Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association


  • 25 Dec 1949 - The U.S. Air Force revealed the development of Stupalith, a ceramic that contracted when heated and expanded when cooled. It also withstood up to 2,000 degrees and would be used on jet and rocket engines.

  • 26 Dec 1943 - The pre-invasion bombing of Cape Gloucester, New Britain, destroyed all enemy defenses. Afterwards, Fifth Air Force described the complete destruction of a target as "Gloucesterizing."

  • 26 Dec 1944 - Maj. Thomas B. McGuire, Jr., received 38 aerial victories by shooting down four enemy planes. That total made Major McGuire the second leading ace in World War II. He died in combat 12 days later.








  • 26 Dec 1956 - The Convair F-106 Delta Dart's first flight occurred at Edwards AFB, Calif.





  • 27 Dec 1942 - Flying his P-38 Lightning against the Japanese in the Pacific, 2nd Lt. Richard I. Bong scored his first two aerial victories. He later became the top ace in the war.
  • 27 Dec 1955 - Douglas Aircraft Company received a contract for the Thor intermediate-range ballistic missile's airframe. 





  • 27 Dec 1970 - The 374th Tactical Airlift Wing flew the last C-130A mission in South Vietnam.  The mission recovered at Naha AB, Okinawa, on Dec. 28th.  Thereafter, the Military Assistance Command's (Vietnam) airlift structure no longer included C-130As.






  • 27 Dec 1989 - Military Airlift Command began flying humanitarian assistance mission to Panama during Operation Just Cause.
  • 28 Dec 1943 - VIII Bomber Command formed a "Radio Countermeasure Unit," with 24 specially-equipped heavy bombers to support bombing missions.

  • 29 Dec 1942 - The U.S. Army Air Forces and private airlines of the nation jointly received the Collier Trophy.

  • 29 Dec 1948 - Defense Secretary Forrestal announced that the U.S. was working on an "Earth satellite vehicle program," to study the operation of guided rockets beyond the earth's pull of gravity.

  • 29 Dec 1949 - Jacqueline Cochran set a 436,995 mph international record for 500 kilometers (310.685 miles) in an F-51 without payload at the Mount Wilson Course.
  • 29 Dec 1950 - During the Korean War, from Taegu, South Korea, RF-51 aircraft began flying tactical reconnaissance missions in Korea for the first time.  They had longer ranges than their RF-80 predecessors.

  • 29 Dec 1966 - The National Hall of Fame in Dayton accepted six inductees (all deceased): aircraft designers Glenn L. Martin and William F. Boeing, Adm. John H. Towers (first attempted transatlantic flight); Lincoln Beachey, famous stunt flyer, Brig. Gen. "Billy" Mitchell, advocate of air power and Robert H. Goddard, world's first rocket scientist.
  • 29 Dec 1966 - The U.S. Air Force selected Cessna Aircraft Company to produce the O-2 for forward air controller, liaison and observation functions.
  • 29 Dec 1967 - The last B-47 aircraft, an RB-47H, left the active inventory for storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

  • 29 Dec 1970 - The 741st Strategic Missile Squadron at Minot AFB, N.D., achieved operational status as Strategic Air Command's first unit equipped with Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles.
  • 29 Dec 1988 - The Air Force received its first operational McDonnell-Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle dual role (air superiority and deep interdiction) fighter.
  • 29 Dec 1989 - The 435th Tactical Airlift Wing sent two C-130 Hercules with 31 tons of medical supplies to Bucharest, Romania, through Dec. 31st, to treat civilians wounded in a violent anti-communist revolution that executed President Nicolas Ceaucescu.   
  • 29 Dec 1990 - During Operation Desert Shield, the 169th Fighter Group was the first Air National Guard unit to deploy to the Persian Gulf region.

  • 30 Dec 1945 - Republic Aviation revealed its four-engine XF-12 Rainbow. This flying photo laboratory could carry five crewmen at 425 mph. The Army Training Support Center later cancelled its order for six aircraft. 

  • 30 Dec 1981 - Secretary of Defense Casper W. Weinberger ordered the U.S. Air Force to deploy 40 M-X missiles in existing Minuteman silos by 1986 and to study other basing modes.

  • 31 Dec 1944 - Far East Air Forces units launched a total of 163,397 sorties during 1944, of which 145,640 were considered effective. Fighters conducted the most sorties, with 100,998 sorties airborne and 90,240 effective. The command dropped 92,134 tons of bombs, expended 39,481,000 rounds of .50 caliber ammunition, and destroyed 2,518 enemy aircraft. FEAF units suffered a total of 3,732 casualties, 1,360 dead, 1,206 wounded, and 1,166 either missing, captured, or interned. Aircraft losses totaled 2,584 aircraft of all types.

  • 31 Dec 1957 - The U.S. Air Force accepted the first BOMARC area defense missile.







  • 31 Dec 1963 - President Lyndon B. Johnson approved U-2 flights over Southeast Asia. The first Strategic Air Command U-2s arrived in the Far East in early February 1964.


  • 31 Dec 1967 - The Air Force launched a TIROS satellite from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. This was the 700th major launch from that base since 1959. 
  • 31 Dec 1969 - The 498th Tactical Missile Group inactivated on Okinawa to end the deployment of CGM-13B Mace tactical missiles there.
  • 31 Dec 1971 - During Southeast Asia Combat Operations 1971, Pacific Air Forces tactical forces flew 450,031 combat sorties to drop 642.9 thousand tons of munitions in Southeast Asia in 1971, while losing 87 aircraft (70 to combat). Sorties totaled 87,052 attack sorties and 12,554 B-52 sorties, while KC-135s performed over 62,500 refuelings. Tactical airlift operations within moved 2,282,883 passengers and 283,556 tons of cargo.




  • 31 Dec 1972 - Pacific Air Forces tactical forces flew 254,895 combat sorties in South Vietnam in 1972 to drop 899.5  thousand tons of munitions in Southeast Asia, while losing 194 aircraft.  The sorties included 115,298 attack sorties and 28,383 B-52 Arc Light sorties.  KC-135s accomplished 111,770 aerial refuelings.

  • 31 Dec 1981 - U.S. Air Forces in Europe's first operational F-16s arrived at Hahn AB, Germany, for duty with the 50th Tactical Fighter Wing.

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