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 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

Lt. Quentin Roosevelt
Daedalian Founder Member 539

NY National Guardsman Quentin Roosevelt– son of a president– was famous WW I casualty

By Eric Durr, New York State Division of Military and Naval Affairs

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. — The casualty list released by the American Expeditionary Force on July 21, 1918 listed 64 American Soldiers and Marines killed in action and 28 missing.

But the name reporters noticed first was that of a 20 year-old college student from Oyster Bay, Long Island: Lt. Quentin Roosevelt.

Quentin Roosevelt had been a public figure since he was four years-old, when his father, Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, became president.

Roosevelt had been missing since July 14, 1918, when he and four other pilots from the U.S. Army Air Service’s 95th Aero Squadron engaged at least seven German aircraft near the village of Chamery, France.

His father had been notified that he was missing and presumed dead on July 17 and took it hard.

Quentin Roosevelt was a flight leader in the 95th and despite his famous family, he was very much a regular guy.

“Everyone who met him for the first time expected him to have the airs and superciliousness of a spoiled boy,” wrote Capt. Eddy Rickenbacker, the top American Ace of World War I. “This notion was quickly lost after the first glimpse one had of Quentin.”

“Gay, hearty and absolutely square in everything he said or did, Quentin Roosevelt was one of the most popular fellows in the group. We loved him purely for his own natural self,” Rickenbacker remembered.

Quentin Roosevelt was the fifth child of Teddy and Edith Roosevelt. Quentin was his father’s favorite and his dad told stories to reporters about Quentin and the gang of boys –sons of White House employees–he played with.

When the United States entered World War I, Quentin Roosevelt was a Harvard student.

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.

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
On 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 (as seen in the photo).

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

John A. Hilger, who would retire as a brigadier general in 1966, is shown as a flying cadet at Army Air Corps flying school in 1933. In 1942, he was assigned as deputy commander and pilot with the Doolittle Raiders, and participated in the April 18, 1942, raid on Tokyo. Learn more about him here.