Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 09 Sep 1950 - While North Korean forces neared Taegu, South Korea, Far East Air Force bombers started a rail interdiction campaign north of Seoul to slow enemy reinforcements. Medium bombers attacked marshalling yards and cut rails at multiple points along key routes.

  • 09 Sep 1959 - A Strategic Air Command crew fired the first Atlas D from Vandenberg AFB, Calif. Afterwards Gen. Thomas S. Power, SAC's commander-in-chief, declared the system operational. The missile traveled 4,300 miles at 16,000 mph.

  • 09 Sep 1962 - The first Atlas F squadron, the 550th Strategic Missile Squadron, became operational at Schilling AFB, Kan.

  • 09 Sep 1967 - Airman 1st Class Duane D. Hackney, Air Rescue and Recovery Service, became the first living enlisted man to receive an Air Force Cross for his heroic efforts to rescue a pilot downed in North Vietnam's jungles.



  • 09 Sep 1972 - To become the Vietnam War's leading ace, Capt. Charles B. DeBellevue, flying as a weapon systems officer in a F-4 from the 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron, shot down his fifth and sixth enemy plane. He became the first non-pilot ace in the U.S. Air Force. For this feat, Capt. DeBellevue shared the 1972 Mackay Trophy with Capts. Richard S. "Steve" Ritchie and Jeffrey S. Feinstein.


  • 09 Sep 1976 - The air-launched cruise missile completed its first fully guided flight test.

  • 09 Sep 1998 - A 437th Airlift Wing C-17 aircrew from Charleston AFB, S.C., flew Keiko, the Orca killer whale who starred in the move Free Willy, on a 8,630-mile, 10-hour nonstop flight from the Oregon Coast Aquarium at Newport, Ore., to Iceland's Vestmannacyjar Island through Sept.10. A KC-10 from Travis AFB, Calif. and KC-135s from McGuire AFB, N.J., refueled the C-17 during its flight to Iceland.

  • 10 Sep 1942-The Secretary of War formed the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron. Then in October, female pilots began ferrying aircraft from production sites to airfields in the U.S.

  • 10 Sep 1944 - More than 1,000 Eighth Air Force bombers, escorted by hundreds of fighters, raided aircraft factories, motor transport parks, engine plants, a jet engine plant and German airfields.







  • 10 Sep 1956 - First flight of the F-107.




  • 10 Sep 1960 - North American Aerospace Defense Command tested the defense readiness of American and Canadian radar and electronic system in Operation Sky Shield.

  • 10 Sep 1964 - Agreements between NASA, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Departments of Treasury, Defense, Interior and Commerce established the Joint Navigation Satellite Committee. This committee evaluated requirements for a nonmilitary satellite system for air-sea navigation, traffic, control, emergency and rescue operations and related functions.

  • 10 Sep 1965 - The U.S. Air Force launched the first Defense Meteorological Satellite Program weather satellite, which enabled the Air Weather Service to gather global weather-data.

  • 10 Sep 1974 - Last Minuteman I transferred from Strategic Air Command inventory to be replaced by Minuteman III. This action completed a modernization program to replace Minuteman I after 11 years of service in SAC.

  • 10 Sep 1988 - Military Air Command wings flew 100 tons of relief supplies and a field hospital to help victims of a flood in Bangladesh through Sept.15. The flood covered three-fourths of the country and almost all of the capital city, Dhaka, killing 1,200 people and leaving 28 million homeless.

  • 11 Sep 1944 - Eighth Air Force began the last "shuttle raid" as 139 aircraft attacked an arms factory at Chemnitz, Germany and flew on to bases in Russia.

  • 11 Sep 1948 - Far East Air Forces received orders to send an air echelon with 36 C-54 aircraft and a skeleton group headquarters to U.S. Air Forces in Europe on indefinite duty. FEAF sent the 317th Tactical Carrier Group (Heavy) with the 22nd Tactical Carrier Squadron, 39th Tactical Carrier Squadron and 41st Tactical Carrier Squadron (Heavy). The group's temporary transfer, coupled with the loss of 24 Military Air Transportation Service C-54s from the theater to Germany for the airlift and a shipping strike on the West coast, caused severe supply shortages throughout the Pacific.

  • 11 Sep 1953 - A Sidewinder N-7 (AIM-9) air-to-air missile made its first successful interception, sending a Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat drone down in flames at China Lake, Calif.

  • 11 Sep 1964 - The Air Force decided to retire two Atlas squadrons and 105 liquid-fueled missiles made obsolete by the Minutemen and Polaris.

  • 11 Sep 1968 - The Air Force Cambridge Research Laboratories at Hanscom AFB, Mass., launched the largest research balloon, a 28.7-million cubic-foot polyethylene sphere, to 158,000 feet from White Sands Missile Range, N.M. The balloon carried instruments for atmospheric measurements near strato-pause, and the flight ended near Needles Calif., after 18 hours. This balloon broke two previous size records: 13.5 million cubic-feet for a polyethylene balloon and 26-million-cubic feet held by five fiber-reinforced Mylar balloons flown in 1966 and 1967.







  • 11 Sep 1972 - U.S. aircraft destroyed the Long Bien Bridge over the Red River in downtown Hanoi. This event involved one of the most spectacular uses of precision-guided weapons in the war.

  • 11 Sep 1981 - The Air Staff decided to add air-launched cruise missiles to the B-52H. Before, only G-models were scheduled to receive ALCMs.



  • 12 Sep 1918. Flying under the command of General Billy Mitchell, units of the Air Service participate in the attack against German forces on the St Mihiel Salient in the waning days of the First World War.

  • 12 Sep 1942-The 89th Attack Squadron, 3rd Bomb Group, dropped the first parachute-retarded bomb in World War II on Buna Airstrip, New Guinea.

  • 12 Sep 1942-The Army Air Forces activated the 4th Fighter Group at Bushey Hall, England, to escort Eighth Air Force heavy bomber missions over occupied Europe. Three Royal Air Force Eagle Squadrons, with American volunteers, then transferred from the Royal Air Force on Sept. 29 to the VIII Fighter Command to man the group.







  • 12 Sep 1958 - Gen. Curtis E. LeMay flew a KC-135 Stratotanker from Yokota AB, Japan to Washington, D.C., flying the 7,000 miles in 12 hours 28 minutes for an unofficial record.


  • 12 Sep 1962 - The first Titan II equipped with decoys launched successfully from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

  • 12 Sep 1969 - Maj. Jerauld R. Gentry, Air Force Flight Training Center pilot, won the Harmon International Aviator's Trophy for his 1968 flights in NASA's HL-10 Lifting Body.

  • 12 Sep 1970 - The 20th Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Upper Heyford, England, received U.S. Air Forces in Europe's first F-111Es.

  • 12 Sep 1971 - Three U.S. Air Force aircraft flew to Nicaragua to provide disaster relief after Hurricane Edith through Sept. 16. The aircraft carried food, medical supplies, tents and a U.S. Air Force radio jeep to coordinate emergency operations and fuel for rescue helicopters.

  • 12 Sep 1987 - The Air National Guard received its first C-121 turbo-prop transport from Beech Aircraft Corporation in ceremonies at the company in Wichita, Kan.

  • 12 Sep 1988 - C-5s, C-141s and C-130s flew to Kingston, Jamaica, after Hurricane Gilbert devastated the island. Military Airlift Command flew more C-5 missions in October to provide humanitarian relief.

  • 12 Sep 1992 - Typhoon Inili ran over Kauai, Hawaii, with 130 mph winds and heavy rain. Through Oct.18, Air Mobility Command flew 259 missions, while the Air National Guard operated another 354 C-130 missions to transport more than 8,600 passengers and 9,200 tons of cargo





  • 13 Sep 1943 - The 52nd Tactical Carrier Wing used more than 80 troop transports to drop 1,200 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division on Italy's Salerno Beach, with no losses of planes or men. This effort was one of the most successful allied airborne operations in the war.




  • 13 Sep 1944 - Eighth Air Force bombed Hungary's Diosgyoer Steel Works.

  • 13 Sep 1951 - The U.S. Air Force established its first pilotless bomber squadron at the Missile Test Center, Cocoa, Fla.

  • 13 Sep 1960 - The 4135th Strategic Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., received the first production GAM-72A Quail missiles.

  • 13 Sep 1961 - NASA used the worldwide Mercury tracking network for the first time to follow an unmanned Mercury vehicle in space. The results convinced NASA that man could be sent into space using an Atlas vehicle. A Mercury-Atlas booster lifted the vehicle into space.

  • 13 Sep 1974 - Capt. Harold B. Adams, pilot and Maj. William C. Machorek, range safety officer, flew an SR-71 from London to Los Angeles in three hours, 48 minutes at a new speed record of 1,435.59 mph.

  • 13 Sep 1985 - Maj. Doug Pearson Jr, flying a modified F-15A fired the first ASM-135A air-launched anti-satellite missile or ASAT at a live target over Edwards AFB, Calif. The missile hit the orbiting satellite that was travelling at 17,500 mph nearly 290 miles above Earth. The F-15A, stationed at Edwards AFB, took off from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., and zoom-climbed up to 80,000 feet and then launched the ASAT. Both the first and second stages fired successfully, and the miniature kinetic kill vehicle separated and homed in on the satellite, destroying it upon impact.

  • 13 Sep 1992 - During Operation Impressive Lift, Air Mobility Command aircraft moved U.N. troops from Pakistan to Somalia to begin a peacekeeping mission through Sept. 29. In the 94 flights, the aircraft carried 974 passengers and 1,168 tons of equipment and supplies. The troops tried to distribute food fairly for Operation Provide Relief.






  • 14 Sep 1944 - Col. Floyd B. Wood, Maj Harry Wexler, and Lt. Frank Recford made the first flight into a hurricane to collect scientific data in a Douglas A-20. 

  • 14 Sep 1951 - Capt John S. Walmsley Jr, died while illuminating a North Korean supply train with his searchlight-equipped B-26 invader. After stopping the train with bombs, Capt Walmsley repeatedly passed over the train to guide other aircraft to the target. For his actions, he received the Medial of Honor.

  • 14 Sep 1962 - The 498th Tactical Missile Group at Okinawa, equipped with Mace missiles, reached full strength.

  • 14 Sep 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson gave Harmon International Trophies for 1963 to Astronaut L. Gordon Cooper for his Mercury flight in Faith 7; Betty Miller for a first eastward transpacific solo flight by a woman; and Lt. Col. Fitzhugh L. Fulton for flying a B-58 Hustler to 85,318 feet with an 11,000 pound plus payload.

  • 14 Sep 1971 - From Can Ranh Bay Air Base, Vietnam, 15 U.S. Air Force C-7 Caribou aircraft began a 10-day, 8,000-mile return flight to McClellan AFB, Calif. While in Southeast Asia, the transport aircraft flew missions from unimproved airstrips to provide fresh food and supplies to inaccessible outposts.

  • 14 Sep 1981 - Pacific Air Forces' first F-16 Fighting Falcon arrived at Kunsan AB, South Korea.

  • 14 Sep 1987 - Strategic Air Command decommissioned its last ground control approach radar system at Grissom AFB, Ind.

  • 14 Sep 1995 - Airlifters moved more than 30 tons of medical supplies from Charleston AFB, S.C to Hanoi, Vietnam through Sept. 30, in the first humanitarian airlift to that country since the war ended in 1975.

  • 14 Sep 1997 - Eight C-17 Globemaster IIIs airdropped 500 members of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. into Kazakhstan. This operation covered 7,897 miles, the longest distance ever in an airdrop to support the two-phase U.S. Atlantic Command exercise for U.S. and Central Asian troops in the former Soviet Union called Exercise Centrazbat 97. The C-17s were airborne for more than 19 hours as they crossed the Atlantic and southern Europe to the drop zone. K-10 Extenders from the 60th Air Mobility Wing at Travis AFB, Calif. and the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB and KC-135 Stratotankers from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at McConnell AFB, Kan. and the 6th Air Refueling Wing at MacDill AFB, Fla., provided refueling support.

  • 14 Sep 1999 - Hurricane Floyd hit the eastern U.S. coast from the Carolinas to Maine, causing 57 deaths and about $6 million in damages. Through Sept. 18, the Air National Guard joined their Army counterparts in relief operations. In North Carolina, the ANG flew 33,000 cases of food rations in three C-130s to flood victims. Additionally, New Jersey ANG members assisted Army Guardsmen in sand-bagging operations, reinforcing a flood-weakened dam, and delivering supplies to storm victims.



  • 15 Sep 1942 - Using Fifth Air Force transports, the 126th Infantry Regiment became the first U.S. infantry unit to reach Seven Mile Airborne, near Port Moresby, New Guinea.

  • 15 Sep 1945 - The production contract for the JB-2 rocket ended after 1,391 rockets were delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces.

  • 15 Sep 1948 - Maj. Richard L. Johnson set a 679 mph world speed record over a three kilometer course in a North American F-86A Sabre at Muroc Field, Calif.





  • 15 Sep 1950 - The 27th Fighter-Escort Wing flew 180 F-84E Thunderjets from Bergstrom AFB, Texas, to Furstenfeldbruck, Germany, in this two-phased ferry mission to earn the Mackay Trophy. In Phase I, 90 F-84s left Texas, but due to mechanical problems only 84 landed in Germany on Sept. 18 after flying 5,858 miles in 16 hours three minutes of actual flying time (see Oct. 15 for Phase II).


  • 15 Sep 1951 - The Department of Defense opened the Joint Parachute Test Facility with U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force units under the Bureau of Aeronautics at NAS El Centro, Calif.

  • 15 Sep 1952 - The U. S. Air Force added weather reconnaissance over areas of joint air-ground operations to Tactical Air Command's mission.

  • 15 Sep 1954 - A Military Air Transportation Service four-engine plane averaged 341 mph to set a transatlantic speed record of 11 hours 48 minutes for propeller-driven aircraft in a flight from Westover AFB, Mass., to Germany.

  • 15 Sep 1956 - The 701st Tactical Missile Wing, scheduled to be equipped with the Matador cruise missile, activates under 12th Air Force at Hahn Air Base, West Germany. This is the first U.S. Air Force tactical missile wing.

  • 15 Sep 1958 - Strategic Air Command's 42nd Bombardment Wing at Loring AFB, Maine, conducted a B-52 airborne alert test, named Head Start I, which lasted through Dec. 15.

  • 15 Sep 1959 - In a tethered test, a full-size model Minuteman missile completed its first attempted launch from an underground launching pad at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 15 Sep 1960 - Capt. William Habluetzel and Lt. John Hargreaves completed a 30-day, 8-hour simulated moon journey in a 12-foot by 8-foot long box at Brooks AFB, Texas.

  • 15 Sep 1965. TAC approves the formation of a new self relient, combat trained, civil engineering group named ‘REDHORSE’, (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operational Repair Squadron, Engineering) units were trained and equipped to make heavy repairs, upgrade airfields and facilities, and support weapons systems deployment to theaters of operations.

  • 15 Sep 1970 - The 13th Bombardment Squadron deployed to Ubon Royal Thailand AFB to use B-57Gs on night interdiction bombing missions. As part of the Tropic Moon III program, Martin modified 16 B-57B Night Intruders withdrawn from Vietnam service. Westinghouse Electric, Martin and Air Force Systems Command combined to give the -G model a true night bombing capability by designing the bomber to independently detect, track, and bomb ground targets at night.

  • 15 Sep 1972 - The 42nd Bombardment Wing at Loring AFB, Maine, became the first B-52 unit with short range attack missiles to achieve operational status.

  • 15 Sep 1979 - Eight C-130s from Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard units in California and Wyoming flew 254 sorties to drop 732,000 gallons of fire retardant on fires in southern California through Sept. 22. This operation was one of the largest fire-fighting operations on record

  • 15 Sep 1981 - The 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, Calif., received Lockheed's first TR-1A reconnaissance plane. It was an improved, bigger version of the U-2 that could fly at day and night in all weather above 70,000 feet.

  • 15 Sep 1981 - At Griffis AFB, N.Y., a 416th Bombardment Wing B-52G crew conducted the first air-launched cruise missile training flight.

  • 15 Sep 1982 - From the 19th Bombardment Wing at Robins AFB, Ga., Capt. Robert L. Cavendish and his crewmen were on a B-52 training mission from Robins AFB, when their B-52G lost both rudder elevator hydraulic systems. Capt. Cavendish considered the runway, weather, and crew experience and decided to land the crippled B-52. For saving the aircraft, Capt. Cavendish and his crew earned the Mackay Trophy.

  • 15 Sep 1987 - The U.S. Air Force redefined a base as "any installation that is a self-supporting center of operation." As a result, Arnold Air Force Station, Tenn., Los Angeles AFS, Calif. and Onizuka AFS, Calif. became Air Force bases.

  • 15 Sep 1991 - A C-17A makes its first flight from Long Beach, Calif., to Edwards AFB, Calif. Capable of delivering outsized cargo in a tactical environment, the Globemaster III can operate from the same austere airfields as the C-130.

  • 15 Sep 1993 - Boeing converted the first B-52H for conventional warfare missions at Wichita, Kan.

  • 15 Sep 1995 - U.S. Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard aircraft flew 996 tons of relief cargo to the Virgin Islands after Hurricane Marilyn blasted the eastern Caribbean area. The C-17 made its first appearance in a disaster relief operation.

  • 15 Sep 1996 - U.S. Air Force airlifters carried thousands of Kurdish refugees from Northern Iraq to Andersen AFB, Guam, where they were processed for resettlement in the U.S during Operation Pacific Haven.



  • 16 Sep 1940 - A War Department announcement said the Civil Aeronautics Administration would cooperate with the Army on the development of black aviation units.

  • 16 Sep 1944 - Eighth Air Force sent seven fighter groups, four carrying bombs, to strafe German targets in Hannover, Bremen, Onasbruck and bomb Ahlhorn Airfield, Mannheim and Kaiserslautern.







  • 16 Sep 1949 - The first Air Force three-jet aircraft, the Martin XB-51 received its final checkout. 



  • 16 Sep 1958 - North American's T-39 Sabreliner made its first flight.

  • 16 Sep 1960 - From Cape Canaveral, Fla., a 1.5-ton reentry nose cone on an Atlas missile flew on a 5,000-mile test flight.

  • 16 Sep 1978 - Under a Department of Defense-directed program, Strategic Air Command transferred the 128th and last KC-135 from the 7th Bombardment Wing at Carswell AFB, Texas to the 931st Air Refueling Group at Grissom AFB, Ind.

  • 16 Sep 1978 - First Lt. Patricia M. Fornes, from the 381st Strategic Missile Wing at McConnell AFB, Kan., became Strategic Air Command's first female officer to perform Titan II alert duty.

  • 16 Sep 1983 - Military Airlift Command accepted the first of 11 Gulfstream III business jets, designated C-20A, into its inventory to replace C-140 special air mission aircraft.

  • 16 Sep 1995 - After Hurricane Marilyn damaged or destroyed nearly 80 percent of the buildings on St. Thomas, Virgin Islands and other Caribbean Islands, Air Mobility Command dispatched C-5s, C-17s, C-141s, and contracted commercial airlift and Air Combat Command sent C-130s on 212 missions to deliver 2,348 passengers and 3,617 short tons of cargo during Operation Caribbean Express through Oct.10.

  • 16 Sep 1999 - NASA's NB-52B launch aircraft, nicknamed "Balls Eight," completed its 1,000th flight.


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