Jul 1944 - During an attack on Ploesti oil refineries in Romania,
Lt. Donald D. Pucket's B-24 received heavy and direct hits. He
turned over controls of his bomber to the copilot to administer
first aid and survey the damage. Although he jettisoned all the guns
and equipment possible, the plane continued to lose altitude.
Lieutenant Pucket ordered his crew to abandon ship, but three men
refused. Therefore, he tried to control the plane. A few moments
later, the flaming bomber crashed on a mountainside. For his courage
and supreme sacrifice, Lieutenant Pucket received the Medal of
- 09 Jul 1958 - The Air Forces' Thor-Able reentry vehicle, in its first test at intercontinental ballistic missile range and velocity, carried a mouse 6,000 miles over the Atlantic from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to the Ascension Islands.
Jul 1959 - The last C-45 aircraft were phased out of Tactical Air
Jul 1965 - The XC-142 Tiltwing vertical/short take-off and landing
transport flew from the Ling-Temco plant in Dallas to Edwards AFB,
- 09 Jul 1966 - The F-111 Aardvark variable-sweep-wing fighter-bomber flies for the first time at Mach 2.5-about 1,800 mph. Officials call the performance the highlight in the F-111 flight-test development program.
- 10 Jul 1943 - Allied airborne troops landed at Gela and Syracuse, Sicily, in the first large-scale airborne operation attempted by the allies in World War II.
Jul 1950 - Fifth Air Force started using T-6 trainers for the
forward air control mission because the liaison aircraft were too
slow to evade enemy fire. When an enemy convoy stopped at a
bombed-out bridge near Pyongtaek, F-80s, B-26s and F-82s attacked
and claimed the destruction of 117 trucks, 38 tanks and seven
Jul 1959 - The first Red Richard unit relocation began. This program
withdrew atomic-capable U. S. Air Forces in Europe units from
Jul 1961 - The Air Force conducted a test to see how far a pilot
could fly using radar naviation under simulated combat conditions.
For this test, an F-105D flew a 1,520-mile nonstop blind flight at
altitudes between 500 and 1,000 feet.
Jul 1965 - Scoring the first U.S. Air Force air-to-air combat
victory in Southeast Asia, two F-4C aircrews of the 45th Tactical
Fighter Squadron down two communist MiG-17 jet fighters over North
Jul 1969 - The U.S. Air Force completed a $52 million airbase at Tuy
Hoa, Vietnam, in one year. It was the first base to be designed and
built completely under Air Force supervision in Project Turn Key.
Jul 1971 - The Aeronautical Systems Division announced a decision to
proceed with the full-scale development of the Subsonic Cruise Armed
Jul 1979 - During the annual Exercise Global Shield, Strategic Air
Command launched two Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic
missiles from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. One mission, Glory Trip 40GM,
was the last Phase I Minuteman III flight test.
Jul 1980 - Twelve F-4Es flew from Moody AFB, Ga. to Cairo to
participate in the Exercise Proud Phantom lasting through Oct. 3. It
was the U.S. Air Force's first tactical deployment to Egypt. This
exercise lasted through Oct. 3rd.
- 10 Jul 1998 - Col. Teresa M. Peterson became the first active-duty woman to command an operational flying wing when she assumed leadership of the 14th Flying Training Wing at Columbus AFB, Miss.
Jul 1958 - Tactical Air Command's first KB-50 tanker arrived at
Langley AFB, Va.
Jul 1958 - A K-135 Stratotanker completed the first nonstop flight
from Washington, D.C. to Honolulu. It covered 5,000 miles in 11
hours, eight minutes.
Jul 1962 - The U.S. Air Force launched the second Titan II from Cape
Canaveral, Fla. It flew 5,000 miles down the Atlantic Missile Range.
Jul 1963 - When Strategic Air Command accepted three Blue Scout
Junior launch sites at Wisner, West Point, and Tekanah, Neb., the
Emergency Rocket Communications System became operational.
Jul 1971 - In a joint operation with the U.S. Department of
Agriculture, seven UC-123Ks from Langley AFB, Va., and Hurlburt
Field, Fla. and eight C-47s from England AFB, La., sprayed Malathion
on more than 2.5 million acres in southeast Texas to combat
Venezuelan Equine Encephalomyelitis.
Jul 1972 - The U.S. Air Force launches a giant 962-foot-tall balloon
system in support of NASA's Viking Project for landing an unmanned
spacecraft on Mars in 1976.
Jul 1975 - The 550th Minuteman II became operational with the 341st
Strategic Missile Wing at Malmstrom AFB, Mont., to give the Air
Force a force mix of 450 Minuteman II/550 Minuteman III missiles.
Jul 1993 - After one of the worst floods in American history covered
16,000 square miles in eight Midwestern states near the Mississippi
and Missouri Rivers, 20 C-5 and C-141 missions airlifted 800 tons of
relief equipment, supplies, and water purification systems to the
Jul 1999 - A C-141 from the 62nd Airlift Wing at McChord AFB, Wash.
and a KC-135 (Hawaii Air National Guard) left Christchurch, New
Zealand, on a 6,375-mile round trip journey to the South Pole. The
C-141 airdropped emergency medical supplies near the Amundsen-Scott
South Pole Station to support the diagnosis and treatment of a
physician who had discovered a lump in her breast. The continual
darkness and extreme cold of the Antarctic winter prevented her
evacuation until Oct. 16, when a ski-equipped LC-130 from 109th
Airlift Wing from Schenectady Airport, N.Y., made the trip.
Jul 1944 - The U.S. Tactical Force launched Operation Mallery Major
in perfect weather to destroy bridges over the Po River on the
- 12 Jul 1950 - The 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., received Strategic Air Command's first RB-50, a B-model configured for reconnaissance.
Jul 1950 - Four Military Air Transport Service airplanes flew from
the U.S. to Japan with 58 3.5 inch bazookas and shaped charges to
use against North Korea tanks. North Korean fighters shot down a
B-29, a B-26 and an L-4 for their first aerial victories. The 92nd
Bomb Group, flying from its first mission from Yokota AB, Japan,
bombed the Seoul marshaling yards.
Jul 1955 - The Air Force issued its operational requirement for the
Atlas and Titan intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Jul 1957 - The U. S. Air Force cancelled the Navaho program. The
Navaho provided technologies for other missiles; the Atlas and Thor
used a modified Navaho booster, and the Hound Dog, Polaris and
Minuteman missiles used its inertial guidance system.
Jul 1961 - Midas III, a 3,500-pound infrared missile-scanning
satellite went into a near-circular polar orbit from Point Arguello,
Calif. With a "kick-in-the-apogee" technique, scientists
maneuvered it from an elliptical orbit into a high circular orbit.
It was the heaviest object orbited by the U.S. to date.
Jul 1978 - The U.S. Air Force retired its last Boeing KC-97L
Stratofreighter to the Military Aircraft Storage and Disposition
Center at Davis-Monthan, Ariz.
Jul 1980 - The McDonnell-Douglas KC-10 tanker-cargo aircraft made
its first flight.
Jul 1981 - Tactical Airlift Command retired the last CH-21B in the
Air Force inventory.
Jul 1987 - At Sacramento, Aerojet General conducted the first
full-duration firing of a Titan IV first stage engine. During the
test, the engine burned for 200 seconds and generated 500,000 pounds
Jul 1990 - The U.S. Air Force accepts delivery of the last of 59
Lockheed F-117A Stealth fighter-bombers.
Jul 1997 - From Edwards AFB, Calif., a Northrop Grumman crew
launched a BQM-74 Chukar jet-propelled drone remote piloted vehicle
to test its new Jet Assisted Take-off unit. It was designed as a
high speed aerial target and used as a decoy over hostile territory.
Jul 1945 - The first of three Consolidated Vultee rocket research
test vehicles built under a cancelled research contract with the
U.S. Army Air Force launched successfully.
Jul 1950 - An Air Weather Service RB-29 piloted by 1st Lt. Fred
Spies led the first strategic bombing strike from Japan against
North Korea. The Far East Air Force Bomber Command sent 49 B-29s
from the 22nd Bomb Wing and 92nd Bomb Group to attack oil refineries
and marshalling yards at the port of Wonsan.
Jul 1950 - The 3rd Air Refueling Squadron began flying SB-17s off
the Korean coast to drop rescue boats to downed B-29 crews.
Jul 1965 - Strategic Air Command issued a requirement for a mobile
intercontinental ballistic missile.
- 13 Jul 1967 - Nine Air Force, eight Navy, and one Marine astronaut received distinguished flying crosses for their Mercury and Gemini space flights.
Jul 1968 - An FB-111A bomber successfully completed a 30-minute
maiden flight from Carswell AFB, Texas.
- 13 Jul 1972 - At Eglin AFB, Fla., the GAM-72A Quail missile completed its last operational test in an overwater flight.
Jul 1948 - In the first West-East transatlantic flight of jets, 16
F-80s flew from Selfridge Field, Mich. to Scotland through July 20.
The trip across the Atlantic took nine hours, 20 minutes.
Jul 1950 - The 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group moved from Japan to a
new airfield at Pohang, thus becoming the first U.S. Air Force
fighter group to be based in South Korea during the war. The 6132nd
Tactical Air Control Squadron, the first tactical air control unit
in the war, activated at Taegu, AB to provide forward, ground-based
air control for aircraft providing close air support of U.N. forces.
Jul 1951 - Boeing delivered the first KC-97E tanker to Strategic Air
Command's 306th Air Refueling Squadron at MacDill AFB, Fla.
Jul 1960 - The Congo airlift started from Evreus, France during
Jul 1970 - The C-5A Galaxy completed its first transpacific flight
of 21,500 miles, inaugurating service to Hickam AFB, Hawaii,
Andersen AFB, Guam, Clark AFB, Philippines and Kadena AFB, Japan.
Jul 1974 - Gen. Carl "Tooey" Spaatz, the first Chief of
Staff, died at Walter Reed General Hospital at the age of 83.
Jul 1980 - From Vandenberg AFB, Calif., the 394th Intercontinental
Ballistic Missile Test Maintenance Squadron launched the last Block
5D-1 Defense Meteorological Satellite. A Thor booster failed to
place it in orbit.
Jul 1950 - The 51st Fighter Squadron at Taegu flew the first F-51
Mustang combat missions in Korea. Fifth Air Force assigned the
"Mosquito" call signs to airborne controllers in T-6
aircraft. This name later became the aircraft's identifier.
- 15 Jul 1954 - The first jet-powered transport built in the U.S., the Boeing 707, the prototype for the KC-135 Stratotanker and the commercial Stratoliner, underwent flight testing near Seattle.
- 15 Jul 1961 - The first Minuteman I missile wing was activated at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.
Jul 1970 - Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard approved the
Subsonic Cruise Aircraft Decoy for development.
Jul 1973 - During the last combat mission and Vietnam Summary, all
U.S. bombing in Cambodia ended after eight years of conventional
operations in Southeast Asia. An A-7D from 354th Tactical Fighter
Wing flew the last combat mission in Southeast Asia. Altogether, the
U.S. Air Force flew 5.25 million sorties over South Vietnam, North
Vietnam, northern and southern Laos, and Cambodia.
Jul 1973 - During the Vietnam War, tactical or intratheater aircraft
carried seven million tons of passengers and cargo between
Jul 1973 - The Air Force Reserve made valuable contributions to
strategic airlift operation during the last Vietnam combat mission.
By October 1972, reserve aircrews had made 1,294 trips to Vietnam,
delivering 30,434 tons of cargo and 3,600 personnel. Between 1964
and mid-August 1973, air rescue operations in Southeast Asia saved
3,883 lives. And from June 9, 1964 through August 15, 1973, KC-135s
flew 194,687 sorties to supply 8,964 millions pounds of fuel during
813,878 refuelings. They also routinely airlifted people, equipment,
and aircraft parts between the U.S. forward bases, and bases in the
Far East and Southeast Asia.
Jul 1973 - During the last Vietnam combat mission, the U.S. Air
Force lost 2,251 planes--1,737 to hostile action and 514 for
operational reasons--at a cost of $3,129,948,000.
Jul 1981 - The first TR-1, a high-altitude tactical reconnaissance
aircraft rolled out at Lockheed's plant in Palmdale, Calif.
Jul 1982 - Strategic Air Command launched its 1,500 missile from
Vandenberg AFB, Calif.
Jul 1940 – First bombardment training in Air Corps Schools began
at Lowry Field, CO., with the first class of bombardier instructors.
- 16 Jul 1945 - First atomic bomb, called the "Gadget," exploded at the Trinity Site near Alamogordo, N.M. This bomb had a yield of 19 kilotons. It was the prototype for the "Fat Man" bomb used against Japan.
Jul 1953 - Lt Col. William F. Barnes flew a F-86D Sabre over a
three-kilometer (1.86 miles) course at Salton Sea, Calif., to a
world speed record of 715.74 mph.
Jul 1965 - Rockwell's OV-10A counterinsurgency aircraft flew its
first test flight at company plant in Columbus, Ohio.
Jul 1971 - Jeanne M. Holm, director of Women in the Air Force,
became the first woman promoted to brigadier general.