World Record Balloon Flight Set By Navy At 113,739.9 Feet

On 04 May 1961 Navy balloon pilot Commander Malcolm Ross and flight surgeon Lieutenant Commander Victor Prather (MC)  ascended to the world record height of 113,739.9 feet above sea level in their open gondola Strato-Lab. This record still holds today in 2011 for manned balloon ascent. The Navy Strato-Lab program of the 1950′s and 1960′s [...]

First Operational Navy Airships 1918

Four years after United States Navy aircraft first conducted combat flights, naval aviators in naval airships over France also saw combat protecting convoys. A naval air station was established in 1918 at Paimbœuf, France (on the Loire River near Saint-Nazaire), and several airships were transferred from the French Navy to the United States Navy for [...]

First Combat Flight 1914

A Navy AB-3 piloted by LTJG Patrick Bellinger from the USS Mississippi‘s aviation unit at Veracruz, Mexico, on this date in 1914, conducted military reconnaissance of Veracruz and a preliminary search for mines in the harbor. This is the first operational use of United States naval aircraft in a combat situation. LTJG Patrick Bellinger was [...]

First Combat Deployment Of Naval Aviators 1914

On 21 April 1914, United States naval forces under Rear Admiral Frank F. Fletcher pushed ashore at Veracruz, Mexico, during a crisis precipitated by Mexican strongman Victoriano Huerta. Huerta had taken power in a coup d’etat in 1913. President Wilson attempted to prevent him from getting arms during the following Mexican Civil War, but Huerta [...]

Doolittle Raid 18 April 1942

it is in memory that keeps telling us, some of the old story about us W. S. Merwin In early April, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto wrote to Niwa Michi at her geisha house in Tokyo, “The first stage of operations has been a kind of children’s hour, and will soon be over; now comes the adults’ [...]

Navy UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) Development 1923!

On 15 April 1923 the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) made known its early work in the development of the first UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) for the Navy. A specially equipped F5L seaplane was controlled by radio signals up to a range of 10 miles from the transmitter. The NRL also reported that radio control of [...]

Fort Sumter bombardment begins, 12 April 1861

  Confederate forces under Brigadier General Beauregard began the bombardment of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor this morning at 4:30 AM.  Confederate guns fired from Fort Johnson and several batteries on James Island, batteries on Morris Island, Fort Moultrie and batteries on Sullivan’s Island, a floating battery off the end of the island and a [...]

First Navy Flight Gear Issue, 1917

The United States Navy standardized the issuance of flight gear when the Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, approved a recommendation of the Board on Flying Equipment on standard flight clothing for the Navy Flying Service on 06 April 1917. Flight gear in 1917  authorized was a tan, sheepskin long coat, short coat and trousers, [...]

Mount Pleasant Almost Starts "The War"

In April 1861, war clouds gathered over Charleston Harbor as Major Robert Anderson, commanding the United States garrison at Fort Sumter, waited to be resupplied or evacuated. Charleston Harbor had been heavily fortified by Confederate Brigadier-General Pierre Beauregard and he had been ordered by the Confederate War Department in Montgomery, Alabama, to allow no resupply [...]

Father Of Naval Aviation Killed In Crash Of The Akron, 04 April 1933

The Father of Naval Aviation, Rear Admiral William A. Moffett, boarded USS Akron on the evening of 03 April 1933 along with his aide, Commander Henry Cecil, the commanding officer of NAS Lakehurst Commander Fred T. Berry, and Lieutenant Colonel Alfred F. Masury, USAR, a guest of Moffett’s, who was also vice-president of the Mack [...]