The Canoe River train crash occurred on November 21, 1950, near Valemount in eastern British Columbia, Canada, when a westbound troop train and the eastbound Canadian National Railway (CNR) Continental Limited collided head-on. The collision killed 21 people: 17 Canadian soldiers en route to the Korean War and the two-man locomotive crew of each train. The post-crash investigation found that the order given to the troop train differed from the intended message. Crucial words were missing, causing the troop train to proceed on its way rather than halt on a siding, resulting in the collision. A telegraph operator, Alfred John "Jack" Atherton, was charged with manslaughter; the prosecution alleged he was negligent in passing an incomplete message. His family hired his Member of Parliament, John Diefenbaker, as defence counsel. Diefenbaker's successful defence of Atherton became an asset in his political rise. A number of monuments honour the dead.
Brigadier GeneralKenneth Newton Walker (1898–1943) was a US Army aviator and a USAAF general who played a significant part in the development of airpower doctrine. He posthumously received the Medal of Honor in World War II. Walker joined the Army in 1917, and trained as an aviator. He supported the creation of a separate air organization and was a forceful advocate of strategic bombardment, becoming part of the "Bomber Mafia" that argued for the primacy of bombardment over other forms of military aviation. Shortly before the US entered World War II, Walker was assigned to the Air War Plans Division, tasked with developing a production requirements plan for the war in the air. In 1942, he transferred to the Southwest Pacific, where he became Commanding General, V Bomber Command, Fifth Air Force. The Southwest Pacific contained few strategic targets, reducing the bombers to interdicting supply lines and supporting ground forces. This caused a doctrinal clash between Walker and Lieutenant GeneralGeorge C. Kenney, an attack aviator, over the employment of bombers. Walker frequently flew combat missions over New Guinea, earning the Silver Star. On 5 January 1943, he was shot down and killed leading a daylight raid over Rabaul, for which he was awarded the Medal of Honor.
SMS Friedrich der Grosse was the second vessel of the Kaiser class of battleships of the GermanImperial Navy. Friedrich der Grosse 's keel was laid on 26 January 1910 at the AG Vulcan dockyard in Hamburg, her hull was launched on 10 June 1911, and she was commissioned into the fleet on 15 October 1912. Assigned to the III Squadron of the High Seas Fleet for the majority of World War I, she served as fleet flagship from her commissioning until 1917. She participated in all the major fleet operations of World War I, including the Battle of Jutland, from which she emerged completely unscathed. After the Armistice in November 1918, Friedrich der Grosse was interned by the British Royal Navy in Scapa Flow and was subsequently scuttled by her crew. In 1936, the ship was raised and broken up for scrap metal. Her bell was returned to Germany in 1965 and is in the Fleet Headquarters in Glücksburg.
The Victoria Cross (VC) is a military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of armed forces of some Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It takes precedence over all other orders, decorations and medals, and may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The award was officially constituted when Queen Victoria issued a warrant under the Royal sign-manual on 29 January 1856 that was gazetted on 5 February 1856. The order was backdated to 1854 to recognise acts of valour during the Crimean War. The first awards ceremony was held on 26 June 1857, where Queen Victoria invested 62 of the 111 Crimean recipients in a ceremony in Hyde Park. The first citations of the VC, particularly those in the initial gazette of 24 February 1857, varied in the details of each action; some specify date ranges while some specify a single date. The original Royal Warrant did not contain a specific clause regarding posthumous awards, although official policy was to not award the VC posthumously. Between 1897 and 1901, several notices were issued in the London Gazette regarding soldiers who would have been awarded the VC had they survived. In a partial reversal of policy in 1902, six of the soldiers mentioned were granted the VC, but not "officially" awarded the medal. In 1907, the posthumous policy was completely reversed and medals were sent to the next of kin of the six soldiers. The Victoria Cross warrant was not officially amended to explicitly allow posthumous awards until 1920, but one quarter of all awards for the First World War were posthumous.
Air MarshalDavid Evans, AC, DSO, AFC (born 1925) is a retired senior commander of the Royal Australian Air Force, and a writer and consultant on defence matters. Joining the RAAF in 1943, he was converting to Beaufort bombers when World War II ended. From 1948 to 1949, he flew C-47 Dakota transports in the Berlin Airlift, and became a VIP captain with the Governor-General's Flight in 1954. In the 1960s Evans was twice posted to No. 2 Squadron, flying Canberra jet bombers: first as a flight commander in Malaysia in 1960–62 and then as commanding officer during the Vietnam War in 1967–68. Evans held senior staff positions in the early 1970s, before serving as Officer Commanding RAAF Base Amberley from 1975 until 1977. He then became Chief of Air Force Operations, enhancing the RAAF's strategy for the defence of Australia to fully exploit the "air-sea gap" on the northern approaches to the continent. Promoted to air marshal, he took over as Chief of the Air Staff in 1982, focussing on morale, air power doctrine, and improving defensive capabilities in northern Australia. Retiring from the RAAF in May 1985, Evans wrote and lectured on defence matters, as well as standing for election in Federal politics. He was a board member and advisor to British Aerospace Australia from 1990 to 2009, and Chairman of the National Capital Authority from 1997 until 2003.
Tirpitz was the second of two Bismarck-classbattleships built for the German Kriegsmarine during World War II. Named after Admiral Alfred von Tirpitz, the architect of the Imperial Navy, the ship was laid down at the Kriegsmarinewerft in Wilhelmshaven in November 1936 and launched two and a half years later in April 1939. Work was completed in February 1941, when she was commissioned into the German fleet. In early 1941, Tirpitz briefly served in the Baltic Fleet before the ship sailed to Norway in early 1942. In September 1943, Tirpitz fired her main battery for the first time in combat when she bombarded Allied positions on the island of Spitzbergen. Shortly thereafter, the ship was damaged in an attack by British mini-submarines and subsequently subjected to a series of large-scale air raids. On 12 November 1944, British Lancaster bombers equipped with 12,000 pounds (5,400 kg) "Tallboy" bombs destroyed the ship; two direct hits and a near miss caused the ship to capsize rapidly. A deck fire spread to the ammunition magazine for one of the main battery turrets, which caused a large explosion. Figures for the number of men killed in the attack range from 950 to 1,204. The wreck was broken up after the war, with work lasting from 1948 until 1957.
Air MarshalSir James Anthony (Jim) Rowland, AC, KBE, DFC, AFC (1 November 1922 – 27 May 1999) was a senior commander in the Royal Australian Air Force, serving as Chief of the Air Staff (CAS) from 1975 to 1979. He later held office as Governor of New South Wales from 1981 to 1989, and was Chancellor of the University of Sydney from 1990 to 1991. Born in rural New South Wales, Rowland cut short his aeronautical engineering studies at the University of Sydney to join the RAAF in 1942. He was posted to Britain and served as a bomber pilot with the Pathfinders in the air war over Europe, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross in 1944. The following year he was forced to bail out over Germany following a collision with another Allied aircraft, and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner. After repatriation and demobilisation, Rowland gained his engineering degree and rejoined the RAAF. He became a test pilot, serving with and later commanding the Aircraft Research and Development Unit in the 1950s, and also a senior engineering officer, being closely involved in preparations for delivery to Australia of the Dassault Mirage III supersonic fighter in the 1960s. In 1972 he was promoted to air vice marshal and became Air Member for Technical Services, holding this post until his elevation to air marshal and appointment as CAS in March 1975. He was the first engineering officer to lead the RAAF, and the first man to personally command it in a legal sense, following abolition of the Australian Air Board in 1976. Knighted in 1977, Rowland retired from the Air Force in 1979 and became Governor of New South Wales in January 1981. He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1987. Retiring from the Governorship in 1989, he held a place on several boards as well as the Chancellorship of the University of Sydney. He died in 1999.
GeneralFrancis Richard Dannatt, Baron Dannatt, GCB, CBE, MC (born 23 December 1950) is a retired British Army officer and the incumbent Constable of the Tower of London. He was commissioned into the Green Howards in 1971, and his first tour of duty was in Belfast as a platoon commander. During his second tour of duty, also in Northern Ireland, Dannatt was awarded the Military Cross. Following a major stroke in 1977, Dannatt considered leaving the Army, but was encouraged by his commanding officer to stay. After staff college, he became a company commander and eventually took command of the Green Howards in 1989. He attended and then commanded the Higher Command and Staff Course, after which he was promoted to brigadier. Dannatt was given command of 4th Armoured Brigade in 1994 and commanded the British component of the Implementation Force (IFOR) the following year. Dannatt took command of 3rd Mechanised Division in 1999 and simultaneously commanded British forces in Kosovo. After a brief tour in Bosnia, he was appointed Assistant Chief of the General Staff (ACGS). Following the attacks of 11 September 2001, he became involved in planning for subsequent operations in the Middle East. As Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC), a role he assumed in 2003, Dannatt led the ARRC headquarters in planning for deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. The ARRC served in Afghanistan in 2005, but by this time Dannatt was Commander-in-Chief, Land Command—the day-to-day commander of the Army. Dannatt was appointed Chief of the General Staff (CGS) in August 2006, succeeding General Sir Mike Jackson. He was succeeded as CGS by Sir David Richards and retired in 2009, taking up the largely honorary post of Constable of the Tower of London. He later served as a defence advisor to David Cameron. He resigned when Cameron's Conservative Party won the election, stating that, as prime minister, Cameron should rely on the advice of the incumbent service chiefs. Dannatt published an autobiography in 2010 and continues to be involved with a number of charities and organisations related to the armed forces. He is married with four children, one of whom served as an officer in the Grenadier Guards.
Thurisind (Latin: Turisindus, died c. 560) was king of the Gepids, an East GermanicGothic people, from c. 548 to 560. He was the penultimate Gepid king, and succeeded King Elemund by staging a coup d'état and forcing the king's son into exile. Thurisind's kingdom, also known as Gepidia, was located in Central Europe and had its centre in Sirmium, a former Roman city on the Danube River. His reign was marked by multiple wars with the Lombards, a Germanic people who had arrived in the former Roman province of Pannonia under the leadership of their king, Audoin. Thurisind also had to face the hostility of the Byzantine Empire, which was resentful of the Gepid takeover of Sirmium and anxious to diminish Gepid power in the Pannonian Basin. The Byzantines' plans to reduce the Gepids' power took effect when Audoin decisively defeated Thurisind in 551 or 552. The Byzantine Emperor Justinian forced a peace accord on both leaders so that equilibrium in the Pannonian Basin could be sustained. Thurisind lost his eldest son, Turismod, in the Battle of Asfeld, where the prince was killed by Alboin, son of Audoin. In about 560, Thurisind died and was succeeded by his only remaining son, Cunimund, who was killed by Alboin in 567. Cunimund's death marked the end of the Gepid Kingdom and the beginning of the conquest of their territories by the Lombards' allies, the Avars, a nomadic people migrating from the Eurasian Steppe.
The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross and its variants were the highest awards in the military of the Third Reich during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded for a wide range of reasons and across all ranks, from a senior commander for skilled leadership of his troops in battle to a low ranking soldier for a single act of extreme gallantry. A total of 7,322 awards were made between its first presentation on 30 September 1939 and its last bestowal on 17 June 1945. Listed in this article are the 82 Knight's Cross recipients whose last name starts with "V" and "U".