Sept. 1 in U.S. Military History

Lockheed’s SR-71 “Blackbird”

1925: As Cmdr. John Rodgers attempts a long-distance flight from California to Hawaii, his PN-9 flying boat runs out of fuel several hundred miles short of the goal. Rogers’ four-man crew turns the airplane into a sailboat, and despite not having any food and very limited water, sails the remaining 450 miles to the island of Kauai. Although the plane did not reach its intended target, Rogers’ flight still sets a record for flying a seaplane 1,992 miles non-stop.

1939: Three waves of Luftwaffe Ju 87 B “Stuka” dive bombers cross Germany’s border with Poland at 4:40 a.m., destroying most of the defenseless town of Wieluń. The sneak attack is the first combat action of Germany’s invasion, which was preceded by a series of false flag operations intended to bolster support for a military campaign against its neighbor – launching what will become the deadliest conflict in human history.

That same day, Gen. George Marshall, aide-de-camp to Gen. John J. Pershing during World War I, is promoted to Chief of Staff. Marshall will oversee the greatest military buildup in American military history, labelled by Winston Churchill as the “organizer of victory.”

1942: 357 men and five officers of the 6th Naval Construction Battalion arrives in Guadalcanal, the first combat deployment of the legendary “Seabees.”

1974: A SR-71 “Blackbird” flown by Air Force Maj. James V. Sullivan streaks from New York to London in 1 hour and 55 minutes, setting a record that still stands today. Despite having to slow down to take on fuel from a specially modified KC-135 tanker, the reconnaissance plane still averages a blistering Mach 2.27.

2005: Soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 82nd Airborne Division, together with Iraqi soldiers launch an operation to clear Al Qaeda fighters from the city of Tal Afar. Col. H.R. McMaster’s force kills nearly 200 insurgents and capture hundreds more in the 17-day operation.

Posted on September 1, 2017 at 13:01 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Military History · Tagged with: , ,

This Week in US Military History

From W. Thomas Smith, Jr.’s series at Human Events:

Mar. 2, 1943: Elements of the U.S. Army Air Forces and Royal Australian Air Force intercept and all-but-destroy an entire Japanese troop-transport convoy in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Several enemy ships, scores of enemy aircraft, and thousands of enemy soldiers will be sent to the bottom. Gen. Douglas MacArthur will remark that Bismarck Sea “cannot fail to go down in history as one of the most complete and annihilating combats of all time.” Japanese Navy Capt. Tameichi Hara will refer to the battle as “shocking” and “unbelievable.”

Mar. 3, 1776:  A force of 250 Continental Marines and sailors under the command of Marine Capt. (future major) Samuel Nicholas land on New Providence in the British-held Bahamas and quickly seize Fort Montague in the first amphibious operation in American military history. The landing – largely unopposed (the British garrison spiking their own guns and fleeing) – nets for the Americans much-needed powder, shot, nearly 50 serviceable cannon, and a few mortars.

An avid foxhunter and the highest-ranking leatherneck in the American Revolution, Nicholas will lead Marines alongside Army forces in the future battles of (second) Trenton and Princeton. He is considered to be the first commandant of the Marine Corps.

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Military Milestones from the Boston Massacre to a Green Beret Ballad

By W. Thomas Smith, Jr.

Originally published at Human Events

This Week in American Military History:

Mar. 2, 1943: Elements of the U.S. Army Air Forces and Royal Australian Air Force intercept and all-but-destroy an entire Japanese troop-transport convoy in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea. Several enemy ships, scores of enemy aircraft, and thousands of enemy soldiers will be sent to the bottom. Gen. Douglas MacArthur will remark that Bismarck Sea “cannot fail to go down in history as one of the most complete and annihilating combats of all time.” Japanese Navy Capt. Tameichi Hara will refer to the battle as “shocking” and “unbelievable.”

Mar. 3, 1776: A force of 250 Continental Marines and sailors under the command of Marine Capt. (future major) Samuel Nicholas land on New Providence in the British-held Bahamas and quickly seize Fort Montague in the first amphibious operation in American military history. The landing — largely unopposed (the British garrison spiking their own guns and fleeing) — nets for the Americans much-needed powder, shot, nearly 50 serviceable cannon, and a few mortars.

(more…)

Marvin G. Shields Medal of Honor Citation

Navy MOH CitationThe President of the United States in the name of The Congress takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously to

CONSTRUCTION MECHANIC THIRD CLASS

MARVIN GLEN SHIELDS

NAVY

for service as set forth in the following

CITATION:

For The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pride in presenting the Medal of Honor (Posthumously) to Construction Mechanic Third Class Marvin Glen Shields (NSN: 3904693), United States Navy, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Seabee Team 1104, Mobile Construction Battalion Eleven, near Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, on 10 June 1965. Although wounded when the compound of Detachment A-342, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces, came under intense fire from an estimated reinforced Viet Cong regiment employing machineguns, heavy weapons and small arms, Construction Mechanic Third Class Shields continued to resupply his fellow Americans who needed ammunition and to return the enemy fire for a period of approximately three hours, at which time the Viet Cong launched a massive attack at close range with flame-throwers, hand grenades and small-arms fire. Wounded a second time during this attack, Shields nevertheless assisted in carrying a more critically wounded man to safety, and then resumed firing at the enemy for four more hours. When the commander asked for a volunteer to accompany him in an attempt to knock out an enemy machinegun emplacement which was endangering the lives of all personnel in the compound because of the accuracy of its fire, Shields unhesitatingly volunteered for this extremely hazardous mission. Proceeding toward their objective with a 3.5-inch rocket launcher, they succeeded in destroying the enemy machinegun emplacement, thus undoubtedly saving the lives of many of their fellow servicemen in the compound. Construction Mechanic Third Class Shields was mortally wounded by hostile fire while returning to his defensive position. His heroic initiative and great personal valor in the face of intense enemy fire sustain and enhance the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.


Born 30 Dec 1939, Port Townsend, Wash…. Only member of the Navy Seabees to be awarded the Medal of Honor.

Posted on June 10, 2000 at 00:13 by Chris Carter · Permalink · 5 Comments
In: Men of Valor · Tagged with: , , ,