On This Date

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Nov. 13, 1957: A Regulus II made its first zero-length boosted launch when a 115,000 pound thrust Aerojet JATO unit lifted the cruise missile off its launcher and accelerated it to flying speed in four seconds.
 
 
 
 

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Nov. 13, 1968: NASA test pilot John A. Manke made the first successful powered flight in the HL-10, attaining Mach 0.80 at 43,000 feet. This was the first rocket-powered flight of a lifting body air vehicle.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 13, 1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 14, 1910: Eugene B. Ely became the first aviator to take off from a ship as his Curtiss pusher rolled off a sloping platform on the deck of the scout cruiser USS Birmingham off Hampton Roads, Va.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 14, 1965: The U.S. Army’s first major military operation of the Vietnam War began with the start of the five-day Battle of Ia Drang. The fighting between American troops and North Vietnamese forces ended on Nov. 18 with both sides claiming victory.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 14, 1969: Apollo 12 blasted off for the moon.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 14, 1981: Space Shuttle Columbia touched down on Rogers Dry Lake following its second orbital spaceflight mission. Col Joseph H. Engle (TPS Class 61C) and Navy Capt Richard H. Truly (TPS Class 64A) flew the mission. Throughout the history of the program hundreds of Edwards personnel were directly involved in the support of Space Shuttle landings.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 14, 1990: The Air Force Anechoic Facility was renamed the Benefield Anechoic Facility in honor of Tommie D. “Doug” Benefield. Benefield was Rockwell’s chief test pilot who was killed Aug. 29, 1984, in the crash of a B-1A.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 15, 1941: The Army’s first test of a General Motors (GM) A-1 “flying bomb” took place. The unmanned monoplane, to be guided by either preset or radio control, reached a speed of 97 mph on its rail launch track but settled to the ground and crashed soon after takeoff. The 200 hp aircraft, developed by Charles F. Kettering, was a larger version of the biplane “Bug” tested during World War I. While the Edwards Staff Meteorologist provided data that the high temperature on this date was 76-degrees, these Edwards History Office file photos were more than likely captured during the spring or summer of 1942.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 15, 1942: The naval Battle of Guadalcanal ended during World War II with a decisive U.S. victory over Japanese forces.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 15, 1960: Scott Crossfield made the first flight in an X-15 equipped with a YLR-99 rocket engine, reaching Mach 2.97 and 81,200 feet.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 15, 1966: The flight of Gemini 12, the final mission of the Gemini program, ended successfully as astronauts James A. Lovell and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. splashed down safely in the Atlantic after spending four days in orbit.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 16, 1970: The Lockheed L-1011 Tristar jetliner went on its first test flight, from Palmdale, Calif.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 16, 2010: President Barack Obama presented the Medal of Honor to Army Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, the first living service member from the Afghanistan and Iraq wars to receive the nation’s top military award.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 17, 1970: The Soviet Union landed an unmanned, remote-controlled vehicle on the moon, the Lunokhod 1.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 18, 1916: The World War I Battle of the Somme pitting British and French forces against German troops ended inconclusively after 4 1/2 months of bloodshed.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 18, 1955: The remaining X-2 made its first powered flight, piloted by Lt. Col. Frank K. Everest, and flew under its own power for six minutes. The landing skid on the right wing did not extend, but the aircraft landed safely.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 18, 1955: Maximum gross weight flight tests began on the Fairchild C-119G “Flying Boxcar” cargo and troop transport.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 19, 1952: Capt. James Slade Nash, an Air Force Flight Test Center test pilot, established a new world absolute speed record for operational aircraft of 698.50 mph in a production model of the F-86D. He flew over a three-kilometer course at the Salton Sea.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 19, 1969: Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean made the second manned landing on the moon.
 
 
 
 
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Nov. 19, 1975: The first U.S. Air Force Red Flag exercise started at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag is a two-week long exercise held several times a year and aims to offer realistic air-combat training for military pilots and other flight crew members from the United States and allied countries. The origin of Red Flag was the unacceptable performance of U.S. Air Force fighter pilots and weapon systems officers in air-to-air combat during the Vietnam War in comparison to previous wars. The 64th and 65th Aggressor Squadrons flew T-38s and then F-5 Tiger II aircraft using Soviet tactics and markings to simulate Soviet, Warsaw Pact and Soviet client air forces’ tactics and operations. Initially a fighter only exercise, today’s Red Flag integrates the entire spectrum of U.S. Air Force, joint, and coalition aircraft and space capabilities.
 
 
 

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