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Nov. 29 in US Military History

1760: Rogers’ Rangers under the command of Massachusetts-born Maj. (future Lt. Col.) Robert Rogers capture Fort Detroit from the French. U.S. Army Rangers in the 20th and 21st centuries will trace their lineage to Rogers and his British Colonial irregulars.

1804:  Marine Corps 1st Lt. Presley O’Bannon, William Eaton, Navy Midshipman George Mann, and seven Marines land at Alexandria, Egypt with the intention of overthrowing the ruler of Tripoli. Five months -and 600 miles – later, the men would arrive in the port city of Derne and defeat the Bashaw’s forces.

1890: Navy beats Army, 24-0, in the first-ever Army (West Point) – Navy (Annapolis) football game.

1929: U.S. Navy Commander Richard E. Byrd Jr. makes the first-ever flight over the South Pole.   Byrd – a future rear admiral and recipient of the Medal of Honor for his 1926 flight over the North Pole – is the navigator of the South Pole flight. His companions include pilot Bernt Balchen, radio operator Harold June, and photographer Ashley McKinley.   The team crosses the Pole in a modified Ford tri-motor airplane.

1941: The Japanese decide that the terms issued by the United States are unacceptable and that Japan must go to war. The passenger ship Lurline sends a radio signal that they have spotted Japanese fleet in the North Pacific, heading East.

1944: The submarine USS Archerfish sinks the Japanese carrier Shinano, the largest warship sunk by a submarine during World War II, off Honshu. Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the battleship USS Maryland and two destroyers are heavily damaged by kamikaze attacks.

1952: Newly elected president – and former Gen. – Dwight Eisenhower fulfills his campaign promise of visiting Korea in hopes of ending the conflict. Upon taking office, President Eisenhower informed the Chinese that he would unleash Nationalist Chinese forces in Taiwan against Communist China unless peace negotiations progressed. An armistice was signed in July of 1953.

1968: Viet Cong High Command issues a directive to its forces to wage a new assault to “utterly destroy” US and South Vietnamese forces, specifically targeting the highly effective Phoenix counterinsurgency program.

Medal of Honor: For nearly two weeks,SSgt. Andrew Miller engaged in a "series of heroic events," to include single-handedly silencing multiple machinegun positions; killing or wounding dozens of German soldiers, and capturing scores more. Then on Nov. 29 1944, SSgt. Miller's platoon was pinned down by German fire. He led a charge that smothered the Germans, but the attack cost Miller his life.

Adapted (and abridged) in part from “This Week in US Military History” by W. Thomas Smith Jr. at Human Events.

Photo of the Day: Navy Lt. Alexander Vraciu shoots down six Japanese bombers

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