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Air Force Monthly Historical Dates

August 1st - 31st

• 01 Aug 1943 - During Operation Tidal Wave, 177 B-24 Liberators used low-level routes to drop 311 tons of bombs on the Ploesti Oil Refinery in Romania. This was the first large-scale, minimum-altitude attack against a strongly defended target, and the longest major bombing mission from base to target undertaken to date.

• 01 Aug 1943 - During the Ploesti raid, the lead aircraft flown by Lt. Col. Addison Baker, the 93rd Bomb Group Commander, received serious damage and caught fire. Col. Baker continued to lead the formation and dropped his bombs before trying to gain enough altitude for the crew to parachute. The attempt failed and the B-24 crashed. For gallant leadership and intrepidity, Col. Baker received the Medal of Honor. In this raid, Col. Leon W. Johnson, Col. John R. Kane, and Maj. John L. Jerstad also received Medals of Honor. The Eighth lost 54 bombers, but successfully reduced Ploesti's refining capacity by 40 percent.

• 01 Aug 1945. In celebration of Army Air Forces Day, Gen Tunner organizes a one-day record breaking effort for cargo transported over the “Hump,” the treacherous resupply route over the Himalaya Mountains between India and China. 1,118 round trips are flown, delivering 5,327 tons of cargo.

• 01 Aug 1945 - In the largest one-day B-29 combat effort, 851 B-29 Superfortresses attacked four Japanese urban areas, a petroleum plant and mine fields.

• 01 Aug 1945 - At Edwards AFB, Calif., prototype YP-80As displayed their ability to attack bombers, even when outnumbered by six to one.

• 01 Aug 1946 - Capts. B. L. Grubaugh and J. L. England flew a B-29 from New York to Burbank, Calif. in seven hours, 28 minutes, three seconds to set a FAI speed record for multi-engined aircraft.

• 01 Aug 1950 - The Collins-Vandenberg Agreement established cooperation between Aerospace Defense Command and the Army Anti-aircraft Command for the air defense of the U. S.

• 01 Aug 1950 - The U.S. Air Force established the 614th Tactical Control Squadron (Airborne) at Taegu, South Korea, for forward air control operations with T-6 aircraft. The 22nd Bomb Group and 92nd Bomb Group dispatched 46 B-29s to bomb the Chosen Nitrogen Fertilizer Factory at Hungnam, the largest chemical plant in the Far East.

• 01 Aug 1954 - First flight of Convair's XFY-1a vertical takeoff fighter.

• 01 Aug 1955 - The U.S. Air Force began the first zero-gravity research flight in T-33 jet trainers to study the effects of weightlessness.

• 01 Aug 1956 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to include flight instruction in Reserve Officer Training Corps programs.

• 01 Aug 1957 - North American Air Defense Command, a joint United States-Canadian command with an air-defense mission, is informally established.

• 01 Aug 1958 - The U.S. detonated a missile-borne nuclear weapon at high altitude over Johnston Island in the Pacific as part of an anti-intercontinental ballistic missile defense program.

• 01 Aug 1960 - Strategic Air Command's 43d Bombardment Wing at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas accepts the first operational B-58 Hustler medium bomber. The first supersonic bomber, the delta-wing aircraft flies at twice the speed of sound and can be refueled in-flight.

• 01 Aug 1961 - The Air Force Reserve mobilized five C-124 groups and more than 15,000 reservists in response to the construction of the Berlin Wall.

• 01 Aug 1962 - From an underground silo at Vandenberg AFB, Calif., the U.S. Air Force launched its first operationally configured Atlas F. It landed near the Marshall Islands.

• 01 Aug 1968 - The U.S. Air Force Southern Command flew 13,000 pounds of disaster relief supplies to San Jose, Costa Rica, to aid more victims of the Mount Arenal volcano.

• 01 Aug 1969 - The Air Force added Quicktape, using broadcast tapes recorded in the air from a ground radioman and rebroadcast directly through the plane's loudspeaker, to its psychological warfare program in Southeast Asia.

• 01 Aug 1972 - The first B-52 short range attack missile wing activated on schedule at Loring AFB, Maine.

• 01 Aug 1974 - Deputy Secretary of Defense William P. Clements Jr approved plans for the A-10 close-air support aircraft.

• 01 Aug 1976 - Two U.S. Air Force UH-1 Iroquois helicopter crews saved 81 people stranded by a flash flood in Big Thompson Canyon, Colo.

• 01 Aug 1988 - The 177th Fighter Group retired the last three F-106 Delta Darts from the U.S. Air Force's active inventory. Two of the F-106s were A-models and one was a B-model.

• 01 Aug 1990 - Air Force Space Command establishes first space system infrastructure to directly support a military conflict. The satellite systems will relay communications, provide meteorological data and detect short-range missile launches.

• 02 Aug 1950 - The 374th Troop Carrier Group airlifted 300,000 pounds of equipment and supplies from Ashiya AB to Korea in 24 hours to set a new airlift record for the war lasting through Aug. 3.

• 02 Aug 1957 - Republic unveiled its F-105, a future Tactical Airlift Command aircraft, to the public.

• 02 Aug 1958 - In its first test, an Atlas-B, with a full propulsion system (boosters and sustainers), flew 2,500 miles down the Atlantic Missile Range after launching from Cape Canaveral. In this flight, the missile underwent the first successful stage separation of a U.S. intercontinental ballistic missile.

• 02 Aug 1968 - The modified XV-5A (now the XV-5B Verifan aircraft) made its first vertical and hovering flights.

• 02 Aug 1985 - Air Force Logistics Command rolled out the prototype FB-111A aircraft modified under the Avionics Modernization Program for electronics warfare.

• 02 Aug 1987 - The 552nd Airborne Warning and Control Wing from Tinker AFB, Okla., completed the 5,000th mission for the Elf One deployment to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Elf One began on October 1, 1980, when the war between Iran and Iraq erupted.

• 02 Aug 1992 - Air Mobility Command moved forces to Kuwait in Operation Intrinsic Action to show Iraq our resolve to support the Middle East lasting through Aug. 20.

• 02 Aug 1994 - Two B-52s from the 2nd Bomb Wing set an FAI record for an around-the-world flight during a Global Power mission to Kuwait. The 47-hour flight needed five aerial refuelings. This flight was a first too, going around the world on a bombing mission.

• 03 Aug 1950 - Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer, Far East Air Force Commander, ordered Fifth Air Force to destroy key transportation facilities between the 37th and 38th parallels in Korea in Far East Air Forces Interdiction Campaign No. 1.


• 03 Aug 1950 - SA-16 amphibious rescue aircraft began flying sorties along the Korean coast to retrieve U.S. pilots forced down during operations.

• 03 Aug 1956 - The first missile wing in the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Air Forces in Europe, the 701st Tactical Missile Wing, established.

• 03 Aug 1965 - The first firing of a Lance battlefield missile from its self-propelled launchers took place at White Sands Missile Range, N.M.

• 03 Aug 1969 - Members of Alaskan Air Command helped put out Alaska's worse forest fire of the year.

• 03 Aug 1972 - The F-15 Eagle completed its first supersonic flight. It reached Mach 1.5 during 45-minute test flight at Edwards AFB, Calif.

• 03 Aug 1973 - The U.S. Air Force accepted its first F-5E for flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif.

• 03 Aug 1977 - Cadet First Class Edward A. Rice Jr. of Yellow Springs, Ohio, becomes the first African-American commander of the Cadet Wing at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

• 03 Aug 1981 - U.S. Air Force air traffic controllers manned civilian airport facilities in the U.S. to replace striking air controllers. The U.S. Air Force's assistance allowed civilian air operations to continue service despite the widespread strike.

• 03 Aug 1982 - The YA-10B flew its first test flight at Edwards AFB, Calif. in the night attack evaluations program.

• 03 Aug 1994 - A B-52 launched a research satellite using a Pegasus rocket.

• 04 Aug 1944 - Eighth Air Force launched radio-controlled B-17 drones, carrying 20,000 pounds of TNT, against V-1 rocket sites in Pas de Calais, France during Operation Aphrodite.

• 04 Aug 1950 - During the Korean War, B-29s attacked key bridges above the 38th parallel to start Far East Air Forces Interdiction Campaign No. 1.

• 04 Aug 1953 - A B-47 Stratojet set a nonstop distance record for jets in making a 4,450-mile flight from Fairford, England, to MacDill AFB, Fla., in nine hours, 53 minutes.

• 04 Aug 1955 - China released the crewmen of a Special Operations B-29, "The Stardust 40." They were captured on Jan. 13, 1953 and were held longer than any other prisoners of war in the Korean War.

• 04 Aug 1960 - Pilot Joseph A. Walker flew the X-15 to an unofficial world speed record of 2,196 mph.

• 04 Aug 1964 - North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. On Aug. 7, Congress authorized President Johnson to use all measures to assist South Vietnam. That decision led to a buildup of airpower in the region.

• 04 Aug 1964 - First U.S. air strikes against North Vietnam.

• 04 Aug 1970 - Air Force Reserve aircrews airlifted 73 handicapped children from Corpus Christi, Texas, after Hurricane Celia destroyed the Texas Department of Mental Health and Retardation School.

• 04 Aug 1977 - The last T-33 Shooting Star left the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards AFB, Calif. for retirement at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz.

• 04 Aug 1982 - The first KC-135R with the new CFM-56 engines made its first flight.

• 04 Aug 1982 - The NF-16 Advanced Fighter Technology Integration aircraft made its first flight.

• 05 Aug 1944 - During the first attack against the Philippines, night raids began when the 63rd Bombardment Squadron from Fifth Air Force launched a single radar-equipped B-24 Snooper. It conducted an ineffective attack on the Sasa airdrome, north of Davao, Mindanao.

• 05 Aug 1950 - In the first SA-16 rescue operation of the war, Capt. Charles E. Shroder led a crew in saving a Navy pilot who had crashed into the sea off the Korean coast.

• 05 Aug 1950 - Maj. Louis J. Sebille is killed in action flying a severely damaged F-51 Mustang against an enemy force concentration in Korea. Maj. Sebille is the first member of the recently-created US Air Force to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

• 05 Aug 1954 - A production-model B-52 flew for the first time.

• 05 Aug 1964 - The U.S. Air Force deployed more squadrons of tactical fighters, bombers, and reconnaissance aircraft to Southeast Asia. B-57s from Clark AB, Philippines, deployed to Bien Hoa AB and additional F-100s moved to Da Nang AB. On Aug, 6, 18 F-105s from the 36 Tactical Fighter Squadron from Yokota AB, Japan deployed to Korat Royal Thailand Air Force Base. Tactical Air Command provided three tactical fighter squadrons, two troop carrier squadrons, and six reconnaissance aircraft to the battle zone.

• 05 Aug 1965 - The 321st Strategic Missile Wing at Grand Forks AFB, N.D. accepted the first Minuteman I to arrive in the field.

• 05 Aug 1968 - A 1,095-foot long short takeoff and landing strip opened at LaGuardia Airport, N.Y.

• 05 Aug 1975 - The X-24B became the first lifting body to land on a concrete runway.

• 05 Aug 1983 - During Exercise Ahuas Tara II with Honduran forces, Military Airlift Command moved 6,000 passengers and 4,000 tons of cargo to Honduras lasting through Dec.15th.

• 05 Aug 1997 - After a 747 Korean jetliner crashed on Guam, a C-141 from the 305th Air Mobility Wing at McGuire AFB, N.J., flew a 31-member team of the National Transportation Safety Board from Andrews AFB, Md., to Fairchild AFB, Wash., where they boarded a KC-135 for the flight to Andersen AFB, Guam. A second C-141 took medical equipment and seven physicians from Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe, Hawaii, to Guam to help treat the crash survivors, while a C-141 from McChord AFB, Wash., airlifted Red Cross, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and FAA representatives to Guam.

• 06 Aug 1945. A B-29, the "Enola Gay", of the 509th Composite Group, Commanded by Col Paul Tibbets drops the first atomic bomb, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. A second bomb is dropped three days later, and Japan quickly surrenders, avoiding a costly land invasion of the Japanese homeland.

• 06 Aug 1945 - Major Richard I. Bong, America's "Ace of Aces" in World War II, dies in an aircraft crash on a routine acceptance flight for the P-80 Shooting Star.

• 06 Aug 1946 - Two radio-controlled B-17s, escorted by control planes, flew 2,174 miles from Hawaii to Muroc Lake, Calif.

• 06 Aug 1950 - Far East Air Forces began nightly visual reconnaissance of enemy supply routes.

• 06 Aug 1953 - The N-69A Snark research test vehicle flew its first flight test at Cape Canaveral, Fla. In this configuration, the missile's length increased from 50 to 68 feet and weight from 28,000 to 49,000 pounds for greater range and payload capability.

• 06 Aug 1953 - During Operation Big Switch, the U.S. Air Force used C-124, C-54, C-46 and C-47 transports to airlift more than 800 former prisoners of war from Korea to the U.S. lasting through October.

• 06 Aug 1954 - Two 308th Bombardment Wing B-47s made a 10,000-mile, nonstop round-trip flight from Hunter AFB, Ga., to French Morocco with four KC-97 inflight refuelings lasting through Aug.7. One bomber finished in 24 hours, four minutes, while the other took 25 hours, 23 minutes. The wing received the MacKay Trophy for this flight.

• 06 Aug 1959 - The TM-76 Mace replaced the Matador in U.S. Air Forces in Europe's inventory.

• 06 Aug 1971 - Vandenberg AFB, Calif. launched an Air Force Atlas rocket to place nine experiments into three different orbits.

• 06 Aug 1982 - Military Airlift Command supported a Multinational Peacekeeping Force in the Sinai Peninsula by sending nine missions (one C-141 and eight commercial) to deliver a 101st Airborne Division battalion from Fort Campbell, Ky., to Ras Nastani and then to return a 82nd Airborne Division battalion to Fort Bragg, N. C, lasting through Sept. 5th.

• 06 Aug 1987 - Aeronautical Systems Division began phase two of the Mission Adaptive Wing tests at Edwards AFB, Calif. This phase tested four automated flight control modes; cruise camber control; maneuver camber control, maneuver load control and maneuver alleviation/gust enhancement. This wing allowed aircraft to achieve a 25-30 percent increase in range and a 25 percent improvement in sustained G-forces.

• 06 Aug 1991 - Military Airlift Command units moved 75 tons of blankets and supplies to Shanghai, China, after floods in eastern China caused 1,000 deaths and left over 100,000 homeless lasting through Aug. 9th.

• 06 Aug 1993 - Dr. Sheila E. Widnall is sworn in as Secretary of the Air Force, becoming the first woman armed services secretary.

• 06 Aug 1998 - During a 15-hour flight in Hawaii, the solar-powered Pathfinder-Plus, an upgraded version of the Pathfinder unmanned aerial vehicle reached nearly 80,300 feet in altitude, the highest point ever reached by a propeller-driven aircraft. It carried a simulated payload of 68 pounds.

• 07 Aug 1950 - The 98th Bomb Group flew its first missions shortly after 20 of its B-29s landed at Yokota AB, Japan.

• 07 Aug 1956 - The first F-100Cs with an inflight refueling capability became operational at Foster AFB, Texas.

• 07 Aug 1959 - Two F-100F aircraft made the first flight by jet fighter aircraft over the North Pole.

• 07 Aug 1959 - The Explorer VI, NASA's "paddlewheel" satellite, launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral by a Thor-Able III. It transmitted the first television pictures from space. In addition, Maj. Robert C. Mathis used the satellite to relay the first intercontinental voice message.

• 07 Aug 1963 - The Lockheed YF-12 makes its maiden flight.

• 07 Aug 1964. The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is passed by Congress. This measure is in response to attacks by North Vietnamese gunboats against US Destroyers. This serves as President Johnson’s “blank check” to initiate retaliation raids against North Vietnam, eventually leading to Operation ROLLING THUNDER.

• 07 Aug 1965 - First Minuteman II missile emplaced in a 447th Strategic Missile Squadron silo at Grand Forks AFB, N.D.

• 07 Aug 1975 - Two C-141s flew from Ramstein AB, Germany to Bucharest, with disaster relief supplies after extensive flooding of the Danube River and its tributaries.

• 07 Aug 1980 - Three Military Airlift Command missions (one C-5 and two C-141s) and one Air National Guard C-130 mission airlifted 107 people and 61 tons of supplies to Haiti and St. Lucia from the U.S. and Howard AFB, Panama, through Aug.12. Hurricane Allen killed 57 and left hundreds homeless.

• 07 Aug 1982 - At Sheppard AFB, Texas, Air Training Command ended the German air force undergraduate pilot training program.

• 07 Aug 1984 - The HH-60D helicopter flew its first rescue mission to save a young couple that had been stranded above 10,000 feet in the Sierras overnight.

• 07 Aug 1984 - Military Airlift Command supported the deployment of U.S. minesweeping assets to the Red Sea to help Egypt and Saudi Arabia determine the cause of mysterious explosions that damaged ships plying the Red Sea lasting through Oct. 2. Military Airlift Command flew 27 C-5, 14 C-141 and three C-130 sorties to move 983 passengers and 1,324 tons of cargo.

• 07 Aug 1990 - Operation Desert Shield begins in response to Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of Kuwait. The operation's immediate objective is to protect Saudi Arabia from Iraqi aggression and build up allied military strength.

• 07 Aug 1995 - A B-52H bomber from the 2nd Bomb Wing at Barksdale AFB, La., employed precision-guided munitions in a training mission for the first time.

• 07 Aug 1998 - Sealed Composite's D-2 technology demonstrator unmanned aerial vehicle made its first flight after a two-year hiatus. The twin-tail propeller D-2 was a tested vehicle for NASA's Environment Research Aircraft and Sensor Technology program.

• 08 Aug 1942 - WWII: U.S. Marines capture the Japanese airstrip on Guadalcanal.

• 08 Aug 1944 - WWII: U.S. forces complete the capture of the Marianas Islands.

• 08 Aug 1945 - At the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory, scientists published an article suggesting that it may possible to fly an aircraft with an atomic engine and brick-sized fuel source around the world nonstop several times.

• 08 Aug 1946 - The Convair XB-36 Peacemaker first flew at Fort Worth, Texas.

• 08 Aug 1950 - Advancing North Korean forces caused the 18th Fighter-Bomber Group to evacuate Taegu to Ashiya. The 307th Bomb Group, newly based in Okinawa, flew its first mission.

• 08 Aug 1955 - Over Edwards AFB, Calif., the X-1A rocket research plane exploded on its B-29 carrier and was jettisoned to destruction. Pilot Joe Walker escaped safely.

• 08 Aug 1961 - The U.S. Air Force launched the Atlas F from Cape Canaveral for the first time. It was designed to store liquid fuels for a long time and for a short countdown. It was the only Atlas model put in hardened underground silo lift-launchers.

• 08 Aug 1961 - The joint U.S. Air Force-Army Operation Swift Strike at Fort Bragg, N.C., began when U.S. Air Force airplanes dropped 7,500 paratroops of the 82nd Airborne Division into the area.

• 08 Aug 1962 - In tests to reveal the relationship of speed, altitude and angle of attack to aerodynamic heating of an aircraft's exterior surfaces, Maj. Robert A. Rushworth built up a temperature of 900 degrees F, while flying the X-15 No. 2 at altitudes no higher than 90,000 feet and speeds not exceeding 2,898 mph.

• 08 Aug 1967 - McGuire AFB, N.J. received the last Military Airlift Command's C-141 Starlifter, the "Garden State Starlifter," from Lockheed.

• 08 Aug 1969 - The C-131A Samaritan flew its last domestic aeromedical evacuation mission. Samaritans flew nearly 437,000 accident-free flying hours to airlift some 400,000 patients during their 14-year history in domestic service.

• 08 Aug 1972 - An over-the-horizon radar system, capable of detecting missiles as they penetrate the ionosphere, came under the operational command of Aerospace Defense Command. This system had sites in both the Pacific and European areas.

• 08 Aug 1975 - Five Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard C-130s flew 104 sorties through Aug. 15 to drop 1,400 tons of fire retardant on fires in southern California.

• 08 Aug 1984 - The first U.S. Air Forces in Europe C-23 Sherpas entered U.S. Air Force.

• 08 Aug 1998 - Boeing-Rocketdyne and Air Force Research Laboratory personnel conducted the first successful test burn of the RS-68 rocket engine at Edwards AF, Calif. It was the first large liquid-fuel rocket motor developed in the U.S. in 25 years.

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