1610 – The 1st Dutch settlers arrived from NJ to colonize Manhattan Island.
1639 – The 1st American log cabin at Fort Christina (Wilmington, Delaware).
1776 – The Continental Congress appointed a committee to write a Declaration of Independence.
1805 – Wearied of the blockade and raids, and now under threat of a continued advance on Tripoli proper and a scheme to restore his deposed older brother Hamet Karamanli as ruler, Yusuf Karamanli signed a treaty ending hostilities with the United States. Article 2 of the Treaty reads: The Bashaw of Tripoli shall deliver up to the American Squadron now off Tripoli, all the Americans in his possession; and all the Subjects of the Bashaw of Tripoli now in the power of the United States of America shall be delivered up to him; and as the number of Americans in possession of the Bashaw of Tripoli amounts to Three Hundred Persons, more or less; and the number of Tripolino Subjects in the power of the Americans to about, One Hundred more or less; The Bashaw of Tripoli shall receive from the United States of America, the sum of Sixty Thousand Dollars, as a payment for the difference between the Prisoners herein mentioned.
1848 – The 1st telegraph link between NYC & Chicago was established.
1854 – U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, MD, holds first formal graduation exercises. Previous classes graduated without ceremony.
1861 – The Virginia village of Big Bethel became the site of the 1st major land battle of the Civil War. Private Henry L. Wyatt was the 1st Confederate soldier killed in a Civil War battle. 18 Union soldiers were killed.
1861 – Lieutenant John Mercer Brooke, CSN. ordered to design ironclad C.S.S. Virginia (ex-U.S.S. Merrimack).
1862 – Norfolk Navy Yard set afire before being evacuated by Confederate forces in a general withdrawal up the peninsula to defend Richmond. Union troops under Major General Wool crossed Hampton Roads from Fort Monroe, landed at Ocean View, and captured Norfolk.
1862 – Pensacola reoccupied by Union Army and Navy forces. Military installations in the area, including the Navy Yard, Forts Barrancas and McRee, C.S.S. Fulton, and an ironclad building on the Escambia River, were destroyed by the Confederates the preceding day before withdrawing. Commander D. D. Porter reported to Secretary of the Navy Welles: “The rebels had done their work completely. The yard is a ruin. Abandonment of the important Pensacola coastal area had been in preparation by the Confederates for months after Flag Officer Foote’s stunning successes on the upper Mississippi made redeployment of guns and troops necessary. Flag Officer Farragut’s momentous victory at New Orleans precipitated the final evacuation. Colonel Thomas M. Jones, CSA, commanding at Pensacola, reported: “On receiving information that the enemy’s gunboats had succeeded in passing the forts below New Orleans with their powerful batteries and splendid equipments, I came to the conclusion that, with my limited means of defense, reduced, as I have been by the withdrawal of nearly all my heavy guns and ammunition, I could not hold them in check or make even a respectable show of resistance.”
1862 – Confederate River Defense Fleet C.S.S. General Bragg, General Sumter, General Sterling Price, General Earl Van Dorn, General M. Jeff Thompson, General Lovell, General Beauregard, and Little Rebel–made a spirited attack on Union gunboats and mortar flotilla at Plum Point Bend, Tennessee. The Confederate fleet, Captain James E. Montgomery, attacked Mortar Boat No. 16, stationed just above Fort Pillow and engaged in bombarding the works. U.S.S. Cincinnati, Commander Stembel, coming to the mortar boat’s defense, was rammed by Bragg and sank on a bar in eleven feet of water. Van Dorn rammed U.S.S. Mound City, Commander Kilty, forcing her to run aground to avoid sinking. The draft of the Confederate vessels would not permit them to press the attack into the shoal water in which the Union squadron steamed, and, having sustained various but minor injuries, Montgomery withdrew under the guns of Fort Pillow. Cincinnati and Mound City were quickly repaired and returned to service.
1862 – Ironclad steamer U.S.S. New Ironsides launched at Philadelphia.
1863 – Rear Admiral Du Pont ordered U.S.S. Weehawken, Captain J. Rodgers, and U.S.S. Nahant, Commander Downes, to Wassaw Sound, Georgia, where it was reported that the powerful ram C.S.S. Atlanta, Commander Webb, was preparing to attack the wooden blockader U.S.S. Cimarron. A week later Du Pont’s wise foresight would save the day for the Union blockade there.
1863 – Confederate officer prisoners of war being transported to Fort Delaware on board steamer Maple Leaf overpowered the guard, took possession of the steamer, and landed below Cape Henry, Virginia.
1864 – Nathan Bedford Forrest’s legend grows substantially when his Confederate cavalry routs a much larger Union force in Mississippi. When Union General William T. Sherman inched toward Atlanta, Georgia, in the summer of 1864, he left behind a vulnerable supply line through Tennessee. Of utmost concern to Sherman was the Rebel cavalry under the command of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a daring leader who gave Union commanders in the west difficulty throughout the war. Sherman insisted that Forrest be neutralized and ordered a force from Memphis to hunt down Forrest’s command, which at that time was in northern Alabama. On June 1, some 5,000 infantry and 3,000 cavalry troopers under the command of General Samuel D. Sturgis trudged out of Memphis in search of the elusive Forrest. But rain and poor roads slowed them, and a week’s travel found the Yankees only 50 miles from Memphis. Forrest had been preparing for an assault on central Tennessee, but Sturgis’s expedition forced him back to northern Mississippi. The Confederates spread out along a railroad between Tupelo and Corinth and awaited the Union advance. On June 8, Forrest learned that Sturgis was moving on Tupelo. He carefully selected Brice’s Crossroads for its muddy roads and dense woods to mitigate the Union’s numerical advantage and called for his men to attack the leading Yankee cavalry, which would force the trailing infantry to hurry to the battle and fight before recovering from the march. The plan worked to perfection. Around 10 a.m. on June 10, the cavalry forces began fighting, and the Union infantry made a five-mile dash in intense heat and humidity to aid their fellow soldiers. In the afternoon, Forrest orchestrated a series of attacks all along the Union front, which broke the Yankee lines and sent the Federals from the field in disarray with the Confederates in hot pursuit. The chase continued into the next day. Sturgis’s command suffered over 600 killed and wounded and over 1,600 captured—more than a quarter of the entire force. Forrest’s force suffered less than 600 killed and wounded, and the Confederates captured 16 cannons and 176 supply wagons. Forrest was never able to disrupt Sherman’s supply lines. However, the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads stands as his greatest military victory.
1871 – A landing force of 110 U.S. Marines came ashore on Korea’s Kangwha Island, a fortress island guarding the approaches to Seoul. The Korean Punitive Expedition was launched from an American fleet, which anchored in the Han River after the isolationist Korean government rejected U.S. diplomatic demands for an explanation of the fate of an American ship and her crew believed killed by the Koreans. In two days of fighting, the Marines and sailors captured the defensive forts on the Island, leaving 243 Koreans dead. Nevertheless, the expedition failed to open Korea to foreign trade.
1898 – The First Marine Battalion, commanded by LtCol Robert W. Huntington, landed on the eastern side of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The next day, Lt Herbert L. Draper hoisted the American flag on a flag pole at Camp McCalla where it flew during the next eleven days. LtCol Huntington later sent the flag with an accompanying letter to Colonel Commandant Charles Heywood noting that “when bullets were flying, …the sight of the flag upon the midnight sky has thrilled our hearts.”
1905 – Japan and Russia agreed to peace talks brokered by President Theodore Roosevelt.
1915 – Girl Scouts were founded.
1940 – As President Franklin D. Roosevelt prepares to deliver the commencement address at the University of Virginia where his son is graduating with a law degree, Italy declares war on France and Great Britain. Rather than deliver his prepared speech, Roosevelt instead expresses his opposition to Mussolini’s move and calls on America to end its isolationism. This becomes known as the “Stab in the back” speech.
1942 – The carrier USS Wasp and battleship USS North Carolina accompanied by cruisers and destroyers pass through the canal to join the US Pacific Fleet after service in the Atlantic and Mediterranean. There are now four American fleet aircraft carriers in the Pacific theater.
1943 – Operation Husky, Allied landing on Sicily. The landings took place in extremely strong wind conditions, which made the landings difficult but also ensured the element of surprise. Landings were made on the southern and eastern coasts of the island, with the British forces in the East and the Americans towards the West. Four airborne operations were carried out, landing during the night of the 9/10 July, as part of the invasion; two were British and two American. The American troops were the 82nd Airborne division, making their first combat parachute jump. The strong winds blew the dropping aircraft off course and scattered them widely; the result was that around half the US paratroops failed to make it to their rallying points. British glider-landed troops fared little better; only 12 out of 144 gliders landing on target, many landing in the sea. Nevertheless the scattered airborne troops maximised their opportunities, attacking patrols and creating confusion wherever possible. U.S. paratroopers jump into Australia on a military training exercise. …Gliders are un-powered heavier-than-air aircraft. …The sea landings, despite the weather, were carried out against little opposition, the Italian units stationed on the shoreline lacking equipment and transport. The British walked into the port of Syracuse virtually unopposed. Only in the American centre was a substantial counterattack made, in exactly the point where the US Airborne were supposed to have been. On the 11 July Patton ordered his reserve parachute regiments to drop and reinforce the centre. Unfortunately not every unit had been informed of the drop, and the transports, which arrived shortly after an Axis air raid, were fired on by their own side, losing 37 out of 144 planes by friendly fire. Map of central Mediterranean Sea, showing location of Syracuse on the island of Sicily. … The plans for the post-invasion battle had not been worked out in detail. Each Army was expected to advance towards its own objectives; boundaries between the two armies were fixed. In the first two days progress was excellent, capturing Vizzini in the west and Augusta in the east. Categories: Possible copyright violations … However resistance in the British sector then stiffened. Montgomery persuaded Alexander to shift the boundaries so that the British could by-pass the resistance and retain the key role of capturing Messina, while the Americans were given the role of protecting and supporting their flank. Patton sought a greater role for his army, and decided to try to capture the capital, Palermo. After dispatching a ‘reconnaissance’ toward the town of Agrigento which succeeded in capturing it, he persuaded Alexander to allow him to continue to advance. Alexander changed his mind and countermanded his orders, but Patton claimed the countermand was ‘garbled in transmission’, and by the time the position had been clarified Patton was at the gates of Palermo. Messina, Italy Strait of Messina, Italy. … (This article is about Palermo in Sicily. … Agrigento (formerly Girgenti) is the name of a town on the southern coast of Italy, capital of the province of Agrigento. …The fall of Palermo inspired a coup against Mussolini, and he was deposed from power. Although the removal of Italy from the war had been one of the long-term objectives of the Italian campaign, the suddenness of the move caught the Allies by surprise. Benito Mussolini created a fascist state through the use of propaganda, total control of the media and disassembly of the working democratic government. … After Patton’s capture of Palermo, with the British still bogged down south of Messina, Alexander ordered a two-pronged attack on the city. Patton became obsessed with the idea of reaching Messina before the British, writing “This is a horse race in which the prestige of the US Army is at stake.”. The Axis, now effectively under the command of German General Hans Hube, had prepared a strong defensive line, the ‘Etna Line’ around Messina, that would enable him to make a progressive retreat while evacuating large parts of his army to the mainland. Patton began his assault on the line at Troina, but it was a lynchpin of the defense and stubbornly held. Despite three ‘end run’ amphibious landings the Germans managed to keep the bulk of their forces beyond reach of capture, and maintain their evacuation plans. Elements of the US Third Infantry Division entered Messina just hours after the last axis troops boarded ship for Italy. However Patton had won his race to enter Messina first. The casualties on the Axis side totalled 29,000, with 140,000 captured. The capture of Biscari airfield also resulted in an atrocity when American troops killed seventy-three Prisoners of War, supposedly inspired by Patton. The US lost 2,237 killed and 6,544 wounded and captured; the British suffered 2,721 dead, and 10,122 wounded and captured. For many of the American forces this was their first time in combat. However the Axis successfully evacuated over 100,000 men and 10,000 vehicles from Sicily. No plan had been made by the Allies to prevent this. The Biscari massacre was a war crime committed by US American troops during World War II, where unarmed German and Italian prisoners of war were massacred at Biscari in 1943, as ordered by George S. Patton. … The invasion also had an impact on the Eastern front. One of the reasons why the Germans had to cancel their offensive near Kursk was that they decided to send units to Italy after they received news of the invasion. The Eastern Front was the theatre of combat between Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviet Union during World War II. It was somewhat separate from the other theatres of the war, not only geographically, but also for its scale and ferocity. … Battle of Kursk Conflict World War II Date July 4, 1943 – July 22, 1943 Place Kursk, USSR Result Indecisive; generally considered a strategic German loss The Battle of Kursk was a significant battle on the Eastern Front of World War II. It remains the largest armored engagement of all time… Husky was the largest amphibious operation of World War II in terms of men landed on the beaches, and of frontage; it overshadowed even the later Normandy landings. Strategically, the Sicilian operation achieved the goals set out for it by Allied planners. Axis air and naval forces were driven from the island; the Mediterranean sea lanes were opened and Mussolini had been toppled from power. It opened the way to the invasion of Italy, which had not necessarily been seen as a follow-up to Operation Husky. The word amphibious or amphibian, when used alone, has several possible meanings in the English language. … Mushroom cloud from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rising 18 km into the air. … The Battle of Normandy was fought in 1944 between the German forces occupying Western Europe and the invading Allies. …
1943 – The Combined Chiefs of Staff issue the Pointblank Directive to British and American heavy bomber forces in Europe. The document sets out formal instructions for the priorities and aims of the bomber offensive up to D-Day. The instructions reflect American thought more so than British but the guidelines are vague enough that both the US Air Force and British Bomber Command can continue their independent operations.
1944 – The U.S. VII and V corps, advancing from Normandy’s Utah and Omaha beaches, respectively, linked-up and began moving inland. The Utah and Omaha beaches are linked up by an advance of the US 2nd Armored Division (part of 5th Corps). The US 101st Airborne Division continues to be engaged around Carentan.
1944 – In a diversionary action, British aircraft from Illustrious and Atheling raid Japanese positions on Sabang. The intent is to distract Japanese attention from American forces approaching the Mariana Islands.
1945 – On Okinawa, fighting continues on the Oroku Peninsula, where the forces of the US 6th Marine Division have reduced the Japanese pocket to about 2000 square yards. Heavy Japanese losses are recorded in nighttime counterattacks. Meanwhile, on the south of the island, the US 1st Marine Division suffers heavy losses in the successful capture of a hill west of the town of Yuza. The US 24th Corps forces, to the left, launches a major offensive against the last Japanese defensive line, the Yaeju-Dake Line. Japanese resistance is evidently weakening.
1945 – On Luzon, Japanese forces halt the advance of the US 37th Division near Orioung Pass.
1945 – In Frankfurt, Marshal Zhukov confers the Soviet Order of Victory on Field Marshal Montgomery and General Eisenhower. During the evening, in a message broadcast by Hamburg radio, Field Marshal Montgomery says that the German people must be taught that not only have they been defeated, but that they are guilty of beginning the war as they were guilty in 1914. He suggests parents read the message to their children and ensure that they understand it.
1948 – The news that the sound barrier has been broken is finally released to the public by the U.S. Air Force. Chuck Yeager, piloting the rocket airplane X-1, exceeded the speed of sound on October 14, 1947.
1953 – During the siege of Outpost Harry, the 15th Infantry Regiment and the 5th Regimental Combat Team, both of the 3rd Infantry Division, repelled an assault by the Chinese 74th Division. The Chinese suffered an estimated 4,200 casualties.
1953 – The Chinese opened an assault on ROK II Corps near Kumsong. By June 16, ROK II Corps had been pushed to a new main line of resistance.
1953 – U.S. Air Force Captain James Jabara, 4th Fighter-Interceptor Wing bagged his third double MiG kill and qualified as the seventh “double ace” of the war, with a total of 10 kills.
1953 – In a forceful speech, President Dwight D. Eisenhower strikes back at critics of his Cold War foreign policy. He insisted that the United States was committed to the worldwide battle against communism and that he would maintain a strong U.S. defense. Just a few months into his presidency, and with the Korean War still raging, Eisenhower staked out his basic approach to foreign policy with this speech. In the weeks prior to Eisenhower’s talk, Senator Robert Taft and Gen. Hoyt Vandenberg issued challenges to the president’s conduct of foreign policy. Taft argued that if efforts to reach a peace agreement in Korea failed, the United States should withdraw from the United Nations forces and make its own policy for dealing with North Korea. Vandenberg was upset over Eisenhower’s proposal to cut $5 billion from the Air Force budget. Without naming either man, Eisenhower responded to both during a speech at the National Junior Chamber of Commerce meeting in Minneapolis. He began by characterizing the Cold War as a battle “for the soul of man himself.” He rejected Taft’s idea that the United States should pursue a completely independent foreign policy, or what one “might call the ‘fortress’ theory of defense.” Instead, he insisted that all free nations had to stand together: “There is no such thing as partial unity.” To Vandenberg’s criticisms of the new Air Force budget, the president explained that vast numbers of aircraft were not needed in the new atomic age. Just a few planes armed with nuclear weapons could “visit on an enemy as much explosive violence as was hurled against Germany by our entire air effort throughout four years of World War II.” With this speech, Eisenhower thus enunciated two major points of what came to be known at the time as his “New Look” foreign policy. First was his advocacy of multi-nation responses to communist aggression in preference to unilateral action by the United States. Second was the idea that came to be known as the “bigger bang for the buck” defense strategy. This postulated that a cheaper and more efficient defense could be built around the nation’s nuclear arsenal rather than a massive increase in conventional land, air, and sea forces.
1963 – MACV Commander General Paul Harkins is reported to warn US military personnel to avoid duty with Vietnamese military units involved in the suppression of the Buddhists.
1964 – Embarrassed by the disclosure of US participation in air action sin Laos, Souvanna Phouma threatens to resign if the flights don’t stop. The US Ambassador to Los, Leonard Unger, persuades Souvanna to change his mind, and after a temporary suspension, the US State Department announces on the 11th that the reconnaissance flights will continue ‘as necessary’ but that ‘operational aspects would not be discussed.’ This results in describing all US air operations in Laos during the coming years as ‘reconnaissance flights.’
1965 – Amid rising criticism of the new combat role of US forces in Vietnam, Johnson’s Attorney General, Nicholas Katzenbach, writes to assure the president that he has the authority to commit large-scale forces without going back to Congress.
1965 – Some 1,500 Viet Cong start a mortar attack on the district capital of Dong Xoai, about 60 miles northeast of Saigon, and then quickly overrun the town’s military headquarters and an adjoining militia compound. Other Viet Cong forces conducted a raid on a U.S. Special Forces camp about a mile away. U.S. helicopters flew in South Vietnamese reinforcements, but the Viet Cong isolated and cut down the troops. Heavy U.S. air strikes eventually helped to drive off the Viet Cong, but not before the South Vietnamese had suffered between 800 and 900 casualties and the United States had 7 killed, 12 missing and presumed dead, and 15 wounded. The Viet Cong were estimated to have lost 350 in the ground combat and perhaps several hundred more in air attacks.
1968 – At a Saigon news conference on the day he is to turn over command of U.S. forces in Vietnam to Gen. Creighton Abrams, Gen. William Westmoreland offers his assessment of past and current trends in the war. In defense of his attrition policy, Westmoreland declared that it would ultimately make continued fighting “intolerable to the enemy.” He also explained that, because it was impossible to “cut a surface line of communication with other than ground operations,” Washington’s ban on ground attacks to interdict communist infiltration through Laos precluded the achievement of military victory. Westmoreland denied, however, that the military situation was stalemated. Westmoreland’s approach to the war had all but been discredited by the communist Tet Offensive, which was launched in January 30, 1968. In the wake of the widespread Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacks, there was a review of U.S. policy by the Johnson administration. When it was decided to de-escalate the war, halt the bombing of North Vietnam, and go to the negotiating table, Westmoreland was reassigned to become the Army Chief of Staff, a post he held until his retirement from the service in 1972.
1969 – President Nixon says the Midway meeting ahs ‘opened wide the door to peace’ and invites North Vietnam to ‘walk with us through that door.’ Nixon challenges North Vietnam to begin withdrawing forces or to begin serious negotiations, or both.
1970 – A fifteen-man group of special forces troops began training for Operation Kingpin, a POW rescue mission in North Vietnam. The daring rescue raid at the Son Tay prison camp deep within North Vietnam lacked only one essential ingredient–POWs.
1972 – US Phantom jets destroy Langchi hydroelectric power plant, using 2,000-pound, laser-guided bombs. Langchi supplied power to the Hanoi-Haiphong area.
1977 – The Apple II, one of the first personal computers, goes on sale.
1991 – For the second time in three days, the nation witnesses a “Victory Parade” to celebrate the quick defeat and expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait in Operation Desert Storm. Among the marching units is the New York Guard’s 719th Transportation Company, adescendent of the all-black 369th Infantry which gained fame as the “Harlem Hellfighters” in World War I.This parade is the first military “victory” parade held in Manhattan’s “Canyon of Heroes” since the end of World War II. While Gen. Douglas MacArthur was given a ticker-tape parade by the city in 1951 (after being relieved of his command in Korea by President Truman), no victory parade was offered by the city after the end of the Korean or Vietnam wars. So when the plans for the Desert Storm parade were made, special invitations were made to Korean and Vietnam veterans’ organizations to join in the march.
1994 – President Clinton intensified sanctions against Haiti’s military leaders, suspending U.S. commercial air travel and most financial transactions between the two countries.
1995 – US Air Force Captain Scott O’Grady, rescued after being shot down over Bosnia, described his six-day ordeal at a news conference at Aviano Air Base in Italy, saying he was no Rambo and no hero.
1996 – Intel released its 200 Mhz Pentium chip.
1997 – Former Black Panther Geronimo Pratt was released on bail after 27 years behind bars on what he says were trumped-up murder charges. Authorities decided against retrying him.
1999 – The UN Security Council authorized deployment of 50,000 NATO-led peacekeepers for Kosovo.
1999 – NATO suspended its bombing of Kosovo after Yugoslav troops began withdrawing following a 78-day air war. Serb forces begin their withdrawal from Kosovo after signing an agreement with the NATO powers. Rebuilding Kosovo was estimated at $5 billion. Rebuilding all of Yugoslavia was estimated at $20-100 billion.
2002 – US officials announced the breakup of a terrorist plot to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb.” Abdullah Al Mujahir, also known as Jose Padilla, was arrested on May 8 as he flew from Pakistan into Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. Padilla was said to be a US-born al-Qaeda associate scouting targets for the bomb.
2003 – NASA launched a Mars Exploration Rover named Spirit, the 1st of 2.
2003 – In Iraq US forces launched Operation Peninsula Strike aimed at rounding up Hussein loyalists around Thuluya, 45 miles north of Baghdad.
2004 – A G-8 summit at Sea Island Resort near Savannah, Georgia, ended without an agreement on Iraq. The group agreed to extend through 2006 the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative.
2007 – After success in pilot program in Anbar Province, US forces in Iraq begin supplying arms to Sunni groups who have turned against al Qaeda and agree to help fight insurgents. Part of this program is the development of leadership councils, Awakening Councils, to whom these fighters are responsible.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1821, York County, Pennsylvania. Accredited to: Maryland. G.O. No.: 176, 9 July 1872. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Benicia in action against Korean forts on 9 and 10 June 1871. Stationed at the lead in passing the forts, Andrews stood on the gunwale on the Benicia’s launch, lashed to the ridgerope. He remained unflinchingly in this dangerous position and gave his soundings with coolness and accuracy under a heavy fire.
LUKES, WILLIAM F.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1846, Bohemia. Enlisted at: Tientsin, China. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872. Citation: Served with Company D during the capture of the Korean forts, 9 and 10 June 1871. Fighting the enemy inside the fort, Lukes received a severe cut over the head.
MERTON, JAMES F.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Birth: England. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872. Citation: Landsman and member of Company D during the capture of the Korean forts, 9 and 10 June 1871, Merton was severely wounded in the arm while trying to force his way into the fort.
Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 28 February 1880, Stamford, Conn. Accredited to: Connecticut. G.O. No.: 55, 19 July 1901. Citation: In the presence of the enemy during the battles at Peking, China, 13, 20, 21 and 22 June 1900. Throughout this period, Rose distinguished himself by meritorious conduct. While stationed as a crewmember of the U.S.S. Newark, he was part of its landing force that went ashore off Taku, China. on 31 May 1900, he was in a party of 6 under John McCloy (MH) which took ammunition from the Newark to Tientsin. On 10 June 1900, he was one of a party that carried dispatches from LaFa to Yongstsum at night. On the 13th he was one of a few who fought off a large force of the enemy saving the Main baggage train from destruction. On the 20th and 21st he was engaged in heavy fighting against the Imperial Army being always in the first rank. On the 22d he showed gallantry in the capture of the Siku Arsenal. He volunteered to go to the nearby village which was occupied by the enemy to secure medical supplies urgently required. The party brought back the supplies carried by newly taken prisoners.
*DEFRANZO, ARTHUR F.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 1st Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Vaubadon, France, 10 June 1944. Entered service at: Saugus, Mass. Birth: Saugus, Mass. G.O. No.: 1, 4 January 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life, above and beyond the call of duty, on 10 June 1944, near Vaubadon, France. As scouts were advancing across an open field, the enemy suddenly opened fire with several machineguns and hit 1 of the men. S/Sgt. DeFranzo courageously moved out in the open to the aid of the wounded scout and was himself wounded but brought the man to safety. Refusing aid, S/Sgt. DeFranzo reentered the open field and led the advance upon the enemy. There were always at least 2 machineguns bringing unrelenting fire upon him, but S/Sgt. DeFranzo kept going forward, firing into the enemy and 1 by 1 the enemy emplacements became silent. While advancing he was again wounded, but continued on until he was within 100 yards of the enemy position and even as he fell, he kept firing his rifle and waving his men forward. When his company came up behind him, S/Sgt. DeFranzo, despite his many severe wounds, suddenly raised himself and once more moved forward in the lead of his men until he was again hit by enemy fire. In a final gesture of indomitable courage, he threw several grenades at the enemy machinegun position and completely destroyed the gun. In this action, S/Sgt. DeFranzo lost his life, but by bearing the brunt of the enemy fire in leading the attack, he prevented a delay in the assault which would have been of considerable benefit to the foe, and he made possible his company’s advance with a minimum of casualties. The extraordinary heroism and magnificent devotion to duty displayed by S/Sgt. DeFranzo was a great inspiration to all about him, and is in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces.
EHLERS, WALTER D.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 18th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. Place and dare: Near Goville, France, 9-10 June 1944. Entered service at: Manhattan, Kans. Birth: Junction City, Kans. G.O. No.: 91, 19 December 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 9-10 June 1944, near Goville, France. S/Sgt. Ehlers, always acting as the spearhead of the attack, repeatedly led his men against heavily defended enemy strong points exposing himself to deadly hostile fire whenever the situation required heroic and courageous leadership. Without waiting for an order, S/Sgt. Ehlers, far ahead of his men, led his squad against a strongly defended enemy strong point, personally killing 4 of an enemy patrol who attacked him en route. Then crawling forward under withering machinegun fire, he pounced upon the guncrew and put it out of action. Turning his attention to 2 mortars protected by the crossfire of 2 machineguns, S/Sgt. Ehlers led his men through this hail of bullets to kill or put to flight the enemy of the mortar section, killing 3 men himself. After mopping up the mortar positions, he again advanced on a machinegun, his progress effectively covered by his squad. When he was almost on top of the gun he leaped to his feet and, although greatly outnumbered, he knocked out the position single-handed. The next day, having advanced deep into enemy territory, the platoon of which S/Sgt. Ehlers was a member, finding itself in an untenable position as the enemy brought increased mortar, machinegun, and small arms fire to bear on it, was ordered to withdraw. S/Sgt. Ehlers, after his squad had covered the withdrawal of the remainder of the platoon, stood up and by continuous fire at the semicircle of enemy placements, diverted the bulk of the heavy hostile fire on himself, thus permitting the members of his own squad to withdraw. At this point, though wounded himself, he carried his wounded automatic rifleman to safety and then returned fearlessly over the shell-swept field to retrieve the automatic rifle which he was unable to carry previously. After having his wound treated, he refused to be evacuated, and returned to lead his squad. The intrepid leadership, indomitable courage, and fearless aggressiveness displayed by S/Sgt. Ehlers in the face of overwhelming enemy forces serve as an inspiration to others.
McCOOL, RICHARD MILES,
Rank and organization: Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. LSC(L)(3) 122. Place and date: Off Okinawa, 10 and 11 June 1945. Entered service at: Oklahoma. Born: 4 January 1922, Tishomingo, Okla. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of the U.S.S. LSC(L)(3) 122 during operations against enemy Japanese forces in the Ryukyu chain, 10 and 11 June 1945. Sharply vigilant during hostile air raids against Allied ships on radar picket duty off Okinawa on 10 June, Lt. McCool aided materially in evacuating all survivors from a sinking destroyer which had sustained mortal damage under the devastating attacks. When his own craft was attacked simultaneously by 2 of the enemy’s suicide squadron early in the evening of 11 June, he instantly hurled the full power of his gun batteries against the plunging aircraft, shooting down the first and damaging the second before it crashed his station in the conning tower and engulfed the immediate area in a mass of flames. Although suffering from shrapnel wounds and painful burns, he rallied his concussion-shocked crew and initiated vigorous firefighting measures and then proceeded to the rescue of several trapped in a blazing compartment, subsequently carrying 1 man to safety despite the excruciating pain of additional severe burns. Unmindful of all personal danger, he continued his efforts without respite until aid arrived from other ships and he was evacuated. By his staunch leadership, capable direction, and indomitable determination throughout the crisis, Lt. McCool saved the lives of many who otherwise might have perished and contributed materially to the saving of his ship for further combat service. His valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of extreme peril sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service.
*ABRELL, CHARLES G.
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Hangnyong, Korea, 10 June 1951. Entered service at: Terre Haute, Ind. Born: 12 August 1931, Terre Haute, Ind. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a fire team leader in Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. While advancing with his platoon in an attack against well-concealed and heavily fortified enemy hill positions, Cpl. Abrell voluntarily rushed forward through the assaulting squad which was pinned down by a hail of intense and accurate automatic-weapons fire from a hostile bunker situated on commanding ground. Although previously wounded by enemy hand grenade fragments, he proceeded to carry out a bold, single-handed attack against the bunker, exhorting his comrades to follow him. Sustaining 2 additional wounds as he stormed toward the emplacement, he resolutely pulled the pin from a grenade clutched in his hand and hurled himself bodily into the bunker with the live missile still in his grasp. Fatally wounded in the resulting explosion which killed the entire enemy guncrew within the stronghold, Cpl. Abrell, by his valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death, served to inspire all his comrades and contributed directly to the success of his platoon in attaining its objective. His superb courage and heroic initiative sustain and enhance the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*SHIELDS, MARVIN G.
Rank and organization: Construction Mechanic Third Class, U.S. Navy, Seabee Team 1104. Place and date: Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, 10 June 1965. Entered service at: Seattle, Wash. Born: 30 December 1939, Port Townsend, Wash. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Although wounded when the compound of Detachment A342, 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, Shields continued to resupply his fellow Americans who needed ammunition and to return the enemy fire for a period of approximately 3 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 4 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. 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.
WILLIAMS, CHARLES Q.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant (then 2d Lt.), U.S. Army, 5th Special Forces Group. Place and date: Dong Xoai, Republic of Vietnam, 9 to 10 June 1965. Entered service at: Fort Jackson, S.C. Born: 17 September 1933, Charleston, S.C. G.O. No.: 30, 5 July 1966. Citation: 1st Lt. Williams distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while defending the Special Forces Camp against a violent attack by hostile forces that lasted for 14 hours. 1st Lt. Williams was serving as executive officer of a Special Forces Detachment when an estimated Vietcong reinforced regiment struck the camp and threatened to overrun it and the adjacent district headquarters. He awoke personnel, organized them, determined the source of the insurgents’ main effort and led the troops to their defensive positions on the south and west walls. Then, after running to the District Headquarters to establish communications, he found that there was no radio operational with which to communicate with his commanding officer in another compound. To reach the other compound, he traveled through darkness but was halted in this effort by a combination of shrapnel in his right leg and the increase of the Vietcong gunfire. Ignoring his wound, he returned to the district headquarters and directed the defense against the first assault. As the insurgents attempted to scale the walls and as some of the Vietnamese defenders began to retreat, he dashed through a barrage of gunfire, succeeded in rallying these defenders, and led them back to their positions. Although wounded in the thigh and left leg during this gallant action, he returned to his position and, upon being told that communications were reestablished and that his commanding officer was seriously wounded, 1st Lt. Williams took charge of actions in both compounds. Then, in an attempt to reach the communications bunker, he sustained wounds in the stomach and right arm from grenade fragments. As the defensive positions on the walls had been held for hours and casualties were mounting, he ordered the consolidation of the American personnel from both compounds to establish a defense in the district building. After radio contact was made with a friendly air controller, he disregarded his wounds and directed the defense from the District building, using descending flares as reference points to adjust air strikes. By his courage, he inspired his team to hold out against the insurgent force that was closing in on them and throwing grenades into the windows of the building. As daylight arrived and the Vietcong continued to besiege the stronghold, firing a machinegun directly south of the district building, he was determined to eliminate this menace that threatened the lives of his men. Taking a 3.5 rocket launcher and a volunteer to load it, he worked his way across open terrain, reached the berm south of the district headquarters, and took aim at the Vietcong machinegun 150 meters away. Although the sight was faulty, he succeeded in hitting the machinegun. While he and the loader were trying to return to the district headquarters, they were both wounded. With a fourth wound, this time in the right arm and leg, and realizing he was unable to carry his wounded comrade back to the district building, 1st Lt. Williams pulled him to a covered position and then made his way back to the district building where he sought the help of others who went out and evacuated the injured soldier. Although seriously wounded and tired, he continued to direct the air strikes closer to the defensive position. As morning turned to afternoon and the Vietcong pressed their effort with direct recoilless rifle fire into the building, he ordered the evacuation of the seriously wounded to the safety of the communications bunker. When informed that helicopters would attempt to land as the hostile gunfire had abated, he led his team from the building to the artillery position, making certain of the timely evacuation of the wounded from the communications area, and then on to the pickup point. Despite resurgent Vietcong gunfire, he directed the rapid evacuation of all personnel. Throughout the long battle, he was undaunted by the vicious Vietcong assault and inspired the defenders in decimating the determined insurgents. 1st Lt. Williams’ extraordinary heroism, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.