The Mitsubishi J8M1 rocket-fighter makes its first flight in Hyakurigahara, Japan.
McDonnell XFD-1 Phantom, the first jet aircraft to operate from a US Navy aircraft carrier.
The U.S. Navy's first recorded use of JATO, utilized to lift a PBM-5 Mariner off of a stretch of the Colorado River near Yuma, Arizona after being forced down.
The US Army’s Eighth Air Force launches Operation Thunderclap: 1,000 B-17 bombers raid Berlin, killing 3,000 and leaving 120,000 homeless.
US President Franklin D. Roosevelt touches down at Yalta, the Crimean resort, in his presidential airplane Sacred Cow for a crucial summit with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. The leaders are meeting to discuss terms for German surrender and the shape of post-war Europe.
In an event that would later be known as "Black Friday", a large force of 46 Allied Bristol Beaufighter, North American P-51 Mustang and Warwick aircraft suffers heavy casualties over the coast of Norway during an unsuccessful attack on German destroyer Z33 and its escorting vessels. Only 37 planes would return to base, with 14 airmen killed in action and four taken as POWs, while four Luftwaffe Focke-Wulf Fw 190s would be shot down, killing only two pilots and seven sailors.
The Great Tokyo Air Raid, an overnight incendiary bombing raid by B-29 Superfortresses on Tokyo, is one of the most destructive air raids in history. It creates a firestorm which destroys 41 square kilometers (16 square miles) of the city, killing an estimated 88,000 to 125,000 people, injuring at least 41,000 and perhaps as many as a million people, and leaving probably a million people homeless.
A total of 279 US Army Air Forces B-29 Superfortress bombers drop 1,700 tons of incendiary bombs on Tokyo, killing over 100,000 people and leaving over 1 million homeless.
U. S. interest in flight is so popular that courses in aviation are being taught at this point in 14,000 of America’s 25,686 high schools.
An Avro Lancaster of No. 617 Squadron RAF drops the first 22,000 lb (9,980 kg) Grand Slam bomb.
Douglas XB2D-1, prototype of the AD Skyraider.
The Luftwaffe flies its final sortie over the United Kingdom, a reconnaissance mission from Norway by an Arado Ar 234.
An Avro Lancaster on a night mission against Potsdam becomes the last British bomber shot down by a German night fighter during World War II.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), an inter-airline body to fix rates and ensure cooperation on safety procedures, is formed; it succeeds the International Air Traffic Association, set up in 1919.
The United States Navy puts its first radar-guided bomb, the SWOD-9 "Bat" into use, dropping it from Consolidated PB4Y Liberators on Japanese shipping in Balikpapan Harbor.
VE Day; Germany surrenders, ending the Second World War in Europe.
The aircraft carrier USS Bunker Hill is struck by two Kamikazes, killing 346 crewmembers.
Middle East Airlines is founded.
First flight of the Lockheed P2V Neptune Bu48237.
An Eastern Air Lines flight 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 above Syracuse, South Carolina, (about 20 miles 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. A-26's tail is sheared off; two aboard the bomber die and one is able to parachute safely.
a U.S. Army B-25D bomber crashes into the Empire State Building in heavy fog, killing 11 people in the building and all three of the plane’s crewmen.
The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by a Boeing B-29, the Enola Gay, piloted by Col. Paul Tibbets. Read more...
Bock’s Car, a Boeing B-29 dropped the second nuclear bomb on Nagasaki.
First flight of the Douglas C-74 Globemaster.
A British Gloster Meteor F.1 makes the 1st flight of an aircraft powered completely by turboprop engines. A turboprop or propjet is an aircraft with a propeller that is driven by a gas turbine engine.
Sociedad Aeronautica de Medellin (SAM) is founded.
The 1st jet plane to land on an aircraft carrier is a Ryan FR-1 piloted by U.S. Navy Ensign Jake West.
The 1st speed record of over 600 mph is established by British pilot Hugh Wilson in a Gloster Meteor jet fighter at 606 mph.
Operation Paperclip: The United States Army secretly admits 88 German scientists and engineers to help in the development of rocket technology. Among them: Werner von Braun.
A U.S. Army Sikorsky R-5 helicopter off the coast of Long Island, New York, makes the 1st air-sea rescue.
A de Havilland Sea Vampire fighter becomes the first purely jet-powered airplane to operate from an aircraft carrier, when Lieutenant-Commander E. M. “Winkle” Brown lands his aircraft on the HMS Ocean in England.
A Mk5 Sea Vampire became the first jet aircraft to intentionally take off and land from an aircraft carrier, HMS Ocean.
Flight 19 departs from Ft. Lauderdale NAS, and disappears into the Bermuda Triangle.
New Zealand National Airways Corporation is founded with amalgamation of Union Airways, Air Travel and Cook Strait Airways.
First flight of the Bell 47 prototype NC1H.