On This Date: May 2015

May 1, 2015 by Legion Magazine


MAY 1, 1938
The Canadian Tank School is transferred from Wolseley Barracks in London, Ont., to Camp Borden and renamed the Canadian Armoured Fighting Vehicles School.

Officers of the Royal 22e Régiment, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy. [LAC/PA-130590]

Officers of the Royal 22e Régiment, San Leonardo di Ortona, Italy.

MAY 2, 1945
German forces surrender to the Allies and the 22-month Italian Campaign is over. Canadians didn’t participate in the final victory, but more than 93,000 fought in the campaign.

MAY 3, 1942
Dutch Jews aged six and over are required by the Nazis to wear a yellow Jewish star with the word Jood (Jew) on their clothing.

Tora Bora region, Afghanistan. [DND/AP2002-5424]

Tora Bora region, Afghanistan.

MAY 4, 2002
In the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan, 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group launches Operation Torii, a three-day mission to find and gather information from Taliban and al-Qaida cave complexes and then destroy them.

Chief Sitting Bull. [LAC/PA-117945]

Chief Sitting Bull.

MAY 5, 1877
Feeling the pressure from the United States Army, Chief Sitting Bull and his band leave their homeland of Montana to cross into Canada. They stay for four years until hunger and desperation lead many to return to America.

MAY 6, 1919
At the request of Sir Robert Borden, the “Big Three”—Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau, France; President Woodrow Wilson, United States; and Prime Minister David Lloyd George, Britain—declare Canada eligible for membership in the League of Nations Council.

MAY 7, 1915
In the Atlantic Ocean south of Ireland, RMS Lusitania is torpedoed by a German U-boat, followed by a second larger explosion that sinks the liner within 20 minutes and kills approximately 1,195 passengers.

Maj-Gen. B.M. Hoffmeister celebrates victory on VE-Day with two of his senior officers, Lt-Col. C.H. Drury and Lt-Col. W.C. Dick. [Legion Magazine Archives]

Maj-Gen. B.M. Hoffmeister celebrates victory on VE-Day with two of his senior officers, Lt-Col. C.H. Drury and Lt-Col. W.C. Dick.
Legion Magazine Archives

MAY 8, 1945
Victory in Europe Day. Following the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, millions take to the streets to celebrate the end of the Second World War.

Battle of Batoche. [LAC/C-073636]

Battle of Batoche.

MAY 9, 1885
Gunner William Phillips of the Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery School is killed in the Battle of Batoche. An orphan, he becomes the only soldier buried at Batoche.

Lieut. Rowland Bourke, VC. [Sharif Tarabay]

Lieut. Rowland Bourke, VC.
Sharif Tarabay

MAY 10, 1918
In the aftermath of a bloody naval assault by the British to block the port of Ostend, Belgium, from the Germans, Lieutenant Rowland Bourke takes his ship into the enemy harbour to rescue survivors, despite heavy gunfire. For his actions, he earns the Victoria Cross.

MAY 11, 1940
Canadian-born Lord Beaverbrook is named Minister of Aircraft Production by Winston Churchill. He pushes for more planes to prepare for the Battle of Britain.

MAY 12, 1958
Canada and the United States establish the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to protect against a possible Soviet air attack.

MAY 13, 1607
British explorer Christopher Newport establishes the Jamestown settlement in the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent British colony in North America.

MAY 14, 1917
Lieutenant Robert Leckie of the Royal Naval Air Service earns the Distinguished Service Cross for shooting down the German Zeppelin L-22 over England while flying a Curtiss H-12 flying boat.

MAY 15, 1918
In Ottawa, 5,000 farmers unite to protest the government’s breach of promise to exempt farmers’ sons from military conscription. Despite the protest, conscription continues.

MAY 16, 1951
In Korea, the Chinese launch the second part of their spring offensive, but are stopped again by United Nations forces.

MAY 17, 1929
Jack Caldwell, test pilot with Canadian Vickers Ltd., becomes the first Canadian to save his life by parachute when his Vedette suffers engine failure and he is forced to jump.

MAY 18, 1885
The 90th Winnipeg Rifles escort Louis Riel to Regina to stand trial on charges of high treason for leading the North West Rebellion.

Sabre fighter aircraft. [Legion Magazine Archives]

Sabre fighter aircraft.
Legion Magazine Archives

MAY 19, 1951
No. 410 Squadron becomes the first Canadian squadron to fly Sabre fighter aircraft.

MAY 20, 1920
From the top floor of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, Montreal-based radio station XWA broadcasts the world’s first commercial radio program and starts regular programming.

H.M. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth unveiling the National War Memorial. [LAC/C-002179]

H.M. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth unveiling the National War Memorial.

MAY 21, 1939
King George VI unveils the National War Memorial in Ottawa at 11 a.m. before 100,000 spectators, calling the memorial the “spontaneous response of the nation’s conscience.”

MAY 22, 1868
The Militia Bill is passed by Canada’s Parliament and given royal assent, creating an active militia of almost 40,000 men and dividing the country into military districts.

MAY 23, 1924
Laurentide Air Service Ltd. inaugurates the first scheduled passenger flight in Canada to facilitate access to various Quebec goldfields.

MAY 24, 2001
The minister of Veteran Affairs announces funding to restore the Vimy Memorial in France. Six years later, the restored memorial is unveiled to several thousand Canadian visitors.

MAY 25, 1915
The Second Canadian Division is formed. It embarks for France four months later to join the First Canadian Division and form the Canadian Corps.

MAY 26, 1896
In Victoria, B.C., a streetcar carrying passengers on their way to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday falls through Point Ellice Bridge, killing 55 people in the worst streetcar accident in North American history.

MAY 27, 1940
In the village of Le Paradis, France, soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regiment surrender to German troops of the 14th Company, SS Division Totenkopf. The 99 disarmed troops are led to a barn and fired on by German machine-gunners until all are believed to be dead. Two survive.

MAY 28, 2000
In a ceremony attended by thousands, the remains of an unidentified Canadian soldier who fought in the First World War are laid to rest in a special tomb in front of the National War Memorial.

MAY 29, 1940
The nation steps up its war efforts and Canada’s Parliament passes a $700-million war appropriations bill, which authorizes two more military divisions.

MAY 30, 1915
Machine synchronization is introduced on a new Fokker monoplane fitted with synchronized machine guns that fire only when clear of the plane’s propeller blades.

MAY 31, 1902
The South African War (Boer War) officially ends. This war marked Canada’s first official dispatch of troops to an overseas war.

June On This Date Events

Visit our website legionmagazine.com
The items will appear June 1. Here’s a taste of what to expect.

2nd Battalion PPCLI on board ship for Korea, November 1950. [LAC/e010836621]

2nd Battalion PPCLI on board ship for Korea, November 1950.

June 25, 1950
The start of the Korean War. Communist North Korea launches a full-scale invasion across the 38th parallel and pours 110,000 troops, 1,400 artillery pieces and 126 tanks into South Korea toward the capital city of Seoul.

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