1943: (featured image)The crew of the B-17F Flying Fortress named Memphis Belle lands safely in England after a bombing raid on Lorient, France. Capt. Robert K Morgan’s crew have completed their 25th mission of the war – a remarkable feat considering crews averaged between eight and 12 missions before being shot down. The Memphis Belle dropped 60 tons of bombs and her gunners shot down eight German fighters during her tour of duty.
Although virtually every part of the plane is replaced at least once – including both wings and nine engines – none of the crew are seriously injured. Morgan will fly another 26 missions against Japan in ha B-29 Superfortress.
1962: When communist Pathet Lao forces mass near the border during the Laotian Crisis, Thailand requests assistance from the United States. President John F. Kennedy deploys a 3,000-man Marine Expeditionary Brigade to Udorn, Thailand in a show of force.
1968: When Private First Class Robert C. Burke’s company comes under heavy mortar, machine gun, rocket-propelled grenade, and rifle fire, the Marine grabs his machine gun and charges single-handedly against the large fortified enemy position. As Burke maneuvers from one position to another, suppressing enemy bunkers and neutralizing machine gun crews, his fellow Marines are able to move forward and evacuate their wounded. When his automatic weapon malfunctions, he picks up a weapon from a casualty and keeps firing. Once his machine gun is operational, he moves to an exposed position and pours heavy fire into the treeline, but will be mortally wounded. Burke was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant actions.
1987: An Iraqi aircraft fires two Exocet anti-ship missiles at the frigate USS Stark (FFG-31) while on patrol in the Persian Gulf during the Iraq-Iran War. Both missiles hit the American warship, igniting a blaze that kills 37 sailors and injures 21.