27 August: Today in U.S. military history

Today’s post is in honor of Army PFC Tan Q. Ngo, who was killed on this day in 2008 when his mounted patrol was hit with enemy small-arms and rocket-propelled grenade fire in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Ngo (20, of Beaverton, Ore.) was serving with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment out of Hohenfels, Germany.

1776: Five days after 15,000 British soldiers land on Long Island, Gen. William Howe’s forces attack the Patriots garrisoned at Brooklyn Heights. Gen. George Washington’s troops are flanked by the Redcoats during the first major battle of the Revolutionary War and suffer some 2,000 casualties before retreating to their redoubt at Brooklyn.

Rather than press the attack and smash the rebellion, Howe ordered his troops to prepare for a siege. However, in two days, the entire 10,000-man army slips through the Royal Navy stationed along the East River and evacuates (with their arms and supplies) to Manhattan. Washington is the last man to leave. While New York City falls into enemy hands, the patriots have survived to fight another day.

1918:  (Featured image) U.S. and Mexican Army soldiers, along with militia and armed civilians, clash along the border between Nogales, Ariz. and Nogales, Mexico. A handful of U.S. soldiers are killed and over 100 Mexicans, but the battle is over when the Americans seize the high ground overlooking the two Nogales on the Mexican side.

Following the battle, a chain-link fence is installed, splitting the two towns and becoming the first permanent border fence between the United States and Mexico.

1945: B-29 bombers begin airdropping supplies to U.S. prisoners of war held in China.

1972: While U.S. aircraft execute the heaviest day of bombing in four years, leveling scores of barracks and targeting North Vietnamese rail lines to China, a four-ship formation enters Haiphong harbor at night and shells military targets. While the heavy cruiser USS Newport News, the guided-missile cruiser USS Providence, and the destroyers USS Robison and USS Rowan head back to sea, they spot four Soviet-built patrol boats in pursuit.

USS Newport News (CA-148) underway in 1957.

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.

Author: Chris Carter

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