Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association

  • 25 Jan 1949 - The U.S. Air Force adopted a slate-blue uniform.

  • 25 Jan 1990 - A Titan II booster launched Clementine I, a space probe to the moon. This mission was the first American lunar effort since Apollo 17 in 1972.


  • 26 Jan 1946 - Col. William H. Council flying a P-80 sets a new cross-country record of four hours, 13 minutes and 26 seconds.

  • 26 Jan 1975 - Strategic Air Command completed its Force Modernization Program by installing the last flight of Minuteman IIIs in 90th SMW at F. E. Warren AFB, Wyo. The nine-year program replaced all Minuteman I missiles with either Minuteman IIs or IIIs.








  • 27 Jan 1957 - The last operational P-51 fighter is retired to the Air Force museum.




  • 27 Jan 1967 - Lt. Cols. Virgil l. "Gus" Grissom and Edward White, and Navy Lt. Cdmr. Roger B. Chafee died when their Apollo spacecraft caught fire at Cape Kennedy, Fla.

  • 27 Jan 1973 - After the 11-day B-52 bombing campaign against Hanoi and Haiphong, North Vietnam signed a peace accord.

  • 27 Jan 1982 - At the Utah Test and Training Range, an ALCM coated with 3/4 inches of ice, showed its all-climate capabilities after its launch by a B-52G.

  • 27 Jan 1991 - Coalition aircraft attain air supremacy in the Gulf War after 10 days of aerial combat.





  • 28 Jan 1945 - Eighth Air Force celebrated its third birthday with a 1,000-plane raid on Germany. By this time, the Eighth had flown more than 250,000 bomber and 210,000 fighter sorties to deliver 518,000 tons of bombs and destroy 13,000 enemy planes.




  • 28 Jan 1964 - Maj. Robert A. Rushworth flew the 100th X-15 flight near Edwards AFB, Calif. He flew 3,682 mph and 107,000 feet in altitude in this mission.

  • 28 Jan 1984 - The first F-16 Fighting Falcon is accepted by the U.S. Air Force Reserve at Hill AFB, Utah.

  • 28 Jan 1986 - The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after launch, killing Astronauts Francis R. Scobee, Navy Commander Michael J. Smith, Dr. Judith Resnik, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, Lt. Col. Ellison S. Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis of Hughes Aircraft Corp., and schoolteacher Christa McAuliffe.


  • 29 Jan 1944 - During the largest U.S. air operation to date, Eighth Air Force dispatched 809 heavy bombers to drop 1,886 tons of bombs on Frankfurt and Ludwigshaven, Germany.

  • 29 Jan 1959 - Tactical Air Command received the first ski-modified C-130A.

  • 29 Jan 1962 - The Air Force launched the 47th and last Titan I from Cape Canaveral on a 5,000-mile flight. Of the 47 shots, there were 34 successful, nine partially successful, and four failures.





  • 29 Jan 1973 - Air Force and commercial aircraft airlifted 21,000 American and allied forces and 7,000 tons of equipment from South Vietnam, through Mar. 29, following the signing of the Vietnam peace pacts.  (Flying Tiger Airlines shown)



  • 29 Jan 1979 - The E-3A Sentry aircraft assumed a continental air defense mission.

  • 29 Jan 1991 - In the Battle of Khafji, Iraqi forces crossed the Kuwait border into Saudi Arabia. Tactical air strikes by coalition air forces, however, routed the invaders in three days.


  • 30 Jan 1946 - Maj. Gen. Curtis E. LeMay announced the opening of an advanced aeronautical engineering school at Wright Field. He also asked for $300,000 to build a wind tunnel for supersonic aircraft.

  • 30 Jan 1948 - Orville Wright died in Dayton, Ohio, at 76.

  • 30 Jan 1992 - U.S. Air Force Space Command assumes control of Defense Department satellites and the operation and management of the Air Force Satellite Control Network.

  • 30 Jan 1994 - The U.S. Air Force inactivates the 717th Air Base Squadron and closes Ankara AS, Turkey.






  • 31 Jan 1956 - The 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group at Shaw AFB, S.C., received the first RB-66C aircraft.


  • 31 Jan 1956 - The 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group at Shaw AFB, S.C., received the first RB-66C aircraft.

  • 31 Jan 1958 - Explorer I, the first U.S. satellite to go into orbit, is launched by a Jupiter C rocket from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

  • 31 Jan 1961 - A Redstone booster carrying Ham, a chimpanzee, in a Mercury space capsule launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on an 18-minute, 420-mile flight. Ham performs well during the flight, apparently suffering no ill-effects.

  • 31 Jan 1965 - Gen. Curtis E. LeMay retired as Chief of Staff of the Air Force, and Gen. John P. McConnell succeeded him, effective Feb.1st..








  • 31 Jan 1972 - Air Training Command accepted its last T-38 Talon at Palmdale, Calif.


  • 31 Jan 1984 - The AGM-81A Firebolt target vehicle set a world speed and altitude record on its seventh developmental test flight by reaching Mach 4.1 at 103, 000 feet.

  • 31 Jan 1990 - After more than 11 years, the Air National Guard's rotational deployments to defend the Panama Canal, known as Operation Coronet Cove, closes. The Air National Guard flew more than 13,000 sorties, totaling 16,959 hours, since the operation began in 1979.

  • 31 Jan 1991 - An AC-130H "Spirit-03" and its crew of 14 were shot down resulting in the largest single loss by any Air Force unit in Operation Desert Storm. The gunship, supporting U.S. Marines in a battle for the town of Khafji, remained in the area too long, and the enemy was able to shoot it down in the morning light.

  • 31 Jan 1992 - The U.S. Air Force cancelled the Midgetman Small Intercontinental Ballistic Missile program.


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