1903 – Birth of Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, Scottish nobleman and pioneering aviator.
1918 – Death of Rupert Randolph Winter, British World War I flying ace, killed in action.
1959 – A Beechcraft Bonanza carrying musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson, crashes near Clear Lake, Iowa, in what has become known as “The Day the Music Died.”
1964 – The North Vietnamese Air Force establishes its first jet fighter unit, Fighter Regiment No. 921, equipped with Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-17 s. Units from the air force will be based in the People’s Republic of China until August while their pilots undergo training.
1985 – First flight of the Atlas XH-1 Alpha (shown), a South African prototype attack helicopter.
1991 – Returning from a strike against Iraqi forces, a U. S. Air Force B-52G Stratofortress attempting to land at Diego Garcia crashes on final approach.