XFD-1 Phantom Lt. Comdr. J. J. Davidson, USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, 22nd July 1946

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  1. This historic first takeoff and landing of a jet aircraft off a US aircraft carrier was made July 21, 1946, from the USS Franklin D, Roosevelt steaming off the Virginia capes. Lt Cmdr Davidson was born in 1919 at Sparta, WI, (Astronaut Deke Slayton’s home town, BTW) and attended schools in Lewiston, Minn., then graduated from Winona State University. He learned to fly as part of the Civilian Pilot Training program at Winona under the guidance of famed aviator Max Conrad. He joined the Navy in 1941 and was a combat pilot during WW2 flying SBDs and SB2Cs. In 1944 he was assigned to the Naval Air Test Center. He was also a graduate of the British Empire Test Pilot School. After his test flying experiences he flew combat missions over Korea and later was CO of CAG 14 aboard the newly commissioned USS Ranger, CVA-61. Capt. Davidson retired from the Navy in 1972, retiring to the Virginia countryside. He and his wife Muriel rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

    November 15, 2012 at 6:04 am

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