This Day in Aviation History Files, compiled by Don Kutter on the AVSIG forum at
 March 1

In 1912, Capt Albert Berry makes the first parachute descent
        from a powered aircraft in the US. He jumped from
        a Benoit aircraft piloted by Anthony Jannus at
        an altitude of 1,500 feet over Jefferson Barracks,
        St. Louis, MO.

Frances Rose Shore:  born March 1, 1917
        aka Dinah Shore; actress; singer; born in
        Winchester, Tennessee; had 80 chart hits
        and 10 Emmys.

William Maxwell Gaines:  born March 1, 1922
        Publisher; founded Mad Magazine; according to one
        source, he is a gourmet, wine expert, King Kong
        fanatic and a Zeppelin enthusiast.

Donald Kent "Deke" Slayton:  born March 1, 1924
        One of the original 7 Mercury astronauts chosen in
        April 1959; born in Sparta, Wisconsin; joined the
        Air Force in 1942 and trained at Vernon and Waco,
        Texas; B-25 pilot with the 340th Bombardment Group
        and flew 56 combat missions; later joined the 319th
        Bombardment Group and flew 7 more missions in A-26's;
        returned to instruct at Columbia, SC; test pilot at
        Edwards AFB from 1956 until 1959; was the Apollo
        docking module pilot for the Apollo-Soyuz test
        project in July 1975; among others, he was a member
        of the EAA, the Minnesota Air Guard Unit (109th) and
        the Confederate Air Force.

In 1928, USAAC Lt. Burnie R. Dallas and Beckwith Havens made
        the first transcontinental flight in an amphibious
        airplane. Total flight time in the Loening Amphibian
        was 32 hours, 45 minutes.

In 1947, the Aviation Cadet program, suspended since the end
        of WW-II, was reopened and programmed to train 3,000
        pilots over the next two years.

In 1954, the first detonation of a hydrogen bomb in the
        Marshall Islands.

In 1989, the first General Dynamics F-16A modified under the
        Air Force's air defense fighter program is delivered
        to the Air National Guard's 114th Tactical Fighter
        Training Squadron at Kingsley Field, Oregon.

                  March 2

Theodor Seuss Geisel:  born March 2, 1904
        aka Dr. Seuss; born in Springfield, Mass; attended
        Dartmouth College and Oxford University; first
        of his 44 books was published in 1937; other pen
        names included Theo LeSieg and Rosetta Stone; from
        1941 to 1943 he was the chief editorial cartoonist
        for the New York paper PM; during that time he
        drew over 400 political cartoons.

In 1910, Lt. Benjamin D. "Bennie" Foulois soloed in the
        Wright Signal Corps No.1 at Fort Sam Houston near
        San Antonio, Texas.

        Benny also was a member of the CAF. In 1961, the
        CAF Blue Book mentioned that Benny was the nation's
        senior military pilot.

In 1910, the name was chosen for a tetrahedral triplane
        designed by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell with the help
        of McCurdy and Baldwin as consulting engineers. The
        name of this flying machine was "Oionos." In the
        Greek language Oionos means "Omen." Bell assumed
        that this was the perfect name for his new creation,
        because in Greek history the feelings of the person
        at the time determines whether or not the "Omen"
        shall be good or bad. Bell was sure of a positive
        outcome towards this plane and he knew it would be a
        great success. Because of this the name Oionos made
        great sense.

In 1913, the first flight of the Sikorsky Le Grand.  It had
        a 92 foot wingspan, and for this first flight, was
        powered by just two engines. The first four engine
        flight would take place on May 13, 1913.

In 1952, the first flight of the Piper PA-23 Apache.

In 1964, Lockheed Test Pilot Bob Schumacher flies carrier
        trials in U-2G on USS Ranger (CV-61). Afterward 5
        CIA pilots under went carrier training.
In 1968, Lockheed rolled out the first C5-A Galaxy Transport
        at its Marietta, Georgia Facility. 

In 1969, at 15:40:11, Concorde F-WTSS began its first
        takeoff run in France.  The pilot was Andre Turcat,
        copilot Jacques Guignard, engineer observers Michel
        Retif and Henri Perrier. With afterburners lit in
        the four Rolls Royce SNECMA Olympus 593 turbojets,
        the aircraft travelled 4,700 feet and rotated at 205
        knots.  Landing gear and the nose were left down
        during the test flight which ended at 16:08.

In 1995, the 8th flight for Endeavour was launched as STS-67

                   March 3

Alexander Graham Bell:  born March 3, 1847
        Inventor; born in Edinburgh, Scotland; graduated from
        high school at 14; working with
        Thomas Watson, his patent for the telephone was
        issued on March 7,1876; in all he had 18 patents - 14
        for telephone and telegraph - 4 for the photophone -
        5 for aerial vehicles - 4 for hydroairplanes - 2 for
        a selenium cell; his work also included the initial
        work on fiber optics; in 1888 he founded the National
        Geographic Society.

        In 1907, he founded the Aerial Experiment Association
        (AEA) with Glenn Curtiss, Thomas Selfridge, Casey Baldwin,
        and J.A.D. McCurdy.  

General Matthew Bunker Ridgway:  born March 3, 1895
        born in Ft. Monroe, Virginia; graduated from West Point
        in 1917; promoted to Brigadier General and in 1942
        assumed command of the 82nd Infantry Division;
        selected to become one of the Army's first 2 airborne
        divisions; earned his paratrooper wings and in July
        1943 he commanded the Army's first night airborne
        operation into Sicily; he personally jumped with his
        troops into Normandy in June 1944 as part of D-Day;
        it was Ridgway who took over for MacArthur as overall
        commander in the Far East.

In 1910, the Mike Monoplane, a plane designed by Alexander
        Graham Bell, made two flights (on Alexander Graham
        Bell's sixty third birthday). It was a modified
        design of the machine which Bleriot flew across the
        English Channel.

        Although the plane was built by Baldwin and McCurdy
        in the facilities of the Canadian Aerodrome Company,
        it was quite different from the previous dromes. The
        propeller was placed in the front of the plane
        instead of the back, and the front control was
        placed in the rear. The wings were like those of a
        bird when its wings are spread out, one single wing.

Harlean Carpentier:  born March 3, 1911
        Actress; aka Jean Harlow; born in Kansas City, Missouri;
        she claimed her big break was being in Howard Hughes
        WW-I film Hells Angels.       

In 1911, Congress appropriated $125,000 for Army aviation
        and made $25,000 available to the service
        immediately. The purchase of five aircraft with
        these funds allowed the Army to retire Signal Corps
        No. 1. In May 1911, the aircraft was sent to the
        Wright factory at Dayton, Ohio, for refurbishing and
        eventual display at the Smithsonian Institution in
        Washington, D.C.

In 1915, the Naval Appropriations Act of 1915 added enlisted
        men and student aviators to those eligible for
        increased pay and allowances while on duty involving
        flying; increased the amount previously provided for
        qualified aviators; and in addition, provided for
        the payment of one year's pay to the next of kin of
        officers and men killed in aircraft accidents.

        The committee, initially given a budget of $5,000,
        would evolve into the National Aeronautics and Space
        Administration (NASA).

        A rider to the Naval Appropriations Act created the
        National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. Navy
        members in the original organization were Captain
        Mark L. Bristol and Naval Constructor Holden C.
        Richardson, Secretary.

In 1918, DIRIGIBLES IN FRANCE-- the AT-1 (Astra-Torres),
        having been obtained from the French on 1 March,
        made its first flight under American control at
        Paimboeuf. Prior to the armistice, the Navy obtained
        12 dirigibles from the French.

In 1919, in a Model C, William Boeing and pilot Eddie
        Hubbard make the first international airmail flight
        in North America.

In 1931, the Army ordered 135 P-12E pursuit biplanes.

In 1931, the Star Spangled Banner was officially adopted
        by Congress as the national anthem. During the war
        of 1812 (on September 14, 1814), poet Francis Scott
        Key wrote a poem entitled "To The Defense of Fort
        McHenry", not meaning for it to become a song, or
        a national anthem. After it gained popularity, it
        was suggested that it could be put to the British
        tune "To Anacraeon in Heaven", and, combined with
        that tune, it became the song "The Star Spangled
        Banner." It was ordered played at military and
        Naval occasions by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916.

In 1943, Clay Tice, whose squadron had moved to New Guinea
        and was re-equipped with P-38s in January 1943,
        destroyed one Zero in the Battle of the Bismarck

In 1959, NASA's Langley Research Center launched first in a
        series of six-stage solid fuel rocket research
        vehicles, the world's first, from Wallops Island,
        Va., to a speed of Mach 26 in a reentry physics

In 1962, the F4H-1 continued its assault on time-to-climb
        records at NAS Brunswick as Lieutenant Commander D.
        W. Nordberg piloted the Phantom II to 15,000 meters
        altitude in 114.54 seconds.

In 1964, the first flight of the Aerospatiale Super
        Caravelle (10-B) with Pratt & Whitney JT8D-7

In 1969, Apollo 9 was launched.  It completed 151 orbits of
        the Earth and included the first human test of the
        Lunar Module.

                  March 4

Sir William Napier Shaw:  born March 4, 1854
        Meterologist; born in Birmingham, West Midlands,
        England; was Director of the Meteorological Office
        in London from 1907 to 1920; introduced the 'millibar';
        also helped establish the "Polar Front" theory of
        cyclones propounded by Bjerknes. 

Knute Rockne:  born March 4, 1888
        born in Voss, Norway; moved to the US at the age of 4;
        worked for the US Postal Service for 4 years; entered
        Notre Dame at 22; in 1914 became assistant coach of ND;
        introduced the shift and forward pass into the game;
        in 1918, became head football coach at ND; in 1922
        put together the "Four Horsemen"; in 1928 began work
        for Studebaker; died in a plane crash in 1931.

In 1916, Captain Mark L. Bristol was assigned to command
        North Carolina (ACR 12) and, under a new title of
        Commander of the Air Service, assumed operational
        supervision over all aircraft, air stations, and the
        further development of aviation in the US Navy.

In 1924, the Army Air Service took on a new mission: aerial
        icebreaking.  Two Martin bombers and two DH-4's
        bombed the frozen Platte River at North Bend,
        Nebraska.  It took six hours to clear the ice.

In 1936, the launch of the zeppelin LZ-129, the Hindenburg.
        it was powered by 4 Daimler Benz DB-602 diesel engines.

In 1943, changes to the characteristics of Essex Class
        carriers were authorized by the Secretary, including
        installation of a Combat Information Center (CIC)
        and Fighter Director Station, additional anti-
        aircraft batteries, and a second flight deck
        catapult in lieu of one athwartships on the hangar

In 1947, --Operation Highjump--Air operations in the
        Antarctic ended. From 24 December 1946, six PBM's,
        based on seaplane tenders, operated in the open seas
        around the continent of Antarctica, and from 9
        February, six R4D's operated ashore from the
        airstrip at Little America. Together these aircraft
        logged 650 hours on photographic mapping flights
        covering 1,500,000 square miles of the interior, and
        5,500 miles of coastline, or the equivalent of about
        half the area of the United States and its entire
        coastline-Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf coasts

In 1948, a Test Pilot Training Division was established at
        the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, to
        instruct experienced fleet pilots in aeronautical
        engineering and techniques of flight testing. Ten
        years later this Division became the U.S. Naval Test
        Pilot School.

In 1948, NACA's Flight Research Division pilot, Herbert H.
        Hoover, became the first civilian to fly supersonic,
        in the XS-1 (No. 2) at Muroc, Calif.

In 1949, the Caroline Mars, a JRM-2 flying boat of Transport
        Squadron 2, set a new record for persons carried
        aloft by transporting 263 passengers and a crew of
        six on a Fleet Logistic Air Wings flight from San
        Diego to Alameda. The flight was of 2 hours 41
        minutes duration and the passengers were the
        officers and men of Air Group 15 on a routine
        transfer of station.

In 1952, Joe Walker is the first to fly variable-sweep wing
        X-5 to full 60 degree angle.  This concept is used
        today on the F-14, F-111 and the B-1.

In 1954, the first flight of the Lockheed XF-104

In 1957, (through March 15), Navy nonrigid airship ZPB-2
        completed nonstop round-trip Atlantic crossing,
        simultaneously establishing new world endurance
        record for unrefueled flight of 264 hours and 14
        minutes, Comdr. J. R. Hunt commanding.

                   March 5

Sir Rex Harrison:  born March 5, 1908
        Actor; born in Huyton, England; first film in 1937
        was Storm in a Teacup; also Cleopatra; Anna and the
        King of Siam; My Fair Lady.

In 1913, as a result of tests held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
        3-5 March, Lieutenant J. H. Towers reported that
        submarines were visible from the air at depths of
        from 30 to 40 feet.

In 1922, auxiliary jettisonable belly tank fitted to bomb
        rack of MB3A at Selfridge Field, Mich., increased
        flying radius to about 400 miles.

In 1936, Spitfire prototype No. K 5054 with armament and
        a 990 h.p Merlin "C" [Rolls-Royce Pv-12] engine
        turning a two-bladed [fixed pitch] wooden prop
        first flown. Full production of the Spitfire
        Mark I began at Supermarine factory in early 1937
        however, unexpected difficulties caused production
        delays and the first service Spitfire IA was not
        flown until May 14, 1938.

        The first RAF unit to be equipped with the Spitfire
        was No.19 Squadron at Duxford on August 4, 1938.
        These aircraft were delivered with de Havilland
        fixed-pitch two-bladed wooden propellers and the
        990-hp Merlin C. Due to the shortage of Browning
        Machine Guns, these A-wing aircraft came equipped
        with 4 guns rather than 6. 
        Spitfire's classic design was work of R. J.
        Mitchell, responsible for the Supermarine racing
        seaplanes which first won the Schneider Trophy for
        Great Britain in 1931. In all, 18,298 Merlin and
        Griffon engined Spitfires of all Marks were built
        by 1945.

In 1943, fifth prototype of Gloster Meteor, first flew,
        powered by Halford H-1 turbojet engines, forerunners
        of the De Havilland Goblin.

In 1956, A. J. Eggers and C. A. Syvertson submitted concept
        for "interference lift," often referred to as
        "compression lift," which contributed important
        input for Mach 3 configurations ("Aircraft
        Configurations Developing High Lift-Drag Ratios at
        High Supersonic Speeds," NACA RM -A55105).

        We think that the compression lift idea was
        subsequently used in the NAA Mach 3 XB-70 Valkyrie,
        where the engine nacelle generated a "wake" that the
        wing rode much like a surfboard would ride a wave, thus
        increasing lift and reducing drag at high mach numbers.

In 1966, U-2A #6681 delivered to NASA. This aircraft is now
        on display at Ames Research Center, Moffett NAS, CA
In 1970, the first NASA checkout flight of the YF-12A, Fitz
        Fulton as pilot.

                   March 6

In 1918, the Bureau of Navigation established instrument
        allowances for naval aircraft allotting a compass,
        two altimeters and a clock for service seaplanes and
        flying boats; a compass, altimeter, clock and
        statoscope for dirigibles and free balloons; and an
        altimeter and clock for kite balloons and training

In 1918, an unmanned flying-bomb type plane was successfully
        launched and flown for 1,000 yards at the Sperry
        Flying Field, Copiague, Long Island. The launching
        device was a falling weight type catapult.

In 1918, 94th Aero Squadron (Pursuit) - Major Raoul Lufbery,
        1st Lieutenant Douglas Campbell and Edward V. Rickenbacker
        took-off at Villeneuve-les-Vertus 8:15 AM in 3 type
        XXVII Nieuports. This constituted the first all-American
        flight over the lines by an American trained squadron.

Leroy Gordon Cooper Jr.:  born March 6, 1927
        One of the original 7 Mercury astronauts; born in
        Shawnee, Oklahoma

In 1947, first four-engine jet bomber, the XB-45 built by
        North American, made first test flight at Muroc,
        Calif., with George Krebs as pilot. Its engines were
        arranged in pairs in single nacelles in each wing.

In 1961, Equipped with turbofan engines, B-52H made its
        first flight at Wichita, Kans.

In 1965, a Sikorsky SH-3A helicopter, piloted by Commander
        J. R. Williford, took off from Hornet berthed at
        North Island, Calif., and 15 hours and 51 minutes
        later landed on the Franklin D. Roosevelt at sea off
        Mayport, Fla. The flight surpassed the existing
        distance record for helicopters by more than 700

                   March 7

In 1919, in a test at NAS Hampton Roads, Lieutenant (jg) F.
        M. Johnson launched an N-9 landplane from a sea sled
        making approximately 50 knots. The sea sled was a
        powerful motor boat designed to launch an aircraft
        at a point within range of the target and had been
        developed experimentally at the recommendation of
        and under the guidance of Commander H. C. Mustin.

In 1921, Captain William A. Moffett relieved Captain
        T. T. Craven as Director of Naval Aviation.

In 1923, Navy participation in aviation fuel research and
        development was indicated in the Aeronautical Engine
        Laboratory report on systematic tests, conducted by
        the Bureau of Standards, on mixtures of alcohol-
        gasoline and benzol-gasoline. Industrial and
        governmental research with fuels, of which this was
        a part, eventually resulted in the development of
        tetraethyl-lead as an additive for aviation fuels
        and of iso-octane as a standard for antiknock

In 1924, Lt. E. H. Barksdale and B. Jones (USAS) flew DH-4B
        Liberty 400 on instruments from McCook Field,
        Dayton, Ohio, to Mitchel Field, N.Y.

Valentina Tereshkova: born March 7, 1937
        First female cosmonaut; born in Maslennikovo, Yaroslavl,
        Russia; started school at the age of 8; dropped out at
        17 to support the family; took up skydiving and made
        her first jump at the age of 22.

        Female cosmonaut requirements were: under 30 years of
        age, under 170 cm tall, under 70 kg in weight, parachute
        training of at least 5 to 6 months of duration. No pilot
        experience was necessary as the Vostok was completely
        automatic. Parachute experience was essential since the
        cosmonaut was ejected clear of the capsule as part of
        re-entry and landed using a personnal parachute.

        In 1962 she was selected as 1 of 5 women to be a
        cosmonaut. During training, she was commissioned as
        a Lieutenant in the Soviet Air Force. On June 16, 1963
        she became the first woman in space when Vostok 6
        was launched.

In 1939, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadian Orchestra
        recorded Auld Lang Syne.  It was supposed to be the
        closing song for his show but it caught on one New
        Year's Eve and the rest is history.

In 1942, the practicability of using a radio sonobuoy in
        aerial anti-submarine warfare was demonstrated in an
        exercise conducted off New London by the K-5 blimp
        and the S-20 submarine. The buoy could detect the
        sound of the submerged submarine's propellers at
        distances up to three miles, and radio reception
        aboard the blimp was satisfactory up to five miles.

In 1945, the tandem rotor XHRP-X transport helicopter, built
        under Navy contract by P-V Engineering Forum made
        its first flight at the contractor's plant at Sharon
        Hill, Pennsylvania with Frank N. Piasecki as pilot
        and George N. Towson as copilot.

In 1946, the Chief of Naval operations directed that Ground
        Controlled Approach equipment (GCA) be adopted as
        the standard blind landing system for the Navy.

In 1947, USN V-2 flight from WSPG took first photograph at
        100 mile altitude.

In 1956, fleet assignment of the F3H-2N Demon, all-weather
        fighter, began with the delivery of six F3H-2N's to
        VF-14 at NAS Cecil Field.

In 1956, Dan Perkins, engineer at Britain's Royal Aircraft
        Establishment, makes his first flight in an inflatable
        airplane in Bedfordshire, England. It took 25 minutes
        to inflate using a large domestic vacuum cleaner.

In 1957, a turbo-catapult, powered by the exhaust of six jet
        engines and designed primarily for use by Marine
        Corps expeditionary forces, launched its first
        aircraft at Georgetown, Del. The airplane, an
        AD-4NA, weighing 16,400 pounds and piloted by Joseph
        Barkley, All-American Engineering test pilot, was
        launched at a speed of 90 knots in a run of 210

In 1958, an early warning WV-2E prototype, with a rotodome
        radar antenna mounted on the fuselage, was accepted
        from Lockheed and assigned to the Naval Air
        Development Unit at NAS South Weymouth for
        preliminary evaluation.

In 1961, the North American X-15, composed of an internal
        structure of titanium and a skin surface of a chrome
        nickel alloy known as Inconel X, set speed records
        with Mach 4.43. The pilot was Major Robert White,

                   March 8

Otto Hahn:  born March 8, 1879
        born in Frankfurt-on-Main; Nobel Prize winner;
        the father of the "unmeasurable quantities

In 1910, Elise Deroche becomes the first woman to receive
        a pilot's certificate. She received Pilot's
        Certificate No. 36. She was killed in an airplane
        accident in 1919.

In 1910, Claude Moore-Brabazon receives the Royal Aero Club's
        first aviator certificate in London.  Charles Rolls
        receives the second.

In 1918, Majors E. C. Schneider and J. L. Whitney (USA)
        reached an artificial altitude of 34,000 feet in
        24 minutes, at Signal Corps Laboratory, Mineola,

In 1923, Lunar radiation observations at an altitude of
        19,000 feet made by Russell M. Otis in DH-4B over
        San Diego, Lt. F. W. Seifert as pilot.

In 1924, the race for the Curtiss Marine Trophy at Miami was
        won by Lieutenant L. V. Grant in a Vought VE-7, at
        an average speed of 116.1 m.p.h.

In 1945, a rocket powered Gorgon II- A air-to-air guided
        missile was launched from a PBY-5A and achieved
        an estimated speed of 550 m.p.h. in its first
        powered test flight, conducted off Cape May, N.J.
        under the direction of Lieutenant Commander M. B.
        Taylor.  This was developed by the Navy Bureau of

In 1945, the fleet carrier U.S.S. Franklin arrives at
        Ulithi Atol (of "Mr. Roberts" fame) and delivers Air
        Group 5 which included VMF-214 F4Us (of "Pappy
        Boyington" fame).

In 1950, Marshall Voroshilov announced that the Soviet Union
        also has the atom bomb.

In 1955, first USAF unit of F-84 jet fighters formed which
        were capable of being launched and recovered by B-36
        mother planes, the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance
        Squadron at Great Falls AFB.

In 1960, first USAF Atlas flight using inertial guidance
        system. This guidance system used Burroughs' first
        transistor computer.  The reliability requirements
        were severe and far beyond possibility for vacuum
        tube technology.
        Ray Tackett's Dad, along with a couple of other
        chemists, devised life tests which revealed much
        about the chemistry of transistor manufacture and
        packaging (the cases which allow one to handle the
        silcon or germanium inside). They all worked
        together to eliminate electrolytic corrosion (a/k/a
        "purple plague") in transistors.  One result was the
        extreme reliability we now expect from semiconductor
        equipment, even at home.
        Another result was the computer itself.  It provided
        guidance for more than the Atlas at the Cape. It had
        participated in more than 300 launches. During its
        service life, it had no failures which affected a
        launch, not even one hold during a countdown was
        ever attributed to that computer.

In 1974, the opening of Charles de Gaulle Airport at Roissy en

In 1993, the rollout of the Boeing 747-400 Freighter.

                   March 9

Amerigo Vespucci:  born March 9, 1451
        born in Florence, Italy; made early voyages to South
        America; named Rio de Janeiro because he first sailed
        into the harbor on January 1

In 1911, the Wright Company made a formal offer to train one
        pilot for the Navy contingent upon the purchase of
        one airplane for the sum of $5,000. This offer was
        later made unconditional, and Lieutenant John
        Rodgers was ordered to Dayton for flight training.

        Someone asked if John was any relation to Cal Rodgers
        of "Vin Fizz" fame. I found a few sources that
        claim they were cousins. I'm not sure of the exact
        family tree but John's ancestors include Commodore
        John Rodgers (Great Grandfather 1772 - 1838) and
        Rear Admiral John Rodgers (Grandfather 1812 - 1882).
        All three John Rodgers were the basis for the
        US Naval ships bearing their name (USS John Rodgers
        DD-983). I believe all were born in the Harve-de-
        Grace, MD area.

        John was also Naval Aviator #2 after Lt TG Ellyson.
        Cal was unfit for military service due to hearing
        loss from scarlet Fever. Apparently he hooked up
        with John around 1911 and was introduced to

        The Wright Museum has more info on this. I did a
        search on John Rodgers and "Aristocracy of

In 1912, interest in steel and aluminum as aircraft
        structural materials was evident in a letter from
        Assistant Naval Constructor H. C. Richardson, who
        wrote to Captain Chambers, "From all I can gather,
        there is little doubt that much greater confidence
        would be felt if pontoons were constructed with a
        metal skin. . . . It would be unwise to make any
        requisition for such a construction until a
        practically standard design has been developed."

In 1914, the wind tunnel at Washington Navy Yard was tested.
        Calibration required about 3 months, and its first
        use in July was a test of ship's ventilator cowling.

In 1918, a revised training program for Naval Aviators,
        Seaplanes, was initiated which provided that, after
        a period of general training, all student aviators
        specialize in one of three general types of
        seaplanes; that they follow a syllabus which divided
        the program into elementary, advanced, and advanced
        specialization courses; and designated the stations
        at which the respective courses would be given.

In 1919, Lieutenant Commander E. O. McDonnell, piloting a
        Sopwith Camel, made the first flight from a turret
        platform on a U.S. Navy battleship as he
        successfully took off from No. 2 turret of Texas
        (Battleship No. 35), lying at anchor at
        Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 1927, the first passenger transport, the JR-1 trimotor,
        was purchased from the Ford Motor Company following
        a demonstration at NAS Anacostia.

In 1927, Captain H. C. Gray (AAC) ascended to 28,910 feet in
        a free balloon for an American altitude record.
        (World record held by Suring and Berson of Germany
        who ascended to 35,433 feet on June 30, 1901.)

Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin:  born March 9, 1934
        Soviet Cosmonaut; first man in space; born near
        Smolensk, Russia; piloted Vostok 1, the first
        manned space vehicle; killed in a test flight
        of an aircraft.

In 1935, Hermann Goering announced the existence of the
        German Air Force to Ward Price, correspondent of the
        Daily Mail (London), an event of considerable
        importance in international power politics for it
        implied unilateral breaking of the Treaty of
        Versailles prohibiting Germany possession of an air

In 1940, a Beechcraft AD-17 biplane was flown to altitude of
        21,050 feet over the Antarctic to measure cosmic
        rays for the U.S. Antarctic Expedition, piloted by
        T. Sgt. T. A. Petras (USMC).

In 1942, VR-1, the first of 13 VR squadrons established
        under the Naval Air Transport Service during World
        War II, was established at Norfolk, Commander C. K.
        Wildman commanding.

In 1961, Harold B. Finger was appointed Assistant Director
        for Nuclear Applications in NASA's Office of Launch
        Vehicle Programs, and continued as Manager of the
        AEC-NASA Space Nuclear Propulsion Office (SNPO).

In 1964, a ceremony was held at the David Taylor Model Basin
        Aerodynamics Laboratory commemorating the 50th
        anniversary of its establishment. Originally set up
        at the Washington Navy Yard, the Laboratory was
        moved to its present location in 1944. Captain
        Walter S. Diehl, USN (Ret.), an aerodynamics
        authority of world repute, attended the ceremony and
        received a citation for his outstanding
        contributions to the work of the Laboratory.

In 1971, construction began on the joint U.S./British naval
        air and radio communications station located on the
        Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia. Later in the
        month, Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 40,
        supported by US surface vessels, commenced the major
        construction effort.

In 1971, a two year program investigating supercritical wing
        design begins with the first flight of a TF-8A.  The
        pilot is Tom McMurtry and the program verifies lab
        research saying the unusual wing shape will increase
        flight efficiency and lower fuel usage.

In 1979, the first flight of the Dassault Super Mirage 4000.

In 1993, the NASA SR-71 flew on its first science mission,
        taking a JPL ultraviolet camera to 85,000 feet for
        night photo studies.  This was also the first night
        mission for the SR-71

                   March 10

In 1910, William Boeing bought Heath's shipyard on the
        Duwamish River.  It would later become his first
        airplane factory.

In 1925, the first flight of the Supermarine Southampton.
        Pilot Henri Biard at the controls.

In 1928, $900,000 was authorized for completion of the
        Wright Field Experimental Laboratory.

In 1943, the Fourteenth Air Force was formed under the
        command of Major General Claire Chennault.

In 1948, the carrier suitability of the FJ-1 Fury jet
        fighter was tested on board Boxer off San Diego,
        with a number of landings and takeoffs by Commander
        Evan Aurand and Lieutenant Commander R. M. Elder of
        Fighter Squadron 5A.

In 1950, Lightweight Metal Alloy Developed -- the Secretary
        of Defense announced that the Bureau of Aeronautics,
        under a research program begun in 1946, had
        developed a new lightweight titanium alloy for use
        in jet aircraft engines. The alloy was described as
        being as strong as high-strength steel and only half
        as heavy, highly resistant to corrosion, and so
        composed as to retain its basic properties at high

In 1957, ion engine research begun at NACA Lewis Laboratory.

In 1959, the first captive flight of the North American X-15
        (No. 1) under a modified B-52 with A. Scott
        Crossfield in the cockpit; additional captive
        flights were made on April 1, April 10, and May 21.
        We believe this B52 is currently parked at the Pima
        Air Museum in Tucson. It still has the X-15 hook up
        rig beneath the wing and approx. 30 to 40 X-15
        drop logos painted on the side of the fuselage.
       (Thanks Alan)

In 1961, NASA awarded contracts to Convair, Lockheed, and
        North American for studies of space vehicles beyond
        the Saturn class, having first-stage thrust of 6 to
        12 million pounds.

In 1978, the first flight of the Dassault Mirage 2000.

                   March 11

Dorothy Gish:  born March 11, 1898
        Silent film actress; born in Massillon, Ohio;
        acted in 111 films from 1911 to 1963.

In 1912, an early, if limited, interest in the helicopter
        was shown as the Secretary of the Navy authorized
        expenditure of not more than $50 for developing
        models of a helicopter design proposed by Chief
        Machinist's Mate F. E. Nelson of West Virginia
        (Armored Cruiser No. 5). The Secretary's
        accompanying policy implication was followed with a
        few exceptions for the next 30 years: "The
        Department recognizes the value of the helicopter
        principle in the design of naval aircraft and is
        following closely the efforts of others in this

In 1918, Lt. Paul Baer becomes the first AEF Air Service
        member awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

        He was born in Ft. Wayne on 29 January 1895. On
        18 February 18', N124 (French) became 103rd Aero
        (USAS)in which( converted squadron) he was flying.
        On 11 March 18' he [being alone] attacked 7 enemy
        fighters near Reimes bringing one down and
        scattering the other six (6). For this action and
        his action on the 16th he was cited for the DSC.

        Some other notes: Baer Field, Fort Wayne, Indiana
        named after him. Paul Baer scored the VERY FIRST
        victory for the USAS in World War 1, when he brought
        down an Albatros-D over Cerney-les-Reimes at 11:10
        hours of 11 March 18'. His total kill credit was 9. 
        He was killed in an airplane crash in Hong Kong
        Harbor on 9 December 1930.
        1st Lt. Paul Bear:  DSC (with Oak Leaf);
        Croix-de-Guerre; Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur.
        Aviateru-Militaire ~ avion-de-chasse-extraordinaire!
        (Thanks John)

        reported arrangements were being made for daily
        weather flights to an altitude of 10,000 feet to
        obtain weather data and to test upper-air sounding
        equipment. These flights commenced in mid-April, and
        the following February the schedule was extended to
        include Saturday, Sunday and holiday flights, with
        the altitude being increased to 15,000 feet.

Rupert Murdoch:  born March 11, 1931
        Global newspaper publisher; owner of Fox TV Network;
        20th Century Fox Movies; New York Post; London Sun;
        London Times; Los Angeles Dodgers.

In 1933, dirigible Macon was christened at Akron, Ohio. It
        made its first flight on April 21 with 105 persons

In 1946, the first successful operation of afterburner at
        altitude conditions in America, in Lewis Altitude
        Wind Tunnel, and reported by Fleming and Dietz.

In 1957, a speed record for a transcontinental passenger
        flight was established when a Boeing 707 jet
        transport, with 42 passengers and a crew of 10, flew
        2,335 miles from Seattle to Washington in 3 hours
        and 48 minutes.

In 1959, the HSS-2 amphibian all-weather anti submarine
        warfare helicopter made its first flight piloted by
        Sikorsky test pilot R. S. Decker.

In 1979, a P-3B Orion from NATC Patuxent River flew the
        first transoceanic flight guided by NavStar, the
        space-based radio navigation system. The six-hour
        flight was from NAS Barbers Point to NAS Moffett
        Field. The NavStar system comprised 24 satellites in
        earth orbit providing radio navigational

In 1993, the first flight of the Airbus A-321.

                   March 12

Clement Studebaker:  born March 12, 1831
        Manufacturer from horse drawn vehicles to
        automobiles; in 1852, opened a blacksmith shop in
        South Bend, Indiana; supplied weapons to the Army
        during the Civil War.

In 1908, Casey Baldwin flew an Aeroclub of America "Red Wing"
        just over 100 yards before crashing on Lake Keuka.
        The AEA later claimed that this was the "First Public
        Flight in the America's."  This in contrast to the
        Wright's First Private Flight in the America's.

        On a bitterly cold day, the Red Wing, piloted by
        Casey Baldwin, sped over the icy surface of the lake
        on runners, bounded into the air, and actually flew
        for a distance of 318 feet 11 inches. Being virtually
        uncontrollable since it lacked any stabilizing device,
        it flipped over on one side and crashed. However,
        disregarding the practically unpublicized flights
        of the Wright brothers, this was the first time that
        an aeroplane was flown publicly in America.

In 1919, the feasibility of using voice radio and telephone
        relay for air to ground communications was
        demonstrated as Lieutenant Harry Sadenwater, in an
        airborne flying boat, carried on a conversation with
        the Secretary of the Navy who was seated at his desk
        in the Navy Department some 65 miles away.

Walter Schirra Jr.: born March 12, 1923
        Astronaut; one of original Mercury 7; born in
        Hackensack, NJ; only astronaut to fly in Mercury,
        Gemini and Apollo programs; 5th in space in the
        Sigma 7; commander of Gemini VI-A including a
        rendezvous with Gemini VII; commander on Apollo 7
        which simulated docking with the Lunar module.

In 1932, new landing aids were installed at Newark, NJ.

In 1935, the Navy issued a contract to Pitcairn Autogiro
        Company to remove the fixed wings from the XOP-1,
        thereby converting it to the XOP-2 which thus became
        the Navy's first heavier-than-air aircraft without
        fixed wings.

In 1949, development of a multichannel telemetering system
        announced by the Navy.

In 1965, four enlisted men completed 24 days of living in a
        rotating room in a test conducted at Pensacola by
        the Naval School of Aviation Medicine to determine
        the spinning rate men can endure without discomfort
        and to check out procedures for conditioning men for
        space flight.

                   March 13

Albert William Stevens:  born March 13, 1886
        Army officer and balloonist; credited with taking
        the first photograph of the Earth's curvature (1930)
        and the first photograph of the shadow of the moon
        cast on the Earth during an eclipse (1932).

In 1910, the first flight in Switzerland is made by Capt
        P. Englehardt who takes off in a Wright Flyer from a
        frozen lake in St Moritz.

In 1913, Captain W. I. Chambers was awarded the medal of the
        Aeronautical Society for the year 1912 and cited for
        "his unusual achievements in being the first to
        demonstrate the usefulness of the aeroplane in
        navies, in developing a practical catapult for the
        launching of aeroplanes from ships, in assisting in
        the practical solution of the hydroaeroplane by the
        production in association with others of the flying
        boat, in having been instrumental in the
        introduction into our halls of Congress of bills for
        a National Aerodynamic Laboratory, and a Competitive
        Test, and through his perseverance and able efforts
        in advancing the progress of Aeronautics in many
        other channels."

In 1919, the Chief of Naval Operations issued a preliminary
        program for postwar naval airplane development.
        Specialized types desired were fighters, torpedo
        carriers and bombers for fleet use; single-engine,
        twin-engine and long distance patrol and bomber
        planes for station use; and a combination land and
        seaplane for Marine Corps use.

In 1929, Rear Admiral W. A. Moffett was appointed for a
        third consecutive tour as Chief of the Bureau of

In 1959, Aviation Cadet E. R. Clark soloed in a TT-1 Pinto,
        the first student in naval aviation history to solo
        a jet without previous experience in propeller

In 1969, Apollo 9 Astronauts James A. McDivitt, USAF, David
        R. Scott, USAF, and Russell L. Schweickart were
        recovered by a helicopter from HS-3 off Guadalcanal
        after completing a 10-day orbit of the earth.

                   March 14

John Luther Jones:  born March 14, 1864
        aka Casey Jones; railroad engineer; folk legend;
        born in Jordan, Kentucky; worked in Cacey, Kentucky
        (which is where the "Casey" comes from); in 1888
        started work for the Illinois Central RR.

Frank Borman:  born March 14, 1928
        Astronaut; born in Gary, Indiana; graduated from
        West Point in 1950; flew fighters in the Philippines;
        commanded Gemini 7, the first rendezvous with Gemini
        VI; commanded Apollo 8 which was the first to orbit
        the Moon.

In 1931, the first liquid-fuel rocket successfully launched in
        Europe; a methane-liquid oxygen rocket constructed
        by Johannes Winkler and flown from Dessau, Germany.

Eugene Cernan:  born March 14, 1934
        Astronaut; born in Chicago, Illinois; member of the
        crew on Gemini 9 where he was the second American to
        walk in space; as part of Apollo 10, he orbited the
        Moon and inside the Lunar Module he descended to 
        within 10 miles of the Moon's surface; as commander
        of Apollo 17, he walked on the Moon.

In 1934, Dr. A. Hoyt Taylor, head of the Radio Division of
        the Naval Research Laboratory, authorized a project
        for development of pulse radar (as it was later
        called) to detect ships and aircraft. The basic
        concept, which had been proposed by Leo C. Young,
        involved special sending, receiving and display
        equipment all mounted in close proximity.

In 1947, the Navy took over four B-29-BWs for long-range
        search missions. The designation P2B-1S was assigned.
        Later, one of the P2Bs (84029) was modified as the
        carrier aircraft for the Douglas D-558-II Skyrocket
        high-speed rocket-powered research aircraft. The
        P2B aircraft was named "Fertile Myrtle" and carried
        the NACA number of 137. The bomb bay was extensively

                   March 15

In 1916, the first U.S. tactical air unit in the field, the
        1st Aero Squadron commanded by Capt. B. D. Foulois,
        began operations with General Pershing's expedition
        into Mexico against Pancho Villa. Link from John:

In 1921, the Metallurgical Laboratory at the Naval Aircraft
        Factory reported that a high-strength, chromium
        -vanadium steel alloy had proven satisfactory both
        in extensive laboratory tests and in the actual
        manufacture of aircraft fittings. These findings
        marked an important advance in the development of
        metal as a high-strength aircraft structural

In 1923, the training of nucleus crews for the rigid
        airships Shenandoah (ZR-1) and Los Angeles (ZR-3),
        which had been underway since 1 July 1922 at NAS
        Hampton Roads, opened at a new location when ground
        school work started at NAS Lakehurst under Captain
        Anton Heinan, lighter-than-air expert, formerly of
        the German Navy.

Alan Bean:  born March 15, 1932
        Astronaut; born in Wheeler, Texas; was the Lunar
        Module pilot on the Apollo 12 mission and became the
        fourth man to walk on the Moon;in 1973, commanded the
        Skylab 3 mission

In 1935, The first flight of the XP3Y-1/PBY-1 prototype.

In 1944, the twin-engined North American Mitchell, PBJ-1H,
        was taken into combat for the first time in its
        naval career in action on Rabaul by pilots of Marine
        Bombing Squadron 413. VMB-413 flew its first combat
        missions from Sterling Island, flying both day
        and night bombing strikes against targets in the
        Rabaul and Bougainville areas.

In 1946, the first American-assembled V-2 static fired at
        White Sands Proving Ground.

In 1949, the Military Air Transport Service (MATS)
        established Global Weather Central at Offutt AFB in
        Nebraska for support of SAC.

In 1949, two pilots set out on what was to become a
        1008 hour, 2 minute non-stop flight endurance record
        aboard the "Sunkist Lady."  Barris and Riedels
        flight was sponsored by "Fullerton Chamber of
        Commerce", which collected donations from the
        public. See for more

In 1957, a ZPG-2 airship, commanded by Commander J. R. Hunt,
        landed at NAS Key West, Florida, after a flight that
        began 4 March at South Weymouth, Mass., and circled
        over the Atlantic Ocean toward Portugal, the African
        coast and back for a new world record in distance
        and endurance, covering 9,448 statute miles and
        remaining airborne 264 hours 12 minutes, without
        refueling. For his accomplishment in commanding the
        airship on this flight, Commander Hunt was
        awarded the 1958 Harmon International Trophy for

In 1960, George C. Marshall Space Flight Center at
        Huntsville, Alabama, named by Executive Order of the

                  March 16

In 1921, U.S. Public Health Service initiated aerial survey
        of the Mississippi Valley watershed.

In 1926, Robert H. Goddard launched the world's first liquid
        fueled rocket at Auburn, Mass., which traveled 184
        feet in 2 1/2 seconds. This event was the "Kitty
        Hawk" of rocketry.

Vladimir Mikhaylovich Komarov:  born March 16, 1927
        Cosmonaut; born in Moscow, Russia; pilot at age 15;
        commanded Voskhod I which was the first three person
        space capsule and the first to touchdown with Soviet
        Cosmonauts inside; in 1967, he dies attempting Earth
        reentry as part of Soyuz I.

Walter Cunningham:  born March 16, 1932
        Astronaut; Lunar Module pilot on Apollo 7; first flight
        of the Apollo series; born in Creston, Iowa

In 1936, Robert H. Goddard's classic report on "Liquid
        Propellant Rocket Development," reviewing his
        liquid-fuel rocket research and flight testing since
        1919, was published by the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1944, at seminar at NACA Langley Laboratory, attended by
        Army, Navy, and NACA personnel, NACA proposed on the
        basis of considerable study that a jet-propelled
        transonic research airplane be developed. This
        proposal ultimately led to the Bell X-1 research
        airplane project.

In 1949, the first experimental track-type landing gear
        delivered to USAF, received by 314th Troop Carrier
        Wing from Fairchild Aviation Corp. for installation
        on C-82 aircraft.

In 1953, Republic delivered the 4,000th F-84 Thunderjet to
        the Air Force.  The F-84 had been in production
        since 1946.

In 1961, NASA Robert H. Goddard Space Flight Center
        officially dedicated at Greenbelt, Md., dedication
        address delivered by Dr. Detlev Bronk, President of
        the National Academy of Sciences. It was the 35th
        anniversary of Dr. Goddard's successful launching of
        the world's first liquid fuel rocket.

In 1966, the destroyer, Leonard F. Mason (DD 852) recovered
        astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and David R. Scott in
        Gemini 8, who after completing the first space
        docking with another satellite, experienced control
        difficulties which necessitated an emergency landing
        in the Pacific 500 miles east of Okinawa.

In 1971, the first SH-2D Lamps (Light Airborne Multi-Purpose
        System) helicopter test flight took place at Kaman's
        Bloomfield, Connecticut Facility. This flight
        followed testing aboard Sims to determine deck
        strength for helicopter operations. It was announced
        later in the month that 115 H-2 helicopters would be
        committed to the Lamps program.

                   March 17

               St. Patrick's Day

Gottlieb Daimler:  born March 17, 1834
        Automotive engineer; Founded the "Daimler
        Motoren-Gesellschaft". After his death, the company
        merged with Carl Benz' "Benz und Compagnie"
        establishing the "Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft".

Gloria Swanson:  born March 17, 1899
        Actress; born in the Lake View district of Chicago, IL;
        her dad worked for the Army so she lived in many
        locations including Key West FL and San Juan Puerto Rico.
Nat King Cole:  born March 17, 1919
        Musician; singer

In 1920, to overcome an acute shortage of US Navy pilots, a
        change in the flight training program was approved
        which separated the heavier-than-air (Seaplane) and
        the lighter-than-air (Dirigible) courses; and reduced
        the overall training period from 9 to 6 months for
        the duration of the shortage.

James Irwin:  born March 17, 1930
        Astronaut; born in Pittsburgh, PA; member of Apollo 15
        crew; landed on Moon and drove the Lunar Rover around.

In 1936, the first flight of the prototype Armstrong
        Whitworth AW-38 Whitley MK-I. Pilot was Alan
        Campbell Orde at Whitley Abbey.

In 1941, the Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics approved a
        proposal for establishing a special NACA committee
        to promptly review the status of jet propulsion and
        recommend plans for its application to flight and
        assisted takeoff.

In 1947, the USAAF's first multi-engine jet bomber, the North
        American SB-45 Tornado, flew for the first time at
        Muroc Dry Lake, California.  This was the first jet
        aircraft to be refueled in the air.  The plane was
        powered by four Allison built General Electric
        J-35-A turbojets. Pilot for the first flight was
        George Krebs and the flight was speed restricted
        because the landing gear doors would not close

In 1958, an experiment testing the behavior of crews under
        conditions of long confinement was concluded at
        Wright Air Development Center, as five Air Force
        officers ended a 5-day simulated space flight.

In 1960, X-15 (No. 2) passed stress flight test.

In 1961, the first Northrop T-38 supersonic jet trainer was
        delivered to USAF Air Training Command at Randolph
        Air Force Base, Texas.

In 1966, the X-22A VTOL research aircraft made its first
        flight at Buffalo, N.Y.

In 1975, approval for Service Use was given to the S-3A

In 1978, NASA selected four two-man crews for early orbital
        flights of the space shuttle. CAPT John W. Young,
        USN, was selected as commander and Commander Robert
        L. Crippen, USN, as pilot for the first scheduled
        orbital test. Colonel Joe H. Engle, USAF, and
        Commander Richard H. Truly, USN, were selected as
        the backup crew. Also included in the first group of
        two-man crews was Lieutenant Colonel Jack R. Lousma,

                   March 18

Rudolf Diesel:  born March 18, 1858
        Thermal engineer; born in Paris, France; designed
        the "diesel" engine; in 1893, his model ran under
        its own power for the first time; for the Paris
        Exposition in 1900, the engine was powered by
        peanut oil.

        Adolphus Busch met Diesel during a visit to Germany,
        and as a result, Adolphus Busch provided financial
        backing for the manufacture of the engine. Adolphus
        then formed the Diesel Motor Company in 1898. 
        That same year, a gigantic, four-cycle, two-cylinder
        engine rated at 60 horsepower was completed. The
        engine was later installed in the power plant at the
        Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis, the first diesel
        engine every used commercially in the world.
        It was reported that Diesel fell or jumped from an
        English steamer in 1913.
In 1936, the flight test of the XN3N-1, prototype of the
        Yellow Peril, a primary trainer biplane, was
        completed at NAS Pensacola.

In 1943, 8th Air Force bombers begin a campaign against the
        Vegesack U-Boat Yard. The Vegesack mission marks the
        first successful use of automatic flight control
        equipment (AFCE) a device that links the bombardier
        with the automatic pilot thus allowing the
        bombardier to fly the aiplane on the approach to the

In 1945, the Douglas XBT2D-1 (Destroyer II) had its first
        flight at El Segundo, California.  Pilot was LaVerne
        Brown.  It was powered by a Wright R-3350-24W Cyclone
        engine. Accepted by the Navy, its designation changed
        to AD-1 and it became the Skyraider.

In 1954, Boeing rolled out the first production B-52A
        (52-0001) Stratofortress at Seattle with appropriate
        fanfare. Several thousand people were there for the
        ceremony, and USAF Chief of Staff General Nathan F.
        Twining addressed the crowd. It made its first
        flight on August 5, 1954.

In 1965, the USSR launched Voskhod 2.  This was the flight
        where Alexi Leonov accomplished the first spacewalk.

In 1974, the first operational F-14 Tomcat fighter aircraft
        made its maiden landings and takeoffs from the
        Enterprise. The operations were conducted by VF-1
        and VF-2 of Attack Carrier Air Wing FOURTEEN.

                   March 19

Guiseppe Bellanca:  born March 19, 1886
        Aviation designer; Bellanca Aircraft; born in Sicily;
        from 1912 to 1916 he ran the Bellance Airplane School
        in Mineola, Long Island; after WW-I he joined the
        Wright Aeronautical Corporation; a Wright-Bellanca
        plane, the Columbia, piloted by Clarence Chamberlain
        was the first to cross the Atlantic with a passenger
        (Charles A. Levine); he formed Bellanca Aviation in
        New Castle Delaware and one of his planes, piloted by
        Clyde Pangborn and Hugh Herdon Jr, was the first to make
        a non-stop crossing of the Pacific (in 1931).

In 1910, Orville Wright opened the first Wright Flying
        School in Montgomery, Alabama on a site that would
        later become Maxwell AFB.

Adolf Galland:  born March 19, 1912
        German WW-II ace; born in Westerholt, Westfalia; in
        1932, graduated from Hindenberg HS; during his military
        career he flew Focke Wulf Fw-44, Arado Ar-68, Henschel
        Hs-123, Heinkel He-51, Messerschmitt Bf-109, Focke
        Wulf 190 and a Messerschmitt Me-262. Reported to have
        104 victories in air combat; in 1962, for his 50th
        birthday, he bought himself a Beechcraft Bonanza and
        nicknamed it "The Fat One".

In 1918, the 94th Pursuit Squadron, under command of Major
        Raoul Lufbery, made the first (US) crossing of the
        Front in France. Contrary to the beliefs of numerous
        interests, the 94th P.S. was formed (not in France)
        but at Kelly Field (US) on 10 August 1917.

In 1918, a formation of flying boats, on long range
        reconnaissance off the German coast, was attacked by
        German seaplanes. Ensign Stephan Potter shot down
        one of the attackers and was officially credited as
        being the first American naval aviator to shoot down
        an enemy seaplane.

In 1919, the Aircraft Board was abolished by Presidential
        Executive Order.

In 1943, Lt. General H.H. Arnold was promoted to four-star
        rank, a first for the Army Air Forces.

In 1948, the Bolling Field Command was redesignated
        Headquarters Command U.S. Air Force. Also in 1948,
        Bolling Field, along with the other "fields," became
        an Air Force Base.

In 1989, the first flight of the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey
        tiltrotor aircraft.

                   March 20


In 1922, Langley, CV-1, was converted from the collier
        Jupiter (AC 3) as the first carrier of the U.S.
        Navy, and was placed in commission at Norfolk, Va.,
        under command of her Executive Officer, Commander
        Kenneth Whiting.

        Langley served as an aircraft carrier until 1937
        when half her flight deck was removed and she was
        re-classified as the Seaplane Tender, AV-3, USS
        On the early morning of 27 February 1942, USS Langley,
        Seaplane tender Langley (AV-3), rendezvoused with her
        antisubmarine screen, destroyers USS Whipple (DD-217)
        and USS Edsall (DD-219). At 1140, nine twin-engine
        enemy land-based bombers of the "Takao Kokutai" attacked
        her. The first and second Japanese strikes were
        unsuccessful; but during the third strike Langley took
        five hits. Many of the P-40 Aircraft lashed-down topside
        burst into flames, steering was impaired, and the ship
        took a 10-degree list to port. Unable to negotiate the
        narrow mouth of Tjilatjap Harbor, Langley went dead in
        the water as in-rushing water flooded her main motors. At
        1332 the order to abandon ship was passed. The destroyer
        Whipple (DD-217) fired nine 4-inch shells and two
        torpedoes into the Langley to insure her sinking. She
        went down about 75 miles south of Tjilatjap with a loss
        of 16 crewmen.

In 1932, the first flight of the P-26 Peashooter.

In 1938, the first He 115V-1 prototype flew. The same
        aircraft set a number of records for distances of
        1000 km and 2000 km with payloads of 0 kg, 500 kg,
        1000 kg, and 2000 kg.

In 1953, the ZP2N-1 (later ZPG-2) airship made its first
        flight at Akron, Ohio. The airship was the
        production model of the "N" Class non-rigid but with
        an envelope of 975,000 cubic feet. It was originally
        designed for mid-ocean antisubmarine warfare and
        convoy-escort operations and contained provisions
        for in flight refueling, reprovisioning and
        servicing. A total of 17 of these airships were
        procured in ASW and AEW configurations, the latter
        being designated ZPG-2W.

In 1961, Charles J. Dolan named Associate Director of NASA's
        Langley Research Center. He had been associated with
        the NASA Space Task Group since its formation at
        Langley in November 1958.

In 1979, the last variant of the P2-J Neptune rolled off the
        production line at ceremonies in Japan. At the time,
        this was the longest production run of any aircraft
        type in history, 34 years from the first model which
        was built in 1945 in Burbank, California by the
        Lockheed Corporation. (The Hercules C-130 has
        surpassed this mark). The P-2 was the mainstay of
        the U.S. Navy's ASW patrol fleet during the 1950s
        and early 1960s until it was replaced by the P-3

        According to the Air Force Reserve Command and the
        Military Analysis Network of the Federation of
        American Scientists, the first production flight
        of the Hercules C-130 took place on April 7, 1955,
        and they were first accepted by the Air Force in
        December of 1956.

In 1979, the Orbiter Columbia (OV-102) began it's journey
        from the Dryden Flight Research Center to the
        Kennedy Space Center on top of the 747 shuttle
        carrier aircraft. It made overnight stops in El
        Paso, Texas (Bigs AFB), San Antonio, Texas (Kelly
        AFB) and Eglin AFB, Florida.

                   March 21

Maurice Farman:  born March 21, 1877
        Aircraft designer and manufacturer; one of his
        planes was the MF11 Shorthorn used for training
        and recon; teamed with his brother Henri to
        produce the Farman Goliath which was the first
        long distance passenger airplane;  the Goliath
        began regular Paris-London flights in February 1919.

Julio Robert Gallo:  born March 21, 1910
        Founded Gallo Winery with brother Ernest; born in
        Oakland, California

In 1916, the French government authorizes the formation of
        the Escadrille Americaine.  The unit, made up of
        volunteer American pilots, is later renamed the
        Escadrille Lafayette.

        Temporary approval for the American unit was isssued
        by the French on 21 March 1916. A month later, after
        much deliberation by the Government, the "Escadrille
        Americaine," designated N.124, was officially formed
        and on April 20, 1916, was placed on front-line duty
        at Luxeuil-les-Bains near Switzerland. The Escadrille
        Americaine was commanded by the Frenchman, Captain
        Georges Thenault, and initially had seven Americans
        pilots: Norman Prince, Victor Chapman, Kiffin Rockwell,
        James McConnell, William Thaw, Elliot Cowdin, and
        Bert Hall.

        The "Escadrille Americaine" flew its first mission on
        May 13, 1916. The first victory was scored five days
        later by Kiffin Rockwell, when he shot down a German
        L.V.G. reconnaissance aircraft. On June 23, 1916,
        Victor Chapman was shot down about 10 miles north of
        Verdun, becoming the first Escadrille Americaine pilot
        to lose his life in combat. In December of 1916 the unit
        was renamed the, "Escadrille Lafayette."

In 1918, the HA seaplane, or "Dunkirk Fighter," made its
        first flight at Port Washington, Long Island, with
        Curtiss test pilot Roland Rohlfs at the controls and
        Captain B. L. Smith, USMC, occupying the second

In 1919, a gyrocompass developed by the Sperry Gyroscope
        Company for the Navy was tested in an aircraft.
        Although this particular instrument was not found
        acceptable, this is the first recorded instance of
        tests of this device which was later to prove an
        invaluable navigational instrument for long-range

In 1924, the Bureau of Aeronautics directed that service
        parachutes be used by all personnel on all flights.

In 1925, Lowell Thomas broadcast for the first time on KDKA
        in Pittsburgh, PA. The topic of the broadcast was
        "Man's first flight around the world".

In 1930, the Martin XT5M-1, first dive bomber designed to
        deliver a l,000-pound bomb, met strength and
        performance requirements in diving tests.

In 1957, an A3D-1 Skywarrior, piloted by Commander Dale W.
        Cox, Jr.,  broke two transcontinental speed records;
        one for the round trip Los Angeles to New York and
        return, in 9 hours 31 minutes 35.4 seconds; and the
        other for the east to west flight in 5 hours 12
        minutes 39.24 seconds.

                   March 22

Chico Marx:  born March 22, 1887
        Actor; born in New York City; member of the Marx

General James Maurice Gavin:  born March 22, 1907
        born in New York and placed in an orphanage; adopted
        by a family in Dooleyville, PA; enlisted in the Army
        and was selected to attend West Point; became the
        commanding officer of the 82nd Airborne Division and
        jumped with his troops into Sicily and Salerno Bay;
        as a Brigadier General he jumped with the parachute
        assault section into Normandy during D-Day

Tex Burns:  born March 22, 1908
        aka Jim Mayo; aka Louis L'Amor; author of westerns;
        born in Jamestown, North Dakota; his father was a
        Veterinarian;  the family fell on hard times and he
        left home at 15; doing odd jobs, he skinned cattle in
        Texas, went to sea and lived in the Far East, served
        on an East Indian Schooner, was a professional boxer,
        longshoreman, lumberjack, elephant handler, fruit
        picker, gold prospector and finally, a tank officer
        in WW-II; after the war he started publishing short
        stories and novels.

In 1915, the title "Naval Aviator" replaced the former "Navy
        Air Pilot" designation for naval officers qualified
        as aviators.

        NOTE: In 1915 a "Navy Air Pilot" was more qualified
        than a "Naval Aviator" because of the advanced courses
        they had taken (including on/from water operations).
        There was a mixed-flurry in the making of the "Top-17"
        Naval Aviators, and the first Gold Wings, because the
        "boards-of-assignment" were mostly occupied with
        non-flying types who leaned towards the covenents of
        Navy Tradition(s).

        In this, only "Thedore Ellyson," who was N.A.P. No.1
        also became N.A. No. 1. Interestingly, "John Rodgers" was
        never an N.A.P. but he was awarded N.A. No.2. <------ No.2
        should have gone to "John H. Towers" who WAS N.A.P. No.2.
        "Alfred A. Cunningham, USMC" was N.A.P. No.14 but received
        N.A. spot No.5.

In 1942, at 17.57 hours, the unescorted and unarmed Muskogee
        (Master William W. Betts) was hit by one torpedo from
        U-123 in the engine room and sank within 16 minutes
        about 450 miles southeast of Bermuda. The ship had
        been missed by a first torpedo at 17.06 hours. Ten
        survivors managed to climb on two rafts and were
        questioned by Hardegen and also photographed before
        the U-boat left the area. However, none of the seven
        officers and 27 crewmen survived. 

        Ships Name: "Muskogee"
        Type: Steam tanker
        Tonnage: 7,034 tons
        Completed: 1913 - F. Schichau GmbH, Elbing, Danzig 
        Owner: Muskogee SS Co (Marine Transport Lines Inc), New York 
        Homeport: Wilmington 
        Date of attack: 22 Mar, 1942
        Nationality: American 
        Fate: Sunk by U-123 (Reinhard Hardegen)
        Position: 37N, 62W - Grid CB 8314 
        Complement: 34 (34 dead - no survivors)
        Convoy: No!
        Route: Caripito, Venezuela (13 Mar) - Trinidad - Halifax 
        Cargo: 67,265 barrels of heavy crude oil 
        History: Built as Triton, 1914 renamed Muskogee
In 1955, a Navy R6D of VR-3, assigned to MATS, crashed and
        exploded at 0203 on Pali Kea Peak, 15 miles
        northwest of Honolulu, killing all on board. The 57
        passengers and nine crew members lost in this
        tragedy made it the worst heavier-than-air crash
        in naval aviation history.

In 1961, Dr. Edward C. Welsh, a former aid to Senator
        Symington, was nominated by the President to be the
        Executive Secretary of the National Aeronautics and
        Space Council.

In 1987, the first flight of the Airbus A-320 (-100).

In 1996, the 16th flight for Atlantis was launched as
        STS-76. This was the flight that transported Shannon
        Lucid to the Mir space station.

James T. Kirk:  born March 22, 2228
        Well, this is what's listed in the book <G>.

                   March 23

Lucille LeSeur:  born March 23, 1908
        aka Joan Crawford; actress; born in San Antonio,
        Texas; worked as an elevator operator in
        Harzfeld's Department Store in Kansas City, MO;
        Milton Caniff claimed that Dragon Lady from his
        Terry and the Pirates was based on Joan.

In 1912, Chief Electrician Howard E. Morin conducted
        experiments with wireless at Mare Island Navy Yard
        in which he made transmissions from a dummy airplane
        fuselage hoisted to a height of 85 feet, which were
        received by a station at Point Richmond 20 miles

Wernher von Braun:  born March 23, 1912
        Engineer; pioneer in rockets; worked for the German
        Army to develop the V-2; worked with NASA to develop
        the Saturn V launch vehicle.

In 1921, a parachute jump from 23,700 feet was made by Lt.
        A. G. Hamilton (USA) at Chanute Field, Ill.

In 1922, NACA Report No. 159 on "Jet Propulsion for
        Airplanes," by Edgar Buckingham of the Bureau of
        Standards, pointed out that jet fuel consumption
        would be four times that of propeller engine at 250
        mph, but that efficiency of jet increased at
        higher speeds.

In 1926, the inventor of sodium-filled valves for internal
        combustion engines, S. D. Heron, granted exclusive
        license for manufacture to Rick Tool Co., later part
        of Eaton Manufacturing Co.

In 1943, the Training Task Force Command was established
        with headquarters at NAS Clinton, Okla., to form,
        outfit and train special units for the operational
        employment of assault drone aircraft.

In 1952, a two-place glider altitude record of 44,000 feet
        was claimed by L. Edgar and H. Klieforth,
        Sacramento, Calif.

In 1964, two Marine helicopter crews of VMO-1 rescued 11
        sick, injured and wounded members of a road
        engineering party that had survived attacks by
        hostile Indians in the dense jungle of the Amazon
        basin near Iquitos, Peru. Their helicopters were
        transferred ashore in the Canal Zone from
        Guadalcanal and were airlifted to Iquitos by a U.S.
        Air Force C-130.

In 1965, astronauts Virgil Grissom and John Young landed
        their Gemini 3 spacecraft east of Bermuda roughly
        50 miles from the intended splash point. The craft
        was spotted by Coast Guard helicopter about 20
        minutes after the landing and within an hour the two
        astronauts were picked up by helicopter and
        delivered to Intrepid.

In 1972, VMA-513 completed the Harrier DoD Sortie Rate
        validation and demonstrated the capability of the
        AV-8A to respond rapidly and repeatedly to requests
        for close air support while operating from austere
        forward bases. During the ten-day test, the squadron
        flew 376 sorties with a complement of six

                   March 24

Erik Weisz:  born March 24, 1874
        aka Harry Houdini; magician; born in Budapest; came
        to the US when he was four years old; left home at
        the age of 12; held various jobs including selling
        newspapers, shoeshine boy, messenger and cutter in
        a tie factory; first act was "Eric the Great";
        discovered in 1899.

In 1917, the First Yale Unit of 29 men, among which were
        four destined to hold such high positions in the
        military departments as Assistant Secretary of War,
        Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air, Under
        Secretary of the Navy, and Secretary of Defense;
        enlisted in the Naval Reserve Flying Force and four
        days later left college to begin war training
        at West Palm Beach. This was the first of several
        college groups to join up as a unit for war service.

Steve McQueen: Born March 24, 1930
        Born in Beech Grove, Indiana. Known as the ultra-cool
        male film star of the 1960s, he rose from a troubled
        youth spent in reform schools to being one of the
        world's most popular actors. Over 25 years after his
        untimely death from mesothelioma in 1980, Steve McQueen
        is still considered hip and cool, and he endures as an
        icon of popular culture.

        He was issued a private pilot's license in 1979 after
        learning to fly in a Stearman, which he purchased for
        the purpose.

        Rumor is that his father was a barnstormer across
        the mid-west in the late '20s and '30s, and abandoned
        him and his mother shortly after he was born. McQueen
        is supposed to have spent much of his last year of life
        flying all around the mid-west and west in the Stearman
        looking for information about his father.

In 1932, the Army Air Corps, in response to enthusiastic
        reports from its observers who had witnessed the
        performance of the Mk XV Norden bombsight in trials
        against Pittsburgh (Armored Cruiser No. 4) the
        previous October, requested the Navy to provide it
        with 25 Mk XV sights. This was the Army's first
        commitment for the Navy-developed sight that was to
        become essential to high altitude precision bombing
        of World War II.

Bennett Isaac Moyle:  born March 24, 1946
        First of 6 children born to a career Air Force
        officer.   Lived on or near AF bases, including
        2 years in Japan, through age 16, so used to being
        around airplanes.  Father was a meteorologist on
        the ground,  navigator in  flight duty.  He also
        had a pilot license, and Ben could remember
        working the stick of a Fairchild high-wing private
        plane at age 3.

        Ben got his pilot license while in college. Went to
        work at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis,
        remained there 10 years and 'retired' in 1978, to
        become an independent consultant.  Job skills
        included tuning and modifying an IBM mainframe
        control system, DOS, and allowed him to participate
        in user group activities both locally and nationally.
        Ben assumed leadership roles in these groups and
        thus gained numerous personal contacts, which he
        relied upon in starting his consulting business,
        B I Moyle Associates, Inc.

        Ben also developed and marketed some operating
        system extension and utility software, growing
        the product line to 25 software products, and
        2000+ active licenses.

        Ben wrote a number of technical articles, mostly
        appearing in COMPUTERWORLD newsweekly or in a
        publication now known as ENTERPRISE JOURNAL 
        (formerly 4300 or MAINFRAME JOURNAL).

        Ben's flying had always been mostly for recreation,
        taking 20 years to reach 500 hours. Experience
        before 1987 was mostly in Cessna 152-182 and
        Mooney's. In addition, he had Aerobatic beginner
        level training in Citabrias and Decathlons.  Ben
        also had flight time in a Glasair taildragger and
        a Glasair III.

In 1949, Northwest Airlines begins the nation's first
        transcontinental all-coach flights.

In 1950, the first successful ramjet research model was
        flown at Wallops Island by NACA Langely's PARD.

In 1972, a QF-4B target aircraft, which the Naval Air
        Development Center had converted from a combat
        configuration into a maneuvering target, was
        delivered to the Naval Missile Center for test. The
        QF-4B will fulfill the requirement for a full-size,
        high-altitude, supersonic, maneuvering aerial
        target that is capable of flying at altitudes in
        excess of 50,000 feet and at airspeeds exceeding
        twice the speed of sound.

In 1977, the first flight of the Lockheed YC-141B, the C-141

In 1977, initial service acceptance trials for the CH-53E
        Super Stallion were completed at NATC. The growth
        version of the CH-53E has three turbine engines
        instead of two. The Super Stallion carries mission
        loads of 16 tons compared to nine tons for the
        CH-53D. It has seven rotor blades instead of
        six and can accommodate 56 troops.

                   March 25

In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt, Assistant Secretary of the
        Navy, recommended to the Secretary that he appoint
        two officers "of scientific attainments and
        practical ability" who, with representatives from
        the War Department, would examine Professor Samuel
        P. Langley's flying machine and report upon
        its practicability and its potentiality for use in

In 1916, qualifications for officers and enlisted men in the
        Aeronautic Force of the Naval Militia were defined
        by General Order which, in each instance, were over
        and above those prescribed for the same ranks and
        ratings of the regular Militia. These extras,
        cumulative for ranks in ascending order, required
        ensigns to have knowledge of navigation
        (except nautical astronomy) and scouting problems,
        practical and theoretical knowledge of aeroplanes
        and motors, and ability to fly at least one type of

        Lieutenants (junior grade) were in addition to have
        some knowledge of nautical astronomy, principles of 
        aeroplane design, and to qualify for a Navy pilot

        Additional requirements for lieutenants called for a
        greater knowledge of nautical astronomy and ability
        to fly at least two types of naval aircraft, while
        lieutenant commanders, the highest rank provided for
        the Force, were also to have knowledge of Navy
        business methods used in aeronautics.

        Aviation mechanics were to have knowledge of
        aircraft maintenance and aviation machinists were to
        have similar knowledge of motors.

In 1918, Ensign John F. McNamara, flying out of RNAS
        Portland, England, made the first attack on an enemy
        submarine by a U.S. Naval Aviator. For his attack,
        reported by Admiral Sims as "apparently successful,"
        Ensign McNamara was commended by the Secretary of
        the Navy for his "valiant and earnest efforts
        on this particular occasion."

Howard William Cohen:  born March 25, 1918     
        aka Howard Cosell; sports announcer; born in Winston
        Salem, North Carolina

In 1922, the Secretary established an Experimental and
        Research Laboratory as had been provided for in a
        public law passed in August 1916. Following the
        construction of necessary buildings at Bellevue,
        D.C., the Aircraft Radio Laboratory from NAS
        Anacostia, the Naval Radio Research Laboratory from
        the Bureau of Standards and the Sound Research
        Section of the Engineering Experiment Station were
        consolidated at the new organization prior to its
        establishment in July 1923. In view of the
        research orientation of this facility, it was
        generally called the Naval Research Laboratory, and
        its name was officially changed to that by the Naval
        Appropriations Act for 1926.

James Arthur Lovell Jr.:  born March 25, 1928
        US Astronaut; pilot of the Gemini 7 mission including
        rendezvous with Gemini 6; commander of the Gemini 12
        mission; member of the Apollo 8 crew that was the
        first to use the Saturn V rocket and the first to leave
        Earth's orbit for a trip around the Moon; commanded the
        Apollo 13 flight that had to return to Earth after the
        O2 tank exploded; born in Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1942, Major Cecil P. Lessig becomes the first USAAF pilot in
        WWII to complete a combat mission over Occupied Europe.
        He flew a Spitfire Mk.VB with RAF 64 Squadron operating
        from Hornchurch, Essex on a low level fighter sweeep
        over the near inland coastal sections of France.

In 1946, the XHJD-1, the first practical twin engined
        helicopter, made a hovering flight. Designed for the
        Navy by the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation, this
        helicopter was intended for experimental use in a
        flight development program and for tactical use in
        utility and air-sea rescue operations.

        This was not the first twin-engined helicopter. By
        August 1930, the ZAGI 1A had flown. It had a
        fuselage made of welded tubes, a main rotor with
        four blades and powered by two 120 HP engines.

In 1949, a new world helicopter speed record of 133.9 mph at
        Niagara Falls, N.Y., claimed by XH-12 of Bell
        Aircraft Co.

In 1955, the Chance Vought XF8U-1 Crusader, a jet carrier
        fighter, exceeded the speed of sound on its first
        flight, which was made at Edwards AF Base.

In 1957, the first F8U-1 Crusader was delivered to a fleet
        unit, VF-32, in the record time of 2 years after the
        first flight of the experimental model.

In 1960. the first flight and first powered flight of the
        X-15 (No. 1) in the NASA/USAF research program,
        NASA's Joseph A. Walker as pilot.

In 1971, the first flight of the Ilyushin II - 76.

In 1977, the Naval Air Systems Command announced that its
        Advanced Concepts Division, and the Naval Air
        Development Center, were testing a lighter-than-air
        craft known as Aerocrane. This project represented
        the first government-sponsored study of
        lighter-than-air flight in several years.

                   March 26

Othmar Herman Ammann:  born March 26, 1879
        Engineer and designer; build many suspension bridges
        including the Verrazano Narrows Bridge in New York.

In 1932, Navy Consolidated P2Y Ranger seaplane made first
        test flight. This is not to be confused with the
        PBY-2 - Catalina or the PB2Y - Coronado.

        PBY ~ "Grand-Pappy" - Consolidated P2Y
        PBY ~ "Pappy" -  Model 28 Consolidated XP3Y-1

In 1939, Capt. John H. Towers named Chief of Bureau of
        Aeronautics with rank of Rear Admiral.

In 1940, U.S. commercial airlines completed a full year
        without a fatal accident or serious injury to a
        passenger or crew member.

        The last accident recorded was:
        Date: March 26, 1939
        Time: 14:48
        Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
        Operator: Braniff Airlines
        Flight #: 1
        Route: Chicago - Dallas
        AC Type: Douglas DC-2-112
        Registration: NC13727 cn / ln: 1253
        Aboard: 12   (passengers:9  crew:3)
        Fatalities: 8   (passengers:7  crew:1)
        Ground: 0

        Summary: An explosion in an engine, just after
        takeoff blew the two halves of the cowl open creating
        excessive drag and causing the left wing to drop. The
        captain tried to circle back, but the wing impacted an
        embankment along a section line road and crashed about
        100 yards inside the boundary. Either the hot metal of
        the engines or some other source ignited the fuel
        spilling out of the ruptured tank and the cabin was
        quickly engulfed in flames. The initial cause of the
        explosion was a cylinder blow out which was a problem
        with that particular engine.

In 1942, unity of command over Navy and Army air units,
        operating over the sea to protect shipping and
        conduct antisubmarine warfare, was vested in the

In 1944, Corsairs of VMF-113 from Engebi flew the first
        fighter escort for AAF B-25'S on the 360 mile
        bombing mission against Ponape, and were so
        effective in destroying enemy interceptors that
        later missions over the island were unmolested.

        Ponape Island [Caroline Islands] had been
        by-passed and was not subsequently reinforced by
        the Japanese. This mission also marked the last
        time in 1944 that USMC F4U operations (4th 
        Marine Wing Base Defense Wing A/C) would be
        operated in air-to-air mission assignmnets.
        Thereafter (1944)the F4Us  would be used almost
        exclusively as Fighter Bombers operating against
        bypassed targets. Major L.D. Everton, CO of
        VMF-113 got his 9th & 10th kill (double ace)
        on this Ponape Island misssion of 26 March 44.

In 1944, the first B-24 operation against Truk. This
        was flown by the the 307th (H) Bombardment
        Group. However, due to poor navigation the
        307th never found Truk.

In 1949, USAF B-36 with six reciprocating and four jet
        engines made first test flight at Forth Worth,

In 1958, military telephone and telegraph system using the
        troposphere to bounce radio signals over long
        distances, called "White Alice," was activated.

In 1960, elements of the First Marine Aircraft Wing,
        participating in Exercise Blue Star, established an
        operational jet airstrip on the south shore of
        Taiwan within 72 hours of the amphibious
        landing. The 3,400-foot strip was surfaced with
        expeditionary airfield matting, equipped with MOREST
        arresting gear, portable TACAN equipment, portable
        mirror landing system, lower control system, and
        supported by a portable fuel tank farm. A4D aircraft
        operated from the strip with the assistance of JATO,
        and F4Ds and F8Us used afterburners for takeoff.

In 1961, Pravda article stated that the day was "not far
        distant when a Soviet human being will rocket into

In 1976, NASA Flight Research Center is dedicated in honor
        of the late Hugh L. Dryden.

In 1979, the AV-8A Harrier was used at NATC Patuxent River
        to test a new ski jump ramp developed by the British
        to cut down the takeoff distance for the Harrier.
        The new ski jump ramp was designed with a 12-degree
        angle of elevation and was 130 feet long. The total
        takeoff distance for a Harrier using the new ramp
        was 230 feet compared with the 930-foot runway
        necessary for a Harrier to make a no-catapult,
        flat-surface launch. NATC Patuxent River was
        evaluating the ramp for possible use in the

In 1992, the first flight of the Saab model 2000.

                   March 27


Sir Frederick Henry BARONET Royce:  born March 27, 1863
        born in Alwalton, Northamptonshire, England; by
        the age of 11, he had 2 years of formal schooling
        and was selling newspapers on street corners; worked
        as a telegraph boy in Mayfair until he was 14 and
        got a job with the Great Northern Railway as a
        mechanic; next job was a tester with the Electric
        Power and Light Co.; at 21, he joined forces with AE
        Claremont and founded the FH Royce& Company,
        Electricians; in 1903 he purchased a Decauville and
        spent much time repairing it; that started his
        automotive career.

        In April 1904, the maiden voyage of his first car;
        it was a 2 cylinder 10 hp car; because the car was
        built with quality, it survived 19 years including
        a stint as the mail car at the Derby factory;  in
        May 1904, Royce was introduced to Henry Rolls; Rolls
        was a car dealer in London;  in addition he held
        pilot license #2 in England (#1 was held by Lord
        Brabazon); he would also be the first to fly across
        the English Channel and back which he did right
        after Bleriot's famous flight in 1910; an agreement
        was signed in December 1904 and the Rolls-Royce
        partnership was born (Rolls Royce would be legally
        formed in 1906); Royce would build the cars and
        Rolls would sell them.

In 1914, the original designations of aircraft were changed
        to two letters and a number of which the first
        letter denoted class, the second type within a
        class, and the number the order in which aircraft
        within class were acquired. Four classes were
        set up; A for all heavier-than-air craft, D for
        airships or dirigibles, B for balloons and K for

        Within the A Class, the letters L, H, B, X and C
        represented land machines, hydroaeroplanes, flying
        boats, combination land and water machines, and
        convertibles respectively. Thus the third
        hydroaeroplane, formerly A-3, became AH-3, and the
        first flying boat, formerly C-1, became AB-1.

In 1918, the first aircraft built at the NAF, the H-16,
        Serial No. A-1049, was flown for the first time. The
        H-16 was used in antisubmarine patrol from U.S. and
        European stations, and for this purpose was equipped
        with two 230-pound bombs and five Lewis machine
        guns; one forward, two aft, and two amidships.

In 1920, a successful test of the Sperry gyrostabilized
        automatic pilot system in an F5L was completed at
        Hampton Roads.

In 1922, to comply with a provision of the law establishing
        the Bureau of Aeronautics that its Chief and at
        least 70 percent of its officers be either pilots or
        observers, the Bureau of Aeronautics defined the
        functions and qualifications of Naval Aviation
        Observers, and recommended a course of study for
        their training. Upon its approval by the Bureau of
        Navigation, Rear Admiral W. A. Moffett reported for
        training, and on 17 June 1922 qualified as the first
        Naval Aviation Observer.

In 1934, an Act of Congress, approved by the President and
        popularly known as the Vinson-Trammell Act,
        authorized the President to procure naval
        aircraft for ships and naval purposes in numbers
        commensurate with a treaty Navy.

        It also provided that not less than 10 percent of
        the authorized aircraft and engines be manufactured
        in Government plants. Under the authorization, the
        Wasp was laid down in 1936.

In 1939, following the successful experimental refueling of
        patrol planes by the submarine Nautilus (SS-168),
        the Commander in Chief U.S. Fleet, directed that
        Submarine Division Four and Patrol Wing Two conduct
        refueling tests at frequent intervals and carry out
        an Advanced Base problem each quarter to develop
        to the utmost the possibilities for refueling patrol
        planes under various conditions.

        The Japanese took careful note of this [U.S. experiment]
        in refueling of scout aircraft by submarine. In the
        Pearl Harbor attack plan an I-Boat proceeded the IJN
        Main Body by many days ... [and] had the refueling
        I-Boat not been spotted ... the Float Zeros [assigned]
        would have been able to observe (at a distance) the
        presence or non-presence of U.S. Carriers at "Pearl."
        But, for the simple sighting, the Japanese were denied
        [blinded] on the subject of U.S. Carrier Presence.

        Notwithsttanding, throughout WWII, Japanese Light
        Observation aircraft appeared where Allied Forces
        never believed they could be, operate. By the time
        fighters could be launched they were gone!

In 1977, "Tenerife Disaster: Collision between KLM and PanAm
        Boeing 747's at Tenerife" Los Rodeos, Tenerife's North
        Airport. A total of 583 people died when a KLM Flight
        on take-off collided with a Pan Am 747 taxiing on the
        active runway at Tenerife, Canary Islands. The KLM
        Captain could not see the Pan Am 747 on the runway
        because of very restricted visibility. The KLM flight
        had nearly reached flying speed when its Captain saw
        the Pan Am aircraft on the runway taxiing towards him.
        He tried to lift his KLM 747 into flight but, just
        airborne, struck the PanAm 747. Both aircraft burst
        into flame as they slammed into one another. This
        incident remains the world's worst aviation accident
        in history.

In 2004, NASA made aeronautics history by launching an
        experimental aircraft that reached a record velocity
        of just over seven times the speed of sound. The test
        was conducted about 400 miles off the California
        coast over the pacific ocean.

                   March 28

August Anheuser Busch Jr.:  born March 28, 1899
        Head of his father's brewery from 1946 - 1975.

In 1928, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics
        called conference of representatives of Army, Navy,
        Weather Bureau, Bureau of Standards, NACA, and
        Commerce Department to study cause and prevention of
        ice formation on aircraft.

In 1933, aircraft engine manufacturers granted permission by
        the Aeronautics Branch, Department of Commerce, to
        conduct endurance tests on their own equipment.

In 1935, Robert Goddard launched the first rocket equipped
        with gyroscopic controls, which attained a height of
        4,800 feet, a horizontal distance of 13,000 feet,
        and a speed of 550 mph, near Roswell, New Mexico.

In 1935, the first flight of the Consolidated Model 28,
        PBY-2 Catalina (XPB3Y-1). This is the famous patrol
        plane of WWII that picked up so many downed fliers.
        Most people are unaware that when armed and flown at
        night, the BY sunk more tonnage of ships per pound
        of bomb dropped than any other aircraft.

In 1941, the Commanding Officer of Yorktown after five
        months operational experience with the CXAM radar,
        reported that aircraft had been tracked at a
        distance of 100 miles and recommended that friendly
        aircraft be equipped with electronic identification
        devices and carriers be equipped with separate and
        complete facilities for tracking and plotting all
        radar targets.

In 1942, the RAF began a night carpet bombing campaign and
        the first target was Lubeck, Germany.
        They took-off on the 28th and completed their
        mission on the morning of the 29th.
        This was the second time that the "Gee-Navigation-
        Pulse-System" was employed by the RAF. The first
        was on the night/early morning of 13/14 March at

In 1956, Airman D. F. Smith remained in a sealed space cabin
        simulator for 24 hours at USAF's SAM.

In 1964, within 5 hours after a devastating earthquake
        struck in Alaska, the seaplane tender Salisbury
        Sound was underway from NAS Whidbey to render
        assistance and P-3A Orions and C-54 Skymasters,
        moving up from Moffett Field, were en route with
        emergency supplies. For 14 days the ship provided
        power and heat to the severely damaged Naval Station
        at Kodiak while its crew served in many capacities
        to help people on shore. Among others, the quake
        claimed the life of Herbie Bredow (PK), flying
        for the Alaska Air Guard on a relief mission.

In 1983, the first 747-300 enters commercial service with

In 1990, the first 747 flies into temporary retirement at
        Seattle's Museum of Flight.

                   March 29

Hanna Reitsch:  born March 29, 1912
        Famous German aviatrix; as a medical student, she began
        flying in 1932; first woman to fly a helicopter
        in the Summer of 1938. She flew the Fw 61 from Stendal
        to Berlin    and then put on a great performance inside the
        "Berlin _Deutschland-Hall"!; also was test pilot for the
        V-1;  yes, a special V-1 with a cockpit!

In 1916, Lieutenant R. C. Saufley, flying a Curtiss
        hydroaeroplane at Pensacola, bettered his own
        American altitude record with a flight to 16,010
        feet and on 2 April extended it again with a mark of
        16,072 feet.

In 1917, the NACA recommended preparation of 3-year programs
        for aircraft production to the Secretaries of War
        and the Navy.

In 1918, Curtiss 180-T or "Kirkham" triplane fighter ordered
        by Navy from Curtiss Engineering.

Samuel Moore Walton:  born March 29, 1918
        Founded Wal Mart

In 1922, a change in the aircraft designation system was
        promulgated which added the identity of the
        manufacturer to the model designation. Symbols
        consisted of a combination of letters and numbers in
        which the first letter identified the manufacturer
        and the second, the class (or mission) of the
        aircraft. Thus MO was a Martin observation plane.
        Numbers appearing between letters indicated the
        series of designs within class built by the same
        manufacturer (the 1 being omitted) and numbers
        following a dash after the class letter indicated
        modifications of the basic model. Thus, the second
        modification of the MO became MO-2, while the
        second-design observation plane built by Martin
        became M2O.

In 1923, Lt. R. L. Maitland attained world speed record of
        239.95 mph in Curtiss R-6 at Dayton, Ohio.

In 1942, the forward echelon of Marine Fighter Squadron 212
        arrived at Efate to construct an air strip from
        which the squadron initiated operations in the New
        Hebrides on 27 May.

John Major:  born March 29, 1943
        British Prime minister, 1990-1997

In 1943, tests of forward firing rockets projectiles from
        naval aircraft were completed at the Naval Proving
        Ground, Dahlgren, using an SB2A-4 aircraft.

In 1951, a Regulus, XSSM-N-8 test vehicle, operating under
        airborne command, took off from the lake bed at
        Edwards Air Force Base, Muroc, Calif., circled the
        field, and landed successfully.

In 1971, the first active AIM-9G missile was launched from
        an NUH-2H helicopter by the Weapons System Test
        Division of NATC.

In 1972, due to the fleet requirements for qualified aircrew
        personnel, the Naval Air Technical Training Unit's
        Photographer's Mate Class "A" School initiated
        flight training again as part of the course. The
        flight training requirements for the Photographer's
        Mate Class "A" School had been dropped 16 years

In 1990, the first flight of the Ilushin II - 114.

                   March 30

Arthur William Sidney Herrington:  born March 30, 1891
        Engineer and manufacturer; developed the Jeep

In 1916, the Secretary of the Treasury informed the
        Secretary of the Navy that Second Lieutenant of
        Engineers C. E. Sugden and Third Lieutenant E. F.
        Stone of the Coast Guard had been assigned to flight
        instruction at Pensacola in accordance with an
        agreement between the two Departments.

In 1918, the Curtiss 18-T or "Kirkham" triplane fighter was
        ordered from Curtiss Engineering Corporation. This
        single-engine, two-seater landplane was fitted with
        two synchronized and two flexible guns.

In 1939, a Heinkel He 100V-8, piloted by Hans Dieterle at
        Oragensburg, Germany, achieved the absolute world
        speed record for Propeller Driven Airplanes of
        746.606 km/h (463.820 mph).
        According to the Federation Aeronautique
        International {FAI}, this is still good for third
        place today.

In 1945, B-29's flew their final mission from Indian air

In 1948, the establishment of a Naval Air Reserve Advisory
        Council was approved by the Secretary of the Navy.
        The purpose of the Council, which was composed of 50
        aviation Reserve officers appointed from civil life,
        was to make available to the Navy the experience and
        continuing advice of reservists who had held key
        positions while on active duty during the war.

In 1949, the President signed a bill providing for
        construction of a "permanent" radar defense network
        for the United States.

In 1961, NASA-USAF-USN rocket research X-15 flown to 169,600
        feet by Joseph A. Walker, NASA pilot, the highest
        altitude ever reached by man and which included
        2 minutes of weightlessness at the top of his climb.
        The X-15, powered by XLR-99 rocket engine designed
        to thrust it to 50 miles altitude and speeds
        of up to 4,000 miles per hour, was only run at
        three-quarters throttle.

In 1961, USAF announced reduction of the B-70 program
        contract commitments to North American,
        Westinghouse, and other firms. Five major
        subcontracts were canceled and four others sharply

                  March 31
In 1889, the Eiffel Tower opened to the public.

In 1913, aircraft instruments and allied equipment for
        installation in a new flying boat, the Burgess
        Company and Curtiss D-1, were listed as: compass,
        altimeter, inclinometer, speed indicator,
        chart board, radio, and generator. Although the
        radio and generator were not installed, the
        remaining equipment was representative
        instrumentation on naval aircraft of the

In 1941, the first 1816 kg bomb was dropped by an RAF
        Wellington in an attack on EMDEN on the night
        of 31 March/01 April.  This was the heaviest
        bomb yet dropped by an aircraft.

In 1949, the best monthly total of the Berlin Airlift to
        date was made as U.S. aircraft delivered
        154,475 tons of cargo to the city. In making its
        contribution to the total, Navy Transport Squadron
        VR-8 set an all-time airlift record of 155 percent
        efficiency for the month, and daily utilization of
        12.2 hours per aircraft.

In 1951, a program for development of a propeller-driven
        vertical takeoff fighter was initiated with issuance
        of a contract to Convair for the XFY-1. A somewhat
        similar aircraft, the XFO-1 later redesignated
        XFV-1), was ordered from Lockheed three weeks later
        as an alternate solution to the design problems.

In 1956, five A3D-1 aircraft were ferried from NAS Patuxent
        to Heavy Attack Squadron 1 at NAS Jacksonville,
        completing the first delivery of Skywarriors to a
        fleet unit.

In 1962, Lieutenant Commander F. Taylor Brown piloted the
        F4H-1 Phantom II at NAS Point Mugu, to a new world
        time-to-climb record for 20,000 meters with a time
        of 178.5 seconds.

In 1966, flight test of a Helicopter Capsule Escape System,
        involving recovery of personnel by separation of the
        inhabited section of the fuselage from the
        helicopter proper, demonstrated the feasibility of
        its use during inflight emergencies. The test was
        conducted at NAF El Centro with an H-25 helicopter.

In 1951, Navy issued contract to Convair for the XFY-1,
        propellor-driven VTOL fighter.

In 1960, Boeing purchased the Vertol Corp of Philadelphia,
        forming the Vertol Division of Boeing Airplane Co.

In 1966, the Strategic Air Command phased out the last B-47.

In 1995, Second Lt. Kelly Flinn began B-52 training at
        Barksdale AFB, Bossier City, Louisana. She would
        graduate as the Distinguished Graduate of her class
        and become the first female bomber pilot.