JANUARY 11 - TODAY IN MILITARY HISTORY

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11 JANUARY/ TODAY IN MILITARY HISTORY:
◆1782 Siege of Brimstone Hill.★
◆1861 Alabama secedes from the Union. Alabama becomes the fourth state to secede from the Union when a convention votes 61 to 39 in favor of the measure. Alabama had a much closer vote than other states, due to strong Unionist sentiment in the northern part of the state.
◆1861 U.S. Marine Hospital two miles below New Orleans was occupied by Louisiana State troops.
◆1863 The Confederate ship Alabama under Capt. Semmes flew a British flag and lured the USS Hatteras out of Galveston harbor. The Hatteras was quickly sunk.
◆1928 Leon Trotsky sent to Gulag.★
◆1935 Amelia Earhart first to fly solo from Hawaii to California.★
◆1941 Adof Hitler orders the establishment of the Afrika Korps.★
◆1942 Battle of Tarakan.★
◆1942 Battle of Manado.★
◆1942 The American carrier Saratoga is severely damaged by Japanese submarine I.6 near Hawaii.
◆1943 On Guadalcanal, US forces take the "Sea Horse" position. The Japanese Gifu strongpoint continues to resist American pressure.
◆1944 Aircraft from Escort Carrier USS Block Island make first aircraft rocket attack on German submarine. Departing San Diego in May 1943 Block Island steamed to Norfolk, Va., to join the Atlantic Fleet. After two trips from New York to Belfast, Ireland, during the summer of 1943 with cargoes of Army fighters, she operated as part of a hunter-killer team. During her four anti-submarine cruises Block Island's planes sank two submarines. At 2013, 29 May 1944, Block Island was torpedoed by U-549 which had slipped undetected through her screen. The German submarine put one and perhaps two more torpedoes into the stricken carrier before being sunk herself by the avenging Eugene E. Gilmore (DE-686) and Ahrens (DE-575). Block Island (CVE-21) received two battle stars for her service.
◆1944 The US 8th Air Force carries out a fighter escorted daylight raid on Oschersleben. A quarter of the 238 bombers are lost. The attrition effect on the defending German fighters is not reflected in this loss.
◆1944 - President Roosevelt asks Congress for a new national service law to prevent damaging strikes and to mobilize the entire adult population for war.
◆1944 Elements of the US 32nd Division, at Saidor, complete repairs to the airfield.
◆1944 Franz Kettner, a private in the German army and a prisoner of war at Camp Hearne in Texas, is killed by a Nazi kangaroo court.
◆1945 On Luzon, the US 25th Division and an armored group land at Lingayen to reinforce the American beachhead. The first serious fighting begins ashore. There are more Kamikaze attacks on the American ships. Many smaller craft are damaged.
◆1945 Aircraft from the US 3rd Fleet (Halsey) sink 25 ships and damage 13 others off the coast of Indochina in attacks on four Japanese convoys.
◆1945 Units of the US 3rd Army and the British 30th Corps join up near St. Hubert as the German salient in the Ardennes is further reduced. To the south, the fighting in the US 7th Army around Bitche is also continuing but German attacks are being held.
◆1949 Surrender talks in China between the Nationalists and Communists opened as Tientsing was virtually lost to the Communists.
◆1951 With improved weather, Fifth Air Force and FEAF Bomber Command resumed close air support missions for X Corps in north central South Korea.
◆1953 307th BW B-29s bombed Sonchon and Anju marshalling yards. Enemy searchlights illuminated a B-29 apparently betrayed by its contrails, and fighters shot it down.
◆1965 Major cities--especially Saigon and Hue--and much of central Vietnam are disrupted by demonstrations and strikes led by Buddhists.★
◆1988 Gregory "Pappy" Boyington died at age 75.★
◆1993 In Somalia, Operation Nutcracker. 900 Marines sweep through the Bakara bazaar. No casualties on either side.
◆2001 The US Army premiered its new slogan "An Army of One" on the TV sitcom "Friends."
◆2002 First group of 20 detainees arrives at Guantanamo Bay's Camp X-Ray.
◆2004 U.S. paratroopers captured Khamis Sirhan al-Muhammad, a former regional Baath Party chairman and militia commander a former Baath Party official who was No. 54 on the list of 55 most-wanted figures from Saddam Hussein's regime.

 



 

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Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

MAUS, MARION P.
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, 1st U.S. Infantry. Place and date: At Sierra Madre Mountains, Mex., 11 January 1886. Entered service at: Tennallytown, Montgomery County, Md. Birth: Burnt Mills, Md. Date of issue: 27 November 1894. Citation: Most distinguished gallantry in action with hostile Apaches led by Geronimo and Natchez.

WEISBOGEL, ALBERT
Rank and organization: Captain of the Mizzen Top, U.S. Navy. Born: 1844, New Orleans, La. Accredited to: Louisiana. G.O. No.: 207, 23 March 1876; 212, 9 June 1876. Second award. Citation: For gallant conduct in jumping overboard from the U.S.S. Benicia, at sea, and rescuing from drowning one of the crew of that vessel on 11 January 1874

*GAMMON, ARCHER T.
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company A, 9th Armored Infantry Battalion, 6th Armored Division. Place and date: Near Bastogne, Belgium, 11 January 1945. Entered service at: Roanoke, Va. Born: 11 September 1918, Chatham, Va. G.O. No.: 18, 13 February 1946. Citation: He charged 30 yards through hip-deep snow to knock out a machinegun and its 3-man crew with grenades, saving his platoon from being decimated and allowing it to continue its advance from an open field into some nearby woods. The platoon's advance through the woods had only begun when a machinegun supported by riflemen opened fire and a Tiger Royal tank sent 88mm. shells screaming at the unit from the left flank. S/Sgt. Gammon, disregarding all thoughts of personal safety, rushed forward, then cut to the left, crossing the width of the platoon's skirmish line in an attempt to get within grenade range of the tank and its protecting foot troops. Intense fire was concentrated on him by riflemen and the machinegun emplaced near the tank. He charged the automatic weapon, wiped out its crew of 4 with grenades, and, with supreme daring, advanced to within 25 yards of the armored vehicle, killing 2 hostile infantrymen with rifle fire as he moved forward. The tank had started to withdraw, backing a short distance, then firing, backing some more, and then stopping to blast out another round, when the man whose single-handed relentless attack had put the ponderous machine on the defensive was struck and instantly killed by a direct hit from the Tiger Royal's heavy gun. By his intrepidity and extreme devotion to the task of driving the enemy back no matter what the odds, S/Sgt. Gammon cleared the woods of German forces, for the tank continued to withdraw, leaving open the path for the gallant squad leader's platoon.

HOWARD, JAMES H. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army Air Corps. Place and date: Over Oschersleben, Germany, 11 January 1944. Entered service at: St. Louis, Mo. Birth: Canton, China. G.O. No.: 45, 5 June 1944. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy near Oschersleben, Germany, on 11 January 1944. On that day Col. Howard was the leader of a group of P51 aircraft providing support for a heavy bomber formation on a long-range mission deep in enemy territory. As Col. Howard's group met the bombers in the target area the bomber force was attacked by numerous enemy fighters. Col. Howard, with his group, and at once engaged the enemy and himself destroyed a German ME. 110. As a result of this attack Col. Howard lost contact with his group, and at once returned to the level of the bomber formation. He then saw that the bombers were being heavily attacked by enemy airplanes and that no other friendly fighters were at hand. While Col. Howard could have waited to attempt to assemble his group before engaging the enemy, he chose instead to attack single-handed a formation of more than 30 German airplanes. With utter disregard for his own safety he immediately pressed home determined attacks for some 30 minutes, during which time he destroyed 3 enemy airplanes and probably destroyed and damaged others. Toward the end of this engagement 3 of his guns went out of action and his fuel supply was becoming dangerously low. Despite these handicaps and the almost insuperable odds against him, Col. Howard continued his aggressive action in an attempt to protect the bombers from the numerous fighters. His skill, courage, and intrepidity on this occasion set an example of heroism which will be an inspiration to the U.S. Armed Forces.

SHOMO, WILLIAM A. (Air Mission)
Rank and organization: Major, U.S. Army Air Corps, 82d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron. Place and date: Over Luzon, Philippine Islands, 11 January 1 945. Entered service at: Westmoreland County, Pa. Birth: Jeannette, Pa. G.O. No.: 25, 7 April 1945. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Maj. Shomo was lead pilot of a flight of 2 fighter planes charged with an armed photographic and strafing mission against the Aparri and Laoag airdromes. While en route to the objective, he observed an enemy twin engine bomber, protected by 12 fighters, flying about 2,500 feet above him and in the opposite direction Although the odds were 13 to 2, Maj. Shomo immediately ordered an attack. Accompanied by his wingman he closed on the enemy formation in a climbing turn and scored hits on the leading plane of the third element, which exploded in midair. Maj. Shomo then attacked the second element from the left side of the formation and shot another fighter down in flames. When the enemy formed for Counterattack, Maj. Shomo moved to the other side of the formation and hit a third fighter which exploded and fell. Diving below the bomber he put a burst into its underside and it crashed and burned. Pulling up from this pass he encountered a fifth plane firing head on and destroyed it. He next dived upon the first element and shot down the lead plane; then diving to 300 feet in pursuit of another fighter he caught it with his initial burst and it crashed in flames. During this action his wingman had shot down 3 planes, while the 3 remaining enemy fighters had fled into a cloudbank and escaped. Maj. Shomo's extraordinary gallantry and intrepidity in attacking such a far superior force and destroying 7 enemy aircraft in one action is unparalleled in the southwest Pacific area.

FRITZ, HAROLD A.
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army, Troop A, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment. Place and date: Binh Long Province, Republic of Vietnam, 11 January 1969. Entered service at: Milwaukee, Wis. Born: 21 February 1944, Chicago, 111. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Capt. (then 1st Lt.) Fritz, Armor, U.S. Army, distinguished himself while serving as a platoon leader with Troop A, near Quan Loi. Capt. Fritz was leading his 7-vehicle armored column along Highway 13 to meet and escort a truck convoy when the column suddenly came under intense crossfire from a reinforced enemy company deployed in ambush positions. In the initial attack, Capt. Fritz' vehicle was hit and he was seriously wounded. Realizing that his platoon was completely surrounded, vastly outnumbered, and in danger of being overrun, Capt. Fritz leaped to the top of his burning vehicle and directed the positioning of his remaining vehicles and men. With complete disregard for his wounds and safety, he ran from vehicle to vehicle in complete view of the enemy gunners in order to reposition his men, to improve the defenses, to assist the wounded, to distribute ammunition, to direct fire, and to provide encouragement to his men. When a strong enemy force assaulted the position and attempted to overrun the platoon, Capt. Fritz manned a machine gun and through his exemplary action inspired his men to deliver intense and deadly fire which broke the assault and routed the attackers. Moments later a second enemy force advanced to within 2 meters of the position and threatened to overwhelm the defenders. Capt. Fritz, armed only with a pistol and bayonet, led a small group of his men in a fierce and daring charge which routed the attackers and inflicted heavy casualties. When a relief force arrived, Capt. Fritz saw that it was not deploying effectively against the enemy positions, and he moved through the heavy enemy fire to direct its deployment against the hostile positions. This deployment forced the enemy to abandon the ambush site and withdraw. Despite his wounds, Capt. Fritz returned to his position, assisted his men, and refused medical attention until all of his wounded comrades had been treated and evacuated. The extraordinary courage and selflessness displayed by Capt. Fritz, at the repeated risk of his own life above and beyond the call of duty, were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect the greatest credit upon himself, his unit, and the Armed Forces.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1782
THE SIEGE OF BRIMSTONE HILL. The French invasion of Saint Kitts also known as the Siege of Brimstone Hill (19 January – 13 February 1782) was a siege of the Anglo-French War. After landing on Saint Kitts, the French troops of the Marquis de Bouillé stormed and besieged Brimstone Hill, and after a month of siege the heavily outnumbered and cut-off British garrison surrendered.

The Comte de Grasse, who delivered de Bouillé's troops and supported the siege, was outmanoeuvred and deprived of his anchorage by Admiral Hood. Even though Hood's force was inferior by one-third, de Grasse was beaten off when he attempted to dislodge Hood. Hood's attempts to relieve the ongoing siege were unsuccessful, and the garrison capitulated after one month. About a year later, the Treaty of Paris restored Saint Kitts and adjacent Nevis to British rule.

De Grasse set sail from Martinique, reaching Saint Kitts by 11 January. The British had already retired into their stronghold under Brigadier General Fraser, so the French landing forces disembarked without opposition and began to besiege them on January 19. Concerted with the Governor, an attack upon Barbados was mounted. Foiled in the attempt by the violence of the trade-wind, they turned to leeward against Saint Kitts.

On 24 January, twenty-two British warships under Admiral Hood were sighted near Nevis intending to reinforce Saint Kitts. De Grasse went out to intercept then, but by dawn the next day Hood had veered towards Montserrat, and contrary east-southeast winds impeded the French from reaching the British before they had circled north around Nevis and dropped anchor off Basseterre.

De Grasse attacked the anchored British fleet on both the morning and afternoon of 26 January but was beaten off, disembarkation proceeding apace. During these naval engagements the French suffered 107 killed and 207 wounded, compared to 72 dead and 244 injured among the British.

On 28 January the 1,200-man British vanguard advanced against the town of Basseterre under General Prescott while its French occupiers fought a delaying action under Colonel de Fléchin with 274 men of the regiments of Agenois and Touraine until the Marquis de Bouillé could hasten reinforcements across the island.

Prescott's drive was eventually repelled, but otherwise French efforts continued to be hampered by the loss of their field artillery in a wreck while approaching Saint Kitts and the capture of an ammunition ship by one of Hood’s frigates. The governor sent artillery and ammunition to Fraser which were intercepted by the inhabitants, and by them deliberately made over to the French.

Defending the fort at Brimstone Hill were the 1st Battalion of the 1st Foot (approx 700), flank companies of the 15th Foot (approx 120), Royal Artillery detachment, and many militia. By 12 February Fraser's little garrison, having lost over one hundred and fifty killed and wounded, besides many men out of action through sickness, was exhausted.

Additionally, there were breaches in the walls, and many of the militia petitioned to surrender. Fraser had no alternative but to negotiate a surrender, which included marching out with the honors or war. The next day, de Grasse ventured to Nevis to meet an arriving convoy of French victuallers, while Hood availed himself of the opportunity to escape in the opposite direction on the morning of 14 February.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1928
LEON TROTSKY SENT TO GULAG. Leon Trotsky, a leader of the Bolshevik revolution and early architect of the Soviet state, is deported by Soviet leader Joseph Stalin to Alma-Ata in remote Soviet Central Asia. He lived there in internal exile for a year before being banished from the USSR forever by Stalin.

Born in the Ukraine of Russian-Jewish parents in 1879, Trotsky embraced Marxism as a teenager and later dropped out of the University of Odessa to help organize the underground South Russian Workers’ Union. In 1898, he was arrested for his revolutionary activities and sent to prison.

In 1900, he was exiled to Siberia. In 1902, he escaped to England using a forged passport under the name of Leon Trotsky (his original name was Lev Davidovich Bronshtein). In London, he collaborated with Bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin but later sided with the Menshevik factions that advocated a democratic approach to socialism.

With the outbreak of the Russian Revolution of 1905, Trotsky returned to Russia and was again exiled to Siberia when the revolution collapsed. In 1907, he again escaped. During the next decade, he was expelled from a series of countries because of his radicalism, living in Switzerland, Paris, Spain, and New York City before returning to Russia at the outbreak of the revolution in 1917.

Trotsky played a leading role in the Bolsheviks’ seizure of power, conquering most of Petrograd before Lenin’s triumphant return in November. Appointed Lenin’s secretary of foreign affairs, he negotiated with the Germans for an end to Russian involvement in World War I. In 1918, he became war commissioner and set about building up the Red Army, which succeeded in defeating anti-Communist opposition in the Russian Civil War.

In the early 1920s, Trotsky seemed the heir apparent of Lenin, but he lost out in the struggle of succession after Lenin fell ill in 1922. In 1924, Lenin died, and Joseph Stalin emerged as leader of the USSR. Against Stalin’s stated policies, Trotsky called for a continuing world revolution that would inevitably result in the dismantling of the Soviet state.

He also criticized the new regime for suppressing democracy in the Communist Party and for failing to develop adequate economic planning. In response, Stalin and his supporters launched a propaganda counterattack against Trotsky. In 1925, he was removed from his post in the war commissariat. One year later, he was expelled from the Politburo and in 1927 from the Communist Party.

In January 1928, Trotsky began his internal exile in Alma-Ata and the next January was expelled from the Soviet Union outright. He was received by the government of Turkey and settled on the island of Prinkipo, where he worked on finishing his autobiography and history of the Russian Revolution.

After four years in Turkey, Trotsky lived in France and then Norway and in 1936 was granted asylum in Mexico. Settling with his family in a suburb of Mexico City, he was found guilty of treason in absentia during Stalin’s purges of his political foes. He survived a machine-gun attack on his home but on August 20, 1940, fell prey to a Spanish Communist, Ramon Mercader, who fatally wounded him with an ice-ax. He died from his wounds the next day.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1935
AMELIA EARHART FLIES SOLO FROM HAWAII TO CALIFORNIA. Amelia Earhart becomes first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California

On January 11, 1935, Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Honolulu, Hawaii to Oakland, California. Although this transoceanic flight had been attempted by many others, most notably by the unfortunate participants in the 1927 Dole Air Race which had reversed the route, her trailblazing flight had been mainly routine, with no mechanical breakdowns. In her final hours, she even relaxed and listened to "the broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera from New York."

Source: Wikipedia

In January 1935, Earhart became the first woman to make a solo long-distance flight over the Pacific Ocean, flying from Honolulu, Hawaii, to San Francisco, California. This complicated flight in her second Lockheed Vega occurred in adverse weather conditions and demonstrated Earhart's courage as well as her stubbornness.

Source: US Centennial of Flight commission

In the autumn of 1934, Amelia announced to George that her next venture would be a trans-Pacific flight from Hawaii to California...and then on to Washington D.C. Ten pilots had already lost their lives attempting this crossing. Amelia's flight would be the first in which a civilian plane would carry a two-way radio telephone.

She departed Wheeler Field on January 11, 1935 and landed in Oakland, California to a cheering crowd of thousands. President Roosevelt sent his congratulations..."You have scored again...(and) shown even the "doubting Thomases" that aviation is a science which cannot be limited to men only."

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1941
THE AFRIKA KORPS ESTABLISHED. Adolf Hitler orders forces to be prepared to enter North Africa to assist the Italian effort, marking the establishment of the Afrika Korps. Hitler's first choice to command the DAK (Deutcshes Afrika Korps-German Afrika Korps) was Maj. General Hans von Funk, a Prussian aristocrat, who's negative report that Libya was lost led him to be dissmissed.

Hitler considered Lt. General Erich von Manstein, who devised the invasion of France, but he was a too valuable component of Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of Russia. Hitler settled for Erwin Rommel. The beginning of the DAK was simply the 5th Light Division, but was doubled when a full panzer division arrived. Rommel would arrive in Tripoli on February 12, 1941.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1942
BATTLE OF TARAKAN. The Battle of Tarakan took place on January 11–12, 1942. Even though Tarakan was only a small marshy island at northeastern Borneo in the Netherlands East Indies, but the 700 oil wells, oil refinery and airfield on it, was one of the main objectives for the Empire of Japan in the Pacific War.

It is interesting that one day earlier, Japan just declared war on the Kingdom of the Netherlands on January 10, 1942; although the combat had taken place in the surrounding area about one month and Queen Wilhelmina from the Kingdom of Netherlands had declared war on Japan on December 8, 1941.

On January 10, 1942 a Dutch Dornier Do 24K flying boat spotted a coming Japanese invasion fleet and knowing the winning chance was small, the Dutch Commander ordered the destruction of all oil fields on the island.

The Japanese forces of the Right Wing Unit from the Sakaguchi Detachment landed on the east coast of Tarakan at midnight on 11 January 1942, followed by the 2nd Kure Special Naval Landing Force.

After mounting a brief, but fierce resistance, the Koninklijk Nederlands Indisch Leger (Royal Netherlands East Indies Army, or KNIL) garrison was outnumbered and surrendered in the morning of January 12. All prisoners of war were executed by the Japanese in retaliation for the destruction of the oil installations; a feat that was repeated later in Balikpapan.

During the night of January 11, before Japan completed the blockade of Tarakan, the Dutch submarine K-X, the patrol boat P-1 and the civilian motor launch Aida slipped away. The Dutch minelayer Prins van Oranje tried to escape as well but was sunk by the Japanese destroyer Yamakaze (Lt. Cdr Shuichi Hamanaka) and the patrol boat P-38.

Tarakan remained under Japanese occupation until May 1945 when it was liberated by Australian troops in the Battle of Tarakan.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1942
THE BATTLE OF MANADO. The unit of Compagnie Menado, which numbered only 188 men under Captain W.F.J. Kroon and Landstorm Compagnie with its 200 troops under 1st Lieutenant F. Masselink were not enough to oppose thousands of Japanese amphibious assault at 04:00 on January 11, 1942. Initially when the defense failed, they were instructed to retreat to Tinoör stronghold, located some five miles inland.

After some sporadic fights and due to poor communication, instead defending Tinoör-line, the Compagnie Menado had to move to Koha. The Tinoör was defended by Lieutenant van de Laar from Reserve Korps Oud Militairen (RK) and the reinforcement from Landstorm Compagnie under 1st.Lt. Masselink. The fighting at Tinoör lasted until 15:00 when the KNIL was out of ammunition and had to retreat to Kakaskasen.

The Reserve Korps Oud Militairen (RK) under the command of Lieutenant Radema was responsible for the defence of Kema. He had two of his brigades placed along the coast line and one at his CP at Ajermadidih (Airmadidi). The rest of the company had to defend Mapanget airfield, Likoepang (Likupang) and Bitoeng (Bitung).

The landings at Kema started at 03:00 on 11 January 1942 and were made swiftly. The Japanese transport ships quickly left the area. When Radema heard about the Japanese landing he immediately ordered his troops to regroup at Ajermadidih. When the first Japanese troops, including three tanks, reached Ajermadidih at 09:00, Radema tried to stop the Japanese advance with few available troops. But at last, Radema had to withdraw from Ajermadidih and planned to start a guerrilla war. However due to high rate of native troops desertion, he had to give up this plan.

The defence of Lake Tondano and the airfield at Longoan was under the responsibility of the so called Tactical Command Kakas with commanding officer Captain W.C. van den Berg. Kakas is a small town name near Lake Tondano. The airfield itself was defended by 41 brigades under the command of 1st Lieutenant J.G. Wielinga.

This unit was reinforced with one of the overvalwagens (armored car). Wielinga had his CP at the kampong Langoan, where he held 11 brigades back in reserve. The rest of his troops and the overvalwagen were placed at the airfield. Sergeant-Major H.J. Robbemond was in command.

Shortly after 09:00 hours January 12, 1942, 334 Japanese paratroopers were dropped on and around the airfield. Having heard the dropping, Captain van den Berg ordered the two remaining Overvalwagens (armored car) to attack the airfield.

Although the Japanese paratroopers suffered heavy casualties, they succeeded to capture the Langoan airfield. Enraged by the heavy losses, the Japanese executed a large number of KNIL POW's. Knowing that the battle was lost, van den Berg ordered his remaining troops to retreat inland and start a guerrilla war.

In several places the remaining KNIL forces tried to start a guerrilla war against the Japanese invaders. Captain Kroon assembled what was left of the Menado Compagnie (about 50 men) and retreated towards Kembes, hoping to start an active guerrilla from this place.

Due to regular desertions by his native soldiers he reached Kembes with only nine men left. Here the group was taken prisoner by the Japanese. All European members, except Kroon himself, were executed at Langoan on January 26, 1942.

Sergeant Maliëzer from E-Company did not want to surrender and started a guerrilla force with fifteen of his men. On February 8, they attacked a Japanese unit at Kanejan. The fighting lasted the whole day and the Japanese counter-attack failed.

Outraged they burned nearby Kampong and executed five civilians (including two women). On February 12, they came back with a larger force and this time captured Maliëzers group. Maliëzer too was executed at Langoan with twelve of his men.

Captain van den Berg's and his group were taken prisoner on February 20, 1942. His group, made up out of pensioners, attacked the Japanese units on several occasions and inflicted heavy casualties. Out of respect for the high average age and fighting spirit, the Japanese commander spared their lives.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1965
BUDDHISTS PROTEST VIETNAM. Major cities–especially Saigon and Hue–and much of central Vietnam are disrupted by demonstrations and strikes led by Buddhists. Refusing to accept any government headed by Tran Van Huong, who they saw as a puppet of the United States, the Buddhists turned against U.S. institutions and their demonstrations took on an increasingly anti-American tone.

Thich Tri Quang, the Buddhist leader, and other monks went on a hunger strike. A Buddhist girl in Nha Trang burned herself to death (the first such self-immolation since 1963). Although Huong tried to appease the Buddhists by rearranging his government, they were not satisfied.

In the end, Huong was unable to put together a viable government and, on January 27, the Armed Forces Council overthrew him in a bloodless coup and installed Gen. Nguyen Khanh in power. Khanh was ousted by yet another coup on February 18, led by Air Commodore Nguyen Cao Ky and Maj. Gen. Nguyen Van Thieu.

A short-lived civilian government under Dr. Phan Huy Quat was installed, but it lasted only until June 12, 1965. At that time, Thieu and Ky formed a new government with Thieu as the chief of state and Ky as the prime minister. Thieu and Ky would be elected as president and vice-president in general elections held in 1967.

 



 

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11 JANUARY 1988
PAPPY BOYINGTON DIES. Gregory Boyington was born in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho on December 4, 1912. He spent his childhood years in St. Maries, where he had is first flight with the legendary barn-stormer pilot Clyde Pangborn. Eventually his mother moved to Tacoma, Washington and later he graduated from Lincoln High School.

He attended the University of Washington, where he graduated with a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering. He would then go on to work for the Boeing Company as a draftsman and engineer.

He would eventually enter the U.S. Marine Corps, and after completion of the Officer Training he went on to flight training. He possessed natural abilities that distinguish him in the cockpit early on, but his lifestyle was not without controversy.

Boyington was offered a position with a group that would eventually become the American Volunteer Group (AVG), better known as the Flying Tigers. He resigned his commission in the Marine Corps and set off to China to fly against the Japanese.

At the outbreak of WWII, after making his way back from China, he managed to return to the Marine Corps with a Major’s commission. As he was already an experienced fighter pilot with victories against the Japanese, his skills were much needed in the war effort.

From Guadalcanal he would eventually assume command of a group of pilots who were not already assigned to a squadron, and they would go on to be known as the “Black Sheep Squadron”. Because he was older than the other pilots, they would call him “Gramps” and eventually that let to “Pappy” and it stuck. (He was 31 years old).

The Black Sheep Squadron amassed an impressive record of victories against the Japanese. Pappy Boyington was credited with 26 victories, until he was himself shot down over the
Pacific and captured by the Japanese. He spent 20 months as a Prisoner of War, and was listed as Missing in Action for the duration of the war.

Upon his liberation from the prison camp at the end of the war, he returned stateside and was greeted as a hero. He informed the Marines that on his final mission he downed two enemy aircraft, and his wingman downed one before he was too was shot down. His wingman, Capt. George Ashmun was killed.

The paperwork for his award of the Medal of Honor was already working through the system when he was shot down, it would be approved by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. With his status listed as missing and presumed dead, his award was held in the capitol until the end of the war.

 




 

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