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Years in aviation: 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940
Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s
Years: 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1937:

EventsEdit

JanuaryEdit

None

FebruaryEdit

  • February 3 – In the Spanish Civil War, a Nationalist (rebel) attack on Málaga begins, supported by an Italian "legionary" air force of about 100 aircraft.[3]
  • February 18 – Nationalist ace Joaquín García Morato plays a major role in an air-to-air engagement in which a Nationalist force of Fiat CR.32 fighters defeats a Republican (loyalist) one of Polikarpov I-15s, shooting down eight I-15s. The battle gives the Nationalists temporary air superiority during the Battle of Jarama and demonstrates that the CR.32s could defeat the I-15s – which previously had dominated the CR.32s over Spain – if handled courageously and imaginatively.[4]

MarchEdit

  • March 8 – A Nationalist offensive begins against Guadalajara, Spain, with support by Italian forces, including 50 fighters and 12 reconnaissance planes.[5]
  • March 22 Spanish Nationalist leader Francisco Franco orders his National Aviation (Aviación Nacional) force to begin a bombing campaign against the Basques in northern Spain.[6]
  • March 31 – A Spanish Nationalist ground offensive begins against the Basques, supported by 80 German aircraft based at Vitoria-Gasteiz and 70 Spanish Nationalist and Italian aircraft based elsewhere in northern Spain. Opposing them are 20 to 30 Basque aircraft. On the first day, German Junkers Ju 52s conduct the first terror bombing and strafing of an undefended town in Europe, killing 248 people in Durango.[7]
  • March 31-April 4 – Supporting Nationalist forces, 40 to 50 aircraft per day bomb Ochandiano, Spain.[8]

AprilEdit

  • Flying a Breda Ba.88 Lince, Breda chief test pilot Furio Niclot sets two speed-over-distance world records, averaging 517 km/hr (321.25 mph) over a 100-km (62.1-mile) distance and 475 km/hr (295.15 mph) over a 1000-km (621-mile) circuit.[9]
  • April 6–9 – Masaaki Iinuma (pilot) and Kenji Tsukagoshi (flight mechanic and navigator) fly the Mitsubishi Ki-15 J-BAAI Kamikaze 15,366 km (9,542 statute miles) from Tachikawa, Japan, to Croydon Airport in London in a record 94 hours 17 minutes 56 seconds, of which 51 hours 17 minutes 23 seconds is spent in the air at an average speed of 162 km/hr (101.2 mph).[10] It is the first Japanese-built aircraft to fly to Europe.
  • April 20 – A new Nationalist advance begins in Vizcaya province in northern Spain, supported by a preliminary aerial bombardment.[11]
  • April 26 – Four Heinkel He.111 and 23 Junkers Ju 52 bombers of the German Condor Legion attack Guernica, Spain, in the first example of "carpet bombing" to demoralize a civilian population. Over three hours, the bombers drop 45,000 kg (99,207 lbs) of bombs, destroying 70% of the city and killing at least 1,000, and perhaps as many as a third (over 1,600 people) of its inhabitants. Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Heinkel He 51 fighters also strafe the town to kill any inhabitants they see. The town burns for three days. The damage shocks Spanish Nationalist military leaders, and the Condor Legion engages in no further area bombing during the Spanish Civil War.[12][13]

MayEdit

  • In the Spanish Civil War, the Republicans have the technological and numerical superiority in the air, with about 450 aircraft, including 150 Soviet and 50 other fighters and 60 Soviet and 40 other bombers; they have lost about 150 aircraft since the war began in July 1936. The Nationalists have a little less than 400 aircraft, with about 150 flown by Spanish pilots, about 100 in the German Condor Legion, and about 120 in the Italian "legionary air force."[14]
  • May 8 – Lieutenant Colonel Mario Pezzi of Italy sets a new world altitude record of 15,655 meters (51,362 feet)[15] in a Caproni Ca.161.
  • May 22 – The Spanish Republican Air Force sends fighters on a risky flight across Nationalist-controlled territory to Republican bases in northern Spain to support the Basque defense against Nationalist forces there; seven of them arrive safely. Over the next several weeks, 50 more Republican aircraft – Polikarpov I-15 and I-16 fighters and Polikarpov R-5 light bombers – will make the trip, with 45 arriving safely.[16]
  • May 24 – A Spanish Republican air raid against Palma, Majorca, hits the Italian armed merchant cruiser Barletta – a unit of the non-intervention patrol around Spain.– killing six of her crew.[17]
  • May 26 – Spanish Republican air raids by Soviet pilots narrowly miss the German patrol ship Albatross at Palma and damage the German "pocket battleship" Deutschland off Ibiza, killing 31 and wounding 66 aboard Deutschland.[18]

JuneEdit

  • June 3 – The Spanish Nationalist commander General Emilio Mola dies when his plane crashes on the hill of Alcocero de Mola, near Burgos.[19]
  • June 11 – An aerial bombardment by German aircraft of the Condor Legion and Italian aircraft precedes a renewed Nationalist offensive against the Basque defensive perimeter around Bilbao, Spain.[20]
  • June 12 – About 70 German and Italian aircraft attack Basque defenses around Bilbao over the course of several hours.[21]
  • June 14 – German aircraft of the Condor Legion strafe refugees from Bilbao as they flee along the road to Santander.[22]
  • June 18–20 – Soviet aviators Valery Chkalov, G. F. Baidukov, and A. V. Belyakov fly from Moscow in the Soviet Union to Vancouver, Washington, in the United States via the North Pole in a Tupolev ANT-25.
  • June 30 – During a 2¼-hour flight in the Bristol Type 138A, Royal Air Force Flight Lieutenant M. J. Adam sets a Fédération Aéronautique Internationale-homologated world altitude record of 16,440 meters (53,937 feet).[23] The cockpit canopy cracks, but he is saved by his pressure suit.

JulyEdit

  • July 6 – A Spanish Republican offensive against Brunete begins, supported by 300 aircraft; the Republicans will use Polikarpov I-15 fighters at night for the first time during the battle, opposing night-bombing German Heinkel He 111 bombers. The Nationalists redeploy German aircraft of the Condor Legion from north to central Spain to support Nationalist ground forces around Brunete.[24]
  • July 7 – The Marco Polo Bridge Incident begins the Second Sino-Japanese War.[25][26]
  • July 7 – Curtiss receives the largest order placed with an airplane manufacturing company since 1918 when the United States Army Air Corps orders 210 P-36 Hawks[27]
  • July 11 – The Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy agree that if a full-scale war breaks out with China, the army will have the responsibility for operations in northern China and the navy in central and southern China.[28]
  • July 11 – German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters appear over the battlefield around Brunete, Spain, proving themselves much more effective than Republican Polikarpov I-15 fighters, although outnumbered by the I-15s.
  • July 18 – Supporting Nationalist forces, German fighters of the Condor Legion begin to dominate the air over the Battle of Brunete, shooting down 21 Republican aircraft during the day. The Nationalists will hold the advantage in the air over central Spain for the rest of the Spanish Civil War.[29]
  • July 21 – Arbitrating the Royal Navy's request that control of British naval aircraft be transferred to it from the Royal Air Force for the first time since the dissolution of the Royal Naval Air Service in 1918, Sir Thomas Inskip recommends to the British that the Royal Navy have full control of its aircraft. His decision, which becomes known as the "Inskip Award," will take nearly two years to implement.[30]
  • July 25 – The Battle of Brunete ends. During the 20-day-long battle, the Republicans have lost about 100 aircraft, while the Nationalists have lost 23. The appearance of the German Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter and Heinkel He 111 bomber and the Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 bomber in numbers during the battle signals the end of Republican air superiority in the Spanish Civil War.[31]

AugustEdit

  • August 6 – In response to a request by Spanish Nationalist leader Francisco Franco for the Italian armed forces to attack ships in the Mediterranean Sea bringing aid to the Republicans, Italian aircraft based on Majorca bomb a British, a French, and an Italian merchant ship near Algiers.[32]
  • August 7 – Italian aircraft from Majorca bomb a Greek ship in the Mediterranean Sea.[32]
  • August 12 – Majorca-based Italian aircraft sink a Danish cargo vessel in the Mediterranean Sea.[32]
  • August 14 – On the second day of the Battle of Shanghai, Nationalist Chinese aircraft attack Imperial Japanese Navy ships anchored in the Whangpoo River during the Second Sino-Japanese War.[28]
  • August 14 – Vice Admiral Kiyoshi Hasegawa orders Imperial Japanese Navy aircraft carriers to begin strikes against the coast of China, beginning several months of such operations.[33]
  • August 14 – A Nationalist offensive in northern Spain against Basque forces defending Santander, begins, supported by 70 German – including the latest models, being evaluated in combat for the first time – 80 Italian, and 70 Spanish Nationalist aircraft. Republican forces opposing them have only 33 fighters – only 18 of them modern Soviet aircraft – and 11 reconnaissance planes. The Nationalist aerial bombardment will overwhelm the defenders of Santander, which will fall to the Nationalists on August 26.[34]
  • August 14–15 - Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi G3M bombers based at Taihoku on Formosa and Ōmura on Kyūshū conduct over-ocean raids on Nationalist Chinese bases 400 to 500 miles (644 to 805 km) inland, demonstrating an operational range that astonishes both foreign observers and those of the Imperial Japanese Army.[33] It is the first transoceanic bombing raid in history.[35]
  • August 15 - Luft Hansa begins seaplane services between the Azores and New York with the assistance of seaplane tenders stationed along the route.
  • August 24 – The Republicans launch an offensive against Nationalist in forces in Aragon, supported by about 200 aircraft; the opposing Nationalists have only 15 Heinkels. The Nationalists redeploy 20 Fiat CR.32 fighters commanded by the ace Joaquín García Morato, 20 Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 bombers, and 20 cargo aircraft from northern Spain to the area to bolster the defense.[36]
  • August 26 – Majorca-based Italian aircraft bomb a British merchant ship off Barcelona, Spain.[32]

SeptemberEdit

  • The Mitsubishi A5M (Allied reporting name "Claude") fighter enters service, allowing the Imperial Japanese Navy to gain air superiority in the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japanese soon gain control of the skies over Shanghai.[37]
  • A French military leader tells the British that "a veritable forest of guns" over the Maginot Line will prevent the German Luftwaffe from intervening in a land war between France and Germany.[38]
  • September 1 – Supported by 250 aircraft, Spanish Nationalist forces begin an offensive against Republicans in Asturias. The absence of the Condor Legion, which is deployed in Aragon, is felt; Nationalist progress is slow for the first six weeks.[39]
  • September 1 – Air Canada, Canada's largest airline, begins operations.
  • September 17 – At a conference at Nyon, Switzerland, to address Italian attacks on merchant ships in the Mediterranean Sea attended by Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Romania, the Soviet Union, and Turkey, delegates agree that a British and French naval patrol in the Mediterranean west of Malta previously authorized to sink submarines suspected of attacking merchant ships also will be authorized to attack aircraft suspected of engaging in anti-shipping strikes. The agreement is in response to Italian attacks on merchant ships by aircraft based at Majorca.[40]
  • September 19–22 – Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A5M ("Claude") fighters conduct a successful campaign to eliminate Chinese air resistance over Nanking.[41]

OctoberEdit

NovemberEdit

DecemberEdit

  • Flying a Breda Ba.88 Lince, Breda chief test pilot Furio Niclot sets two speed-over-distance world records, averaging 554 km/hr (344.24 mph) over a 100-km (62.1-mile) distance and 524 km/hr (325.6 mph) over a 1000-km (621-mile) circuit.[9]
  • Major air battles take place between Imperial Japanese Navy and Nationalist Chinese aircraft over Nanchang on December 9 and December 22, during which the Japanese claim the destruction of 29 Chinese aircraft in the air and 25 on the ground.[42]
  • December 9 – During combat over Nanchang, an Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi A5M ("Claude") fighter loses a third of its right wing when it is rammed by a Nationalist Chinese Curtiss Hawk, but flies 200 miles (320 km) back to base without further mishap.[41]
  • December 12 – The Panay Incident occurs, when Imperial Japanese Navy Yokosuka B4Y (Allied reporting name "Jean") bombers and Nakajima A4N fighters sink the U.S. Navy gunboat USS Panay (PR-5) and three nearby Standard Oil tankers on the Yangtze River near Nanking.
  • December 15 – A Spanish Republican offensive in the area of Teruel, Spain, begins. The ensuing Battle of Teruel will last until February 22, 1938, and involve 120 fighters, 80 bombers, and 100 other aircraft on the Republican side and 150 fighters, 100 bombers, and 110 other aircraft on the Nationalist side.[47]
  • December 29 – A Spanish Nationalist counteroffensive against Republican forces during the Battle of Teruel begins with the support of German aircraft of the Condor Legion. The Condor Legion has had to redeploy in order to support the counteroffensive, and its personnel are becoming weary of the constant changes of front required by Nationalist military operations.[48]
  • December 30 – A French Latécoère 521 flying boat sets a world record by carrying a payload of 18,000 kg (39,682 pounds) to 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) over Biscarosse, France.

First flightsEdit

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

MarchEdit

AprilEdit

MayEdit

JuneEdit

JulyEdit

AugustEdit

SeptemberEdit

OctoberEdit

DecemberEdit

Entered serviceEdit

FebruaryEdit

MarchEdit

AprilEdit

MayEdit

JuneEdit

AugustEdit

OctoberEdit

NovemberEdit

DecemberEdit

RetirementsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Hardesty, Von, Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power 1941-1945, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982, ISBN 978-0-87474-510-8, p. 49.
  2. Scheina, Robert L., Latin America: A Naval History 1810-1987, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1987, ISBN 978-0-87021-295-6, p. 201.
  3. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 583, 585.
  4. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 594.
  5. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 596-597.
  6. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 612.
  7. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 614, 616-617.
  8. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 617.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 184.
  10. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, p. 151.
  11. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 623.
  12. Crosby, Francis, The Complete Guide to Fighters & Bombers of the World: An Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Military Aircraft, From the Pioneering Days of Air Fighting in World War I Through the Jet Fighters and Stealth Bombers of the Present Day, London: Anness Publishing Ltd., 2006, ISBN 978-1-84476-917-9, p. 269.
  13. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 624-625, 627.
  14. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 678.
  15. Donald, Davidd, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 198.
  16. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 680.
  17. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 683-684.
  18. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 684-685.
  19. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 689.
  20. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 690.
  21. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 691.
  22. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 692.
  23. Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 198.
  24. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 710-713.
  25. Wikipedia Marco Polo Bridge Incident article.
  26. Wikipedia Second Sino-Japanese War article.
  27. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 155.
  28. 28.0 28.1 Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909-1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-55750-432-6, p. 103.
  29. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 714-715.
  30. Sturtivant, Ray, British Naval Aviation: The Fleet Air Arm, 1917-1990, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990, ISBN 0-87021-026-2, p. 27.
  31. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 715.
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 740.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909-1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-55750-432-6, p. 104.
  34. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 717-718, 721.
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  36. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 725-726.
  37. Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909-1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-55750-432-6, pp. 110-111.
  38. 38.0 38.1 Murray, Williamson, Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933-1945, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press, 1983, no ISBN number, p. 14.
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  40. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 741-742.
  41. 41.0 41.1 Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909-1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-55750-432-6, pp. 111-112.
  42. 42.0 42.1 Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909-1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-55750-432-6, p. 112.
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  44. 44.0 44.1 The Main Events of the Spanish Civil War
  45. Peattie, Mark R., Sunburst: The Rise of Japanese Naval Air Power 1909-1941, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 2001, ISBN 978-1-55750-432-6, p. 114.
  46. Hardesty, Von, Red Phoenix: The Rise of Soviet Air Power 1941-1945, Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982, ISBN 978-0-87474-510-8, p. 53.
  47. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 789, 794.
  48. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 791.
  49. 49.0 49.1 Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 978-0-7607-0592-6, p. 60.
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  65. Swanborough, Gordon, and Peter M. Bowers, United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, London: Putnam, 1976, ISBN 978-0-370-10054-8, p. 464.
  66. Crosby, Francis. The Complete Guide to Fighters & Bombers of the World: An Illustrated History of the World's Greatest Military Aircraft, From the Pioneering Days of Air Fighting in World War I Through the Jet Fighters and Stealth Bombers of the Present Day, London: Anness Publishing Ltd, 2006, ISBN 978-1-84476-917-9, p. 21.
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