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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1877 – Maurice Farman, French aviation pioneer and manufacturer, is born. He set world endurance and speed records in flying in 1909 and manufactured airplanes.

1916 – U.S. Coast Guard Capt.-Commandant Ellsworth P. Bertholf orders Coast Guard experimentation with the use of aircraft and directs Third Lt. Elmer F. Stone to begin flight training. It is the birth of U. S. Coast Guard aviation.

1928 – Charles Lindbergh is presented the Medal of Honor for his first trans-Atlantic flight.

1945 – The Imperial Japanese Navy uses its Yokosuka MXY7 Ohka (“Cherry Blossom”) rocket-powered, human-guided anti-shipping kamikaze attack plane operationally for the first time, but without success.

1971 – First flight of the Westland Lynx (shown above); it is the world’s first fully aerobatic helicopter.

1987 – Dean Paul Martin, son of famous entertainer Dean Martin, dies when his McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II fighter crashes in the San Bernardino Mountains after takeoff from March Air Force Base during a snow storm while flying with the California Air National Guard. Weapon Systems Officer Ramon Ortiz is also killed. The wreckage was found four days later just below summit.

Updated: March 21, 2013 — 11:57 AM

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