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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1885 – Birth of John Henry Towers, U.S. Navy admiral and pioneer naval aviator.

1931 – First flight of the Tupolev ANT-8, a Soviet experimental flying boat.

1942 – Qantas Short Empire G-AEUH is shot down by seven Japanese fighters and crashes near East Timor; 13 of 18 on board die.

1991 – Royal Navy Westland Lynx helicopters, Royal Air Force SEPECAT Jaguars, and U. S. Navy Grumman A-6E Intruders attack an Iraqi naval convoy made up of a minesweeper, three fast-attack craft, and three landing craft carrying troops and ammuniton, breaking up the second and final seaborne component of Iraqi forces in the Battle of Khafji.

2001 – Death of Johnnie Johnson (shown), a highly decorated British fighter pilot who, during World War II, shot down 38 Luftwaffe aircraft, thus becoming the most successful British ace during the war.

2012 – An Indian Air Force HAL HJT-16 Kiran Mk.II jet trainer explodes in mid-air over South India; the crew of two ejects safely.

Updated: January 30, 2014 — 11:52 AM

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