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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1896 – Birth of Carleton Main Clement, Canadian World War I fighter ace.

1928 – Rev. John Flynn founds the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia at Cloncurry, Queensland, using a de Havilland DH.50. The service takes medical services to remote parts of the Australian bush.

1938 – First flight of the first production Supermarine Spitfire.

1959 – The Royal Air Force’s last flying boat sorties are flown by two Short Sunderlands (shown above) of No. 205 Squadron at RAF Seletar in Singapore.

1975 – The SS Mayaguez, an American container ship seized by the Khmer Rouge in the Gulf of Siam, is saturated by tear gas munitions from U.S. Air Force LTV A-7D Corsair IIs; the ship is empty. An assault force of eight helicopters land on Koh Tang Island, but none of the crew is on it; there are 18 U.S. casualties and three helicopters are destroyed. Additional U.S. Navy aircraft strike an airfield and other targets in Cambodia.

1998 – Death of Patrick Palles Lorne Elphinstone “Lorne” Welch, British engineer, World War II bomber pilot and Colditz prisoner of war.

Updated: May 15, 2013 — 1:35 PM

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