1620 – Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
1764 – Mary Campbell, a captive of the Lenape during the French and Indian War, is turned over to British forces commanded by Colonel Henry Bouquet. Mary Campbell (later Mary Campbell Willford) was an American colonial settler, taken captive as a child by Native Americans during the French and Indian War. Later rescued, she is believed to have been the first white child to travel to the Western Reserve.
1780 – In the Battle of Fishdam Ford a force of British and Loyalist troops fail in a surprise attack against the South Carolina Patriot militia under Brigadier General Thomas Sumter. The Battle of Fishdam Ford was an attempted surprise attack by British forces under the command of Major James Wemyss against an encampment of Patriot militia around 1 am, late in the American Revolutionary War. Wemyss was wounded and captured in the attack, which failed because of heightened security in Sumter’s camp and because Wemyss did not wait until dawn to begin the attack.
1817 – Edward Richard Sprigg Canby, Major General (Union volunteers), was born. Edward Richard Sprigg Canby was born in Platt’s Landing, Kentucky. He and his parents moved to Indiana, from which young Canby was appointed to West Point. Canby graduated in 1835, and served in the Seminole War. He later led major engagements in the Mexican War, and was brevetted twice for gallantry. When the Civil War began, Canby was fighting Native Americans a Fort Defiance, in New Mexico Territory. He was then appointed commander of the Department of New Mexico. Under Brig. Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley, Canby led efforts to repel Confederate attempts to invade the New Mexico Territory. He succeeded, with the help of Colorado volunteers, in defeating the Confederates at the Battle of Glorieta Pass, sometimes called the “Gettysburg of the West.” Within a week of the battle, Canby was made a brigadier general. He served as assistant adjutant general in Washington, D.C. for two years, and commanded troops in New York City during the drafts riots of July 1863. On May 7, 1864, he was appointed a major general, leading the Military Division of West Mississippi. In 1865, he captured Mobile, Alabama, and accepted the surrender of the last Confederate army in the field in May of 1865. After the war, Canby was given the permanent rank of brigadier general. He was appointed commander of the Pacific Coast’s Department of the Columbia in 1870. On April 11, 1873, while leading a peace mission in California, Canby was killed by Modoc Indians.
1822 – The Action of 9 November 1822 between USS Alligator and a squadron of pirate schooners off the coast of Cuba. Fifteen leagues from Matanzas, Cuba, a large band of pirates captured several vessels and held them for ransom. Upon hearing of the pirate attacks, the Alligator under Lieutenant William Howard Allen rushed to the scene to rescue the vessels and seize the pirates. Upon arriving at the bay where the pirates were said to be, USS Alligator dispatched boats to engage the enemy vessels, as the water was too shallow for the American warship to engage them herself. With Allen personally commanding one of the boats, the Americans assaulted the piratical schooner Revenge. Although the Americans were able to force the pirates into abandoning Revenge, the buccaneers managed to fight their way out of the bay and inflict heavy casualties among the Americans, including Allen. With their commander mortally wounded, the Americans ceased pursuit of the pirates but managed to recover the vessels that had been held in the bay.
1825 – Ambrose Powell Hill (d.1865), Lt Gen (Confederate 3rd Army Corp), was born. Known for his red battle shirt and his hard-hitting attacks at the head of the famed Light Division, Ambrose P. Hill proved to be an example of the Peter principle. A West Pointer (1847) and veteran artilleryman, he resigned as a first lieutenant on March 1, 1861, and joined the South, where his services included: colonel, 13th Virginia (spring 1861); brigadier general, CSA (February 26, 1862); commanding brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Department of Northern Virginia (ca. February 26 – May 27, 1862); major general, CSA (May 26, 1862); commanding Light Division (in lst Corps from June 29 and 2nd Corps from July 27, 1862), Army of Northern Virginia (May 27, 1862 – May 2, 1863); commanding 2nd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia (May 2 and 6-30, 1863); lieutenant general, CSA (May 24, 1863); and commanding 3rd Corps, Army of Northern Virginia (May 30, 1863-May 7, 1864 and May 21, 1864-April 2, 1865). In reserve at lst Bull Run, he fought at Yorktown and Williamsburg before being given command of a division. On the day he assumed command he directed the fight at Hanover Court House. He then took part in the Seven Days, distinguishing himself. After fighting at Cedar Mountain, 2nd Bull Run, and the capture of Harpers Ferry, he launched powerful counterattacks at the right moment at both Antietam and Fredericksburg. At Chancellorsville he was on Jackson’s famed march around the Union right flank. When Jackson was wounded, Hill took command of the corps but was wounded carrying out his chief’s orders to “press right in.” At the end of the month he was given command of the new 3rd Corps, which he led to Gettysburg where, suffering from a now unidentifiable illness, he put in a lackluster performance. He was responsible for the disaster at Bristoe Station that fall and, again ill, was virtually circumvented at the Wilderness when Lee in effect took over command of the corps. He relinquished command temporarily after the battle and missed Spotsylvania but returned for the North Anna and Cold Harbor. Taking part in the siege of Petersburg, he was again ill during part of the winter of 186465. With the lines around the city collapsing on April 2, 1865, he was shot and killed in an encounter with a stray group of federal soldiers. Interestingly enough, both Stonewall Jackson and Lee called for Hill and his division in their dying delirium. It must have been the old Hill they were recalling.
1861 – Gunboats of Flag Officer Du Pont’s force took possession of Beaufort, South Carolina, and, by blocking the mouth of Broad River, cut off this communication link between Charleston and Savannah. Major General Robert E. Lee wrote Confederate Secretary of War Judah P. Benjamin regarding the effects of the Union Navy’s victory at Port Royal: “The enemy having complete possession of the water and inland navigation, commands all the islands on the coast and threatens both Savannah and Charleston, and can come in his boats, within 4 miles of this place [Lee’s headquarters, Coosawhatchie, South Carolina]. His sloops of war and large steamers can come up Broad River to Mackay’s Point, the mouth of the Pocotaligo, and his gunboats can ascend some distance up the Coosawhatchie and Tulifinny. We have no guns that can resist their batteries, and have no resources but to prepare to meet them in the field.”
1862 – General US Grant issued orders to bar Jews from serving under him. The order was quickly rescinded.
1862 – General Ambrose Burnside assumes command of the Union Army of the Potomac following the removal of George B. McClellan. This was a difficult time in the army. McClellan was beloved by many soldiers, and he had a loyal following among some in the command structure. But others detested him, and his successor would have a difficult time reconciling the pro- and anti-McClellan factions within the army’s leadership. Furthermore, Ambrose Burnside was not the obvious choice for his replacement. Many favored General Joseph Hooker, who, like Burnside, commanded a corps in the army. Hooker had a strong reputation as a battlefield commander but had several liabilities: a reputation for drinking and cavorting with prostitutes and an acrimonious history with Henry Halleck, the general in chief of the Union armies. Halleck urged President Lincoln to name Burnside to head the Union’s premier fighting force. Burnside was a solid corps commander, but by his own admission was not fit to command an army. The Indiana native graduated from West Point in 1847, 18th in a class of 20. After serving for five years in the military, Burnside entered private business. He worked to develop a new rifle, but his firm went bankrupt when he refused to pay a bribe to secure a contract to sell his weapon to the U.S. army. Burnside then worked as treasurer for the Illinois Central Railroad under McClellan, who was president of the line. When the war erupted, Burnside became a colonel in charge of the First Rhode Island volunteers. He fought without distinction at First Bull Run but then headed an expeditionary force that captured Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in February 1862. Burnside returned to the Army of the Potomac and was given command of the Ninth Corps, which fought hard at Antietam in September. Now, he was tapped for the top position in the army over his own protestations. He reluctantly assumed command and proceeded to plan an attack on Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. In December, his army moved toward Lee at Fredericksburg. Several delays did not, unfortunately, deter Burnside from his plan. He attacked Lee’s entrenched troops on December 13 and suffered horrendous loses. Within one month, officers began to mutiny against Burnside’s authority, and Hooker assumed command of the Army of the Potomac on January 25. After the war, he served as Governor of Rhode Island and as a U.S. Senator before his death in 1881. 1864 – Sherman designed his “March to the Sea.”
1875 – Indian Inspector E.C. Watkins submits a report to Washington, D.C., stating that hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians associated with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse are hostile to the United States. In so doing, Watkins set into motion a series of events that led to the Battle of the Little Big Born in Montana the following year. Seven years before the Watkins report, a portion of the Teton Sioux, who lived with Chief Red Cloud, made peace with the U.S. in exchange for a large reservation in the Black Hills of the Dakotas. However, some Sioux refused the offer of confinement on a reservation, and instead united around Chief Sitting Bull and his leading warrior, Crazy Horse. The wisdom of their resistance seemed confirmed in 1874 when the discovery of gold in the Black Hills set off an invasion of Anglo miners into the Sioux reservation. When the U.S. did nothing to stop this illegal violation of lands promised to the Sioux by treaty, more Indians left the reservation in disgust and joined Sitting Bull to hunt buffalo on the plains of Wyoming and Montana. In November 1875, Watkins reported that the free-roaming Indians were hostile. The government responded by ordering that the Indians “be informed that they must remove to a reservation before the 31st of January, 1876,” and promised that if they refused, “they would be turned over to the War Department for punishment.” However, by the time couriers carried the message to the Sioux it was already winter, and traveling 200 miles to the reservation across frozen ground with no grass for their ponies or food for themselves was an impossible request. When, as expected, the Sioux missed the deadline, the matter was turned over to the War Department. In March 1876, the former Civil War hero General Phillip Sheridan ordered a large force of soldiers to trap the Sioux and force them back to the reservations. Among the officers leading the force was George Armstrong Custer, who later that year lead his famous “last stand” against Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
1887 – The United States receives rights to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
1906 – On the first foreign trip by a U.S. president, President Theodore Roosevelt departs the United States for Panama aboard the battleship Louisiana. The visit came three years after Roosevelt gave tacit U.S. military support to the Panamanian revolt against Colombian rule. Panamanian independence allowed American engineers to begin work on the Panama Canal project–an effort to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans with a U.S.-administered canal across the Isthmus of Panama. During his four days in Panama, Roosevelt visited the project site, where construction preparations were underway. After leaving Panama, Roosevelt traveled to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico and then returned to the United States on November 26.
1914 – “Geier”, German cruiser, interned by U.S.A. at Honolulu.
1918 – The abdication of Kaiser Wilhelm II is announced. He goes into exile in the Netherlands the next day. The victorious powers request, halfheartedly, that he be tried as a war criminal. A member of the chancellor’s cabinet, Philipp Scheidmann, announces the creation of a republic. A new government and chancellor, Friedrich Ebert, are appointed the next day. Germany will remain politically unstable, with various left and right wing factions vying for control.
1921 – USS Olympia arrives at the Washington Navy Yard from France carrying the body of the Unknown Soldier for internment at Arlington National Cemetery.
1923 – In Munich, armed policeman and troops loyal to Germany’s democratic government crush the Beer Hall Putsch, the first attempt by the Nazi Party at seizing control of the German government. After World War I, the victorious allies demanded billions of dollars in war reparations from Germany. Efforts by Germany’s democratic government to comply hurt the country’s economy and led to severe inflation. The German mark, which at the beginning of 1921 was valued at five marks per dollar, fell to a disastrous four billion marks per dollar in 1923. Meanwhile, the ranks of the nationalist Nazi Party swelled with resentful Germans who sympathized with the party’s bitter hatred of the democratic government, leftist politics, and German Jews. In early November 1923, the government resumed war reparation payments, and the Nazis decided to strike. Hitler planned a coup against the state government of Bavaria, which he hoped would spread to the dissatisfied German army, which in turn would bring down the central, democratic government. Same question as above. On the evening of November 8, Nazi forces under Hermann Goering surrounded the Munich beer hall where Bavarian government officials were meeting with local business leaders. A moment later, Hitler burst in with a group of Nazi storm troopers, discharged his pistol into the air, and declared that “the national revolution has begun.” Threatened at gunpoint, the Bavarian leaders reluctantly agreed to support Hitler’s new regime. In the early morning of November 9, however, the Bavarian leaders repudiated their coerced support of Hitler and ordered a rapid suppression of the Nazis. At dawn, government troops surrounded the main Nazi force occupying the War Ministry building. A desperate Hitler responded by leading a march toward the center of Munich in a last-ditch effort to rally support. Near the War Ministry building, 3,000 Nazi marchers came face to face with 100 armed policemen. Shots were exchanged, and 16 Nazis and three policemen were killed. Hermann Goering was shot in the groin, and Hitler suffered a dislocated elbow but managed to escape. Three days later, Hitler was arrested. Convicted of treason, he was given the minimum sentence of five years in prison. He was imprisoned in the Landsberg fortress and spent his time writing his autobiography, Mein Kampf, and working on his oratorical skills. Political pressure from the Nazis forced the Bavarian government to commute Hitler’s sentence, and he was released after serving only nine months. In the late 1920s, Hitler reorganized the Nazi Party as a fanatical mass movement that was able to gain a majority in the Reichstag in 1932. By 1934, Hitler was the sole master of a nation intent on war and genocide.
1925 – German Nazis formed the SS (Schutzstaffel- elite special forces).1935 – Japanese troops invaded Shanghai, China.
1938 – This day saw the organized destruction of Jewish businesses and homes in Munich, as well as the beating and murder of Jewish men, women, and children. It was an exercise in terror that would be called “Kristallnacht,” or “the Night of Broken Glass,” because of the cost of broken glass in looted Jewish shops–5 million marks ($1,250,000). On November 7, in Paris, a 17-year-old German Jewish refugee, Herschel Grynszpan, shot and killed the third secretary of the German embassy, Ernst vom Rath. Grynszpan had intended to avenge the deportation of his father to Poland and the ongoing persecution of Jews in Germany by killing the German ambassador. Instead, the secretary was sent out to see what the angry young man wanted and was killed. The irony is that Rath was not an anti-Semite; in fact, he was an anti-Nazi. As revenge for this shooting, Joseph Goebbels, Nazi minister of propaganda, and Reinhard Heydrich, second in command of the SS after Heinrich Himmler, ordered “spontaneous demonstrations” of protest against the Jewish citizens of Munich. The order, in the form of a teletyped message to all SS headquarters and state police stations, laid out the blueprint for the destruction of Jewish homes and businesses. The local police were not to interfere with the rioting storm troopers, and as many Jews as possible were to be arrested with an eye toward deporting them to concentration camps. In Heydrich’s report to Hermann Goering after Kristallnacht, the damage was assessed: “…815 shops destroyed, 171 dwelling houses set on fire or destroyed…119 synagogues were set on fire, and another 76 completely destroyed…20,000 Jews were arrested, 36 deaths were reported and those seriously injured were also numbered at 36….” The extent of the destruction was actually greater than reported. Later estimates were that as many as 7,500 Jewish shops were looted, and there were several incidents of rape. This, in the twisted ideology of Nazism, was worse than murder, because the racial laws forbade intercourse between Jews and gentiles. The rapists were expelled from the Nazi Party and handed over to the police for prosecution. And those who killed Jews? They “cannot be punished,” according to authorities, because they were merely following orders. To add insult to massive injury, those Jews who survived the monstrous pogrom were forced to pay for the damage inflicted upon them. Insurance firms teetered on the verge of bankruptcy because of the claims. Hermann Goering came up with a solution: Insurance money due the victims was to be confiscated by the state, and part of the money would revert back to the insurance companies to keep them afloat. The reaction around the world was one of revulsion at the barbarism into which Germany was sinking. As far as Hitler was concerned, this only proved the extent of the “Jewish world conspiracy.”
1940 – Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.
1942 – The US forces at Casablanca secure their beachheads. At Port Lyautey there is heavy fighting between French tanks and General Truscott’s troops. Oran, target of the Center Task Force is still holding out, however General Anderson, who has landed to take command of 1st Army at Algiers in the east, is able to send armored columns rushing to the area for support. German troops begin to be flown into Tunisia.General Giraud arrives in Algiers. However, the Allies realize that Admiral Darlan will be better able to change French loyalty to the Allied cause and they continue to pressure him.
1943 – On Bougainville, the US 3rd Marine Division advances inland from their beachhead at Cape Tarokina, in Empress Augusta Bay. An encounter battle ensues with the main body of the Japanese 23rd Regiment on the jungle tracks. Meanwhile, a second wave of landings begin with the arrival of most of the US 37th Division.
1944 – The 455-foot Red Oak Victory ship was launched from Richmond, Ca. It was named after an Iowa town with the highest number of casualties per capita in WW II. The Victory ships were successors of the Liberty ships.
1944 – Elements of US 3rd Army cross the Moselle River around Metz. Further south, US 12th Corps continues advancing beyond the Seille River, capturing Chateau Salins.
1944 – On Leyte, another 2000 troops of the Japanese 26th Division arrive at Ormoc. The transporting warships are forced to withdraw before all the supplies can landed.
1945 – FBI agents staked out a house in Berkeley, Ca., to watch George Eltenton, a suspected Soviet spy. In 1946 Eltenton admitted that he had tried to obtain secret data on Berkeley’s radiation lab. Eltenton moved to Britain in 1947.
1950 – Task Force 77 makes first attack on the Yalu River bridges. In first engagement between MIG-15 and F9F jets (USS Philippine Sea), LCDR William T. Amen (VF-111) shoots down a MIG and becomes first Navy pilot to shoot down a jet aircraft.
1950 – Corporal Harry J. LaVene, a tail gunner on a RB-29 over Sinuiju, became the first aerial gunner to shoot down a MiG-15.
1967 – NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) launched Apollo 4 into orbit from Cape Kennedy with the first successful test of a Saturn V rocket. The Saturn V was the largest operational launch vehicle ever produced. Standing over 363 feet high with its Apollo Spacecraft payload, it produced over 7.5 million pounds of thrust at lift-off. These pages contain a mixture of photos of the three examples on display at the Johnson Space Center, Kennedy Space Center and the Alabama Space and Rocket Center. Of these three, only the JSC vehicle is made up entirely of former flight-ready (although mismatched) components.
1970 – The Supreme Court refuses to hear a challenge by the state of Massachusetts regarding the constitutionality of the Vietnam War. By a 6-3 vote, the justices rejected the effort of the state to bring a suit in federal court in defense of Massachusetts residents claiming protection under a state law that allowed them to refuse military service in an undeclared war.
1979 – In a nuclear false alarm, the NORAD computers and the Alternate National Military Command Center in Fort Ritchie, Maryland detected purported massive Soviet nuclear strike. After reviewing the raw data from satellites and checking the early-warning radars, the alert is cancelled.
1980 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared holy war against Iran.
1989 – East German officials today opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. One of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble that was quickly snatched up by souvenir hunters. The East German action followed a decision by Hungarian officials a few weeks earlier to open the border between Hungary and Austria. This effectively ended the purpose of the Berlin Wall, since East German citizens could now circumvent it by going through Hungary, into Austria, and thence into West Germany. The decision to open the wall was also a reflection of the immense political changes taking place in East Germany, where the old communist leadership was rapidly losing power and the populace was demanding free elections and movement toward a free market system. The action also had an impact on President George Bush and his advisors. After watching television coverage of the delirious German crowds demolishing the wall, many in the Bush administration became more convinced than ever that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s statements about desiring a new relationship with the West must be taken more seriously. Unlike 1956 and 1968, when Soviet forces ruthlessly crushed protests in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, respectively, Gorbachev actually encouraged the East German action. As such, the destruction of the Berlin Wall was one of the most significant actions leading to the end of the Cold War.
1997 – In Lansdowne, Pa., some 200 people picketed in front of the home of Jonas Stelmokas (81) to protest delays to his deportation. He was accused of being a former member of the Lithuanian police force that helped Nazis kill Jews during WW II.
1999 – With fireworks, concerts and a huge party at the landmark Brandenburg Gate, Germany celebrated the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
2000 – William Leonard Pickard (55) and Clyde Apperson (45) of California were indicted by a grand jury in Kansas City for running a massive LSD laboratory inside a decommissioned nuclear missile silo in Wamego, Ka.
2001 – Northern Alliance forces, under the command of Dostum and Ustad Atta Mohammed Noor, overcame resistance crossing the Pul-i-Imam Bukhri bridge, and seized the city of Mazar e Sharif’s main military base and airport. U.S. Special Forces Operational Detachment A-595, CIA paramilitary officers and United States Air Force Combat Control Team on horseback and with close air support, took part in the push into Mazari Sharif. After a bloody 90-minute battle, Taliban forces withdrew after holding the city since 1998, triggering celebrations. The fall of the city was a “body blow” to the Taliban and ultimately proved to be a “major shock”, since the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) had originally believed that the city would remain in Taliban hands well into the following year and any potential battle would require “a very slow advance”. Following rumors that Mullah Dadullah was headed to recapture the city with as many as 8,000 fighters, a thousand American 10th Mountain Division personnel were airlifted into the city, providing the first solid position from which Kabul and Kandahar could be reached. While prior military flights had to be launched from Uzbekistan or aircraft carriers in the Arabian Sea, the Americans now had an airport that allowed them to fly more sorties for resupply missions and humanitarian aid. These missions allowed shipments of humanitarian aid to be immediately shipped to Afghans facing starvation on the northern plain. American-backed forces began immediately broadcasting from Radio Mazar-i-Sharif, the former Taliban Voice of Sharia channel, including an address from former President Rabbani.
2001 – The Battle of Mazar-e Sharif may also mark the last use of hoseback mounted tactics by US troops. US Special Forces operators, blending modern and ancient, rode with Northern Alliance allies while using modern communications to direct air support.
2001 – A Pakistani newspaper published a Nov 7 interview with Osama bin Laden in which he claimed to have chemical and nuclear weapons.
2002 – President Bush said in his radio address that Saddam Hussein faced a final test to surrender weapons of mass destruction.
2003 – Art Carney (85) died in Chester, Conn. He played Jackie Gleason’s sewer worker pal Ed Norton in the TV classic “The Honeymooners” and went on to win the 1974 Oscar for best actor in “Harry and Tonto.”
2004 – Iraqi authorities imposed the first nighttime curfew in more than a year on Baghdad and surrounding areas. US Army and Marine units thrust through the center of the insurgent stronghold of Fallujah, fighting bands of guerrillas in the streets and conducting house-to-house searches on the second day of a major offensive. Some US artillery used white phosphorous rounds that melted skin. At least 10 American and 2 Iraqi soldiers were killed in the assault.
2004 – In a backlash over the Fallujah assault the Iraqi Islamic Party withdrew from the interim government and a leading group of Sunni clerics called for Iraqis to boycott nationwide elections.
2011 – A U.S. Federal investigation finds gross mismanagement of the remains of servicemen and women at the Charles C. Carson Center for Mortuary Affairs at Dover Air Force Base.
2012 – Two Iranian Revolutionary Guard fighter jets fire on an unmanned American General Atomics MQ-1 Predator drone in international airspace near Kuwait.
2012 – CIA Director David Petraeus submits his resignation to President Barack Obama, citing an extramarital affair he had.CIA Director David Petraeus submits his resignation to President Barack Obama, citing an extramarital affair he had.
2013 – The United States Navy christened the USS Gerald R. Ford – the $15.5 billion aircraft carrier is the most technologically advanced ship ever built.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
GALT, STERLING A.
Rank and organization: Artificer, Company F, 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Bamban, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 9 November 1899. Entered service at: Pawneytown, Md. Birth: Pawneytown, Md. Date of issue: 30 April 1902. Citation: Distinguished bravery and conspicuous gallantry in action against insurgents.
HUNTSMAN, JOHN A.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company E, 36th Infantry, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Bamban, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 9 November 1899. Entered service at: Lawrence, Kans. Birth: Oskaloosa County, lowa. Date of issue: Unknown. Citation: For distinguished bravery and conspicuous gallantry in action against insurgents.
*BARKELEY, DAVID B.
Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Pouilly, France, 9 November 1918. Entered service at: San Antonio, Tex. Birth: Laredo, Tex. G.O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: When information was desired as to the enemy’s position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Pvt. Barkeley, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return, but before his goal was reached, he was seized with cramps and drowned.
JOHNSTON, HAROLD I.
Rank and organization: Sergeant (then Private First Class), U.S. Army, Company A, 356th Infantry, 89th Division. Place and date: Near Pouilly, France, 9 November 1918. Entered service at: Chicago, Ill. Birth: Kendell, Kans. C O. No.: 20, W.D., 1919. Citation: When information was desired as to the enemy’s position on the opposite side of the Meuse River, Sgt. Johnston, with another soldier, volunteered without hesitation and swam the river to reconnoiter the exact location of the enemy. He succeeded in reaching the opposite bank, despite the evident determination of the enemy to prevent a crossing. Having obtained his information, he again entered the water for his return. This was accomplished after a severe struggle which so exhausted him that he had to be assisted from the water, after which he rendered his report of the exploit.
VAN IERSEL, LUDOVICUS M. M.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company M, 9th Infantry, 2d Division. Place and date: At Mouzon, France, 9 November 1918. Entered service at: Glen Rock, N.J. Birth: Holland. G.O. No.: 34, W.D., 1919. Citation: While a member of the reconnaissance patrol, sent out at night to ascertain the condition of a damaged bridge, Sgt. Van Iersel volunteered to lead a party across the bridge in the face of heavy machinegun and rifle fire from a range of only 75 yards. Crawling alone along the debris of the ruined bridge he came upon a trap, which gave away and precipitated him into the water. In spite of the swift current he succeeded in swimming across the stream and found a lodging place among the timbers on the opposite bank. Disregarding the enemy fire, he made a careful investigation of the hostile position by which the bridge was defended and then returned to the other bank of the river, reporting this valuable information to the battalion commander.
*GOTT, DONALD J. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 729th Bomber Squadron, 452d Bombardment Group. Place and date: Saarbrucken, Germany, 9 November 1944. Entered service at: Arnett, Okla. Born: 3 June 1923, Arnett, Okla. G.O. No.: 38, 16 May 1945. Citation: On a bombing run upon the marshaling yards at Saarbrucken a B-17 aircraft piloted by 1st. Lt. Gott was seriously damaged by antiaircraft fire. Three of the aircraft’s engines were damaged beyond control and on fire; dangerous flames from the No. 4 engine were leaping back as far as the tail assembly. Flares in the cockpit were ignited and a fire raged therein, which was further increased by free-flowing fluid from damaged hydraulic lines. The interphone system was rendered useless. In addition to these serious mechanical difficulties the engineer was wounded in the leg and the radio operator’s arm was severed below the elbow. Suffering from intense pain, despite the application of a tourniquet, the radio operator fell unconscious. Faced with the imminent explosion of his aircraft, and death to his entire crew, mere seconds before bombs away on the target, 1st. Lt. Gott and his copilot conferred. Something had to be done immediately to save the life of the wounded radio operator. The lack of a static line and the thought that his unconscious body striking the ground in unknown territory would not bring immediate medical attention forced a quick decision. 1st. Lt. Gott and his copilot decided to fly the flaming aircraft to friendly territory and then attempt to crash land. Bombs were released on the target and the crippled aircraft proceeded alone to Allied-controlled territory. When that had been reached, 1st. Lt. Gott had the copilot personally inform all crewmembers to bail out. The copilot chose to remain with 1st. Lt. Gott in order to assist in landing the bomber. With only one normally functioning engine, and with the danger of explosion much greater, the aircraft banked into an open field, and when it was at an altitude of 100 feet it exploded, crashed, exploded again and then disintegrated. All 3 crewmembers were instantly killed. 1st. Lt. Gott’s loyalty to his crew, his determination to accomplish the task set forth to him, and his deed of knowingly performing what may have been his last service to his country was an example of valor at its highest.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 6 November 1922, Neche, N. Dak. Accredited to: North Dakota. Citation: For extraordinary heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty while attached to the 3d Marine Raider Battalion during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area on 9 November 1943. While his platoon was engaged in the defense of a vital road block near Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville Island. Pfc. Gurke, in company with another Marine, was delivering a fierce stream of fire against the main vanguard of the Japanese. Concluding from the increasing ferocity of grenade barrages that the enemy was determined to annihilate their small, 2-man foxhole, he resorted to a bold and desperate measure for holding out despite the torrential hail of shells. When a Japanese grenade dropped squarely into the foxhole, Pfc. Gurke, mindful that his companion manned an automatic weapon of superior fire power and therefore could provide more effective resistance, thrust him roughly aside and flung his own body over the missile to smother the explosion. With unswerving devotion to duty and superb valor, Pfc. Gurke sacrificed himself in order that his comrade might live to carry on the fight. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
*METZGER, WILLIAM E., JR. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps, 729th Bomber Squadron 452d Bombardment Group. Place and date: Saarbrucken, Germany, 9 November 1944. Entered service at: Lima, Ohio. Born: 9 February 1922, Lima, Ohio. G.O. No.: 38, 16 May 1945. Citation: On a bombing run upon the marshaling yards at Saarbrucken, Germany, on 9 November 1944, a B17 aircraft on which 2d Lt. Metzger was serving as copilot was seriously damaged by antiaircraft fire. Three of the aircraft’s engines were damaged beyond control and on fire; dangerous flames from the No. 4 engine were leaping back as far as the tail assembly. Flares in the cockpit were ignited and a fire roared therein which was further increased by free-flowing fluid from damaged hydraulic lines. The interphone system was rendered useless. In addition to these serious mechanical difficulties the engineer was wounded in the leg and the radio operator’s arm was severed below the elbow. Suffering from intense pain, despite the application of a tourniquet, the radio operator fell unconscious. Faced with the imminent explosion of his aircraft and death to his entire crew, mere seconds before bombs away on the target, 2d Lt. Metzger and his pilot conferred. Something had to be done immediately to save the life of the wounded radio operator. The lack of a static line and the thought that his unconscious body striking the ground in unknown territory would not bring immediate medical attention forced a quick decision. 2d Lt. Metzger and his pilot decided to fly the flaming aircraft to friendly territory and then attempt to crash land. Bombs were released on the target and the crippled aircraft proceeded along to Allied-controlled territory. When that had been reached 2d Lt. Metzger personally informed all crewmembers to bail out upon the suggestion of the pilot. 2d Lt. Metzger chose to remain with the pilot for the crash landing in order to assist him in this emergency. With only 1 normally functioning engine and with the danger of explosion much greater, the aircraft banked into an open field, and when it was at an altitude of 100 feet it exploded, crashed, exploded again, and then disintegrated. All 3 crewmembers were instantly killed. 2d Lt. Metzger’s loyalty to his crew, his determination to accomplish the task set forth to him, and his deed of knowingly performing what may have been his last service to his country was an example of valor at its highest.
*SIJAN, LANCE P.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Air Force, 4th Allied POW Wing, Pilot of an F-4C aircraft. Place and date: North Vietnam, 9 November 1967. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 13 April 1942, Milwaukee, Wis. Citation: While on a flight over North Vietnam, Capt. Sijan ejected from his disabled aircraft and successfully evaded capture for more than 6 weeks. During this time, he was seriously injured and suffered from shock and extreme weight loss due to lack of food. After being captured by North Vietnamese soldiers, Capt. Sijan was taken to a holding point for subsequent transfer to a prisoner of war camp. In his emaciated and crippled condition, he overpowered 1 of his guards and crawled into the jungle, only to be recaptured after several hours. He was then transferred to another prison camp where he was kept in solitary confinement and interrogated at length. During interrogation, he was severely tortured; however, he did not divulge any information to his captors. Capt. Sijan lapsed into delirium and was placed in the care of another prisoner. During his intermittent periods of consciousness until his death, he never complained of his physical condition and, on several occasions, spoke of future escape attempts. Capt. Sijan’s extraordinary heroism and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty at the cost of his life are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.
TAYLOR, JAMES ALLEN
Rank and organization: Captain (then 1st Lt.), U.S. Army, Troop B, 1st Cavalry, Americal Division. Place and date: West of Que Son, Republic of Vietnam, 9 November 1967. Entered service at: San Francisco, Calif. Born: 31 December 1937, Arcata, Calif. Citation: Capt. Taylor, Armor, was serving as executive officer of Troop B, 1st Squadron. His troop was engaged in an attack on a fortified position west of Que Son when it came under intense enemy recoilless rifle, mortar, and automatic weapons fire from an enemy strong point located immediately to its front. One armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit immediately by recoilless rifle fire and all 5 crewmembers were wounded. Aware that the stricken vehicle was in grave danger of exploding, Capt. Taylor rushed forward and personally extracted the wounded to safety despite the hail of enemy fire and exploding ammunition. Within minutes a second armored cavalry assault vehicle was hit by multiple recoilless rifle rounds. Despite the continuing intense enemy fire, Capt. Taylor moved forward on foot to rescue the wounded men from the burning vehicle and personally removed all the crewmen to the safety of a nearby dike. Moments later the vehicle exploded. As he was returning to his vehicle, a bursting mortar round painfully wounded Capt. Taylor, yet he valiantly returned to his vehicle to relocate the medical evacuation landing zone to an area closer to the front lines. As he was moving his vehicle, it came under machinegun fire from an enemy position not 50 yards away. Capt. Taylor engaged the position with his machinegun, killing the 3-man crew. Upon arrival at the new evacuation site, still another vehicle was struck. Once again Capt. Taylor rushed forward and pulled the wounded from the vehicle, loaded them aboard his vehicle, and returned them safely to the evacuation site. His actions of unsurpassed valor were a source of inspiration to his entire troop, contributed significantly to the success of the overall assault on the enemy position, and were directly responsible for saving the lives of a number of his fellow soldiers. His actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military profession and reflect great credit upon himself, his unit, and the U.S. Army
YOUNG, GERALD O.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Air Force, 37th ARS Da Nang AFB, Republic of Vietnam. Place and date: Khesanh, 9 November 1967. Entered service at: Colorado Springs, Colo. Born: 9 May 1930, Chicago, Ill. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. Young distinguished himself while serving as a helicopter rescue crew commander. Capt. Young was flying escort for another helicopter attempting the night rescue of an Army ground reconnaissance team in imminent danger of death or capture. Previous attempts had resulted in the loss of 2 helicopters to hostile ground fire. The endangered team was positioned on the side of a steep slope which required unusual airmanship on the part of Capt. Young to effect pickup. Heavy automatic weapons fire from the surrounding enemy severely damaged 1 rescue helicopter, but it was able to extract 3 of the team. The commander of this aircraft recommended to Capt. Young that further rescue attempts be abandoned because it was not possible to suppress the concentrated fire from enemy automatic weapons. With full knowledge of the danger involved, and the fact that supporting helicopter gunships were low on fuel and ordnance, Capt. Young hovered under intense fire until the remaining survivors were aboard. As he maneuvered the aircraft for takeoff, the enemy appeared at point-blank range and raked the aircraft with automatic weapons fire. The aircraft crashed, inverted, and burst into flames. Capt. Young escaped through a window of the burning aircraft. Disregarding serious burns, Capt. Young aided one of the wounded men and attempted to lead the hostile forces away from his position. Later, despite intense pain from his burns, he declined to accept rescue because he had observed hostile forces setting up automatic weapons positions to entrap any rescue aircraft. For more than 17 hours he evaded the enemy until rescue aircraft could be brought into the area. Through his extraordinary heroism, aggressiveness, and concern for his fellow man, Capt. Young reflected the highest credit upon himself, the U.S. Air Force, and the Armed Forces of his country.
WHITE, KYLE J.
Rank and Organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. Place and Date: November 9, 2007, Aranas, Afghanistan. Born: March 27, 1987. Departed: No. Entered Service At: Seattle, Washington. G.O. Number: . Date of Issue: 05/13/2014. Accredited To: Washington. Citation: Specialist Kyle J. White distinguished himself by acts of gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a radio telephone operator with Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade, during combat operations against an armed enemy in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan on November 9, 2007. On that day, Specialist White and his comrades were returning to Bella Outpost from a shura with Aranas Village elders. As the soldiers traversed a narrow path surrounded by mountainous, rocky terrain, they were ambushed by enemy forces from elevated positions. Pinned against a steep mountain face, Specialist White and his fellow soldiers were completely exposed to enemy fire. Specialist White returned fire and was briefly knocked unconscious when a rocket-propelled grenade impacted near him. When he regained consciousness, another round impacted near him, embedding small pieces of shrapnel in his face. Shaking off his wounds, Specialist White noticed one of his comrades lying wounded nearby. Without hesitation, Specialist White exposed himself to enemy fire in order to reach the soldier and provide medical aid. After applying a tourniquet, Specialist White moved to an injured Marine, similarly providing aid and comfort until the Marine succumbed to his wounds. Specialist White then returned to the soldier and discovered that he had been wounded again. Applying his own belt as an additional tourniquet, Specialist White was able to stem the flow of blood and save the soldier’s life. Noticing that his and the other soldier’s radios were inoperative, Specialist White exposed himself to enemy fire yet again in order to secure a radio from a deceased comrade. He then provided information and updates to friendly forces, allowing precision airstrikes to stifle the enemy’s attack and ultimately permitting medical evacuation aircraft to rescue him, his fellow soldiers, Marines and Afghan Army soldiers. Specialist Kyle J. White’s extraordinary heroism and selflessness above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon himself, Company C, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry Regiment, 173d Airborne Brigade and the United States Army.