Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association





          Air Force Monthly Historical Dates

September 1st - 30th





  • 01 Sep 1944 - Fifth Air Force sent 55 B-24s to bomb dispersal areas at three airfields near Davao, Mindanao Island in the Philippines. Two of the Liberators were shot down by antiaircraft fire, while antiaircraft fire or interceptors damaged several others. Strike photographs revealed the destruction of 22 Japanese aircraft on the ground.



  • 01 Sep 1948 - The second XR-12 lifted off from the Air Force Flight Test Center at Muroc, Calif., and climbed westward to gain altitude over the Pacific Ocean. Upon reaching its 40,000-foot cruising altitude, the XR-12 headed eastward and began photographing its entire route over the entire U.S. The crew shot a continuous 325-foot long strip of film composed of 390 individual photos. The aircraft landed at Mitchel Field in Long Island N.Y., completing a flight lasting six hours and 55 minutes. The record-shattering flight was featured in the Nov. 29, 1948 issue of Life magazine, and the filmstrip went on display at the 1948 Air Force Association Convention in New York.

  • 01 Sep 1950 - Fifth Air Force strafed and dropped napalm and bombs on North Korean troops and armored columns attacking along the Naktong River front, while U.S.Navy Task Force 77 aircraft provided close air support to the perimeter defenders. Gen. Douglas MacArthur directed Gen. George Stratemeyer to use all available Far East Air Forces airpower, including B-29s, to help the Eighth Army hold the "Pusan Perimeter."

  • 01 Sep 1950 - The 97th Air Refueling Squadron at Biggs AFB, Texas, received the first KB-29P tanker equipped with a flying boom. Earlier "M" models used Britains' trailing-hose refueling equipment.

  • 01 Sep 1953 - The U.S. Air Force announces the first instance of aerial refueling of jet-powered aircraft by jet-powered aircraft, in which a standard B-47 Stratojet received fuel in the air from a KB-47B Stratojet.

  • 01 Sep 1959 - At Vandenberg AFB, Calif., the U.S. Air Force formally transferred the operational Atlas to Strategic Air Command.

  • 01 Sep 1962 - Last Titan II squadron, the 374th Strategic Missile Squadron, activated as Little Rock AFB, Ark.

  • 01 Sep 1962 - Following a 7.3 earthquake, which killed more than 10,000 people, Military Air Transportation Service sent C-118s, C-124s and C-133s to airlift nearly 480 tons of relief supplies from Ramstein AB, Germany to Teheran, Iran.

  • 01 Sep 1964 - First Titan IIIA launched within one day of target month. Test results were 95 percent achieved, although it failed to attain the planned orbit.

  • 01 Sep 1964 - Capts. Albert R. Crews and Richard B. Lawler completed a two-week stay in a simulated space cabin at the General Electric center in Valley Forge, Pa. This test showed that man could perform more tasks in extended space flight than supposed.

  • 01 Sep 1965 - The first of a 13-site computer-controlled radar system for detecting enemy aircraft became operational at North Truro, Mass. Engineers designed the system, called the Back-up Intercept Control System, to take over America's air defense if the Semi-Automated Ground Environment System failed or was destroyed.

  • 01 Sep 1966 - Tactical Air Command activated the Tactical Fighter Weapons Center at Nellis AFB, Nev., to conduct special fighter training in F-100s, F-105s, and F-4s.

  • 01 Sep 1966 - The U.S. Air Force Tactical Airlift Center activated at Pope AFB, N.C., to provide airlift support to Army units and test new airlift equipment.

  • 01 Sep 1968 - During a rescue attempt of a downed American pilot, Lt. Col. William A. Jones III served as the on-scene commander. He repeatedly flew his A-1H Skyraider over enemy guns and sustained heavy damage and severe burns. Discovering his radios to be broken, Colonel Jones refused to leave his crippled aircraft and flew back to base in extreme pain, where he reported the pilot's location. On Nov. 15, 1969, Colonel Jones died in a private plane crash near Woodbridge, Va. Colonel Jones received the Medal of Honor posthumously at White House ceremonies for heroic actions in 1968.

  • 01 Sep 1970 - Air Rescue and Recovery Service helicopters began participating in the Military Assistance for Safety in Traffic project to determine the value of providing medical assistance to automobile accident victims and other people needing medical care in civilian communities.

  • 01 Sep 1975 - Gen. Daniel "Chappie" James Jr. becomes the first African-American officer to achieve four-star rank in the U.S. military.

  • 01 Sep 1986 - Tactical Air Command's last Cessna O-2 left Shaw AFB, S.C., for storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

  • 01 Sep 1987 - The U.S. Air Force reactivated the first Ryan AQM-34M Firebee Drone to test the over-the-horizon backscatter radar system. It flew for one hour over the Utah Test and Training Range.

  • 01 Sep 1995 - The SR-71 Blackbird, fastest aircraft in the world, returns to active service. It was removed from the U.S. Air Force inventory in 1990 when planners assumed that satellites could perform the strategic reconnaissance mission.

  • 01 Sep 1999 - Air National Guard KC-135s flew 1,640 sorties and 10,300 flying hours to offload more than 50 million pounds of fuel to 5,100 aircraft in Operation Allied Force. During Operation Shining Hope, Air National Guard C-130s flew 512 sorties in 1,413 flight hours.


  • 02 Sep 1940 - The U.S. agreed to trade 50 old destroyers to Great Britain for use against the German U-boats. In return, the U.S. received rights to air and naval bases at eight strategic points in the Atlantic and Caribbean area.








  • 02 Sep 1945 - Japan formally surrendered to the U.S. on the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. This marked V-J Day and the end of World War II.



  • 02 Sep 1953 - In a Piasecki H-21 Workhorse at Dayton, Ohio, Capt. Russell M. Dobyns set a 22,110-foot altitude record of for helicopters.

  • 02 Sep 1953 - Using an F-86D Sabre, Brig. Gen. Stanley Holtoner set a 690.118 mph world speed record on a 100-kilometer, or 62-mile, closed course at Vandalia, Ohio.

  • 02 Sep 1960 - Strategic Air Command declared the 564th Strategic Missile Squadron and its Atlas D missiles operational. This made the 564th the first operational intercontinental ballistic missile squadron in the command.

  • 02 Sep 1966 - During Exercise Bar Frost, the U.S. Air Force, Army, and Marine Corps units from the U.S. participated in this joint combined exercise with British and Norwegian forces in Norway.

  • 02 Sep 1969 - The Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratory used its Lunar Laser Observatory to bounce a laser signal off a retroflector placed on the moon by Apollo 11 astronauts.

  • 02 Sep 1977 - The first class of women pilots graduates at Williams AFB, Ariz.

  • 02 Sep 1982 - After an 11.4-hour nonstop flight from Edwards AFB, Calif., a B-1B prototype landed at Farnborough, England, for static display. This was the aircraft's first landing at a site other than Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 02 Sep 1996 - Nine KC-10s -- one from McGuire AFB, N.J. and eight from Travis AFB, Calif. -- along with 14 KC-135s from Fairchild AFB, Wash., flew air-refueling missions to support a U.S. bombing raid on selected military targets in Iraq lasting through Sept. 3. The tankers made four critical refuelings to enable two 2nd Bomb Wing B-52s to travel 13,683 miles roundtrip from Barksdale AFB, La., on a 34-hour nonstop mission. Additionally, a Travis C-5 airlifted 75 personnel and support equipment from the U.S. to Guam to support Operation Desert Strike.







  • 03 Sep 1945 - Maj. G. E. Cain flew an ATC C-54 Skymaster with a film record of Japan's surrender on a record 31-hour, 25 minute flight from Tokyo to Washington.

  • 03 Sep 1950 - U.S. Navy Task Force 77 withdrew its carriers from the Pusan area for replenishment and movement north to strike communication targets. That action left all close air support responsibility with Far East Air Forces.

  • 03 Sep 1954 - Maj. J. L. Armstrong flew an F-86 Sabre 649.46 mph at Dayton, Ohio, to set a record over a 500-kilometer closed course.

  • 03 Sep 1971 - President Richard M. Nixon dedicates the new Air Force Museum.

  • 03 Sep 1974 - Strategic Air Command took its last Minuteman I off alert with the 90th Strategic Missile Wing at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyo., for its conversion to the Minuteman III.

  • 03 Sep 1980 - The flight test program for the B-52 Offensive Avionics System started at the Boeing facility in Wichita, Kan.

  • 03 Sep 1996 - The 11th Reconnaissance Squadron at Nellis AFB, Nev., began operating the Predator unmanned aerial vehicle above Bosnia-Herzgovina.

  • 03 Sep 1999 - Capt. Julie Hudson of the Maryland Air National Guard's 175th Wing, qualified as the ANG's first fully combat ready female A-10 fighter pilot.









  • 04 Sep 1950 - At Hanggan-dong, North Korea, an H-5 helicopter made its first rescue of a U.S. pilot behind enemy lines, when Lt. Paul W. Van Boven saved Capt. Robert E. Wayne.

  • 04 Sep 1952 - The U.S. Air Force awarded the production contract for Lockheed's 383 transport, better known as the C-130 Hercules.

  • 04 Sep 1957 - Lockheed's C-140 Jetstar prototype first flew.

  • 04 Sep 1958 - Four F-100 Super Sabres completed the first nonstop jet fighter flight from the U.S. to Norway.

  • 04 Sep 1959 - At Sioux Falls, S.D., an unmanned balloon, launched for scientific purposes, soared to an altitude of 150,000 feet.

  • 04 Sep 1970 - The Army's CH-47 Chinook helicopter flew its maiden flight with the new T55-1-11A Lycoming engines at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 04 Sep 1975 - For outstanding air refueling support, Tactical Air Command gave Strategic Air Command its "Gen. Carl 'Tooey' Spaatz Award" in memory of the first Air Force Chief of Staff and pioneer in air refueling. On Oct. 4, Strategic Air Command gave the first award to the 11th Air Refueling Squadron, Altus AFB, Okla.

  • 04 Sep 1981 - Vandenberg AFB, Calif., moved the last modified Thor space booster into storage at Norton AFB, Calif.

  • 04 Sep 1996 - A C-141 Starlifter from the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., evacuated 30 passengers from Bujumbura, Burundi, to Nairobi, Kenya, to remove them from the danger of a civil war in Burundi.





  • 05 Sep 1941 - Nine B-17D Flying Fortresses began a mass transpacific flight from Hawaii to the Philippines. After flying through Midway, Wake, Port Moresby, and Darwin, Australia, the bombers landed at Clark Field, Philippines near Manila on Sept. 12.

  • 05 Sep 1944 - Capt. William H. Allen of the 55th Fighter Group, Eighth Air Force, became an ace in one P-51 mission by scoring five aerial victories in just a few minutes. Flying with another ace, Capt. William H. Lewis, Capt. Allen's flight encountered and shot down 16 German fighters. Between Sept. 3 - 11, the 55th shot down 106 enemy fighters to earn a Distinguished Unit Citation.

  • 05 Sep 1951 - The U.S. Air Force awarded a contract to Consolidated Vultee for the world's first atomic-powered plane. General Electric built the engine.

  • 05 Sep 1953 - In a Piasecki YH-21 Workhorse, Capt. Russell M. Dobyns set a three-kilometer speed record of 146.743 mph for helicopters at Dayton, Ohio.

  • 05 Sep 1983 - Capt. Robert J. Goodman and his KC-135 crewmembers Capt. Michael R. Clover, Lt. Karol R. Wojckoski and Staff Sgt. Douglas D. Simmons from Loring AFB, Maine, refueled a group of F-4E's crossing the North Atlantic. When an F-4 lost power in an engine and diverted to Gander International Airport in Newfoundland, 500 miles away, Capt. Goodman took up escort duty. Later, the F-4 pilot shut down that engine and reduced power in the other, which forced him to lose altitude, airspeed, and jettison his centerline tank. Through four, interrupted refuelings and extreme peril as the fighter dropped to 2,000 feet, the KC-135 towed or escorted the fighter to Gander. For his meritorious flight, Capt. Goodman and his crew received the Mackay Trophy.

  • 05 Sep 1984 - The Discovery Space Shuttle completed its first flight with a landing at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 05 Sep 1986 - A U.S. Air Forces in Europe C-141 Starlifter flew Americans injured during a hijacking at Karachi Airport, Pakistan, to Frankfurt, Germany, for medical treatment.

  • 05 Sep 1996 - C-130s from the 145th Airlift Wing airlifted engineers, security police, generators, mobile kitchens and showers to the Raleigh and Wilmington areas of North Carolina.

  • 06 Sep 1942-The VII Bomber Command lost its first aircraft in combat when two B-17s failed to return from a strike on the Avions Poetz aircraft plant at Meaulte, France.














  • 06 Sep 1943 - P-47s escorted a B-17 attack on an aircraft and bearing factory in Stuttgart, Germany. Bad weather frustrated the original target plans, so the bombers turned to targets of opportunity in Germany and France. This proved disastrous as enemy fighters claimed 45 bombers. 


  • 06 Sep 1995 - Air Mobility Command coordinated an Air Transport International DC-8 mission from Charleston AFB, S.C. to Zagreb, Croatia, to carry 18 pallets of pharmaceutical and medical supplies for victims of the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.

  • 06 Sep 1997 - A 315th Aeromedical Squadron aircrew flew the first C-17 aeromedical evacuation training flight abroad the "The Spirit of Charleston" on a round trip from Charleston AFB, S.C., to Bermuda.


  • 07 Sep 1950 - The 22nd Bombardment Group, employed 24 B-29s against the iron works at Chongjin, North Korea.





  • 07 Sep 1956 - At Edwards AFB, Calif., Capt Iven C. Kincheloe set an altitude record for manned flight by flying the Bell-X-2 rocket-powered aircraft to 126,000 feet. He later received the Mackay Trophy for this flight.



  • 07 Sep 1979 - President Jimmy Carter selected the horizontal multiple protective shelter basing mode for the M-X missile (Peacekeeper).

  • 07 Sep 1988 - The F-15 Short Take-Off and Landing demonstrator made its first flight at St. Louis, Mo.

  • 07 Sep 1995 - Two 436th Airlift Wing C-5s from Dover AFB, Del., airlifted gas turbine generators from Ramstein AB, Germany to Incirlik AB, Turkey, to provide electrical power for Kurdish refugees living in northern Iraq.



  • 08 Sep 1944 - The allies issued the "Joint British-American Directives on Day Bombing Operations Involving Fighter Cooperation." This plan formed the blueprint for the 24-hour bombing of Germany.

  • 08 Sep 1955 - President Dwight Eisenhower gave the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile development program the highest national priority.

  • 08 Sep 1970 - The Department of Defense changed its March 1961 space policy by regarding service functions to assign system for development and acquisition. A Director of Defense, Research and Engineering had to provide broad space programs that met the needs of other services.






  • 08 Sep 1971 - The U.S. Air Force's 17th Special Operations Squadron at Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam, flew its final AG-119G "Shadow" gunship mission and then turned the aircraft over to the Vietnam Air Force. Nicknamed Shadow for its close air support and interdiction of enemy supply lines on night missions, the AC-119 aircraft were the first assigned to the Vietnamese. Pacific Air Forces retained the jet-augmented AC-119Ks.

  • 08 Sep 1981 - The C-X aircraft renamed as the C-17

  • 08 Sep 1994 - To support Operation Uphold Democracy, Air Mobility Command airlifters and tankers began moving U.S. forces to predeployment locations to await the President's order to invade Haiti. Airlifters carried an invasion force toward Haiti on Sept. 18, when former President James E. Carter and his delegation convinced the Haitian dictator to step aside and thus avert the attack. AMC aircraft then delivered U. S. troops and equipment to Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitian, where they joined a multinational peacekeeping effort under Operation Maintain Democracy. From Sept. 8 through Dec 31, 1994, Air Mobility Command completed 1,528 airlift missions and 92 tanker missions to support the operations.

  • 08 Sep 1999 - The AeroVironment Helios prototype unmanned aerial vehicle made its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif. The flying wing, developed as part of NASA's ERAST program, had a 247-foot wing span to reach 100,000 feet in altitude and fly missions lasting four days or more. An accidental deployment of the emergency parachute cut the first flight short.


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