Today’s post is in honor of U.S. Army Corporal Jeremy R. Shank, who gave his life for his country on this date in 2006. The 18-year-old native of Jackson, Mo. was serving with the 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division when he sustained mortal wounds from small-arms fire during a dismounted security patrol in Hawijah, Iraq.
1918: U.S. Navy railroad artillery crews conduct their first attack – a German rail center in Tergnier. The five massive 14″/50cal Mark 4 guns, normally mounted to a battleship, are transported by train and can hit targets well over 20 miles downrange.
1950: When their listening post near Satae-ri, Korea is targeted by enemy artillery and about to be overrun, the commanding officer orders his soldiers to withdraw from their post to safety. Machinegunner Cpl. Benito Martinez and Pvt. 1st Class Paul G. Myatt remain behind to cover the retreat, despite numerous calls from the CO to abandon the post and turns down an offer of a rescue mission for the surrounded Americans. Martinez knew the only way his fellow soldiers would survive was if he continues to provide covering fire. The men hold off the enemy assault until the machinegun’s ammunition is expended. Martinez then withdraws to a destroyed bunker and continues to hammer the communists with his Browning Automatic Rifle and pistol.
After a “magnificent stand” lasting six hours, Martinez has enabled his fellow soldiers to retake the position, but does not survive. He is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and PFC Myatt is awarded the Silver Star.
1972: During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Palestinian terrorists storm the apartment housing Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine hostage. The terrorists demand the release of over 200 Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners, but the Israelis refuse to negotiate. Five terrorists – and all hostages – are killed when German police attempt to ambush the kidnappers at the airport as they attempted to fly to Cairo. The operation was financed by Mahmoud Abbas, who today serves as the chairman for the Palestinian Authority.
1976: Soviet Air Force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko lands his brand-new MiG-25P Foxbat at Hakodate Airport in Japan and asks for political asylum in the United States. His request is granted and American officials begin analyzing what was believed to be perhaps the world’s most advanced fighter. However, they learn that intelligence vastly overestimated the capabilities of the Foxbat. The fighter is returned to the Soviet Union in pieces.