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Flight in the Depression Timeline

1940-1942 Flight Timeline

November 25, 1940 The de Havilland D.H.98 Mosquito prototype makes its first ­flight.

November 25, 1940 The Martin B-26 Marauder flies for the first time.


December 18, 1940 The Curtiss XSB2C-1 Helldiver flies.

January 1941 The Kawanishi Navy H8K Seiku, one of the top flying boats of WW II, makes its first flight.

January 9, 1941 The Avro Lancaster prototype flies for the first time.

February 25, 1941 The Me 321 Gigant glider makes its first flight.

March 11, 1941 The Lend-Lease Act is authorized.

April 2, 1941 The Heinkel He 280 jet fighter makes its first flight.

April 18, 1941 The Me 262 makes its first flight under piston engine power.

April 23, 1941 Greece surrenders; German conquest of Balkans is complete.

May 6, 1941 The XP-47B prototype flies for the first time.

May 10-11, 1941 Rudolf Hess flies to England in a Messerschmitt Bf 110.

May 13-14, 1941 Twenty-one B-17s fly from Hamilton Army Air Field in Marin County, California, to Hawaii in the first mass deployment of U.S. Army bomber aircraft to the Pacific.

May 15, 1941 Britain's first jet, the Gloster E.28/39, flies for the first time.

May 20, 1941 Germans invade Crete in the largest Luftwaffe airborne assault of the war.

May 26, 1941 An RAF Catalina aircraft spots the Bismarck; it is attacked by Fairey Swordfish aircraft.

June 20, 1941 The U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) is formed; H. H. Arnold is Chief.

June 22, 1941 Germany invades the Soviet Union and destroys the Soviet Air Force on the ground.

August 1, 1941 The Soviet Union uses "parasite" dive-bombers for an attack on Romanian oil fields.

August 3, 1941 The first "Hurricat," a Sea Hurricane catafighter, scores a victory against a Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor.

August 7-8, 1941 The Soviet Union raids Berlin.

August 13, 1941 The Messerschmitt Me 163 prototype flies for the first time.

August 27, 1941 An RAF Hudson captures the U-570 in the North Atlantic.

September 20, 1941 A de Havilland Mosquito makes its first combat sortie over France.

September 23, 1941 First Lieutenant Hans-Ulrich Rudel sinks the Soviet battleship Marat.

October 2, 1941 The Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet rocket fighter reaches 624 miles per hour.

November 12, 1941 The British carrier Ark Royal is attacked by a German sub.

December 7, 1941 The Japanese Navy attacks Pearl Harbor. It's the first large-scale operation involving only carrier-based aircraft.

December 10, 1941 Land-based Japanese bombers sink the British battleship Prince of Wales and battle cruiser Repulse.

December 18, 1941 Buzz Wagner becomes the first U.S. ace of the war when he shoots down his fifth Japanese plane over the Philippines.

December 18, 1941 Reaction Motors, Inc., is formed to produce rocket engines. The company will ultimately produce engines used on the Bell X-1 and the North American X-15.

January 14, 1942 The Sikorsky XR-4 prototype, the first military helicopter, makes its first flight.

March 19, 1942 GALCIT Rocket Research Project becomes the Aerojet Corporation.

March 20, 1942 The first of three Mitsubishi J2M Raiden prototypes (code name Jack), makes its first flight.

­April 2-9, 1942 The British suffer a naval disaster at the hands of Japanese airpower off the coast of Ceylon, off India.