Oct. 30, 1953: The U.S. Defense Department announced elimination of all racially segregated regiments, six years after President Truman signed an executive order ending racial segregation in the U.S. military. The initial response to the order was mixed. The U.S. Navy, which had maintained some degree of integration throughout its history, was the most accommodating branch of service. The Marine Corps (the smallest of the armed services) and the Air Force (the youngest) responded to integration as a matter of efficiency. The U.S. Army initially resisted, but losses in the Korean War rendered the discussion moot, as under-strength white units were forced to accept black recruits to maintain combat effectiveness.
Oct. 30, 1964: Bell’s Lunar Landing Research Vehicle made its first flight, piloted by Joe Walker. The LLRV was developed by the NASA Flight Research Center to simulate a lunar landing profile for research and lunar pilot training for NASA’s Apollo program.
Oct. 30, 1985: Schoolteacher-astronaut Christa McAuliffe witnessed the launch of the space shuttle Challenger, the same craft that would carry her and six other crew members on their ill-fated mission in January 1986.
Oct. 31, 1940: The Battle of Britain, fought between the United Kingom’s Royal Air Force and Germany’s Luftwaffe over the English Channel and southern England, ends with a British victory.
Oct. 31, 1941: The Navy destroyer USS Reuben James was torpedoed by a German U-boat off Iceland with the loss of some 100 lives, even though the United States had not yet entered World War II.
Oct. 31, 1945: Two P-80As equipped with remote control equipment arrived at Muroc for instrumentation. The jets were to be used in dive demonstrations.
Oct. 31, 1955: The TF-102A made its first flight, piloted by Richard L. Johnson. The trainer featured side-by-side seating and relocated air intakes which gave the jet a very different appearance and inferior performance from the F-102A interceptor.
Oct. 31, 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a halt to all U.S. bombing of North Vietnam, saying he hoped for fruitful peace negotiations.
Oct. 31, 1980: A C-141B successfully completed the HAVE BOUNCE program. HAVE BOUNCE was an evaluation of the performance of different types of operational aircraft over rapidly repaired bomb-damaged runways.
Nov. 1, 1911: The first aerial bomb is dropped by an Italian pilot on Turkish troops in Libya during the Italo-Turkish War.
Nov. 1, 1926: The Graf Zeppelin sets an airship distance record of 6,384 km.
Nov. 1, 1946: Ryan Aeronautical Corporation’s experimental XF2R Dark Shark made its first flight, piloted by Al Conover. The single XF2R was based on the FR Fireball composite fighter.
Nov. 1, 1951: The Muroc Post Office was officially renamed Edwards by the Postal Service, in order to make the post office name conform to that of the area it exclusively served. This History Office file photo shows the the old Muroc Post Office during the 1940s.
Nov. 1, 1952: The United States exploded the first thermonuclear (hydrogen) bomb, code-named “Ivy Mike,” at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands. At a height of approximately 12,000 feet — 50 miles from the detonation site. Two minutes after Zero Hour, the cloud rose to 40,000 feet. Ten minutes later, the cloud stem had pushed upward about 25 miles, deep into the stratosphere. The mushroom portion vent up to 10 miles, and spread for 100 miles.
Nov. 2, 1974: Boeing’s second YQM-94A Cope B made its first flight. The Compass Cope program was a technology demonstration rather than a competitive flyoff.
Nov. 2, 1990: The YA-7F Strikefighter Combined Test Force completed its test program, flying 184 test sorties with the two prototype aircraft totaling 315 flight hours.
Nov. 2, 2000: American astronaut Bill Shepherd and two Russian cosmonauts, Yuri Gidzenko and Sergei Krikalev, became the first residents of the International Space Station.
Nov. 3, 1966: Flights of the XB-70 Valkyrie resumed as aircraft No. 1 made the first of nine flights in support of the National Sonic Boom Program.
Nov. 3, 1990: The Lockheed Martin YF-22A demonstrated its supercruise capacity for the first time, reaching Mach 1.8 at 40,000 feet. During the supersonic portion of the flight, the aircraft used a third less fuel than it would if afterburners had been employed.
Nov. 4, 1990: During the first official demonstration of its supercruise capability, the Northrop-McDonnell Douglas YF-23A No. 1 accelerated to Mach 1.43 at 42,000 feet without afterburners.
Nov. 5, 1959: Following a launch from a B-52 carrier, on its fourth powered flight, an X-15 (s/n 66710 suffered an in-flight explosion and fire during engine ignition. Its pilot, Scott Crossfield, made a successful emergency landing on Rosamond Dry Lake, but the fuselage of the fuel-heavy aircraft buckled just aft of the cockpit following touchdown.
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