Air Force Monthly Historical Dates
July 1st - 31st
- 01 Jul 1941 – The Air corps Ferrying Command sent its first air transport flights from Bolling Field, D.C. to Scotland, via Montreal and Newfoundland. Using modified B-24 Liberator bombers with seats in the bomb bay, the “Arnold Line” (after Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold) made six rounds trips to Scotland monthly. Lt Col Caleb V. Haynes flew the first flight.
- 01 Jul 1946 - Maj. Woodrow P. Swancutt from the 509th Composite Group flew the B-29 "Dave's Dream" to Bikini Atoll, where he dropped a Nagasaki-type atomic bomb from 30,000 feet on 73 ships during Operation Crossroads. He sank five and heavily damaged nine ships.
Jul 1946 - The first presidential airplane, a C-118 Liftmaster, "The
Independence," arrived at Washington National Airport. A
military version of the Douglas DC-6, the four-engine Liftmaster
could carry 20,200 pounds for 2,000 miles, and it could carry up to
Jul 1949 - Lockheed's F-94 Starfire prototype first flew.
Jul 1950 - The 374th Troop Carrier Wing airlifted the first troops
from the U. S. Army 24th Infantry Division in Japan to Pusan.
Jul 1951. The first operational B-47B Medium bombers were delivered
to SAC in July 1951 to the 306th Bombardment Wing, MacDill AFB,
Florida. The Boeing Model 450 B-47 Stratojet was a long-range,
six-engined, jet-powered medium bomber built to fly at high subsonic
speeds and at high altitudes. It was primarily designed to drop
nuclear bombs on the Soviet Union. With its engines carried in pods
under the swept wing, the B-47 was a major innovation in post-World
War II combat jet design, and helped lead to modern jet airliners.
Jul 1957 - The 704th Strategic Missile Wing, the U.S. Air Force's
first ballistic missile wing, activated at Cooke AFB, to maintain an
Atlas D alert force and train crews for duty with the missile.
Jul 1959 - The U.S. Air Force (Tactical Air Command) used the C-130
aircraft as a paratrooper jump platform for the first time.
Jul 1959 - Strategic Air Command inactivated its first missile wing,
the 704th Strategic Missile Wing at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Jul 1960 - Strategic Air Command began testing an airborne command
post, a modified KC-135, in ground alert operations at Offutt AFB,
Jul 1960 - Strategic Air Command activated the 394th Missile
Training Squadron at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., to train combat crews
for the Minuteman missile
Jul 1961 - The North American Air Defense Command begins operation
of a space detection and tracking system designed to provide
electronic cataloging of man-made space objects.
Jul 1962 - Strategic Air Command activated its first Minuteman 1B
squadron, the 66th Strategic Missile Squadron, at Ellsworth AFB,
Jul 1964 - Strategic Air Command activated its last and 13th
Minuteman 1B squadron, the 400th Strategic Missile Squadron at
Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyo.
Jul 1964 - The first jet-augmented KC-97L became operational.
Jul 1965 - TIROS X, the first weather satellite paid for by the U.S.
Weather Bureaus, launched into a north-south polar orbit from Cape
Kennedy, Fla., to report on hurricane situations in the Caribbean
Jul 1966 - Secretary of the Air Force Harold Brown presented the
Gen. Thomas D. White Space Trophy to Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the
first astronaut to walk in space. The trophy is awarded annually to
the Air Force officer or unit making the foremost contribution to
U.S. progress in aerospace.
Jul 1966 - The U.S. Air Force started aeromedical flights from
Saigon to the U.S. via Japan. This route reduced flight time by 24
Jul 1970 - At Pease AFB, N.H., the 509th Bombardment Wing became the
first operational ready unit equipped with FB-111 aircraft.
Jul 1975 - Air National Guard air refueling units began support
Strategic Air Command operations.
Jul 1976 - Strategic Air Command transferred its drone
reconnaissance program from the 100th Strategic Reconnaissance at
Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz. to Tactical Airlift Command. Teledyne Ryan
Aeronautical Division built the small unmanned remotely piloted jet
powered drones that were launched from DC-130 aircraft and recovered
in mid-air by CH-3 recovery helicopters. All Strategic Air Command
drones, six DC-130s and seven CH-3 recovery helicopters were
Jul 1971 - Selfridge AFB, Mich., is turned over by the Aerospace
Defense Command to the Air National Guard. It is the first major
active U.S. Air Force base to come under control of the Air Guard.
Jul 1974 - Aerojet-General received a follow-on contract for the
Jul 1979 - General Dynamics and Boeing began competitive tests to
determine which company would receive the air-launched cruise
Jul 1982 - At Shaw AFB, S.C., Tactical Air Command formally accepted
Jul 1985 - U.S. Air Forces in Europe activated its first ground
launched cruise missile wing, the 501st Tactical Missile Wing, at
Royal Air Force Greenham Common, England.
Jul 1985 - The 7th Bombardment Wing at Carswell AFB, Texas became
the first unit to receive the air-launched cruise missile, modified
for use on B-52H Stratofortess bombers.
Jul 1985 - A C-141 Starlifter from the 438th Military Airlift Wing
flew 39 passengers that were released from the hijacked Trans World
Airlines flight 847 on June 30 by two Shiite Muslins. These
survivors were flow from Damascus to Rhein-Main AB, Germany.
Jul 1988 - The U.S. and the Soviet Union agreed to destroy their
intermediate-range missile stockpiles in the Intermediate range
Nuclear Forces Treaty. Each side sent inspectors to conduct on-site
inspections of production facilities. During Phase I, C-5s and
C-141s flew Soviet inspectors to the U.S. and carried American
inspectors to the ports of entry in the Soviet Union to inaugurate a
Jul 1992 - Continuing reorganization, the Air Force inactivates Air
Force Logistics Command and Air Force Systems Command, replacing
them with the Air Force Materiel Command.
Jul 1993 - Twentieth Air Force, which is responsible for day-to-day
operation of the nation's ICBM force, transfers from Air Combat
Command to Air Force Space Command. Air Training Command is
re-designated the Air Education and Training Command, to which Air
University, now ceasing to be a major command, is assigned. Air
Combat Command transfers Vandenberg AFB, Calif., to U.S. Air Force
Space Command, which activates the Fourteenth Air Force to perform
missile warning, space surveillance, and launch and satellite
Jul 1994 - The Kansas Air National Guard's 184th Bomb Group became
the first guard unit to receive B-1B Lancers.
Jul 1994 - The U.S. Air Force transferred the responsibility for
intercontinental ballistic missiles from Air Combat Command to Air
Force Space Command.
Jul 1994 - During Operation Desert Storm, the last F-15E Strike
Eagle left the Persian Gulf region. The aircraft went to the area in
August 1990 at the start of Desert Shield.
Jul 1943 - Lt. Charles Hall, 99th Fighter Squadron, became the first
U.S. African American pilot to shoot down an Axis plane, a German
Focke-Wulf 190 over Sicily, Italy.
- 02 Jul 1944 - Using Fifth Air Force air support, the 158th Regimental Combat Team (Task Force Cyclone) landed on Noemfoor Island, Schouten Islands, off the north coast of Dutch New Guinea. The Royal Air Force's Number Two Works Wing started construction on Kamiri airstrip at once. The next day, 54th Troop Carrier Wing C-47s dropped the 1st Battalion, 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment over the airfield. Infantry from the 158th Royal Construction Team secured Kornasoren Airfield on July 4. The airdrome at Kamiri received its first fighter group on July 16, the Kornasoren field on July 25.
Jul 1952 - The U.S. Air Force announced that the Lockheed F-94C
Starfire was first fighter to be armed solely with rockets.
Jul 1955 - The biggest troop airlift in history to date began at
Donaldson AFB, S.C., when 3,900 paratroopers moved from the U. S. to
Japan and 3,100 from Japan to the U. S.
Jul 1964 - Strategic Air Command received its first KC-35B airborne
Jul 1964 - The final Polaris A3 missile of the program launched from
Cape Kennedy, Fla. Its 2,500 mile flight was the 41st in a program
that began in 1962.
Jul 1967 - An U.S. Air Force Titan III-C booster launched from the
Eastern Test Range inserted six satellites-three Initial Defense
Communications Satellite Program satellites, a scientific capsule, a
gravity-measuring device, and an antenna test satellite--into orbit.
These IDCSP satellites combined with 15 others launched on June 16,
1966 and Jan.18, 1967 to complete the Pacific link of the DoD's
IDCSP system. This system was designed to provide reliable,
full-time radio communications between Washington D.C. and Vietnam.
Jul 1969 - Aerospace Rescue and Recovery forces in Southeast Asia
completed their 2,500th save when they evacuated three wounded men
from the Mekong Delta.
Jul 1982 - Fairchild Republic Company selected to develop the T-46A,
next generation trainer.
- 02 Jul 1982 - A Titan II (site 570-9) belonging to the 570th Strategic Missile Squadron at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. came off alert for testing. It became the first Titan II to inactivate under a phase out program.
- 02 Jul 1984 - The inactivation of a second Titan II unit, the 381st Strategic Missile Wing at McConnell AFB, Kan. began earlier in the year. The wing's first site came off alert on July 2nd.
- 02 Jul 1987 - Rockwell international received a $155.2 million contract to build AC-130U gunships.
- 02 Jul 1993 - Air Mobility Command integrated tanker and airlift forces under 15th and 21st Air Forces.
- 02 Jul 1998 - Air Mobility Command flew 10 C-5 and two C-141 missions to assist Federal Emergency Management Agency firefighting efforts in Florida. The airlifters delivered more than 300 people and 740 tons of equipment to NAS Jacksonville and Patrick AFB, Fla. during Operation Phoenix Flame. Active duty, reserve, and guard units supported efforts to fight wildfires in about 200,000 acres of Florida.
Jul 1949 - The U.S. Air Force gave the B-29 "Enola Gay,"
the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, to the
- 03 Jul 1950 - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg ordered the 22nd Bomb Group to deploy with their B-29s to the Far East for conventional bombing operation against North Korea.
Jul 1958 - A Boeing 707 Stratoliner set a commercial speed record by
flying 1,550 miles from Mexico City to Los Angeles in three hours,
Jul 1970 - Military Airlift Command's first C-5A Galaxy, assigned to
the 437th Military Airlift Wing, left Charleston AFB, S.C., on its
first mission outside the Continental United States. The Galaxy made
a 10-day tour of Pacific Air Forces bases to provide a first-hand
explanation of its unique capabilities to MAC officers and Airmen.
The C-5A stopped at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, Andersen AB, Guam, Clark AB,
Philippines, Cam Ranh Bay, Kadena and Yokota ABs in Japan, and
Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, before returning to Charleston on July 13. In
the states, the C-5 also visited Dover and Travis AFBs, on its
Jul 1992 - The U.S. European Command launches Operation Provide
Promise to provide relief flights to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Eventually
the U.S. Air Force delivers tens of thousands of tons of food,
medical supplies, and other humanitarian cargo to Bosnia.
Jul 1996 - Majors Gavin L. Ketchen and Richard Vanderburgh from the
509th Bomb Wing flew the 12th operational B-2 Spirit from the
Northrop Grumman plant at Palmdale, Calif., to Whiteman AFB, Mo.
Jul 1952 - The first mass flight of jet fighters to be supported by
aerial refueling, as well as the first flight by large members of
jet fighters from the United States to Japan, flew westward through
July 17. In the operations, KB-29Ps provide 118 air refuelings to
the 59 F-84G Thunderjets from the 31st Fighter Expeditionary Wing at
Turner AFB, Ga. Col. David C. Schilling led the flight from Turner
on July 4 and landed at Yokota AB, Japan, on July 16 and 17. They
flew the 10,895 miles with only seven stops. The KB-29 refuelings
occurred over the U.S. and before Hawaii. Military Air
Transportation Service aircraft also carried wing support members to
Jul 1973 - An Air Force Reserve HU-16, assigned to the 301st
Aerospace Recovery Squadron at Homestead AFB, Fla., set a world's
altitude record for twin-engine amphibious aircraft. The plane flew
to 32,833 feet and exceeded the old record by 4,000 feet.
Jul 1974 - The 555th or "Triple Nickel" Tactical Fighter
Training Squadron was reassigned to Luke AFB, Ariz., and named as
the Air Force's first F-15A squadron.
Jul 1982 - The Space Shuttle Challenger flown on a modified Boeing
747 to Kennedy Space Center. Meanwhile, the Columbia made its first
landing on a concrete runway on its last test flight with nearly
500,000 spectators, including President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan.
Jul 1982 - The F-16E/XL completed its first flight at Carswell AFB,
Jul 1987 - Four U.S. Air Force crewmembers took off in a B-1B from
the Rockwell plant at Palmdale, Calif., for its initial acceptance
flight. They set a speed and payload record off the Pacific Coast by
traveling 1,080 natical miles with a 66,140-pound payload at 685
mph. Then through Sept. 17, two B-1Bs from Detachment 15, Air Force
Plant Representative Office and System Program Office set 72 world
and national speed, distance and payload records. For this
achievement, the detachment won the Mackay Trophy.
Jul 1952 - A world record of 124 parachute jumps in one day set at
Grand Prairie, Texas, by paratrooper Neal Stewart of Birmingham,
- 05 Jul 1962 - Flying from Hill AFB, Utah to Springfield, Minn., Capt Chester R. Radcliffe, Jr. piloted a H-43B Huskie to a world distance record of 900 miles.
- 05 Jul 1974 - The 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron moved without personnel or equipment from Udorn Royal Thailand Air Force Base to Luke AFB, Ariz. to become the first F-15 Eagle squadron in the U. S. Air Force.
Jul 1942 – Flying a Lockheed Vega A-29 Hudson, Lt. Harry J. Kane
of the 396th Bombardment Squadron attacked and sank a German
Submarine off Cherry Point, N.C., to make the first sure “kill”
off the Atlantic Coast of the U.S.
- 07 Jul 1955 - First test mission of Project Whoosh, which evaluated escape from high-speed aircraft at approximately Mach 2.07 Jul 1960 - Public Law 86-601 provided $311 million for airlift modernization, including an initiative to build the C-141 Starlifter.
Jul 1961 - NASA successfully fired the eight-engine Saturn SA-72 for
the second time at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville,
Ala., in a 119-second test.
Jul 1965 - Rockwell rolled out the first OV-10A Bronco at Columbus,
Jul 1971 - Strategic Air Command transferred its last C-47 Gooney
Bird" from the 97th Bombardment Wing at Blytheville AFB, Ala.,
to the USS Alabama Monument Commission.
Jul 1973 - The McDonnell-Douglas TF-15, the two-seat trainer version
of the F-15 Eagle, flew its first flight.
- 07 Jul 1985 - The first operational B-1B Lancer is accepted by Strategic Air Command and the 96th Bombardment Wing at Dyess AFB, Texas.
- 07 Jul 1987 - The 76th and last C-5A to receive stronger wings rolled out of Lockheed's Marietta plant to complete a $1.5 billion project that began in 1975.
- 07 Jul 1991 - The 436th Military Airlift Wing delivered 70 tons of food and relief supplies to N'Djamena, Chad, to help overcome a drought-induced food shortage.
- 08 Jul 1943 - Col. M.G. Grow, 8th Air Force surgeon, received the Legion of Merit for developing the flak vest.
- 08 Jul 1944 - Lt. Col. Clifford Heflin flew his C-47 on the first mission into France to rescue airmen who had parachuted behind enemy lines.
Jul 1950 - First test mission of Project Whoosh, which evaluated
escape from high-speed aircraft at approximately Mach 2.
Jul 1955 - At Hurricane, Utah, a rocket sled made the first run on
the 12,000-foot Supersonic Military Air Research Track.
Jul 1955 - The 552d Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing
activated; it is now 552d Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base,
Jul 1960 - The Congo's independence from Belgium led to civil war.
To help the Africans, the U.N. started airlift operations. Through
January 1964, Military Air Transport Service flew 2,128 missions to
move 63,798 people and 18,593 tons to cargo. On July 15, U.S. Air
Forces in Europe also began helping with the airlift operations.
Jul 1962 - From Johnston Island, a Thor intermediate range ballistic
missile carried a megaton-plus hydrogen bomb above 200 miles in
altitude. The detonation marked the highest thermonuclear blast by a
U.S. bomb, and perhaps, the highest of any nations.
Jul 1966 - From Cape Kennedy, Fla., a Minuteman II launched,
carrying the first Mark 12 Multiple Independent Reentry Vehicle.
Jul 1969 - The first of 25,000 troops to be withdrawn from Southeast
Asia under President Nixon's new policy were airlifted by C-141s
from Vietnam to McChord AFB, Wash.
Jul 1977 - Secretary of Defense Harold Brown decided to end
production of the Minuteman III.
Jul 1979 - Strategic Air Command exercised every phase of its Single
Integrated Operation Plan, short of nuclear war. The Global Shield
exercise featured full involvement by SAC's active forces and Air
Force Reserve units as most bombers, tankers, and missiles were
placed on alert. Some aircraft also dispersed to preselected bases,
while others flew sorties over radar bomb-scoring sites.
Jul 1993 - At its plant in York, England, Slingsby Aviation rolled
out the first T-3A Enhanced Flight Screener for the U.S. Air Force.
Jul 1998 - An upgraded T-38C Talon advanced trainer aircraft flew
for the first time over Mesa, Ariz. The T-38 received improved
avionics under the Avionics Upgrade Program and the Pacer Classic
initiative. The T-38C took off from the Williams Gateway Airport
Runway for a one hour, 20 minute flight with Boeing test pilot Ed
Wilson sitting in the front seat and U.S. Air Force test pilot,
Capt. John Deems, in the rear seat.
Jul 1998 - A 445th Airlift Wing C-141 aircrew from Wright-Patterson
AFB airlifted five dolphins, their handlers, and veterinarians from
NAS North Island to Palanga International Airport, Lithuania during
Exercise Baltic Challenge '98, to participate in this joint military
land and sea exercise. The dolphins found and marked mines on the
Baltic Sea floor and searched for live ordnance from World War II.
On July 20, another 445th Airlift Wing aircrew returned the dolphins