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Flight in the Depression Timeline

1942 Flight Timeline

April 18, 1942 Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle leads the first U.S. raid on Tokyo.

April 19, 194­2 The Macchi MC.205, the best Italian fighter of the war, makes its first flight.


April 22, 1942 The Himalayan "Hump" route is established.

May 7-8, 1942 The Battle of Coral Sea is the first sea battle in history in which no ship saw another. The combat (between Japanese and U.S. and Australian forces) was done entirely by the air forces. The battle sets the stage for the rest of the war.

May 26, 1942 The Northrop XP-61 Black Widow night-fighter makes its first flight.

May 30-31, 1942 The first RAF "thousand-bomber" raid occurs in Cologne.

May 31, 1942 Mosquitos are used operationally for the first time.

June 3-4, 1942 The Battle of Midway takes place.

June 12, 1942 The HALPRO Force makes a strike against Ploesti, Romania.

June 13, 1942 The first attempt to launch a German V-2 is unsuccessful.

June 26, 1942 The Grumman XF6 Hellcat makes its first flight.

July 18, 1942 The Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter debuts.

August 17, 1942 USAAF bombers make the first raid on Europe, attacking railway yards in Rouen, France.

September 1942 A Japanese sub-based "Glen" drops four small bombs on Oregon.

September 2, 1942 The Hawker Tempest prototype makes its first flight.

October 1, 1942 The Bell XP-59, the first U.S. jet, makes its first flight.

October 3, 1942 The first successful A-4 (later becomes the V-2) rocket is launched at Peenemünde, Germany.

November 15, 1942 The Heinkel He 219, the best German night-fighter of the war, makes its first flight.

November 19, 1942 The Battle of Stalingrad begins.

January 9, 1943 The Lockheed C-69 Constellation makes its first flight.

January 27, 1943 USAAF bombers attack Germany.

January 30, 1943 De Havilland Mosquitos make the first daylight raid on Berlin.

February 13, 1943 The Chance Vought F4U-1 "Bent Wing Bird" goes into action.

March 2-4, 1943 Airpower wins the Battle of Bismarck Sea against the Japanese.

March 5, 1943 The Gloster Meteor prototype makes its first flight.

April 18, 1943 German troop transports are massacred off Cape Bon; 52 are shot down.

April 18, 1943 Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto is shot down and killed by P-38s.

May 16-17, 1943 The famous "Dam Busters" raid takes place.

June 15, 1943 The Arado Ar.234 Blitz, the world's first jet bomber, makes its first flight.

July 18, 1943 The U.S. Navy Airship K-74 is shot down by a German submarine. It's the only one lost in war to hostile action.

August 1, 1943 Junior Lieutenant Lydia Litvak, a female Soviet ace, is killed in action; she had 12 victories.

August 1, 1943 B-24s attack Ploesti, Romania; more than 50 of the 177 attacking aircraft are lost.

August 17, 1943 The Schweinfurt/Regensburg raids take place.

August 17, 1943 The RAF raids Peenemünde, Germany, killing 600 scientists.

August 17, 1943 A remote-control glide bomb, the Henschel Hs 293 A-1, is used for the first time.

August 31, 1943 The Grumman F6F Hellcat is used operationally for the first time.

September 9, 1943 The Italian battleship Roma is sunk by a German Fritz X guided missile.

September 12, 1943 Benito Mussolini is rescued by a Fieseler Storch aircraft.

September 20, 1943 The de Havilland Vampire makes its first flight.

October 14, 1943 A follow-up attack takes place on Schweinfurt, Germany; 60 planes are lost.

October 26, 1943 The Dornier Do 335 prototype flies for the first time.

­December 13, 1943 The first long-range fighter escort flights take place.