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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1894 – Birth of Leopoldo Eleuteri, Italian World War I flying ace.

1941 – Boyd David “Buzz” Wagner becomes the first U.S. Army Air Forces World War II flying ace. While strafing a Japanese airfield near Vigan, Philippines, with his Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, he shoots down a Mitsubishi A6M Zero after takeoff from the field during the attack.

1956 – First flight of the Grumman E-1 Tracer (B model shown), an American airborne early warning aircraft developed for carrier service in the U.S. Navy.

1960 – A U.S. Air Force Convair C-131D Samaritan crashes after take-off from Munich-Riem Airport; it strikes a crowded two-section Munich streetcar in the downtown Ludwigsvorstadt borough. All 20 passengers and crew aboard as well as 32 people on the ground are killed.

1986 – Death of Leonard Henry “Tich” Rochford, British World War I flying ace.

2003 – SpaceShipOne becomes the first privately built and manned aircraft to fly faster than the speed of sound on its first powered flight.

Updated: December 17, 2014 — 4:57 PM

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