Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 17 Sep 1941- During an Army tactical exercise in Louisiana, DC-3s dropped parachute troops for the first time.

  • 17 Sep 1944 - During Operation Market Garden, 1,546 allied planes and 478 gliders carried 35,000 troops for an airborne assault between Eindhoven and Arnhem in Holland to secure the Rhine.

  • 17 Sep 1947 - The National Military Establishment (later the Department of Defense) comes into being as directed in the National Security Act of 1947. A key provision of the act establishes the Air Force as a separate service.





  • 17 Sep 1950 - The U.S. Marine Corps captured Kimpo Airfield. To support the Eighth Army offensive, Fifth Air Force F-51s and F-80s flew napalm attacks, killing an estimated 1,200 enemy soldiers in Tabu-dong, Yongchon, and other strongholds near the Naktong River. Far East Air Forces began a week of dropping four million psychological warfare leaflets. 
  • 17 Sep 1951 - The 62nd Troop Carrier Wing's activation at McChord AFB, Wash. made it the first Tactical Air Command unit with C-124s assigned.

  • 17 Sep 1958 - Capt. Charles E. Gibbs flew a 92nd Air Refueling Squadron KC-135 from Fairchild AFB, Wash., to four closed-circuit FAI records distance without refueling, 3,125.56 miles; speed for 2,000 kilometers, 589.3 mph with payloads of 2,204.6, 4,409.2, 11,023 and 22,046 pounds; speed for 5,000 kilometers, 587.1 mph and speed for 5,000 kilometers, 587.136 mph, with the same payloads.

  • 17 Sep 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson announced that the U.S. had an over-the-horizon radar that could see around the earth's curvature to detect missiles shortly after their launch.

  • 17 Sep 1970 - Gunship developer, pilot and program director, Maj. Ronald W. Terry, received the 1969 Harold Brown Award for achievement in research and development. Maj. Terry worked for the Gunship program office at Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio.

  • 17 Sep 1976 - The first Space Shuttle, the Enterprise, rolled out of Palmdale, Calif.

  • 17 Sep 1980 - For the Glory Trip 77 operational missile test, Vandenberg AFB, Calif., launched a Minuteman III on a 5,600-mile flight to near Kwajalein. This was the longest Minuteman flight to date.

  • 17 Sep 1987 - In a five-hour flight from Rockwell's Palmdale facility, Maj. H. Brent Hedgpeth and Lt. Col. Robert A. Chamberlain flew the 70th production B-1B 2,700 miles to 18 world speed and payload records in the unlimited weight class.



  • 18 Sep 1947 - W. Stuart Symington is sworn in as the first Secretary of the Air Force. Effective date of transfer of air activities from the Army to new Department of the Air Force.

  • 18 Sep 1950 - The 92nd Bombardment Group and 98th Bombardment Group dispatched 42 B-29s to drop 1,600 bombs on enemy troop concentrations near Waegwan, South Korea. The raid allowed the Eighth Army to advance rapidly from the Pusan perimeter toward Seoul.






  • 18 Sep 1954 - The U.S. Air Force assigned the first F-100A to Tactical Air Command's 479th Fighter-Bomber Wing at George AFB, Calif. It arrived on Sept. 27.
  • 18 Sep 1967 - Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, approved production of a "thin" Nike-X and ballistic missile to give regions in the U.S. at least one battery of warhead interceptors.

  • 18 Sep 1970 - Tactical Air Command's C-130 aircrews from Langley AFB, Va.; Dyess AFB, Texas; Pope AFB, N.C.; and Forbes AFB, Kan. conducted humanitarian airlift operations to Jordan.

  • 18 Sep 1982 - During Exercise Display Determination, U.S. Air Forces in Europe augmented the weak air defenses of Southern Italy by integrating E-3A Sentry airborne warning and control system capabilities into the existing ground systems lasting through Sept. 30.

  • 18 Sep 1984 - Retired Col. Joseph W. Kittinger Jr, completed the first solo crossing of the Atlantic in a balloon. He lifted off from Caribou, Maine, and flew to Savona, Italy, in 84 hours. His 3,550-mile flight set a balloon distance record.

  • 18 Sep 1986 - The 436th Military Airlift Wing sent two C-5s with 93 tons of medical supplies and food to Luzon, Philippines through Sept. 20. President Acquino personally accepted the relief supplies at Andrews AFB, Md.

  • 18 Sep 1990 - The 436th Military Airlift Wing and 438th MAW moved 107 pallets of tents, cots, and blankets as well as 360 passengers to Jordan through Sept. 28. The supplies provided relief to 100,000 foreign workers from Kuwait, who fled to Jordan after Iraq's invasion.

  • 19 Sep 1950 - Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command began an airlift to Kimpo Airfield with 32 C-54s carrying equipment and supplies for ground troops. Supported by Fifth Air Force close air support missions, the 24th Infantry Division began crossing the Naktong River near Waegwan, and the 1st Cavalry Division broke through communist lines.



  • 19 Sep 1958 - The Royal Air Force received its first Thor missile at Feltwell, England.

  • 19 Sep 1960 - For the second time in four months, the U.S. Air Force flew an Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile over a 9,000-mile course from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to a predetermined landing area in the Indian Ocean.

  • 19 Sep 1961 - NASA announced that the future Manned Spacecraft Center would be located near Houston, Texas.

  • 19 Sep 1961 - The U.S. Air Force Semi-Automated Ground Environment System center at Gunter AFS, Ala., controlled the flight of a BOMARC B missile from its launch at Eglin AFB, Fla., to its interception of a Regulus II supersonic drone seven miles up and 250 miles away off the Florida coast. In the flight, the BOMARC successfully made a U-turn.

  • 19 Sep 1969 - An F-4E flying near Edwards AFB, Calif., successfully air launched the first Maverick air-to-ground missile.

  • 19 Sep 1972 - A Minuteman III completed its first operational test launch from a regular launch facility at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.







  • 19 Sep 1974 - The 165th Military Airlift Group at Savannah, Ga., flew the last C-124 in Military Airlift Command's Reserve Forces to storage at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.


  • 19 Sep 1975 - Maj. George W. Larson of the 4200th Test and Evaluation Squadron at Edwards AFB, Calif., became the first Strategic Air Command pilot to fly the B-1 bomber. Charles C. Bock and Richard Abrams from Rockwell also handled the controls during the flight.

  • 19 Sep 1984 - A C-141 flew to Kinshasa, Zaire, in support of an AIDS research project conducted by the U.S. National Institute of Health. It carried three passengers and nine tons of medical supplies and equipment through Sept. 21.

  • 20 Sep 1950 - The U.S. Air Force announced that planes would be tested by remote control, with pilots viewing instrument panels from the ground by television

  • 20 Sep 1950 - By using night lighting equipment, Far East Air Forces Combat Cargo Command turned its Kimpo airlift into a 24-hour operation. To destroy potential enemy reinforcements, B-29s attacked three separate barracks areas in and near Pyongyang, North Korea.

  • 20 Sep 1951 - The U.S. Air Force recovered animals from a rocket flight for the first time, when a monkey and 11 mice survived an Aerobee flight to an altitude of 236,000 feet.

  • 20 Sep 1956 - Cape Canaveral launched the first Jupiter C, a three-stage missile. It attained an altitude of 680 miles and traveled 3,300 miles.






  • 20 Sep 1956 - Exercise Mobile Baker deployed a Composite Air Strike Force to Europe, the first aircraft left the U.S. and were refueled on their way across the Atlantic by KB-29s and KB-50s. After the units arrived in Europe, they participated in NATO Maneuver Whipsaw. The last aircraft returned to the U.S. on Oct. 9.




  • 20 Sep 1957 - Air Force Chief of Staff, Gen. Thomas D. White, announced that radar units could detect intercontinental ballistic missiles at a distance of 3,000 miles.

  • 20 Sep 1966 - Lt. Col. Donald M. Sorlie became the first U.S. Air Force pilot to fly NASA's M2-F2 Lifting Body from the Air Force Flight Training Center at Edwards AFB, Calif. A B-52 launched the M2-F2 from 45,000 feet. It reached nearly 400 mph in its three and a half minute flight.

  • 20 Sep 1980 - Pacific Air Forces sent two F-15 Eagles and an E-3A Sentry to New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand to demonstrate those new aircraft.

  • 20 Sep 1999 - C-130 airlifted U.S. troops from Australia to Dili, East Timor, after that nation declared its independence from Indonesia and a bloody war erupted. Eventually, one C-141, 21 C-130s, three KC-135s and two C-17s took part in Operation Stabilise to move peacekeeping troops into the area.



  • 21 Sep 1942 - The Boeing B-29 Superfortress made its first flight.



  • 21 Sep 1950 - U.S. Air Force forward air controllers in T-6 Mosquitoes spotted about 30 North Korean enemy tanks near the advancing 24th Infantry Division. They called in U.S. Air Force aircraft and U.S. Army ground artillery, which destroyed 14 enemy tanks and forced the rest to flee. Far East Air Force Combat Cargo Command C-54s began airlifting supplies, rations and ammunitions to Suwon Airfield south of Seoul. C-119s initiated airdrops of food and ammunition to front-line U.N. troops.
  • 21 Sep 1960 - Tactical Air Command accepted its first all-weather Republic F-105D at Nellis AFB, Nev., however, the aircraft did not officially enter service until Republic delivered the jet to Seymour Johnson AFB, S.C. It was the first aircraft able to carry a nuclear weapon.

  • 21 Sep 1964 - Secretary of the Air Force, Eugene M. Zuckert, presented the Gen. Thomas D. White Space Trophy to astronaut Gordon L. Cooper for orbiting the earth in the Mercury spacecraft.

  • 21 Sep 1964 - At Palmdale, Calif., the XB-70 experimental aircraft (B-70A Valkyrie) flies for the first time.

  • 21 Sep 1978 - Following Israel's invasion of Lebanon, Military Airlift Command aircrews supported U.N. peacekeeping forces by transporting 2,462 passengers and 3,280 tons of equipment and supplies through Sept. 30. They also delivered 85 tons of relief supplies to Lebanon.

  • 21 Sep 1981 - After 35 years of duty, the Air Rescue and Recovery Service saved its 20,000th person in a rescue of 14 Philippine sailors from their grounded ship near Laoag, Philippines.

  • 21 Sep 1982 - A B-52G from the 416th Bombardment Wing at Griffiss AFB, N.Y., conducted the first air-launched cruise missile operational test launch.

  • 21 Sep 1985 - Military Airlift Command dispatched four C-5s, one C-141 and five C-130 missions to deliver 375 tons of cargo to Mexico City following massive earthquakes there. First Lady Nancy Reagan flew on an 89th Military Airlift Wing aircraft to deliver a $1 million check for aid and to express America's concern for the victims.

  • 21 Sep 1998 - After Hurricane Georges devastated Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and the Virgin Islands, and made landfall on the Gulf Coast, Air Mobility Command, Air Force Reserve Center, and Air National Guard units provided extensive relief support. Through Oct. 12 , AMC flew more than 190 missions to move medical teams, generators refrigerator units, construction equipment, and similar cargo to the disaster areas, along with 450 passengers and 8,500 short tons of cargo from numerous onload places in the U.S. Members of the 156th Airlift Wing, Puerto Rico ANG, flew tons of food, water, equipment and supplies to remote parts of the storm-stricken island.

  • 21 Sep 1999 - Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Michael D. Ryan presented five members from Alaska Air National Guard's 210th Rescue Squadron, with the 1999 Mackay Trophy for a daring May 27, 1998, mountaintop rescue of six people trapped in a crashed Cessna 207. Using their Pavehawk helicopter, the crew took nearly seven hours to complete the rescue due to strong winds and thick swirling clouds at the 10,500 foot crash site on Mount Torbert, 70 miles east of Anchorage.



  • 22 Sep 1943 - Due to heavy losses in daylight raids, Eighth Air Force B-17s flew in a night raid on Germany with the Royal Air Force for the first time.  

  • 22 Sep 1947 - A U.S. Air Force C-54 flew 2,400 miles from Stephenville, Newfoundland, to London on the first transatlantic robot-controlled flight.






  • 22 Sep 1949 - Convair's T-29 Flying Schoolroom made its first flight. It provided navigator training at 14 stations.


  • 22 Sep 1950 - Col. David C. Schilling completed the first jet nonstop, Atlantic flight when he landed his F-84E Thunderjet at Limestone AFB, Maine. He flew 3,300 miles from England in 10 hours, one minute in Operation Fox Able Four. His wingman, Lt. Col. William Ritchie, bailed out over Newfoundland and was rescued. This operation tested probe and drogue refueling from a B-29 as a method to increase the range of fighters.

  • 22 Sep 1950 - With North Korean resistance crumbling along the Pusan perimeter, Lt. George W. Nelson, a T-6 Mosquito pilot, dropped a note to 200 enemy troops near Kunsan demanding their surrender. They moved to a designated hill and were captured by nearby U.N ground troops. B-29s dropped flares over rail lines, allowing B-26s to attack enemy trains at night.

  • 22 Sep 1986 - Two C-5s carried a record of 174,185 pounds of cargo to the Philippines.

  • 22 Sep 1993 - The first B-2, called "ACC-1" and later "Spirit of Missouri," made its first flight from Palmdale, Calif.

  • 22 Sep 1995 - After 53 years of operation, Griffiss AFB, N.Y., closes.



  • 23 Sep 1944 - Twenty-four B-25s from the 340th Bomb Group, Twelfth Air Force, bombed and sank the light cruiser Taranto in La Spezia Harbor, Italy.

  • 23 Sep1949 - Through air samples, an Air Weather Service RB-29 confirmed the first Soviet A-bomb explosion.

  • 23 Sep 1950 - In the first recorded special operations mission of the war, SB-17 aircraft of the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron made a classified flight in Korea.






  • 23 Sep 1951- The 27th Fighter-Escort Wing at Bergstrom AFB, Texas, received the first F-84G Thunderjet. It could be refueled inflight.




  • 23 Sep 1959 - The Department of Defense reorganized its space and missile programs to give the U.S. Air Force responsibility over space transportation and ultimately all space booster rockets.

  • 23 Sep 1961- A Titan I completed its first attempted silo-lift launch at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

  • 23 Sep 1963 - A Strategic Air Command crew launched its first Titan II from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

  • 23 Sep 1965 - After 13 months in operation, the second-generation weather satellite Nimbus I, quit transmitting data.

  • 23 Sep 1987 - A Grumman F-14 Tomcat fired the AIM-120A Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile for the first time at the Pacific Missile Test Center at Point Mugu, Calif.3 Sep 1977 - The Air Force announced that women would be recruited for Titan II combat crew duty.

  • 23 Sep 1991- Military Airlift Command transferred its C-29As and flight-checking mission to the FAA at Oklahoma City, Okla. through Sept 30.

  • 23 Sep 1994 - The "Spirit of California" B-2 delivered two inert 2,000 pound bombs at the Utah Test and Training Range. This was the B-2 first operational drop of weapons.

  • 23 Sep 2002 - The Air Force Flight Training Center conducted a short-notice accelerated test of the Army's FIMN-92 Stinger surface-to-air missile against a Predator unmanned aerial vehicle.

  • 23 September 2004 - A C-17 from McChord AFB, Wash., delivered medicines and medical supplies worth $15 million to Kishkek in the Kyrgyz Republic. It was the largest humanitarian shipment to the republic since it became an independent state in 1991.

  • 23 Sep 1991 - Military Airlift Command transferred its C-29As and flight-checking mission to the FAA at Oklahoma City, Okla. through Sept 30.



  • 24 Sep 1919 - An altitude record of 30,900 feet is set for an airplane carrying a passenger.





  • 24 Sep 1929 - Lt. James H. Doolittle made the first all-blind flight at Mitchel Field, N.Y. Although a check pilot accompanied him, Lt. Doolittle took off in a Consolidated NY-2 airplane with a completely covered cockpit, flew a short distance and landed.

  • 24 Sep 1958 - A BOMARC missile launched from Cape Canaveral by a Semi-Automatic Ground Environment unit in Kingston, N.Y., destroyed a target flying 1,000 mph at 48,000 feet over the Atlantic 75 miles away.

  • 24 Sep 1964 - President Lyndon B. Johnson presented aviator's highest honor, the Robert J. Collier Trophy, to Clarence L. Johnson of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, who designed and developed the A-11. Ten days earlier, Mr. Johnson also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award.

  • 24 Sep 1964 - The RF-4 became operational at Shaw AFB, S.C.

  • 24 Sep 1964 - A Minuteman II launched in its first attempt from Cape Kennedy, Fla.

  • 24 Sep 1968 - A KC-135 crash during an emergency landing at Wake Island produced the first tanker casualty in the Southeast Asia war. The crash claimed 11 Arc Light support personnel redeploying from U-Tapao AB, Thailand.

  • 24 Sep 1968 - An U. S. Air Force Titan IIIC orbited four scientific satellites.

  • 24 Sep 1987 - The Thunderbirds gave their first show in the People's Republic of China before 20,000 in Beijing.

  • 24 Sep 2004 - The first of 13 C-17s for McGuire AFB, N.J., arrived from the Boeing factory in Long Beach, Calif. The Globemaster III was the first C-17 modified with "Block 15" upgrades, including station-keeping equipment that allowed for all-weather formation flying with up to 100 aircraft.


PREVIOUS PAGE          HOME          NEXT PAGE