July 18

18 July

1775 – Continental Congress resolves that each colony provide armed vessels.
1779 – Commodore Abraham Whipple’s squadron captures 11 prizes in largest prize value of Revolutionary War.
1779 – Continental Marines attacked British forces in Maine.
1792 – American naval hero John Paul Jones died in Paris at age 45. His body was preserved in rum in case the American government wished him back. In 1905 his body was transported to the US and placed in a crypt in Annapolis.
1813 – U.S. Frigate President captures British Daphne, Eliza Swan, Alert and Lion.
1818 – The Revenue Cutter Active captured the pirate vessel India Libre in the Chesapeake Bay.
1861 – Union and Confederate troops skirmished at Blackburn’s Ford, Virginia, in a prelude to the Battle of Bull Run.
1863Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and 272 of his troops are killed in an assault on Fort Wagner, near Charleston, South Carolina. Shaw was commander of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, perhaps the most famous regiment of African-American troops during the war. Fort Wagner stood on Morris Island, guarding the approach to Charleston harbor. It was a massive earthwork, 600 feet wide and made from sand piled 30 feet high. The only approach to the fort was across a narrow stretch of beach bounded by the Atlantic on one side and a swampy marshland on the other. Union General Quincy Gillmore headed an operation in July 1863 to take the island and seal the approach to Charleston. Shaw and his 54th Massachusetts were chosen to lead the attack of July 18. Shaw was the scion of an abolitionist family and a veteran of the 1862 Shenandoah Valley and Antietam campaigns. The regiment included two sons of abolitionist Frederick Douglass and the grandson of author and poet Sojourner Truth. Union artillery battered Fort Wagner all day on July 18, but the barrage did little damage to the fort and its garrison. At 7:45 p.m., the attack commenced. Yankee troops had to march 1,200 yards down the beach to the stronghold, facing a hail of bullets from the Confederates. Shaw’s troops and other Union regiments penetrated the walls at two points but did not have sufficient numbers to take the fort. Over 1,500 Union troops fell or were captured to the Confederates’ 222. Despite the failure, the battle proved that African-American forces could not only hold their own but also excel in battle.
1863 – William Dorsey Pender (29), US Confederate Major General, died of injuries.
1864 – President Lincoln asked for 500,000 volunteers for military service.
1866 – Congress authorized Coast Guard officers to search vehicles and persons suspected of concealing contraband.
1877 – Inventor Thomas Edison recorded the human voice for the first time.
1914 – The U.S. Congress forms the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps, giving official status to aircraft within the U.S. Army for the first time.
1918Various French British and US forces launch a counterattack against the German forces in the salient they hold between Soissons and Reims in Champagne. The fighting becomes known as the Second Battle of the Marne. The attack id led by three French armies, the Tenth under General Charles Mangin, the Sixth under General Jean Degoutte, and General Henri Berthelot’s Fifth. Support is offered by the French Ninth Army under General M.A.H. de Mitry. The main attack involves the French Tenth Army and its spearheaded by the US 1st and 2nd Divisions, which take 8,000 prisoners and 145 artillery pieces for the loss of 5,000 casualties. Elsewhere, General Hunter Liggett’s US I Corps fights alongside the French Sixth Army, which advances into the salient from the west along the Ourcq River. Three further US divisions for General Bullard’s III Corps are attached to the French Ninth Army which is driving into the salient from the south close to Chateau-Thierry. the German defenders begin to collapse under these converging attacks and Ludendorff has to contemplate an urgent withdrawal.
1920 – Naval aircraft sink ex-German cruiser Frankfurt in target practice.
1921 – John Glenn, Jr., first man to orbit the Earth, was born in Cambridge, OH.
1928 – Clarence Samuels assumed command of Coast Guard Patrol Boat AB-15 on 18 July 1928, thereby becoming the second African-American to command a Coast Guard vessel, the first being Michael Healy.
1936The Spanish Civil War begins as a revolt by right-wing Spanish military officers in Spanish Morocco and spreads to mainland Spain. From the Canary Islands, General Francisco Franco broadcasts a message calling for all army officers to join the uprising and overthrow Spain’s leftist Republican government. Within three days, the rebels captured Morocco, much of northern Spain, and several key cities in the south. The Republicans succeeded in putting down the uprising in other areas, including Madrid, Spain’s capital. The Republicans and the Nationalists, as the rebels were called, then proceeded to secure their respective territories by executing thousands of suspected political opponents. Meanwhile, Franco flew to Morocco and prepared to bring the Army of Africa over to the mainland. In 1931, Spanish King Alfonso XIII authorized elections to decide the government of Spain, and voters overwhelmingly chose to abolish the monarchy in favor of a liberal republic. Alfonso went into exile, and the Second Republic, initially dominated by middle-class liberals and moderate socialists, was proclaimed. During the first two years of the Republic, organized labor and leftist radicals forced widespread liberal reforms, and the independence-minded region of Catalonia and the Basque provinces achieved virtual autonomy. The landed aristocracy, the church, and a large military clique opposed the Republic, and in November 1933 conservative forces regained control of the government in elections. In response, socialists launched a revolution in the mining districts of Asturias, and Catalan nationalists rebelled in Barcelona. General Franco crushed the so-called October Revolution on behalf of the conservative government, and in 1935 he was appointed army chief of staff. In February 1936, new elections brought the Popular Front, a leftist coalition, to power, and Franco, a strict monarchist, was sent to an obscure command in the Canary Islands off Africa. Fearing that the liberal government would give way to Marxist revolution, army officers conspired to seize power. After a period of hesitation, Franco agreed to join the military conspiracy, which was scheduled to begin in Morocco at 5 a.m. on July 18 and then in Spain 24 hours later. The difference in time was to allow the Army of Africa time to secure Morocco before being transported to Spain’s Andalusian coast by the navy. On the afternoon of July 17, the plan for the next morning was discovered in the Moroccan town of Melilla, and the rebels were forced into premature action. Melilla, Ceuta, and Tetuýn were soon in the hands of the Nationalists, who were aided by conservative Moroccan troops that also opposed the leftist government in Madrid. The Republican government learned of the revolt soon after it broke out but took few actions to prevent its spread to the mainland. On July 18, Spanish garrisons rose up in revolt all across Spain. Workers and peasants fought the uprising, but in many cities the Republican government denied them weapons, and the Nationalists soon gained control. In conservative regions, such as Old Castile and Navarre, the Nationalists seized control with little bloodshed, but in other regions, such as the fiercely independent city of Bilbao, they didn’t dare leave their garrisons. The Nationalist revolt in the Spanish navy largely failed, and warships run by committees of sailors were instrumental in securing a number of coastal cities for the Republic. Nevertheless, Franco managed to ferry his Army of Africa over from Morocco, and during the next few months Nationalist forces rapidly overran much of the Republican-controlled areas in central and northern Spain. Madrid was put under siege in November. During 1937, Franco unified the Nationalist forces under the command of the Falange, Spain’s fascist party, while the Republicans fell under the sway of the communists. Germany and Italy aided Franco with an abundance of planes, tanks, and arms, while the Soviet Union aided the Republican side. In addition, thousands of communists and other radicals from France, the USSR, America, and elsewhere formed the International Brigades to aid the Republican cause. The most significant contribution of these foreign units was the successful defense of Madrid until the end of the war. In June 1938, the Nationalists drove to the Mediterranean Sea and cut Republican territory in two. Later in the year, Franco mounted a major offensive against Catalonia. In January 1939, its capital, Barcelona, was captured, and soon after, the rest of Catalonia fell. With the Republican cause all but lost, its leaders attempted to negotiate a peace, but Franco refused. On March 28, 1939, the Republicans finally surrendered Madrid, bringing the Spanish Civil War to an end. Up to a million lives were lost in the conflict, the most devastating in Spanish history. Franco subsequently served as dictator of Spain until his death in 1975.
1939 – Edwin H. Armstrong (1890-1954), US radio engineer and US Army MAJ, started the 1st FM (frequency modulation) radio station in Alpine, NJ.
1941Prince Konoye reforms his Cabinet with Baron Hiranuma as deputy prime minister and Admiral Toyoda as foreign minister. Already personally unpopular, Matsuoka is removed because he has been urging that the Neutrality Agreement with the Soviets should be abandoned and that Japan should join with Germany in the attack on the USSR. The other Japanese leaders do not wish to take such a decisive step, and have decided that without Matsuoka and his known liking for Hitler they have a better chance of reaching an agreement with the US over the pressing problem of oil resources.
1942The German Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe, the first jet-propelled aircraft to fly in combat, made its first flight. Walter Nowotny was a rising your star in the Luftwaffe, chosen by Hitler to be the point man to lead the new jet fighter under the tutelage of General of Fighters Adolf Galland who was assigned to prove the airplane in battle. The Axis hopes were dashed when Nowotny was attacked by American pilots during landing and crashed. Col. Edward R. “Buddy” Haydon was one of those American pilots.
1943An aircraft carrying the Commander of the Japanese Combined Fleet, Admiral Yamamoto, is shot down by P-38 Lighting fighters over Bougainville. Yamamoto is killed. This action is the result the interception of a coded Japanese message announcing a visit by Yamamoto. The Japanese fail to deduce that their codes are insecure.
1943 – German submarine shoots down K-47, the first and only U.S. airship lost during WW II.
1944Two Guard divisions, the 29th (DC, MD, VA) and the 35th (KS, MO, NE) both claim credit for the final capture of the vital crossroads city of St. Lo from the Nazis. According to the D-Day plan, St. Lo was supposed to be secured ten days after D-Day. But due to stubborn German resistance using each Norman hedgerow as a defensive fighting position, it took 42 days to take the city. During the 35th Division’s approach, Nebraska Guardsman First Lieutenant Francis Greenlief, of Company L, 134th Infantry (NE), was awarded the Silver Star for capturing an enemy machine gun nest single-handedly. In 1971 Major General Greenlief was appointed by President Richard Nixon as the Chief, National Guard Bureau. Another Guard soldier was to gain fame on the approach to St. Lo, but in a different way. Virginian Major Thomas Howie, the popular commander of the 2nd Battalion, 116th Infantry (VA), told his officers in a meeting on the edge of the city “I’ll see you in St. Lo!” and then was killed by a mortar fragment. When the division commander heard the story he instructed that Howie’s body be transported with the lead elements when they moved into the city. His body was placed on a stretcher and draped with an American flag and placed on the ruins of the Ste. Croix Church in the center of the city. A passing New York Times reporter heard the story and wrote a moving tribute entitled “The Major of St. Lo” but could not identify Howie by name due to security. The story was picked up by newspapers across the nation and the “Major” came to represent all the men killed in the Normandy campaign to liberate France. To honor these men today, Nebraska has the “Major General Francis Greenlief Training Site” in Hastings and the “Major Thomas Howie Memorial Armory” is in his hometown of Staunton, VA.
1944Tojo resigns his posts as prime minister and Chief of Staff of the Army. General Kuniaki Koiso and Admiral Yonai are chosen to form a new cabinet. General Umezu becomes the new Chief of Staff of the Army. These changes reflect the growing strength of Japanese statesmen seeking an end to the war.
1944 – The US 4th Corps attacks Leghorn on the west coast while other elements of US 5th Army reach the Arno River at Pontedera.
1945The Potsdam Conference continues. Churchill, Truman and Stalin confer on politics and strategy, in a town near Berlin. The leaders met for their second plenary session in the Cecilienhof, an 18th century palace. President Truman informed Prime Minister Churchill that the atomic bomb test had been successful in a cryptic note, “Babies satisfactorily born.” American interest in Soviet participation in the war against Japan has been noticeably lessened.
1945 – Captured German mines explode accidentally, destroying an American Red Cross club in Italy and killing 36 people.
1945 – Aircraft from the American carrier Wasp attack Japanese positions on Wake Island.
1945 – The battleship Nagato, which has been reduced to service as a floating antiaircraft battery, is damaged by American planes at Yokosuka. Allied air and naval forces strike numerous other targets in the Tokyo area and encounter almost no opposition.
1945 – Some 200 B-24 and B-25 bombers of the US Far East Air Force, based in Okinawa, bomb Kiangwan airfield near Shanghai.
1945In testimony before the House Military Affairs subcommittee, the subcommittee’s chief counsel, H. Ralph Burton, charges that 16 officers and non-commissioned officers in the U.S. Army have pasts that “reflect communism.” The charges, issued nearly 10 years before Senator Joseph McCarthy would make similar accusations, were hotly denied by the U.S. Army and government. By July 1945, with the war in Europe having ended just two months before, Cold War animosities between the United States and the Soviet Union were already beginning to arise. The two nations, allies against Hitler during World War II, were dividing over issues such as the postwar fate of Germany and the Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe. One aspect of the growing tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States involved charges that communist agents were at work in various sectors of American society, such as Hollywood and the federal government. In July 1945, House Military Affairs subcommittee chief counsel H. Ralph Burton testified that his investigations revealed at least 16 officers and non-commissioned officers in the U.S. Army had communist backgrounds. As evidence, Burton cited the fact that some of the men had contributed writings to radical journals such as New Masses. In addition, some of the men had served in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, a volunteer fighting force that battled against the fascist forces of Franco in Spain during that nation’s civil war in the 1930s. The U.S. Army quickly fired back, declaring that its own investigation revealed that none of the men named by Burton “was disaffected or disloyal.” Whatever activities prior to their military service the men might have engaged in, “the real criterion always remains: Is the individual at the present time whole-heartedly loyal to the United States?” In the celebration that accompanied the U.S. victory over Japan less than three weeks after Burton’s testimony, the charges against the U.S. Army were forgotten. Burton’s charges are of interest, however, coming nearly 10 years prior to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s similar accusations against the U.S. Army in 1954. In the latter case, McCarthy was completely disgraced during his hearings into communism in the Army. The 1945 accusations indicate that McCarthy was not the creator of the so-called Red Scare that swept the nation after World War II. Indeed, even before World War II came to an end, charges of communist infiltration of the U.S. government and military were being issued.
1947 – President Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act, which placed the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore next in the line of succession after the vice president.
1947 – President Harry S. Truman delegates responsibility for the civil administration of former Japanese mandated islands to the Secretary of the Navy.
1950The U.S. 1st Cavalry and 25th Infantry Divisions reached Korea from Japan. The British Royal Air Force 88 Flying Boat Squadron joined the U.N. forces on the peninsula. The 1st Cavalry Division’s unopposed landing at Pohang was the first planned amphibious operation of the war.
1950 – In the third such move in as many weeks, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended the Army authorized strength to be increased to 834,000. President Truman approved this request the following day.
1955 – 1st electric power generated from atomic energy was sold commercially.
1966 – Launch of Gemini 10 with LCDR John W. Young, USN as Command Pilot. Mission involved 43 orbits at an altitude of 412.2 nautical miles and lasted 2 days, 22 hours, and 46 minutes. Recovery was by HS-3 helicopter from USS Guadalcanal (LPH-7).
1968 – Intel is founded in Mountain View, California.
1971 – New Zealand and Australia announced they would pull their troops out of Vietnam.
1973 – Task Force 78, Mine Countermeasures Force, departs waters of North Vietnam after completing their minesweeping operations of 1,992 tow hours for the cost of $20,394,000.
1977 – Vietnam became a member of UN.
1980 – A US Federal court voided the Selective Service Act as it didn’t include women.
1987 – President Reagan used his weekly radio address to call on Congress to give more aid to the Nicaraguan Contras.
1990In a memorandum to the Arab League, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz accuses Kuwait of “attempting to weaken Iraq,” encroaching on Iraqi territory, draining oil from the Rumaila field which straddles the two countries’ border, and – along with the UAE – colluding to “flood the oil market” leading to the collapse of oil prices. The memorandum calls Kuwait’s actions “tantamount to military aggression.” Kuwait denies the charges.
1991 – An Iraqi ballistic missile concealment is revealed. UNSCOM discovers and destroys undeclared decoy missiles and launch support equipment.
1998 – The United Nations formally approves an Iraqi aid distribution plan, a major step forward in the direction of allowing Iraq to sell oil under Security Council Resolution 986.
2000 – Chinese Pres. Jiang Zemin and Russia’s Pres. Putin denounced the US proposed missile defense program as a violation of the 1972 ABM treaty. They also vowed to strengthen a strategic partnership between their countries.
2002 – Accused Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui tried to plead guilty to charges that could have brought the death penalty, but a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., insisted he take time to think about it.
2002 – US Army Sec. Thomas White defended his sale of $12 million in Enron stock before the company went bust. Records showed that he had made 77 phone calls to Enron in the 10 months ending Feb 2002.
2003 – Eight Afghan soldiers were killed when their vehicle was blown apart by a remote controlled mine.
2004 – Militants killed Essam al-Dijaili, the head of Iraq’s military’s supply department, in a drive-by shooting as he walked into his house in Baghdad.
2004 – American jets hit a position in Fallujah used by foreign militants, demolishing a house and killing 14 insurgents.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

CARNEY, WILLIAM H.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company C, 54th Massachusetts Colored Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Wagner, S.C., 18 July 1863. Entered service at: New Bedford, Mass. Birth: Norfolk, Va. Date of issue: 23 May 1900. Citation: When the color sergeant was shot down, this soldier grasped the flag, led the way to the parapet, and planted the colors thereon. When the troops fell back he brought off the flag, under a fierce fire in which he was twice severely wounded.

CROSS, JAMES E.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company K, 12th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Blackburns Ford, Va., 18 July 1861. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Darien, N.Y. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: With a companion, refused to retreat when the part of the regiment to which he was attached was driven back in disorder, but remained upon the skirmish line for some time thereafter, firing upon the enemy.

HIBSON, JOSEPH C.
Rank and organization: Private, Company C, 48th New York Infantry. Place and date: Near Fort Wagner, S.C., 13 July 1863, Near Fort Wagner, S.C., 14 July 1863; Near Fort Wagner, S.C., 18 July 1863. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: England. Date of issue: 23 October 1897. Citation: While voluntarily performing picket duty under fire on 13 July 1863, was attacked and his surrender demanded, but he killed his assailant. The day following responded to a call for a volunteer to reconnoiter the enemy’s position, and went within the enemy’s lines under fire and was exposed to great danger. On 18 July voluntarily exposed himself with great gallantry during an assault, and received 3 wounds that permanently disabled him for active service.

RAND, CHARLES F.
Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 12th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Blackburns Ford, Va., 18 July 1861. Entered service at: Batavia, N.Y. Birth: Batavia, N.Y. Date of issue: 23 October 1897. Citation: Remained in action when a part of his regiment broke in disorder, joined another company, and fought with it through the remainder of the engagement.

CUKELA, LOUIS (Army Medal)
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 66th Company, 5th Regiment. Place and date: Near Villers-Cotterets, France, 18 July 1918. Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minn. Born: 1 May 1888, Sebenes, Austria. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919. (Also received Navy Medal of Honor.) Citation: When his company, advancing through a wood, met with strong resistance from an enemy strong point, Sgt. Cukela crawled out from the flank and made his way toward the German lines in the face of heavy fire, disregarding the warnings of his comrades. He succeeded in getting behind the enemy position and rushed a machinegun emplacement, killing or driving off the crew with his bayonet. With German handgrenades he then bombed out the remaining portion of the strong point, capturing 4 men and 2 damaged machineguns.

CUKELA, LOUIS (Navy Medal)
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 66th Company, 5th Regiment. Born: 1 May 1888, Sebenes, Austria. Accredited to: Minnesota. (Also received Army Medal of Honor.) Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment, during action in the Forest de Retz, near Viller-Cottertes, France, 18 July 1918. Sgt. Cukela advanced alone against an enemy strong point that was holding up his line. Disregarding the warnings of his comrades, he crawled out from the flank in the face of heavy fire and worked his way to the rear of the enemy position. Rushing a machinegun emplacement, he killed or drove off the crew with his bayonet, bombed out the remaining part of the strong point with German handgrenades and captured 2 machineguns and 4 men.

*DILBOY, GEORGE
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 103d Infantry, 26th Division. Place and date: Near Belleau, France, 18 July 1918. Entered service at: Keene, N.H. Birth: Greece. G.O. No.: 13, W.D., 1919. Citation: After his platoon had gained its objective along a railroad embankment, Pfc. Dilboy, accompanying his platoon leader to reconnoiter the ground beyond, was suddenly fired upon by an enemy machinegun from 100 yards. From a standing position on the railroad track, fully exposed to view, he opened fire at once, but failing to silence the gun, rushed forward with his bayonet fixed, through a wheat field toward the gun emplacement, falling within 25 yards of the gun with his right leg nearly severed above the knee and with several bullet holes in his body. With undaunted courage he continued to fire into the emplacement from a prone position, killing 2 of the enemy and dispersing the rest of the crew.

EDWARDS, DANIEL R.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 3d Machine Gun Battalion, 1st Division. Place and date: Near Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. Entered service at: Bruceville, Tex. Born: 9 April 1897, Moorville, Tex. G.O. No.: 14, W.D., 1923. Citation: Reporting for duty from hospital where he had been for several weeks under treatment for numerous and serious wounds and although suffering intense pain from a shattered arm, he crawled alone into an enemy trench for the purpose of capturing or killing enemy soldiers known to be concealed therein. He killed 4 of the men and took the remaining 4 men prisoners; while conducting them to the rear one of the enemy was killed by a high explosive enemy shell which also completely shattered 1 of Pfc. Edwards’ legs, causing him to be immediately evacuated to the hospital. The bravery of Pfc. Edwards, now a tradition in his battalion because of his previous gallant acts, again caused the morale of his comrades to be raised to high pitch.

*KOCAK, MATEJ (Army Medal)
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, 66th Company, 5th Regiment, 2d Division. Place and date: Near Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 31 December 1882, Gbely (Slovakia), Austria. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919. (Also received Navy Medal of Honor.) Citation: When the advance of his battalion was checked by a hidden machinegun nest, he went forward alone, unprotected by covering fire from his own men, and worked in between the German positions in the face of fire from enemy covering detachments. Locating the machinegun nest, he rushed it and with his bayonet drove off the crew. Shortly after this he organized 25 French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in attacking another machinegun nest, which was also put out of action.

*KOCAK, MATEJ (Navy Medal)
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 31 December 1882, Gbely (Slovakia), Austria. Accredited to: New York. ( Also received Army Medal of Honor. ) Citation: For extraordinary heroism while serving with the 66th Company, 5th Regiment, 2d Division, in action in the Viller-Cottertes section, south of Soissons, France, 18 July 1918. When a hidden machinegun nest halted the advance of his battalion, Sgt. Kocak went forward alone unprotected by covering fire and worked his way in between the German positions in the face of heavy enemy fire. Rushing the enemy position with his bayonet, he drove off the crew. Later the same day, Sgt. Kocak organized French colonial soldiers who had become separated from their company and led them in an attack on another machinegun nest which was also put out of action.

*EVANS, RODNEY J.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Tay Ninh Province, Republic of Vietnam, 18 July 1969. Entered service at: Montgomery, Ala. Born: 17 July 1948, Chelsea, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Evans distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism while serving as a squad leader in a reconnaissance sweep through heavy vegetation to reconnoiter a strong enemy position. As the force approached a well-defined trail, the platoon scout warned that the trail was booby-trapped. Sgt. Evans led his squad on a route parallel to the trail. The force had started to move forward when a nearby squad was hit by the blast of a concealed mine. Looking to his right Sgt. Evans saw a second enemy device. With complete disregard for his safety he shouted a warning to his men, dived to the ground and crawled toward the mine. Just as he reached it an enemy soldier detonated the explosive and Sgt. Evans absorbed the full impact with his body. His gallant and selfless action saved his comrades from probable death or injury and served as an inspiration to his entire unit. Sgt. Evans’ gallantry in action at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.

McGINTY, JOHN J. III
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant (then S/Sgt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company K, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 18 July 1966. Entered service at: Laurel Bay, S.C. Born: 2 1 January 1940, Boston, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. 2d Lt. McGinty’s platoon, which was providing rear security to protect the withdrawal of the battalion from a position which had been under attack for 3 days, came under heavy small arms, automatic weapons and mortar fire from an estimated enemy regiment. With each successive human wave which assaulted his 32-man platoon during the 4-hour battle, 2d Lt. McGinty rallied his men to beat off the enemy. In 1 bitter assault, 2 of the squads became separated from the remainder of the platoon. With complete disregard for his safety, 2d Lt. McGinty charged through intense automatic weapons and mortar fire to their position. Finding 20 men wounded and the medical corpsman killed, he quickly reloaded ammunition magazines and weapons for the wounded men and directed their fire upon the enemy. Although he was painfully wounded as he moved to care for the disabled men, he continued to shout encouragement to his troops and to direct their fire so effectively that the attacking hordes were beaten off. When the enemy tried to out-flank his position, he killed 5 of them at point-blank range with his pistol. When they again seemed on the verge of overrunning the small force, he skillfully adjusted artillery and air strikes within 50 yards of his position. This destructive firepower routed the enemy, who left an estimated 500 bodies on the battlefield. 2d Lt. McGinty’s personal heroism, indomitable leadership, selfless devotion to duty, and bold fighting spirit inspired his men to resist the repeated attacks by a fanatical enemy, reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service.

MODRZEJEWSKI, ROBERT J.
Rank and organization: Major (then Capt.), U.S. Marine Corps, Company K, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Marine Division, FMF. place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 15 to 18 July 1966. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 3 July 1934, Milwaukee, Wis. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 15 July, during Operation HASTINGS, Company K was landed in an enemy-infested jungle area to establish a blocking position at a major enemy trail network. Shortly after landing, the company encountered a reinforced enemy platoon in a well-organized, defensive position. Maj. Modrzejewski led his men in the successful seizure of the enemy redoubt, which contained large quantities of ammunition and supplies. That evening, a numerically superior enemy force counterattacked in an effort to retake the vital supply area, thus setting the pattern of activity for the next 2 1/2 days. In the first series of attacks, the enemy assaulted repeatedly in overwhelming numbers but each time was repulsed by the gallant marines. The second night, the enemy struck in battalion strength, and Maj. Modrzejewski was wounded in this intensive action which was fought at close quarters. Although exposed to enemy fire, and despite his painful wounds, he crawled 200 meters to provide critically needed ammunition to an exposed element of his command and was constantly present wherever the fighting was heaviest, despite numerous casualties, a dwindling supply of ammunition and the knowledge that they were surrounded, he skillfully directed artillery fire to within a few meter* of his position and courageously inspired the efforts of his company in repelling the aggressive enemy attack. On 18 July, Company K was attacked by a regimental-size enemy force. Although his unit was vastly outnumbered and weakened by the previous fighting, Maj. Modrzejewski reorganized his men and calmly moved among them to encourage and direct their efforts to heroic limits as they fought to overcome the vicious enemy onslaught. Again he called in air and artillery strikes at close range with devastating effect on the enemy, which together with the bold and determined fighting of the men of Company K, repulsed the fanatical attack of the larger North Vietnamese force. His unparalleled personal heroism and indomitable leadership inspired his men to a significant victory over the enemy force and reflected great credit upon himself, the Marine Corps, and the U.S. Naval Service.

3 thoughts on “July 18

  1. Mike says:

    Admiral Yamamoto was shot down on April 18, 1943, not July 18. Great site, lots of useful information.

  2. Ray h says:

    1955 – Soviet Union agrees to grant Hanoi economic aid.

    Following a visit from Ho Chi Minh and his ministers, the Soviet Union announces that it will grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about $100 million) in economic aid.

    On July 7, China had announced that Beijing would extend Hanoi economic aid of 800 million yuan (about $200 million).

    The July grants from China and the Soviet Union enabled Hanoi to initiate an ambitious industrialization program. In less than 10 years, the North was producing items not yet made in the South. Continued aid from Hanoi’s fellow communist nations would sustain North Vietnam in its war against the South Vietnamese and their American allies until 1975, when they defeated the South Vietnamese forces and reunified the country.

    1972 – Jane Fonda visits Hanoi

    During a visit to Hanoi, actress Jane Fonda broadcasts anti-war messages via Hanoi Radio.

  3. Also on this day:

    1955 – Soviet Union agrees to grant Hanoi economic aid.

    Following a visit from Ho Chi Minh and his ministers, the Soviet Union announces that it will grant Hanoi 400 million rubles (about $100 million) in economic aid.

    On July 7, China had announced that Beijing would extend Hanoi economic aid of 800 million yuan (about $200 million).

    The July grants from China and the Soviet Union enabled Hanoi to initiate an ambitious industrialization program. In less than 10 years, the North was producing items not yet made in the South. Continued aid from Hanoi’s fellow communist nations would sustain North Vietnam in its war against the South Vietnamese and their American allies until 1975, when they defeated the South Vietnamese forces and reunified the country

    1972 – Jane Fonda visits Hanoi

    During a visit to Hanoi, actress Jane Fonda broadcasts anti-war messages via Hanoi Radio.

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