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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1910 – An international aviation meeting opens at Lanark, Scotland, drawing a wide range of flyers and airplanes. In all, 22 competitors participate.

1922 – Birth of Sir Frederick Alfred Laker, a British airline entrepreneur who’s best known for founding Laker Airways.

1944 – George Preddy, a U.S. fighter pilot, shoots down six Messerschmitt Bf 109s with his North American P-51D Mustang on a single mission.

1945 – Death of Richard Ira “Dick” Bong, the highest-scoring U.S. fighter ace (shown above); Bong, who downed  40 Japanese aircraft during World War II in the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, dies while flying Lockheed’s P-80 Shooting Star as a test pilot for the aircraft builder.

1945 – The U.S. Army Air Forces Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Enola Gay” drops “Little Boy,” the first nuclear weapon used in warfare, over the Japanese city of Hiroshima; more than 100,000 or injured are killed in the initial blast and resultant firestorm.

2011 – A U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter is shot down while transporting a quick U.S. Navy SEAL reaction force attempting to reinforce an engaged unit of U.S. Army Rangers in Wardak province, west of Kabul, Afghanistan; all 38 people aboard are killed.

Updated: August 6, 2013 — 12:20 PM

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