80 Years Ago—Aug. 31, 1940: RAF’s worst day in Battle of Britain: most bases are out of action and Fighter Command suffers its highest losses (41 aircraft).
RAF No. 303 Squadron (Polish) flies first patrol and makes first kill.
Lovettsville Air Disaster: a DC-3 crashes in Lovettsville, VA; 25 are killed, including isolationist Sen. Ernest Lundeen, the worst commercial air crash to date and the first crash investigated by the Civil Aeronautics Board.
Actors Laurence Olivier and Vivien Leigh are married on a ranch in California.
75 Years Ago—Aug. 31, 1945: German Field Marshals Walter von Brauchitsch and Erich von Manstein are arrested in Germany.
US Twelfth Air Force is inactivated in Italy.
US Office of War Information is disbanded.