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 20th

On this day in 1942, Lt. Edward O’Hare takes off from the aircraft carrier Lexington in a raid against the Japanese position at Rabaul, and minutes later becomes America’s first flying ace.

On this day in 1915 – During the Panama-Pacific Exhibition, Allan Loughead (aka Lockheed) is allowed to launch an air service and flies 600 passengers across the bay during 50 days. The 10-minute flight costs $10 per passenger.

On this day in 1986, the Soviet Union launched into orbit a space station. Mir, the Russian word for peace, had six docking ports and special laboratories for scientific research.

On this day in 1962, John Glenn orbited the earth three times in the Mercury-Atlas 6 Friendship 7 spacecraft.


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.

For more information

Bobbi Trout – 1906

Evelyn “Bobbi” Trout was born on this day in 1906. She lived to be the ripe old age of 97, which was amazing for such an early aviatrix.

Most known for being the first woman to set the first non-refueling endurance record and for running in the first ever Powder Puff Derby.

Her first flight was in 1922 at the age of 16 – in a JN-4 Jenny.

For more information on Bobbi, please go to her website.