1907. The Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, forerunner of U.S. Air Force, is established.
1956. President Eisenhower signs into law bill permitting Armed Forces to include flight instruction in ROTC programs.
1957. NORAD, joint U.S.-Canadian North American Air Defense Command, is informally established.
1946. The National Air Museum is established under the Smithsonian Institution.
1950. 1st Provisional Marine Brigade lands in Pusan, Korea.
1964. Destroyer USS Maddox (DD-731) attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. A second incident, involving the Turner Joy (DD-951), occurs two days later. Congress passes Gulf of Tonkin Resolution on August 7.
1944. The first Aphrodite mission (a radio-controlled B-17 carrying 20,000 pounds of TNT) is flown against V-2 rocket sites in the Pas de Calais section of France.
1790. Congress authorized building of first “ten boats establishing the Revenue Marine. The history of the Coast Guard begins.
1855. Marines from USS Powhattan capture 17 private junks near Hong Kong.
1912. A detachment of 100 Sailors and Marines from the gunboat Annapolis land at Corinto, Nicaragua, and proceed inland to guard the American legation in Managua during the outbreak of a revolution.
1950. Army helicopters conduct the first medical evacuation of the Korean War.
1861. Congress abolishes flogging in the Army. It had been abolished in 1842 but reinstated.
1864. Marines participate in the Battle of Mobile Bay.
1935. Congress passed Anti-Smuggling Act broadening jurisdiction of the Coast Guard.
1953. Operation Big Switch, a second POW exchange begins in Pannmunjom, Korea. A total of 13,444 UN POWs are returned. Not returned were 389 known Americans, 21 of whom decided to stay in Korea.
1847. Marines commence their march on to the “Halls of Montezuma in Mexico.
1886. Congress authorizes first American battleships: Maine and Texas.
1945. Army Air Force B-29 “Enola Gay, with COL Paul W. Tibbetts at the controls, drops the first operational atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.
1942. Invasion of Solomon Islands begins. 1st Marine Division lands at Guadalcanal to open the first U.S. Pacific land offensive of WW 2.
1959. First intercontinental relay of voice message by satellite.
1903. The Langley gasoline engine model aircraft is launched successfully from a catapult on a houseboat.
1908. At Camp d'Auvours, France, Wilbur Wright surpasses French flight records for duration, distance, and altitude.
1959. Two USAF F-100Fs make first jet fighter aircraft flight over the North Pole.
1935. Fleet Marine Force Headquarters move from Quantico to San Diego.
1945. Army Air Force B-29 “Bock's Car, drops the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan. The pilot is MAJ Charles Sweeney.
1949. Navy LT J. L. Fruin makes the first emergency escape with an ejection seat in the U.S., near Walterboro, SC. His McDonnell F2H-1 Banshee is traveling at more than 500 knots at the time.
1920. The Navy establishes a Bureau of Aeronautics.
1944. Marines end Japanese resistance on Guam.
1949. President Truman signs the National Security Act that converts the National Military Establishment to the Department of Defense.
1923. Marine Corps Recruit Depot moves from Mare Island to San Diego.
1965. Flying in North American F-100D Super Sabers, the USAF Thunderbirds demonstration squadron flies its 1000th show at Waukegan, Ill.
1941. First successful rocket-assisted takeoff of an airplane.
1990. Naval quarantine of Iraq.
1917. The 1st Aero Squadron sails for Europe under command of Maj. Ralph Royce, to become the first squadron to flying duty in the AEF.
1917. The first National Guard division, the 42nd, is organized for deployment overseas in WW 1, with COL Douglas MacArthur as its Chief of Staff.
1944. Capt. Robin Olds records his first victory while flying with the 434th Fighter Squadron in Europe. He would tally eleven more “kills by July 4, 1945. His next aerial victory would come on January 2, 1967, making him the only American ace to record victories in nonconsecutive wars.
1945. VJ Day. Japanese announces surrender in WWII.
1900. Battery F, 5th Artillery, blasts through the inner gates of the Forbidden City, Peking, China, after LT Charles Summerall calmly walks up and marks an “X on them as an aiming point. The invading Americans were soon recalled.
1934. Marines end 19 years of occupation in Haiti.
1935. Shortly after takeoff, famed Pilot Wiley Post and humorist Will Rogers die in a crash of the hybrid Lockheed Orion-Explorer near Point Barrow, Alaska.
1947. U.S. Air Forces in Europe established as a major command.
1941. Honolulu Coast Guard District transferred to Navy.
1949. General of the Army Omar Bradley becomes the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
1960. At an altitude of 102,800 feet over Tularosa, N.M., Air Force Capt. Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., makes the ultimate leap of faith. In the four and a half minutes between stepping out of the balloon's open gondola and opening his parachute, he free falls 84,700 feet, reaching a speed of 614 mph before landing unharmed — 13 minutes, 45 seconds after jumping. This is the highest jump and longest free fall ever recorded.
1942. B-17s of the 97th Bombardment Group fly the first WW2 American heavy bomber mission in Western Europe, against France's Rouen-Sotteville rail yards.
1990. At the request of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of Transportation and the Commandant of the Coast Guard commit Coast Guard boarding teams to operation Desert Shield. Coast Guardsmen served in the Gulf prior to this commitment, however.
1919. Marine Corps Hymn is registered with U.S. Copyright Office.
1965. With Navy bombardment support, Marines begin Vietnam Operation Starlight, 964 Viet Cong died in this action.
1812. Frigate Constitution defeats British Frigate Guerriere.
1942. Fifty Army Rangers participate with British Commandos in a raid on the German-held port of Dieppe, France - the first U.S. troops to fight in France in WW 2.
1994. Operation Able Vigil commences during a massive influx of Cuban refugees fleeing Cuba. It is the “largest joint peace-time operation in Coast Guard history.
1866. President Andrew Johnson declares the Civil War officially over.
1910. Army Lt. Jacob Fickel fires a .30-caliber Springfield rifle at the ground while flying as a passenger in a Curtiss biplane over Sheepshead Bay Track near New York, N.Y. This is the first time a military firearm has been discharged from an airplane.
1814. Marines defend Washington D.C. against the British at Bladensburg, MD.
1951. The first Air Force Medal of Honor in the Korean War is awarded, posthumously to Maj. Louis J. Sebille, killed August 5 near Hamchang, Korea. Sebille continued his attack on Red troops until his damaged plane crashed.
1938. The Civil Aeronautics Act creates what will 20 years later become the Federal Aviation Administration.
1798. The first Marine Corps Headquarters is established at Philadelphia.
1909. At the world's first major air meet in Reims, France, Glenn Curtiss becomes the first American to claim the recognized absolute speed record as he flies at 43.385 mph in his Reims Racer biplane.
1814. British troops occupy and burn Washington D.C. President James Madison is in the field, the last time and American president commands soldiers in combat.
1912. Congress establishes the Army Reserve Corps.
1970. Two Air Force crews complete the first nonstop transpacific helicopter flight. Departing from Eglin AFB, FL, they refueled their Sikorsky HH-53Cs in the air, and landed at Da Nang AB, South Vietnam - a distance of 9,000 miles.
1862. The War Department authorizes enlistment of black soldiers for the first time. More than 178,000 will serve,
1909. Land is leased for the first Signal Corps airfield at College Park, Md.
1967. Badly injured after his North American F-100F is shot down over North Vietnam, Maj. George E. Day is captured and severely tortured. He manages to escape and eventually makes it to the Demilitarized Zone. After several attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he is ambushed and recaptured. After his imprisonment in Hanoi, he continues to offer maximum resistance to his captors. Finally released in 1973, Major Day receives the Medal of Honor for his conspicuous gallantry while a POW.
1871. Marines pursued Indians near Reading, PA.
1939. German Flugkapitan Erich Warsitz pilots the initial flight of the world's first jet-powered aircraft - the Heinkel He-178.
1944. Eighth Air Force's 78th Fighter Group destroys a Me-262, the first jet to be shot down in combat.
1972. Capt. Richard Ritchie shoots down his fifth MiG-21 near Hanoi, and becomes the Air Force's first ace since the Korean War. Two weeks later, his back-seater, Captain Charles DeBellevue, also shoots down his fifth MiG.
1916. Marine Corps establishes Marine Corps Reserve.
1916. Congress authorizes construction of a Navy “second to none. Also authorizes the U.S. Treasury to establish ten Coast Guard air stations but appropriates only $7000 — for an instructor and assistant. The funds for construction and aircraft eventually come - but not until 1924.
1945. Japan accepts the Allied terms for unconditional surrender, WW 2.
1995. U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine aircraft lead Operation Deliberate Force, a NATO bombing campaign responding to Bosnian Serb mortar attacks that killed 38 civilians at an outdoor market in Sarajevo. The operation would end on September 14, 1995.
1943. The Grumman F6F Hellcat goes into operational use with VF-5, USS Yorktown (CV-10), in an attack on Marcus Island, 700 miles south of Japan. Hellcat pilots will account for nearly three-fourths of all Navy air-to-air victories in World War 2.
1962. The last airship flight departs NAS Lakehurst, NJ.