The American Section of the International League of Aviators resurrects the National Trophy, a Harmon Trophy awarded from 1926 to 1938 to the outstanding aviator of the year in each of the 21 member countries of the now-defunct League. It will be awarded until 1949 amid much controversy, with the awards going largely unrecognized.
January 12 – The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff note that the use of atomic bombs alone will be insufficient to defeat the Soviet Union in the event of a war, and that substantial conventional air, ground, and naval forces will remain necessary.
February 11 – After lengthy negotiations, American and British government representatives reach the Bermuda Agreement, the first bilateral agreement regulating international commercial air transport. Agreement also is reached for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to coordinate and fix international air fares.
With post-World War II demobilization well underway, the U.S. Navy 's force of aircraft carriers has dropped to 23 of all types with more decommissionings planned, while its aircraft force has declined from 41,000 to 24,000 within the past year and continues to decline rapidly.
July 31 – Philippine Airlines becomes the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific using a chartered Douglas DC-4 on the first of several flights to ferry home 40 US servicemen. Each crossing took 41 hours with fuelling stops at Guam, Wake, Kwajelein and Honolulu.
August 9 – As three U.S. Army Air Forces A-26 Invaderattack aircraft make a low-level pass during an air show at the North Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Montana, two of them collide 750 feet (228 meters) from a grandstand crowded with 20,000 spectators. The wing of one A-26 shears off the tail of the other. The tail-less A-26 crashes into a horse barn, killing three crew members, three people on the ground, and twenty thoroughbred horses; the other A-26 continues to fly for between one and five miles (1.6 and 8 kilometers) (sources differ) before crashing in a field, killing one of its crewmen. The third bomber in the formation lands safely.
August 15 – The U.S. Joint Warfare Planning Committee submits Plan Gridle for the defense of Turkey against the Soviet Union, which finds that the Turkish Air Force of fewer than 700 aircraft could offer only token resistance against a Soviet offensive and would have to be reinforced by ten American fighter groups, followed by the establishment of U.S. Army Air Forces heavy bomber bases in Turkey.
Operation Magic Carpet, which returns millions of American military personnel to the United States after World War II, concludes. Sixty-three U.S. aircraft carriers have taken part as temporary personnel transports.
October 15 – Hermann Göring commits suicide by poisoning himself in his jail cell at Nuremberg, Germany, the day before his scheduled hanging for war crimes. A World War Iace with 22 victories and one of the leaders of the German Nazi movement and government, he had served as Supreme Commander of the German Luftwaffe from 1935 to 1945.
November 6 – An American intelligence report predicts that by 1956 the Soviet Union will have a strategic air force and as many as 150 atomic bombs, while the United States will have 350 to 400 atomic bombs. It assesses that the Soviet Union would withhold its atomic weapons during a war in order to deter an American nuclear attack on Soviet targets.
December 31 – The U.S. Navy 's inventory of combat aircraft stands at 1,461, a 64 percent decline from the force it had available at the end of World War II on 15 August 1945. It has 10,000 naval aviators.
^Polmar, Norman, "Historic Aircraft: The Flying Banana," Naval History, August 2010, p. 16.
^Isenberg, Michael T., Shield of the Republic: The United States Navy in an Era of Cold War and Violent Peace, Volume I: 1945-1962, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-09911-8, p. 89.
^Marolda, Edward J., "Asian Warm-Up to the Cold War", Naval History, October 2011, pp. 30-31.
^The unconventional composite propeller-jet RyanFR Fireball was technically the first aircraft with a jet engine to land on an American carrier, but it was designed to primarily utilize its piston engine during takeoff and landing. The March 1946 issue of Naval Aviation News, p. 6, shows that an FR-1 made an emergency jet-powered landing on an aircraft carrier on November 6, 1945 when its radial engine failed in the landing path, becoming the first aircraft to make a jet-powered landing on an American aircraft carrier, albeit unintentionally and with damage to the plane.
^Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 298, states that the FD Phantom 's first carrier landing was on July 26, 1946..
^ abcRoss, Steven T., American War Plans 1945-1950: Strategies For Defeating the Soviet Union, Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass, 1996, ISBN 0-7146-4192-8, p. 9.
^Chesneau, Roger, ed., Conway 's All the World 's Fighting Ships 1922-1946, New York: Mayflower Books, 1980, ISBN 0-8317-0303-2, pp. 22, 262.
^Isenberg, Michael T., Shield of the Republic: The United States Navy in an Era of Cold War and Violent Peace, Volume I: 1945-1962, New York: St. Martin's Press, ISBN 0-312-09911-8, p. 134.
^Ross, Steven T., American War Plans 1945-1950: Strategies For Defeating the Soviet Union, Portland, Oregon: Frank Cass, 1996, ISBN 0-7146-4192-8, pp. 34-35.