May 6 - Iowa Veterans' Welcome Center


This Day in U.S. Military History

May 6


– U.S. Army troops from Fort Tejon and Fort Miller prepared to ride out to protect Keyesville, California, from Yokut Indian attack.


Confederate Congress passed act recognizing state of war with the United States and authorized the issuing of Letters of Marque to private vessels.


– Arkansas and Tennessee becomes 9th & 10th state to secede from



Members of the 5th Louisiana Volunteer Infantry, take up garrison duties in this fort protecting the entrance to Pensacola Bay.


– Union forces occupy Williamsburg, Virginia, during the Peninsular campaign


Union and Confederate troops continue their desperate struggle in the Wilderness, which was the opening battle in the biggest campaign of the war


– General Sherman began to advance on Atlanta.


U.S.S. Dawn, Acting Lieutenant John W. Simmons, transported soldiers to capture a signal station at Wilson’s Wharf, Virginia.


– U.S.S. Eutaw, Osceola, Pequot, Shokokon, and General Putnam, side-wheelers of Rear Admiral Lee’s North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, supported the landing of troops at Bermuda Hundred, Virginia.


– Chief Crazy Horse surrendered to U.S. troops in Nebraska. Crazy

Horse brought General Custer to his end.


– First ship-to-shore radio telephone voice conversation from USS

New Hampshire off Virginia Capes to SECNAV Josephus Daniels in

Washington, DC


Bob Hope (b. May 29, 1903) began broadcasting his first USO radio show from March Field at Riverside, Ca.


U.S. Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainwright surrenders all

U.S. troops in the Philippines to the Japanese.


– CAPT Milton Miles arrives in Chungking, China, to begin building an intelligence and guerilla training organization, Naval Group China.


– In Tunisia, US forces advance on three axes toward Bizerta,

Ferryville and Protville.


– A Japanese troopship convoy is destroyed by the American submarine Gurnard.


– The first flight of the Mitsubishi A7M fighter (designed to replace the Zero) takes place. Technical problems and Allied bombing raids prevent mass production.


– The US 97th Division, part of US 5th Corps of the US 3rd Army, occupies Pilsen in Czechoslovakia. The US 12th Corps advances toward

Prague but the army is ordered to halt the advance and allow Soviets to occupy the rest of the country as has been arranged.


– On Luzon, elements of the US 25th Division, part of US 1st Corps, capture the Kembu plateau. On Mindanao, the US 24th and 31st Divisions overrun Japanese positions north of Davao, where the Japanese 35th Army

(General Morozumi) is concentrated.


– On Okinawa, the Japanese offensive loses momentum. Japanese forces have sustain losses of at least 5000 killed. Even while it has been going on, American forces have made gains near Machinto airfield and

Maeda Ridge.


– Axis Sally made her final propaganda broadcast to Allied troops.


– The Coast Guard-manned frigate USS Moberly (PF-63), in concert with USS Atherton, sank the U-853 in the Atlantic off Block Island. There were no survivors.


– Naval landing force evacuates 500 Marshallese from Jaluit Atoll,

Marshall Islands.


Planes from the carriers Princeton and Valley Forge blasted a mining area northwest of Songjin, causing numerous secondary explosions and destroying buildings and a main transformer station.


– In the first test of its kind, the submerged submarine USS Ethan

Allen fired a Polaris missile armed with a nuclear warhead that detonated above the Pacific Ocean.


– Pathet Lao broke cease fire and conquered Nam Tha Laos.


The remnants of South Vietnam’s 5th Division at An Loc continue to receive daily artillery battering from the communist forces surrounding the city as reinforcements fight their way from the south up Highway 13.

The South Vietnamese had been under heavy attack since the North Vietnamese had launched their Nguyen Hue Offensive on March

30. The communists had mounted a massive invasion of South Vietnam with

14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, more than 120,000 troops and approximately 1,200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North

Vietnamese objectives, in addition to An Loc in the south, were Quang Tri in the north, and Kontum in the Central Highlands. In Binh Long Province, the North Vietnamese forces had crossed into South Vietnam from

Cambodia on April 5 to strike first at Loc Ninh. After taking Loc Ninh, the

North Vietnamese forces then quickly encircled An Loc, the capital of Binh

Long Province, which was only 65 miles from Saigon. The North

Vietnamese held An Loc under siege for almost three months while they made repeated attempts to take the city, bombarding it around the clock. The defenders suffered heavy casualties, including 2,300 dead or missing, but with the aid of U.S. advisers and American airpower, they managed to hold out against vastly superior odds until the siege was lifted on June 18.

Fighting continued all over South Vietnam into the summer months, but eventually the South Vietnamese forces prevailed against the invaders and they retook Quang Tri in September. With the communist invasion blunted,

President Nixon declared that the South Vietnamese victory proved the viability of his Vietnamization program, which he had instituted in 1969 to increase the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces.


– US expelled Libyan diplomats.


– Freed American hostage Frank Reed said at a news conference in

Arlington, Va., that he had been savagely beaten by his captors in Lebanon after two unsuccessful escape attempts.


– The last HH-3F Pelican helicopter in Coast Guard service was retired. This ended the Coast Guard’s “amphibious era,” as no aviation asset left in service was capable of making water landings.


– In London, thousands of World War II veterans celebrated the 50th anniversary of V-E Day.


– Sergeant Delmar Simpson received a 25 year sentence for raping 6 female trainees at the Aberdeen, Md., Proving Ground Army base.


– Russia joined NATO to back a framework for ending the conflict in

Kosovo that included an international security presence to enforce peace.


– In Afghanistan the CIA fired a missile from a Predator in an attempt to kill Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, head of Hezb-e-Islami, and his top aides outside Kabul.


– Pres. Bush told King Abdullah II of Jordan that he was sorry for the mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners by US guards.


– An audio recording attributed to Osama bin Laden offered rewards in gold for the killing of top U.S. and U.N. officials in Iraq or of the citizens of

any nation fighting there.


– U.S. soldiers backed by tanks and armored fighting vehicles seized control of the governor’s office from Shiite militiamen in the city of Najaf.