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.
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.
Jul 1989 - First flight of the B-2 bomber.
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.
Jul 1950 - The 19th Bomb Group modified a few B-29s to use
radio-guided bombs (Razon) to bomb bridges accurately.
Jul 1958 - The U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to North American's
Autonetics Division to develop an all-inertial guidance system for
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.
Jul 1967 - For the first time, an HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopter
was refueled by an HC-130 during a rescue mission.
Jul 1969 - NASA and the Air Force decided to conduct a cooperative
YF-12 flight research program.
Jul 1941 – Capt. Benjamin O. Davis reported to the Tuskegee
Institute in Alabama with 12 black aviation cadets to begin flight
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
Jul 1962 - Maj. Robert M. White received astronaut wings for flying
the X-15, a winged aircraft, into space.
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.
Jul 1973 - NASA's X-24B lifting body completed the first captive
flight on a B-52 at the Edwards AFB, Calif.
Jul 1984 - Tactical Airlift Command took possession of its first
E-3B Sentry at Tinker AFB, Okla.
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.
Jul 1969 - Apollo 11 lands on the moon. The second man on the moon
is USAF Col Buzz Aldrin.
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.
Jul 1955 - The NB-36H, with an atomic reactor, made its first flight
without activating the reactor.
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.
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.
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.
Jul 1963 - The Air Force launched its 100th Agena missile.
Jul 1963 - The United Technology Center successfully fired the Titan
III-C solid fuel rocket motor.
Jul 1964 - NASA's SERT 1 (Space Electric Rocket Test) marked the
first operation in space of an electric rocket engine.
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.
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.
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.
Jul 1974 - The Thunderbirds made their first public demonstration
with T-38 aircraft at the International Air Show at Everett, Wash.
Jul 1982 - The F-16E/XL made its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
Jul 1958 - The Boeing Vertol VZ-2A Tiltwing research aircraft
successfully transitioned from vertical to horizontal flight and
back for the first time.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
Jul 1959 - A Thor nose cone made the first known stabilized
non-tumbling flight for a reentry vehicle.
Jul 1961 - The first Atlas F to be deployed in the field arrived at
Schilling AFB, Kan. for the 550th Strategic Missile Squadron.
Jul 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson disclosed the SR-71's
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.
Jul 1973 - At Eglin AFB, Fla., the Hound Dog missile completed its
last operational test flight.
Jul 1974 - Mather AFB, Calif. received the 19th and last Boeing
T-43A aircraft delivered for undergraduate navigator training.
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.
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.
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