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This Week in History | 4/26/2020 – 5/2/2020

u2 spy plane

26 April 1805- The US takes part in its first land battle overseas since the Revolutionary War. During the First Barbary War forces from the US Marines, Army and mercenaries marched over 600 miles to reach Derna in Ottoman Tripolitania (modern day Libya). The Battle of Derna would be a US victory and lead to the legends that attributed to the USMC adopting the Mameluke sword. 

29 Arpil 1918- Pilot Eddie Rickenbacker, the American Aces of Aces during WW1, scores his first victory with the help of Captain James Norman Hall. He would have 26 victories in the sky over France during the course of the war. 

1 May 1960- Pilot Francis Gary Powers is shot down over the USSR while flying a U-2 spy plane. The plane was a CIA project that was supposed to fly high enough to render Soviet anti-aircraft weapons useless. The downing of the spy plane soured US and Soviet relations, especially after the US claimed it was just a weather plane that went off course. During a massive and important summit later that month, Soviet Leader Khrushchev would present not only fairly intact wreckage of the plane, but the very much so alive pilot. Powers would be released in 1962 in exchange for a captured Soviet spy. 

2 May 2011- Operation Neptune Spear. In a CIA led mission Navy SEALS apart of SEAL Team 6 (DEVGRU) would insert into Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the 9/11 mastermind Osama Bin Laden. For legal reasons, mainly the USA was not at war with Pakistan, all Special Operations members that took part in the raid were temporarily under the control of the CIA.

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