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Years in aviation: 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941
Centuries: 19th century · 20th century · 21st century
Decades: 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s
Years: 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1938:

EventsEdit

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

MarchEdit

  • March 7 – Nationalist forces begin an offensive in Aragon, supported by German aircraft of the Condor Legion. The Condor Legion by this time has two Messerschmitt Bf 109 groups of four squadrons, two Heinkel He 51 groups of two squadrons, four bomber groups of three squadrons equipped with Heinkel He 111s and Junkers Ju 52s, and a reconnaissance group of three squadrons equipped with Heinkels and Dornier Do 17s.[7]
  • March 7–17 – The Aragon Offensive sees retreating Republican forces bombarded by German Heinkel He 111s and Italian Savoia-Marchetti SM.79s escorted by Messerschmitt Bf 109s and Fiat CR.32s, with German Dornier Do 17 reconnaissance planes assisting in the location of targets.[8]
  • March 12 – Junkers Ju 52s carry German troops to Vienna during the German Anschluss against Austria.[9]
  • March 16–18 – Italian aircraft based on Majorca carry out a heavy, round-the-clock bombing of Barcelona, conducting seventeen air raids at three-hour intervals. Making no attempt to strike military targets specifically, they hit all parts of the city, killing about 1,300 people and injuring about 2,000.[10]
  • March 22 – The Nationalist Aragon Offensive resumes. Bombing and strafing German, Italian, and Spanish Nationalist aircraft play a large role in terrorizing and routing Republican ground forces for the remainder of the offensive.[11]
  • Late March – The British Chiefs of Staff Committee warns that in any confrontation with Germany over Czechoslovakia, the Luftwaffe would dominate the sky and that it might devote its entire force to attacking the United Kingdom as the best way of winning the war.[12]

AprilEdit

  • April 19 – The Aragon Offensive ends, with Spanish Nationalists having routed Republican forces and cut Republican-controlled Spain in two. Nationalist air superiority has proven decisive in their victory, and both the Germans supporting the Nationalists and the Soviets supporting the Republicans have learned a great deal about fighter support to infantry.[13]
  • April 20 – British Air Commodore Arthur Travers Harris makes a purchasing trip to the United States to select aircraft to expand the Royal Air Force. The Lockheed Hudson and North American Harvard are chosen.
  • April 29 – In the largest air battle of the Second Sino-Japanese War to date, 18 Mitsubishi G3M (Allied reporting name "Nell") bombers and approximately 30 Mitsubishi A5M (Allied reporting name "Claude") fighters encounter 60 to 80 Soviet-built Nationalist Chinese fighters over Hankow. The Japanese claim the destruction of 51 Chinese fighters and admit losing two fighters and two bombers, while the Chinese admit the loss of 12 aircraft and claim to have shot down anywhere from 21 Japanese aircraft to as many as 45.[14]

MayEdit

JuneEdit

  • A prototype Heinkel He 118 makes the first airborne tests of a turbojet engine.
  • June 2 – Nationalist aircraft bomb Granollers, Spain, a town without military significance, killing about 100 people. Most of the dead are women and children.
  • June 9 – The Nicaraguan Air Force is formed as the Fuerza Aérea de la Guarda Nacional
  • June 15 – Nationalist aircraft sink the Republican gunboat Laya at Valencia, Spain.[17]
  • mid-June – Nationalist aircraft have attacked 22 British-registered merchant ships in Spanish harbors or nearby waters since mid-April. Eleven of them have been sunk or badly damaged, and 21 British merchant mariners and several Non-Intervention Committee observers have died in the attacks.[18]

JulyEdit

  • In an Imperial Japanese Navy raid on a Nationalist Chinese airfield at Nanchang, three Japanese aircraft land on the field and their pilots disembark to shoot up Chinese personnel, barracks, and hangars and set Chinese aircraft on fire on foot before taking off and departing unscathed. The Japanese will use this attack technique on several future occasions.[19]
  • July 5 – 400 aircraft support a Spanish Nationalist offensive in Valencia.[20]
  • July 15 – A German Arado Ar 79 training and touring aircraft sets an international solo speed record over a 1,000-km (621.4-statute mile) course for an aircraft of its class, averaging 229.04 km/hr (142.32 mph).[21]
  • July 25 – The Battle of the Ebro begins in Spain with a Republican offensive. Although Nationalist bombers attack bridges over the Ebro, Nationalist fighters are still deployed in Valencia and Spanish Republican fighter pilots trained in the Soviet Union gain local air superiority flying improved versions of the Polikarpov I-15 and I-16.[22]
  • July 29
    • Former Soviet Air Force commander-in-chief Yakov Alksnis is executed, a victim of the Great Purge.[23]
    • An Arado Ar 79 sets an international solo speed record over a 2,000-km (1,242-mile) course for an aircraft of its class, averaging 227.029 km/hr (141.07 mph).[21]
  • July 29-August 11 – During the Lake Khasan Incident along the border between the Soviet Union and Manchukuo, 70 fighters and 180 bombers of the Soviet Air Force conduct heavy strikes against Imperial Japanese Army positions.[24]

AugustEdit

  • By the beginning of August, Nationalist fighters appear in sufficient numbers to establish Nationalist air superiority over the battlefield in the Battle of the Ebro. Inadequate Republican antiaircraft artillery, poor management of Republican fighters, the death of many Republican pilots, and the withdrawal of many of the best Soviet pilots from Spain all allow Nationalist aircraft to operate largely unchallenged. Up to 200 Nationalist aircraft circle over the battlefield as Nationalist forces begin a counteroffensive, shooting down many Republican fighters and dropping an average of 10,000 pounds (4,536 kg) of bombs per day into September. Small targets prove difficult for Nationalist aircraft to hit, with over 500 bombs needed to destroy a single Republican pontoon bridge in one instance.[25]
  • Mid-August – Général d'armée Joseph Vuillemin, the Chief of Staff of the French Air Force witnesses a display of the Luftwaffe's capabilities during a visit to Germany, He returns to Paris and warns that the Luftwaffe could defeat the French Air Force in at most two weeks.[12]
  • August 24 – Kweilin Incident: A China National Aviation Corporation DC-2 (the Kweilin) is strafed by Japanese aircraft in China after it makes an emergency landing in a bid to escape them, the first civilian airliner in history to be attacked by hostile aircraft. The 18 passengers and the crew are Chinese; the pilot is American.[26]

SeptemberEdit

  • September 7 – A mass flight of 17 U.S. Navy aircraft makes a 2,570-statute mile (4,138 km) nonstop flight from San Diego, California, to Hawaii in 17 hours 21 minutes.[27]
  • September 10 – Germany prohibits all foreign air traffic in its airspace except along specific air corridors.
  • September 15 – The United States Army Air Corps officially activates Hickam Field in the Territory of Hawaii.[27]
  • September 21 – Major General Oscar Westover, Chief of the U.S. Army Air Corps, is killed at Burbank, California, in the crash of a Northrop A-17AS he is piloting.
  • September 30 – A senior French general tells the British military attaché in Paris that in the event of a war with Germany "French cities would be laid in ruins ... They had no means of defense," and adds that France was paying the price for having neglected the French Air Force for years.[12]

OctoberEdit

NovemberEdit

  • November 4 – The Jersey Airways de Havilland DH.86 airliner St. Catherine's Bay (tail number G-ACZN) crashes in Saint Brélade parish on Jersey in the Channel Islands just after takeoff from Jersey Airport, killing all 14 people on board and one person on the ground. Among the dead are the daughter, son-in-law, and baby granddaughter of surveyor and aerial archaeology pioneer G. A. Beazeley. It is the deadliest aviation accident involving a fixed-wing aircraft on British territory at the time.
  • November 5–7 – A pair of Vickers Wellesleys makes a non-stop flight from Egypt to Darwin, Australia, setting a new world distance record of 7,158 miles (11,520 km).
  • November 16 – HMS Ark Royal enters service with the Royal Navy as the world's first aircraft carrier with deck armor.[31]
  • November 18 – The Battle of the Ebro ends with Spanish Nationalists retaking all territory captured by the Republicans. The Spanish Republican Air Force has lost between 150 and 170 aircraft since the battle began on July 25, and the Nationalists also have lost many planes.[32]
  • November 26 – France lays the keel of its second aircraft carrier, Joffre, intended as the first non-experimental French carrier. Joffre's construction will be abandoned in June 1940, and she will never be launched.[33]
  • November 28–30 – A Luft Hansa Focke Wulf Fw 200 makes the airline's first flight to Japan, flying non-stop from Berlin to Tokyo via Basra, Iraq; Karachi in British India; and Hanoi, French Indochina. The 14,228 km (8,841 mi) flight breaks the world distance record and takes 46 hours 18 minutes.

DecemberEdit

  • National Aviation, the Spanish Nationalist air force, has 500 aircraft, enough to ensure it air superiority in the Spanish Civil War.[34]
  • December 5 – At a meeting of the French Permanent Committee on National Defense, Chief of Staff for National Defense General Maurice Gamelin advocates that France immediately order 1,000 military planes from the United States. The committee approves his proposal.[35]
  • December 8 – Deutsche Werke launches Germany's first aircraft carrier, Graf Zeppelin, at Kiel. She will never be completed.[36]
  • December 29–31 – A German Arado Ar 79 training and touring aircraft sets an international long-distance record for an aircraft of its class, flying 6,303 km (3,917 statute miles) from Benghazi, Libya, to Gaya, India, nonstop at an average speed of 160 km/hr (99 mph).[21]
  • December 30 – The Italian Piaggio P.23R sets two new world records for payload and speed over distance, carrying a payload of 5,000 kg (11,023 lbs) over a distance of 1,000 km (621 miles) and over a distance of 2,000 km (1,242 miles) at an average speed for each distance of 404 km/hr (251 mph).[37]

First flightsEdit

JanuaryEdit

FebruaryEdit

MarchEdit

AprilEdit

MayEdit

JuneEdit

AugustEdit

SeptemberEdit

OctoberEdit

DecemberEdit

Entered serviceEdit

JanuaryEdit

AprilEdit

JuneEdit

JulyEdit

AugustEdit

SeptemberEdit

OctoberEdit

NovemberEdit

RetirementsEdit

AprilEdit

ReferencesEdit

  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. 114.
  2. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 864.
  3. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 720.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 794.
  5. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 792.
  6. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 794–795.
  7. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 798.
  8. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 800.
  9. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 804.
  10. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 804–805.
  11. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 800–802.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Murray, Williamson, Strategy for Defeat: The Luftwaffe 1933–1945, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama: Air University Press, 1983, no ISBN number, p. 18.
  13. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 802.
  14. 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. 114–115.
  15. 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. 111.
  16. 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. 116.
  17. 17.0 17.1 The Main Events of the Spanish Civil War
  18. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 827.
  19. 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. 115.
  20. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 832.
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 21.3 21.4 21.5 Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 978-0-7607-0592-6, p. 60.
  22. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, pp. 835, 841.
  23. 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.
  24. 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. 51.
  25. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 843–844.
  26. Crouch, Gregory (2012). "Chapter 13: The Kweilin Incident". China's Wings: War, Intrigue, Romance and Adventure in the Middle Kingdom during the Golden Age of Flight. Bantam Books. 
  27. 27.0 27.1 Aviation Hawaii: 1930–1939 Chronology of Aviation in Hawaii
  28. Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft Since 1912, Sixth edition, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1991, ISBN 1-55750-076-2, p. 55.
  29. May, Ernest R., Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France, New York: Hill and Wang, 2000, ISBN 0-8090-8906-8, pp. 182, 500.
  30. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 854.
  31. Sturtivant, Ray, British Naval Aviation: The Fleet Air Arm, 1917–1990, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990, ISBN 0-87021-026-2, p. 215.
  32. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 855.
  33. Chesneau, Roger, ed., Conway's all the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946, New York: Mayflower Books, 1980, ISBN 0-8317-0303-2, p. 261.
  34. Thomas, Hugh, The Spanish Civil War, New York: Simon & Schuster, 1986, ISBN 978-0-671-75876-9, p. 868.
  35. May, Ernest R., Strange Victory: Hitler's Conquest of France, New York: Hill and Wang, 2000, ISBN 0-8090-8906-8, pp. 183–184.
  36. Chesneau, Roger, ed., Conway's all the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946, New York: Mayflower Books, 1980, ISBN 0-8317-0303-2, p. 226.
  37. Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 733.
  38. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, pp. 277, 279.
  39. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, p. 272.
  40. 40.0 40.1 Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 64.
  41. Johnson, E. R., "Workhorse of the Fleet," Aviation History, November 2011, p. 45.
  42. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 44.
  43. Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 0-7607-0592-5, p. 106.
  44. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, pp. 251, 567.
  45. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, p. 145–146.
  46. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Aircraft.2C_Secaucus_1978.2C_p._223
  47. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 978-0-517-56588-9, p. 138.
  48. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 162.
  49. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, p. 183.
  50. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 978-0-517-56588-9, p. 388.
  51. Swanborough, Gordon, and Peter M. Bowers, United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911, London: Putnam, 1976, ISBN 978-0-370-10054-8, p. 200.
  52. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, p. 167.
  53. Angelucci, Enzo, The American Fighter: The Definitive Guide to American Fighter Aircraft From 1917 to the Present, New York: Orion Books, 1987, ISBN 978-0-517-56588-9, p. 386.
  54. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, pp. 302, 568.
  55. Francillon, René J., Japanese Aircraft of the Pacific War, Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1979, ISBN 978-0-87021-313-7, p. 155.
  56. Donald, David, ed., The Complete Encyclopedia of World Aircraft, New York: Barnes & Noble Books, 1997, ISBN 978-0-7607-0592-6, p. 79.

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