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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1896 – Birth of Grigory Eduardovich Suk, Russian World War I flying ace.

1941 – More than 50 Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighters raid Batangas Field, Philippines; Jesús Villamor and four Filipino fighter pilots fend them off. Pilot César Basa is killed.

1945 – Death of William Dolley Tipton, American World War I flying ace and founder of the  Maryland Air National Guard who also served in World War II; he is killed in a crash while flying home to be released from active duty when his Republic P-47N Thunderbolt strikes a mountain in Ohio.

1951 – Alaska Air becomes the first airline to fly over the North Pole.

1952 – The first Frenchman to break the sound barrier is Roger Carpentier in the Dassault Mystère II (C model shown).

1998 – Alan Zwick, U.S. Air Force 9th Reconnaissance Wing and instructor, flies his Lockheed U-2 and payload to an altitude record of more than 12 and a half miles.

Updated: December 12, 2014 — 12:16 PM

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