1941 in Aviation History

1941 in Aviation - Picture

1941 in Aviation Information

1941 in aviation

This is a list of aviation-related events from 1941:


Jackie Cochran became the first woman to fly a bomber across the Atlantic Ocean.
During the spring and summer, the Imperial Japanese Navy's air arm conducts Operation 102, its second major bombing campaign against Chungking.
By early autumn, the Imperial Japanese Navy has turned all air operations on the Chinese mainland over to the Imperial Japanese Army.


The Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) withdraws all bombers and biplane fighters from the Corpo Aereo Italiano (Italian Air Corps) - its epxeditionary force based in Belgium for operations against the United Kingdom - leaving only Fiat G.50 monoplane fighters in the Corpo.
The Imperial Japanese Navy forms its first air fleet, the Eleventh Air Fleet.
Imperial Japanese Navy Vice Admiral Shigeyoshi Inoue argues that control of the sea will first require control of the air above it, that aircraft could achieve this control without assistance by aircraft carriers or other surface ships, and that land-based bombers and flying boats had become so potent that the aircraft carrier had become obsolete.
January 20 - The Brazilian Air Force is created by the amalgamation of the Brazilian Army and Brazilian Navy air arms.


The Short Stirling enters service as the United Kingdom's first four-engined heavy bomber.
February 8 - A fleet of Junkers Ju 52s is used to airlift German troops to North Africa.
February 10 - Britain uses paratroops for the first time in an attack on Tragino
February 26 - Philippine Airlines was founded on February 26, 1941, making it Asia's oldest and first carrier, still to this day, operating under its current name.


March 1 - New Zealand's first fighter squadron, No. 485 Squadron RNZAF is formed.
March 11 - the Congress of the United States passes the Lend-Lease bill, paving the way for the provision of (amongst other equipment) 16,000 warplanes to the UK. Later Lend-Lease arrangements will supply other Allied nations.


The last aircraft of the Corpo Aereo Italiano (Italian Air Corps) return to Italy from Belgium, ending the participation of the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Royal Air Force) in attacks on England.
April 15 - CAMCO signs an agreement with the Chinese government to equip and administer the American Volunteer Group in China.
April 16 - London comes under intense bomber attack, with nearly 900 tonnes of high explosive dropped on the city.


May 6 - Igor Sikorsky sets a world endurance record for helicopter flight of 1 hour 32 minutes, in a Sikorsky VS-300
May 10 - Rudolf Hess parachutes into Scotland to try and negotiate an alliance with Britain against the Soviet Union
May 10 - 550 German bombers drop more than 700 tons (711 tonnes, 711 kg) of bombs on London, killing 1,500 people and seriously injuring 1,800.
May 20 - the Luftwaffe's largest paratroop assault sees 22,750 troops landed in Crete in Operation Merkur. The heavy losses taken mean this will also be the Luftwaffe's last such operation for the war.
May 26 - Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm aircraft play a key role in finding and sinking the German battleship Bismarck.
May 29 - the USAAC forms Ferrying Command to fly newly manufactured aircraft across the Atlantic to Britain.


The destruction of bridges along the Burma Road by Imperial Japanese Navy bombers based at Hanoi in French Indochina in a bombing campaign that began in October 1940 forces the road to close.
June 8 - July 8 - the British invade Syria - air combat between British and Vichy-French aircraft ensues
June 20 - the USAAC is renamed the USAAF and placed under the command of General Henry Arnold
June 22 - Germany invades the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa). 1,200 Soviet aircraft are destroyed on the first day alone.


July 8 - A trial raid by three Royal Air Force Fortress I heavy bombers on the naval barracks at Wilhelmshaven, Germany, is the first combat use of any variant of the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress.
July 18 - the first RAF aircraft equipped with radar
July 28 - the Vichy government agrees to build German aircraft in France
July 31 - a chartered DC-4 ferried 40 American servicemen to Oakland,California from Nielson Airport in Makati City (Manila) with stops in Guam, Wake Island, Johnston Atoll and Honolulu, Hawaii, making Asia's first airline, Philippine Airlines, the first Asian airline to cross the Pacific Ocean. December that year a scheduled service commenced.


August 1 - the Soviet Union makes the first operational use of parasite fighters, attacking Constanţa with modified Polikarpov I-16s carried into action by Tupolev TB-3s.
August 1 - the United States embargoes the sale of aviation fuel to Japan.
August 6 - After running out of ammunition, Soviet National Air Defense Forces pilot Viktor Talalikhin rams a German Heinkel He.111 bomber over Moscow with his Polikarpov I-16 fighter, destroying both aircraft. Talalikhin parachutes to safety. It is the first night ramming in history.


The Grumman Martlet fighter makes it first carrier deployment aboard Royal Navy aircraft carriers on convoy protection duties. It is the first combat use of any variant of the F4F Wildcat.
September 23 - Hans-Ulrich Rudel single-handedly sinks a Soviet battleship (the Marat) flying a Junkers Ju 87


October 1 - Inter-Island Airways was renamed Hawaiian Airlines.
October 2 - Heini Dittmar sets a new airspeed record of 1,004 km/h (624 mph) in a Messerschmitt Me 163A. The record is unofficial because the flight (and the Me 163 programme) is kept secret.
October 27 - Victor Talalikhin, the Soviet Union's first major air hero of World War II, is killed in action during a dogfight with German aircraft.


November 12 - aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal is sunk by a German submarine
November 30 - Mario de Bernardi flies air mail from Milan to Guidonia Montecelio, Italy, in a Caproni Campini N.1 motorjet-powered aircraft. It is the first time air mail is carried in any form of jet aircraft.


December 7 - The Imperial Japanese Navy makes a devastatingly successful surprise attack on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. military facilities on Oahu, Hawaii. Six aircraft carriers launch 353 warplanes in two waves. They sink five American battleships and ten other vessels, damage three other battleships, and destroy 188 U.S. aircraft, killing 2,402 and wounding 1,282. The Japanese lose 29 aircraft, five midget submarines, and 65 killed.
December 8 - The United States declares war on Japan.
December 10 - French Indochina-based Imperial Japanese Navy Mitsubishi G3M bombers sink the Royal Navy battleship Prince of Wales and battlecruiser Repulse in the South China Sea east of Malaya using torpedoes. They are the first capital ships to be sunk at sea by aircraft alone.
December 11 - The United States exchanges declarations of war with Germany and Italy.
December 17 - In the Philippine Islands, United States Army Air Forces P-40 Warhawk pilot Lieutenant Colonel Boyd Wagner shoots down his fifth Japanese plane near Vigan, becoming the first American ace of World War II.
December 20 - The Nationalist Chinese Air Force's American Volunteer Group, the "Flying Tigers," see its first combat near Kunming, China.
December 22 - A radar-equipped Fairey Firefly sinks a German submarine (U-451) at night, the first such victory

First flights


Kawanishi H8K1
Junkers Ju 288
January 9 - Avro Lancaster prototype BT308 (at the time, an Avro Manchester Mk III)


February 19 - Airspeed Cambridge T2449
February 25 - Messerschmitt Me 321


April 2 - Heinkel He 280


May 14 - Grumman XP-50
Nakajima J1N
May 15 - Gloster E.28/39, first British jet


August 1 - Grumman TBF Avenger


December 22 - Fairey Firefly prototype Z1826

Entered service


P-39 Airacobra with 31st Pursuit Group (39th, 40th, and 41st Pursuit Squadrons, USAAC)


de Havilland Mosquito with No. 105 Squadron RAF


Avro Lancaster with No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron RAF

1941 in Aviation Pictures

More aircraft.

Source: WikiPedia

eXTReMe Tracker