Doolittle Raiders

OTD in 1942 – Col James Doolittle led the first US attack on the Japanese mainland, leading a force of sixteen B-25 Mitchells flying from the USS Hornet against Tokyo in what comes to be known as the “Doolittle Raid” and the heroes known as the “Doolittle Raiders”.




1936 – First Flight of the Supermarine Spitfire

#spitfire #aviation #history #supermarine #learnsomething

March 5, 1936 – The Supermarine Spitfire flew for the first time eighty years ago today. A single-seat fighter and interceptor, the Spitfire is the most famous British aircraft of all time. A small, graceful, elliptical-wing fighter, the Spitfire was not only one of the best performing fighters, but also one of the best looking. Although less numerous than the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain, it is still remembered as the sleek thoroughbred that turned the tide during that campaign. The Spitfire was among the fastest and most maneuverable fighters of World War II and served in every combat theater. Two dozen variants were built, powered by Rolls-Royce Merlin and Griffon engines. 

OTD – February 16th

On this day in 1912 — Frank Coffyn takes aerial views of New York City with a cinema camera while controlling his airplane with his feet and knees…. oy vey.

On this day in 1946, the first commercial helicopter, the four-seat Sikorsky S51, single rotor helicopter first flew.

On this day in 1959, Fidel Castro takes the oath as Cuban premier in Havana.

On this day in 1968, the first telephone system in the U.S. to use 911 as the universal emergency services telephone number was inaugurated in Haleyville, Alabama.

Born on this day in 1920, Brigadier General Anna V. Mae McCabe Hays!
First woman in the U.S. Armed Forces to be promoted to the rank of General.
She’s passed away in January of 2018. RIP, General!

And always remember…
When choosing between two evils, I always like to try the one I’ve never tried before. — Mae West


First Un-tethered Space Walk – 1984

On this day (February 7) in 1984 — The first un-tethered space-walk is achieved by Captain Bruce McCandless.

McCandless and Robert L. Stewart performed 2 Spacewalks during this mission on the 7th and again on the 9th of February.

He flew as a mission specialist on STS-41-B and STS-31.

McCandless logged over 312 hours in space, including four hours of MMU flight time.[




OTD in 1911 – Ely lands aboard USS Penn

On this day in 1911 – Eugene Ely lands on a platform constructed over the deck of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania while anchored in San Francisco Bay, marking the first time an aircraft lands on a ship.

“I believe the performance of Ely spells a new chapter in aviation history,” wrote Capt. Charles F. Pond, commanding officer of the USS Pennsylvania. “There can hardly be too much said in praise of it. It was simply marvelous.”

Ely’s flight, which came only seven years and one month after the Wright Brothers flew their first plane, was in every way historic. Though Ely had taken off from a Navy ship off Hampton Roads, Va., in 1910, no one had ever landed aboard a ship.


This aircraft he used was a Curtiss Biplane built by Glenn Curtiss’ company in Long Island, NY.

On November 14, 1910, Ely took off from the light cruiser USS Birmingham while it was readied at Norfolk, Va. Ely’s Curtiss Pusher Biplane was equipped with floats under the wings, and was hoisted aboard while it was in port. Then the ship moved off shore.

Ely succeeded in making the first take-off from a ship, just barely.  The Biplane rolled off the edge of the platform, settled, and briefly skipped off the water, damaging the propeller.

Ely managed to stay airborne and landed just over 2 miles away on the nearest land, called Willoughby Spit.

Glenn Curtiss and Eugene Ely are two lesser known rockstars in Early Aviation.

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