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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Today on Sept. 25, 1942 — President Franklin Roosevelt dedicated Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, Calif., to train Marines during World War II. The base, which was Rancho Santa Margarita y Los Flores, is named for Maj. Gen. Joseph Pendleton who long advocated Marine base on the nation’s west coast. Pendleton served in the marines for more than 40 years and saw action in the Philippines, Cuba and Nicaragua and had died in February 1942.

Military & Aerospace History
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On Sept. 17, 1959 – North American test pilot A. Scott Crossfield conducted the first powered flight of the company’s X-15 rocket plane after it was dropped from a highly modified Boeing B-52 bomber designated the NB-52A. The X-15 was the world’s first operational spaceplane and designed to allow the US Air Force and NASA to gather data on hypersonic, high-altitude flight. The aircraft was equipped with aerodynamic controls for atmospheric flight and a reaction control system for use at higher altitudes.

Military & Aerospace History
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On Sept. 11, 1941, construction of the US military’s headquarters — The Pentagon — begins with a ground-breaking ceremony on the site of the Hoover Field in Arlington, Va., that closed in June. The building came be be five-sided because it was initially to be located on a nearby plot of land that was an irregular pentagon. When the site was moved, the building — designed by architect George Bergstrom — was made symmetrical with five sides, five floor, five rings and two basements. It was finished on Jan. 15, 1943.

Military & Aerospace History
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On Sept. 7, 1965: Bell Helicopter flies the prototype of its Model 209 attack helicopter, a private venture to address the US Army’s need for a dedicated aerial gunship. Work on the project that became the AH-1G HueyCobra began in 1965 as Army losses of Bell’s iconic UH-1 Huey utility helicopters modified as gunships in Vietnam began to increase.

Military & Aerospace History
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Today in Military History: On Sept. 6, 1915, the world’s first prototype tank, the Number 1 Lincoln Machine, is completed at William Foster & Company in Lincoln, England. The 16.5-ton vehicle was designed to cross a 5-foot-wide trench. The requirements were established by the Landships Committee in July 1915 to break the stalemate of trench warfare.

Military & Aerospace History
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Today in Military History: In its first operation since its formation on Feb. 14, 1942, the 503rd Parachute Regiment — the first American airborne unit to see action in the Pacific — makes an unopposed landing near Nadzab, New Guinea. It takes the key town of Lae that was evacuated by Japanese forces, fighting with their rear elements.

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