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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1875 – Birth of Marie Marvingt, French athlete, mountaineer, and aviator, and the most decorated woman in the history of France; among other firsts, she is the first woman to fly combat missions as a bomber pilot during World War I.

1939 – First flight of the Douglas DC-5, the least known of the famous DC airliner series and intended for shorter routes than the DC-3 or DC-4.

1942 – U.S. Navy Lt. Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare becomes America’s first World War II flying ace, shooting down 5 Mitsubishi G4M “Betty” bombers attacking U.S.S. Lexington with his Grumman Wildcat.

1959 – The Canadian government cancels the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow (shown); the day becomes known as “Black Friday” in the Canadian aviation industry.

2003 – Pakistani Air Chief Mushaf Ali Mir, along with his wife Bilquis Mir, perishes with 15 other air force officers when their Fokker F-27 crashes during a routine flight to PAF Base Kohat.

2011 – Death of Barbara Harmer, British pilot; she was the first qualified female to fly the Concorde.

Updated: February 20, 2014 — 11:52 AM

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