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On This Day…May 9th.

This Blenheim MkIV (RAF 53 Squadron) was shot down 9th May 1940. The Blennie lost bearings due to ground mist on return from reconnaissance over Hamm and the Ruhr Valley. She was unable to locate the airfield and forced-landed at Laboissière, north-east of Montdidier. Sgt Falconer baled out but fell dead on road between Erches and Andechy.

Battle of France, 9th of May, 1940.

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Ford V8 Staff Car. France, May, 9th, 1940.

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A key intelligence break-through of WW2 came on 9th May with the capture of an intact and up to date Enigma machine, the encoding device that Germany believed impossible to break. A number of complex schemes had been hatched to capture an operational machine but the actual capture of this device aboard U-110 was utterly unplanned.

U-boat 110 was forced to surface after depth charging by HMS Bulldog. The crew had abandoned ship believing that the U-boat was already sinking. When the German submariners were rescued they were quickly taken below decks so they had no idea that their vessel was intact. The commander of the U-boat died, ‘possibly’ shot as he attempted to swim back to the boat to sink her.

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The high level of training in the Wehrmacht troops show here as a motorised column pours through what was thought to be an ‘impenetrable’ Ardennes forest in May 8th, 1940.

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In 2011, an Australian Spitfire pilot whose body was found purely by chance in the wreckage of his crashed plane in a French field, was finally laid to rest 70 years after he was shot down on May 9th, 1942.

Sergeant William Smith, 24 (above) was buried with full military honours at an emotional service that was attended by his 84-year-old brother Bert.

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Yamashiro’s crew seen here testing her torpedo defense net in Yokosuka, Japan, 9th of May, 1917.

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RAF Sergeant Jerry Smith after returning to USS Wasp (CV-7) after accidentally losing his drop tank on launch, 9th of May 1942. He also managed the landing without a functioning arrestor hook.

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First Lieutenant Wallace E. Sigler of VMF-124, Guadalcanal, May 9th 1943.

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This Soviet heavy tank was lost in Tlumaczyk (Northern Ukraine) on 9th May 1944 and transferred to the Kummersdorf test facility. As this was a new weapon on the battlefield any recovered examples were of technical interest for evaluation and battle test purposes. The text on the left of the turret reads “bestimmt für OKW” – reserved for Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, the Supreme Command of the Armed Forces .

Several penetrations are visible on the tank with chalk written notes of what caused it and at what distance. For example, on the mantle the notes indicate that the shot was made by a “Hornisse” ( Sd. Kfz. 164 also known as the “Nashorn”, armed with an L/71 Pak 43 8.8cm gun ) at 2,600 meters.

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Moscow on 9th May, 1945.

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P-38 Lightnings of the 9th Fighter Squadron flight line at Dobodura May 1943.

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Junkers Ju 88R1 10.NJG3 – May 9th 1943.

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Photo of the USS Sims (DD-409) taken on May 9th, 1940. The Sims was lost at the Battle of the Coral Sea.

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HMS Formidable seconds after a Kamikaze attack off Okinawa, May 9th, 1945.

Photo below, taken on the same day, shows a Zero attacking Formidable, this one missing narrowly after being hit by defensive fire.

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8 responses to On This Day…May 9th.

  1. Sad tale about the Blenhiem ,that’s a really nice shot, I don’t recall seeing a picture of one in flight before pity she and her crew met such a sad end.
    Thanks Dave.

  2. Excellent “Day.” David.

    The Zero about to crash is almost breathtaking.

  3. Looking closer at the Blenheim photo one can see that it is computer generated. The crew helps spotting that easily, the plane on the other hand fools the eye easily.
    I echo Jeff’s on the Kamikaze Zero, breathtaking photo 1 second from death

  4. Great stuff as usual, David. Thanks!

    Jerry Smith was brought back aboard Wasp by her LSO, Lieutenant David McCampbell. Two years later, having talked his way out of running the LSO school at NAS Jacksonville FL, he and the rest of Air Group 15 landed about USS Essex on May 3, 1944, on their way to the most successful deployment of an air group during the Pacific War, during which CDR McCampbell, despite being the CAG, became the USN Ace of Aces with a score of 34.

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