FEBRUARY At Lagos, Nigeria, 15 tons of communications equipment are con­veyed by a C-141 Starlifter to replace a telecommunication center that burned down.

FEBRUARY 1 In Honduras, a show of solidarity against regional Comm­unist-inspired insurgencies unfolds as Air Force units participate in Operation ahuas tara I with forces from Central American countries. This maneuver is aimed at the Communist dictatorship in Nicaragua, then fomenting guerilla insur­gencies throughout the region.

At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the 868th Tactical Missile Training Squadron begins handling ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) for future deployment in Europe.

FEBRUARY 2 At Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, pilots begin training to fly the new F-16 Fighting Falcon.

FEBRUARY 3 All Minuteman III inter­continental ballistic missiles are retrofitted with modified reentry systems designed to enhance retaliatory capabilities.

MARCH At Langley Air Force Base, Vir­ginia, the Air Force Thunderbirds dem­onstration team flies F-16 fighters for the first time.

MARCH 1 At Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, the Twenty-Third Air Force organizes to conduct missions involving combat rescue, weather reconnaissance, missile site security, and aircrew special operations training.

At Hurlburt Field, Florida, the 1st Spe­cial Operations Wing arrives and is reas­signed from the Tactical Air Command (TAC) to the Miliary Airlift Command (MAC).

MARCH 7 In South Korea, three wings of B-52Gs simulate mine-laying operations off the coast as Team Spirit 83 unfolds.

MARCH 15—28 At the Pacific Miss­ile Test Range, Kwajalein, a B-52 successfully fires three Navy AGM – Harpoon antiship missiles. The Strate­gic Air Command (SAC) is presently seeking ways of performing sea interdic­tion missions against the formidable Red Navy.

April 1 The Strategic Air Command (SAC) yields 4 installations and 31 opera­tional units to Space Command, as the majority ofthese are concerned with mis­sile warning and space surveillance mis­sions.

April 1—8 In Colombia, floods and earthquakes prompt C-130 Hercules air­craft to transport 34 tons of shelters, medical supplies, and electric generators to assist survivors.

April 5—10 After southeastern Louisiana is severely flooded by torrential rains, Air Force C-141 Starlifters convey 83 tons of food and medical supplies to victims.

APRIL 26 At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, the first crews training to handle ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) graduate and are assigned to tactical missile wings in Europe.

May 1 Over the Bahamas, Air Force air­craft surveillance missions commence to assist law enforcement agencies and help suppress drug smuggling operating off­shore.

June 4 At Hill Air Force Base, Utah, a final flyby is arranged for the few remain­ing F-105s in the Air Force Reserve before being retired from active service.

June 17 At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, an MX (Peacekeeper) missile is launched for the first time with multi­ple dummy warheads. These are pro­grammed to splash down in the Kwajalein test range.

June 26 In northwestern Peru, the Mili­tary Airlift Command (MAC) dispatches three C-130 Hercules aircraft to provide relief supplies for victims of recent flood­ing.

July 1 The Air Force deploys a provi­sional support squadron at Riyadh Air Base, Saudi Arabia, in light of the ongoing Iran-Iraq War. The oil-rich region of the Persian Gulf remains an area of vital strategic interest to the United States and the West.

July 7 At McEntire Air National Guard Base, South Carolina, the 169th Tactical Fighter Group is the first Guard unit to receive F-16As.

On this day, General Dynamics also completes its 1,000th Falcon of the 2,165 ordered by the Air Force.

July 24—August 6 In western Ecuador, the Air Force dispatches two UH-1 heli­copters to deliver medical supplies and personnel to flood victims.

AUGUST Over Minnesota, the 907th Tactical Airlift Group dispatches three

C-123 Providers to spray insecticide to fight an encephalitis epidemic in 11 counties.

AUGUST 1 At Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, a microburst inflicts $465,000 in damages; the storm was packing 120- mile-per-hour winds.

AUGUST 10 In Washington, D. C., Secre­tary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger announces that 100 MX (Peacekeeper) missiles will be deployed in existing Minuteman silos.

August 15-September 15 The Air

Force dispatches 12 Starlifters to convey 185 tons of cargo to the African nation of Chad in support of an ongoing security assistance program.

AUGUST 30 Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford becomes the first African Ameri­can to ride in space on the space shuttle Challenger.

SEPTEMBER 1 Over Sakhalin Island, Soviet Union, a Korean Airlines 747 is shot down after it strays into Soviet air­space. Air Force HC130 transports of the 33rd Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron deploy from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, and comb the waters for survi­vors; all 269 passengers perish.

SEPTEMBER 3-25 In Lebanon, Operation rubber wall commences as the Military Airlift Command (MAC) delivers

4,0 tons of supplies in 100 heavy-lift mis­sions in support of marines operating there. The effort involves 85 C-141 Starlifters, 24 C-5 Galaxies, and 4 C-130 Hercules sorties.

SEPTEMBER 5 A Strategic Air Command (SAC) KC-135 piloted by Captain Robert J. Goodman refuels an F-4E Phantom II jet four times over water and even tows it along with the refueling boom until it lands safely; Goodman receives the Mackay Trophy.

September 28 The Air Force declares its EF-111A Raven electronic warfare air­craft operational after extensive testing; pilots dub it the “Spark Vark” because of its extensive electronic suite.

OCTOBER 1 At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, the last operational B-52D arrives for a final resting place in the “bone yard.”

OCTOBER 4-5 Over Maricopa, Arizona,

the 302nd Special Operations Squadron deploys four CH-3 helicopters to rescue 57 civilians trapped by floodwaters.

OCTOBER 6 Three B-52Gs are modified by the Strategic Air Command (SAC) to carry and fire the AGM-Harpoon anti­ship missile. These aircraft are intended to perform maritime interdiction missions against the Red Navy.

OCTOBER 23 In Beirut, Lebanon, trans­ports of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) convey 239 dead and 95 wounded marines, the victims of a terror­ist truck bombing, to European and American hospitals.

OCTOBER 25-30 Over Grenada, Air Force MC-130s drop paratroopers on Point Salines, Grenada. Lieutenant Colonel James L. Hobson, Jr., manages to keep his aircraft under control despite intense antiaircraft fire, guiding the mis­sion to success; he wins a Mackay Tro­phy. Transports of the Military Airlift Command (MAC) and the Air Force Reserve also fly 11,389 passengers and 7,709 tons of cargo to facilitate Operation urgent fury. A total of 496 sorties are performed by C-141 Starlifters, C-5 Galaxies, and C-130 Hercules aircraft.

Подпись: Members of the 82nd Airborne Division board a C-141 Starlifter aircraft at Point Salines Airport during Operation Urgent Fury, November, 1983. (U.S. Department of Defense for Defense Visual Information Center)

OCTOBER 26 At the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada, initial operational capability is achieved by the initial batch of five F-117 Nighthawks. Ongoing operations are conveniently covered by the activity of 18 A-7 Corsair IIs.

OCTOBER 27 B-52 Stratofortesses deploy

at air bases for the first time in Spain.

November 1—5 After severe earth­quakes rattle northern Turkey, four C-141 Starlifters and six C-130s Her­cules transports are dispatched by the Military Airlift Command (MAC) to convey 234 tons of relief supplies to the survivors.

November 23 In Bonn, West Germany, the government ignores the KGB – orchestrated nuclear freeze movement and votes to deploy Air Force ground-
launched cruise missiles (GLCMs) and Army Pershing II ballistic missiles as a counter to Soviet weapons of the same class.

December 3 The Strategic Air Com­mand (SAC) begins inactivating the 571st Strategic Missile Squadron and dis­bands its Titan II intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

December 6 At Langley Air Force Base, Virginia, the new National Transonic Wind Tunnel becomes operational. This device is expressly designed for research­ing the fastest jets being designed or under construction.

December 23 The 390th Electronic Combat Squadron is the first operational unit equipped with General Dynamics EF-11A Ravens.


JANUARY 11 In Washington, D. C., a Congressional Space Commission report recommends that the Air Force receive increased responsibilities and increased organizational realignments.

JANUARY 20 In Washington, D. C., Law­rence J. Delaney becomes acting secretary of the Air Force.

JANUARY 22—26 “Schriever 2001,” the first war game to include elements of space control, including countering hos­tile space capabilities, is conducted by the Air Force Space Command Warfare Center.

February 3 In India, Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-17 Globemaster IIIs convey reliefsupplies and food to vic­tims of a recent earthquake. They are refueled while traversing the Pacific and Indian Oceans by KC-135s.

February 21 At Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, an RQ-1 Predator pilotless drone has been modified to carry a Hell- fire C missile, which it then fires to destroy a target. This becomes the first unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to do so.

February 24 At March Air Force Base, California, Lieutenant Colonel Stayce D. Harris takes control of the 729th Airlift Squadron, becoming the first African

American woman to command an Air Force unit.

April 22—23 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the RQ-4 Global Hawk flies nonstop to Adelaide, Australia. This is the first transoceanic flight by an unmanned aerial vehicle and it covers 7,500 miles in 23 hours, a new world’s record.

May 7 Off the China coast, an RC-135

aircraft from Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, resumes intelligence flights in inter­national airspace.

May 8 In Washington, D. C., the Secre­tary ofDefense declares that the Air Force has the sole executive control over the Pentagon’s activities in space.

JUNE 1 In Washington, D. C., James G.

Roche gains appointment as the new sec­retary of the Air Force.

June 5 Major GeneralJames E. Sherrard, III, the Air Force Reserve commander, gains his third star to lieutenant general. He advocates a “total force” concept closely integrating Reserves into the regular Air Force.

July 13 Historic Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, the cradle of American military aviation, and McClellan Air Force Base, California, are closed due to budget cuts.

Подпись: 2001 Подпись: 319

AUGUST 6 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the XF-35B returns to Palm­dale, signaling the end of another success­ful round of flight-testing. En route the aircraft reaches 34,000 feet at Mach 1.2, and sustains it for 3.7 hours, the longest flight of the test program so far.

AUGUST 24 At Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota, another Cold War mile­stone passes as the final Minuteman III missile silo, which formed the bulwark of American nuclear deterrence for three decades, is destroyed.

September 6 In Washington, D. C., General John P. Jumper gains appointment as Air Force chief of staff.

September 19 Lockheed Martin contracts with the Air Force to produce an initial production batch of 10 ultramodern F-22 Raptors.

SEPTEMBER 27 In Washington, D. C., Sec­retary of War Donald Rumsfeld declares that President George W. Bush has authorized military aircraft to shoot down commercial liners hijacked in American airspace if an emergency presents itself.

September 29 At the Kodiak Launch Complex, Alaska, the Air Force launches its first space satellite. Heretofore, all space launches were from either Florida or California.

OCTOBER In Afghanistan, the Air Force and CIA begin operations against the Taliban with unmanned, remotely guided RQ-1 Predator aircraft. These high­flying drones are armed with television cameras and deadly Hellfire missiles.

OCTOBER 1 In Washington, D. C., Gen­eral Richard B. Myers becomes the first Air Force officer to serve as chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) in almost 20 years.

The Air Materiel Space and Missile System Center are now subordinated to the Air Force Space Command (AFSPA – CECOM). The latter organization now monopolizes all Air Force space concerns.

OCTOBER 7 Over Afghanistan, Opera­tion enduring freedom begins as United States and British warplanes begin a concerted aerial campaign to drive the Taliban and al-Qaeda from power. Lieutenant General Charles F. Wald is also the Joint Force Air Component Commander throughout this operation.

At Whiteman Air Force Base, Mis­souri, B-2 Spirit bombers of the 509th Bomb Wing fly to Afghanistan and back during the longest bombing mission in aviation history.

OCTOBER 8 Over Afghanistan, C-17 Globemaster IIIs perform their first com­bat mission by airdropping pallets of humanitarian daily rations to territory controlled by the Northern Alliance.

Coalition aircraft begin around – the-clock air strikes against Taliban positions throughout Afghanistan. This enables the Northern Alliance to counterattack.

OCTOBER 26 The Department of Defense awards the Lockheed Martin Corporation with a contract to develop the new and highly advanced F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) while Pratt and Whit­ney will develop the engine. This new aircraft will be deployed by Air Force, Navy, and Marine units.

October 28-November 4 Over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft switch from bombing fixed assets of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, to front-line units oppos­ing the Northern Alliance.

NOVEMBER 2 In Afghanistan, the crew of an MH-53J Pave Low helicopter of the 20th Special Operations Squadron lands behind enemy lines to rescue the crew of another MH-53 that crashed; they receive a Mackay Trophy.

NOVEMBER 28 Near Kandahar, Afg­hanistan, Operation SWIFT FREEDOM

unfolds as Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-17 Globemaster III transports convey Army and Special Forces troops to an airstrip.

December 4 Over Afghanistan, coalition aircraft bomb the mountain refuge of Tora Bora, a heavily fortified cave com­plex 55 miles south of Jalalabad, which holds an estimated 2,000 al-Qaeda Arab fighters.

December 5 In Afghanistan, a 2,000- pound bomb dropped by a B-52 acci­dently strikes an American command post, killing three Special Forces soldiers and five Afghan allies. These are the first

American fatalities of Operation endur­ing FREEDOM.

December 12 Over the Indian Ocean, the destroyer Russell rescues the crew of a B-1B bomber that ditched en route to targets in Afghanistan. This is the first B – 1B lost in combat, and also the first air­craft lost during Operation enduring


December 17 At Istres Air Base, France, Air Mobility Command (AMC) C-17 Globemaster IIIs convey French military forces to Afghanistan in concert with Operation ENDURING FREEDOM.

December 26 In Washington, D. C., Undersecretary of War Pete Aldrich announces that the Pentagon approves acquisition of the one-ton, Joint Air-to- Surface Standoff Missile. This is an advanced, precision-guided weapon capable of destroying targets 200 miles distant.


JANUARY 13 At White Sands, New Mexico, a V-2 rocket equipped with on­board telemetry equipment is launched into low Earth altitude as part of Project

HERMES. This is the first time that a rock­et’s performance and flight has been electronically monitored by a ground station.

FEBRUARY 5 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman agrees with the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and the secretaries of the Army and Navy that nuclear weapons testing and production should continue.

FEBRUARY 10 Over Dayton, Ohio, a Sikorsky R-5A helicopter piloted by Major E. M. Cassell reaches an unofficial world’s altitude record of 19,167 feet.

FEBRUARY 17 At the White Sands Prov­ing Ground, New Mexico, a WAC Cor­poral missile reaches an altitude of

250.0 feet.

February 20 At White Sands, New Mexico, the Blossom Project begins as V-2 No. 20 ejects a canister after it reaches its apogee.

FEBRUARY 27 At LaGuardia, New York, an F-82 flown by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Thacker and John M. Ard flies

5.0 miles nonstop from Hickam Field, Hawaii. This is the longest non­stop unrefueled flight by a propellor – driven aircraft, and it lasts 14 hours and 33 minutes.

MARCH 16 At San Diego, California, the twin-engine Convair 240 transport prototype flies for the first time. It even­tually enters into Air Force service as the T-29 navigator training aircraft.

MARCH 17 Over Muroc Field, Califor­nia, the North American XB-45 four-jet bomber flies for the first time with George Krebs at the controls. In two years it enters Air Force service as the B-45 Tornado, which is America’s first jet bomber.

April 30 In Washington, D. C., the Army and the Navy standardize their guided missile nomenclature as A for air, S for surface, and U for underwater. The first letter regards the weapon’s origin and the latter its target.

May 21 At Langley, Virginia, NACA

engineers fit a small aircraft with a special five-bladed propellor and muffled exhausts; the result is a near-silent flying machine.

May 27 The Corporal E, the Army’s first guided surface-to-surface missile, is successfully test fired for the first time, meeting or exceeding all technical specifications.

June 5 At Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, the first AAF research balloon, which was designed and built by New York University and the Air Materiel Command, is launched.

June 19 Over Muroc Dry Lake, California, a Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star piloted by Colonel Albert Boyd, the Army’s chief test pilot, reaches a new world speed record of 623.8 miles per hour.

June 25 In Seattle, Washington, the first Boeing B-50 makes its initial flight. This is an updated version of the B-29 with more powerful engines and a taller tail.

June 30 At Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, a meeting of Army Air Forces officials and NACA representatives con­venes to iron out their differences regarding the X-1 testing program. They agree to divide responsibilities, with the Army being tasked with breaking the sound barrier, while NACA will acquire technical details from research associated with the program.

July 1 In light of budgetary restrictions, the Army Air Forces cancels its MX-774 program. However, it is revived the following decade and emerges as the Atlas ICBM.

July 3 At Holloman Air Force Base,

New Mexico, New York University scientists release a cluster of balloons with a 50-pound instrument panel to measure atmospheric conditions at 18,550 feet.

July 18 In Washington, D. C., President Harry S. Truman assigns a five-man working group under chairman Thomas K. Finletter to originate a broad-based plan to endow the United States with the greatest possible benefits from aviation, civil and military alike.

July 26 President Harry S. Truman signs the National Defense Act of 1947 into law, which makes provisions for a new, independent United States Air Force, which will enjoy equal status with the Departments of the Army and Navy. The Air National Guard also comes into being as a reserve component of the new force.

AUGUST 28 Over Texas, the first of 22 Convair B-36A Peacekeepers performs its maiden flight. This giant craft is assigned to training future B-36 aircrews as formal production gets underway.

September 18 As of this date, the U. S. Air Force is officially a separate entity in the American military establishment. Stuart A. Symington, a hard-nosed business executive, also gains appointment as the first secretary of the Air Force.

SEPTEMBER 22 At Brize Norton, England, a robot-controlled Douglas C-54 becomes the first autoguided aircraft to cross the Atlantic from Stephenville, Newfound­land. The flight lasted 2,400 miles.

September 25 At the White Sands Prov­ing Ground, New Mexico, the first liquid-propelled Aerobee sounding rocket is successfully launched. Variations of this device will be used constantly until 1985.

September 26 In Washington, D. C., General Carl A. Spaatz gains appointment as the first Air Force chief of staff. The offi­cial transfer of officers, bases, and equip­ment is also authorized by the James V. Forrestal, the new Secretary of Defense.

Major General William E. Kepner, for­merly head of the VIII Fighter Command in World War II, is installed as the head of the Atomic Energy Division within the Air Force.

OCTOBER 1 Over Muroc Dry Lake, California, the North American XP-86 prototype flies for the first time with Major George Welch at the controls. This swept-wing design enters service as the F – 86 Sabrejet, a legendary fighter aircraft.

At Bethpage, Long Island, the Grum – man XJR2F-1 flying boat flies for the first time. It enters Air Force service as the SA – 16 and HU-16 Albatross, which serves as a standard rescue aircraft for two decades.

October 6 The Ryan Firebird XAAM – A-1, the Air Force’s first guided air-to-air missile, is successfully test launched for the first time.

OCTOBER 14 Over Muroc Dry Lake,

California, a Bell X-1 piloted by Captain Charles Yeager makes aviation history by flying through the sound barrier for the first time. Although several propellor – driven aircraft have also broken the sound barrier while diving, Yeager is the first achieve Mach 1.06 in sustained level flight.

OCTOBER 21 Over California, the North­

rop XB-49, a tailless, four-jet design, flies for the first time. This radical craft is an outgrowth of the propellor-driven XB-35 which flew in 1946. While impressive to

Yeager, Chuck (1923-

Air Force pilot. Charles Elwood (“Chuck”) Yeager was born in Myra, West Virginia, on February 13,1923. He joined the Army Air Corps in 1940, and he earned his pilot’s wings at Luke Field, Arizona, in July 1942. Yeager subsequently flew P-51 Mustangs with the 363rd Fighter Squadron in England, where he shot down thirteen German aircraft, including five in one day. His most notable kill happened on Novem­ber 6, 1944, when he downed a futuristic Messerschmitt Me-262 jet fighter. After the war, Yeager was selected to fly the top secret Bell XS-1 rocket research aircraft. On October 14,1947, he broke the sound barrier at Mach 1 for the first time, winning a prestigious Mackay Trophy for the year’s most outstanding flight. Yeager continued flying at Edwards Air Force Base, California, where, in December 1953, he piloted a new Bell X-1A to 1,650 miles per hour, three times the speed of sound.

In 1954 Yeager left flight-testing to command an F-100 Suber Sabre squadron in Germany, and he returned home three years later, a lieutenant colonel. In 1969 he resumed combat operations by commanding the 405th Tactical Fighter Wing, and performed 127 missions over Vietnam in B-57s. Yeager retired from active duty in 1975 as a brigadier general and, on October 14, 1997, the 50th anniversary of his record-breaking flight, he again broke the sound barrier for a final time in his F-15 Eagle jet at an Edwards Air Force Base air show;he has since retired and resides in Cedar Ridge, California. In an active career spanning 50 years, Yeager flew and tested no less that 330 different types of aircraft.


behold, the aircraft is intrinsically unstable and does not enter production.

NOVEMBER 4 At the White Sands Prov­ing Ground, New Mexico, an Aerobee rocket is successfully launched and reaches 190,000 feet above sea level.

NOVEMBER 15 The Air Force announces that it has been experimenting with ram­jet helicopter technology in the form of the McDonnell XH-20 Little Henry, operated by one man.

NOVEMBER 23 Over San Diego, Califor­

nia, the giant XC-99 transport aircraft flies for the first time. This is a transport version of the B-36 bomber then in production, although it does not enter production.

NOVEMBER 26 At Langley, Virginia, scientists successfully demonstrate the world’s first hypersonic-flow wind tunnel.

December 10 A high-speed rocket sled carrying Lieutenant Colonel John P. Stapp is launched to examine the effect of high acceleration rates on the human body. Much useful information is derived and Stapp, while bruised, is not harmed by the 2,000-foot journey.

December 17 At Seattle, Washington, the futuristic Boeing XB-47 six-engine jet bomber flies for the first time. This is the first postwar American bomber to incorporate German swept-wing infor­mation in its design, and it enters service as the B-47 Stratojet.

JANUARY 2 At Patterson, Ohio, the Air JANUARY 4 At the University of California,

Force Technical Museum is organized. scientists complete a pilot model for the

world’s first supersonic wind tunnel, a tre­mendous boon for the design of modern jet aircraft.

FEBRUARY 6 At the White Sands Prov­ing Ground, New Mexico, V-2 rocket No. 36 blasts off under the aegis of a Hermes A-1 flight control system. This is an important step in the development of guided missiles.

FEBRUARY 16 Over Germany, B-29 bombers of the Strategic Air Command arrive as part of a long-distance exercise. En route they are “intercepted” by RAF fighters as they traverse southern England.

FEBRUARY 20 The Boeing B-50, a more powerful version of the venerable B-29, is accepted into Air Force service. In addition to higher range and perfor­mance, it is also capable of being refueled in the air.

MARCH 10 Over Muroc Dry Lake, California, the Air Force declares that a B-29 bomber recently dropped an explo­sive device weighing 42,000 pounds.

MARCH 11—14 By terms of the so-called Key West Agreement, military and aero­nautical rocket research is not to be monopolized by any one branch of the armed forces, but rather split equally amongst them.

MARCH 22 Over Van Nuys, California, the Lockheed TP-80C, the prototype of the T-33 jet trainer, flies for the first time. This machine enjoys widespread service in the Air Force.

MARCH 28 A series of new aerial tanker aircraft, the KB-29M, completes final testing at the behest of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). This B-29 variant can carry 2,300 gallons of fuel aloft and dis­pense it through a hose and reel system mounted in the bomb bay.

April 21 In Washington, D. C., Secretary of Defense James V. Forrestal assigns the U. S. Air Force a primary responsibility for defending the country.

APRIL 26 In concert with President Harry S. Truman’s order to desegregate the mili­tary, the U. S. Air Force announces a policy to fully integrate African Americans into whatever sphere or technicality they are qualified for.

April 30 In Washington, D. C., General Hoyt S. Vandenberg becomes the second Air Force chief of staff, to replace retiring General Carl A. Spaatz.

MAY 20 Over Inglewood, California, the first production F-86A Sabrejet fighter flies for the first time. Over 6,000 of these peerless dogfighters will be constructed over the next few years.

May 24 A new world speed record for flying over a 1,000-kilometer course is established by noted aviatrix Jacqueline Cochran, who reaches 432 miles per hour.

MAY 26 In Washington, D. C., President

Harry S. Truman signs legislation creating the new Civil Air Patrol (CAP); this organization functions as an auxiliary of the U. S. Air Force in peace and war.

JUNE 1 Air Force and Navy transport commands are brought together in a new, unified entity, the Military Air Transport Service (MATS), which remains under Air Force purview.

JUNE 10 The Air Force announces that the Bell X-1 rocket plane has exceeded

Подпись: Vandenberg, Hoyt S. (1899-1954) Air Force general. Hoyt Sanford Vandenberg was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on January 24,1899, and he was assigned to the Air Service in 1923. Vandenberg won his wings at Kelly Field, Texas, and subsequently attended the Air Corps Tactical School, and the Command and General Staff School. During World War II, he served on the staff of General James H. Doolittle in North Africa, rising to brigadier general in December 1942. A year of distinguished service in the Mediterranean ensued, so in March 1944, Vandenberg rose to major general, and helped plan Operation OVERLORD in England. Shortly before World War II ended Vandenberg, who rose from lieutenant colonel to lieutenant general in only three years, became assistant chief of staff for the Army Air Forces. In April 1947 Vandenberg became deputy chief of staff of the newly independent U.S. Air Force, succeeded Spaatz the following year, and became, aged 48 years, the nation's youngest four-star general. Vandenberg realized that, in an age of fiscal restraint, the greatest firepower available would be in the form of nuclear weapons, so he spent most of his budget on expensive systems like Convair's giant B-36 bomber and a host of new jet aircraft. In 1950 the Korean War broke out and Vandenberg helped articulate the strategy that saw the U.S. Air Force gain air supremacy over the region. During his tenure the service expanded from 49 to 90 combat wings, becoming the largest aerial force in the world. Vandenberg died of cancer in Washington, D.C., on April 2, 1 954, a far-sighted aviation leader who put the new Air Force on a sound footing.

the speed of sound several times since its first successful attempt the previous March.

June 11 In Washington, the Department of the Air Force releases its new Air Force Regulations 65-60 which updates aircraft designations. Henceforth, “P” for “Pur­suit” is replaced by “F” for “Fighter”; “F” for “Fotographic” is replaced by “R” for “Reconnaissance”; and “R” for “Rotary wing” is replaced by “H” for “Helicopter.” “B” for “Bomber” is unchanged. The Office of Air Force Chaplains is also created.

June 16 In Washington, D. C., Colonel Geraldine P. May gains appointment as the first director of Women in the Air Force. She is also the first woman in the Air Force to reach colonel.

June 18 At Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Arizona, and Roswell AFB, New Mexico, the first two aerial refueling squadrons are equipped and organized to use KB-29Ms.

June 26 In response to the provocative Soviet blockade of Berlin, East Germany, the first Air Force C-47 transports bring in 80 tons of supplies. General Curtis E. LeMay, the head of U. S. Air Forces in Europe (USAFE), begins organizing men and equipment for what becomes renowned as the Berlin Airlift.

At Fort Worth, Texas, the 7th Bom­bardment Wing accepts delivery of the first production B-36 intercontinental bombers. This is currently the world’s largest airplane.

July 13 In California, the Convair MX – 774 rocket is successfully test flown for the first time. This is the first device to employ movable (gimballed) engine noz­zles that come to characterize all inter­continental ballistic missiles, including the Atlas ICBM of the late 1950s.

July 17 In England, several B-29s of the Strategic Air Command (SAC) arrive and deploy for the first time since World War II. Ostensibly there for training pur­poses, they are known to be capable of
dropping nuclear weapons on Eastern Europe in the event of war.

July 20 At Selfridge Field, Michigan, Colonel David Schilling leads the first flight of 16 F-80 Shooting Stars on the first transatlantic deployment to FUrsten – feldbruck, West Germany, via Scotland. The mission takes them 9 hours and 20 minutes.

July 30 The Air Force accepts delivery of its first North American B-45A Tornado jet bomber. Though plagued with teeth­ing problems, it becomes the first jet bomber fitted to drop nuclear weapons.

AUGUST 6 B-29s Gas Gobbler and Lucky

Lady, from the 43rd Bomb Group, fly a 20,000-mile flight around the globe in 15 days.

AUGUST 8 In Hawaii, a Convair B-36B Peacemaker flies nonstop from Fort Worth, Texas, completing a 9,400-mile flight without refueling.

AUGUST 16 Over Muroc Dry Lake, Cal­ifornia, the Northrop XF-89 prototype flies for the first time. It enters service as the F-89 Scorpion, and is the Air Force’s first all-weather interceptor jet.

August 23 The ongoing program to develop a “parasite fighter” carried in the bellies of intercontinental bombers, a McDonnell XF-85 Goblin is dropped from a B-36, but collides with the hookup trapeze while returning and shatters its canopy. Test pilot Ed Schoch manages to land safely and the experiment is run again, successfully, on September 16.

SEPTEMBER 3 Over England, Operation dagger unfolds as Air Force B-29s and RAF fighters take part in a joint air defense exercise.

Подпись: LeMay, Curtis E. (1906-1990) Air Force general. Curtis Emerson LeMay was born in Columbus, Ohio, on November 15, 1906. He attended Ohio State University ROTC, and won his wings at March Field, California, in October 1929. In 1937 he transferred to bombers at Langley Field, Virginia, and demonstrated his navigating prowess in 1938 by intercepting the Italian liner Rex. During World War II, LeMay was colonel commanding the 305th Bombardment Squadron and, in August 1943, he personally led the first shuttlebombing run from England to North Africa. In March 1944, he became the youngest major general since Ulysses S. Grant, and transferred to China to command the XX Bomber Command flying new B-29 Superfortresses. LeMay subsequently transferred to the XXI Bomber Command on Guam, and his low-altitude raid against Tokyo on March 9, 1945, burned out 16 square miles of the city and inflicted over 100,000 casualties. In August 1945 LeMay transferred again to the staff of General Carl A. Spaatz, and helped plan atomic bomb missions against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After the war LeMay served as deputy chief of Research and Development, and initiated development of America's first jet bombers. In 1948 he orchestrated Operation VITTLES, the famous Berlin Airlift, forcing the Russians to lift their blockade. He subsequently headed the Strategic Air Command (SAC), transforming it into an elite atomic strike force of nearly 2,000 jets. In June 1961 President John F. Kennedy appointed him to chief of staff of the Air Force, and, in 1965, LeMay concluded 37 years of distinguished service by resigning. He died in San Bernardino, California, on October 1, 1990, the foremost aerial strategist of the Cold War.

SEPTEMBER 15 Over Muroc Dry Lake, California, an F-86A Sabrejet flown by Major Richard L. Johnson establishes a world’s speed record of 671 mile per hour.

September 18 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the Convair XF – 92 makes its maiden flight. This is the world’s first jet-powered delta-wing air­craft based on the designs of Germany engineer Alexander Lippisch.

OCTOBER 15 In West Germany, Major

General William H. Tunner takes charge of the Berlin Airlift, which consists of both American and British aircraft. During World War II, Tunner was also responsible for organizing the successful India-China airlift over “The Hump.”

OCTOBER 19 General Curtis E. LeMay replaces General George Kenney as com­mander of the Strategic Air Command (SAC). This turns out to be one of the most significant appointments in aviation history.

OCTOBER 31 The Air Force announces that an F-80 fighter had been flown at high altitude using only two wingtip ram­jet engines for propulsion. This is the first known application of ramjet technology on manned aircraft.

NOVEMBER 4 In Santa Monica, Califor­nia, the RAND Corporation, an out­growth of the earlier Air Force-Douglas RAND Project, is organized to bring scientific, industrial, and military exper­tise into a think-tank for Air Force decision-making.

NOVEMBER 5 The government announ­ces that all Air Force warplanes will bear the markings “USAF,” save for those operated by the Military Air Transport Service, which are marked MATS.

November 10—12 The first symposium to ponder the theoretical problems associ­ated with spaceflight is sponsored by the School ofAviation Medicine.

November 30 A Douglas C-54 Skymas – ter equipped with Curtiss-Wright reversible-pitch propellers descends from 15,000 feet to 1,000 feet in only 1 minute and 22 seconds.

December 1 The Continental Air Com­mand (CAC) is activated for operations.

December 2 The Beech Model 45 prototype makes its maiden flight; it enters the service as the T-34A Mentor, which remains in service as a primary trainer until 1961.

December 9 In another stunning display of strategic air power, a B-36 and a B-50 fly nonstop from Carswell Air Force Base, Texas, to Hawaii. The gigantic B-36 flies nonstop while the B-50 refuels three times from a KB-29M over a 35-hour period.

DECEMBER 16 Over Muroc Dry Lake, California, the Northrop X-4 Bantam flies for the first time. This is a semi-tailless, swept-wing jet design and flies as part of a joint NACA-Air Force research program.

DECEMBER 28 Over Greenland, a ski – equipped C-47 flown by Lieutenant Colonel Emil Beaudry lands and rescues 12 men of a C-47 and a B-17 that had crashed at the same site on December 9. The flight also wins the Mackay Trophy.

December 29 In Washington, D. C., Defense Secretary James V. Forrestal declares that the United States will endeavor to initiate an “earth satellite program” to study the viability of placing objects into an Earth orbit.

DECEMBER 31 Over Berlin, the airlift completes its 100,000th flight as part of Operation vittles. All told, the Soviet blockade ofBerlin has been a propaganda disaster for Premier Josef Stalin.


JANUARY 1 The Aerospace Defense Command is the new name for the Air Defense Command.

JANUARY 21 At Khe Sanh, South Viet­nam, a Marine Corps garrison is sur­rounded by Communist forces for the next 77 days. The Air Force participates by flying in an average of 165 tons of equipment, weapons, and supplies every day while waves of B-52 bombers carpet bomb suspect enemy positions in the nearby hillside.

JANUARY 22 Over Greenland, a B-52 crashes while attempting an emergency landing at Thule Air Base. Radioactive debris from the four nuclear weapons it is carrying is spread across the sea ice at North Star Bay. Months of specialized cleaning are required before readings return to normal.

JANUARY 26 Over North Korea, an A – 12 top secret reconnaissance flight unfolds in response to the seizure of the USS Pueblo three days earlier.

JANUARY 30—31 Communist forces launch their surprise Tet Offensive across South Vietnam which, while a military defeat, is a turning point in American opinion against the war.

FEBRUARY 27 In Southeast Asia, AC – 130 Hercules gunships make their debut while attacking along the Ho Chi Minh Trail.

FEBRUARY 29 In Washington, D. C., a law is enacted which eliminates all obstacles against promoting women higher than the rank of full colonel. Conse­quently, Colonels Jeanne Holm, director of

Women in the Air Force, and Helen O’Day, assigned to the Air Force chief of staff’s office, both become permanent colonels.

MARCH 25 Over North Vietnam, the General Dynamics F-111 performs its first combat missions as part of Operation combat lancer. This particular deploy­ment is part of an operational testing scheme, and the jets are returned to the United States soon after.

MARCH 31 Once again, President Lyndon B. Johnson orders a partial bombing halt over North Vietnam in the hopes ofstimu – lating peace talks. He also declares that he will not be seeking reelection in the fall.

April 10 At Kadena Air Base, Japan, the 9th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing begins the first SR-71A missions over North Vietnam.

MAY 3 In South Vietnam, the 120th Tac­tical Fighter Squadron arrives from Buck­ley Air National Guard Base, Colorado, becoming the first ANG unit committed to combat operations.

MAY 12 At Kham Duc, South Vietnam, Air Force C-130s assist Army and Marine Corps helicopters to evacuate the out­numbered garrison while under enemy fire. Mortar fire strikes a C-130, killing all 150 people on board, and a total of eight aircraft are lost. Lieutenant Colonel Daryl D. Cole is awarded a Mackay Tro­phy, while four airmen receive the Air Force Cross. A C-123 under Lieutenant Colonel Joe M. Jackson also lands under intense fire to bring off a three-man com­bat control team; he is awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor.

Подпись: A U.S. Air Force B-57 Canberra bombs a suspected Viet Cong jungle position in North Vietnam on March 17, 1967. The longest bombing campaign ever conducted by the U.S. Air Force, Operation Rolling Thunder lasted from March 1965 to October 1968. (AP/Wide World Photos)

June 13 At Cape Kennedy, Florida, a Titan IIIC launch vehicle hoists eight communications satellites into orbit to augment the existing Defense Satellite Communications System.

June 17 At Long Beach, California, the first McDonnell Douglas C-9 Nightin­gale is completed; this is intended as an aeromedical aircraft with United States boundaries.

June 30 The Lockheed C-51 Galaxy, then the world’s largest aircraft, performs its maiden flight. The Military Air Com­mand (MAC) is slated to receive 81 of them.

AUGUST 1 In South Vietnam, General George S. Brown gains appointment as commander of the Seventh Air Force.

AUGUST 25 In South Vietnam, the North American OV-10 Bronco commences a 90-day combat evaluation period.

SEPTEMBER 1 Over Quang Binh Prov­ince, South Vietnam, an A-1H Skyraider piloted by Lieutenant Colonel William A. Jones III withstands a storm of enemy ground fire to land and rescue a downed pilot. Jones is badly injured in the action and his aircraft is shot up, so he receives a Congressional Medal of Honor.

September 26 The Air Force LTD A – 7D Corsair II light attack bomber flies for the first time.

OCTOBER 11 At Cape Kennedy, Florida, Air Force major Donn F. Eisele is one of three astronauts on the Apollo 7 mission, launched today on board a Saturn IB rocket.

Подпись: 1969 Подпись: 243

OCTOBER 31 Over North Vietnam, the United States concludes Operation roll­ing thunder, its first sustained aerial offensive of the war.

NOVEMBER 1 Over Laos, Operation commando hunt commences as all other aerial attacks on North Vietnam are sus­pended. However, reconnaissance mis­sions are flown throughout the region.

November 26 Over Duc Co, South Vietnam, a UH-1F Huey helicopter piloted by Lieutenant James P. Fleming,
20th Special Operations Squadron, retrieves a six-man reconnaissance team under heavy enemy fire while being extremely low on fuel. Fleming receives a Congressional Medal of Honor.

December 21-28 At Cape Kennedy, Florida, Apollo 8 is launched into space on a mission to orbit the moon. The three-man crew consists ofAir Force col­onels Frank Borman and William Anders, and Navy captain James Lovell. This is also the first space flight to actually leave Earth orbit.



JANUARY 1 The Air Force Space Com­mand assumes control of the Global Posi­tioning System (GPS).

JANUARY 21 An F-15 Eagle test launches the American antisatellite missile system for the first time against a dummy vehicle emulator.

JANUARY 28 At Hill Air Force Base, Utah, new F-16 Falcons replace aging F – 105 Thunderchiefs in the 419th Tactical Fighter; this is also the first Air Force Reserve unit so equipped.

JANUARY 31 The new AGM-81A Fire – bolt target vehicle breaks world records for speed and altitude by reaching Mach 1.4 at 104,000 feet.

FEBRUARY 3 At RAF Upper Heyford, England, the 20th Tactical Fighter Wing deploys with the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE), becoming the first EF-111A Raven unit in that theater.

FEBRUARY 23 The Tactical Air Com­mand (TAC) officially replaces the aging F-4 Phantom II with the F-15C Eagle as its standard air superiority fighter.

FEBRUARY 24 The Air Force selects the McDonnell Douglas F-15E Strike Eagle over the delta-wing General Dynamics F-16XL to serve as its next dual-role fighter-bomber.

At Cherry Point, North Carolina, two C-141 Starlifter missions land after with­drawing U. S. Marines from Lebanon and Larnaca, Cyprus.

MARCH 6 Over the Northern Test Range, Canada, a B-52G from the 319th Bombardment Wing test launches an air-launched cruise missile (ALCM) for the first time.

March 19-April 9 An E-3A Sentry aircraft is dispatched to the Middle East following threats against Egypt and Sudan by Libya. Seventeen C-141 Starlifter and twenty-eight C-5 Galaxy missions also convey military supplies to the Egyptians as a precaution.

April 6 The first of 80 Leaget C-21A air­craft are deployed with the 375th Aero – medical Airlift Wing, which phases out older Cessna CT-39 Sabreliner aircraft.

April 11 The 375th Aeromedical Airlift Wing receives its first Beech C-12F operational support aircraft.

April 19 Construction begins on the phased array, sea-launched ballistic missile warning system at Robins Air Force Base, Georgia.

MAY 16 At Peshawar, Pakistan, Afghan refugees receive 22 tons of medical sup­plies from C-141 Starlifters dispatched by the Military Airlift Command (MAC).

May 25 In Washington, D. C., the Vietnam War’s Unknown Soldier re­turns home aboard a C-141 Starlifter for internment at Arlington National Cemetery. He is subsequently identi­fied as Air Force Lieutenant Michael J. Blassie and is reburied at St. Louis, Missouri.

June At Golden, Colorado, a Schweizer TG-7A motor glider is delivered to the U. S. Air Force Academy for airmanship programs; it is relegated to the 94th Air Training Squadron.

June 15 At Kansas City, Missouri, a C-130 Hercules from the Military Airlift Command (MAC) arrives with 4.5 tons of pumping equipment to assist flood­fighting efforts in that region of the state.

At Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, an MX (Peacekeeper) mis­sile is test launched with a Mark-21 test reentry vehicle for the first time.

June 16 At Fort Worth, Texas, the improved F-16C Falcon flies for the first time. This new version boasts improved heads-up display (HUD) instrumentation and more capable multimode radar.

June 20 The first KC-135R Stratotanker aircraft deploys with the 384th Air Refuel­ing Wing, Strategic Air Command (SAC). This variant is equipped with new CFM – 56 fan-jet engines, possessing higher thrust and lower fuel consumption.

June 21 Over Antarctica, a Military Air­lift Command (MAC) C-141 Starlifter carrying supplies for U. S. bases at McMurdo Sound refuels en route with a 22nd Air Refueling Wing KC-10 Extender flying out of Christchurch International Airport, New Zealand.

June 30 Hancock Field, New York, is closed by the Air Force after 32 years of constant operations.

July At Loring Air Force Base, Maine, the 69th Bombardment Squadron accepts the first deliveries of AGM-84 Harpoon antiship missiles. These are intended for B-52 bombers during interdiction mis­sions at sea.

July 31 At Davis-Monthan Air Force

Подпись: An RH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter is offloaded from a C-5A Galaxy aircraft, as Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 14 (HM-14) arrives to participate in Operation Intense Look, August, 1984. (U.S. Department of Defense for Defense Visual Information Center)

Base, Arizona, the 390th Strategic Missile Wing becomes the first Titan II unit to be decommissioned.

August 7-October 2 In the Red Sea, Operation intense look unfolds as the United States begins minesweeping efforts in the Red Sea at the request of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Air Force trans­ports convey 1,300 tons of cargo and

1,0 military personnel to the region in support of this effort.

August 8 In Europe, the first C-23 Sherpa, a small cargo/liaison aircraft for flying between airfields and depot cen­ters, begins operations.

AUGUST 19—20 On Johnson Island, 715 miles from Hawaii, two C-141 Star – lifters from the 22nd Air Force evacuate 382 American military and civilian per­sonnel as Typhoon Kell approaches.

AUGUST 28 At Florennes Air Base, Bel­gium, a C-5 Galaxy touches down with the first supply of ground-launched cruise missiles (GLCMs). Consequently, the noisy and KGB-orchestrated antimissile movement in Europe, sensing the futility of further opposition, begins disbanding.

August 29 At Sembach Air Base, Ger­many, the last OV-10 Broncos conclude a decade of service with the United States Air Force Europe (USAFE) and depart for the United States.

SEPTEMBER 2—3 In South Korea, 148 stranded civilians in a recent flood are saved by helicopters of the 38th Aero­space Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS).

September 4 At Palmdale, California, the first production B-1B Lancer inter­continental strategic bomber rolls out of the factory to begin flight-testing.

September 14—18 Aeronaut Joe Kit – tinger, Jr., who is also a retired Air Force colonel, flies a balloon nonstop from Caribou, Maine, to Savona, Italy, in 84 hours. He also establishes a new bal­loon distance record.

October 11—14 During a visit by Pope John II to San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Military Airlift Command (MAC) trans­ports convey Secret Service vehicles for his use.

October 18 At Palmdale, California, the first operational B-1B, christened Star of Abilene, flies for the first time ahead of schedule.

October 18—20 The Air Force Rescue Coordination Center directs search and rescue operations and saves 47 lives after Colorado and New Mexico are struck by heavy snowstorms.

October 23—24 In Baguio, Philippines, a fire breaks out at the Pines Hotel during a visit by General Douglas MacArthur’s veterans. The 31st Aerospace Rescue and Recovery Squadron (ARRS) dis­patches an H-3 helicopter, which lifts nine people trapped on the roof to safety. A C-130 Hercules transport subsequently conveys 48 injured people to Clark Air Base for treatment.

October 25 Off the coast of Salto di Quirra, Sardinia, F-4Es of the 86th Tacti­cal Fighter Wing participate in live missile exercises with U. S. Navy units.

November 2 At McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, a Titan II missile bursts into flames as it is being drained of liquid fuel. This incident threatens to delay deactiva­tion of this elderly system.

November 19 At Bogota, Colombia, the Military Airlift Command dispatches two C-141 Starlifters to deliver vehicles, small arms, and ammunition to the U. S. Embassy, after drug lords threaten it.

November 20 In Washington, D. C., President Ronald W. Reagan authorizes creation of a unified United States Space Command.

December 1 At Kelly Air Force Base, Texas, the Air Force Reserve accepts its first C-5A Galaxy.

December 11-12 At Rhein-Main Air Base, West Germany, survivors and two wounded victims of a hijacked Kuwaiti airliner arrive onboard C-141 Starlifters before being flown to the United States.

December 20 A collapsed tunnel in Huntington, Utah, results in two C-130 Hercules aircraft arriving with 23.8 tons of emergency equipment to rescue 27 coal miners trapped there; unfortunately, all had died from smoke inhalation beforehand.

December 22-March 1985 Eight Military Airlift Command (MAC) C – 141 Starlifters are dispatched to Kassala, Sudan, with 200 tons of food and medical supplies to combat an ongoing famine there.


JANUARY 11 At Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a C-17 Globemaster III deposits the first of 371 Taliban and al-Qaeda detainees.

JANUARY 21 In Iraq, after Iraqi antiaircraft

weapons fire at coalition aircraft participat­ing in Operation southern watch, Ameri­can and British jets retaliate with strikes against weapons emplacements at Tallil.

FEBRUARY 4 Over Afghanistan, an MQ – 1B Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) fires a Hellfire missile at a group of senior al-Qaeda figures on the ground, killing them; this is also the first combat engagement by an UAV.

MARCH 1 At McGuire Air Force Base, New Jersey, Brigadier General Teresa M. Peterson assumes control of the 305th Air Mobility Wing, becoming the first active female duty officer to com­mand an operational flying wing.

Over Eastern Afghanistan, Operation ANACONDA commences as Air Force B – 52s, B-1Bs, AC-130s, A-10s, and F-15s support ground units attacking Muslim extremists near Gardez. Precision-guided weapons keep civilian casualties to a min­imum while thermobaric bombs are dropped in caves, killing by depriving them of oxygen.

Подпись: 2002 Подпись: 321

MARCH 2—10 In Afghanistan, an AC – 130 Spectre gunship relieves a detach­ment of the 10th Mountain Division sur­rounded by enemy fighters. HH-60 Blackhawk helicopters then rescue them in rough terrain; the AC-130 crew wins a Mackay Trophy.

MARCH 4 Near Gardez, eastern Afghani­stan, a helicopter assault on enemy troops results in the first Air Force combat losses during Operation enduring freedom. Sergeant John Chapman receives a post­humous Air Force Cross for charging a Taliban gun emplacement, killing several enemy combatants.

April 18 At Hanscom Air Force Base, Massachusetts, the experimental MC2A – X flies for the first time. This vehicle will provide electronic command and control functions over combat areas.

South of Kandahar, Afghanistan, an American warplane accidently kills four Canadian soldiers and wounds eight others in an errant bomb drop.

April 19 The Air Force Space Com­mand is formally elevated to a four-star Air Force Command; previously, it was led by the four-star general commanding the U. S. Space Command and NORAD.

April 22 The Air Force promulgates a new organizational scheme for wings, basing them around four groups: opera­tions, maintenance, mission support, and medical.

May 22 At Edwards Air Force Base, California, the X-45A unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) flies for the first time. This vehicle, while stealthy and capable, is terminated in 2006.

July 22 At McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, the prototype YAL-1A, or
“Airborne Laser,” flies for the first time. This weapon system employs concen­trated light beams to destroy enemy ICBMs while they are launching into the atmosphere (boost phase).

July 30 A Scramjet engine (air-breath­ing supersonic combustion engine) is successfully ignited at high altitude for the first time. Such futuristic technology has potential for revolutionizing air transporta­tion.

AUGUST 21 At Cape Canaveral, Florida, the Lockheed Martin Atlas V launches for the first time. This is part of the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle program, consisting ofa main rocket with as many strap-on boosters added as neces­sary for very heavy payloads.

OCTOBER 1 General Ralph Eberhart assumes command of the U. S. Northern Command. This organization monitors and guards the military security of North America, and consists of elements from all four U. S. armed services.

General John P. Jumper orders the Peacekeeper (MX) ICBM system deacti­vated. This is the largest and most capable nuclear missile deployed by the United States during the Cold War.

November 17—18 In Iraq, antiair­craft batteries fire on coalition aircraft patrolling the northern no-fly zone; the warplanes retaliate by dropping precision-guided munitions. This action coincides with a UN resolution authoriz­ing strong actions against Iraqi transgres­sions.

December 8 At Andersen Air Force Base, Guam, the Air Mobility Command (AMC) directs several C-5 Galaxies to bring 1,200 tons of relief supplies to sur­vivors of Typhoon Pongsona.


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.