This Month in Military History

MAR11942Southwest of Newfoundland, ENS William Tepuni, of Patrol Squadron 82 (VP-82), spots a German U-boat. He targets U-656 with depth charges dropped from his Lockheed PBO-1 "Hudson" - the first sinking of a submarine by the United States during World War II.
MAR11944While hunting a Wolfpack of German subs in the North Atlantic at night, the Cannon-class destroyer escort USS Bronstein (DE-189) spots U-709 on the surface, preparing to attack the American task force. Bronstein hits the sub several times with her guns, and together with her fellow destroyer escorts, sink the sub with depth charges. The crew then spots another U-boat with their sonar and quickly sends U-603 to the bottom with more depth charges.
MAR11954The United States conducts its largest-ever nuclear weapons test, nicknamed CASTLE BRAVO, in the Bikini Atoll. In just one second, the blast creates a 4.5-mile-wide fireball and produces a mushroom cloud that rises nearly 25 miles high by 62 miles across. The 15-megaton explosion is 1,000 times more powerful than the bombs dropped on Japan nine years before.
MAR12002Operation ANACONDA, the first large-scale combat operation in Afghanistan since the Battle of Tora Bora, kicks off when a Navy SEAL reconnaissance team, aided by air support from an AC-130 gunship, destroys an enemy heavy machine gun position. This marked the first time that conventional U.S. forces are used in a combat operation in Afghanistan.
MAR219421LT Ed Dyess leads a daring raid against Japanese supply depot at Subic Bay. With his P-40 fighter set up to fly as a dive bomber, Dyess destroys multiple buildings and destroys or damages numerous ships in three sorties.
MAR21943Elements of the USAAF and Royal Australian Air Force intercept and all-but-destroy an entire Japanese troop-transport convoy in the Battle of the Bismarck Sea.
MAR21965100 American warplanes cross into North Vietnam, targeting an ammunition dump at Xom Bang. Operation ROLLING THUNDER has begun.
MAR31776250 Continental Marines and sailors led by Marine CPT Samuel Nicholas land at New Providence Island in the Bahamas, quickly capturing Fort Montague from the British in the first amphibious operation in American military history.
MAR31815The U.S. Congress authorizes American Naval action against the pirate state of Algiers.
MAR31883The U.S. Congress approves the creation of the “new Navy” with an authorization to build three “steel-protected cruisers” and a “steel dispatch boat.” The authorization begins a steel-ship renaissance for the U.S. Navy.
MAR31931The U.S. Congress adopts “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the official national anthem.
MAR41944B-17 Flying Fortresses of the USAAF participate in the first daylight bombing raid over Berlin.
MAR51770A contingent of armed British soldiers fire into a crowd of protesting colonists in what will become known as the Boston Massacre. Five colonists are killed. The soldiers, charged with murder, will contend the protestors were threatening them with rocks and clubs.
MAR51946During a speech near St. Louis, MO, Former British prime minister Winston Churchill declares that an "iron curtain" has fallen across Europe. Behind it lie capitals now under the control or influence of the Kremlin.
MAR51953While it is not clear whether brought on by natural causes or an assassination attempt, a cerebral hemorrhage claims the life of Soviet premier Joseph Stalin. Even without counting the 10-20 million Soviet military and civilian fatalities during World War II, more people died because of Stalin's rule than perhaps any ruler in human history.
MAR51966The "Ballad of the Green Berets" composed by U.S. Army Special Forces SSG Barry Sadler and author Robin Moore hits the number-one spot on the Billboard Chart where it will remain for five weeks.
MAR51991Iraq hands 15 American prisoners of war - including two female soldiers - over to the Red Cross. Captured during Operation DESERT STORM, the U.S. service members endured brutal treatment, and some were paraded on television.
MAR61836Following a two-week siege, the Alamo falls to Mexican forces after the Texas garrison puts up one of the most heroic defenses in American military history.
MAR61942The U.S. Army Air School at Tuskegee, AL graduates its first class of black aviators.
MAR61944One day after sinking the American submarine USS Grampus, the Japanese destroyers Murusame and Minegumo are themselves sunk in the Battle of Blackett Straight. RADM Aaron S. Merrill's Task Force 68 use the Navy's new radar fire control system to target enemy warships.
MAR61944Nearly 700 B-17 and B-24 bombers conduct a daylight raid against Berlin - the first major American mission against the Nazi regime's capital.
MAR61965The White House announces that 3,500 Marines will be deployed to South Vietnam to guard the air base at Da Nang.
MAR61990An SR-71 "Blackbird" flown by LTC Ed Yeilding and his reconnaissance systems officer, LTC J. T. Vida streaked from Oxnard, CA to Washington D.C.'s Dulles Air Field in 1 hour and 8 minutes, a blistering 2,112.52 miles per hour. This record-setting flight is the last run for the Blackbird, which is headed to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum.
MAR62022Shortly after 0900, Russian artillery opened up on an intersection near Irpin, Ukraine that refugees were using to escape to Kyiv. Eight civilians were killed and many others were injured. Russia will continue to strike humanitarian corridors in the months that follow.
MAR71945U.S. Army armored forces race to seize the strategically vital Ludendorff (Remagen) Bridge before the Germans blow the structure. The Americans are successful, thus enabling the allies to establish a bridgehead on the enemy side of the Rhine River.
MAR71961USAF MAJ Robert M. White's North American Aviation X-15 rocketplane breaks away from a B-52 "Stratofortress," streaking through the desert sky to a record of 2,905 miles per hour.
MAR71966Air Force and Navy pilots fly over 200 sorties against a North Vietnamese oil storage facility and a staging area - the most action American airmen have seen since Operation ROLLING THUNDER began.
MAR71972President Richard Nixon expands the range that U.S. warplanes are allowed to target North Vietnamese anti-aircraft sites to 120 miles north of the de-militarized zone.
MAR72003President George W. Bush delivers an ultimatum: "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours."
MAR81930A former PVT in the NY National Guard's 104th Field Artillery Division, George Herman "Babe" Ruth, signs a two-year, $160,000 contract with the New York Yankees, becoming the highest paid player in baseball.
MAR81941Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hugh Mulcahy becomes the first major league baseball player drafted into the military.
MAR81943A single PBY "Catalina" from Patrol Squadron 53 (VP-53) spots a surfaced German U-boat in the Caribbean. The sub's crew are too busy sunbathing to notice LT J.E. Dryden's plane bearing down on them, and his depth charges sink U-156.
MAR81944Allen Dulles, the Swiss Director for the Office of Strategic Services, begins secret negotiations with generals Heinrich von Veitinghoff of the Wehrmacht and Karl Wolff of the SS - hoping to secure the early surrender of German forces in Italy.
MAR81965The lead elements of 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines begin coming ashore at Da Nang, South Vietnam. Within hours, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines will arrive aboard transport aircraft at the nearby airbase. The Marines of 3/9 and 1/3 are the first American ground-combat forces destined for offensive operations against the enemy in Southeast Asia.
MAR81983In a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals, President Ronald Reagan labels the Soviet Union an "evil empire."
MAR81991Just days after Saddam Hussein surrenders, the first planes carrying U.S. troops from the Persian Gulf begin arriving home.
MAR91847Over 11,000 American soldiers and a company-sized force of Marines under the overall command of U.S. Army MG Winfield Scott and "Home Squadron" Commodore David E. Conner begin landing at Collado Beach, Mexico, just south of Vera Cruz.
MAR91862In day-two of the now-famous Battle of Hampton Roads, the Confederate Navy’s ironclad warship, CSS Virginia and her Union rival, the also-ironclad USS Monitor, begin exchanging shots in history’s first duel of ironclads.
MAR91918CPT James Ely Miller, flying a borrowed French SPAD S.VII C.1 fighter, encounters a flight of four German aircraft and is shot down near Corbény, France. He is the first American airman to perish in World War I.
MAR91919While anchored at Cuba's Guantanamo Bay, USS Texas becomes the first battleship to launch an airplane. LCDR Edward O. McDonnell, who earned the Medal of Honor during the Veracruz campaign in 1914, launches a Sopwith Camel from a special platform constructed atop the Number 2 turret.
MAR101783Three Royal Navy ships open fire on Continental Navy ships Duc De Lauzun and Alliance off the coast of Cape Canaveral, FL, but are defeated in what became the last naval engagement of the American Revolution.
MAR101945Having taken off from bases in the Mariana Islands before midnight, 279 B-29 "Stratofortress" bombers, stripped of guns and other expendable equipment, arrive over Tokyo. 1,667 tons of incendiary devices fall on the city, sparking a firestorm that would consume more than 15 square miles.
MAR101967During a routine bombing run north of Hanoi, two F-4 “Phantom” aircraft were struck by anti-aircraft fire. One F-4 piloted by CPT Earl Aman was severely damaged and did not have fuel to make it back to friendly Laotian territory. Flight Lead CPT John “Bob” Pardo proceeded to use his own damaged F-4 to push Aman’s F-4 88 miles to safe airspace by placing the arresting hook of the damaged aircraft against his own windscreen. After safely crossing into Laotian airspace and having fallen to 6,000 feet, the two pilots and their Weapon System Officers bail out and are picked up by rescue helicopters. Both Pardo and his WSO receive the Silver Star for the maneuver.
MAR111862President Abraham Lincoln fires GEN George B. McClellan from his post as general-in-chief due to McClellan's unwillingness to attack the Confederate army.
MAR111918USAAC LT Paul Baer singlehandedly attacks seven German aircraft over Cerney-les-Reims, France, shooting down one. Baer's victory is the first for American pilots not serving in foreign air forces, and he is awarded the Air Corps' first Distinguished Service Cross.
MAR111941The United States becomes an "arsenal of democracy" when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Lend-Lease Act. The program provided over $50 billion in funds, weapons, aircraft, and ships to allied nations.
MAR111945B-29 "Stratofortress" bombers conduct a strategic bombing campaign against mainland Japan.
MAR111965The U.S. Navy conducts the first patrols of Operation MARKET TIME. The blockade lasts eight-and-a-half years and effectively blocks enemy troops and supplies from reaching South Vietnam by sea.
MAR121942President Franklin Roosevelt appoints ADM Ernest J. King, who was serving as Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Fleet, to also fill the role of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO).
MAR121956Aboard the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid (CVA-11), Attack Squadron 83 (VFA-83) sails to the Mediterranean Sea, marking the first-time aircraft armed with air-to-air missiles deploy overseas. The aviators fly the F7U "Cutlass" fighter and carry the AIM-7A "Sparrow" radar-guided missile.
MAR121956The F-100 "Super Sabre" is the Air Force's first supersonic Air Force jet, and is destined to serve with the 45th Fighter Day Squadron out of Morocco. Unofficially, the Air Force secretly flew F-100s to West Germany in 1955 for high altitude photo reconnaissance over Eastern Bloc nations during Operation SLICK CHICK.
MAR131865Desperate for manpower on the front lines, the Confederate government approves enlisting and arming slaves. Although GEN Robert E. Lee requested that slaves who fought should be granted freedom, the bill did not allow such a provision.
MAR131942The U.S. Army establishes the "K-9 Corps" - training dogs to serve in sentry, scout, messenger, and mine detection duties during World War II.
MAR131953F-86 "Super Sabre" pilot COL Royal N. "The King" Baker shoots down his 13th enemy fighter of the Korean War - the United States' top ace at the time.
MAR131963Two Soviet reconnaissance planes fly over Alaska on what is the first known Russian penetration of U.S. airspace.
MAR141945A Royal Air Force Avro Lancaster bomber drops the first "Grand Slam" bomb, targeting a railway viaduct in Schildesche, Germany. After being released, the 22,000-lb. earthquake bomb would reach near-supersonic speeds, then penetrate several feet into the ground, destroying hardened targets like submarine pens or ruining the foundation underneath bridges.
MAR141945On Iwo Jima, PVT Franklin E Sigler leads his squad on an assault against a Japanese machine gun nest that had been holding up his company for several days. Sigler reaches the position first and neutralizes it with grenades. As additional enemy troops begin firing from tunnels and caves near his location, he keeps pressing the attack. Despite his own painful wounds and heavy incoming fire, Sigler carries three of his wounded Marines to safety before returning to the fight.
MAR141951For the second time during the Korean War, United Nations forces recapture the South Korean capital of Seoul - this time under the command of U.S. Army GEN Matthew B. Ridgway.
MAR141965U.S. and South Vietnamese forces launch the second bombing wave of Operation ROLLING THUNDER, targeting facilities on Tiger Island, off the North Vietnamese coast, and the ammunition depot at Phu Qui, 100 miles south of Hanoi.
MAR141995Norman E. Thagard, a Marine fighter pilot that flew 163 combat missions during the Vietnam War before becoming an astronaut, blasts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan becoming the first American cosmonaut.
MAR151781British Army forces under the command of LTG Charles Cornwallis march toward a pyrrhic victory over Continental Army and militia forces commanded by MG Nathaniel Greene at Guilford Courthouse, NC.
MAR151916As World War I rages in Europe, a U.S. Army expeditionary force under the command of GEN John J. “Blackjack” Pershing crosses into Mexico in pursuit of the bandit, Pancho Villa.
MAR151947ENS John W. Lee, Jr. joins the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge (CV-33), becoming the first black commissioned officer to serve in the regular Navy.
MAR151965Army Chief of Staff GEN Harold K. Johnson, a survivor of the Bataan Death March during World War II and a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross in Korea, reports to President Lyndon Johnson after a visit to Vietnam that Operation ROLLING THUNDER is having little effect.
MAR161802President Thomas Jefferson signs into law the establishment of a corps of engineers, which "shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy." The United States Military Academy is born.
MAR161916CPT Townsend F. Dodd and his observer, 1st Aero Squadron Commander CPT Benjamin D. Foulois, fly across the Mexican border on the United States military's first reconnaissance flight over enemy territory.
MAR161945Iwo Jima is finally declared secure. ADM Chester Nimitz states, "By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans serving on Iwo island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
MAR161966Neil A. Armstrong (USN) and David R. Scott (USAF) rocket into space aboard Gemini VIII, conducting the first docking operation in space. Gemini VIII suffered NASA's first critical in-space system failure and had to abort the mission, splashing down safely in the Pacific Ocean instead of the planned site in the Atlantic.
MAR161984The terrorist group Hezbollah captures CIA Beirut station chief William F. Buckley on his way to work. The former Special Forces LTC and veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars will spend 14 brutal months in captivity before dying.
MAR161988When forces from Nicaragua's government crossed into Honduras to strike Contra rebel targets, President Ronald Reagan deploys two battalions of the 82d Airborne Division and another two battalions of the 7th Light Infantry Division - 3,200 troops in total - to Honduras as a show of force.
MAR171776After an 11-month siege by George Washington's Continental Army and the recent fortification of nearby Dorcester Heights with cannons captured from Fort Ticonderoga, GEN Sir William Howe decides to evacuate the nearly 10,000 British troops garrisoned in Boston.
MAR171973The first U.S. prisoners of war are released from the infamous "Hanoi Hilton" prison camp in North Vietnam.
MAR181945~1,250 American bombers and their fighter escorts roar toward Berlin in one of the U.S. Army Air Forces’ “heaviest” bombing raids on the German capitol.
MAR181945ADM Marc A. Mitscher’s Fast Carrier “Task Force 58” begins a several-day series of attacks on Japanese bases at Kyushu, Honshu, and Shikoku in preparation for the forthcoming Okinawa campaign.
MAR191945The aircraft carrier USS Franklin sails to within 50 miles of the Japanese mainland - closer than any U.S. carrier during World War II. A lone Japanese bomber slips through the flattop's defenses and hits Franklin with two armor-piercing bombs. The bombs detonate below the flight deck, igniting fires and devastating the ship. Around 800 sailors are killed and another 400 wounded - the highest casualties for a surviving ship during the war.
MAR191989The jointly developed Bell-Boeing V-22 "Osprey" makes its maiden flight.
MAR191992Two F-15 "Eagles" intercept a pair of Russian Tu-95 "Bear" bombers near the Alaskan coast - the first such confrontation since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
MAR192003Acting on intelligence indicating Saddam Hussein was visiting his sons at a location called Dora Farms, a pair of F-117 "Nighthawk" stealth fighters level the compound with bunker buster bombs. Unfortunately, the dictator was not there.
MAR192003U.S. ships and subs launch 40 cruise missiles at three targets in Baghdad, special operations forces knock out dozens of Iraqi observation posts along the border, and teams blow holes in the sand berms in preparation for the invasion. Operation IRAQI FREEDOM has begun.
MAR201863Confederate cavalry under the command of Kentucky raider, BG John Hunt Morgan, strikes a sizeable Union reconnaissance force under COL Albert S. Hall at Vaught’s Hill, Tennessee. Though outnumbered and surrounded, Hall’s hilltop position enables the colonel to beat back a series of attacks until Morgan is forced to disengage.
MAR201922America’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1), is commissioned at Norfolk, Virginia. She had been converted from the coaling ship USS Jupiter that supplied ships during World War I.
MAR201941U.S. intelligence warns the Soviets of the possibility that Germany may invade the Soviet Union.
MAR201942U.S. Army GEN Douglas MacArthur delivers his famous "I shall return" speech at an Australian train station.
MAR221820Commodore Stephen Decatur is mortally wounded in a duel with Commodore James Barron near Bladensburg, Maryland.
MAR221947President Harry S. Truman announces that his administration will conduct a loyalty evaluation to ensure that federal employees are not communist.
MAR221956A P2B-1S (the Navy's designation for a B-29 "Superfortress") experiences a runaway propeller while preparing to launch a Douglas rocketplane. The prop breaks away, causing serious damage to the mothership, and the rocketplane must abort its mission and glide to its landing site.
MAR221968After four years of leading Military Assistance Command-Vietnam, GEN William Westmoreland is promoted to Army Chief of Staff.
MAR231775In a speech before the House of Burgesses, Patrick Henry exclaims, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”
MAR231776As a force-multiplier for the fledgling Continental Navy, the Continental Congress authorizes the employment of privateers against “enemies of these United Colonies,” specifically Great Britain, her commercial shipping, privately owned vessels, and ships of the Royal Navy.
MAR231815Though the War of 1812 has officially ended, the Royal Navy sloop-of-war HMS Penguin under the command of CPT James Dickenson engages the sloop USS Hornet under CPT James Biddle off the South Atlantic archipelago Tristan da Cunha.
MAR231943Elements of Germany's vaunted Afrika Korps clash with U.S. Army forces led by LTG George Patton near the oasis of El Guettar in Tunisia.
MAR231945When the U.S. Third Army, the Second British Army, and the First Canadian Army cross the Rhine River Adolf Hitler orders a counterattack. However, the Fuhrer is advised that there are no longer any reserve troops available.
MAR231965A Titan II rocket blasts Gemini III astronauts Gus Grissom (USAF) and John Young (USN) into space on the first manned Gemini mission. The four-hour spaceflight is the first time a spacecraft makes an orbital maneuver and is the first time NASA sends two men into space.
MAR231994An Air Force F-16 "Falcon" collides with a C-130 "Hercules" while both aircraft attempt to land at Pope Air Force Base. The fighter pilots eject, and their crippled F-16 slams into an area where 82d Airborne paratroopers were preparing for a jump. A C-141 "Starlifter" is destroyed, 24 paratroopers are killed, and over 100 soldiers are wounded in the "All American" division's worst loss of life since World War II.
MAR232003Task Force Tarawa under the command of BG Richard F. Natonski attack Iraqi forces in heavy fighting at An Nasiriyah.
MAR241945Paratroopers of MG Matthew B. Ridgway’s XVIII Airborne Corps strike and seize key German positions on the enemy side of the Rhine River.
MAR241959Elvis Presley is sworn into the Army as a private. He ultimately reached the rank of sergeant before completing his two years of active-duty service. Elvis was a jeep driver and reconnaissance scout, although he could also drive, load, and fire the M-48 Patton tank.
MAR241986After dictator Muammar Gaddhafi declares the entire Gulf of Sidra to be Libyan territorial waters, the U.S. Navy begins freedom of navigation operations. When the U.S. Sixth Fleet, consisting of three aircraft carriers and their air wings, as well as nearly two dozen cruisers, frigates, and destroyers ships cross Gaddhafi's so-called "Line of Death," Libyan warplanes and vessels begin challenging the Americans.
MAR241999NATO's bombing campaign against Slobodan Milosevic's Federal Republic of Yugoslavia begins. U.S. Air Force F-15 pilots COL Cesar Rodriguez and CPT Mike Shower each shoot down an enemy MiG-29 on the first night of combat operations.
MAR251863Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton presents six Union Army soldiers with the first-ever Medals of Honor.
MAR251864Confederate cavalry under the command of MG Nathan Bedford Forrest, “the wizard of the saddle,” strike Union forces under COL Stephen G. Hicks in the Battle of Paducah, Kentucky.
MAR251915While on maneuvers off the coast of Hawaii, USS F-4 (SS-23) develops a fatal leak, going down with the entire 21-man crew and becoming the first commissioned submarine lost at sea.
MAR251999F-15C "Eagle" pilot CPT Jeffrey C.J. Hwang becomes the first airman to simultaneously engage and destroy two targets in aviation history when he uses AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles to shoot down two Serbian Air Force MiG-29s that were violating Bosnian airspace during Operation ALLIED FORCE.
MAR261942RADM John W. Wilcox, Jr.'s Task Force 39 departs for Britain, where they will join the Royal Navy's Home Fleet.
MAR26194415 soldiers from Company D of the Office of Strategic Services' 2677th Special Reconnaissance Battalion, captured while attempting to sabotage rail lines some 250 miles behind enemy lines, are shot by German firing squad, and dumped in a mass grave.
MAR261945GEN George Patton dispatches a 300-man force on a secret mission to liberate a prisoner-of-war camp near Hammelburg, Germany. The mission behind enemy lines is a failure - dozens of tanks and vehicles are lost and only 35 men return, with the remaining would-be rescuers themselves becoming prisoners.
MAR261949The 10-engine B-36 made its first flight on this date in 1949.
MAR261954In the Bikini Atoll, the United States sets off a TX-17 thermonuclear device, which produces far more yield than designers had planned. At 11 megatons (instead of an estimated 3-5), the CASTLE BRAVO test is the third largest ever conducted by the United States. The prototype used on this date becomes the Mark 17 bomb, carried by the massive B-36 "Peacemaker" bomber, and is the first mass produced and air-deployed thermonuclear weapon in the U.S. arsenal.
MAR261957The Army Ballistic Missile Agency launches a Jupiter rocket carrying the Explorer 3 satellite. During its mission, Explorer 3 discovers the Van Allen radiation belts.
MAR261959Italy agrees to the deployment of two Jupiter ballistic missile squadrons. Italy will operate the missiles with U.S. personnel overseeing the nuclear warheads.
MAR271794President George Washington signs "An act to provide a naval armament" authorizing the construction of six frigates.
MAR271814During the War of 1812, a force of 2,000 U.S. soldiers and ~600 Native American allies led by BG Andrew Jackson annihilate 1,000 Creek Indians in Mississippi Territory. Jackson's brutal victory in the Battle of Horseshoe Band brings an end to the Creek War.
MAR271836GEN Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna orders that the prisoners of war from the Texas Revolution be executed by firing squad.
MAR271945As the Soviet Red Army captures Danzig and the Anglo-American forces having crossed the Rhine River, Supreme Allied Commander GEN Dwight Eisenhower writes Soviet premier Joseph Stalin to coordinate the final assault on Nazi Germany.
MAR271945The 5th Marine Division ships out for Hawaii to prepare for the invasion of Japan.
MAR271953When the Marines launch a counterattack against entrenched communist forces at Outpost Reno, Corpsman Francis C. Hammond exposes himself to enemy fire to treat his wounded Marines for four exhausting hours, becoming critically wounded himself. When his unit was ordered to withdraw, Hammond remains behind to assist the incoming medics treat and evacuate the casualties but is killed by an enemy mortar. For his actions, Hammond was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
MAR271964Within moments after the Great Alaskan Earthquake the U.S. military is on-hand to assist with recovery efforts. The magnitude 9.2 earthquake and its accompanying tsunami wave kills 139 Alaskans.
MAR271975The U.S. Navy begins a four-day evacuation that saves ~30,000 South Vietnamese from the communist invasion. The refugees are so desperate that they cling to the landing gear and air stairs as the planes take off.
MAR271999On the fourth night of Operation ALLIED FORCE, LTC Dale Zelko's F-117A "Nighthawk" stealth fighter is hit by a Yugoslavian Army surface-to-air missile after completing a bombing run over Belgrade.
MAR281966While serving as a corpsman with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines in Quang Ngai Province, PO Robert R. Ingraham's platoon was hammered by automatic weapons fire from around 100 North Vietnamese soldiers. Over the next several hours, Ingraham disregarded heavy incoming fire and treated his fellow Marines, patching up wounds, distributing ammunition, all the while ignoring four bullet wounds he received during the battle - one of which was life-threatening. For his selfless actions, Ingraham was awarded the Medal of Honor.
MAR281973After having flown out of South Vietnamese air bases for nearly 12 years, the last Pacific Air Force aircraft leaves South Vietnam.
MAR291911After a series of disappointing firearm designs The U.S. Army selects Colt's Model of 1911 .45-cal pistol to become the service's new standard-issue sidearm.
MAR291973The last official ground combat forces fly out of Vietnam.
MAR292022After a failed attempt to penetrate defenses deep in Ukraine, Russia announces its withdrawal of forces from the Kyiv area. A large column of materiel, around 40-miles-long, that had stretched from north of Kyiv towards Chernobyl is lost by the Russians in their rapid retreat. Russia has lost their Kyiv Offensive.
MAR301944450 American and British heavy bombers destroy thousands of buildings in historic downtown Sofia in the war's heaviest raid on the Bulgarian capital.
MAR301945The Royal Air Force's Bomber Command conducts what becomes its deadliest mission of the war during a strike on Nuremburg, Germany. 795 bombers set out on the mission and 95 are shot down or crash-land on the return trip.
MAR301945While the U.S. First Army begins their attack on Paderborn, Germany, the Soviet Red Army captures Danzig (in the north) and crosses into Occupied Austria (to the south).
MAR301981President Ronald Reagan is shot during an assassination attempt at the Washington D.C. Hilton Hotel. While the president lost half his blood and was in shock from the gunshot, the 70-year-old former cavalry officer makes a full recovery - thanks to his fitness and the quick actions of his Secret Service agents.