26 August: Today in U.S. military history

Cpl. Humlhanz

Today’s post is in honor of Marine Cpl. Barton R. Humlhanz, who was killed by enemy action in Iraq’s Babil province on this day 15 years ago. Humlhanz, 23, of Hellertown, Pa. was assigned to Marine Expeditionary Unit Service Support Group 24, 24th MEU out of Camp Lejeune, N.C.


1950: The 5th Regimental Combat Team (RCT) replaces the 34th Infantry Regiment which was utterly decimated by a series of delaying actions against the North Korean Army. Since only 184 soldiers remained out of the regiment’s original strength of 1,898, surviving 34th Infantry soldiers are used to fill holes in other units and the regiment is reconstituted in Japan.

One of those 5th RCT soldiers is Master Sgt. Melvin O. Handrich, who fought in the Aleutian Islands Campaign before becoming a paratrooper and fighting across Europe. When a force of enemy soldiers attempts to overrun Handrich’s company, he leaves the relative safety of his position behind and moves forward, where he will spend the next eight hours directing mortar and artillery fire on the enemy.

When the hostile force makes another attempt to overrrun the American position, Handrich observes friendly soldiers attempting to withdraw. He crosses the fire-swept ground to rally them, and returns to his forward post. Refusing medical care or even to seek cover, the North Koreans eventually cut down Handrich. But when U.S. soldiers retake the ground, they count 70 dead enemy surrounding Handrich’s body.

1957: Following the launch of the Soviet Union’s R-7 Semyorka missile, state-run news agency TASS announces that the USSR has successfully tested a multi-stage intercontinental ballistic missile that could target “any place in the world.”

1993: (Featured image) The hunt for Mohammad Farrah Aidid is on: the 75th Ranger Regiment’s 3rd Battalion and operators from Special Forces Operational Detatchment-Delta deploy to Somalia to capture the warlord.

Author: Chris Carter

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