April 24

24 April

1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, the News-Letter, is published in Boston, Massachusetts.
1778 – US Ranger Captain John Paul Jones captured the British ship Drake.
1862Flag Officer Farragut’s fleet ran past Forts Jackson and St. Philip and engaged the defending Confederate flotilla. At 2:00 a.m., U.S.S. Hartford had shown Farragut’s signal for the fleet to get underway in three divisions to steam through the breach in the obstructions which had been opened by U.S.S. Pinola and Itasca. A withering fire from the forts was answered by roaring broadsides from the ships. Hartford, grounded in the swift current near Fort St. Philip, was set afire by a Confederate fireraft. Farragut’s leadership and the disciplined training of the crew saved the flagship. U.S.S. Varuna was rammed by two Confederate ships and sunk In the ensuing melee, C.S.S. Warrior, Stonewall Jackson, General Lovell, and Breckinridge, tender Phoenix, steamers Star and Belle Algerine, and Louisiana gunboat General Quitman were destroyed. The armored ram C.S.S. Manassas was driven ashore by U.S.S. Mississippi and sunk. Steam tenders C.S.S. Landis and W. Burton surrendered; Resolute and Governor Moore were destroyed to prevent capture. ”The destruction of the Navy at New Orleans,” wrote Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory, “was a sad, sad blow . . . When the Union Navy passed the forts and disposed of the Confederate forces afloat, the fate of New Orleans was decided. Farragut had achieved a brilliant victory, one which gave true meaning to the Flag Officer’s own words: “The great man in our country must not only plan but execute.
1863The Union army issues General Orders No. 100, which provided a code of conduct for Federal soldiers and officers when dealing with Confederate prisoners and civilians. The code was borrowed by many European nations, and its influence can be seen on the Geneva Convention. The orders were the brainchild of Francis Lieber, a Prussian immigrant whose three sons had served during the Civil War. One son was mortally wounded while fighting for the Confederacy at the Battle of Williamsburg, Virginia, in 1862. Lieber’s other two sons fought for the Union. Lieber was a scholar of international law who took a keen interest in the treatment of combatants and civilians. He wrote many essays and newspaper articles on the subject early in the war, and he advised General Henry Halleck, general-in-chief of the Union armies, on how to treat guerilla fighters captured by Federal forces. Halleck appointed a committee of four generals and Lieber to draft rules of combat for the Civil War. The final document consisted of 157 articles written almost entirely by Lieber. The orders established policies for, among other things, the treatment of prisoners, exchanges, and flags of truce. There was no document like it in the world at the time, and other countries soon adopted the code. It became the standard for international military law, and the Germans adopted it by 1870. Lieber’s concepts are still very influential today.
1865C.S.S. Webb, Lieutenant Read, dashed from the Red River under forced draft and entered the Mississippi at 8:30 at night in a heroic last-ditch effort to escape to sea. Before departing Alexandria, Louisiana, for his bold attempt, Read wrote Secretary Mallory: “I will have to stake everything upon speed and time.” The sudden appearance of the white-painted Webb in the Mississippi caught the Union blockaders (a monitor and two ironclads) at the mouth of the Red River by surprise. She was initially identified as a Federal ship; this mistake in identification gave Read a lead in the dash downstream. A running battle ensued in which Webb shook off the three Union pursuers. As Read proceeded down the Mississippi, other blockading ships took up the chase but were outdistanced by the fast moving Webb, which some observers claimed was making 25 knots. While churning with the current toward New Orleans, Read paused at one point to cut the telegraph wires along the bank. This proved futile as word of his escape and approach passed southward where it generated considerable excitement and a flurry of messages between the Army and Navy commanders who alerted shore batteries and ships to intercept him. About 10 miles above New Orleans Read hoisted the United States flag at half mast in mourning for Lincoln’s death and brought Webb’s steam pressure up to maximum. He passed the city at about midnight, 24 April, going full speed. Federal gunboats opened on him, whereupon Read broke the Confederate flag. Three hits were scored, the spar torpedo rigged at the steamer’s bow was damaged and had to be jettisoned, but the Webb continued on course toward the sea. Twenty-five miles below New Orleans Read’s luck ran out, for here Webb encountered U.S.S. Richmond. Thus trapped between Richmond and pursuing gunboats, Read’s audacious and well-executed plan came to an end. Webb was run aground and set on fire before her officers and men took to the swamps in an effort to escape. Read and his crew were apprehended within a few hours and taken under guard to New Orleans. They there suffered the indignity of being placed on public display but were subsequently paroled and ordered to their respective homes. Following the restoration of peace, Read became a pilot of the Southwest Pass, one of the mouths of the Mississippi River, and pursued that occupation until his death.
1877 – Federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.
1884 – USS Thetis, Bear, and Alert sailed from New York to search for Greeley expedition lost in Arctic.
1898 – Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America’s ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.
1898 – US fleet under commodore Dewey steamed from Hong Kong to Philippines.
1917 – Destroyer squadron departs Boston for European service
1923 – Colonel Jacob Schick patented Schick razors.
1941 – Roosevelt formally orders US warships to report the movements of German warships west of Iceland. This is happening unofficially already. The information is usually passed one way or another to the British.
1944 – The first B-29 arrived in China, over the Hump of the Himalayas.
1944The US 8th Air Force raids factories and airfields in Friedrichshafen, near Munich. A total of 55 planes are lost, including 14 which land or crash in Switzerland. During the night, 250 RAF Lancaster bombers scatter “Flying Meteor” methane-petrol incendiary bombs over Munich causing devastation in the area between Central Station and the Isar River.
1944 – American forces reach Lake Sentani near Hollandia, New Guinea. To the east, Australian forces advancing from the Huon Peninsula capture Madang.
1945 – Dessau on the Elbe River is taken by US 1st Army.
1945 – Units of both US 5th Army and British 8th Army begin to cross the Po River at several points near Ferrara and to the west. Ferrara is captured. On the west coast, La Spezia falls to the US 92nd Division. German forces are incapable of stopping the Allied advance.
1945 – On Okinawa, Japanese forces defending the Shuri Line, in the south, begin tactical withdrawals.
1948 – The Berlin airlift began to relieve the surrounded city.
1950 – Pres Truman denied there were communists in US govt.
1951 – U.S. Air Force Captain Joseph C. McConnell, 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, qualified as the sixth “double ace” (10 kills) of the war.
1957 – The Suez Canal is reopened following the introduction of UNEF peacekeepers to the region.
1959 – Organization of American States asks U.S. to establish naval patrols off east coast of Panama to prevent invasion of Cuban forces
1962 – The Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Ca., and Westford, Mass.
1962 – Marine helicopters (Shufly) supported the 21st Army of the Republic of Vietnam Division during Operation Nightingale near Can Tho.
1965 – President Johnson issues an executive order designating Viertnam a ‘comabt area’ for income tax purposes, retroactive to 1 January 1964.
1969 – US B-52’s dropped 3,000 ton bombs at Cambodian boundary.
1967 – General Westmoreland sparks controversy by saying that the enemy had ‘gained support in the United States that gives him hope that he can win politically that which he cannot win militarily.’
1967 – US Marines, of the 3rd Marine Regiment, defeat North Vietnamese troops on thiree hills near the airstrip at Khesan in Quangtin Province. The battle will rage for 12 days.
1970 – China sponsors a conference near Canton attended by Norodom Sihanouk; Prince Souphonouvong, leader of the Pathet Lao; Nguyen Huu Tho, President of the Provisional Revolutionary Governemtn of South Vietnam; and North Vietnamese Prime minister Pham Van Dong. They pledge joint action to expel US and otehr forces that oppose them in Indochina. Chinese Premier Chou En-lai attends the final session and gives his endorsement.
1971North Vietnamese troops hit Allied installations throughout South Vietnam. In the most devastating attack, the ammunition depot at Qui Nhon was blown up. On April 27, the aviation fuel tanks at Da Nang air base were attacked by communist gunners, resulting in explosions and a fire that destroyed a large proportion of the fuel stored there. In the following three days, 54 South Vietnamese soldiers and civilians were reported killed, and 185 wounded. The United States reported seven dead and 60 wounded.
1974 – Naval forces begin minesweeping operations in the Suez Canal Zone.
1980An ill-fated military operation to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Tehran ends with eight U.S. servicemen dead and no hostages rescued. With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days. On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation and agreed to release non-U.S. captives and female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the U.S. government. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months. President Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and the April 1980 hostage attempt ended in disaster. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan, and soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan’s inauguration, January 20, 1981, the United States freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the 52 hostages were released after 444 days. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet the Americans on their way home.
1981 – The IBM Personal Computer was introduced. It used software from a corporation called Microsoft.
1987 – Eighteen people, including 12 U.S. military personnel, were injured when a roadside bomb exploded in the Greek port of Piraeus; the guerrilla group November 17 claimed responsibility.
1988 – Three sailors were killed and 22 injured when fire broke out aboard the submarine USS Bonefish off the Florida coast.
1990 – The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope. It cost $2 billion. The orbital period of the telescope was 97 Minutes.
1990 – West and East Germany agreed to merge currency and economies on July 1.
1994 – Bosnian Serbs, threatened with NATO air strikes, grudgingly gave up their three-week assault on Gorazde, burning houses and blowing up a water treatment plant as they withdrew.
1994Iraq announces completion of a 65-mile canal through southern Iraq that would divert river waters away from marshlands inhabited primarily by Shiite Iraqis to desert lands. The project has long been the object of concern to human rights groups who charge that the primary reason for the project is to punish the Shiite population in this region for their support of anti-government rebels and to make rebel bases more accessible to government attack.
1995California Forestry Assoc. Pres. Gilbert P. Murray, 47, was killed by a mail bomb at his headquarters in Sacramento. The bomb was attributed to the Unabomber. Gilbert B. Murray, chief lobbyist for the wood products industry, was killed by a package bomb linked to the Unabomber.
1996In New York, the United Nations and Iraq end a third round of negotiations over Iraq’s possible sale of $1 billion of oil. While both sides have reached agreement on most of the key issues, chief Iraqi negotiator Abdul Amir al-Anbari says that the United States and the United Kingdom have fundamentally altered the text of a proposed agreement which he had received from the United Nations early in the third round. Al-Anbari states that the changes have postponed any possible deal. The U.N.-Iraq talks are scheduled to restart on May 10.
1996 – In the United States, the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 is passed into law.
1997The US ratified the chemical weapons ban. The Senate voted 74-26 to approve the chemical weapons treaty, five days before the pact was to take effect. It was the 75th country to ratify the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention ban signed by 164 states. The signing obliges members to destroy all chemical weapons and production facilities by 2007.
1998 – In Columbia the FARC released kidnapped American Louise Augustine. Two other bird-watchers were released soon after.
1999 – It was reported that the details of US sorties flown in Yugoslavia were not being shared with NATO allies in order to prevent leaks from compromising the missions.
1999 On the second day of a NATO summit, the alliance ran into objections from Russia and questions among its own members about enforcing an oil embargo against Yugoslavia by searching ships at sea. President Clinton urged Americans to be patient with the bombing strategy.
1999NATO approved a new strategic concept in Washington that allowed the use of military force to prevent the abuse of human rights anywhere in Europe. NATO also announced plans for an around-the-clock war along with Yugoslavia and an effort to choke off oil supplies from the Adriatic. Damage to Yugoslavia was estimated to have reached $100 billion.
2003 – Tariq Aziz (8 of spades), Iraqi deputy prime minister, surrendered to US forces.
2004Three small dhows, a boat often used in the Gulf, exploded in the Gulf waters off Iraq’s port of Umm Qasr when approached by teams sent to intercept them. Oil terminals at al-Basra and Khawr al-Amaya were targeted. The dhow near Khawr al-Amaya flipped over a U.S. Navy interception craft, killing 2 US sailors and wounding five others. Al Qaeda later claimed responsibility.
2004 – The United States lifts economic sanctions imposed on Libya 18 years previously, as a reward for its cooperation in eliminating weapons of mass destruction.
2007 – The United States Department of Veterans Affairs allows the Wiccan pentagram to be used on the tombstones of deceased soldiers.
2012 – The Pentagon establishes the Defense Clandestine Service to focus on the challenges posed to U.S. interests by countries such as Iran, North Korea and China.
2013 – The FBI and the CIA admit that Russian intelligence had warned the U.S. intelligence agencies several times regarding the extremist connections of Tamerlan Tsarnaev prior to the Boston marathon bombings.

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

Rank and organization: Seaman and Gun Captain, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Birth: England. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served as captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and while under fire and ramming by the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. During this action at extremely close range while his ship was under furious fire and was twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, Bourne remained steadfast at his gun and was instrumental in inflicting damage on the enemy until the Varuna, badly damaged and forced to beach, was finally sunk.

Rank and organization: Landsman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1837, Dansville, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Varuna in one of the most responsible positions, during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and while in action against the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. Although guns were raking the decks from behind him, Bradley remained steadfast at the wheel throughout the thickest of the fight, continuing at his station and rendering service with the greatest courage until his ship, repeatedly holed and twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, was beached and sunk.

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1833, Saratoga, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S.S. Owasco during the attack upon Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Stationed at the masthead during these operations, Farrell observed and reported the effect of the fire of our guns in such a manner as to make his intelligence, coolness and capacity conspicuous.

Rank and organization: Gunner’s Mate, U.S. Navy. Born: 1822, Maine, Accredited to: Maine. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Served on board the U.S. Steam Gunboat Pinola during action against Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and during the taking of New Orleans, 24 April 1862. While engaged in the bombardment of Fort St. Philip, Frisbee, acting courageously and without personal regard, closed the powder magazine which had been set afire by enemy shelling and shut off his avenue of escape, thereby setting a high example of bravery. He served courageously throughout these engagements which resulted in the taking of the Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in the surrender of New Orleans.

Rank and organization: Captain of the Forecastle, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: New York. Birth:——. G.O. No. 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, and while under fire and ramming by the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. During this action at extremely close range while his ship was under furious fire and twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, Greene remained steadfast at his gun throughout the thickest of the fight and was instrumental in inflicting damage on the enemy until the Varuna, badly damaged and forced to beach, was finally sunk.

Rank and organization: Third Class Boy, U.S. Navy. Entered service at: New York. Birth: —–. G.O. No.: 1 I, 3 April 1863. Citation: Hollat served as third class boy on board the U.S.S. Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. He rendered gallant service through the perilous action and remained steadfast and courageous at his battle station despite extremely heavy fire and the ramming of the Varuna by the rebel ship Morgan, continuing his efforts until his ship, repeatedly holed and fatally damaged, was beached and sunk.

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1838, Salem, Mass. Accredited to: Massachusetts. G.O. No.: 169, 8 February, 1872. Citation: Served as seaman on board the U.S.S. Pensacola in the attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Carrying out his duties throughout the din and roar of the battle, Lyons never once erred in his brave performance. Lashed outside of that vessel, on the port-sheet chain, with the lead in hand to lead the ship past the forts, Lyons never flinched, although under a heavy fire from the forts and rebel gunboats.

Rank and organization: Seaman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1839, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. His ship was taken under furious fire by the rebel Morgan and severely damaged by ramming. Steadfast at his station through the thickest of the fight, Martin inflicted damage on the enemy, remaining cool and courageous although the Varuna, so badly damaged that she was forced to beach, was finally sunk.

Rank and organization: Quartermaster, U.S. Navy. Born: 1831, Ireland. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: McGowan occupied one of the most responsible positions on the U.S.S. Varuna during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in action against the rebel ship Morgan on 24 April 1862. Although guns were raking the decks from behind him, McGowan remained steadfast at the wheel throughout the thickest of the fight, continuing at his station and rendering service with the greatest courage and skill until his ship, repeatedly holed and twice rammed by the enemy, was beached and sunk.

Rank and organization: Coxswain, U.S. Navy. Born: 1840 Ulster County, N.Y. Accredited to: New York. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Captain of a gun on board the U.S.S. Varuna during the attacks on Forts Jackson and St. Philip and in action against the rebel ship Morgan, 24 April 1862. During this action at extremely close range, while his ship was under furious fire and was twice rammed by the rebel ship Morgan, McKnight remained steadfast at his gun throughout the thickest of the fight and was instrumental in inflicting damage on the enemy until the Varuna, so badly damaged that she was forced to beach, was finally sunk.

Rank and organization: Second Class Boy, U.S. Navy. Born: 1848, Bridgeport, Conn. Accredited to: Connecticut. G.O. No.: 11, 3 April 1863. Citation: Peck served as second_class boy on board the Varuna during an attack on Forts Jackson and St. Philip, 24 April 1862. Acting as powder boy of the after rifle, Peck served gallantly while the Varuna was repeatedly attacked and rammed and finally sunk. This was an extremely close_range action and, although badly damaged, the Varuna delivered shells abaft the Morgan’s armor.

TRUESDELL, DONALD LEROY (Name officially changed to Truesdale )
Rank and organization: Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps. Place and date: Vicinity Constancia, near Coco River, northern Nicaragua, 24 April 1932. Entered service at: South Carolina. Born: 8 August 1906, Lugoff, S.C. Citation: Cpl. Truesdale was second in command of a Guardia Nacional Patrol in active operations against armed bandit forces in the vicinity of Constancia, near Coco River, northern Nicaragua, on 24 April 1932. While the patrol was in formation on the trail searching for a bandit group with which contact had just previously been made, a rifle grenade fell from its carrier and struck a rock, igniting the detonator. Several men close to the grenade at the time were in danger. Cpl. Truesdale, who was several yards away, could easily have sought cover and safety for himself. Knowing full well the grenade would explode within 2 or 3 seconds, he rushed for the grenade, grasped it in his right hand, and attempted to throw it away from the patrol. The grenade exploded in his hand, blowing it off and inflicting serious multiple wounds about his body. Cpl. Truesdale, in taking the full shock of the explosion himself, saved the members of the patrol from loss of life or serious injury.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 60th Infantry, 9th Infantry Division. Place and date: At Djebel Dardys, Northwest of Sedjenane, Tunisia, 24 April 1943. Entered service at: Middletown, Del. Birth: Dover, Del. G.O. No.: 85, 17 December 1943. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty in action involving actual conflict. On the morning of 24 April 1943, Sgt. Nelson led his section of heavy mortars to a forward position where he placed his guns and men. Under intense enemy artillery, mortar, and small-arms fire, he advanced alone to a chosen observation position from which he directed the laying of a concentrated mortar barrage which successfully halted an initial enemy counterattack. Although mortally wounded in the accomplishment of his mission, and with his duty clearly completed, Sgt. Nelson crawled to a still more advanced observation point and continued to direct the fire of his section. Dying of handgrenade wounds and only 50 yards from the enemy, Sgt. Nelson encouraged his section to continue their fire and by doing so they took a heavy toll of enemy lives. The skill which Sgt. Nelson displayed in this engagement, his courage, and self-sacrificing devotion to duty and heroism resulting in the loss of his life, was a priceless inspiration to our Armed Forces and were in keeping with the highest tradition of the U.S. Army.

Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private First Class), U.S. Army, Company A, 30th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Padiglione, Italy, 23-24 April 1944. Entered service at: Louisville, Ky. Birth: Louisville, Ky. G.O. No.: 78, 2 October 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. At the start of his company’s attack on strongly held enemy positions in and around Spaccasassi Creek, near Padiglione, Italy, on the night of 23-24 April 1944, Pfc. Squires, platoon messenger, participating in his first offensive action, braved intense artillery, mortar, and antitank gun fire in order to investigate the effects of an antitank mine explosion on the leading platoon. Despite shells which burst close to him, Pfc. Squires made his way 50 yards forward to the advance element, noted the situation, reconnoitered a new route of advance and informed his platoon leader of the casualties sustained and the alternate route. Acting without orders, he rounded up stragglers, organized a group of lost men into a squad and led them forward. When the platoon reached Spaccasassi Creek and established an outpost, Pfc. Squires, knowing that almost all of the noncommissioned officers were casualties, placed 8 men in position of his own volition, disregarding enemy machinegun, machine-pistol, and grenade fire which covered the creek draw. When his platoon had been reduced to 14 men, he brought up reinforcements twice. On each trip he went through barbed wire and across an enemy minefield, under intense artillery and mortar fire. Three times in the early morning the outpost was counterattacked. Each time Pfc. Squires ignored withering enemy automatic fire and grenades which struck all around him, and fired hundreds of rounds of rifle, Browning automatic rifle, and captured German Spandau machinegun ammunition at the enemy, inflicting numerous casualties and materially aiding in repulsing the attacks. Following these fights, he moved 50 yards to the south end of the outpost and engaged 21 German soldiers in individual machinegun duels at point-blank range, forcing all 21 enemy to surrender and capturing 13 more Spandau guns. Learning the function of this weapon by questioning a German officer prisoner, he placed the captured guns in position and instructed other members of his platoon in their operation. The next night when the Germans attacked the outpost again he killed 3 and wounded more Germans with captured potato-masher grenades and fire from his Spandau gun. Pfc. Squires was killed in a subsequent action.

Rank and organization: Technical Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company G, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, 23-24 April 1951. Entered service at: Birmingham, Ala. Born: S December 1921, Birmingham, Ala. Citation: For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon sergeant of a rifle platoon attached to Company G, in action against enemy aggressor forces on the night of 23-24 April 1951. When the company outpost was overrun by the enemy while his platoon, firing from hastily constructed foxholes, was engaged in resisting the brunt of a fierce mortar, machine gun, grenade, and small-arms attack launched by hostile forces from high ground under cover of darkness, T/Sgt. Wilson braved intense fire to assist the survivors back into the line and to direct the treatment of casualties. Although twice wounded by gunfire, in the right arm and the left leg, he refused medical aid for himself and continued to move about among his men, shouting words of encouragement. After receiving further wounds in the head and shoulder as the attack increased in intensity, he again insisted upon remaining with his unit. Unable to use either arm to fire, and with mounting casualties among our forces, he resupplied his men with rifles and ammunition taken from the wounded. Personally reporting to his company commander on several occasions, he requested and received additional assistance when the enemy attack became even more fierce and, after placing the reinforcements in strategic positions in the line, directed effective fire until blown off his feet by the bursting of a hostile mortar round in his face. Dazed and suffering from concussion, he still refused medical aid and, despite weakness from loss of blood, moved from foxhole to foxhole, directing fire, resupplying ammunition, rendering first aid, and encouraging his men. By his heroic actions in the face of almost certain death, when the unit’s ability to hold the disadvantageous position was doubtful, he instilled confidence in his troops, inspiring them to rally repeatedly and turn back the furious assaults. At dawn, after the final attack had been repulsed, he personally accounted for each man in his platoon before walking unassisted l/2 mile to the aid station where he submitted to treatment. His outstanding courage, initiative, and skilled leadership in the face of overwhelming odds were contributing factors in the success of his company’s mission and reflect the highest credit upon T/Sgt. Wilson and the U.S. Naval Service.

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