1805: During the First Barbary War, the first recorded land battle of the United States fought overseas, occurs, the Battle of Derne. A detachment of US Marines, 200-300 Arab and 200 Greek mercenaries, under Gen. William Eaton, after a 500-mile trek across the Libyan desert which had begun on 8 March, attacked on the afternoon of 27 April, the fortified town of Derne, a port city in eastern Libya. The town's garrison consisted of ca 4,000 infantry and cavalry under Hassan Bey. By the end of the day, the city had been secured and the US flag flew over the harbour defenses. It was the first time the US flag had flown over a foreign battlefield. The US and allies suffered 14 killed (2 Marines) and several wounded. The Berbers sustained ca 2,000 killed or wounded.
431 BC: Sparta declares war on Athens and its allies, announcing that it wants to liberate Greece from Athenian oppression. The Peloponnesian War opens.
WWI-1917: The men of the II/1 Battalion (Cpt. Gregorios Iulianós) of the 1st Serres Rgt (Lt. Col. Nicholas Zaphiríu) of the Greek Serres Division (Maj. Gen. Epaminondas Zymvrakákes) advance to occupy the fortified by the Bulgarians, Raviné Ηeight (E of Skra-di-Legen). Despite the obstinate Bulgarian resistance, the operation is successful for the Greeks (and allies of the Salonika Front). Greek casualties accounted for 290 killed or wounded.
Salonika Front: Bulgarian fortifications
1944: The Germans put before the firing squad 200 Greek patriots in Kaesarianí, a suburb in the eastern part of Athens, Greece, as a reprisal for the killing by Greek partisans of Generalleutnant Franz Krech, CO of Wehrmacht's 41. Festungs-Division.
1945:: German troops take down the Soviet flag over the Reichstag, that was put there at 2240 hours on April 30, 1945 by the 27-year old Soviet soldier Mikhail Petrovich Minin. Only with Soviet reinforcements was the Red Army able to beat off the German counter-attack. The German defenders of the Reichstag eventually surrendered on May 2, 1945.
The famous Soviet flag over the Reichstag photo was taken by Yevgeny Ananyevich Khaldei on May 2 and is a re-enactment of an earlier flag-raising not photographed
May 1 1 May 1863 - Confederate congress passed a resolution to kill black Union soldiers. 1863 - Confederate "National Flag" replaced "Stars & Bars." 1863 - Battle of Chancellorsville begins in Virginia. 1863 - As requested by Secretary Mallory, the Confederate Congress enacted legislation "To create a Provisional Navy of the Confederate States." 1864 - Wooden side-wheelers U.S.S. Morse, Lieutenant Commander Babcock, and U.S.S. General Putnam, Acting Master Hugh H. Savage, convoyed 2,500 Army troops up the York River to West Point, Virginia, where the soldiers were landed under the ships' guns and occupied the town. 1865 - In Charleston, SC, some 10,000 people paraded to a mass grave site of Union soldiers at a former race track. This was likely the 1st large-scale US Memorial Day event.
1877 - President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction. 1898 - At Manila Bay in the Philippines, the U.S. Asiatic Squadron destroys the Spanish Pacific fleet in the first battle of the Spanish-American War. Nearly 400 Spanish sailors were killed and 10 Spanish warships wrecked or captured at the cost of only six Americans wounded. 1898 - USRC McCulloch fought under Commodore George Dewey at the Battle of Manila Bay. Revenue Captain Daniel B. Hodgson recommended retired at full pay as reward of merit. 1915 - The luxury liner Lusitania left New York Harbor for a voyage to Europe. There were warnings by the German government in NYC newspapers that it regarded the refurbished liner a battle target. She was sunk by a German U-boat six days later 1915 - A German submarine sank the U.S. ship Gulflight I.
1934 - The Philippine legislature accepted a U.S. proposal for independence. 1937 - President Franklin Roosevelt signed an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II. 1943 - LT Akers demonstrates blind landing system for Carrier aviation at College Park, MD in OJ-2 aircraft. 1943 - US forces complete the occupation of Hill 609 in "Mousetrap Valley." The Axis defenses in Tunisia hold American attempts to advance further. 1943 - Food rationing began in US. 1944 - An American force of 7 battleships and 11 destroyers, commanded by Admiral Lee, bombards Ponape. The carriers of Task Group 58.1 (Admiral Clark) provide cover for the operation.
1945 – US VADM Barbey lands Australian troops on Tarakan Island, Borneo, supported by naval gunfire. 1945 - The US 1st and 9th Armies are firmly established along the line of the Elbe and Mulde rivers. They have been forbidden to advance farther into the zone designated for Soviet occupation. To the the south, the US 7th Army presses on into Austria.
1951 - USS Princeton aircraft attack Hwachon Dam using aerial torpedoes, only use of this weapon in Korean War. They knocked out two floodgates. 1951 - The first phase of the Chinese offensive was halted north of Seoul. 1952 - Marines took part in an atomic explosion training in Nevada.
1968 - In the second day of battle, U.S. Marines, with the support of naval fire, continued their attack on a North Vietnamese Division at Dai Do. 1980 – As the Mariel Boatlift continued, 11 Navy ships begin operations assisting Coast Guard in rescuing Cuban refugees fleeing Cuba in overcrowded boats.
1985 - US president Reagan ended embargo against Nicaragua.
1995 - A seminar of international chemical weapons experts convened by UNSCOM concludes that Iraq has not adequately disclosed its past chemical weapons programs. 1997 - In its regular 60-day review, the United Nations Security Council votes again to maintain sanctions on Iraq. This is the37th review since sanctions were first imposed in 1990. This vote, however, does not affect the humanitarian oil sales.
2000 - In Puerto Rico 2 US warships arrived off the coast of Vieques and some 50 protestors braced for the arrival of federal agents. 2001 - Pres. Bush committed the US to a missile defense shield. He also presented his case for withdrawing from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with Russia. 2003 - Sec. of Defense Rumsfeld visited Afghanistan and declared most of the nation secure. He said the 9,000 US soldiers there were engaged mainly in reconstruction. 2003 - The US Navy withdrew from Vieques Island, Costa Rica.
2003 - The Terrorist Threat Integration Center begins operations. 2004 - In Iraq US top commander Lt. Gen. Sanchez notified 6 officers of his intent to issue a memorandum of reprimand for the abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison.
SMITH, MAYNARD H . (Air Mission)
Rank and organization. Sergeant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 423d Bombardment Squadron, 306th Bomber Group. Place and date: Over Europe, 1 May 1943. Entered service at: Cairo, Mich. Born: 1911, Cairo Mich. G.O. No.: 38, 12 July 1943.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty. The aircraft of which Sgt. Smith was a gunner was subjected to intense enemy antiaircraft fire and determined fighter airplane attacks while returning from a mission over enemy-occupied continental Europe on 1 May 1943. The airplane was hit several times by antiaircraft fire and cannon shells of the fighter airplanes, 2 of the crew were seriously wounded, the aircraft's oxygen system shot out, and several vital control cables severed when intense fires were ignited simultaneously in the radio compartment and waist sections. The situation became so acute that 3 of the crew bailed out into the comparative safety of the sea.
Sgt. Smith, then on his first combat mission, elected to fight the fire by himself, administered first aid to the wounded tail gunner, manned the waist guns, and fought the intense flames alternately. The escaping oxygen fanned the fire to such intense heat that the ammunition in the radio compartment began to explode, the radio, gun mount, and camera were melted, and the compartment completely gutted. Sgt. Smith threw the exploding ammunition overboard, fought the fire until all the firefighting aids were exhausted, manned the workable guns until the enemy fighters were driven away, further administered first aid to his wounded comrade, and then by wrapping himself in protecting cloth, completely extinguished the fire by hand.
This soldier's gallantry in action, undaunted bravery, and loyalty to his aircraft and fellow crewmembers, without regard for his own personal safety, is an inspiration to the U.S. Armed Forces.
1940: At 0535 hours, during Operation Case Yellow (Unternehmen Fall Gelb), the first part of what is known by the Germans as Westoffensive opens: The Wehrmacht begins the invasion of the Low Countries (Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg), employing Heeresgruppe A (=Army Group A), (Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt) and Heeresgruppe B (=Army Group B), (Generaloberst Fedor von Bock), with Heeresgruppe C (=Army Group C), (Generaloberst Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb) in reserve. The attacking forces comprise 10 Armoured, 5 Motorised, and 75 infantry divisions. The Panzerkorps - XIX (=19th Panzer Corps), (Generaloberst Heinz Wilhelm Guderian), Panzerkorps - XX (=20th Panzer Corps), (Generaloberst Hermann "Papa" Hoth) and the Panzerkorps - XXXXI (=41st Panzer Corps), (Generaloberst Georg-Hans Reinhardt) field between them 2,445 tanks, most of which are of the light Marks I, II, 35(t) and 38(t) type, against 3,373 French and British tanks. In his Order of the Day, Hitler declares: "Soldiers of the Western Front! The battle which is beginning today will decide the fate of the German nation for the next thousand years. Go forward now and do your duty!"
Airborne troops seize airfields and strategic bridges near Amsterdam and Rotterdam in Netherlands. The Luftwaffe, using hundreds of level and dive bombers, attacks Allied airfields, troop assembly areas and rear communications.
1956: During the EOKA (=National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters) armed campaign against British rule of Cyprus, 22-year old Michael Karaolís and 23-year old Andreas Dimitríu, are executed by hanging. Karaolís was the first to be sentenced to death and hanged by the British. Field Marshal Sir John Harding, the Governor of Cyprus, chose to announce Karaolís death sentence on 28 October, an important Greek national holiday marking the refusal of Greece to surrender to the Axis Powers in the WWII, which caused serious demonstrations and unrest in Greece. Both Karaolís and Dimitríu sang the Greek National Anthem on their way to the gallows.
1912: Less than 24 hours after the Kingdom of Greece officially declared War on the Ottoman Empire, the Greek Army of Thessaly (6 Infantry Divisions, the Cavalry Brigade, and 4 independent Evzone Battalions under Crown Prince Constantine) crosses the line Hassan Melúna-Menexés, the boundary line between Ottoman Turkey and Greece, bounded by the grand hills of Melúna.
After small-scale engagements with the Turkish border forces, the Army of Thessaly takes Elassón on October 6, 1912; Elassón (the ancient Ollasṓn) is the first ethnic Greek town located on the opposite side of the border, which is liberated during the First Balkan War.
Yesterday (October 5, 2012), on the 100th anniversary of the Greek entrance in the First Balkan War, the Melúna Memorial was revealed at Melúna, a few short miles from the town of Elassón.
(For a more thorough presentation of the First Balkan War from the Greek perspective, please refer here)
1777 - British Surrender at Saratoga. General John Burgoyne with British forces of 5,000 men surrendered to General Horatio Gates, commander of the American forces at Schuylerville, NY. In the fall of 1777, the British commander Gen'l. Burgoyne and his men were advancing along the Hudson River. After Burgoyne had retreated to the heights of Saratoga, the Americans stopped and surrounded them. The surrender was a turning point in the American Revolution, demonstrating American determination to gain independence. After the surrender, France sided with the Americans, and other countries began to get involved and align themselves against Britain.
1781 - Cornwallis was defeated at Yorktown. Cornwallis' options had been running out. He had even tried sending blacks infected with smallpox over enemy lines in an attempt to infect the American and French troops. After a futile counterattack, Cornwallis offered to surrender.
1814 - The crew of USRC Eagle, which had been driven ashore near Negros Head, New York in an encounter with the British brig HMS Dispatch, dragged the cutter's guns up a bluff in an effort to continue the battle. The New York Evening Post gave an account of what happened next to the out-gunned cutter: "During the engagement between the Cutter EAGLE and the enemy, the following took place which is worthy of notice. Having expanded all the wadding of the four-pounders on the hill, during the warmest of the firing, several of the crew volunteered and went on board the cutter to obtain more. At this moment the masts were shot away, when the brave volunteers erected a flag upon her stern; this was soon shot away, but was immediately replaced by a heroic tar, amidst the cheers of his undaunted comrades, which was returned by a whole broadside from the enemy.
When the crew of the Cutter had expended all their large shot and fixed ammunition, they tore up the log book to make cartridges and returned the enemy's small shot which lodged in the hull. The Cutter was armed with only 6 guns, 4 four-pounders and 2 twos with plenty of muskets and about 50 men. The enemy being gone and provisions scarce the volunteers from this city left Captain Lee and his crew and arrived here on Thursday evening the 13th instant, in a sloop from Long Island. . .We have since learned that Captain Lee succeeded in getting off the Cutter and was about to remove her to a place of safety when the enemy returned and took possession of her. She was greatly injured, but it is expected that the enemy will be able to refit her to annoy us in the sound."
1814 - Marines and Sailors landed on Grand Terre Island, Louisiana, to punish pirates. Pirate leader, Jean Lafitte’s activities threatened to monopolize the city's import trade. New Orleans merchants goaded the new American governor, William C. C. Claiborne, into accusing him of piracy and posting a $500 reward. Lafitte made Claiborne a laughingstock with his own offer of $1500 for Claiborne's capture, and to rub it in he hired District Attorney John R. Grymes as his counselor (for a reported $10,000).
Lafitte would not be bought, bribed, or intimidated. In 1814 the British offered him $30,000 and a Royal Navy commission to help them capture New Orleans. The buccaneer turned them down and informed Claiborne of his wish to become a citizen and to give Claiborne his support, if his privateer followers were pardoned for all past crimes. Claiborne was ready to relent when the American Navy swooped down on the Grand Terre base and destroyed it. Fortunately for the infant United States, General Andrew Jackson sought out the buccaneer and agreed to honor his request.
1871 - President Grant suspended writ of habeas corpus in nine South Carolina counties in enforcement of the Ku Klux Klan Act.
1877 - Brigadier General Alfred Terry met with Sitting Bull in Canada to discuss the Indians' return to the United States. Sitting Bull and his followers had fled to Canada after the Little Big Horn. This meeting will fail.
1894 - Ohio national guard killed 3 lynchers while rescuing a black man. A mob gathered outside the Fayette County court house with the intent to lynch convicted rapist William “Jasper” Dolby. Gov. William McKinley ordered Ohio National Guard troops to subdue the mob. Oct. 17, 1894, the crowd battered the doors and was fired upon. Five men were killed. McKinley reaffirmed the National Guard troops decision, “The law was upheld as it should have been …but in this case at a fearful cost… Lynching cannot be tolerated in Ohio.” Bullet holes are still visible in the south court house doors.
1922 - LCDR Virgil C. Griffin in Vought VE-7SF makes first takeoff from U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1) anchored in York River, Virginia.
1933 - Due to rising anti-Semitism and anti-intellectualism in Hitler's Germany, Albert Einstein immigrated to the United States. He made his new home in Princeton, N.J.
1941 - The U.S. destroyer Kearney DD-432 was damaged by a German U-boat torpedo off Iceland; 11 Americans were killed.
1941 - General Hideki Tojo (1885-1948) became Premier and Minister of War in Japan. When the bellicose war minister and most powerful man in Japan, Army General Hideki Tojo, became prime minister, there no longer was a chance of avoiding war with Britain and the United States.
1942 - A regiment of the US 32nd Division is airlifted from Port Moresby to Wanigela on the north coast.
1943 - The last operational German auxiliary cruiser, Michel, is sunk by the American submarine Tarpon off the Japanese coast. The German raider has sunk 17 ships during its cruise.
1943 - The advancing US 5th Army takes Liberi and Alvignano.
1944 - US 2nd Corps (part of US 5th Army) continues attacks toward Bologna, Italy.
1944 - As a diversion for the American attack on Leyte, the British Eastern Fleet sends 2 carriers, 1 battle cruiser and lighter ships on a raid of the Nicobar Islands. Air strikes and shelling are carried out, causing damage.
1944 – In France, US 7th Army continues its offensive around Luneville and Bruyeres.
1944 - US Task Group 77.4 (Admiral TF Sprague) continues air strikes on Leyte, Cebu and Mindanao. US Task Group 38.4 (Admiral Davison) arrives with 4 carriers and launches air strikes on Luzon. Also, American minesweeping in Leyte Gulf begin and there are minor landings, by elements of the US Rangers, on the islands of Suluan and Dinagat at the entrance to Leyte Gulf.
1945 - Iva Toguri D'Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist "Tokyo Rose," was arrested by 3 CIC officers in her Tokyo apartment.
1978 - President Carter signed a bill restoring U.S. citizenship to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
1989 - An earthquake registering 7.1 on the Richter Scale hit Northern California, killing 67 people. Coast Guard units and 24 Navy and Military Sealift Command ships rendered assistance in rescue and relief operations.
1997 - The US Army used a Miracl (medium infra-red advanced chemical laser developed by TRW) laser beam to hit the MISTI-3 satellite in orbit. The laser test was prohibited by Congress in 1985, but the ban expired in 1995. The test failed to be recorded by sensors on the satellite.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214. Place and date: Central Solomons area, from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Entered service at: Washington. Born: 4 December 1912, Coeur D'Alene, Idaho. Other Navy award: Navy Cross.
Citation: For extraordinary heroism and valiant devotion to duty as commanding officer of Marine Fighting Squadron 214 in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Central Solomons area from 12 September 1943 to 3 January 1944. Consistently outnumbered throughout successive hazardous flights over heavily defended hostile territory, Maj. Boyington struck at the enemy with daring and courageous persistence, leading his squadron into combat with devastating results to Japanese shipping, shore installations, and aerial forces.
Resolute in his efforts to inflict crippling damage on the enemy, Maj. Boyington led a formation of 24 fighters over Kahili on 17 October and, persistently circling the airdrome where 60 hostile aircraft were grounded, boldly challenged the Japanese to send up planes. Under his brilliant command, our fighters shot down 20 enemy craft in the ensuing action without the loss of a single ship.
A superb airman and determined fighter against overwhelming odds, Maj. Boyington personally destroyed 26 of the many Japanese planes shot down by his squadron and, by his forceful leadership, developed the combat readiness in his command which was a distinctive factor in the Allied aerial achievements in this vitally strategic area.
*VAN NOY, JUNIOR
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Headquarters Company, Shore Battalion, Engineer Boat and Shore Regiment. Place and date: Near Finschafen, New Guinea, 17 October 1943. Entered service at: Preston, Idaho. Birth: Grace, Idaho. G.O. No.: 17, 26 February 1944.
Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Finschafen, New Guinea, on 17 October 1943. When wounded late in September, Pvt. Van Noy declined evacuation and continued on duty. On 17 October 1943 he was gunner in charge of a machinegun post only 5 yards from the water's edge when the alarm was given that 3 enemy barges loaded with troops were approaching the beach in the early morning darkness.
One landing barge was sunk by Allied fire, but the other 2 beached 10 yards from Pvt. Van Noy's emplacement. Despite his exposed position, he poured a withering hail of fire into the debarking enemy troops. His loader was wounded by a grenade and evacuated. Pvt. Van Noy, also grievously wounded, remained at his post, ignoring calls of nearby soldiers urging him to withdraw, and continued to fire with deadly accuracy. He expended every round and was found, covered with wounds dead beside his gun.
In this action Pvt. Van Noy killed at least half of the 39 enemy taking part in the landing. His heroic tenacity at the price of his life not only saved the lives of many of his comrades, but enabled them to annihilate the attacking detachment.
*DURHAM, HAROLD BASCOM, JR.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Battery C, 6th Battalion, 15th Artillery, 1st Infantry Division . Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 17 October 1967. Entered service at: Atlanta, Ga. Born: 12 October 1942, Rocky Mount, N.C.
Citation: 2d Lt. Durham, Artillery, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the cost of his life above and beyond the call of duty while assigned to Battery C. 2d Lt. Durham was serving as a forward observer with Company D, 2d Battalion, 28th Infantry during a battalion reconnaissance-in-force mission. At approximately 1015 hours contact was made with an enemy force concealed inwell-camouflaged positions and fortified bunkers.
2d Lt. Durham immediately moved into an exposed position to adjust the supporting artillery fire onto the insurgents. During a brief lull in the battle he administered emergency first aid to the wounded in spite of heavy enemy sniper fire directed toward him. Moments later, as enemy units assaulted friendly positions, he learned that Company A, bearing the brunt of the attack, had lost its forward observer. While he was moving to replace the wounded observer, the enemy detonated a Claymore mine, severely wounding him in the head and impairing his vision. In spite of the intense pain, he continued to direct the supporting artillery fire and to employ his individual weapon in support of the hard pressed infantrymen.
As the enemy pressed their attack, 2d Lt. Durham called for supporting fire to be placed almost directly on his position. Twice the insurgents were driven back, leaving many dead and wounded behind. 2d Lt. Durham was then taken to a secondary defensive position. Even in his extremely weakened condition, he continued to call artillery fire onto the enemy. He refused to seek cover and instead positioned himself in a small clearing which offered a better vantage point from which to adjust the fire.
Suddenly, he was severely wounded a second time by enemy machine gun fire. As he lay on the ground near death, he saw two Viet Cong approaching, shooting the defenseless wounded men. With his last effort, 2d Lt. Durham shouted a warning to a nearby soldier who immediately killed the insurgents. 2d Lt. Durham died moments later, still grasping the radio handset. 2d Lt. Durham's gallant actions in close combat with an enemy force are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.
1776 - At the Battle of Pelham Col. John Glover and the Marblehead regiment collided with British Forces in the Bronx. Sir William Howe, Commander-in-Chief of the British army, landed 4,000 English and Hessian troops near the stables on Pelham Parkway in an action which became the first permanent invasion of the American mainland in the American Revolution. Howe's objective was to outflank the American army by marching west across today's Bronx along the Boston Post Road. This would also cut off Washington's vital supply route from New England and enable the British to surround Washington and quickly end the rebellion.
However, 600 seamen from the Boston area, led by Colonel John Glover, and fighting from behind Pelham Manor's stone walls put an end to Howe's plan and saved Washington's army. The main significance of the Battle of Pelham lay in the fact that it bought time for Washington to remove the American army from an extremely perilous position and to retreat to White Plains. It is for this reason that the Battle of Pelham has been called the battle that saved the American Revolution.
1799 – In an action of the Quasi-War with France, USRC Pickering (70 men) captured the French privateer L’Egypte Conquiste (250 men).
1812 - U.S. sloop of war Wasp captures HM brig Frolic. Folic had been separated from a convoy by a storm. While repairing damage, the Wasp came into view and was at first taken for a part of the convoy. On October 18th the "Wasp" moved toward the British ship. The "Frolic" hoisted Spanish colors, this keep the strange ship from pursuing the convoy. At 11:30 a.m. the two ships were sailing no more than 60 yards apart. The "Wasp" fired her port guns, and the "Frolic" fired her starboard guns. The British ship fired rapidly, delivering three broadsides to the American's two. Both crews cheered wildly as the battle became heated. The "Wasp" was landing more shot than the British ship. The ocean was very rough, the crew of the "Frolic" fired their cannon when they were on the crest of the waves. The Americans fired their guns on the lower part of the waves. But in spite of the weather both ships fire was well directed.
At 11:36 a.m. the "Wasp's" maintop-mast was shot away and fell with it's yard. At 11:46 a.m. her mizzentop -gallant mast came down and by 11:52 every brace and most of her rigging had been shot away. The British ship however, had been severely damaged in her hull and lower masts. The "Wasp" gradually moved ahead and raked the "Frolic" with a devastating effect. The American ship fired again, this caused many casualties on the "Frolic". The ships came together, and after one failed attempt because of rough seas the Americans boarded the British ship. Not one Englishman was there to stop the crew of the "Wasp" from boarding. The man at the wheel was dazed but still at his post. Captain Whinyates and Lieutenant Wintle were wounded so severely that they could not stand without support.
The crew of the "Frolic" could not fight any longer and Lieutenant Biddle lowered the flag at 12:15 just 43 minutes after the battle had started. The American ship had been damaged severely in her rigging but only two or three shots struck her hull. The American's had 5 killed and 5 wounded. The British had 30 killed and 60 wounded. The American ship "Wasp" had a crew of 135 and carried 9 guns. The British ship "Frolic" had a crew of 110 and carried 10 guns.
1842 - US Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones sailed into Monterey, the Mexican capital of California, on the mistaken belief that the US and Mexico had gone to war.
1848 - Captain Douglas Ottinger, USRM, was designated by the Secretary of the Treasury to supervise the construction of the first Life-Saving Stations and the equipment and boats to be place at them.
1859 - U.S. Marines reach Harper's Ferry, VA and assault the arsenal seized by John Brown and his followers. Colonel Robert E. Lee has Lieutenant JEB Stuart carry a note to Brown demanding his surrender. Brown refuses and closes and bars the doors of the Engine House. Stuart waves his hat up and down as a signal to begin the assault. The Marines attack the doors with sledgehammers, but to no effect. They find a heavy ladder and use that as a battering ram. In two blows, they create a small opening in the right hand door which is split, and they storm into the building. Lieutenant Israel Green, who leads the assault, attacks Brown with the dress sword he brought by mistake from Washington. The sword, which was never meant for combat, bends on Brown’s leather belt. Green grasps the sword by the ruined blade and hits Brown over the head with it, knocking him unconscious. The raid is over.
1862 - Morgan's raiders captured federal garrison at Lexington, Ky. John Morgan and his cavalry surprised Union Major Seidel at Ashland and captured him and his command in broad daylight. After outfitting his command with new horses, colt revolvers and other captured goods, Morgan's men burned the government stables and railroad depot before leaving Lexington.
1867 - The United States took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
1898 - The American flag was raised in Puerto Rico shortly before Spain formally relinquished control of the island.
1939 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt banned foreign war submarines from U.S. ports and waters.
1942 - In reaction to several incidents, Hitler orders that all prisoners taken from Commando or similar units are to be shot immediately whether in uniform or not and whether surrendering or not.
1942 – On New Guinea, American forces sent on a parallel trail to help the Australians cut off Japanese retreats down the Kokoda Trail, finally begin to reach Pongani. The trip has proved to be so difficult that the soldiers are in no condition to fight. In addition, the transport of troops by air from Port Moresby to the northern coast has made the land trip unnecessary.
1942 - Admiral Halsey is appointed chief of the Pacific Command Area, replacing Admiral Ghormley.
1943 - There is a heavy air raid on the Japanese air base at Buin on Bougainville.
1943 – In Italy, elements of the US 5th Army reach Dragoni, while other elements capture Gioia.
1943- General Orders 27, 29th Infantry Division (DC, MD, VA) disbands the 29th Ranger Battalion (Provisional). Organized in December 1942 from volunteers drawn from the 29th Division, its 500-men undertook specialized training conducted by the famous British Commandos. The soldiers learned how to penetrate deep behind enemy lines, staging raids and gathering intelligence. When the battalion was organized it was planned by the Army to disband the unit so its men could return to their former companies and teach these advanced skills to other members of the division. Some veterans of D-Day and the Normandy campaign credit these added skills to saving their lives.
1944 - Lt. General Joseph Stilwell was recalled from China by president Franklin Roosevelt.
1944 - General McClain takes command of the US 1st Army on the western front. He replaces General Corlett.
1944 - The American escort carriers of TG77.4 concentrate air strikes on Leyte while the now 12 fleet carriers, in three groups from TF38, strike Luzon.
1945 - The first German War Crimes Trial began. The International Military Tribunal met at Nuremberg and lasted through to 1946. Ranking Nazi officials were tried and convicted of war crimes, crimes against peace and crimes against humanity. The proceedings were endorsed by the UN. William D. Denson (d.1998 at 85) was the chief prosecutor for the US.
1950 - US forces drove north across the 38th parallel into the Peoples Republic of North Korea.
1968 - In Operation Sea Lords, the Navy's three major operating forces in Vietnam (TF 115, 116, and 117) are brought together for the first time to stop Vietcong infiltration deep into South Vietnam's Mekong Delta.
1987 - President Reagan summoned congressional leaders to the White House to announce he had decided on what action to take in response to an Iranian missile attack on a U.S.-flagged tanker off Kuwait two days earlier. (The next day, U.S. destroyers bombarded an Iranian offshore oil rig.)
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company K, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Haaren, Germany, 18 October 1944. Entered service at: Prescott, Ariz. Birth: Bethel, N.C. G.O. No.: 47, 18 June 1945.
Citation: On 18 October 1944, Company K, 18th Infantry, occupying a position on a hill near Haaren, Germany, was attacked by an enemy infantry battalion supported by tanks. The assault was preceded by an artillery concentration, lasting an hour, which inflicted heavy casualties on the company. While engaged in moving wounded men to cover, Sgt. Thompson observed that the enemy had overrun the positions of the 3d Platoon. He immediately attempted to stem the enemy's advance single-handedly. He manned an abandoned machinegun and fired on the enemy until a direct hit from a hostile tank destroyed the gun. Shaken and dazed, Sgt. Thompson picked up an automatic rifle and although alone against the enemy force which was pouring into the gap in our lines, he fired burst after burst, halting the leading elements of the attack and dispersing those following. Throwing aside his automatic rifle, which had jammed, he took up a rocket gun, fired on a light tank, setting it on fire.
By evening the enemy had been driven from the greater part of the captured position but still held 3 pillboxes. Sgt. Thompson's squad was assigned the task of dislodging the enemy from these emplacements. Darkness having fallen and finding that fire of his squad was ineffective from a distance, Sgt. Thompson crawled forward alone to within 20 yards of 1 of the pillboxes and fired grenades into it. The Germans holding the emplacement concentrated their fire upon him. Though wounded, he held his position fearlessly, continued his grenade fire, and finally forced the enemy to abandon the blockhouse. Sgt. Thompson's courageous leadership inspired his men and materially contributed to the clearing of the enemy from his last remaining hold on this important hill position.
On October 23, 1921, in the French town of Chalons-sur-Marne, an American officer selects the body of the first "Unknown Soldier" to be honored among the approximately 77,000 United States servicemen killed on the Western Front during World War I.
According to the official records of the Army Graves Registration Service deposited in the U.S. National Archives in Washington, four bodies were transported to Chalons from the cemeteries of Aisne-Marne, Somme, Meuse-Argonne and Saint-Mihiel.