1760 – Major Robert Rogers and his Rangers took possession of Detroit on behalf of Britain. French commandant Belotre surrendered Detroit. General James Amherst selected Rogers for the honor of receiving the surrender of the western French posts——Detroit, Michilimackinac, Ouiatenon, and others. This was the first British expedition into the French held Great Lakes region in almost a hundred years. It would have been a challenge at any time, but winter was drawing near, adding the dimension of a race to an already difficult task. Although not all of the posts were reached before the winter of 1760-61 set in, the mission is still regarded as a success.
1775 – CAPT John Manley in schooner Lee captures British ordnance ship Nancy with large quantity of munitions.
1776 – The Battle of Fort Cumberland, Nova Scotia, comes to an end with the arrival of British reinforcements. The Battle of Fort Cumberland (also known as the Eddy Rebellion) was an attempt by a small number of militia commanded by Jonathan Eddy to bring the American Revolutionary War to Nova Scotia in late 1776. With minimal logistical support from Massachusetts and four to five hundred volunteer militia and Natives, Eddy attempted to besiege and storm Fort Cumberland in central Nova Scotia (near the present-day border between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) in November 1776. The fort’s defenders, the Royal Fencible American Regiment led by Joseph Goreham, a veteran of the French and Indian War, successfully repelled several attempts by Eddy’s militia to storm the fort, and the siege was ultimately relieved when the RFA plus Royal Marine reinforcements drove off the besiegers on November 29. In retaliation for the role of locals who supported the siege, numerous homes and farms were destroyed, and Patriot sympathizers were driven out of the area. The successful defense of Fort Cumberland preserved the territorial integrity of the British Maritime possessions, and Nova Scotia remained loyal throughout the war.
1777 – San Jose, California, is founded as Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. It is the first civilian settlement, or pueblo, in Alta California.
1804 – Lt Presley O’Bannon and seven Marines landed in Alexandria, Egypt. The group will gather 500 mercenaries and in January 1805 begin an overland march to Tripoli.
1808 – Secretary of Treasury Gallatin requested 12 new cutters at a cost of $120,000 to enforce “laws which prohibit exportation and restrain importations” to support the embargo ordered by President Thomas Jefferson. President Jefferson had ordered an embargo against most European imports and exports to protest the harassment of U.S. sailors by warring European powers. The embargo did not work. War began with England in 1812 but the ships were purchased.
1863 – The Battle of Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn., ended in Confederate withdrawal. In attempting to take Knoxville, the Confederates decided that Fort Sanders was the only vulnerable place where they could penetrate Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside’s fortifications, which enclosed the city, and successfully conclude the siege, already a week long. The fort surmounted an eminence just northwest of Knoxville. Northwest of the fort, the land dropped off abruptly. Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet believed he could assemble a storming party, undetected at night, below the fortifications and, before dawn, overwhelm Fort Sanders by a coup de main. Following a brief artillery barrage directed at the fort’s interior, three Rebel brigades charged. Union wire entanglements-–telegraph wire stretched from one tree stump to another to another-–delayed the attack, but the fort’s outer ditch halted the Confederates. This ditch was twelve feet wide and from four to ten feet deep with vertical sides. The fort’s exterior slope was almost vertical, also. Crossing the ditch was nearly impossible, especially under withering defensive fire from musketry and canister. Confederate officers did lead their men into the ditch, but, without scaling ladders, few emerged on the scarp side and a small number entered the fort to be wounded, killed, or captured. The attack lasted a short twenty minutes. Longstreet undertook his Knoxville expedition to divert Union troops from Chattanooga and to get away from Gen. Braxton Bragg, with whom he was engaged in a bitter feud. His failure to take Knoxville scuttled his purpose. This was the decisive battle of the Knoxville Campaign. This Confederate defeat, plus the loss of Chattanooga on November 25, put much of East Tennessee in the Union camp.
1864 – Battle of Spring Hill, Ten. (Thomason’s Station). Spring Hill was the prelude to the Battle of Franklin. On the night of November 28, 1864, Gen. John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee marched toward Spring Hill to get astride Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s Union army’s life line. Cavalry skirmishing between Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson’s Union cavalry and Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate troopers continued throughout the day as the Confederates advanced. On November 29, Hood’s infantry crossed Duck River and converged on Spring Hill. In the meantime, Maj. Gen. Schofield reinforced the troops holding the crossroads at Spring Hill. In late afternoon, the Federals repulsed a piecemeal Confederate infantry attack. During the night, the rest of Schofield’s command passed from Columbia through Spring Hill to Franklin. This was, perhaps, Hood’s best chance to isolate and defeat the Union army. The engagement has been described as “one of the most controversial non-fighting events of the entire war.”
1864 – Double-turret monitor U.S.S. Onondaga, Commander William A Parker, and single-turret monitor U.S.S. Mahopac, Lieutenant Commander Edward E. Potter, engaged Howlett’s Battery, on the James River, Virginia, for three hours. This was part of the continuing action below Richmond.
1864 – Peaceful Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians are massacred by a band of Colonel John Chivington’s Colorado volunteers at Sand Creek, Colorado. The causes of Sand Creek massacre were rooted in the decades-long conflict for control of the Great Plains of eastern Colorado. The Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 guaranteed ownership of the area north of the Arkansas River to the Nebraska border to the Cheyenne and Arapahoe. By the end of the decade, however, waves of Euro-American miners flooded across the region in search of gold in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. That placed extreme pressure on the resources of the arid plains, and by 1861 tensions between new settlers and Native Americans were rising. On February 8 that year, a Cheyenne delegation, led by Black Kettle, along with some Arapahoe leaders accepted a new settlement with the Federal government; it ceded most of their land but secured a 600-square mile reservation and annuity payments. The delegation reasoned that continued hostilities would jeopardize their bargaining power. In the decentralized political world of the tribes, Black Kettle and his fellow delegates represented only part of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe tribes. Many did not accept this new agreement, called the Treaty of Fort Wise. The new reservation and federal payments proved unable to sustain the tribes. During the Civil War, tensions again rose and sporadic violence broke out between Anglos and Indians. In June 1864, Territorial Governor John Evans attempted to isolate recalcitrant Native Americans by inviting “friendly Indians” to camp near military forts and receive provisions and protection. He also called for volunteers to fill the military void left when most of the regular army troops in Colorado were sent to other areas during the Civil War. In August 1864, Evans met with Black Kettle and several other chiefs to forge a new peace, and all parties left satisfied. Black Kettle moved his band to Fort Lyon, Colorado, where the commanding officer encouraged him to hunt near Sand Creek. In what can only be considered a wicked act of treachery, Chivington moved his troops to the plains, and on November 29, they attacked the unsuspecting tribe, scattering men, women, and children and hunting them down. The casualties reflect the one-sided nature of the fight. Nine of Chivington’s men were killed; 148 of Black Kettle’s followers were slaughtered, more than half of them women and children. The Colorado volunteers returned and killed the wounded, mutilated the bodies, and set fire to the village. The atrocities committed by the soldiers were initially praised, but then condemned as the circumstances of the massacre emerged. Chivington resigned from the military and aborted his budding political career. Black Kettle survived and continued his peace efforts. In 1865, his tribe accepted a new reservation in Indian Territory.
1872 – The Modoc War begins with the Battle of Lost River. The Battle of Lost River in November 1872 was the first battle in the Modoc War in the northwestern United States. The skirmish, which was fought near the Lost River along the California-Oregon border, was the result of an attempt by the U.S. 1st Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army to force a band of the Modoc tribe to relocate to the Klamath Reservation. In the subsequent war, Captain Jack of the Modoc and 53 warriors held off over 1000 U.S. soldiers for 7 months.
1890 – The first Army-Navy football game was played, at West Point, New York. Navy defeated Army by a score of 24-to-nothing.
1916 – US declared martial law in Dominican Republic. Most Dominican laws and institutions remained intact under military rule, although the shortage of Dominicans willing to serve in the cabinet forced the military governor, Rear Admiral Harry S. Knapp, to fill a number of portfolios with United States naval officers. The press and radio were censored for most of the occupation, and public speech was limited. The surface effects of the occupation were largely positive. The Marines restored order throughout most of the republic (with the exception of the eastern region); the country’s budget was balanced, its debt was diminished, and economic growth resumed; infrastructure projects produced new roads that linked all the country’s regions for the first time in its history; a professional military organization, the Dominican Constabulary Guard, replaced the partisan forces that had waged a seemingly endless struggle for power. Most Dominicans, however, greatly resented the loss of their sovereignty to foreigners, few of whom spoke Spanish. The most intense opposition to the occupation arose in the eastern provinces of El Seibo and San Pedro de Macorís. From 1917 to 1921, the United States forces battled a guerrilla movement in that area known as the gavilleros. The guerrillas enjoyed considerable support among the population, and they benefited from a superior knowledge of the terrain. The movement survived the capture and the execution of its leader, Vicente Evangelista, and some initially fierce encounters with the Marines. However, the gavilleros eventually yielded to the occupying forces’ superior firepower, air power (a squadron of six Curtis Jennies), and determined counterinsurgent methods.
1923 – International commission headed by American banker Charles Dawes was set up to investigate the German economy. The League of Nations had invited Gen. Charles Gates Dawes to chair a committee to deal with the controversial problem of German reparations payments. The Dawes Report recommended reducing the reparations from 132 billion marks to 37 billion marks. America would lend Germany money for reparations payments to France and England, which countries would then be able to pay some of their war debts. Dawes was a banker and owned the Central Republic Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago. The Allies implemented the plan; Dawes shared the Nobel Peace Prize for 1925 with Austen Chamberlain.
1927– In California troops battled 1,200 inmates after Folsom prisoners revolted. On Thanksgiving Day there was a prison break at Folsom. One prisoner was shot in the ensuing uprising and five others were later hung. Units of the 184th Infantry and 143rd Field Artillery under the direction of Colonel Wallace Mason, Commanding the 184th Infantry played a large part in bringing to an end the riot at Folsom Penitentiary. When, shortly before eleven o’clock Thursday morning, November 29th, Governor Young was notified by telephone message from Warden Court Smith of the outbreak of 1,400 rioting convicts, he gave orders that the National Guard units of the nearby cities be called by telephone, “mobilized at their respective armories and with or without uniforms be transported to Folsom as rapidly as possible”. Ten companies comprising 450 men were mobilized from five cities. Four Sacramento companies, three from Stock ton, one each from Woodland, Marysville and Yuba City were on the grounds ready and prepared to answer any order that might be issued by the “council of war” directed by Governor C. C. Young, commander-in chief of the California National Guard. Direct military command of all troops at the prison was given to Colonel Wallace Mason, commanding officer of the 184th Infantry. The 184th Infantry units were: From Sacramento, Headquarters Company, Capt. Roy Green, commanding; Service Company, Capt. John Maloney, commanding; Howitzer Company, Capt. Robert E. Beauchamp, commanding. From Stockton came Company I, Capt. George M. Bisbee, commanding. From Woodland came Company E, Capt. Arthur C. Huston, Jr., commanding. From Marysville came Company F, Capt. Wesley C. Owen, commanding. From Yuba City came Company H, Capt. Irwin E. Farrington, commanding. The 143rd Field Artillery units were: Battery D, Sacramento, Battery C, Stockton, Battery F, Lodi, Headquarters Battery and Combat Train, 2nd Battalion, Stockton. In addition, two airplanes of the 40th Division Air Service came from Los Angeles to “stand by” for any emergency. General R. E. Mittelstaedt, The Adjutant General, who was at the San Francisco Armory at the time, arrived by airplane from Crissy Field, San Francisco. Two tanks from the 40th Tank Company at Salinas, were sent to the Prison. The planes from Los Angeles as well as that carrying General Mittelstaedt, were equipped with machine guns.
1929 – American explorer Richard Byrd and three companions make the first flight over the South Pole, flying from their base on the Ross Ice Shelf to the pole and back in 18 hours and 41 minutes. Richard Evelyn Byrd learned how to fly in the U.S. Navy and served as a pilot in World War I. An excellent navigator, he was deployed by the navy to Greenland in 1924 to help explore the Arctic region by air. Enamored with the experience of flying over glaciers and sea ice, he decided to attempt the first flight over the North Pole. On May 9, 1926, the Josephine Ford left Spitsbergen, Norway, with Byrd as navigator and Floyd Bennet as pilot. Fifteen hours and 30 minutes later, the pair returned and announced they had accomplished their mission. For the achievement, both men were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. However, some doubt lingered about whether they had actually flown over the North Pole, and in 1996 a diary Byrd had kept on the flight was found that seemed to suggest that the Josephine Ford had turned back 150 miles short of its goal because of an oil leak. In the late 1920s, however, few suspected Byrd had failed in his mission. In 1927, Byrd’s prestige grew when he made a harrowing nonstop flight across the Atlantic with three companions. Famous as he was, he had little trouble finding financial backers for an expedition to Antarctica. Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition was the largest and best-equipped expedition that had ever set out for the southern continent. The explorers set out in the fall of 1928, building a large base camp called “Little America” on the Ross Ice Shelf near the Bay of Whales. From there, they conducted flights across the Antarctic continent and discovered much unknown territory. At 3:29 p.m. on November 28, 1929, Byrd, the pilot Bernt Balchen, and two others took off from Little America in the Floyd Bennett, headed for the South Pole. Magnetic compasses were useless so near the pole, so the explorers were forced to rely on sun compasses and Byrd’s skill as a navigator. At 8:15 p.m., they dropped supplies for a geological party near the Queen Maud Mountains and then continued on. The most challenging phase of the journey came an hour later, when the Floyd Bennett struggled to gain enough altitude to fly safely above the Polar Plateau. They cleared the 11,000-foot pass between Mount Fridtjof Nansen and Mount Fisher by a few hundred yards and then flew on to the South Pole, reaching it at around 1 a.m. on November 29. They flew a few miles beyond the pole and then to the right and the left to compensate for any navigational errors. Byrd dropped a small American flag on the pole, and the explorers headed for home, safely landing at Little America at 10:11 a.m. In 1933, Byrd, now a rear admiral in the navy, led a second expedition to Antarctica. During the winter of 1934, he spent five months trapped at a weather station 123 miles from Little America. He was finally rescued in a desperately sick condition in August 1934. In 1939, Byrd took command of the U.S. Antarctic Service at the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and led a third expedition to the continent. During World War II, he served on the staff of the chief of naval operations. After the war, he led his fourth expedition to Antarctica, the largest ever attempted to this date, and more than 500,000 miles of the continent were mapped by his planes. In 1955, he led his fifth and final expedition to Antarctica. He died in 1957.
1939 – The German freighter Idarwild is sunk by the British warship Diomede off the coast of the United States. The USS Broome had been following the Idarwild until the British warship arrived. The Broome does not intervene in the destruction of the freighter. American behavior in this incident goes unchallenged by Berlin.
1939 – Fritz Kuhn, the leader of the German-American Bund, is found guilty of grand larceny and forgery. As head of the Bund he claimed to be the “American Führer”. In 1939, seeking to cripple the Bund, New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia had the city investigate the Bund’s taxes. It found that Kuhn had embezzled over $14,000 from the Bund, spending part of that money on a mistress. Although the Bund did not seek prosecution, District Attorney Thomas E. Dewey pressed charges and won a conviction. This seriously crippled the Bund. During World War II, Kuhn was held by the federal government at an internment camp in Texas. In 1946 he was released and deported to Germany.
1941 – The passenger ship Lurline sent a radio signal of sighting Japanese war fleet steaming east across the northern Pacific.
1941 – The Japanese government liaison conference decides that the final terms from the United States are unacceptable and that Japan must go to war.
1943 – US aircraft carrier Hornet was commissioned. Hornet conducted shakedown training off Bermuda before departing Norfolk 14 February 1944 to join the Fast Carrier Task Force 20 March at Majuro Atoll in the Marshalls.
1943 – Four American destroyers bombard Japanese positions on the south coast of New Britain Island, near Gasmata.
1944 – USS Archerfish (SS-311) sinks Japanese carrier Shinano, world’s largest warship sunk by any submarine during World War II .
1944 – Japanese attacks on Kilay Ridge, on Leyte, continue. American forces successfully counterattack. At sea, the battleship USS Maryland and 2 destroyers are seriously damaged by Kamikaze attacks.
1944 – Heavy fighting is reported by US 9th, 1st and 3rd Armies.
1947 – Despite strong Arab opposition, the United Nations votes for the partition of Palestine and the creation of an independent Jewish state. The modern conflict between Jews and Arabs in Palestine dates back to the 1910s, when both groups laid claim to the British-controlled territory. The Jews were Zionists, recent emigrants from Europe and Russia who came to the ancient homeland of the Jews to establish a Jewish national state. The native Palestinian Arabs sought to stem Jewish immigration and set up a secular Palestinian state. Beginning in 1929, Arabs and Jews openly fought in Palestine, and Britain attempted to limit Jewish immigration as a means of appeasing the Arabs. As a result of the Holocaust in Europe, many Jews illegally entered Palestine during World War II. Radical Jewish groups employed terrorism against British forces in Palestine, which they thought had betrayed the Zionist cause. At the end of World War II, in 1945, the United States took up the Zionist cause. Britain, unable to find a practical solution, referred the problem to the United Nations, which on November 29, 1947, voted to partition Palestine. The Jews were to possess more than half of Palestine, though they made up less than half of Palestine’s population. The Palestinian Arabs, aided by volunteers from other countries, fought the Zionist forces, but the Jews secured full control of their U.N.-allocated share of Palestine and also some Arab territory. On May 14, 1948, Britain withdrew with the expiration of its mandate, and the State of Israel was proclaimed by Jewish Agency Chairman David Ben-Gurion. The next day, forces from Egypt, Transjordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq invaded. The Israelis, though less well equipped, managed to fight off the Arabs and then seize key territories, such as Galilee, the Palestinian coast, and a strip of territory connecting the coastal region to the western section of Jerusalem. In 1949, U.N.-brokered cease-fires left the State of Israel in permanent control of those conquered areas. The departure of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs from Israel during the war left the country with a substantial Jewish majority.
1948 – 9th Marines went to Shanghai to evacuate U. S. nationals. Chinese Communist forces under Mao had gained control of almost all of mainland China and the Chinese Nationalist forces had been surrounded at all major seaports or holed up at Chungking, Shanghai, Canton, Tsingtao, Chefoo, etc.; they were completely sealed off from the rest of China by Communist forces. The sea was the only opening for communications to the Nationalists.
1949 – U.S. announced it would conduct atomic tests at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific.
1949 – Nationalist regime of China left for Formosa (Taiwan).
1950 – Three weeks after U.S. General Douglas MacArthur first reported Chinese communist troops in action in North Korea, U.S.-led U.N. troops begin a desperate retreat out of North Korea under heavy fire from the Chinese. Near the end of World War II, the “Big Three” Allied powers–the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain–agreed to divide Korea into two separate occupation zones and temporarily govern the nation. The country was split along the 38th parallel, with Soviet forces occupying the northern zone and Americans stationed in the south. By 1949, separate Korean governments had been established, and both the United States and the USSR withdrew the majority of their troops from the Korean Peninsula. The 38th parallel was heavily fortified on both sides, but the South Koreans were unprepared for the hordes of North Korean troops and Soviet-made tanks that suddenly rolled across the border on June 25, 1950. Two days later, President Harry Truman announced that the United States would intervene in the Korean conflict to stem the spread of communism, and on June 28 the United Nations approved the use of force against communist North Korea. In the opening months of the war, the U.S.-led U.N. forces rapidly advanced against the North Koreans, but in October, Chinese communist troops entered the fray, throwing the Allies into retreat. By May 1951, the communists were pushed back to the 38th parallel, where the battle line remained for the rest of the war. In 1953, an armistice was signed, ending the war and reestablishing the 1945 division of Korea that still exists today. Approximately 150,000 troops from South Korea, the United States, and participating U.N. nations were killed in the Korean War, and as many as one million South Korean civilians perished. An estimated 800,000 communist soldiers were killed, and more than 200,000 North Korean civilians died. The original figure of American troops lost–54,246 killed–became controversial when the Pentagon acknowledged in 2000 that all U.S. troops killed around the world during the period of the Korean War were incorporated into that number. For example, any American soldier killed in a car accident anywhere in the world from June 1950 to July 1953 was considered a casualty of the Korean War. If these deaths are subtracted from the 54,246 total, leaving just the Americans who died (from whatever cause) in the Korean theater of operations, the total U.S. dead in the Korean War numbers 36,516.
1952 – Making good on his most dramatic presidential campaign promise, newly elected Dwight D. Eisenhower goes to Korea to see whether he can find the key to ending the bitter and frustrating Korean War. During the presidential campaign of 1952, Republican candidate Eisenhower was critical of the Truman administration’s foreign policy, particularly its inability to bring an end to the conflict in Korea. President Truman challenged Eisenhower on October 24 to come up with an alternate policy. Eisenhower responded with the startling announcement that if he were elected, he would personally go to Korea to get a firsthand view of the situation. The promise boosted Eisenhower’s popularity and he handily defeated Democratic candidate Adlai E. Stevenson. Shortly after his election, Eisenhower fulfilled his campaign pledge, though he was not very specific about exactly what he hoped to accomplish. After a short stay he returned to the United States, yet remained mum about his plans concerning the Korean War. After taking office, however, Eisenhower adopted a get-tough policy toward the communists in Korea. He suggested that he would “unleash” the Nationalist Chinese forces on Taiwan against communist China, and he sent only slightly veiled messages that he would use any force necessary (including the use of nuclear weapons) to bring the war to an end unless peace negotiations began to move forward. The Chinese, exhausted by more than two years of war, finally agreed to terms and an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953. The United States suffered over 50,000 casualties in this “forgotten war,” and spent nearly $70 billion. The most frustrating war in U.S. history had come to an end. America’s first experience with a “limited war,” one in which the nation did not seek (and did not obtain) absolute victory over the enemy, did not bode well for the future. Conflict in Vietnam was just around the corner.
1952 – John T. Downey (22) and Richard G. Fecteau (25), CIA spies, were shot down over Jilin province and captured by the Chinese. The 2 men spent 20 years in a Chinese prison. 2 pilots, Robert Snoddy and Norman Schwartz, died and in 2002 plans were made to find their remains. 1961 – NASA launched Enos the chimp from Cape Canaveral aboard the Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft, which orbited earth twice before returning.
1961 – Mercury-Atlas 5 Mission – Enos, a chimpanzee, is launched into space. The spacecraft orbits the Earth twice and splashes down off the coast of Puerto Rico.
1963 – One week after President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, President Lyndon Johnson establishes a special commission, headed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren, to investigate the assassination. After 10 months of gathering evidence and questioning witnesses in public hearings, the Warren Commission report was released, concluding that there was no conspiracy, either domestic or international, in the assassination and that Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, acted alone. The presidential commission also found that Jack Ruby, the nightclub owner who murdered Oswald on live national television, had no prior contact with Oswald. According to the report, the bullets that killed President Kennedy and injured Texas Governor John Connally were fired by Oswald in three shots from a rifle pointed out of a sixth-floor window in the Texas School Book Depository. Oswald’s life, including his visit to the Soviet Union, was described in detail, but the report made no attempt to analyze his motives. Despite its seemingly firm conclusions, the report failed to silence conspiracy theories surrounding the event, and in 1978 the House Select Committee on Assassinations concluded in a preliminary report that Kennedy was “probably assassinated as a result of a conspiracy” that may have involved multiple shooters and organized crime. The committee’s findings, as with the findings of the Warren Commission, continue to be widely disputed.
1967 – U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces his resignation.
1968 – The Viet Cong High Command orders an all-out attempt to smash the Phoenix program. Hanoi Radio broadcasted a National Liberation Front directive calling for a new offensive to “utterly destroy” Allied forces. The broadcast added that the new operation was particularly concerned with eliminating the “Phoenix Organization.” The Phoenix program (or “Phuong Hoang” as it was called in Vietnamese) was a hamlet security initiative run by the Central Intelligence Agency that relied on centralized, computerized intelligence gathering aimed at identifying and eliminating the Viet Cong infrastructure–the upper echelon of the National Liberation Front political cadres and party members. The program became one of the most controversial operations undertaken by U.S. personnel in South Vietnam. Critics charged that American-led South Vietnamese “hit teams” indiscriminately arrested and murdered many communist suspects on flimsy pretexts. Despite the criticism and media attention, the program was acknowledged by top-level U.S. government officials, as well as Viet Cong and North Vietnamese leaders after the war, to have been very effective in reducing the power of the local communist cadres in the South Vietnamese countryside.
1971 – The U.S. 23rd Division (Americal) ceases combat operations and begins its withdrawal from South Vietnam. The division had been activated in Vietnam on September 25, 1967, after which it assumed control of the 11th, 198th, and 199th Infantry Brigades (and associated support troops). Its headquarters was at Chu Lai in I Corps Tactical Zone and division troops conducted operations in Quang Nam, Quang Tri, and Quang Ngai Provinces. In 1970, the division continued to fight in the Duc Pho, Chu Lai, and Tam Ky areas along the coast. When the division headquarters departed South Vietnam, the division colors were returned to Fort Lewis, Washington, where the Americal Division was officially inactivated. The only unit that remained in South Vietnam was the 199th Infantry Brigade, which continued to conduct operations as a separate brigade.
1983 – Navy SEAL’s kill a Somali gunman in Mogadishu. In another incident, 2 Somali gunmen are killed.
1987 – Cuban detainees released 26 hostages that they’d been holding for more than a week at the Federal Detention Center in Oakdale, La.
1990 – The UN Security Council (Resolution 678), led by the United States, voted 12-to-two to authorize military action if Iraq did not withdraw its troops from Kuwait and release all foreign hostages by January 15th, 1991.
1996 – A U.N. court sentenced Bosnian Serb army soldier Drazen Erdemovic to 10 years in prison for his role in the massacre of 1,200 Muslims — the first international war crimes sentence since World War II.
2001 – American warplanes continued to bomb Taliban positions around Kandahar.
2001 – The U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution extending for 6 months the U.N. humanitarian program in Iraq and setting the stage for an overhaul of U.N. sanctions against Baghdad the following year. The US and Russia agreed to overhaul the program before the next vote.
2003 – In Iraq US senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jack Reed met with local officials in the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk.
2006 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously passes a resolution that extends the mandate of the United States-led multinational force in Iraq until December 31, 2007. The new resolution requires a review of the mandate to begin by June 15, 2007, or sooner if the government of Iraq requests it. The government of Iraq can also revoke the mandate before its end if it chooses to do so.
2010 – A US court sentenced a Somali man, Jama Idle Ibrahim, to 30 years in jail for attacking a US warship off the coast of Somalia. A pirate gang, lead by Ibrahim, had chased the USS Ashland in a skiff in the Gulf of Aden on 10 April, opening fire on it. US Navy personnel returned fire, killing one Somali and wrecking the skiff.
2012 – New data from the NASA space probe MESSENGER indicate that Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, almost surely has water ice buried beneath the surface at its north pole.
Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day
JUDGE, FRANCIS W.
Rank and organization: First Sergeant, Company K, 79th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn., 29 November 1863. Entered service at: ——. Birth: England. Date of issue: 2 November 1870. Citation: The color bearer of the 51st Georgia Infantry. (C.S.A.), having planted his flag upon the side of the work, Sgt. Judge leaped from his position of safety, sprang upon the parapet, and in the face of a concentrated fire seized the flag and returned with it in safety to the fort.
Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company A, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date: At Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn., 29 November 1863. Entered service at. Fall River, Mass. Birth: ——. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 17th Mississippi Infantry (C.S.A.).
MANNING, JOSEPH S.
Rank and organization: Private, Company K, 29th Massachusetts Infantry. Place and date. At Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tenn., 29 November 1863. Entered service at:——. Birth: Ipswich, Mass. Date of issue: 1 December 1864. Citation: Capture of flag of 16th Georgia Infantry (C.S.A.).
STEELE, JOHN W.
Rank and organization: Major and Aide_de_Camp, U.S. Volunteers. Place and date: At Spring Hill, Tenn., 29 November 1864. Entered service at: Ohio. Birth: Vermont. Date of issue: 28 September 1897. Citation: During a night attack of the enemy upon the wagon and ammunition train of this officer’s corps, he gathered up a force of stragglers and others, assumed command of it, though himself a staff officer, and attacked and dispersed the enemy’s forces, thus saving the train.
WILLIAMS, ERNEST CALVIN
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 2 August 1887, Broadwell, Ill. Accredited to: Illinois. G.O. No.: 289, 27 April 1917. Other Navy award: Navy Cross. Citation: In action against hostile forces at San Francisco de Macoris, Dominican Republic, 29 November 1916. With only a dozen men available, 1st Lt. Williams rushed the gate of the fortress. With 8 of his party wounded by rifle fire of the defenders, he pressed on with the 4 remaining men, threw himself against the door just as it was being closed by the Dominicans and forced an entry. Despite a narrow escape from death at the hands of a rifleman, he and his men disposed of the guards and within a few minutes had gained control of the fort and the hundred prisoners confined there.
Private Mikio Hasemoto distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 29 November 1943, in the vicinity of Cerasuolo, Italy. A force of approximately 40 enemy soldiers, armed with machine guns, machine pistols, rifles, and grenades, attacked the left flank of his platoon. Two enemy soldiers with machine guns advanced forward, firing their weapons. Private Hasemoto, an automatic rifleman, challenged these two machine gunners. After firing four magazines at the approaching enemy, his weapon was shot and damaged. Unhesitatingly, he ran 10 yards to the rear, secured another automatic rifle and continued to fire until his weapon jammed. At this point, Private Hasemoto and his squad leader had killed approximately 20 enemy soldiers. Again, Private Hasemoto ran through a barrage of enemy machine gun fire to pick up an M-1 rifle. Continuing their fire, Private Hasemoto and his squad leader killed 10 more enemy soldiers. With only three enemy soldiers left, he and his squad leader charged courageously forward, killing one, wounding one, and capturing another. The following day, Private Hasemoto continued to repel enemy attacks until he was killed by enemy fire. Private Hasemoto’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
Private Shizuya Hayashi distinguished himself by extraordinary heroism in action on 29 November 1943, near Cerasuolo, Italy. During a flank assault on high ground held by the enemy, Private Hayashi rose alone in the face of grenade, rifle, and machine gun fire. Firing his automatic rifle from the hip, he charged and overtook an enemy machine gun position, killing seven men in the nest and two more as they fled. After his platoon advanced 200 yards from this point, an enemy antiaircraft gun opened fire on the men. Private Hayashi returned fire at the hostile position, killing nine of the enemy, taking four prisoners, and forcing the remainder of the force to withdraw from the hill. Private Hayashi’s extraordinary heroism and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit on him, his unit, and the United States Army.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company G, 377th Infantry, 95th Infantry Division. Place and date: From Woippy, France, through Metz to Kerprich Hemmersdorf, Germany, 16-29 November 1944. Entered service at: Two Rivers, Wis. Birth: Manitowoc, Wis. G.O. No.: 74, 1 September 1945. Citation: For performing a series of heroic deeds from 1629 November 1944, during his company’s relentless drive from Woippy, France, through Metz to Kerprich Hemmersdorf, Germany. As he led a rifle squad on 16 November at Woippy, a crossfire from enemy machineguns pinned down his unit. Ordering his men to remain under cover, he went forward alone, entered a building housing 1 of the guns and forced S Germans to surrender at bayonet point. He then took the second gun single-handedly by hurling grenades into the enemy position, killing 2, wounding 3 more, and taking 2 additional prisoners. At the outskirts of Metz the next day, when his platoon, confused by heavy explosions and the withdrawal of friendly tanks, retired, he fearlessly remained behind armed with an automatic rifle and exchanged bursts with a German machinegun until he silenced the enemy weapon. His quick action in covering his comrades gave the platoon time to regroup and carry on the fight. On 19 November S/Sgt. Miller led an attack on large enemy barracks. Covered by his squad, he crawled to a barracks window, climbed in and captured 6 riflemen occupying the room. His men, and then the entire company, followed through the window, scoured the building, and took 75 prisoners. S/Sgt. Miller volunteered, with 3 comrades, to capture Gestapo officers who were preventing the surrender of German troops in another building. He ran a gauntlet of machinegun fire and was lifted through a window. Inside, he found himself covered by a machine pistol, but he persuaded the 4 Gestapo agents confronting him to surrender. Early the next morning, when strong hostile forces punished his company with heavy fire, S/Sgt. Miller assumed the task of destroying a well-placed machinegun. He was knocked down by a rifle grenade as he climbed an open stairway in a house, but pressed on with a bazooka to find an advantageous spot from which to launch his rocket. He discovered that he could fire only from the roof, a position where he would draw tremendous enemy fire. Facing the risk, he moved into the open, coolly took aim and scored a direct hit on the hostile emplacement, wreaking such havoc that the enemy troops became completely demoralized and began surrendering by the score. The following day, in Metz, he captured 12 more prisoners and silenced an enemy machinegun after volunteering for a hazardous mission in advance of his company’s position. On 29 November, as Company G climbed a hill overlooking Kerprich Hemmersdorf, enemy fire pinned the unit to the ground. S/Sgt. Miller, on his own initiative, pressed ahead with his squad past the company’s leading element to meet the surprise resistance. His men stood up and advanced deliberately, firing as they went. Inspired by S/Sgt. Miller’s leadership, the platoon followed, and then another platoon arose and grimly closed with the Germans. The enemy action was smothered, but at the cost of S/Sgt. Miller’s life. His tenacious devotion to the attack, his gallant choice to expose himself to enemy action rather than endanger his men, his limitless bravery, assured the success of Company G.
*BAUGH, WILLIAM B.
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 3d Battalion, 1st Marine, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Along road from Koto-ri to Hagaru-ri, Korea, 29 November 1950. Entered service at: Harrison, Ohio. Born: 7 July 1930, McKinney, Ky. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as a member of an antitank assault squad attached to Company G, during a nighttime enemy attack against a motorized column. Acting instantly when a hostile hand grenade landed in his truck as he and his squad prepared to alight and assist in the repulse of an enemy force delivering intense automatic-weapons and grenade fire from deeply entrenched and well-concealed roadside positions, Pfc. Baugh quickly shouted a warning to the other men in the vehicle and, unmindful of his personal safety, hurled himself upon the deadly missile, thereby saving his comrades from serious injury or possible death. Sustaining severe wounds from which he died a short time afterward, Pfc. Baugh, by his superb courage and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice, upheld the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
MYERS, REGINALD R.
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Marine Corps, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division, (Rein.). Place and date: Near Hagaru-ri, Korea, 29 November 1950. Entered service at: Boise, Idaho. Born: 26 November 1919, Boise, Idaho. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as executive officer of the 3d Battalion, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Assuming command of a composite unit of Army and Marine service and headquarters elements totaling approximately 250 men, during a critical stage in the vital defense of the strategically important military base at Hagaru-ri, Maj. Myers immediately initiated a determined and aggressive counterattack against a well-entrenched and cleverly concealed enemy force numbering an estimated 4,000. Severely handicapped by a lack of trained personnel and experienced leaders in his valiant efforts to regain maximum ground prior to daylight, he persisted in constantly exposing himself to intense, accurate, and sustained hostile fire in order to direct and supervise the employment of his men and to encourage and spur them on in pressing the attack. Inexorably moving forward up the steep, snow-covered slope with his depleted group in the face of apparently insurmountable odds, he concurrently directed artillery and mortar fire with superb skill and although losing 170 of his men during 14 hours of raging combat in subzero temperatures, continued to reorganize his unit and spearhead the attack which resulted in 600 enemy killed and 500 wounded. By his exceptional and valorous leadership throughout, Maj. Myers contributed directly to the success of his unit in restoring the perimeter. His resolute spirit of self-sacrifice and unfaltering devotion to duty enhance and sustain the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service .
*PAGE, JOHN U. D.
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, X Corps Artillery, while attached to the 52d Transportation Truck Battalion. Place and date: Near Chosin Reservoir, Korea, 29 November to 10 December 1950. Entered service at: St. Paul, Minn. Born: 8 February 1904, Malahi Island, Luzon, Philippine Islands. G.O. No.: 21, 25 April 1957. Citation: Lt. Col. Page, a member of X Corps Artillery, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action above and beyond the call of duty in a series of exploits. On 29 November, Lt. Col. Page left X Corps Headquarters at Hamhung with the mission of establishing traffic control on the main supply route to 1st Marine Division positions and those of some Army elements on the Chosin Reservoir plateau. Having completed his mission Lt. Col. Page was free to return to the safety of Hamhung but chose to remain on the plateau to aid an isolated signal station, thus being cut off with elements of the marine division. After rescuing his jeep driver by breaking up an ambush near a destroyed bridge Lt. Col. Page reached the lines of a surrounded marine garrison at Koto-ri. He then voluntarily developed and trained a reserve force of assorted army troops trapped with the marines. By exemplary leadership and tireless devotion he made an effective tactical unit available. In order that casualties might be evacuated, an airstrip was improvised on frozen ground partly outside of the Koto-ri defense perimeter which was continually under enemy attack. During 2 such attacks, Lt. Col. Page exposed himself on the airstrip to direct fire on the enemy, and twice mounted the rear deck of a tank, manning the machine gun on the turret to drive the enemy back into a no man’s land. On 3 December while being flown low over enemy lines in a light observation plane, Lt. Col. Page dropped handgrenades on Chinese positions and sprayed foxholes with automatic fire from his carbine. After 10 days of constant fighting the marine and army units in the vicinity of the Chosin Reservoir had succeeded in gathering at the edge of the plateau and Lt. Col. Page was flown to Hamhung to arrange for artillery support of the beleaguered troops attempting to break out. Again Lt. Col. Page refused an opportunity to remain in safety and returned to give every assistance to his comrades. As the column slowly moved south Lt. Col. Page joined the rear guard. When it neared the entrance to a narrow pass it came under frequent attacks on both flanks. Mounting an abandoned tank Lt. Col. Page manned the machine gun, braved heavy return fire, and covered the passing vehicles until the danger diminished. Later when another attack threatened his section of the convoy, then in the middle of the pass, Lt. Col. Page took a machine gun to the hillside and delivered effective counterfire, remaining exposed while men and vehicles passed through the ambuscade. On the night of 10 December the convoy reached the bottom of the pass but was halted by a strong enemy force at the front and on both flanks. Deadly small-arms fire poured into the column. Realizing the danger to the column as it lay motionless, Lt. Col. Page fought his way to the head of the column and plunged forward into the heart of the hostile position. His intrepid action so surprised the enemy that their ranks became disordered and suffered heavy casualties. Heedless of his safety, as he had been throughout the preceding 10 days, Lt. Col. Page remained forward, fiercely engaging the enemy single-handed until mortally wounded. By his valiant and aggressive spirit Lt. Col. Page enabled friendly forces to stand off the enemy. His outstanding courage, unswerving devotion to duty, and supreme self-sacrifice reflect great credit upon Lt. Col. Page and are in the highest tradition of the military service.
SITTER, CARL L.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps, Company G, 3d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Place and date: Hagaru-ri, Korea, 29 and 30 November 1950. Entered service at: Pueblo, Colo. Born: 2 December 1921, Syracuse, Mo. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as commanding officer of Company G, in action against enemy aggressor forces. Ordered to break through enemy-infested territory to reinforce his battalion the morning of 29 November, Capt. Sitter continuously exposed himself to enemy fire as he led his company forward and, despite 25 percent casualties suffered m the furious action, succeeded in driving through to his objective. Assuming the responsibility of attempting to seize and occupy a strategic area occupied by a hostile force of regiment strength deeply entrenched on a snow-covered hill commanding the entire valley southeast of the town, as well as the line of march of friendly troops withdrawing to the south, he reorganized his depleted units the following morning and boldly led them up the steep, frozen hillside under blistering fire, encouraging and redeploying his troops as casualties occurred and directing forward platoons as they continued the drive to the top of the ridge. During the night when a vastly outnumbering enemy launched a sudden, vicious counterattack, setting the hill ablaze with mortar, machine gun, and automatic-weapons fire and taking a heavy toll in troops, Capt. Sitter visited each foxhole and gun position, coolly deploying and integrating reinforcing units consisting of service personnel unfamiliar with infantry tactics into a coordinated combat team and instilling in every man the will and determination to hold his position at all costs. With the enemy penetrating his lines in repeated counterattacks which often required hand-to-hand combat, and, on one occasion infiltrating to the command post with handgrenades, he fought gallantly with his men in repulsing and killing the fanatic attackers in each encounter. Painfully wounded in the face, arms, and chest by bursting grenades, he staunchly refused to be evacuated and continued to fight on until a successful defense of the area was assured with a loss to the enemy of more than 50 percent dead, wounded, and captured. His valiant leadership, superb tactics, and great personal valor throughout 36 hours of bitter combat reflect the highest credit upon Capt. Sitter and the U.S. Naval Service.
*PRUDEN, ROBERT J.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, 75th Infantry, Americal Division. Place and date: Quang Ngai Province, Republic of Vietnam, 29 November 1969. Entered service at: Minneapolis, Minn. Born: 9 September 1949, St. Paul, Minn. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. S/Sgt. Pruden, Company G, distinguished himself while serving as a reconnaissance team leader during an ambush mission. The 6-man team was inserted by helicopter into enemy controlled territory to establish an ambush position and to obtain information concerning enemy movements. As the team moved into the preplanned area, S/Sgt. Pruden deployed his men into 2 groups on the opposite sides of a well used trail. As the groups were establishing their defensive positions, 1 member of the team was trapped in the open by the heavy fire from an enemy squad. Realizing that the ambush position had been compromised, S/Sgt. Pruden directed his team to open fire on the enemy force. Immediately, the team came under heavy fire from a second enemy element. S/Sgt. Pruden, with full knowledge of the extreme danger involved, left his concealed position and, firing as he ran, advanced toward the enemy to draw the hostile fire. He was seriously wounded twice but continued his attack until he fell for a third time, in front of the enemy positions. S/Sgt. Pruden’s actions resulted in several enemy casualties and withdrawal of the remaining enemy force. Although grievously wounded, he directed his men into defensive positions and called for evacuation helicopters, which safely withdrew the members of the team. S/Sgt. Pruden’s outstanding courage, selfless concern for the welfare of his men, and intrepidity in action 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.