Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 17 Jul 1948 - With the Berlin Blockade still in effect, B-29s arrived in England for training at British bases. These were the first U.S. bombers to be based in the United Kingdom after World War II.


  • 17 Jul 1962 - Maj. Robert White flew X-15 No.3, with the XLR-99 rocket engine, on the first spaceflight by a manned aircraft. He reached a record altitude of 58.7 miles (314.750) feet above Edwards AFB, Calif. This was the first flight in which the X-15 achieved its designed altitude. Maj. White also became the first man to exceed Mach 6, when he attained 3,784 mph.


  • 17 Jul 1979 - The air-launched cruise missile test program began when General Dynamics launched its first AGM-109.








  • 17 Jul 1989 - First flight of the B-2 bomber.

  • 17 Jul 1990 - The 60th Military Airlift Wing, 62nd Military Airlift Wing and the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing delivered 582 tons of relief supplies and moved 2,475 passengers to Clark AB, Philippines after a 7.7 earthquake devastated the village of Baguio. This relief effort continued through Aug. 1.



  • 18 Jul 1950 - The 19th Bomb Group modified a few B-29s to use radio-guided bombs (Razon) to bomb bridges accurately.


  • 18 Jul 1958 - The U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to North American's Autonetics Division to develop an all-inertial guidance system for the Minuteman.


  • 18 Jul 1962 - NASA achieved a record for man-made objects in space when it launched "Big Shot." This iridized Echo-type balloon left Cape Canaveral, Fla., aboard a Thor missile. When it inflated at 922 miles in altitude, the balloon stood 13-stories tall.


  • 18 Jul 1966 - The Air Force's Cambridge Research Laboratory, sent up a balloon twice as large as any previously launched from Holloman AFB, N.M. The 456-foot diameter, 26-million-cubic-foot balloon lifted 1,700 pounds to 130,000 feet to test its equipment in rarefied air similar to that of Mars for the Voyager program.







  • 18 Jul 1967 - For the first time, an HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter was refueled by an HC-130 during a rescue mission.






  • 18 Jul 1969 - NASA and the Air Force decided to conduct a cooperative YF-12 flight research program.



  • 19 Jul 1941 – Capt. Benjamin O. Davis reported to the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama with 12 black aviation cadets to begin flight training.


  • 19 Jul 1943 - In the first raid on Rome, 700 B-17s and B-24s dropped 800 tons of bombs.


  • 19 Jul 1948 - Strategic Air Command activated the U.S. Air Force's first two air refueling squadrons, the 43rd and 509th, at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. and Roswell AFB, N.M.






  • 19 Jul 1950 - Fifth Air Force F-80s shot down three enemy Yak-9 fighters near Taejon, while seven F-80s from the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group destroyed 15 enemy airplanes on the ground near Pyongyang.




  • 19 Jul 1952 - The U.S. Air Force announced the first successful flying of balloons at controlled constant altitudes in the stratosphere for period of more than three days.


  • 19 Jul 1957 - The U.S. Air Force fires the first air-to-air nuclear defense rocket, the Douglas MB-1 Genie, from an F-89J over Yucca Flat, Nev.


  • 19 Jul 1961 - An Air Force H-43B Huskie rescue helicopter claimed two time-to-climb records: 3,000 meters in 2 minutes 44.5 seconds and 6,000 meters in six minutes 42.3 seconds.


  • 19 Jul 1962 - Maj. Robert M. White received astronaut wings for flying the X-15, a winged aircraft, into space.


  • 19 Jul 1969 - U.S. Air Force Southern Command aircraft airlifted emergency supplies in a seven-nation effort to mediate a cease-fire in a conflict between Honduras and San Salvador.


  • 19 Jul 1973 - NASA's X-24B lifting body completed the first captive flight on a B-52 at the Edwards AFB, Calif.


  • 19 Jul 1984 - Tactical Airlift Command took possession of its first E-3B Sentry at Tinker AFB, Okla.


  • 19 Jul 1986 - Twenty-four C-141 Starlifters and eight C-130 Hercules aircraft flew 32 missions through July 28 to supply 535.9 tons of donated hay to drought-stricken farmers in seven southeastern states during Operation Southern Haylift.


  • 20 Jul 1969 - Apollo 11 lands on the moon. The second man on the moon is USAF Col Buzz Aldrin.


  • 20 Jul 1950 - Fifth Air Force F-80s shot down two enemy aircraft for the last aerial victories until November, a sign that U.N. forces had attained air superiority.


  • 20 Jul 1955 - The NB-36H, with an atomic reactor, made its first flight without activating the reactor.









  • 20 Jul 1960 - A 6511th Parachute Test Group C-130 dropped 40,500 pounds of cargo by parachute to set a new world record. The group, which belonged to the Air Research and Development Command, broke an earlier record of 35,000 pounds.






  • 20 Jul 1962 - The U.S. Weather Bureau transmitted photos made by TIROS V of cloud formations west of Australia to Australia. This effort was the transmission of TIROS photos for foreign weather analysis.


  • 20 Jul 1963 - During Operation Farm Gate, Capt. Warren P. Tomsett, under hostile fire, flew his C-47, the "Extol Pink," of the 1st Air Commando Wing to evacuate wounded soldiers from Loc Ninth Laos. Capt. Tomsett and his crew (Capt. John R. Ordenann, Capt. Donald R. Mack, TSgt Edsol P. Inlow, and SSgts. Jack E. Morgan and Frank C. Barrett) later received the Mackay Trophy for 1963.


  • 20 Jul 1963 - The Air Force launched its 100th Agena missile.


  • 20 Jul 1963 - The United Technology Center successfully fired the Titan III-C solid fuel rocket motor.


  • 20 Jul 1964 - NASA's SERT 1 (Space Electric Rocket Test) marked the first operation in space of an electric rocket engine.


  • 20 Jul 1966 - During early 1966, U.S. Air Force aircraft flew over 3,000 sorties per month. With lines of communication cut or disrupted, harassed day and night, the enemy concentrated on infiltration through the demilitarized zone. This gave birth to Operation Tally Ho, which scheduled 2,600 sorties a month above the demilitarized zone against the enemy.


  • 20 Jul 1968 - The largest joint Army and Air National Guard field training exercise ever staged to this date within the CONUS began during Exercise Guard Strike II.


  • 20 Jul 1969 - Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr flew the lunar module Eagle to the Sea of Tranquility, where Armstrong took the first step on the moon.


  • 20 Jul 1970 - Electronics System Division at Hanscom Field, Mass., turned over the Compass Link photo relay system to the Air Force Communications System. Compass Link used three ground stations and two satellites to transmit exposed film from Southeast Asia to the Pentagon via electronic signals and laser beams.

  • 20 Jul 1974 - The Thunderbirds made their first public demonstration with T-38 aircraft at the International Air Show at Everett, Wash.


  • 20 Jul 1982 - The F-16E/XL made its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.


  • 20 Jul 1987 - General Dynamics delivered the first of eight F-16C/Ds to Turkey from its Fort Worth plant. The next 152 F-16s would be built in Turkey under a special licensing agreement.



  • 21 Jul 1954 - The U.S. Air Force Atlas Scientific Advisory Committee recommended the development of a second intercontinental ballistic missile airframe. This suggestion led to the development of the Titan missile.


  • 21 Jul 1961 - America's second Project Mercury astronaut, Capt. Virgil I. Grissom, attains an altitude of 118 miles and flies 5,310 mph in a 303-mile sub-orbital space flight from Cape Canaveral in the Liberty Bell 7 capsule.




  • 21 Jul 1972 - Pacific Air Forces airlifted 2,000 tons of food, medical supplies and other relief supplies to Luzon through Aug. 15 for flood victims in the Philippines. C-130s, and H-3 and H-43 helicopters airlifted more than 1,500 passengers, disaster relief teams and medical evacuees.

  • 21 Jul 1976 - To support an earthquake disaster relief operation, two C-130s airlifted 20.5 tons of tents, cots and blankets from Andersen AFB, Guam to Sentani Airport, Indonesia through July 23. A C-141 transported 400 tents from Singapore to Bali International Airport.


  • 22 Jul 1940 – Radar used for the first time in shooting down an enemy bomber.





  • 22 Jul 1944 - Fifteenth Air Force made the first all-fighter unit shuttle raid in Europe from Italy with 76 P-38 Lightnings and 58 Mustangs. They hit German air bases in Rumania at Buzau and Zilistea, hear Ploesti and landed at Russian bases.


  • 22 Jul 1948 - Three B-29s from the 43rd Bomb Group at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., flew around the world. Lt. Col. R. W. Kline's "Gas Gobbler" and 1st Lt. A. M. Neal's "Lucky Lady," completed the flight on Aug 6, a 20,000-mile in 103 hours, 50 minutes, The third aircraft crashed into the Arabian Sea.


  • 22 Jul 1948 - Military Air Transportation Service deployed men and equipment to establish an Airlift Task Force in Germany to relieve Berlin. Maj. Gen. William H. Tunner commanded the Task Force operations under U.S. Air Forces in Europe's operational control.


  • 22 Jul 1960 - NASA launched its Iris sounding rocket for the first time. The rocket lifted a 100-pound package from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to an altitude of 140 miles.


  • 22 Jul 1966 - The YF-12A Test Force received the Mackay Trophy from Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. McConnell, at Edwards AFB, Calif., for flights on May 1, 1965 that set nine world speed and altitude records.


  • 22 Jul 1971 - The short range attack missile completed its flight test program successfully. The program included 38 test flights over the White Sands Missile Test Range, N.M.


  • 22 Jul 1987 - Strategic Air Command provided KC-10s and KC-135s support to Navy fighters during Operation Ernest Will over the Persian Gulf. The aircraft protected Kuwati convoys from Iranian attack during the war between Iran and Iraq. Additionally, U. S. Air Force E-3 airborne warning and control system jointed C-5s and C-141s in supporting this operation.


  • 22 Jul 1991 - A 445th Military Airlift Wing C-141 delivered nearly 20 tons of medical supplies to Ulan Bator, Mongolia to overcome a critical shortage. This mission was the first U.S. Air Force flight to Mongolia.






  • 23 Jul 1956 - At Edwards AFB, Calif., Lt. Col. Frank K. "Pete" Everest flew the Bell-X-2 at a record speed of Mach 2.87, over 1,900 mph.




  • 23 Jul 1958 - The Boeing Vertol VZ-2A Tiltwing research aircraft successfully transitioned from vertical to horizontal flight and back for the first time.


  • 23 Jul 1959 - A Boeing 707 flew the first commercial flight from New York to Moscow. The eight-hour, 54-minute flight time broke the record for the 5,090-mile flight of 11 hours, six minutes made a few days earlier by a Russian TU-114.


  • 23 Jul 1970 - McDonnell-Douglas DC-10, first wide-bodied trijet transport, rolled out at Long Beach, Calif.


  • 23 Jul 1995 - To ease economic suffering in Byelorussia, a 433rd Airlift Wing C-5 Galaxy airlifted in 28 pallets of medical supplies, blankets, clothes, furniture and a military ambulance.




  • 23 Jul 1999 - The Space Shuttle Columbia flew a mission to deploy a new satellite, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory to watch X-rays from high-energy regions of the universe lasting through July 27. In the mission, Col. Eileen Collins, the first female pilot of a space shuttle, became the first female commander of a space shuttle mission.



  • 24 Jul 1943 - Eighth Air Force sent 167 heavy bombers on a raid against the nitrate works at Heraya, Norway. This was the Eighth's first mission to Norway and its longest (1,900 miles roundtrip) to date.


  • 24 Jul 1950 - First missile launched from the Joint Long Range Proving Grounds at Cape Canaveral, Fla., down the Atlantic Missile Range. It had a German V-2 as its first stage and a WAC Corporal as a second stage booster.


  • 24 Jul 1959 - A Thor nose cone made the first known stabilized non-tumbling flight for a reentry vehicle.


  • 24 Jul 1961 - The first Atlas F to be deployed in the field arrived at Schilling AFB, Kan. for the 550th Strategic Missile Squadron.


  • 24 Jul 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson disclosed the SR-71's development.


  • 24 Jul 1965 - The 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron lost an aircraft in Southeast Asia due to a surface-to-air missile attack. It was the first aircraft lost in the Vietnam conflict.


  • 24 Jul 1970 - The C-5A Galaxy flew its first flight from the U.S. to Europe, from Charleston AFB, S.C., to Dover AFB, Del. to Rhein-Main AB, Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, and Torrejon AB, Spain.

24 Jul 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson disclosed the SR-71's development.




  • 24 Jul 1970 - Pacific Air Forces inactivated the 509th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron at Clark AB, Philippines and its detachments in Tainan, Taiwan, and Don Muang Airport in Bangkok, Thailand. The 509th's F-102 fighters were flown to Itazike to be scrapped because it cost less to salvage the planes than it did to ship them back to the states.

  • 24 Jul 1973 - At Eglin AFB, Fla., the Hound Dog missile completed its last operational test flight.


  • 24 Jul 1974 - Mather AFB, Calif. received the 19th and last Boeing T-43A aircraft delivered for undergraduate navigator training.


  • 24 Jul 1983 - Two U.S. Air Force UH-1 helicopters moved medical personnel and 10 tons of food and medical supplies to aid victims of a flood in western Ecuador lasting through Aug.6.


  • 24 Jul 1990 - With the termination of the Cold War, the landing of Strategic Air Command's Boeing EC-135 Looking Glass Airborne Command Post at Offutt AFB, Neb., ended 29 years of continuous operation with more than 250 million miles of accident-free flying.


  • 24 Jul 1994 - U.S. Air Force airlift aircraft started flying relief supplies to Rwandan refugees in Zaire after President Bill Clinton directed "an immediate and massive increase" in U.S. relief efforts to assist Rwandan refugees during Operation Support Hope. Through Sept. 11, Air Mobility Command flew 700 airlift missions to transport over 11,000 passengers and 23,000 short tons. Nearly 400 KC-135 missions refueled the C-5s and C-141s while KC-10s flew several dozen missions to ferry fuel from Harare, Zimbabwe, to Entebbe.


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