Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association





          Air Force Monthly Historical Dates

October 1st - 31st






  • 01 Oct 1947 – North American’s prototype F-86 Sabre (XP-86) first flew at Rogers Dry Lake, Calif.

•    01 Oct 1951 – The U.S. Air Force activated the 1st Pilotless Bomber Squadron at the Missile Test Center, Cocoa, Fla.

•    01 Oct 1952 – Strategic Air Command submitted a requirement for an air-launched decoy missile to defeat an enemy’s radar defenses. This action led to the development of the GAM-72A Quail missile.

  • 01 Oct 1957 – U.S. Air Force personnel launched their first intercontinental missile, the XSM-62 Snark, in a flight from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
  • 01 Oct 1960 – Strategic Air Command activated the last Atlas E squadron, the 549th Strategic Missile Squadron, at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyoming
  • 01 Oct 1961 – The last Atlas F Squadron, the 556th Strategic Missile Squadron, activated at Plattsburg AFB, N.Y. It was also the last unit activated for the Atlas program.
  • 01 Oct 1964 – Strategic Air Command phased out its Atlas-D program by taking the last missile off alert in the 549th Strategic Missile Squadron at Offutt AFB, Neb.







  • 01 Oct 1965 - First two REDHORSE Squadrons, the 554th, (Penny Short) and the 555th (Triple Nickle) were formed and activated.

  • 01 Oct 1965 – When the U.S. Air Force Aeronautical Station inactivated at Yokota AB, Japan, a 30-year era of Morse code in the U.S. Air Force came to an end. Begun in 1935 with the creation of the Aeronautical (Airways) Station-Network expanded greatly thereafter, and gradually reduced after the close of World War II, the requirement for this type of long-range communication ended with the transfer of WB-50 weather reconnaissance aircraft from Japan.

  • 01 Oct 1968 – Military Air Command moved 33,043 passengers and 3,796 tons of cargo during a four-month airlift to support Exercise Reforger/Crested Cap. The airlift moved military personnel, dependents, and equipment from Germany to the U.S.

  • 01 Oct 1969 – The C-5A Galaxy, world’s largest aircraft at the time, took off from Edwards AFB, Calif., with a 410,000 lb. payload; heaviest ever carried by any aircraft. This load was also 21,000 pounds heavier than the C-5A’s designed lift capability and 28,100 pounds heavier than the record it set on June 15th.

  • 01 Oct 1970 – Tactical Air Command made the bare-base concept a reality by establishing the first operationally-ready “heavy bare” squadron, the 336th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

  • 01 Oct 1971 - Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. John D. Ryan, presented the 1970 Cheney Award to Maj. Travis Wofford for an act of heroism performed as a helicopter pilot in Southeast Asia.

  • 01 Oct 1972 – The U.S. Air Force inactivated the last BOMARC missile squadron. These squadrons started operating in 1969.

  • 01 Oct 1977 - During Volant Oak, the Air Force began a quarterly rotation of Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-130 aircraft and crews to Howard AFB, Panama.

  • 01 Oct 1980 - Four E-3A airborne warning and control systems deployed to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to protect Saudi airspace during the Iraq-Iran war. C-141s airlifted supplies and personnel for Operation Elf One, while two KC-135s refueled the V-3s.

  • 01 Oct 1981 - Air Training Command conducted the first Euro-NATO Jet Pilot Training class at Sheppard AFB, Texas. The program provided combined pilot training for candidates from NATO nations.

  • 01 Oct 1981 - At Mather AFB, Calif., Air Training Command began a special program to train German weapons systems officers for duty in the Tornado fighter-bomber.

  • 01 Oct 1983 - The Air Force retired the B-52D from its inventory of operational aircraft. This aircraft performed most of the ARC Light bombing missions in South east Asia from 1966 through 1973.
  • 01 Oct 1984 - Peacekeeper test missile-6 launched at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
  • 01 Oct 1986 – The B-1 achieved initial operating capability at Dyess AFB, Texas.
  • 01 Oct 1987 - Pacific Air Forces retired its last T-33 two seat training aircraft. The retirement of seven T-33, at Hickam AFB, Hawaii and seven more at Clark AB, Philippines ended 32 years of operations in the command.
  • 01 Oct 1989 – Gen Hansford T. Johnson becomes the first Air Force Academy graduate to become a four-star general.

  • 01 Oct 1992 - Pacific Air Forces and the U.S. Air Forces in Europe assumed control of intra-theater aeromedical airlift forces based in their theaters of operation from Air Mobility Command.

  • 01 Oct 1999 - The U.S. Air Force deployed Aerospace Expeditionary Force 1 to Southwest Asia. It was the first AEF to deploy under a new rotational system.

  • 01 Oct 1993 – The Air Force Reserve activated its first B-52 Stratofortress unit, the 93rd Bomb Squadron, at Barksdale AFB, La.

  • 02 Oct 1944 – 1st. Lt. Valmore Beaudrault received credit for downing the first German jet destroyed by Ninth Air Force.




  • 02 Oct 1950 – During the Korean War, twenty- two B-29’s attacked a North Korean Military training area at Nanam, destroying 75% of the buildings. The 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron moved from Itazuke to Taegu to become the first U.S. Air Force day reconnaissance squadron stationed in Korea.

  • 02 Oct 1956 - For the first time, the U.S. Air Force successfully recovered a full-scale flight-test version of the XSM62 (N69D series) Snark after a flight from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

  • 02 Oct 1962 - At Vandenberg AFB, Calif., an Atlas D completed a combat training launch. The combat training launches preceded the current operational testing program. 

  • 02 Oct 1963 - The U.S. Air Force issued a requirement for the Minuteman II missile with a new, larger second stage engine, improved guidance, more range and payload and increased survivability.
  • 02 Oct 1968 – The C-9A flew its first aero-medical mission.
  • 02 Oct 1970 – The U.S. Air Force Special Operations Force at Hurlburt Field, Fla, took possession of the first Bell UH-IN Twin Huey.







•    02 Oct 1981 - President Reagan reversed several of President Carter's defense decisions to support force modernization. He planned to construct and deploy 100 B-1B aircraft, continue the air-launched cruise missile and M-X program, and develop an advanced stealth bomber. He also cancelled the horizontal multiple shelter basing scheme for the M-X in favor of basing in superhard silos.


  • 02 Oct 1991 - In the second humanitarian mission to Mongolia, the 834th Airlift Division moved 15 pallets of medical supplies and eight ambulances to Ulan Bator.

  • 02 Oct 1993 – Major earthquakes rolled through central India. Afterwards, C-5’s airlifted 1,000 rolls of plastic sheeting, 950 tents, 18,550 five-gallon water containers, 22 pallets of blankets and other relief supplies to Bombay through Oct. 4th.





  • 03 Oct 1957 – A Douglas C-124 made the first delivery for the Military Air Transport Service to McMurdo Sound, Antarctica, to support Operation Deep Freeze.
  •  03 Oct 1966 - The last Minuteman IA follow-on operational test launch occurred at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
  • 03 Oct 1967 – Maj. William J. Knight set a speed record for winged aircraft by flying the North American X-15A, number 2, to 4,520 mph (mach 6.72) and 99,000 feet over Edwards AFB, Calif. This flight broke his earlier Nov 18, 1966 record of 4,250 mph.
  • 03 Oct 1967 – At Whiteman AFB, Mo. The 351st Strategic Missile Wing became the first Minuteman unit to transition to the Minuteman II missile under the Force Modernization Program.
  • 03 Oct 1972 - At the White House, President Nixon and Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gomyko spoke about treaties to limit anti-ballistic missile systems and the other strategic arms.
  • 03 Oct 1985 - The Atlantis flew its first mission (21st Space Shuttle Program), and the second space flight solely dedicated to the DOD lasting through Oct. 7. The crew (Col. Karol Bobko, Lt. Col. Ron Grabe, Maj. William Pailes, Marine Maj. David Hilmers, and Army Lt. Col. Robert Stewart) deployed two Defense Satellite Communications System satellites.
  • 03 Oct 1989 – Lockheed delivered the 37th and last U-2R/TR-1A high-altitude reconnaissance plane to the U.S. Air Force.
  • 03 Oct 1995 - An Air Mobility Command contracted DC-8 left Robins AFB, Ga. for Hanoi with 28 tons of medical supplies for hospitals in Vietnam on the first on the first humanitarian mission to the country since the war.
  • 03 Oct 1997 - A C-141 Starlifter aircrew from the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J. airlifted 35,000 pounds of excess DOD medical supplies to Sofia, Bulgaria.





  • 04 Oct 1945 – A Douglas C-54 Skymaster from the Army’s Air Traffic Control completed the first global flight for a cargo-type aircraft by flying 23,279 miles in 149 hours, 44 minutes, including 33 hours, 21 minutes on the ground by the time it landed in Washington.

  • 04 Oct 1946 – Col. Clarence S. Irvine flew the B-29 “Pacusan Dreamboat” to a nonstop, unrefueled distance record of 9,500 miles by flying from Honolulu to Cairo, Egypt, in 39 hours, 36 minutes, lasting through October 6th. The flight path took the aircraft over Arctic regions to test crew through hazardous weather and with complicated navigation and communication problems.
  • 04 Oct 1949 – C-82’s dropped an entire field artillery battery by parachute at Fort Bragg, N.C.
  • 04 Oct 1957 – The Soviet Union launches Sputnik, the world’s first artificial space satellite.
  • 04 Oct 1959 - The Air Force successfully fired Little Joe, carrying a Mercury capsule mockup, in an operational test of launch and destruction procedures.
  • 04 Oct 1962 – The first F-4C to enter the U.S. Air Forces in Euope inventory arrived at Royal Air Force, Bentwaters, England

  • 04 Oct 1967 – Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara refused to develop the WS-120A advanced intercontinental ballistic missile; however, he directed an examination of hard rock silos for the Minuteman III.

  • 04 Oct 1974 - A C-130H aircraft, with a composite reinforced center wing, flew its first flight. Lockheed delivered the plane to the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 23, 1974.





  • 04 Oct 1983 - The 7th Bombardment Wing at Carswell AFB, Texas sent B-52D to the aircraft storage center at Davis Monthan AFB, Ariz. It was the last B-52D to be stored, however, seven other bombers remained at Carswell and Andersen AFBs, until Feb.1984 while display facilities were prepared. 

  • 04 Oct 1983 - Four CH-3 helicopters from the 302nd Special Operations Squadron rescued 57 residents from flood waters around Maricopa, Ariz. through Oct. 5.

  • 04 Oct 1989 - During Operation Deep Freeze, a C-5B landed in Antarctica for the time to resupply the National Science Foundation's research station at McMurdo Sound. The 60th Military Airlift Wing aircraft brought 84 tons of cargo, including two Bell UH-1N helicopters and 72 passengers to the station. It also landed on a 76-inch thick ice runway without skis. A KC-10 refueled the C-5 to make the trip possible.
  • 04 Oct 1989 - A 96th Bombardment Wing B-1B crew landed their aircraft successfully despite a retracted nose gear. No crewmen were injured and the aircraft only sustained minimal damage. For this achievement, the crew earned the 1989 Mackay Trophy. 
  • 04 Oct 1994 – F-16 Fighting Falcons replaced the last F-4 in the Wild Weasel mission to suppress enemy air defenses.
  • 04 Oct 1995 - Hurricane Opal damaged Eglin AFB, Fla. and Hurlburt Field, Fla. with winds over 110 mph. Most aircraft escaped by flying to other areas.

  • 05 Oct 1957 – Secretary of Defense, Charles E. Wilson, approved the first intercontinental ballistic missile initial operational capability program for four Atlas and four Titan squadrons.
  • 05 Oct 1961 – Lts. Melvin E. Pollard and Craig V. Miller completed a 17-day experiment in an 8-foot by 12-foot steel cabin in an atmosphere of almost pure oxygen. In this bio-astronautics study of mental and physical reflexes and processes, the two men alternately operated a behavior simulator control pane.

  • 05 Oct 1962 - At the Douglas Aircraft plant in Sacramento, Saturn's six engine Stage-IV made its first full-duration firing (seven minutes).

  • O5 Oct 1965 – The U.S. Air Force launched its first orbiting satellite.





  • 05 Oct 1968 – The F-111B aircraft program ended.
  •   05 Oct 1973 - Maj. Michael V. Love flew the X-24B Lifting Body on its first glide flight.

  • 06 Oct 1950 – During the Korean War, Far East Air Forces dispatched eighteen B-29’s to attack an enemy arsenal at Kan-ni, North Korea, while issuing a new interdiction plan to cancel attacks on bridges south of Pyongyang and Wonsan. The U.S. Air Force took control of Kimpo Airfield from the U.S. Marine Corps.

  • 06 Oct 1955 - DOD awarded a contract to the Glenn L. Martin Company, as primary contractor, to build a rocket for launching an earth satellite. General Electric Company subcontracted to build the rocket motor.
  • 06 Oct 1959 - From Vandenberg AFB, Calif., an Royal Air Force crew completed the first combat training launch of a Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile successfully.

  • 06 Oct 1961 - In a hardened, 165-foot deep intercontinental ballistic missile silo near Denver, the 724th Strategic Missile Squadron of Lowry AFB, Colo. received the Air Force's first Titan I missile. This silo was the first of its kind.






  • 06 Oct 1969 – With the inactivation of the 8th Tactical Bombing Squadron, it’s B-57 light bombers were ferried to the U.S. for storage. The first aircraft left Phan Rang, South Vietnam. 

  • 06 Oct 1975 - The Space and Missile Systems Organization proved the ability to launch an intercontinental ballistic missile in the air by dropping a Minuteman I from a c-5A Galaxy. The aircraft dropped the 86,000-pound missile at 20,000 feet over the Pacific Ocean, and the missile descended to 8,000 feet before its rocket engine fired. The 10-second engine burn carried the missile to 20,000 feet again before it dropped into the ocean.
  • 06 Oct 1975 - During Project Coin, C-130s delivered 7,597 tons of critical supplies and over two million gallons of petroleum products to Alaska at Point Barrow, Lonely, Okiktok and Barter Island lasting through Dec. 2. Contract aircraft flew another 453.8 tons of oversize steel pipe from Elmendorf AFB to Lonely and 2,981.5 tons of supplies from Lonely and Point Barrow.
  • 06 Oct 1983 - The 42nd Bombardment Wing at Loring AFB, Maine, reached a limited operational capability with B-52Gs and the AGM-84 Harpoon and shipping missile. The first flight tests with the Harpoon took place on March 15-28 on the Pacific Missile Test Range.
  • 06 Oct 1999 - At Grand Forks AFB, N.D. contractors imploded the first of 450 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile silos to be destroyed under the START I.

  • 07 Oct 1943 – The 422nd Bomb Squadron dispatched four aircraft on a leaflet-dropping mission over Paris to begin special operations from the United Kingdom.
  • 07 Oct 1950 – The U.S. Air Force dropped food to a group of 150 former prisoners of war, who had escaped during the North Korean retreat.
  • 07 Oct 1966 – The U.S. Air Force selects the university of Colorado to conduct independent investigations into unidentified flying object reports.
  • 07 Oct 1986 - Strategic Air Command received the last production of air-launched cruise missile from the Boeing Military Airplane Company.
  • 07 Oct 1987 - DOD awarded three contracts, at $25.5 million each, to McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, General Dynamics in Fort Worth and Rockwell's North American Aircraft in Los Angeles to build selected aircraft components for the hypersonic National Aerospace Plane.
  • 07 Oct 1996 - At Whitman AFB, Mo., two 509th Bomb Wing pilots, Capt Tony Monetti and Maj Chris Inman, flew a 34-hour long-endurance flight in the B-2 Spirit simulator.




  • 07 Oct 2001 - Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, attacks against the al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan in response to the 11 Sep 01 terrorist attacks against the United States, begins. Attacks are mounted the first night against early warning radars, ground forces, command and control facilities, al Qaeda infrastructure, and Taliban airfields.

  • 08 Oct 1940 – The Royal Air Force formed the Eagle Squadron, a Fighter Command unit composed of volunteer U.S. pilots. This group later became the U.S. 4th Fighter Group.







  • 08 Oct 1950 – During the Korean War, Two F-80’s accidentally strafed a Soviet airfield near Vladivostok on the coast northeast of the Korean border. Razon bomb missions resumed after reliable radio-guided bombs arrived from the U.S. the 162nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron moved from Itazuke to Taegu, becoming the first night reconnaissance squadron stationed in Korea.

  • 08 Oct 1955 – Maj. Arthur Murray flew the Bell X-1B on its first powered flight above Edward’s AFB, Calif.
  • 08 Oct 1956 – Since 1948, Military Air Transport Service and DOD aircraft made over 100,000 ocean crossings to carry 400,000 passengers and 700,000 tons of mail and freight to overseas bases.
  • 08 Oct 1969 – After severe flooding in Tunsia, the 58th Air Rescue and Recover Squadron, from Wheelus AB, Libya, flew relief supplies to that country lasting through Nov. 4th. Some 2,500 civilians were removed from flood-threatened areas.
  • 08 Oct 1975 - McDonnell Douglas Corporation received the contract to develop the navigation-guidance equipment for the air-launched cruise missile.
  • 08 Oct 1993 - Operation Provide Promise, the airlift of humanitarian relief supplies to Bosnia, surpasses in duration (but not in tonnage or missions) the Berlin Airlift, becoming the longest sustained relief operation in U.S. Air Force history.

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