Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association







  • 17 May 1942 – Igor I. Sikorsky and Les Morris flew the Sikorsky XR-4 to Wright Field, Ohio to deliver the Army’s first helicopter.


  • 17 May 1990 - Col. Frank Birk and Leroy Schroeder flew Northrop's B-2A on a six hour, 36 minute test flight above Edwards AFB, Calif. The bomber completed several performance tests and three air refuelings in the test.

  • 17 May 1990 - A Military Airlift Command C-141 airlifted a Soviet SS-20 intermediate range nuclear missile to Andrews AFB, Md. for display at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. In exchange, a 438th Military Airlift Wing crew and aircraft from McGuire AFB, N.J., transported a Pershing II missile to the Shermetyevo Airport near Moscow.

  • 17 May 1993 - Nine C-9 Galaxies and 15 C-141 Starlifter missions moved 254 U.N. troops and 326 tons of equipment to Cambodia through May 29, to supervise that country's first free elections in 40 years. Three tankers from Pacific Air Forces provided refueling to the C-5s flying from Nambia to Cambodia.


  • 18 May 1942 – During Third Army maneuvers at Barksdale Field, La., 320 Army aircraft demonstrated complete military maneuvers that simulated European combat operations.

  • 18 May 1953 - Jacqueline Cochran, flying a Canadian-built F-86 Sabre at Edwards AFB, Calif., became the first woman to fly faster than sound. She averaged 652,337 mph on a 100-kilometer closed-course to earn the women's jet speed record.

  • 18 May 1953 - Capt. Joseph C. McConnell Jr, shot down his 16th enemy aircraft in the Korean War to become its top ace.





  • 18 May 1955 - Leading four F-84 Thunderjets, Col. Harold M. McClelland set a nonstop record for single engine jets by flying 4,840 miles from Yokota AB, Japan to Williamstown, Australia, in 12 hours 10 minutes.





  • 18 May 1958 - The U.S. recovered its first full-scale ablative-type nose come from the Atlantic Ocean. It was launched from Cape Canaveral on a Jupiter missile.

  • 18 May 1964 - Jacqueline Cochran set a speed record for women: 1,429 mph at 37,000 in altitude, in an F-104G at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 18 May 1973 - Lockheed-Georgia delivered the last production-model C-5A aircraft, No. 81, to Military Airlift Command at Dover, AFB, Del.

  • 18 May 1980 - After Mount St. Helens erupted, a C-141 from the 63rd Military Airlift Wing at Norton AFB, Calif., and a C-130 from the 62nd Military Airlift Wing at McChord AFB, Wash., flew above the stricken area to provide communications for rescue aircraft. The U.S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center at Scott AFB, Ill., managed 568 sorties by the Air Rescue and Recovery Service, Coast Guard, Civil Air Patrol, and Army aircraft though June 5 that saved 101 lives. SR-71 aircraft conducted photo reconnaissance sorties to aid rescue and recovery operations.

  • 18 May 1992 - A production C-17 Globemaster III flew for the first time in a flight from Long Beach to the test facility at Edwards AFB, Calif.


  • 19 May 1961 - The first Titan I arrived at Lowry AFB, Colo.

  • 19 May 1963 - On a nonstop from Washington, D.C. to a Moscow flight , the U. S. presidential aircraft, a Boeing 707-320B, with Col. James B. Swindal at the controls, set 15 nonstop FAI records in flying the 5,004-mile route in eight hours 39 minutes 2 seconds. On the return flight, Colonel Swindal and his crew set another 15 FAI records on the Moscow to Washington trip, flying an average speed of 490.96 mph.

  • 19 May 1965 - The U.S. Air Force used a single Thor-Agena rocket to launch simultaneously eight separate satellite vehicles from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. This was the greatest number of satellites the U.S. had ever launched on a single vehicle.

  • 19 May 1970 - Apollo XI crew (Astronauts Michael Collins, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr) received the Harmon Trophy for outstanding scientific and technological accomplishments in achieving the first landing of man on the moon.

  • 19 May 1977 - Capt. James W. Yule, a B-52 instructor pilot, received the Mackay Trophy for gallantry and unusual presence of mind during an in-flight emergency.

  • 19 May 1980 - The Air Force launched its first Tomahawk ground-launched cruise missile at the Utah Test and Training Range.

  • 19 May 1987 - The U. S. Air Forces in Europe units participated in the largest multiwing, multinational, composite force exercise Hammer 87-1 in Europe since World War II.






  • 20 May 1951 - In a F-86 Sabre, Capt James Jabara from the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron became the world's first jet ace. He shot down his fifth and sixth MiG-15s in the Korean War.

  • 20 May 1954 - The first Matador surface-to-surface guided missile arrived in the European theater.

  • 20 May 1960 - From Cape Canaveral, Fla., the U.S. Air Force launched a Convair HGM-16 Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile with a 1.5-ton payload to a target 9, 040 miles away in the Indian Ocean. This feat represented the greatest distance traveled by an ICBM to date.

  • 20 May 1966 - The North American Aerospace Defense Command Attack Warning System became operational.

  • 20 May 1970 - An FB-111 launched a short range attack missile successfully for the first time at the White Sands Missile Range, N. M.

  • 20 May 1978 - McDonnell Douglas delivered its 5,000th F-4 Phantom to the services.

  • 20 May 1983 - The 18th Military Airlift Squadron at McGuire AFB, N.J., sent a C-141 with an all-female crew on a round-trip flight across the Atlantic. They became the first all-woman crew to make that flight.




  • 21 May 1949 - Capt. Hubert D. Gaddis, flying a Sikorsky S-52-1 helicopter, set an international and U. S. altitude record of 21,220 feet at Bridgeport, Conn.

  • 21 May 1955 - In his F-86 Sabre, Lt. John M. Conroy, of the Air National Guard made the first dawn-to-dusk round trip transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to New York and back in 11 hours 18 minutes 27 seconds by averaging a FAI record 432.6 mph. Returning, he also set a New York to Los Angeles record of four hours 24 minutes for the 2,446-mile flight.

  • 21 May 1956 - On Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, Maj. David Crichlow flew a B-52 bomber to nearly 50,000 feet and dropped an H-bomb during Operation Redwing. This was the first known air-borne-dropped H-bomb to explode.

  • 21 May 1957 - Maj. Robinson Risner flew Lindbergh's transatlantic route with a F-100 in six hours 40 minutes (as compared to 33.5 hours).

  • 21 May 1958 - The U.S. Air Force announced the first site for the Titan I intercontinental ballistic missile would be at Lowry Range near Denver, Colo.

  • 21 May 1959 - The Air Force recovered a Thor-Able nose cone after a 6,000-mile flight over the Atlantic from Cape Canaveral.

  • 21 May 1959 - Test pilot Maj. Robert C. Ferry flew Bell Aircraft's XV-3 Converti- plane on its first flight for the U.S. Air Force.

  • 21 May 1960 - At Eglin AFB, Fla., the Air Force retired the last World War II B-25 Mitchell medium bomber from its active inventory. It was a VB-25J model that flew staff support missions.

  • 21 May 1966 - The 1370th Photo Mapping Wing retired the U.S. Air Force's last RB-50.

  • 21 May 1969 - The C-5A Galaxy became the heaviest aircraft flown to date in a flight from Dobbins AFB, Ga., with a 728,100-pound takeoff weight. This exceeded the C-5s designed gross weight takeoff load by 100 pounds.

  • 21 May 1973 - Maj. Herbert K. Fisher was the first U.S. Air Force officer to enter a Pilot Requalification Program for former prisoners of war.

  • 21 May 1984 - The 390th Strategic Missile Wing at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., took its last Titan II site off alert.


  • 22 May 1941 – The Curtiss Hawk 87A Warhawk first flew.

  • 22 May 1952 - An Air Force Aerobee rocket carried two monkeys and two mice to a height of about 38 miles. These astronauts returned to Earth safely.

  • 22 May 1964 - To combat the effects of the volcanic eruptions of Mount Irazu in Costa Rica, eight C-133s and five C-124s airlifted flood control equipment and personnel lasting through June 5.

  • 22 May 1967 - Two F-111As showed their long-range capabilities by flying from the U.S. to Europe without refueling or external tanks.

  • 22 May 1976 - After Typhoon Pamela struck Guam, Military Airlift Command airlifted engineering repair teams and 2,650 tons of cargo, including generators, vans, utility vehicles, and communications equipment to Andersen AFB, Guam, in 24 C-5, 83 C-141, three C-130 and one commercial missions.




  • 22 May 1990 - McDonnell Douglas pilot Larry Walker and Maj. Erwin Jenschke landed the NF-15B STOL Maneuvering Technology Demonstrator in 1,650 feet at Edwards AFB, Calif. The Pratt and Whitney two-dimensional, thrust-reversing engine nozzles were used to stop the aircraft.


  • 23 May 1948 - At Aberdeen, Md., the Army announced the dedication of the first continuous wind tunnel capable of 3,000 mph winds.

  • 23 May 1960 - The U.S. Air Force initiated a large humanitarian airlift to aid earthquake victims in Chile during Operation Amigos. In the next month, airlifters carried 1,000 tons of relief supplies and equipment to the stricken area.

  • 23 May 1968 - An 8th Tactical Fighter Wing Squadron used a Paveway Laser Guided Bomb in combat for the first time. Modified F-4Ds, fitted with laser illuminators, designated target for the strike.

  • 23 May 1969 - In its final research and development test launch from Cape Kennedy, Fla., a Titan IIIC placed two Vela nuclear detection satellites in orbit. The Titan also put three Orbiting Vehicle Program satellites in orbit to gather environmental data in deep space.

  • 23 May 1997 - The 509th Bomb Wing completed the longest B-2 global power mission to date. The 29.9-hour, record-setting flight started from and returned to Whiteman AFB, Mo. It featured a stop at Royal Air Force Mildenhall and simulated bomb runs over mid-America.

  • 23 May 1999 - NATO began a bombing campaign of the Yugoslav electricity grid, creating a major disruption of power affecting many military related activities and water supplies.


  • 24 May 1948 - Jacqueline Cochran set a world speed record of 432 mph for propeller-driven planes over a 1,000-kilometer (620-mile) closed circuit course.

  • 24 May 1963 - The Air Force decided to phase out Atlas E, Atlas F and Titan I missiles between 1965 and 1968.

  • 24 May 1963 - From Vandenberg AFB, Calif., the first successful Minuteman IB launch occurred.

  • 24 May 1972 - President Richard M. Nixon and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics Premier Aleksei N. Kosygin in Moscow signed an Agreement Concerning Cooperation in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes.

  • 24 May 1994 - The C-17 Globemaster flew across the Atlantic for the first time.

  • 24 May 1996 - The Air Force decided to upgrade the original B-2 flight test vehicle to operational status and thus bring the operational B-2 fleet to 21 aircraft. The upgrade included new landing gear, a new avionics suite and modifications to the aircraft structure, fuel system and weapons bay doors.


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