Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 17 Aug 1942 The first combat mission flown by 8th Air Force against Hitler’s Festung Europa takes place against German-held Rouen, France, led by then-Major Paul Tibbets.

  • 17 Aug 1942 - Col. Frank A. Armstrong Jr., led 12 B-17s from the 97th Bomb Group against the Rouen-Sotteville marshalling yards in France. The raid, which was the first Eighth Air Force heavy bomber mission from the United Kingdom against Western Europe in World War II, demonstrated the feasibility of daylight bombing.

  • 17 Aug 1943. Gen Kenney’s forces in New Guinea stage a massive Offensive Counterair attack against Japanese. The first wave of attackers with a force of 12 B-17s and 41 B-24s is followed two hours later by strafing attacks by B-25 medium bombers. P-38s provide escort for the bombers. Taken by surprise, over 150 aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force are destroyed, most of them on the ground. Two US bombers are lost. The Japanese ability to mount offensive operations is crippled.




  • 17 Aug 1943 - Eighth Air Force sent more than 300 B-17s on its first raid against German ball-bearing plants at Schweinfurt and the aircraft plants at Regensburg. The mission suffered heavy losses as 60 bombers fell, mostly to enemy fighters. Military leaders reexamined the heavy bomber's ability to protect itself and delayed the next mission until Sept. 6. It was also the first shuttle operation in the European theater.

  • 17 Aug 1943 - Air Training Command used a C-87 Liberator to carry Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt on a tour of the Pacific theater to boost morale, inspect Red Cross installations, and learn how women from Australia and New Zealand supported the war.

  • 17 Aug 1946 - Sgt. Lawrence Lambert at Wright Field, Ohio became the first person in the U.S. to be ejected from an aircraft by ejection seat. He ejected from a P-61 flying at 302 mph at 7,800 feet in altitude.

  • 17 Aug 1949 - The Senate ratified the Geneva international treaty regarding rights in aircraft.

  • 17 Aug 1951 - Col. Fred J. Ascani flew a combat-equipped F-86F Sabre at 635,686 mph to set a 100-kilometer world record course at the National Air Races in Detroit. He received the Mackay Trophy for this flight.

  • 17 Aug 1955 - Twelve F-84F Thunderstreaks flew nonstop 5,118 miles from London, to Austin, Texas, in 10 hours, 43 minutes to set distance and time records for a mass flight.

  • 17 Aug 1961 - The BOMARC-B missile completed a critical profile flight by destroying a B-47 drone at a minimum range of 50 nautical miles and 5,000 feet in altitude.

  • 17 Aug 1962 - The Douglas Aircraft Company fired the Saturn C-1 booster's S-IV stage in a 10-second static test at Sacramento, Calif.

  • 17 Aug 1969 - Hurricane Camille, the strongest storm to hit the U.S. to date, damaged the Mississippi Gulf Coast. People from Tactical Air Command, Military Airlift Command, Air Training Command, Air Force Communications Systems, the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard provided emergency aid. The U.S. Air Force delivered 5,900 tons of cargo with six different types of airlifters to the region by Sept. 16.

  • 17 Aug 1972 - The U.S. Air Force changed navigator bombarder training into a nonflying training program to save $1.9 million a year.

  • 17 Aug 1974 - The Teledyne Ryan long-range reconnaissance drone, Compass Cope, completed its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 17 Aug 1990 - President Bush activates the Civil Reserve Air Fleet for the first time since it was authorized in 1952. The activation increases airlift availability for the Middle East.

  • 17 Aug 1993 - A 13,000-pound steel guillotine cut the first of 350 B-52Gs into 18 pieces by the Aircraft Maintenance and Regeneration Center at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. The bombers were being destroyed under the terms of the START II Treaty.

  • 17 Aug 1994 - The Air Force's second operational B-2, the Spirit of California, joined the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman, Mo.

  • 17 Aug 1995 - Following turmoil in Iraq and renewed threats of military action against its neighbors, Air Mobility Command initiated an airlift to augment Southern Watch forces under Operation Vigilant Sentinel. The operation later evolved into Exercise Intrinsic Action. Air Mobility Command dispatched over 100 strategic and commercial aircraft flights to carry over more than 2,200 passengers and over 1,300 short tons of cargo to the region through late Aug 17th.

  • 17 Aug 1995 - The E-8C JSTARS began flight tests.

  • 17 Aug 1996 - Due to increased terrorism in the Persian Gulf, Air Mobility Command contracted a Boeing 747 to return 300 DOD family members from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to the U.S. on Aug. 18. On Aug. 17, a C-141 flew 90 cats and dogs belonging to the families to the U.S. in Operation Noah's Ark.



  • 18 Aug 1941-President Roosevelt announced agreements to let Pan American Airways ferry warplanes from the U.S. to British forces in the Middle East via West Africa.








  • 18 Aug 1956 - Last Air Force pilot training class to fly piston-engined T-6 aircraft graduated at Bartow AB, Fla. The Air Force used various versions of the T-6 to polish pilot skills since 1941.

  • 18 Aug 1965 - The first Minuteman II launch from an operationally configured silo at Vandenberg AFB, Calif. succeeded.

  • 18 Aug 1978 - At McConnell AFB, Kan., Airman 1st Class Tina M. Ponzer, 381st Strategic Missile Wing, became SAC's first enlisted female to perform Titan II alert duty.

  • 18 Aug 1987 - The 308th Strategic Missile Wing inactivation at Little Rock AFB, Ark., officially ended Strategic Air Command's Titan II missile program.

  • 18 Aug 1992 - The Operation Southern Watch restricted Iraq flights south of 32 degrees north latitude. Air Mobility Command airlifted U.S. Forces to Saudi Arabia to support the operation. The command also deployed tankers to refuel fighters flying combat air patrols.

  • 18 Aug 1999 - During Operation Avid Response, after a devastating earthquake rocked western Turkey, Air Mobility Command began its support of this international relief effort. A C-5 from the 436th Airlift Wing at Dover AFB, Del., left the U.S. for Istanbul with a 70-person search and rescue team. The team, with five search and rescue dogs, 56,000 pounds of equipment and three vehicles, set up operations in nearby Izmir. Two KC-10s from the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., refueled the C-5 during its nonstop flight to Turkey. By Sept.10, when the Avid Response task force at Topel NAS, Turkey, disbanded, Air Mobility Command aircraft had flown 20 missions to support the earthquake relief effort.

  • 18 Aug 1999 - The 7th Bomb Wing became the first unit to achieve initial operational capability of the Joint Air to Surface Standoff Missile.

    • 18 Aug 2009. The 24th Air Force stands up, responsible for offensive and defensive operations in cyberspace.



    • 19 Aug 1940 - North American B-25 Mitchel bomber first flew.

    • 19 Aug 1942 - 2nd Lt. Sam F. Junkin became the first active-duty American pilot to shoot down a German fighter over Europe while giving air support to a commando raid on Dieppe, France.

    • 19 Aug 1950 - Aided by air strkes, U.S. troops drove North Korea forces near the Yongsan bridgehead back across the Naktong River to end the Battle of the Naktong Bulge. Sixty-three B-29s attacked the industrial and port area of Chongjin in Northeast Korea, while nine B-29s from the 19th Bomb Group dropped 54 tons of 1,000-pound bombs on the west railway bridge at Seoul. Moreover, 37 U.S. Navy dive bombers from two carriers followed up the U.S. Air Force attack. Afterwards, aerial reconnaissance revealed the collapse of two spans.

    • 19 Aug 1957 - During Project Man High II, Maj. David G. Simons set a FAI altitude record of 101,516 feet for manned balloon flight lasting through Aug. 20. He ascended at Crosby, Minn., and landed at Elm Lake, S.D., after being airborne for 32 hours.

    • 19 Aug 1959 - Discoverer VI, a U.S. Air Force satellite, launched into a polar orbit from the Pacific Missile Range. Its instrument capsule was not recovered.






  • 19 Aug 1960 - Piloting a C-119, Capt. Harold F. Mitchell retrieves the Discoverer XIV reentry capsule in midair. This is the first successful aerial recovery of a returning space capsule.



  • 19 Aug 1964 - A Thor-Delta rocket carried the Hughes SYNCOM III communications satellite into space. After several weeks of minor maneuvering, the satellite achieved a near-perfect stationary position above the equator and International Date Line. That achievement made SYNCOM III the world's first geostationary satellite.

  • 19 Aug 1970 - At Minot AFB, N.D., the first Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles went on alert with the 741st Strategic Missile Squadron.

  • 19 Aug 1972 - Military Air Command HH-3 Jolly Green Giant and HH-43 Huskie helicopters rescued 748 Koreans from flood waters in the Osan area after 18 inches of rain fell in less than 30 hours lasting through Aug. 20th.

  • 19 Aug 1974 - Three C-141s carried 600 tents and 15,000 blankets into Bangladesh after severe floods through Aug. 20.

  • 19 Aug 1984 - Two C-141s from Twenty-Second Air Force evacuated 382 U.S. military and civilian personnel from Johnson Island through Aug. 20 to avoid Typhoon Kell.



  • 20 Aug 1953 - Strategic Air Command moved the 31st and 508th Strategic Fighter Wings from Turner AFB, Ga. to Nouasseur AB, French Morocco, and Lakenheath, England during Operation Longstride. In Phase I, eight F-84 Thunderjets from the 31st used three KC-97 air refuelings to reach Nouasseur in 10 hours, 20 minutes. The 31st returned home on Sept. 2. Phase II also started today as 17 F-84Gs from the 508th flew 4,485 miles to Lakenheath. With three air refuelings, these F-84s traveled the greatest distance flown nonstop to date by single-engine jet fighters. The unit returned to Turner AFB on Sept. 12. For this operation, the 40th Air Divison earned the Mackay Trophy.

  • 20 Aug 1955 - At Edwards AFB, Calif., Col. Horace A. Hanes, director of flight testing at the Air Force Flight Test Center flew an F-100C to an FAI speed record of 822,135 mph for straightaway flight. He later received the 1955 Mackay Trophy.

  • 20 Aug 1962 - In an X-15 flight, Maj. Robert A. Rushworth participated in the first successful attempt to telemeter electrocardiogram.

  • 20 Aug 1973 - Airlifters from Military Airlift Command, Tactical Air Command and Air Force Reserves airlifted 2,400 tons of relief supplies and equipment to Pakistan for flood victims.

  • 20 Aug 1975 - The 320th Bombardment Wing at Mather AFB, Calif., received the last short range attack missile.

  • 20 Aug 1990 - More than 15,300 reservists, roughly 22 percent of the reserve force, volunteered to serve in Desert Shield.

  • 20 Aug 1995 - After the Aug. 7 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the U.S. launched more than 75 Tomahawk land-attack missiles from ships and submarines against terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan.








  • 21 Aug 1944 - The F-8F Bearcat first flew

  • 21 Aug 1948 - In his final report as Chief of Staff for the Air Force, Gen. Carl Spaatz disclosed the development of a supersonic guided atomic missile with a 5,000-mile range.

  • 21 Aug 1961 - Construction on first Minuteman 1B operational facilities began at Ellsworth AFB, S.D.

  • 21 Aug 1967 - With a special coating of heat resisting material and protective white paint, Maj. William J. Knight flew the X-15 at 3,409 mph (Mach 6.5) above Edwards AFB, Calif. It was the X-15s first flight with an ablative coating.

  • 21 Aug 1968 - An Air Force UH-1F helicopter evacuated 260 people and 52,000 pounds of personal belongs and food during a four-day period to aid flood victims in northern Nicaragua.

  • 21 Aug 1970 - An A-7D Corsair completed its first aerial refueling over Death Valley, Calif. A KC-97L tanker from the Illinois Air National Guard provided the fuel.

  • 21 Aug 1987 - At Seattle, a Boeing 767 modified for the Strategic Defense Initiative airborne Optical Adjunct mission, first flew. It carried a special infrared sensor built by Hughes Aircraft Co.

  • 21 Aug 1990 - In the first two 22 weeks of Operation Desert Shield, the Air Force deployed six fighter wings to the area, while Strategic Air Command increased refueling and reconnaissance flights over the region.






  • 21 Aug 1998 - Maj. Michael J. Brill, a full-time air reserve technician with the 419th Fighter Wing, at Hill AFB, Utah, became the first Air Force pilot to amass more than 4,000 total flying hours in the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

  • 22 Aug 1950 - Chinese anti-aircraft gunners fired across the Yalu River at RB-29s flying border reconnaissance. This was the first hostile Chinese action against U.N. aircraft.










  • 22 Aug 1988 - Aircrews flew one C-5, one C-130 and 29 C-141s to carry 2,497 Army firefighters and 420 tons of equipment to Bozeman, Mo. And West Yellowstone, Wyo. to fight a forest fire in Yellowstone National Park that had engulfed 592,000 acres lasting through Oct. 6.




  • 22 Aug 1990 - President George Bush called-up 200,000 Air National Guard and Air Force Reserve personnel for Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

  • 22 Aug 1997 - A C-5 aircrew from Dover AFB, Del. delivered a NASA satellite from Andrews AFB, Md., to Kagoshima, Japan, after a 16-hour flight. The $250 million satellite for the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission was the first joint project between the U.S. and Japan.

  • 23 Aug 1948 - The 31st Fighter Wing at Turner AFB, Ga., received Tactical Air Command's first F-84 aircraft.

  • 23 Aug 1950 - The 19th Bomb Group flew the first Razon mission. With the exception of one bomb that hit a railroad bridge near Pyongyang, the World War II-era-radio control equipment failed to guide the bombs to the target.







  • 23 Aug 1951 - The X-1D rocket research plane caught fire on its first flight. Its B-50 carrier plane had to jettison the X-1 to destruction over Edwards AFB, Calif.



  • 23 Aug 1954 - The YC-130 Hercules made its maiden flight from Lockheed Air Terminal, Burbank, Calif.

  • 23 Aug 1978 - The U.S. Air Force asked Boeing Aerospace and General Dynamics to build 12 air-launched cruise missiles each for a competitive contract.

  • 23 Aug 1985 - From a modified Minuteman launch facility at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., Air Force System Command conducted America's first land-based "cold launch" from an underground silo. The "cold launch" technique ejected a Peacekeeper missile by gas pressure and its propellant ignited after becoming airborne. This method greatly reduced the damage to a silo from a launch. This successful launch was the ninth in the Peacekeeper's testing program.

  • 23 Aug 1986 - All B-52Gs completed their cruise missile integration modifications.

  • 23 Aug 1990 - Secretary of Defense Richard B. Cheney gave the Air Force the authority to call up reservists for active duty in the Gulf crisis. The Air Force eventually called up more than 20,000 Air Force reservists.

  • 23 Aug 1990 - The 89th Military Airlift Wing receives the first of two Boeing VC-25A presidential transport aircraft at Andrews AFB, Md. The VC-25A is a modified 747-200B commercial transport that replaces the VC-137C.

  • 23 Aug 1994 - Air Mobility Command-gained Air Natural Guard refueling units operating from airfields at Istres, France, and Pisa, Italy, began participating in Operation Deny Flight to maintain a no-fly zone over Bosnia.

  • 24 Aug 1951 - Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Chief of Staff for the Air Force, disclosed the development of atomic tactical weapons for use against armies in the field.

  • 24 Aug 1959 - The U.S. Air Force launched an Atlas-C over a 5,000-mile course. Later, the Air Force recovered a data capsule containing movies taken from 700 miles up that showed one-sixth of the earth's surface.






  • 24 Aug 1961 - At Edwards AFB, Calif., Jacqueline Cochran flew a Northrop T-38 Talon to a world speed record for women - 842.6 miles per hour.


  • 24 Aug 1965 - A 341st Strategic Missile Squadron from Malmstrom AFB, Mo., launched the 100th Minuteman I test missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

  • 24 Aug 1974 - Alexander P. de Seversky, airpower advocate and an inventive genius whose life and career followed the evolution of aviation died in New York at 80. He developed the P-35, the Army Air Corps' first single seat all-metal pursuit aircraft with retractable landing gear and a closed cockpit. He also developed inflight-refueling techniques.

  • 24 Aug 1978 - The 81st Tactical Fighter Wing at Royal Air Force Bentwaters/Woodbridge, England, received the first three A-10s destined for U. S. Air Forces in Europe.

  • 24 Aug 1979 - Full-scale development of the Global Positioning System authorized.

  • 24 Aug 1994 - As Hurricane John approached, Air Mobility Command aircraft evacuated 1,107 military and civilian personnel from Johnston Island, located 740 miles southwest of Honolulu. Six C-141s, two DC-8 charters, and one C-130 brought everyone to Hickam AFB, Hawaii. Although most evacuees returned to Johnston on commercial flights in early September, an Air Mobility Command C-141 and a few C-130s returned some residents in late August.


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