1945 in aviation

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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:

Events[edit]

  • 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[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

  • 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.[89]
  • 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.[88]
  • 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.[90]
  • 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.[91]
  • May 4–5 – Carrier aircraft of the British Pacific Fleet strike airfields on the Sakishima Gunto.[92]
  • 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.[88]
  • 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.[93]
  • 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.[94] 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.[90]
  • May 11 – The Martin-Baker company makes the first live firing of an ejector seat.[95]
  • May 12 – A kamikaze hits the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) at Hagushi anchorage, Okinawa.[96]
  • 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.[97]
  • 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.[99]
  • May 16–17 – British Pacific Fleet carrier aircraft strike Japanese airfields in the Sakishima Gunto.[93]
  • 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.[84]
  • 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.[100]
  • 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.[101]
  • 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.[102]
  • May 24/25 (overnight) – Five Imperial Japanese Army Mitsubishi Ki-21 (Allied reporting name "Sally") bombers carrying Giretsu Kuteitai special airborne attack troops make a suicide raid on Kadena and Yontan airfields on Okinawa. Four are shot down, but the fifth belly lands on the principal runway at Yontan and disgorges ten giretsu troops, who destroy seven and damage 26 planes, blow up two fuel dumps, and kill two Americans and wound 18 before being killed. Japanese planes also bomb Ie Shima during the night.[103]
  • 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.[104]
  • 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.[105]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

  • 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.[147][148]
  • 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.[149]
  • 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.[150]

First flights[edit]

January[edit]

February[edit]

March[edit]

April[edit]

May[edit]

  • May 8 – Yokosuka R2Y1 Keiun ("Beautiful Cloud"), piston-engined prototype of the R2Y2, projected as the first Japanese jet attack aircraft[161]
  • May 17 – Lockheed XP2V-1 Bu48237, prototype of the P2V Neptune (later P-2 Neptune)[162]

June[edit]

July[edit]

August[edit]

September[edit]

October[edit]

November[edit]

December[edit]

Entered service[edit]

January[edit]

March[edit]

May[edit]

August[edit]

November[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Morison, Samuel Eliot, History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II, Volume XIV: Victory in the Pacific, 1945, Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1990, p. 10.
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