16 November: Today in U.S. military history

1778: In a letter to Frenchman Jacques Donatien Le Ray de Chaumont, an intermediary between King Louis XVI and American emissaries seeking support for the American Revolution (including ships), Continental Navy Capt. John Paul Jones writes, “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm’s way.”

Readers will recall Jones’ dramatic refusal-to-surrender — “I have not yet begun to fight!” — the following year during the famous battle of the North Sea between the Continental Navy frigate Bonhomme Richard and the British frigate HMS Serapis.

1927: (Featured image) Although originally designed as a battlecruiser, the United States Navy commissions its second-ever aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga (CV-3). One of just three carriers to survive the entire war (along with Ranger and Enterprise), “Sister Sara” earned eight battle stars during World War II. Following her service during World War II, the flattop is sunk during atomic weapons testing.

1944: Over 4,000 Allied warplanes hammer Nazi Germany with one of the heaviest bombardments of World War II prior to an advance by the 1st and 9th U.S. Armies.

2004: Nine days after launching Operation Phantom Fury – the Second Battle of Fallujah (Iraq) – U.S. Marines and soldiers (as well as a few British and Iraqi troops) begin the mopping-up phase of what has since been described as the most intense urban combat since the bloody battle for the Vietnamese city of Hué in 1968.

It is during the battle for Fallujah, that a radio transmission is intercepted by U.S. forces in which a panicking al-Qaeda insurgent is heard exclaiming to his chief: “We are fighting, but the Marines keep coming! We are shooting, but the Marines won’t stop!”

Today’s post is in honor of Col. Edward Eddy, Jr., who served with “E” Company of the 47th New York “Washington Grays” Volunteer Infantry Regiment during the Civil War. He is listed as captured in March 1863 and promoted to major eight months later. He mustered out in 1864, shortly after the Battle of Chaffin’s Farm in Henrico County, Va.. Col. Eddy passed away on 24 March 1890 and is buried at the Mexico City National Cemetery in Mexico City, Mexico.

Author: Chris Carter

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