SOCNET

Go Back   SOCNET: The Special Operations Community Network > General Topics > History

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 9 March 2010, 21:06
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
This day in Military History

Although it is hard to decide which event to highlight, or call the most significant military battle of a particular day in history. This one certainly stands out among many.

The USS MONITOR Vs. The CSS VIRGINIA March 9, 1862.

http://cardsunltd.com/magnetpics/magva143.jpg


http://www.rpi.edu/~fiscap/history_files/monitor.htm

Last edited by shady1; 9 March 2010 at 21:15.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 9 March 2010, 21:33
Marina Marina is offline
send guns and money
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Tampa
Posts: 161
Happy 179th BD to FFL

Founded on March 9, 1831 as a highly disciplined professional army to help control French colonies in Africa, the French Foreign Legion has been in almost continuous combat. FFL forces have fought or been stationed in such places as Europe, Mexico, Syria, and Southeast Asia.

The new volunteer swears to serve not France but the legion; after three years of service with good conduct, foreign-born soldiers are eligible for French citizenship. Since the legion keeps a volunteer’s past secret, it has been romanticized as a haven for those seeking new identities, including criminals, but legionnaires typically are professional soldiers.

Originally headquartered in Algeria, the legion moved its headquarters to France after Algerian independence.

http://french-foreign-legion.com/
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 9 March 2010, 22:13
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
This day in American / U.S Military History

No offense, I should have been clearer. I'm sticking to the above topic.

Last edited by shady1; 9 March 2010 at 22:17.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 9 March 2010, 22:26
B 2/75's Avatar
B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
Old Scroll
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Black Mountains
Posts: 10,681
Hadn't the Virginia already been rechristened as the Merrimack? Or is my Civil War Naval history a tad rusty?

Very cool that their engagement was relatively early in the war, that they banged away from close quarters at eachother all day long, and pretty much to no avail... the days of the wooden ship were now at an end.
__________________

.
"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"
Melville / Captain Ahab
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 9 March 2010, 22:31
OldSwabbie OldSwabbie is offline
Clan Stiùbhard (Stuart)..
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Woodruff, South Carolina
Posts: 2,257
Understanding the armament technology of the day.. can ya'll imagine what the inside of those boats was like? The smoke must have been so thick you could cut it with a knife... being a sailor in those days was something else for sure. Thats when Marines NEEDED those damn stiff colars.. against cutlasses :)
__________________
Take one vial of my blood and I will not die. But if you continue taking it one vial at a time, slowly... I will die slowly. But make no mistake.. I WILL die ....the same with my RIGHTS!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 9 March 2010, 22:35
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by B 2/75 View Post
Hadn't the Virginia already been rechristened as the Merrimack? Or is my Civil War Naval history a tad rusty?
Just a tad Bro. But, I am reading it right now.


The USS Merrimack was a Union frigate throughout most of its existence, up until the point that the Union Navy abandoned the Norfolk Naval Yard. To prevent the Confederate Navy from using the ship against them, the Union Navy scuttled her. The Confederates, however, raised the ship from the shallow floor of the harbor and began making some major modifications. Confederate engineers cut the hull down to the water line and built a slanted top. From there, they bolted four layers of iron sheets, each two inches thick, to the entire structure. Also added was a huge battering ram to the bow of the ship to be used in ramming maneuvers. The ship was then fitted with ten twelve-pound cannons. There were four guns each placed on the starboard and port sides, and one each on the bow and stern sides. Due to its massive size and weight the ship's draft was enormous. It stretched twenty-two feet to the bottom. The ship was so slow and long, that it required a turning radius of about one mile. Likened to a "floating barn roof" (Williams), it was not expected to stay afloat. The only individual willing to take command of the ship was Captain Franklin Buchanan. After all the modifications were complete, the USS Merrimack was re-christened the CSS Virginia.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 9 March 2010, 23:30
B 2/75's Avatar
B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
Old Scroll
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Black Mountains
Posts: 10,681
Hmmmm.... Seems I'm a revisionist of history after all....
__________________

.
"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"
Melville / Captain Ahab
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 10 March 2010, 11:05
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
March 10, 1966 A shaua Valley VN.

Twenty US SF soldiers and 375 S. Vietnamese defenders. Attacked by 2000+ NVA. The following is an account of the heroic acts of that day. A very good read.
R.I.P to the fallen.

The following are the stories of two brave Americans I see when I look around at who we stood beside during the Vietnam War. These are two concrete examples of the heroism our people exhibited when called upon. There are tens of thousands of other Americans whose unselfish heroism put their names on the black granite Wall the TLCB visited this summer. So, as I look around with the perspective of 30 more years (which haven’t changed my mind from what I believed in the 60s), I look across and see the Jane Fondas and other apologists who served the cause of our country’s enemies. As I look around on my side of the line, I see the Bernie Fishers and the Delbert Petersons and the men and women of the TLCB. As I said to Paul Lee in the 1997 pre-TLCB days, be proud that you went and served where your country sent you. Whatever your job was, wherever you served, you didn’t flee your country’s call and flee to Canada like many of those standing on the side of the line with Jane Fonda.

* * * * * * * * * * * *







THE FALL OF A SHAU

A Shau is one of several U. S. Special Forces camps located near the Laotian border in I Corps to keep watch on infiltration of enemy units into South Vietnam from the North. It has a triangular shaped fort with walls about 200 yards long with barbed wire perimeter defenses. A 2300 foot airstrip with pierced steel planking base is dust outside the perimeter. The camp is located at the base of a narrow valley some 20 miles southwest of the coastal city of Hue , and only about two and a half miles from the Laotian border.



On 5 March 1966 , two North Vietnamese Army defectors walked into Camp A Shau in Thua Thien Province and, under interrogation, reported that the camp would be attacked on 11 or 12 March. The defectors gave interrogators the location of the 325th Division Headquarters (seven kilometers east of A Shau), the 6th and 8th Battalions of the 325th Division and the coordinates of a rice cache. All of the locations given by the defectors were hit by air strikes. In anticipation of a probable attack, the camp was reinforced on 7 March with seven U. S. Special Forces personnel, 149 Chinese Nung troops, and nine interpreters. They joined the 10 Americans and 210 Vietnamese Civilian Irregular Defense Group personnel already at A Shau.

At 0200 hours on the morning of 9 March, the camp was attacked with mortars, 75 mm recoilless rifles, automatic weapons, and small arms fire. In the initial attack, two Americans were killed and 30 wounded; Vietnamese casualties were eight killed and 30 wounded. The barrage destroyed the supply area for the 380‑man camp. Medevac was requested along with air strikes. The enemy attack was broken off at daylight and the defenders began to repair and improve their defenses. (1)

During the night, the ceiling over the camp was 300 to 500 feet with visibility of five miles. No air strikes were flown due to the poor weather. In preparation for further enemy attacks, the I Corps commander requested that a U. S. Marine Corps standby force be alerted for airlift into the A Shau area if weather permitted and if the need arose. Also, two Chinese Nung companies, one at Hue and one at Da Nang., were standing by for helilift to the camp when the weather permitted. (2) The first air request was received at 0908 hours, but weather initially kept planes out of the area. (3)

At 1120 hours, 9 March an AC-47 was sent to the outpost. The crew was scrambled from bed, having flown the previous night. When the aircraft arrived over the camp, the pilot, Captain Willard M. Collins, was told by the ground forces that the camp was in imminent danger of being overrun. The ceiling was still around 400 feet, but Captain Collins and his co-pilot, 1st Lt Delbert R. Peterson, made two attempts to penetrate the ceiling under visual flight conditions. A third attempt was made at treetop level and the plane was successful in reaching the fort. Under intense enemy ground fire from automatic weapons, including .50 calibers, the plane completed one pass at enemy troops surrounding the fort and on its second pass, had the right engine torn from the mounts by ground fire. The other engine was silenced seconds later. The plane crash-landed on a mountain slope, sliding to rest at the base. One crew member, SSgt Foster, broke both legs in the crash. The crew prepared a perimeter defense around the wreckage of the plane and wounded‑crew member, and in fifteen minutes the enemy attacked. This was repulsed but a second enemy attack killed the Pilot, Capt Collins and SSgt Foster, the wounded airman.

A third attack began as a USAF H-43 rescue helicopter dropped down to pick up the crew. During this attack, Lt Peterson charged the enemy's .50 Caliber machine gun with his M-16 rifle and a .38 caliber pistol, to permit the rescue to take place. He was successful. The chopper picked up the other three survivors and took off under heavy enemy fire, leaving Peterson and the two dead men behind. (4)

When the word was: received that the AC-47 had been shot down, a flight of two A-1Es, led by Mayor Bernard F. Fisher, of the 1st Air Commando Squadron at Pleiku, was diverted to the scene. Locating a small hole in the overcast above five miles northwest of the camp, Major Fisher led his flight through the hole and down a mile‑wide valley to the camp. The ceiling was about 500 feet and enemy automatic weapons fire, including .50 calibers) was trained on the planes. Receiving instructions to des­troy the AC-47, Fisher assigned the task to his wingman and went to the assistance of the besieged fort. Learning that enemy forces were preparing for a mass assault, he brought another flight of A‑1Es into the box canyon area and directed their strikes on enemy positions less than a half mile from the fort. ,When this flight had expended, he directed a CH-3C helicopter into the fort to evacuate badly wounded personnel. He then returned above the overcast and brought in two C-123s to make a perilous paradrop of needed medical supplies and ammunition to the defenders. As the C-123s made their drop of some 6000 pounds on target, Fisher and his wingman suppressed hostile ground fire by strafing. Earlier, two U. S. Army Caribous had made drops of supplies to the fort which landed outside the compound, but were later retrieved. (5)

Two B‑57s joined the battle later, being led through the hole in the overcast by Fisher, who by that time, was dangerously low on fuel. The B‑57s strafed and bombed enemy positions in the camp and around the AC-47 where numerous enemy troops were observed. (6) The AC-47 was destroyed along with its valuable mini‑guns around 1650 hours after napalm and bomb drops were observed making direct hits on it. In addition to the A-1E and B-57 strikes, two VNAF A-1H aircraft successfully penetrated the ceiling around 1330 hours, expending ammunition on enemy positions.

Throughout the daylight hours of the 9th, only 29 sorties could be flown in support of A Shau; 17 by the USAF, ten by the USMC, and two by the VNAF. The ground defenders, concerned about deteriorating weather and another enemy attack, repaired their defenses as well as they could and dug in for the night.

Starting around 0200 on 10 March, the enemy forces again launched a mortar attack against A Shau. The mortars, which had found their range the night before, rained shells into the compound with deadly accuracy, according to one survivor. This was accompanied by a torrent of machine gun and rifle fire. At around 0335, the camp radioed to a USAF C-123 flareship overhead that it was under full-scale assault. The attack continued without-let-up under the low cloud ceiling as the attackers made human wave assaults against the layers of barbed wire defenses outside the south wall of the camp. The enemy troops broke through the wire and breeched the south wall before daylight as U. S. Special Forces and Chinese Nung Tribesmen fought them off. At; this time there were also Vietnamese CIDG irregulars in the camp. The Americans and other survivors were forced to the north side of the compound and desperately waited for daylight and air support, if weather permitted. (7)

Two C-123s and one AC-47 were overhead throughout the night providing flare support. From 0515 until 0630, radar bombing was conducted by U. S. Marine jet aircraft providing 19 sorties. At 0705, one USMC A4 disappeared in the heavy overcast while flying air support and was reported missing. (8)

At 0730, the 1st Division (ARVN) and the on-site Forward Air Controller reported that radio contact with A Shau had been lost. Bombing was continuing through the cloud cover, however. The cloud cover at this time was solid and layered from 200 to 7000 feet. Contact was reestablished at 0807 by the FAC, who received a report that the camp was still holding and that the air strikes were keeping the enemy back. The north wall of the camp was held by the defenders while the Viet Cong occupied the south wall and half of the east wall of the triangular fort. Around 0950, in response to ground requests, the Forward Air Controller directed a napalm attack against the south wall. The defending forces asked for all the air support they could get. Unfortunately, the weather was still down to around 800 feet. At 1100 hours, the defenders reported that they would be able to hold their positions for no more than another hour or so. Shortly after, they radioed that; airdrops for resupply of ammo should not be attempted since they could not retrieve the bundles.(9)





At about 1115, a flight. of A-1Es were diverted to the camp. The flight was led by Major Fisher who had flown over A Shau the previous day. He learned from the ground that all friendly forces were concentrated in the northern part of the fort and that the other walls should be strafed. Mayor Fisher and his wingman, Captain Francisco Vazquez, started raking the walls with 20mm cannon. Another A-1E flight, led by Mayor Dafford W. Myers of the 602d Fighter Squadron from Qui Nhon, arrived on the scene and ,joined in the strafing passes. Major Myers' wingman, Captain Hubert King, took several hits, including one in the canopy, and he had to return to base due to limited visibility from the cockpit. On Myers' third pass over the fort at about 800 feet, he took at least three .50 caliber hits, including one in the engine. His windscreen was covered with oil, smoke filled the cockpit, and soon the whole aircraft appeared to be engulfed in flames. Under the radio directions of Major Fisher, Myers brought the plane into a wheels up crash landing on the wrecked and debris littered pierced steel plank (PSP) runway of A Shau. The plane burst into flames, when the belly tank exploded on landing, and skidded about 200 yards to the right side of the runway, veering off toward an embankment. Myers, only superficially wounded, evacuated the aircraft immediately, and ran for a weed covered ditch off the runway. (10)

Fisher called for a rescue helicopter and circled the downed aircraft with his wingman, Captain Vazquez. After being informed that it would take 15-20 minutes for the‑chopper to arrive and after estimating the extent of the ground fire would not permit the chopper to land, Fisher. decided to land his A-1E on the 2300 foot mortar‑shattered runway to pick up his fellow pilot.. At this time, around 1145, another A-1E flight, composed of Captains Dennie B. Hague and Jon I. Lucas, arrived on the scene, and prepared to cover Fisher's landing. (11)

Fisher made one attempt to land from the smoke engulfed north approach, touched down, quickly realized he could not make it, and took off again. Making a 180-degree turn with enemy automatic weapons trained on his plane, he swung around, landed on the other end of the runway, dodging empty oil drums, cans, and parts‑of Myers’ aircraft and brought the plane to a halt just off the edge of the runway. Turning in the dirt, he taxied at full speed, looking out his right window for signs of Myers. He watched enemy tracers coming at him and heard the plunk of bullets in his fuselage. He saw Myers waving from his weed hide‑out and brought the plane to a halt. Believing the downed pilot to be wounded, he started to unharness himself to go after him. Although he could not see Myers on the right side of the aircraft, Myers was making a 50-yard dash for the plane, with enemy bullets following him. Hague, Vazquez, and Lucas provided suppressing fire throughout the rescue attempt. However, by the time Myers was making his run to Fisher's aircraft, their guns were empty. (12)

Fisher pulled Myers into the plane head first, turned the plane around, and took off, flying at treetop level up the valley till he got enough airspeed to go up through the overcast. It was an extremely heroic feat, and Fisher was subsequently recommended for the Congressional Medal of Honor. The A Shau strip was not considered safe for A-1Es even under normal circumstances. To land on its jagged, mortar-pocked surface among debris, with enemy troops all around and even firing from the hills above the clouds, took a tremendous amount of courage and skill. Myers' words to Fisher when he was pulled into the aircraft were: "You dumb S.O.B. now neither of us will get out of here". Myers later said that if he had any way of communicating, he would have told the fighters to call off the strikes, since the enemy automatic weapons were located and concentrated for a classical aircraft trap. (13)

Despite the desperate efforts of the defenders to hold A Shau, it was decided to evacuate survivors by helicopter and get out of the camp that evening. The estimated three enemy battalions of the 95B Regiment of the 325th Division were too much for the defending force in view of the poor weather, which restricted air strikes. On 10 March, although 210 sorties were flown in support (103 USMC, 67 USAF, 19 USN, and 12 VNAF), (14) bad

weather impeded their effectiveness and forced strike aircraft to low altitudes where their vulnerability was increased. (15)

At around 1700, U. S. Marine helicopters went in to evacuate the wounded, extracting 69 personnel. The camp was officially closed at 1745 hours on 10 March. The complement at A Shau originally consisted of the 17 Americans, 149 Chinese Nung mercenaries, and 219 Vietnamese irregulars. U. S: Special Forces personnel suffered 100% casualties - 5 killed and 12 wounded. Only 172 Vietnamese were evacuated, the rest being listed as missing in action, although many of these turned up later. It has been estimated that the Viet Gong lost about 300 to ground fire and estimated 500 killed by air strikes. In addition to the ground casualties, the U. S. lost one in the A-4 crash, two dead and one missing in the AC-47 crash, and four Marine crewmen missing after the crash of an H‑34 during the extraction Operation on the 10th.

The loss of A Shau was a substantial ground victory for the enemy, yet it was plainly evident that without air power there would have been no survivors. A B-52 strike planned for the 10th of March near the camp was cancelled when it was discovered that the strikes would be in the route of friendly personnel evacuating the camp. A B-52 raid was conducted at A Shau using CBU munitions on the 19th of March 1966 . Tactical air strikes against enemy positions at A Shau continued for the following week with aircraft strafing and bombing the enemy‑held installations of this former Special Forces camp.

There is some consensus among USAF pilots that the camp could have been saved if the defenders had been able to hold out for one more night. The weather cleared‑partially on the morning of the 11th, and under the clearer skies U. S. aircraft might well have been able to repeat the performance at Plei Me, where pinpoint napalm and bombing attacks on the camp's perimeter kept the enemy at bay. Unfortunately, this was not possible at A Shau.

General William C. Westmoreland, Commander, U. S. Military Assistance Command, Vietnam , congratulated U. S. airmen who provided close support to A Shau's defenders. In a message to the 2d Air Division, General Westmoreland said: (16)

"...The air support provided by Marine and Air Force units at the recent battle of A Shau Special Forces Camp was equal to any in aviation history. The repeated heroic deeds of the transport, fighter, and helicopter crews and forward air controllers, accomplished under extremely adverse conditions, reflects the utmost credit on the crews themselves and their respective services ...."

Perhaps the most glowing tribute to the role of air power in the battle of A Shau came from one of the Special Forces defenders, Captain Tennis Carter, who said, "Without the air support you provided, we wouldn't have lasted one day. If you hadn't flown at all, the Special Forces wouldn't have blamed you. It was suicidal, but you carried out your mission anyway. I wouldn't have done it.”

http://www.vnafmamn.com/rescue_at_ashau.html
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 10 March 2010, 12:17
Papa Smurf Papa Smurf is offline
On the Extract Bird
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: On the extract bird
Posts: 2,167
Quote:
Originally Posted by shady1 View Post
...The ship was then fitted with ten twelve-pound cannons. There were four guns each placed on the starboard and port sides, and one each on the bow and stern sides...

Hard to imagine how either side managed to maintain the fight with both the stench of the burnt powder and the noise; both of outgoing and incoming canon balls?

FOOMP! CLANG! FOOMP! CLANG!

That would have been one hell of a battle to witness...
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 10 March 2010, 12:57
RGR.Montcalm's Avatar
RGR.Montcalm RGR.Montcalm is offline
Been There Done That
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Clearing fields of fire
Posts: 10,938
Quote:
Originally Posted by shady1 View Post
Although it is hard to decide which event to highlight, or call the most significant military battle of a particular day in history. This one certainly stands out among many.

The USS MONITOR Vs. The CSS VIRGINIA March 9, 1862.

http://cardsunltd.com/magnetpics/magva143.jpg


http://www.rpi.edu/~fiscap/history_files/monitor.htm
When I was in NJROTC (bite me, for the comments...) waaaaaaaay back in HS, I did a presentation on the Monitor.

It was "The Monitor: Prelude to the Battleship"- yes the CSS Virginia had been rechristened after being reworked as an ironclad prior to the engagement.

Sad that the Monitor went down due to rough seas with all on board

RIP to the fallen of the Monitor
__________________
Shallow men believe in luck; strong men believe in cause and effect
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 10 March 2010, 19:15
ET1/ss nuke's Avatar
ET1/ss nuke ET1/ss nuke is offline
If you don't smell ozone, the radiation won't kill you before next week.
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: sc
Posts: 5,723
Quote:
Originally Posted by Papa Smurf View Post
That would have been one hell of a battle to witness...
... from a distance!

I remember my dad talking about sweeping through the A Shau valley in what he called Operation Starlight in 65 or 66. I wonder if that was related to the actions described above?
__________________
"I don't know whether the world is run by smart men who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it." - Twain

"I agree that his intentions are suspect, and that he likely needs to die...." - SOTB

"Just a lone patriot acting alone at a fulcrum point, ideally in a deniable fashion. A perpetrator of accidents." - Magician
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 11 March 2010, 10:38
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by ET1/ss nuke View Post
I remember my dad talking about sweeping through the A Shau valley in what he called Operation Starlight in 65 or 66. I wonder if that was related to the actions described above?
ET1, 7 months prior. August of 65. Here is the dedicated website for Operation Starlight. You will find it to be a great resource. I thank, and commend your father for his service.

http://www.operationstarlite.com/
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 11 March 2010, 11:29
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
March 11,1942 Corregidor and the Bataan Peninsula

1942 - After struggling against great odds to save the Philippines from Japanese conquest, U.S. General Douglas MacArthur abandons the island fortress of Corregidor under orders from President Franklin Roosevelt.

Left behind at Corregidor and on the Bataan Peninsula were 90,000 American and Filipino troops, who, lacking food, supplies, and support, would soon succumb to the Japanese offensive. After leaving Corregidor, MacArthur and his family traveled by boat 560 miles to the Philippine island of Mindanao, braving mines, rough seas, and the Japanese Navy. At the end of the hair-raising 35-hour journey, MacArthur told the boat commander, John D. Bulkeley, "You've taken me out of the jaws of death, and I won't forget it." On March 17, the general and his family boarded a B-17 Flying Fortress for Northern Australia. He then took another aircraft and a long train ride down to Melbourne. During this journey, he was informed that there were far fewer Allied troops in Australia than he had hoped. Relief of his forces trapped in the Philippines would not be forthcoming. Deeply disappointed, he issued a statement to the press in which he promised his men and the people of the Philippines, "I shall return." The promise would become his mantra during the next two and a half years, and he would repeat it often in public appearances. For his valiant defense of the Philippines, MacArthur was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor and celebrated as "America's First Soldier." Put in command of Allied forces in the Southwestern Pacific, his first duty was conducting the defense of Australia. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, Bataan fell in April, and the 70,000 American and Filipino soldiers captured there were forced to undertake a death march in which at least 7,000 perished. Then, in May, Corregidor surrendered, and 15,000 more Americans and Filipinos were captured. The Philippines--MacArthur's adopted home--were lost, and the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff had no immediate plans for their liberation. After the U.S. victory at the Battle of Midway in June 1942, most Allied resources in the Pacific went to U.S. Admiral Chester Nimitz, who as commander of the Pacific Fleet planned a more direct route to Japan than via the Philippines. Unperturbed, MacArthur launched a major offensive in New Guinea, winning a string of victories with his limited forces. By September 1944, he was poised to launch an invasion of the Philippines, but he needed the support of Nimitz's Pacific Fleet. After a period of indecision about whether to invade the Philippines or Formosa, the Joint Chiefs put their support behind MacArthur's plan, which logistically could be carried out sooner than a Formosa invasion. On October 20, 1944, a few hours after his troops landed, MacArthur waded ashore onto the Philippine island of Leyte. That day, he made a radio broadcast in which he declared, "People of the Philippines, I have returned!" In January 1945, his forces invaded the main Philippine island of Luzon. In February, Japanese forces at Bataan were cut off, and Corregidor was captured. Manila, the Philippine capital, fell in March, and in June MacArthur announced his offensive operations on Luzon to be at an end; although scattered Japanese resistance continued until the end of the war in August. Only one-third of the men MacArthur left behind on March 11, 1942, survived to see his return. "I'm a little late," he told them, "but we finally came."

macarthur_returns_sm.jpg

This photo is one of the most famous from World War II, showing MacArthur striding confidently through the surf toward the beach, looking like the epitome of a resolute leader. The actual plans at the time were for the General to land at a dock, but they could not find one that had survived the landing assault. While still 50 yards off shore, MacArthur's landing craft ran aground. MacArthur grew impatient and ordered the ramp lowered, stepped knee deep into the water, and strode toward the beach. Others in the party, of course, followed. His facial expression had more to do with irritation over the situation than the historic importance of the occasion. It is rumored that MacArthur was so pleased with the photo that he reenacted the event to try to improve it.

Truly a man of his word and a great American hero. Seven years later would be fired, relieved of command of the UN and US Forces in the Far East by then POTUS Harry S. Truman for "Ignoring orders and refraining from making political statements" In ref. to Korea. Hmmmmm, sound familar? Enter, LT. Gen. Matthew Ridgway. A paratrooper known for always wearing a hand grenade. Have to wait till April for that one.

Last edited by shady1; 11 March 2010 at 11:32. Reason: spelling
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 11 March 2010, 12:40
B 2/75's Avatar
B 2/75 B 2/75 is offline
Old Scroll
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Black Mountains
Posts: 10,681
MODS... can this thread be made into a sticky? It has value such that it should be a permenant feature, updated daily by those who appreciate and value a working knowledge of our military history. Good thread, Phil
__________________

.
"To the last I grapple with thee; from hell's heart I stab at thee, for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee"
Melville / Captain Ahab
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12 March 2010, 13:06
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
March 12, 1824 Massachusetts State prison

Here's one for the Dept. of Corrections and Law Enforcement Personnel as well as Marines. My, how The Dept. of corrections and, Mass. has changed. And the fact that the Marines are responsible for quelling a state prison situation. Gonna do some research on that one

1824 - Marines of the Boston Barracks quelled a Massachusetts State Prison riot. Inmates rioted and holed up in the mess hall with a guard as hostage, Marines from the Boston barracks came to help. Major RD Wainwright led 30 Marines into the mess hall to confront 283 armed and determined prisoners. Wainwright ordered his men to cock and level their muskets. "You must leave this hall," he told the inmates. "I give you three minutes to decide. If at the end of that time a man remains, he will be shot dead. I speak no more." In two and a half minutes, "the hall was cleared as if by magic."

Below is another account of the events that day.
Pg. 59-66

http://books.google.com/books?id=jWX...age&q=&f=false

Last edited by shady1; 12 March 2010 at 13:22.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 13 March 2010, 11:29
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
"Remember the Alamo !"

Many significant events for today in history. Here's a few.

Payback!

1836
- Less than a week after the disastrous defeat of Texas rebels at the Alamo, the newly commissioned Texan General Sam Houston begins a series of strategic retreats to buy time to train his ill-prepared army. Revolutionary Texans had only formally announced their independence from Mexico 11 days earlier. On March 6, 1836, the separatists chose Sam Houston to be the commander-in-chief of the revolutionary army. Houston immediately departed for Gonzales, Texas, where the main force of the revolutionary army was stationed. When he arrived, he found that the Texan army consisted of 374 poorly dressed and ill-equipped men. Most had no guns or military experience, and they had only two days of rations. Houston had little time to dwell on the situation, because he learned that the Mexican general Santa Anna was staging a siege of the Alamo in San Antonio. Before Houston could prepare his troops to rush to aid the defenders, however, word arrived that Santa Anna had wiped them out on March 6. Scouts reported that Santa Anna's troops were heading east toward Gonzales. Unprepared to confront the Mexican army with his poorly trained force, Houston began a series of strategic retreats designed to give him enough time to whip his army into fighting shape. Houston's decision to retreat won him little but scorn from the Texas rebels. His troops and officers were eager to engage the Mexicans, and they chafed at Houston's insistence on learning proper field maneuvers. Houston wisely continued to organize, train, and equip his troops so they would be prepared to meet Santa Anna's army. Finally, after nearly a month of falling back, Houston ordered his men to turn around and head south to meet Santa Anna's forces. On April 21, Houston led his 783 troops in an attack on Santa Anna's force of nearly twice that number near the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River. With the famous cry, "Remember the Alamo," the Texans stormed the surprised Mexican forces. After a brief attempt at defense, the Mexican soldiers broke into a disorganized retreat, allowing the Texans to isolate and slaughter them. In a stunning victory, Houston's army succeeded in killing or capturing nearly the entire Mexican force, including General Santa Anna, who was taken prisoner. Only two Texans were killed and 30 wounded. Fearful of execution, Santa Anna signed an order calling for the immediate withdrawal of all Mexican troops from Texas soil. The Mexicans never again seriously threatened the independence of the Lone Star Republic Um, needs updating.

1942 - Julia Flikke of the Nurse Corps becomes the first woman colonel in the U.S. Army. Flikke entered the Army Nurse Corps during World War I in March 1918 and first served at the U.S. Army General Hospital in Lakewood, New Jersey. While there, she took the chief nurse examination and upon passing was named chief nurse of the Augustana unit, Base Hospital #11. The unit sailed for France in August 1918 and served for the duration of the war in Nantes, caring for the wounded from the Argonne.

1943 - There was a failed assassination attempt on Hitler during the Smolensk-Rastenburg flight. A time-bomb was placed on board Hitler's personal aircraft by German Army conspirators intending to assassinate the Fuhrer. It failed to explode.

1969
- In Vietnam Navy Lt. John Kerry rescued Jim Rassman on the Bay Hap River while under Viet Cong fire.

1981
- The U.S. planned to send 15 Green Berets to El Salvador as military advisors.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 14 March 2010, 19:45
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
1965, N. Viet Nam operation Rolling Thunder

1965 - Twenty-four South Vietnamese Air Force planes, led by Vice-Marshal Nguyen Cao Ky and supported by U.S. jets, bomb the barracks and depots on Con Co ("Tiger") Island, 20 miles off the coast of North Vietnam. The next day, 100 U.S. Air Force jets and carrier-based bombers struck the ammunition depot at Phu Qui, 100 miles south of Hanoi. This was the second set of raids in Operation Rolling Thunder and the first in which U.S. planes used napalm. Operation Rolling Thunder was a result of President Lyndon B. Johnson's decision in February to undertake the sustained bombing of North Vietnam that he and his advisers had been contemplating for a year. The operation was designed to interdict North Vietnamese transportation routes in the southern part of North Vietnam and slow infiltration of personnel and supplies into South Vietnam. In July 1966, Rolling Thunder was expanded to include the bombing of North Vietnamese ammunition dumps and oil storage facilities, and in the spring of 1967, it was further expanded to include power plants, factories, and airfields in the Hanoi-Haiphong area. The White House closely controlled operation Rolling Thunder and President Johnson sometimes personally selected the targets. From 1965 to 1968, about 643,000 tons of bombs were dropped on North Vietnam. A total of nearly 900 U.S. aircraft were lost during Operation Rolling Thunder. The operation continued, with occasional suspensions, until President Johnson, under increasing domestic political pressure, halted it on October 31, 1968.



In the view of the Air Force leadership, the campaign had no clear-cut objective nor did its authors have any real estimate of the cost of lives and aircraft. General LeMay and others argued that military targets, rather than the enemy’s resolve, should be attacked and that the blows should be rapid and sharp, with the impact felt immediately on the battlefield as well as by the political leadership in Hanoi. That view was certainly not limited to just the Air Force leadership.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 15 March 2010, 22:26
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
1965, Viet Nam. (Cont.)

So, It would appear that Gen. LeMay was correct.

1965 - Gen. Harold K. Johnson, Army Chief of Staff, reports on his recent visit to Vietnam to President Lyndon B. Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. He admitted that the recent air raids ordered by President Johnson had not affected the course of the war and said he would like to assign an American division to hold coastal enclaves and defend the Central Highlands. General Johnson also advocated creating a four-division force of Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) and U.S. troops to patrol the Demilitarized Zone along the border separating North and South Vietnam and Laos. Nothing ever came of General Johnson's recommendation on the SEATO troops, but President Johnson ordered the 173rd Airborne Brigade to Vietnam in May 1965 and followed it with the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) in September of the same year. These forces, along with the first contingent of U.S. Marines--which had arrived in March--were only the first of a massive American build up. By 1969, there were more than 540,000 U.S. troops in South Vietnam.

Operation Rolling Thunder was the name given to America’s sustained bombing campaign against North Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Operation Rolling Thunder was a demonstration of America’s near total air supremacy during the Vietnam War. It was started in an effort to demoralise the North Vietnamese people and to undermine the capacity of the government in North Vietnam to govern. Operation Rolling Thunder failed on both accounts.

Operation Rolling Thunder was given government approval and officially started on February 24th 1965 though the first attack did not occur until March 2nd when 100 US and VNAF planes attacked an ammunition base at Xom Bang. The bombing campaign lasted until October 1968, despite the fact that it was meant to have been no more than an eight-week campaign.

The execution of the operation was blurred from the start. The US Air Force was restricted as to what it could bomb out of fear of provoking a Soviet/Chinese response. Whereas the US military wanted a bombing campaign that had clear military results (such as severely limiting the way the NLF could operate in South Vietnam) the ‘hawks’ in Washington DC wanted to demonstrate to the North Vietnamese government the awesome military power the US could muster – a military power that the North could not hope to match. The failure of Operation Thunder to undermine the government of Ho Chi Minh in its first few weeks led to a change of strategy. By the end of 1965, the bombing raids were used against the supply lines that the North used into the South as opposed to specific targets in the North itself. However, Haiphong and Hanoi remained targets.

One of the results of the opening phase of the operation was that Vietcong forces attacked US air bases in South Vietnam. General Westmoreland told Washington that he could not defend these bases with just the 23,000 men that were under his command. Westmoreland claimed that unless he received more troops, the Vietcong would overrun these air bases. As a result, President Johnson ordered the sending of 3,500 US Marines to South Vietnam – the first official troops to be sent there.

During the many months during which Operation Rolling Thunder operated, 643,000 tons of bombs were dropped. However, nearly 900 US aircraft were lost. The financial cost of Operation Rolling Thunder was huge. It was estimated that the damage done to North Vietnam by the bombing raids was $300 million. However, the cost to the US of these raids was estimated at $900 million.

Operation Rolling Thunder ended when President Johnson offered its termination as a way of securing the North Vietnamese to a negotiating table. Peace talks began in earnest in January 1969 just two months after Johnson ordered the ending of Operation Rolling Thunder.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 16 March 2010, 20:50
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
1988 ??? 3000 U.S troops to Honduras


March 16, 1988


This is the event on public record in ref. to Honduras.
Many layers to these events as many here remember well. Still learning more as time goes on. I believe I have all the televised hearings on VHS. Last time I ran across them, several years ago, I had to dig out an old VHS player to watch them. Very addicting. Once you start to watch, it is hard to stop.


President Ronald Reagan orders over 3,000 U.S. troops to Honduras, claiming that Nicaraguan soldiers had crossed its borders. As with so many of the other actions taken against Nicaragua during the Reagan years, the result was only more confusion and criticism.

Since taking office in 1981, the Reagan administration had used an assortment of means to try to remove the leftist Sandinista government of Nicaragua. President Reagan charged that the Sandinistas were pawns of the Soviet Union and were establishing a communist beachhead in the Western Hemisphere, though there was little evidence to support such an accusation. Nonetheless, Reagan’s administration used economic and diplomatic pressure attempting to destabilize the Sandinista regime. Reagan poured millions of dollars of U.S. military and economic aid into the so-called “Contras,” anti-Sandinista rebels operating out of Honduras and Costa Rica. By 1988, however, the Contra program was coming under severe criticism from both the American people and Congress. Many Americans came to see the Contras as nothing more than terrorist mercenaries, and Congress had acted several times to limit the amount of U.S. aid to the Contras.

In an effort to circumvent Congressional control, the Reagan administration engaged in what came to be known as the Iran-Contra Affair, in which arms were illegally and covertly sold to Iran in order to fund the Contras. This scheme had come to light in late 1987. Indeed, on the very day that Reagan sent U.S. troops to Honduras, his former national security advisor John Poindexter and former National Security staffer Lt. Col. Oliver North were indicted by the U.S. government for fraud and theft related to Iran-Contra.

The New York Times reported that Washington, not Honduras, had initiated the call for the U.S. troops. In fact, the Honduran government could not even confirm whether Sandinista troops had actually crossed its borders, and Nicaragua steadfastly denied that it had entered Honduran territory. Whatever the truth of the matter, the troops stayed for a brief time and were withdrawn. The Sandinista government remained unfazed.


http://www.historycommons.org/timeli...ancontraaffair


Below are some of Col. Oliver North's qoutes.

And so, the youngsters you have today, even though there are far fewer of them - in World War II 16.5 million men and women in uniform, today roughly a million in uniform in spite of the fact that the country is almost twice as large a population as we had in World War II.

Bill Clinton is not my commander-in-chief.

God knows, we don't want prayer.

I am here to accept responsibility for that which I did. I will not accept responsibility for that which I did not do.

I came here to tell you the truth, the good, the bad and the ugly.

I don't think there is another person in America that wants to tell this story as much as I do.

I haven't, in the 23 years that I have been in the uniformed services of the United States of America, ever violated an order - not one.

I never considered myself a fall guy. I know what I did. I know why I did it. I'm not ashamed of it.

I think as a rifle platoon and company commander your view is about 1,000 meters in front of you and you hope you can cover that ground and not have to back up and give it up again.

I thought using the Ayatollah's money to support the Nicaraguan resistance was a neat idea.

I want to make it clear that I honestly answered every question put to me during the so-called Iran-Contra hearings. But if they didn't ask me about something, I wasn't about to reveal things that would put other people in jeopardy.

I was authorized to do everything that I did.

I was provided with additional input that was radically different from the truth. I assisted in furthering that version.

I would not trade you a billion dollars for the kids I led to combat in Vietnam or in fact any of the Marines that I served with for a quarter of a century.

I'm trusting in the Lord and a good lawyer.

In my first book, Under Fire, I wrote that I revered Ronald Reagan. That was a dozen years ago. I still feel that way. I think he changed the world for the better for my children and my children's children.

In World War II, the book you have in front of you, it was said and it is probably true, that there was not a single American who did not know the name of somebody serving in uniform.

The terrorists that we are up against today do not rely upon cell phones and SAT phones and emails. They rely on couriers. You cannot intercept what a courier is telling somebody.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 17 March 2010, 20:17
shady1 shady1 is offline
Authorized Personnel
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Connecticut Shoreline
Posts: 1,144
The good, the bad and the ugly

The good:

1942 - Gen. Douglas MacArthur arrived in Australia to become supreme commander of Allied forces in the southwest Pacific theater during World War II.

1973 - First POWs were released from the "Hanoi Hilton" in Hanoi, North Vietnam

2003 - Pres. Bush gave Saddam Hussein 48 hours to go into exile or face military onslaught. Iraq rejected Bush's ultimatum, saying that a U.S. attack to force Saddam from power would be "a grave mistake."


The Bad
:

1966 - A U.S. midget submarine located a missing hydrogen bomb which had fallen from an American bomber into the Mediterranean off Spain.

The Ugly:

1970 - After an investigation, the U.S. Army accuses 14 officers of suppressing information related to an incident at My Lai in March 1968. Soldiers from a company had massacred Vietnamese civilians, including women and children, at My Lai 4, a cluster of hamlets in Quang Ngai Province, on March 16, 1968. The company had been conducting a search-and-destroy mission looking for the 48th Viet Cong (VC) Local Force Battalion. The unit entered My Lai, but found only women, children, and old men. Frustrated by unanswered losses due to snipers and mines, the soldiers took out their anger on the villagers, indiscriminately shooting people as they ran from their huts, and systematically rounding up and executing the survivors. Reportedly, the killing was only stopped when Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson landed his helicopter between the Americans and the fleeing South Vietnamese, confronting the soldiers and blocking them from further action against the villagers. The incident was subsequently covered up, but eventually came to light a year later. The Army commissioned a board of inquiry, headed by Lieutenant General Peers. After investigating, Peers reported that U.S. soldiers committed individual and group acts of murder, rape, sodomy, maiming and assault that took the lives of a large number of civilians--he concluded that a "tragedy of major proportions" occurred at My Lai. The Peers report said that each successive level of command received a more watered-down account of what had actually occurred; the higher the report went, the lower the estimate of civilians allegedly killed by Americans. Peers found that at least 30 persons knew of the atrocity, but only 14 were charged with crimes. All eventually had their charges dismissed or were acquitted by courts-martial except Lt. William Calley, the platoon leader of the unit involved. He was found guilty of personally murdering 22 civilians and sentenced to life imprisonment, but his sentence was reduced to 20 years by the Court of Military Appeals and further reduced later to 10 years by the Secretary of the Army. Proclaimed by much of the public as a "scapegoat," Calley was paroled in 1974 after having served about a third of his 10-year sentence.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Our new posting rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 16:21.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Socnet.com All Rights Reserved
© SOCNET 1996-2018