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Gruntworks History Military

This Week In Military History May 6th – May 12th

May 6th

On this day in 1937, the German airship Hindenburg, the largest dirigible ever built, explodes as it arrives in Lakehurst, New Jersey. Thirty-six people died in the fiery accident that has since become iconic, in part because of the live radio broadcast of the disaster.

May 7th

On this day in 1915, a German submarine sinks the passenger liner Lusitania. The ship would sink within 20 minutes and would take with her 1201 passengers, including 128 Americans.

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May 8th

On this day in 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day. Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine.

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May 9th

On this day in 1926, polar explorer Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd and co-pilot Floyd Bennett fly over the North Pole on this day in the Josephine Ford, a triple-engine Fokker monoplane. It would have been the first time an aircraft flew over the top of the world. The pair had taken off from Spitsbergen, Norway, and reportedly covered the 1,545-mile trip to the pole and back in 15 hours and 30 minutes. For the achievement, both men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and acclaimed as national hero.

 

 

May 10th

On this day in 1865, Jefferson Davis, president of the fallen Confederate government, is captured with his wife and entourage near Irwinville, Georgia, by a detachment of Union General James H. Wilson’s cavalry.

May 11th

On this day in 1969, members of the 101st Airborne division assault Hill 987 aka Hamburger Hill. Heavy casualties would be finally tallied as 72 dead and 372 wounded.

May 12th

On this day in 1975, The American freighter Mayaguez is captured by communist government forces in Cambodia, setting off an international incident. The U.S. response to the affair indicated that the wounds of the Vietnam War still ran deep.

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Suggested Reading

Exploring with Byrd: Episodes of an Adventurous Life By Richard E. Byrd

Hamburger Hill: The Brutal Battle for Dong Ap Bia: May 11-20, 1969 (Brutal Battle for Dong AP Bia, May 11-20, 1969) By Samuel Zaffiri

The Last Battle: The Mayaguez Incident and the End of the Vietnam War By Ralph Watterhahn

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Jeremy Scott is a 36-year-old military history buff from Houston, Texas. He has been interested in military history since the age of 8 years old. His interests are the Napoleonic era, the American Civil War, and both World wars I and II. He has a deep respect for the “boots on the ground” the common military soldier, and hopes that his humble writings interest those soldiers. If you have a twitter account, you can follow him @UncleBubba80

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