Historical Events on January 18 – On This Day
January 18 – Military and Military Aviation History (War Stories & Memories) – On This Day
1644 Perplexed Pilgrims in Boston reported America’s 1st UFO sighting (1st UFO sighting in America, by perplexed pilgrims in Boston)
1896 1st demonstration of an X-ray machine in US (NYC)
1903 The first transatlantic radio transmission to originate in the United States is sent by a transmitter in Massachusetts
1911 US Naval aviation was born when pilot Eugene B. Ely flew a Curtis biplane onto the deck of the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco harbor. (1st shipboard landing of a plane – Tanforan Park to USS Pennsylvania)
1923 1st radio telegraph message from Netherlands to Dutch East Indies
1941 World War II: A counter-offensive is launched by the British against the Italians in East Africa
1942 Nazis arrest Frans Goedhart & Wiardi Beckman
1943 Soviets announce they have broken the long siege of Leningrad by Nazi Germany
1943 US rations bread & metal – banning presliced bread reduce bakery demand for metal parts
1944 1st Chinese naturalized US citizen since repeal of exclusion acts
1945 Soviet troops capture Krakow, Poland
1945 Soviet Armed Forces enter Krakow and push Germans out only to eventually occupy entire country
1951 US FEAF Combat Cargo Command flew an extraordinary 109 C-119 sorties to drop more than 550 tons of supplies to front-line troops in Korea
1953 The U.S. Coast Guards were dispatched from Sangley Point to save the crew of a Navy Lockheed P2V reconnaissance plane. They landed in 12-foot seas, risking their own crew to save their Navy counterparts. The Coast Guard fished 11 survivors from the wrecked plane. Tragically the Coast Guard’s port engine failed during take off, slamming the plane back into the cold waters of the South China Sea. Seven of the rescued Navy fliers survived this second crash; however, most of the Coast Guard crew was lost.
1953 U.S. Navy carrier aircraft hit targets at Wonsan, Songjin, Hungnam and Changyon on the North Korea’s east coast while surface elements fired on Sinchon and Kosong targets.
1956 German Democratic Republic (East Germany) forms own army (National People’s Army)
1957 USAF 3 B-52’s set record for around-the-world flight, 45 hr 19 min. Averaging speeds of over 500 miles per hour, three US Air Force jets complete a nonstop around-the-world flight.
1960 US & Japan sign joint defense treaty
1960 Capital Airlines Flight 20 crashes in Virginia, killing all 50 people on-board
1962 US begins spraying foliage in Vietnam to reveal Viet Cong guerrillas
1962 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1964 US UH-1H Helicoptor Lost in Vietnam. It was announced in a paper dated on this day four men total were lost after a helicopter went down in Vietnam near the Mouth of the Mekong River. Two of the men missing and presumed dead were from the United States, and one was from Great Britain, and another was from Vietnam.
1967 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
1968 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
1968 US Armed. Operation Coronado X begins in Mekong Delta, Vietnam. This was a reaction operation where the Mobile Riverine Force drives the enemy from My Tho, Cai Lay, and Vinh Long cities during the Tet offensive. Prior to Tet, the MRF was operating in western Binh Tuong Province hoping to make contact with another large VC force as it had done there in early December. Thus the MRF was widely dispersed and well removed from the scene of the major battles that erupted during Tet; however, mobility was its great asset and the MRF moved quickly to participate in several sharp battles connected with Tet
1969 Expanded 4 party Vietnam peace talks began in Paris
1969 United Airlines Flight 266 crashes into Santa Monica Bay, killing all 38 people on-board (32 passengers and six crew members)
1974 Israel & Egypt sign weapons accord
1977 Scientists identify a previously unknown bacterium as the cause of the mysterious Legionnaires’ disease.
1978 Thiokol conducts 2nd test firing of space shuttle’s SRB
1986 24th Space Shuttle (61-C) Mission-Columbia 7-returns to Earth
1988 Airliner crashes in SW China, killing all 108 on board
1989 Astronomers discover pulsar in remnants of Supernova 1987A (LMC)
1991 US acknowledges CIA and US Army paid Manuel Noriega $320,000 over his career
1991 Eastern Air Lines goes out of business after 62 years, citing financial problems.
1991 Iraq launches SCUD missiles against Israel. Iraq starts firing Scud missiles at Israeli cities ( Iraq attacks Tel Aviv, and Haifa, with Scud missiles, hoping to bring Israel into the Gulf War and turn it into a wider conflict including other Arab Nations)
1991 US Round-the-clock bombing of Iraqi targets continued in Operation Desert Storm.
1991 USN USS Nicholas attacks and captures Iraqi offshore oil platforms.
1993 Allied warplanes attacked targets in “no fly” zones in southern and northern Iraq.
2000 The Tagish Lake meteorite impacts the Earth.
2000 A US test missile fired from the Marshall Islands failed to shoot down a mock warhead fired from a California air base. In a blow to the Pentagon’s push to develop a national missile defense by 2005, officials announced that a prototype missile interceptor had roared into space in search of a mock warhead over the Pacific, but had failed to hit it.
2002 Sierra Leone Civil War finally declared over.
2002 Five Colombian police officers died while protecting a downed UH-1N helicopter. The US helicopter was destroyed to keep it out of rebel hands.
2005 The world’s largest commercial jet, the Airbus A380, is unveiled in France
2012 An amateur astronomer in Peterborough, England, discovers a new, Neptune-sized exoplanet
2013 NASA scientists achieve a first in laser communication when they successfully beam a picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’ to the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft orbiting the Moon
2014 NASA scientists beam a picture of Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece, the Mona Lisa, to Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a spacecraft orbiting the Moon, marking a first in laser communication.
2017 NASA and NOAA announce that 2016 was the hottest year on record, surpassing the previous record set in 2015 which itself topped a record set in 2014