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On This Date – April 2012

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

APRIL 2, 1917: The preliminary artillery bombardment of Vimy Ridge grows in intensity.

APRIL 3, 1951: In Korea, divisions of the Eight Army cross the 38th Parallel.

APRIL 4, 1949: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is established.

APRIL 5, 1955: British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill resigns.

APRIL 6, 1941: Yugoslavia is invaded by German forces.

Rwandan children, Goma.

Rwandan children, Goma.

APRIL 7, 1994: Widespread slaughter of the Rwandan population begins. The commander of the United Nations peacekeepers, Canadian General Roméo Dallaire, finds himself powerless to stop the unfolding massacre.

APRIL 8, 1940: Denmark and Norway are invaded by German forces.

An infantry battalion advances toward Vimy Ridge.

An infantry battalion advances toward Vimy Ridge.

APRIL 9, 1917: At 5:30 a.m., the Canadian Corps launches its attack against Vimy Ridge in France as part of the larger Arras offensive. The Canadians advance in the midst of driving sleet and snow.

APRIL 10, 1941: Royal Air Force bombers attack Berlin. Among the ruins is the historic opera house.

APRIL 11, 1951: General Douglas MacArthur is dismissed as commander of United Nations and U.S. forces in the Far East. His replacement is Lieutenant-General Matthew Ridgeway. The dismissal follows disagreements between the White House and the general on whether the fighting in Korea should be extended into China.

Vimy Ridge

Vimy Ridge

APRIL 12, 1917: Vimy Ridge is secure with the capture of the Pimple, a high-terrain feature near Hill 145. The Canadian Corps suffers more than 10,500 casualties, including more than 3,500 killed. The victory is a crucial turning point in Canada’s journey to nationhood.

APRIL 13, 1975: A bloody battle in the streets of Beirut leaves 17 dead and 30 wounded.

HMCS Swansea

HMCS Swansea

APRIL 14, 1944: His Majesty’s Canadian Ship Swansea of the Royal Canadian Navy’s Escort Group 9 and His Majesty’s Ship Pelican share in the sinking of U-448 in the Atlantic.

APRIL 15, 1945: The German concentration camp Bergen-Belsen is liberated by British soldiers who discover piles of dead bodies and hundreds of ill and starving people.

Survivors of the minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt.

Survivors of the minesweeper HMCS Esquimalt.

APRIL 16, 1945: The Canadian minesweeper Esquimalt is torpedoed and sunk by U-190 off Halifax. More than 40 sailors die, many while awaiting rescue.

APRIL 17, 1944: A Canso aircraft from No. 162 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, sinks U-342 southwest of Iceland.

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

APRIL 19, 1995: A bomb in a vehicle explodes outside a government building in Oklahoma City. More than 80 people are feared dead, including several children at a day nursery.

APRIL 20, 1953: Sick and wounded prisoners of war are exchanged between North Korean and United Nations forces at Panmunjon.

APRIL 21, 1997: The Canadian Forces launches Operation Assistance in response to the flooding of the Red River in Manitoba.

APRIL 22, 1915: The Germans unleash a new deadly weapon—chlorine gas—at Ypres, Belgium, on the Western Front.

2nd Battalion, PPCLI returning from Korea.

2nd Battalion, PPCLI returning from Korea.

APRIL 23-24, 1951: United Nations forces come under attack in the Kapyong Valley in Korea. 2nd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry is hit hard, but holds onto Hill 677. The PPCLI later receives the U.S. Presidential Unit Citation.

APRIL 25, 1945: Escorting convoy JW-66 to Russia, Canadian Tribal-class destroyers Haida, Huron and Iroquois arrive at the Kola Inlet. The convoy of merchant ships had survived the Arctic cold and a gauntlet of enemy subs to deliver war supplies to Russia.

APRIL 26, 1962: For the first time, a United States rocket has landed on the moon.

APRIL 27, 1999: Eight hundred additional Canadian troops prepare to depart for the Balkans.

APRIL 28, 1986: Through the official Soviet news agency Tass, the Kremlin has acknowledged an accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine. This after stations in Sweden, Finland and Norway began reporting sudden discharges of radioactivity.

APRIL 29, 1992: The acquittal of four white police officers in Los Angeles ignites fierce rioting. Buildings are burned, motorists are dragged from their vehicles and beaten and at least five people are shot dead.

APRIL 30, 1952: The diary of Holocaust victim Anne Frank is published in English.

For ON THIS DATE May Events, come back to on May 1st, 2012


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