MEDAL OF HONOR DAY
1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh, English explorer, courtier, and writer, renewed Humphrey Gilbert’s patent to explore North America. He went on to settle the Virginia colony on Roanoke Island, naming it after the virgin queen.
1609 – Henry Hudson embarked on an exploration for Dutch East India Co.
1634 – The first colonists to Maryland arrive at St. Clement’s Island on Maryland’s western shore and found the settlement of St. Mary’s. In 1632, King Charles I of England granted a charter to George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, yielding him proprietary rights to a region east of the Potomac River in exchange for a share of the income derived from the land. The territory was named Maryland in honor of Henrietta Maria, the queen consort of Charles I. Before settlement began, George Calvert died and was succeeded by his son Cecilius, who sought to establish Maryland as a haven for Roman Catholics persecuted in England. In March 1634, the first English settlers–a carefully selected group of Catholics and Protestants–arrived at St. Clement’s Island aboard the Ark and the Dove. Religious conflict was strong in ensuing years as the American Puritans, growing more numerous in Maryland and supported by Puritans in England, set out to revoke the religious freedoms guaranteed in the founding of the colony. In 1649, Maryland Governor William Stone responded by passing an act ensuring religious liberty and justice to all who believed in Jesus Christ. In 1654, however, the so-called Toleration Act was repealed after Puritans seized control of the colony, leading to a brief civil war that ended with Lord Baltimore losing control of propriety rights over Maryland in March 1655. Although the Calverts later regained control of Maryland, anti-Catholic activity persisted until the 19th century, when many Catholic immigrants to America chose Baltimore as their home and helped enact laws to protect their free practice of religion.
1655 – Puritans jailed Governor Stone after a military victory over Catholic forces in the colony of Maryland.
1774 – English Parliament passed the Boston Port Bill.
1776 – The Continental Congress authorized a medal for General George Washington.
1785 – The Mount Vernon Conference begins. This was a three day meeting of delegates from Virginia and Maryland who discussed commercial issues related to their mutual water border at George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon, Virginia. The ensuing report known as the Mount Vernon Compact, or the Compact of 1785 was ratified later by both state legislatures and became the earliest move of individual states toward closer union under the Articles of Confederation. The Mount Vernon Conference was followed by more states attending the Annapolis Convention at Mann’s Tavern the next year, with both events being precursors to the 1787 Philadelphia Convention that drafted the United States Constitution.
1804 – The Secretary of the Navy approved the first formal uniform of the Marine Corps.
1813 – The first U.S. flag flown in battle was on the frigate Essex in the Pacific. USS Essex takes Neryeda, first capture by U.S. Navy in Pacific. Early in 1813, the USS ESSEX, under the Command of Captain David Porter, USN, rounded Cape Horn and became the first Navy ship to carry the American flag into the Pacific Ocean. The ESSEX began operating in Pacific waters and captured a British commerce raider, several British merchantmen, and several large British whaling ships.
1843 – Seventeen Texans, who picked black beans from a jar otherwise filled with white beans, were executed by a Mexican firing squad. After months of raiding, captivity and escapes in Northern Mexico, Mexican president Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna ordered the execution of one tenth of the 176 Texas freebooters of the Mier Expedition.
1856 – A.E. Burnside patented the Burnside carbine.
1862 – C.S.S. Pamlico, Lieutenant William G. Dozier, and C.S.S. Oregon, Acting Master Abraham L. Myers, engaged U.S.S. New London, Lieutenant Read, at Pass Christian, Mississippi. The rifled gun on board Pamlico jammed during the nearly two hour engagement, and the Confederate vessels broke off the action, neither side having been damaged in the test of the strength of Flag Officer Farragut’s gathering forces. Transports with General Butler and troops arrived at Ship Island which, until Pensacola was retaken, became the principal base for operations west of Key West. Flag Officer Farragut wrote: “I am now packed and ready for my departure to the mouth of the Mississippi River . . I spent last evening very pleasantly with General Butler. He does not appear to have any very difficult plan of operations, but simply to follow in my wake and hold what I can take. God grant that may be all that we attempt . . victory. If I die in the attempt, it will only be what every officer has to expect. He who dies in doing his duty to his country, and at peace with his God, has played out the drama of life to the best advantage.”
1863 – The first Army Medal of Honor is presented to PVT Jacob Parrott of the 33rd Ohio Infantry. Four others are so honored this day as well.
1863 – Before daybreak, rams Switzerland and Lancaster got underway to run past Vicksburg to join Rear Admiral Farragut below with U.S.S. Hartford and Albatross. Colonel C. R. Ellet reported: ‘The wind was extremely unfavorable, and notwithstanding the caution with which the boats put Out into the middle of the stream, the puff of their escape pipes could be heard with fatal distinctness below. The flashing of the enemy’s signal lights from battery to battery as we neared the city showed me that concealment was useless.” Under full steam, the rams rounded the bend into a concentrated fire from the Confederate works. On board Switzerland, Colonel Ellet noted: ”Shot after shot struck my boat, tearing everything to pieces before them.” La,’-caster, under Lieutenant Colonel John A. Ellet, followed, steaming steadily down river, “but,” the senior Ellet reported, “I could see the splinters fly from her at every discharge.” Directly in front of the main Vicksburg batteries, a shell plunged into Switzerland’s boiler, stopping the engines. The pilots, who “stood their posts like men,” kept the ram in the river and she floated down, still under a hail of shot, to safety. The Lancaster, meanwhile, received a fatal shot which pierced her steam drum ” and enveloped the entire vessel in a terrible cloud of steam About this time,” reported her commanding officer, ”a heavy plunging shot struck her in the frailest part of her stern, passing longitudinally through her and piercing the hull in the center near the bow, causing an enormous leak in the vessel.” She sank almost immediately. The planned joint attack on Warrenton was called off because of the extensive repairs required by the Switzerland.
1864 – U.S.S. Peosta, Acting Lieutenant Thomas E. Smith, and U.S.S. Paw Paw, Acting Lieutenant A. Frank O’Neil, engaged Confederate troops who had launched a heavy assault on Northern positions at Paducah, Kentucky. Under the wooden gunboats’ fire the Southerners were halted and finally forced to withdraw. The value of the force afloat was recognized by Brigadier General Mason Brayman, who later wrote of the action: “I wish to state during my short period of service here the Navy has borne a conspicuous part in all operations. The Peosta, Captain Smith, and Paw Paw, Captain O’Neil, joined Colonel Hicks at Paducah, and with gallantry equal to his own shelled the rebels out of the buildings from which their sharpshooters annoyed our troops. A large number took shelter in heavy warehouses near the river and maintained a furious fire upon the gunboats, inflicting some injury, but they were promptly dislodged and the buildings destroyed. Fleet Captain Pennock, of the Mississippi Squadron, representing Admiral Porter in his absence, and Lieutenant Commander Shirk, of the Seventh Division, who had charge above Cairo and on the Tennessee, were prompt, vigilant, and courageous and cooperated in everything. That the river line was kept open, considering the inadequate force at my control, I regard as due in a great degree to the cooperation of the Navy.”
1865 – Battle of Bluff Spring, FL.
1865 – Confederate General Robert E. Lee makes Fort Stedman his last attack of the war in a desperate attempt to break out of Petersburg, Virginia. The attack failed, and within a week Lee was evacuating his positions around Petersburg. For nine months, Petersburg was under siege by the Army of the Potomac and the overall Union commander, General Ulysses S. Grant. The two great armies had fought a bloody campaign in the spring of 1864, and then settled into trenches that eventually stretched for fifty miles around Petersburg and the Confederate capital of Richmond. Lee could not win this war of attrition, but his men held out through the winter of 1864 to 1865. Now, Lee realized the growing Yankee army could overwhelm his diminishing force when the spring brought better weather for an assault. He ordered General John B. Gordon to find a weak point in the Federal defenses and attack. Gordon selected Fort Stedman, an earthen redoubt with a moat and nine-foot walls. Although imposing, Gordon believed it offered the greatest chance for success since it was located just 150 yards from the Confederate lines–the narrowest gap along the entire front. At 4:00 a.m. on March 25, 11,000 Rebels hurled themselves at the Union lines. They overwhelmed the surprised Yankees in Fort Stedman and captured 1,000 yards of trenches. General Grant wired Rear Admiral Porter that General Lee’s soldiers had broken through the right of the Union’s line and that he thought they would strike toward the essential James River supply base at City Point a few miles from the breakthrough. “I would suggest putting one or two gunboats on the Appomattox up as high as the pontoon bridge,” he told the Admiral. Porter immediately ordered gunboats up the Appomattox River to guard the pontoon bridge “at all times. Simultaneously, U.S.S. Wilderness, Acting Master Henry Arey, was ordered up the Chickahominy River to communicate with General Sheridan, carry intelligence about any Con-federate activity along the river, and bring back dispatches from Sheridan for Grant. Lee’s attack was his last bold gamble for great stakes. Never one to submit tamely to even the most formidable odds, he sought in the surprise assault to cripple Grant’s army so that the overwhelming spring attack the Federals were building up could not be launched. Lee hoped that then he could speed to North Carolina with part of his veterans, join General Johnston and crush Sherman while still holding the Richmond-Petersburg front. Had the attack gone as well in its later stages as it did in the first onslaught, he would have been within range of City Point, only some ten miles away. The wholesale destruction of the host of supply ships, mountains of stores, and vast arsenal would have ended Grant’s plant for seizing Richmond that spring. After daylight, however, the Confederate momentum waned. Gordon’s men took up defensive positions, and Union reinforcements arrived to turn the tide. The Rebels were unable to hold the captured ground, and they were driven back to their original position. The Union lost 1,000 men killed, wounded, and captured, while the Lee lost probably three times that number, including 1,500 captured during the retreat. Already outnumbered, these loses were more than Lee’s army could bear. Lee wrote to Confederate President Jefferson Davis that it would be impossible to maintain the Petersburg line much longer. On March 29, Grant began his offensive, and Petersburg fell on April 3. Two weeks after the Battle of Fort Stedman, Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
1879 – Little Wolf, often called “the greatest of the fighting Cheyenne,” surrenders to his friend Lieutenant W. P. Clark. Little Wolf was the chief of the Bowstring Soldiers, an elite Cheyenne military society. From early youth, Little Wolf had demonstrated rare bravery and a brilliant understanding of battle tactics. First in conflicts with other Indians like the Kiowa and then in disputes with the U.S. Army, Little Wolf led or assisted in dozens of important Cheyenne victories. Historians believe Little Wolf was probably involved in the disastrous Fetterman Massacre of 1866, in which the Cheyenne cleverly lured a force of 80 American soldiers out of their Wyoming fort and wiped them out. After Cheyenne attacks had finally forced the U.S. military to abandon Fort Phil Kearney along the Bozeman Trail, Little Wolf is believed to have led the torching of the fort. He was also a leading participant in the greatest of the Plains Indian victories, the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. As with many of the other Plains Indian warriors, Little Wolf was finally forced to make peace during the army’s major offensive following the massacre at Little Bighorn. In 1877, the government sent Little Wolf to a reservation in Indian Territory. Disgusted with the meager supplies and conditions on the reservation, in 1878 Little Wolf determined to leave the reservation and head north for the old Cheyenne territory in Wyoming and Montana. Chief Dull Knife and 300 of his followers went with him. Though Little Wolf and Dull Knife announced that their intentions were peaceful, settlers in the territory they passed through feared attack. The government dispatched cavalry forces that assaulted the Indians, but Little Wolf’s skillful defensive maneuvers kept Cheyenne casualties low. When the band neared Fort Robinson, Nebraska, Dull Knife and some of his followers stopped there. Little Wolf and the rest of the Cheyenne continued to march north to Montana. In the spring of 1879, while still traveling north, Little Wolf and his followers were overtaken by a cavalry force under the leadership of Captain W.P. Clark, an old friend of Little Wolf’s. The confrontation might easily have turned violent, but with his force of warriors diminished and his people tired, Little Wolf was reluctant to fight the more powerful American army. Clark’s civilized and gracious treatment of Little Wolf helped convince the chief that further resistance was pointless, and he agreed to surrender. After returning to the reservation, Little Wolf briefly served as a scout for General Nelson A. Miles. However, during this time he disgraced himself among his people by killing one of his tribesmen. The formerly celebrated Cheyenne warrior lived out the rest of his life on the reservation but had no official influence among his own people.
1898 – Assist. SECNAV Theodore Roosevelt proposes Navy investigate military application of Samuel Langley’s flying machine, beginning naval aviation. Langley had been experimenting for over a decade with steam powered flying machines and was attempting to adapt a working steam model to an internal combustion powered design.
1901 – Cubans are beginning to fear annexation.
1905 – Rebel battle flags that were captured during the war were returned to the South.
1915 – The Navy’s first underwater disaster occurred when the submarine F-4 exploded and sank off Honolulu Harbor. 21 lives were lost. F-4 was one of the first submarines assigned to the new naval facility at Pearl Harbor in the years prior to World War I. On March 25, 1915, the submarine vanished on routine patrol, and was later discovered a mile off Fort Armstrong, 300 feet underwater. No one had ever salvaged a vessel from such a depth before, and Navy attempts proved fruitless for several months. One diver was later awarded the Medal of Honor for rescuing another diver at the crushing depths. Finally, using specially constructed pontoons, the submarine was raised on August 31, 1915 and towed to Pearl Harbor.
1928 – James A. Lovell Jr, USN, astronaut (Gemini 7, 12, Apollo 8, 13), was born in Cleveland, Oh.
1936 – Britain, the U.S. and France signed a naval accord in London.
1940 – The U.S. agreed to give Britain and France access to all American warplanes.
1942 – Rear Admiral John Wilcox commanding Task Force 39 with the battleship Washington, two cruiser and six destroyers sail for Scapa Flow to protect British home waters for the duration of Operation Ironclad — the British invasion of Vichy French controlled Madagascar. This is a reflection of the heavy Allied losses in capital ships to Japanese action in the Pacific.
1943 – By nightfall the US 1st Armored Division has nearly reached the Tebaga Gap. Von Arnim is worried about this attack and the threat from US troops at Makanssy, and therefore begins to pull his German and Italian infantry out of the Mareth Line.
1944 – On Manus, a final drive by US forces eliminates most of the remaining Japanese forces. On Los Negros, Japanese resistance has been reduced to scattered groups and isolated individuals.
1944 – Japanese patrols sight large American naval forces heading for Palau Island.
1945 – US 1st Army units, principally from US 3rd Corps, begin to break out of the Remagen bridgehead. The US 8th Corps (part of US 3rd Army) begins to cross the Rhine River near Boppard. To the south, Darmstadt is taken by US 12th Corps units who crossed at Nierstein. Other units have advanced farther east to the Main near Hanau and Aschaffenburg.
1945 – After 35 days of bitter fighting, the amphibious assault on the rocky fortress of Iwo Jima finally appeared over. On the night of 25 March, however, a 300-man Japanese force launched a vicious final counterattack in the vicinity of Airfield Number 2. Army pilots, Seabees and Marines of the 5th Pioneer Battalion and 28th Marines fought the fanatical Japanese force till morning but suffered heavy casualties –more than l00 killed and another 200 American wounded. Nearly all of the Japanese force was killed in the battle.
1945 – US Task Force 58 (Admiral Mitscher) conduct air raids on Okinawa. US TF52 (Admiral Dungin), with 17 escort carriers begin air raids on the same targets. Meanwhile, there is an American bombardment of the island of Kerama Retto, to the west of Okinawa, as well. Japanese submarines make unsuccessful attacks on the American ships. Japanese Kamikaze attacks begin, under the direction of Admiral Ugaki, with 26 planes scoring 8 hits including one on the American battleship Nevada.
1945 – American B-24 Liberator bombers of the US 5th Air Force destroy a hydroelectric power station on the island of Formosa (Taiwan).
1945 – Bombers of the US 8th Air Force bomb Hamburg with the nominal objective of striking the underground oil stores.
1948 – The first successful tornado forecast predicts that a tornado will strike Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma. The 1948 Tinker Air Force Base tornadoes were two tornadoes which struck Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on March 20 and 25, 1948. The March 20 tornado was the costliest tornado in Oklahoma history at the time. Tinker’s meteorologists Major Ernest J. Fawbush and Captain Robert C. Miller investigated surface and upper-air weather data from this and past tornado outbreaks, hoping to be able to identify conditions which were favorable for tornadoes. By March 24, they had compiled several possible tornado indicators, and decided it would be difficult, but possible, to identify large tornado threat areas in the future. On March 25, meteorologists at the base noticed the extreme similarity between the weather conditions of that day and March 20, and later in the day issued a “tornado forecast”, which was verified when a tornado struck the base that evening. Equipment which could be, had been moved to bomb-proof shelters, and base personnel had been moved to safer areas.This was the first official tornado forecast, as well as the first successful tornado forecast, in recorded history. Due to lives and costs saved, Fawbush and Miller continued their tornado forecasts, which verified at quite a high rate over the next three years. At first, they kept their forecasts secret. In the spring and summer of 1949, they issued eighteen forecasts for tornadoes within a 100-square-mile (260 km2) ≈area, and all eighteen proved successful. In the subsequent years, while not explicitly using the word “tornado”, the Weather Bureau used the pair’s forecasts to predict “severe local storms”. The synoptic pattern which occurred on March 25 later became known as the “Miller type-B” pattern and is recognized as one of the most potent severe weather setups.
1952 – The U.S., Britain, and France rejected the Soviet proposal for an armed, reunified, neutral Germany.
1952 – Three hundred and seven U.N. fighter-bombers dropped 260 tons of bombs on the rail line between Chongju and Sinanju.
1953 – The USS Missouri fired on targets at Kojo, North Korea, the last time her guns fire until the Persian Gulf War of 1992.
1955 – E. Germany was granted full sovereignty by occupying power, USSR.
1958 – Elvis Presley’s active duty service began and lasted two years, until March 5, 1960.
1960 – A guided missile, a Regulus I, was launched from a nuclear powered submarine, the USS Halibut, for the first time. Halibut is also the first submarine to be designed and built from the keel up to launch guided missiles.
1961 – Elvis Presley (26) performed live on the USS Arizona, a fund raiser for a memorial. Col. Parker, Presley’s manager, came up with the brilliant idea to have Elvis Presley give the benefit concert in the 4,000-seat Bloch Arena next to the entrance to Pearl Harbor.
1968 – After being told by Defense Secretary Clark Clifford that the Vietnam War is a “real loser,” President Johnson, still uncertain about his course of action, decides to convene a nine-man panel of retired presidential advisors. The group, which became known as the “Wise Men,” included the respected generals Omar Bradley and Matthew Ridgway, distinguished State Department figures like Dean Acheson and George Ball, and McGeorge Bundy, National Security advisor to both the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. After two days of deliberation the group reached a consensus: they advised against any further troop increases and recommended that the administration seek a negotiated peace. Although Johnson was initially furious at their conclusions, he quickly came to believe that they were right. On March 31, Johnson announced on television that he was restricting the bombing of North Vietnam to the area just north of the Demilitarized Zone. Additionally, he committed the United States to discuss peace at any time or place. Then Johnson announced that he would not pursue reelection for the presidency.
1968 – A Harris Poll reports that in the past six weeks “basic” support for the war among Americans declined from 74 percent to 54 percent. The poll also revealed that 60 percent of those questioned regarded the Tet Offensive as a defeat of U.S. objectives in Vietnam. Despite Gen. William Westmoreland’s assurances in late 1967 that the United States was making headway in the war, the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had launched a massive offensive during the Tet holiday that began in late January 1968. Although the communist forces were soundly defeated during this offensive, the scope and extent of the attacks won the communists a major psychological victory in the United States, where the events of Tet confirmed a growing disenchantment with the seemingly never-ending war for increasing numbers of Americans.
1975 – Hue was lost and Da Nang was endangered. The U.S. ordered a refugee airlift to remove those in danger.
1979 – The first fully functional space shuttle orbiter, Columbia, is delivered to the John F. Kennedy Space Center to be prepared for its first launch.
1980 – Three hostages are released by terrorists holding the Dominican embassy in Bogota, but U.S. Ambassador Diego Ascencio still among the captives.
1981 – The U.S. Embassy in San Salvador was damaged when gunmen attacked, firing rocket propelled grenades and machine guns.
1986 – President Ronald Reagan ordered emergency aid for the Honduran army. U.S. helicopters took Honduran troops to the Nicaraguan border.
1986 – Supreme Court ruled that the Air Force could ban wearing of yarmulkes.
1992 – Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi backed away from an offer to turn over two suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 to the Arab League.
1994 – At the end of a largely unsuccessful 15-month mission, the last U.S. troops depart Somalia, leaving 20,000 U.N. troops behind to keep the peace and facilitate “nation building” in the divided country. In 1992, civil war, clan-based fighting, and the worst African drought of the century created famine conditions that threatened one-fourth of Somalia’s population with starvation. In August 1992, the United Nations began a peacekeeping mission to the country to ensure the distribution of food and medical aid. On December 4, with deteriorating security and U.N. troops unable to control Somalia’s warring factions, U.S. President George Bush ordered 25,000 U.S. troops into Somalia. Although he promised the troops involved that the humanitarian mission was not an open-ended commitment, “Operation Restore Hope” remained unresolved when Bill Clinton took over the presidency in January 1993. Like his predecessor, Clinton was anxious to bring the Americans home, and in May the mission was formally handed back to the United Nations. By June, only 4,200 U.S. troops remained. However, on June 5, 24 Pakistani U.N. peacekeepers inspecting a weapons storage site were ambushed and massacred by soldiers under Somali warlord General Mohammed Aidid. U.S. and U.N. forces subsequently began an extensive search for the elusive strongman, and in August, 400 elite U.S. troops from Delta Force and the U.S. Rangers embarked on a mission to capture Aidid. Two months later, on October 3-4, 18 of these soldiers were killed and 84 wounded during a disastrous assault on Mogadishu’s Olympia Hotel in search of Aidid. The bloody battle, which lasted 17 hours, was the most violent U.S. combat firefight since Vietnam. Three days later, with Aidid still at large, President Clinton cut his losses and ordered a total U.S. withdrawal. On March 25, 1994, the last U.S. troops left Somalia.
1995 – Two Americans who had strayed across the Kuwaiti border into Iraq were sentenced to eight years in prison. However, David Daliberti and William Barloon were released by Iraq the following July.
1996 – An 81-day standoff by the anti-government Freemen. A group of 18 people including 3 children, who call themselves the Freeman, shut themselves up on a 960 acre farm near Jordan, Montana. Many of them are wanted on state and federal charges that include writing bad checks and threatening a federal judge. Ongoing negotiations have proved fruitless and the FBI ordered in 3 armored vehicles and a helicopter.
1996 – China halted its 18-day intimidating naval exercises around Taiwan led by the new guided-missile destroyer Harbin.
1996 – France, Britain and the US signed a treaty to ban nuclear weapons from the South Pacific.
1997 – Former President George Bush, 73, parachuted from a plane over the Arizona desert.
1998 – Russia promised to support a comprehensive arms embargo against Yugoslavia, but did not support new sanctions urged by the US.
1999 – NATO forces struck Serbian air defenses and other sites for a second night as Serb forces stepped up their efforts to crush resistance in Kosovo. The village of Goden was burned by Serb forces and 174 residents were forced to leave. 20 men were kept back and presumed killed.
2003 – The US Navy brought in 2 specially trained bottle-nosed Atlantic dolphins to help ferret out mines in the approaches of the port of Umm Qasr.
2003 – In the 7th day of Operation Iraqi Freedom US aircraft dropped more than 2,000 precision-guided bombs on Iraq since the war’s start. The “smart” bombs were produced for a relatively cheap $20,000 each. Sandstorms slowed coalition movement and air missions. US officials reported 150-200 Iraqi soldiers were killed near Najaf. US Commander General Tommy Franks says US-led forces are making “rapid and in some cases dramatic” progress but has also met sporadic resistance. Franks also says that his forces have captured 3,000 prisoners.
2003 – Six satellite jamming devices, which Iraq was using to try to thwart American precision guided weapons, were destroyed in the last 2 nights.
2003 – Some 150-500 Iraqi fighters were killed in fighting east of Najaf.
2003 – A light plane carrying 3 Americans crashed in southern Colombia while searching for 3 other Americans captured by rebels last month.
2004 – The United States used its veto power to quash a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Israel for killing Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin in a missile strike.
2005 – Washington announced it would sell F-16 fighters to Pakistan.
2013 – The United States agrees to hand over Bagram Jail, its main detention facility in Afghanistan, to the country’s government.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
CARTER, JOSEPH F.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company D, 3d Maryland Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Birth: Baltimore, Md. Date of issue: 9 July 1891. Citation: Captured the colors of the 51st Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.). During the battle he was captured and escaped bringing a number of prisoners with him.
CHAMBERS, JOSEPH B.
Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: East Brook, Pa. Birth: Beaver County, Pa. Date of issue: 27 July 1871. Citation: Capture of colors of 1st Virginia Infantry (C.S.A.).
DEANE, JOHN M.
Rank and organization: Major, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Born: 8 January 1840, Freetown, Mass. Date of issue: 8 March 1895. Citation: This officer, observing an abandoned gun within Fort Haskell, called for volunteers, and under a heavy fire, worked the gun until the enemy’s advancing line was routed.
GAYLORD, LEVI B.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Boston, Mass. Date of issue: 22 June 1896. Citation: Voluntarily assisted in working an abandoned gun, while exposed to heavy fire, until the enemy’s advancing line was routed by a charge on its left flank.
HOUGHTON, CHARLES H.
Rank and organization: Captain, Company L, 14th New York Artillery. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 30 July 1864; 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Ogdensburg, N.Y. Born: 30 April 1842, Macomb, St. Lawrence County, N.Y. Date of issue: 5 April 1898. Citation: In the Union assault at the Crater (30 July 1864), and in the Confederate assault repelled at Fort Haskell, displayed most conspicuous gallantry and repeatedly exposed himself voluntarily to great danger, was 3 times wounded, and suffered loss of a leg.
HOWE, WILLIAM H.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company K, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at:——. Birth: Haverhill, Mass. Date of issue: 8 March 1895. Citation: Served an abandoned gun under heavy fire.
LITTLEFIELD, GEORGE H.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company G, 1st Maine Veteran Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Fisher, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Skowhegan, Maine. Birth: Skowhegan, Maine. Date of issue: 22 June 1885. Citation: The color sergeant having been wounded, this soldier picked up the flag and bore it to the front, to the great encouragement of the charging column.
McDONALD, GEORGE E.
Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Warwick, R.I. Birth: Warwick, R.I. Date of issue: 21 July 1865. Citation: Capture of flag.
MURPHY, JAMES T.
Rank and organization: Private, Company L, 1st Connecticut Artillery. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: New Haven, Conn. Birth: Canada. Date of issue: 29 October 1886. Citation: A piece of artillery having been silenced by the enemy, this soldier voluntarily ass1sted in working the piece, conducting himself throughout the engagement in a gallant and fearless manner.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company M, 100th Pennsylvania Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Allegheny County, Pa. Birth: Allegheny County, Pa. Date of issue. 3 July 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 31st Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).
PINKHAM, CHARLES H.
Rank and organization: Sergeant Major, 57th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Stedman, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: ——. Birth: Grafton, Mass. Date of issue: 15 April 1895. Citation: Captured the flag of the 57th North Carolina Infantry (C.S.A.) and saved his own colors by tearing them from the staff while the enemy was in the camp.
THOMPKINS, GEORGE W.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company F, 124th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Petersburg, Va., 25 March 1865. Entered service at: Esport Jervis, N.Y. Birth: Orange County, N.Y. Date of issue: 6 April 1865. Citation: Capture of flag of 49th Alabama Infantry (C.S.A.) from an officer who, with colors in hand, was rallying his men.
Rank and organization. Sergeant, Company A, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Turret Mountain, Ariz., 25 March 1873. Entered service at:——. Birth: Monroe County, Ohio. Date of issue: 12 April 1875. Citation: Gallantry in engagements.
HILL, JAMES M.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company A, 5th U.S. Cavalry. Place and date: At Turret Mountain, Ariz., 25 March 1873. Entered service at:——. Birth: Washington County, Pa. Date of issue: 12 August 1875. Citation: Gallantry in action.
SHIELS, GEORGE F.
Rank and organization: Surgeon, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Tuliahan River, Philippine Islands, 25 March 1899. Entered service at: California. Birth: California. Date of issue: 22 November 1906. Citation: Voluntarily exposed himself to the fire of the enemy and went with 4 men to the relief of 2 native Filipinos Iying wounded about 150 yards in front of the lines and personally carried one of them to a place of safety.
*DOANE, STEPHEN HOLDEN
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 5th Infantry, 25th Infantry Division. Place and date: Hau Nghia Province, Republic of Vietnam, 25 March 1969. Entered service at: Albany, N.Y. Born: 13 October 1947, Beverely, Mass. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. First Lt. Doane was serving as a platoon leader when his company, engaged in a tactical operation, abruptly contacted an enemy force concealed in protected bunkers and trenches. Three of the leading soldiers were pinned down by enemy crossfire. One was seriously wounded. After efforts of 1 platoon to rescue these men had failed, it became obvious that only a small group could successfully move close enough to destroy the enemy position and rescue or relieve the trapped soldiers, 1st Lt. Doane, although fully aware of the danger of such an action, crawled to the nearest enemy bunker and silenced it. He was wounded but continued to advance to a second enemy bunker. As he prepared to throw a grenade, he was again wounded. Undaunted, he deliberately pulled the pin on the grenade and lunged with it into the enemy bunker, destroying this final obstacle. 1st Lt. Doane’s supreme act enabled his company to rescue the trapped men without further casualties. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by this officer were an inspiration to his men and are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army .