1941: As Japanese warplanes continue to hammer Allied bases across Asia and the Pacific, President Franklin D. Roosevelt famously declares Dec. 7 as “a date which will live in infamy,” asking Congress to declare war on Japan – which they will do in a matter of hours. The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and numerous other governments also declare war on Japan.
Eyeing the destruction from USS Enterprise (CV-6) as he enters Pearl Harbor, Vice Adm. William “Bull” Halsey says, “Before we’re through with ’em, the Japanese language will be spoken only in hell.”
Japanese forces surround the river patrol gunboat USS Wake at anchor in Shanghai Harbor. The crew attempt to scuttle the vessel, but are forced to surrender their ship — the only U.S. warship to do so during World War II. Also at Shanghai, Col. William W. Ashurst’s China Marines (along with a few sailors) are captured, held as prisoners until the end of the war.
Meanwhile, the Japanese invasion fleet departs Kwajalein Atoll, bound for Wake Island. In the Philippines, Japanese forces land at Batan Island, as enemy airstrikes take out roughly half of the American warplanes on Luzon Island to the south.
Adolf Hitler declares war on the United States, ordering his naval forces to begin attacking U.S. shipping. Although the Chinese have been fighting Japan for years, China formally declares war — against both Japan and Germany — on this date. Continue reading “8 December: Today in U.S. military history”
Today’s post is in honor of Spc. Dale J. Kridlo, who was one of two U.S. soldiers killed by small-arms fire on an observation post in Afghanistan’s Kunar province. Kridlo, 33, of Hughestown, Pa., was assigned to the 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps.
1811: At the confluence of the Wabash and Tippecanoe Rivers, William Henry Harrison’s 1,000-man force of militia and regular infantry soldiers clash with American Indian warriors led by Tenskwatawa (known as “The Prophet”). Although outnumbered by the Americans, the Indians charge multiple times into Harrison’s lines, inflicting serious casualties on the defenders. The Prophet’s force withdraws once the sun rises and Tecumseh’s confederacy abandons the area. Harrison – destined to become a brigadier general during the War of 1812 and ultimately president of the United States – will forever be known as “the hero of Tippecanoe.”
1861 (featured image): A Naval force under Flag Officer Samuel F. DuPont boldly steams into Port Royal Sound (S.C.) as Union gunners pour heavy fire into Confederate-held Forts Walker and Beauregard. Marines and sailors land and occupy the forts, giving the Union a crucial supply base for their Naval blockade.
Today’s post is in honor of Lance Cpl. Kenneth A. Corzine, who on this day in 2010 died of wounds sustained in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province. The 23-year-old from Bethalto, Ill. was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.
1814: Delegates from the United States and Great Britain sign the Treaty of Ghent in modern-day Belgium, bringing an end to the War of 1812. News travels slowly, however, and two weeks after the signing, Maj. Gen. (and future president) Andrew Jackson defeats a British invasion force in the Battle New Orleans.
1943: 670 B-17s and B-24s from the Eighth Air Force conduct a bombing raid at German long-range rocket sites at Pas de Calais, France.
1944: After a week of foul weather that had kept American warplanes grounded during the Battle of the Bulge finally breaks, the Eighth Air Force takes advantage of the break in the clouds and restore their air supremacy. Nearly 3,000 heavy bombers and fighters take off from England for the largest strike mission of the war to provide troops on the ground the support they need to break the Germans.Continue reading “Dec. 24: Today in U.S. military history”
Today’s post is in honor of Capt. James D. Nehl, who was killed by enemy small-arms fire on this day in 2012 during a patrol in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province. Nehl was a company commander in 2d Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division and had served as an enlisted soldier in the 75th Ranger Regiment before earning his commission.
1822: During an anti-piracy cruise in the Caribbean, the brig USS Alligator – the third of four so-named U.S. warships – intercepts a flotilla of American ships captured by pirates near Cuba. Lt. William H. Allen, Alligator‘s commanding officer, is mortally wounded when he and his sailors board the heavily-armed schooner Revenge, but his crew retakes all but one of the eight ships.
1906: Theodore Roosevelt boards the battleship USS Louisiana (BB-19) and heads south to inspect construction on the Panama Canal – marking the first foreign trip by a sitting U.S. president.
1942: U.S. troops advance on Oran, capturing 2,000 French soldiers after some hard fighting. Off the coast, Allied warships sink three French destroyers. Meanwhile to the east, German paratroopers land in Tunisia. And to the west, Maj. Gen. George Patton’s soldiers fight to secure the beachhead at Casablanca.
An Army CH-47F Chinook, assigned to Task Force Brawler, releases flares while conducting a training exercise with a Guardian Angel team – consisting of combat rescue officers, Pararescuemen, Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) specialists, and other support personnel – assigned to the U.S. Air Force 83rd Expeditionary Rescue Squadron Afghanistan, March 26, 2018. (USAF photo)