Naval gunfire and tactical air support sink three of the four vessels in what becomes one of the very few surface engagements of the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, German commanders recommend ending the Rundstedt Offensive (Battle of the Bulge) due to a lack of significant progress. In October, Chinese forces hammer his unit and Rubin is captured. Also aboard were seven Afghan commandos and an Afghan interpreter. James Davidson, piloting the McDonnell XFD-1 "Phantom" aircraft, performs a series of takeoffs and landings on the deck of USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVB-42) - the first carrier flight operations of a jet aircraft. Laugharne to sail to Newfoundland to unload his crew, then surrender Alert to the Americans at New York. Italy will operate the missiles with U.S. personnel overseeing the nuclear warheads. It will also become the first U.S. missile system marketed to foreign militaries and remains in service for U.S. troops stationed in Western Europe until 1964. Aircraft and naval artillery inflict moderate damage to the Japanese garrisons and sink several smaller vessels. Bender is awarded the Medal of Honor. 1863: During the third - and final - day of the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Robert E. Lee orders three divisions of Lt. Gen. James Longstreet's Confederate soldiers across open ground to assault the Union position on Cemetery Ridge. 1945: While leading an intelligence operation for the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), Capt. Union losses will be staggering: 13,000 to the Confederacy’s 2,500. 1777: A force of militiamen from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont - led by Gen. John Stark - clash with a detachment of British General John Burgoyne's army in the Battle of Bennington (near present-day Bennington, Vt.). 1912: Four Marine battalions - including one led by Maj. Smedley Butler - converge and assault the fortress atop the 500-ft. Coyotepe Hill. British escort vessels score hits on both subs, sending U-201 back to German pens for repair. Before the plane can land, it begins to oscillate wildly, and the movements manage to trigger many of the bombs' redundant arming systems. With four destroyers sunk and another heavily damaged or destroyed, Harder's highly productive fourth war patrol makes her one of the most famous submarines during World War II. That same day, in Montrebeau Woods, France, a tank driven by Cpl. bombs on the target. Two days later, the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor and Mulcahy - and thousands of other ballplayers - will trade their cleats for combat boots. One of the three survivors is executive officer Lt. Cmdr. 1780: Gen. Benjamin Lincoln, commanding American forces at Charleston, S.C., surrenders to Gen. Sir Henry Clinton after a six-week siege. 1898: Spain severs diplomatic relations with the United States and Pres. 1953: When the Marines launch a counterattack against entrenched communist forces at Outpost Reno, Corpsman Francis C. Hammond exposes himself to enemy fire to treat his wounded Marines for four exhausting hours, becoming critically wounded himself. Center of Military History. During a three-day battle at Kommerscheidt, Germany, U.S. Army 1st Lt. Turney W. Leonard "repeatedly braved overwhelming enemy fire in advance of his platoon to direct the fire of his tank destroyer from exposed, dismounted positions. Following the McKinley assassination, Congress tasks the U.S. Secret Service with protecting the president. The sinking of Lusitania will be a major factor in the United States declaring war on Germany two years later. 1945: U.S. Army Private Eddie Slovik is executed by firing squad near Sainte Marie-aux-Mines, France for abandoning his rifle company as he admits to being "too scared" for combat. 1942: The submarine USS Gudgeon sinks a Japanese submarine – becoming the first American sub to send an enemy warship to the bottom during World War II. 1944: During the Battle of Leyte Gulf, torpedoes from the destroyer USS Melvin (DD-680) sink the Japanese battleship Fusō, considered to be the largest warship to go down with all hands during World War II. 2000: While the destroyer USS Cole stops to refuel in Yemen, two suicide bombers ram an explosive-laden fiberglass boat into the warship, blowing a massive hole in the side of Cole, claiming the lives of 17 U.S. sailors and injures another 39. 1918: After the Bolsheviks seize power in Russia, 31 Marines from the armored cruiser USS Brooklyn (ACR-3) land at Vladivostok, Russia to guard the American Consulate and maintain stability in the Siberian port. The Pusan Perimeter still holds. A German Shepherd named "Chips" serving with a military police company on Sicily attacked a German pillbox, forcing the occupants to surrender. "Harry" Butters, instantly killing the popular Royal Field Artillery officer. Gen. Douglas MacArthur is granted the authority to oversee the formation of a new Japanese government. Zarqawi, who had replaced Osama bin Laden and his right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, as Special Operations Command’s most-wanted man, is finally dead. His own plane was destroyed by the explosion of his own bomb. Bong will become the United States' top ace of World War II and is awarded the Medal of Honor. 1846: Commodore John D. Sloat, commanding the Pacific Squadron during the Mexican-American War, lands at Monterrey and raises the flag over the Custom House, claiming California for the United States. The American guns inflict 200 casualties in one of the first engagements of the War of 1812. James Biddle off the South Atlantic archipelago Tristan da Cunha. 25 American soldiers are killed on Attu and the inhabitants of both islands are relocated and placed in internment. The first, General War Order No. George R. Carr shoots down five, becoming an ace on his first combat mission for the United States (Carr had flown previously with the Royal Canadian Air Force). Capable of carrying a three-megaton warhead, the missile will be fielded the following year. 1943: Lt. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, the commander of all U.S. Joseph P. Smolinski and copilot Cmdr. Seven decades later, the rugged AK-47 remains the weapon of choice for communist governments and paramilitary forces worldwide. Armies. MacArthur will retire after serving the country for 52 years. 1993: After a foiled assassination attempt on former President George H.W. 1781: Gen. George Washington leads a combined army of 8,000 Continentals, 7,800 French soldiers, and 3,100 Colonial militia out of Williamsburg (Va.) to the newly constructed trenches surrounding Lt. Gen. Lord Cornwallis' trapped British forces at Yorktown, beginning the siege that will effectively bring an end to the American Revolution. The warplane can fly faster and climb more quickly than the venerable "Hellcat", but enters service too late to see action in World War II. 1864: Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signs an order setting aside 200 acres of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's estate as a cemetery for fallen Civil War soldiers. Fortunately, radar shows the rocket traveling away from Russian airspace after a few minutes and the Russians stand down. Eddie Rickenbacker, America's top flying ace of World War I. 5th Squadron of the 73rd Cavalry Regiment earns the Presidential Unit Citation for their role in the Battle of Turki. 1969: Millions of Americans tune in to watch the Saturn V rocket carrying Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong (USN), Michael Collins (USAF), and “Buzz” Aldrin (also USAF) blast off from Kennedy Space Center on the first-ever mission to the moon's surface. Five raiders earn the Medals of Honor - the most ever awarded for a single mission. 1945: The second atomic bomb is dropped on Nagasaki, Japan. John Welsh, are killed in the unsuccessful assault on Britain's Fort George at Penobscot Bay, Maine. German Army forces will surrender to the Allies within days. 1949: Lucky Lady II, a U.S. Air Force B-50 "Superfortress" bomber flown by Capt. 1846: Gen. Stephen Watts Kearney's U.S. Army of the West, accompanied by a small detachment of mounted rifle volunteers commanded by Marine Lt. Archibald Gillespie, attack Mexican "Californios" in the Battle of San Pasqual, near present-day San Diego. Benjamin O. Davis, Sr., who served in the Spanish-American War, the Philippine-American War, and both World Wars, had been the first black man ever promoted to the rank of general in the United States Armed Forces. Ballard calmly gets up and returns to his work - and will be awarded the Medal of Honor. Today, America recognizes all of its Medal of Honor recipients on National Medal of Honor Day – Mar. The German sub sinks nine ships in the Gulf of Mexico on its two-month patrol. 1944: Following an hour-long enemy artillery barrage, Sgt. During the series of fanatical Japanese counterattacks that lasted 10 hours and at times came down to hand-to-hand combat, Wilson and his tenacious men held the line. William P. "Irish" Driscoll, score two victories becoming the only aces of the Vietnam War, and the only U.S. aviators to ever accomplish the feat using missiles. Injured in the attack on South Dakota is 12-year-old Seaman 1st Class Calvin L. Graham, who lied about his age that summer to join the Navy. 21 sailors perish when the yacht becomes the first U.S. warship sunk during World War I. Louis H. Wilson Jr. of the 2d Battalion, 9th Marines is tasked with taking a section of Fonte Hill. The crews had loaded their bombs in India and flew to China before the raid. 22 years later, Fort Arnold becomes the U.S. Military Academy - now the Army's oldest continually operating post. At the same time, Viet Cong guerillas open fire on the flotilla and threaten to destroy the stalled boat. The Marines of 3/9 and 1/3 – both part of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade – are the first American ground-combat forces destined for offensive operations against the enemy in Southeast Asia. When the British commander demands to know under what authority are the men entering, Allen replies, "The Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress!" When the Americans counterattack and reach Hanson's position, they find him with an empty machine gun, empty pistol, and a bloody machete. Parr flew 641 combat missions during World War II, Korea, and Vietnam and is the only member of the Armed Forces to earn both the Distinguished Service Cross and the Air Force Cross. McNamara also acknowledges that the military knew North Vietnam had been sending soldiers into South Vietnam prior to launching Operation Rolling Thunder, the politically managed bombing campaign on the North. Those too weak to keep up with the march – or who stop to relieve themselves – are summarily executed. 1960: The U.S. Navy's first ballistic missile submarine, USS George Washington (SSBN-598) departs Charleston harbor (S.C.) harbor for its first deterrent patrol. 1952: Newly elected president - and former Gen. - Dwight Eisenhower fulfills his campaign promise of visiting Korea in hopes of ending the conflict. The King's Men easily defeat Maj. Gen. Robert Howe's army, killing, capturing or wounding over 500. 1941: In preparation for World War II, 19 divisions of soldiers - 400,000 troops - participate in a series of massive exercises in Louisiana. Three enemy soldiers are killed and 51 are captured, liberating the island with no American losses. He was recommended for the Medal of Honor for his actions on December 7th, but having taken off without orders, he only receives the Distinguished Flying Cross. During a three-hour battle with enemy boats and fortifications, Williams and his crew, supported by helicopter gunships, destroy 65 vessels and kill hundreds of the enemy force. Over the next few days, the French skies were full of bombers which hammered the German railroads, marshaling yards, and vital bridges while fighter-bombers attacked rolling stock and destroyed hundreds of the irreplaceable locomotives. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that racially segregated schools are unconstitutional, Governor Orval Faubus, a Democrat, had deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from attending. The Naval Governor of Guam, Capt. He charges towards the enemy and devastates their position with grenades before dashing back to friendly lines for another one-man grenade attack. "Chips," a German Shepherd military police dog serving in Sicily with Company I, 30th Infantry Regiment, attacks a hidden German pillbox, forcing four enemy soldiers to surrender. 1942: The Liberty Ship SS Stephen Hopkins becomes the only U.S. merchant ship to sink a vessel when she refuses to surrender to the German raider Stieg. Off the coast of New Jersey, the destroyer USS Turner (DD-648) suffers a series of explosions - possibly due to a German U-boat attack - and sinks, taking 15 officers and 123 men with her. 1918: Capt. 1923: 26 hours and 50 minutes after taking off in New York, Army Air Corps First Lieutenants Oakley Kelly and John Macready touch down at Rockwell Field, San Diego, becoming the first aviators to fly non-stop across the United States. 1935: When a volcanic eruption threatens Hilo, Hawaii, Army Air Corps planes drop bombs in order to divert the lava flow. The Memphis Belle dropped 60 tons of bombs and her gunners shot down eight German fighters during her tour of duty. Despite the position being only 100 yards away, Dilboy stands up and fires at the enemy gun crew, then moves through a wheat field until he is 25 yards away. The Briscoe Center for American History remains temporarily closed in line with university policy toward Covid-19. Donlon led a Green Beret team as they defended against a reinforced Viet Cong battalion near Laos on July 6, 1964. 1943: The Teheran Conference between Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin concludes. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz presents Howard with the Medal of Honor to Howard in June. 1945: Marines of the III Amphibious Corps land in China to assist in repatriating hundreds of thousands of Japanese and Koreans and to protect American lives and property. These few "regular army" soldiers will become the Legion of the United States in 1792, and the U.S. Army in 1796. These raids are the first known combat operations of the war in Afghanistan. Over the next several hours, Ingraham disregarded heavy incoming fire and treated his fellow Marines, patching up wounds, distributing ammunition, all the while ignoring four bullet wounds he received during the battle - one of which was life-threatening. 1918: The 369th Infantry Regiment receives the honor of becoming the first American unit to enter German territory for occupation duty. Racing through enemy fire again for more grenades, he manages to neutralize the second position. 1st Class George A Toms are lost the next day when their plane is set on fire and crashes into the ocean while diving again to a perilously low altitude. Washington is the last man to leave. After four hours of close combat, the attackers are driven off with help from artillery and aircraft support. John Basilone and Mitchell Paige - who both earn the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal - and Marine legend Lt. Col. Lewis "Chesty" Puller. He soon makes fast friends with Gen. George Washington and the Continental Congress, and is offered a commission as a major general. Commander Edward O. McDonnell, who earned the Medal of Honor during the Veracruz campaign in 1914, launches a Sopwith Camel from a special platform constructed atop the Number 2 turret. Although outnumbered three-to-one, Clifford leads a charge against the Rebels, who are routed and leave behind their ship and supplies. In return for a Mexican attack on the United States, Germany would offer financial aid and assist Mexico in regaining Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. 154 fires one shot at Negro Fort, detonating the powder magazine and killing 300 defenders, becoming the deadliest cannon shot in U.S. military history. 1943: After flying 25 missions over Europe, the B-17F "Flying Fortress" known as Memphis Belle is flying back to the United States for a publicity tour. At the time, the United States has just the 19th-largest military in the world. During World War II, Birch assisted Brig. After he is awarded the Medal of Honor by Pres. After Wasp is sunk in the Pacific, Lt. Cmdr. Jeffrey C.J. Codenamed Operation "Gratitude," the attacks are wildly successful. While serving as the first Chairman of the newly formed Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bradley will be instrumental in removing fellow five-star general Douglas MacArthur following his public clashes with the Truman Administration. Over the winter, the Prussian drillmaster - later, Washington's Chief of Staff - Baron Friedrich von Steuben drills the Americans, greatly increasing their combat effectiveness and morale. Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli. In ten weeks, the United Kingdom reclaims their territories, thanks to material support from the United States. The James Madison-class subs each carry 16 of the new Polaris A3 nuclear missiles, with a range of 2,500 nautical miles. Of the three Marine divisions that fought on Iwo Jima, the "Spearhead" Division suffered the most casualties, but fortunately for these leathernecks, their fighting days are over. Before leaving the battle, he insists on reporting to the battalion commander on enemy locations and the disposition of friendly troops. The U.S. Senate will not ratify a peace treaty with Germany until 1921. ISBN-13: 978-1419100017. During the battle, Sgt. Roosevelt quickly authorizes a committee on uranium, setting in motion what will eventually become the Manhattan Project. 1996: Osama bin Laden issues his first fatwa, declaring war on the United States for, among other reasons, maintaining a military presence in Saudi Arabia. 1911: Lt. Theodore Ellyson graduates the Glenn Curtiss Aviation Camp near San Diego, becoming Naval Aviator No. William Branigan - the first U.S. casualties of World War I. In fact, he oversees a service consisting of just 174,000 soldiers, with 488 machineguns and only 40 tanks. 1983: During the Lebanese Civil War, mortar crews target American positions, killing two Marines and wounding 14 - the first fatalities for the American peacekeeping force in Beirut. 191 Ryders Lane, New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8557 P:848.932.9384 | F:732.932.6778 By day’s end, 2,718 American sailors, 582 soldiers (including Army Air Forces personnel), 178 Marines, and 103 civilians will be dead, dying or wounded. After the war, he is finally awarded the Medal of Honor and receives a commission. 196 are killed and hundreds are wounded, but the actual number of casualties could be much higher. 1865: The Confederate commerce raider CSS Shenandoah fires the last shot of the Civil War - a warning shot at a U.S. whaling vessel in the Bering Straight. 1916: While flying an escort mission for observation planes, H. Clyde Balsley - one of the original pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille - becomes the first American to be shot down during World War I. The Battle of the Eastern Solomons is fought entirely by aircraft; the Japanese inflict serious damage on USS Enterprise (CV-6), while the Americans sink several vessels, including the light carrier Ryujo. Pyle is posthumously awarded the Purple Heart - rarely awarded to civilians. None of the flying bombs reached their targets - German V-1 rocket bases - as control issues led to multiple fatal crashes. The Americans lay down a base of fire while the outpost sends men to flank the enemy. 1797: The Continental Navy frigate Constitution is launched in Boston harbor. An Army Air Corps pilot with 16 victories during World War II, Welch is one of only two airmen able to get airborne and engage Japanese aircraft during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Although clashes between the Wehrmacht and the Red Army will continue for another day, Nazi Germany has laid down their arms. He charges one more position, and is fatally cut down as he hurls his last grenade into the position, which destroys the enemy emplacement. 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. Meanwhile, virtually all of South Vietnam's major urban areas and bases are under attack. James Doohan also flew, as an artillery observation pilot for the Royal Canadian artillery - after "Scotty" fought his way ashore Juno Beach during the Normandy Invasion. The Germans attempt a counterattack, and when Janson spots 12 enemy soldiers making their way towards the Americans, he rushes forward, killing the leaders with his bayonet and scattering the remaining men. 1959: North Korean MiG 17s attack a Martin P4M "Mercator" reconnaissance aircraft in international waters, injuring the tail gunner and forcing the Navy spy plane to perform an emergency landing in Japan. Off the coast, Allied warships sink three French destroyers. 1942: U.S. Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur – ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to leave his besieged soldiers in the Philippines (where their capture is inevitable) and make his way to Australia – delivers his famous "I shall return" speech at an Australian train station. Eugene A. The twin-boom P-61 is the first aircraft to carry radar and the U.S. military's first night fighter. 1947: Two years to the day after Operation PAPERCLIP begins, the United States launches its first ballistic missile. Two Marauders are shot down; Riley Shamburger, Wade C. Gray, Pete W. Ray, and Leo F. Baker are killed. The Pentagon tells the public that the weapon's nuclear capsule was removed prior to the mission and therefore presents no threat. 1950: Well over 200,000 Chinese Communist troops attack UN forces in their first assault of the Korean War. 328 US Army Center of Military History jobs available on Indeed.com. The Viet Cong's TET Offensive will kick off in less than a week. Gen. James Harbord, advance against four German divisions in Belleau Wood, the site of an old French hunting preserve near Chateau-Thierry. 1943: 94 Japanese warplanes set out to raid the Allied invasion force before it reaches the island of New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. As additional enemy troops begin firing from tunnels and caves near his location, he keeps pressing the attack. John Porter has captured the first warship of War of 1812. 1944: "Boldly penetrating the screen of a heavily escorted convoy, Comdr. Once his machine gun is operational, he moves to an exposed position and pours heavy fire into the treeline, but will be mortally wounded. Soon, the astronauts (wearing biological isolation gear to protect Earth from possible lunar contamination) are transferred by helicopter to the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, where they will spend 21 days in isolation. Meanwhile, 2nd Lt. James H. Doolittle, who will go on to lead the Doolittle Raiders over Tokyo during World War II, is issued his pilot license. Scott O'Grady - who is shot down and rescued the following year) shoots down three enemy aircraft, and Capt. Once crews have nearly contained the blaze, another kamikaze slams into the ship and disables the firefighting system. What the American war planners don't know that the Japanese have dug some 11 miles of tunnels on the island, including an elaborate network of underground command centers and barracks, pill boxes, and bunkers. The former U.S. Marine private (serving in the Presidential Honor Guard in Washington, D.C.) ultimately was commissioned an Army second lieutenant, before his days as an Air Force fighter jock and test pilot. ", From The Center for American Military History. Home; General Resources; Research by Conflict and Time Period The space race is over. Throughout Operation "Rolling Thunder", Washington prevented the military from targeting facilities that would significantly benefit the war effort, such as attacking North Vietnamese airfields or mining harbors. 1961: As the "Mercury Seven" astronauts begin their final phase of training, NASA selects Alan Shepard (USN), "Gus" Grissom (USAF), and John Glenn (USMC) as the pilots that will fly the United States' first missions to space. Were it not for his fatal F-104 Starfighter crash at Edwards Air Force Base in 1958, Kincheloe would very likely have become one of America's first astronauts. Apt becomes the first pilot to fly past Mach 3 (2,098 mph), but sadly Apt's tenure as the "Fastest Man Alive" is short lived. 1963: Four ballistic missile submarines are launched in one day - USS Tecumseh (SSBN-628), USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629), USS Flasher (SSN-613), and USS John Calhoun (SSBN-630). Franklin Roosevelt informs Congress that he is authorizing the largest armaments production in United States history: 8 million tons of shipping, 45,000 planes, and 45,000 tanks, and 20,000 anti-aircraft guns will roll off assembly lines within the year. 1996: Hezbollah terrorists park a truck bomb next to an eight-story apartment building in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and race away from the compound. The Allies have inflicted such heavy losses on the Japanese that they abandon the mission to retake Guadalcanal. "Gene" Cernan (USN) lifts off from the Kennedy Space Center. For his actions, Barton is posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, the British equivalent to our Medal of Honor. 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