Well Folks, another seven have left the building. I’m here to tell you it was a quick AND expensive one for me. I hate when that happens, but what are ya gonna do? Say, listen, tomorrow is Memorial Day (Observed) and next Saturday is the real Memorial Day. Would you do me a favor? On BOTH days, could you find some time and read what follows? I and the Folks mentioned would really appreciate it.
All Veterans and soldiers not alive, I thank you, WWII Veterans, I thank you, Korean Veterans, I thank you. Vietnam Veterans, I thank you. Persian Gulf and Desert Storm Veterans, I thank you. Those in Iraq and Afghanistan, I thank you. Some of you have been other places too, and I thank you also.
Now, let’s get down to some serious history, shall we?
26 May 1904
The Wright brothers begin a series of over 100 flights in Flyer No.II.
25 May 1910
The Wright brothers fly together for the first time at Dayton in Ohio.
27 May 1910
Italian Ugo Tabachi pilots the first trial flight of the Caproni Ca1 monoplane, built by Gianni Caproni.
30 May 1912
Pioneer aviator Wilbur Wright dies from typhoid fever.
28 May 1913
The full-size ‘Aerodrome’, designed by Samuel Pierpont Langley, is flown after modifications during reconstruction.
26 May 1915
Seventeen French Voisin biplanes of Groupe de Bombardment I conduct an attack on a strategic military target at Ludwigshafen in Germany.
Oberleutnant Kastner and Leutnant Georg Langhoff (observer) attack and shoot down a French Voisin in their Halberstadt C-type at Dournai in France. This is the first intentional attack by a German aeroplane on another armed aeroplane.
27 May 1915
Four days after Italy declares war, an Austrian Lohner L1 flying-boat is captured by the Italians off the Italian coast.
31 May 1915
German Zeppelin LZ38 makes the first bombing raid on London, dropping 3,000 pounds of bombs, killing seven civilians and injuring fourteen.
25 May 1917
Twenty-one aircraft attack Folkestone and Shorncliffe in Kent, in the first large daylight raid by German Gotha bombers. The attack leaves 95 dead and 260 injured and one Gotha is destroyed and another damaged by fighters based in France.
30 May 1917
After flying overnight from Chicago, the United States Navy’s B1 dirigible (steerable airship) arrives at Akron, Ohio.
31 May 1917
Austrian pilot Linienschiffleutnant G.Banfield, at the controls of a Pfalz AII fighter, forces down an Italian seaplane, achieving the first Austro-Hungarian victory against enemy night bombers.
29 May 1918
Brigadier General Mason Patrick is made Chief of the US Air Service in France.
31 May 1918
1st Lt Douglas Campbell shoots down his fifth German airplane to become the US Army’s first ace.
27 May 1927
The first French aircraft carrier, ‘Béarn’, is finally completed after 7 years of construction.
27 May 1933
Japan withdraws from the League of Nations.
29 May 1937
German battleship ‘Deutchland’ is attacked by Spanish Republican air units near Ivaza in the Balearic Islands. 28 people are killed and 71 injured.
31 May 1939
A German/Danish non-aggression pact is signed in Berlin.
29 May 1945
An advance party of the 509th Composite Group of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) arrives in the Mariana Islands.
31 May 1945
The United States War Department announces that a woman and five children have been killed by a Japanese bomb-carrying balloon on 5 March at Lake View in Oregon.
31 May 1950
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is to send a squadron of Douglas Dakota transport aircraft to assist British forces in Malaya.
29 May 1951
The first solo trans-Polar flight is made by American C. Blair, flying a North American P-51 Mustang from Bardufoss in Norway to Fairbanks in Alaska. He covers 3,375 miles in 10 hours 29 minutes.
31 May 1951
Captain Charles F. Blair lands at Idlewild Airport in New York after flying non-stop in a Mustang from Fairbanks in Alaska, covering 3,450 miles in 9 hours 31minutes. This is the first solo flight across the North Pole in a single engined aircraft.
26 May 1953
Twelve Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet fighters are shot down over North Korea.
25 May 1954
United States Navy (USN) ZPG2 airship, flown by Commander M.H. Eppes and crew, lands at Key West Florida after being airborne for just over 200 hours.
31 May 1955
Jacqueline Auriol flies the Dassault Mystere IVN to a speed of 715mph to obtain the women’s world speed record.
27 May 1956
Performance figures for Russian Tu-104 twin jet airliner are published at the Zurich airshow.
29 May 1956
The formation of Air League of New Zealand is announced.
30 May 1957 The United States Air Force (USAF) discloses the development of the Hughes Falcon air-to-air guided missile armed with a nuclear warhead.
28 May 1959
Two monkeys, Able and Baker are recovered unharmed after a 483 kilometer (300 mile) flight in a compartment in the nose cone of a Jupiter rocket.
29 May 1969
Following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Airbus programme, France and Germany sign an agreement to initiate joint development of the A300B.
25 May 1970
The United States Government announces that its nuclear missiles are to be equipped with multiple warheads, called Multiple Individual Re-entry Vehicles (MIRVs).
26 May 1972
The Cessna aircraft company announces the completion of the company’s 100,000th aircraft, the first company in the world to achieve this figure.
30 May 1972
Three Japanese terrorists kill 25 people and injure 72 at Tel Aviv Airport in Israel when they remove guns and grenades from their luggage and begin shooting. The terrorists had just stepped off a flight from Rome.
30 May 1975
The European Space Agency (ESA) is founded.
25 May 1979
In a serious accident on take-off from Chicago Airport, involving a McDonnell Douglas DC10 which loses its engine – the aircraft is lost and the type is grounded for safety reasons.
29 May 1985
The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN124 arrives at Le Bourget airport for the Paris Air Show, and makes its first public appearance.
29 May 1987
19 year old West German Mathias Rust lands a light plane in Moscow’s Red Square.
27 May 1988
The McDonnell Douglas F4 Phantom celebrates 30 years of flying and is still operational with twelve air forces.
25 May 2003
Boeing 727 mysteriously disappears in Angola, along with pilot Ben Charles Padilla.
27 May 2004
Delta Air Lines begins service between Cincinnati and New Haven.
Greetings Folks. Seven more gone and I’m back. Where does the time go? Well, guess what? That camera I got last week was defective. I couldn’t get it to talk to my computer no matter how hard I tried. Even waterboarding wouldn’t work. I gave up and took it back Thursday. This one still won’t talk to the Canon software, but will talk to Picasa. Hey, I’ll take it. I passed up some nice pictures because I was reluctant to take a chance of not being able to get the shots from the camera to computer. Bah! It’s always something. Let’s get down to some serious history, shall we?
20 May 1909
A Frenchman, Paul Tissandier, makes the first officially recognized world speed record for an aeroplane in a Wright biplane, achieving 54kph (34mph).
18 May 1910
International talks open in Paris to form a legal basis for flight between countries.
21 May 1910
Frenchman Jacques de Lesseps wins 12,500 francs for a 37 minute flight from Calais and the £100 Daily Mail cup for the second English Channel flight.
24 May 1910
Prince Charles of Romania becomes the first royal aeroplane passenger, in a Farman piloted by M. Osmontat at Bucharest.
21 May 1911
French Minister of War Maurice Berteaux is killed and Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe is injured when a Train monoplane crashes in Paris at the start of the Paris-Madrid air race.
22 May 1912
A United States Marine Corps (USMC) officer is ordered to commence flying training.
24 May 1912
Anthony Fokker crashes his Goedecker-built B1912 monoplane at Berlin, just 10 days after demonstrating it to the German Army.
18 May 1914
The first regular Airmail service is inaugurated in German South West Africa with a Roland biplane, making its first flight between Swakopmund and Windhoek. The service comes to an end when British forces invade the country at the outbreak of the First World War.
21 May 1915
The Spad A2 biplane fighter undergoes it’s first flight tests in France.
18 May 1916
Lieutenant Kiffin Rockwell of the Escadrille Americaine, becomes the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy aircraft.
19 May 1917
The United States Government agrees to send an Army division to France.
22 May 1917
Italian military air mail service is established between Turin and Rome.
24 May 1917
French Premier Alexandre Ribot requests American aid in the shape of 5,000 pilots, 4,500 aircraft and 50,000 mechanics.
18 May 1918
The 96th Aero Squadron, the first American bomber unit, forms in France.
19 May 1918
In the latest of a series of monthly raids on London and the Home Counties by German Gotha bombers and Staaken airships, 49 civilians are killed and 179 injured as bombs fell in residential areas before midnight
Hauptmann H Kohl receives the Pour le Mérite for flying 800 missions.
20 May 1918
Overman Act creates the Bureau of Aircraft Production and the Division of Military Aeronautics. The United States Army Air Service is formed from these on 24 May.
24 May 1918
US Army Air Service is formed.
The Chief Directorate of the Workers and Peasants Military Air Fleet (GU-RKKVF: Glavoce Upravlenie-Raboche-Krestyanskogo Vozdushhnogo Flota) replaces the All-Russian Air Board.
19 May 1924
Wing Commander Goble and Flight Lieutenant McIntyre of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) complete their round-Australia flight. The flight took 90 hours in a Fairey IIID.
20-21 May 1927
Captain Charles Lindbergh makes the first solo, west to east transatlantic crossing in a specially-built Ryan NYP (New York to Paris) Monoplane, ‘Spirit of St Louis’.
It took Lindberg 33 hours 39 minutes to complete the flight from Long Island in New York to Paris in France. The distance covered was 5,778 kilometers (3,590 miles).
23 May 1928
The Italian airship ‘Italia’ attempts a flight to North Pole, but crashes on the return flight.
20 May 1929
The Peruvian Army and Naval Air Services are amalgamated into the Cuerpo de Aeronautica del Perú.
18 May 1930
The German airship LZ127 Graf Zeppelin makes its first crossing of the South Atlantic.
19-24 May 1932
A Dornier DoX flying boat flies back from New York to its base at Friedrichshafen in Germany.
20-21 May 1932
Amelia Earhart, flying a Lockheed Vega, becomes the first woman to make solo flight across the North Atlantic. The flight is from Harbor Grace in Newfoundland to Londonderry in Northern Ireland.
18 May 1935
The world’s worst air disaster to date occurs when ANT-20 Maxim Gorky collides with another aircraft near Tushino, causing the death of 56 people.
20 May 1939
The first large scale air battle between Soviet and Japanese aircraft occurs in Outer Mongolia near Khalkin Gol.
22 May 1945
United States authorities disclose that Japanese balloon attacks have been, and continue to be made on the United States. One balloon had come down in Montana and another in British Columbia.
20 May 1948
The Israeli air force is in action against Arab forces for the first time.
18 May 1949
The first New York helicopter station is established at Pier 41 East River.
21 May 1949
A Sikorsky S52 helicopter establishes a new helicopter altitude record of 6,468 meters (21,220 feet) over Stratford in Connecticut.
20 May 1951
Captain James Jabara of the 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing of the United States Air Force (USAF) in Korea, an F-86 Sabre pilot, becomes the first jet pilot to score five unconfirmed victories over jet aircraft, by destroying two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15s.
18 May 1953
American airwoman Jacqueline Cochran becomes the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, piloting a Canadian built version of the North American F-86E Sabre at a speed of Mach 1.01 (652mph).
20 May 1953
Another Polish pilot lands a Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 jet on Bornholm Island.
18 May 1956
The United States press highlights the ‘Colonel’s revolt’, revealing bitter interservice rivalry.
21 May 1956
The first United States hydrogen bomb is released from an aircraft, a Boeing B-52 Stratofortress eight-engined jet bomber, and exploded over Bikini atoll in the Pacific.
24 May 1957
The Canadian airline Nordair begins scheduled operations.
23 May 1958
Frenchwoman Colette Duval sets a new world record by parachuting into the Atlantic without oxygen from an altitude of 40,700 feet.
24 May 1958
The Bell X-14 Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft makes its first transition from hovering to forward flight.
24 May 1962
Mercury capsule Arora 7 takes Lieutenant Commander M. Scott Carpenter of the United States Navy (USN) into a three orbit space flight. Problems with re-entry mean the capsule splashes down 420 kilometers (260 miles) from the intended target area.
19 May 1972
An Indian Government spokesman in New Delhi says that Indian security forces have orders to destroy all Pakistani aircraft violating India’s airspace.
23 May 1974
Europe’s first wide-body airliner, an Airbus A300B2 of Air France, makes its inaugural fare paying flight from Paris to London.
24 May 1976
Filipino Troops storm a Philippines Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC9 that was hijacked the day before by six terrorists and flown to Zamboanga airport. Three hijackers are killed, among ten deaths in the ensuing battle, and the remaining three hijackers are captured.
21 May 1977
Concorde makes a special flight from New York to Paris on the 50th anniversary of Charles Lindbergh’s flight of the same route. Whereas Lindbergh took 33 hours 29 minutes, Concorde took just 3 hours 44 minutes.
20 May 1978
McDonnell Douglas delivers its 5,000th McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom aircraft, twenty years after the first flight of the prototype.
21 May 1978
Tokyo’s new Narita International Airport becomes operational 4 years late, largely due to protest action.
20 May 1981
Hughes Helicopters announces the beginning of construction of a prototype helicopter that will use pressurized air instead of a standard tail rotor.
20 May 1982
Boeing Vertol delivers the first production CH-47D to the United States Army.
23 May 1988
The first Bell/Boeing V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft is completed.
22 May 1990
The final flight of the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter in Luftwaffe service, before the aircraft is withdrawn from service.
19 May 1998
Fairchild Dornier launch a new regional jet at the Schonefeld Air Show. The 55-seat 528-JET and the stretched 100-seat 928-JET are both wide-body aircraft due to be available by 2003.
20 May 1998
France and Germany order the first 160 Tiger attack helicopters from Eurocopter.
23 May 2004
Frontier Airlines begins service to Philadelphia, Billings, Montana and Spokane, Washington.
Yep, already It’s Sunday evening and here I am again. Well, we reached a major milestone on the 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Museum Website Message Board (AKA MB) which I moderate. On Tuesday we hosted our 100,000th visitor since the Visitor Count began in January 2007. I think this is outstanding and am really pleased with the support I’m receiving. I also had a setback on Wednesday. Somehow the LCD screen on my digital camera got hit and I had a nice black blob to look at. Well, today I went and got a new camera, because I was told that it would be more cost-effective to replace rather than repair, and to be honest, I really want to play with it, so let’s get down to some serious history, shall we?
14 May 1908
Charles W. Furnas of Dayton in Ohio, becomes the first aircraft passenger. One of the Wright brothers’ mechanics, Wilbur Wright took him on a flight of 1,968 feet which lasted 29 seconds at Kill Devil Hills in Kittyhawk, North Carolina.
11 May 1911
Edouard Nieport sets a new speed record of 74mph in his Nieuport monoplane with a 28 horse-power engine.
16 May 1911
Delag passenger carrying Zeppelin LZ8 ‘Ersatz Deutschland’ is destroyed in a docking accident, but there are no casualties.
13 May 1913
The Russky Vitiaz is the first aeroplane fitted with a lavatory. The aircraft was a passenger transport, designed by Igor Sikorski and test flown on this date. It has not been possible to confirm if the lavatory was a water closet although some references identify it as such. This 4-engined precursor to the heavy bomber was piloted by Igor Sikorsky at St Petersburg and had a wingspan of 28 meters (92 feet).
17 May 1913
Domingo Rosillo flies from Key West in Florida to Havana in Cuba, in a Morane-Saulnier monoplane.
11 May 1915
Continuous airship raids on England are ordered by the German High Command.
14 May 1915
The United States Navy (USN) orders it’s first airship from the Connecticut Aircraft Company.
14 May 1917
Zeppelin LZ64 (L22) is shot down by a British flying boat with the loss of all hands.
15 May 1917
German Leutnant Heinrich Gontermann is awarded the Pour le Mérite. Gontermann achieved eighteen victories against Allied balloons, once shooting down four in three minutes. He is killed in a crash while testing a new Fokker DRI.
11 May 1918
The American Expeditionary Force receives the first United States built de havilland DH4.
Italian Corpo Aeronautico Militare aircraft are used to fly an air service across the Tyrrhenian Sea, which lasts for a month.
15 May 1918
The United States Army Signal Corp establishes the first American airmail service between New York and Washington, using Curtiss JN and Standard J aircraft.
Captain Rudolph W. Schroeder attains a height of 10,093 meters. (33,113 feet) flying from Dayton, Ohio, in a Packard-Le Père LUSAC-11 fighter, powered by a liberty12 engine, fitted with a Turbocharger.
15 May 1919
The United States Post office inaugurates the first section of a transcontinental airmail service between Chicago and Cleveland.
11-14 May 1926
In the first airship flight over the North Pole, Roald Amundsen, the Norwegian expedition leader, uses the airship ‘Norge’ to fly from Spitzbergen to Teller in Alaska.
15 May 1928
The first Australian flying doctor service commences, with Dr K.H. Vincent Welsh using a de Havilland DH50
15 May 1930
Miss Ellen Church, a registered nurse from Iowa, becomes the first air hostess as she welcomes 11 passengers on board a United Airlines Boeing 80A tri-motor at Oakland in California.
For $125 a month the United Airlines female hostesses were involved in ground handling duties and in the air they dispensed unvarying meals consisting of fruit cocktail, fried chicken and rolls, and tea or coffee.
13 May 1934
United States airmail pilot Jack Frye sets a new United States coast-to-coast record, carrying mail from Los Angeles to Newark. The journey is completed in 11 hours 31 minutes.
16 May 1935
Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Union conclude an alliance.
13 May 1936
Italy annexes Abyssinia.
15 May 1938
H.L. Ickes, United States Secretary of State for the Interior, confirms his refusal to supply helium gas to Germany.
13 May 1940
The Sikorsky VS300 single rotor helicopter, which uses a small rotor at the tail to overcome main rotor torque, makes its first free flight.
14 May 1940
The Rotterdam business center is bombed during surrender discussions. The raid is an error, as all bomber groups were recalled as soon as the negotiations began, but unfortunately one group failed to receive the recall instructions. The world is shocked by this bombing.
13-14 May 1941
The first major deployment of Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress aircraft in the Pacific. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) flies 21 aircraft from Hamilton Field in California to Hickham Field in Hawaii.
13 May 1943
Axis troops in North Africa surrender.
12 May 1949
The Soviet Union ends the blockade of Berlin, but the Allied airlift continues until 30 September 1949 to build up stocks in the city.
17 May 1950
Transcontinental & Western Air changes its name to Trans World Airlines (TWA), to reflect its world-wide operations.
14 May 1953 India’s air transport companies are nationalized, with the formation of Air India International Ltd for long distance flights and Indian Air Lines for internal routes and services to nearby countries.
15 May 1953
Central British Columbia Airways adopts the name Pacific Western airlines.
15 May 1954
Qantas Empire Airways takes over the Australia to United States and Canada service, previously operated by British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines, which then cease to exist as a separate company.
16 May 1955
Lufthansa begins its European international operations.
17 May 1956
Douglas Aircraft Company announces that the DC-7C, the first airliner with sufficient range for non-stop crossings of the North Atlantic or North Pacific, has been granted an airworthiness certificate.
12 May 1958
The joint United States-Canada, North American Air Defense Command (NORAD), is formally established.
16 May 1958
The first world speed record over 2,000kph is set by Captain W.W. Irvin of the United States Air Force (USAF), in a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter attaining a speed of 2,259kph (1,403mph).
11 May 1960
A United States Army Signals Corps balloon ascends to an altitude of 43,890 meters (144,000 feet) before bursting. This is a record breaking night time altitude ascent.
17 May 1960
Khrushchev angrily denounces American spying activities over the Soviet Union, resulting from the Gary Powers incident, causing the break-up of a Summit conference in Paris.
11 May 1964
Jacqueline Cochran sets a new world speed record for women over a 15/25 kilometer course of 2,300kph (1,499mph). Her aircraft is a Lockheed F-104G Starfighter.
12 May 1964
American Joan Merriam becomes the second woman to fly solo round the world. She takes 56 days to complete the journey in a route originally planned by Amelia Earhart. She makes the flight in a Piper Apache.
15 May 1980
Lufthansa-Unternehmen inaugurates Lockheed L101 1-500 TriStar services on its Dusseldorf to Los Angeles route.
12 May 1982
The airline Braniff International collapses due to the recession in the United States.
13 May 1982
Soyuz T5 is launched from Baikonur with two cosmonauts and successfully links up with the Salyut 7 orbiting laboratory.
15 May 1982
A SOCATA TB10 Tobago makes its first flight after having its Avco Lycoming engine converted to run on liquid petroleum gas (LPG).
17 May 1982
The crew of Salyut 7 place an amateur radio satellite into earth orbit. This is believed to be the first launch of a satellite from a space station.
17 May 1987
An Iraqi Exocet missile hits the USS Stark, killing 37 people.
15 May 1989
American Airlines becomes the 19th operator to be connected to the ‘Amadeus’ computerized reservation system.
14 May 1999
The United States Marine Corps (USMC) takes delivery of its first Bell Boeing MV-22B Osprey tilt-rotor.
16 May 2000
Singapore Airlines announces it is ‘in talks’ with Airbus with a view to purchasing up to sixteen A3XX aircraft.
15 May 2001
The Joint Strike Fighter Program Office begins talks with Brazil and Germany on possible participation in the engineering and manufacturing development phases of the program.
12 May 2004
The last F-4 Phantom fighters are withdrawn from service with the Israeli Air Force.
Hello Folks, it’s about that time where I blatantly use this forum to advertise the two things I’m most involved with. 1. The 1941 Historical Aircraft Group Website Message Board which I moderate. Please stop by and check us out. You may see something you like. 2. The 2009 Greatest Show On Turf. This year’stheme is GO NAVY. Stop by the Museum’s Website for all the details : www.1941hag.org Hope to see you there!! Now, that being said, let’s get down to some serious history, shall we?
7 May 1910
The Antoinette Company builds a simulator at Mourmelon air school for pilots to practice the controls of an Antoinette monoplane.
5 May 1911
Anthony Fokker pilots his second Spinne (Spider) monoplane with a 50 horse-power engine.
Baron Sandji Narahara flies a biplane to 196 feet with a 50 horse-power Gnome engine.
7 May 1912
An American Wright biplane, flown by Lieutenant Thomas De Witt Milling at College Park in Maryland, becomes the first aeroplane to be armed with a machine gun.
9 May 1912
In Sydney, William Hart is fined £20 for causing a herd of cattle to stampede by flying over them.
10 May 1913
Didier Masson drops bombs from an aeroplane on Mexican gunships in Guaymas Bay.
4 May 1916
Zeppelin LZ32 is shot down and destroyed by British naval gunfire.
10 May 1916
The French Air Force places an order for 268 Spad VII fighters.
7 May 1917
The first night bombing raid on London by an aeroplane takes place.
2-3 May 1923
Lieutenant O.G. Kelly and Lieutenant J.A. Macready of the United States Army Air Service (USAAS) make the first non-stop flight across the United States. Flying a Fokker T2, the journey time is 26 hours 50 minutes. They leave Roosevelt Field, Long Island and land at Rockwell Field in California.
9 May 1926
Lieutenant Commander Richard E. Byrd of the United States Navy (USN) and Floyd Bennett make the first over-flight of the North Pole, in Fokker F.VIIA-3m ‘Josephine Ford’.
8 May 1927
Charles Eugène Jules Marie Nungesser, the French First World War fighter ace, goes missing in a Levasseur PL8, during an attempted east to west crossing of the North Atlantic.
9 May 1932
The first blind solo-flight, controlled entirely on instruments, is made at Dayton in Ohio by Captain A.F. Hegenberger, flying a Consolidated NY2 trainer.
5 May 1935
Amelia Earhart makes non-stop flight from Mexico City to Newark in New Jersey, in 14 hours 19 minutes.
5 May 1936
Mussolini announces the occupation of Addis Ababa and the end of the Abyssinian war – a war in which modern weapons, such as aircraft and poison gas were used against a primitive poorly equipped enemy.
6 May 1937
German hydrogen-filled airship, the ‘Hindenburg’, is destroyed by fire whilst docking at Lakehurst in New Jersey. 33 of the 97 people on board are killed.
8 May 1937
A new altitude record is set at Montecelio in Italy when Lieutenant Colonel M. Pezzi flies a Caproni 161 to 15,655 meters (51,362 feet).
10 May 1940
The German invasion of the Low Countries begins. There is extensive use of paratroops and airborne Troops and Belgium’s Fort Eban Emael, considered impregnable, is quickly and easily overcome by glider-borne assault troops. Luftwaffe records show their losses for the first day are 304 gliders destroyed and 51 damaged.
10-11 May 1941
Rudolf Hess, Deputy Führer of Germany, flies to United Kingdom in a Messerschmitt Bf 110 and lands by parachute in Scotland. While the purpose of the flight is still a matter of controversy, it is thought that when he eventually identified himself he claimed his mission was one of peace.
7-8 May 1942
The Battle of Coral Sea is fought. This is the first naval action to be fought by opposing carrier-based aircraft where the surface ships on both sides never sight the enemy. The United States Navy (USN) loses USS Lexington and 69 aircraft and the Japanese lose Shoho and 85 aircraft and Shokaku is also damaged.
10 May 1942
USS Ranger, operating off the west African Gold Coast flies off sixty United States Army Air Force (USAAF) Curtiss P-40 aircraft to Accra. They are then flown on by stages, to 10th USAAF in India.
10 May 1944
A major engineering task to construct bomber and fighter airfields in China, the Chengtu Project, is completed. The project used over 400,000 Chinese coolies, often using the most primitive of equipment, to finish the task.
7 May 1945
Documents for the unconditional surrender of all German forces are signed at General Eisenhower’s Headquarters. Ratified in Berlin, the war in Western Europe ends officially at midnight.
5 May 1948
The first carrier-based jet squadron, United States Navy (USN) 17A, is established with sixteen Phantoms and operates from the USS Saipan from 5 to 7 May.
8 May 1950
South African Airways receives its first Lockheed Constellation ZS-DBR, ‘Cape Town’.
7 May 1954
Britain, France and the United States reject a Russian application to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
7 May 1958
Major H.C. Johnson, flying a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, sets the third new world altitude record in less than three weeks, attaining a height of 27,811 meters (91,243 feet).
6 April 1959
It is announced in the United States that seven pilots have been selected from the nation’s armed services for training as space vehicle pilots.
7 May 1960
A Lockheed U2 high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft over-flying the Soviet Union at an altitude of 43,890 meters (144,000 feet), piloted by Gary Powers, is shot down by a Soviet surface-to-air missile near Sverdlovsk.
5 May 1961
Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space, when he is carried into a sub-orbital trajectory in a Mercury capsule on a flight lasting 15 minutes 22 seconds.
5 May 1968
A Grumman Gulfstream II lands at London Gatwick after completing a 5,633 kilometer (3,500 mile) flight from Teterboro in New Jersey, becoming the first executive jet to make a non-stop transatlantic flight.
10 May 1972
Lieutenant Randy Cunningham and Lieutenant (Junior Grade) William Driscoll of the United States Navy (USN) shoot down Colonel Toon, the top North Vietnamese ace and two other MiG-17 aircraft and become the first United States aces of the Vietnam war. Later in the same mission, their aircraft, a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom, is hit by a surface-to-air missile (SAM), but they successfully return to their aircraft carrier.
8 May 2001
The New Zealand Government announces the disbandment of its two squadrons of A-4 Skyhawks and abandons all fast jet training. All flying tasks will end by 1 December 2001.
5 May 2004
Air France and Netherlands-based KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines) merge, the two airlines are now known as Air France-KLM.
9 May 2004
Southwest Airlines begins service to Philadelphia International Airport.