1742 – Nathanael Greene, American Revolutionary War General, was born.
1760 – Ft. Loudon, Tennessee, surrendered to Cherokee Indians.
1782 – At his headquarters in Newburgh, New York, General George Washington, the commander in chief of the Continental Army, creates the “Badge for Military Merit,” a decoration consisting of a purple, heart-shaped piece of silk, edged with a narrow binding of silver, with the word Merit stitched across the face in silver. The badge was to be presented to soldiers for “any singularly meritorious action” and permitted its wearer to pass guards and sentinels without challenge. The honoree’s name and regiment were also to be inscribed in a “Book of Merit.” Washington’s “Purple Heart” was awarded to only three known soldiers during the Revolutionary War: Elijah Churchill, William Brown, and Daniel Bissell, Jr. The “Book of Merit” was lost, and the decoration was largely forgotten until 1927, when General Charles P. Summerall, the U.S. Army chief of staff, sent an unsuccessful draft bill to Congress to “revive the Badge of Military Merit.” In 1931, Summerall’s successor, General Douglas MacArthur, took up the cause, hoping to reinstate the medal in time for the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth. On February 22, 1932, Washington’s 200th birthday, the U.S. War Department announced the creation of the “Order of the Purple Heart.” In addition to aspects of Washington’s original design, the new Purple Heart also displays a bust of Washington and his coat of arms. The Order of the Purple Heart, the oldest American military decoration for military merit, is awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces who have been killed or wounded in action against an enemy. It is also awarded to soldiers who have suffered maltreatment as prisoners of war.
1789 – The U.S. War Department was established by Congress. The United States Department of War, also called the War Department (and occasionally War Office in the early years), was the United States Cabinet department originally responsible for the operation and maintenance of the United States Army. The War Department also bore responsibility for naval affairs until the establishment of the Navy Department in 1798 and for most land-based air forces until the creation of the Department of the Air Force in 1947. The Secretary of War headed the war department throughout its existence. The War Department existed until September 18, 1947, when it split into Department of the Army and Department of the Air Force and joined the Department of the Navy as part of the new joint National Military Establishment (NME), renamed the United States Department of Defense in 1949. The Secretary of War, a civilian with such responsibilities as finance and purchases and a minor role in directing military affairs, headed the War Department.
1791 – The Battle of Kenapacomaqua, also called the Battle of Old Town, was a raid by United States forces under the command of Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier General) James Wilkinson on the Miami (Wea) town of Kenapacomaqua on the Eel River approximately six miles upstream from present-day Logansport, Indiana. Under the overall command of Brigadier General Charles Scott, Wilkinson led a force of more than 500 Kentucky militia. They attacked Kenapacomaqua. Two Kentuckians and nine Miami died in the encounter. By Wilkinson’s own account, the Miami dead included only six warriors. Two of the dead were women. One was a child. Thirty-four Miami prisoners were taken and one U.S. captive was released.
1794 – In the summer of 1794, irate farmers in the Monoghaela Valley of Pennsylvania rose up against the federal tax on liquor and stills. During the so-called Whiskey Rebellion, the farmers extracted their revenge by torching tax collector’s homes, as well as “tarring and feathering revenue officers.” The government moved quickly to quell the rebellion: President Washington called in 12,900 Federal troops from to surrounding states to forcefully usher the farmers back to their homes.
1833 – Powell Clayton, Brig. General (Union volunteers), (Gov-R-Ark), was born in Pa.
1836 – Confederate General Evander Law is born in Darlington, South Carolina. Law had a distinguished career in the Confederate army and earned a reputation as a brave and effective field commander. Law, who attended the Citadel and studied law after his graduation, built a prewar career as a military instructor. After teaching briefly at the Citadel, Law instructed at King’s Mountain Military Academy in South Carolina. He then moved to Tuskeegee, Alabama, to open a new military school. When the war broke out, Law became a lieutenant colonel in the Fourth Alabama Infantry. Law’s unit saw immediate action at the First Battle of Bull Run in July 1861. He was wounded, but was promoted to colonel shortly afterward, and fought at the Seven Days’ Battles, Second Bull Run, and Antietam. His leadership at Antietam earned him a promotion to brigadier general in October 1862. He was also cited for bravery at Fredericksburg, where he led his troops on foot after his horse was shot out from under him. Although he advanced quickly in the army, he also feuded with his corps commander, James Longstreet. Law served in General John Bell Hood’s division, and led the attack on Little Round Top at Gettysburg. He assumed command of the division when Hood was seriously wounded. Law and his troops, along with the rest of Longstreet’s corps, were sent to assist fighting in the west. At Chickamauga, he took over after Hood was again wounded in battle. He then returned to Virginia, and fought in the campaign of 1864 before suffering a serious wound himself at the Battle of Cold Harbor. He spent most of 1864 recovering, and at the end of the war was in General Joseph Johnston’s army, which surrendered to General William T. Sherman in North Carolina. After the war, Law returned to his career as a military instructor, primarily at a school he founded in Bartow, Florida. He was the last surviving Confederate general before his death in 1920.
1861 – Two floating torpedoes (mines) in the Potomac River were picked up by U. S. S. Resolute, Acting Master W. Budd- the earliest known use of torpedoes by the Confederates. During the course of the war a variety of ingenious torpedoes destroyed or damaged some 40 Union ships, forecasting the vast growth to come in this aspect of underwater naval warfare.
1862 – President Lincoln, with Secretaries Seward and Stanton, visited Captain Dahlgren at the Washington Navy Yard for a two hour demonstration of the “Rafael” repeating cannon. Later Dahlgren took the party on board a steamer to cool off and rest.
1864 – Union troops captured part of Confederate General Jubal Early’s army at Moorefield, West Virginia.
1864 – Colonel Charles D. Anderson, CSA, commanding Fort Gaines at Mobile Bay, proposed the surrender of his command to Rear Admiral Farragut. U.S.S. Chickasaw, Lieutenant Commander Perkins, had bombarded the fort the day before, and Anderson wrote: “Feeling my inability to maintain my present position longer than you may see fit to open upon me with your fleet, and feeling also the uselessness of entailing upon ourselves further destruction of life, I have the honor to propose the surrender of Fort Gaines, its garrison, stores, etc.” Before 10 a.m., 8 August, the Stars and Stripes were flying over the works.
1927 – Horace Alderman, a rumrunner, murdered two Coast Guardsmen and a Secret Service agent after his vessel was stopped by patrol boat CG-249 off the coast of Florida. Alderman was eventually subdued by the remaining crew of CG-249 and arrested. He was later tried, convicted, and hung at the Coast Guard station at Bahia Mar, Florida.
1936 – The United States declared non-intervention in the Spanish Civil War.
1941 – The Senate passes an extension of the draft period from one year to thirty months (and a similar increase for service in the National Guard) after considerable debate.
1942 – An American task force bombards the Japanese-held island of Kiska.
1942 – The U.S. 1st Marine Division begins Operation Watchtower, the first U.S. offensive of the war, by landing on Guadalcanal, one of the Solomon Islands. On July 6, 1942, the Japanese landed on Guadalcanal Island and began constructing an airfield there. Operation Watchtower was the codename for the U.S. plan to invade Guadalcanal and the surrounding islands. During the attack, American troops landed on five islands within the Solomon chain. Although the invasion came as a complete surprise to the Japanese (bad weather had grounded their scouting aircraft), the landings on Florida, Tulagi, Gavutu, and Tananbogo met much initial opposition from the Japanese defenders. But the Americans who landed on Guadalcanal met little resistance-at least at first. More than 11,000 Marines had landed, and 24 hours had passed, before the Japanese manning the garrison there knew of the attack. The U.S. forces quickly took their main objective, the airfield, and the outnumbered Japanese troops retreated, but not for long. Reinforcements were brought in, and fierce hand-to-hand jungle fighting ensued. “I have never heard or read of this kind of fighting,” wrote one American major general on the scene. “These people refuse to surrender.” The Americans were at a particular disadvantage, being assaulted from both the sea and air. But the U.S. Navy was able to reinforce its troops to a greater extent, and by February 1943, the Japanese had retreated on secret orders of their emperor (so secret, the Americans did not even know it had taken place until they began happening upon abandoned positions, empty boats, and discarded supplies). In total, the Japanese had lost more than 25,000 men, compared with a loss of 1,600 by the Americans. Each side lost 24 warships. The first Medal of Honor given to a Marine was awarded to Sgt. John Basilone for his fighting during Operation Watchtower. According to the recommendation for his medal, he “contributed materially to the defeat and virtually the annihilation of a Japanese regiment.”
1942 – Landings at Tulagi and Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands commenced. This first Allied invasion in the Pacific proved to be a critical battle. Coast Guard manned transports, including the USS Hunter Liggett, participated in the invasion. Many of the landing craft were crewed by Coast Guardsmen. A Coast Guard officer, LCDR Dwight H. Dexter, and 25 Coast Guardsmen went ashore from the Liggett with their landing craft to set up a naval operating base on Lunga Point. Signalman 1/c Douglas Munro, later killed at Guadalcanal, was a member of Dexter’s command. The Liggett rescued 686 survivors of the Navy cruisers USS Vincennes, Astoria, and Quincy and the Australian cruiser HMAS Canberra that had been sunk in the Battle of Savo Island on the night of 9 August 1942.
1944 – German forces begin a significant counterattack from east of Mortain, opposite US 1st Army (between US 7th and 14th Corps). Elements of German 2nd and 116th Panzer Divisions spearhead the offensive. Mortain is recaptured. Heavy Allied air attacks prevent more significant advances by the German forces. Meanwhile, in Brittany, the US 8th Corps (part of US 1st Army) attacks the German garrisoned ports of Brest, St. Malo and Lorient.
1944 – On Guam there is heavy fighting along the entire front as US forces attack Japanese positions.
1944 – The IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (ASCC), began computations for the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships in May and was officially presented to the university. It was called Mark I by Harvard University’s staff, and was a general purpose electro-mechanical computer that was used in the war effort during the last part of World War II. One of the first programs to run on the Mark I was initiated on 29 March 1944 by John von Neumann, who worked on the Manhattan project at the time, and needed to determine whether implosion was a viable choice to detonate the atomic bomb that would be used a year later. The Mark I also computed and printed mathematical tables, which was Charles Babbage’s initial goal for his analytical engine. The Mark I was officially retired, after 15 years of service, in 1959.
1945 – The first flight of the Nakajima Kikka (Orange Blossom) jet bomber takes place. The plane is based on the German Me262.
1945 – More than 200 B-29 Superfortress bombers raid Yahata, Tokyo and Kukuyama.
1945 – On Luzon, officers from the headquarters of the US 1st Army meet in readiness for the coming invasion of Japan.
1945 – The secret of radio direction finding (RDF), now called radar, is made public.
1950 – Lieutenant General Walton Walker launched Task Force Kean against the North Korean 6th Division to seize the Chinju Pass and establish a new line along the Nam River. Three regiments, the Army’s 35th Infantry and 5th Regimental Combat Team and the 5th Marines, attacked abreast against a estimated 7,500 enemy troops. Unknown to the Eight Army planners was the presence of the North Korean 83rd Motorized Regiment of the 105th Armored Division supporting the 6th Division with T-34 tanks.
1953 – SSgt Barbara Barnwell was the first woman Marine awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal for heroism. She was from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania and a member of the Marine Reserve, saved a soldier from drowning in 1952.
1959 – From the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida, the U.S. unmanned spacecraft Explorer 6 is launched into an orbit around the earth. The spacecraft, commonly known as the “Paddlewheel” satellite, featured a photocell scanner that transmitted a crude picture of the earth’s surface and cloud cover from a distance of 17,000 miles. The photo, received in Hawaii, took nearly 40 minutes to transmit. Released by NASA in September, the first photograph ever taken of the earth by a U.S. satellite depicted a crescent shape of part of the planet in sunlight. It was Mexico, captured by Explorer 6 as it raced westward over the earth at speeds in excess of 20,000 miles an hour.
1961 – Soviet premier Khrushchev predicted that the USSR economy would surpass that of the US.
1964 – The United States Congress overwhelming approves the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Lyndon B. Johnson nearly unlimited powers to oppose “communist aggression” in Southeast Asia. The resolution marked the beginning of an expanded military role for the United States in the Cold War battlefields of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. By 1964, America’s ally, South Vietnam, was in serious danger of falling to a communist insurgency. The insurgents, aided by communist North Vietnam, controlled large areas of South Vietnam, and no amount of U.S. military aid and training seemed able to save the southern regime. During the presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, hundreds-and then thousands-of U.S. military advisers had been sent to South Vietnam to train that nation’s military forces. In addition, hundreds of millions of dollars in military and economic assistance had been given to South Vietnam. The administration of President Lyndon B. Johnson made the decision that only direct U.S. military intervention in the conflict could turn the tide. However, Johnson was campaigning in the presidential election of 1964 as the “responsible” candidate who would not send American troops to fight and die in Asia. In early August, a series of events occurred that allowed Johnson to appear statesmanlike while simultaneously expanding the U.S. role in Vietnam. On August 2, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked an American destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin. Johnson responded by sending in another destroyer. On August 4, the two destroyers reported that they were under attack. This time, Johnson authorized retaliatory air attacks against North Vietnam. He also asked Congress to pass the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. This resolution declared, “The United States regards as vital to its national interest and to world peace the maintenance of international peace and security in Southeast Asia.” It also gave Johnson the right to “take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression.” The House passed the resolution by a unanimous vote; the vote in the Senate was 88 to 2. Johnson’s popularity soared in response to his “restrained” handling of the crisis. The Johnson administration went on to use the resolution as a pretext to begin heavy bombing of North Vietnam in early 1965 and to introduce U.S. combat troops in March 1965. Thus began a nearly eight-year war in which over 58,000 U.S. troops died. In a wider sense, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution can be considered America’s Cold War policy toward all of Southeast Asia at the time. The resolution was also another example of the American government’s less than candid discussion of “national security” matters during the Cold War. Unspoken during the Congressional debate over the resolution was the fact that the commanders of the U.S. destroyers could not state with absolute accuracy that their ships had actually been attacked on the night of August 4, nor was any mention made of the fact that the U.S. destroyers had been assisting South Vietnamese commandos in their attacks on North Vietnamese military installations. By the late 1960s, the tangle of government deceptions and lies began to unravel as public confidence in both Johnson and the American military effort in Vietnam began to erode.
1966 – The United States lost seven planes over North Vietnam, the most in the war up to this point.
1970 – At a hearing for the “Soledad Brothers,” Jonathon P. Jackson (17), the younger brother of George L. Jackson, attempted an armed rescue attempt at the Marin Civic Center. A shootout in the parking lot followed and 4 people were killed and 5 injured. Among the dead were Jackson, Judge Harold Haley, Black Panther James McClain, and convict William A. Christmas. Angela Davis was charged with murder, kidnapping and conspiracy, but was acquitted in 1972 after spending a year in jail. An attempt by black militant James David McClain to escape his trial in Marin County, California, ended in a shootout with police that claimed the lives of McClain, two of three cohorts, and Judge Harold J. Daley, one of several hostages.
1976 – Scientists in Pasadena, Calif., announced that the Viking 1 spacecraft had found the strongest indications to date of possible life on Mars.
1990 – President Bush ordered U.S. troops and warplanes to Saudi Arabia to guard the oil-rich desert kingdom against a possible invasion by Iraq. The US Persian Gulf War began. Operation Desert Shield ended Feb 28, 1991. It cost $8.1 billion and left 383 US casualties with 458 wounded.
1991 – The five permanent members of the UN Security Council agreed to authorize Iraq to sell as much as $1.6 billion in oil over six months to pay for food, humanitarian supplies and war reparations; however, Baghdad rejected the resolution.
1993 – US convoy is attacked and 5 Somalis are killed in an hour-long battle near village of Afgoy. US helicopters assist.
1996 – NASA researchers formally presented their case for the existence of life long ago on Mars.
1997 – The space shuttle Discovery was launched with a crew of six. A satellite was dropped off to study the Earth’s ozone layer.
1997 – The US State Dept. expressed concern over reports of Chinese nuclear-capable M-11 missiles sold to Pakistan.
1998 – At 10:30 a.m. local time, a massive truck bomb explodes outside the U.S. embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. Minutes later, another truck bomb detonated outside the U.S. embassy in Dar es Salaam, the capital of neighboring Tanzania. The dual terrorist attacks killed 224 people, including 12 Americans, and wounded more than 4,500. The United States accused Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, a proponent of international terrorism against America, of masterminding the bombings. On August 20, President Bill Clinton ordered cruise missiles launched against bin Laden’s terrorist training camps in Afghanistan and against a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, where bin Laden allegedly made or distributed chemical weapons. Osama bin Laden was born in 1957 into one of Saudi Arabia’s wealthiest and most prominent families. His father, an immigrant from South Yemen, had built a small construction business into a multibillion-dollar company. When his father died in 1968, bin Laden inherited an estimated $30 million but for the next decade drifted without focus and lived a jet-setting lifestyle. In 1979, however, everything changed when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Like tens of thousands of other Arabs, bin Laden volunteered to aid Afghanistan in repulsing what he saw as the godless communist invaders of the Muslim country. For the first few years of the Afghan War, he traveled around Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf raising money for the anti-Soviet Afghan fighters. In 1982, he traveled to the front lines of the war for the first time, where he donated construction equipment for the war effort. Bin Laden directly participated in a handful of battles, but his primary role in the anti-Soviet jihad was as financier. During the war, he made contact with numerous Islamic militants, many of whom who were as anti-Western as they were anti-Soviet. In 1989, the Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan, and bin Laden returned to Saudi Arabia. He grew increasingly critical of the ruling Saudi family, especially after hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops were welcomed onto Saudi soil during the Persian Gulf War. Although his passport was taken away, he slipped out of Saudi Arabia in 1991 and settled in the Sudan. From there, he spoke out against the Saudi government and the continuing U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia, which he likened to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. After the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York, the United States began to suspect that bin Laden was involved in international terrorism against the United States. The military organization he built during the Afghan War–al Qaeda, or “the Base”–was still in existence, and U.S. intelligence believed he was transforming it into an anti-U.S. terrorist network. In 1995, bin Laden called for guerrilla attacks against U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, and three months later a terrorist attack against a U.S. military installation killed five Americans. Under U.S. and Saudi pressure he was expelled from the Sudan in May 1996. One month later, a truck bomb killed 19 U.S. servicemen in Saudi Arabia. Whether or not bin Laden was involved in planning these attacks has not been established. With 200 of his followers, bin Laden returned to Afghanistan, which was then falling under the control of the Taliban, a faction of extreme Islamic fundamentalists. Bin Laden provided funding for the Taliban military campaign against the city of Kabul, which fell to the militia in September 1996. Soon after his arrival in Afghanistan, bin Laden issued a fatwah, or religious decree, calling for war on Americans in the Persian Gulf and the overthrow of the Saudi government. In February 1998, he issued another fatwah stating that Muslims should kill Americans, including civilians, anywhere in the world. On August 7, 1998–the eighth anniversary of the deployment of U.S. troops to Saudi Arabia–two U.S. embassies in East Africa were bombed almost simultaneously. The attack at the Nairobi embassy, which was located in a busy downtown area, caused the greater devastation and loss of life. There, a truck loaded with 2,000 pounds of TNT forced its way to the back entrance of the embassy and was detonated, shattering the embassy, demolishing the nearby Ufundi Coop House, and gutting the 17-story Cooperative Bank. By the time rescue operations came to an end, 213 people were dead, including 12 Americans. Thousands of people were wounded, and hundreds were maimed or blinded. The attack against the U.S. embassy in Dar es Saalam killed 11 and injured 85. By 1997, American intelligence officers knew that bin Laden operatives were active in East Africa but were unable to break up the terrorist cell before the embassies were attacked. They had even heard of a possible plot to bomb the U.S. embassy in Nairobi but failed to recommend an increase in security before the attack. Meanwhile, Prudence Bushnell, the U.S. ambassador to Kenya, independently asked the State Department to move the Nairobi embassy because of its exposed location, but the request was not granted. Revelations of these pre-bombing security issues provoked much controversy and concern about the United States’ vulnerability abroad. Few, however, voiced concern that the proliferation of terrorists eager to kill innocent civilians and themselves in order to strike a blow against the U.S. would soon shatter America’s sense of invulnerability at home. Within days of the August 7 bombings, two bin Laden associates were arrested and charged with the attacks. However, with bin Laden and other key suspects still at large, President Clinton ordered a retaliatory military strike on August 20. In Afghanistan, some 70 American cruise missiles hit three alleged bin Laden training camps. An estimated 24 people were killed, but bin Laden was not present. Thirteen cruise missiles hit a pharmaceutical plant in the Sudan, and the night watchman was killed. The United States later backed away from its contention that the pharmaceutical plant was making or distributing chemical weapons for al Qaeda. In November 1998, the United States indicted bin Laden and 21 others, charging them with bombing the two U.S. embassies and conspiring to commit other acts of terrorism against Americans abroad. To date, nine of the al Qaeda members named in the indictments have been captured; six are in the United States, and three are in Britain fighting extradition to the United States. In February 2001, four of the suspects went on trial in New York on 302 criminal counts stemming from the embassy attacks. On May 29, all four were convicted on all counts. Saudi citizen Mohamed Rashed Daoud al-‘Owhali and Tanzanian Khalfan Khamis Mohamed admitted to directly taking part in the terrorist attacks but claimed they did not knowingly engage in a conspiracy against the United States. Lebanese-born U.S. citizen Wadih El-Hage and Jordanian Mohammed Saddiq Odeh admitted ties to bin Laden but denied involvement in any terrorist acts. All four were sentenced to life in prison without parole. On September 11, 2001, the world learned that the U.S. embassy attacks were merely a prelude to a far more devastating strike against the United States. On that day, 19 al Qaeda terrorists deftly exploited weaknesses in U.S. domestic security and hijacked four U.S. airliners that they flew into the World Trade Center towers in New York; the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia; and a rural field in western Pennsylvania. Four thousand people were killed in the almost simultaneous attacks and 10,000 were wounded. On October 7, America struck back with Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, destroy the al Qaeda network based there, and capture bin Laden dead or alive.
1998 – In 2000 Ali Mohamed, a former US Army sergeant, pleaded guilty for his role in the bombing under the direction of Osama bin Laden.
1998 – In Pakistan Sadik Howaida (34), later named as Mohammed Saddiq Odeh, was detained at the Karachi airport. He reportedly confessed to participating in the bombing in Nairobi. He said that he and 2 coconspirators had left Nairobi and planned to enter Afghanistan a few days before the bombing. He acknowledged that the team was recruited and financed by Osama bin Laden who was ensconced in a fortress-style hideout in Kandahar. Odeh later refused to admit responsibility to American officials.
1998 – Immediately after the bombing of 2 US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, Sudanese authorities arrested 2 men suspected of being involved in the plot. [see Aug 21]
1999 – In China Song Yongyi, a research librarian at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., was imprisoned while collecting data on the Cultural Revolution. On Dec 12 he was charged with “the purchase and illegal provision of intelligence to foreigners.” Yongyi was released on Jan 28, 2000.
2002 – Ford Motor Co. and Canadian fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems Inc. jointly unveiled a hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engine-driven generator they said could help pave the way toward the commercialization of fuel cell technology.
2002 – A U.S. Air Force cargo plane crashed on a Puerto Rican mountaintop with at least 10 military personnel on board, and all were feared dead.
2002 – In Afghanistan at least 15 people were killed south of Kabul in a shootout between police and recently escaped Pakistani members of al Qaeda.
2002 – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud said his country had made it clear to Washington, publicly and privately, that the U.S. military will not be allowed to use the kingdom’s soil in any way for an attack on Iraq. Saud said the longtime U.S. ally does not plan to expel American forces from an air base used for flights to monitor Iraq.
2003 – In Afghanistan some 40 suspected Taliban fighters killed 6 Afghan soldiers and a driver for a US aid organization.
2003 – In Iraq a car bomb shattered a street outside the walled Jordanian Embassy, killed 17 people — including two children.
2004 – Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi signed a long-awaited amnesty law that would pardon Iraqis who have played minor roles in the country’s 15-month-long insurgency. The Iraqi government closed the Iraqi offices of the Arab television station Al-Jazeera for 30 days, accusing it of inciting violence.
2004 – Clashes between US-led forces and fighters loyal to al-Sadr continued for a 3rd day in Najaf and Sadr City. 23 civilians were killed and 121 wounded in the day’s fighting.
2014 – IS fighters took control of the town of Qaraqosh in the province of Nineveh in northern Iraq, which forced its large Christian population to flee.
2014 – President Obama authorized targeted airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS, along with airdrops of aid. The UK offered the US assistance with surveillance and refuelling, and planned humanitarian airdrops to Iraqi refugees.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
KERR, THOMAS R.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company C, 14th Pennsylvania Cavalry. Place and date: At Moorfield, W. Va., 7 August 1864. Entered service at: Pittsburgh, Pa. Born: 24 April 1843, Ireland. Date of issue: 13 June 1894. Citation: After being most desperately wounded, he captured the colors of the 8th Virginia Cavalry (C.S.A.).
Rank and organization: Commissary Sergeant, Company D, 12th Missouri Cavalry. Place and date: At Tallahatchie River, Miss., 7 August 1864. Entered service at: Rockport, Atchison County, Mo. Birth: Allegany County, Md. Date of issue: 24 August 1905. Citation: Was 1 of 4 volunteers who swam the river under a brisk fire of the enemy’s sharpshooters and brought over a ferry boat by means of which the troops crossed and dislodged the enemy from a strong position.
Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1855, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 180, 10 October 1872. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Wachusett off Cowes, 7 August 1872. Jumping overboard into a strong tideway, Bradley attempted to save Philip Cassidy, landsman, of the U.S.S. Wabash, from drowning.
Rank and organization: Ordinary Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1855, Boston, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 218, 24 August 1876. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Plymouth, Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia, 7 August 1876. Acting gallantly, Connolly succeeding in rescuing a citizen from drowning on this date.
Rank and Organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company: Company G, 47th Infantry Division: 4th Division, American Expeditionary Force, Born: 14 October 1896, Bayonne, New Jersey, Departed: Yes (08/15/1973), Entered Service At: Syracuse, NY G.O. Number: , Date of Issue: 06/02/2015, Accredited To: , Place and Date: Bazhoces, France, 7-9 August 1917. Citation: Sergeant William Shemin distinguished himself by extraordinary acts of heroism at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a Rifleman with G Company, 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in connection with combat operations against an armed enemy on the Vesle River, near Bazoches, France from August 7 to August 9, 1918. Sergeant Shemin, upon three different occasions, left cover and crossed an open space of 150 yards, repeatedly exposing himself to heavy machine-gun and rifle fire, to rescue wounded. After officers and senior noncommissioned officers had become casualties, Sergeant Shemin took command of the platoon and displayed great initiative under fire until wounded on August 9. Sergeant Shemin’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness, above and beyond the call of duty, are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, with G Company, 2d Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 7th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near La Lande, France, 17 August 1944. Entered service at: Chicago, 111. Born: 31 October 1909, Carlisle, W. Va. G.O. No.: 7, 1 February 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. On 17 August 1944, near La Lande, France, he climbed on top of a knocked-out tank, in the face of withering machinegun fire which had halted the advance of his company, in an effort to locate the source of this fire. Although bullets ricocheted off the turret at his feet, he nevertheless remained standing upright in full view of the enemy for over 2 minutes. Locating the enemy machineguns on a knoll 200 yards away, he ordered 2 squads to cover him and led his men down an irrigation ditch, running a gauntlet of intense machinegun fire, which completely blanketed 50 yards of his advance and wounded 4 of his men. While the Germans hurled hand grenades at the ditch, he stood his ground until his squad caught up with him, then advanced alone, in a wide flanking approach, to the rear of the knoll. He walked deliberately a distance of 40 yards, without cover, in full view of the Germans and under a hail of both enemy and friendly fire, to the first machinegun and knocked it out with a single short burst. Then he made his way through the strong point, despite bursting hand grenades, toward the second machinegun, 25 yards distant, whose 2-man crew swung the machinegun around and fired two bursts at him, but he walked calmly through the fire and, reaching the edge of the emplacement, dispatched the crew. Signaling his men to rush the rifle pits, he then walked 35 yards further to kill an enemy rifleman and returned to lead his squad in the destruction of the 8 remaining Germans in the strong point. His audacity so inspired the remainder of the assault company that the men charged out of their positions, shouting and yelling, to overpower the enemy roadblock and sweep into town, knocking out 2 antitank guns, killing 37 Germans and capturing 26 others. He had sparked and led the assault company in an attack which overwhelmed the enemy, destroying a roadblock, taking a town, seizing intact 3 bridges over the Maravenne River, and capturing commanding terrain which dominated the area.
*PEASE, HARL, JR. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps, Heavy Bombardment Squadron. Place and date: Near Rabaul, New Britain, 6-7 August 1942. Entered service at: Plymouth, N.H. Birth: Plymouth, N.H. G.O. No.: 59, 4 November 1942. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy on 6-7 August 1942. When 1 engine of the bombardment airplane of which he was pilot failed during a bombing mission over New Guinea, Capt. Pease was forced to return to a base in Australia. Knowing that all available airplanes of his group were to participate the next day in an attack on an enemy-held airdrome near Rabaul, New Britain, although he was not scheduled to take part in this mission, Capt. Pease selected the most serviceable airplane at this base and prepared it for combat, knowing that it had been found and declared unserviceable for combat missions. With the members of his combat crew, who volunteered to accompany him, he rejoined his squadron at Port Moresby, New Guinea, at 1 a.m. on 7 August, after having flown almost continuously since early the preceding morning. With only 3 hours’ rest, he took off with his squadron for the attack. Throughout the long flight to Rabaul, New Britain, he managed by skillful flying of his unserviceable airplane to maintain his position in the group. When the formation was intercepted by about 30 enemy fighter airplanes before reaching the target, Capt. Pease, on the wing which bore the brunt of the hostile attack, by gallant action and the accurate shooting by his crew, succeeded in destroying several Zeros before dropping his bombs on the hostile base as planned, this in spite of continuous enemy attacks. The fight with the enemy pursuit lasted 25 minutes until the group dived into cloud cover. After leaving the target, Capt. Pease’s aircraft fell behind the balance of the group due to unknown difficulties as a result of the combat, and was unable to reach this cover before the enemy pursuit succeeded in igniting 1 of his bomb bay tanks. He was seen to drop the flaming tank. It is believed that Capt. Pease’s airplane and crew were subsequently shot down in flames, as they did not return to their base. In voluntarily performing this mission Capt. Pease contributed materially to the success of the group, and displayed high devotion to duty, valor, and complete contempt for personal danger. His undaunted bravery has been a great inspiration to the officers and men of his unit.
*CARTER, BRUCE W.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company H, 2d Battalion, 3d Marines, 3d Marine Division (Rein), FMF. Place and date: Quang Tri Province, Republic of Vietnam, 7 August 1969. Entered service at: Jacksonville, Fla. Born: 7 May 1950, Schenectady, N.Y. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as grenadier with Company H in connection with combat operations against the enemy. Pfc. Carter’s unit was maneuvering against the enemy during Operation Idaho Canyon and came under a heavy volume of fire from a numerically superior hostile force. The lead element soon became separated from the main body of the squad by a brush fire. Pfc. Carter and his fellow marines were pinned down by vicious crossfire when, with complete disregard for his safety, he stood in full view of the North Vietnamese Army soldiers to deliver a devastating volume of fire at their positions. The accuracy and aggressiveness of his attack caused several enemy casualties and forced the remainder of the soldiers to retreat from the immediate area. Shouting directions to the marines around him, Pfc. Carter then commenced leading them from the path of the rapidly approaching brush fire when he observed a hostile grenade land between him and his companions. Fully aware of the probable consequences of his action but determined to protect the men following him, he unhesitatingly threw himself over the grenade, absorbing the full effects of its detonation with his body. Pfc. Carter’s indomitable courage, inspiring initiative, and selfless devotion to duty upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country .
*HAGEN, LOREN D.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Infantry, U.S. Army Training Advisory Group. Place and date: Republic of Vietnam, 7 August 1971. Entered service at: Fargo, N. Dak. Born: 25 February 1946, Fargo, N. Dak. Citation: 1st Lt. Hagen distinguished himself in action while serving as the team leader of a small reconnaissance team operating deep within enemy-held territory. At approximately 0630 hours on the morning of 7 August 1971 the small team came under a fierce assault by a superior-sized enemy force using heavy small arms, automatic weapons, mortar, and rocket fire. 1st Lt. Hagen immediately began returning small-arms fire upon the attackers and successfully led this team in repelling the first enemy onslaught. He then quickly deployed his men into more strategic defense locations before the enemy struck again in an attempt to overrun and annihilate the beleaguered team’s members. 1st Lt. Hagen repeatedly exposed himself to- the enemy fire directed at him as he constantly moved about the team’s perimeter, directing fire, rallying the members, and resupplying the team with ammunition, while courageously returning small arms and hand grenade fire in a valorous attempt to repel the advancing enemy force. The courageous actions and expert leadership abilities of 1st Lt. Hagen were a great source of inspiration and instilled confidence in the team members. After observing an enemy rocket make a direct hit on and destroy 1 of the team’s bunkers, 1st Lt. Hagen moved toward the wrecked bunker in search for team members despite the fact that the enemy force now controlled the bunker area. With total disregard for his own personal safety, he crawled through the enemy fire while returning small-arms fire upon the enemy force. Undaunted by the enemy rockets and grenades impacting all around him, 1st Lt. Hagen desperately advanced upon the destroyed bunker until he was fatally wounded by enemy small arms and automatic weapons fire. With complete disregard for his personal safety, 1st Lt. Hagen’s courageous gallantry, extraordinary heroism, and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty, at the cost of his own life, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon him and the U.S. Army.