Naval Aviation History
October 1 – October 7
1913 – Trial of OWL, Navy’s first amphibian flying boat.
1924 – Rigid airship Shenandoah commences transcontinental flight.
1928 – First class at school for enlisted Navy and Marine Corps Radio intercept operators (The “On the roof gang”).
1937 – Patrol aviation transferred to Aircraft Scouting Force, a reestablished type command. With change five patrol wings were established as separate administrative command over their squadrons.
1944 – Aircraft from USS Ranger sink 5 German ships and damage 3 in Operation Leader, the only U.S. Navy carrier operation in northern European waters during World War II.
1946 – Truculent Turtle lands at Columbus, Ohio, breaking world’s record for distance without refueling with flight of 11,235 miles.
1952 – Task Force 77 aircraft encounter MIG-15 aircraft for the first time.
1955 – Commissioning of USS Forrestal (CVA-59), first of postwar supercarriers.
1955 – USS Saipan (CVL-48) begins disaster relief at Tampico, Mexico rescuing people and delivering supplies. Operations ends 10 October.
1962 – Launch of Sigma 7 (Mercury 8) piloted by CDR Walter M. Schirra, Jr., USN. In a mission lasting 9 hours and 13 minutes, he made 6 orbits at an altitude up to 175.8 statute miles at 17,558 mph. Recovery by USS Kearsarge (CVS-33).
1979 – President Jimmy Carter awards the Congressional Space Medal of Honor to former naval aviators Neil Armstrong, CAPT Charles Conrad, Jr., USN (Ret.), COL John Glenn, USMC (Ret.), and RADM Alan Shepard, Jr., USN (Ret.)
1990 – USS Independence (CV-62) enters Persian Gulf (first carrier in Persian Gulf since 1974).
1997 – NASA Astronaut CDR Wendy B. Lawrence, USN returns from mission of STS-86: Shuttle -Mir 7 when Atlantis docked with Mir Space Station. The mission began on 25 September.
October 8 – October 15
1918 – Naval Aviators of Marine Day Squadron 9 make first raid-in-force for the Northern Bombing Group in World War I when they bombed German railroad at Thielt Rivy, Belgium.
1923 – First American-built rigid airship, Shenandoah, is christened. It used helium gas instead of hydrogen.
1944 – Aircraft from Carrier Task Force 38 attack Formosa.
1944 – Opening of Leyte campaign begins with attack of four Carrier Task Groups of Task Force 38 on Okinawa and Ryukyus.
1950 – Task Force 77 Aircraft destroy North Korean vessels off Songjin and Wonsan and north of Hungham.
1961 USS Princeton (CVS-7) rescue seamen from an American and a Lebanese merchant ship, which were aground on Kita Daita Jima.
1961 – USS Princeton rescues 74 survivors of two shipwrecks (U.S. lines Pioneer Muse and SS Shiek) from the island of Kita Daito Shima.
1968 – Launch of Apollo 7, the first U.S. 3-man space mission, commanded by CDR Walter Schirra, JR. USN. MAJ Ronnie Cunningham, USMCR served as Lunar Module pilot. The mission lasted 10 days and 20 hours. Recovery was by HS-5 helicopters from USS Essex (CVS-9).
1985 – Fighters from USS Saratoga (CV-60) force Egyptian airliner, with the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro aboard, to Italy, where the hijackers were taken into custody.
October 16 – October 23
1922 – LCDR Virgil C. Griffin in Vought VE-7SF makes first takeoff from U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1) anchored in York River, Virginia.
1942 – Carrier aircraft from USS Hornet (CV-8) conduct attacks on Japanese troops on Guadalcanal.
1943 – Navy accepts its first helicopter, a Sikorsky YR-4B (HNS-1) at Bridgeport, Connecticut.
1944 – 3rd Fleet Carrier aircraft attack Japanese ships in harbor and land forces around Manila.
1944 – Battle of Leyte Gulf, a series of separate battles, begins with attacks on Japanese ships.
1944 – Seventh Fleet lands over 60,000 Army troops on Leyte, Philippines while Japanese aircraft attack.
1952 – Task Force 77 establishes ECM Hunter/Killer Teams of 2 ECM equipped aircraft and an armed escort of 4 Skyraiders and 4 Corsairs.
1983 – Due to political strife, USS Independence (CV-59 ) ordered to Grenada.
1983 – Terrorist bombing of Marine barracks at Beirut airport, Lebanon kills 241 members of 24th Marine Amphibious Unit.
October 24 – October 31
1921 – In first successful test, a compressed air, turntable catapult, launches an N-9 seaplane.
1922 – LCDR Godfrey deC. Chevalier makes first landing aboard a carrier (USS Langley) while underway off Cape Henry, Virginia.
1924 – Airship, USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), completes round trip transcontinental cruise that began on 7 October.
1942 – Battle of the Santa Cruz Island. USS Hornet (CV-8) was lost and USS Enterprise (CV-6) was badly damaged during the battle.
1943 – LT Hugh D. O’Neill of VF(N)-75 destroys a Japanese aircraft during night attack off Vella Lavella in first kill by a radar-equipped night fighter of the Pacific Fleet.
1944 – In air-sea battle in the Sibuyan Sea, carrier aircraft attack Japanese Center Force.
1944 – Battle of Leyte Gulf ends with Navy carrier and USAAF aircraft attacks on the retreating Japanese ships. U.S. forces sink many Japanese ships including 4 carriers, 3 battleships, 10 cruisers, and 9 destroyers, for a total of 26 capital ships. Afterwards Japanese fleet ceases to exist as an organized fighting fleet.
1944 – Fast Carrier Task Forces attack Japanese shipping and installations in Visayas and northern Luzon.
1956 – Navy men land in R4D Skytrain on the ice at the South Pole. RADM George Dufek, CAPT Douglas Cordiner, CAPT William Hawkes, LCDR Conrad Shinn, LT John Swadener, AD2 J. P. Strider and AD2 William Cumbie are the first men to stand on the South Pole since Captain Robert F. Scott in 1912.
1961 – End of Lighter than Air in U.S. Navy with disestablishment of Fleet Airship Wing One and ZP-1 and ZP-3, the last operating units in LTA branch of Naval Aviation, at Lakehurst, New Jersey.