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1945 In Aviation

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Title: 1945 In Aviation  
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Subject: Aviation/Anniversaries/May 8, Aviation/Anniversaries/March 1, Aviation/Anniversaries/January 16, Aviation/Anniversaries/January 4, Continental O-280
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1945 In Aviation

Years in aviation: 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948
Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
Decades: 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s
Years: 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1945:

Contents

  • Events 1
    • January 1.1
    • February 1.2
    • March 1.3
    • April 1.4
    • May 1.5
    • June 1.6
    • July 1.7
    • August 1.8
    • September 1.9
    • October 1.10
    • November 1.11
    • December 1.12
  • First flights 2
    • January 2.1
    • February 2.2
    • March 2.3
    • April 2.4
    • May 2.5
    • June 2.6
    • July 2.7
    • August 2.8
    • September 2.9
    • October 2.10
    • November 2.11
    • December 2.12
  • Entered service 3
    • January 3.1
    • March 3.2
    • May 3.3
    • August 3.4
    • November 3.5
  • References 4

Events

  • The probe-and-drogue aerial refueling system, in which the tanker aircraft trails a hose with a stabilizing conical drogue at its end which mates to a fixed probe mounted on the receiving aircraft, is perfected. It is superior to and replaces the looped-hose system which had been in use since 1934, and it remains in use today.[1]

January

February

March

April

May

  • May 1 – The U.S. Navy‍ '​s mixed-propulsion Ryan FR Fireball becomes the first aircraft incorporating jet propulsion to qualify for use aboard aircraft carriers.[93]
  • May 2 – The British East Indies Fleet‍ '​s 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron – consisting of the aircraft carriers HMS Emperor, HMS Hunter, HMS Khedive, and HMS Stalker – begin support of Operation Dracula, a British assault on Rangoon, Burma. Their aircraft fly 110 sorties, bombing Japanese forces in support of a British amphibious landing.[92]
  • May 2–3 – With an attack on enemy airfields, Royal Air Force Mosquitoes of No. 8 Group operate the last offensive action in the war by Bomber Command.
  • May 3 – Royal Air Force Hawker Typhoon fighter-bombers sink the German passenger ships SS Cap Arcona and SS Deutschland and the German cargo ship SS Thielbek in the Bay of Lübeck, unaware that the ships are carrying more than 10,000 concentration camp prisoners. About 5,000 people die aboard Cap Arcona (the second-greatest loss of life in a ship sinking in history) and about another 2,750 aboard Thielbek, and there also is a heavy loss of life aboard Deutschland.
  • May 3–4 – The fifth Japanese Kikusui attack on ships off Okinawa includes 125 kamikazes. They sink three destroyers and two smaller ships and damage the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable, the light cruiser USS Birmingham (CL-62), four destroyers, a destroyer-minelayer, and three smaller ships.[94]
  • May 4 – The British Home Fleet carries out its last operation of World War II, a raid by 44 Avengers and Wildcats from the aircraft carriers HMS Queen. HMS Trumpeter, and HMS Searcher against Kilbotn, Norway, sinking a German depot ship and submarine. It is the last air raid against Norway of World War II.[95]
  • May 4–5 – Carrier aircraft of the British Pacific Fleet strike airfields on the Sakishima Gunto.[96]
  • May 5–6 – The British aircraft carriers HMS Emperor, HMS Hunter, HMS Khedive, and HMS Stalker resume support of Operation Dracula, bombing Japanese forces south of Rangoon and attacking shipping off Burma‍ '​s Tenasserim coast.[92]
  • May 7 – The Royal Air Force sinks a German submarine for the last time in World War II.
  • May 8
  • May 9 – British Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft strike the Sakishima Gunto. Kamikazes hit the aircraft carriers HMS Formidable and HMS Victorious.[98]
  • May 10 – Sighting a Japanese Kawasaki Ki-45 (Allied reporting name "Nick" fighter flying high over Okinawa, U.S. Marine Corps First Lieutenant Robert R, Klingman in an F4U Corsair gives chase for over 185 miles and intercepts the Ki-45 at 38,000 feet (11,583 m). Finding his guns frozen, he climbs well above the Corsair‍ '​s service ceiling of 41,600 feet (12,680 m) and cuts off the Ki-45‍ '​s tail with his propeller in several passes, causing it to crash. He then belly lands safely at Kadena field on Okinawa.[99] He receives the Navy Cross for the action.
  • May 10–11 – The sixth Japanese Kikusui attack off Okinawa includes 150 kamikazes. They damage two destroyers and the aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill (CV-17), which suffers 353 killed, 43 missing, and 264 wounded. One of the most heavily damaged aircraft carriers to survive the war, Bunker Hill is out of service for the rest of World War II.[94]
  • May 11 – The Martin-Baker company makes the first live firing of an ejector seat.[100]
  • May 12 – A kamikaze hits the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) at Hagushi anchorage, Okinawa.[101]
  • May 12–13 – Carrier aircraft of Task Force 58 strike targets on Kyushu and Shikoku. The British Pacific Fleet‍ '​s carriers strike the Sakishima Gunto.[102]
  • May 14
  • May 15 – Aircraft from the British aircraft carrier HMS Emperor attack the Japanese heavy cruiser Haguro in the Indian Ocean, but achieve only one near-miss.[104]
  • May 16–17 – British Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft strike Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Gunto.[98]
  • May 18 – A Corsair‍ '​s guns accidentally fire in the hangar deck of the British aircraft carrier Formidable, striking an Avenger. The Avenger explodes, starting a fire that destroys 28 planes.[87]
  • May 20 – 29 aircraft from the British aircraft carriers HMS Ameer, HMS Khedive, and HMS Stalker conduct devastating strikes against Japanese shipping, airfields, and communications in southern Burma and Sumatra.[105]
  • May 23–25 – The seventh Kikusui attack off Okinawa involves 165 kamikazes. They sink a destroyer-transport and two smaller ships and damage a destroyer and a destroyer-transport on May 25.[106]
  • May 24–25 – British Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft make the final strikes of the war against the Sakishima Gunto, where all Japanese airfields have now been knocked out.[107]
  • May 24/25 (overnight) – Five Ie Shima during the night.[108]
  • May 27 – During the Seventh War Bond Air Show at the Army Air Forces Fair at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio, the pilot of a U.S. Army Air Forces Curtiss XP-55 Ascender fighter prototype (serial number 42-78847) attempts a slow roll during an exhibition flight after a low pass with a P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang on each wing but loses altitude and crashes, sending flaming debris into occupied civilian ground vehicles on a highway near the airfield. The crash kills the XP-55‍ '​s pilot and between two and four civilians (sources differ) on the ground.[109]
  • May 27–29 – The eighth Japanese Kikusui attack off Okinawa involves 110 kamikazes. They sink a destroyer and damage two destroyers, three merchant ships, and an attack transport.[110]

June

July

  • Japan produces 1,131 aircraft, its lowest monthly total since February 1943.[120]
  • A U.S. Army Air Forces air intelligence report finds that Army Air Forces aircraft had destroyed 30,152 German aircraft during the war in Europe in exchange for 18,418 Army Air Forces aircraft destroyed.[121]
  • Several manufacturers have built a combined total of 8,751 Airspeed Oxfords.[122]
  • Avro Canada is formed as a part of the Hawker Siddeley Group and takes over the former Victory Aircraft factory at Malton, Ontario, Canada.[123]
  • July 1–3 – The U.S. Navy escort aircraft carriers USS Suwannee (CVE-27), USS Chenango (CVE-28), and USS Gilbert Islands (CVE-107) with Marine Air Group 2 embarked support Australian Army amphibious landings at Balikpapan, Borneo.[124]
  • July 2
    • 532 B-29 Superfortresses drop 3,709 tons (3,365 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Kure, Kumamoto, and other cities in Japan.[117]
    • The Okinawa campaign is officially declared over with the complete defeat of Japanese forces there. During the campaign, the Allies have lost 32 ships and naval craft sunk and 368 damaged and over 4,900 naval personnel killed and 4,824 wounded. Most of the ships sunk were victims of kamikazes. The Allies also have lost 763 aircraft during the campaign.[125]
  • July 4 – 483 B-29s drop 3,752 tons (3,404 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Kōchi and other cities in Japan.[117]
  • July 5 – The U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board approves the acquisition of American Export Airlines (AEA) by American Airlines. AEA retains a separate identity as a subsidiary of American, but its acquisition allows American to compete with Pan American Airways in transatlantic service.
  • July 5–11 – Aircraft from the British aircraft carriers HMS Ameer and HMS Emperor strike Japanese airfields and shipping at Car Nicobar.[105]
  • July 7 – 568 B-29s drop 4,227 tons (3,835 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Chiba and other cities in Japan.[117]
  • July 10 – Aircraft from the 20 aircraft carriers of U.S. Navy Task Force 38 strike Tokyo and vicinity.[126] In addition, 536 B-29s drop 3,872 tons (3,513 metric tons) of bombs on Sendai and other cities in Japan.[117]
  • July 12 – An Eastern Air Lines Flight 45, a Douglas DC-3-201C en route from Boston Massachusetts, to Miami, Florida, with stops in Washington, D.C. and Columbia, South Carolina, collides with a United States Army Air Forces A-26 Invader bomber 3,100 feet (940 m) above Syracuse, South Carolina, (about 20 miles (32 km) from Florence, South Carolina. The commercial pilot, G. D. Davis, lands his airliner in a cornfield. One passenger, an infant, is killed aboard the airliner. The A-26‍ '​s tail is sheared off; two aboard the bomber die and one is able to parachute safely.
  • July 13 – 517 B-29s drop 3,640 tons (3,302 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Utsunomiya and other cities in Japan.[117]
  • July 14 – Task Force 38 carrier aircraft fly 1,391 sorties against targets in northern Honshu and Hokkaido, Japan, without any Japanese air opposition. They destroy 25 Japanese aircraft, sink three destroyers, eight naval auxiliaries, and 20 merchant ships, and damage a destroyer, three escort craft, and 21 merchant ships.[127]
  • July 15 – In a second day of air strikes on northern Honshu and Hokkaido, Task Force 38 aircraft completely disrupt the Aomori-Hakodate train ferry system and sink numerous colliers, reducing the Japanese coal-carrying capacity by 50 percent.[128]
  • July 16 – 471 B-29s drop 3,678 tons (3,337 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Numazu and other cities in Japan.[117]
  • July 18 – Task Force 38 carrier aircraft conduct heavy strikes against targets along the shore of Tokyo Bay, concentrating on the Yokosuka Naval Arsenal, where they damage the battleship Nagato and sink a submarine, a destroyer, and three smaller vessels.[129]
  • July 19 – U.S. Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortresses strike Hitachi, Japan.[129]
  • July 20 – 473 B-29s drop 3,255 tons (2,953 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Fukui and other cities in Japan.[117]
  • July 23 – The Japanese submarines I-400 and I-401 depart Japan to launch a surprise air strike on American ships at Ulithi Atoll using six submarine-launched Aichi M6A floatplanes painted in American markings. The two submarines will abort the mission and jettison the aircraft on 16 August when they learn of Japan‍ '​s surrender.
  • July 24 – Task Force 38 carrier aircraft fly 1,747 sorties against no air opposition, striking targets in the Inland Sea of Japan in one of the heaviest days of carrier air strikes of World War II. At Kure, Japan, they sink the battleship Hyūga, the heavy cruisers Tone and Aoba, and the obsolete battleship Settsu and armored cruiser Iwate, heavily damage the aircraft carrier Amagi, and damage the aircraft carrier Kaiyo.[130][131] In addition, 570 U.S. Army Air Forces B-29s drop 3,445 tons (3,125 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Osaka and Nagoya, Japan.[117]
  • July 24–26 – Aircraft from carriers of the British 21st Aircraft Carrier Squadron strike Japanese airfields and shipping in northern Malaya.[105]
  • July 28
    • Task Force 38 carrier aircraft again carry out heavy airstrikes against targets in the Inland Sea without meeting aerial opposition. They sink the aircraft carrier Amagi, the battleships Haruna and Ise, and the obsolete armored cruiser Izumo and damage the aircraft carriers Katsuragi and Kaiyo.[130][131] In addition, 548 U.S. Army Air Forces B-29s drop 4,427 tons (4,016 metric tons/tonnes) of bombs on Tsu and other cities in Japan.[117]
    • A U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 Mitchell bomber crashes into the 79th floor of the Empire State Building in New York City, killing 14 people.[132]
  • July 29 – U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 Mitchells and U.S. Navy aircraft from the aircraft carrier USS Ticonderoga (CV-14) further damage the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaiyo in Beppu Bay.[131]
  • July 29–30
    • Japanese kamikazes make their last attacks on ships off Okinawa, damaging two U.S. destroyers.[133]
    • Carrier aircraft of Task Force 38 strike the Maizuru Naval Arsenal and the north coast of Honshu, Japan.[130]
  • July 31 – Since beginning the strategic bombing campaign against Japan in June 1944, B-29s of the U.S. Army‍ '​s Twentieth Air Force have destroyed 67 Japanese cities, leaving only four major cities – Kokura, Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, – undamaged. During July 1945, the B-29s have carried an average bombload of 7.4 tons (6.7 metric tons) per plane – an increase of 4.8 tons (4.4  metric tons) since November 1944 – dropped more than 75 percent of their bombs by radar, and suffered a loss rate of only 0.4 percent of aircraft raiding Japan (down from 5.7 percent in January 1945).[134]

August

  • August 1 – Essair Airways becomes the first airline to operate as a "feeder" or "local service" airline, a new category of airline established experimentally by the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board to provide commercial air service to smaller communities. Under a temporary certificate to operate in this way, Essair flies routes within New Mexico and Texas.
  • August 2
  • August 6
  • August 7 – 131 B-29s drop 830 tons (7,529 metric tons) of bombs on the Toyokawa Naval Arsenal in Japan.[117]
  • August 8 – 245 B-29s drop 1,296 tons (1,176 metric tons) of bombs on Yawata, Japan.[117]
  • August 9
    • The B-29 Superfortress Bockscar drops the plutonium-239 atomic bomb Fat Man on Nagasaki, Japan.
    • Carrier aircraft of Task Force 38 conduct devastating strikes against Japanese airfields in northern Honshu where the Japanese had been marshalling aircraft for a planned major suicide strike on B-29 bases in the Mariana Islands. The Americans claim 251 Japanese aircraft destroyed and 141 damaged.[136]
  • August 10
    • Task Force 38 aircraft again strike northern Honshu heavily, striking two previously undetected Japanese airfields.[130]
    • After suffering heavy damage during the airstrikes of July 24, 28, and 29, the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaiyo is abandoned in Beppu Bay when she lists far enough for the port side of her flight deck to be underwater. She later will be scrapped in place.[131]
  • August 13 – Carrier aircraft of Task Force 38 strike the Tokyo area, claiming 272 Japanese aircraft destroyed and 149 damaged.[130]
  • August 13–14 (overnight) – Seven B-29 Superfortresses drop five million leaflets over Tokyo, providing the Japanese population for the first time with the news that Japan had accepted the Potsdam Declaration and was negotiating for peace.[137]
  • August 15
  • August 15 (August 14 east of the International Date Line) – VJ Day; Japan surrenders, ending the war in the Pacific theater and bringing World War II to an end.
  • August 18
    • The last aerial combat of World War II takes place when two U.S. Army Air Forces Saburō Sakai pilots one of the fighters, but later claims not to have fired his guns. Gunners aboard the B-32s claim two Japanese fighters shot down and one probable; aboard one of the B-32s, one man is wounded and another killed. It is the last aerial combat of World War II.[140]
    • Indian nationalist revolutionary Subhas Chandra Bose reportedly dies in the crash of a Japanese aircraft at Matsuyama aerodrome (now Taipei Songshan Airport) at Taipei on Formosa (now Taiwan), although the report of his death in the crash has since been disputed.
  • August 19 – Two Mitsubishi G4M (Allied reporting name "Betty") bombers carry Japan's surrender delegation to Ie Shima.
  • August 25 – A U.S. Army Air Forces P-38 Lightning fighter piloted by Colonel Clay Tice becomes the first American aircraft to land in Japan following the armistice of August 15.[141]

September

October

November

December

  • December 4 – A de Havilland Sea Vampire Mk 5 becomes the first jet aircraft to intentionally take off and land from an aircraft carrier, HMS Ocean.[155][156]
  • December 5 – Flight 19, a formation of five U.S. Navy TBM Avengers with a total of 14 men aboard, vanishes without trace over the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida. A U.S. Navy PBM-5 Mariner flying boat sent to search for the Avengers also disappears with the loss of all 13 men aboard, apparently the victim of an accidental mid-air explosion.
  • December 8 – The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff release a report on the effect of atomic weapons on warfare. It finds that there is no effective defense against atomic weapons and that that the appearance of such weapons in the hands of an adversary would seriously degrade American national security. It also notes that the Soviet Union has better air defenses than does the United States, leaving the United States more vulnerable to atomic attack. It finds that in a war with the Soviet Union, the United States will have to seize forward bases from which to launch bombers for nuclear strikes, and that the United States will have to strike first to preempt a Soviet nuclear attack if the Soviet Union develops an atomic arsenal and the United States detects preparations for such an attack.[157]
  • December 21 – The first flight by an American turboprop-powered aircraft takes place, when the Consolidated Vultee XP-81, previously flown with a piston engine, flies under turboprop power for the first time.[158]

First flights

January

February

March

April

May

  • May 8 – Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun ("Beautiful Cloud"), piston-engined prototype of the R2Y2, projected as the first Japanese jet attack aircraft[169]
  • May 17 – Lockheed XP2V-1 Bu48237, prototype of the P2V Neptune (later P-2 Neptune)[170]

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Entered service

January

March

May

August

November

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