This Month in Military History

JUN11779MG Benedict Arnold's court martial begins in Philadelphia, but the trial is immediately postponed when LTG Sir Henry Clinton captures Stony Point, New York.
JUN11813The frigate USS Chesapeake - one of the United States Navy's original six ships - clashes with British ship HMS Shannon outside Boston Harbor. After being mortally wounded by a sniper round Chesapeake CPT James Lawrence's last words to his crew are "Tell the men to fire faster and [don't] give up the ship! Fight her till she sinks!"
JUN11861At 0300 in the morning, 1LT Charles Henry Tomkins leads a scouting party of cavalry and dragoons to Fairfax Court House to determine Confederate troop strength in the area. The Union soldiers and Confederate militia trade shots, and Tomkins is awarded the Medal of Honor for charging twice through enemy lines and borrowing a carbine from one of his soldiers to kill CPT John Quincy Marr - the first Confederate soldier to be killed in action during the Civil War.
JUN11864The bloody battle of Cold Harbor opens in earnest between Union Army forces under the command of LTG Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate forces under GEN Robert E. Lee.
JUN11918At Belleau Wood, the site of an old French hunting preserve near Chateau-Thierry, Germans punch through the French lines, and American soldiers and Marines move up to fill the hole. When Marine CPT Lloyd W. Williams arrives, he sees French troops withdrawing from battle. After being advised by a French officer to retreat, the Marine officer famously replies, "Retreat? Hell! We just got here!" Williams will die during the battle, but the crack shooting and tenacious fighting of the Marines at Belleau Wood becomes legend and earns them the nickname "Teufelhunden" - devil dogs.
JUN11944Airships K-123 and K-130 of the U.S. Navy's Blimp Squadron Fourteen land at French Morocco following a 50-hour, 3,100 nautical mile flight from Naval Air Station, South Weymouth, Massachusetts - the first transatlantic flight of a non-rigid, lighter-than-air aircraft.
JUN11955Air Force COL Edward Lansdale arrives in Saigon. His official title is Assistant Air Attaché at the U.S. Embassy, but the former OSS agent is running paramilitary operations against North Vietnam for the CIA.
JUN11990As the Cold War nears its end, Presidents George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty banning the production of chemical weapons and reducing the two superpowers' stockpiles of the deadly weapons by 20 percent.
JUN21774The Quartering Act of 1774 (also known as one of the Intolerable Acts) was enacted. The act allowed governors, appointed by the British Royal Crown, to arbitrarily appoint billeting and quarters for Royal Armed Forces in the colonies.
JUN21865Confederate GEN Kirby Smith signs documents surrendering his 43,000-man Army of the Trans-Mississippi at Galveston.
JUN21942As the U.S. Navy prepares for the upcoming Japanese invasion, Task Forces 16 and 17 merge 350 miles northeast of to the northeast of Midway Island, putting three aircraft carriers, eight cruisers, and 16 destroyers under the command of RADM Frank J. Fletcher. A picket line of 25 submarines waits for the Japanese.
JUN21943The "Tuskegee Airmen" of the 99th Pursuit Squadron fly their first combat mission against Axis forces on the island of Pantelleria, off the coast of Tunisia.
JUN21969At 0300 off the coast of Vietnam, the Australian aircraft carrier HMS Melbourne runs into the destroyer USS Frank E. Evans (DD-754), cutting the American ship in half. The severed bow section sinks in less than five minutes and takes 74 sailors with her. A series of errors and the absence of running lights due to preparations for flight operations places the American destroyer directly in the path of the much larger vessel.
JUN21972U.S. Air Force GEN John W. Vogt, Jr. effectively shuts down the air war in Vietnam to rescue CPT Roger Locher, an F-4 "Phantom" weapons systems officer shot down behind enemy lines in North Vietnam. Planes bomb a nearby North Vietnamese airfield while Locher is located and rescued under heavy enemy fire. Air Force CPTs Dale E. Stovall, flying the HH-53 "Jolly Green Giant" helicopter, and Ronald Smith, piloting the A-1H "Skyraider" attack plane receive the Air Force Cross for the deepest rescue into North Vietnam of the entire war. No aircraft are lost in the operation. As aircrews work to extract Locher, F-4E pilot MAJ Phil Handley scores the only supersonic gun kill in history, flying 900 miles per hour when he shoots down an enemy MiG-19.
JUN22014The fast-attack Virginia class submarine USS Mississippi (SSN-782) is commissioned at Pascagoula, Mississippi.
JUN31942The Battle of Midway opens between U.S. Naval and air forces under the command of ADM Chester W. Nimitz and Japanese forces under ADM Isoroku Yamamoto, who had hoped to lure the U.S. Pacific Fleet into a great air-sea battle and destroy it. The Japanese fleet is intercepted near Midway atoll, engaged, and will be decisively defeated by Nimitz. The Americans will lose one carrier, USS Yorktown, but four Japanese carriers will be sent to the bottom. Perhaps more important than the loss of the Japanese flattops is the hundreds of irreplaceable pilots and crew.
JUN31965Air Force astronauts Edward H. White II and James A. McDivitt blast off aboard Gemini IV. White will become the first American to "walk" in space - enjoying the experience so much that he had to be ordered to return. As he boarded the Molly Brown capsule White said, "I'm coming in... and it's the saddest moment of my life."
JUN41919U.S. Marines land in Costa Rica to protect American interests when the government is overthrown by a coup.
JUN41934USS Ranger (CV-4), the first U.S. ship designed from the keel-up as an aircraft carrier, is commissioned at Norfolk.
JUN41942During the great naval battle of Midway, a wave of TBM Devastator torpedo bombers attacks the Japanese carriers, their decks full of planes re-arming for another strike against the U.S. Naval base. While the ships' guns and fighter planes are focused on the Devastators - which are wiped out nearly to a man - American SBD Dauntless dive bombers hammer the flattops from above. The bombs and strafing runs cause massive destruction and by the end of the day, four of the six aircraft carriers that attacked Pearl Harbor just six months ago are now headed for the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
JUN41942A Japanese counter-attack mortally wounds the American carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5), which is abandoned and later finished off by a Japanese sub. The Battle of Midway becomes the high-water mark for the Japanese navy. After "the most stunning and decisive blow in the history of naval warfare," the United States switches to the offensive and doesn't look back.
JUN41942When his squadron commander is shot down, CPT Richard E. Fleming takes over and drops his Vought SB2U Vindicator dive bomber to just 400 feet before releasing his bomb on an enemy warship. Despite 179 holes from enemy fighter and anti-aircraft artillery bullets in his plane collected during his dive, he escapes with minor injuries. He and his gunner, PFC George A Toms are lost the next day when their plane is set on fire and crashes into the ocean while diving again to a perilously low altitude. Toms was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross while Fleming was awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN41944A U.S. hunter-killer task force intercepts the German submarine U-505 off the Cape Verde islands. The destroyer escorts hammer the sub with depth charges and anti-submarine mortars, forcing the U-boat to surface. After taking additional fire from automatic weapons and aircraft from the escort carrier USS Guadalcanal (CVE-60), skipper Harald Lange orders the crew to abandon the sub.
JUN41944The Caesar Line protecting Rome fell. Although Field Marshall Albert Kesselring's Tenth and Fourteenth Armies are in danger of encirclement as they fall back to the next line of defense, U.S. LTG Mark W. Clark chooses to capture a now-undefended Rome - the first European capital to be liberated by the Allies.
JUN41953During the Battle of Pork Chop Hill, PVT Charles H. Barker of the 17th Infantry Regiment and his fellow soldiers discover a group of Chinese soldiers digging emplacements on the side of the hill. The Americans lay down a base of fire while the outpost sends men to flank the enemy. A major firefight erupts, and when Barker and his men begin running low on ammunition, the soldiers must withdraw back to their defensive lines. Barker volunteers to remain behind to cover his fellow soldiers and is last seen engaging in hand-to-hand combat with the communists. Barker was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN51794The first six officers of the new United States Navy receive their commissions: CPT John Barry, Samuel Nicholson, Silas Talbot, Joshua Barney, Richard Dale, and Thomas Truxtun.
JUN51917The First Naval Aeronautical Detachment lands at Brest, France, becoming the first American military unit deployed for World War I.
JUN51943ADM Isoroku Yamamoto is given a state funeral at Japan. At 1050, every Japanese citizen bows toward Tokyo to pay their respects for their fallen commander, who was ambushed over Bougainville two weeks previously by Army Air Force fighters during an inspection tour.
JUN51944As the sun sets on airfields across England, 13,328 American paratroopers with the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions and nearly 8,000 British and Canadian paratroopers board the C-47 transports and gliders that will carry them behind Nazi lines on "the Great Crusade." 1,000 British bombers pound German defenses at the beaches of Normandy while thousands of ships carrying some 130,000 Allied soldiers steam towards France.
JUN51944LTC Leon R. Vance led a diversionary bombing mission over Wimereaux, France. Anti-aircraft fire cripples his plane, killing the pilot and wounding Vance and several crew members. Despite only one engine still functioning, he regains control of the aircraft and continues to lead the formation as they successfully bomb the target. With the assistance of another airman, he applies a tourniquet to his leg and orders the crew to bail out of the fatally wounded bomber. When he learns that one of the airmen is too injured to bail, he ditches the aircraft in the English Channel to help give his comrade a fighting chance of survival. Vance is pinned in the cockpit as the bomber slips under the waves but is blown clear of the bird by an explosion. Vance is awarded the Medal of Honor after being recovered by search-and-rescue crews.
JUN51944The B-29 "Superfortress" flies its first combat mission. Bombers flying out of airfields in India attack Japanese rail lines and other targets in Bangkok, Thailand.
JUN51945Marines capture the airfield at Naha, while a typhoon with 115-mph winds damages nearly every ship at sea. Kamikaze attacks cripple the battleship USS Mississippi (BB-41) and the heavy cruiser USS Louisville (CA-28).
JUN51945473 B-29 bombers drop some 3,000 tons of incendiary bombs on Kobe, destroying much of the city.
JUN51948A Northrop YB-49 "flying wing" experimental bomber crashes while conducting stall recovery tests at Muroc Air Force Base, killing all five airmen on board.
JUN51951Benjamin F. Wilson re-enlists as a PVT shortly after leaving the service volunteers for combat in Korea. When MSG Wilson's company is ordered to take the well-fortified Hell Hill, Wilson leads a bayonet charge that nets 27 dead Chinese soldiers. The enemy mounts a counterattack and Wilson makes a one-man charge that drives off the communists. The battlefield is littered with dead and wounded soldiers taken out by Wilson's rifle, bayonet, grenades, and entrenching tool. He earned the Medal of Honor for his actions.
JUN51971Special Forces SSG Jon R. Cavaiani's platoon is attacked by a numerically superior enemy force at a camp in Vietnam. Cavaiani, acting as the platoon leader, delivers heavy fire on the enemy using a variety of weapons and when the decision is made to evacuate the camp, he organizes the withdrawal by helicopter. The next morning, the enemy attacks again before helicopters can lift out the remaining defenders. Cavaiani means a machine gun and orders his fellow soldiers to escape. After inflicting severe losses on the enemy soldiers, he is captured and spends the next two years in captivity. Upon his return to the States, the Irish-born Cavaiani is awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN61862A Union flotilla decimates the Confederate fleet at Memphis and captures the city.
JUN61918Two battalions of Marines, led by BG James Harbord, advance against four German divisions in Belleau Wood, the site of an old French hunting preserve near Chateau-Thierry. The Marines face withering fire, with over 1,000 casualties on the first day of battle alone. The tenacity of the "Devil Dogs" at Belleau Wood becomes legend.
JUN61918During the Battle of Belleau Wood LT Weedon E. Osborne - a medical officer attached to the 6th Marines - is killed by an enemy shell while carrying the wounded to safety. He is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN61918A wounded GSGT Ernest A. Janson (serving under the name of Charles Hoffman) and his fellow Marines are consolidating the ground they recently gained at Hill 142. The Germans attempt a counterattack, and when Janson spots 12 enemy soldiers making their way towards the Americans, he rushes forward, killing the leaders with his bayonet and scattering the remaining men. The Army and Navy both award Janson with the Medal of Honor.
JUN61942Commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet ADM Yamamoto Isoroku orders his fleet to withdraw from the Battle of Midway.
JUN61944Just after 0200, some 13,000 American and British paratroopers and glider troops begin landing behind enemy lines in France. 2,000 Allied aircraft bombard German positions in preparation of the invasion. And five hours later, nearly 150,000 American, British, and Canadian troops hit the beaches at Normandy. 1,200 warships and over 4,000 landing ships from eight different navies supported the invasion. "Utah" Beach (VII Corps) and "Omaha" Beach (V Corps) are on the right flank. To the left are Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches, which fall under British command. Losses are heavy for both sides and 4,414 American and Allied soldiers die on "D-Day" - the first day of the largest amphibious operation in history.
JUN61944On Utah Beach, PVT Carlton W. Barrett, 1LT Jimmie W. Montieth Jr., and Technician 5th Grade John J. Pinder Jr. are each awarded the Medal of Honor for valor. On Omaha Beach, World War I veteran and son of former president Theodore Roosevelt, BG Theodore Roosevelt Jr. also earns the Medal of Honor.
JUN61957Two Navy F-8U "Crusaders" and two A-3D "Skywarriors" launch from the deck of USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA 31) off the coast of California and fly to USS Saratoga (CVA 60), operating off Florida in the first transcontinental, carrier-to-carrier flight. The Crusaders land after three hours and 28 minutes, while the Skywarriors make the trip in four hours and one minute.
JUN61964Navy LT Charles F. Klusmann's RF-8A Crusader was hit for the second time in two days by communist anti-aircraft fire while flying an armed reconnaissance mission in Laos' Plain of Jars. Klussman was hit the day before and as his damaged plane burned for 20 minutes during the return trip to the deck of USS Kitty Hawk. On this day, however, he is forced to eject and is captured by enemy forces.
JUN71830Following nearly four years at sea, the sloop of war USS Vincennes arrives at New York, becoming the first United States warship to circumnavigate the globe.
JUN71912At College Park, U.S. Army CPT Charles deForest Chandler fires the first machine gun ever mounted to an aircraft. The plane is a Wright Model B flown by LT Roy C. Kirtland.
JUN71912Company A of the 1st Marines land at Santiago, Cuba to assist in putting down the Negro Rebellion.
JUN71942Japan lands an invasion force and occupies the Alaskan islands of Attu and Kiska. 25 American soldiers are killed on Attu and the inhabitants of both islands are relocated and placed in internment. The attack was originally intended to be a diversion for the U.S. Navy during the Battle of Midway, which by this time has been cancelled.
JUN71944Allied warplanes pound enemy armor and vehicles moving towards the beaches of Normandy. The 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions make slow progress expanding the beachhead at Omaha Beach, where casualties are heavier than all other sectors combined.
JUN71944On Utah Beach, the 4th Infantry Division begins linking up with the heavily scattered paratroopers of the 82d and 101st Airborne Divisions. Three companies of 2d Battalion Rangers, which famously scaled the 100 foot cliffs at Pointe du Hoc under fire the day before, have taken 50 percent casualties, with their commander LTC James Rudder having been shot twice. The isolated Rangers will endure numerous counter-attacks by Germany's 914th Grenadier Regiment throughout the day and won't be relieved until D-Day Plus 2.
JUN71944Construction begins on harbors that will deliver soldiers, vehicles, and materiel to the new Western Front.
JUN71945The Marines have isolated the Japanese defenders on Okinawa's Oruku Peninsula. As the Marines work to consolidate a newly captured hill, PVT Robert M. McTureous spots enemy machine guns opening fire on stretcher bearers and loads up on grenades. He charges towards the enemy and devastates their position with grenades before dashing back to friendly lines for another one-man grenade attack. Six Japanese are dead, and the position is disorganized, and by drawing all the enemy fire on himself, he permits the medics to focus on the wounded. McTureous is mortally wounded, however, and he crawls 200 yards to a position where corpsmen can collect him from a position of relative safely. He will die from his wounds and is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN71951When the enemy launches a "furious assault" that threatens to overrun an American command post near Pachi-Dong, Korea, PFC Jack G. Hanson volunteers to stay behind to cover the platoon as they withdraw to a better position. His assistant machine gunner and three riflemen accompanying him are wounded and crawl to safety, leaving Hanson to fend for himself. When the Americans counterattack and reach Hanson's position, they find him with an empty machine gun, empty pistol, and a bloody machete. 22 dead communists are stacked around the fallen soldier, who is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN71959100 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida, the Balao class submarine USS Barbero (SSA-317) fires a Regulus cruise missile loaded with 3,000 pieces of mail towards the Naval Air Station at Mayport 22 minutes later, the first-ever "missile mail" arrives.
JUN71965GEN William Westmoreland requests - and eventually receives - 44 battalions of combat troops to Vietnam.
JUN71968When a company of communist soldiers opens fire on his platoon, PFC Phill G. McDonald volunteers to lead the wounded to an evacuation site. He destroys one automatic weapon with a grenade and the enemy focuses on McDonald's position. From an exposed position, he suppresses the hostile force with a borrowed machine gun. As he crawls forward to silence another machine gun that has pinned down his fellow soldiers, he is mortally wounded. McDonald will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN71970As SSG Robert C. Murray and his company search for an enemy mortar near Hiep Duc, South Vietnam, he trips a booby trap. Murray dives on the triggered grenade and shields his fellow soldiers from the blast. Murray was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN72006A massive manhunt by special operations hunter-killer teams of Task Force 145 has finally pinpointed the position of Al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. As the “Sheikh of the Slaughterers” enters a safe house north of Baqubah, Iraq to meet with his fellow jihadists, the military quickly re-routes two nearby Air Force F-16s to the area to bring an end to the terrorist responsible for the brutal deaths of thousands of Iraqis. The lead F-16 drops two precision-guided 500-lb. bombs, leveling the target. Zarqawi, who had replaced Osama bin Laden and his right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, as Special Operations Command’s most-wanted man, is finally dead. His terrorist group lives on, however, and will become the Islamic State.
JUN81944A second wave of troops land at Normandy while soldiers battle to link the Omaha and Utah beachheads.
JUN81944As the 29th Infantry Division attacks a strongly fortified enemy emplacement atop a hill overlooking Grandcamp. When artillery and armor support fail to take out the German position TSGT Frank D. Peregory charges up the hill through machinegun fire and reached the German trench lines. He attacks an enemy squad with grenades and his bayonet, killing eight and capturing three. As he maneuvers his way to the top, he forces another 32 to surrender and captures the machine guns. Peregory is killed in action six days later and will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on this day.
JUN81945Fred F. Lester, a Navy corpsman with the 1st Battalion, 22d Marines, spots a wounded Marine during a furious battle on Okinawa. Lester crawls through a barrage of machine guns, rifles, and grenades to aid his comrade, but is hit multiple times by enemy fire. Despite his own serious wounds, he pulls the Marine to safety and instructs men from his squad how to treat the casualty. Lester realizes that his own wounds are fatal and refuses treatment and spends the last moments of his life guiding his men as they treat the wounded. Lester was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN81966During a test flight of the North American XB-70 "Valkyrie," an experimental six-engine bomber capable of flying at three times the speed of sound, an F-104 "Starfighter" chase plane collides with the Valkyrie, sending the bomber spiraling out of control and instantly killing the pilot of the chase plane, Joseph A. Walker. The Valkyrie's pilot manages to eject, but the co-pilot is trapped inside the stricken warplane and crashes into the ground near Barstow, California. The Air Force backs out of the Valkyrie program shortly after the collision.
JUN81967As the Six-Day War between Israel and her Soviet-backed Arab neighbors begins its fourth day of combat, the “technical research ship” USS Liberty (AGTR-5) was slowly steaming back and forth north of the Sinai Peninsula as it gathered electronic intelligence for the National Security Agency. For reasons still unknown 51 years later, unmarked Israeli fighter jets appear and begin strafing the decks of the American-flagged ship, killing and wounding scores of Liberty’s sailors. Those that survive the armor-piercing bullets are targeted by napalm bombs while Israeli torpedo boats blast a gaping hole in the side of the converted World War II freighter and systematically wipe out the lifeboats with their machine guns. Details surrounding the incident are still a tightly held secret, but Israel immediately apologizes for the incident – citing fog of war – and offers compensation to the sailors’ families.
JUN81991Hundreds of thousands gather to see GEN Norman Schwarzkopf lead a victory parade through Washington, D.C. following Operation DESERT STORM. A flyover of F-117 stealth fighters kicks off the parade, while tanks and thousands of troops pass in front of Pres. George H.W. Bush and other officials.
JUN81995After nearly a week behind enemy lines after being shot down by a Bosnian-Serb surface-to-air missile, Air Force CPT Scott O'Grady makes breaks radio silence and requests evacuation. The downed airman had been evading his would-be captors while searching for a location suitable to land rescue helicopters. Within moments, a 41-man specially trained Marine rescue force from USS Kearsarge boards two CH-53 Super Stallion helicopters and, together with attack helicopters and some 40 other aircraft, chopper their way into Bosnia. The team punches through heavy fog and lands in a small clearing, where they are greeted by a grateful but exhausted O’Grady, who must be forcibly disarmed before boarding. The helicopters race back to the amphibious assault ship at treetop level, dodging enemy anti-aircraft fire and missiles along the way, but fortunately, no one is injured in the daring rescue mission.
JUN91772Colonists led by Abraham Whipple and John Brown board and set fire to the British customs schooner HMS Gaspee, which has run aground off Warwick, while conducting anti-smuggling operations.
JUN91942Naval Reserve LCDR Lyndon B. Johnson volunteered to observe an Army Air Force bombing raid on New Guinea. Johnson's plane turned around moments later under suspicious circumstances - some accounts say the B-26 came under enemy fire and others cite engine malfunction.
JUN91943The B-17F "Flying Fortress" known as Memphis Belle is flying back to the United States for a publicity tour. The Memphis Belle is the second bomber to accomplish the full combat tour of 25 missions.
JUN91944In Borneo's heavily patrolled Sibitu Passage, the Gato class submarine USS Harder (SS-257) torpedoes and sinks the Japanese destroyer Tanikaze.
JUN91945On Okinawa, the 6th Marine Division has cut off and surrounded Japanese forces on the Oroku Peninsula, while the 1st Marine Division advances on Kunishi Ridge, one of the last Japanese strong points.
JUN91959USS George Washington (SSBN-598) is commissioned, becoming the world's first operational ballistic missile submarine. The "Georgefish" carried 16 Polaris A-1 missiles, which had a 1,000 nautical mile range and carried a 600-kiloton warhead.
JUN111871RADM John Rodgers' Asiatic Squadron lands 650 sailors and Marines on the Korean Peninsula. The force storms the Citadel, later known as Fort McKee, and after 15 minutes of fierce close combat, 243 Koreans lay dead and the American flag flies over the fortress.
JUN111903U.S. Military Academy cadet Douglas MacArthur graduates at the top of his class and receives his commission as a 2LT in the Engineer Corps.
JUN1119092LT George S. Patton Jr. is commissioned from West Point.
JUN111927CPT Charles Lindbergh, along with his airplane "Spirit of St. Louis" arrives at Washington, D.C. and becomes the first person ever awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
JUN111944America's last battleship, USS Missouri (BB-63), is commissioned.
JUN111944While the 101st Airborne Division battles to capture Carentan, France, LTC Robert G. Cole's battalion (3rd Battalion, 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment) is pinned down by a massive barrage of German rifle, machinegun, mortar, and artillery fire. After an hour of ceaseless enemy fire and casualties piling up, Cole leads a bayonet charge against the enemy fortifications. Although he is killed, his paratroopers ultimately capture a vital bridge across the Douvre River. LTC Cole was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN111945LT Richard M. McCool Jr. shoots down one Japanese kamikaze plane and damages a second before the plane slams into his landing support ship. Despite shrapnel wounds and burns, McCool organizes a firefighting party before rescuing sailors trapped in a burning compartment, carrying one man to safety. For his actions, McCool was awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN111953In the early morning hours, a battalion-sized force of Chinese troops attacks and overruns an American outpost. With his company officers dead or wounded, MSG Ola L. Mize organizes a defense, dragged wounded to safety, and formed a patrol to fight the Chinese bunker to bunker – despite having been hit by grenade and artillery blasts multiple times. Fighting for hours – hand-to-hand at times – Mize killed several dozen enemy soldiers with his carbine and many more by calling in American artillery fire. Mize was awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN111999The Kosovo Defense Campaign begins (sometimes referred to as JOINT GUARDIAN or Task Force FALCON).
JUN121775British GEN Thomas Gage declares that the city of Boston is under martial law until the colonists repay for the tea they destroyed during the Boston Tea Party.
JUN121775British ships arrive at Machiasport to commandeer a load of lumber for the construction of barracks during the colonists' Siege of Boston. 31 militia members, led by Jeremiah O'Brien, board the merchant ship Unity, and engage the British armed sloop HMS Margaretta. After an hour of fighting, Margaretta is captured and the British flag is surrendered to the colonists for the first time.
JUN121862Confederate GEN Robert E. Lee, the new commander of the Army of Northern Virginia, orders BG J.E.B. Stuart to investigate the Union army's right flank during the Peninsula Campaign. Stuart and his 1,200 troopers determine that the right flank is vulnerable, and with Union cavalry is in pursuit, Stuart and his men ride a 100-mile circle around GEN George McClellan's 105,000-man Army of the Potomac - capturing soldiers, horses, and supplies. Four days later, Stuart arrives in Richmond for a hero's welcome.
JUN121918Eight pilots of the 96th Aero Squadron conduct the first-ever American bombing mission, attacking rail yards at Etain, France.
JUN1219182LT James H. Doolittle is issued his pilot license.
JUN121942American warplanes bomb Europe for the first time of World War II. COL Harry A. Halverson leads a flight of 13 B-24 Liberator bombers from Libya 1,000 miles to the Axis oil fields at Ploesti, Romania. One plane must turn back due to mechanical issues, and the bombers inflict minimal damage to the target.
JUN121944Paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division captured Carentan after three days of heavy urban combat, linking the Utah and Omaha beachheads. A third wave of troops and supplies land at the beaches of Normandy. Over 300,000 men, tens of thousands of vehicles, and hundreds of thousands of tons of materiel have hit the beach so far.
JUN121944In the Pacific, airplanes from ADM Marc Mitscher's Task Force 58, consisting of nine aircraft carriers and six light carriers, pound Japanese positions in the Marianas Islands in preparation for the upcoming invasions.
JUN121948President Harry S. Truman signed the Women's Armed Services Integration Act into law. Prior to this, women could only serve during peacetime, except in times of exceptional need.
JUN121952When PFC Henry Svehla and his fellow soldiers come under heavy enemy fire during a patrol mission, the platoon is quickly pinned down. Realizing the perilous situation, he and his men faced, Svehla jumps to his feet and rushes through automatic weapon and small arms fire, firing and throwing grenades as he runs uphill. His men follow him as he inflicts heavy casualties, but he is hit by an enemy mortar. Refusing medical treatment, he continues forward until Svehla spots an enemy grenade that lands near his fellow teammates. Svehla hurls himself on the grenade and is fatally wounded, earning him the Medal of Honor.
JUN121987Standing in front of Brandenburg Gate, President Ronald Reagan - a cavalry trooper prior to World War II and ultimately an Army Air Force officer in a motion picture unit - challenges his Soviet counterpart, Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
JUN131777Marquis de Lafayette lands in South Carolina, having crossed the Atlantic on a ship that the 19-year-old French officer purchased with his own money.
JUN131917Taking off from bases in Belgium, German Gotha bombers target London for the first time. Hundreds of civilians are killed, and the air raids would continue, virtually unopposed, for the next month.
JUN131942While patrolling a beach on New York's Long Island, Coast Guardsman John C. Cullen catches four German saboteurs posing as stranded fishermen. The Germans escape, but the leader turns himself in to the FBI - kicking off a two-week manhunt for the remaining Abwehr military intelligence operatives. The lid is blown off "Operation PASTORIUS," the German plot to sabotage strategic American targets. All the agents are captured and six are executed.
JUN13194376 B-17F Flying Fortress bombers set out to attack the U-boat pens at Kiel, Germany. 60 "Forts" hit the pens, and Luftwaffe aircraft knocked 22 more out of the sky in the heaviest fighter attacks on the Eighth Air Force to date. While gunners claim at least 39 German aircraft, 23 bombers are damaged - one so critical that it is no longer operable. Three airmen are killed, 20 wounded, and 213 are missing in action. The costly raid will lead war planners to realize that the heavily armed B-17s can no longer defend themselves against German aircraft. Escort fighters will begin accompanying bombers into Europe.
JUN131944Germany's V-1 "buzz bombs" - the predecessor to today's cruise missile - make their combat debut when 11 are launched at targets in England.
JUN131968Deep in the jungles of Laos 50 years ago, a Special Operations Group recon team is hit by a battalion-sized force of North Vietnamese Army shortly after insertion. SPC Fifth Class John J. Kedenburg calls in tactical air support and radios for extraction while the SOG team, which was outnumbered by 50:1, attempts to break contact. They incredibly manage to fight their way to an extraction point intact, but one South Vietnamese soldier goes missing during the battle. When helicopters arrive with slings to pull out the operators, the missing soldier suddenly reappears. Kedenburg gives up his rescue harness for the returning soldier and orders the last helicopter to leave. As his teammates leave the area, they watch Kedenburg killing communists before he calls in a final air strike on his own position. Another SOG team later fights their way in to recover their lost comrade, who is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for sacrificing himself to save others.
JUN131969Laos' prime minister publicly announces that the United States has been bombing targets in Laos and will continue to do so as long as the Communists were using his country as an infiltration route into South Vietnam. B-52 bombers, prevented from bombing North Vietnam since 1968, have flown thousands of missions into Laos targeting the Ho Chi Minh Trail with 160,000 tons of bombs.
JUN141775Following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress establishes the Continental Army. Ten rifle companies are formed: six from Pennsylvania, two from Maryland, and two from Virginia. The force is disbanded after the American Revolution, but in 1792, President George Washington forms the Legion of the United States - the nation's first "professional" fighting force - renamed the United States Army in 1796.
JUN141777Congress formally declares the "Stars and Stripes" as the official flag of the thirteen United States. The declaration resolves that it consists of "thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation."
JUN141863Days after bragging that he could hold the town of Winchester against a Confederate force of any size, MG Robert H. Milroy's garrison is surrounded and defeated by a corps led by MG Richard S. Ewell. The Rebels captured 4,000 Union troops, hundreds of wagons, and horses, and 23 artillery pieces at the cost of only some 250 casualties in the Second Battle of Winchester.
JUN141918During a German artillery barrage of explosive and gas shells, Marine GSGT Fred W. Stockton gives his gas mask to a wounded comrade, exposing himself to the deadly agent. Stockton will be later posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN141940The German Sixth Army capture the French capital of Paris unopposed.
JUN14194475 B-29 Superfortress heavy bombers take off from forward air bases in China, targeting the Imperial Iron and Steel Works at Yawata, Japan – the first bombing raid on the Japanese mainland since the Doolittle Raid. 107 tons of bombs are dropped on a blacked-out Yamata, and unfortunately only one bomb hits the target.
JUN141944In Italy, SSG Homer L. Wise's platoon is held up by a German small-arms fire. Wise charges forward to carry a wounded soldier to friendly lines, then moves to an exposed position, killing two German soldiers and an officer armed with automatic weapons. As the battalion moves forward, they are halted again by a full-frontal attack. Wise then moves ahead and takes out a German machinegun, then rushes to an exposed position atop a tank, restores its jammed mounted machine gun and rains down heavy fire on the enemy, enabling the battalion to capture its objective. Wise is awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN141945While soldiers and Marines mop up Japanese resistance on Okinawa, the Joint Chiefs of Staff direct GENs Douglas MacArthur, Omar Bradley, and ADM Chester Nimitz to prepare plans to occupy Japan in case they suddenly surrender.
JUN141952SGT David B. Bleak of the 223rd Infantry Regiment volunteers to accompany a team on a mission to snatch an enemy soldier to gather intelligence. When the Americans are discovered, Bleak jumps into an enemy trench and kills two Chinese with his bare hands and eliminates another with his knife. Resuming the attack, he spots an enemy grenade fall near a comrade and shields his fellow soldier from the blast. As Bleak treats the wounded, he is shot himself, but still manages to carry a casualty to safety. But before he can reach a safe position, two enemy soldiers charge Bleak and his casualty, and he bashes their heads together. Bleak will later be awarded the Medal of Honor
JUN141952Another 223rd Infantry Regiment soldier goes above and beyond the call of duty. CPL Clifton T. Speicher's squad is pinned down by enemy small-arms, machinegun, and mortar fire. Speicher had already been wounded in the attack but charged forward against an enemy position. He is hit again as the communists’ rain fire on the American attacker, but he enters the bunker, killing two with his rifle and a third with his bayonet. The bunker is silenced, and Speicher continues to the top of the hill with his men. The Americans carry the day, but Speicher dies from his wounds and is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN141954President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the law adding the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
JUN141985Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad terrorists hijack TWA Flight 847 after the Boeing 727 lifts off from Greece. Aboard is a team of Navy SeaBee underwater construction divers returning to the United States. The hijackers beat the American military passengers aboard the plane and, upon landing in Beirut, Steelworker Second Class Robert D. Stethem is tortured and murdered, his body dumped on the tarmac. The plane makes multiple trips between Beirut and Algiers, and the remaining hostages are released in groups.
JUN151775John Adams of the Second Congressional Congress nominates George Washington, a fellow congressional delegate and veteran of the French and Indian Wars, to lead the newly formed Continental Army. Washington was unanimously elected.
JUN151864Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signs an order setting aside 200 acres of Confederate GEN Robert E. Lee's estate as a cemetery for fallen Civil War soldiers. Today, Arlington National Cemetery is the final resting place for over 400,000 fallen military members.
JUN151877Former slave Henry O. Flipper is the first black cadet to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. 2LT Flipper will lead the Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry during the Apache Wars.
JUN151944Following a three-hour Naval and air bombardment, 8,000 Marines under the command of MG Holland M. "Howlin' Mad" Smith hit the beaches of Saipan. The Japanese war planners are caught by surprise, and by nightfall the 2d and 4th Marine Divisions have a beachhead spanning six miles and reaching inland nearly 1,500 yards.
JUN151946Three specially modified blue and gold Grumman F6F-5 "Hellcat" fighters perform a 15-minute aerial acrobatics performance over Jacksonville, Florida's Craig Field in the first public performance of the newly formed Navy Flight Demonstration Team. The "Blue Angels," as the team would come to be known, are led by Officer-in-Charge and World War II flying ace LCDR Roy M. "Butch" Voris. Chief of Naval Operations Chester Nimitz formed the team that April to boost morale, increase public interest in Naval aviation, demonstrate the capabilities of Naval air power, and increase support for a larger share of the shrinking military budget.
JUN151952Hotshot Air Force F-86 Sabre pilot James F. Low scores his fifth MiG victory of the Korean War, becoming the 17th ace of the conflict and the first 2nd lieutenant to accomplish the feat.
JUN151968As a column of eight Navy transport boats from River Assault Division 152 load a company of infantry in a South Vietnamese canal, one of the vessels suffers a malfunction and is temporarily disabled. At the same time, Viet Cong guerillas opened fire on the flotilla and threatened to destroy the stalled boat. Division commander LT Thomas G. Kelley orders his craft to form a protective circle around the boat while and places his own ship directly in the line of fire. An enemy rocket-propelled grenade impacts Kelley's ship, spraying deadly shrapnel through the boat and severely wounding the skipper. Although unable to move or speak, he relays orders through a sailor and the Americans manage to repel the attack. He is awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.
JUN161775Under cover of darkness, a 1,200-man American force commanded by COL William Prescott fortifies Breed's Hill, overlooking Boston.
JUN1618619,000 Federal troops led by BG Henry W. Benham attempt to capture Charleston in the Battle of Secessionville. Although the Confederate defenders are heavily outnumbered, the marshy terrain and fortifications spell disaster for Union.
JUN16194394 Japanese warplanes set out to raid the Allied invasion force before it reaches the island of New Georgia in the Solomon Islands. American aircraft operating out of Guadalcanal's Henderson Field splash 93 out of 94 Japanese warplanes, while losing only six planes. Two tank landing ships are beached and only one cargo ship is damaged.
JUN161944One day after landing on Saipan, Marines repel Japanese counterattacks and capture Afetna Point and the town of Charan Karoa, linking the beachheads. Meanwhile, soldiers of the 27th Infantry Division come ashore and move to take Aslito airfield.
JUN161944American battleships shell targets at Guam in preparation for the invasion.
JUN161959North Korean MiG 17s attack a Martin P4M "Mercator" reconnaissance aircraft in international waters, injuring the tail gunner and forcing the Navy spy plane to perform an emergency landing in Japan.
JUN161965Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara announces that in addition to the Marines and paratroopers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade recently deployed, the United States will send 21,000 more troops to Vietnam.
JUN161992After the first day of a summit in Washington, President George H.W. Bush and Russian president Boris Yeltsin announce that they have agreed to cut their countries' nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.
JUN162003Delta Force operators, along with British Special Air Service commandos, capture LTG Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti - Saddam Hussein's right hand man. Mahmud was the fourth-most wanted man in Iraq, after Saddam and his sons Uday and Qusay,
JUN181812President James Madison approves an Act of Congress declaring that a state of war exists between the United States and Great Britain, launching the War of 1812.
JUN181916While flying an escort mission for observation planes, H. Clyde Balsley - one of the original pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille - becomes the first American to be shot down during World War I. A badly wounded Balsley manages to land and make his way back to friendly lines, but his hip injury will keep him from returning to the air.
JUN181950The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's Army crosses the 38th Parallel and invades South Korea, launching the Korean War.
JUN18196530 B-52F Stratofortress bombers, each modified to carry nearly 30 tons of conventional ordinance, lift off from Guam's Andersen Air Force Base and begin the 2,500-mile journey to Vietnam. Unfortunately, two bombers collide during the first combat mission of the B-52, killing eight crewmen.
JUN181981At the restricted site of Tonopah Test Range, Lockheed's F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter takes to the skies for the first time. Former Naval aviator and Lockheed test pilot Harold "Hal" Farley is the lucky man at the controls.
JUN191864CPT John Winslow and the crew of USS Kearsage have finally trapped the Confederate screw sloop-of-war Alabama at the French port of Cherbourg. CPT Raphael Semmes orders the "Stars and Bars" raised and sails his ship out to meet her unavoidable fate, and the vessel responsible for capturing and burning at least 55 American ships and taking 2,000 prisoners - without having lost a single man - is destroyed.
JUN191888Marines land at Korea, marching 25 miles to protect the Legation at Seoul.
JUN191944In the largest – and final – carrier-against-carrier conflict of the war, ADM Raymond Spruance's Fifth Fleet decisively defeats the Japanese Mobile Fleet in the Battle of the Philippine Sea.
JUN191944LT George R. Carr shoots down five enemy aircraft, becoming an ace on his first combat mission for the United States. LT Alex Vraciu shot down six Japanese warplanes in just eight minutes. LCDR David McCampbell splashes seven Japanese during two sorties.
JUN191944As troops push further into France, the 9th Infantry Division reaches the west coast of the Cotentin Peninsula, isolating the German defenders at Cherbourg.
JUN191944A massive storm in the English Channel destroys a pre-fabricated "Mulberry" harbor at Normandy's Utah Beach.
JUN191945As Japanese troops begin surrendering on Okinawa, four million turn out to cheer GEN Dwight Eisenhower - the victorious Supreme Allied Commander in Europe - at a ticker-tape parade through New York City.
JUN191945When TSGT John W. Meagher spots a Japanese soldier charging his tank during fighting at Okinawa, the soldier jumps off and rushes the enemy with his bayonet. He kills the explosive-armed opponent before the tank can be destroyed but is knocked unconscious in the process. When Meagher comes to, he grabs a machinegun from the tank and begins a furious one-man assault. He braves incoming fire while dashing across the kill zone, destroying an enemy pillbox, and killing its six occupants. Charging forward again, he reaches another position, and uses his now-empty gun to bash the Japanese machine gunners. Thanks to Meagher's attack, the enemy defense is broken, and his platoon takes the objective. TSGT Meagher was awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN191966When members of 1LT Ronald E. Ray's platoon are hit by a company of enemy soldiers in the Ia Drang Valley, Ray organizes a quick reaction force and makes his way to his soldiers. Ray spots an enemy position and destroys them with a grenade and rifle fire. When medics are evacuating a casualty, Ray silences another position that was targeting the Americans with another grenade. When an enemy grenade falls next to two soldiers fighting near Ray, he dives on the enemy grenade to shield his teammates. He survives the blast and is hit in the legs by enemy machine gun fire as he continues to lead his platoon, preventing its annihilation. LT Ray's tenacity and willingness to sacrifice himself for his men earned him the Medal of Honor.
JUN191968When an F-4 Phantom crew is shot down deep inside North Vietnam, LT Clyde E. Lassen takes off on a night mission to rescue the airmen. Lassen makes several attempts to extricate the Americans from the fire-swept landing zone, depending on flares to illuminate the hazardous, tree-covered hillside. When a flare goes out, his rotors strike a tree, and he manages to keep his helicopter from crashing. Although his chopper is running dangerously low on fuel, he makes the decision to turn on his landing lights, giving enemy gunners an easy target. The airmen could board the helicopter, and Lassen flies them off to safety, landing on a destroyer with just five minutes of fuel remaining. Lassen was awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN191982Hezbollah terrorists snatch the president of the American University in Beirut David S. Dodge.
JUN191985Marxist guerrillas dressed as El Salvadoran soldiers kill four off-duty U.S. Marines, two U.S. citizens, and several others in San Salvador.
JUN192003Special operations forces of Task Force 20, supported by an Air Force AC-130 gunship engage a column of suspected high value targets as they attempt to flee to Syria. A gun battle erupts between the commandos and Syrian border guards, killing several Syrians.
JUN201814Construction begins on Demologos, the United States' first steam-powered warship.
JUN201815Demologos completes her trials and will be delivered to the Navy the following year, and is renamed Fulton after the passing of her designer, Robert Fulton. The unique ship is intended to protect New York Harbor.
JUN201866100 Marines and sailors from the gunboat USS Wachusett land at New Chwang, China to arrest the leader of the bandits that assaulted the American Consul.
JUN201898While enroute to the Philippines, the cruiser USS Charleston arrives at the Spanish-held island of Guam. No one bothered to tell the neglected defenders that the United States and Spain were at war, and Guam is easily captured.
JUN201913As ENS William D. Billingsley flies a Wright B-2 biplane over Annapolis, he hits an air pocket that sends the biplane into a nosedive. The plane has no seatbelts, and Billingsley plummets 1,600 feet to his death, becoming the first fatality in Naval aviation.
JUN201934Commander in Chief of the Asiatic Fleet RADM Frank Upham advises the Chief of Naval Operations that according to his analysis of Japanese radio traffic, "any attack by (Japan) would be made without previous declaration of war or intentional warning."
JUN201941The Department of War creates the United States Army Air Force, consolidating the Army's aviation assets into an autonomous command. MG Henry H. "Hap" Arnold leads the force.
JUN201943A PBY "Catalina" patrol aircraft operating near Iceland spots a German U-boat, and drops a homing torpedo into the water - damaging the submarine.
JUN211900The Chinese empress Cixi formally declares war on foreign powers. 100,000 members of the nationalist "Righteous and Harmonious Fists" movement launch attacks against Christian and foreign targets in Peking's Legation Quarter.
JUN211916During GEN John J. Pershing's "Punitive Expedition" into Mexico to capture or kill Pancho Villa, Buffalo Soldiers of the 10th Cavalry Regiment clash with - and defeat - a Mexican Army force at Carrizal. The incident nearly put the two countries on a war footing.
JUN211942The Japanese submarine I-25 surfaces at the mouth of the Columbia River, off the coast of Oregon, and targets Fort Stevens. The sub's gun inflicts virtually no damage, but the attack marks the only time that a stateside U.S. military installation is bombarded.
JUN211942A PBY Catalina from Patrol Squadron 24 (VP-24) rescue two downed aviators floating in the ocean, 360 miles north of Midway. The men have been drifting since their TBD Devastator torpedo bomber went down during the Battle of Midway 17 days ago.
JUN211945The last remaining Japanese resistance on Okinawa collapses. GEN Mitsuru Ushijima, commander of the Japanese forces on the island, commits ritual suicide. The Battle of Okinawa is over. Over 100,000 Japanese soldiers perish, and 12,500 American Marines, soldiers, and sailors are killed in combat. Kamikaze attacks account for the sinking of dozens of American ships.
JUN211967When a U.S. helicopter is shot down in South Vietnam's Binh Dinh Province, a platoon of 5th Cavalry Regiment troopers rushes to secure the site. SPC 4th Class Carmel B. Harvey Jr.'s squad is hit on three sides by heavy enemy machine gun fire. When an enemy round hits and arms a grenade on Harvey's belt, he screams at the enemy and rushes the machine gun, but the grenade detonates just before he reaches the position. The explosion, which kills Harvey, stuns the communists and the pause in fire enables the wounded to escape the kill zone. He was awarded the Medal of Honor posthumously.
JUN211967Edgar M. McWethy Jr. rushes through a hail of bullets to treat the wounded. He provides care for the wounded platoon leader, enabling the officer to carry out his duties. McWethy moves to another casualty and is hit three times in the process. While attempting to resuscitate his fellow soldier, the medic is hit a fourth - and final - time. McWethy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN211969Following two days of artillery attacks, a 600-man North Vietnamese Army force assaults the American combat base of Tay Ninh, 50 miles northwest of Saigon.
JUN221807Off the coast of Norfolk, the British frigate HMS Leopard attacks the American vessel USS Chesapeake, forcing Commodore James Barron to surrender the ship after only managing to fire one shot. Four Americans are dead and 17 wounded in the attack, and the British board Chesapeake, taking four British deserters.
JUN221813Some 2,000 Royal Marines and British soldiers attempt to attack the American fortifications at Craney Island, guarding Hapton Roads. The defenders are prepared - and repel the invasion. The American guns inflict 200 casualties in one of the first engagements of the War of 1812.
JUN221865The Confederate commerce raider CSS Shenandoah fires the last shot of the Civil War - a warning shot at a U.S. whaling vessel in the Bering Straight
JUN221884After three years of being stranded by ice in the Canadian Arctic, a rescue expedition led by CDR Winfield S. Schley finds LT Adolphus W. Greely and six of his men from the ill-fated Lady Franklin Bay Expedition. 16 of Greely's men had perished from hypothermia, starvation, drowning, and one man was ordered shot for repeatedly stealing food rations.
JUN221898The "Rough Riders" of the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry, led by COL Leonard Wood and LTC Theodore Roosevelt, begin landing at Daiquiri, Cuba during the Spanish-American War.
JUN221900Ordinary Seaman William Search and a band of Americans attack and breach a Chinese fort, then turn the fort's guns on the defenders.
JUN221944Following a preparatory airstrike, the U.S. VII Corps launches an assault against German forces at the French town of Cherbourg. The Allies meet stiff resistance at first, but 30,000 German defenders will surrender after a week of fighting. The Germans and Allies take heavy casualties - with both sides losing 8,000 soldiers killed in action or missing apiece.
JUN221963Four ballistic missile submarines are launched in one day - USS Tecumseh (SSBN-628), USS Daniel Boone (SSBN-629), USS Flasher (SSN-613), and USS John Calhoun (SSBN-630). The James Madison class subs each carry 16 of the new Polaris A3 nuclear missiles, with a range of 2,500 nautical miles. The A3 carried three W-58 warheads with a yield of 200 kilotons apiece.
JUN231812American ships led by Commodore John Rodgers sails to intercept a British convoy sailing from Jamaica. When the frigate HMS Belvidera is spotted, Rodgers personally aims and fires the first shot of the War of 1812 - the cannonball striking the British ship's rudder and penetrating the gun room.
JUN231865Confederate BG Stand Watie surrenders his First Indian Brigade of the Army of the Trans-Mississippi to Union forces in Oklahoma Territory, becoming the last general to surrender in the Civil War.
JUN231923Over the skies of San Diego, an Army Air Service DH-4 biplane flown by CPT Lowell Smith tops off its fuel tanks from a hose attached to another DH-4, marking the world's first mid-air refueling operation.
JUN231944761 bombers of the 15th Air Force attack the oil fields at Ploesti, Romania.
JUN231944When a B-17 on the raid at Ploesti is damaged by flak and has to drop out of formation, bombardier 2LT David R. Kingsley drops his bombs and goes to the back of the aircraft to administer first aid to the wounded tail gunner. When another gunner is wounded by enemy aircraft, Kingsley attends to him as well. When the pilot orders the crew to abandon the plane before it explodes, Kingsley gives one of the wounded gunners his own parachute, sacrificing his life. His body is later discovered in the burned wreckage of the plane, and Kingsley is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN231945As the Sixth Army drives north to encircle the remaining Japanese forces on northern Luzon Island in the Philippines, paratroopers from the 11th Airborne Division perform their last combat jump of the war and cut off GEN Tomoyuki Yamashita's Shobu Group's retreat.
JUN231969The Special Forces Camp at Ben Het in Vietnam's Central Highlands, eight miles east of the border with Laos and Cambodia, is cut off and besieged by North Vietnamese Army.
JUN242022Despite a galliant effort, Ukraine is forced to withdraw from Severodonetsk after almost a month of fighting.
JUN251864Fighting at Petersburg has reached a stalemate and LTC Henry Pleasants comes up with an idea. Soldiers of the 48th Pennsylvania Regiment begin construction of a 500-foot long underground shaft to attempt to infiltrate and blow up Confederate trenches.
JUN251876In southeastern Montana Territory, LTC George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry Regiment squares off against thousands of allied Lakota and Cheyenne warriors under the command of Crazy Horse and Chief Gall in the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The Americans are encircled and annihilated. Custer, his two brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law are among the 268 Americans killed in action.
JUN251942MG Dwight Eisenhower arrives in London and is named Commander of U.S. Forces in Europe, despite having no combat experience in his 27-year career.
JUN251943As the United States military prepares for the upcoming invasion of Sicily, the Northwestern African Air Force launches its largest bombing raid to date, targeting Messina with 130 B-17 Flying Fortresses.
JUN251946Northrop's XB-35 flying wing makes its maiden flight. The heavy bomber prototype featured a massive 172-foot wingspan and could carry over 50,000 lbs. of ordinance - the equivalent of four B-29s or 10 B-17s.
JUN251950At 0400 10 divisions of North Korean soldiers cross the 38th Parallel into South Korea, kicking off the Korean War. The Communists roll over the fledgling Republic of Korea troops and drive their way towards the capital city of Seoul.
JUN251996Hezbollah terrorists park a truck bomb next to an eight-story apartment building in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, and race away from the compound. The Khobar Towers housed U.S. airmen deployed to Saudi Arabia that enforced the southern no-fly zone over Iraq. Air Force security policeman SSG Alfredo R. Guerrero spots the suspicious activity, then begins an evacuation of the towers, undoubtedly saving many lives, but the terrorists remotely detonate the 5,000 lbs. of plastic explosives, killing 19 U.S. airmen and wounding some 500.
JUN261862Confederate forces led by GEN Robert E. Lee launch a counteroffensive against MG George McClellan's Army of the Potomac.
JUN261917A convoy containing the first American Expeditionary Forces - members of the 5th Marine Regiment - land at the beaches of Saint-Nazaire, France.
JUN261942The Grumman F6F Hellcat - credited with the most aerial victories of any Allied naval aircraft during World War II - makes its first flight. Designed to compete with the agile Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter, the Hellcat will come to dominate the skies over the Pacific.
JUN261944LTG Courtney Hodges' VII Corps captures the French port city of Cherbourg, taking the garrison commander LTG Karl-Wilhelm von Schlieben and the naval commander, RADM Walter Hennecke, prisoner.
JUN261944A pocket of Germans still control the vital port facilities at Cherbourg, and Coast Guard LCDR Quentin R. Walsh leads a 53-man naval reconnaissance unit through hostile fire and assaults the naval arsenal, capturing 400 Germans. His force then moved to Fort Du Homet where he received the surrender of another 350 Germans and released 52 American paratroopers that had been taken prisoner. For his heroic actions, Walsh is awarded the Navy Cross.
JUN261944The 442d Regimental Combat Team receives its baptism in fire near Suvento, Italy. When a company of Japanese American "Nisei" soldiers reaches an enemy strongpoint, they are engaged by a deadly 88mm self-propelled gun, forcing the Americans to scatter and seek cover. PFC Kiyoshi K. Muranaga's mortar squad is ordered to action, but the terrain is unsuitable to deploy the mortar and the squad leader tells his men to find cover as well. Realizing the perilous situation his fellow soldiers face, Muranaga mans the mortar anyways, zeroing in on the armored vehicle. Muranaga single-handedly fires away in full view of the enemy, and his third shot impacts directly in front of the gun. Before he can put the 88 out of action with his fourth shot, the German crew kills him, and then abandons their vehicle. Muranaga has sacrificed his life for his comrades and is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN261945The North American F-82 Twin Mustang - the last piston-engine aircraft built for the Air Force - makes its first flight. The long-range escort consists of two P-51 "Mustang" fuselages joined together by a center wing. Intended to escort B-29 bombing raids, World War II ends before the F-82 enters service, but Twin Mustangs are the first aircraft to see action in the Korean War.
JUN261948When the Soviet Union cuts off West Berlin by sealing off highway and railroad routes, the U.S. Air Force begins the Berlin Airlift. American and other allied nations perform some 300,000 air-transport flights into West Berlin delivering an average of 5,000 tons of food, coal, and other essential items per day to the blockaded city until the Soviets relent a year later.
JUN261950A day after North Korean forces cross into South Korea, kicking off the Korean War, the destroyers USS De Haven (DD-727) and USS Mansfield (DD-728) evacuate 700 American and foreign nationals from Inchon.
JUN261965GEN William Westmoreland is granted the authority to send American combat forces on offensive operations.
JUN271864After two months of flanking maneuvers, driving Confederate GEN Joseph E. Johnston's Confederate Army of Tennessee some 70 miles rearward, MG William T. Sherman launches a frontal assault at Kennesaw Mountain.
JUN271916During the Dominican Republic civil war, the 4th Marines charge and defeat rebels with a bayonet attack.
JUN271942GEN Henry H. "Hap" Arnold presents 23 "Doolittle Raiders" with the Distinguished Flying Cross at a ceremony in Washington, D.C.'s Bolling Field.
JUN271942The FBI announces it has captured all eight of the German military intelligence operatives that had landed in New York and Florida to sabotage American strategic targets. Six are tried by military tribunal and executed by electric chair while the two agents that cooperated with investigators are eventually released by President Harry S. Truman in 1948.
JUN271950Two days after the communist invasion of South Korea by the Soviet-backed North, the United Nations Security Council approves a resolution to "repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area." President Truman authorizes Naval and air operations south of the 38th Parallel and dispatches the 7th Fleet to Taiwan to prevent hostilities from spreading elsewhere in Asia.
JUN271950F-82 Twin Mustang fighters score three kills against North Korean fighters attempting to intercept a flight of C-54 Skymaster aircraft evacuating personnel from Kimpo Air Field - the first air battle of the Korean War. LT William G. Hudson scores the first aerial victory of the war.
JUN271950P-80C Shooting Star fighter-bombers knock four Korean fighters out of the sky. CPT Raymond E. Schillereff and LT Robert H. Dewald each shoot down an enemy plane while LT Robert E. Wayne claims a pair Il-10s in the Air Force's first-ever combat victories for jet-powered aircraft.
JUN271993After a foiled assassination attempt on former President George H.W. Bush in Kuwait, the cruiser USS Chancellorsville (CG-62) and destroyer USS Peterson (DD-969) launch 23 cruise missiles at the Iraqi Intelligence Service's command and control complex in Baghdad.
JUN281776The unfinished American garrison guarding Charleston harbor comes under attack by nine British ships under the command of ADM Sir Peter Parker. The British attack the fort for 12-plus hours, but their cannonballs are no match for the palmetto log defenses of Fort Sullivan. In what has been described as the "first decisive victory of American forces over the British Navy" during the American Revolution, COL William Moultrie and his South Carolina militiamen inflict heavy casualties on the Royal Navy forces and repel the assault.
JUN281778The Battle of Monmouth, N.J. is fought between GEN George Washington’s Continental Army and British forces under GEN Sir Henry Clinton. Though tactically inconclusive, the battle is a strategic victory for the Americans who prove they can go toe-to-toe with the British Army in a large, pitched battle.
JUN281814200 miles west of Plymouth, England, the sloop-of-war USS Wasp - the fifth of ten so-named vessels - engages HMS Reindeer. After 19 minutes of intense fire, with the Americans repulsing numerous attempts by the British to board their vessel, Master Commandant Johnston Blakely and his men devastate the British crew, killing the ship's captain, CDR William Manners, and 24 others.
JUN281914A Yugoslav nationalist named Gavrilo Princip assassinates Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife as they toured Sarajevo.
JUN281919Following six months of negotiations, the Treaty of Versailles is finally signed, formally ending World War I five years to the day after Archduke Ferdinand's assassination.
JUN281950As the South Korean capital of Seoul falls to the North Koreans, the first American combat forces - a 35-man anti-aircraft artillery unit - arrive in Korea. GEN Douglas MacArthur, the newly appointed Commander of United Nations forces, also arrives in theater.
JUN281950B-29 Superfortress and B-26 Marauder bombers conduct the first U.S. air strikes of the war, targeting rail and road traffic along the North Korean invasion routes.
JUN2819653,000 soldiers of the 173rd Airborne Brigade assaults Viet Cong Zone D, some 20 miles northeast of Saigon in the first major offensive for U.S. forces in Vietnam.
JUN291918After the Bolsheviks seize power in Russia, 31 Marines from the armored cruiser USS Brooklyn (ACR-3) land at Vladivostok, Russia to guard the American Consulate and maintain stability in the Siberian port.
JUN291927An Atlantic-Fokker C-2 tri-motor aircraft touches down in Hawaii - completing the first transpacific flight from the United States to Hawaii. Numerous instrument failures forced the crew, consisting of Army Air Corps 1LTs Lester J. Maitland (pilot) and Albert F. Hegenberger (navigator), to rely on dead reckoning and celestial navigation. The men land safely at O'ahu's Wheeler Field, making the daring 2,500-mile trip in 25 hours and 50 minutes.
JUN291950At a press conference, President Harry S. Truman calls the American involvement in the Korean War a "police action,' adding that "We are not at war."
JUN29195018 B-26 Marauder bombers of the Fifth Air Force strike targets at Heijo Airport near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, destroying 25 communist aircraft on the ground and another Yak fighter in the air.
JUN291950The cruiser USS Juneau (CLAA-119) and detroyer USS De Haven (DD-727) engage in the first naval shore bombardment of the Korean War, destroying enemy shore installations near Bokuko Ko.
JUN291950GEN Douglas MacArthur personally witnesses P-51 Mustang pilots knock several Yak fighters out of the sky over Suwon Airfield while he meets with South Korean president Syngman Rhee.
JUN291966American warplanes bomb the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong for the first time, striking oil facilities.
JUN291966SGT Charles B. Morris of the 173rd Airborne Brigade spots signs of enemy presence and crawls forward alone to observe. An enemy machine gunner spots him and hits Morris in the chest, but he fires back with his rifle and kills the enemy gunner, then knocks out the remaining crew with grenades. After reaching friendly lines - but before he can receive treatment for his wound - Morris springs back to action and the enemy mounts a large attack that turns into a fierce eight-hour battle. The unit's medic was killed, so Morris must treat his own wound. As he attempts to administer treatment to his wounded soldiers, Morris is hit again. He regains consciousness and continues to direct his troops and treat the wounded until his left hand is crippled by an enemy grenade blast. Morris hurls grenades at enemy soldiers, killing several, then moves forward with another soldier to silence an enemy machine gun that had set up to the Americans' rear. His comrade is killed, but Morris takes out the gun, despite only having one working hand. Not quite finished, he will put himself in the line of fire to drag the wounded to safety. For his incredible heroism, SGT Morris was awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN291968During a large attack on his company's defensive position, PFC Frank A. Herda and another soldier hold their ground against a charge by 30 Vietnamese sappers. Just after a grenade fired by Herda hits an enemy soldier ten feet away in the head, Herda spots an enemy grenade at his feet. He hurls himself on the grenade and absorbs the blast, grievously wounding himself but saving his comrades.
JUN291972When an enemy formation masses to attack American troops near Quang Tri, South Vietnam, OV-10 Bronco pilot CPT Steven L. Bennett and his observer request artillery support. When the request is denied due to the proximity of friendly forces, Bennett makes four strafing runs on the enemy and breaks off their attack. However, a surface-to-air missile hits the plane, giving the airmen little choice but to eject. When Bennett learns his observer's parachute is damaged, he decides to ditch the plane in the Gulf of Tonkin, even though no Bronco pilot has survived a ditching. When the plane impacts the water, Bennett is trapped inside the damaged cockpit, but his observer is rescued. Bennett was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
JUN292014The Islamic State (commonly referred to as ISIS) establishes itself as a global caliphate, naming Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its leader. The former Al Qaeda-linked terrorist group controls territory in Iraq and Syria, but after their declaration, now claim authority over all Muslims worldwide.
JUN301815While operating in the Sunda Straight, the American sloop-of-war USS Peacock spots the British cruiser HMS Nautilus, and orders the ship to strike her colors. When the captain refuses and informs American skipper CPT Lewis Warrington that the war ended months ago, Warrington orders his men to open fire, inflicting over a dozen casualties on the British - the last naval action of the War of 1812. When he sees documentation confirming the war is over, Warrington orders the ship to be released and his crew helps repair Nautilus.
JUN301862Confederate GEN Robert E. Lee orders a complex attack on GEN George McClellan's retreating Army of the Potomac at Glendale. Subordinates are unable to execute Lee's orders, and McClellan's troops reach and fortify positions on Malvern Hill, from which they will inflict heavy casualties on Confederate forces the following day.
JUN301934The "Night of the Long Knives" - Adolf Hitler orders a purge of political opponents and members of the Nazi Party's own Sturmabteilung "Brownshirt" paramilitary organization. At least 85 are assassinated and over a thousand are arrested by Gestapo and Schutzstaffel (SS) troops, essentially giving Hitler absolute power.
JUN301943GEN Douglas MacArthur begins Operation CARTWHEEL, the Allied campaign to seize the island of Rabaul from Japan. Soldiers and Marine Raiders land at numerous locations throughout the Solomon Islands. Ultimately, Allied planners decide to isolate and bypass Rabaul, beginning the "island hopping" policy.
JUN3019446,000 German troops surrender at Cherbourg, ending resistance on France's Cotentin Peninsula.
JUN301945After killing nearly 9,000 Japanese troops and capturing 2,900, mopping-up operations on Okinawa have ended.
JUN301967U.S. Air Force pilot MAJ Robert H. Lawrence, Jr. becomes the first black astronaut. Lawrence is selected for the Air Force's Manned Orbital Laboratory program, which will be cancelled when NASA realizes that unmanned satellites can perform the task.
JUN302022Russian forces withdraw from the island of Snake Island. The Ukrainian garrison on the island had made headlines for its defiant radio broadcast sent to the invaders at the onset of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.