Military & Aerospace History

This portion of our site is dedicated to the people and technology that have shaped military and aerospace history. Posts will be as simple as historic picture of the day to in-depth interviews. If you have an interesting story you’d like to share, please let us know.

Military & Aerospace History
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After a decade of top secret development and controversy, the B-2 stealth bomber is unveiled at a ceremony at Northrop’s plant in Palmdale, Calif. The aircraft is the most advanced jet ever made, with extensive use of composite materials, sensors and systems to reduce all aspects of its signature — radar, electronic and infrared.

Military & Aerospace History
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On Nov. 8, 1864, Read Arm. David Farragut, commander of US naval forces during the Civil War, wrote a powerful letter to Navy Secretary Gideon Welles months after the Battle of Mobile Bay that sailors, not weapons, determine the outcome of battles. Farragut, the first US naval officer to achieve the ranks of rear admiral, vice admiral and admiral, wrote: “I think the world is sadly mistaken when it supposes that battles are won by this or that kind of gun or vessel. In my humble opinion the Kearsarge would have captured or sunk the Alabama as often as they might have met under the same organization and officers. The best gun and the best vessel should certainly be chosen, but the victory three times out of four depends upon those who fight them. I do not believe that the result would have been different if the Kearsarge had had nothing but a battery of 8-inch guns and 100-pound chase rifle. What signifies the size and caliber of the gun if you do not hit your adversary?”

Military & Aerospace History
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On Oct. 25, 1946 — A captured V-2 rocket launched from the U.S. Army’s White Sands Missile Range, N.M., takes the first ever picture of the Earth from space. The rocket was fitted with a 35mm camera that took pictures every 1.5 seconds and reached an altitude of more than 65 miles. The launch is part of the Small Steps Program to take pictures from space. Before the rocket launch, highest altitude images of the planet were taken from the Explorer II ballon that in 1935 reached a record manned height of 13.7 miles.

Military & Aerospace History
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On Oct. 24, 1944 — Cdr. David McCampbell, USN, the commander of Carrier Air Group 15 aboard USS Essex (CV-9), attacking a force of 60 Japanese aircraft — along with his wingman — shot down nine enemy aircraft, a single-mission record for an American pilot during World War II. When he returned to Essex from the 95-minute battle, his Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter was out of ammunition and almost out of gas.

Military & Aerospace History
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On Oct. 20, 1944, 130,000 soldiers from the US 6th Army — with support from the Third Fleet and the Fifth Air Force — landed on Leyte, Philippines, to begin the battle to retake the nation that fell to the Japanese in 1942. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific, landed on Palo Beach accompanied by Filipino leaders including President Sergio Osmena, making good on the promise he made on evacuating Corregidor some 30 months earlier to return to the Philippines.

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