05 October 2007

This day in history: 5 Oct

1877: Chief Joseph surrendered his Nez Percé band to General Nelson A Miles, in Montana.

1914: Sgt Joseph Frantz and Cpl Louis Quenault of Escadrille VB24, flying a Voisin III bomber, scored the world's first aerial victory, shooting down a German Aviatik B.1* reconnaissance aircraft.

1918: During an Australian attack on German positions near Montbrehain, France, Lieutenant George M Ingram, 24th Battalion (Victoria), charged a concentration of nine German machine-guns, killing 42 of their crew. He later attacked another machine-gun position, killing its crew and capturing the gun, and two strongpoints, taking 62 prisoners. Ingram was awarded the Victoria Cross.

That same day, near Exermont, France, Sergeant Michael B Ellis, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division, operated far in advance of the first wave of his company, single-handedly attacking and reducing machinegun nests. Alone, he captured over 45 prisoners and ten machineguns. Ellis was awarded the Medal of Honor.

1930: The British airship R101, en route to India, crashed near Beauvais, France; 46 of the 54 passengers and crew were killed, and one other died of his injuries three days later.

1944: Five pilots from 401 Squadron, RCAF, flying Supermarine Spitfire Mk IX fighters, claimed the first kill of a Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter.

1962: The first James Bond movie, Dr No, and the first single by the Beatles, "Love Me Do," were released in the United Kingdom.

1984: Space shuttle Challenger (Robert L Crippen, Jon A McBride, Kathryn D Sullivan, Sally K Ride, David C Leestma, Marc Garneau and Paul D Scully-Power) was launched from Cape Canaveral on mission STS-41-G. This was the first shuttle mission to carry a seven-man crew, and the first to carry two female astronauts; Garneau was the first Canadian in space; and Sullivan became the first American woman to perform a spacewalk** (on 11 October).

Emperor Henry III (1017–1056), Philip III the Bold (1245–1285), Charles Cornwallis, 1st Marquess Cornwallis (1738–1805), Tecumseh (c 1768-1813), Roland Garros (1888–1918), Earl Tupper (1907–1983) and Rodney Dangerfield (1921–2004) died on this date.

And happy birthday to Chester A Arthur (1829–1886), Robert Goddard (1882–1945), Larry Fine (1902–1975), Ray Kroc (1902–1984), Eugene Bennett Fluckey (1913–2007), my mother (1914-1984), Donald Pleasence OBE (1919–1995), Bil Keane (1922-TBD) and Kate Winslet (1975-TBD).

* Apologies: The link is to a page in French. It was the only decent site I could find.

** The first woman to perform a spacewalk was cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya, on 25 July 1984.

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