On This Date – April 2011

April 1, 2011 by Legion Magazine

April 1, 1924: The Royal Canadian Air Force officially comes into existence.

April 2, 2003: Canadian navy ships Iroquois (2nd) and Fredericton (2nd) arrive in the Arabian Gulf. They join HMCS Regina as part of a U.S.-led task force involved in maritime surveillance.

April 3, 1974: A severe tornado hits Windsor, Ont., killing nine people and injuring several others.

April 4, 1949: Canada signs the agreement creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

April 5, 1995: While on a tour of Mideast ports to demonstrate Canadian warship technology, the Canadian frigate HMCS Fredericton answers a distress call from a yacht under pirate attack. The yacht is saved.

April 6, 1945: With the Royal Canadian Navy now the third largest navy in the world, the cruiser HMCS Uganda arrives in the Pacific to join the war against Japan.

April 7, 1868: Thomas D’arcy McGee, a father of Confederation, is assassinated in Ottawa.

Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry. [PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-174207]

Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry.
PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-174207

April 8, 1951: In Korea, soldiers from the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry attack objectives across the 38th Parallel and are successful.

April 9, 1917: At 5:30 a.m., the Canadian Corps launches its attack against Vimy Ridge as part of a larger Allied offensive. The Germans are deluged with artillery, mortar and machine-gun fire as Canadian soldiers advance in the midst of driving wind, snow and sleet. All four divisions of the corps are fighting together for the first time.

April 10, 1937: The Foreign Enlistment Act is passed in Canada. Its purpose: to dissuade people from volunteering for service in the Spanish Civil War.

April 11, 1954: Squadron Leader R.G. Christie flies from Vancouver to Ottawa in record time. Flying a CF-86 Sabre jet, he makes the journey in just 3:46 hours.

April 12, 1917: With the capture of Hill 145 and a feature known as the Pimple, all of Vimy Ridge is in Canadian hands. The ridge’s capture is a major accomplishment, but the battle would go down as one of the bloodiest in Canadian history. The Canadian Corps suffers more than 10,500 casualties, including 3,500 dead.

April 13, 1964: Bill C-90, which would create an integrated Canadian Forces headquarters under a single chief of defence staff, is introduced in the House of Commons.

Bugle band of the Royal Canadian Regiment. [PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-142409]

Bugle band of the Royal Canadian Regiment.
PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-142409

April 14-17, 1945: The fight to liberate Apeldoorn in the Netherlands begins when 1st Canadian Infantry Brigade—supported by tanks of the 1st Hussars—tries to seize control of the main bridge over Apeldoorn Canal. There is stiff opposition and new plans are made to encircle the city. Second Bde. outflanks the enemy by crossing the canal south of the city. The enemy withdraws and Canadian soldiers are greeted by thousands of cheering civilians.

April 18, 2002: An American F-16 drops a 250-kilogram bomb on Canadian troops in Afghanistan. The soldiers had been conducting a night-time firing exercise. Four are killed and eight others are wounded.

April 19, 1916: The Germans force the Canadians out of Craters Six and Seven at St-Eloi in Belgium.

April 20, 1953: Operation Little Switch begins with the intention of exchanging wounded and sick prisoners between United Nations forces and Communist forces of North Korea and China. Only two Canadians are returned.

April 21, 1918: Manfred von Richthofen, the Red Baron, is killed after being pursued by Canadian pilot Roy Brown. Credit for the kill goes to Australian anti-aircraft machine-gunners.

Officers on the frigate HMCS MATANE. [PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-176234]

Officers on the frigate HMCS MATANE.
PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-176234

April 22, 1944: Two frigates, His Majesty’s Canadian ships Swansea and Matane, destroy U-311 while on convoy duty in the North Atlantic.

April 23, 1915: In Belgium, Canadian infantry dig in after attacking Mauser Ridge west of Kitchener’s Wood near St. Julien.

April 24, 1915: Deadly chlorine gas is released by the Germans into no man’s land opposite the 15th and 8th Canadian battalions. Waves of German infantry follow the cloud. A barrage in the 8th Battalion’s sector reduces the assault. Men from both units suffer the agonizing effects of the chemical weapon.

April 25, 1970: The Canadian aircraft carrier Bonaventure docks at Halifax. In the coming months she will be decommissioned.

HMCS HAIDA. [PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-206237]

HMCS HAIDA.
PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-206237

April 26, 1944: A fierce gun battle at sea develops when Canadian destroyers HMCS Athabaskan, Haida and Huron intercept three German torpedo boats off the coast of France.  The three ships sink the lead boat, T-29. The other two escape, but are damaged.

April 27, 1967: Expo ’67 opens in Montreal.

Benito Mussolini making a speech. [PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-130046]

Benito Mussolini making a speech.
PHOTO: LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES CANADA PA-130046

April 28, 1945: Italian dictator Mussolini is captured and killed by Italian partisans.

April 29, 1944: In the English Channel, the German navy avenges its earlier losses by sinking HMCS Athabaskan. The ship’s captain and 128 men are lost. Eighty-three others are taken prisoner.

April 30, 1941: The troop carrier SS Nerissa is torpedoed and sunk by U-552 in the Atlantic while en route from Halifax to Liverpool. Seventy-three Canadian military personnel die, along with many other passengers and crew.

 

For ‘ON THIS DATE’ May Events, come back to legionmagazine.com on May 1st, 2011

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