Warbirds Online

Today In Military/Aviation History 16 – 22 March

March 15, 2009 10:29 pm

Hello Folks, it’s that little old history poster, me! Yep, yet another week done and gone. This weekend is a rather special time for the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum in Geneseo N.Y. (I moderate their Website Message Board) The Museum has acquired a B-23 Dragon that is now with The CAF in Midland Texas. Five of our Folks are now down there disassembling the aircraft and preparing it for transit to Geneseo. If you’re interested, there are two sources for updates on this project. The Message Board I moderate, or WIX in the WIX hangar. The WIX post has the CAF update with photos and I have also posted the HAG updates in a separate post. Stop by either of these sites and check it out.  Now, let’s get down to some serious history, shall we?

Have an AB FAN week,

Take Care and Be Safe,

Tom K. ;)


20 March 1910
Gaspard-Felix Tournachon, alias Nadar, the photographer and balloonist, dies. He had taken the first aerial (balloon) photographs in 1863.

17 March 1911
The Curtiss D pusher-engined biplane with a tricycle landing gear is demonstrated to the United States Army. Later it becomes their Army Aeroplane No.2.

20 March 1915
The Belgian Aviation Militaire is formed.

17 March 1917
Zeppelin LZ86 (L39) is brought down over Compiegne in France by anti-aircraft fire.

19 March 1918
While on patrol near Heligoland, Ensign Stephen Potter becomes the first United States Navy (USN) airman to shoot down a German aircraft.

21 March 1918
The German spring offensive begins and hundreds of aircraft take part in Kaiserschlacht (‘Emperor’s Battle’).

22 March 1919
The first regular international passenger service is opened between Paris and Brussels by Lignes Aériennes Farman. The weekly service uses Farman F60 Goliath biplanes and the flying time is 2 hours 50 minutes. The fare is 365 francs.

20 March 1922
USS Langley, the first United States aircraft carrier is commissioned.

16 March 1935
Germany repudiates the disarmament clauses of the Versailles Treaty, announcing a huge re-armament program and re-introducing conscription.

16 March 1942
Japanese aircraft bomb targets at Port Darwin in Australia.

16 March 1943
On Eastern Front, the first operational trials of an anti-tank version of the Junkers Ju 87G take place. The aircraft is fitted with two 37mm Flak guns.

16 March 1945
Japanese resistance on Iwo Jima ends, but is a costly victory, with 6,891 Marines killed and another 18,070 injured. It proves a very useful emergency landing ground with 2251 Boeing B-29s finding refuge here before the war ends.

17 March 1945
307 Boeing B-29s drop 2,300 tons of incendiaries on Kobe in Japan.

18 March 1945
The largest United States Army Air Force (USAAF) daylight raid on Berlin takes place, with 1,250 bombers and an escort of 670 fighters.

20-21 March 1945
The Luftwaffe mounts its last manned aircraft attack on the United Kingdom.

21 March 1945
The first, unsuccessful, sortie is made by Japanese Yokosuka Ohka suicide aircraft.

21-24 March 1945
A combined effort by Allied air forces in Europe is mounted against the Luftwaffe and its bases and virtually destroys the Luftwaffe as an effective force.

21 March 1946
The United States Army Air Force (USAAF) establishes its Air Defense Command, Strategic Air Command and Tactical Air Command.

22 March 1950
The first of the 70 Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers allocated to Britain under the United States military aid program lands at Marham Norfolk for No.149 Squadron.

21 March 1951
The conclusion of a Franco-American civil aviation agreement is announced.

17 March 1958
Vanguard I, the 2nd United States satellite to enter Earth’s orbit, is launched.

21 March 1962
Following manned tests at 909kph (565mph) on the 28 February high speed tests of an escape capsule fitted to the Convair B-58A Hustler are undertaken. An unnamed bear is ejected from a Convair B58A ‘Hustler’ at 1,400kph (870mph) and lands safely.

18 March 1965
Voskhod II is launched by the Soviet Union with Pavel Belyayev and Lieutenant Colonel Alexei Leonov on board. Leonov makes first ‘space walk’, tethered to the spacecraft while floating in space for 12 minutes 9 seconds.

17 March 1968
General Dynamics F-111A aircraft are used operationally for the first time in Vietnam and two are lost by the end of the month.

16 March 1983
After being used to train pilots for 18 years, the Luftwaffe withdraws the Lockheed F-104G and TF-104G from service.

16 March 1996
The Dutch aircraft company Fokker is declared bankrupt and ceases aircraft manufacturing after 77 years.

19 March 1996
The McDonnell Douglas X-36, a $14 million, unmanned, advanced research vehicle is unveiled.

21 March 1999
Hot air balloon ‘Breitling Orbiter 3′ completes the first non-stop, round the world balloon flight. This sets a new distance record for any type of aircraft of 40,804 kilometers (25,360 miles).

17 March 2005
A judge has found millionaire Sikh businessman Ripudaman Singh Malik and sawmill worker Ajaib Singh Bagri not guilty of conspiracy and murder in the 1985 Air India bombing that killed 329 people.


That’s it for this week Folks.  See ya in seven.

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