The Birth of Naval Aviation. Samuel Langley and Theodore Roosevelt Together Again…

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Today in History, March 25: 1898 – Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt (that crazy cowboy) proposes that the Navy investigate the use of a flying machine being researched by Samuel Langley. As a result, congress authorized $50,000 to support Langley’s design. This was nearly a decade before the Wright Brothers accomplished the first manned, powered flight, but many people had been working on the challenge for years. Langley’s, and Roosevelt’s insight was the beginning of US Naval Aviation. Check out this print by R.G. Smith, which portrays the 1st US aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV 1), and the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) cruising together. Of course this is inspired imagination…Langley, converted to a sea plane tender, was lost in WWII.

The Langley was converted from the Collier USS Jupiter in 1920. By WWII she had been converted to a seaplane tender, her larger subsequent sisters taking on the aircraft carrier role. Attempting to deliver p-40 fighter planes to Java, on February 27, 1942 she was attacked by Japanese aircraft and damaged so badly she had to be scuttled.

The Birth of US Naval Aviation

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Today in History, March 25: 1898 – Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt proposes that the Navy investigate the use of a flying machine being researched by Samuel Langley. As a result, congress authorized $50,000 to support Langley’s design. The Wright Brothers may have accomplished the first manned, powered flight, but many people had been working on the challenge for years. Langley’s, and Roosevelt’s insight was the beginning of US Naval Aviation. Check out this print by R.G. Smith, which portrays the 1st US aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV 1), and the nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) cruising together. Of course this is inspired imagination…Langley’s namesake ship was lost in WWII.

The Langley was converted from the Collier USS Jupiter in 1920.  By WWII she had been converted to a seaplane tender, her larger subsequent sisters taking on the aircraft carrier role.  Attempting to deliver p-40 fighter planes to Java, on February 27, 1942 she was attacked by Japanese aircraft and damaged so badly she had to be scuttled.

Early Warnings, the Beginning

Today in History, March 25: 1948 – Major Ernest J. Fawbush. Capt. Robert C. Miller. On March 20th, a devastating tornado struck Oklahoma City, and Tinker Air Force Base in particular, causing the most destruction in Oklahoma history to that point; the impact still stands as the second most damaging storm in OK history. Two meteorologists on the base, Fawbush and Miller, sought to provide warning regarding storms and began studying the dynamics of the storm that created the devastating tornado. Within 5 days they got their wish, and were the first to provide early warning against tornadoes. On the morning of March 25th they observed that conditions were amazingly similar to those of March 20th, and they issued warnings not only for the base, but for the surrounding populace. Another tornado struck that night, and while the damage was still severe, expensive resources on the base were secured and civilians sought shelter. How many lives have been saved in the years since?