1907 – Birth of Ernesto “Gamba di Ferro” Botto, Spanish War and World War II Italian flying ace.
1916 – U.S. Navy Lt. Clarence K. Bronson and Lt. Luther Welsh, on an experimental bomb test flight at Naval Proving Ground, Indian Head, Maryland, are instantly killed by the premature explosion of a bomb in their plane.
1942 – Operation Torch — the Allied amphibious landings in French North Africa — begins when French aircraft resist the landings, strafing the landing beaches at least five times, and aerial combat occurs between U.S. Navy Grumman F4F Wildcats (shown above) and French Dewoitine D.520 and Curtiss Hawk 75A fighters.
1957 – Pan Am Flight 7, the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser “Clipper Romance Of The Skies,” disappeared on its first leg from San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii, with 44 on board.
1978 – First flight of the Bombardier Challenger 600; it’s based on a design by Bill Lear and a stretched version eventually becomes the Canadair Regional Jet.
1997 – Death of Louis-Antoine Chartoire, French World War I flying ace.