Navy Jets Break Record – 1951

Two R.I. Navy Jets Set New Record – 1951    


U.S. Navy
Grumman F9F Panther
U.S. Navy Photo – National Archives

     On January 8, 1951, two U.S. Navy Grumman F9F Panther jets left Jacksonville, Florida, for Quonset Point Naval Air Station in Rhode Island, making the 989 mile trip in one hour and fifty minutes, a new speed record for that trip with that type of aircraft. The previous record had stood at two hours and twenty minutes.

     The pilots, Lieutenant Dixie Mays, 29, of Clarksdale, Mississippi, and Lieutenant Percy L. Liles, 30, of Goldsboro, North Carolina, maintained an average speed of 536 mph. 

     The airmen said they had no intention of trying to set a record, but were pushed along by a strong tail wind.  

Source: New York Times, “Navy Jets Break Record”, January 9, 1951



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