Today’s post is in honor of Maj. Jeffrey R. Calero, who died of wounds sustained during a dismounted patrol in Kajaki, Afghanistan on this day in 2007. Calero, 34, was born in Puerto Rico and raised in Queens Village, N.Y.. He was a member of Company C’s Operational Detachment Alpha 2132, 1st Battalion, 20th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and was serving on his second Afghan deployment.
1814: The wooden floating battery Demologos, the United States’ first steam-powered warship, is launched at New York City.
1942: Decimated by combat losses, malnutrition, and tropical diseases, the first soldiers of the Japanese garrison begin departing Guadalcanal.
1944: Three 442d Regimental Combat Team soldiers earn the Medal of Honor near Biffontaine, France on this day. Technician 5th Grade James K. Okubo, Pvt. Barney F. Hajiro, and Pvt. George T. Sakato (click the links to read their citations).
The all-Nisei (second-generation Japanese-American citizens) 442d RCT holds the distinction of being the most decorated unit in United States Armed Forces history.
1998: (Featured image) 36 years after becoming the first American to orbit the earth, John Glenn (Col, USMC ret.) blasts off aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, becoming the oldest man in space at 77 years old. Glenn was the third member of Congress to fly in space. He was preceded by Senator Jake Garn, a former U.S. Navy and Utah Air National Guard aviator, and Congressman (future senator) Bill Nelson, who was an officer in the Army Reserve.