On This Day…January 19th
19th January 1915: The Imperial Germany Navy airship ‘L3’, under command of Captain Hans Fritz and Leutnant zur See v. Lynckner, departed Hamburg, Germany, at 11:00 a.m., in company with two other Zeppelins (‘L4 and ‘L6’) on a reconnaissance flight over the North Sea, then continued on to Britain, planning a night attack on the East Coast.
L3 reached the British coast at 8:50 p.m. and proceeded to the area around Norfolk. At 21:00 and flying at 5,000 ft in awful weather, they reached the coast and headed for the nearest population centre (Yarmouth). They dropped ten 110 pound bombs and seven incendiaries on the city below. Completing the attack, L3 returned to Germany, arriving at the airship base at Fuhlsbüttel at 9:30 a.m.
L4, under the command of Captain Magnus von Platen-Hallermund and Leutnant zur See Kruse, dropped eleven bombs on nearby Sheringham and King’s Lynn, while L6 had returned to Germany prior to the attack (see attack plan below)
This was the first ever aerial attack on a civilian target, the first of a great many in the twentieth century.
19th January 1943 – women of the Auxilliary Territorial Service on searchlight battery duty.
The Observer of a Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2b night bomber checking his Lewis gun at Aire Aerodrome.
19th January, 1946, saw the first flight of the Bell XS-1 flown by Jack Woolams.
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. departed Union Air Terminal, Burbank, California, at 2:14 a.m., Pacific Standard Time (10:14 UTC) aboard his Hughes Aircraft Company H-1 Racer, NR258Y (below, Smithsonian). He flew non-stop across the North American continent to Newark Metropolitan Airport, Newark, New Jersey, and arrived overhead at 12:42:25 p.m., Eastern Standard Time (17:42:25 UTC) on January 19th, 1937.