the training and transportation of two battalions of 900 men each.

Jan. 31, 1914

The Navy established its first air station at Pensacola, Florida.

Feb. 1, 1957

Lt. Cmdr. Frank H. Austin Jr., MC, became the first Navy flight surgeon to qualify as a test pilot when he completed the Test Pilot Training Program at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland.

Feb. 2, 1918

The first operational squadrons of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) are formed in France.

Feb. 3, 1969

The Naval Air Systems Command issued a contract to Grumman Corporation for the development of high-performance variable-sweep wing F-14A Tomcats to replace F-4 Phantom IIs, together with the manufacture of six experimental jets.

Feb. 4, 1902

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan. Lindbergh reported to Brooks Field on March 19, 1924, to begin a year of military flight training with the United States Army Air Service, and later at nearby Kelly Field. Only 18 of the 104 cadets who started flight training a year earlier remained when Lindbergh graduated first overall in his class in March 1925, earning his pilot’s wings and a commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Air Service Reserve Corps.

Feb. 5, 1918

Lt. Stephen W. Thompson, flying as a gunner in a French-piloted airplane, became the first Army soldier to score an aerial victory. Thompson, a native of Dayton, Ohio, was Daedalian Founder Member 13727.

Feb. 6, 1967

Airman 2nd Class Duane D. Hackney, 37th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, rescued the pilot of a downed aircraft and earned the Air Force Cross. He was the first living recipient of the Air Force Cross. With more than 70 individual medals, Chief Hackney was the most highly decorated enlisted man in U.S. Air Force history.

Feb. 7, 1950

In a demonstration of carrier long-range attack capabilities, pilot Cmdr. Thomas Robinson took off in a P2V-3C Neptune from Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB 42) off Jacksonville, Florida, and flew over Charleston, South Carolina, the Bahamas, the Panama Canal, up the coast of Central America, and over Mexico, landing the next day at the Municipal Airport in San Francisco. The flight covered 5,060 miles in 25 hours, 59 minutes-the longest to date made from a carrier deck.

Feb. 8, 1965

The U.S. Air Force performed its first retaliatory air strike in North Vietnam. A North American F-100 Super Sabre flew cover for attacking South Vietnamese fighter aircraft, suppressing ground fire in the target area.

Feb. 9, 1969

The Boeing Corporation flew its 747 “jumbo jet” aircraft for the first time. The huge airliner could hold 347 passengers.

Feb. 10, 1908

The Wright brothers and Capt. Charles S. Wallace of the Signal Corps signed the first Army contract for an airplane.

Feb. 11, 1913

The first bill to establish a separate Aviation Corps failed to pass.

Feb. 12, 1973

Three C-141 Starlifters flew to Hanoi, North Vietnam, and one C-9A Nightingale was sent to Saigon, South Vietnam, to pick up released prisoners of war. The first flight of 40 U.S. prisoners of war left Hanoi in a C-141. The “Hanoi Taxi” is now on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

Feb. 13, 1917

Marine Corps aviator Francis Thomas Evans, Sr., performed an aerobatic loop in a Curtiss N-9 floatplane over the Gulf of Mexico off Pensacola, Florida, becoming the first person to loop a seaplane. This feat was believed impossible in an N-9 even by its manufacturer. He received a Distinguished Flying Cross for the achievement in 1936. However, the recovery techniques he discovered when the N-9 stalled and spun prove of far greater importance and have been in use ever since. Evans is Daedalian Founder Member 3972.

Feb. 14, 1991

An F-15E Strike Eagle from the 4th Tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB, North Carolina, shot down an Iraqi helicopter using a GBU-10, a 2000-pound laser guided bomb, during Operation Desert Storm. The wing was redesignated as the 4th Wing on April 22, 1991, and then as the 4th Fighter Wing on Dec. 1, 1995.

Feb. 15, 1910

The Signal Corps moved flying training to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, because of the cold, windy weather in College Park, Maryland.

Feb. 16, 1914

Lts. Joseph E. Carberry and Walter R. Taliaferro set the Army altitude record of 8,700 feet in a Curtiss aircraft over San Diego, California. Carberry is Daedalian Founder Member 1567 and Taliaferro is #2627.

Feb. 17, 1915

Only four weeks after they became the first two airships to bomb the United Kingdom, the Imperial German Navy Zeppelins L-3 and L-4 are wrecked in Denmark while attempting to search for British ships off Norway. L-3’s crew burns her before being interned by Danish authorities. L-4 is blown out over the North Sea after touching down in Denmark and disappears with four men still onboard; the Danes intern the rest of the crew.

Feb. 18, 1832

Octave Chanute was born in Paris. He emigrated with his father to the United States in 1838. Chanute was known as a brilliant civil engineer. He designed and constructed the Chicago Stockyards in 1865 and the Kansas City Stockyards in 1871, along with several rail bridges. He became interested in aviation when he saw a balloon take off in Peoria, Illinois, in 1856. In 1894, he published “Progress in Flying Machines.” The book was considered a “bible” for the Wright Brothers. The former Chanute Air Force base in Rantoul, Illinois, is named after him. The base, which was decommissioned in 1993, features the Chanute Aerospace Museum.

Feb. 19, 1937

Howard Hughes established a transcontinental speed record of 7 hours, 28 minutes and 25 seconds from Burbank, California, to Newark, New Jersey. Now on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Hughes flew the 1-B racer, better known as the H-1.

Feb. 20, 1962

Astronaut. Marine. Senator. Daedalian Life Member.
Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., became the first U.S. astronaut to orbit Earth. He flew for nearly five hours in Mercury capsule Friendship 7.

Feb. 21, 1961

Final training began for the Mercury 7 astronauts — Navy Lt. Scott Carpenter, Air Force Capt. L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., Marine Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., Air Force Capt. Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Air Force Capt. Donald K. “Deke” Slayton.

Feb. 22, 1974

At Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas, Lt. j.g. Barbara Ann Allen received her Wings of Gold and designation as a Naval Aviator. She was the first woman to be so designated.

Feb. 23, 1891

Frederick Eglin was born in New York City. First rated as a military aviator in 1917, he trained other fliers during World War I. While assigned to Langley Field, Virginia, Lt. Col. Eglin was killed in the crash of his Northrup A-17 pursuit aircraft on a flight to Maxwell Field, Alabama, on Jan. 1, 1937. Later that year, Valparaiso Range in Florida was renamed Eglin Field in his honor. Eglin, Daedalian Founder Member 185, is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Feb. 24, 1949

The U.S. Air Force unveiled the Republic XF-91 Thundercepter jet rocket. The only remaining example of this aircraft is on display at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force.

Feb. 25, 1931

The U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics issued a new pilot training syllabus, which added advanced seaplane training courses and reinstated bombing and torpedo courses and observation and gunnery courses that were dropped in November 1929. These changes expanded the regular flight course to 258.75 hours or, for those also taking advanced combat, to 282.75 hours. The new syllabus also expanded the ground school course to 386.5 hours, with a short course in photography among the additions.

Feb. 26, 1949

A B-50 Superfortress made the first nonstop refueled flight around world. Capt. James Gallagher and the “Lucky Lady II” crew covered 23,452 miles in 94 hours, 1 minute, and were refueled in flight four times.

Feb. 27, 1991

F/A-18A/C Hornets and A-6E Intruders operating from Ranger (CV 61), America (CV 66), and Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) flew more than 600 combat missions against Iraqi troops, primarily to disrupt an orderly retreat from the advancing coalition forces.

Feb. 28, 1997

First Lt. Kerri L. Schubert, USMC, completed her naval flight officer training and became the first female Marine NFO chosen to fly an F/A-18D Hornet.

March 1, 1937

The 2nd Bombardment Group at Langley Field, Virginia, acquired its first YB-17A, the prototype of the B-17 Flying Fortress. Equipped with multiple machine guns to defend itself against fighters swift enough to catch it, the B-17 was designed to fly unescorted to long-range enemy targets.

March 2, 1995

Space Shuttle Endeavour launched from John F. Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on mission STS-67. Naval aviator Cmdr. Stephen S. Oswald, USNR, commanded the mission. Lt. Cmdr. Wendy B. Lawrence, the first female Naval Academy graduate astronaut, also became the first female naval aviator in space when she launched as a crewmember. On March 18, Endeavour touched down at Edwards AFB, California.

March 3, 1911

Congress passed the first direct appropriation for U.S. military aviation, devoting “not more than $125,000 . . . for the purchase, maintenance, operation and repair of aeroplanes and other aerial machines” for fiscal year 1912.

March 4, 1909

President William H. Taft approved Congressional Gold Medals for the Wright Brothers.

March 5, 1913

The Signal Corps established the 1st Provisional Aero Squadron at Texas City, Texas, to support U.S. troops responding to a revolution in Mexico. Designated a permanent unit in December 1913, and currently active as the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron, it is the oldest squadron in the Air Force. Airmen from the 1st RS have flown 47 different airframes while being stationed worldwide at 52 locations, including four stints at sea. It is now located at Beale Air Force Base, California.

March 6, 1990

On its final flight, Lt. Col. Raymond Yeilding and Lt. Col. Joseph Vida established four National Aeronautic Association and three Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records with a Lockheed SR-71A Blackbird, U.S. Air Force serial number 61-7972.

March 7, 1961

The X-15 becomes the first manned aircraft to exceed Mach 4 when Air Force Capt. Robert M. White reached a speed of Mach 4.43 (2,905 mph) at the altitude of 77,450 feet. White, who went on to become a major general, broke his own record on Nov. 9, 1961, when he flew his X-15 at 4,093 mph — six times faster than the speed of sound. White was a Daedalian Life Member. He died on March 17, 2010.

March 8, 1929

The Harmon Trophy for 1928 is presented to Lt. Carl B. Eielson for his flight with Australian polar explorer George Hubert Wilkins over the North Pole. Eielson is Daedalian Founder Member 574. Eielson Air Force Base in Fairbanks, Alaska, is named after him, along with the Liberty Ship SS Carl B. Eielson, the visitor center at Denali National Park and Preserve, a peak in the West-Central Alaska Range, and several more sites. He died on Nov. 9, 1929, in an air crash in Siberia while attempting to evacuate personnel and furs from the Nanuk, a cargo vessel trapped in ice at North Cape.

March 9, 1919

Navy Lt. Comdr. E. O. McDonnell makes the first successful flight from a gun turret platform on the USS Texas, a United States Navy battleship anchored in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for the test.

March 10, 1966

Maj. Bernard Fisher rescued fellow pilot, Maj. Dafford “Jump” Myers, during the battle of A Shau Valley in Vietnam. He landed his Douglas A-1E Skyraider on a short runway littered with debris during heavy fire from the enemy. For his heroic actions, he was presented the Medal of Honor by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Fisher was born Jan. 11, 1927, in San Bernadino, California. He died at the age of 87 on Aug. 16, 2014, at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise, Idaho.

March 11, 1957

The prototype Boeing 707 jet lands after a press demonstration flight from Seattle, Washington, to Baltimore, Maryland, during which it covers 2,350 miles in a record time of 3 hours, 48 minutes.

March 12, 1946

The Army Air Forces School is redesignated Air University.

March 13, 1917

The United States Army’s 6th Aero Squadron is organized in the Territory of Hawaii, operating three Curtiss N-9 seaplanes.

March 14, 1918

The first aerial patrol by the 1st Pursuit Group is flown in France.

March 15, 1916

The 1st Aero Squadron, under Capt. Benjamin D. Foulois, became the first U.S. aviation unit to engage in field operations when it joined Brig. Gen. John J. Pershing’s punitive expedition against Mexican revolutionary leader Pancho Villa.

March 16, 1966

On March 16, 1966, Gemini VIII, with astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott, lifted off from Launch Complex 19 at the Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, Cape Kennedy, Florida, aboard a Titan II GLV booster. Their mission was to rendezvous and dock with an Agena Target Vehicle.
The docking, the first ever of two vehicles in Earth orbit, was successful, however, after about 30 minutes the combined vehicles begin rolling uncontrollably. With the astronauts in grave danger, Armstrong succeeded in stopping the roll but the Gemini’s control fuel was dangerously low. The cause was determined to be a stuck thruster, probably resulting from an electrical short circuit.
The mission was aborted and the capsule returned to Earth after 10 hours, 41 minutes, landing in the Pacific Ocean.
The Gemini VIII spacecraft is displayed at the Neil Armstrong Air and Space Museum, Wapakoneta, Ohio. Retired Air Force Col. David R. Scott is a Daedalian Life Member, perpetuating the legacy of our Founder Member, Benjamin Foulois.

March 17, 1947

The prototype of the United States’ first jet-powered bomber, the North American Aviation XB-45 Tornado, 45-59479, made a one-hour first flight at Muroc Army Airfield (later Edwards Air Force Base) with company test pilot George William Krebs at the controls.

March 18, 1952

Two Air Force F-84 Thunderjets landed in Neubiberg, Germany, after the longest sustained jet flight. They flew 2,800 miles from the United States in 4 hours, 48 minutes, without refueling.

March 19, 1910

Orville Wright opened the first Wright Flying School at Montgomery, Alabama. The site later became Maxwell Air Force Base.

March 20, 1922

The USS Langley (CV-1), America’s first aircraft carrier, was commissioned into the U.S. Navy at Norfolk, Virginia, under the command of Comdr. Kenneth Whiting. Whiting is Daedalian Founder Member 13986. Whiting Field in Milton, Florida, is named for him. Whiting was commissioned from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1908. He learned to fly in 1914 under Orville Wright.

March 21, 1912

Lt. Frank P. Lahm flew Signal Corps No. 7, a Wright Model B aircraft, at Fort William McKinley in the Philippine Islands – the first flight of an airplane at an overseas base.
Lahm was Founder Member 211. Daedalian Flight #9 at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is named after him. Lahm was born in Mansfield, Ohio, on Nov. 17, 1877, and died at the age of 85 on July 7, 1963, in Sandusky, Ohio. During his time as assistant chief of the Air Corps, his role in creating Randolph Field — The West Point of the Air — was critical. He is noted by Air Education and Training Command as “the father of Randolph Field.”

March 22, 1915

The term “Naval Aviator” is adapted for U.S. Navy officer pilots to replace the identification “Navy Air Pilot” in official terminology. The term is still in use today.

March 23, 1965

Gemini III was launched aboard a Titan II GLV rocket from Launch Complex 19 at the Cape Kennedy Air Force Station, Cape Canaveral, Florida. Air Force Maj. Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, a Project Mercury veteran, was the spacecraft commander, and Navy Lt. Cmdr. John W. Young was the pilot.
The purpose of the mission was to test spacecraft orbital maneuvering capabilities that would be necessary in later flights of the Gemini and Apollo programs. Gemini III made three orbits of the Earth, and splashed down after 4 hours, 52 minutes, 31 seconds. Miscalculations of the Gemini capsule’s aerodynamics caused the spacecraft to miss the intended splash down point by 50 miles (80 kilometers). Gemini III splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean, north east of the Turks and Caicos Islands. The recovery ship was USS Intrepid (CV-11).
Grissom was a Daedalian Life Member who would later command the flight crew of Apollo 1. He was killed with his crew during the tragic fire during a pre-launch test, Jan. 27, 1967.

March 24, 1939

During a 2-hour, 26-minute, flight over southern California, Jacqueline Cochran established a U.S. National Altitude Record for Women of 9,160 meters (30,052 feet), flying a Beechcraft D17W “Staggerwing,” serial number 164, registered NR1856.

March 25, 1968

The Air Force flew F-111s for the first time in combat against military targets in North Vietnam.

March 26, 1934

A representative group of World War I military pilots stationed at Maxwell Field, Alabama, consolidated the ideas that had been envisioned since the Armistice – that of an organization that would solidify the bonds of aerial comradeship. The Order of Daedalians was formally instituted on March 26, 1934, composed of those commissioned officers who, no later than the Armistice of 1918, held ratings as pilots of heavier-than-air aircraft. Happy 84th birthday, Daedalians!

March 27, 1942

After three weeks of intensive training at Eglin Field, Florida, 22 B-25B Mitchell twin-engine medium bombers of the 34th Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 17th Bombardment Group (Medium), U.S. Army Air Force, under the command of Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, completed a two-day, low-level, transcontinental flight, and arrived at the Sacramento Air Depot, McClellan Field, California, for final modifications, repairs and maintenance before an upcoming secret mission: The Halsey-Doolittle Raid.

March 28, 1913

Lieutenants Thomas DeWitt Milling and William C. Sherman, Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps, United States Army, set two American cross-country nonstop records for distance and duration by flying a single-engine Burgess Model H Military Tractor (also known as the Burgess-Wright Model H) biplane from Texas City to San Antonio, Texas, a distance of 220 miles, in 4 hours, 22 minutes.

March 29, 1923

Lt. Alexander Pearson made a record 500-kilometer flight at 167.73 mph in a Verville-Sperry, with Wright 350-hp engine, at McCook Field, in Dayton, Ohio.

March 30, 1944

Over Bulgaria, 350 B-17s and B-24s of the 15th Air Force attacked marshalling yards at Sofia, along with industrial zones and airfields at Imotski. Four bombers were lost, but escorting fighters claimed 13 enemy aircraft. Over Hollandia, New Guinea, Japanese positions were struck by fighters and bombers from the Fifth Air Force. A variety of fuel dumps, troop concentrations, and airfields were targeted from Wewak to Madang.

March 31, 1966

Strategic Air Command phased out its last Boeing B-47 Stratojet.

April 1, 1959

The first American astronauts were selected on this date. The Mercury Seven were Navy Lt. Scott Carpenter, Air Force Capt. L. Gordon Cooper, Jr., Marine Lt. Col. John H. Glenn, Jr., Air Force Capt. Virgil I. “Gus” Grissom, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Walter M. Schirra, Jr., Navy Lt. Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard, Jr., and Air Force Capt. Donald K. “Deke” Slayton.

April 2, 1942

After loading 16 North American Aviation B-25B Mitchell medium bombers and their crews of the 17th Bombardment Group (Medium) at NAS Alameda, the recently commissioned Navy aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8) departed San Francisco Bay with her escorts and headed for a secret rendezvous with Vice Adm. William F. Halsey, Jr., and Task Force 16.
The new carrier was under command of Capt. Marc A. Mitscher. The strike group was commanded by Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, U.S. Army Air Corps. Until the second day at sea, only six U.S. military officers knew of the mission — the Doolittle Raid over Tokyo.

April 3, 1926

Virgil Ivan Grissom was born in Mitchell, Indiana. Upon graduation from high school during World War II, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. After the war, he went to Purdue University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering, then joined the U.S. Air Force and was trained as a fighter pilot. He flew 100 combat missions in the F-86 Sabre during the Korean War.
One of 508 pilots who were considered by NASA for Project Mercury, Gus Grissom was in the group of 110 that were asked to attend secret meetings for further evaluation. From that group, 32 went on with the selection process and finally 18 were recommended for the program. Grissom was one of the seven selected. Grissom was the second American to “ride the rocket” aboard Mercury-Redstone 4. He named his space capsule Liberty Bell 7. He orbited Earth as commander of Gemini III along with fellow astronaut John Young. He was back-up commander for Gemini VI-A, then went on to the Apollo Program. Grissom was an Air Force command pilot with over 4,600 hours flight time. He was the first American astronaut to fly into space twice.
As commander of AS-204 (Apollo I), Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom was killed along with Ed White and Roger Chafee during a test on the launchpad Jan. 27, 1967.

April 4, 1975

Operation Babylift was planned to evacuate 2,000 orphans, most in the care of an American hospital in Saigon, South Vietnam, and take them to the U.S. The first flight was aboard a C-5A Galaxy, piloted by Captains Dennis W. Traynor III and Tilford Harp.
A medical team from Clark Air Base, The Philippines, led by 1st Lt. Regina C. Aune, was aboard when the plane landed at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Saigon. Another medical team from a C-141 Starlifter volunteered to help the outbound flight. When the Galaxy took off at 4 p.m., 328 people were aboard, including flight crew, medical teams, orphans and their escorts, as well as other U.S. personnel.
The C-5A quickly climbed to 23,000 feet. A few minutes after takeoff, the locks of the rear loading ramp failed. Explosive decompression hurled people and equipment throughout the airplane which instantly filled with fog. The pilots could only control the airplane with engine thrust. They began an emergency descent and turned back to Tan Son Nhut.
Unable to maintain flight, the Galaxy touched down in a rice paddy two miles short of the runway at 270 knots. It slid for a quarter mile, became airborne for another half mile, then touched down and slid until it hit a raised dike and broke into four sections; 138 people were killed in the crash.
Although herself seriously injured, Aune began evacuating the children. Rescue helicopters were unable to land close to the wrecked transport, so the children had to be carried. After she carried about 80 babies, Aune was unable to continue. She asked the first officer she saw to be relieved of her duties and then passed out. At a hospital it was found that she had a broken foot, broken leg and broken vertebra in her back, as well as numerous other injuries.
Aune became the first woman to receive the Cheney Award by the Air Force, which was established in 1927 and is awarded “to an airman for an act of valor, extreme fortitude or self-sacrifice in a humanitarian interest, performed in connection with aircraft, but not necessarily of a military nature.”
Learn more about this tragic event at https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/2017/04/04/.

April 5, 1950

While on a test flight following an engine change, a Navy Martin JRM-3 Mars seaplane, Marshall Mars, Bu. No. 76822, suffered an engine fire and made an emergency landing at Ke’ehi Lagoon, off Diamond Head, Hawaii. The airplane’s crew was rescued but the airplane exploded and sank. The wreck was discovered on the sea floor in August 2004 at a depth of approximately 1,400 feet.

April 6, 1949

Lt. Stewart Ross Graham, United States Coast Guard, and his crewman, Aviation Metalsmith 2nd Class Robert McAuliffe, completed the longest unescorted helicopter flight on record. They flew a Sikorsky HO3S-1G, serial number 51-234, from the Coast Guard Air Station, Elizabeth, New Jersey, to Coast Guard Air Station Port Angeles, Washington, via San Diego, California, covering a distance of 3,750 miles in 57.6 flight hours over 11 days.

April 7, 1943

First Lt. James Elms Swett, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, received the Medal of Honor for his actions. In part, his citation read: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty, as a division leader in Marine Fighting Squadron TWO TWENTY-ONE in action against enemy Japanese aerial forces in the Solomon Islands Area, April 7, 1943. In a daring flight to intercept a wave of 150 Japanese planes, First Lieutenant Swett unhesitatingly hurled his four-plane division into action against a formation of 15 enemy bombers and during his dive personally exploded three hostile planes in mid-air with accurate and deadly fire.”

April 8, 1940

The United States Navy placed a contract with Grumman for two prototypes of the XTBF-1, later named “Avenger,” a chunky mid-wing monoplane that would become the Navy’s standard carrier torpedo bomber of World War II.

April 9, 1951

Jackie Cochran set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale world record and National Aeronautic Association U.S. National Record, flying her North American Aviation P-51C Mustang, N5528N, to an average speed of 464.374 miles per hour over a straight 16-kilometer (9.942 miles) high-altitude course at Indio, California. Thunderbird was Cochran’s third P-51 Mustang. She bought it from Academy Award-winning actor and World War II B-24 wing commander Jimmy Stewart in 1949. It was painted cobalt blue with gold lettering and trim.

April 10, 1919

The Victory Loan Flying Circus, a barnstorming group of World War I pilots using WWI combat aircraft, toured the United States from April 10 to May 10, 1919. The circus was composed of three flights, with each flight consisting of 15 pilots and various airplanes. Performances were given in 88 cities and 45 states. A total of 1,275 flights were made, 368 civilians were taken as passengers and 19,124 miles were flown.

April 11, 1952

At the Piasecki Helicopter Corporation factory at Morton Grove, Pennsylvania, the first YH-21 tandem-rotor helicopter, serial number 50-1231, made its first flight. The test pilots were Leonard Joseph “Len” LaVassar and Martin P. “Marty” Johnson, both former U.S. Navy aviators. The Piasecki Helicopter Corporation built 18 pre-production YH-21-PH helicopters, followed by three production variants, the H-21A, H-21B and H-21C. The U.S. Air Force immediately ordered 32 H-21A helicopters for Search and Rescue operations. The Workhorse was well suited to cold weather operations and it was widely used in Alaska, Canada, and the Antarctic. Another 163 H-21B models were ordered as a troop transports. The U.S. Army ordered a similar H-21C variant.

April 12, 1983

The Secretary of the Army approved aviation to become the 15th basic branch of the Army.

April 13, 1960

Maj. Robert M. White made the first flight of an X-15 by an Air Force test pilot. Carried aloft by a Boeing NB-52A Stratofortress, serial number 52-003, the first of three X-15 hypersonic research aircraft, 56-6670, was airdropped at 0915 above Rosamond Dry Lake. White ignited the two Reaction Motors XLR-11 rocket engines and with a burn time of 4 minutes, 13.7 seconds, the X-15 accelerated to Mach 1.9 (1,254 miles per hour/2,018 kilometers per hour) and reached 48,000 feet (14,630 meters). Both numbers were slightly short of the planned Mach 2.0 (1,320 miles per hour/2,124 kilometers per hour) and 50,000 feet (15,240 meters). After 8 minutes, 52.7 seconds, White and the X-15 touched down at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

April 14, 1918

Lt. Douglas Campbell, 94th Aero Squadron, flying a Nieuport 28, scored the first victory of an American-trained pilot, shooting down a German Albatross. Campbell was Founder Member 1825.

April 15, 1959

Air Force Capt. George A. Edwards Jr., assigned to the 432nd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for “Speed Over a Closed Circuit of 500 Kilometers Without Payload” at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Edwards flew a McDonnell RF-101C-60-MC Voodoo. His speed over the course averaged 816.281 miles per hour.
He told The Nashville Tennessean, “The flight was routine. The plane ran like a scalded dog.”
He rose to the rank of major general, and retired March 1, 1984, after 33 years of service. General Edwards is a Daedalian Life Member and is with Longhorn Flight #38.

April 16, 1949

During the Berlin Airlift, airplanes delivered a record 12,941 tons of coal – equivalent to 600 rail carloads – to the blockaded city during a 24-hour period. This required 1,383 flights.

April 17, 1969

Air Force Maj. Jerauld Gentry pilots the Martin X-24 “Lifting Body” research aircraft on its first free flight. Gentry, who retired as a colonel, was a Daedalian Life Member. He died on March 3, 2003.

April 18, 1942

Four months after Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, 16 B-25 bombers took off from the deck of the USS Hornet aircraft carrier in a spectacular low-level attack against Tokyo and other Japanese targets. The Doolittle Raid was named after its legendary leader, Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, who led 80 volunteers on this dangerous mission. The Doolittle Raid provided a much-needed morale boost to the nation and proved to the Japanese that their country was vulnerable to American attacks.
The last remaining Doolittle Raider is Lt. Col. Richard Cole, Doolittle’s co-pilot and a Daedalian Life Member.

April 19, 1919

Capt. E. F. White, Air Service, United States Army, and H.M. Schaffer, “his mechanician,” took off from Ashburn Aviation Field, Chicago, Illinois, at 9:50 a.m, Central Standard Time, in the Dayton-Wright DH-4, Air Service serial number A.S. 30130. At 5:40 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, the airplane and its two-man crew landed at Hazelhurst Field, Mineola, Long Island, New York. They flew 738.6 miles in 6 hours, 50 minutes at an average speed of approximately 106 miles per hour. This was the first non-stop flight between Chicago and New York, and was the longest non-stop flight that had been made anywhere in the world up to that time.

April 20, 1861

Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, American inventor and balloonist, made a balloon trip from Cincinnati, Ohio, to the South Carolina coast in nine hours.

April 21, 1911

Lt. Henry H. Arnold is ordered to Dayton, Ohio, for flight instruction at the Wright Flying School. He is accompanied by another early aviator, Lt. Thomas DeWitt Milling. “Hap” Arnold is Daedalian Founder Member 2182, and Milling is #133.

April 22, 1921

Lt. Thomas C. Turner, flying a Marine Corps DH-4-B plane, arrives back in Washington, D.C., after a 4,842-mile roundtrip to Santo Domingo. At that time, it was the longest flight ever made by a Marine aviator. He was Founder Member 13807. He died on Oct. 28, 1931, after being struck by a whirling airplane propeller. He was on an assignment to deliver a new amphibian plane to Marine headquarters in Haiti when the accident occurred. At the time of his death he was a colonel, and in charge of Marine Aviation for the Navy.

April 23, 1918

First Lt. Paul Frank Baer, 103rd Aero Squadron (Pursuit), shot down an enemy Albatross C two-place biplane near Saint-Gobain, France. This was Baer’s fifth victory in aerial combat, making him the first American “ace.” Lieutenant Baer is officially credited with nine victories, and he claimed an additional seven. After shooting down his ninth enemy airplane on May 22, 1918, Baer and his SPAD S.XIII C.1 were also shot down. He was seriously injured and was captured by the enemy near Armentières and held as a POW. At one point, Baer was able to escape for several days before being recaptured. For his service in World War I, Baer was awarded the United States’ Distinguished Service Cross with one oak leaf cluster. He was appointed Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur by Raymond Poincaré, the President of France. He was also awarded the Croix de Guerre with seven palms. He was Daedalian Founder Member 801.

April 24, 1943

The first class of the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots, Class 43-1, graduated from the four-month flight training program and earned their wings. The class entered with 38 trainees and 24 graduated. Each woman had a civil pilot’s license and at least 200 hours of flight time. Over 25,000 women applied and approximately 1,900 were accepted. By the end of the war, 1,074 had graduated. The WASPs received the same primary, basic and advanced flight training as their U.S. Army Air Force male counterparts. Some went on to specialized training in heavy bombers or fighters. The WASPs were not combat pilots. They tested newly manufactured aircraft for acceptance by the military, delivered these airplanes from factories to Air Corps bases around the country, ferried aircraft across oceans, and flew transport missions. These women provided a great service to their country during a time of war, but even more so to the generations of women who would follow their path. WASPs became eligible to join the Daedalians in 2001.

April 25, 1922

Known as the Stout ST-1, the first all-metal airplane designed for the United States Navy made its first flight piloted by Eddie Stinson at Selfridge Field, Michigan.

April 26, 1966

Flying an F-4 Phantom II and using an AIM-9 Sidewinder in Vietnam, Air Force Maj. P. J. Gilmore and Lt. W. T. Smith became the first to destroy a MiG-21.

April 27, 1911

The Signal Corps accepted its second and third military airplanes, a Curtiss IV Model D and a Wright Type B, at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

April 28, 1919

Leslie Irvin made the first jump from an airplane using a free-type (to be opened at will by a rip-chord) backpack parachute and landed at McCook Field in Dayton, Ohio. The parachute was designed by Floyd Smith.

April 29, 1918

Lt. Eddie Rickenbacker, Founder Member #169, downed his first enemy aircraft in France.

April 30, 1959

A Convair B-36J-1-CF Peacemaker, serial number 52-2220, landed at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, completing the very last flight made by one of the giant Cold War-era bombers. It is in the collection of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Convair B-36J 52-2220 was among the last group of 33 B-36 bombers built. It was operated by an aircraft commander/pilot, co-pilot, two navigators, bombardier, two flight engineers, two radio operators, two electronic countermeasures operators and five gunners – a total 16 crewmembers. Frequently a third pilot and other personnel were carried.

May 1, 1963

Jacqueline Cochran took off from Edwards AFB, California, to set a 100-km (62-mile) closed-circuit world speed record for women of 1,203.7 mph in an F-104 Starfighter.

May 2-3, 1928

Lt. Royall V. Thomas, flying the Bellanca monoplane “Reliance,” made a record solo duration flight at Mitchel Field, New York, of 35 hours, 25 minutes, 8 seconds. Thomas was Founder Member 2427.

May 3, 1952

A ski-equipped Air Force Douglas C-47A Skytrain, piloted by Lt. Cols. William P. Benedict and Joseph O. Fletcher, was the first airplane to land at the North Pole. The navigator was 1st Lt. Herbert Thompson. Staff Sgt. Harold Turner was the flight engineer and Airman 1st Class Robert L. Wishard, the radio operator. Also on board were Arctic research scientist Dr. Albert P. Crary and his assistant, Robert Cotell; Fritza Ahl; Master Sgt. Edison T. Blair and Airman 2nd Class David R. Dobson. Colonel Fletcher was commanding officer of the 58th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. He was responsible for establishing Drift Ice Stations within the polar ice cap for remote weather observation bases. Ice Island T-3 was renamed Fletcher’s Ice Island in his honor. He became a world authority on Arctic weather and climate. Various geographic features, such as the Fletcher Abyssal Plain in the Arctic Ocean, and the Fletcher Ice Rise in the Antarctic are also named for him.

May 4, 1967

Air Force Col. Robin Olds, commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing based at Ubon Royal Thai Air Base, shot down his second enemy airplane during the Vietnam War. Colonel Olds had flown Lockheed P-38 Lightning and North American P-51 Mustang fighters during World War II. He is officially credited with shooting down 12 enemy airplanes over Europe and destroying 11.5 on the ground. On Jan. 2, 1967, he had destroyed a MiG-21 near Hanoi, North Vietnam, while flying a McDonnell F-4C Phantom II. He was the first U.S. Air Force fighter ace to shoot down enemy aircraft during both World War II and the Vietnam War, and was a Daedalian Hereditary Life Member.

May 5, 1961

Navy Cmdr. Alan B. Shepard Jr. became the second man to explore space when he rode his Mercury Freedom 7 capsule, launched by a Redstone missile, to 115 miles above the Earth. He was a Daedalian Life Member.

May 6, 1896

After four years of work and failed flights, Samuel P. Langley succeeds in obtaining good results with his steam-powered, model-size, tandem-wing airplane. His model “No.5” makes a flight of 3,300 feet. Langley AFB in Virginia is named after this aviation pioneer.

May 7, 1958

Air Force Maj. Howard C. “Scrappy” Johnson sets an altitude record in an F-104A Starfighter at 91,243 feet.

May 8, 1911

The U.S. Navy committed to buying its first aircraft – a Curtiss A-1 Triad. Its name came from the fact it could operate on land, water and in the air.

May 9, 1926

Navy Lt. Cmdr. Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr., and Chief Aviation Pilot Floyd Bennett departed Spitzbergen in the Svalbard Archipelago, Norway, on a round-trip flight to the North Pole. Their aircraft was a Fokker F.VIIa/3m three-engine, high-wing monoplane, construction number 4900. It was purchased for the Byrd Arctic Expedition by Edsel Ford and named Josephine Ford in honor of his 3-year-old daughter, Josephine Clay Ford.
With Bennett as the expedition’s pilot and Byrd navigating, they flew approximately 1,600 miles to the Pole and returned the same day. The total duration of the flight was 15 hours, 44 minutes. For this accomplishment, Byrd was promoted to Commander, and Bennett to Warrant Officer. Both aviators were awarded the Medal of Honor by President Coolidge. Bird was Daedalian Founder Member 10364.

May 10, 1911

At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, a Curtiss D pusher aircraft piloted by Lt. George E.M. Kelly crashes, killing him. He becomes the first fatality in Army aviation history, and Kelly Field in San Antonio is named in his honor in 1917. Kelly was Daedalian Founder Member 575.

May 11, 1927

Charles Lindbergh lands his new Ryan airplane, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” in St. Louis after a record non-stop overnight flight from San Diego of 14 hours, 25 minutes.

May 12, 1928

Lt. Julian S. Dexter, Air Corps Reserve, completes an aerial mapping assignment over the Florida Everglades. In 65 hours flying time, he photographed 3,000 square miles in two months.

May 13, 1940

The first successful free flight of a true helicopter is made by Igor I. Sikorsky’s single-rotor VS-300.

May 14, 1908

Charles William Furnas, a mechanic for the Wright Company, was the first passenger to fly aboard an airplane. At the Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Furnas rode aboard the Wright Flyer III with Wilbur Wright as pilot. The flight covered approximately 656 yards and lasted for 29 seconds. Later the same day, Orville Wright flew the airplane, again with Furnas aboard, this time covering 2.125 miles (3.42 kilometers) in 4 minutes, 2 seconds. Furnas was born at Butler Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, on Dec. 20, 1880. He enlisted in the United States Navy at Dayton, Ohio, Nov. 15, 1902, and was discharged at New York City, Nov. 14, 1906. Furnas, a machinist, married Miss Lottie Martha Washington on June 3, 1913. Mrs. Furnas died Jan. 1, 1931. On Jan. 20, 1931, Charles Furnas was admitted to a Veterans Administration Facility in Jefferson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio, where he would remain for the rest of his life. He died Oct. 15, 1941. His remains were interred at the Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum, Dayton.

May 15, 1963

At 8:04:13.106 a.m., Eastern Standard Time, Mercury-Atlas 9, carrying NASA astronaut, Air Force Maj. L. Gordon Cooper aboard Faith 7, lifted off from Launch Complex 14 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, Florida. Cooper reported, “The liftoff was smooth, but very definite, the acceleration was very pleasant. The booster had a very good feel to it and it felt like we were real on the go, there.” The maximum acceleration experienced during launch was 7.6 Gs. MA-9 was the final flight of Project Mercury. Gordon Cooper flew 22.5 orbits. Due to electrical system problems that began on the 21st orbit, he had to fly a manual reentry which resulted in the most accurate landing of the Mercury program.

May 16, 1917

President Woodrow Wilson established an Aircraft Production Board to supervise the manufacture of U.S. aircraft and parts for the nation’s participation in World War I.

May 17, 1943

The flight crew of the B-17 Memphis Belle completed their combat tour of 25 bombing missions over Western Europe with an attack on enemy submarine facilities at St. Nazaire, France. The bomber was a U.S. Army Air Force Boeing B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress, serial number 41-24485, assigned to the 324th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), based at Air Force Station 121 (RAF Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England). The aircraft commander was Capt. Robert K. Morgan. The daylight bombing campaign of Nazi-occupied Europe was extremely dangerous with high losses in both airmen and aircraft. For a bomber crew, 25 combat missions was a complete tour, and they were sent back to the United States for rest and retraining before going on to other assignments. Memphis Belle was only the second B-17 to survive 25 missions, so it was withdrawn from combat and sent back to the United States for a publicity tour. After the war, Memphis Belle was put on display in the city of Memphis. For decades it suffered from time, weather and neglect. The Air Force finally took the bomber back and did a total restoration of the aircraft. The exhibit opens May 17 at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force, with special activities planned through May 19. Only three B-17F Flying Fortresses, including Memphis Belle, remain in existence.

May 18, 1953

On his last day of combat, Capt. Joseph C. McConnell Jr. flew two sorties in which he shot down three enemy MiG-15 fighters, bringing his total to 16 aerial victories. McConnell was the leading American ace of the Korean War. Of air combat, McConnell said, “It’s the teamwork out here that counts. The lone wolf stuff is out. Your life always depends on your wingman and his life on you. I may get credit for a MiG, but it’s the team that does it, not myself alone.”

May 19, 1908

Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge flew an airplane called the White Wing, designed by F. W. “Casey” Baldwin, thus becoming the first Army officer to solo in an airplane. Sadly, he was also the first active duty military member to die in an airplane crash. He was a passenger on a flight piloted by Orville Wright on Sept. 17, 1908, at Fort Meyer, Virginia. The damaged propeller can be viewed at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. The San Francisco native was Daedalian Founder Member 544. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but he is also memorialized on a large cenotaph in the West Point Cemetery. Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Harrison Township, Michigan, is named after him.

May 20, 1967

Col. Robin Olds and his GiB (Guy in Backseat), 1st Lt. Steve Croker, led a four-ship of F-4s covering the back end of an F-105 strike force attacking a target in North Vietnam. Olds’ #3 was Maj. Bob Pardo and his GiB, 1st Lt. Steve Wayne. Olds lost his wingman during the first minute of the dogfight, so along with Pardo and his wingman, Capt. Ron Catton and GiB 1st Lt. Ron Ayers, the three aircraft kept 12-plus MiG-17s busy for between 12-14 minutes (“…the longest aerial battle I’d ever experienced,” according to Olds). When the dust settled, the Wolfpack added four more kills to their war-leading total: two for Olds, one for Pardo and one for Maj. Phil Combies whose four-ship of F-4s was in the front of the strike package.

May 21, 1878

Glenn Hammond Curtiss, pioneer of the first years of powered flight and rival of the Wright brothers, is born in Hammondsport, New York.

May 22, 1961

Gen. Curtis LeMay is announced as new the Air Force chief of staff. LeMay was born on Nov. 15, 1906, in Columbus, Ohio. During World War II, he commanded the 305th Operations Group and the 3rd Air Division in the European theatre from October 1942 to August 1944, when he was transferred to the China-Burma-India Theater. He was then placed in command of strategic bombing operations against Japan. After the war, he was assigned to command USAF Europe and coordinated the Berlin airlift. He served as commander of Strategic Air Command from 1948 to 1957, where he presided over the transition to an all-jet aircraft force that focused on the deployment of nuclear weapons. LeMay, a Daedalian, died on Oct. 1, 1990.

May 23, 1917

The Joint Technical Board on Aircraft, Except Zeppelins, recommended that the initial production program to equip the Navy with the aircraft necessary for war consist of 300 school machines, 200 service seaplanes, 100 speed scouts, and 100 large seaplanes. The board recommended N-9s and R-6s as the most satisfactory for school and service seaplanes, but determined that the scouts and large seaplanes were not sufficiently developed to permit a selection.

May 24, 1962

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm Scott Carpenter, NASA Astronaut, was launched aboard Mercury-Atlas 7 at 12:45:16.57 UTC, from Launch Complex 14 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. This was the fourth manned space flight of the American space program. Carpenter was the sixth human to fly in space. He was a Daedalian Life Member and died on Oct. 10, 2013, at the age of 88.

May 25, 1953

North American Aviation Chief Test Pilot George S. Welch took the YF-100A Super Sabre, serial number 52-5754, for its first flight at Edwards Air Force Base, California. The airplane reached Mach 1.03. Welch is best remembered as one of the heroes of Pearl Harbor. He was one of only two fighter pilots to get airborne during the Japanese surprise attack on Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941. Flying a Curtiss P-40B Warhawk, he shot down three Aichi D3A “Val” dive bombers and one Mitsubishi A6M2 Zero fighter. For this action, Lt. Gen. H.H. “Hap” Arnold recommended the Medal of Honor, but because Lieutenant Welch had taken off without orders, an officer in his chain of command refused to endorse the nomination. He received the Distinguished Service Cross. He was killed Oct. 12, 1954, when his F-100A Super Sabre came apart in a 7 G pull up from a Mach 1.5 dive.

May 26, 1923

First Lt. Harrison Gage Crocker, Air Service, United States Army, made the first south-to-north non-stop flight across the United States when he flew from the Gulf of Mexico to the U.S./Canada border near Gordon, Ontario. Crocker’s airplane was a modified DH-4B-1-S, serial number A.S. 22-353. This was the same airplane flown by Lt. James H. Doolittle on an East-to-West Transcontinental flight, on Sept. 4, 1922. Crocker took off from Ellington Field at 5:20 a.m. and turned toward the Gulf of Mexico. On reaching the gulf, Crocker turned to the north, climbed to 1,800 feet at a speed of 97 miles per hour. Throughout the flight, he encountered low clouds and fog and rainstorms. He flew over, under or through the clouds, depending on the circumstances. The storms forced him to deviate from his planned course several times. Crocker died at Los Gatos, California, on Dec. 3, 1964, and was buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California. He was Daedalian Founder Member 49.

May 27, 1919

NC-4 – one of three U.S. Navy Curtiss NC flying boats – arrived at the harbor of Lisbon, Portugal, becoming the first airplane to cross the Atlantic Ocean. NC-4 was under the command of Navy Lt. Cmdr. Albert Cushing Read, who also served as navigator. The pilots were 1st Lt. Elmer Fowler Stone, U.S. Coast Guard, and Lt. j.g. Walter T. Hinton, U.S. Navy. Lt. James L. Breese, USN, and Chief Machinist Mate Eugene S. Rhoads, USN, were the engineers. Ensign Herbert C. Rodd, USN, was the radio operator. NC-4 had a maximum speed of 90 miles per hour, a service ceiling of 4,500 feet and range of 1,470 miles. NC-4 was restored by the Smithsonian Institution during the early 1960s and remains a part of its collection, though it is on long term loan to the Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, Florida.

May 28, 1912

Capt. Charles de Forest Chandler, commanding officer of the United States Signal Corps Aviation School at College Park, Maryland, received War Department form No. 395 AGO, dated Feb. 2, 1912, which was the first document on United States aviation medicine. It dictates that “all candidates for aviation only shall be subject to a vigorous physical examination to determine their fitness for duty.” Chandler was Daedalian Founder Member 1667.

May 29, 1940

Vought-Sikorsky Aircraft Division test pilot Lyman A. Bullard Jr. took the U.S. Navy’s new prototype fighter, the XF4U-1 for its first flight at the Bridgeport Municipal Airport, Bridgeport, Connecticut. Designed by Rex Buren Beisel, this would be developed into the famous F4U Corsair.

May 30, 1912

Wilbur Wright dies of typhoid fever at the age of 45. His death marked the end of his extraordinary partnership with his brother Orville, which culminated in 1903 with the first true powered flight in history. His father wrote of Wilbur: “A short life, full of consequences. An unfailing intellect, imperturbable temper, great self-reliance and as great modesty, seeing the right clearly, pursuing it steadfastly, he lived and died.”

May 31, 1930

Capt. Arthur H. Page Jr., USMC, won the last annual Curtiss Marine Trophy Race for service seaplanes in an F6C-3 Hawk, with a speed of 164.08 mph over the Potomac River at NAS Anacostia, D.C.

June 1, 1967

The first AH-1G Cobra helicopters were delivered to the U.S. Army.

June 2, 1957

Air Force Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger Jr. lifted off from Fleming Field, South Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the gondola of a helium balloon. Kittinger ascended to an altitude of 97,784 feet. Project MAN-HIGH I was intended to test various equipment and human physiology in a near-space condition. The total duration of his flight was 6 hours, 36 minutes. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. A fighter pilot, Kittinger flew three combat tours during the Vietnam War for a total of 483 combat missions. On May 11, 1972, while flying an F-4D Phantom II in pursuit of a MiG-21, Kittinger was shot down by an Atoll air-to-air missile fired by another MiG-21. He and his Weapon Systems Officer, 1st Lt. William J. Reich, were captured and spent 11 months at the Hanoi Hilton. Kittinger, who retired as a colonel, is a Daedalian Life Member.

June 3, 1959

The first class graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

June 4, 1974

Sally Murphy graduated as the first female Army aviator. She retired as a colonel in 1999.

June 5, 1944

Beginning in the late evening on D-Day -1, 821 C-47 Skytrain twin-engine transports, and 516 CG-4As and AS.51 Horsa gliders of the IXth Troop Carrier Command, airlifted 13,348 paratroopers of the U.S. Army’s 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, and another 7,900 men of the British Army 6th Airborne Division and the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion. The airplanes flew in a Vee-of-Vees formation, nine airplanes abreast, 100 feet from wing tip to wing tip, 1,000 feet in trail, stretching for over 300 miles. They flew in darkness at an altitude of 500 to 1,000 feet. Their mission was to drop the paratroopers behind the invasion beaches of Normandy during the hours before the amphibious assault began on D-Day.

June 6, 1942

Happy birthday, Army Aviation! On this date, the War Department created Army aviation under the direction of Field Artillery and Army Ground Forces. The Department of Air Training at the Field Artillery School was established with Col. William Ford as its first director.

June 7, 1912

With Lt. Roy Carrington Kirtland flying a Wright Model B at College Park, Maryland, Capt. Charles deForest Chandler was the first person to fire a machine gun mounted on an aircraft. The weapon was a prototype designed by Col. Isaac N. Lewis. The Lewis Gun was an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed light machine gun. It could fire at a rate of 500-600 rounds per minute. The muzzle velocity was approximately 2,440 feet per second and the effective range was 880 yards. Kirtland, who had retired in 1938 after 40 years of service was recalled to active duty in 1941. He died at Moffet Field, California, on May 2, 1941, and was buried at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California. Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is named after him.

June 8, 1938

After more than two years of evaluation by fleet squadrons and naval shore activities, the anti-blackout or abdominal belt for use by pilots in dive bombing and other violent maneuvers returned to developmental status, with a finding by Commander Aircraft, Battle Force, that the belt’s advantages did not offset its disadvantages.

June 9, 1916

American naval aviation pioneer Richard C. Saufley was killed on Santa Rosa Island on a flight out of the Naval Aeronautic Station, Pensacola, Florida, when his Curtiss Model E hydroplane AH-8 goes down at the 8-hour-51-minute mark of his flight. Saufley was Daedalian Founder Member 13307.

June 10, 1943

Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Frank A. Erickson proposed the development of helicopters for antisubmarine warfare, “not as a killer craft but as the eyes and ears of the convoy escorts.” To this end he recommended their equipping with radar and dunking sonar.

June 11, 1936

In an effort to adapt commercial airplane maintenance techniques to naval use, the U.S. Navy Bureau of Aeronautics authorized Commander Aircraft, Base Force, to provide patrol squadrons an extra aircraft as a rotating spare to replace squadron planes undergoing maintenance inspections.

June 12, 1922

Army Capt. Albert William Stevens made a high-altitude parachute jump from a twin-engine Martin GMB bomber flying at 24,206 feet over McCook Field, Ohio. A magazine article described the jump: “The greatest recorded parachute jump made from an airplane was accomplished by Capt. Albert W. Stevens a year or more ago. He fell 24,200 feet (almost five miles), landing 25 miles from the point above which he jumped and suffering no injury in his descent, beyond a couple of dislocated toes.” Stevens was an acknowledged expert in the field of aerial photography, and in 1940, took command of the Photographer’s School, Air Corps Technical School, Lowry Field, Denver, Colorado. He was retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Air Corps for medical reasons on April 30, 1942. Using infrared film, Stevens made the first photograph that showed the curvature of the earth. He also took the first photograph of the moon’s shadow on the surface of the earth during an eclipse. He died at Redwood City, California, on March 26, 1949, at the age of 63, and is buried at the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California.

June 13, 1962

Air Force Capt. Richard H. Coan set a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Distance Over a Closed Circuit Without Landing with a specially prepared Kaman HH-43B Huskie at Mono Lake, California. With cowlings, doors and unneeded internal equipment removed – including brake lines to the rear wheels – the helicopter had an empty weight of just 5,300 pounds. Flying along a 12-mile section of California Highway 167, Captain Coan flew 27 laps in just over seven hours, until the Huskie ran out of fuel and settled to the pavement in a low-altitude autorotation. The total distance flown was 655.65 miles. The record-setting Kaman HH-43B Huskie 60-0263 was last assigned to Detachment 3, 42nd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron, Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico. It is in the collection of the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. Its distance record still stands.

June 14, 1912

Corporal Vernon Burge became the U. S. Army’s first enlisted pilot, receiving aviation certificate No. 154. He worked as a member of the aircraft ground crew in 1908 when the Wright Brothers brought the first fixed-wing aircraft to Fort Myer, Virginia. In 1910 he transferred to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio where he performed aircraft repairs. By 1912 he had been promoted to corporal; he accompanied the Army’s seventh purchased aircraft as its mechanic to the Philippines where 1st Lt. Frank P. Lahm was establishing a flying school to train two officers. When only one officer came forward for the hazardous duty, Burge volunteered. On June 26, 1917, he received a commission as an officer and took part in patrol flights along the Mexico-U.S. border in 1919, near the end of the Mexican Revolution. He retired from the U.S. Army Air Corps as a colonel on Jan. 31, 1942. He was Daedalian Founder Member 345, and is buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. Read more about him at https://media.defense.gov/2013/Nov/26/2001329858/-1/-1/0/Vernon%20L%20Burge.pdf.

June 15, 1946

At Craig Field in Jacksonville, Florida, the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Team made its first public appearance at the municipal airport’s dedication ceremony. A flight of three lightened Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat fighters, led by Officer-in-Charge Lt. Cmdr. Roy Marlin Voris, flew a 15-minute aerobatic performance. The team had been formed for the purpose of raising public political support for the Navy. Their fighters were painted overall glossy sea blue with “U.S. NAVY” on the fuselage in gold leaf. A single numeral, also gold leaf, on the vertical fin identified each individual airplane. Five weeks later on July 21, the team would first call themselves The Blue Angels.

June 16, 1922

German-born American inventor Emile Berliner invented a hybrid aircraft that was part airplane (three fixed wings) and part helicopter (twin rotor blades). It made a short vertical flight on this date. Berliner also invented the microphone, flat disc phonograph record and the Gramophone.

June 17, 1986

After being returned to flyable condition, B-47E-25-DT Stratojet serial number 52-166, made the very last flight of a B-47 when it was flown by Maj. Gen. John D. “J.D.” Moore and Lt. Col. Dale E. Wolfe from the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in the high desert of Southern California, to Castle Air Force Base in California’s San Joaquin Valley, to be placed on static display. 52-166 had been built by the Douglas Aircraft Company at Air Force Plant No. 3, Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1952. 52-166 had not been flown in 20 years, having sat in the Mojave Desert serving as a radar target. General Moore and Colonel Wolf were experienced B-47 pilots, though they hadn’t flown one in the same 20 years. Because the B-47 had not been through a complete overhaul prior to the ferry flight, it was decided to leave the landing gear extended to avoid any potential problems. During the 43-minute trip, the aircraft had several systems fail, including airspeed sensors, intercom, and partial aileron control. On approach to Castle AFB, a 16-foot braking parachute was deployed. This created enough aerodynamic drag to slow the airplane while the early turbojet engines were kept operating at high power settings. These engines took a long time to accelerate from idle, making a go-around a very tricky maneuver. With the braking chute, though, releasing the chute allowed the airplane to climb out as the engines were already operating at high r.p.m.

June 18, 1983

Space Shuttle Challenger (OV-099) lifted off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral, Florida, on mission STS-7. This was Challenger‘s second flight, and it carried a five-person crew, the largest aboard a single spacecraft up to that time. Commanded by Robert L. Crippen on his second shuttle flight, STS-7 was to place two communications satellites in orbit and to deploy an experimental pallet with multiple experiments. Aboard was Mission Specialist Sally Kristen Ride, Ph.D., America’s first woman to fly in space. She operated the Shuttle Remote Manipulator System, a robotic arm, to deploy and retrieve satellites.

June 19, 1968

U.S. Navy Lt. Clyde E. Lassen was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. His citation reads in part: “For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 19 June 1968 as pilot and aircraft commander of a search and rescue helicopter, attached to Helicopter Support Squadron Seven, Detachment One Hundred Four, embarked in USS Preble (DLG 15), during operations against enemy forces in North Vietnam. Launched shortly after midnight to attempt the rescue of two downed aviators, Lieutenant (then Lieutenant, Junior Grade) Lassen skillfully piloted his aircraft over unknown and hostile terrain to a steep, tree-covered hill on which the survivors had been located. Although enemy fire was being directed at the helicopter, he initially landed in a clear area near the base of the hill, but, due to the dense undergrowth, the survivors could not reach the helicopter. With the aid of flare illumination, Lieutenant Lassen successfully accomplished a hover between two trees at the survivor’s position.” For the complete citation and account of the lieutenant’s heroism, go to https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/2017/06/19/.

June 20, 1941

The Department of War established the United States Army Air Forces. The new organization consisted of Headquarters Army Air Forces, the newly formed Air Force Combat Command, and the existing United States Army Air Corps. The U.S.A.A.F. was placed under the command of Maj. Gen. Henry H. (“Hap”) Arnold, Chief of the Air Forces. At the end of 1941, the U.S. Army Air Forces had a strength of 354,161 (24,521 officers and 329,640 enlisted) and 12,297 aircraft, with 4,477 of these classified as combat aircraft. Over the next 3 years, personnel would increase to a peak of 2,411,294. The number of aircraft reached a maximum 79,908 by July 1944.

June 21, 1993

Lt. Col. Nancy J. Currie-Gregg, the first female Army aviator to become an astronaut, made her first space flight.

June 22, 1962

The last of 744 Boeing B-52 Stratofortress strategic bombers, B-52H-175-BW, serial number 61-0040, was rolled out at the Boeing Military Airplane Company plant in Wichita, Kansas. Fixty-six years after roll-out, 61-0040 is still in service with the U.S. Air Force, assigned to the 23rd Bomb Squadron, 5th Bomb Wing, at Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota.

June 23, 1961

Air Force Maj. Robert Michael White became the first pilot to exceed Mach 5 in an aircraft. This was the 38th flight of the X-15 Program. Flights during this phase incrementally increased the speed and altitude of the X-15 up to its design limits of Mach 6 and 250,000 feet. The second North American Aviation X-15A, 56-6671, was air-dropped from the NB-52A Stratofortress mothership, 52-003, over Mud Lake, Nevada, at 2:00:05.0 p.m., Pacific Daylight Time. White fired the Reaction Motors XLR99-RM-1 engine for 78.7 seconds, reaching Mach 5.27 (3,603 miles per hour) and climbed to 107,700 feet. Ten minutes, 5.7 seconds after being dropped from the B-52, White touched down on Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards Air Force Base, California. Bob White was the first pilot to exceed Mach 4, Mach 5 and Mach 6. He also flew an X-15 to an altitude of 314,750 feet, qualifying for U.S. Air Force astronaut wings. After leaving the X-15 program, White flew 70 combat missions in the Republic F-105D Thunderchief fighter bomber during the Vietnam War. He lead the attack against the heavily defended Paul Doumer Bridge in Hanoi, Aug. 11, 1967, for which he was awarded the Air Force Cross. Major General White retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1981. He died March 10, 2010. 56-6671 is in the collection of the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The mothership, 52-003, is on display at the Pima Air and Space Museum, Tucson, Arizona.

June 24, 1943

Army Lt. Col. (Dr.) William Randolph Lovelace II made a record-setting parachute jump from a Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress over Ephrata, Washington, while testing high-altitude oxygen equipment. The altitude was 40,200 feet. This was his first parachute jump. Dr. Lovelace returned to Earth after a 23-minute, 51-second descent. This was the highest altitude parachute jump made up to that time. Lovelace used a Type T-5 back-pack parachute which was opened by a static line attached to the bomber. The shock of the sudden opening of the 28-foot diameter parachute caused Lovelace to lose consciousness. He came to at about 30,000 feet. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for the experiment.

June 25, 1886

Henry Harley “Hap” Arnold was born in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. The aviation pioneer was the only U.S. Air Force general to hold the five-star rank, and the only officer to hold a five-star rank in two different military services (U.S. Army Air Forces and U.S. Air Force). Instructed in flying by the Wright Brothers, he overcame a fear of flying that resulted from his experiences in early flight, supervised the expansion of the Air Service during World War I, and was a protégé of Gen. Billy Mitchell. General Arnold died on Jan. 15, 1950, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He was Daedalian Founder Member 2182, and is the namesake of Hap Arnold Flight 30 in Riverside, California.

June 26, 1948

Thirty-two U.S. Air Force Douglas C-47 Skytrain transports flew 80 tons of supplies to Berlin on the first day of the Berlin Airlift. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union blockaded the Allied portions of the city of Berlin, cutting off all transportation by land and water. Gen. Curtis LeMay was asked to transport the needs of the city by air. It was calculated that they would need to supply 1,700 calories per person per day, giving a grand total of 646 tons of flour and wheat, 125 tons of cereal, 64 tons of fat, 109 tons of meat and fish, 180 tons of dehydrated potatoes, 180 tons of sugar, 11 tons of coffee, 19 tons of powdered milk, 5 tons of whole milk for children, 3 tons of fresh yeast for baking, 144 tons of dehydrated vegetables, 38 tons of salt and 10 tons of cheese. In total, 1,534 tons were needed daily to keep the over 2 million people alive. Additionally, the city needed to be kept heated and powered, which would require another 3,475 tons of coal and gasoline. At the height of the airlift, one airplane was landing every 30 seconds. By the end, more supplies were arriving by air than had previously come by rail. The airlift ended Sept. 30, 1949. 2,326,406 tons of food, medicine and coal had been delivered. 101 aviators lost their lives.

June 27, 1923

The first successful aerial refueling took place on June 27, 1923, when a DH-4B, Air Service serial number A.S. 23-462, carrying Lts. Virgil S. Hine and Frank W. Seifert, passed gasoline through a hose to another DH-4B which was flying beneath them carrying Lts. Lowell H. Smith and John P. Richter. Hine and Smith piloted their respective airplanes while Seifert and Richter handled the refueling. A 50-foot hose with manually operated quick-acting valves at each end was used. During the refueling, 75 gallons of gasoline was passed from the tanker to the receiver. Smith and Richter landed after 6 hours, 38 minutes when their airplane developed engine trouble. Only one refueling had been completed but that had demonstrated the feasibility of the procedure.

June 28, 1891

Carl Andrew “Tooey” Spaatz was born as Carl Andrew Spatz. He legally added the second “a” in 1937 at the request of his wife and three daughters to clarify the pronunciation of the name, as many pronounced it “spats.” The result was intended to suggest a Dutch rather than a German origin. However, he was of German ancestry. As commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe in 1944, he successfully pressed for the bombing of the enemy’s oil production facilities as a priority over other targets. In July 1945, President Truman nominated Spaatz for promotion to the permanent rank of General. Spaatz was appointed Commanding General of the Army Air Forces in February 1946 following Arnold’s retirement. After the creation of the independent Air Force by the National Security Act of 1947 and Truman’s Executive Order No. 9877, Spaatz was appointed as the first Chief of Staff of the new United States Air Force in September 1947. Spaatz retired from the military at the rank of general on June 30, 1948, and worked for Newsweek magazine as military affairs editor until 1961. From 1948 until 1959, he served as the first chairman of Civil Air Patrol’s National Board. In 1954, Spaatz was appointed to the congressional advisory board set up to determine the site for the new United States Air Force Academy. Spaatz died on July 14, 1974, and was buried at the Academy’s cemetery in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

June 29, 1965

At 10:21:17.6 PDT Air Force Capt. Joe H. Engle, flying the No. 3 North American Aviation X-15A-3 research rocketplane, 56-6672, was air-dropped from the NB-52B Stratofortress mothership, Balls 8, over Delamar Dry Lake in Nevada. This was the 138th flight of the X-15 Program, and Joe Engle’s 12th. He fired the Reaction Motors XLR99-RM-1 engine for 81.0 seconds and accelerated to Mach 4.94 (3,432 miles per hour). The X-15 climbed to an altitude of 280,600 feet (53.14 miles). He touched down at Edwards Air Force Base, California, after 10 minutes, 34.2 seconds of flight. His parents were at Edwards to witness his flight. Captain Engle qualified for Astronaut wings on this flight, the third and youngest Air Force pilot to do so.

June 30, 1916

Two nations conducted combined air operations for the first time when the British and the French air services worked together on the western front in preparation for the Somme offensive, which began July 1.

July 1, 1964

Maj. Charles L. Kelly, commander of the 57th Medical Detachment (Air Ambulance) (Provisional), was killed in action in Vinh Long Province, Vietnam. On that day he was warned by leadership to stay out of a hot landing zone, and replied, “When I have your wounded.” Kelly’s call sign, “Dustoff,” was adopted as the universal call sign for medical evacuation, known as MedEvac flights.

July 2, 1926

The United States Army Air Corps was formed out of the former Air Services. Provisions were made for an assistant secretary of war and a five-year Air Corps expansion program.

July 3, 1922

Lieutenants James H. Doolittle and Leland S. Andrews took off from Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, at 5:15 a.m., in a DH-4-B airplane. They landed at Jacksonville, Florida, at 5:15 p.m. the same day, having flown 1,025 miles. Stops were made at Ellington Field in Houston, Texas, and at Pensacola, Florida. Doolittle was Founder Member 107 and Andrews was Founder Member 4560.

July 4, 1956

A Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft made its first operational over-flight. It was designed to fly at subsonic speeds and photograph the earth from 60,000 feet.

July 5, 1912

Capt. Charles Chandler and Lieutenants Thomas Milling and Henry H. “Hap” Arnold were presented with certificates qualifying them as the United States’ first “Military Aviators.”

July 6, 1951

The first in-flight refueling under combat conditions was made by four RF-80A “Shooting Stars,” refueled by a KB-29 tanker.

July 7, 1985

Strategic Air Command received the first operational Rockwell B-1B Lancer, serial number 83-0065, Star of Abilene, at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. It flew for 17 years, 7 months, 23 days before being retired March 1, 2003, and preserved at Dyess.

July 8, 1980

The prototype McDonnell Douglas F-15 Strike Eagle, a fighter-bomber variant converted from the second two-seat F-15B Eagle trainer, F-15B-4-MC 71-0291, made its first flight.

July 9, 1964

The crew of the 1st Air Commando Wing’s C-47 “Extol Pink” was awarded the 1963 Mackay Trophy for the evacuation of wounded troops in Vietnam at night under enemy fire. The crew members were: Capt. Warren P. Tomsett, Capt. John R. Ordemann, Capt. Donald R. Mack, Tech. Sgt. Edson P. Inlow, Staff Sgt. Jack E. Morgan and Staff Sgt. Frank C. Barrett.

July 10, 1965

Two F-4C Phantom II crews shot down two MiG-17s, becoming the first Air Force victories of the Vietnam War. The crews were pilot Capt. T. Roberts and Weapon Systems Officer Capt. R. Anderson, and pilot Capt. K. Holcombe and WSO Capt. A. Clark, all assigned to the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron, operating out of Ubon Royal Thai Air Base.

July 11, 1955

The United States Air Force Academy was dedicated at its temporary location at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, and the first class of 306 cadets were sworn in.

July 12, 1990

Cmdr. Rosemary B. Mariner became the first woman to command an operational naval aviation squadron. She led VAQ-34 during Operation Desert Storm and retired as a captain in 1997 after 24 years of service.

July 13, 1916

Commanded by Capt. Raynal C. Bolling, the First Aero Company, New York National Guard, was mobilized during the border crisis with Mexico. It trained at Mineola, New York, but did not deploy to the Mexican border. This marked the first time a National Guard air unit was called up for federal service. Bolling was the first high-ranking officer (colonel) of the United States Army to be killed in combat in World War I. He was a corporate lawyer by vocation, becoming general counsel of U.S. Steel at the age of 36 in 1913. Bolling was Daedalian Founder Member 2229 and is the namesake of Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, D.C.

July 14, 1922

Brig. Gen. Robin Olds was born at Luke Field Hospital, Honolulu, Territory of Hawaii. General Olds, a fighter pilot and triple ace with 17 official aerial victories in two wars, was born Robert Oldys, Jr. As a child, Robert Jr. was known as “Robin,” a diminutive of Robert. He was the first son of Capt. Robert Oldys, Air Service, United States Army, and Eloise Wichman Nott Oldys. In 1931, the family name was legally changed from Oldys to Olds.

July 15, 1931

The Air Corps Tactical School moved from Langley Field, Virginia, to Maxwell Field, Alabama. It produced most of the Air Corps’s air doctrine during the 1930s, including the concept of long-range, high-altitude daylight precision bombing of selected military and industrial targets—the fundamental strategy of the Army Air Forces in World War II.

July 16, 1945

Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay assumed command of Twentieth Air Force, which had been commanded directly by Army Air Forces commander Gen. Henry H. Arnold.

July 17, 1920

The Navy prescribed standard nomenclature for types and classes of naval vessels and aircraft, using “Z” for lighter-than-air craft and “V” for heavier-than-air craft. Class letters assigned within the Z type consisted of K, N, and R for kite balloons, nonrigid dirigibles, and rigid dirigibles, respectively. Within the V type, the class letters F, G, O, P, S, and T identified fighter, fleet, observation, patrol, scouting, and torpedo and bombing planes, respectively.

July 18, 1914

The Aviation Section of the United States Army Signal Corps was formed in Washington, D.C., with 60 officers, 260 men, and six airplanes.

July 19, 1911

Orville Wright delivered the Navy’s first Wright airplane (a Wright B land machine) at Annapolis, Maryland. The aircraft was subsequently converted into a seaplane by the addition of twin floats.

July 20, 1948

Sixteen F–80 Shooting Stars completed a mission from Selfridge Field, Michigan, to Scotland after nine hours and 20 minutes – the first west-to-east transatlantic flight by jet planes.

July 21, 1946

Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Davidson, flying a McDonnell XFH–1 Phantom, made the first successful takeoff and landing of a jet-powered aircraft from an aircraft carrier, the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.

July 22, 1915

Based on recommendations received from the Naval Aeronautic Station, Pensacola, Florida, the Director of Naval Aeronautics established requirements for 13 instruments to be installed in service aeroplanes: air speed meter, altitude barometer, binoculars, clock, compass, course and distance indicator, fuel gauge, incidence indicator, magazine camera, oil gauge, sextant, skidding and sideslip indicator, and tachometer. All except the binoculars, camera, lock, and navigational instruments were also required for school aeroplanes.

July 23, 1948

The Military Air Transport Service established Airlift Task Force, with headquarters in Germany for relief to Berlin. Maj. Gen. William H. Tunner was named to command Task Force operations.

July 24, 1917

Congress appropriated $640 million for Army aviation and authorized the Aviation Section to expand to 9,989 officers and 87,083 enlisted men. No earlier appropriation had come close to this amount.

July 25, 1944

In Operation COBRA, almost 1,500 Eighth Air Force heavy bombers conducted saturation bombing of the Saint-Lô area of northern France to allow Allied forces to break through German lines. Although the operation succeeded in its ultimate objective, some of the bombers hit the wrong area and killed or wounded almost 500 U.S. troops. Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, commander of the U.S. Army Ground Forces, was one of the fatalities. Sadly, 12 days later, his son, Col. Douglas C. McNair, was killed in action on Guam when he and two other 77th Division soldiers became involved in a skirmish with Japanese soldiers while scouting locations for a new division command post.

July 26, 1958

U.S. Air Force test pilot Capt. Iven Carl Kincheloe Jr. took off from Edwards AFB, California in an F-104A-15-LO Starfighter 56-0772, acting as a chase plane for another F-104A. As the two supersonic interceptors began their climb, a small control cable deep inside Kincheloe’s fighter failed, allowing the inlet guide vane of the F-104’s turbojet engine to close. With the suddenly decreased airflow the engine lost power and the airplane started to descend rapidly. Captain Kincheloe radioed, “Edwards, Mayday, Seven-Seventy-Two, bailing out.” The early F-104 Starfighters had an ejection seat that was catapulted or dropped by gravity from the bottom of the cockpit. 56-0772 was equipped with an improved ejection seat. With the Starfighter well below 2,000 feet, Kincheloe thought that he needed to roll the airplane inverted before ejecting. This wasn’t necessary and delayed his escape. By the time he separated from the seat and could open his parachute, he was below 500 feet. The parachute did open, but too late. Kincheloe was killed on impact. His airplane crashed into the desert floor just over 9 miles from the west end of Runway 22 and was totally destroyed. Today, a large crater scattered with fragments of Kincheloe’s F-104 is still clearly visible. Kincheloe was just 30 years old.

July 27, 1918

N-l, the first experimental aircraft designed and built at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, made its fourth successful flight and first test of the Davis gun for which it was designed. Lt. Victor Vernon piloted N-1, and Lt. Sheppard operated the gun, which performed satisfactorily against a target moored in the Delaware River near the factory.

July 28, 1915

Lt. j.g. Victor D. Herbster reported on bombing tests that he and 1st Lt. Bernard L. Smith, USMC, carried out at Indian Head Proving Grounds, Maryland. They dropped both dummy and live bombs over the side of the aircraft from about 1,000 feet against land and water targets. Herbster reported his bombing would have been more accurate “if I had been able to disengage my fingers from the wind-wheel sooner.” Herbster was Daedalian Founder Member 4076 and Smith was #1283.

July 29, 1952

An RB–45 assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing completed the first nonstop jet aircraft flight across the Pacific Ocean. It flew from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, to Yokota Air Base, Japan. Maj. Louis H. Carrington, Jr., Maj. Frederick W. Shook, and Capt. Wallace D. Yancey earned the 1952 Mackay Trophy for this flight. Yancey, who would retire as a colonel, was a Daedalian Life Member until his death in 1998.

July 30, 1935

Navy Lt. Frank Akers became the first person to make a “blind” landing at sea. His biplane had a hooded cockpit allowing him to see only his controls and instruments. He landed on the USS Langley.

July 31, 1912

Navy Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson piloted A-1 (later AH-1) during the Navy’s first attempt to launch an airplane by catapult, at the dock of the Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. The aircraft, which was not secured to the catapult, reared at about mid-stroke; a crosswind caught it and the machine plunged into the water, although the pilot escaped without serious injuries. This catapult, powered by compressed air, was constructed at the Naval Gun Factory at the Washington Navy Yard, D.C., from a plan proposed by Capt. Washington I. Chambers of the Bureau of Navigation. Ellyson was Naval Aviator No. 1, and Daedalian Founder Member 4377.

Aug. 1, 1907

The Army Signal Corps established a new Aeronautical Division under Capt. Charles deForest Chandler to take charge of military ballooning and air machines. Chandler was Daedalian Founder Member 1667.

Aug. 2, 1909

The Army accepted its first airplane from the Wright brothers after the aircraft met or surpassed all specifications in flight tests at Fort Myer, Virginia. The Army paid the Wrights the contract price of $25,000 plus $5,000 for speed in excess of 40 miles per hour.

Aug. 3, 1904

Capt. Thomas S. Baldwin demonstrated the first successful U.S. dirigible at Oakland, California, flying the airship in a circuit. Baldwin, born on June 30, 1854, in Marion County, Missouri, had an illustrious career. He made one of the earliest recorded parachute jumps from a balloon on Jan. 30, 1885. He was known as the “Father of the American Dirigible,” and received the Aero Club of America’s first balloon pilot certificate. He designed his own plane in 1910 known as the Red Devil, built by Glenn H. Curtiss. He made history with the first airplane flight over the Mississippi River on Sept. 10, 1910. Baldwin built the Navy’s first successful dirigible, the DN-1, in 1914. He trained pilots and managed the Curtiss School at Newport News, Virginia, where one of his students was Billy Mitchell. During World War I he was commissioned as a captain in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, and appointed Chief of Army Balloon Inspection and Production. He personally inspected every lighter-than-air craft built for and used by the Army during the war. Baldwin died on May 17, 1923, in Buffalo, New York, at the age of 68. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Aug. 4, 1950

During the Battle of the Pusan Perimeter, wounded soldiers were evacuated from the battlefield by helicopter for the first time when a Sikorsky H-5F of Air Force Detachment F, 3rd Air Rescue Squadron, flew out Private 1st Class Claude C. Crest, Jr., U.S. Army, from the Sengdang-ni area to an Army hospital. By the end of combat in 1953, 21,212 soldiers had been medevaced by helicopters.

Aug. 5, 1950

Air Force Maj. Louis J. Sebille crashed his severely damaged F–51 Mustang fighter into an enemy position. For this action, Major Sebille earned the first Medal of Honor awarded to a member of the Air Force.

Aug. 6, 1945

After serving three combat tours flying the Lockheed P-38 Lightning in the Southwest Pacific, Maj. Richard Ira Bong, Air Corps, United States Army, was assigned as a test pilot for new Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star jet fighters at the Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, California. The P-80A was a new jet fighter, and Bong had flown just 4 hours, 15 minutes in the type during 12 flights. Shortly after takeoff, the primary fuel pump for the turbojet engine failed. A back-up fuel pump was not turned on. The Shooting Star rolled upside down and Bong bailed out, but he was too low for his parachute to open and he was killed. The jet crashed at the intersection of Oxnard Street and Satsuma Avenue, North Hollywood, California, and exploded. Richard I. Bong was known as the “Ace of Aces” for scoring 40 aerial victories over Japanese airplanes between Dec. 27, 1942, and Dec. 17, 1944, while flying the Lockheed P-38 Lightning. He was awarded the Medal of Honor, which was presented by Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Aug. 7, 1971

At 6:45 a.m. local time, 287 nautical miles north of Honolulu, Hawaii, the Apollo 15 command module Endeavour splashed down after 12 days in space. On board were Col. David Randolph Scott, Mission Commander; Maj. Alfred Merrill Worden, Command Module Pilot; and Lt. Col. James Benson Irwin, Lunar Module Pilot. All three were U.S. Air Force officers and NASA astronauts. (Colonels Scott and Irwin are Daedalians.) During the descent following reentry, one of the three main parachutes fouled. This did not cause any problems, though, as only two were necessary. The spacecraft landed approximately 5.3 nautical miles from the primary recovery ship, the amphibious assault ship USS Okinawa. Apollo 15 was the ninth manned mission of the Apollo Program, and the fourth to land on the moon. The total duration of the flight was 12 days, 7 hours, 11 minutes, 53.0 seconds. This was the first mission that the crew were not quarantined after returning to Earth. The Apollo 15 command module is displayed at the National Museum of the United States Air Force, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

Aug. 8, 1913

An airplane flew in Hawaii for the first time, piloted by Army Lt. Harold Geiger from a new aviation school at Fort Kamehameha. Geiger was Daedalian Founder Member 582.

Aug. 9, 1939

After Gen. Henry H. Arnold had ordered that the prototype Bell Aircraft Corporation XP-39 Airacobra be evaluated in the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics Full-Scale Tunnel at the Langley Memorial Aeronautics Laboratory, Langley Field, Virginia, it was flown there from Wright Field. It was hoped that aerodynamic improvements would allow the prototype to exceed 400 miles per hour. NACA engineers placed the full-size airplane inside the large wind tunnel for testing. A number of specific areas for aerodynamic improvement were found. After those changes were made by Bell, the XP-39’s top speed had improved by 16%. To learn more about this prototype fighter, visit https://www.thisdayinaviation.com/9-august-1929/.

Aug. 10, 1918

NAS Pauillac, France, received 300 pigeons from the French. During World War I naval aviation used homing pigeons as an additional means of sending and receiving messages. Observers on board aircraft and airships “liberated” the birds by throwing them upward and clear of the craft, in some cases from altitudes of 1,500 to 2,000 feet. French trainers experienced in handling the birds cared for the creatures until Aug. 21 when trainers from the American Racing Pigeon Union, National Aeronautic Association, and International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers arrived from the United States. At least one French trainer each then remained at the headquarters in Paris and at Pauillac to facilitate operations. The French officially transferred the pigeons to the U.S. handlers beginning on Oct. 12, 1918.

Aug. 11, 1915

The Naval Observatory requested the Eastman Kodak Co. develop an aerial camera with highspeed lens, suitable for photography at 1,000 to 2,000 yards altitude, and so constructed that the pressure of the air during flight would not distort the focus.

Aug. 12, 1946

President Harry Truman signed a bill authorizing an appropriation of $50,000 to establish a National Air Museum in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. The small museum eventually became the National Air and Space Museum — the most visited museum in the world.

Aug. 13, 1918

U.S. Army Air Service 1st Lt. Field Eugene Kindley shot down the Fokker D.VII of Lothar von Richthofen, the brother of the late Manfred von Richthofen, North of Roye, France. Lothar von Richthofen, an ace with 40 confirmed air-to-air victories, suffered serious wounds and never flew in combat again. It was the fourth of Kindley’s 12 kills. Kindley was Daedalian Founder Member 559. He died in a crash at Kelly Field in San Antonio, Texas, during a demonstration flight for Gen. John J. Pershing on Feb. 2, 1920. A control cable snapped on the S.E.5 he was flying. The plane stalled and fell from an altitude of 100 feet. Kindley was 23 years old.

Aug. 14, 1917

An experiment initiated through the efforts of Rear Adm. Bradley A. Fiske and conducted by Lt. Edward O. McDonnell launched a dummy torpedo from beneath a wing of an F-5L flying boat at Huntington Bay, Long Island, New York. The weapon struck the water at an unfavorable angle, ricocheted, and nearly struck the plane. The experiment marked the beginning of serious Navy interest in launching torpedoes from aircraft. McDonnell was Daedalian Founder Member 7927.

Aug. 15, 1957

Gen. Nathan F. Twining became the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Aug. 16, 1909

Acting Secretary of the Navy George von L. Meyer disapproved a request by the Bureau of Equipment for authority to advertise for the construction of “two heavier than air flying machines,” with the comment: “The Department does not consider that the development of an aeroplane has progressed sufficiently at this time for use in the Navy.”

Aug. 17, 1942

Eighth Air Force conducted its first heavy bomber raid in Europe. Twelve B–17s under the command of Col. Frank A. Armstrong Jr., bombed railroad marshalling yards at Rouen in German-occupied France. The raid demonstrated the feasibility of daylight bombing.

Aug. 18, 1910

At Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Oliver G. Simmons, the Army’s first civilian airplane mechanic, and Cpl. Glen Madole added wheels to Signal Corps Airplane No. 1, producing a tricycle landing gear and eliminating the need for a launching rail or catapult.

Aug. 19, 1939

President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Orville Wright’s birthday, Aug. 19, as National Aviation Day.

Aug. 20, 1934

Lt. Col. Henry H. Arnold and 10 Martin B–10 bomber crews completed a month-long air trip of more than 7,000 miles from Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., to Fairbanks, Alaska, and back.

Aug. 21, 1950

Aircraft flying from U.S. Navy ships Valley Forge (CV 45) and Philippine Sea (CV 47) indicated the escalation of the air war when they set new records for operations, completing 202 sorties in a day over the Pyŏngyang area of North Korea.

Aug. 22, 1923

The Barling Bomber made its maiden flight from Wilbur Wright Field in Fairfield, Ohio. At the time, it was by far the heaviest aircraft in the world, and remains large even by today’s standards. On its first flight, it was piloted by Lt. Harold R. Harris, and Lt. Muir S. Fairchild, future U.S. Air Force Vice Chief of Staff. The flight engineer was Douglas Culver. Barling flew along as a passenger. Critics had claimed that the bomber would roll all the way to Dayton before it ever took off, but the aircraft became airborne after a 13-second, 960-foot takeoff run. The flight lasted 28 minutes and reached an altitude of 2,000 feet.

Aug. 23, 1954

The first of two Lockheed YC-130 Hercules four-engine, 1910 transport prototypes, 53-3397, made its first flight from the Lockheed Air Terminal at Burbank, California, to Edwards Air Force Base. The flight crew consisted of test pilots Stanley Beltz and Roy Wimmer, with Jack G. Real (a future Lockheed vice president) and Dick Stanton as flight engineers. The flight lasted 1 hour, 1 minute. The C-130 was designed as a basic tactical transport, capable of carrying 72 soldiers or 64 paratroopers. All production aircraft have been built at Lockheed’s Marietta, Georgia, plant. In addition to its basic role as a transport, the C-130 has also been used as an aerial tanker, a command-and-control aircraft, weather reconnaissance, search and rescue and tactical gunship. It has even been used as a bomber, carrying huge “Daisy Cutters” to clear large areas of jungle for use as helicopter landing zones, or, more recently, the Massive Ordnance Air Blast “mother of all bombs.” The aircraft has been so versatile that it has served in every type of mission. Over 40 variants have been built by Lockheed, including civilian transports. It is in service worldwide. The latest version is the Lockheed C-130J Hercules. After 63 years, the C-130 is still in production, longer than any other aircraft type.

Aug. 24, 1938

The Navy flew the first drone target in the United States—a radio-controlled JH–1—to test antiaircraft batteries on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger.

Aug. 25, 1947

Marine Corps Maj. Marion Eugene Carl, flying the Douglas D-558-I Skystreak, Bu. No. 37970, set a new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) World Record for Speed Over a 3 Kilometer Straight Course, averaging 1,047.356 kilometers per hour (650.797 miles). The Skystreak was flown over a course laid out on Muroc Dry Lake, site of Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base) in the high desert of Southern California. Four passes were made over the course at an altitude of 200 feet or lower. Two runs were made in each direction to compensate for any head or tail winds. The official speed for a record attempt was the average of the two best consecutive passes out of the four. Major Carl’s record exceeded one set by Navy Cmdr. Turner F. Caldwell Jr. just five days earlier by 16.178 kilometers per hour.

Aug. 26, 1967

Col. George Everette Day was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery and conspicuous gallantry after he was forced to eject from his aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. In part, his citation reads: “He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam … Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh … Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy.” He died in Shalimar, Florida, on July 27, 2013, at the age of 88 and is buried at the Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola. Colonel Day is the namesake of the George “Bud” Day Flight 61 in Niceville, Florida, and was a Daedalian Life Member. He was posthumously advanced to the rank of brigadier general on June 8, 2018. Learn more here: http://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1547139/col-george-day-advanced-to-the-rank-of-brigadier-general/.

Aug. 27, 1918

NAS Hampton Roads, Virginia, was established with Lt. Cmdr. Patrick N. L. Bellinger as commander. He was Daedalian Founder Member 2101.

Aug. 28 1944

Maj. Joseph Myers and 2d Lt. Manford O. Croy Jr., 82d Fighter Squadron P–47 pilots, shared credit for the first aerial victory over a jet aircraft – a German Me–262.

Aug. 29, 1943

The formation of Navy combat units for the employment of assault drone aircraft began within the Training Task Force Command with the establishment of the first of three special task air groups. The component squadrons were designated VK.

Aug. 30, 1913

In a report to Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, the General Board expressed its opinion that “the organization of an efficient naval air service should be immediately taken in hand and pushed to fulfillment.”

Aug. 31, 1955

The first production Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker, 55-3118, named City of Renton, made its first flight with company test pilots Alvin Melvin “Tex” Johnston and Richards Llewellyn “Dix” Loesch Jr., on the flight deck. Built as an aerial refueling tanker to support the U.S. Air Force fleet of B-52 strategic bombers, an initial order for 29 tankers was soon followed by three additional orders, bringing the total to 275 airplanes by the end of Fiscal Year 1958. Eventually 732 KC-135As were built by Boeing, and an additional 81 of other versions.

Heritage Snapshots

If you have information on a photo that doesn’t have a caption, please email us at communications@daedalians.org.

John A. Hilger, who retired as a brigadier general in 1966, is shown as a flying cadet at Army Air Corps flying school in 1933. Learn more about this Doolittle Raider here.

This photo is embossed in the lower right corner:

Air Service, U.S. Army
Eighth Photo Section
Mitchel Field, N.Y.

A great example of some early aerial photography — what a view!

The yellowed and torn press release that was taped to the back of this photo can be seen at right. Foster Field was located in Victoria, Texas.

Since this was taken in 1955, the majority of the Daedalians in this photo were Founder Members. It wasn’t until 1953 that membership was opened to pilots who received their rating after Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1918.