Chicagoland/O'Hare Chapter 142

                             Air Force Association






  • 25 Apr 1944 Seventh Air Force B-24s made the first land plane attack on Guam from Eniwetok, while Navy PBY's flew photo reconnaissance missions.


  • 25 Apr 1944 Flying a Sikorsky YR-4 helicopter, Lt. Carter Harman, 1st Air Commando Group, rescued four men from the jungle in Burma. That rescue was the first combat rescue by helicopters in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

  • 25 Apr 1945-Eighth Air Force made its last attack on an industrial target in World War II, when 274 bombers dropped 500 tons of bombs on Skoda Works at Plyen, Czechoslovakia.

  • 25 Apr 1953-Col. Joseph J. Preston, 91st Strategic Reconnaissance wing commander, flew the first RB-47 to Lockbourne AFB, Ohio.

  • 25 Apr 1956-The X-2 completed its first supersonic flight.

  • 25 Apr 1967 - Maj. Gen. Benjamin D. Foulois died at Andrews AFB, Md. at the age of 87. He was the first person to fly an Army dirigible; first military observer on a cross-country flight with Orville Wright; first military man to teach himself to fly; one of two Americans to first use a plane in combat; and the first Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Air Corp to be a military aviator.

  • 25 Apr 1967 - The first jet-assisted C-123K Provider assault transports arrived at Tan Son Nhut AB, Vietnam for duty with the 19th Air Commando Squadron. The older C-123Bs began returning to the United States for modification on April 27.

  • 25 Apr 1969 - Strategic Air Command decided to disperse its bomber and tanker aircraft to improve the survivability of its alert forces.

  • 25 Apr 1970 - The 175th Tactical Fighter Group in Baltimore, Md., received an A-37 aircraft, the Air National Guard's first.

  • 25 Apr 1971 - The last C-130A in the Pacific Air Forces, assigned to the 374th Tactical Airlift Wing at Naha AB, Okinawa, flew to the states for an assignment with a reserve or Air National Guard unit.

  • 25 Apr 1980 - Operation EAGLE CLAW, intended to extract embassy personnel being held hostage by the Iranians, fails, and results in the loss of eight Airmen and Marines.

  • 25 Apr 1990 - Boeing delivered the 200th re-engined KC-135R to the 340th Air Refueling Group, Altus AFB, Okla. This program replaced the Pratt & Whitney J57 engines on 237 KC-135s with CFM International F-108 engines.


  • 26 Apr 1945-Eighth Air Force fighters raided over 40 Luftwaffe installations in Germany and Czechoslovakia and destroyed a record 747 German fighters in one day.

  • 26 Apr 1948-The U.S. Air Force becomes the first service to plan for racial integration, anticipating President Truman's executive order to be issued in July.

  • Apr 26, 1963-An advanced Atlas F carried a slender, pointed reentry vehicle from Cape Canaveral over a 5,000-mile course down the Atlantic Missile Range.

  • 26 Apr 1966 - Using Sidewinder missiles, an F-4C crew shot down a MiG-21 over North Vietnam, the first to be destroyed in combat. Maj. Paul J. Gilmore and 1st. Lt. William T. Smith were escorting F-105 Thunderchiefs near Hanoi when the MiGs attacked.










  • 26 Apr 1966 - Col. Joseph F. Cotton and Lt. Col. Fitzhugh L. Fulton Jr, became the first Air Force crew to fly the XB-70A bomber.





  • 26 Apr 1966 - The Air Force selected the Martin Company to develop a manned lifting body vehicle-a rocket plane without wing-to explore atmospheric maneuverability of future spacecraft.

  • 26 Apr 1971 - Charleston AFB, S.C. received its 16th C-5A aircraft to complete the first operational C-5A squadron.

  • 26 Apr 1971 - Lt. Col. Thomas B. Estes flew an SR-71 to a record speed at high altitude in a 10-hour 30 minute flight from Beale AFB, Calif. He flew 15,000 miles at speeds over Mach 3 above 80,000 feet. Colonel Estes and his reconnaissance systems officer, Major Dewain C. Vick, later received the 1971 Mackay Trophy and the Harmon International Trophy.

  • 26 Apr 1971 - The first ground launched cruise missile training class graduated from Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.


  • 27 Apr 1972 - Four U.S. Air Force fighters used Paveway I laser-guided "smart" bombs to knock down the Thanh Hoa Bridge. Prior to this attack, 871 conventional missions had caused only minor damage to the bridge.






  • 27 Apr 1977 - When the 525th Tactical Fighter Squadron arrived at Bitburg AB, Germany, with its F-15 Eagles, the 36th Tactical Fighter Wing became the first unit outside the U.S. to be equipped with these aircraft.






  • 27 Apr 1978 - Two KC-135 crewmembers shared the distinction of being the first female navigators to perform alert duty in Strategic Air Command: Capt. Elizabeth A. Koch from the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at March AFB, Calif. and 1st Lt. Ramona I. S. Roybal from the 916th Air Refueling Squadron at Travis AFB, Calif.

  • 27 Apr 1991 - A C-141 delivered 15 tons of blankets for Kurdish refugees in the first airlift mission into Iran since 1979.

  • 27 Apr 1995 - The Global Positioning System satellites were declared fully operational. This system provides accurate geographical coordinates.

  • 27 Apr 1999 - To support NATO operations over Kosovo in Operation Allied Force, President William J. Clinton approved a Selected Reserve Call-Up of air refueling resources, including 47 tankers and 2,116 personnel.


  • 28 Apr 1958-After an in-flight explosion, 1st Lt. James Obenauf notices an unconscious crewmember. Instead of ejecting, Obenauf pilots the B-47 to a safe landing at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas. He will receive the Distinguished Flying Cross for his heroism.

  • 28 Apr 1963-The first successful Titan II launch from an underground silo occurred at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

  • 28 Apr 1967 - An Air Force Titan IIC successfully launched five satellites (two Vela nuclear detection and three scientific) into orbit.

  • 28 Apr 1968 - U.S. Air Force Special Operations C-130s airlifted 92,000 pounds of food to La Toma, Ecuador, a drought-stricken area, over a 13-day period.






  • 28 Apr 1970 - The 603rd Direct Air Support Squadron ferried the first six O-2A aircraft from Itazuke AB to Osan AB, South Korea to give Pacific Air Forces a forward air controller capability in Korea. Before the O-2A's arrived, all FAC personnel were jeep mounted. The 603rd eventually received 28 O-2As.






  • 28 Apr 1977 - The Air National Guard ended the rotation of KC-97 Stratofreighter aircraft to Europe. These air refueling operations began on May 1, 1967.

  • 28 Apr 1993 - Secretary of Defense Les Aspin announced that women would be allowed to serve in combat roles. This policy change allowed female pilots to fly U.S. Air Force aircraft.


  • 29 Apr 1967 - President Lyndon B. Johnson gave approval to build two prototype supersonic jet transports that could carry 300 passengers at 1,750 mph. Boeing built the airframe and General Electric the engines at a total cost of $1.144 billion.

    • 29 Apr 1972 - Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger redirected the lightweight fighter program as a competition between the YF-16 and YF-17 to become the new air combat fighter for the Air Force.

    • 29 Apr 1975 - Just before the fall of South Vietnam, Military Airlift Command moved the last of 50,493 refugees from Saigon to safe haven bases in the Pacific on 201 C-141 and C-130 missions. Air Rescue and Recovery Service HH-53 helicopters airlifted another 362 evacuees from Saigon to the U.S.S. Midway. This exercise was in support of Operation New Life.

    • 29 Apr 1975 - Military Airlift Command used 196 C-141s and C-130s to airlift 31,155 Vietnamese refugees from the Philippines to Guam, while commercial contract carriers began an effort to move 121,560 refugees from South East Asia to the U.S. This lasted through September 16 and was in support of Operation New Arrival.

    • 29 Apr 1976 - The U.S. Air Force in Europe aircrews participated through May 15, in the first Allied Air Forces Center Europe Tactical Weapons Meet at Twenthe AB, Netherlands.


    • 30 Apr 1946-The Army and Navy adopted a standard system for designating guided missile and giving them popular names. For designations, four letters would be used: A for air, S for surface, U for underwater and M for missile. These letters would be mixed in three letter combinations, with the first indicating the missile's origin, the second its objective and the third its identity as a missile. As such, a surface-to-air missile became a SAM.

    • 30 Apr 1967 - The Air-Launched, Air Recoverable Rocket completed its first operational test. It was designed to detect and identify nuclear tests in the atmosphere.

    • 30 Apr 1969 - The U.S. Air Force inactivated the last Mace unit, the 71st Tactical Missile Wing, Bitburg AB, Germany.

    • 30 Apr 1973 - The Airborne Warning and Control System completed its European evaluation successfully. 

    • 30 Apr 1974 - Maj. Mike Love, completed the X-24B's first powered flight after a B-52 dropped the wingless research vehicle from 45,000 feet. 

    • 30 Apr 1980 - The Defense System Acquisition Review Council decided to produce Boeing's AGM-86B as the air-launched cruise missile.











  • Apr 30, 1996 - The Air Force revealed the Tacit Blue aircraft that was secretly used until 1985 to test stealth technology. With its 56-foot wingspan, Tacit Blue furnished the technology used to produce the B-2 Spirit bomber.

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