Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 09 May 1961 - The 379th Bomb Missile Wing at Wurtsmith AFB, Mich., received Strategic Air Command's first B-52H.

  • 09 May 1969 - More than 150 Air Force Reserve aircraft from 25 units participated in Exercise Exotic Dancer II in Puerto Rico. The exercise involved more than 349 missions, carrying 1,224 tons of cargo and an airlift of 1,267 people.




  • 09 May 1978 - McDonnell Douglas delivered the 5,000th F-4 Phantom built to the Air Force.





  • 09 May 1979 - Strategic Air Command's first B-52 contingency mission to an overseas forward operating base since Vietnam occurred, when three B-52s from Dyess AFB, Texas, deployed to Royal Air Force Upper Heyford, England, for Exercises Flintlock and Dawn Patrol, though May 29.

  • 09 May 1983 - A C-141 crew from the 18th Military Airlift Squadron, at McGuire AFB, N. J., became the first all-female crew to fly a round-trip mission across the Atlantic.


  • 10 May 1955 - The U.S. Air Force issued a requirement for a surface-launched, turbojet subsonic decoy missile for the B-47 or B-52. It became the Goose missile.

  • 10 May 1961 - Maj. Elmer E. Murphy flew a B-58 from Carswell AFB, Texas, on a 30-minute, 45-second flight at 1,302 mph over a 669.4-mile closed-course. This gave the U.S. Air Force permanent possession of the Bleriot Cup given by Aero Club of France.

  • 10 May 1962 - After a three-year testing program, a U.S. Air Force BOMARC-A launched from Eglin AFB, Fla., intercepted an F-104 Starfighter drone 150 miles away.






  • 10 May 1965 - Lt. Col. James W. Wood became the first pilot to fly the variable, swept-wing F-111 at Edwards AFB, Calif.






  • 10 May 1972 - The Fairchild-Republic A-10A prototype, an entry in the U.S. Air Force's A-X competition to select a close-air-support fighter, completed its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 10 May 1972 - Operation Linebacker begins during the Vietnam War.

  • 10 May 1995 - A C-141 Starlifter from the 349th Air Mobility Wing carried a ton of medical supplies to Zaire after an outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Central Africa. A C-5 Galaxy delivered another ton of supplies to Kinshasa, Zaire, later in the month.


  • 11 May 1942 – First contingent of U.S. Army Air Forces Arrived in England to Join 8th Air Force.

  • 11 May 1949 - President Truman signed a bill to provide a 5,000-mile guided missile test range to the U. S. Air Force. The U.S. Air Force established this range at Cape Canaveral. It was designated the Atlantic Missile Range on May 1, 1958.




  • 11 May 1953 - North American's F-86H Sabre made its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.






  • 11 May 1964 - Jackie Cochran became the first woman to fly more than Mach 2, when she flew an F-104G at 1,429 mph at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 11 May 1964 - The XB-70 Valkyrie, built by North American Aviation, rolls out at Palmdale, Calif. Designed to fly three times the speed of sound and at altitudes above 70,000 feet, the 275-ton aircraft measures 185 feet in length and 105 feet in wing span.

  • 11 May 1972 - A C-5 Galaxy set a nonstop distance record from Kadena AB, Japan to Charleston AFB, S.C. The 8,019-mile flight lasted 16 hours 5 minutes.

  • 11 May 1989 - Military Airlift Command moved a brigade-size security augmentation force to Panama in 34 C-5, 39 C-141, and two commercial L-1011 missions. In all, MAC airlifted 2,679 soldiers and 2,950 tons of cargo during Operation Nimrod Dancer.

  • 11 May 1991 - In response to flooding along the Bangladesh coastline from Cyclone Marion, with its 150 mph winds and 20 foot tidal waves, Military Airlift Command dispatched 10 C-5, 14 C-141, and five C-130 missions through June 13, to deliver 738 passengers and 832 tons of food, equipment and supplies during Operation Sea Angel. A C-130 intraheater airlift delivered food from in-country depots.

  • 11 May 1994 - Thirteen C-141 missions moved 239 tons of relief supplies from Incirlik AB to Mwanza, Tanzania, in a joint Operation Provide Assistance to help over 100,000 Rwandan victims of tribal warfare. Four C-141s from the 438th Airlift Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., flew most of the missions.






  • 12 May 1949 - The Soviet Union ended the Berlin blockade; however, the airlift continued until Sept. to build up stock piles. From June 12, 1948 to May 12, 1949, U. S. Air Forces in Europe primarily used C-54 cargo aircraft (C-47s also flew from June until Sept. 30, 1948) to airlift some 1,783,000 tons of food, clothing, fuel, medical supplies and coal to the beleaguered city.




  • 12 May 1949 - The Combined Airlift Task Force (both the British and U.S. efforts) flew 277,569 missions to deliver a total of 2,325,510 tons of cargo into Berlin with coal accounting for 60 percent of the total tonnage.

  • 12 May 1950 - Capt. Chuck Yeager flew the number one Bell-X-1 research aircraft on its last flight above Edwards AFB, Calif. Film clips of the flight were used in the movie "Jet Pilot."

  • 12 May 1954 - Langley AFB, Va., received Tactical Air Command's first F-84F Thunderstreak, a fighter equipped for boom refueling.

  • 12 May 1968 - Strategic Air Command renamed Bunker Hill AFB, near Peru, Ind., Grissom AFB to honor Astronaut Virgil Grissom, who died in the Jan. 27, 1967 Apollo launch pad fire.






  • 12 May 1972 - C-130s flew 5,000 pounds of civilian-donated medical equipment from Stuttgart, Germany, to a new hospital at Sile, Turkey.

  • 12 May 1975 - The US-flagged containership Mayaguez is seized by the Cambodian Navy and its crew held. The subsequent rescue operation takes the lives of 41 US service members, including 25 airmen, but is ultimately successful in rescuing the civilian crew without any losses.


  • 13 May 1942 – The first U.S. bombardment squadron, the 15th, sent to England without aircraft. It flew the first U.S. Army Air Forces operations over Western Europe on July 4th against enemy airfields in the Netherlands.

  • 13 May 1948 - The first U.S. built two-staged rocket, the Bumper-WAC, launched from White Sands, N.M.

  • 13 May 1957 - Three U. S. Air Force F-100C Super Sabres set a distance record for single-engine jet aircraft by flying 6,710 miles from London, England, to Los Angeles in 14 hours 5 minutes.




  • 13 May 1962 - During Project Field Grass, an F-100 detachment of the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron from Clark AB, Philippines, deployed to Thailand, in response to an increasing threat on the Laotian border. On May 16, the rest of the 510th Tactical Fighter Squadron deployed to Takhli Royal Thailand Air Force Base.


  • 13 May 1967 - The 8th Tactical Fighter Wing's pilots shot down seven MiGs in a single day's action over North Vietnam for the second time.

  • 13 May 1968 - The Department of Defense called up three Air National Guard and six Air Force Reserve units with 22,000 people to extended active duty to augment regular Air Force units involved in the Vietnam War.

  • 13 May 1976 - After Typhoon Olga hit the Philippines, Air Rescue and Recovery Service helicopters saved 734 flood victims through June 1.

  • 13 May 1985 - The Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB Calif., completed its evaluation of the KC-135R Stratotanker under minimum interval takeoff conditions. The improved tanker demonstrated an ability to take off at 12-second intervals.

  • 13 May 1995 - The 931st Air Refueling Group at McConnell AFB, Kan., became the first KC-135 associate unit to fly an operational mission with an all-reserve crew. The aircraft refueled a B-2 Bomber during one of its fight tests. Previously, the reserve crews flew on active duty aircraft.

  • 14 May 1963 - The U.S. Air Forces X-21A, a twin-jet laminar flow control aircraft, flew successfully for the first time with its slit wing mechanism in operation.






  • 14 May 1969 - The U.S. Air Force Southern Command personnel began a massive campaign to combat an encephalitis epidemic in Ecuador. Two C-141s flew 50 tons of pesticide there, then two UC-123s sprayed the country's coastal marshes. The operation, called Operation Combat Mosquito, involved the U.S. Air Force, State Department and Public Health officials and successfully eradicated 95 percent of the area's mosquitoes.

  • 14 May 1970 - The Secretary of Defense ordered a halt to defoliation operations flown by the 12th Special Operations Squadron and its UC-123K aircraft at Bien Hoa AB, South Vietnam. This order ended the application of Agent Orange on Vietnam's jungles.

  • 14 May 1973 - From Kennedy Space Center, a two-stage Saturn V launched Skylab 1 into orbit, where its two Solar Array System wings failed to deploy. The Skylab was America's first manned orbiting space station.

  • 14 May 1984 - The 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing accepted its first C-12F Huron, a militarized version of Beechcraft Super King B200C, for operational support airlift missions.


  • 15 May 1942 – Interceptor and pursuit organizations of the U.S. Army Air Force re-designated “fighter.”

  • 15 May 1948 - Air Materiel Command asked Boeing to develop an American aerial fueling system, the flying boom to overcome problems with the British hose system used on B-29s. Among the deficiencies noted were slow rate of fuel flow, time-consuming contact procedures, excessive weight and space requirements and slow flying speeds during refueling.

  • 15 May 1956 - The 309th Troop Carrier Group, with C-123 aircraft, deployed to Freux, France. This was the first time this plane appeared in Europe.

  • 15 May 1959 - Military Air Transportation Service began using computer flight plans produced by the Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit at Suitland, Md. This test program became operational in the Air Weather Service on Dec. 14, 1959.

  • 15 May 1963 - After 22-orbits around the earth, Maj. L. Gordon Cooper ended a 34-hour, 20-minute flight in the Mercury capsule Faith 7 before landing in the Pacific, 80 miles southeast of Midway Island. He was the first American to orbit for more than one day and the last pilot in the Mercury series.

  • 15 May 1964 - Air Force Western Test Range activated and assigned to the National Range Division, and the Atlantic Missile Range became the Eastern Test Range.

  • 15 May 1966 - Nimbus II, the largest weather satellite yet, launched from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

  • 15 May 1977 - Secretary of Defense Harold Brown directed the Air Force to develop the extended range air-launched cruise missile-B rather than the air launched-cruise-missile-A due to a significant cost savings.

  • 15 May 1983 - The comparative flyoff between the F-16XL and F-15 in a dual-fighter role ended at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 15 May 1996 - The eleventh operational B-2 Spirit bomber arrived at Whiteman AFB for duty with the 509th Bomber Wing to mark another important milestone in the B-2 program. It was the first Block 20 series aircraft to arrive at Whiteman. The aircraft featured improvements in avionics, global positioning system aided munitions and terrain following software. The earlier Block 10 aircraft were retrofitted with those upgrades later.


  • 16 May 1940 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked for the production of 50,000 planes a year.

  • 16 May 1945 - Fighter-bombers assaulted the Ipo Dam area, Luzon, the Philippines with the largest mass employment of napalm in the Pacific War.

  • 16 May 1947 0 Over New York 101 B-29s "theoretically" dropped bombs in Strategic Air Command's first maximum effort mission.

  • 16 May 1950 - The U.S. Air Force gained full responsibility for developing and operating the joint long Range Proving Ground Division. The Division had the status of a major air command.

  • 16 May 1955 - U.S. Air Force marking approved for use on aircraft wings.

  • 16 May 1958 - Capt. Eli L. Beeding Jr became the first man to absorb 83 "Gs" in a Daisy Track experiment.

  • 16 May 1958 - Over a 10-mile level course at Edwards AFB, Calif., Capt. Walter W. Irwin flew a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter to a FAI speed record of 1,404.09 mph.

  • 16 May 1958 - The first F-101 Voodoo aircraft to reach Europe arrived at Phalsbourg AB, France.

  • 16 May 1964 - Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara accelerated the phaseout of Atlas E and Titan I missiles. His directive advanced the retirement from fiscal 1968 to fiscal 1965.

  • 16 May 1968 - Military Airlift Command airlifted 88.5 tons of food and relief material to Ethiopia in response to a flood.


  • 16 May 1978 - After Katangan rebels from Angola attacked Zaire's Shaba province, Military Airlift Command used one C-5 and 42 C-141 missions to carry 931 tons of cargo and 124 passengers to support Belgian and French operations through May 27. During Operation Zaire, for the C-5 mission, Lt. Col. Robert F. Schultz and his 436th Military Airlift Wing aircrew carried a 130,000-pound outsized load and received the Mackay Trophy for overcoming fatigue, limited en route support, crippling mechanical problems and adverse operational conditions in a hostile area.

  • 16 May 1980 - General Dynamics launched the Tomahawk ground launched-cruise missile for the first time at the Utah Test and Training Range.

  • 16 May 1984 - Military Airlift Command C-141s flew 22 tons of medical supplies to Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan.

  • 16 May 1989 - Based on deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Panama, President George H. W. Bush ordered military family members not residing on American bases to leave Panama during Operation Blade Jewel. Military Airlift Command evacuated 5,915 people, mainly on civil aircraft, to the U.S.

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