Author John Bretschneider

Since the first military burial on May 13, 1864, Arlington National Cemetery has become the final resting place for more than 400,000 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and their families. Those who on Sept. 11, 2001, died only a few hundred yards away at the Pentagon are buried here, as are the Challenger astronauts. Fifteen thousand soldiers from the Civil War — Union and Confederate — rest in Section 27 and Section 13, known as the Field of the Dead. Four thousand freed slaves, many identified only as “Citizen,” and two presidents also are buried at Arlington. Section 60 is the…

A World-War II era Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver was unveiled at the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven  F. Udvar Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. April 1. The Helldiver was the last purpose-built dive bomber to enter Naval service and was designed as a replacement for the smaller SBD Dauntless dive bomber. Poor lateral stability in the early Dash-1 versions led to its not-so-flattering fleet nicknames: Son-of-a-Bitch, Second-Class (for SB2C) or simply “The Beast.” By the end of WWII, guided bombs and rockets eliminated the need to point the entire airframe at the target in order to insure a successful bomb…

Elmer Hill, 107, believed to be the oldest-surviving World War II Navy veteran is honored during a Dec. 15 concert at the National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Drafted in 1942, Hill served as a cook and a gunner aboard ship in the Pacific theater.

NASA and Orbital Sciences are set to launch the Air Force STPSat-3 spacecraft atop a repurposed Minuteman I missile Tuesday, Nov. 19, from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. The Minotaur launch vehicle is scheduled for liftoff at 7:30 p.m. EST, the start of a two-hour launch window. Weather permitting, the booster’s flame trail should be visible from Augusta, Maine, to Jacksonville, Fla. Also aboard the launcher are 28 miniature CubeSat payloads, measuring 10 centimeters (3.9 inches) per side each. Of those CubeSats, 15 are Defense Department payloads, 12 were built by universities (including one each from West…

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