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On This Day: 1918

Aviation events for 1918

January 2: The British government establishes an air ministry. Lord Rothermere is Secretary of State for Air. Major-General Sir Hugh Trenchard is Chief of the Air Staff.
January 19: U.S. School of Aviation Medicine began operations under Maj. Williams H. Wilmer, Signal Corps, Hazelhurst Field, Mineola, N.Y. A low-pressure tank was constructed to simulate altitudes up to 30,000 feet, and some studies were conducted at Pikes Peak.
February 2: The first operational squadrons of the American Expeditionary Force are formed in France.
February 28: Regulation of the airways begins as US President Woodrow Wilson issues an order requiring licenses for civilian pilots and owners. Over 800 licenses are issued.
March 2: Lloyd Andrews Hamilton becomes the first American to receive a commission in the British Royal Flying Corps when he is assigned as lieutenant with No. 3 squadron in France.
March 9: The first American air casualty in World War I is Capt. James E. Miller who loses his life in a French Spad while flying a practice patrol across the German lines.
March 19: U. S. airplanes in France make the first operational flights.
April 1: The United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force is born. It is formed out the army’s Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.
April 12: The Loughead brothers fly their seaplane, the F-1, from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
April 25: Belgian World War I fighter ace Willy Coppens records his first kill.
May 15: The first regular air mail service begins with regular flights between Washington, D.C. and New York City. It is operated by the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
June 24: The first air mail in Canada is flown from Montreal to Toronto.
August 5: The first American night patrol of the war takes place when a Felixstowe F.2A flying boat crewed by Ens. Ashton W. Hawkins and Lt. George F. Lawrence take off on patrol from RAF Killinghome, England.
September 12: The US Army Air Service and French Army assemble over 1200 war planes for the Battle of Saint-Mihiel, in what is at the time the largest aircraft force ever assembled for a single operation. The Allies would win the battle.
October 2: The Kettering Bug pilotless airplane being developed by Charles F. Kettering makes its first successful unmanned flight test, albeit for only nine seconds.
December 13: The first flight from England to India is made by A.S. MacLaren, Halley, and McEwen in Handley Page V-1500 four-engined bomber.

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