AIR FORCE HISTORY
#1

AIR FORCE HISTORY AND HERITAGE

 

April 1, 1954 -- President Eisenhower signed into law a bill creating

the Air Force Academy.

 

April 1, 1972 -- Air Training Command activated the Community College of

the Air Force at Randolph AFB, Texas.

 

April 3, 1967 -- Chief Master Sgt. Paul W. Airey became the first chief

master sergeant of the Air Force.

 

April 6, 1924 -- Four specially built Douglas World Cruisers -- each

with a crew of two men -- set off for the first flight around the world.

 

 

April 6, 1949 -- The X-1 rocket plane flew at 1,000 mph, an unofficial

world-record speed for piloted planes.

 

April 6, 1959 -- NASA announced that seven pilots from the U.S. armed

services are chosen for the Mercury astronaut program. Those Airmen

selected are Capts. L. Gordon Cooper Jr., Virgil I. Grissom and Donald

K. Slayton.

 

April 10, 1959 -- First flight of the Northrop T-38 Talon

 

April 12, 1966 -- Strategic Air Command B-52 bombers struck targets in

North Vietnam for the first time. They hit a supply route in the Mu Gia

Pass about 85 miles north of the border.

 

April 14, 1986 -- U.S. forces launched Operation Eldorado Canyon, a

retaliatory bombing raid in response to terrorist activities supported

by Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi.

 

April 18, 1942 -- Lt. Col. James Doolittle led 16 B-25 Mitchell bombers

on a Tokyo bombing raid.

 

April 18, 1975 -- The Strategic Air Command began transferring air

refueling wings to the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard. AFRES

and ANG tanker units will support SAC alert operations.

 

April 19, 1967 -- Maj. Leo K. Thorsness was awarded the Medal of Honor

for protecting the rescue of downed airmen in North Vietnam. Flying an

F-105 Thunderchief critically low on fuel, Major Thorsness shoots down

one MiG-17, damages another, and drives off three more.

 

April 19, 1995 -- A bomb exploded at a federal building in Oklahoma

City, killing 169 people and injuring more than 400 others. The Air

Force provides airlift of firefighters, search and rescue teams,

investigators and medical personnel.

 

April 26, 1948 -- The U.S. Air Force became the first service to plan

for racial integration, anticipating President Truman's executive order

to be issued in July 1948.

 

April 29, 1918 -- Lt. Edward V. Rickenbacker downed his first enemy

aircraft

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#2

Virgil I. Grissom - one of 3 Astronauts killed in the Apollo capsule fire. Grisson Air Force Base, Indianna, was named in honor of him.
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