This Day in US Military History

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This is an FYI thread showing important events in the US military, a few events extend beyond. The lists are not all encompassing, major battles are mostly omitted. Additions and comments are welcome.

My primary source:

This Day in U.S. Military History

10 August

1776 – Word of the United States Declaration of Independence reaches London.

1821 – Missouri enters the Union as the 24th state–and the first located entirely west of the Mississippi River.

1846 – After a decade of debate about how best to spend a bequest left to America from an obscure English scientist, President James K. Polk signs the Smithsonian Institution Act into law.

1914 – France declares war on Austria-Hungary.

1916 – First Naval aircraft production contract, for N-9s.

1921 – Franklin D. Roosevelt (39) was stricken with polio at his summer home on the Canadian island of Campobello, New Brunswick.

1921 – Congress establishes the Bureau of Aeronautics under RADM William Moffett.

1943 - "Pearl Harbor, Aug. 10, (AP) - A Navy bomber crashed in the Pearl Harbor Navy yard during maneuvers today, killing three of its crew and injuring 17 persons, among them four civilian employees." The aircraft struck a loaded bus and eight civilians died, in addition to the three-plane crew.

1945 – Just a day after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan submits its acquiescence to the Potsdam Conference terms of unconditional surrender, as President Harry S. Truman orders a halt to atomic bombing.

1949 – President Harry S. Truman signs the National Security Bill, which establishes the Department of Defense.

1950 – The first Marine Corps helicopter rescue of a downed pilot was successfully made by VMO-6.

1955 - Two United States Air Force Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar transports of the 10th Troop Carrier Squadron, 60th Troop Carrier Group, collide over Edelweiler, Germany, near Stuttgart, shortly after takeoff for training mission from Stuttgart Army Airfield near Echterdingen. C-119G, 53-3222, c/n 11238, piloted by Robert T. Asher, and C-119G, 53-7841, c/n 11258, piloted by Eugene L. Pesci, both crash. In all, 66 died, 44 on one Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar, and 22 on the other. Troops aboard were of the Army's 499th Engineering Battalion.

1961 – First use in Vietnam War of the Agent Orange by the U.S. Army.

1961 – Test pilot Forest Petersen flew the X-15 to 23,835 meters (78,200 feet) and Mach 4.11.

1965 – Test pilot Joe Engle flew the X-15 to 82,601 meters (271,013 feet; 51.33 miles) and Mach 5.20.

1965 - A Virginia Air Guard Cessna L-19 Bird Dog crashes at Camp Pickett, Virginia, while flying a support mission for forces in summer field training, killing the crew. Pilot Capt. Laurence A. White and S/Sgt. Melvin D. Mangum, both of the “Richmond Howitzers,” are killed while flying (KWF) when the liaison aircraft comes down near the Nottoway River reservoir.

1988 – President Reagan signed the Civil Liberties Act, a measure providing $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans interned by the U.S. government during World War II.

1988 - US Navy Kaman SH-2F Seasprite, BuNo 161910, assigned to HSL-35 NAS North Island. Aircraft suffered tail structure failure and loss of directional control, crashed into ocean approximately 30 miles off Point Loma while returning from weapons training exercise at NALF San Celemente Island, the co-pilot (Lt. Walt Hogan) perished in the crash, the other 3 crew-members survived.

1993 - A McDonnell-Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, BuNo 162955, of VMA-231, crashed on the runway at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina as the pilot was doing "touch and go" landings. The aircraft's flaps jammed when moisture got into the flap controller causing it to short out. The pilot ejected before the aircraft hit the runway however his parachute descended into the fireball killing him.

2007 – Former USS Jouett (CG-29) was sunk as a target during Exercise Valiant Shield.

2011 – Former USS Arthur W. Radford (DD-968) was scuttled as an artificial reef at Del-Jersey-Land reef, New Jersey.
 
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11 August

1812 – USS Constitution captures and destroys British brig Lady Warren.

1860 – The first US successful silver mill began operation near Virginia City, Nev.

1909 – The SOS distress signal was first used by an American ship, the Arapahoe, off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

1909 – Tug USS Nezinscot, in heavy weather off Rockport, Massachusetts, suffered a shift in cargo and capsized.

1921 – Carrier arresting gear first tested at Hampton Roads.

1923 – MCRD transferred from Mare Island to its present location at San Diego.

1926 - Second Lieutenant Eugene Hoy Barksdale is killed when the Douglas O-2 observation plane, 25–350, McCook Field project number P-441, he was testing went into an uncontrollable spin over McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio. His parachute snagged on the wingstruts preventing escape from the aircraft. Barksdale Field, later Barksdale Air Force Base, is named for him upon establishment at the Military Reservation, Bossier Parish, Louisiana on 2 February 1933.

1939 - Nine Army Air Corps crew are killed in the takeoff crash of Douglas B-18A Bolo, 37-488,[199] of the 21st Reconnaissance Squadron, at Langley Field, Virginia. An engine fails on liftoff and though the pilot tries to glide for the Back River, he stalls, falls short, crashes and burns.

1939 – Two U.S. Navy aviators are killed in the crash of their bomber during gunnery practice at Miramar Field, north of San Diego. Killed when the plane crashes and burns are Ens. T. R. Wood, USNR, 28, of Tacoma, Washington, and Radioman (1-C) V. P. Armstrong, 33, of Bristol, Pennsylvania. Wood's widow lives in Coronado, California, and his father, J. W. Wood Sr., in Tacoma. "The navy plane was attached to bombing squadron 3 of the navy aircraft carrier Saratoga (CV-3)."

1942 – Actress Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil receive a patent for a Frequency-hopping spread spectrum communication system that later became the basis for modern technologies in wireless telephones and Wi-Fi.

1945 – US Secretary of State, James Byrnes, replies to the Japanese offer to surrender with a refusal to make any compromise on the demand for unconditional surrender. His note states that the Allies envisage an unconditional surrender as one where the emperor will be “subject to” the supreme commander of the Allied powers and the form of government will be decided by the “will of the Japanese people.”

1945 - "LISBON, A B-17 Flying Fortress en route to the United States from London via the Azores with 20 men crashed at sea 320 miles off Cape Finisterre (Spain) today."

1945 - North American TB-25J Mitchell, 44-31401, c/n 108-37376, built as B-25J-30/32-NC and converted, of the 3036th AAF Base Unit, Yuma Army Airfield, Arizona, piloted by Robert L. Laird, crashes into a mountain 25 miles SSW of Yucca Army Airfield, Arizona, this date, while on training flight from Yuma AAF. Crew of 5 killed. "YUMA, Ariz., Aug.15 (UP) - Twin brothers were among five Army men killed in the crash of their B-25 plane into Powell peak near Topock, Ariz., Saturday, officials of the Yuma Army airfield revealed today. The 20-year-old twin brothers were Second Lts. William G. Winter and John R. Winter, sons of William L. Winter, of Towanda, Pa. The twins were radar observers."

1948 – Former USS Skipjack (SS-184) was first sunk as a target vessel at the “Crossroads Baker” nuclear test at Bikini Atoll in July 1946. Later raised and towed to Mare Island, on this day she was again sunk as a target off the coast of California by aircraft rockets.

1956 – Former USS Armstrong County (LST-57) was sunk as a target.

1966 – USCGC Point Welcome (WPB-82329) was attacked in the pre-dawn hours by U.S. Air Force aircraft while on patrol in the waters near the mouth of the Cua Viet River, about three-quarters of a mile south of the Demilitarized Zone (the 17th Parallel) in South Vietnam. Her commanding officer, LTJG David Brostrom, along with one crewmen EN2 Jerry Phillips, were killed in this “friendly fire” incident.

1966 – Test pilot John McKay flew the X-15 to 76,505 meters (251,013 feet) and Mach 5.21.

1972 – The last U.S. ground combat unit in South Vietnam, the Third Battalion, Twenty-First Infantry, departs for the United States.

1995 – President Clinton banned all US nuclear tests, calling his decision “the right step as we continue pulling back from the nuclear precipice.”
 
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12 August

1658 – The 1st US police corps formed in New Amsterdam.

1812 – USS Constitution captures and destroys British brig Adeona.

1817 – The Revenue Cutter Active captured the pirate ship Margaret in Chesapeake Bay.

1862 - CSS Elmea was a Confederate armed sailing vessel that was wrecked in a channel of Nueces Bay, across from Corpus Christi, TX. The next day she was burned by Confederates to prevent capture by USS Arthur.

1867 – President Andrew Johnson sparked a move to impeach him as he defied Congress by suspending Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

1898 – Hawaii was formally annexed to the United States.

1898 – The brief and one-sided Spanish-American War comes to an end when Spain formally agrees to a peace protocol on U.S. terms: the cession of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Manila in the Philippines to the United States pending a final peace treaty.

1914 – Great Britain declared war on Austria-Hungary.

1918 – SECNAV approves acceptance of women as yeoman (F) in U.S. Navy.

1918 – The Secretary of the Navy authorized the enlistment of women into the Marine Corps Reserve.

1920 - Lt. William Calvin Maxwell, 28, of the 3d Aero Squadron, Camp Stotsenberg in Luzon, Philippines, a native of Atmore, Alabama, is killed in an aviation crash in the Philippines. While on a flight from Camp Stotsenberg to Manila, engine trouble forced Lt. Maxwell to attempt to land his DH-4, AS-23587, in a sugarcane field.

Maneuvering to avoid a group of children playing below, he struck a flagpole hidden by the tall sugarcane and was killed instantly. On the recommendation of his former commanding officer, Maj. Roy C. Brown, Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot, Montgomery, Alabama, was renamed Maxwell Field on 8 November 1922.

1941 – The House passes an extension of the draft period from one year to thirty months (and a similar increase for service in the National Guard) after considerable debate.

1942 – USS Cleveland (CL-55) demonstrates the effectiveness of the radio-proximity fuze (VT-fuze) against aircraft by successfully destroying 3 drones with proximity bursts fired by her five-inch guns.

1944 – LT Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., USNR, the older brother of John F. Kennedy, was killed with his co-pilot in a mid-air explosion after taking off from England in a PB4Y from Special Attack Unit One (SAU-1). Following manual takeoff, they were supposed to parachute out over the English Channel while the radio-controlled explosive filled drone proceeded to attack a German V-2 missile-launching site. Possible causes include faulty wiring or FM signals from a nearby transmitter.

1946 - LST-814 was sunk as a target after colliding with LST-1005 the previous 30 December.

1953 - A US Navy Grumman AF-2 Guardian, 'SL', from Anti-submarine Squadron VS-22 crashes into the ocean immediately after launch from USS Block Island (CVE-106). The pilot, Ensign E.H. Barry, is recovered by a Piasecki HUP plane-guard helicopter.

1954 - Two US training planes were shot down over Czechoslovakia. The pilots were captured and held for several months.

1957 – In first test of Automatic Carrier Landing System, an F3D Skynight flown by LCDR Don Walker is landed aboard USS Antietam (CVS-36).

1958 – USS Nautilus (SSN-571) arrives Portland, England completing first submerged under ice cruise from Pacific to Atlantic Oceans.

1960 – Test pilot Robert White flew the X-15 to 41,605 meters (136,506 feet) and Mach 2.52.

1961 – In an effort to stem the tide of refugees attempting to leave East Berlin, the communist government of East Germany begins building the Berlin Wall to divide East and West Berlin.

1964 – Test pilot Milton Thompson flew the X-15 to 23,774 meters (78,000 feet) and Mach 5.24.

1966 – Test pilot Pete Knight flew the X-15 to 70,439 meters (231,110 feet) and Mach 5.02.

2015 - A U.S. Army Sikorsky MH-60L Black Hawk crashes during a training mission while landing aboard USNS Red Cloud (T-AKR-313) about 20 miles (30 kilometers) east of Okinawa, injuring seven people and damaging the aircraft, officials said. The injured were transported to a Navy hospital, the statement said. Their conditions were not immediately clear. The other 10 people aboard the helicopter were not hurt, said Japanese coast guard spokesman Shinya Terada.
 
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13 August

1680 – War started when the Spanish were expelled from Santa Fe, New Mexico, by Indians under Chief Pope.

1779 – The Royal Navy defeats the Penobscot Expedition with the most significant loss of United States naval forces prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

1831 – Nat Turner sees a solar eclipse, which he believes is a sign from God. Eight days later he and 70 other slaves kill approximately 55 whites in Southampton County, Virginia, beginning the rebellion that bears his name.

1846 – The American flag was raised for the first time in Los Angeles as a joint expedition led by CDR Robert Stockton seizes the city.

1870 – Armed iron-screw tug USS Palos becomes first U.S. Navy ship to transit Suez Canal.

1912 - During air-ground maneuvers held by the U.S. Army at Stratford, Connecticut, Pvt. Beckwith Havens of the 1st Company, Signal Corps, New York National Guard, suffers engine failure in a Curtiss biplane at about 1000 ft (300 m) over a crowded parade ground, narrowly misses spectators and a cavalry troop as he swoops down, glides down the field and collides with a Burgess-Wright biplane that had just been flown by Lt. Benjamin Foulois, breaking off its tail. No injuries reported, and both aircraft are taken to hangars for repair. Havens, a pilot employed by pioneer aircraft builder Glenn H. Curtiss, had enlisted in the New York National Guard as a private in June 1912. At the National Guard maneuvers with the Army, he flew an aircraft that his employer had loaned him.

1918 – Opha M. Johnson enlisted at HQMC, becoming the first woman Marine.

1918 - Jarvis Jennes Offutt (1894–1918), becomes the first fatality among natives of Omaha, Nebraska in World War I, when his S.E.5 crashed during a training flight near Valheureux, France, and succumbs to his injuries. The Flying Field, Fort George Crook, Nebraska renamed Offutt Field, 6 May 1924.

1942 – Major General Eugene Reybold of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, authorizes the construction of facilities that would house the “Development of Substitute Materials” project, better known as the Manhattan Project.

1943 - Naval Auxiliary Air Facility Lompoc, California, is commissioned as a blimp base on 8 August 1943. Five days later, as ground crews maneuver ship K-29 in the damp, foggy morning for launch from Circle #2, the blimp's tail pendants approach a high-voltage power line and 11,000 volts arcs through the ship. Four men holding the metal handling bars on the control car are electrocuted and a fifth is seriously burned. The power company was supposed to have moved this hazard but had not. These were the only fatalities at the Lompoc facility during both civilian and military use.

1945 – About 1600 American aircraft fly over Tokyo and other Japanese cities dropping millions of leaflets explaining the position reached in the surrender negotiations and the state of affairs in Japan. Japanese Sub-Lieutenant Saburo Sakai, the one-eyed fighter ace (with 64 victories), shoots down a B-29 near Tokyo during the night (August 13-14).

1948 – Responding to increasing Soviet pressure on western Berlin, U.S. and British planes airlift a record amount of supplies into sections of the city under American and British control.

This date was a particularly nasty day, with terrible weather compounding the crowded airspace and exhaustion of the pilots and crews. Nevertheless, over 700 British and American planes landed in western Berlin, bringing in nearly 5,000 tons of supplies. The joint British-American effort on what came to be known as “Black Friday” was an important victory for two reasons. First and foremost, it reassured the people of western Berlin that the two nations were not backing down from their promise to defend the city from the Soviets. Second, it was another signal that the Soviet blockade was not only unsuccessful but was also backfiring into a propaganda nightmare.

1950 – Pres. Truman gave military aid to the Vietnamese regime of Bao-Dai.

1951 - A Boeing B-50D-110-BO Superfortress, 49-0268, on test flight out of Boeing Field, Seattle, Washington after modifications, suffers problems immediately after take off, fails to gain altitude, comes down two miles (3 km) N of field, clipping roof of a brewery with the starboard wing, cartwheels into wooden Lester Apartments, wreckage and structure burns for hours. Six on bomber (three Air Force crew, three Boeing employees) and five on ground die.

1960 – The first two-way telephone conversation by satellite took place with the help of Echo 1, a balloon satellite.

1969 – The Apollo 11 astronauts are released from a three-week quarantine to enjoy a ticker tape parade in New York, New York. That evening, at a state dinner in Los Angeles, California, they are awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by U.S. President Richard Nixon.

2003 – Former USS Downes (FF-1070) Sunk as a target off the West Coast by Harpoon missiles launched from P-3 aircraft
 
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14 August

1784 – On Kodiak Island, Grigory Shelikhov, a Russian fur trader, founds Three Saints Bay, the first permanent Russian settlement in Alaska.

1812 – Marines help to capture British sloop “Alert” during the War of 1812.

1813 – British warship Pelican attacked and captured US war brigantine Argus.

1842 – The Second Seminole War ended and the Seminoles were moved from Florida to Oklahoma.

1848 – The Oregon Territory was established.

1866 – SECNAV establishes Naval Gun Factory at Washington Navy Yard.

1900 – During the Boxer Rebellion, an international force featuring British, Russian, American, Japanese, French, and German troops relieves the Chinese capital of Peking after fighting its way 80 miles from the port of Tientsin.

1940 – Sir Henry Tizard heads a British scientific mission to the United States, carrying with him details of all of Britain’s most advanced thinking in several vital fields. There are ideas on jet engines, explosives, gun turrets and above all a little device called the cavity magnetron. This valve is vital for the development of more advanced types of radar, including the versions used in proximity fuses later and the types working on centimetric wavelengths which will be vital at sea in the U-boat war. The US Official History will later describe this collection as the “most valuable cargo ever brought to our shores.”

1941 – The Atlantic Charter was created in 1941. It was a joint declaration of peace aims and a statement of principles by US Pres. Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill that renounced aggression.

1941 - USS PC-457 is accidentally sunk in collision with U.S. freighter Norluna, North of Puerto Rico. 2 crew were killed.

1942 - When Lt. Elza Shahn ferried his Lockheed P-38F Lightning to England, he spotted a German Focke-Wulf Fw 200C-3 Condor near Iceland. Lt. Shahn shot the Condor down, becoming the first American Army pilot to shoot down a German plane in World War II.

1943 - Curtiss XP-60E-CU, 42-79425, is damaged in a forced landing just before being released to the USAAF for official trials. Becomes XP-60C when it is retrofit with wings, landing gear, and other items from the Curtiss XP-60A-CU, 42-79423. Meanwhile, original Curtiss XP-60C-CU, 42-79424, becomes second XP-60E with removal of 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) R-2800-53 engine and contraprops, replaced with R-2800-10 engine and four-blade prop. Whole P-60 project is essentially a dead-end, being nothing more than Curtiss' attempt to stretch pre-war design that started out as the P-36, and the company's unwillingness or inability to start fresh with a new fighter design will force them out of the airframe business a few years after the war.

1943 – New draft regulations come into force. There is a revised list of reserved occupations and having dependents are now deciding factors in deferments.

1944 – The US federal government allowed the manufacture of certain domestic appliances, such as electric ranges and vacuum cleaners, to resume on a limited basis.1944 – The US federal government allowed the manufacture of certain domestic appliances, such as electric ranges and vacuum cleaners, to resume on a limited basis.

1945 – At a government meeting with Emperor Hirohito, the emperor states that the war should end. He records a radio message to the Japanese people saying that they must “bear the unbearable.” During the night, begining about 2300 hours, a group of army officers lead forces number over 1000 in an attempt to steal the recording and prevent it being broadcast but fail to overcome the guards at the Imperial Palace. Coup leader, Major Kenji Hatanaka, who killed the commander of the imperial guard, commits suicide after its failure. The Japanese decision to surrender is transmitted to the Allies.

1945 – In the last air raid of the war, during the night (August 14-15) US B-29 Superfortress bombers strike Kumagaya and Isezaki, northwest of Tokyo, and Akita-Aradi oil refinery.

1945 – The American War Production Board removes all restrictions on the production of automobiles in the United States. Meanwhile, General Douglas MacArthur is appointed supreme Allied commander to accept the Japanese surrender. An immediate suspension of hostilities is ordered and Japan is ordered to end fighting by all its forces on all fronts immediately.

1959 - Martin XSM-68-1-MA Titan I missile B-5, 57–2692, explodes on launchpad at Launch Complex 19 during sub-orbital flight, Cape Canaveral, Florida, when its tie-down bolts explode prematurely as the vehicle builds up thrust. An umbilical generates a "no-go" signal prompting an engine-kill signal from the flight controls and the Titan loses all thrust, falls back through the launcher ring and explodes. The umbilical tower is damaged in the ensuing fire.

1962 – Test pilot Joe Walker flew the X-15 to 59,009 meters (193,609 feet) and Mach 5.25.

1963 – Former USS Queenfish (SS-393) was sunk as a target by USS Swordfish (SSN-579)

1964 – Test pilot Robert Rushworth flew the X-15 to 31,486 meters (103,300 feet) and Mach 5.23.

1964 - Lockheed U-2A, 56-6955, Article 395, was the fifth and last airframe of the USAF supplementary production, delivered to the USAF in March 1959. Assigned to the 4080th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, Laughlin AFB, Texas, it crashed near Boise, Idaho. ROCAF pilot successfully ejects.

1967 – Former USS Scurry (MSF-304) was sunk as a target off the Virginia Capes.

1968 – Former USS Devilfish (AGSS-292) was sunk as a target by USS Wahoo (SS-565) off San Francisco, California as part of a MK 16 MOD 8 torpedo test in 2000 fathoms (12,000 feet or 3,700 meters) of water.

1974 – Congress authorized US citizens to own gold.

1978 - A U.S. Navy Douglas C-117D Skytrain departed NAS Agana, Guam, to fly to Ulithi, with 30 souls aboard, including two rear admirals, 13 members of the Navy Band, and four Department of the Interior officials, who were on a mission to visit the Trust Territories. About 130 miles out, the right engine's oil pressure dropped, and the pilots shut the engine down and turned back to Guam. Prior to takeoff they had not factored in heat and humidity to the airplane performance, and so were now too heavy to maintain altitude on one engine. In trying to maintain altitude, they slowed to 100 MPH, which made them sink even faster. They ditched 8 miles from the southern tip of Guam. The pilot failed to use flaps to lower his speed during landing, and landed with a 15 MPH tailwind, contributing to a hard landing, the aircraft nose tearing off, and two fatalities.

1995 – Shannon Faulkner officially became the first female cadet in the history of The Citadel, South Carolina’s state military college. She quit the school less than a week later, citing the stress of her court fight, and her isolation among the male cadets.

1997 – An unrepentant Timothy McVeigh was formally sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing.

2001 – Helios, a remote-controlled, solar powered NASA plane, reached a record 96,500 feet.
 
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1824 – Freed American slaves formed the country of Liberia.

1863 – Submarine H. L. Hunley had arrived in Charleston on two covered railroad flat cars. Brigadier General Jordan advised Mr. B.A. Whitney that a reward of $100,000 dollars would he paid by John Fraser and Company for the destruction of U.S.S. New Ironsides and other ships.

1876 – US law removed Indians from Black Hills after gold find. Sioux leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull led their warriors to protect their lands from invasion by prospectors following the discovery of gold.

1895 – Commissioning of U.S.S. Texas, the first American steel-hulled battleship. Texas served off Cuba during the Spanish-American War and took part in the naval battle of Santiago. Under the name of San Marcos, she was sunk in weapon effects tests in Chesapeake Bay in 1911.

1908 – First Navy post offices established in Navy ships.

1914 – The American-built waterway across the Isthmus of Panama, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, is inaugurated with the passage of the U.S. vessel Ancon, a cargo and passenger ship.

1945 – World War II gasoline rationing in America ended on this day.

1945 – Celebrations mark the end of World War II — VJ Day. A two-day holiday is proclaimed for all federal employees. V-J Day is also used to describe 2 September.

1945 – The recorded message of Emperor Hirohito is broadcast to the Japanese people. Many cannot at first accept what has happened. The tight control of the government has prevented civilians from knowing the full extent of the weakness of Japan’s position.

1948 – The Republic of Korea [South Korea] was proclaimed.

1956 – Former LST-17 was sunk by torpedo as a target.

1958 – Former USS Hillsborough County (LST-827) was sunk as a target in the Gulf of California.

1961 – Two days after sealing off free passage between East and West Berlin with barbed wire, East German authorities begin building a wall–the Berlin Wall–to permanently close off access to the West.

1975 - Lockheed U-2R, 68-10334, Article 056, sixth airframe of the first R-model order, first flown 18 May 1968, N814X allocated, delivered to 100th SRW, 10 June 1968. Crashes into the Gulf of Thailand ~50 miles S of U-Tapao, this date, when pilot Capt. Jon T. Little, 32, of Tucson, Arizona, ejects from the aircraft he was ferrying back to the U.S. from U-Tapao. Shortly after departing the Thai base in the company of another U-2R and a KC-135 on a very dark night, the autopilot develops problems and Little loses control as it overspeeds. The tail separates and the pilot ejects, being rescued by a fishing boat in the Gulf of Thailand the next morning. The fishing boat crew takes Little to the Thai village of Patani near the Malaysian border said a spokesman for Pacific Command. Although Little survives, he never flies a U-2 again, SAC tradition at the time. This is the second U-2R loss.

2001 – The Air Force gave the go-ahead to build its new F-22 fighter but said it would build fewer planes for more money than it had once planned.

2003 – Former USS Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7) was sunk as a target 250nm SSW of Los Angeles, California.

2004 - A US Marine Corps CH-53D Sea Stallion lost tail rotor authority on approach to MCAS Futenma on the island of Okinawa. This was due to improper maintenance. The failure to install a cotter pin resulted in vibrations forcing loose a bolt, thus causing separation of the tail boom from the aircraft. The aircraft proceeded to spin out of control striking a college building before hitting the ground and catching fire. The post maintenance test flight crew of 3 survived the crash with injuries.

2005 - A US Navy Grumman C-2A Greyhound, BuNo 162178, c/n 58, of VAW-120, makes successful belly landing at Chambers Field, Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, after undercarriage refuses to extend. Aircraft had departed Norfolk for NAS Pensacola, Florida, when problems were detected. Aircraft circled for two hours to burn fuel before making successful landing. None of 25 on board were injured. Airframe struck off charge with Class A damage, as damaged beyond repair.

2007 - Lts. Ryan Betton, Cameron Hall and Jerry Smith were killed when their Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, BuNo 163696, 'AD', from Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 120 (VAW-120), based at the Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off North Carolina at ~2300 hrs. An investigation was unable to determine the cause of the crash, according to a copy of the Judge Advocate General final report — known as a JAGMAN — obtained by Navy Times. The aircraft catapulted off the deck of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) and crashed into the water moments later. The carrier never received any emergency radio transmissions or acknowledgment by the mishap crew, according to the report.
 
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16 August

1691 – Yorktown, Va., was founded.

1812 – During the War of 1812, American General William Hull surrenders Fort Detroit and his army to the British without a fight.

1812 – USS Constitution recaptures American merchant brig Adeline.

1858 – A telegraphed message from Britain’s Queen Victoria to President Buchanan was transmitted over the recently laid trans-Atlantic cable. The cable linked Ireland and Canada and failed after a few weeks.

1861 – President Lincoln prohibited the states of the Union from trading with the seceding states of the Confederacy.

1896 – Sometime prospector George Carmack stumbles across gold while salmon fishing along the Klondike River in the Yukon.

1942 – U.S. Navy L class blimp L-8, a former Goodyear advertising blimp, of ZP-32, departed Treasure Island, San Francisco, California, with crew of two officer-pilots. Five hours later the partially deflated L-8 is sighted drifting over Daly City, California where it touches down sans crew. Nothing is ever found of Lt. Ernest D. Cody and Ensign Charles E. Adams. It is assumed that they were lost over water but were never found. The control car from this blimp is now in the National Museum of Naval Aviation, NAS Pensacola,

1942 – Third firing of German V-2 guided missile. The nose broke off after 45 seconds of flight.

1945 – The Emperor issues an Imperial Rescript (decree) at 1600 hours (local time) ordering all Japanese forces to cease fire. The Cabinet resigns. General Prince Higashikumi becomes the prime minister of Japan and forms a new government. He orders the Imperial Army to obey the Emperor’s call and lay down their arms.

1945 – Lt. Gen. Jonathan Wainwright, (captured by the Japanese on the island of Corregidor, in the Philippines), is freed by Russian forces from a POW camp in Manchuria, China.

1945 – Following the surrender of the Japanese, Ho Chi Minh and his ‘People’s Congress’ create a National liberation Committee of Vietnam to form a provisional government.

1946 - Captain Elmer Lee Belcher Jr. from Roanoke Alabama crashed to his death near Salinas Ecuador (Julio Moreno). He was stationed at France Field Canal Zone with the 20th Fighter Squadron of the Sixth Air Force. Flying a P-47D serial # 44-40191. He was flying by instruments in bad weather when he crashed.

1947 – The fate of the scuttled and never-completed ex-German aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin is something of a mystery. Some sources say she was sunk this date while under tow to Russia by either striking a mine or deliberately scuttled. Other Soviet records claim the ship reached Russia and was later subjected to ordnance tests and eventually torpedoed and sunk. The wreck was discovered 12 July 2006 in the Baltic Sea at 55° 31′ 3″ N, 18° 17′ 9″ E.

1956 - The Battle of Palmdale was the attempted shoot-down of a runaway Grumman F6F-5K Hellcat drone by United States Air Force interceptors in the skies over Southern California. The drone was launched at 1134 hrs. PDT from Point Mugu Naval Air Station and soon went out of control. Northrop F-89D Scorpion interceptor aircraft of the 437th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron took off from Oxnard Air Force Base and caught up to the drone, but were ultimately unable to bring it down, in spite of expending all of their 208 rockets.

After it ran out of fuel, the unmanned aircraft crashed in a sparsely populated tract of desert. During the incident over 1000 acres were scorched and a substantial amount of property was damaged or destroyed.

1960 – Air Force Col Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,300 m), setting three records that held until 2012: High-altitude jump, free fall, and highest speed by a human without an aircraft.
 
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17 August

1585 – A first group of colonists sent by Sir Walter Ralegh under the charge of Ralph Lane lands in the New World to create Roanoke Colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present-day North Carolina.

1590 – John White, the leader of 117 colonists sent in 1587 to Roanoke Island (North Carolina) to establish a colony, returned from a trip to England to find the settlement deserted. No trace of the settlers was ever found.

1812 – Frigate President captures British schooner L’Adeline in North Atlantic.

1863 - USS Crocus was a Union screw steam tug of 122 tons, built in 1863 at Mystic, Conn. that was wrecked this date at Bodie Island with no loss of life.

1921 – German WW1 battlecruiser SMS Baden was scuttled by Germans in Scapa Flow in 1919 but refloated by the British Navy and used for a gunnery target. After numerous large caliber hits, she was scuttled this date in Hurd Deep in the English Channel.

1941 – The United States government presents a formal warning to the Japanese along the lines agreed at Placentia Bay.

1942 – The first bombing raid flown by a completely American squadron bombs Rouen in France.

1942 - Grumman XF6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo 02982, first flown 30 July 1942, suffers engine failure of Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 on test flight out of Bethpage, New York, Grumman test pilot Bob Hall dead-sticks into a farmer's field on Long Island, survives unpowered landing but airframe heavily damaged.

1945 - Two Boeing B-29 Superfortress bombers collide over Weatherford, Texas, during a night bomber training exercise. Eighteen crew members are killed, two manage to escape from the falling wreckage and parachute to safety. An Associated Press account stated that some crew that bailed out had their chutes set alight by fiery wreckage and subsequently fell to their deaths. Residents of the town were panicked by the collision high overhead. "The explosion shook Weatherford. The skies were full of pieces of burning planes. The glare was seen 20 miles away. Some had a first impression that the town had been hit by a Jap balloon bomb." Boeing B-29A-10-BN Superfortress, 42-93895, of the 234th Combat Crew Training Squadron, Clovis Army Air Field, New Mexico, and Boeing B-29B-40-MO Superfortress, 44-86276, (the last Block 40-MO airframe) of the 231st Combat Crew Training Squadron, Alamagordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, involved.

1945 – Ho Chi Minh begins the first of a series of eight letters to President Harry Truman. Because of his relations with the OSS, collaborating against the Japanese, he regards the US as the friend of all struggling peoples. He asks for US aid in gaining Vietnam’s independence from France. There is no record of any US official ever answering these appeals. The US government is in a quandary, not wanting to support French colonialism, but not wanting to turn Vietnam over to a Communist administration.

1953 - A T-6 Texan was shot down over the Korean demilitarized zone by North Korean ground fire. One crew member was killed and one survived.

1957 - A B-25 Mitchell medium bomber assigned to Vance Air Force Base, Enid, Oklahoma, crashes into a housing project near Palm Beach Air Force Base in Palm Beach, Florida at ~0300 hours just prior to landing on the final leg of a training flight. The four-man crew are KWF. The crew were 1st Lt. Robert E. DeTroye, of San Luis Obispo, California; 1st Lt. John Jones, 27, Muncie, Indiana; 1st Lt. James E. Brookman, Mount Vernon, Illinois; and 2nd Lt. James A. Ewalt, Northwoods, Missouri. All of the men were unmarried, it was announced.

1960 – American Francis Gary Powers pleaded guilty at his Moscow trial for spying over the Soviet Union in a U-2 plane.

1962 – Navy’s first hydrofoil patrol craft, USS High Point (PCH-1) launched at Seattle, WA.

1968 – Former USS Traw (DE-350) was sunk as a target by gunfire from USS Bausell (DD-845) during Operation StrikEx 3-68, off Baja California, Mexico.

1969 - A US Army OH-23 Raven of the 59th Aviation Company was shot down over the Korean demilitarized zone. The crew, Malcolm Loepke, Herman Hofstatter and one other, were captured by the North Koreans and released 108 days later.

1971 - USS Regulus (AF-57) ran aground and was wrecked at Kau Yi Chau, Honk Kong. She was later broken up at Junk Bay.

1982 - A United States Army Reserve Medevac UH-1H Crashed at Salt Lake City International Airport during an Auto-rotation exercise. Killing the pilot. Other crew members sustained serious injuries.

1987 – Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s former deputy, is found strangled to death in Spandau Prison in Berlin at the age of 93, apparently the victim of suicide.

1994 - US NAVY McDonnell Douglas T-45A Goshawk Mid-air collision between T-45 163629 and 163639 60 miles southwest of NAS Kingsville, Texas. Pilot - LTJG Brian S. DeHaan - did not eject and was killed.

1996 – An Air Force C-130 cargo plane carrying gear for President Clinton crashed and exploded shortly after takeoff from Jackson Hole Airport in Wyoming; eight crew members and a Secret Service employee were killed.

1998 – It was reported that spy satellites had detected a secret underground complex in North Korea that was suspected of being involved in a nuclear weapons program.

2014 – For the first time, an unmanned plane took off and landed form a US Aircraft Carrier, alongside a manned aircraft. The X-47B UCAS participated in flight operations side by side with the Navy’s standard F/A/-18E Super Hornet fighter. The goal for the flight test on the USS Theodore Roosevelt was for the two aircraft to take off within 90 seconds of one another and then for both had to land within a minute and a half.
 
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18 August

1812 – Returning from a cruise into Canadian waters Captain Isaac Hull’s USS Constitution encountered British Captain Richard Dacre’s HMS Guerriere about 750 miles out of Boston. After a frenzied 55-minute battle that left 101 dead, Guerriere rolled helplessly in the water, smashed beyond salvage. Dacre struck his colors and surrendered to Hull’s boarding party.

1838 – Six US Navy ships departed Hampton Roads, Va., led by Lt. Charles Wilkes on a 3-year mission called the US South Seas Exploring Expedition, the “U.S. Ex. Ex.” The mission proved Antarctica to be a continent.

1863 - CSS Oconee was a Confederate States side wheel paddle steamer used as a blockade runner. She was formerly the PSS Evergalde and later the CSS Savannah before being converted to a blockade runner. She foundered at sea in a gale/storm after leaving Savannah in bad weather.

1914 – President Wilson issued his Proclamation of Neutrality, aimed at keeping the United States out of World War I.

1914 – Germany declared war on Russia.

1920 – The 19th Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing women the right to vote, is ratified by Tennessee, giving it the two-thirds majority of state ratification necessary to make it the law of the land.

1930 - Capt. Ira C. Eaker takes Boeing P-12B, 29-441, c/n 1189, of the AC Detachment, Bolling Field, Washington, D.C., up for tests to see how the ship handles with 70 lbs. of ballast – the weight of period radios and their battery – loaded behind the cockpit. After initiating a spin to the right from 7,000 feet, the fighter enters a flat spin which no control inputs can stop.

Eaker bails out at low altitude, skinning his nose and leg as he strikes the stabilizer, but his partially opened chute fetches up on the steep roof of a house with the pilot going over the other side, breaking his fall somewhat. He suffers an injured foot when he slams into a concrete stoop but survives. The P-12 destroys a henhouse and burns in an apple orchard.

1937 - Col. William Caldwell McChord (1881–1937), rated a junior military aviator in 1918, was killed while trying to force-land his Northrop A-17, 35–105, near Maidens, Virginia. At the time of his death, he was Chief of the Training and Operations Division in HQ Army Air Corps. Tacoma Field, Washington, was renamed McChord Field, 17 December 1937.

1945 - Last U.S. air combat casualty of World War II occurs during mission 230 A-8, when two Consolidated B-32 Dominators of the 386th Bomb Squadron, 312th Bomb Group, launch from Yontan Airfield, Okinawa, for a photo reconnaissance run over Tokyo, Japan. Both bombers are attacked by several Japanese fighters of both the 302nd Air Group at Atsugi and the Yokosuka Air Group that make 10 gunnery passes. Japanese aces Sadamu Komachi and Saburō Sakai are part of this attack. B-32 piloted by 1st Lt. John R. Anderson, is hit at 20,000 feet, cannon fire knocks out number two (port inner) engine, and three crew are injured, including Sgt. Anthony J. Marchione, 19, of the 20th Reconnaissance Squadron, who takes 20 mm hit to the chest, dying 30 minutes later. Tail gunner Sgt. John Houston destroys one attacker. Lead bomber, Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108532, "Hobo Queen II", piloted by 1st Lt. James Klein, is not seriously damaged but second Consolidated B-32-35-CF Dominator, 42-108578, loses engine, has upper turret knocked out of action, and loses partial rudder control.

Both bombers land at Yontan Airfield just past ~1800 hrs. after surviving the last air combat of the Pacific war. The following day, propellers are removed from Japanese aircraft as part of surrender agreement. Marchione is buried on Okinawa on 19 August, his body being returned to his Pottstown, Pennsylvania home on 18 March 1949. He is interred in St. Aloysius Old Cemetery with full military honors. B-32, 42-108578, is scrapped at Kingman, Arizona after the war.

1951 - Boeing XB-47-BO Stratojet, 46-065, first prototype of two, stalls on landing, suffers major structural damage. No injuries. Another source cites date of 18 August 1950.

1955 - A US Air Force LT-6 utility/training aircraft was shot down by North Korean ground fire after the aircraft inadvertently overflew the DMZ into North Korea. The pilot was wounded and the observer was killed. The body of the observer and the pilot were returned by the North Koreans on August 23, 1955.

1956 – Test pilot Iven Kincheloe flew the X-2 to 21,336 meters (70,000 feet) despite premature engine shutdown.

1963 - Twin accidents aboard the USS Constellation (CV-64) kill three. First, a McDonnell F-4B Phantom II, BuNo 149436, of VF-143, snaps arresting cable during night landing, goes over the side, pilot LT Robert J. Craig, 31, of San Diego is lost with his unidentified Radar Intercept Officer, three deck crew injured by whipping cable. Then several hours later, in an unrelated accident, Missile Technician 2nd Class Robert William Negus, originally from Lompoc, California, is crushed by a missile, the Navy in San Diego reported.

1966 – First ship-to-shore satellite radio message sent from USS Annapolis in South China Sea to Pacific Fleet Headquarters at Pearl Harbor.

1971 - CH-47A helicopter, airframe 66-19023, was operated by the 4th Aviation Company, 15th Aviation Group. The helicopter was transporting 33 soldiers of the Heavy Mortar Platoon, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, 56th Field Artillery Brigade from battalion headquarters in Ludwigsburg to Grafenwoehr for live fire training exercises.

Fatigue failure of the rear rotor blade led to its separation causing structural damage resulting in the crash and explosion that killed all 37 on board, including four crew members. A memorial plaque was placed near the crash site in the forest outside Pegnitz, but it was stolen in 2009.

1974 - Lockheed C-141A Starlifter, 65-0274, of the 437th MAW, Charleston AFB, South Carolina, hits Mount Potosi at the 19,000 foot level, ~17 miles from destination, John F. Kennedy International Airport, La Paz, Bolivia, killing seven crew.

1976 – Two U.S. Army officers were killed in Korea’s demilitarized zone as a group of North Korean soldiers wielding axes and metal pikes attacked U.S. and South Korean soldiers.

1990 - USS Reid (FFG-30) fired warning shots across the bow of an Iraqi oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman—apparently the first shots fired by the United States in the Persian Gulf crisis.
 
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19 August

1782 – Battle of Blue Licks – the last major engagement of the War of Independence, almost ten months after the surrender of the British commander Charles Cornwallis following the Siege of Yorktown.

1812 – The USS Constitution vs HMS Guerriere, was a single ship action during the War of 1812, approximately 400 miles southeast of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1818 – Capt James Biddle takes possession of Oregon Territory for U.S.

1854 – The First Sioux War begins when United States Army soldiers kill Lakota chief Conquering Bear and in return are massacred.

1905 – Roald Amundsen and his crew of 6 aboard Gjøe, a converted herring boat, made contact with the US Coast Guard cutter Bear which confirmed their crossing the Northwest Passage following a 26-month journey.

1935 - Martin B-12A, 33-167, of the 31st Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Group, Hamilton Field, California, piloted by William Ball, receives heavy damage when the landing gear collapses on landing at Medford Airport, Medford, Oregon.

1936 – Former USS R-8 (SS-85) was used as a target vessel for an aerial bombing test. Four near-misses with 100 lb (45 kg) bombs sank her 71 mi (114 km) off Cape Henry, Virginia.

1940 – First flight of the B-25 Mitchell medium bomber.

1943 – Italians have approached the Allies about negotiating a surrender. General Bedell Smith, General Eisenhower’s Chief of Staff, and General Strong, his chief of intelligence areeive to continue talks with approaches to the British ambassador, Sir Samuel Hoare.

1944 – Liberation of Paris – Paris, France rises against German occupation with the help of Allied troops.

1945 – Japanese representatives of the government arrive in Manila to conclude the surrender of the remaining Japanese troops and receive instructions on the plans for the occupation of Japan and the signing of the surrender documents.

1945 - Pilot 1st Lt. James K. Holt ferries captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, 500098, "Cookie VII", FE-4011, from Newark Army Air Base, New Jersey to Freeman Field, Indiana, with a refuelling stop at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at ~ 1600 hrs, as one of two Messerschmitts being sent for testing after arriving in the U.S. aboard escort carrier HMS Reaper (D82). Upon landing at Pittsburgh, he experiences complete brake failure, overruns the runway, goes down steep incline, hits opposite side of ditch, tearing engines and undercarriage off the jet and breaking the fuselage in half. Pilot is unhurt but airframe is a total loss.

1946 - Vladimir Vodopivec, flying a Yak-3 of the Yugoslav Air Force shot down a US Army Air Force C-47 transport over Northern Yugoslavia (Slovenia). The crew of Harold Schreiber, Glen Freestone, Richard Claeys, Matthew Comko and Chester L. Lower were all killed.

1948 – Second launch attempt of the V-2/Bumper two-stage rocket from White Sands, New Mexico. The first stage engine cut out due to propellant flow interruption after the vehicle reached an altitude of only 13.4 km (approx. 44,000 feet).

1955 - Sixth of 13 North American X-10s, GM-19312, c/n 6, on Navaho X-10 flight number 16, out of Edwards AFB, California, demonstrates planned automated landing on first AFMTC flight, but drag chute does not deploy after landing. The vehicle overruns the skid strip, the nosewheel collapses in the sand in the overrun, the tanks rupture, and the vehicle burns.

1957 – The first balloon flight to exceed 100,000 feet took off from Crosby, Minnesota. US Major David Simons reached 30,933 m. in a balloon.

1960 – Test pilot Joe Walker flew the X-15 to 23,159 meters (75,980 feet) and Mach 3.13.

1963 - A U.S. Air Force Boeing QB-47E Stratojet, of the 3205th Drone Director Group, veers off course on touchdown at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, crashing onto Eglin Parkway parallel to runway 32/14. The QB-47 was used for Bomarc Surface to Air Missile Program tests, which normally operated from Auxiliary Field Three (Duke Field), approximately 15 miles from the main base, but was diverted to Eglin Main after thunderstorms built up over Duke.

1963 - Two Boeing B-47 Stratojets of the 40th Bombardment Wing (another source claims 310th Bombardment Wing) from Schilling AFB, Salina, Kansas, B-47E, 53-2365, and B-47E, 53-6206, collide in mid-air over Irwin, Iowa, during a nine-hour navigation, air-refuelling and radar bomb scoring mission. Bombers depart Schilling at 1125 hrs. and 1126 hrs., then collide in overcast shortly after 1230 hrs., coming down on two farms ~2 miles apart. Two crew DOA at Harlan Hospital, Irwin, Iowa, three treated for injuries, one located alive. SAC identifies three survivors as Capt. Richard M. Smiley, 29, of Arlington, Kansas, aircraft commander of one B-47; Capt. Allan M. Ramsey, Jr., 32, of Bainbridge, Georgia, Smiley's navigator; Capt. Richard M. Snowden, 29, navigator on second B-47. Listed as missing: Capt. Leonard A. Theis, 29, San Fernando, California, co-pilot on second B-47; dead is Capt. Peter J. Macchi, 29, Belleville, New Jersey, Smiley's co-pilot; second fatality not immediately identified. Smiley suffers head injuries, Ramsey, back injuries, and Snowden, burns and leg injuries. It is unclear which crew was on which airframe.

1966 – Test pilot Bill Dana flew the X-15 to 54,254 meters (178,000 feet) and Mach 5.20.

1981 – Two US Navy F-14A Tomcats, of VF-41, flown by Henry Kleeman (RIO David Venlet) and Lawrence Muczynski (RIO James Anderson), flying from the USS Nimitz (CVN-68), each shot down a Libyan Su-22 Fitter over the Gulf of Sidra.

2009 - A United States Army Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk from Fort Campbell, Kentucky the home base of the 101st Airborne, crashes while on a training exercise being carried-out by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). The accident occurred 400 ft below the summit of the 14,421 feet high (4,268 m) Mount Massive in the Sawatch Range, Colorado leaving 2 crew dead, 1 injured and 1 crew member missing.

2010 – The last US combat brigades departed Iraq in the early morning.

2013 - A USAF Rockwell B-1B Lancer of the 28th Bomb Wing, from Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota, crashed in a remote area near Broadus, Montana, in the southeastern part of the state. Two pilots and two weapons systems officers ejected, but with some injuries.
 
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20 August

1619 – The 1st African slaves arrived in North America aboard a Dutch privateer. It docked in Jamestown, Virginia, with twenty human captives among its cargo.

1775 – The Spanish establish the Presidio San Augustin del Tucson in the town that became Tucson, Arizona.

1804 – Sergeant Charles Floyd dies three months into the voyage of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, becoming the only member of the Corps of Discovery to die during the journey.

1861 - PSS R. W. Powell was a Confederate side-wheel steamer of 349 tons, built in 1855 at New Albany, Ind. that snagged at Plaquemine, Louisiana.

1861 - T. W. Riley was a Union sloop that was scuttled near the sloop Jane Wright by the USS Yankee and USS Restless at Wades Bay, Potomac River, to prevent its use by Confederates.

1863 - SS William S. Bull was a Union steamer of 16 tons built in 1861 at Buffalo, Ny. She foundered this date about 40 miles from Erie, PA.

1864 - SV Roan was a Union Brig of 127 tons that was captured and burnt by the CSS TALLAHASSEE south of Halifax, Nova Scotia while in ballast to Cape Breton Island.

1908 – The American Great White Fleet arrived in Sydney, Australia, to a warm welcome.

1910 – The 1st shot fired from an airplane was during a test flight over Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay.

1936 - Prototype Vought XSB2U-1 Vindicator, BuNo 9725, first flown at Rentschler Field, East Hartford, Connecticut, on 5 January 1936, accepted by the U.S. Navy on 2 July 1936, crashes near Norfolk, Virginia. During stall tests at low altitude (1,000 feet), the aircraft spun into shallow water of Willoughby Bay, killing the two aboard, pilot Lt. Cmdr. Samuel Hyer Arthur, and Chance Vought observer Robert Witbeck. Testing had sufficiently advanced, however, that a contract was signed on 26 October 1936 for 54 aircraft. The aircraft made its first flight on 21 May 1937 and deliveries to operational units began in December 1937.

1940 – Radar was used for the first time, by the British during the Battle of Britain.

1941 – Adolf Hitler authorized the development of the V-2 missile.

1942 – Plutonium was first weighed. Glenn T. Seaborg was a co-discoverer of Plutonium.

1945 – The War Production Board removes most of its controls over manufacturing activity. These and many other measures help the US economy to convert quickly to a peacetime basis. The American economy is actually stronger and more productive now, than before the war, and the standard of living, unlike that of any of the other major participants in the war, has actually increased.

1946 – World War II civilian truck restrictions were lifted in the U.S. Truck restrictions were only the beginning of special regulations during the war.

1946 - A captured Messerschmitt Me 262A, Wrknr. 111711, FE-0107, 711, crashed Tuesday afternoon ~two miles S of Xenia, Ohio, near Route 68, test pilot Walter J. McAuley, Jr., of the Flight Performance Section, Flight Test Division, Wright Field, Ohio, successfully parachuting to safety. This brand new airframe had been surrendered on 31 March 1945 by Messerschmitt test pilot Hans Fay who defected during a functional check flight rather than fly it to an operational unit, landing at Rhein-Main, Frankfurt, the first Me 262 to fall into Allied hands.

1948 - A Boeing B-29-15-BA Superfortress, 42-63442, crashes near Rapid City, South Dakota shortly after take-off from Rapid City AFB, killing all 17 on board.

1953 – The Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.

1962 – Test pilot Robert Rushworth flew the X-15 to 27,097 meters (88,900 feet) and Mach 5.24.

1968 – In the face of rising anti-Soviet protests in Czechoslovakia, Soviet troops (backed by troops from other Warsaw Pact nations) intervene to crush the protest.

1974 – In the wake of Nixon’s resignation, Congress reduces military aid to South Vietnam from $1 billion to $700 million. This was one of several actions that signaled the North Vietnamese that the United States was backing away from its commitment to South Vietnam.

1975 – Viking 1, an unmanned U.S. planetary probe, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to soft-land on Mars.

1977 – The United States launched Voyager 2, an unmanned spacecraft to explore the outer solar system.

1998 – Pres. Clinton ordered cruise missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan 13 days after the deadly embassy bombings in East Africa. About 50 missiles were fired at the camp of Osama Bin Laden and some 25 missiles against a suspected chemical plant in Khartoum.
 
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1680 – Pueblo Indians took possession of Santa Fe, N.M., after driving out the Spanish. They destroyed almost all of the Spanish churches in Taos and Santa Fe.

1800 – U.S. Marine Corps Band gave its first concert in Washington, D.C.

1831 – Believing himself chosen by God to lead his people out of slavery, Nat Turner launches a bloody slave insurrection in Southampton County, Virginia.

1862 – As the economy took a beating from the Civil War, the Treasury Department sprung into action by releasing fractional currency, alternately known as postage currency. The new 5, 10, 25, and 50-cent notes hit the streets on this day.

1863 – The vicious guerilla war in Missouri spills over into Kansas and precipitates one of the most appalling acts of violence during the war when 150 men in the abolitionist town of Lawrence are murdered in a raid by Southern partisans.

1863 – USS Bainbridge was a Union brig, 259 tons, launched in 1842 at Boston. She capsized and sank off Cape Hatteras, with all lost but a cook and one crewman, who climbed into a boat.

1883 – The first installation of electric lights in a US Navy warship took place during the summer of 1883.

1867 – After the Civil War settlers rushed to claim lands in the Great Plains. By the mid-1867 the native peoples in Kansas began resisting by attacking settlements, railroad workers and travelers heading west. To help meet this emergency the War Department authorized placing volunteer units on active duty to patrol and protect the settlements. They were soon joined by elements of the U.S. 10th Cavalry. This unit was one of four Regular Army African American regiments composed of all-black enlisted men but almost entirely commanded by white officers. These men are often referred to as the “Buffalo Soldiers”, a nick name given them by the Native American because their hair resembles that of the buffalo.

1920 – Radio station built by U.S. Navy and French Government transmits first wireless message heard around the world. At time it was the most powerful radio station in the world.

1941 - Twenty-four-year-old Lt. Eugene M. Bradley, of Antlers, Oklahoma, assigned to the 64th Pursuit Squadron (Interceptor), 57th Pursuit Group (Interceptor), is killed while engaged in a dogfight training drill with Frank Mears, commander of the 64th. Lt. Bradley's Curtiss P-40C, 41-13348, spins out of a tight turn and spirals into a grove of trees one mile W of Windsor Locks Army Air Base, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, the first fatality at the new base. Following his funeral in Hartford, Lt. Bradley's remains are interred at San Antonio National Cemetery in Texas. In January 1942, the War Department formally authorized the field's designation as Bradley Field, as a tribute to the flier's memory, so designated on 20 January. It is now Bradley International Airport.

1944 - Lieutenant John M. Armitage, USNR, is killed while conducting air firing tests of a Tiny Tim rocket at the Naval Ordnance Test Station at Inyokern, California. He flew into the ground from 1,500 ft (460 m) in a Curtiss SB2C-1C Helldiver, BuNo 018248 and was killed after the launching the rocket. Accident investigators discovered that the shock wave from the rocket's blast caused a jam in the SB2C's flight controls. Airfield dedicated 30 May 1945 in his honor as Armitage Field, now part of Naval Air Weapons Station, China Lake, California.

1945 – President Harry S. Truman ended the Lend-Lease program that had shipped some $50 billion in aid to America’s Allies during World War II.

1945 – Japan appeals to Kamikaze pilots to cease operations. A joint statement by the Japanese Imperial headquarters and the government instructs the general public in Japan to go about its business calmly and, according to the official news agency, authorities have forbidden fraternization saying “there will be no direct contact between the general public and the Allied landing forces.”

1945 – Haroutune (Harry) Krikor Daghlian, Jr. (May 4, 1921 – September 15, 1945), an Armenian American physicist with the Manhattan Project, accidentally irradiated himself during a critical mass experiment at the remote Omega Site facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, resulting in his death 25 days later. Daghlian was irradiated as a result of a criticality accident that occurred when he accidentally dropped a tungsten carbide brick onto a 6.2 kg delta phase plutonium bomb core. This core, available at the close of World War II and later nicknamed the “Demon core”, also resulted in the death of Louis Slotin in a similar accident, and was used in the Able detonation, during the Crossroads series of nuclear weapon testing.

1947 – Former USS Tattnall (APD-19) was towed to Royston, British Columbia and beached as part of a breakwater.

1951 - A Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star, 49-917, of the 5th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 52d Fighter-Interceptor Group, crashes on take-off from McGuire Air Force Base into a scrub pine forest at adjacent Fort Dix, New Jersey, killing the two crew and spraying burning fuel over a group of 54 U.S. Army soldiers assigned to B battery of the Ninth division's 26th Field Artillery Battalion, wrapping up an army communications exercise, killing 11 and injuring 20. The trainer, unable to gain altitude, clips trees at the edge of a clearing and impacts 50 feet (15 m) from an army six-by-six troop carrier vehicle upon which some soldiers had already boarded. Others were lined up in formation close by. Eight died almost instantly and three succumbed later in hospital. All Army fatalities were 22 or younger, all hailed from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, and all had been in the army for less than five months. Also killed were pilot Capt. William H. Raub, (also reported as William H. Rauh, 31, of Seattle, and his passenger, Maj. Theodore Deakyne, 30, of Levittown, New York. "It was an unfortunate tragedy – a remarkable coincidence of circumstances which brought the plane to the spot where the men were on the verge of moving out. Thirty seconds later might have made a lot of difference," Lt. Bertram Brinley, Fort Dix public information officer, said.

1954 - Col. Einar Axel Malmstrom, vice wing commander at Great Falls Air Force Base, Montana, is killed in the crash of a Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star trainer, 52-9630, c/n 7815, near the base. Local citizens then urge the renaming of the facility in his honor. The base was renamed on 15 June 1956.

1959 – The modern United States receives its crowning star when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs a proclamation admitting Hawaii into the Union as the 50th state. The president also issued an order for an American flag featuring 50 stars arranged in staggered rows: five six-star rows and four five-star rows. The new flag became official July 4, 1960.

1965 – Launch of Gemini 5, crewed by COL Gordon Cooper and LCDR Charles Conrad Jr., USN, who completed 120 orbits in almost 8 days at an altitude of 349.8 km. Recovery was by helicopter from USS Lake Champlain (CVS-39).

1967 – Test Pilot Pete Knight flew the X-15 to 27,737 meters (91,000 feet) and Mach 4.94.

1968 – Test pilot Bill Dana flew the X-15 to 81,534 meters (267,513 feet) and Mach 4.79.

1968 – After 5 years Russia once again jammed Voice of America radio.

1980 – USS Truxtun (CGN-35) rescues 42 Vietnamese refugees and USS Merrill (DD-976) rescues 62 Vietnamese refugees, over 200 miles southeast of Saigon.

1984 - U.S. Navy LTV A-7E Corsair II, BuNo 157495, of attack squadron VA-56 Champions, suffers a fatal ramp strike on USS Midway (CV-41), airframe splitting in two aft the wing with a resultant fireball as fuel cells rupture.

1987 – Sgt. Clayton Lonetree, the first Marine ever court-martialed for spying, was convicted in Quantico, Va., of passing secrets to the KGB after becoming romantically involved with a Soviet woman while serving as a U.S. Embassy guard in Moscow. Lonetree ended up serving eight years in a military prison and was released in February 1996.

1988 – Former USS Tortuga (LSD-26) was scuttled about 20 miles off San Miguel Island, the westernmost of California's Channel Islands.

1993 – In a serious setback for NASA, engineers lost contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft on a $980 million mission. Its fate remains unknown.
 
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1775 – England’s King George III proclaimed the American colonies in a state of open rebellion.

1846 – The United States annexed New Mexico.

1962 - PSS Kelloha was a Union side wheel paddle steamer of 396 tons built at Newport, Michigan in 1858. She ran aground and was lost on Lake Huron.

1863 - SS Georges Creek was a Union screw steamer of 448 tons, built in 1853 at Philadelphia. She foundered off Cape Hatteras.

1864 - PSS Courier was a Union stern-wheel steamer of 258 tons, built in 1857 at Wheeling, West Virginia. She burned on August 22nd, 1864, at the mouth of the Cache River between Cairo and Mound City, Ill., while putting stores on the steamer Volunteer.

1864 – Twelve nations sign the First Geneva Convention, the first codified international treaty that covered the sick and wounded soldiers in the battlefield.

1865 - SS Ladonia was a U.S. Screw towboat steamer, 75 tons. Built in 1863 at Portsmouth, Ohio. She was lost this date, circumstances and location not documented.

1911 – President William Taft vetoed a joint resolution of Congress granting statehood to Arizona. Taft vetoed the resolution because he believed a provision in the state constitution authorizing the recall of judges was a blow at the independence of the judiciary. The offending clause was removed an Arizona was admitted to statehood on February 14, 1912. Afterward, the state restored the article in its constitution.

1945 – Conflict in Vietnam began when a group of Free French parachute into southern Indochina, in response to a successful coup by communist guerilla Ho Chi Minh.

1945 – The Japanese garrison on Mili Atoll capitulated in a ceremony aboard USS Levy (DE-162). This is the first time a Japanese force surrenders en masse.

1945 - A Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer, BuNo 59885, of VPB-197, operating from NAAS Camp Kearney, California, exploded in midair and crashed into the sea 20 miles southwest of San Diego. Names of the crew of 10 were withheld. A Navy submarine tender witnessed the crash and launched a boat, but no survivors were found.

1946 – The eleventh launch of a V-2 rocket at White Sands, New Mexico. A control failure lead to the cut-off signal being sent at 6.5 seconds into the flight.

1951 - Bell X-1D, 48-1386, suffers a fire/explosion internally while being carried aloft for its first flight and is jettisoned from mothership, Boeing B-29-96-BO Superfortress, 45-21800, impacting on Rogers Dry Lakebed, Edwards AFB, California.

1956 - While on a patrol mission from Iwakuni Japan, a US Navy P4M-1Q Mercator of VQ-1 (BuNo 124362) disappeared after a nighttime attack by People's Republic of China PLAAF pilot Zhongwen Song, 32 miles off the coast of Wenchow China and 180 miles north of Formosa. There were no survivors of the 16 crew members. The bodies of two crew members, James Ponsford and Albert Mattin, and some wreckage were recovered by the USS Dennis J. Buckley (DDR 808). The bodies of two other crew members, Jack Curtis and William Haskins, were recovered by the Chinese and returned to the US. The remains of the other crew members, Donald Barber, Warren Caron, James Deane, Francis Flood, William Humbert, Milton Hutchinson, Harold Lounsbury, Carl Messinger, Wallace Powell, Donald Sprinkle, Leonard Strykowsky and Lloyd Young, were never found.

1962 – NS Savannah, world’s 1st nuclear powered merchant ship made her maiden voyage from Yorktown, Va., to Savannah, Ga.

1963 – Test pilot Joe Walker flew the X-15 to its highest altitude of 107,960 meters (354,422 feet) and a speed of Mach 5.58. This altitude record stood until Space Shuttle Columbia’s first flight on 12 April 1981.

1974 – Former USS Thorn (DD-647) was sunk as a target by aircraft from USS Saratoga (CV-60), approximately 75 miles (140 km) east of Jacksonville, Florida.

1990 – President Bush signed an order calling up reservists to bolster the US military buildup in the Persian Gulf.

1992 – Former USS Mullinnix (DD-944) was sunk as a target.

1994 – The Coast Guard Icebreaker Polar Sea (WAGB-11) and the CCGS Louis S. Ste Laurent became the first “North American surface ships” to reach the North Pole. An HH-65A from Aviation Training Center Mobile, detached to the Polar Sea, became the first U.S. (and Coast Guard) helicopter to reach the pole as well.

1996 – The US Army began operating an incinerator in Utah to destroy a 14,000 ton stockpile of chemical weapons over 7 years.

1997 - The crew of a USAF General Dynamics F-16B Fighting Falcon, 82-1037, of the 39th Flight Test Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base, "ET" tailcode, ejected over the Gulf of Mexico after their jet suffered separation of engine fourth stage about seven miles south of Destin, Florida. The airmen were rescued by the crew and passengers of “Top Gun,” a charter fishing boat out of Destin, who saw the crash. The airmen were members of the Eglin's Development Test Center's 39th Flight Test Squadron. The aircraft was returning to Eglin after flying as a chase aircraft in a mission with an Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. Divers located the jet in 70 feet of water a week following the accident. A barge carried the wreckage to a hangar at Eglin.

2005 – Former USS Oldendorf (DD-972) was sunk as a target during a live-fire exercise off Hawaii by USS Russell (DDG-59).

2013 - USN Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk, 617, of HSC-6 "Indians", crashed in the Red Sea. Three crew members were rescued, two pilots presumed dead.
 
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1861 - SV Aid was a confederate ship of 100 tons captured inside Mobile Bar on the 5th June 1861 by boats from the USS Niagara. She was sunk this date at the east end of Santa Rosa Island to block the entrance to the Confederate held Pensacola Harbor.

1862 - USS Adirondack was an Ossipee class wooden screw sloop built in 1861 at the New York Navy Yard. She ran aground on Little Bahama Bank just north of Grand Bahama Island.

1865 - USS Commodore McDonough was a Union side wheel paddle steamer built in 1862 at New York City. She foundered in the Atlantic Ocean while being towed from New York City to Port Royal, South Carolina.

1889 – The 1st ship-to-shore wireless message was received in US in SF.

1923 – Captain Lowell Smith and Lieutenant John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.

1933 - Three USAAC bombers of the 11th Bombardment Squadron, March Field, California, make a practice flight over the San Bernardino Valley with orders to make landings and takeoffs from the 70-acre sod Shandin Hills Airport in San Bernardino and then return to base. The first two do so without incident but as Keystone B-4A, 32-130, piloted by Lt. Kenneth P. Gardner, with five enlisted crew aboard, approaches the boundary at 0830 hrs., an "air pocket" causes the bomber to drop suddenly and the undercarriage is shorn off as the plane strikes an embankment on the edge of the field. "The pilot 'gunned' his motors, lifting the ship back into the air momentarily, and then settled down for a landing on the fuselage and the lower wings. The plane slid along for 100 yards before it stopped, its nose in the sand. The bomber did not overturn, a fact which probably saved the pilot and his crew from injury. The propellers were bent and the fuselage damaged. An army crew dismantled the ship at the field." The airframe was transported back to March Field on trucks.

1939 – Lloyd’s of London advanced war-risk rates as the Nazis threatened to invade Poland and Europe braced itself for war. The Dow responded to the news with a 3.25 drop to close the day at 131.82.

1939 – Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression pact, stunning the world, given their diametrically opposed ideologies.

1942 – A Boeing B-17E-BO Flying Fortress, 41-9091, c/n 2563, of the 427th Bomb Squadron, 303rd Bomb Group, operating out of Biggs Field, El Paso, Texas, suffers center fuselage failure in extremely bad weather 12 miles W of Las Cruces, New Mexico, only the radio operator and the engineering officer for the 427th Bomb Squadron, both in the radio room, survive by parachuting. Pilot was James E. Hudson. The 303rd BG was due to deploy overseas from Biggs on 24 August.

1943 - Lt. Harold Nicholson was killed in the crash of Bell P-39Q-1-BE Airacobra, 42-19593, of the 363d Fighter Squadron, 357th Fighter Group, two miles N of Oroville Army Air Field.

1944 - A B-24H-20-CF Liberator, 42-50291, "Classy Chassis II", crashes into a school at Freckleton, Lancashire, England at 1047 hrs. while on approach to Warton Aerodrome. Twenty adults, 38 children and the three-man crew are killed. In addition to a memorial in the village churchyard, a marker was placed at the site of the accident in 2007.

1949 - On the first flight test of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter, 45–524, (the second of two prototypes), McDonnell test pilot Edwin F. Schoch successfully detaches from trapeze carried on Boeing EB-29B Superfortress, 44-84111, named "Monstro", but when he tries to hook up after free flight, the small fighter, buffeted in turbulence from the bomber, swings violently forward, smashes canopy against the trapeze, knocking the pilot's helmet off. Schoch successfully belly lands on dry lakebed at Muroc Air Force Base, California, suffering little damage.

1954 – First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

1958 – In Taiwan Straits Crisis, Units of 7th Fleet move into Taiwan area to support Taiwan against Chinese Communists. This massive concentration of the Pacific Fleet in Quemoy-Matsu area prevents invasion of islands by China.

1958 - USS Prestige (MSO-465) ran aground in Naruto Strait, Inland Sea, Japan, was abandoned and declared a total loss.

1975 - A Grumman A-6E Intruder, BuNo 149948, 'AJ-500', of VA-35, and a McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II from USS Nimitz (CVN-68) collide in midair over the Atlantic Ocean during a refueling maneuver ~600 miles SSW of Scotland. A spokesman said that the two crew of the A-6 were missing and presumed dead while the two Marine crew of the F-4J were recovered. Killed in the accident was the pilot of the A-6, Lt. Garwood Bacon of Riverton, New Jersey, as well as the navigator, Lt. Craig Renshaw of Middletown, Pennsylvania.

1979 - Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F, 002, of the USAF 4477th Test & Evaluation Squadron, Groom Lake, Nevada is lost due to pilot induced loss of control. Pilot Lt. M. Hugh Brown, USN, 31, of VX-4, "Bandit 12", originally of Roanoke, Virginia, enters spin while engaging adversary, U.S. Navy Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter, recovers, but enters second spin too close to ground, irrecoverable, impacts at steep angle near Tonopah airfield boundary, killed instantly. No bail-out attempted.

1990 – US began to call up of 46,000 reservists to the Persian Gulf.

1990 – East and West Germany announced that they would unite Oct 3.

1991 – Internaut’s day; Tim Berners-Lee opens the WWW, World Wide Web to new users.

1991 – In the wake of a failed coup by hard-liners in the Soviet Union, President Mikhail S. Gorbachev and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin acted to strip the Communist Party of its power and take control of the army and the KGB.

1996 – Osama bin Laden issues message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’

2005 – Former USS Fife (DD-991) was sunk as a target about 50 miles NNW of Kauai Island, Hawaii.

2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces take control of Bab al-Azizia compound during the 2011 Libyan civil war.
 
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mhansen2

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1862 – The C.S.S. Alabama was commissioned at sea off Portugal’s Azore Islands, beginning a career that would see over 60 Union merchant vessels sunk or destroyed by the Confederate raider. The ship was built in secret in the Liverpool shipyards, and a diplomatic crisis between the US government and Britain ensued when the Union uncovered the ship’s birth place.

1894 – Congress passed the first graduated income tax law, which was declared unconstitutional the next year. It imposed a 2% tax on incomes over $4000.

1909 – Workers started pouring concrete for Panama Canal.

1918 - U.S. Army Maj. William Roy Ream, the first flying surgeon of the United States Army, becomes the first flight surgeon to die in an aircraft accident, at the Effingham, Illinois airport, out of Chanute Field, Illinois. His aircraft stalls/spins and crashes. Later in 1918, the Army renames the Aviation Field at Imperial Beach, California, originally opened in 1917, as Ream Field until its decommissioning shortly after World War II. In 1951, it was re-commissioned as an Auxiliary Landing Field, and in 1955 was re-designated as Naval Auxiliary Air Station Imperial Beach.

1940 - USS Peacock (AM-46) collided with the Norwegian merchant ship SS Hindonger and sank.

1945 – The last Cadillac-built M-24 light tank was produced on this day, ending the company’s World War II effort.

1945 - Second (of two prototypes) McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom, BuNo 48236, is damaged in a belly landing.

1948 - Two separate accidents kill 13 U.S. airmen. Nine are killed aboard an Army Douglas C-117A-1-DK Skytrain, 45-2554, c/n 18557/34212, 45–2554, near Newton, New Jersey, after a mid-air collision with an Army North American B-25J-30-NC Mitchell, 44-86870. The bomber suffers damage to a wingtip but lands safely. In a separate accident, two C-47 Skytrains engaged in the Berlin Airlift collide in mid-air near Ravolzhausen, killing two crew on each airlifter. Killed in the C-47s were Maj. Edwin C. Diltz, Capt. William R. Howard, Capt. Joel M. DeVolentine, and 1st Lt. William T. Lucas. Capt. Howard was piloting C-47A-80-DL, 43-15116, while Capt. DeVolentine was flying C-47A-90-DL, 43-16036, c/n 20502.

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty went into effect.

1950 - Two Douglas B-26 Invaders of the 729th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 452d Bombardment Group (Light), based at George AFB, California, collide in flight over El Mirage Dry Lake, 10 miles NW of Victorville, California. B-26B, 44-34174, piloted by Ouris H. Cuerton, and B-26B, 44-34677, piloted by Lyle N. Leavitt, both crash with crew fatalities during attempted bail-outs.

1954 – Congress passes the Communist Control Act in response to the growing anticommunist hysteria in the United States. Though full of ominous language, many found the purpose of the act unclear.

1954 - The pilot of a Republic F-84G Thunderjet dies at Eglin AFB following an ejection as the aircraft rolled to a stop after landing at Eglin Auxiliary Field 6.

1954 – Test pilot Arthur Murray flew the X-1A to 27,584 meters (90,500 feet). This was the last USAF flight. All subsequent flights were flown by NACA.

1968 – France became the world’s fifth thermonuclear power as it exploded a hydrogen bomb in the South Pacific.

1969 – Former USS Bryant (DD-665) was sunk as a target off the California coast.

1990 - A fatal aircraft landing accident involving a U.S. Coast Guard Grumman E-2C Hawkeye, CG 3501, of CGAW-1, based at CGAS St. Augustine, Florida, while returning to the former Naval Station Roosevelt Roads in Puerto Rico where the mission originated, prompted the Coast Guard to discontinue flying E-2Cs and to return all of its eight remaining borrowed airframes to the U.S. Navy. The Hawkeye's port engine caught fire and the aircraft crashed on short final in a cow pasture one quarter mile from the runway, all four crew KWF.

2002 – In the Canary Islands over a dozen beaked whales beached themselves following NATO exercises that involved a cluster of warships and submarines. Nine of the whales washed ashore dead and showed lesions in the brain and hearing system, consistent with acoustic impact.

2014 – The British Ambassador to the US apologizes after a British Embassy tweet: “Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the burning of the White House. Only sparkers this time!” The Twitter message was complete with a photo of a White House cake with the mentioned sparklers surrounding it.

https://thisdayinusmilhist.files.wordpress.com/2005/08/capture.jpg?w=600&h=548
 
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1540 – Explorer Hernando de Alarcon traveled up the Colorado River.

1718 – Hundreds of French colonists arrived in Louisiana, with some of them settling in present-day New Orleans.

1814 – British forces destroyed the Library of Congress, containing some 3,000 books.

1829 – Pres. Jackson made an offer to buy Texas, but the Mexican government refused.

1843 – Steam frigate Missouri arrives at Gibralter completing first Trans-Atlantic crossing by U.S. steam powered ship.

1861 - PSS J. A. McClennan was a Union stern wheel paddle steamer built in 1860 at San Francisco. Its boiler blew up while on the Sacremento River killing 25 persons. She was later salvaged and rebuilt and renamed PSS Rainbow eventually being scrapped in 1873.

1863 - SV Golden Rod as a Union schooner that was seized by Confederate Lt. John Taylor Wood in the captured USS Satellite at the mouth of the Rappahannock River and burned at Urbanna, Virginia when the Union forces approached.

1883 – The signing of a Treaty of Protectorate formally ends Vietnam’s independence. The name ‘Vietnam’ is officially eliminated, and the French divide Vietnam into northern and southern protectorates (Tonkin and Annam, respectively), both tightly under French control, although Annam retains its imperial Vietnamese administration.

1901 – Clara Maass, army nurse, sacrificed her life to prove that the mosquito carries yellow fever. To determine whether the tropical fever was caused by city filth or the bite of a mosquito, seven volunteers, including Maass, were bitten by the mosquitoes. Two men died, but she survived. Several months later she again volunteered to be bitten, this time suffering severe pain and fever. Maass died of yellow fever at the age of 25.

1921 – The Battle of Blair Mountain, one of the largest civil uprisings in United States history and the largest armed rebellion since the American Civil War, begins. For five days in late August and early September 1921, in Logan County, West Virginia, some 10,000 armed coal miners confronted 3,000 lawmen and strikebreakers, called the Logan Defenders, who were backed by coal mine operators during an attempt by the miners to unionize the southwestern West Virginia coalfields. The battle ended after approximately one million rounds were fired, and the United States Army intervened by presidential order.

1921 – The United States, which never ratified the Versailles Treaty ending World War I, finally signed a peace treaty with Germany.

1944 – After more than four years of Nazi occupation, Paris is liberated by the French 2nd Armored Division and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. Hitler had ordered Paris defended to the last man and demanded that the city not fall into Allied hands except as “a field of ruins.” German General Dietrich von Choltitz dutifully began laying explosives under Paris’ bridges and many of its landmarks but disobeyed an order to commence the destruction. He did not want to go down in history as the man who had destroyed the “City of Light”–Europe’s most celebrated city.

1945 - USCG Magnolia (WAGL-231) was rammed amidships by the cargo ship SS Marguerite Lehand off Mobile Bay. She sank in two minutes and one of her crew was killed. The other 49 were rescued. Those survivors cross-decked to the new tender CGC Salvia (WAGL-400) which then took her place.

1947 – Test pilot Marion Carl set a world speed record of 651 mph in the Douglas D-558-I Skystreak #2, BuNo 37971, at Muroc Field (later Edwards AFB), Ca.

1949 – Test pilot Frank Everest flew the XS-1 to 21,000 meters (68,900 feet).

1950 – President Truman ordered the Army to seize control of the nation’s railroads to avert a strike. The railroads were returned to their owners 2 years later.

1950 - USS Benevolence (AH-13) collided with the freighter SS Mary Luckenbach in heavy fog off San Francisco and sank within 15 minutes; 505 crew members were rescued and 23 lost their lives.

1955 - Vought F7U-3 Cutlass, BuNo 129585, of VF-124, suffers collapsed starboard main landing gear during a hard landing aboard USS Hancock (CVA-19) while she was operating in the vicinity of Hawaii.

1965 - First Curtiss-Wright X-19A prototype, 62-12197, was destroyed in a crash at the FAA's National Aviation Facilities Experimental Center, Caldwell, New Jersey, (formerly NAS Atlantic City), when gearbox fails followed by loss of propellers. Test pilot James V. Ryan and FAA copilot Hughes ejected in North American LW-2B seats as the now-ballistic airframe rolled inverted at 390 feet, chutes fully deployed in 2 seconds at ~230 feet. Elapsed time between prop separation and ejection was 2.5 seconds. Airframe impacted in dried out tidewater area after completing 3/4 of a roll. Crew suffers minor injuries from ejection through canopy. The program was subsequently cancelled. This will be the last airframe design from two of the most famous company names in aviation. Second prototype, reported in some sources to have been scrapped, survives at Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, and is recovered in 2007 by the National Museum of the United States Air Force for preservation.

1965 – Test pilot Milton Thompson flew the X-15 to 65,258 meters (214,112 feet) and Mach 5.11.

1966 - Test pilot John McKay flew the X-15 to 78,486 meters (257,512 feet) and Mach 5.11.

1967 – Test pilot Mike Adams flew the X-15 to 25,725 meters (84,400 feet) and Mach 4.63.

1977 - A USAF McDonnell-Douglas RF-4C Phantom II, 66-0424, 'AR' tail code, of the 1st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, from RAF Alconbury, crashed in a field at Thuine, Germany, 9 nm N of Rheine-Hopsten Air Base, from which it had just departed. Both crew members perished and Capt. Alan Aertker, WSO is credited with remaining with the aircraft rather than ejecting to avoid devastation of the village. No civilians were injured or killed in the crash and citizens of Thuine erected a monument near the crash site.

1983 – A Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 160704, c/n P-67, 'CY-11', of VMAQ-2, US Marine Corps, crashed at Morehead City, North Carolina after the aircraft caught fire and smoke in the cockpit forced the crew of four to eject, parachuting safely.

"Major Dennis K. Brooks, public affairs officer for the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station identified the crew as 1st Lt. James M. Stevenson, 26, of Palos Verdes, Calif.; Capt. Gordon B. Habbestad, 28, Spokane, Wash.; Capt. James J. Cuff Jr., 33, Cherry Hill, N.J., and Capt. David F. Tomaino, 30, Needham, Mass. Brooks said Tomaino was the pilot and Stevenson was the injured crewman. Robert Bryden, a resident of the neighborhood at Shepard and 18th streets where the crash occurred, said a major catastrophe was avoided because the plane fell almost straight down. 'If the plane had just angled down, it would have taken the whole block with it, but it didn't,' Bryden said. 'The plane just stalled out up there and dropped like a rock to the ground.'" Clara Belle Daniels, a 72-year-old widow, was working in her yard when the jet spiraled down and received third degree burns from the impact. She died in hospital the next day.

2000 – Former USS Atakapa (ATF-149) was disposed of in support of a fleet training exercise and sunk as a target.

2005 – Former USS Briscoe (DD-977) was disposed of in support of a fleet training exercise and sunk as a target.

2005 – Former USS Deyo (DD 989) was disposed of in support of a fleet training exercise and sunk as a target.

2005 – Hurricane Katrina made landfall between Hallandale Beach and Aventura, Florida, as a Category 1 hurricane. Four days later it came ashore again near Empire, Buras and Boothville, Louisiana. The rescue and response effort was one of the largest in Coast Guard history, with 24,135 lives saved and 9,409 evacuations.

2012 – Voyager 1 spacecraft enters interstellar space becoming the first man-made object to do so.
 
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1775 – Rhode Island Resolve: Rhode Island delegates to Continental Congress press for creation of Continental Navy to protect the colonies.

1839 – The slave ship Amistad was captured off Long Island. The U.S.S. Washington, a U.S. Navy brig, seized the Amistad and escorted it to New London, Connecticut.

1847 – Liberia was proclaimed an independent republic. Freed American slaves founded Liberia.

1862 - PSS Yorktown was a Confederate side wheel paddle steamer of 298 tons. She sprang a leak after clearing Mobile and foundered 72 miles SE of Ship Island.

1864 - PSS Emma Boyd was a Confederate States stern wheel paddle steamer built in 1863 at Wheeling, Va. She ran aground at Selma, Alabama and became a total wreck.

1865 – Civil War ends with Naval strength over 58,500 men and 600 ships.

1949 - USS Cochino (SS-345) foundered off Norway after a polar gale caused an electrical fire and two battery explosions. The entire crew was rescued by USS Tusk (SS-426), who lost 7 of her own crew in their efforts to assist.

1953 - U.S. Coast Guard Boeing PB-1G Flying Fortress, BuNo 77253, ex-44-85827, loses brakes while landing at NAS Sand Point, near Seattle, Washington, overruns runway, crushes nose as it ends up in Lake Washington. Retrieved and sold for salvage.

1954 - Top Korean War USAF ace Capt. Joseph C. McConnell (16 victories) is killed in crash of fifth production North American F-86H Sabre, 52-1981, at Edwards AFB, California.

1957 – Former USS Tarpon (SS-175) was being towed to the scrappers by tug Julia C. Moran. As the two passed Ocracoke Island, North Carolina, Tarpon started taking on water in the stern. The bow rose up out of the water and she slid stern first to the bottom.

1957 – The Soviet Union announces that it has successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of being fired “into any part of the world.” The R-7 ICBM had been successfully tested four days before.

1964 – Test pilot John McKay flew the X-15 to 27,737 meters (91,000 feet) and Mach 5.65.

1965 – Test pilot Robert Rushworth flew the X-15 to 73,030 meters (239,600 feet) and Mach 4.79.

1975 - LTV A-7D-12-CV Corsair II, 72-0172, of the 76th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing, England AFB, Louisiana, crashes on a test range on the eastern area of the Eglin AFB, Florida, reservation at ~2240 hrs. during a night training mission. The aircraft, part of a three-ship flight, had departed England AFB at ~2015 hrs. for a ground attack simulation at Eglin. The A-7D went down while orbiting the range with the other two aircraft of the flight. Pilot Capt. William N. Clark, 33, of Little Rock, Arkansas, is KWF.
 
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1843 - USS Missouri, a 10‑gun side‑wheel frigate, one of the first steam warships in the Navy, was begun at New York Navy Yard in 1840; launched 7 January 1841; and commissioned very early in 1842 Capt. John Newton in command.

While at anchor in the harbor of Gibraltar on the night of 26 August, the engineer's yeoman accidentally broke a demijohn of turpentine in the storeroom which soon ignited. The flames spread so rapidly that the warship was abandoned, the crew barely escaping with their lives. At 03:20 the next morning, the forward powder magazine blew up, destroying the still burning skeleton of the ship.

1859 – Edwin Drake struck oil at 69 feet near Titusville, Pennsylvania–the world’s first successful oil well.

1918 - SC-209 served in the USS Patterson Group of submarine chasers, on the Atlantic coast of the U.S. On 27 August 1918, this chaser was mistaken for a submarine, shelled and sunk by the trawler Felix Taussig.

1926 - Commander John Rodgers, Naval Aviator No. 2, Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Aeronautics, on a flight from NAS Anacostia, Washington, D.C., crashes in the Delaware River near the Naval Aircraft Factory dock, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, when his aircraft suddenly nose-dives and receives injuries from which he dies on the same day.

1941 – Prince Fumimaro Konoye, prime minister of Japan, announces that he would like to enter into direct negotiations with President Roosevelt in order to prevent the Japanese conflict with China from expanding into world war.

1944 - One of the two Vought OS2U-3 Kingfishers assigned aboard USS New Jersey (BB-62), BuNo 5549, of VO-7, piloted by Ensign Allen R. Trecartin, crashes while trying to land ~2,000 yards off the vessel's starboard quarter while the battleship is transiting from Pearl Harbor, H.I., to Manus Island in the Admiralties. Pilot and rear seater are rescued by the destroyer USS Hickox (DD-673) and the OS2U sunk by destroyer gunfire.

1945 – President Truman says that the situation in the Pacific continues to have many elements of danger and urges Congress to continue conscription for a further two years.

1956 - Eighth of 13 North American X-10s, GM-52-1, c/n 8, on Navaho X-10 flight number 24, out of Cape Canaveral, Florida, a full-range test with final dive maneuver. Final flight of vehicle eight after three successful recovered missions. During takeoff the vehicle becomes airborne, then settles back to the runway with its brakes locked. The tires burst, the gear fails, the gear doors come in contact with the runway, carving grooves in the pavement as they retract. Then, astonishingly, the vehicle rises from the runway, completes a successful full-range supersonic flight with terminal dive into the waters off Grand Bahamas.

1959 – Off Cape Canaveral, FL, USS Observation Island (EAG-154) makes first shipboard launching of a Polaris missile.

1978 – Former USS Cree (AT-84) was sunk as a target.

1989 – The first U.S. commercial satellite rocket was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., a Delta booster carrying a British communications satellite.

2014 - A Massachusetts Air National Guard McDonnell Douglas F-15C Eagle crashed near Deerfield, Virginia. The pilot, Lt. Col. Morris "Moose" Fontenot Jr., who served with the 104th Fighter Wing as the full-time wing inspector general, never managed to eject from the aircraft.
 
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1565 – St Augustine Fla, oldest city in the US, was established.

1609 – Henry Hudson discovered Delaware Bay.

1863 - PSS Sunbeam was a Union side wheel paddle steamer built in 1861 at Manitowoc. She was carrying a cargo of 112 barrels of whiskey and $10,000 in specie when she foundered in a storm on Lake Superior off Keweenaw Point, Michigan.

1867 – Captain William Reynolds of screw sloop-of-war USS Lackawanna raises U.S. flag over Midway Island and took formal possession of these islands for the U.S.

1883 – John Montgomery (d.1911 in a glider crash) made the first manned, controlled flight in the US in his “Gull” glider, whose design was inspired by watching birds.

1898 – Marines defended American interests in Valparaiso, Chile.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson signed Executive Order 3160 which returned the Coast Guard to the administrative control of the Treasury Department from the Navy after World War I.

1945 – Goring, Ribbentrop, and 22 other former Nazi government officials are indicted as war criminals.

1945 – US forces under General George Marshall landed in Japan. This advance guard of 150 American technicians land at Atsugi airfield, near Yokohama. For the first time, the Allies set foot on Japanese soil. Their arrival has been delayed for 48 hours by the forecast of a typhoon.

1945 - Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108528, of the 386th BS, 312th BG, crashed east of Amaro-O-Shima in the Ryukyu Islands after engine failure, 11 of 13 aboard survived. One of the last operational missions of World War II.

1945 - Consolidated B-32-20-CF Dominator, 42-108544, written off when it lost an engine on takeoff from Yontan Airfield, Okinawa. Skidded off runway, exploded, and burned. 13 KIA.

1952 – Units on USS Boxer (CV-21) launch explosive-filled drone which explodes against railroad bridge near Hungnam, Korea. First guided missile launched from ship during Korean Conflict.

1963 - Two Boeing KC-135A Stratotankers, 61-0319 and 61-0322, assigned with the 19th Bomb Wing, collide over the Atlantic between Bermuda and Nassau, all eleven crew aboard the two jets lost (6 on 0319 and 5 on 0322). Debris and oil slicks found ~750 miles ENE of Miami, Florida. Aircraft were returning to Homestead AFB, Florida after a mission to refuel two Boeing B-47 Stratojets from Schilling AFB, Kansas (both of which landed safely) when contact with them was lost. Search suspended Monday night, 2 September 1963, when wreckage recovered by the Air Rescue Service is positively identified as being from the missing tankers.

1965 – Former Project Mercury astronaut Navy CDR Scott Carpenter and 9 aquanauts enter SeaLab II, 205 ft. below Southern California’s waters to conduct underwater living and working tests.

1966 – It is reported in three Soviet newspapers that North Vietnamese pilots are undergoing training in a secret Soviet air base to fly supersonic interceptors against U.S. aircraft.

1972 – The U.S. Air Force gets its first ace since the Korean War. Captain Richard S. Ritchie, flying with his “backseater” (radar intercept officer), Captain Charles B. DeBellevue, in an F-4 out of Udorn Air Base in Thailand, shoots down his fifth MiG near Hanoi. Two weeks later, Captain DeBellvue, flying with Captain John A. Madden, Jr., shot down his fifth and sixth Migs. The U.S. Navy already had two aces, Lieutenants Randall Cunningham and Bill Driscoll.

1990 – Iraq declared occupied Kuwait the 19th province of Iraq, renamed Kuwait City Kadhima, and created a new district named after President Saddam Hussein.

2000 - Two People's Republic of China J-8 Finbacks intercepted a US Air Force RC-135 reconnaissance aircraft operating in international airspace at 28,000 feet over the East China Sea. The Chinese jets closed to within two miles of the American aircraft.

2009 - A United States Air Force Boeing E-3C Sentry, 83-0008, (AEW&C) while returning from the Red Flag Exercise 09-5 with the 552d Air Control Wing from Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma, makes a landing at Nellis Air Force Base. Due to a fire the aircraft was damaged and the crew of 32 were safely evacuated and the fire extinguished by Nellis AFB emergency response crew.
 
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mhansen2

mhansen2

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1758 – The first American Indian Reservation is established, at Indian Mills, New Jersey.

1786 – Shay’s Rebellion began in Springfield, Mass. Daniel Shay led a rebellion in Massachusetts to protest the seizure of property for the non-payment of debt.

1863 – Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley, Lieutenant Payne, sank in Charleston harbor for the first time.

1911 – Ishi, considered the last Native American to make contact with European Americans, emerges from the wilderness of northeastern California.

1915 – Navy salvage divers raise F-4 (SS-23), first U.S. submarine sunk in an accident.

1916 – Congress passes act for expansion of Navy, but most ships not completed until after World War I.

1916 – Congress created the US Naval reserve.

1916 – The Marine Corps Reserve was founded.

1916 - USS Memphis, armored cruiser No. 10, (ex-USS Tennessee) is driven ashore and totally wrecked by tidal wave at Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic; 41 killed and 204 injured.

1940 - A Grumman F3F-2, BuNo 0976, c/n 374, '2-MF-16', ditches off the coast of San Diego while attempting a landing aboard USS Saratoga (CV-3), when pilot, Marine 1st Lieutenant Robert E. Galer, a future general and Medal of Honor recipient, has fuel pump issues. The fighter is rediscovered by a navy submersible in June 1988 and recovered on 5 April 1991. It was restored at the San Diego Aerospace Museum.

1943 - Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, BuNo 34637, of VB-146, crashed on Mount Baker, Washington, but wreckage only discovered by a hiker in October 1997. There were six crew on board, all fatal.

1945 – USS Missouri (BB-63) anchors in Tokyo Bay.

1945 – Gen MacArthur was named the Supreme Commander of Allied Powers in Japan.

1945 – U.S. airborne troops landed in transport planes at Atsugi airfield, southwest of Tokyo, beginning the occupation of Japan.

1945 - Soviet pilot Zizevskii, flying a Yak-9 Frank, damaged a US Army Air Force B-29 Superfortress dropping supplies to a POW camp near Hamhung Korea and forced it to land. The crew of the B-29 was not injured in the attack.

1945 - The temperamental Wright R-3350 Duplex-Cyclone powerplant, prone to overheating and fires, leads to loss of Boeing B-29-40-MO Superfortress, 44-86274, of the 421st AAF Base Unit, Muroc Army Airfield, California, flown by Julius H. Massen, when an engine burns; crew of eleven bails out, 20 miles SE of Muroc according to the Aviation Archeology database. "MUROC, Aug. 29 (AP) – A crewless B-29 plane headed for the Pacific Ocean today after its 11-man crew bailed out when one of the huge ship's engines caught fire, Muroc Army air field officers said. All members of the crew were reported to have landed safely near Lancaster."

1947 – Test pilot Chuck Yeager conducted the first powered flight of the XS-1 under USAF authority, reaching Mach 0.85.

1949 – The USSR successfully detonated its first atomic bomb at Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. It was a copy of the Fat Man bomb and had a yield of 21 kilotons known as First Lightning or Joe 1.

1958 – Air Force Academy opened in Colorado Springs, Co.

1962 – Test pilot Robert Rushworth flew the X-15 to 29,627 meters (97,200 feet) and Mach 5.12.

1962 – A US U-2 flight identified SAM launch pads in Cuba.

1984 - Second prototype Rockwell B-1A Lancer, 74-0159, of the Air Force Flight Test Center, Edwards AFB, California, crashes 22 miles NE of the base, in the desert E of Boron, California, when control is lost during an aft center of gravity test. The flight commander, Rockwell test pilot Doug A. Benefield, is killed when escape pod parachutes fail to fully deploy, module impacting in a right nose low attitude. The Co-pilot and flight test engineer are badly injured.

1995 - Lockheed U-2R, 68-10338, Article 060, of the 9th Reconnaissance Wing flying under call sign Mooch 31, with sensor pod on pylon above spine, departs RAF Fairford at 0727 hrs. for intended Bosnian overflight Senior Span mission, but port underwing pogo fails to detach. The pilot, Captain David Hawkens, returns to airfield runway 27, attempts to shake loose the outrigger. Just after passing the runway's midpoint the aircraft enters a stall during which the left wing drops, hits the runway, breaking off the wingtip. The aircraft veers left towards the grass, strikes a power sub-station and crashes through the base's perimeter fence. As the aircraft bounces on a concrete taxiway pilot attempts ejection, but zero-zero seat is outside of parameters, pilot chute deploys but main canopy does not have time to fully inflate. Pilot comes to rest 150 feet E of airframe, which ends up in farmer's field. Nose breaks off, rest of U-2 fully engulfed in fire. Pilot is transported to Princess Margaret Hospital in Swindon by police helicopter where he dies at 0955 hrs.

2007 – United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident: six US cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads are flown without proper authorization from Minot Air Force Base to Barksdale Air Force Base.

2012 - A USMC Bell UH-1Y of HMLA-469 crashed in Helamand province, Afghanistan killing two soldiers from the 2nd Australian Commando Regiment.
 

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