July 9, 1942 U.S. Navy Secretary Frank Knox approved the establishment of a training center for pilots at a 1,400-acre (566.6-hectare) tract of land a few miles (kilometers) north of the city of Ottumwa, Iowa. About eight months after that authorization, the Ottumwa Naval Air Station (officially known as NAS Ottumwa) welcomed its first group... Continue Reading →

June 29, 1934 Joseph Adamowicz (1893-1970) and his younger brother Benjamin Adamowicz (1898-1979) began an ambitious airborne journey from North America to Europe. They are believed to be among the first (if not the first) amateur pilots to undertake any kind of transatlantic flight. The brothers, flying a monoplane known as City of Warsaw, made... Continue Reading →

June 2, 1910 Charles Stewart Rolls, who had already distinguished himself in the automotive world when he cofounded the Rolls-Royce car manufacturing firm more than five years earlier, achieved another notable transportation milestone when he made the first non-stop double-crossing of the English Channel via plane. The 32-year-old Rolls piloted a Wright Flyer biplane over... Continue Reading →

In 2001, Mark L. Polansky became the first Korean-American to travel into outer space. He had been born in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1956. His mother Edith is of Korean descent, and his late father Irving was Jewish. When he was only 13, Mark Polansky began to develop a strong interest in spaceflight while watching... Continue Reading →

May 21, 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh, flying his plane "The Spirit of St. Louis," arrived at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France, 33-and-a-half hours after he departed from Roosevelt Airfield in Garden City, New York. That long journey made the pilot widely known as "The Lone Eagle" the first person to complete a solo non-stop,... Continue Reading →

May 12, 1926 The Italian-built airship Norge successfully completed the first verified flight over the North Pole. This aircraft was also the first to fly over the ice cap between Europe and North America. Polar explorer Roald Amundsen of Norway was the leader of this airborne expedition. The other members of the expedition included Italian aviator... Continue Reading →

In 2008, 25-year-old Arizona native Jessica Cox became the world’s first licensed armless pilot. Cox, a Filipino-American, was born without arms due to a rare birth defect. This disability, however, has not prevented her from leading an active life filled with noteworthy accomplishments. Cox, who graduated from the University of Arizona in 2005 with a... Continue Reading →

In 1962, Kwang-Ping Hsu became the first foreign-born graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy (USCGA). He had started out life in 1936 in the province of Shandong (also known as Shantung) in eastern China. His father was a professor of pathology at Beijing University. Kwang-Ping Hsu grew up during the brutal Japanese occupation of... Continue Reading →

April 6, 1957 Shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis officially launched Olympic Airways in Greece. The genesis of this enterprise can be traced to three airlines that been established in Greece by 1947: Technical and Aeronautical Exploitations Company (TAE); Hellenic Airlines; and Aeroporiki Metfori Elados (AME). In 1951, the poor financial performances of these airlines led the... Continue Reading →

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