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On This Day in Aviation History

On This Day in Aviation History

1859 – Two American balloonists, John Wise and John La Mountain, fly in their balloon from St. Louis, Mo., to Henderson, N.Y. The 809-mile trip takes 20 hours.

1916 – Birth of Hans-Ulrich Rudel, successful German dive-bomber pilot and the most highly decorated German serviceman of World War II; he flew 2,530 combat missions and claimed a total of 2,000 targets destroyed.

1937 – Amelia Earhart (shown above) and navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean en route in their Lockheed Electra 10E to Howland Island during an attempt to circumnavigate the world.

1943 – U.S. Army Air Forces Lt. Charles B. Hall, a member of the 99th Pursuit Squadron in North Africa and the Tuskegee Airmen, becomes the first African-American pilot to shoot down an enemy plane in World War II.

1997 – Death of James Maitland “Jimmy” Stewart, American film and stage actor; he also was an instructor pilot in single and twin-engine aircraft during World War II.

2007 – A U.S. Army Bell OH-58D Kiowa is shot down along a canal south of Baghdad with small arms; both pilots were rescued by strapping themselves onto the stub wings of an Boeing AH-64 Apache. The Kiowa, a Bell 206-based observation helicopter, was later destroyed.

Updated: July 2, 2013 — 12:59 PM

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