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July 30 in U.S. military history

1780: A force of 600 militiamen, led by Col. Isaac Shelby, captures Thickety Fort (South Carolina) from British Loyalists without firing a shot.

1864: In a special-operation that proves disastrous for the initiators, Union Army troops under the command of Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside detonate a mine, blowing a huge hole (or crater) in the Confederate defenses at Petersburg, Virginia. Several units of Union soldiers charge in after the explosion, but each unit is beaten back with heavy losses by Confederates under Brig. Gen. William Mahone.

1909: Days after a successful demonstration flight, the Army Signal Corps takes delivery of the “world’s first military airplane,” the Wright military flyer of 1909.

1919: The USS New Orleans (CL 22) lands a Marine detachment in Tyutuke Bay, Siberia, in support of a White Russian attack on Bolshevik forces.

1941: The river gunboat USS Tutuila (PR 4) becomes the first U.S. warship attacked during World War II when Japanese aircraft mistakenly bomb the vessel in Chunking, China.

1945: Days after completing its top-secret mission of delivering components of the atomic bomb destined for Hiroshima to Tinian Island, the USS Indianapolis is hit by a Japanese torpedo. The cruiser sinks in the shark-infested waters within 12 minutes, and only 317 of the original 1,196 crewmembers survive. The Indianapolis is the last U.S. ship sunk during World War II and is the greatest loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy.

1967: Fire erupts on the flight deck of the USS Forrestal when a electrical glitch launches a rocket into another plane’s fuel tank, resulting in a conflagration and series of explosions that would kill 134 sailors and destroy 21 aircraft.

Today's Image: The world's first military airplane

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