January 3-March 15 The Air Force commences Operation hayride after a severe blizzard strikes several Midwestern states. Over 4,700 tons of livestock and supplies are lifted in 200 sorties.

January 5 Over California, a Bell X-1

flown by Major Charles Yeager estab­lishes an unofficial climbing speed record of 13,000 feet per second. This is the only instance of an X-1 taking off under its own power.

January 19 At Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, the Martin XB-61 Matador tactical missile is successfully test fired for the first time. This is intended as a short – range, highly mobile tactical weapon.

January 25 The Air Force orders that World War ii-era olive green outfits of Army origin be replaced by slate blue uniforms, although phasing in the new threads will take several months.

FEBRUARY 8 At Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, a B-47 Stratojet arrives from Moses Lake airfield, Washington, after traveling 2,300 miles in only 3 hours and 45 minutes. This cuts the time of existing transcontinental records in half.

Подпись: Berliners watch a Fairchild Flying Boxcar land at Tempelhof Airport in 1948 during the Berlin Airlift. The airlift was a massive transfer of essential supplies flown into Germany during 1948 and 1949 by British and U.S. forces after the Soviet Union prohibited ground access to West Berlin. This was also the first strategic test for the new U.S. Air Force, and it performed with flying colors. (U.S. Air Force)

FEBRUARY 9 At Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, the School of Aviation Medicine creates the first Department of Space Medicine.

FEBRUARY 24 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, a two-stage vehicle consisting of a German V-2 and WAC Corporal second stage is launched and reaches 244 miles in height at a speed of 5,150 miles per hour. This launch is part of Project bomber and dem­onstrates the utility of two-stage projectiles.

February 26-March 2 At Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, the B-50 Lucky Lady II, flown by Captain James Gallagher, arrives after completing a 23,400-mile non­stop flight around the world in 94 hours. The flight requires four in-flight refuelings over the Azores, Arabia, the Philippines, and Hawaii using the probe-and-drogue system developed by the British. The flight also wins the Mackay Trophy.

March 4 In East Germany, the Berlin Airlift (Operation vittles) has delivered over 1 million tons of coal, food, and sup­plies since the mission began the previous June.

MARCH 15 The Military Air Transport Service (MATS) creates the Global Weather Central to assist the strategic Air Command (SAC) in its mission.

March 26 A B-36D Peacemaker, outfit­ted with four J-79 jet engines in wingtip pods, flies for the first time. This new con­figuration can hoist a payload of 85,000 pounds at 440 miles per hour. It also puts the Navy on notice that it does not possess a monopoly on the delivery of nuclear weapons, which increases friction between the two services.

March 30 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman signs legisla­tion to create the nation’s first chain of permanent defense radar stations.

APRIL 4 In response to increasing Soviet aggression, the North Atlantic Treaty

Organization (NATO) is formed as a defensive alliance. Its creation triggers the rise of the Warsaw Pact behind the Iron Curtain.

April 6 At Tempelhof Airport, West Berlin, Operation vittles achieves its operational highpoint once transport air­craft begin landing every four minutes for six consecutive hours.

APRIL 16 Over Van Nuys, California, the Lockheed YF-94 prototype makes its maiden flight. This is a modified, two – seat version of the F-80 Shooting Star and it enters service as the F-94 Starfire, an all-weather interceptor.

Over Berlin, West Germany, the airlift hits another highpoint once 12,940 tons of supplies arrive through 1,398 aircraft.

May 7 In Washington, D. C., Congress votes to make General Henry H. Arnold a five-star general of the Air Force; he remains the only officer so honored.

May 9 The Republic XF-91 jet/rocket hybrid fighter performs its maiden flight. The craft also features an inverse-taper, variable incidence wing, but it does not enter into production.

May 11 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman signs legislation to establish a guided missile test range for the Air Force, which eventually emerges as Cape Canaveral, Florida.

May 11-12 In Berlin, East Germany, the Soviet blockade is lifted although Operation vittles continues to stockpile supplies in the city.

May 21 Over Bridgeport, Connecticut, a

Sikorsky S-51-1 helicopter piloted by Captain H. D. Gaddis reaches a world altitude of21,220 feet.

June 4 The Lockheed XF-90 prototype flies for the first time. Envisioned as a stra­tegic fighter that would escort jet bomb­ers to their target, it does not enter production.

July 1 Major General Malcolm C. Grow gains appointment as the first surgeon general of the Air Force and the USAF Medical Service is also established.

The first production F-94A Starfire prototype makes its maiden flight. This is the first Air Force all-weather intercep­tor equipped with an afterburner.

AUGUST 8 Over California, a Bell X-1 piloted by Major Frank K. Everest reaches an unofficial altitude of 71,092 feet, the highest this generation of research aircraft will reach.

AUGUST 10 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman amends the National Security Act, which renames the National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense.

August 25 A Bell X-1 flying at 69,000 feet suffers from a potentially disastrous decompression, but pilot Major Frank K. Everest is saved by his T-1 partial pressure suit and he lands his crippled aircraft safely.

SEPTEMBER 24 Over Inglewood, Cali­fornia, the North American T-28 proto­type flies for the first time; its enters Air Force and Navy service as the Trojan and serves as an advanced trainer.

September 30 Over West Berlin, East Germany, Operation vittles, the Berlin Airlift, is formally concluded. A combina­tion of Air Force, Navy, and RAF trans­ports lifted 2.34 million tons of supplies into the beleaguered city, which was accomplished in 277,000 flights.

OCTOBER 1 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, Major General W. L. Richardson assumes command of the Long-Range Proving Ground.

OCTOBER 14 The Chase Aircraft Com­pany XC-123 prototype performs its maiden flight; it enters Air Force service as the C-123 Provider, which sees extensive service throughout the vietnam War.

November 19 The Sikorsky YH-19A helicopter performs its maiden flight. This is the first helicopter to have its engine mounted in the nose below the cabin to afford pilots an unrestricted view. It enters service as the Chickasaw.

November 28 At RAF Marham, England, the Douglas C-74 Globemaster I, christened The Champ, arrives from Mobile, Alabama, after a 23-hour non­stop flight. It is also the first aircraft to cross the Atlantic while carrying more than 100 passengers.

November 29 The Douglas YC-124 Globemaster II prototype flies for the first time; this enlarged version of the Globe – master I can carry 50,000 pounds of cargo for 850 miles, and it sees widespread service with the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) and the Strategic Air Command (SAC).

At Desert Center, California, aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran flies an F-51 to a new speed record of 436.995 miles per hour on the Mount Wilson Course.

December 2 At Holloman Air Develop­ment Center, New Mexico, the Air Force test fires an Aerobee RTV-A-1a research rocket for the first time.

December 5 In Alaska, the Air Force begins construction of a $50 million net­work of early warning radar sites to guard


A Distant Early Warning Line Station in Bullen Point, Alaska. Radar of the Distant Early Warning Line across the arctic, coupled with a similar line across the midpoint of Canada allowed for early detection of incoming Soviet bombers across the Arctic Circle. (Library of Congress)


against incoming Soviet bombers. Each designated station will have a range of 300 miles.

December 22 The North American YF-84D all-weather interceptor performs its maiden flight. It enters service as the F-86D Sabre Dog, an all-weather intercep­tor with a large radome nose and a retract­able rocket tray to shoot down bombers.

December 25 The Air Force unveils the existence of Stupalith, a ceramic product that expands when heated and contracts when cooled and, because it can
withstand temperatures as hot as 2,000 degrees, it will be used as insulation in jet and rocket engines.

December 28 At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, Project saucer disbands after two years, having concluded after two years that flying saucers do not exist.

December 29 At Desert Center, Cali­fornia, aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran pilots a modified F-51 Mustang to an international speed record of 436.995 miles per hour over the 500- kilometer Mount Wilson Course.

JANUARY 15 At Sonoma, California, General of the Air Force Henry H. Arnold dies. One of the architects of

victory in World War II, his career spanned aviation from its infancy to the cusp ofjets and rocket technology.

JANUARY 18 The Lockheed YF-94 Starfire prototype performs its maiden flight. This is the Air Force’s first rocket­armed jet interceptor and enters service in 1953.

JANUARY 23 The Air Force creates its Research and Development Command to separate basic research functions from logistics and procurement activities per­formed by the Air Materiel Command.

JANUARY 31 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman, alerted to Soviet endeavors, orders the develop­ment of a new and more powerful thermonuclear weapon, the so-called hydrogen bomb.

MARCH 1 In Seattle, Washington, the first production B-47A Stratojet is rolled out and acquired by the Air Force for an engineering inspection before it makes a test hop. This version of the swept – wing, six-jet bomber will be used for training purposes only.

MARCH 15 The government tasks the

Air Force with sole responsibility for developing and deploying strategic guided missiles, or ICBMs, once they become operational at the end of the decade.

MARCH 22 At RAF Marham, England, the Air Force transfers the first of four Boeing B-29s to the Royal Air Force under terms of the Atlantic Pact. It enters British service as the Washington.

April 18 The Air Force declares that it will spend $1.2 billion to acquire 1,250 new aircraft.

April 24 In Washington, D. C., Thomas K. Finletter gains appointment as secre­tary of the Air Force.

MAY 5 Over Hawthorne, California, the Northrop YRB-49A is flown for the first time. This is a reconnaissance version of the four-jet “flying wing,” with two additional jet engines mounted in pods below the wing. Despite its spectacular appearance, it does not go into production.

May 12 Over California, the Bell X-1 No. 1 research aircraft makes its final flight before being donated to the Smith­sonian Institution, where it remains on display to present times.

June 2 At Rapid City Air Force Base, South Dakota, the first operational RB – 36D arrives with the 28th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing. This version mounts four jet engines in addition to six propeller engines.

June 3 The Republic YF-96A jet proto­type flies for the first time; this is a swept-wing version of the F-84 and it enters service as the Thunderstreak.

June 23 At Seoul, South Korea, North Korean Yak-9 fighters swoop down upon Kimpo Airfield, damaging a C-54 Sky – master on the ground. This is the first American aircraft lost in the Korean conflict.

June 25 In an act of overt aggression, tanks and infantry from North Korea attack South Korea while Communist airplanes, flown by Russian pilots, attack Kimpo Air Base. In Japan, Major General Earl E. Partridge, commanding the Fifth Air Force, places his organi­zation on alert and increases sur­veillance activities over the Korean peninsula.

June 26 Over Inchon, South Korea, Air Force F-82 Twin Mustangs fly top cover as vessels begin evacuating American citizens for Japan.

June 27 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman orders the Air Force to commence combat operations over North and South Korea. Meanwhile, transport aircraft assist evacuations at Seoul, covered by fighters and bombers overhead.

The Air Force scores its first-ever kill as an F-82 piloted by Lieutenants William Hudson and Carl S. Fraser, 339th Fighter All-Weather Squadron, down a Commu­nist Yak-1 fighter near Seoul, South Korea. A total ofseven Communist craft are destroyed, making this the highest- scoring day of 1950.

In Japan, B-26 light bombers begin fly­ing strike missions over South Korea, although poor weather largely negates their efforts. The Fifth Air Force also deploys an advanced echelon at Itazuke Air Base, whereby RF-80s are poised to begin flying reconnaissance missions.

June 28 Over South Korea, B-29 Super­fortresses of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) begin pounding North Korean formations in the vicinity of Seoul. B-26 Invaders of the 3rd Bomb Group also make a successful strike against Commu­nist rail and road traffic near Musan, North Korea, near the 38th Parallel.

The first RF-80A jet reconnaissance mission of the Korean War is executed by Lieutenant Bryce Poe.

June 29 Over North Korea, Japan-based B-26 Invaders drop bombs on the North Korea capital of Pyongyang for the first time in the war. Meanwhile, General Douglas MacArthur instructs Major Gen­eral George E. Stratemeyer to bomb stra­tegic bridges over the Han River and massed North Korean formations in that vicinity. F-82s defending the airfield at

Suwon also down five North Korean air­craft attempting to attack there.

As eight B-29s finish attacking Communist-held Kimpo Airfield, South Korea, they are attacked by North Korean fighters; one ofthese is downed by a Super­fortress gunner. This is the first such aerial victory of the war.

Because military intelligence is sorely needed by United Nations forces, RB-29s based at Yokota Air Base, Japan, begin photo operations over North Korea. They are joined by aircraft of the 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) for oper­ations over South Korea.

June 30 In Washington, D. C., President

Harry S. Truman orders full-scale aerial attacks on North Korea, along with a naval blockade of the peninsula and the use of U. S. ground forces to halt the Communist offensive.

In South Korea, the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No. 77 Squadron arrives for duty and is assigned to opera­tional control by the Fifth Air Force.

As North Korean forces swarm south­ward over the Han River, they are begin­ning to threaten Suwon airfield, which now houses some of the first tactical Air Control Parties dispatched by the Fifth Air Force. However, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) orders the place to be evacuated to new facilities at Kumhae near the port ofPusan.

July 1 At Itazuke, Japan, transport aircraft of the 374th Troop Carrier Wing (TCW) begin airlifting elements of the 24th Infantry Division to Pusan, South Korea, for the first time.

July 3 In Washington, D. C., Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt S. Vanden – berg orders B-29s of the 22nd Bomb Group deployed to Northwest Asia for use in the Korean conflict.

Подпись: The futuristic Northrop YB-49 Flying Wing was a most impressive aircraft at first glance, but it proved too unstable as a bombing platform and was not accepted into service. (Library of Congress)

Because large C-54 Skymaster trans­ports are too heavy for most Korean run­ways and damage them, the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) orders smaller C-46s and C-47s to transport men and supplies there from bases in Japan.

July 6 Over Wonsan and Hungnam, North Korea, nine B-29s conduct the first strategic air raid of the Korean War when they attack oil refineries and chemical plants in the two cities.

Back in the States, the Harmon International Aviation Awards Commit­tee designates James H. “Jimmy” Doolit­tle as “Aviator of the Decade” while Jacqueline Cochran is named “Outstand­ing Aviatrix.”

July 8 At Yokota Air Base, Japan, Major General Emmett “Rosie” O’Donnell gains appointment as the head ofBomber

Command (Provisional) within the Far East Air Forces (FEAF). Previously, O’Donnell served as a high-ranking adviser to General Henry H. Arnold during World War II.

July 9 In South Korea, forward air con­trollers flying L-5G and L-17 Liaison air­craft begin calling in F-80 air strikes to assist hard-pressed UN forces.

July 10 North American T-6 Texan trainers are now used by the Fifth Air Force to call in close support as forward air controllers. These “Mosquito” runs are usually in conjunction with F-80 jets against columns of North Korean forces.

Over Pyongtaek, South Korea, a convoy of Communist vehicles is caught in the open by American B-26s, F-82s, and F-80s after it stops at a bombed-out bridge. The enemy formation is annihilated by


One of the world’s greatest aviators, U. S. pilot Jackie Cochran overcame a hardscrabble existence to set 200flying records, as well as abolishing the gender barrier in her field. Cochran was appointed to lead the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots in 1943. (Library of Congress)

bombs and napalm, losing 117 trucks, 38 tanks, and 7 armored cars.

JULY 12 In Japan, four aircraft of the Mili­tary Air Transport Service (MATS) arrive from the United States carrying a ship­ment of 3.5-inch bazookas with shaped charges. These are intended to replace smaller weapons in South Korea that are incapable of destroying Soviet-made T-34 tanks.

At Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, the first RB-50B is delivered to the Stra­tegic Air Command’s (SAC) 91st Stra­tegic Reconnaissance Squadron.

Communist aircraft manage to shoot down a B-29, a B-26, and an L-5, scoring their first aerial victories of the Korean W ar.

July 13 Over Wonsan, North Korea, 49 B-29s from 22nd and 49th Bomb Groups, Far East Air Forces (FEAF), strike an oil refinery and marshalling yards. This is also the first strategic raid launched from bases in Japan, and it is conducted by an RB-29 piloted by Lieu­tenant Fred Spies.

Off the coast of Korea, an SB-17 of the 3rd Aircraft Rescue Squadron drops res­cue boats to members of a downed B-29 crew for the first time.

July 14 In South Korea, the Air Force deploys its first units to operate directly on the peninsula, including the 35th Fighter-Interceptor Group at Pohang and the 6132nd Tactical Air Control Squadron at Taegu. The latter is respon­sible for orchestrating a close support mis­sion to assist UN ground forces.

July 15 At Taegu, South Korea, the Mustang-equipped 51st Fighter Squadron (Provisional) flies the first F-51 combat missions of the war.

A directive from Fifth Air Force head­quarters orders the designation/call sign of “Mosquito” to pertain to all airborne controllers using T-6 Texan aircraft.

July 19 Over Taejon, South Korea, three Communist Yak fighters are downed by F-80s of the Fifth Air Force; this is the highest daily kill rate for the rest of the month.

Over Pyongyang, North Korea, 7 F – 80s of the 8th Fighter-Bomber Group initiate a strategy to acquire complete air superiority by destroying 15 Communist aircraft on the ground.

July 20 In Tokyo, Japan, Major General Otto P. Weyland gains appointment as vice commander of Far East Air Forces (FEAF) for operations.

Over South Korea, two Yak fighters are bagged by Fifth Air Force F-80 Shooting Stars. These are the last Ameri­can aerial victories until November, when Communist air opposition is dramatically revived.

July 22 In Japan, the carrier USS Boxer arrives carrying 145 Air Force F-51 Mustangs.

At Taegu, South Korea, the first H-5 helicopter to see active service is de­ployed by the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron.

July 24 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, a German V-2 rocket with a WAC Corpo­ral second stage becomes the first missile launched from the Joint Long Range Proving Grounds.

At Taegu, South Korea, the Fifth Air Force establishes a headquarters near Eighth Army headquarters to facilitate communication and coordination between the two services.

In Tokyo, Japan, General Douglas MacArthur is formally appointed com­mander of all UN forces and he appoints Major General George E. Stratemeyer, commander of Far East Air Forces (FEAF), to assume responsibility for all air actions over the Korean peninsula.

July 28 In Japan, the first Grumman SA – 16 Albatross arrives for search and rescue missions in the Korean War.

July 30 Over North Korea, 47 Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-29s attack explosive factories at Hungnam.

AUGUST 1 In Washington, D. C., Gener­als Joseph Collins and Hoyt S. Vanden- berg conclude an agreement establishing cooperation between the Aerospace Defense Command and the Army Anti­Aircraft Command for the defense of the United States.

In Florida, Patrick Air Force Base is christened after Major General Mason M. Patrick, the first chief of the U. S. Army Air Service.

Over North Korea, 46 B-29s of the 22nd and 92nd Bomb Groups destroy the Chosen Nitrogen Fertilizer Factory at Hungnam; this is one of the largest chemical plants in Asia.

AUGUST 2—3 At Ashiya, Japan, the 374th Troop Carrier Group establishes a new record by flying 150 tons of equipment and supplies to the Eighth Army in Korea within a 24-hour time period.

AUGUST 3 In Tokyo, Japan, Lieutenant General George E. Stratemeyer, com­mander of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) lays down the strategy for Interdiction Campaign No. 1, aimed at cutting enemy supply routes between the 37th and 38th Parallels.

Off the Korean coast, SA-16 Alba­trosses begin flying rescue missions to assist downed UN flight crews.

AUGUST 4 Over North Korea, the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) commences Interdiction Campaign No. 1 by dis­patching B-29 heavy bombers to destroy key bridges north of the 38th Parallel.

AUGUST 5 At Hamchang, South Korea, Major Louis J. Sebille wins the Air Force’s first posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor by deliberately crash­ing his F-51 into a North Korean ground position. Because an Air Force medal is not approved until 1960, Sebille receives the Army Medal of Honor.

AUGUST 7 At Yokota Air Base, Japan, the newly arrived 98th Bomb Group com­mits 20 B-29s to their first air raid over North Korea.

AUGUST 10 In the United States, the Air Force mobilizes two Reserve units, the 437th Troop-Carrier Wing and the 452nd Bomb Wing, for active duty; these are the first of 25 such units called into service for the Korean War.

AUGUST 11 The Fairchild XC-120 per­forms its maiden flight; this novel craft is assembled from wings and tail sections of the C-119B Flying Boxcar, but it does not enter production.

At Tachikawa Air Base, Japan, Air Force C-119 Flying Boxcars airlift trucks and other heavy equipment directly into Taegu, South Korea.

AUGUST 16 A force of nearly 100 B-29s drops bombs on massed North Korean troops at Waegwan, South Korea, in a spoiling attack to prevent them from overrunning the Pusan Perimeter. This is the largest carpet bombing raid ofits kind since Operation COBRA at Normandy in August 1944.

AUGUST 19 In South Korea, Air Force and Navy aircraft help blunt a North Korean drive across the Naktong River, allowing the Battle of Naktong to end in a UN victory.

AUGUST 22 Over North Korea, Chinese antiaircraft batteries open fire on B-29 formations from across the Yalu River in Manchuria. This is the first recorded hos­tility of Chinese Communists in the Korean War.

AUGUST 23 West of Pyongyang, North Korea, the Air Force makes its first Razon guided-bomb strike of the war, although only one weapon strikes its intended target.

AUGUST 25 In Tokyo, the Fifth Air Force is ordered to maintain constant armed surveillance of enemy airfields in North Korea to prevent enemy aerial activity during the upcoming Inchon landings.

AUGUST 26 In Washington, D. C., Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt S. Vandenburg presents the Bell X-1 No. 1, the vehicle that broke the sound barrier, to the Smithsonian Institution.

At Barksdale, Louisiana, the 91st Stra­tegic Reconnaissance Wing receives its first operational RB-45C Tornado.

At Ashiya, Japan, General William H. Tunner, who had previously directed the Berlin Airlift, organizes the new Combat Cargo Command (Provisional), which is built around the 1st Troop Car­rier Task Force (Provisional). Meanwhile, orders go out from the Far East Air Forces to collect all C-46 transport aircraft in Asia to support a major UN offensive the following month.

AUGUST 27 Over Antung, China, two F-51 Mustangs accidentally cross the bor­der and strafe a Chinese airstrip, thinking that they were attacking a North Korean field near Sinuiju. The Chinese government uses the affair for propaganda and diplomatic purposes.

AUGUST 31 Outside Pusan, South Korea, North Korean forces make a last-ditch effort to drive UN forces back into the sea, but they are partly thwarted by close air support missions flown by the Navy and Fifth Air Force.

Over North Korea, a force of 74 B-29s attack mining facilities and marshalling yards at Chinnampo. This is also the larg­est strategic bombing raid of the entire month.

September 1 At Biggs Air Force Base, Texas, the first operational KP-29P tanker deploys with the 97th Air Refueling Squadron. This variant is the first American tanker craft equipped with an aerial boom, which replaces the British-style trailing hose equipment used on the KB-29M.

Outside ofPusan, South Korea, Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers and light bombers continue working over Communist armor and infantry formations with machine guns, rockets, and napalm to support the UN perimeter.

SEPTEMBER 4 Over South Korea, a Sikor­sky H-5 helicopter piloted by Lieutenant Paul W. Van Boven performs the first res­cue mission of a pilot, Captain Robert E. Wayne, then downed behind enemy lines.

September 9 In order to retard the pos­sible arrival of Communist reinforce­ments to the Inchon landing site, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) Bomber Com­mand begins a rail interdiction effort north of Seoul, South Korea. Heavy and medium bombers begin hammering key marshalling yards and resupply points over the next week.

SEPTEMBER 15 At Inchon, South Korea, UN forces under General Douglas MacArthur stage a brilliant surprise landing behind enemy lines while medium bomb­ers and fighters of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) strike at targets near Pusan to assist the forthcoming breakout.

September 15—18 At Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas, 180 F-84Es of the 27th Escort Fighter Wing begin flying in relays to airfields in West Germany. The next wave completes the move on October 15-28.

September 16 The USAF Research and Development Command is redesignated the Air Research and Development Center (ARDC).

At Pusan, South Korea, the Eighth Army breaks through encircling North Korean unit and moves up the peninsula, closely supported by Fifth Air Force fight­ers and bombers. Communist forces retreat helter-skelter to avoid being cut off.

SEPTEMBER 17 Near the Naktong River, South Korea, Fifth Air Force F-51s and

F-80s drop napalm on retreating North Korean columns, killing hundreds of enemy troops.

Over North Korea, the Far East Air Forces begins a psychological campaign by dropping four million leaflets over the battered inhabitants.

September 18 For a second time, 42 B-29s from the 92nd and 98th Bombard­ment Groups, Far East Air Forces (FEAF), carpet bomb North Korean troop concentrations in and around Waegwan, removing a major obstacle to the Eighth Army’s surging offensive.

The third anniversary of the U. S. Air Force as an independent service finds it deeply immersed in the first armed con­flict of the Cold War.

September 19—20 Over South Korea, the Combat Cargo Command begins air­lifting men and supplies to Kimpo Air Base, Seoul, with a force of 32 C-54 Sky – masters. These operations are flown around the clock to supply the surging UN offensive underway.

September 21 Outside Pusan, South Korea, Air Force T-6 Mosquitos observe a column of 30 North Korean tanks advancing upon the U. S. 24th Infantry Division, and direct the requisite air strikes to thwart them; 14 tanks are destroyed and the rest flee in confusion.

SEPTEMBER 22 Operation Fox Able Four unfolds as Colonel David Schilling flies the first nonstop transit over the Atlantic Ocean by touching down safely at RAF Manston in Kent, England. The flight from Limestone, Maine took 10 hours, covered 3,000 miles, and required three in-flight refuelings. However, wingman Lieutenant Colonel William D. Ritchie ran out of fuel over Labrador and ejected; Schilling wins the Mackay Trophy for his efforts.


This reconnaissance photograph taken in 1952 depicts a power plant made unserviceable by United Nations Command (UNC) warplane attacks. The campaign against North Korean hydroelectric plants in the summer of 1952 was launched by the Far East Air Force in the hope of forcing the Communists to accept UNC truce terms. (National Archives)

Over Kunsan, South Korea, a T-6 Mosquito flown by Lieutenant George W. Nelson drops leaflets to a body of North Korean troops, urging that they surrender or face annihilation. The Com­munists comply by moving to a designated position, where they surrender to UN forces.

September 23 At Pusan, South Korea, the headquarters of the Fifth Air Force packs up and relocates to Taegu to be closer to the front.

An SB-17 from the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron makes the first recorded classi­fied flight during the Korean War.

September 26 Fifth Air Force fighters and bombers continue supporting the UN drive northward towards the 38th Parallel as they unite at Osan.

Over Haeju, North Korea, a force of 20 B-29s from the 22nd Bomb Group attack and destroy a munitions factory and a power plant. A hydroelectric plant at Pujon is also bombed by another group of B-29s. These raids conclude the Far East Air Forces’ (FEAF) first strategic bombing campaign.

September 27 In Washington, D. C., the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) decides to halt further strategic raids against North Korea for want of suitable targets.

SEPTEMBER 28 Over Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, a research balloon car­ries eight white mice to an altitude of 97,000 feet, then returns them unharmed.

At Yokota Air Base, Japan, the first three RB-45C Tornado reconnaissance jets arrive for duty with Far East Air Forces (FEAF). Officially, they are known simply as Detachment A, 84th Bomb Squadron.

September 29 Over Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, Captain Richard V. Wheeler performs a record parachute jump from 42,449 feet and lands unscathed.

OCTOBER 2 Over Nanam, North Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-29s carpet bomb North Korean troop training facilities to retard enemy attempts at rein­forcements.

At Taegu, South Korea, the 8th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TRS) is the first such unit deployed at K-2 airfield.

OCTOBER 6 As of this date, headquarters Far East Air Forces (FEAF) assumes con­trol of all UN land-based aircraft, includ­ing several U. S. Marine Corps squadrons flying out of Kimpo.

In South Korea, No. 2 Squadron, South African Air Force deploys under the aegis of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF).

Outside of Seoul, South Korea, the Marine Corps relinquishes control of Kimpo Airfield, which was captured earlier in September.

Over Kan-Ni, North Korea, 18 Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-29s attack a Commu­nist arsenal while FEAF headquarters also orders attacks against bridges south of Pyongyang and Wonsan halted.

OCTOBER 8 The Air Force receives a new shipment of modified and more reliable Razon radio-controlled guided bombs, and bombing missions with them resume.

Over North Korea, two F-80 Shooting Stars accidentally cross the border and strafe a Soviet airfield near Vladivostok. An enraged Air Force Chief of Staff Hoyt S. Vandenberg orders the two pilots court – martialed and the group commander relieved.

October 10 In the United States, the first Air National Guard units are mobi­lized for service in Korea. Ultimately, 66 such units, representing 45,000 person­nel, will be deployed there.

In Europe, Lieutenant General Lauris Norstad gains appointment as com­mander of United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE).

OCTOBER 15 At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the Air Force com­mences the B-47 phase-out program by retiring the first of its RB-47Es.

OCTOBER 20 Over Pyongyang, North Korea, over 100 C-47 and C-119s trans­port aircraft convey 4,000 Army para­troopers and their supplies on a battlefield drop 30 miles north of the Communist capital.

OCTOBER 25 In Tokyo, Japan, head­quarters Far East Air Forces (FEAF), halts all B-29 air raids due to a lack of strategic targets in North Korea. However, all restrictions are lifted on medium bombers and fighters so that they can provide close support missions up to the Manchurian border.

Over Korea, the Combat Cargo Com­mand establishes a new daily record of 1,767 tons lifted and delivered.

In an ominous development, Commu­nist China decides to enter the Korean War and begins infiltrating thousands of troops across the Yalu River.

OCTOBER 26 Over North Korea, C-119s of the Combat Cargo Command deliver 28 tons of ammunition and supplies to troops isolated on the battlefield.

OCTOBER 28 In Europe, F-84s of the 27th Fighter Escort Wing finish deploying from the United States. This first-ever mass transfer ofjet aircraft across the Atlantic wins the Mackay Trophy.

NOVEMBER 2 At Yokota Air Base, Japan, the first RB-45C reconnaissance mission is flown over North Korea.

NOVEMBER 4 Over Chongju, North Korea, Fifth Air Force B-26s provide close air support to Eighth Army troops, killing hundreds of Communist soldiers.

NOVEMBER 5 Over Kanggye, North Korea, 21 B-29s from the 19th Bomb Group drop 170 tons of incendiaries and destroy 65 percent of the central sector. This target is only 20 miles south of the Manchurian border and marks the begin­ning of a new strategy by Bomber Com­mand.

NOVEMBER 8 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, the largest incendiary raid of the Korean War unfolds as 70 B-29s drop 580 tons of fire ordnance directly next to the Chinese border. Various bridges along the Yalu River are also bombed for the first time.

Near the Manchurian border, Soviet – piloted MiG-15 jets, sporting North Korean markings, engage a flight of Air Force F-80 Shooting Stars for the first time. Lieutenant Russell J. Brown is credited with downing the first Commu­nist jet in combat, although postwar records suggest that the MiG, while dam­aged, managed to return to base.

NOVEMBER 9 Over North Korea, B-29 tail gunner Airman Harry J. LaVerne shoots down the first MiG lost to a heavy bomber. However, LaVerne’s own aircraft is heavily damaged in the exchange and it crashes in Japan, killing five crewmen.

November 10 The effectiveness of the MiG-15’s bomber-killing cannon arma­ment is underscored this day when a B-29 of the 307th Bombardment Group is brought down near the Yalu River. The crew manages to parachute to safety and spends the rest ofthe war as prisoners.

November 18 Jets of the 35th Fighter Interceptor Group (FIG) transfer from their base in South Korea to Yonpo air­field outside Hungnam, North Korea. This enables them to fly and fight much closer to the front lines.

NOVEMBER 19 Over Musan, North Korea, 50 B-26 Invaders stage the first – ever mass light bomber attack when they dump incendiaries and destroy most of the town’s barracks complex.

NOVEMBER 23 Over North Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-29s hammer Communist communications, bridges, and supply centers while Fifth Air Force fighters and medium bombers provide close support missions for UN troops. Transports of the Combat Cargo

Command also redouble their efforts as General Douglas MacArthur begins his final drive to the Yalu River.

NOVEMBER 25 In North Korea, Chinese Communist forces launch a massive counteroffensive that begins pushing UN forces back down the peninsula.

In Japan, a C-47 detachment from the Royal Hellenic Air Force arrives for duty and is subordinated to the Far East Air Forces (FEAF).

NOVEMBER 26 Over North Korea, as mass Chinese forces bear down on the Eighth Army and the X Corps, B-26 Invaders begin flying their first close air support missions at night.

NOVEMBER 28 Over North Korea, radar-equipped B-26 Invaders begin safely dropping bombs within 1,000 yards of UN lines for the first time.

Transports of the Combat Cargo Command begin evacuating hundreds of wounded and frostbitten marines from the Chosin region of North Korea while also dropping 1,600 tons of equipment and supplies to the front lines.

December 4 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, the world’s first jet bomber interception unfolds as a flight of Soviet-piloted MiG-15s down an RB-45C Tornado on a reconnaissance mission.

December 5 This day C-47s of the Royal Hellenic Air Force begin flying with the Combat Cargo Command to supply UN forces in northeastern North Korea; most missions start and begin at a frozen airstrip at Hagaru-ri.

December 6 At Itazuke, Japan, F-84s of the 27th Fighter Escort Wing begin flying close ground support missions to North Korea and back.

December 7 Over North Korea, B-29s of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) pound Communist troop concentrations near the Changjin Reservoir as marines and army troops prepare to break out of an encircle­ment. Crude airstrips are continually being built as they retreat to accommodate trans­ports of the Combat Cargo Command.

Near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, eight C-119 Flying Boxcars para­chute several bridge spans to U. S. forces so that they can cross a 1,500-foot-deep gorge. This is also the first time that a com­plete bridge has been airdropped.

DECEMBER 14 Over Huichon, North Korea, Air Force planes drop the first six-ton Tarzon bomb near a railroad tun­nel. Like its predecessor, the Razon, this device fails to live up to expectations.

December 14—17 Near Hamhung, North Korea, transports of Combat Cargo Com­mand begin a three-day aerial evacuation, lifting 228 patients, 3,891 passengers, and 20,088 tons of cargo to safety as Chinese forces begin closing in on the airfield.

December 15 In response to the MiG – 15’s appearance over North Korea, the 4th Fighter Interceptor Group (FIG) deploys the F-86 Sabrejets to Japan as a counter. The stage is now set for a classical aerial encounter.

B-29s of Bomber Command begin a new series of zone interdiction raids to stop surging Chinese forces in North Korea.

DECEMBER 17 Over North Korea, the F- 86 Sabrejet draws first blood when

Lieutenant Colonel Bruce H. Hinton shoots down a MiG-15. This is the first aerial victory between swept-wing jets in aviation history.

December 20 At Kimpo, South Korea, Operation kidlift commences as 12 C – 54s of the 61st Troop Carrier Group begin lifting Korean orphans to an island offthe coast of Pusan.

December 22 Over North Korea, six Russian-piloted MiG-15s fall to the guns of one Navy and five Air Force jet fight­ers; this is also the highest daily victory toll for a single day since June. However, one F-86 is also shot down for the first time.

At Seoul, South Korea, headquarters, Fifth Air Force, relocates back to Taegu as Chinese forces advance upon the city from the north.

December 23 In a daring move, 3 H-5 helicopters evacuate 11 U. S. and 24 South Korean soldiers trapped eight miles behind enemy lines.

December 24 At Hungnam, North Korea, the last of 105,000 troops belong­ing to X Corps, along with 91,000 civil­ians, are evacuated as B-26s bombers and Navy gunfire pin down advancing Chinese forces.

December 29 From Taegu, South Korea, the first RF-51 reconnaissance missions are staged. Though slower than RF-80s, the Mustangs have greater range and endurance in the air.

JANUARY 1 The Air Defense Command (ADC), having been previously abolished,

is restored under General Ennis C. Whitehead.

In South Korea, as half a million massed Chinese and North Korean forces pour over the 38th Parallel, they are heavily racked by fighters and bombers of the Fifth Air Force.

JANUARY 2 Over South Korea, flares dropped by a C-27 transport illuminate target areas for B-26 and F-82 night attacks on Communist troop concentra­tions and supply lines.

JANUARY 3—5 Pyongyang, North Korea, is staggered by 60 Bomber Command B – 29s which drop 650 tons of incendiaries on the city; a follow-up raid is launched two days later. This day Far East Air Forces (FEAF) also achieve a one-day record by mounting 958 combat sorties.

JANUARY 4 Near Seoul, South Korea, the last remaining Air Force planes evacuate Kimpo Airfield for the second time in six months as Chinese forces approach the city. The landing strip is then heavily bombed to preclude any possible use by the enemy.

JANUARY 6 Over South Korea, transports of the Combat Cargo Command finish resupplying the U. S. 2nd Infantry Divi­sion as it fights to prevent a Chinese breakthrough in UN lines.

JANUARY 10 In Tokyo, Japan, Brigadier General James E. Briggs gains appointment as the new head of Bomber Command. The Strategic Air Command (SAC) has mandated that new commanders will be rotated every four months to grant wartime experience to as many senior leaders as possible.

JANUARY 12 Over South Korea, Far East Air Forces B-29s attack massed Commu­nist troops with 500-pound bombs fuzed for aboveground airbursts, and the ensuing shower ofsteel fragments staggers their formations.

JANUARY 13 Over Kanggye, North Korea, a Far East Air Forces B-29 drops a six-ton Tarzon bomb on an enemy bridge, scoring a direct hit and destroying 60 feet of the structure.

JANUARY 16 At RAF Lakenheath, England, six B-36 Peacekeepers complete a nonstop 7,000-mile deployment from Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.

Project MS-1593 is initiated by the Air Force and Convair to acquire a viable intercontinental ballistic weapon; in time it emerges as the Atlas missile.

January 17 At Taegu, South Korea, F-86 Sabres are redeployed on the penin­sula, only this time as fighter-bombers for close support missions.

JANUARY 17—18 Over South Korea, Combat Cargo Command launches 109 C-119 missions, which drop 550 tons of supplies and ammunition to UN forces on the front lines.

JANUARY 19 Because the Communist forces have greatly overextended their supply lines in their drive south, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) commences an exten­sive aerial interdiction campaign to deny them badly needed supplies and rein­forcements.

JANUARY 21 Over North Korea, a big dogfight results in the loss of one F-86 and one F-84 to MiG-15s. However, Lieutenant Colonel William E. Bertram scores the first MiG-15 kill by an F-84.

JANUARY 23 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, an attack by 33 F-84s stirs a large number of MiG-15s from across the Yalu River, resulting in a 30-minute dogfight. This time, the Thunderjets get the better of it, downing three MIGs.

A combined force of 21 B-29s and 46 F-80s attack antiaircraft emplacements and airfields, heavily damaging both.

January 25-February 9 In South Korea, Operation thunderbolt unfolds as UN forces counterattack in an attempt to recapture Inchon and the Suwon air­field. They are assisted by 70 C-119s of Combat Cargo Command, which deliver 1,162 tons of supplies as they advance.

January 26 Over South Korea, a C-47 heavily rigged with radios can maintain contact with all T-6 Mosquito aircraft and coordinate their efforts. This is an early attempt to field an airborne com­mand and control center.

January 31 At Yonan, South Korea, an aircraft of the 21st Tactical Control Squadron drops off an agent just south of the 38th Parallel; this is the first spy mis­sion of its kind in this war.

February 8 Throughout North Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) aircraft mount a concerted effort to sever all rail lines in northeastern reaches of the peninsula.

In Tokyo, Japan, Brigadier General John P. Henebry becomes commander of the 315th Air Division, and responsible for all airlift operations in this theater.

February 13 Over South Korea, trans­ports of the 315th Air Division relocate over 800 wounded soldiers from the front lines to facilities at Taegu and Pusan. However, this movement tied up so many C-47s that routine supply functions were impossible.

February 13-16 At Chipyong-ni, South Korea, as 3 Chinese divisions sur­round the U. S. 23rd Infantry and a

French battalion, 100 Air Force transports support the latter by dropping 420 tons of supplies and ammunition. They are further assisted by fighters and bombers ofthe Fifth Air Force, which provide close air support to the troops, and by H-5 helicopters, which help evacuate wounded men despite subfreezing weather and strong wind.

FEBRUARY 16 In South Korea, the Army begins using the L-19 Bird Dog as an artillery spotter, thereby reliving Air Force aircraft to perform other missions.

FEBRUARY 17-18 Over North Korea, the B-29 bombing raid employs shoran for the first time. This is a navigation system utiliz­ing an airborne radar receiver and two ground beacons to plot accurate bombing.

February 23 Over South Korea, Bomber Command B-29s begin using MPQ-2 radar for accurately bombing a highway bridge near Seoul.

February 24 Over South Korea, trans­ports of the Combat Cargo Command deliver a record 33 tons of supplies to UN forces on the front lines. C-119 Fly­ing Boxcars again distinguish themselves for flying the bulk of these sorties.

MARCH 1 Over North Korea, a force of 22 F-80s, sent to escort a force of 18 B – 29s over a target, miss their rendezvous and have to return to base. The bombers continue on and are attacked by Com­munist MiGs, who damage 10 of them, 3 so badly that they make forced landings in South Korea.

In Greenland, the Air Force opens Thule Air Base, which is 690 miles north ofthe Arctic Circle and the northernmost American air facility.

MARCH 4 Over South Korea, 15 C-119s provide the 1st Marine Division with 260 tons of supplies; this is also the largest single drop of the month.

MARCH 6 Over North Korea, F-86 Sab – rejets begin patrolling along the Yalu River for the first time in several months.

MARCH 14 As Communist forces evacu­ate Seoul, South Korea, Fifth Air Force B-26s drop tetrahedral metal spikes to puncture enemy truck tires.

MARCH 15 In a significant development, a B-47 Stratojet is refueled in midair by a KC-97A tanker for the first time. This endows the B-47 with the range of a strategic bomber.

MARCH 16 Over all of Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) aircraft perform a record 1,123 sorties.

MARCH 20 At South Ruislip, England, the 7th Division, Strategic Air Command (SAC) establishes its headquarters.

MARCH 23 Northwest of Seoul, South Korea, Operation tomahawk unfolds as 120 C-119s and C-46s, escorted by 12 F-51s, drop the 187th Airborne Regi­mental Combat Team and two Ranger Battalions behind enemy lines. This trans­fer of 3,400 men and 220 tons of supplies behind enemy lines is the largest single airborne operation of the conflict.

Over northwestern Korea, a force of 22 B-29s from the 19th and 307th Bomb Groups, escorted by 45 F-86 Sabrejets, bomb two bridges used for supply pur­poses.

MARCH 24 In South Korea, the Air Force deploys its H-19 Chickasaw helicopters for the first time; this vehicle is considerably larger than the H-5 it replaces, with greater range and carrying capacity.

MARCH 29 Over North Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) B-29s attack bridges spanning the Yalu River as the ice begins to thaw.

April 2 Major General David M. Schlatter gains appointment as head of the new Air Research and Development Command (ARDC).

April 3 Southeast of Pyongyang, North Korea, a service-test YH-19 Chickasaw helicopter of the 3rd Air Rescue Squad­ron saves a downed F-51 pilot while under Communist fire.

April 6 In Washington, D. C., the Labor Department reveals that the number of people working in aircraft construction fields has risen to 100,000 during the first six months of the Korean conflict.

April 9 At India, California, an F-51 flown by aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran sets a woman’s speed record of 469.5 miles per hour over a 16-mile course. This is her fifth such aviation record in piston – powered aircraft.

April 12 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, a force of 46 B-29s, escorted by 100 fighters, attacks the Yalu River Bridge until they are set upon by 100 MiG-15s. The latter shoot down three bombers and damage seven more for a loss of seven MiGs. The F-86s also claim four more Communist craft for a total of 11, although the bridge is not destroyed.

April 17 In North Korea, Warrant Officer Donald Nicholas leads a special operations team that recovers parts of a MiG-15 wreckage and other technical information; he receives the Distin­guished Service Cross.

April 18 At Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, a monkey accompanies an Aerorocket into space but fails to survive the return trip to Earth.

April 19 In South Korea, the first refur­bished C-119 Boxcars, modified and reconditioned after a hiatus of several weeks, are returned to combat operations.

APRIL 21 The Fairchild XC-123 Pro­vider, a four-jet version of the propeller – driven design, flies for the first time. It does not enter production but does re­present the first U. S. jet transport.

April 23 Over South Korea, Far East Air

Forces (FEAF) aircraft complete 340 close support missions, one of the highest totals ever. Meanwhile, F-86 Sabrejets are deployed to Suwon airfield to cut down flying time to “MiG Alley” along the Yalu River.

April 23—26 Over this three-day period, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) aircraft
perform 1,000 combat sorties in support of UN ground forces in the face of a mas­sive Chinese offensive.

April 30 Aircraft of the Fifth Air Force reach a new daily total of 960 combat sorties.

May 9 In northwestern North Korea, aircraft of the Fifth Air Force and the 1st Marine Air Wing commit one ofthe larg­est joint counterair efforts of the war by launching 300 sorties against Sinuiju airfield.

May 16—26 For 10 straight days, trans­port aircraft based in Japan fly in an aver­age of 1,000 tons of supplies and ammunition per day to UN forces locked in combat with Chinese troops in South Korea.

Подпись: Jabara, James (1923-1966) Air Force pilot. James Jabara was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma, on October 10, 1923, the son of Lebanese immigrants. He joined the Army Air Forces as a pilot in May 1942, and earned his wings in October 1943. Jabara was initially posted with the 363rd Fighter Group, Ninth Air Force, in England, where he shot down a German aircraft after losing his own canopy. He transferred home for a year as an instructor, then returned to combat with the 355th Fighter Group in February 1945. His wartime tally was one-and-a-half kills in the air, and four aircraft on the ground. Afterwards he passed through the Air Tactical School and began flying the new F-86 Sabrejet in 1949. He was serving as a major with the 334th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Fourth Fighter Group, when the Korean War broke out in June 1950. Because the Soviet MiG-15 fighter was superior to all other American aircraft in that theater, Jabara accompanied the Fourth Fighter Group there in December 1950 to confront them. He scored his first MiG on April 3, 1951, and his fifth and sixth MiGs on May 20, 1951, becoming history's first all-jet fighter ace. Jabara served as an instructor back home until January 1953, when he returned to combat over North Korea. In several sizzling encounters, he wracked up 9 more kills over the next six months, raising his total to 15 and becoming the first triple jet ace. After the war Jabara commanded F-104 Star- fighters over the Taiwan Straits in 1958, and he also transitioned to B-58 Hustlers in 1961. Jabara was awaiting deployment in Vietnam when he was killed in an auto accident on November 17,1966. This distinguished aviator was interred at Arlington National Cemetery.

May 17—22 Over North Korea, B-29s from Bomber Command fly 94 close sup­port missions for UN ground forces, mostly at night.

May 20 Over North Korea, F-86 pilot Captain James Jabara downs his fifth MiG-15, becoming the world’s first all­jet ace.

In Tokyo, Japan, Major General George E. Stratemeyer, commanding the Far East Air Forces (FEAF), is sidelined by a heart attack. He is replaced by Major General Earle E. Partridge.

May 21 In Tokyo, Japan, Major General Edward J. Timberlake is appointed the new commander of the Fifth Air Force.

May 27—28 Over North Korea, C-47s drop thousands of leaflets calling upon enemy troops to surrender to the U. S. Army IX Corps. Over 4,000 Communist troops do come over and report that morale is very low due to incessant air strikes.

May 31 Over North Korea, Operation strangle unfolds as the Fifth Air Force makes a concerted effort to interdict all Communist supply lines by air.

June At Edwards Air Force Base, Califor­nia, the Air Force Flight Test Center for­mally opens for business.

June 1 In the United States, aeromedical

researcher Major John P. Strapp subjects himself to rapid acceleration on a series of rocket-powered sleds to examine how well human bodies can adapt to high G forces. He survives unhurt and prelimi­nary results suggest that high rates are more survivable than medical science had believed.

In Tokyo, Japan, Major General Frank K. Everest gains appointment as com­mander of the Fifth Air Force.

June 3 Over South Korea, two C-119 Flying Boxcars are accidentally shot down by friendly ground fire during an air supply effort. New procedures for air­craft identification are the result of this accident.

June 10 In Tokyo, Japan, Lieutenant General Otto P. Weyland gains appoint­ment as the new commander of Far East Air Forces (FEAF).

June 20 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Bell X-5 variable-sweep (moveable) wing research jet takes to the skies for the first time.

The Marin B-61 Matador, a mobile tactical missile, is launched successfully for the first time.

June 25 At Tullahoma, Tennessee, the Arnold Engineering Development Center is dedicated by President Harry S. Truman.

July 1 Over South Korea, Colonel Karl

L. Polifka, commander of the 67 th Tacti­cal Reconnaissance Wing, is killed after his F-51 is struck by enemy ground fire and his parachute snags the aircraft’s tail.

July 6 Over North Korea, a KB-29M from the Air Materiel Command, crewed and flown by a SAC crew from the 43rd Air Refueling Squadron, conducts the first aerial refueling exercise over hostile territory when it tanks up four RF-80 Shooting Stars on a reconnaissance mission.

July 14 In light of Cold War tensions and paranoia, the Ground Observer Corp begins an around-the-clock skywatch of the United States.

July 30 Over North Korea, a major air raid unfolds as 91 F-80s attack enemy air defenses while 354 Marine Corps and Air Force fighter-bombers attack ground tar­gets. The Joint Chiefs of Staff declines to release information about this air strike to avoid any negative publicity during peace negotiations with Communist leaders.

AUGUST 17 Over Detroit, Michigan, Colonel Fred J. Ascani sets a new world speed record of 635.6 miles per hour in his F-86E Sabrejet. He wins both the National Air Race and a Mackay Trophy.

AUGUST 18 At Detroit, Michigan, an F- 86A flown by Colonel Keith Compton finishes first in the Bendix Trophy trans­continental race by arriving from Muroc, California, in 3 hours and 27 minutes. His average speed is 553.8 miles per hour.

Over North Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) extends Operation strangle air strikes to include Communist railroads and marshalling facilities.

AUGUST 24 In Washington, D. C., Air Force Chief of Staff General Hoyt S. Vandenberg declares that testing of tacti­cal nuclear weapons capable ofbeing car­ried by jet fighters had been accomplished the previous February.

AuGUST 24—25 Over this two-day period, Fifth Air Force B-26s claim to have destroyed over 800 Communist trucks during various intruder (nighttime) attacks.

AUGUST 25 Over Rashin, North Korea, 55 B-29 bombers drop 800 tons ofbombs on marshalling yards less than 20 miles from the Soviet border. They are escorted by Navy fighters, but no resistance is encountered.

AUGUST 28 The Lockheed XC-130 is declared the winner of an Air Force com­petition to secure a turboprop-powered transport. This enters service as the C – 130 Hercules, which is still widely employed around the world to present times.

September 5 The firm Convair con­tracts with the Air Force to modify a B-36 to utilize a small nuclear reactor as a power source. General Electric is also signed to construct the actual reactor. The NB-36H flies in 1955, but it is cancelled due to a host of unre­solvable technical and environmental issues.

SEPTEMBER 9 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, a force of28 F-86s is attacked by 70 MiG-15s but, the odds notwithstand­ing, Captains Richard S. Becker and Ralph D. Gibson both flame a MiG, bringing the total of all-jet fighter aces to three.

September 13 At Cocoa, Florida, the Air Force creates the first pilotless bomber squadron at the Missile Test Center.

September 14 During a night intruder flight, Captain John S. Wamsley, Jr., expends all his weapons attacking an enemy train, then lights it up with an experimental searchlight on his wing. The target is illuminated and destroyed by another B-26, but Wamsley’s B-26 is shot down and he and two crewmen are killed; he wins a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor.

September 20 During a second attempt, Air Force scientists launch a monkey and 11 mice on an Aerobee rocket, which reaches an altitude of 230,000 feet, and returns all the animals safely back to Earth.

September 23 Over Suchon, North Korea, eight shoran-guided B-29s bomb and severely damage a rail bridge over the Yalu River.

SEPTEMBER 25 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, a force of 36 F-86 Sabrejets is jumped by an estimated 100 MiG-15s

but, despite the odds, the Americans down 5 Communist aircraft.

SEPTEMBER 27 Over South Korea, Opera­tion pelican unfolds as a service-test C-124 Globemaster II successfully delivers 30,000 pounds of aircraft parts to Kimpo Airfield. The C-124 enjoys a highly successful career in the postwar period.

September 28 Over Korea, an RF-80 completes a 14-hour and 15-minute reconnaissance mission, during which time it was refueled several times by two RB-29M tankers.

SEPTEMBER 30 In Tokyo, Japan, General Joe W. Kelly gains appointment as head of Bomber Command.

OCTOBER 16 Over North Korea, F-86s of the Fifth Air Force down nine MiG – 15s in their largest single-day combat record to date.

OCTOBER 22 This day, two SA-16 Alba­trosses rescue the 12-man crew of a B-29 that crashed at sea; this is the largest total saved in a single day.

OCTOBER 23 At MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, the first production B-47 Strato – jet is received by the 306th Bombard­ment Wing. The B-47 serves capably as a nuclear attack bomber for a decade.

Over North Korea, a huge air battle erupts as MiG-15s intercept a large B-29 force escorted by F-84s. Three of the bombers and one of the Thunderjets go down in exchange for five MiGs.

NOVEMBER 4 Over Sinuiju, North Korea, a force of34 F-86 Sabrejets tangle with an estimated 60 MiG-15s; the Americans down 2 Communist craft and damage 3 more.

November 9 A C-47 makes a perilous landing on the beaches ofPaengnyong – do Island, off southwestern North Korea, where it rescues 11 members ofa downed B-29 bomber.

NOVEMBER 16 Over North Korea, Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers continue to attack Communist rail lines across the country, as well as bridges, gun emplace­ments, warehouses, supply dumps, and freight cars.

NOVEMBER 30 Over North Korea, a large Communist aerial force is inter­cepted by F-86s who shoot down twelve bombers and damage three more. Major George A. Dais, Jr., becomes the first man to become an ace in both World War II and Korea.

DECEMBER 13 Over Sinanju, North Korea, a force of 29 Sabres encounters 75 MiG-15s, and claims to have shot down 9. Victories in other aerial battles raise the Air Force tally to 13 for the day.

DECEMBER 27 Over North Korea, Far East Air Forces (FEAF) aircraft complete 900 sorties, attacking locomotives, rail cars, buildings, vehicles—in sum, any­thing of use to the enemy. This is also the greatest number of missions flown for the month.

JANUARY 7 In Washington, D. C., the

Air Force declares that it is planning to

enlarge its combat strength by 50 percent, or 143 operational wings and 1.27 million

men. In May 1953, following the onset of peace in Korea, this will be pared down to 120 wings.

JANUARY 8—13 In the United States,

Exercise snowfall unfolds as 100 trans­ports of the 516th Troop Carrier Wing airlift 8,600 troops and their equipment from Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to Wheeler-Sack Airfield, New York. This marks one of the largest peacetime troop airlifts to date.

JANUARY 12 Over North Korea, three F – 84 Thunderjets manage to trap several Communist supply trains by bombing the entrance to a tunnel shut. The jets then systematically attack and destroy two locomotives and a series ofboxcars.

FEBRUARY 1 The Air Force acquires a

Univac I, a high-speed digital computer based on vacuum-tube technology.

FEBRUARY 9 Over North Korea, 10 medium bombers use radar technology to accurately drop 10 tons of 500-pound bombs on the Chongju rail bridge bypass.

FEBRUARY 10 Along the Manchurian border, a patrol of 18 F-86E Sabrejets led by Major George A. Davis encounters a flight of 12 MiG-15s and gives battle. Davis downs two Communist craft but is himself shot down and killed; his final tally is 14 jets and he receives a Congressional Medal of Honor.

FEBRUARY 20 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman appoints former lieutenant generalJames H. “Jimmy” Doo­little as head of a presidential commission tasked with helping to relieve airport con­gestion at large American cities.

MARCH Throughout the month, the Rocket Engine Advancement Program (REAP) is initiated by the Air Force to acquire the best combination of liquid oxygen and hydrocarbon fuels for rocket propulsion. In consequence, better for­mulas are employed for intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) like the Atlas when they arrive a few years hence.

MARCH 3 Over North Korea, the Air Force commences Operation saturate, a round-the-clock aerial interdiction of Communist supply lines.

MARCH 11 Over North Korea, Air Force aircraft unload 150 tons of bombs and 15,000 gallons of napalm over a four­square-mile training and supply storage area.

MARCH 19 In California, the F-86F Sab – rejet flies for the first time. This enhanced version is equipped with all-power tail surfaces and modified wing leading edges for improved performance at high alti­tudes. Previously, the MiG-15 exhibited better characteristics above 30,000 feet.

MARCH 25 Over North Korea, Fifth Air Force aircraft perform 959 interdiction strikes on rail and highway targets stretch­ing from Sinanju to Chongju.

April 1 The Air Force changes its rank structure by discarding inherited Army grades private first class, corporal, and buck sergeant, to a comparable airman third, second, and first class.

Over North Korea, Fifth Air Force F – 86 Sabrejets down ten MiG-15s for the loss of one F-86; Colonel Francis “Gabby” Gabreski bags a MiG to become the eighth all-jet ace of the conflict.

April 10 In Japan, Brigadier General Chester E. McCarthy assumes command of the 315th Air Division for the rest of the Korean War.

April 18 At Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, the Convair YB-60 prototype flies for the first time. This giant craft is a jet – powered version of the B-36, but it fails to go into production.

April 29—30 Tragedy strikes as the 315th Air Division loses a C-47, a C-119, and a C-46 in 48 hours. A total of 16 people are killed, the greatest loss sustain by the divi­sion in the first half of the year.

May 3 At the North Pole, a ski-equipped C-47 flown by Lieutenant Colonels William Benedict and Joseph Fletcher makes the first successful landing there.

May 7 A B-29 bomber launches the Lockheed X-7 air-powered ramjet for the first time. In time this program evolves into the Bomarc antiaircraft missile.

May 8 Over North Korea, the Fifth Air Force musters 465 fighter-bomber sorties against a large ammunition depot south­east of Pyongyang. This is the largest sin­gle attack of its kind since the war commenced, and over 200 buildings, vehicles, and structures are destroyed or damaged. An F-86 is shot down while dive bombing, being the first Sabrejet lost in this fashion.

May 16—17 In Japan, 2,361 members of the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team are rushed to Pusan, South Korea, by C-119s, C-54s, and C-46s of the Combat Cargo Command. They are needed to help quell a prisoner insurrec­tion at Koje-do.

June 23 Over North Korea, a strike force of fighter-bombers and F-86 escorts attacks the Sui-ho hydroelectric power complex, severely damaging that vital installation.

June 24 In the Korean theater, aircraft of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) complete 1,000 sorties, its highest-ever daily tally. Many of these missions are redirected at the Sui-ho hydroelectric facilities, which sustains additional damage.

July 3 In South Korea, the first opera­tional C-124 Globemaster II arrives for active duty.

Over North Korea, C-47 transports drop 22 million leaflets as part of a psychological warfare strategy.

July 4 Over North Korea, a large MiG force tangles with 50 F-86s and 70 F- 84s escorting a fighter-bomber force. Fifth Air Force pilots down 13 Com­munist craft at a cost of 2 Sabrejets, but the MiG-15s break through the fighter screen and effectively disrupt the bombing raid.

July 4—17 A force of 58 F-84Gs under Colonel David C. Schilling stage the first successful transpacific crossing by jet fighters. The mission covers 10,895 miles and requires seven ground stops and two in-flight refuelings.

July 10 Commencing this date and continuing over the next three weeks, transports of the 315th Air Division transfer the entire 474th Fighter Bomber Wing from Misawa, Japan, to Kunsan, South Korea. This represents the largest aerial unit transported by air to date.

July 1 Over North Korea, Operation

pressure pump unfolds as the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) mounts a maximum effort against 30 targets in and around the Com­munist capital of Pyongyang. Not only is this the largest single strike of the war, but the Ministry of Industry building is destroyed in its entirety.

July 13-31 At Prestwick, Scotland, two Sikorsky H-19 helicopters complete the first transatlantic crossing by flying in from Westover Field, Massachusetts. The aircraft in question have been named Hop-A-Long and Whirl-O-Way.

July 29 At Yokota Air Base, Japan, an RB-45C Tornado flown by Majors Louis H. Carrington and Frederic W. Shook and Captain Wallace D. Yancey com­pletes the first nonstop, transpacific flight from Elmendorf, Alaska. They covered 3,640 miles in 9 hours and 50 minutes, winning a Mackay Trophy.

July 30-31 Over North Korea, a force of 60 B-29s pounds the Oriental Light Metals Company into ruins during a highly effec­tive nighttime raid. No aircraft are lost despite the fact they approach to within four miles of the Yalu River.

AUGUST 6 A major dogfight erupts over North Korea with 34 F-86 Sabrejets en­gaging 52 MiG-15s, with the Americans downing 6 of the latter.

AUGUST 8 This day, Fifth Air Force fighters complete 285 close support mis­sions, the highest daily total for the entire month. That evening B-26 bombers equipped with megaphone systems fly propaganda missions for four hours over enemy positions.

AUGUST 22-23 Over North Korea, three specially equipped C-47s fly propaganda broadcast sorties over enemy positions as UN forces increase their emphasis on psychological warfare.

AUGUST 29 Pyongyang, North Korea, is struck by one of the largest air raids of the war, with 1,400 ground sorties covered by F-86 Sabrejets and Australian Meteors. The action was requested by the

U. S. State Department, which wished for it to coincide with a visit by Chinese for­eign minister Zhou Enlai to Moscow; three UN aircraft are shot down.

SEPTEMBER 3-4 Over North Korea, B – 29s complete 52 sorties, mostly against the Chosin hydroelectric power plant.

SEPTEMBER 4 North of the Chongchon River, 75 Fifth Air Force F-84 fighter – bombers bomb various targets, which draws out a large number of MiG-15s from across the Yalu River. These are set upon by the escort of 39 F-86 Sabre- jets who shoot down a record 13 in one day. Major Frederick “Boots” Blesse downs his fifth MiG to become an ace, while four UN aircraft are lost.

SEPTEMBER 9 Over Sakchu, North Korea, 45 Fifth Air Force F-84s attack the military academy complex, losing three of their number to MiG-15s. Escorting F-86s manage to destroy five Communist craft at no loss to themselves.

SEPTEMBER 16 Over North Korea, B-26s flying a nighttime intruder mission employ new roadblock tactics against Communist road traffic; hence they end up destroying an estimated 100 vehicles.

September 19 Southwest of Hamhung, North Korea, a set of Communist supply areas are struck by 32 B-29s and their F – 86 escorts. This is also the first daylight raid by heavy bombers in 11 months. Pre-strike reconnaissance intelligence was gathered beforehand by an RB-45C Tornado.

SEPTEMBER 21 Over Pukchong, North Korea, an F-86 flown by Captain Robinson Risner downs two MiG-15s, making him the latest Air Force ace. He is helping to cover an air raid by 41 F-84 Thunderjets.

September 30 The Bell GAM-63 Rascal strategic missile is successfully test launched for the first time. However, it does not go into production.

OCTOBER 4 In Tokyo, Japan, Brigadier General William P. Fisher is directed to take charge ofBomber Command.

OCTOBER 8 Over eastern North Korea, 10 B-29s execute another daylight raid in concert with carrier-based Navy fighter-bombers.

Over Seoul, South Korea, Communist PO-2 biplanes begin making harassment raids at night, earning the nickname “Bedcheck Charlies.”

OCTOBER 20 Over California, the sleek Douglas X-3 Stiletto research jet flies for the first time. It is part of a pro­gram for testing titanium machining and construction, as well as the effect of short-span, low-aspect-ratio wings at high speed.

OCTOBER 31 On Eniwetok, Marshall Islands, the United States explodes the “Mike Shot,” a thermonuclear weapon equal to 10 million tons of TNT. This new device is roughly 1,000 times more powerful than the weapons that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

November 10 In Japan, the 315th Air Division crosses an important milestone after its transports evacuate the 250,000th patient from Korea.

NOVEMBER 12—13 Over Pyongyang, North Korea, six B-29s from the 98th Bomb Wing destroy four spans of the recently repaired railway bridges.

November 15 Over Japan, a C-119 Flying Boxcar crashes en route to South

Korea, killing all 40 crew and passengers on board.

November 19 Over the Salton Sea, California, an F-86D piloted by Captain J. Slade Nash streaks to a new world record of 698.5 miles per hour.

North American Aviation test fires its XLR-43-NA-3 rocket motor for the first time. This is the first American rocket capable of producing over 100,000 pounds of thrust and is a critical step in the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

NOVEMBER 22 Over North Korea, an F – 84 piloted by Major Charles J. Loring is struck by ground fire near Sniper Ridge, yet he deliberately crashes his aircraft into a Communist gun emplacement. He wins a posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor.

November 26 The Northrop N-25

Snark, a turbojet-powered cruise mis­sile, is successfully test launched for the first time. When it becomes operational at the end of the decade as the B-62, it serves briefly as the nation’s first inter­continental ballistic missile (ICBM).

December 11 At Kunsan airfield, South Korea, a fully armed B-26 catches fire and explodes, wrecking three nearby B – 26s and damaging six F-84s.

December 16 The Tactical Air Com­mand (TAC) activates the first Air Force helicopter squadron, equipped with Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaws.

December 17 While patrolling near the Sui-ho Reservoir, two F-86s espy an Ilyushin IL-28 Beagle jet bomber escorted by two MiG-15s; one of the Sabrejets chases them back across the Yalu River.


JANUARY 1 In South Vietnam, the 71st Special Operations Squadron, an Air Force Reserve unit, flies the first AC – 119 Shadow gunship mission.

JANUARY 7 Northrop delivers it 1,000th T-38 Talon trainer to the Air Force.

FEBRUARY 4 At Edwards Air Force Base, the last surviving prototype XB-70 Val­kyrie departs to be put on display at the National Museum of the U. S. Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.

February 9 A Titan IIIC rocket places TACSAT 1, the first tactical communica­tions satellite, into orbit. This device relays messages between land, sea, and airborne tactical stations.

FEBRUARY 24 Over Bien Hoa Province, South Vietnam, an AC-47 gunship is struck by antiaircraft fire and Airman 1st Class John L. Levitow, though severely wounded, throws a magnesium flare that is burning in the cabin out the cargo door. He receives a Congressional Medal of Honor.

March 3-19 The Apollo 9 space capsule conducts operational tests while in Earth orbit; the crew consists of Air Force colonels James A. McDivitt and David R. Scott and civilian Russell L. Schweickart.

MARCH 18 Over Cambodia, B-52 bombers begin covert bombing raids of Communist sanctuaries under the code­names of BREAKFAST, LUNCH, DINNER, and

snack; by the time they end in May 1970, 43,000 missions will have been launched.

April 4-10 As 72 F-4D Phantom IIs of the 49th Tactical Air Wing relocate from Spangdahlem Air Base, Germany, to Hol­loman Air Force Base, New Mexico, they complete 504 aerial refuelings without mishap. The unit receives the Mackay Trophy for its efforts.

April 17 In California, the Martin X-24A lifting body piloted by Major Jerauld Gentry conducts its first glide test to validate the potential of reusable spacecraft.

May 14 In Ecuador, Operation combat mosquito unfolds as Air Force C-141s deliver 50 tons of pesticides to combat an outbreak of encephalitis. A pair of UC – 123s also begins a spraying project to destroy mosquito breeding grounds; the outbreak is contained within a month.

May 18—26 Apollo 10 becomes the sec­ond spacecraft to orbit the moon, and includes the Command and service mod­ules, plus the Lunar Extension Module (LEM). Air Force colonel Thomas stafford and Navy astronaut Eugene Cernan fly the LEM to within 5.5 miles above the moon’s surface as a dry run for Apollo 11.

May 21 The huge Lockheed C-5A Gal­axy sets a new gross liftoff weight of 728,100 pounds.

June The U. S. Air Force Aerial Demon­stration Squadron, or Thunderbirds, begins its new season flying F-4 Phantom II jets.

June 5 Over North Vietnam, Air Force bombers resume bombing raids, the first since the previous November.

July 1 In Southeast Asia, the Air Force Air Rescue and Recovery Service (ARRS) flies its 2,500th mission.

July 8 In South Vietnam, Air Force C-141 Starlifters begin the withdrawal of 25,000 U. S. combat troops in accordance with President Richard M. Nixon’s Vietnamiza – tion policies. The first wave is landed at McChord Air Force Base, Washington.

Подпись: Astronaut Neil Armstrong, Apollo ll mission commander, at the modular equipment storage assembly of the lunar module “Eagle” on the historic first extravehicular activity on the lunar surface. Most photos from the Apollo 11 mission show Buzz Aldrin. This is one of only a few depicting Neil Armstrong. (NASA)

July 20 The Apollo 11 Lunar Extension Module (LEM) lands successfully on the surface of the moon and Navy astronaut Neil A. Armstrong becomes the first human to leave a footprint there. He is joined an hour later by Air Force astronaut Edwin P. “Buzz” Aldrin. Meanwhile, Air Force astronaut Michael Collins remains in orbit with the main capsule.

July 24 The Apollo 11 space mission successfully concludes after 8 days, 3 hours, and 18 minutes in space. They bring back 50 pounds of lunar rock sam­ples.

AUGUST 1 In Washington, D. C., General

John D. Ryan becomes the new Air Force chief of staff. Donald L. Harlow also becomes the new chief master ser­geant of the Air Force.

AUGUST 19 In Mississippi, Air Force transports begin delivering tons of food, water, and relief supplies to assist victims of Hurricane Camille. They deliver 6,000 tons of goods within a month.

OCTOBER 8—14 At Wheelus Air Force Base, Libya, three HH-53 helicopters are sent to Tunis to assist victims of heavy flooding. Ultimately, they rescue 2,000 individuals.

NOVEMBER 6 At Holloman Air Force Base, scientists release the largest balloon ever constructed; it is over 1,000-feet long and carries a 13,000-pound payload into the air.

DECEMBER 18 At the Air Force Missile Development Center, crew test fire Mav­erick (AGM-65) air-to-surface television – guided missiles against moving targets for the first time.


January Headquarters, Strategic Air Command (SAC) determines that the recent fire at a Titan II silo at McConnell Air Force Base could have been avoided with better procedures. Once these changes are in place, deactivation ofthese elderly ICBMs continues as scheduled.

January 1 Lieutenant Colonel David E. Faught, 97th Bombardment Wing, hav­ing spent 13 hours of attempting to lower the nose gear of a KC-135, makes a suc­cessful nose gear-up landing without seri­ously damaging his aircraft; he receives a Mackay Trophy.

January 4 Major Patricia M. Young becomes the first female to lead an Air Force Space Command unit when she is appointed commander of Detachment 1, 20th Missile Warning Squadron.

January 5 An Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 crashes in the Andes Mountains, prompting the Military Airlift Command (MAC) to dispatch a C-141 Starlifter with a Sikorsky S-70 helicopter to look for possible survivors.

January 18-23 Continuing C-141 Starlifter flights to the Sudan are ordered by the Military Airlift Command (MAC) to assist ongoing relief efforts; 62 tons of food are eventually delivered.

January 19-21 The 75th and 312th

Military Airlift Squadrons send two C-5 Galaxies and one C-141 Starlifter with 186 tons relief supplies to Viti Levu, Fiji, after a hard pounding by Typhoon Eric.

January 24-27 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, Colonel Loren J. Shriver pilots the space shuttle Discovery on its first all­military mission; at 73 hours, 33 minutes, this is also one of the shortest shuttle mis­sions.

January 28 At Kunsan Air Base, South Korea, two H-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopters are dispatched to help rescue 10 shipwrecked Korean fishermen.

FEBRUARY 3 At Howard Air Force Base, Panama, C-141 Starlifters of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) fly to Argentina in the wake of a devastating earthquake that results in 12,000 refugees.

February 4 The practice of gender-

specific missile launch crews (either male or female) is instituted by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) for all Minuteman and Peacekeeper facilities. Women were pre­viously restricted to Titan II launch sites.

MARCH 5—9 In Sudan, Niger, and Mali, Air Force transports complete four famine-relief missions by flying in 123 tons of food to victims.

MARCH 8 In the Bahamas, helicopters provided by the Military Airlift Command help police and U. S. Drug Enforcement Agency officials bust a $320 million cocaine-smuggling effort. This joint drug interception campaign continues through the following month.

MARCH 15 In Chile, a Military Airlift Command C-5 Galaxy delivers 1,000 rolls of plastic sheeting to assist victims of a devastating earthquake.

MARCH 25 The Air Force now allows women to function as forward air con­trollers (FAC) and as crew members on C-130 transports and gunships.

April 4 In Washington, D. C., retired Air Force leader James H. Doolittle is elevated to full (four-star) general; he becomes the first Air Force Reserve offi­cer so honored.

APRIL 5 Over drought-stricken western North Carolina, two C-141 Starlifters and a C-130 Hercules arrive with 10 tons of firefighting equipment, 21,000 gallons of fire retardant, and 190 firefighters to contain a large fire which devastated

7,0 acres across six counties.

April 20 The first B-52 crews com­pletely trained in Harpoon antiship mis­sile operations are graduated and deployed with front-line units.

April 29—May 17 At Spangdahlem Air Base, West Germany, Salty Demo, an exercise to gauge the ability to defend bases against an attack and resume combat operations, is sponsored by the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE).

June 21—July 25 In southern Idaho, three C-123K Providers arrive for aerial spraying purposes. They cover 795,000 acres in 73 sorties to contain a severe locust infestation.

June 29 The first Rockwell B-1B Lancer strategic bomber is accepted by the Air Force; only 100 are scheduled for acquisi­tion owing to their considerable expense.

The 60th Bombardment Squadron becomes the second B-52G unit trained and equipped to fire Harpoon antiship missiles in an interdiction mission at sea.

At Naval Air Station, New Orleans, Louisiana, the 159th Tactical Fighter Group becomes the first Air National Guard (ANG) unit equipped with F-15 Eagles.

June 30 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, the Air Force Space Com­mand completes flight-testing of the new MX (Peacekeeper) intercontinental bal­listic missile (ICBM).

July 1 At Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, the 7th Bombardment Wing becomes the first B-52H unit equipped to operate air – launched cruise missiles (ALCMs).

At Rhein-Main Air Base, West Ger­many, a C-141 Starlifter from the 438th Military Airlift Wing transports 39 passen­gers from TWA Flight 847, which had been hijacked and flown to Lebanon. Vice President George H. W. Bush is on hand to greet them upon arrival.

July 2-10 Over California and Idaho in C-141 Starlifters transport 285 firefighters to staging areas to combat a series of huge forest fires. Meanwhile, C-130s complete 200 sorties by spreading 450 tons of flame retardant across 1.5 million acres.

July 7 At Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, the first operational B-1B Lancers arrive at the 96th Bombardment Wing, Stra­tegic Air Command (SAC).

July 15 Two B-52Gs from the 42nd Bombardment Wing simulate Harpoon missile launches for test and evaluation purposes during the United States Atlantic Command exercise Readex 85-2.


An air-to-air left side view of an F-15 Eagle aircraft releasing an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile during a test, 1985. (U. S. Department of Defense)

July 30 The Air Force officially termi­nates the Bomarc aerial target drone (CQM-10B) program.

AUGUST 12-15 In response to a request from the State Department, a C-5A Gal­axy of the 436th Military Airlift Wing delivers 35 tons of food and equipment to assist famine victims in western Sudan.

AUGUST 23 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, a Minuteman III missile is “cold launched” out of its silo using compressed air for the first time. Through this procedure, the missile ignites once airborne, resulting in less damage to the silo and quicker reloading.

September 10 The Lockheed C-5B Galaxy flies for the first time; the Air Force intends to acquire 50 ofthese giant transports by April 1989.

September 13 A Vought ASM-135 anti­satellite missile is fired by an F-15 Eagle while 290 miles above the Earth, destroy­ing the orbiting Defense Department sat­ellite P78-1. This constitutes the first – ever satellite interception.

September 21-30 A devastating earth­quake in Mexico City, Mexico, results in Air Force transports delivering over 360 tons of food and medicine to survivors.

SEPTEMBER 23 First Lady Nancy Reagan is conveyed by a transport from the 89th Military Airlift Wing to Mexico City, Mexico, where she expresses condolences and presents the government with a check for $1 million.

OCTOBER 11 AC-141 Starlifter from the

438th Military Airlift Wing transports 11 American hostages from the Achille Lauro to Newark, New Jersey.

OCTOBER 15 At Edwards Air Force Base the T-46A next generation trainer flies for the first time.

OCTOBER 16 Two Air Force H-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopters rescue the crew of the shipwrecked Philippine vessel Mar­cos Faberes.

OCTOBER 18 A General Dynamics F – 111A, modified with a mission adaptive wing (MAW) flies for the first time.

November 1 The Dutch government,

ignoring protests from antinuclear groups and KGB-orchestrated peace move­ments, approves deployment of Air Force ground-launched cruise missiles at Woensdrecht, the Netherlands.

November 4 In the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, the Air Force Rescue Co­ordination Center orchestrates helicopter missions that save 47 lives from rapid floodwaters.

November 15—18 In the wake of a severe volcanic eruption, Air Force trans­ports lift 50 tons of food and supplies to Colombia.

December 6 At Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, the 19th KC-10 Extender aircraft arrives, completing the first fully operational tanker squadron to employ that aircraft.

December 12 After a chartered Arrow Air airliner crashes near Gander, New­foundland, Canada, killing 248 members of the 101st Airborne Division, Air Force C-141s and C-130s are required to airlift all the bodies back to the United States, along with 125 tons of cargo necessary for the cleanup; this remains the worst military aviation disaster.

December 18 OffLubang, Philippines, helicopters dispatched by the Western Pacific Rescue Coordination Center res­cue 78 passengers from the sinking ship Asuncion Cinco.

December 31 McDonnell Douglas con­tracts with the Air Force to build the new C-17A long-range, heavy-lift cargo transport. This aircraft will combine the lifting capability of the C-5A Galaxy, with the short field landing abilities of the C-130 Hercules.


JANUARY 10 At Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, the U. S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) is tasked with four new missions, including global strike, inte­grated missile defense, integrated infor­mation operations, and C4ISR (global command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance).

FEBRUARY 1 Two hundred thousand feet above East Texas, the space shuttle Colum­bia breaks up in the atmosphere, disinte­grating only 15 minutes from touchdown. All seven astronauts die, including Navy Captain David M. Brown, Captain Laurel Clark, and Com­mander William C. McCool and Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Michael Anderson and Colonel Rick Husband. This is also the 113th shuttle mission, and the Columbia’s 28th venture into space.

FEBRUARY 8 In Washington, D. C., the Department of Defense begins con­tracting with commercial airlines to deliver troops and supplies to the Persian Gulf region. This is in anticipation of another conflict with Iraq and involves activation of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF).

MARCH 11 Over Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, a C-130 test drops a 21,500- pound Massive Ordnance Air Blast weapon for the first time; this is the larg­est non-nuclear explosive currently in existence.

MARCH 17 Over northern Iraq, the final mission connected to Operation northern watch is conducted.

March 18—19 Just prior to war with Iraq, Air Force planes begin dropping informational leaflets on 20 civilian loca­tions. An EC-130 Commando Solo air­craft also broadcasts messages for alert Iraqi citizens to take cover.

MARCH 19 Operation iraqi freedom commences as Air Force F-117 Nighthawks drop precision-guided munitions on Iraqi communication and command centers. Meanwhile, over southern Iraq, Operation southern watch concludes over the southern no­fly zone.

MARCH 20 Over Iraq, swarms of 500 coalition aircraft, mostly from Great Britain and the United States, attack Iraqi antiaircraft and missile radar defenses, along with command and control centers. These include F-117 Stealth fighters and cruise missiles fired from at least six U. S. warships aimed at “leadership targets of opportunity.” All told, coalition air and sea forces unleash 1,000 Tomahawks and over 3,000 precision-guided munitions against significant targets.

MARCH 21 In the Arabian Gulf, an Iraqi

fast-attack patrol boat is tracked by a Navy P-3 Orion, then destroyed by an Air Force AC-130 Spectre gunship.

MARCH 22 Over Iraq, coalition force aircraft launch over 1,000 sorties and a like number of cruise missiles at military targets.

MARCH 23 Over Kuwait, an American F-16 knocks out a Patriot battery after its radar locks on to it; no casualties occur.

MARCH 24 Over Kirkuk, Iraq, coalition force aircraft bombard military targets near the oil-producing center over a 24- hour period.

MARCH 26 Over northern Iraq, Opera­tion northern delay commences as 15 C-17 Globemaster IIIs insert 990 para­troopers onto Bashur Airfield. This is also the first time that parachutists have dropped from C-17s. The crew of the lead aircraft wins a Mackay Trophy for orchestrating an intricate maneuver.

April 2 Over Iraq, B-52s drop CBU-105 cluster bombs on Iraqi armored units. These are armor-piercing, sensor-fused weapons, and devastate tank formations. Meanwhile, an F-15C fighter-bomber mistakes an MLRS missile launcher from 1st Battalion, 39th Field Artillery, for a Soviet-designed Iraqi vehicle and directs a laser-guided GBU-12 bomb to it; sev­eral soldiers are killed.

April 7 Over Baghdad, Iraq, a B-1B Lancer from the 34th Bomb Squadron drops four GBU-31 satellite-guided joint direct attack munitions (JDAM) on a res­taurant where Iraqi dictator Saddam Hus­sein and his two sons were lodged; Hussein is not there, but the attack kills several senior Iraqi leaders. A C-130 Her­cules also deploys the first Army troops to

Baghdad International Airport under the cover of darkness.

APRIL 8 Over Baghdad, Iraq, ground fire brings down an A-10 Thunderbolt II, although the pilot escapes capture and is secured by coalition forces near the airport. A surface-to-air missile also destroys an F – 15E Strike Eagle, killing both crewmen.

APRIL 11 Over Iraq, a B-52 employs a Litening II advanced airborne targeting and navigation pod to hit Iraqi facilities on an airfield.

April 12 At Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, a Missile Defense Agency rocket sled reaches 6,416 miles per hour at a high-speed test track; this is also a world’s speed record.

May In Washington, D. C., the Air Force declares it will lease 100 Boeing KC-767 tankers to replace its aging fleet of KC – 135s.

MAY 1 Over northern Iraq, Operation northern watch, begun as a no-fly zone on January 1, 1997, finally ends.

AUGUST 29 The last of 14 Defense Satel­lite Communications System (DSCS III) satellites are placed in orbit, finishing a project that was begun in 1981.


JANUARY 17—18 Over Pyongyang, North Korea, 11 B-29s bomb an underground radio station with special, 2,000-pound bombs. Accuracy is essential as the site is only 1,000 feet from a POW camp; 10 direct hits are scored but the ordnance fails to destroy the station.

JANUARY 23 In South Korea and Japan, the last remaining F-51 Mustangs are retired from combat operations and replaced by F-86 Sabrejets. This marks the end of propellor-driven fighter aircraft in the U. S. Air Force.

JANUARY 24 Over North Korea, sharp­shooting Captain Dolphin D. Overton II sets a record for becoming a fighter ace by downing five MiGs in only four days.

JANUARY 28 Over Sariwon, North Korea, a B-29 explodes over its target, being the fourth heavy bomber downed
since the previous December; it is also the last one lost during hostilities.

JANUARY 30 Over the Yellow Sea, an

F-86 observes a Soviet-built Tu-2 bomber and shoots it down; this is the first Communist bomber claimed since November 1951.

Boeing’s B-47E Stratojet performs its maiden flight; this is the first major pro­duction model, of which 1,300 are con­structed. A further 255 RB-47E reconnaissance aircraft are also acquired by the Air Force.

JANUARY 30—31 Over North Korea, a

B-29 of the 307th Bomb Wing is badly mauled by Communist MiGs and is forced to make an emergency landing in South Korea.

Подпись: McConnell, Joseph C. (1922-1954) Air Force pilot. Joseph Christopher McConnell was born in Dover, New Hampshire, on January 30, 1922, and he enlisted in the Army in 1940. Though he intended to be a pilot, he ended up as a navigator and flew 60 combat missions over Europe in B-24s assigned to the 448th Bomb Group. After World War II, McConnell remained determined to win his wings and, in 1948, he finally passed through flight school at Lackland and Randolph Fields, Texas. There he became one of the earliest jet pilots and qualified in Lockheed P-80 Shooting Stars. The onset of the Korean War in June 1950 resulted in the deployment of new F-86 Sabrejets there to counter Soviet MiG-15 fighters; McConnell immediately volunteered for service overseas, but was judged “too old” for combat. He nonetheless persisted and, in August 1952, he shipped to Korea with the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing. He flew constantly over the next 10 months, and on January 14, 1953, McConnell downed his first MiG. Within a month, McConnell had scored his fifth kill, but three victories later he was himself shot down and rescued. Returning to combat, he became a double ace and, on May 18,1953, he downed victims number 14 and 15, becoming a triple jet ace That same afternoon he ventured back to “MiG Alley” and bagged number 16, becoming the highest-scoring American jet ace. After the war, McConnell arrived at Edwards Air Force Base, California, to serve as a test pilot. On August 25, 1954, he died after his new F-86H stalled, and he ejected too close to the ground.

FEBRUARY 4 In Washington, D. C., Har­old E. Talbott gains appointment as secre­tary of the Air Force.

FEBRUARY 8 The American Medical Association finally recognizes aviation medicine as a medical specialty, the first to have evolved from strictly military practices.

February 14 The new Bell X-1A makes its first successful test glide; this variant is longer and has greater fuel capacity than the original X-1.

FEBRUARY 15 Over North Korea, 22 F-84s strike the Shi-ho hydroelectric power plant with 1,000-pound bombs while 82 F-86 escorts tangle with 30 MiG-15s. The facility is heavily damaged and offline for several months.

FEBRUARY 16 Over North Korea, Captain Joseph C. McConnell, Jr., bags his fifth MiG-15, becoming the latest all-jet ace.

FEBRUARY 18 Over the Sui-ho reser­voir, North Korea, 4 F-86 Sabrejets attack a formation of 48 MiG-15s, down­ing 2. Two other Communist craft enter uncontrolled spins and crash while turn­ing with the Americans. Captain Manuel J. Fernandez also becomes an ace by claiming his fifth and sixth MiGs.

FEBRUARY 18—19 Southwest of Pyong­yang, North Korea, 500 Air Force aircraft attack a Communist tank and infantry school, destroying 243 buildings in the process.

MARCH 5 Over North Korea, Fifth Air Force aircraft run 70 sorties, destroying 56 bunkers, gun positions, and various storage shacks. One flight of F-84s drops bombs on an industrial facility only 60 miles from the Siberian border.

MARCH 10 Near the border between West Germany and Czechoslovakia, two Communist MiG-15s attack two F-84

Thunderjets, downing one. The pilot ejects safely.

MARCH 14 Over North Korea, Air Force aircraft drop propaganda leaflets demand­ing to know where the Communist air force is after they bomb a target. It is hoped such taunting will provoke an aer­ial engagement.

MARCH 21—22 Over North Korea, Operation spring thaw unfolds as Fifth Air Force medium bombers knock down the two main bridges at Yongmi-dong and heavily damage a third.

MARCH 27 In a surprise move, two MiG-15s attack two RF-80 Shooting Stars and two Australian Meteors only 38 miles north of UN lines.

MARCH 31 In Korea, the final F-80C Shooting Star is retired from front-line service after a distinguished two-and-a – half years in combat.

April 12 Over the Red Sea, an H-19 helicopter rescues Captain Joseph C. McConnell after he and his eighth victory apparently downed each other.

April 7 In Washington, D. C., the Atomic Energy Commission declares that it employs Lockheed QF-80 drones to study radioactive clouds during atomic testing. These remote-controlled craft are flown directly into mushroom clouds under the direction of nearby aircraft.

April 13 Over South Korea, the F-86 Sabrejet performs its first close support ground sortie.

April 26—27 Over North Korea, Project MOOLA unfolds as B-29 bombers drop leaf­lets offering $100,000 to any Communist pilot who defects with his MiG-15.


United States Air Force F-86 airplanes prepare for combat on the flight line in May 1953. (National Archives)

MAY 13 North of Pyongyang, North Korea, 50 F-84Gs, attacking in four waves, bomb several irrigation dams that had heretofore been off limits. The ensu­ing floodwaters destroy six square miles of rice crop, the Sunan airfield, and two miles of a nearby highway.

May 16 Over North Korea, 90 F-84Gs bomb the Chasan irrigation dam, and the floodwaters destroy three railroad bridges and several acres of rice crop.

May 18 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran flies a Canadair F-86E to a new world’s speed record of 652.3 miles per hour over a 100-kilometer course. This day she also becomes the first woman to exceed the speed of sound.

Over North Korea, Captain Joseph C. McConnell, Jr., bags 3 more MiG-15s, becoming the war’s first triple jet ace and, with 16 kills, also the highest-scoring UN pilot.

May 25 Over Edwards Air Force Base,

California, the North American YF-100 Super Sabre flies for the first time and easily exceeds the sound barrier. This is the first of 2,300 F-100s that pass into Air Force service.

May 27 In Washington, D. C., the Air Force Historical Foundation (AFHF) is established to preserve and perpetuate the history and heritage of U. S. aviation.

May 31 In Tokyo, Japan, command of

the Fifth Air Force passes to Lieutenant General Samuel E. Anderson.

June 8 At Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, F-84 Thunderjets of the 3600th Air Demonstration Team make its first unof­ficial public appearance in red, white, and blue painted aircraft. They become better known as the USAF Thunderbirds.

June 11 Along the Manchurian border, 13 F-84s commit the deepest penetration of Communist territory by bombing an enemy airfield. No opposition is encountered.

June 13-18 Over Toksan and Kusong, North Korea, Fifth Air Force F-84s and B-29s, assisted by Marine Corps F4U Corsairs, blast several irrigation dams to flood nearby airfields. However, the Communists anticipated the move, because they had lowered the water level beforehand, thereby decreasing the impact of the strikes.

June 15 In Tokyo, Japan, leadership of

Bomber Command passes to Brigadier General Richard H. Carmichael.

June 16 This day the Fifth Air Force completes 1,834 combat sorties, with half aimed at enemy troops contesting UN forces in the Pukhan Valley region.

June 18 Over Japan, a C-124 Globemas- ter II crashes after takeoff, killing all 129 passengers on board. For many years this was the worst aviation disaster on record.

June 21 Over Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Air Force Thunderbirds make their first official demonstration for the public.

June 30 In Washington, D. C., General Nathan F. Twining gains appointment as the new Air Force chief of staff.

Over North Korea, Fifth Air Force F-86 Sabrejets have a field day by downing 16 MiG-15s without loss, a new single-day record.

July 15 Over North Korea, Major James Jabara downs his 15th MiG, becoming the second triple jet ace in aviation history.

July 16 An F-86D piloted by Lieutenant William Barnes sets a new world speed record of 715.7 miles per hour. To do so he broke an earlier record established by another F-86D.

July 20 At Middle River, Maryland, the first Martin B-57A, the American-built version of the English Electric Canberra, performs its maiden flight. This is also the first foreign-designed aircraft accepted into the U. S. Air Force.

July 21—22 Over North Korea, 18 Bomber Command B-29s fly the final sortie for that type of airplane by bomb­ing the Uiju airfield.

July 22 Over North Korea, the final dog­fight of the Korean War unfolds as three F-86 Sabrejets tangle with four MiG-15s, whereby Lieutenant Sam P. Young makes the final MiG kill of the war.

July 27 Just hours before the armistice ends the Korean War, Captain Ralph S.

Parr, Jr., downs a Soviet-built IL-2 transport, becoming a double ace. This is also the final aerial victory of the Korean War.

Over North Korea, a B-26 drops its bombs during a radar-directed, close sup­port mission only 24 minutes before the armistice becomes official. Ironically, the squadron to which this aircraft belongs also flew the first bombing mission of the war in 1950.

Over North Korea, an RB-26 from the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing performs that last photo mission of the Korean War.

July 28 At Fairford, England, a Strategic Air Command (SAC) B-47 Stratojet completes a record-making flight from Limestone, Maine, by crossing the Atlan­tic in only 4 hours and 43 minutes at a speed of 618 miles per hour.

July 29 Off the coast of Vladivostok, Soviet Union, an RB-50 operating from Yokota, Japan, is attacked by MiG-15s and shot down; 16 men perish and only 1 survives.

This day the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) releases its official tally of wins and losses for the Korean War. They claim 839 MiG-15 jets shot down with 154 listed as probable, and a further 919 damaged. Over the past 37 months, the Air Force lost 110 aircraft to hostile air activity, 677 to ground fire, and 213 in various accidents. Since that time, the number of Communist aircraft claimed has been revised downwards to roughly half this total.

AUGUST 3 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Air Force Missile Test Center fires a Redstone missile for the first time.

AUGUST 12 In an ominous development, the Soviet Union detonates its first thermo­nuclear weapon.

AUGUST 20 In Western Europe, Operation longstride unfolds as F-84 Thunderjets of the 40th Air Division, Strategic Air Com­mand (SAC) deploy from the United States in the first mass deployment of fighter air­craft during a transatlantic flight. It is a vivid demonstration of SAC’s ability to shift men and resources to distant points, and wins the Mackay Trophy.

AUGUST 25 The Air Force reveals the exis­tence of its Fighter Conveyor (FICON) project, whereby a giant B-36 bomber has been modified to carry, launch, and re­cover an RF-84 in flight. However, the concept of a “flying aircraft carrier” does not catch on.

SEPTEMBER Aviation history is made this month when a B-47 Stratojet is refueled in midair by a KB-47B tanker aircraft. This represents the first time that one jet aircraft has passed fuel to another.

SEPTEMBER 11 Over China Lake, Cali­fornia, the new AIM-9 Sidewinder air – to-air missile destroys an airborne target for the first time. Updated versions of this weapon are still in production.

September 21 Over Kimpo Airfield, South Korea, a MiG-15 flown by Lieu­tenant Noh Kum Suk arrives as he defects to the West. He receives the $100,000 bounty and his aircraft is thoroughly tested and examined by Air Force author­ities before being put on display at the Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio.

OCTOBER This month the Air Defense Command is bolstered by the addition of 10 Lockheed RC-121 Super Constella­tions, which serve as early warning radar platforms.

OCTOBER 1 At McClellan Air Force Base, California, the 4701st Airborne

Early Warning and Control squadron is formally activated, being the first organi­zation of its kind in the Air Force.

October 14 The X-10 (B-64 Navaho prototype) is test launched for the first time. This impressively sleek missile is intended as a ground-to-ground weapon capable of carrying nuclear warheads.

October 23 The twin-rotor Piasecki YH-16 transport helicopter makes its maiden flight.

OCTOBER 24 Over Edwards Air Force Base, the delta-winged Convair XF-102 is flown for the first time. Overall perfor­mance is poor and it is not until a major redesign incorporating the use of “area rule” (a pinched-in fuselage) that it enters service as the F-102 Delta Dagger.

OCTOBER 29 Over the Salton Sea, Cali­fornia, the YF-100 prototype flown by Colonel Frank K. Everest sets a world speed record of 755.125 miles per hour over a nine-mile course.

OCTOBER 31 Trevor Gardner, special assistant to the secretary of the Air Force, is tasked with forming the new Strategic Missile Evaluation Committee under mathematician John von Neu­mann.

NOVEMBER 6 At RAF Brize Norton, England, a B-47 Stratojet makes a new transatlantic speed record by flying in from Limestone Air Force Base, Maine, in 4 hours and 57 minutes.

NOVEMBER 20 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, A. Scott Crossfield flies the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket to twice the speed of sound. This represents the first time such stellar velocity has been reached.

DECEMBER 12 Over Edwards Air Force Base, the Bell X-1A flown by Major Charles E. Yeager reaches a speed of 1,650 miles per hour at an altitude of

70,000 feet. Yeager loses control of his aircraft and spirals down to 25,000 feet before righting it and making a safe landing. He wins the Harmon Trophy for his effort.


January 16 At Grissom Air Force Base, Indiana, the last few remaining B-58 Hustlers still in Air Force inventory are flown to their final resting place at the “bone yard,” Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona.

February 17 In northern Laos, B-52 bombers drop bombs on Com­munist targets for the final time. These actions are not made public until March 6.

February 18 The HL-10 experimental lifting body piloted by Major Peter C. Hoag reaches Mach 1.86 at 65,000 feet. This is an unpowered glide test.

FEBRUARY 27 In Washington, D. C., the Defense Department selects Pratt and Whitney to build a new gener­ation jet engine to power the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle and the Grum – man F-14 Tomcat then under develop­ment.

MARCH 15 A new telephone network called the “AUTOVON” is completed; this device is an automatic voice network linking all U. S. military bases.

MARCH 18 Over Cambodia, B-52s begin pounding suspected Communist posi­tions as U. S. forces also make a limited incursion into the border region. The aerial blitz lasts two months, involves 4,300 sorties, and drops over 120,000 tons of bombs.

April 11—17 The crippled Apollo 13 spacecraft makes a heroic return to Earth after being damaged while coasting to the moon; among the three-man crew is John L. Swigert, Jr., a former Air Force officer.

April 14 At Hill Air Force Base, Utah, a C-141 Starlifter transports a Minuteman III missile to Minot AFB, North Dakota. This is also the first operational example of the new variant.

April 17 At Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, the first Minuteman III missile is handed off to the 741st Strategic Missile Squadron and declared opera­tional.

May 4 At Kent, Ohio, rioting students are fired upon by the Ohio National Guard; four students are killed.

May 5 Across the nation, the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) is opened to women for the first time.

May 8 Over Southeast Asia, an AC-119K Shadow gunship under Captain Alan D. Milacek loses 15 feet of the left wing to ground fire as it att­acks heavily defended truck convoys along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The air­crew successfully struggle to bring their plane back to base, winning a Mackay Trophy.

June 2 In Peru, a disastrous earthquake compels the Air Force Southern Com­mand to begin a major aerial relief effort. This entails delivering 750 tins of supplies and 3,000 medical personnel, and the evacuation of500 patients.

June 6 The first Lockheed C-51 Galaxy is delivered to the Military Airlift Com­mand (MAC); this is the world’s largest aircraft at the time.

July 31 At Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, the first class of South Viet­namese pilots graduates as part of the Vietnamization program.

August 24 At Da Nang Airport, South Vietnam, 2 HH-53 Sea Stallions arrive on the first nonstop transpacific helicopter crossing; they departed from Elgin Air Force Base, Florida.

SEPTEMBER 1 In South Vietnam, General Lucius D. Clay, Jr., gains appointment as commander of the Seventh Air Force.

SEPTEMBER 6 At Incirlik, Turkey, Oper­ation flat pass unfolds as USAFE deploys C-130s and F-4 Phantoms for the pos­sible rescue of passengers from three air­liners hijacked by Palestinian militants. The hostages are eventually released, but the three aircraft are blown up.

September 28-October 31 In

Jordan, Operation fig hill commences as Air Force transports deliver 180 tons of supplies and equipment, along with Army and Air Force medical perso­nnel to that beleaguered kingdom as it battles an uprising by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

OCTOBER 3 At Hurlburt Field, Florida, the Special Operations Center receives the first 2 Bell UH-1N Twin Hueys, the first of 79 such machines acquired. This is also the first Air Force unit to operate this twin-engined machine.

NOVEMBER 21 In North Vietnam, the American raid of Son Tay Prison com­mences with Air Force helicopters delivering Army Colonel Arthur D. “Bull” Simons to the camp. They are escorted by C-130E Combat Talon aircraft to recover the released priso­ners. However, these had been relo­cated to another location previously and the raiders return empty-handed. The raid was also covered by F-4 Phan­toms while F-105s flew diversionary raids elsewhere.


January 8 At Altus Air Force Base, Oklahoma, the Military Airlift Command (MAC) receives the first improved C-5B Galaxy transport aircraft.

At Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, the first overseas meteorological data system circuit is installed by the Air Force to replace the obsolete weather teletype sys­tem already in place.

January 28 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, tragedy strikes when the space shuttle

Challenger explodes after liftoff. Among those killed are Air Force pilots Francis R. Scobee, Gregory B. Jarvis, Ellison S. Onizuka.

FEBRUARY 18—22 In Northern Califor­

nia, Air Force H-3s, HH-53s, and C – 130s of the 49th and 129th Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Groups evacuate 500 civilians from along the Russian and Yuba Rivers after they were stranded by severe flooding. Three thousand sandbags are also delivered to Army troops on the ground.

FEBRUARY 25—26 In the Philippines, five H-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopters from the 31st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) convey President Ferdinand Marcos and 51 peo­ple from his palace to Clark Air Base for ultimate removal to Hawaii.

MARCH 3 At Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, the reconnaissance Cessna O-2 aircraft is replaced by the OT-38 Talon.

MARCH 4 In Egypt, operation bright STAR unfolds as aircraft from the United States and Egypt conduct their first joint exercise; this also marks the first time that foreign aircraft are refueled by Air Force tankers.

MARCH 5 Once over the Atlantic, a KC – 10 aircraft, piloted by Captain Marc C. Felman, refuels another KC-10 and three Navy A-4 Skyhawks that were nearly our of fuel. For relieving this emergency sit­uation by launched in zero visibility weather; Felman and his crew win a Mackay Trophy.

In Pakistan, the Air Force beings trans­porting Afghan refugees and patients to the United States in accordance with the 1986 McCollum Amendment. Afghani­stan is then in the throes of a violent Soviet occupation.

MARCH 25 At Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri, the first all-woman Minuteman missile crew, belonging to the 351st Strategic Missile Wing, is placed on active alert.

April 5—6 At Osan Air Base, South Korea, a large jet fuel tank fire results in four C-141 Starlifters and one H-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopter from the 63rd

Airlift Wing transporting fire-suppressant foam; burn victims are also conveyed to medical facilities in Seoul for treatment.

APRIL 14—15 Over Libya, Operation el dorado canyon unfolds as 24 F-111F bombers from the Statue of Liberty Squadron, 48th Tactical Fighter Wing, launch from Great Britain and perform a retaliatory strike against Tripoli, Libya. Lacking overflight permission from Spain and France, they fly a 5,500-mile round trip around Continental Europe, and inflict heavy damage on the Jamahiriya Military Barracks and Benina Military Airfield. They are also carrier aircraft launched from the America and Saratoga; one F-111 is lost in action. Equally significant, 28 KC-10 Extenders and KC-135 Stratotankers are employed during the attack, and they refuel the strike force six times in complete radio silence.

April 18 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, a Titan IIID rocket booster explodes after launching; Space Launch Complex Four sustains damage and can­not operate again until August 15.

April 28—May 7 The Air Weather Ser­vice launches several WC-130s to track and analyze the radioactive fallout in the wake of a nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl, Soviet Union.

June 17 The last remaining UC-133K Provider is retired from spraying activities by the Air Force.

July The Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard receive their first C-141 Starlifter transports.

July 19 The United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) declares Rapier surface-to-air missile units operational.

July 19-28 Operation SOUTHERN HAYLIFT unfolds once severe drought conditions across the southwestern United States result in 24 C-141s and 8 C-130s carrying

19,0 bales (536 tons) of hay to livestock farmers in afflicted areas.

July 27 At Rhein-Main Air Base, West Germany, an Air Force C-9 Nightingale transports Father Lawrence Jenco, recently released by Muslim extremists, to medical facilities.

AUGUST 27-29 In Cameroon, West Africa, a C-130 Hercules is dispatched from 50th Tactical Airlift Squadron with 250 tents for villagers fleeing volcanic fumes escaping from Lake Nyos.

SEPTEMBER 1 At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the last operational Cessna O-2 Bird Dog arrives for disposal in the “bone yard.”

SEPTEMBER 5 In Frankfurt, West Ger­many, a C-141 Starflifter transports Americans injured during a hijacking attempt to medical facilities. The flight originates in Karachi, Pakistan.

September 18-20 At Luzon, Philip­pines, two C-5 Galaxies are dispatched by the 436th Military Airlift Wing with 93 tons of food and medical supplies as per the Foreign Assistance Act of 1985.

October 10 The new LGM-118A (MX), or Peacekeeper, intercontinental ballistic missile achieves operational status for the first time. This weapon is capable of attacking up to 10 different targets with its multiple independent reentry vehicle (MIRV) warhead.

October 11-16 After San Salvador, El Salvador, is destroyed by an earthquake,

Air Force transports begin delivering food and relief supplies to survivors.

December 7 A WC-130 Hercules of the 54th Weather Reconnaissance Squadron lands on Saipan, Mariana Islands, in the wake of Typhoon Kim, and delivers seven tons of relief supplies, food, and toys for children.

December 10 Air Force helicopters res­cue 19 members of the Norwegian research ship Geco Alpha several miles off the coast ofDestin, Florida, after it caught fire; casualties are subsequently flown to Eglin Air Force base for medical treat­ment.

December 14-23 From Edwards Air

Force Base, California, the experimental Voyager aircraft, piloted by Richard G. Rutan and Jeana L. Yeager, flies

25,0 miles, nonstop and unrefueled, around the world; they win a Collier Trophy for this record, nine-day venture.

December 18 In the South China Sea, the 31st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) dispatches two H-3 Jolly Green Giant helicopters that rescue 13 survivors from a sinking Filipino ves­sel. The injured are then delivered to medical facilities at Cubi Air Station, Philippines.

December 22 At F. E. Warren Air Base, Wyoming, a tenth Peacekeeper intercon­tinental ballistic missile (ICBM) is deployed, leading to all weapons being placed on operational status.

DECEMBER 31 In San Juan, Puerto Rico, 75 people stranded on the roof of the Dupont Plaza Hotel during a fire are res­cued by H-3 Sea King helicopters of Composite Squadron 8 (VC-8).


FEBRUARY Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, an F/A-22 aircraft undergoes an icing test at altitude by being sprayed with water from a modified KC-135 tanker.

FEBRUARY 14 At Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, F-15 fighters and 150 ground support crews transfer to Gwalior Air Force Station, India, to train with the Indian Air Force. This constitutes the first joint venture between the two services since the 1960s.

June 23 At Cape Canaveral, a three-stage Delta II launch vehicle hurls a replacement

satellite into orbit as part of the Air Force Global Positioning System (GPS).

July 23 In the Caribbean, a HC-130 from the 38th Rescue Squadron airdrops two pararescue men into the water. These deploy a rubber boat and paddle to a Chinese fishing vessel to assist a crew­man who had a life-threatening chest injury.

September 4—8 Patrick Air Force Base, Florida, is struck by a hurricane, and members of the 45th Space Wing response team are called in to survey the damage.

SEPTEMBER 14 Over Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, an F-16 suddenly bursts into flame during a Thunderbird exhibition, and the pilot is forced to eject. None of the 60,000 spectators are hurt.

September 15 In Washington, D. C., ground-breaking ceremonies unfold for the site of the new Air Force Memorial, located near the Potomac River, and directly across from the Pentagon.

DECEMBER 3 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Airborne Laser (ABL) aircraft goes airborne for the first time with an integrated battle manage­ment and Beam Control/Fire Control (BC/FC) systems onboard.

December 12 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Airborne Laser (ABL) team concludes a successful round oftests with its high-energy beam weapon.


FEBRUARY 10 The Air Force Strategic Missile Evaluation Committee announces a major breakthrough in the size and weight of nuclear warheads. It therefore recommends that a special group be tasked to help accelerate the development of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

MARCH 1 In the Marshall Islands, a 15- megaton bomb is tested by the United States for the first time. This device is a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bombs utilized during World War II.

MARCH 5 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Lockheed XF-104 proto­type performs its maiden flight. It sub­sequently enters service as the F-104 Starfighter.

April 1 In Washington, D. C., President

Dwight D. Eisenhower signs legislation creating the U. S. Air Force Academy. In lieu of a permanent campus, the first classes will be conducted at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado.

The first Convair C-131A transports, the military version of the Model 240 Airliner, is accepted into the Air Force inventory.

April 8 In Washington, D. C., the Air

Force Assistant Chief of Staff for Guided Missiles is created at the Pentagon.

June 18 The Martin B-57B Canberra flies for the first time. This model is specifically designed for ground interdic­tion purposes.

June 4 Over California, a Bell X-1A research aircraft piloted by Major Arthur Murray sets a world altitude record of 90,000 feet.

June 21 At Yokota Air Base, Japan, three 22nd Bombardment Wing B-47 Strato – jets commanded by Major General Wal­ter C. Sweeney, Jr., make a 6,700-mile nonstop flight from March Air Force Base, California, in only 15 hours. The flight requires two in-flight refuelings from KC-97 tankers.

June 26—July 17 In Indochina (Vietnam) Operation wounded warrior unfolds as transports of the 315th Air Division, Military Air Transport Service (MATS), evacuate 500 injured French soldiers back to France, via Japan.

June 28 The Douglas RB-66 prototype reconnaissance aircraft flies for the first time.

July 1 The Western Development Division is established under Brigadier General Bernard A. Schriever. It is tasked with developing the Air Force intercontinental ballistic missile system, particularly as it relates to the ongoing Atlas program.

July 15 In Seattle, Washington, the Boe­ing KC-135, which is based on the

Подпись: Davis, Benjamin O., Jr. (1912-2002) Air Force General. Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., was born in Washington, D.C., on December 18, 1912, the son of an Army lieutenant destined to become that service's first African American general. Davis entered West Point in 1932 and, despite four years of racism, graduated 35th in a class of 275. He had expressed interest in flying but, because the Army Air Corps was segregated, Davis taught military science at the all-black Tuskegee Institute. However, American entry into World War II forced the Army Air Forces to recruit black pilots, and in March 1942, Davis received his wings and command of the 99th Pursuit Squadron, the first such formation composed entirely of African Americans. He led it to distinction in North Africa in 1943, and the following spring he assumed command of the all-black 322nd Fighter Group. Davis received a Silver Star for his harrowing actions over southern Germany, and after the war he commanded the 477th Composite Group at Godman Field, Kentucky. In 1947, President Harry S. Truman ordered the American military desegregated, and Davis accepted command of Lockbourne Air Force Base, Ohio, in a pioneer integration program. During the Korean War he served as deputy of operations in the Fighter Branch, and in 1954 he made history by becoming the Air Force's first African American brigadier general. Four years later Davis rose to major general commanding the 12th Air Force in Europe, and also became the first black lieutenant general in 1965. He retired in 1970 after 35 years of active duty, and on December 9, 1998, he was elevated to four-star general on the retired list. Davis died in Washington, D.C., on July 4, 2002.

Model 707 airliner, makes its maiden flight. This aircraft enters service as the KC-135 Stratotanker, and serves as an essential component of the Strategic Air Command (SAC).

July 26 The distinction of serving as the first superintendent of the Air Force Academy goes to Lieutenant General Hubert R. Harmon.

AUGUST 5 The first production B-52 Stratofortress rolls off the assembly line. This eight-jet behemoth becomes the backbone of the Strategic Air Command for a decade and is still employed in front-line service to the present.

AUGUST 6—7 This day a pair of 308th Bombardment Wing B-47s flies nonstop from Hunter Air Force Base, Georgia, to French Morocco, and back. Concur­rently, the 38th Air Division contributes two B-47s which also depart Hunter AFB on a simulated bomb run over

French Morocco. Both units conse­quently win the Mackay Trophy.

AUGUST 23 The Lockheed YC-130 turboprop-powered transport prototype flies for the first time. This enters service as the C-130 Hercules, which remains in front-line service over half-a-century later.

AUGUST 26 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, a Bell X-1A piloted by Major Arthur Murray reaches a record altitude of 90,440 feet, where the curva­ture of the Earth can be clearly observed.

September 1 At Colorado Springs, Colorado, the Continental Air Defense Command establishes its headquarters under General Benjamin W. Chidlaw.

The Fairchild C-123B Provider prototype performs its maiden flight. This aircraft will see extensive service throughout the Vietnam War, a decade hence.

September 27 At George Air Force Base, California, the F-100A Super Sabre jet fighter is declared operational.

September 29 The McDonnell F-101A Voodoo all-weather interceptor flies for the first time. This is an outgrowth of the earlier XF-88. It serves with distinc­tion throughout the Vietnam War as a reconnaissance platform.

OCTOBER 8 Over Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Bell X-1B rocket research aircraft flies for the first time with Major Arthur Murray at the controls.

OCTOBER 9 In Washington, D. C., the Department ofDefense adds an additional $500 million to this year’s guided missile budget in an attempt to accelerate devel­opment of the Atlas ICBM.

OCTOBER 12 Over Wichita, Kansas, the Cessna XT-37 jet trainer flies for the first time. This unique, side-by-side aircraft also serves with distinction as a light attack bomber during the Vietnam War.

OCTOBER 18—19 Distinguished scientist Theodore von Karman convenes the ad hoc committee of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board for the purpose of con­sidering nuclear power as a source ofmis – sile propulsion. They ultimately recommend that the issue remain closely studied to maintain cogency in this field.

OCTOBER 27 Colonel Benjamin O. Davis, son of the Army’s first African American general, becomes the first minority brigadier general in Air Force history.

November 1 The venerable Boeing B – 29 Superfortress, the aircraft that helped to end World War II, is finally retired from active service.

November 2 At San Diego, California, the Convair XFY-1 Pogo, a vertical lift­off fighter, performs its maiden flight from Lindbergh Field. After rising from the ground like a helicopter, it transitions to horizontal flight and then lands verti­cally. This spectacular vehicle does not enter into production.

November 7 Off the coast of Hokkaido, Japan, an RB-29 reconnaissance aircraft is attacked by Soviet MiG-15s and shot down.

November 17-19 A B-47 Stratojet flown by Colonel David A. Burchinal is forced by bad weather to remain aloft over England and France for 47 hours and 35 minutes. He is forced to refuel in the air nine times while waiting for clear weather to land.

December 7 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, a fully automated approach and landing system successfully brings an X-10 Navajo missile back to base.

DECEMBER 10 Aviation medicine research Colonel John P. Strapp endures a rocket-sled test that accelerates him to 630 miles per hour, which is the same as ejecting from an aircraft at Mach 1.7. That he emerges unhurt demonstrates the resiliency of the human body.

December 20 The revamped F-102A, now endowed with a “wasp waist” as per the new “area rule,” is successfully tested for the first time. It enters service as the Delta Dagger, becoming the first Air Force jet armed solely with guided missiles.

DECEMBER 23 The Air Force, the Navy, and NACA sign a joint memoranda to begin shared development of a hyper­sonic research aircraft, which emerges as the X-15.

. 1971

JANUARY 28 Over South Vietnam, the final ranch hand defoliating mission is conducted by Fairchild UC-123B sprayer aircraft.

January 31-February 9 The Apollo 14 expedition arrives at the moon and safely returns. Air Force astronaut Stuart A. Roosa pilots the Command Module that remains in orbit.

MARCH 17 At Auburn University, Ala­bama, 2nd Lieutenant Jane Leslie Holley is the first woman to be commissioned through an Air Force ROTC program.

April 26 An SR-71 Blackbird piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Thomas B. Estes and Lieutenant Colonel Dewain C. Vick sets a speed record for covering 15,000 miles in 10 hours and 30 minutes, nonstop; the flight wins a Mackay Trophy along with the Harmon International Aviator Award.

July 16 In Washington, D. C., Colonel Jeanne M. Holm is promoted to brigadier general, becoming the first female general in the Air Force. She remains as director of Women in the Air Force.

June 16-July 18 Over India, Operation bonny jack unfolds as Air Force C-130s and C-141s transfer 23,000 refugees from East Pakistan (Bangladesh) during a civil war there. A further 2,000 tons of relief supplies are also delivered.

June 26 At Phang Rang Air Base, South Vietnam, F-100 Super Sabres of the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing are relieved of front-line service as the unit redeploys back to the United States.

July 12 In Washington, D. C., retired general Benjamin O. Davis, the Air Force’s first African American senior offi­cer, is appointed Assistant Secretary of Transportation by President Richard Nixon.

July 26-AUGUST 7 At Cape Kennedy, Florida, an all-Air Force crew pilots Apollo 15 to the moon and back; this is the first mission to include a lunar rover.

July 29 The Air Force concludes research on the X-24A lifting body, information from which proved instru­mental in the space shuttle program.

AUGUST 1 In South Vietnam, General John D. Lavelle gains appointment as the new commander ofthe Seventh Air Force.

SEPTEMBER 21 Over North Vietnam, 200 Air Force fighter-bombers conduct the first all-instrument bombardment of the war by employing loran (Long Range Air to Navigation) to destroy the fuel and storage area at Dong Hoi, burning 350,000 gallons of fuel.

OCTOBER 1 In Washington, D. C., Richard D. Kisling is appointed the new chief master sergeant of the Air Force.

NOVEMBER 7-8 Over North Vietnam, Air Force fighter-bombers strike Com­munist airfields at Dong Hoi, Vinh, and Quan Lang.

DECEMBER 26-30 Over North Vietnam, Air Force aircraft launch over 1,000 sor­ties against targets south ofthe 20th paral­lel. This is the largest raid of its kind since 1968.