1763 – Seneca warriors defeat British forces at the Battle of Devil’s Hole during Pontiac’s War. Also known as the Devil’s Hole Massacre, was fought near Niagara Gorge in present-day New York state between a detachment of the British 80th Regiment of Light Armed Foot and about 300 Seneca warriors. The Seneca warriors killed 81 British soldiers and wounded 8 before they managed to retreat.
1716 – The 1st lighthouse in US was lit in Boston Harbor.
1814 – Francis Scott Key composes the lyrics to “The Star-Spangled Banner” after witnessing the massive British bombardment of Fort McHenry in Maryland during the War of 1812. Key, an American lawyer, watched the siege while under detainment on a British ship and penned the famous words after observing that the U.S. flag over Fort McHenry had survived the 1,800-bomb assault. After circulating as a handbill, the patriotic lyrics were published in a Baltimore newspaper on September 20. Set to the tune of “To Anacreon in Heaven,” an English drinking song written by the British composer John Stafford Smith, it soon became popular throughout the nation. Throughout the 19th century, “The Star-Spangled Banner” was regarded as the national anthem by the U.S. armed forces and other groups, but it was not until 1916, and the signing of an executive order by President Woodrow Wilson, that it was formally designated as such. In 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed a Congressional act confirming Wilson’s presidential order.
1847 – During the Mexican-American War, U.S. forces under General Winfield Scott enter Mexico City and raise the American flag over the Hall of Montezuma, concluding a devastating advance that began with an amphibious landing at Vera Cruz six months earlier. The Mexican-American War began with a dispute over the U.S. government’s 1845 annexation of Texas. In January 1846, President James K. Polk, a strong advocate of westward expansion, ordered General Zachary Taylor to occupy disputed territory between the Nueces and Rio Grande Rivers. Mexican troops attacked Taylor’s forces, and on May 13, 1846, Congress approved a declaration of war against Mexico. On March 9, 1847, U.S. forces under General Winfield Scott invaded Mexico three miles south of Vera Cruz. They encountered little resistance from the Mexicans massed in the fortified city of Vera Cruz, and by nightfall the last of Scott’s 10,000 men came ashore without the loss of a single life. It was the largest amphibious landing in U.S. history and not surpassed until World War II. By March 29, with very few casualties, Scott’s forces had taken Vera Cruz and its massive fortress, San Juan de Ulua. On September 14, Scott’s forces reached the Mexican capital. In February 1848, representatives from the United States and Mexico signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, formally ending the Mexican War, recognizing Texas as part of the United States, and extending the boundaries of the United States west to the Pacific Ocean.
1856 – At the Battle of San Jacinto, Nicaragua defeated invaders. General José Dolores Estrada led his men against the powerful forces of William Walker and his filibusters, who sought to take over Nicaragua and all of Central America.
1861 – In the early morning darkness sailors and Marines from U.S.S. Colorado, rowing in to Pensacola Harbor, boarded and burned Confederate privateering schooner Judah. and spiked guns at Pensacola Navy Yard.
1862 – General Robert E. Lee’s exhausted Confederate forces hold off the pursuing Yankees by closing two passes through Maryland’s South Mountain, allowing Lee time to gather his forces further west along Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg. After the Battle of Second Bull Run on August 29-30, Lee decided to invade Maryland to raise supplies; he also hoped a decisive win would earn the South foreign recognition. As he moved, he split his army into five sections while the hungry Rebels searched for supplies. A copy of the Confederate plans accidentally fell into Union hands when the orders were left in an abandoned campsite outside of Frederick, Maryland. McClellan now knew that Lee’s force was in pieces, but he was slow to react. As Lee moved into western Maryland, he left detachments to guard Crampton’s Gap and Turner’s Gap through South Mountain. If McClellan had penetrated the passes, he would have found Lee’s army scattered and vulnerable. South Mountain, a 50-mile long ridge, contained several passes, but Crampton’s Gap and Turner’s Gap were the most important. The National Road ran through Turner’s Gap to the north, and Crampton’s Gap connected western Maryland to Harpers Ferry, Virginia. The Union troops drove the Confederates away at Crampton’s Gap, but were initially unable to expel the Confederates from Turner’s Gap. However, the Rebels did retreat the next morning. Union losses for the day amounted to 2,300 dead and wounded, including the death of Major General Jesse Reno. The Confederates lost 2,700. These engagements were a mere prelude to the Battle of Antietam. Although costly, they allowed Lee time to assemble his scattered bands at Sharpsburg.
1862 – A contingent of Federal troops escaped from the beleaguered Harper’s Ferry.
1872 – Britain paid US $15 million for damages during Civil War. The British government paid £3 million in damages to the United States in compensation for building the Confederate commerce-raider Alabama. The confederate navy‘s Alabama was built at the Birkenhead shipyards. Despite its official neutrality during the American Civil War, Britain allowed the warship to leave port, and it subsequently played havoc with Federal shipping. The U.S. claimed compensation, and a Court of Arbitration at Geneva agreed, setting the amount at £3 million.
1899 – Gunboat Concord and monitor Monterey capture two insurgent schooners at Aparri, Philippine Islands.
1901 – Twenty-fifth President of the United States William McKinley, Jr., dies today of an assassin’s bullet shot into him on September 6th. Born in Ohio, he enlisted as a private at the age of 18 in the 23rd Ohio Volunteer Infantry at the outbreak of the Civil War (also serving as a major in this same regiment was future 19th President Rutherford B. Hayes). McKinley proved an able leader and quickly moved up through the ranks so that by war’s end he was a major. After leaving the Army he entered politics, being repeatedly elected to the House of Representatives until elected President in 1897. The most important aspect of his time as president was taking the United States to war against Spain over the issue of Cuban independence. The outcome of that war made America a world power with colonies in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines. During this period nearly 200,000 Guardsmen served in the American Army seeing combat in all theaters of the war. McKinley’s Vice President, who is sworn in as the 26th President on this date, is former New York Guard Captain and Colonel of the 1st Volunteer Cavalry, “the Rough Riders”, Theodore Roosevelt.
1912 – The United States government notified Nicaragua that it would protect American lives and property there and uphold the government against rebels.
1939 – In the 1930s Igor Sikorsky (d.1972) turned his attention again to helicopter design and on this day flew the VS-300 on its first test flight. Sikorsky, scientist, engineer, pilot and businessman, was a pioneer in aircraft design who is best known for his successful development of the helicopter. He was fascinated with flight even as a child in Russia, and a 1908 meeting with the Wright brothers determined the course of his life in aviation. After two early helicopter designs failed, Sikorsky turned his attention to fixed-wing aircraft. By 1913 he had developed the Il’ya Muromets, four-engine passenger aircraft that were converted to bombers for use in WWI. The Bolshevik Revolution forced Sikorsky and his family to emigrate to America in 1919 where he established the Sikorsky Aero Engineering Corporation in New York. Over the next 20 years, Sikorsky’s company built passenger planes and flying boats, including the S-40 American Clipper that was used to open new air routes across the Pacific.
1940 – Congress passed the Selective Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in U.S. history. It passed by one vote.
1942 – The 3-day Battle of Edson’s Ridge at Guadalcanal continued.
1942 – The Japanese-held island of Kiska is bombed by American forces.
1943 – On Vella Lavella, American and New Zealand forces are advancing. Reinforcements are sent to the US battalion on Sagekarasa because of Japanese attacks.
1944 – Three groups of US Task Force 38, with 12 carriers, conduct air strikes on Japanese positions on the Visayas or central Philippine islands.
1944 – U.S. 1st Marine Division lands on the island of Peleliu, one of the Palau Islands in the Pacific, as part of a larger operation to provide support for Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who was preparing to invade the Philippines. The cost in American lives would prove historic. The Palaus, part of the Caroline Islands, were among the mandated islands taken from Germany and given to Japan as one of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles at the close of World War I. The U.S. military lacked familiarity with the islands, and Adm. William Halsey argued against Operation Stalemate, which included the Army invasion of Morotai in the Dutch East Indies, believing that MacArthur would meet minimal resistance in the Philippines, therefore making this operation unnecessary, especially given the risks involved. Peleliu was subject to pre-invasion bombardment, but it proved of little consequence. The Japanese defenders of the island were buried too deep in the jungle, and the target intelligence given the Americans was faulty. Upon landing, the Marines met little immediate resistance-but that was a ploy. Shortly thereafter, Japanese machine guns opened fire, knocking out more than two dozen landing craft. Japanese tanks and troops followed, as the startled 1st and 5th Marine regiments fought for their lives. Jungle caves disgorged even more Japanese soldiers. Within one week of the invasion, the Marines lost 4,000 men. By the time it was all over, that number would surpass 9,000. The Japanese lost more than 13,000 men. Flamethrowers and bombs finally subdued the island for the Americans-but it all proved pointless. MacArthur invaded the Philippines without need of Army or Marine protection from either Peleliu or Morotai.
1944 – CGC Bedloe (ex-Antietam) and Jackson foundered off Cape Hatteras during a hurricane. 26 crewmen were lost from the Bedloe, 21 from the Jackson.
1950 – Sixty-two year old singer Al Jolson arrived in Korea to entertain the troops after paying his own way from the United States.
1958 – The 720th Missile Battalion, California National Guard, becomes operational on a 24-hour, seven day a week basis. Manning four batteries of NIKE-AJAX missiles, this is the first Army Guard unit armed with these surface-to-air missiles used to replace anti-aircraft guns in defensive positions. By 1962 a force of 17,000 Guardsmen (combined technicians and traditional) maintained 82 batteries stationed in 15 states. All were located around harbors and large cities important to national strategic interests. In the early 1960s the AJAX missiles were replaced by the longer-ranged and nuclear capable NIKE-HERCULES missile. The program, running from 1958 until it was discontinued in 1974, was one of the Guard’s most successful homeland defense missions performed in the 20th century.
1959 – The Soviet space probe Luna 2 became the first man-made object to reach the moon as it crashed onto the lunar surface.
1960 – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was founded on this day at the Baghdad Conference of 1960, established by five core members: Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela. Originally made up of just these five, OPEC began as an attempt to organize and unify petroleum policies, securing stable prices for the petroleum producers. The organization grew considerably after its creation, adding eight other members and developing into one of the most influential groups in the world. The first real indication of OPEC’s power came with the 1973 oil embargo, during which long lines and soaring gasoline prices quickly convinced Americans of the reach of OPEC’s influence. OPEC’s member countries currently supply more than 40 percent of the world’s oil.
1960 – With CIA help, Mobutu Sese Seko seizes power in a military coup, suspending parliament and the constitution. The Congo Crisis (French: Crise congolaise) was a period of political upheaval and conflict in the Republic of the Congo (today the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between 1960 and 1965. It began almost immediately after the Congo’s independence from Belgium and ended, unofficially, with the entire country under the rule of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War in which the Soviet Union and United States supported opposing factions. Around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the crisis.
1965 – ARVN paratroopers and several U.S. advisers parachute into the Ben Cat area, 20 miles north of Saigon. This was the first major parachute assault of the war by the South Vietnamese. Although they failed to make contact with the enemy, they achieved their goal of driving the Viet Cong away from Route 13 (running between Saigon and the Cambodian border) at least temporarily.
1966 – U.S. II Field Force initiates Operation Attleboro with an attack by the 196th Light Infantry Brigade against Viet Cong forces near the Cambodian Border in War Zone C (near Tay Ninh, 50 miles northwest of Saigon in III Corps Tactical Zone). When the communists appeared to want to make a fight of it, the U.S. commander, Lt. Gen. Jonathan Seaman, sent in reinforcements from the U.S. 1st Infantry Division; the 173rd Airborne Brigade; a brigade each from the U.S. 4th and 25th Infantry Divisions; and a contingent from a South Vietnamese division. Before the operation was over, more than 20,000 U.S. and South Vietnamese troops were involved, making it the largest operation at that point in the war. After more than six weeks of hit-and-run fighting, the Viet Cong forces sustained 1,106 casualties and fell back to sanctuary areas in Cambodia. Operations like Attleboro, and others to follow such as Cedar Rapids and Junction City, were examples of the search and destroy tactic dictated by Gen. William Westmoreland, commander of U.S. Military Assistance Command Vietnam (MACV), the senior American headquarters in Saigon. The objective was to find the Viet Cong and engage them in decisive battle; the problem was that the communists often refused to engage in the type of set-piece battles for control of critical terrain that had been the norm in previous wars, like World War II. Westmoreland’s search and destroy tactic led to a war of attrition in which battles were fought often over the same territory again and again and where each side inflicted as many casualties as possible on the other. This approach was criticized because it meant that the war would go on as long as the communists were prepared to accept and replace their losses on the battlefield.
1969 – The US Selective Service selects September 14 as the First Draft Lottery Date.
1989 – Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled the replacement for the Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican helicopter: the HH-60J. The Coast Guard planned to purchase 33 of the new helicopters and gave it the moniker “Jayhawk.”
1990 – During the Persian Gulf crisis, the US Navy reported that American troops had fired a warning shot at an Iraqi tanker, then boarded it briefly before allowing it to proceed.
1990 – The Secretary of Transportation and the Commandant of the Coast Guard authorized the first-ever deployment of a reserve port security unit overseas. PSU 303, staffed by reservists from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the first of three PSUs deployed. PSU 303 was stationed in Al-Dammam, Saudi Arabia.
1992 – The Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina declares the breakaway Croatian Republic of Herzeg-Bosnia to be illegal.
1995 – Bosnian Serbs agreed to move heavy weapons and tanks away from Serajevo. NATO halted bombing in response.
1997 – An Air Force F-117A Stealth fighter broke apart in midair at a Baltimore County air show. The pilot ejected safely but about a dozen people on the ground were slightly injured.
1998 – In Miami ten people were charged in what prosecutors said was the largest Cuban spy ring uncovered in the United States since Fidel Castro came to power. Five men later pleaded guilty to lesser charges; the trial of the other five has been postponed until May 2000.
1998 – Iraq’s Parliament threatens to cut off all contacts with U.N. arms inspectors if the Security Council does not resume its review of sanctions.
2001 – The State Department, in a memo demanded that the Taliban surrender all known al-Qaeda associates in Afghanistan, provide intelligence on bin Laden and his affiliates and expel all terrorists from Afghanistan.
2001 – Congress passed legislation titled Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which was signed on 18 September 2001 by President Bush. It authorized the use of U.S. Armed Forces against those responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
2001 – Pres. Bush declared a national emergency and summoned as many as 50,000 military reservists. Congress authorizes President George W. Bush to use “all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” The number of hijackers involved in the Sep 11 attacks was raised from 18 to 19 and their names were made public.
2001 – Six chartered flights carrying mostly Saudi nationals departed from the US over the course of the next week.
2002 – President Bush said the United States was willing to take Iraq on alone if the United Nations failed to “show some backbone” by confronting Saddam Hussein.
2002 – In Lackawanna, New York, 5 men of Yemeni descent were charged with supporting foreign terrorist organizations. They trained in an al Qaeda camp run by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network in the spring of 2001. A 6th member of the cell was arrested in Bahrain. All 6 were indicted Oct 21. In 2003 Mukhtar al-Bakri was sentenced to 10 years, Yasein Taher to 9 years. All terms ranged from 7-10 years.
2004 – A car bomb ripped through a busy market near a Baghdad police headquarters where Iraqis were waiting to apply for jobs on the force killing 47 and wounding 114. Gunmen opened fire on a van carrying police home from work in Baqouba, killing 12 people.
2004 – Saboteurs blew up a junction where multiple oil pipelines cross the Tigris River in northern Iraq, setting off a chain reaction in power generation systems that left the entire country without power.
2007 – President Bush backed a limited withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Bush said 5,700 personnel would be home by Christmas 2007, and expected thousands more to return by July 2008. The plan would take troop numbers back to their level before the surge at the beginning of 2007.
2007 – Michael Sulick is named the new Director of the United States’ National Clandestine Service.
2009 – U.S. special forces launch an attack on Islamist militants from Al-Shabab in Somalia. The Baraawe raid, code named Operation Celestial Balance, was a helicopter assault by United States Special Operations Forces against the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan and associated al-Shabaab militants near the town of Baraawe in southern Somalia.
2012 – Fifty U.S. Marines are deployed to the American embassy in Yemen as a “precautionary measure” after clashes in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.
2012 – The bodies of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Officer Sean Smith, and former SEALs Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, killed in the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, are returned to the United States, for their eventual funerals, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland in a solemn military ceremony attended by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joseph Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
2014 – North Korea holds a trial for American tourist Matthew Miller who was detained in April and sentences him to six years of hard labor
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
Rank and organization: Private, Company F, 16th New York Infantry. Place and date: At South Mountain, Md., 14 September 1862. Entered service at: Potsdam, N.Y. Born: 6 May 1843, Ireland. Date of issue: 11 September 1890. Citation: Single-handed and slightly wounded he accosted a squad of 14 Confederate soldiers bearing the colors of the 16th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.). By an imaginary ruse he secured their surrender and kept them at bay when the regimental commander discovered him and rode away for assistance.
CARUANA, ORLANDO E.
Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 51st New York Infantry. Place and date: At New Bern, N.C., 14 March 1862; at South Mountain, Md., 14 September 1862. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ca Valletta, Malta. Date of issue: 14 November 1890. Citation: At New Bern, N.C., brought off the wounded color sergeant and the colors under a heavy fire of the enemy. Was one of four soldiers who volunteered to determine the position of the enemy at South Mountain, Md. While so engaged was fired upon and his three companions killed, but he escaped and rejoined his command in safety.
HATCH, JOHN P.
Rank and organization: Brigadier General, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At South Mountain, Md., 14 September 1862. Entered service at: New York, N.Y. Born: 9 January 1822, Oswego, N.Y. Date of issue: 28 October 1893. Citation: Was severely wounded while leading one of his brigades in the attack under a heavy fire from the enemy.
HOOKER, GEORGE W.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, Company E, 4th Vermont Infantry. Place and date: At South Mountain, Md., 14 September 1862. Entered service at: Boston, Mass. Birth: Salem, N.Y. Date of issue: 17 September 1891. Citation: Rode alone, in advance of his regiment, into the enemy’s lines, and before his own men came up received the surrender of the major of a Confederate regiment, together with the colors and 116 men.
INSCHO, LEONIDAS H.
Rank and organization: Corporal, Company E, 12th Ohio Infantry. Place and date: At South Mountain, Md., 14 September 1862. Entered service at: Charleston, W. Va. Birth: Chatham, Ohio. Date of issue: 31 January 1894. Citation: Alone and unaided and with his left hand disabled, captured a Confederate captain and 4 men.
Rank and organization: Second Class Fireman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1855, Philadelphia, Pa. Accredited to: Pennsylvania. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: On board the U.S.S. Alaska at Callao Bay, Peru, 14 September 1881. Following the rupture of the stop-valve chamber, Barrett courageously hauled the fires from under the boiler of that vessel.
Rank and organization: First Class Fireman, U.S. Navy. Born: 1849, Ireland. Accredited to: California. G.O. No.: 326, 18 October 1884. Citation: Serving on board the U.S.S. Alaska at Callao Bay, Peru, 14 September 1881. Following the rupture of the stop-valve chamber on that vessel, Laverty hauled the fires from under the boiler,
SCHROEDER, HENRY F.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company L, 16th U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Carig, Philippine Islands, 14 September 1900. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Chicago, Ill. Date of issue: 10 March 1902. Citation: With 22 men defeated 400 insurgents, killing 36 and wounding 90.
MILES, L. WARDLAW
Rank and organization. Captain, U.S. Army, 308th Infantry, 77th Division. Place and date: Near Revillon, France, 14 September 1918. Entered service at: Princeton, N.J. Born: 23 March 1873, Baltimore, Md. G.O. No.: 44, W.D., 1919. Citation: Volunteered to lead his company in a hazardous attack on a commanding trench position near the Aisne Canal, which other troops had previously attempted to take without success. His company immediately met with intense machinegun fire, against which it had no artillery assistance, but Capt. Miles preceded the first wave and assisted in cutting a passage through the enemy’s wire entanglements. In so doing he was wounded 5 times by machinegun bullets, both legs and 1 arm being fractured, whereupon he ordered himself placed on a stretcher and had himself carried forward to the enemy trench in order that he might encourage and direct his company, which by this time had suffered numerous casualties. Under the inspiration of this officer’s indomitable spirit his men held the hostile position and consolidated the front line after an action lasting 2 hours, at the conclusion of which Capt. Miles was carried to the aid station against his will.
EDSON, MERRITT AUSTIN
Rank and organization: Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 25 April 1897, Rutland, Vt. Appointed from: Vermont. Other Navy awards: Navy Cross with Gold Star, Silver Star Medal, Legion of Merit with Gold Star. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty as Commanding Officer of the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, with Parachute Battalion attached, during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands on the night of 13-14 September 1942. After the airfield on Guadalcanal had been seized from the enemy on 8 August, Col. Edson, with a force of 800 men, was assigned to the occupation and defense of a ridge dominating the jungle on either side of the airport. Facing a formidable Japanese attack which, augmented by infiltration, had crashed through our front lines, he, by skillful handling of his troops, successfully withdrew his forward units to a reserve line with minimum casualties. When the enemy, in a subsequent series of violent assaults, engaged our force in desperate hand-to-hand combat with bayonets, rifles, pistols, grenades, and knives, Col. Edson, although continuously exposed to hostile fire throughout the night, personally directed defense of the reserve position against a fanatical foe of greatly superior numbers. By his astute leadership and gallant devotion to duty, he enabled his men, despite severe losses, to cling tenaciously to their position on the vital ridge, thereby retaining command not only of the Guadalcanal airfield, but also of the 1st Division’s entire offensive installations in the surrounding area.
*KEATHLEY, GEORGE D.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 85th Infantry Division. Place and date: Mt. Altuzzo, Italy, 14 September 1944. Entered service at: Lamesa, Tex. Birth: Olney, Tex. G.O. No.: 20, 29 March 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, in action on the western ridge of Mount Altuzzo, Italy. After bitter fighting his company had advanced to within 50 yards of the objective, where it was held up due to intense enemy sniper, automatic, small arms, and mortar fire. The enemy launched 3 desperate counterattacks in an effort to regain their former positions, but all 3 were repulsed with heavy casualties on both sides. All officers and noncommissioned officers of the 2d and 3d platoons of Company B had become casualties, and S/Sgt. Keathley, guide of the 1st platoon, moved up and assumed command of both the 2d and 3d platoons, reduced to 20 men. The remnants of the 2 platoons were dangerously low on ammunition, so S/Sgt. Keathley, under deadly small arms and mortar fire, crawled from 1 casualty to another, collecting their ammunition and administering first aid. He then visited each man of his 2 platoons, issuing the precious ammunition he had collected from the dead and wounded, and giving them words of encouragement. The enemy now delivered their fourth counterattack, which was approximately 2 companies in strength. In a furious charge they attacked from the front and both flanks, throwing hand grenades, firing automatic weapons, and assisted by a terrific mortar barrage. So strong was the enemy counterattack that the company was given up for lost. The remnants of the 2d and 3d platoons of Company B were now looking to S/Sgt. Keathley for leadership. He shouted his orders precisely and with determination and the men responded with all that was in them. Time after time the enemy tried to drive a wedge into S/Sgt. Keathley’s position and each time they were driven back, suffering huge casualties. Suddenly an enemy hand grenade hit and exploded near S/Sgt. Keathley, inflicting a mortal wound in his left side. However, hurling defiance at the enemy, he rose to his feet. Taking his left hand away from his wound and using it to steady his rifle, he fired and killed an attacking enemy soldier, and continued shouting orders to his men. His heroic and intrepid action so inspired his men that they fought with incomparable determination and viciousness. For 15 minutes S/Sgt. Keathley continued leading his men and effectively firing his rifle. He could have sought a sheltered spot and perhaps saved his life, but instead he elected to set an example for his men and make every possible effort to hold his position. Finally, friendly artillery fire helped to force the enemy to withdraw, leaving behind many of their number either dead or seriously wounded. S/Sgt. Keathley died a few moments later. Had it not been for his indomitable courage and incomparable heroism, the remnants of 3 rifle platoons of Company B might well have been annihilated by the overwhelming enemy attacking force. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.
*LLOYD, EDGAR H.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 319th Infantry, 80th Infantry Division. Place and date: Near Pompey, France, 14 September 1944. Entered service at: Blytheville, Ark. Birth: Blytheville, Ark. G.O. No.: 25, 7 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. On 14 September 1944, Company E, 319th Infantry, with which 1st Lt. Lloyd was serving as a rifle platoon leader, was assigned the mission of expelling an estimated enemy force of 200 men from a heavily fortified position near Pompey, France. As the attack progressed, 1st Lt. Lloyd’s platoon advanced to within 50 yards of the enemy position where they were caught in a withering machinegun and rifle crossfire which inflicted heavy casualties and momentarily disorganized the platoon. With complete disregard for his own safety, 1st Lt. Lloyd leaped to his feet and led his men on a run into the raking fire, shouting encouragement to them. He jumped into the first enemy machinegun position, knocked out the gunner with his fist, dropped a grenade, and jumped out before it exploded. Still shouting encouragement he went from 1 machinegun nest to another, pinning the enemy down with submachine gun fire until he was within throwing distance, and then destroyed them with hand grenades. He personally destroyed 5 machineguns and many of the enemy, and by his daring leadership and conspicuous bravery inspired his men to overrun the enemy positions and accomplish the objective in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. His audacious determination and courageous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States.
*SADOWSKI, JOSEPH J.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, 37th Tank Battalion, 4th Armored Division. Place and date: Valhey, France, 14 September 1944. Entered service at: Perth Amboy, N.J. Birth: Perth Amboy, N.J. C o. No.: 32, 23 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty at Valhey, France. On the afternoon of 14 September 1944, Sgt. Sadowski as a tank commander was advancing with the leading elements of Combat Command A, 4th Armored Division, through an intensely severe barrage of enemy fire from the streets and buildings of the town of Valhey. As Sgt. Sadowski’s tank advanced through the hail of fire, it was struck by a shell from an 88-mm. gun fired at a range of 20 yards. The tank was disabled and burst into flames. The suddenness of the enemy attack caused confusion and hesitation among the crews of the remaining tanks of our forces. Sgt. Sadowski immediately ordered his crew to dismount and take cover in the adjoining buildings. After his crew had dismounted, Sgt. Sadowski discovered that 1 member of the crew, the bow gunner, had been unable to leave the tank. Although the tank was being subjected to a withering hail of enemy small-arms, bazooka, grenade, and mortar fire from the streets and from the windows of adjacent buildings, Sgt. Sadowski unhesitatingly returned to his tank and endeavored to pry up the bow gunner’s hatch. While engaged in this attempt to rescue his comrade from the burning tank, he was cut down by a stream of machinegun fire which resulted in his death. The gallant and noble sacrifice of his life in the aid of his comrade, undertaken in the face of almost certain death, so inspired the remainder of the tank crews that they pressed forward with great ferocity and completely destroyed the enemy forces in this town without further loss to themselves. The heroism and selfless devotion to duty displayed by Sgt. Sadowski, which resulted in his death, inspired the remainder of his force to press forward to victory, and reflect the highest tradition of the armed forces.
*WIGLE, THOMAS W.
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company K, 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division. Place and date: Monte Frassino, Italy, 14 September 1944. Entered service at: Detroit, Mich. Birth: Indianapolis, Ind. G.O. No.: 8, 7 February 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty in the vicinity of Monte Frassino, Italy. The 3d Platoon, in attempting to seize a strongly fortified hill position protected by 3 parallel high terraced stone walls, was twice thrown back by the withering crossfire. 2d Lt. Wigle, acting company executive, observing that the platoon was without an officer, volunteered to command it on the next attack. Leading his men up the bare, rocky slopes through intense and concentrated fire, he succeeded in reaching the first of the stone walls. Having himself boosted to the top and perching there in full view of the enemy, he drew and returned their fire while his men helped each other up and over. Following the same method, he successfully negotiated the second. Upon reaching the top of the third wall, he faced 3 houses which were the key point of the enemy defense. Ordering his men to cover him, he made a dash through a hail of machine-pistol fire to reach the nearest house. Firing his carbine as he entered, he drove the enemy before him out of the back door and into the second house. Following closely on the heels of the foe, he drove them from this house into the third where they took refuge in the cellar. When his men rejoined him, they found him mortally wounded on the cellar stairs which he had started to descend to force the surrender of the enemy. His heroic action resulted in the capture of 36 German soldiers and the seizure of the strongpoint.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Reserve, Company E, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Korea, Hill 749, 14 September 1951. Entered service at: Omaha, Nebr. Born: 10 August 1932, Omaha, Nebr. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as an ammunition bearer in Company E, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Bolding advancing with his squad in support of a group of riflemen assaulting a series of strongly fortified and bitterly defended hostile positions on Hill 749, Pfc. Gomez consistently exposed himself to the withering barrage to keep his machine gun supplied with ammunition during the drive forward to seize the objective. As his squad deployed to meet an imminent counterattack, he voluntarily moved down an abandoned trench to search for a new location for the gun and, when a hostile grenade landed between himself and his weapon, shouted a warning to those around him as he grasped the activated charge in his hand. Determined to save his comrades, he unhesitatingly chose to sacrifice himself and, diving into the ditch with the deadly missile, absorbed the shattering violence of the explosion in his body. By his stouthearted courage, incomparable valor, and decisive spirit of self-sacrifice, Pfc. Gomez inspired the others to heroic efforts in subsequently repelling the outnumbering foe, and his valiant conduct throughout sustained and enhanced the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
*WALMSLEY, JOHN S., JR.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Air Force, 8th Bombardment Squadron, 3d Bomb Group. Place and date: Near Yangdok, Korea, 14 September 1951. Entered service at: Baltimore, Md. Born. 7 January 1920, Baltimore, Md. Citation: Capt. Walmsley, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While flying a B-26 aircraft on a night combat mission with the objective of developing new tactics, Capt. Walmsley sighted an enemy supply train which had been assigned top priority as a target of opportunity. He immediately attacked, producing a strike which disabled the train, and, when his ammunition was expended, radioed for friendly aircraft in the area to complete destruction of the target. Employing the searchlight mounted on his aircraft, he guided another B-26 aircraft to the target area, meanwhile constantly exposing himself to enemy fire. Directing an incoming B-26 pilot, he twice boldly aligned himself with the target, his searchlight illuminating the area, in a determined effort to give the attacking aircraft full visibility. As the friendly aircraft prepared for the attack, Capt. Walmsley descended into the valley in a low level run over the target with searchlight blazing, selflessly exposing himself to vicious enemy antiaircraft fire. In his determination to inflict maximum damage on the enemy, he refused to employ evasive tactics and valiantly pressed forward straight through an intense barrage, thus insuring complete destruction of the enemy’s vitally needed war cargo. While he courageously pressed his attack Capt. Walmsley’s plane was hit and crashed into the surrounding mountains, exploding upon impact. His heroic initiative and daring aggressiveness in completing this important mission in the face of overwhelming opposition and at the risk of his life, reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Air Force.
*SKIDGEL, DONALD SIDNEY
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Troop D, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Place and date: Near Song Be, Republic of Vietnam, 14 September 1969. Entered service at: Bangor, Maine. Born: 13 October 1948, Caribou, Maine. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Skidgel distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance section leader in Troop D. On a road near Song Be in Binh Long Province, Sgt. Skidgel and his section with other elements of his troop were acting as a convoy security and screening force when contact occurred with an estimated enemy battalion concealed in tall grass and in bunkers bordering the road. Sgt.Skidgel maneuvered off the road and began placing effective machinegun fire on the enemy automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenade positions. After silencing at least 1 position, he ran with his machinegun across 60 meters of bullet-swept ground to another location from which he continued to rake the enemy positions. Running low on ammunition, he returned to his vehicle over the same terrain. Moments later he was alerted that the command element was receiving intense automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenade and mortar fire. Although he knew the road was saturated with enemy fire, Sgt. Skidgel calmly mounted his vehicle and with his driver advanced toward the command group in an effort to draw the enemy fire onto himself. Despite the hostile fire concentrated on him, he succeeded in silencing several enemy positions with his machinegun. Moments later Sgt. Skidgel was knocked down onto the rear fender by the explosion of an enemy rocket-propelled grenade. Ignoring his extremely painful wounds, he staggered back to his feet and placed effective fire on several other enemy positions until he was mortally wounded by hostile small arms fire. His selfless actions enabled the command group to withdraw to a better position without casualties and inspired the rest of his fellow soldiers to gain fire superiority and defeat the enemy. Sgt. Skidgel’s gallantry at the cost of his life were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army.