Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 17 Mar 1958 - Vanguard I, the second U.S. satellite to go into orbit, launched from Cape Canaveral.

  • 17 Mar 1967 - The U.S. and Thai governments announced that U.S. Air Force units in Thailand were flying missions against North Vietnam.

  • 17 Mar 1971 - Jane Leslie Holley becomes the first woman commissioned through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program. She graduated from Auburn University, Ala.







  • 17 Mar 1981 - At Long Beach, Calif., the Douglas Aircraft Company turned over the first KC-10 Extender to Lt. Gen. Edgar S. Harris, the Eighth Air Force commander. He flew it to Barksdale AFB, La., for testing with the 4200th Test and Evaluation Squadron.





  • 17 Mar 1997 - Air Force Special Operations Command provided a joint task force with MC-130 aircraft and MH-53 helicopters to evacuate U.S. citizens and other foreigners from Zaire due to an outbreak of civil unrest. By late March, the special operation effort had moved 532 passengers in 57 missions. To assist, Air Mobility Command dispatched C-5s, C-17s, C-141s and KC-135s. By April 17, AMC had flown 115 missions, carrying 1,200 passengers and 2,400 short tons of cargo.


  • 18 Mar 1952 - Two F-84 Thunderjets landed in Neubiberg, Germany, after a 2,800-mile flight without refueling. It was believed to be the longest sustained jet fighter flight to date. The planes crossed seven nations, averaged 585 mph, and were airborne for four hours, 48 minutes.

  • 18 Mar 1960 - First Snark Intercontinental Ballistic Missile placed on alert with the 702nd Strategic Missile Wing at Presque Isle AFB, Maine.

  • 18 Mar 1964 - The U.S. Air Force issued a requirement for the short range attack missile.

  • 18 Mar 1971 - Capt. Marcelite C. Jordon becomes the first woman aircraft maintenance officer after completing the Aircraft Maintenance Officer School.






  • 18 Mar 1981 - The 18th Tactical Fighter Wing received 80 F-15 Eagles. This delivery completed Pacific Air Force's conversion to the new fighter-bomber. The 18th then transferred 79 F-4 Phantoms to other commands.





  • 19 Mar 1969 - Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, announced the FB-111 program would be reduced, due to its lack of intercontinental range. He limited the U.S. Air Force to four squadrons with 60 aircraft and a few replacements. Mr. Laird revealed that a new bomber, the Advanced Manned Strategic Aircraft would be developed. This aircraft later became the B-1.

  • 19Mar 1970 - Maj. Jerauld R. Gentry, an Air Force Flight Test Center test pilot, made the first powered flight of the Martin Marietta X-24A Wingless Lifting Body over Edwards AFB, Calif. A B-52 dropped the X-24A.






  • 19 Mar 1971 - U.S. Air Force Southern Command began moving residents from Nicaraguan farming areas ravaged by the Cerro Negro volcano. During the 10-day mission, C-123s airlifted 885 Nicaraguans and 190,000 pounds of household goods, food and other supplies to a new area.





  • 19 Mar 1978 - For the first time, U.S. Air Forces in Europe F-15 Eagles and Navy F-14 Tomcat aircraft began joint dissimilar air combat tactics training.

  • 19 Mar 1984 - Military Airlift Command flew 28 C-5 Galaxy and 17 C-141 missions to carry 1,286 passengers and 1,594 tons of cargo for the deployment of three E-3A airborne warning and control system to provide aerial surveillance for Egypt and the Sudan against threats from Libya. Five KC-135 and two KC-10 missions provided aerial refueling through April 9 in Operation Eagle Lift.

  • 19 Mar 1992 - Two F-15s intercepted two Russian TU-95 Bear bombers near the Alaskan coast, the first such interception since the breakup of the Soviet Union.

  • 19 Mar 1997 - The 509th Bomb Wing conducted the longest B-2 Spirit mission to date when "The Spirit of Florida," flew from Whiteman AFB, Mo., to Puerto Rico. Maj. Robert O'Neal and Capt. Scott Hughes flew the nearly 30-hour, round-trip flight with its four aerial refuelings and a live conventional weapon release at the Vieques Range, Puerto, Rico.






  • 20 Mar 03. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM begins with F-117 Nighthawks flying against a suspected hiding place of Saddam Hussein.


  • 20 Mar 1959 - The site in Cheyenne Mountain, Colo., was approved as the location for NORAD.

  • 20 Mar 1966 - The 43rd Bombardment Missile Wing, Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., received the first KC-135Q. It was an A model modified to carry the special fuel for the SR-71 Blackbird.

  • 20 Mar 1967 - U.S. Air Forces in Europe released nine bases in France to the Military Liquidation Section under Project Fast Relocations.


  • 21 Mar 1946 The Strategic Air Command, Tactical Air Command and the Air Defense Command are created.

  • 21 Mar 1962 - A black bear named "Yogi" became the first living creature ejected from a supersonic aircraft when the U.S. Air Force tested the B-58's escape capsule. Ejected at 35,000 feet from a B-58 flying at 870 mph, the bear landed unharmed seven minutes 49 seconds later.

  • 21 Mar 1973 - Two Libyan Mirage aircraft intercepted and fired upon an unarmed C-130 Hercules from Rhein-Main AB, Germany. The C-130, reportedly on a reconnaissance mission over the Mediterranean, successfully evaded its attackers and recovered safely at Athenai Aiport, Greece.

  • 21 Mar 1975 - Following the crash of a C-141 into Mt. Constance in the Olympic Mountains near Seattle, Wash., air rescue and recovery service personnel assisted in the recovery of 10 crewmen and six passengers and equipment from the wreckage through June.

  • 21 Mar 1989 - NASA ended the Mission Adaptive Wing test program and retired the special F-111 to the Flight Test Center Museum at Edwards AFB, Calif. In its 144.9 test hours and 59 sorties, the F-111 showed a 25 percent increase in range, an 18 percent increase in G-loading and a 71 percent increase in its ability to pull up and clear an obstacle.

  • 21 Mar 1997 - Lt. Col. Marcelyn A. Atwood became the first woman to command a flying training squadron and the first U.S. Air Force officer to command a Navy squadron at Pensacola, Fla. Her unit trained Air Force and Navy pilots.









  • 22 Mar 1950 - The only jet-powered U.S. Air Force flying wing, the YB-49, crashed at Edwards AFB, Calif.

  • 22 Mar 1962 - The first Minuteman to be launched at night from a silo at Cape Canaveral flew 4,000 miles.

  • 22 Mar 1976 0 A U-2 reconnaissance plane left U-Tapao Air Field, Thailand, and become the last Strategic Air Command aircraft to leave Southeast Asia. In February 1964, a U-2 also became the first Strategic Air Command aircraft deployed to the area.

  • 22 Mar 1976 - The first A-10 Thunderbolt is delivered to Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., for operational test and evaluation.23 Mar 1959 - Tactical Air Command started its Distant Early Warning Line Extension (Eastern) supply mission, when a C-130 made the first ski-equipped landing on Dye 2 Station on Greenland's west coast near the Arctic Circle.

    • 23 Mar 1959 - Tactical Air Command started its Distant Early Warning Line Extension (Eastern) supply mission, when a C-130 made the first ski-equipped landing on Dye 2 Station on Greenland's west coast near the Arctic Circle.

    • 23 Mar 1964 - The GAM-72A Quail missile made its first operational test flight (nicknamed Shotgun) at Eglin AFB, Fla.

  • 23 Mar 1970 - The first A-7D trainer went to the 310th Tactical Fighter Squadron, Luke AFB, Ariz.

  • 23 Mar 1978 - Capt. Sandra M. Scott, a KC-135 Stratotanker pilot, becomes the first woman tanker commander to perform alert duty for Strategic Air Command.

  • 23 Mar 1979 - NASA brought space shuttle orbiter 102 from Edwards AFB, Calif., to Cape Canaveral.







  • 23 Mar 1983 - B-1A No.2 (modified for the B-1B effort) flew its first flight at Edwards AFB, Calif., to begin the flight test program.



  • 24 Mar 1970 - Tyndall AFB, Fla., completed the first launching of a BOMARC B guided missile, using the new backup interceptor control computerized command and control equipment.

  • 24 Mar 1971 - In the first operational test of Minuteman III, missile crews and maintenance technicians assigned to the 91st Strategic Missile Wing, Minot AFB, N.D., launched a missile from Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

  • 24 Mar 1977 - Tactical Airlift Command's 552nd Airborne Warning and Control System Wing at Tinker AFB, Okla., received the first production E-3A air warning and control system aircraft.

  • 24 Mar 1977 - U.S. Air Force in Europe acquired Comiso Air Station, Italy, for the ground-launched cruise missile.

  • 24 Mar 1992 - The last U.S. Air Force fighter aircraft to be stationed in Spain departs, ending a 26-year span of service in that country.

  • 24 Mar 1995 - The last Atlas E missile launched a satellite from Vandenberg AFB, Calif., into a polar orbit.

  • 24 Mar 1999 - Operation Allied Force began. The USAF portion was code named Noble Anvil. The air war began with 250 U.S. aircraft committed. Some 720 U.S.aircraft were eventually deployed, including 517 USAF types -- 40 A-10, 18 F-15C, 32 F-15E, 35 F-16CG, 64 F-16CJ, 25 F-117, 11 B-52, 5 B-1, 6 B-2, 151 KC-135, 24 KC-10, 25 various ISR, 38 Special Operations/CSAR/other and 43 transports

  • 24 Mar 1999 - The first shots of Allied Force were AGM-86C CALCM launches from six B-52s. There were 400 sorties flown the first night. Two MiG-29s were shot down by F-15C's of the 493rd Fighter Squadron, 48th Fighter Wing, RAF Lakenheath, England, and another MiG-29 was shot down by a Dutch F-16











  • 24 Mar 1999 - The B-2 made its combat debut during Operation Noble Anvil. Eventually, 49 B-2 combat sorties were launched from Whiteman AFB, Mo. Forty-five of these sorties reached their target and 652 joint direct attack munitions and four GBU-37s were dropped. The round-trip missions lasted 28 to 32 hours, however, only six of the nine available B-2s were used





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