1964 Master Index 1966

1965 Chronology of Aviation History
Major Aviation Events

1965 Events

  • 1965 — In the Mediterranean, the United States Navy Sixth Fleet general stores issue ship USS Altair (AKS-32) conducts what is probably the first night vertical replenishment (VERTREP) of an aircraft carrier, using the Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King antisubmarine helicopter. [1]

January 1965

  • January 2 — Denis Healey, the United Kingdom's Secretary of Defence, cancels the nation's fighter and military transport programs and orders the purchase of the US-built McDonnell F-4 Phantom IIs and Lockheed C-130 Hercules in their place. [1]

  • January 26 — President Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco of Brazil decides that the Brazilian Air Force henceforth will control all Brazilian fixed-wing military aircraft, including those aboard the aircraft carrier Minas Gerais, and that the Brazilian Navy will control all seagoing rotary-wing aircraft. Key Brazilian naval personnel resign in protest. [1]

February 1965

  • February 7 — Forty-nine U.S. Navy bombers from aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Tonkin begin Operation Flaming Dart, striking enemy barracks and facilities at Ðồng Hới, North Vietnam. [1]

  • February 8 — South Vietnamese Air Force aircraft led by South Vietnamese Air Force Commander Air Vice Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky strike an enemy barracks at Vinh, North Vietnam, during Operation Flaming Dart. [1]

  • February 8 — Making an unusually steep bank a few minutes after takeoff from John F. Kennedy International Airport to avoid colliding with a Pan American World Airways Boeing 707, a Douglas DC-7B operating as Eastern Airlines Flight 663 crashes into the Atlantic Ocean 6.7 miles (10.7 km) south-southwest of Jones Beach State Park on Long Island, New York. All 84 people on board die. [1]

  • February 11 — Operation Flaming Dart II begins as 99 U.S. Navy carrier aircraft attack enemy logistics and communications at Chanh Hoa barracks in southern North Vietnam near the DMZ. [1]

  • February 13 — President Lyndon B. Johnson authorizes Operation Rolling Thunder, a campaign of air strikes against North Vietnam. [1]

  • February 15 — G. Meher sets out from Culver City, California on a journey to become the first woman to cross the United States by helicopter. [1]

  • February 19 — U.S. Air Force Martin B-57 Canberra bombers become the first American aircraft to provide direct support to South Vietnamese Army ground units in combat. [1]

  • February 19 — Lufthansa signs up as the first customer for the forthcoming Boeing 737. [1]

  • February 24 — U.S. Air Force aircraft fly a massive number of tactical air sorties to break up a Communist ambush of South Vietnamese ground forces in Vietnam's Central Highlands. [1]

March 1965

  • March 1 — The combat debut of the Republic F-105 Thunderchief takes place, as U.S. Air Force Republic F-105D Thunderchief aircraft based at Da Nang, South Vietnam, begin bombing missions over North Vietnam. [1]

  • March 2 — Operation Rolling Thunder, a massive American air campaign against North Vietnam, begins. [1]

  • March 3 — The United States begins Operation Blue Tree, medium-altitude photographic reconnaissance and bomb damage assessment flights over North Vietnam. [1]

  • March 6 — A Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King makes the first non-stop helicopter flight across North America. The distance traveled is 2,116 miles (3,405 kilometers), a new record for helicopters. [1]

  • March 31 — U.S. Marine Corps Sikorsky UH-34 Choctaw transport helicopters escorted by U.S. Army Bell UH-1B Iroquois (Huey) helicopter gunships come under heavy Viet Cong ground fire while attempting to drop off 435 South Vietnamese troops in a landing zone 25 miles (40 km) south of Da Nang, South Vietnam. Thirty-five helicopters become involved; three are shot down and 19 damaged. [1]

April 1965

  • April 1 — Tasman Empire Airways becomes Air New Zealand. [1]

  • April 3 — United States Air Force and U.S. Navy aircraft begin covert Operation Steel Tiger armed reconnaissance flights over southeastern Laos. [1]

  • April 3 — The first jet-to-jet combat of the Vietnam War occurs. Although all American aircraft involved return safely, the North Vietnamese Air Force claims to have shot down a U.S. Navy LTV F-8 Crusader fighter and in future years celebrates April 3 as "North Vietnamese Air Force Day." [1]

  • April 3 — The U.S. Air Force mounts the first and largest U.S. air strike against the Thanh Hóa Railroad and Highway Bridge in North Vietnam, which the bridge survives. Despite 873 sorties against it over the next seven years, the bridge will not be destroyed until April 1972. [1]

  • April 4 — During a U.S. Air Force strike on the Thanh Hóa Bridge, North Vietnamese Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco fighters attack a formation of U.S. Air Force Republic F-105 Thunderchief strike aircraft, shooting down two Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs. They are the first aircraft lost in air-to-air combat by either side during the Vietnam War.. [1]

  • April 5 — A U.S. Navy LTV RF-8 Crusader reconnaissance aircraft photographs an SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile (SAM) site under construction in North Vietnam for the first time, but President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration does not authorize strikes against North Vietnamese SAM sites until late July. To meet the threat the SA-2s pose, during April the U.S. Air Force adds radar homing and warning equipment to its Lockheed U-2 reconnaissance aircraft and deploys Douglas EB-66B Destroyer electronic countermeasures aircraft to Southeast Asia. [1]

  • April 5 — The BAC One-Eleven receives its airworthiness certificate. [1]

  • April 6 — United Air Lines places orders for new aircraft worth $US 750 million, the largest airliner purchase in history at the time. [1]

  • April 6 — The United Kingdom cancels the BAC TSR.2 in favour of procuring the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark for the Royal Air Force. In the end, the RAF does not buy the General Dynamics F-111 Aardvark, either. [1]

  • April 9 — U.S. Navy McDonnell F-4 Phantom IIs of Fighter Squadron 96 (VF-96) clash with Chinese Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco fighters over the South China Sea south of Hainan. One McDonnell F-4B Phantom II is shot down, but VF-96 claims one Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco destroyed. [1]

  • April 10 — The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff submit a plan for Operation Rolling Thunder which includes a list of major fixed targets in North Vietnam in its section Alpha. It begins the U.S. Navy use of the term "Alpha strike", meaning a large attack by an aircraft carrier air wing. [1]

  • April 14 — After aborting its first landing attempt at Jersey Airport on Jersey in the Channel Islands due to low cloud cover, British United Airways Flight 1030X, a Douglas C-47B operated by the British United Airways affiliate British United (C.I.) Airways, strikes the outermost pole of the approach lighting system with its right wing on its second landing attempt. The wing breaks off and the aircraft rolls upside down and crashes, killing 26 of the 27 people on board; one flight attendant survives. [1]

  • April 15 — U.S. Navy carrier aircraft strike Viet Cong positions at Black Virgin Mountain in South Vietnam. [1]

  • April 23 — The first production Lockheed C-141A Starlifter cargo aircraft is delivered to the U.S. Air Force' Military Airlift Command. [1]

May 1965

  • May 1 — A Lockheed YF-12 sets a new international airspeed record of 2,070 mph (3,331 km/h). [1]

  • May 3 — The U.S. Marine Corps's first attack helicopters, modified Bell UH-1E Iroquois of Marine Observation Squadron 2 (VMO-2), arrive at Da Nang, South Vietnam, to begin operations in the Vietnam War. [1]

  • May 5 — After having trouble seeing the runway while attempting to land in heavy fog at Los Rodeos Airport on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, the pilot of Iberia Flight 401, a Lockheed L-1049 Constellation, attempts a go-around. Just after he applies full power to begin the go-around, the airliner strikes a tractor on the runway and crashes alongside the runway into Los Rodeos gorge, killing 30 of the 49 people on board. [1]

  • May 12 — The prototype HFB-320 Hansa Jet crashes due to a tail design problem; killed was manufacturer Hamburger Flugzeugbau's chief test pilot. [1]

  • May 13 — The United States suspends Operation Rolling Thunder strikes against North Vietnam. [1]

  • May 15 — The U.S. Navy deploys its first aircraft carrier to Dixie Station in the South China Sea off South Vietnam's Mekong Delta. It is a single-carrier station for the provision of air support in South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia, and will remain in use until August 1966. [1]

  • May 18 — The United States resumes Operation Rolling Thunder strikes against North Vietnam. [1]

  • May 18 — Members of the United States Naval Reserve begin a volunteer airlift to support forces in South Vietnam, flying Naval Reserve Douglas C-54 Skymasters and Douglas C-118 Liftmasters on weekends. They will log 19,000 flight hours over the next 18 months alone. [1]

  • May 20 — Pakistan International Airlines Flight 705, a Boeing 720-040B on an inaugural flight carrying mostly journalists and owners of travel agencies and crewed by what the airline considered its best crew members, crashes short of the runway while descending to land at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt, killing 119 of the 125 people on board and injuring all six survivors. [1]

  • May 25 — The Soviet Union announces the construction of surface-to-air missile sites in North Vietnam around Hanoi. [1]

  • May 26 — Sir Geoffrey de Havilland dies, aged 82. [1]

June 1965

  • June 5 — The U.S. Navy begins full-time staffing of Dixie Station off South Vietnam by one aircraft carrier. [1]

  • June 5 — The U.S. Navy's aircraft carrier presence in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam reaches five ships. [1]

  • June 15 — Two U.S. Army Bell UH-1D Iroquois helicopters collide in mid-air over Fort Benning, Georgia, in the United States, killing 18 people. [1]

  • June 17 — Two U.S. Navy McDonnell F-4B Phantom II fighters of Fighter Squadron 21 (VF-21) shoot down four North Vietnamese Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Frescos. They are the first American air-to-air kills of the Vietnam War. [1]

  • June 18 — In Operation Arc Light, the U.S. Air Force flies the first Boeing B-52 Stratofortress missions of the Vietnam War, striking enemy positions in Bến Cát District in South Vietnam. "Arc Light" will become a commonly used term for Boeing B-52 Stratofortress raids during the Vietnam War. [1]

  • June 25 — A U.S. Air Force Boeing C-135A bound for Okinawa crashes just after takeoff at MCAS El Toro in Orange County, California, killing all 85 on board. [1]

  • June 27 — The Vietnam War's largest airmobile operation thus far takes place as 150 helicopters airlift the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade and two South Vietnamese Army airborne battalions to attack a Viet Cong stronghold just north of Biên Hòa, South Vietnam. [1]

July 1965

  • July — The U.S. Navy's Grumman A-6 Intruder bomber sees its first combat as it enters service in the Vietnam War. [1]

  • July 1 — The U.S. Army combines the 11th Air Assault Division (Test) with the 2nd Infantry Division to form the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile), a unique division that includes three airborne-qualified battalions and several battalions of helicopters which are integral to its combat elements, allowing it to engage in helicopter assault operations. [1]

  • July 1 — Continental Airlines Flight 12, a Boeing 707-124 with 66 people on board, overruns the runway while landing at Kansas City Downtown Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, and breaks into three pieces. There are no fatalities. [1]

  • July 6 — A Handley Page Hastings C1A of the Royal Air Force's No. 36 Squadron crashes at Little Baldon, Oxfordshire, England, just after takeoff from RAF Abingdon, killing all 41 men on board. [1]

  • July 7 — McDonnell Aircraft completes its 1,000th McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. [1]

  • July 8 — A bomb explodes in a rear lavatory aboard Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 21, a Douglas DC-6B, in mid-air over British Columbia, Canada, blowing the tail section off. The aircraft crashes, killing all 52 people on board. The bomber is never identified. [1]

  • July 10 — Two McDonnell F-4C Phantom II fighters of the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron shoot down two Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 Fresco fighters over North Vietnam, scoring the U.S. Air Force's first aerial victories of the Vietnam War. [1]

  • July 10 — A Skyways Coach-Air Avro 748-101 Series 1 lands heavily on a grass runway at Lympne Airport, Kent, England, digs in its nose wheel, overturns, and crashes, losing both wings and its starboard tailplane. All 52 people on board survive, although at least three are injured. [1]

  • July 11 — A U.S. Air Force 551st Airborne Early Warning and Control Wing Lockheed EC-121H Warning Star crashes in the Atlantic Ocean off Nantucket, Massachusetts, killing 16 of the 19-man crew. [1]

  • July 24 — An SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile shoots down an aircraft for the first time in the Vietnam War. The victim is a U.S. Air Force McDonnell F-4 Phantom II fighter operating over North Vietnam. [1]

  • July 27 — American aircraft strike a surface-to-air missile site for the first time, attacking an SA-2 Guideline site in North Vietnam. [1]

August 1965

  • August — Chinese anti-aircraft units begin operating in North Vietnam. [1]

  • August 12 — The United States authorizes Operation Iron Hand air missions in Vietnam to detect and suppress enemy surface-to-air-missile sites. The early Iron Hand strikes result in many losses to the attacking American aircraft. [1]

  • August 16 — United Airlines Flight 389, a Boeing 727-22, crashes into Lake Michigan east of Fort Sheridan, Illinois. All 30 people on board die, including Clarence "Clancy" Sayen, a former president of the Air Line Pilots Association. [1]

  • August 24 — An American military Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying 71 passengers and crew crashes into Yau Tong Bay in Hong Kong shortly after takeoff. The plane is carrying U.S. military personnel, mostly U.S. Marines flying Back to South Vietnam after leave during the Vietnam War. Thirteen people reportedly survive the crash. [1]

September 1965

  • September — The Royal Air Force carries out air strikes against Yemeni guerrillas near Aden. [1]

  • September — The Indian Air Force and Pakistan Air Force engage in clashes over Kashmir. It is the first combat between the two air forces. [1]

  • September — American aircraft strike the Hanoi and Haiphong areas in North Vietnam for the first time. [1]

  • September 6 — Flying a Lockheed F-104A Starfighter, Pakistan Air Force Flight Lieutenant Aftab Alam Khan intercepts four Indian Air Force Dassault Mystère IV fighter-bombers strafing a train. He shoots down one of them using an AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile, the first air-to-air kill by a Mach 2 aircraft using a guided missile. [1]

  • September 11 — The U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) arrives in South Vietnam with 400 helicopters. [1]

  • September 13 — A new hot air balloon altitude record of 9,770 ft (2,978 m) is set. [1]

  • September 17 — The Pan American World Airways Boeing 707-120B Clipper Constitution, operating as Flight 292, crashes into Chances Peak on Montserrat, killing all 30 people on board. In 1957, the aircraft involved had been the first Boeing 707 to fly. [1]

  • September 20 — A Kaman UH-2 Seasprite makes the U.S. Navy's first helicopter rescue of a pilot downed in North Vietnam. [1]

  • September 30 — Republic Aviation becomes a division of the Fairchild-Hiller Corporation. [1]

October 1965

  • October 3 — The final elements of the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) to arrive in Vietnam reach its base at An Khê, South Vietnam, bringing the division to full strength there. The division will be the first to place the Boeing-Vertol CH-47 Chinook helicopter in combat; the Boeing-Vertol CH-47 Chinook's ability to carry artillery quickly across rough terrain will revolutionize ground warfare. [1]

  • October 8 — The 20th Helicopter Squadron becomes the first U.S. Air Force cargo helicopter unit to deploy to South Vietnam, operating Sikorsky CH-3C Sea King helicopters. It supports Air Force Special Operations "Pony Express" covert operations, primarily in Laos. [1]

  • October 17 — Over North Vietnam, American aircraft carry out their first successful Iron Hand surface-to-air-missile (SAM) site detection and suppression mission. [1]

  • October 19 — The U.S. Army's month-long Ia Drang Valley campaign begins in South Vietnam. It will be the first combat action of the U.S. Army's 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) and the first major combat between American and North Vietnamese forces. [1]

  • October 19-25 — U.S. Army attack helicopters and U.S. Air Force cargo aircraft play a major role in lifting the Siege of Plei Me in South Vietnam. [1]

  • October 27 — A raid by Viet Cong sappers against the U.S. Marine Corps's Marble Mountain Air Facility in South Vietnam destroys 13 Bell UH-1E Iroquois and six Sikorsky UH-34 Choctaw helicopters and damages four Bell UH-1E Iroquois and 26 Sikorsky UH-34 Choctaw helicopters. [1]

November 1965

  • November 8 — American Airlines Flight 383, a Boeing 727-123, crashes on approach to Greater Cincinnati Airport in Hebron, Kentucky, killing 58 of the 62 people on board. Among the four survivors — all injured — is the American record producer Israel Horowitz. [1]

  • November 11 — United Airlines Flight 227, a Boeing 727-22, crashes short of the runway while attempting to land at Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah. Of the 91 people on board, 43 die. [1]

  • November 14-18 — The Battle of Ia Drang in South Vietnam is the culmination of the Ia Drang Valley campaign. The U.S. Army's helicopter assault concept has made its combat debut as the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) undergoes its baptism of fire, losing only four helicopters to North Vietnamese fire during the campaign. [1]

  • November 15 — A Boeing 707 makes the first polar circumnavigation of the world. [1]

December 1965

  • December 2 — The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) becomes the first nuclear-powered warship to see combat when she launches air strikes at the Viet Cong near Biên Hòa, South Vietnam. [1]

  • December 4 — Eastern Air Lines Flight 853, a Lockheed Super Constellation with 54 people on board, and Trans World Airlines Flight 42, a Boeing 707-131B carrying 58 people, collide over Carmel, New York, with the Boeing's left wing striking the Super Constellation's tail. The Boeing lands safely at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City, while the Super Constellation crash-lands in a pasture on Hunt Mountain near Danbury, Connecticut, and catches fire; four of those aboard the Super Constellation die. [1]

  • December 21 — New York Airways commences helicopter services between the roof of the Pan Am Building and John F. Kennedy International Airport. [1]

  • December 22 — American aircraft attack industrial targets in North Vietnam for the first time. [1]

  • December 25 — Hoping to begin peace talks with the Vietcong and the North Vietnamese, President Lyndon B. Johnson's administration orders a cessation of American air strikes in Vietnam. [1]

  • December 26 — American air strikes in South Vietnam and Laos resume. [1]

1965 First Flights

  • February 25 — Douglas DC-9. [1]

  • February 27 — Antonov An-22 ("Cock"). [1]

  • April 2 — Partenavia Oscar. [1]

  • April 15 — Aérospatiale Puma prototype SA.330. [1]

  • April 22 — Transavia PL-12 Airtruk. [1]

  • May 7 — Canadair CL-84. [1]

  • May 20 — De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter. [1]

  • June 2 — Aerotec Uirapuru. [1]

  • June 4 — Nanchang Q-5. [1]

  • June 13 — Britten-Norman Islander. [1]

  • July 16 — North American OV-10 Bronco. [1]

  • July 19 — Breguet Atlantic. [1]

  • August 12 — Fuji FA200 Aero Subaru. [1]

  • August 18 — Kamov Ka-26. [1]

  • August 31 — Aero Spacelines Super Guppy. [1]

  • September 7 — Bell Model 209, prototype of the Bell AH-1G Cobra. [1]

  • September 27 — LTV A-7 Corsair II. [1]

  • November — Agusta A 106 [1]

1965 Aircraft Entering Service

  • 1965 — Antonov An-14 ("Clod"). [1]

  • 1965 — Vickers Super VC10. [1]

  • April 1 — NAMC YS-11 with Japan Domestic Airlines. [1]

  • April 9 — BAC One-Eleven with British United Airways. [1]

  • May — Beagle Basset CC.Mk.1 with the Royal Air Force. [1]

  • November 30 — Convair CV-600 with Central Airlines. [1]

  • December 22 — Convair CV-640 with Caribair. [1]

Works Cited

  1. Timeline and History: Wikipedia. 1965 in Aviation.

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