Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 25 May 1948 - Using a modified B-29 as the tanker aircraft, the Air Force completed its first in-flight refueling. Prior to this event, Boeing conducted the refueling demonstration program





  • 25 May 1959 - The Air Defense Command received its first F-106 Delta Dart. It was designed to replace the F-102 Delta Dagger.

  • 25 May 1960 - After a series of earthquakes and a tidal wave hit Chile, the Military Air Transportation Service sent C-118 and C-124 aircraft to transport 851 tons of cargo and 1,020 passengers for relief operations through June 21.

  • 25 May 1962 - Strategic Air Command turned over the last Jupiter intermediate range ballistic squadron to Turkey.

  • 25 May 1984 - A Military Airlift Command C-141 Starlifter transported the body of the Unknown Soldier of the Vietnam War for interment at Arlington National Cemetery.

  • 25 May 1993 - NASA demonstrated through Aug. 3, aerobraking, which used atmospheric drag to slow a spacecraft and to place the Magellan Venus probe into a lower orbit.

  • 25 May 1995 - The U.S. Air Force aircraft joined in on NATO attacks against Serbian military bunkers to halt Serb artillery attacks on Sarajevo.

  • 25 May 1996 - During Air Fete "96", an annual air show at Royal Air Force Station Mildenhall, the first joint MiG 29, F-15C and F-15E formation flyby in aviation history occurred as a featured display lasting through May 26. The F-15s came from nearby Royal Air Force Lakenheath, while the MiG-29 came from the Slovak Republic for the airshow.


  • 26 May 1948 - The first Navaho research test vehicle launched successfully at the White Sands Proving Ground, N.M.




  • 26 May 1961 - A B-58 Hustler supersonic bomber from the 43rd Bombardment Wing sets a record flying from New York to Paris in three hours, 19 minutes, 41 seconds at an average speed of 1,302 mph.

  • 26 May 1983 - General Dynamics delivered the 500th F-16A aircraft to Hill AFB, Utah


  • 27 May 1958 - Gen. O. P. Weyland accepted Tactical Air Command's first production F-105B Thunderchief from Republic at its Farmingdale plant in Long Island, N.Y.

  • 27 May 1959 - The 702nd Strategic Missile Wing at Presque Isle AFB, Maine, received Strategic Air Command's first Snark missile.

  • 27 May 1970 - The Air Force completed the Minuteman III's basic research and development program. The last launch of the Minuteman III at the Eastern Test Range took place on Dec. 14, 1970.

  • 27 May 1971 - Boeing received an $81.7 million contract to produce 19 jet transports (737 models) for the U.S. Air Force's Undergraduate Navigator Training System. Honeywell received an earlier contract to build 52 ground simulators for the system.





  • 27 May 1996 - The Air Force named the ninth B-2 the "Spirit of Hawaii" in ceremonies at Hickam AFB, Hawaii.

  • 28 May 1959 - Monkeys Able and Baker are recovered alive from the Atlantic Ocean near Antigua Island after a flight to an altitude of 300 miles in the nose cone of a Jupiter missile launched from Cape Canaveral.

  • 28 May 1962 - Strategic Air Command received the last GAM-72A Quail missile from McDonnell Aircraft Company.

  • 28 May 1963 - Cape Canaveral launched the first Minuteman equipped with retro-rockets. The project tried to increase the separation distance between the third stage and reentry vehicle.

  • 28 May 1964 - A Saturn VI carried the first Apollo command and service module mockups into orbit from Cape Kennedy.

  • 28 May 1980 - For the first time, 97 women are among those receiving commissions as second lieutenants in graduation ceremonies at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

  • 28 May 1995 - To commensurate the World War II Hump Airlift, a C-17 Globemaster III and KC-10 Extender flew over the Himalayan Mountains from Calcutta, India to Kunning, China.









  • 29 May 1940 – The Vought F-4U Corsair first flew.

  • 29 May 1953 - Strategic Air Command received its first KC-97G Stratofreighter, a flying boom-type tanker that could dispense 8,513 gallons of aviation gasoline. Unlike previous models, the KC-97G could haul cargo without reconfiguration or carry 96 troops or heavy equipment without modification.

  • 29 May 1966 - The Air Rescue and Recovery Service observed its 20th anniversary. In this period, the ARRS rescued more than 12,000 people throughout the world.

  • 29 May 1997 - A B-2 from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman AFB, Mo. dropped a GAM-113 bomb over the China Lake Range near Edwards AFB, Calif. This drop marked the first time the 4,700 pound conventional penetrating weapon was paired with the B-2.


  • 30 May 1942 – The first Boeing B-17 was built.

  • 30 May 1958 - The Air Force disclosed the development of the GAR-9, the first air-to-air atomic missile.

  • 30 May 1974 - The U.S. launched the world's first communications broadcast satellite, the Applications Technology Satellite or ATS-6. From its synchronous orbit, the satellite provided coverage to half of the globe.


  • 31 May 1941 – Maj. Gen. George H. Brett appointed Chief of Air Corps.

  • 31 May 1944 - The experimental VB-7 vertical bomb, with television sighting, was launched for the first time.

  • 31 May 1945 - The last of 18,188 B-24 Liberators and Liberator variants delivered to the U.S. Army Air Force. This workhorse was produced in larger numbers than any other American aircraft and employed on more operational fronts than any other allied or enemy bomber in World War II.

  • 31 May 1951 - Far East Air Forces launched an attempt to paralyze enemy transportation between the 39th parallel and the front lines. By late July, FEAF knew the interdiction of North Korean supply and communication lines, while substantial, had failed to isolate North Korean forces. In late December, however, Gen. O.P. Weyland announced that Operation Strangle had shattered the North Korean rail-transportation net. The bombing effort destroyed or damaged 40,000 trucks and prevented a Red Chinese buildup for future offensive operations.

  • 31 May 1956 - The 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Turner AFB, Ga., received the first RB-57, a D-model reconnaissance version of the British-designed B-57 Canberra light bomber.

  • 31 May 1967 - Maj. John H. Casteel and his crew from the 902nd Air Refueling Squadron at Clinton-Sherman AFB, Okla., began a routine KC-135 mission to refuel two F-104s over the Gulf of Tonkin. Before the flight ended, the tanker saved six Navy carrier aircraft. During the operation, Maj. Casteel refueled an A-3 tanker while it refueled an F-8, an event that later earned the crew the Mackay Trophy.

  • 31 May 1978 - Sixty-one C-141 and 11 C-5 missions moved a Pan-African peacekeeping force to Zaire during Operation Zaire II and took the French and Belgian forces, with 1,619 tons of cargo and 1,225 passengers back to Europe lasting through June 16.

  • 31 May 1991 - Complying with the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the U.S. Air Force inactivated the 501st Tactical Missile Wing at Royal Air Force Greenham Common, United Kingdom. The wing was the first ground launched cruise missile to activate in Europe, the first to become operational and the last to inactivate.



  • 31 May 1996 - The U.S. Air Force awarded C-17 multi-year contracts to McDonnell Douglas and Pratt and Whitney for 80 C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and engines over seven years. The contracts, valued at $16.2 billion, were the longest and the largest multi-year contracts ever entered into by the government to date. That acquisition gave the Air Force 120 C-17s and enabled the retirement of C-141s from the U.S. Air Force inventory.


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