Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association


  • 25 Jul 1944 - An effort to breakout U.S. forces at Normandy began with 3,000 planes, including 1,500 Eighth Air Force bombers, attacking German posts at St. Lo near American lines for three hours  during Operation Cobra. Although the operation succeeded a few bombers hit the wrong target area and killed almost 500 U.S. troops, including Lt. Gen. Lesley J. McNair, the U.S. Ground Forces commander. 

  • 25 Jul 1946 - Task Group 1.5, a 2,200-man U.S. Army Air Force element, conducted the second phase of a test to burst an A-bomb underwater off Bikini Island during Operation Crossroads. This group provided aircraft and personnel to photograph and collect data on the explosion.


  • 25 Jul 1961 - A Titan 1 completed its first full-range flight test with an all-inertial guidance system. It launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and flew down the Atlantic Missile Range.


  • 25 Jul 1981 - A B-52 with an offensive avionics system fired an air-launched cruise missile for the first time.


  • 25 Jul 1983 - Military Airlift Command operated 29 C-141 missions to move 397 tons of equipment from the U.S. and Europe to Chad as part of a security assistance program lasting through Sept. 15.


  • 26 Jul 1943 - A flight of 10 P-47s destined for various units in the United Kingdom, supported by two B-24s and one C-87, flew from Presque Isle, Maine, to Prestwick, Scotland, with stops at Goose Bay, Labrador, Bluie West One, Greenland and Reykjavik, Iceland. The formation lost one P-47 in a landing accident at Greenland, while a second P-47 developed a mechanical problem on the last leg to Prestwick and had to return to Iceland. When the eight P-47s landed on Aug. 11, the pilots achieved the first, last, and only flight of single-engine fighters (reciprocating engines) across the Atlantic in World War II. The pilots from the 2nd Ferrying Group at Newcastle Army AB in Wilmington, Del., included Capt. Barry Goldwater, who ran for President in 1964.

  • 26 Jul 1947 - President Harry S. Truman approved the National Security Act of 1947. He also issued Executive Order 9877 which by presidential directive outlined the duties of the three services. Each was responsible for the area in which it operated -- ground, sea and air, although the Navy retained an air arm and the Marine Corps.


  • 26 Jul 1949 - The National Military Establishment announced production of the Sikorsky H-5H, the first amphibian helicopter.



  • 27 Jul 1958 - Commanders Malcoln Ross and Morton L. Lewis ascended to 82,000 feet in a balloon with 5,500 pounds of equipment, where they stayed aloft for 34 hours, 30 minutes to set an endurance record for a flight into the stratosphere. They also transmitted the first stratospheric television pictures.


  • 27 Jul 1962 - Strategic Air Command's first Minuteman 1A went into site A-9 at Malmstrom AFB, Mont.


  • 27 Jul 1964 - The 1964 Daniel Guggenheim Medal was awarded posthumously to Dr. Robert H. Goddard, the father of American rockery.


  • 27 Jul 1967 - The U.S. Air Force launched a flare activated radio-biological observatory satellite to study solar-flare radiation.


  • 27 Jul 1972 - Test pilot Irving L. Burrows took the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle up for its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.






  • 27 Jul 1976 - An SR-71 flies at a speed of 2,092.29 mph over a 1,000-kilometer course over Edwards AFB, Calif. This flight sets three closed-circuit records: world absolute speed; world jet speed with 1,000-kilogram payload; and world jet speed without payload.

  • 27 Jul 1986 - A C-9 Nightingale flew Father Lawrence Jenco, who was released as a hostage by Muslim extremist to Lebanon, from Damascus to the U.S. Air Forces in Europe Medical Center at Rhein-Main AB, Germany.


  • 27 Jul 1996 - Lt. Gen. Lawrence Boese, the Eleventh Air Force Commander at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, joined Senator Ted Stevens and Gen. Richard Hawley, the Air Combat Command Commander, in a dedication ceremony at Eielson AFB, Alaska, to christen a B-2 the "Spirit of Alaska."


  • 28 Jul 1943 - Eighth Air Force's first long-range fighter escort mission occurred when 100 P-47 Thunderbolts escorted B-17 Flying Fortresses from the Dutch border.


  • 28 Jul 1943 - During a bombing mission in Europe, numerous enemy fighters attacked and severely damaged Flight Officer John C. Morgan's B-17. A cannon shell totally shattered the windscreen and split the pilot's skull open, leaving him in a crazed condition. Flight Officer Morgan, as copilot, tried to fly the plane, while struggling with the pilot to keep him from flying the bomber. He continued the flight and for two hours flew in formation with one hand at the controls and the other holding off the pilot until the navigator came in to provide relief. For completing the bombing mission and safety returning to England, Flight Officer Morgan received the Medal of Honor. (Morgan's feat formed the basis of the movie "Twelve O'Clock High")


  • 28 Jul 1950 - The first SA-16 Albatross arrived in Japan to provide air rescue service off the Korean coast.


  • 28 Jul 1952 - Strategic Air Command presented its general concept of operations and maintenance for the Snark, Rascal and Navaho missiles to the Air Force.


  • 28 Jul 1953 - A B-47 Stratojet bomber set a nonstop transatlantic speed record by completing the 2,925 miles from Limestone AFB, Me. to Fairford, England, in four hours, 43 minutes. It averaged 618 mph.


  • 28 Jul 1959 - The first Atlas D launch took place at Cape Canaveral, Fla.


  • 28 Jul 1964 - Cape Kennedy launched the spacecraft on its flight to the moon. On July 31, the spacecraft took and relayed 4,316 high quality closeup pictures of the lunar surface to earth. It then crashed on the moon near the Sea of Clouds.


  • 28 Jul 1973 - Skylab 3 launched from Kennedy Space Center on a two-stage Saturn IB, with Allan L. Bean, Jack R. Lousma and Dr. Owen K. Garriott. They rendezvoused with the workshop on the fifth orbit, undocked on Sept. 25, and then separated. The craft splashed down 250 miles southwest of San Diego.


  • 28 Jul 1976 - Boeing's Compass Cope, the largest remote piloted vehicle in the U.S. Air Force todate, completed its first flight.


  • 28 Jul 1980 - At Edwards AFB, Calif., an SR-71 flown by Capt. Eldon W. Joersz and Maj. George T. Morgan, the reconnaissance systems officer, set four world records, including 2,193.64 mph for the absolute and jet speed records over a 15-25 kilometer straight course. In a second flight, Capt. Robert C. Helt and Maj. Lang A. Elliot, reconnaissance systems officer, flew their SR-71 to 85,069 feet in altitude to set absolute and jet records for altitude in horizontal flight.









  • 28 Jul 1980 - Four 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing F-4E Phantoms from Clark AB, Philippines, flew to Tengah AB, Singapore, in the first visit by U.S. Air Force tactical aircraft to the city-state since 1965 through July 30.

  • 29 Jul 1952 - An RB-45 assigned to the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing flies from Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, to Yokota Air Base, Japan, making the first nonstop transpacific flight by a jet aircraft.


  • 29 Jul 1961 - At Fairchild AFB, Wash., Strategic Air Command accepted its first Atlas E Complex. It belonged to the 567th Strategic Missile Squadron.


  • 29 Jul 1966 - The Air Force Missile Development Center at Holloman AFB, N.M., directed the first short range attack missile launch. A B-52H flying over the White Sands Missile Range launched the missile.


  • 29 Jul 1969 - The Air Force Missile Development Center at Holloman AFB, N.M., directed the first short range attack missile launch. A B-52H flying over the White Sands Missile Range launched the missile.






  • 29 Jul 1970 - Col. Vere Short, a C-141 pilot, attained 25,000 accident-free flying hours, the most military flying time by anyone on active duty.

  • 29 Jul 1971 - The X-24A completed its flight test program. It was then converted to a different shape with the X-24B designation.


  • 29 Jul 1974 - Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger directed the consolidation of all military airlift under one manager. As a result, the U.S. Air Force became the single manager for all armed services.


  • 29 Jul 1980 - The 146th Tactical Airlift Command and 433rd Tactical Airlift Wing provided three C-130s to drop fire retardant chemicals on seven brush fires in the San Bernardino National Forest near Palm Springs, Calif. through Aug. 1. This assistance allowed the firefighters to control the fire in three days.


  • 29 Jul 1995 - The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron activated at Nellis AFB, Nev., to operate unmanned aerial systems, the Predator. It was the first such unit in the Air Force.


  • 29 Jul 1996 - At Cannon AFB, N.M., the 27th Fighter Wing retired the remaining F-111F Aardvarks from the U.S. Air Force inventory with a ceremony marking the last four-ship flight to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.


  • 30 Jul 1948 - North American Aviation delivered the first operational jet bomber, the B-45A Tornado, to the Air Force.


  • 30 Jul 1950 - Forty-seven B-29s bombed the Chosen Nitrogen Explosives Factory at Hungnam on North Korea's east coast.


  • 30 Jul 1951 - Fighters participated in a coordinated attack on selected targets in Pyongyang. The 91 F-80s performing flak suppression, although hampered by cloud cover over the target, were successful as no U.N. aircraft were lost to flak at Pyongyang during the day. The 354th fighter-bombers attacking targets around Pyongyang reported fair results.








  • 30 Jul 1959 - The Norair N-156F (later modified into the F-5) twin jet tactical fighter completed its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.


  • 30 Jul 1971- The all-Air Force crew of Apollo 15 lands on the moon. The crew, consisting of Dave Scott, Al Worden, and Jim Irwin, name the Lunar Module the Falcon after the Air Force Academy mascot.


  • 30 Jul 1971 - The last C-133 Cargomaster retired from Travis AFB, Calif., to storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., to end a chapter in military airlift history. It fell victim to the jet age and the jumbo airlift capability of the C-5A Galaxy. This event ushered in the modern all-jet airlift fleet.


  • 30 Jul 1971 - The last F-100 left Vietnam for the United States. Its departure ended a combat employment, which began in 1964 and produced 360,283 combat sorties with 243 aircraft losses.


  • 30 Jul 1981 - Military Airlift Command supported the Gambia evacuation. When Gambia's president attended the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana in London, leftist guerrillas attempted a coup. When loyal Gambian troops and their Senegalese allies were unable to rescue rebel-held hostages and quell rioting in Bangul, MAC sent two C-141s to Dakar, Senegal. On Aug. 8, the rebel force surrendered and released its hostages. One C-141 evacuated 95 civilians from Bangul to Dakar.


  • 30 Jul 1984 - Modified B-1A number four, avionics flight test aircraft, completed its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.


  • 30 Jul 1985 - The U.S. Air Force Bomarc aerial target drone program ended.


  • 30 Jul 1993 - The VISTA NF-16 employed its multi-axis thrust-vectoring system for the first time in a flight over Edwards AFB, Calif. That system enabled the aircraft to achieve a 110-degree transient angle-of-attack and a sustained angle-of-attack by September.


  • 30 Jul 1997 - Capt. Dewey Gay flew an F-16C Fighting Falcon from the 62nd Fighter Squadron at Luke AFB, Ariz., to history when he touched down after a 1.3 hour sortie that pushed the F-16 over 4,000 hour mark. It was the first C-model to reach the 4,000 hour mark. The feat took 14 years.


  • 31 Jul 1941 – The U.S. Army Air Force officially established Tuskegee Army Air Field.


  • 31 Jul 1952 - Two Military Air Transport Service Sikorsky H-19 helicopters completed the first transatlantic helicopter flight. They touched down five times en route between Westover Field, Mass., and Prestwick, Scotland. This proved the feasibility of ferrying helicopters overseas.


  • 31 Jul 1957 - The distant early warning line, a distant early warning radar defense installation extending across the Canadian Arctic, reported as fully operational.


  • 31 Jul 1958 - Construction of a prototype hardened Titan I launch control facility with a silo-lift launcher and blockhouse began at Cooke AFB, Calif.


  • 31 Jul 1968 - Two UH-IF helicopter from U.S. Air Force Southern Command helped the Costa Rican government evacuate people endangered by the Mount Arenal volcano.


  • 31 Jul 1970 - The first class of foreign students to graduate under the President's Vietnamization Program completed undergraduate pilot training at Keesler AFB, Miss.








  • 31Jul 1973 - First Boeing T-43A aircraft delivered to Mather AFB, Calif.

  • 31 Jul 1987 - Grumman's plant in Melbourne, Fla., received the first E-8A (a modified Boeing 707-300) aircraft for upgrading to the JSTARS configuration.


  • 31 Jul 1989 - Military Airlift Command aircraft moved nearly 1,000 firefighters, 850 tons of equipment and medical supplies in southwestern Idaho, where a ranging fire spread through thousands of acres of forest. The aircraft also sprayed 3,350 tons of fire retardant on the fire from high altitudes.


  • 31 Jul 1995 - The 351st Missile Wing, the last Minuteman II unit, inactivated at Whiteman AFB, Mo.

  • 31 Jul 1997 - The X-38 atmospheric test vehicle made its first captive-carry flight aboard a B-52. The subscale, unmanned X-38 shape was a joint NASA Dryden Center and Johnson Space Center project to validate concept for a future International Space Station Emergency Crew Return Vehicle. The space "lifeboat" relied on Lifting Body technology.


  • 31 Jul 1999 - Two improved T-38C fighter training aircraft transferred from Edwards AFB, Calif., to Columbus AFB, Miss., for testing. At Edwards, the T-38s completed a development test and evaluation of the aircraft Avionics Upgrade Program, while the move to Columbus took the planes into initial operational testing and evaluation for Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training course and Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals.


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