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NEWS | June 21, 2011

This week in Air Force History

By Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

June 19, 1944 - American pilots shot down 476 Japanese aircraft in a battle known as "The Marianas Turkey Shoot". The U.S. lost 130 planes. Navy submarines and aircraft also sank three Japanese carriers. Afterwards, Japanese naval airpower was not a serious threat to U.S. forces in the Pacific.

June 20, 1980 - Strategic Air Command conducted an unannounced exercise called Global Shield II at 44 bases lasting through June 29. It involved more than 100,000 people and 437 aircraft flying 1,035 sorties.

June 21, 1982 - Strategic Air Command's tanker operations accomplished another milestone when a KC-10A transferred a record 67,400 pounds of fuel to a Military Airlift Command C-141 some 750 miles north of the South Pole in Operation Deep Freeze.

June 22, 1944 - The 318th Fighter Group, Seventh Air Force, pioneered the use of napalm fire bombs during the June 22 to 29 battle for Saipan.

June 23, 1961 - Maj. Robert White set a speed record for manned airplanes by flying the X-15 at 3,603 mph. He attained this speed with a 75-second full-throttle operation of the XLR-99 engine.

June 24, 1943 - Lt. Col. W.R. Lovelace made a record parachute jump from 42,200 feet.

June 25, 1996 - Terrorists bomb the Khobar Towers near King Abdul-Aziz Air Base in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 Air Force people and injuring some 300 other Americans.