On This Day in History / August 23, 2023 August 23, 2023 1937: At Wright Field, Ohio, Capt. Carl J. Crane (left) and Capt. George V. Holloman (center) made the first wholly automatic aircraft landing, without intervention from the pilot or from the ground. Observer R.K. Stout acted as safety observer (right). Crane, who had invented the system, and Holloman, the Fokker C-14 pilot, were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Mackay Trophy for 1937 for the historic flight. Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. was renamed on Jan. 13, 1948, in honor of Col. Holloman, who was killed in a B-17 Flying Fortress crash on Formosa (Taiwan) in 1946.