U.S. Air Force -- May 1, 1960
- The Soviet Union shot down a U-2 surveillance plane piloted by Capt. Francis Gary Powers. Captain Powers was tried and convicted as a U.S. spy and sentenced to 60 years in prison. Two years later he was exchanged for a Soviet spy.
May 1, 1965
- The YF-12A interceptor, an early version of the SR-71, set world records at 2,070.101 mph at 80,257.65 feet.
May 1, 1968
- Air National Guard tactical refueling units completed one year of overseas duty on a continuous basis without mobilization. This is the first operation of its type in history of the Guard or Reserve.
May 2, 1977
- First Lt. Christine E. Schott became the first woman undergraduate pilot training student to solo in the T-38 talon.
May 3, 1952
- A C-47 made the first successful landing at the North Pole.
May 3, 1968
- The first Air National Guard unit called to active duty in the Vietnam conflict, the 120th Tactical Fighter Squadron, arrived in South Vietnam and began flying combat missions two days later.
May 5, 1970
- Air Force ROTC expanded to include women after test programs at Ohio State, Drake, East Carolina and Auburn Universities proved successful.
May 6, 1994
- First Lt. Leslie DeAnn Crosby graduated from the Air National Guard's F-16 Fighting Falcon training course in Tucson, Ariz., and became the first U.S. Air Force Reserve woman fighter pilot.
May 7- 8, 1992
- The Command Band of the Air Force Reserve marched in a parade in Moscow, becoming the first U.S. military band to visit the Russian capital.
May 9, 1932
- First blind solo flight was made relying solely on instruments.
May 10, 1972
- Operation Linebacker began during the Vietnam War.
May 12, 1968
- Lt. Col. Joe M. Jackson landed his C-123 Provider on a special forces airstrip that was being overrun by hostile forces. Despite intense enemy fire, Colonel Jackson rescued a three-man combat control team, receiving the Medal of Honor for his actions.
May 12, 1980
- The KC-10 Extender made its first flight.
May 13, 1911
- Lieutenants H.H. Arnold and T.D. Milling became the first Wright School Army pilots.
May 16, 1955
- The U.S. Air Force marking is approved for use on aircraft wings.
May 17, 1919
- The War Department ordered use of national star insignia on all planes.
May 18, 1918
- American day bombardment aviation began at Amenty Airdrome, France.
May 20, 1951
- Capt. James Jabara became the first U.S. Air Force jet ace, shooting down his fifth and sixth MiG in Korea.
May 25, 1927
- Lt. James H. Doolittle performed the first known successful outside loop.
May 28, 1959
- Monkeys Able and Baker are recovered alive from the Atlantic Ocean near Antigua Island after a flight to an altitude of 300 miles in the nose cone of a Jupiter missile launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.
For more information on Air Force heritage, visit the Air Force Link heritage section at http://www.af.mil/history