This Month in Military History

SEP11774Local militias move towards Boston following the removal of gunpowder from a magazine near the town by British soldiers. The Massachusetts Powder Alarm is seen as a "dress rehearsal" for the battles at Lexington and Concord the following year.
SEP11925As CMDR John Rodgers attempts a long-distance flight from California to Hawaii, his PN-9 flying boat runs out of fuel several hundred miles short of the goal. Rogers' four-man crew turns the airplane into a sailboat, and despite not having any food and very limited water, sails the remaining 450 miles to the island of Kauai. Although the plane did not reach its intended target, Rogers' flight still sets a record for flying a seaplane 1,992 miles non-stop.
SEP11939Three waves of Luftwaffe Ju 87 B "Stuka" dive bombers cross Germany's border with Poland at 0440, destroying most of the defenseless town of Wieluń. The sneak attack is the first combat action of Germany's invasion, which was preceded by a series of false flag operations intended to bolster support for a military campaign against its neighbor - launching what will become the deadliest conflict in human history.
SEP11939GEN George Marshall, aide-de-camp to GEN John J. Pershing during World War I, was promoted to Chief of Staff. At the time, the United States has just the 19th-largest military in the world. Marshall would say, "The trouble with the Army was, there wasn't any Army, except in name only." In fact, he oversees a service consisting of just 174,000 soldiers, with 488 machine guns and only 40 tanks.
SEP11942357 men and five officers of the 6th Naval Construction Battalion arrive in Guadalcanal - the first combat deployment of the legendary "Seabees."
SEP11952While airmen enjoyed the Labor Day holiday, a tornado hits Carswell Air Force Base, destroying two-thirds of the Air Force's B-36 bomber fleet.
SEP11974An SR-71 "Blackbird" flown by Air Force MAJ James V. Sullivan streaks from New York to London in 1 hour and 55 minutes, setting a record that still stands today. Despite having to slow down to take on fuel from a specially modified KC-135 tanker, the reconnaissance plane still averages a blistering Mach 2.27.
SEP12005Soldiers with the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment and the 82nd Airborne Division, along with soldiers from the Iraqi army, launch a mission to clear Al Qaeda fighters from the city of Tal Afar. COL H.R. McMaster's force kills nearly 200 insurgents and captures hundreds more in the 17-day operation.
SEP12014Following the merger of the offensive cyber role in the Military Intelligence Corps and the defensive cyber role in the Signal Corps, the U.S. Army Cyber Corps is established. It is described as "a maneuver branch with the mission to conduct defensive and offensive cyberspace operations."
SEP21864After months of fighting across Georgia, MG William Tecumseh Sherman's Army finally takes the city of Atlanta.
SEP21944An Avenger torpedo bomber flown LT George H.W. Bush is shot down by intense anti-aircraft fire after the planes attack Japanese positions on the island of Chichijima. The future president is the only crewmember of his stricken plane to survive and is picked up by the submarine USS Finback after spending four hours floating in a life raft.
SEP21945Japan surrenders to the United States on the deck of the battleship USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay.
SEP21945In French Indochina, American military officers join Ho Chi Minh and GEN Vo Nguyen Giap for a celebration in Hanoi as Vietnam declares independence from French rule. American aircraft fly overhead while a Vietnamese band plays the "Star-Spangled Banner" to commemorate the event.
SEP21958An Air Force C-130 takes off from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey for a signal intelligence-gathering mission along the border with Soviet Armenia. The crew inadvertently stray off course and are intercepted by four MiG-17 fighters, which take turns shooting the unarmed reconnaissance plane. The C-130 crashes, killing all 17 aboard. When confronted, the Soviet Union says they found a wrecked plane and repatriates the remains of the plane's six crewmembers but says nothing of the 11 Security Service airmen that were also aboard.
SEP31783John Adams, John Jay, and Benjamin Franklin sign the Treaty of Paris, ending the Revolutionary War.
SEP41812In Indiana Territory, CPT Zachary Taylor and 50 soldiers defended Fort Harrison against an attack by 600 Native Americans. One crawls up to the blockhouse and sets it on fire, threatening to burn down the outpost. However, the flames made it easier to see the attackers, and although sickness left the garrison with just 15 able-bodied soldiers at the time of the attack, Taylor's heavily outnumbered force defeats the attackers and hands the United States her first land victory during the War of 1812.
SEP41862GEN Robert E. Lee's troops begin crossing the Potomac River into Maryland, kicking off the Confederacy's short-lived invasion of the north.
SEP41886Worn out after being relentlessly pursued by the U.S. Cavalry, the feared Apache leader Geronimo surrenders to the Army for the last time.
SEP41941While enroute to Iceland, the destroyer USS Greer (DD-145) spots a German submarine. Although the United States is not yet at war with Germany, the sub launches a torpedo at Greer, who responds by dropping depth charges, becoming the first U.S. warship to fire on - and receive fire from - a German vessel.
SEP41945Wake Island's 2,200 surviving Japanese soldier’s surrender. Rather than retake the island following its capture, the United States simply bypassed it and prevented its resupply. 1,300 Japanese on the island died over the course of the war, mostly due to starvation. The Japanese commander, RADM Shigematsu Sakaibara, will be tried for war crimes and executed for the massacre of nearly 100 U.S. prisoners of war following an air raid.
SEP41957Arkansas governor Orval Faubus deploys the National Guard to Little Rock to block nine black students from attending Central High School.
SEP41967When two companies of Marines are ambushed in the Que Son Valley south of the de-militarized zone, the 1st Marine Division sweeps in to clear the area of hostiles. During the battle, Navy chaplain LT Vincent R. Capodanno leaves the command post to administer last rites to dying Marines and to aid the corpsmen. Although wounded himself, he refuses treatment and returns to his work. Capodanno is killed by machine gun fire as soon as he finishes dragging a wounded comrade to safety. LT Capodanno was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP41967SGT Lawrence D. Peters ignores hostile fire raining down on his exposed position to pinpoint enemy locations and lead his Marines during the fierce battle. Peters was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP51774The First Continental Congress convenes in Philadelphia.
SEP51781The Royal Navy fleet commanded by RADM Sir Thomas Grave's Royal fleet clashes with Comte de Grasse's French armada at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay. The navies fight each other at close range for two hours before the British disengage and sail for New York. The French victory traps LTG Lord Corwallis' army at Yorktown, preventing their reinforcement or evacuation.
SEP51813Off the coast of Maine, the brig USS Enterprise spots HMS Boxer and the two vessels begin maneuvering to attack. Boxer's CPT Samuel Blyth declares "We are going to fight both ends and both sides of this ship as long as the ends and the sides hold together." Blyth is killed in the opening barrage, and in less than 30 minutes, his ship is wrecked. A mortally wounded CPT William Burrows refuses to accept Blyth's sword and orders it sent back to Blyth’s family. The two captains are buried side by side during an elaborate funeral in Portland.
SEP51862U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Charles F. Adams, informs the British government that sending ironclad warships to aid the Confederacy would lead to war.
SEP51917At Gouzeaucourt, France, an American engineer unit comes under enemy artillery fire, wounding SGT Matthew Calderwood and PVT William Branigan – the first U.S. combatant losses of the war.
SEP51939As Germany fights its way across Poland, President Franklin Roosevelt issues two neutrality proclamations. While required to put in place an arms embargo by law, Roosevelt will soon ask Congress to remove the ban.
SEP51944While escorting a bombing mission to Stuttgart, LT William H. Lewis shoots down five Heinkel He-111 bombers taking off from Göppingen, Germany, becoming an ace in one mission. His flight of P-51 Mustangs would shoot down 16 bombers during the attack.
SEP51944In Belgium, PFC Gino J. Merli and his company are attacked by a numerically superior German force. Merli is surrounded but covers the retreat of his fellow soldiers with his machinegun. His assistant gunner is dead and another eight soldiers from his section surrender when the Germans overtake his position. Merli plays dead, then opens fire on the Germans when they move on. They return to the machinegun position, but Merli fools them again. He stays at his post all night, and by morning had inflicted so many casualties that the Germans surrendered. 52 enemy bodies were found in Merli's killzone, with 19 directly in front of his machine gun. Merli was awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP51952When a battalion of Chinese troops attacked a Marine outpost on Korea's "Bunker Hill," PFC Alford L. McLaughlin rained down fire on the communists from two machineguns, which he fired from the hip. When the weapons overheated, he would switch to his carbine and grenades. Although wounded and enduring painful burns from the hot barrels, he kept up his stand and by battle's end, accounted for some 150 dead Chinese soldiers and another 50 wounded. For his actions, McLaughlin was awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP61918U.S. Navy railroad artillery crews conduct their first attack - a German rail center in Tergnier. The five massive 14-in/50-cal Mark 4 guns, normally mounted to a battleship, are transported by train, and can hit targets well over 20 miles downrange.
SEP61950When their listening post near Satae-ri, Korea is targeted by enemy artillery, their commanding officer orders the soldiers to withdraw from their post to safety. Machine gunner CPL Benito Martinez and PFC Paul G. Myatt remain behind to cover the retreat, despite numerous calls from the CO to abandon their post and turns down an offer of a force to rescue the surrounded Americans. Martinez knew the only way his fellow soldiers would survive was if he continued to provide covering fire. The men hold off the enemy assault until the machinegun's ammunition is expended. Martinez then withdraws to a destroyed bunker and continues to hammer the communists with his Browning Automatic Rifle and pistol. After a "magnificent stand" lasting six hours, Martinez enabled his fellow soldiers to retake the position but does not survive. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor and PFC Myatt was awarded the Silver Star.
SEP61972During the Olympic Games in Munich, Germany, Palestinian terrorists storm the apartment housing Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine hostage. The terrorists demand the release of over 200 Israeli-held Palestinian prisoners, but the Israelis refuse to negotiate. Five terrorists - and all hostages - are killed when German police attempt to ambush the kidnappers at the airport as they attempted to fly to Cairo. The operation was financed by Mahmoud Abbas, who today serves as the chairman for the Palestinian Authority.
SEP61976Soviet Air Force pilot LT Viktor Belenko lands his brand-new MiG-25P "Foxbat" at Hakodate Airport in Japan and asks for political asylum in the United States. His request is granted, and American officials begin analyzing what was believed to be at the time as perhaps the world's most advanced fighter. However, they learn that intelligence vastly overestimated the capabilities of the Foxbat. The fighter is returned to the Soviet Union in pieces.
SEP71776SGT Ezra Lee silently makes his way down the Hudson River in an eight foot long submersible named Turtle towards British ADM Richard Howe's flagship, HMS Eagle, anchored just south of Manhattan. Turning two hand cranks for propulsion, Lee reaches the ship but is unable to drill into the hull to attach a "torpedo." While Lee's attack is unsuccessful, the craft designed by inventor David Bushnell marks the first-ever submarine attack.
SEP71864As he prepares for his March to the Sea, MG William T. Sherman orders an evacuation of Atlanta. When the mayor protests, Sherman replies with "War is cruelty and you cannot refine it." Government and military facilities are destroyed, and the Union provides transportation south for the displaced residents.
SEP71903During a period of unrest, Marines from USS Brooklyn (ACR-3) land at Beirut to protect U.S. citizens and the American University.
SEP719401,200 German bombers and escorts depart airfields in France and cross into English airspace. Instead of targeting Royal Air Force bases, the warplanes hit London's East End, marking the first day of the London Blitz. For 57 straight days, Luftwaffe pilots target the English capital, killing over 40,000. But the German air crews are unable to cripple England's war production or break the will of its people, and Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring will call off the campaign in 1941.
SEP71942Japan suffers one of its first setbacks of World War II when a battalion of elite Special Naval Landing Forces are forced to withdraw following their defeat by a numerically superior joint Australian-U.S. defense force at New Guinea's Milne Bay.
SEP71950After a month of combat, the 1st Marine Brigade (Provisional) is pulled from the lines and sent to Japan to join the 1st and 7th Marine Regiments for the upcoming amphibious invasion at Inchon.
SEP71997Lockheed Martin's F-22 Raptor, a fifth-generation stealth fighter billed as unmatched by "any known or projected fighter aircraft," makes its first flight. Only 187 of the $150 million Raptors are built before production ends.
SEP72001The State Department issues a warning to U.S. citizens worldwide of a possible "terrorist threat" from "extremist groups with links to Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda organization."
SEP81740Some 800 volunteers from the American colonies board transports to take part in the disastrous British/American colonial expedition to capture the Spanish territory of Cartagena.
SEP817812,000 Continental soldiers commanded by MG Nathanael Greene meet with LTC Alexander Stewart's 2,200-man force of British troops near present-day Eutawville. Although both sides claim victory in the Battle of Eutaw Springs, the British must abandon much of their previously gained ground in the south.
SEP81863When the Union attempts an amphibious invasion in Texas to prevent the Mexican government from supplying the Confederacy, well-trained artillerymen at Fort Griffin blast the Union ships as they unsuccessfully attempt to navigate the shallow waters of the Sabine River. Two gunboats are captured, and the Union suffers 200 casualties in one of the most one-sided engagements of the Civil War.
SEP81925As Destroyer Squadron 11 cruises from San Francisco to San Diego, several ships run aground at Honda Point. Unusually strong swells and currents from a massive earthquake in Japan, together with darkness and fog contribute to the largest loss of U.S. Navy ships during peacetime. Seven destroyers are destroyed, another two damaged, and 23 sailors die.
SEP81939President Franklin Roosevelt declares a national emergency - increasing the size of the Armed Forces - in part by recalling many retired enlisted troops and officers.
SEP81942The 1st Raider Battalion lands on Guadalcanal and begins operations to disrupt the Japanese advance by attacking supplies and a radio tower, despite orders to avoid contact.
SEP81943When GEN Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces Italy's surrender, the Nazis invade, beginning a bloody campaign to disarm their former ally and prevent Italy from falling into Allied hands.
SEP81945U.S. troops land at Inchon to establish a military transitional government and to prevent further Soviet expansion in Korea.
SEP91942The Japanese submarine I-25 surfaces off the Oregon coast, launching an E14Y "Glen" floatplane. Pilots Nobuo Fujita and Shoji Okuda drop their incendiary bombs in the Oregon forest, becoming the only pilots to bomb the continental United States.
SEP91943Eight divisions of U.S. and British soldiers land at Salerno.
SEP91972DeBellevue becomes an ace by shooting down two enemy fighters near Hanoi.
SEP101813Along the shores of Lake Erie, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's squadron engages the Royal Navy in the Battle of Put-In-Bay. Perry's ship is so damaged that he boards an open lifeboat and transfers his flag to another ship in the face of heavy gunfire before resuming the fight. After defeating the British, he writes a brief report to MG William Henry Harrison, commanding the Army of the Northwest: "We have met the enemy and they are ours. Two ships, two brigs, one schooner and one sloop."
SEP101944The First U.S. Army captures Luxembourg. After being conquered by the Germans during both world wars, the tiny nation strips neutrality from its constitution and becomes a founding member of NATO.
SEP101945The aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) is commissioned, becoming the largest ship in the world. Midway would hold the title of the world's largest ship for the next ten years, and her 1,001-foot flight deck would later be expanded from 2.8 to a whopping 4 acres. Midway aviators scored the first (17 JUN 1965) and last (12 JAN 1973) victories of the Vietnam War. Later, she served as the flagship carrier during Operation DESERT STORM before retiring in 1992.
SEP101950When an enemy machine gun pins down his fellow 1st Cavalry troopers, CPL Gordon M. Craig and four other soldiers crawl forward to silence the enemy gun. When an enemy grenade lands in their position, Craig throws himself on the device to shield the others from the blast. Craig is killed, and posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP101951A 3rd Air Rescue Squadron H-5 helicopter picks up CPT Ward M. Millar, an F-80 pilot that had been shot down and held as a prisoner of war. Millar escaped after spending two months in captivity, and managed to evade his captors for three weeks, despite having broken both of his ankles when ejecting from his jet.
SEP111776After the British capture Long Island, Continental Congressional delegates Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Edward Rutledge meet with British ADM Lord Richard Howe for a peace conference at Staten Island. Hoping to bring a quick end to the conflict, King George granted Howe the authority to discuss peace terms, but not including the recognition of American independence. When Howe states that the loss of America would be like losing a brother, Franklin replies that "we will do our utmost endeavors to save your lordship that mortification."
SEP111814New York is saved from a possible invasion by British forces when Commodore Thomas MacDonough's squadron decisively defeats the British fleet led by CPT George Downie in the Battle of Plattsburgh.
SEP112001As air controllers learn that several planes appear to have been hijacked, fighter jets are scrambled but do not arrive in time to disrupt a complex terrorist attack that kills 2,997 Americans and injures some 6,000. At 0937, a Boeing 757 flown by Al Qaeda terrorists crashes into the Pentagon, killing 55 military personnel and 70 civilian employees. The area hit by the plane was undergoing renovations at the time of the attack, which meant only a few hundred of what would normally be around 5,000 occupants were endangered. Although it is too late for the Pentagon, all U.S. military facilities worldwide are ordered to enter Force Protection Condition "Delta" - the highest level of readiness for a possible terrorist attack. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld increases the military alert level from DEFCON 5 (the lowest state of military preparedness) to DEFCON 3. Although the Russians would typically match the increase, President Vladimir Putin notifies George W. Bush that he would order his forces to stand down and denounces the terrorist attack. A report of a possible truck bomb attack targeting the North American Aerospace Command (NORAD) headquarters in the Cheyenne Mountain Complex leads to the first time the facility closes its massive blast doors, which are designed to withstand a nuclear attack. NORAD now controls of all American air space as combat air patrols guarded the skies and enforced a nationwide no-fly-zone.
SEP112012Terrorists launch a coordinated assault on a U.S. government compound in Benghazi, Libya. Although the battle rages for hours, the military isn't permitted to mount any kind of effective response. Two CIA contractors - Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods - are killed, as well as foreign service officer Sean Smith and Ambassador Chris Stevens.
SEP121847From the halls of Montezuma..." GEN Winfield Scott's army of Marines and soldiers begin their attack on the castle Chapultepec, sitting 200 feet above in Mexico City. During the battle, 90 percent of Marine commissioned and non-commissioned officers are killed by snipers, memorialized by the "blood stripe" on the Marine Corps' Dress Blue trousers. Participating in the engagement are many young officers - such as Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson - who will face each other in the Civil War.
SEP121918The Battle of Saint-Mihiel begins when GEN John J. Pershing's American Expeditionary Force attacks GEN Johannes Georg von der Marwitz' Imperial German Army forces. BG William "Billy" Mitchell leads an armada of nearly 1,500 warplanes during the offensive. On the ground, artillery, and tanks commander by LTC George S. Patton join the infantry in devastating the German lines. In just three days, over 22,000 Germans are killed, wounded, or captured.
SEP1219425,000 Japanese soldiers, supported by aircraft and naval artillery, begin a series of nighttime frontal assaults against the Marines defending Guadalcanal's Henderson Field. The defenders, many of whom are members of the elite 1st Raider and 1st Parachute Battalions, devastated MG Kiyotake Kawaguchi's force, despite nearly being overrun and resorting to hand-to-hand combat.
SEP121945Marine aviators of VMF-214 - the famed "Black Sheep Squadron" - are reunited with COL Gregory "Pappy" Boyington at Naval Air Station Alameda following their former commanding officer's release after spending 20 months in captivity as a Japanese prisoner of war. After the reunion, Boyington heads for Washington, where he is to be awarded both the Medal of Honor and Navy Cross.
SEP131814Unable to break the strong American defensive lines around Baltimore after a series of attacks, British troops return to their ships. Meanwhile, Vice Adm. Alexander Cochrane's fleet begins a 25-hour bombardment of Fort McHenry, which guards the entrance to Baltimore harbor. The ships fire their cannons and rockets at maximum range and are unable to inflict any serious damage. American lawyer and amateur poet Francis Scott Key observes the attack while aboard a Royal Navy ship to secure the release of an American prisoner. Key is so moved by the nighttime bombardment and the sight of the American flag in the morning that he writes "Defence of Fort M'Henry" on the back of an envelope, which will become the "Star-Spangled Banner."
SEP131847After Marines capture the castle Chapultepec, the Mexican capital is now in American hands. The Duke of Wellington, who defeated Napoleon in the Battle of Waterloo, will say that American Maj. Gen. Winfield Scott's brilliant campaign against Santa Anna's forces during the Mexican American War is "unsurpassed in military annals," and names Scott the "greatest living general."
SEP131906As revolution threatens Cuban President Tomás Estrada Palma's government, six officers and 124 Marines and sailors disembark from USS Denver (C-14) to help restore order.
SEP131943At Salerno, German troops launch a counterattack that drives Allied forces back to the beach.
SEP131944LTG Carl A. Spaatz, the commander of Strategic Air Forces in Europe, has convinced war planners that oil facilities must be the top bombing priority. For the third day in a row, massive raids consisting of hundreds of American bombers target German synthetic oil plants. Luftwaffe losses are heavy.
SEP131985An F-15A Eagle flown by MAJ Wilbert D. "Doug" Pearson Jr. takes off from Edwards Air Force Base and performs a near-vertical "zoom" climb to 80,000 feet. Meanwhile, Pearson's Vought ASM-135A missile homes in on a U.S. satellite 330 miles above the earth's surface, traveling some 17,500 miles per hour. The anti-satellite missile automatically launches, and in moments, a kinetic warhead traveling at 15,000 miles per hour impacts the satellite in the missile's first test on a live target.
SEP141862MG George McClellan's Army of the Potomac gets the better of GEN Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia, which was divided amongst three passes through Maryland's Blue Ridge Mountains. The 23rd Ohio Regiment, commanded by LTC Rutherford B. Hayes, was the first to contact Lee's army. An enemy bullet shatters Hayes' arm as he leads a charge, and he has one of his men bandage the wound so he can stay in the fight.
SEP141901President William McKinley dies from a gunshot wound he received eight days ago from anarchist assassin Leon Czolgoszan. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt is sworn in as the 26th President of the United States. Before being named vice president, Roosevelt served as McKinley's Assistant Secretary to the Navy until USS Maine explodes in Havana, inspiring Roosevelt to form the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment - the "Rough Riders." Following the McKinley assassination, Congress tasks the U.S. Secret Service with protecting the president.
SEP141939At the controls of his Vought-Sikorsky VS-300 prototype, Igor Sikorsky makes a 10-second tethered flight - the first successful flight of a single main rotor, single tail rotor helicopter.
SEP141942The 7th Marine Regiment departs Espiritu Santo to join the battle at Guadalcanal. Among the men are SGTs John Basilone and Mitchell Paige - who both earn the Medal of Honor at Guadalcanal - and Marine legend LTC Lewis "Chesty" Puller.
SEP141943After a devastating German counterattack, over 2,000 paratroopers of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment jump into action at the beachhead at Salerno, Italy. Together with Naval gun battery support, every available bomber is summoned to Salerno and the German attack is devastated. Gen. Mark Clark's invasion, once in danger of being driven into the sea, is back on the offensive.
SEP141944Underwater Demolition Teams have cleared obstacles and Naval bombardment continues on the eve of the 1st Marine Division's landing at Peleliu. MG William Rupertus predicts that his Marines can secure the small island in just four days, but over 10,000 fortified Japanese defenders are prepared to dish out what will become "the bitterest battle of the war for the Marines."
SEP142001Congress passes the Authorization for Use of Military Force, granting President George W. Bush the ability to use all "necessary and appropriate force" against those who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The president authorizes the Pentagon to activate some 50,000 Reservists, and while touring Ground Zero, Bush proclaims "the people that knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."
SEP151776Connecticut militia forces guarding New York City break into a panicked retreat following an hour of naval bombardment "so terrible and so incessant a roar of guns few even in the army and navy had ever heard before," enabling ADM Lord Howe's fleet to land several thousand troops in New York City unopposed. GEN George Washington and his army are nearly trapped but manage to squeeze past the King's men and set up camp at Harlem Heights to the north. New York City will remain in British hands until the end of the war.
SEP151862Surrounded, out-gunned, and out-numbered, COL Dixon S. Miles's 12,0000-man Union force surrenders to MG Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson following three days of fighting at Harper's Ferry.
SEP151942While escorting troop transports carrying the 7th Marine Regiment to Guadalcanal, the aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) is hit by several torpedoes fired from a Japanese submarine. The torpedoes spark major fires below decks that detonate the gasoline and ammunition stores, and CPT Forrest P. Sherman orders the crew to abandon ship. All aircraft in the air during the attack diverted to USS Hornet, but 193 of Wasp's sailors are dead and another 366 wounded.
SEP151944After five battleships hammer the small coral island of Peleliu with thousands of 14- and 16-inch rounds, and planes from 19 aircraft carriers drop over 1 million pounds of bombs, RADM Jesse Oldendorf believes he has run out of targets. However, the entrenched Japanese 14th Infantry Division is relatively unharmed and ready for the 1st Marine Division when they land. At 0832, COL Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller and tens of thousands of Marines storm ashore, facing fierce resistance by the Japanese.
SEP151950Chesty Puller and his 1st Marine Regiment are among 40,000 troops to hit the beaches at Inchon, where the UN invasion catches the North Koreans by surprise. GEN Douglas MacArthur's landing is a brilliant success that turns the tide of the war.
SEP171862The Battle of Antietam – the bloodiest single-day battle in American history – between Confederate Army forces under GEN Robert E. Lee and Union Army forces under MG George B. McClellan. After 12 hours of fighting, some 23,000 Americans are dead, wounded, or missing.
SEP1719082,500 people gather at Fort Myer, Virginia to watch Orville Wright demonstrate his Wright Flyer to the Army Signal Corps. One of the propellers breaks during the flight, sending the aircraft nose-first into the ground, severely wounding Wright and killing his passenger, LT Thomas E. Selfridge.
SEP171916At 1100 over Villers-Pouich, France, a German Albatros D.II fighter closes in on a Royal Air Force scout bomber and shoots it out the sky. Former cavalry officer Manfred Albrecht Freiher von Richtofen - the soon-to-be-infamous Red Baron - has scored his first victory for the German Luftstreitkräfte.
SEP171944Operation MARKET GARDEN, an enormous Allied Airborne operation during World War II, is launched to seize strategically vital bridges in German-occupied Holland.
SEP171976The cast of the television series Star Trek is on hand at Rockwell's Palmdale assembly plant to witness the rollout of the brand-new Space Shuttle Enterprise. Originally named Constitution, a massive letter-writing campaign by Star Trek fans convinced the White House to rename the first shuttle after fictional Enterprise.
SEP181862MG George B. McClellan misses another opportunity to capture GEN Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. While Lee abandons his invasion of Maryland and turns south, McClellan allows the significantly outnumbered Confederates to withdraw to Virginia without pursuit.
SEP181906As revolution sweeps Cuba, the auxiliary cruiser USS Dixie (AD-1) disembarks a battalion of Marines at Cienfuegos to help protect American-owned plantations.
SEP181941In preparation for World War II, 19 divisions of soldiers - 400,000 troops - participate in a series of massive exercises in Louisiana. In addition to learning how to direct and supply such a large force, GEN George Marshall's growing army is testing the effectiveness of combined-arms mechanized units that would be facing the German military and their (so-far) unstoppable blitzkrieg tactics.
SEP181942Over 4,000 Marines of the 7th Marine Regiment land at Guadalcanal and join the battle, along with much-needed supplies. MG Archer A. Vandegrift's men had dubbed the invasion "Operation SHOESTRING" as the Navy only managed to unload half of the supplies on Guadalcanal before departing. After suffering heavy casualties, the Marine 1st Parachute Battalion was pulled from the lines and sent to Espiritu Santo.
SEP181944During the drive across Europe, the 101st Airborne Division captures the Dutch city of Eindhoven and the Ninth Army captures Brest, France.
SEP181944The 7th Marines are fighting their way across the island of Peleliu. When a platoon of Marines is held up by concealed enemy positions on their left flank, PFC Arthur J. Jackson moves forward through a barrage of heavy enemy fire. He reaches a pillbox containing 35 enemy soldiers, pinning them in with automatic weapons fire, then hurling white phosphorous grenades and explosive charges into the position, killing all its occupants. He then turned his attention to two nearby positions, silencing them as well. Although advancing alone and in the face of heavy fire, PFC Jackson continued to wipe out a total of 12 positions and neutralized 50 enemy soldiers, contributing "essentially to the complete annihilation of the enemy in the southern sector of the island." PFC Jackson was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions.
SEP181947The National Security Act of 1947 enacts sweeping reorganization of the Armed Forces and intelligence service structure. After 40 years of service as a component of the Army, the newly formed Air Force stands up as an independent branch of the military. The act creates a National Military Establishment - renamed the Department of Defense in 1949 - with the Army, Navy, and Air Force now under a unified command. Also established is the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which provides military advice to the president and the new Cabinet position of Secretary of Defense. The act also establishes the Central Intelligence Agency - America's first peacetime intelligence service - and the National Security Council, which advises the president on matters of national security and foreign policy.
SEP181948The first delta-winged aircraft prototype - Convair's XF-92 - conducts its maiden flight. The cutting-edge design will pave the way for forthcoming platforms such as the F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, and the B-58 Hustler.
SEP181968In South Vietnam's Quang Nam Province, a group of Marines on patrol is ambushed by enemy forces, hitting PFC DeWayne T. Williams in the back. Despite his serious wounds, Williams crawls forward to establish a forward firing position when an enemy grenade lands in the middle of the Marines. Williams spots the grenade and rolls on top of it, sacrificing himself to save his comrades and is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP191777The Battle of Freeman's Farm — the first engagement in the Battle of Saratoga — opens between Continental forces under the command of GEN Horatio Gates and British forces under GEN John "Gentleman Johnny" Burgoyne.
SEP191863On the border of Georgia and Tennessee, fighting begins in earnest between forces commanded by MG William Rosecrans and GEN Braxton Bragg. After two days of fighting, the Confederate Army of Tennessee inflicts 18,000 casualties on the Army of the Cumberland, driving Rosecrans from the battlefield, but Union soldiers kill, wound, and capture 16,000 Confederates. After Gettysburg, the Battle of Chickamauga marks the second-highest casualty totals of the Civil War.
SEP191864LTG Jubal Early's Army of Shenandoah and MG Philip Sheridan's Army of the Valley meet in Winchester, Virginia - the third time Confederate and Union forces square off at that site. Sheridan manages to turn Early's left flank, leading to a Confederate retreat in what is considered perhaps the most crucial battle of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Casualties are heavy for both sides.
SEP191881President James A. Garfield, who served as Rosecrans' chief of staff during the Battle of Chickamauga, finally succumbs to wounds suffered during an assassination attempt in July. Vice President Chester A. Arthur, formerly quartermaster general in the New York state militia, is sworn in as the 21st President of the United States.
SEP191940Two days after postponing Operation SEA LION - Hitler's planned invasion of the United Kingdom - British bombers target German invasion barges staged along the French coast. Germany has not been able to achieve its preconditions of air or naval superiority, and with over 200 of the 1900 barges now sunk, Hitler orders the remaining vessels dispersed and turns his sights on invading the Soviet Union.
SEP191944As the Allied drive across Europe slows due to the stretched supply lines, GEN Courtney Hodges' First Army runs into Generalfeldmarschall Walter Model's forces at the border between Belgium and Germany. The Germans manage to scratch out a defensive victory, inflicting some 33,000 casualties in the three-month Battle of Hürtgen Forest - marking the longest battle in U.S. Army history.
SEP201777British MG Charles Grey launches a daring nighttime attack on BG Anthony Wayne's Continental Army forces encamped near the Paoli Tavern near modern-day Malvern, Pennsylvania.
SEP201797The Continental Navy frigate Constitution is launched in Boston harbor.
SEP201917The 26th Infantry Division arrives at Saint-Nazaire, France, becoming the first division entirely organized in the United States to arrive in Europe for World War I. The National Guard soldiers immediately travel to Neufchâteau, where they are trained by experienced French soldiers.
SEP201944The 81st Infantry Division has eliminated most of the Japanese garrison on the island of Angaur.
SEP20195012 Sikorsky HRS-1 "Chickasaw" helicopters of Marine Helicopter Squadron 161 (HMR-161) conduct the first combat landing of troops, landing over 200 Marines and their equipment on Hill 844 near Kansong, Korea.
SEP201950The 1st Battalion, 1st Marines charge up Hill 85, near Yongdungp'o. Leading the attack is 2LT Henry A. Commiskey Sr., running ahead of his Marines through heavy enemy machinegun and small-arms fire to reach the machinegun nest at the crest of the objective. Armed only with his pistol, he dispatches four enemy soldiers and grapples with a fifth until one of his Marines catches up and gives him another weapon to shoot the foe. Commiskey continues to the next gun position, killing another two enemies and then rushes to the top of the hill, routing the enemy troops. For his "valiant leadership and courageous fighting spirit," Commiskey is awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP201965Near Ben Cat, South Vietnam, SGT Larry S. Pierce and his reconnaissance platoon are ambushed by an enemy force. They destroy the machinegun and rout the enemy. As the Americans pursue their fleeing opponents, they come across a land mine in a roadbed. Pierce jumps onto the device as it detonates, saving the rest of his squad from being wiped out at the cost of his own life. For his sacrifice, Pierce is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP201984The Iranian-supported terrorist group Hezbollah carries out a suicide car bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy Annex building in East Beirut, Lebanon. The explosion kills 24 - including CWO Kenneth V. Welch (USA) and PO1 Michael Ray Wagner (USN) - and injures both the U.S. and British ambassadors.
SEP202001President George W. Bush addresses a joint session of Congress, announcing the newly proposed Department of Homeland Security and requesting a declaration of war in response to the 9/11 attacks. Bush states "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."
SEP211780After deliberately weakening the defenses of Fort Arnold (now known as West Point), Hudson River, and other areas under his command, MG Benedict Arnold gives the British the plans for the strategic fort. The Colonists will soon capture MAJ John André, Britian's top spy in the United States, foiling Arnold's plan to hand over West Point to the enemy.
SEP211939With war breaking out in Europe, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asks Congress to relax neutrality laws - permitting the United States to arm belligerent nations.
SEP211942In Seattle, Boeing's massive B-29 Superfortress bomber makes its first flight. The new "Superfortress" featured radar-controlled guns and could fly further, faster, and deliver more bombs than its predecessor, the B-17 Flying Fortress
SEP211956Grumman test pilot Tom Attridge, at the controls of an F11F-1 Tiger aircraft flying over Long Island, tests the plane's ability to fire its guns at supersonic speeds. After firing, he accidentally flies into the bullets he had fired earlier from a higher altitude, mortally wounding the Tiger's jet engine. Attridge ejects safely after shooting himself down.
SEP211961The 5th Special Forces Group is activated at Fort Bragg (modern Fort Liberty). The "Green Berets" of 5th SFG will see extensive combat during the Vietnam War, as well as service in Operation DESERT STORM and Somalia.
SEP211988U.S. forces protecting tankers in the Persian Gulf spot the Iranian vessel Iran Ajr laying mines in international waters. Helicopters halt the vessel with rocket and machine gun fire, and a team of Navy SEALs boards the ship.
SEP221776When GEN George Washington asks for volunteers to go behind enemy lines and report on British troop movements in New York City. CPT Nathan Hale is the only man to step forward. A fire devastates the city shortly after falling into British hands, and Hale is one of some 200 Americans swept up in the aftermath. Legend states that before Hale is hung, he tells his audience that "My only regret is that I have but one life to lose for my country."
SEP221950GEN Omar Bradley is promoted to General of the Army. Bradley is the ninth - and last - American officer to wear five stars. While serving as the first Chairman of the newly formed Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bradley will be instrumental in removing fellow five-star general Douglas MacArthur following his public clashes with the Truman Administration.
SEP221950In Korea, the Communists are in full-scale retreat after being outflanked by the landing at Inchon and the breakout of the Pusan Perimeter.
SEP221975President Gerald Ford survives his second assassination attempt in 17 days when former Marine Oliver Sipple disrupts the attack by hitting the would-be assassin's gun arm before she can kill the president.
SEP221980Iraq invades without warning, launching the nearly eight-year Iran-Iraq War.
SEP222006The Navy retires the Grumman F-14 "Tomcat" after 32 years of service. The iconic swept-wing interceptors provided air cover during the American evacuation of Saigon, shot down four Libyan Air Force fighters during the 1980s, dropped precision-guided munitions in the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns, and saw action in virtually every conflict during their operational history.
SEP231779The famous battle of the North Sea opens between Continental Navy frigate Bonhomme Richard under the command of CPT John Paul Jones, and Royal Navy frigate HMS Serapis. When the British CPT Richard Pearson asks Jones whether he has struck his colors, Jones reportedly replies: "I have not yet begun to fight!"
SEP241780MG Benedict Arnold learns that British spy MAJ John André has been captured, along with the evidence that would expose Arnold's secret plot to turn West Point over to the British. He flees to the nearby sloop HMS Vulture, which carries him to New York. Washington offered to exchange André for Arnold, but GEN Henry Clinton refused.
SEP241918U.S. Navy ENS David S. Ingalls – on loan to the Royal Air Force and flying an RAF Sopwith Camel – shoots down enemy aircraft number five, becoming the first ace in U.S. Naval Aviation history, and the Navy’s only ace of World War I. Over the course of the war Ingalls is awarded the Distinguished Service Cross from the United States, a Distinguished Flying Cross from Britain, and made a member of the French Foreign Legion. When America enters World War II, he rejoins the Navy and will command the Naval Air Station at Pearl Harbor.
SEP241929LT James L. "Jimmy" Doolittle boards his Consolidated NY-2 Husky at Long Island's Mitchel Field and buttons himself into a completely blacked out cockpit. He becomes the first pilot to take off, fly, and land "blind" - having to rely solely on the aircraft's (newly developed) instruments.
SEP241942Navy and Marine Dauntless dive bombers take off from Guadalcanal's Henderson Field and attack the Japanese destroyers Umikaze and Kawakaze, which are attempting a "Tokyo Express" resupply mission. The convoy must turn back, and Umikaze is so damaged that she must be towed to Truk for repairs.
SEP241942The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers crews constructing the Alaska Highway from the north connect with those working from the south. The strategic highway - stretching some 1,700 miles through remote and rugged Canadian and Alaskan terrain - will not be used until the following year.
SEP241957Soldiers of the 101st Airborne Division land in Little Rock for Operation ARKANSAS: ending segregationist governor Orval Fabus' three-week standoff which kept black students from attending Little Rock's Central High School. President Dwight Eisenhower also federalizes the entire Arkansas National Guard, taking control of the soldiers from Fabus.
SEP241960USS Enterprise (CVN 65), America's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is launched. At 1,123 feet, the "Big E" was the longest naval vessel ever built and was retired from service in 2012. Steel from CVN-65 will be used to build the next Enterprise; CVN-80.
SEP251775A small force of American and Canadian militia led by Ethan Allen attempts to capture the British-held city of Montreal. British GEN Guy Carleton quickly gathers a force of British regulars and Canadian militia, scattering Allen's troops and capturing the hero of Fort Ticonderoga and former commander of Vermont's famed "Green Mountain Boys." Allen will remain a prisoner in England until his exchange in 1778.
SEP251775COL Benedict Arnold sets out with 1,000 men on a poorly planned expedition to Quebec. The trip takes far longer than anticipated, forcing the men to eat their shoes and other leather equipment to survive, and they are soundly defeated by the British once the weakened force reaches their objective in December.
SEP251918CPT Eddie Rickenbacker becomes a double ace, singlehandedly attacking a flight of seven German warplanes and downing two. For his actions on this day, he will receive one of his nine Distinguished Service Crosses - later upgraded to the Medal of Honor. Rickenbacker's 26 aerial victories by war's end marks the most by any U.S. fighter pilot during World War I.
SEP251950Soldiers and Marines cross the Han River and enter Seoul.
SEP251957U.S. Army paratroopers – members of the 101st Airborne Division – escort nine black students into Little Rock Central High School, ending racial segregation. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court declaring that racially segregated schools are unconstitutional, Governor Orval Faubus had deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent the students from attending.
SEP251993An American Blackhawk helicopter is shot down by a rocket-propelled grenade while on a patrol mission over the Somali capital. American and Pakistani units brave heavy enemy fire to secure the site and recover the three soldiers killed in the crash.
SEP261777GEN Sir William Howe outmaneuvers GEN George Washington's Continental Army and takes the American capital of Philadelphia.
SEP261918Launched just before midnight the day before with an intense artillery barrage, the Meuse-Argonne Offensive officially begins just before dawn when whistles are blown along the American trench-lines, and with fixed-bayonets, American soldiers climb over the top and begin their assault against the German lines. On this day alone, the Army awards eight soldiers with the Medal of Honor.
SEP261918Off the coast of Great Britain, a German U-boat sinks the Coast Guard cutter Tampa on convoy escort duty. Tampa takes 119 Coast Guardsmen and Navy sailors and 11 Royal Navy passengers with her to the bottom of the Bristol Channel - the greatest combat-related loss of life at sea for the Americans during World War I.
SEP261941The Army officially establishes a permanent Military Police Corps. Although the Army never set aside a dedicated force until this date, the U.S. military had used soldiers for handling enemy prisoners of war, maintaining law and order, and route security for most of America's wars.
SEP261945U.S. Army LTC A. Peter Dewey, the chief of the Saigon Office of Special Services, is mistaken for a Frenchman and shot in the head by Viet Minh forces, making Dewey the first American killed by communists in Vietnam.
SEP261950GEN Douglas MacArthur declares that his forces have recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul.
SEP261983Shortly after midnight, Moscow's early warning network reports the launch of an American intercontinental ballistic missile. Despite a period of high tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Union, LTC Stanislav Petrov realizes that it must be a glitch in the computer system since an American first strike would surely involve hundreds of missiles and does not initiate a retaliatory strike, as required by Soviet doctrine. Later, another the system reports the launch of another four missiles. This marks the closest the United States and Soviet Union come to accidental nuclear war.
SEP271860During an insurrection on Panama, a landing party of Marines from the sloop-of-war USS St. Mary's land and take control of a railway station.
SEP271918Although his face has been shredded by an enemy grenade, 1LT Deming Bronson charges across open ground with the men of Company H, 364th Infantry, capturing an enemy dugout. Later in the afternoon of 26 SEP, Bronson takes an enemy bullet to the arm. Patched up by the medic and ordered to the rear, he returns to his men instead. He powers through shock and the intense pain of his wounds, and on the 27th, Bronson assists in the capture of Eclisfontaine, France. He then assists in knocking out an enemy machinegun position, killing the gunner himself. When a heavy enemy artillery barrage forces the Americans to fall back, Bronson is hit again, wounded in both arms by an enemy high-explosive shell. A fellow officer pulls a profusely bleeding and faint Bronson to safety, and he remains with his fellow soldiers through the night, once again refusing to abandon the battle. For his tremendously inspiring courage and sacrifice, 1LT Bronson was awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP271918Three soldiers earned the Medal of Honor on this day: 1LT William B. Turner of the 105th Infantry (posthumous), 27th Division; SGT Reider Waaler of Company A, 105th Machine-Gun Battalion, 27th Division; and 2LT Albert E. Baesel of the 148th Infantry, 37th Division (posthumous).
SEP271941At Baltimore Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launches SS Patrick Henry - the first of what will be 2,710 "Liberty Ships." 13 more of the cost-effective and mass-produced cargo ships are launched this day, and the ships will carry millions of tons of supplies across the Atlantic during World War II.
SEP271942The Liberty Ship SS Stephen Hopkins becomes the only U.S. merchant ship to sink a vessel when she refuses to surrender to the German raider Stier. Hopkins will slip under the waves, but not before her crews mortally wound Stier with their 4-in. gun. 15 of the ship's 58-man crew will survive 31 days at sea on an open lifeboat before reaching the shores of Brazil. Skipper, CPT Paul Buck, and the seaman that fired the shots that killed Stier, Merchant Marine Academy CAD Edwin Joseph O'Hara, are both posthumously awarded the Merchant Marine Distinguished Service Medal - the Merchant Marine's equivalent to the Medal of Honor.
SEP271942In the Pacific Theater, when three companies of Marines are surrounded by Japanese forces along Guadalcanal's Matanikau River, battalion commander LTC Lewis B. "Chesty" Puller assembles a rescue force to prevent the annihilation of his men. The destroyer USS Ballard (DD-627) bombards Japanese positions for 30 minutes while Coast Guard landing craft withdraw the Marines under heavy fire. Signalman First Class Douglas A. Munro, leader of the Higgins boats, is killed while covering the evacuation - becoming the only Coast Guardsman awarded the Medal of Honor.
SEP271944As 39 B-24 "Liberator" bomber crews of the 445 Bomb Group attack Kessel, Germany, over 100 Luftwaffe fighters take to the skies to square off against the American attackers. In what becomes perhaps the worst disaster for the Army Air Forces during World War II, 25 Liberators are shot down in Germany. Two of the crippled warplanes crash-land in France, one in Belgium, and another in England. Two bombers are forced to make emergency landings at alternate airstrips, and only four crew members manage to return to Royal Air Force Station Tibenham.
SEP271956Over California's Mojave Desert, CPT Miburn G "Mel" Apt (USAF) cuts loose from the B-50 "Superfortress" and his Bell X-2 rocket plane streaks past the chase planes. Apt becomes the first pilot to fly past Mach 3 (2,098 mph), but sadly Apt's tenure as the "Fastest Man Alive" is short lived. Just after setting the record, his plane loses control and breaks up, killing the test pilot.
SEP271991With the collapse of the Soviet Union bringing an end to the Cold War, President George H.W. Bush directs Strategic Air Command's bombers to stand down from nuclear alert for the first time since October, 1957. He also asks the Soviet Union to join the United States in eliminating tactical nuclear weapons and multiple-warhead intercontinental ballistic missiles.
SEP281781GEN George Washington leads a combined army of 8,000 Continentals, 7,800 French soldiers, and 3,100 Colonial militia out of Williamsburg to the newly constructed trenches surrounding LTG Lord Cornwallis' trapped British forces at Yorktown, beginning the siege that will effectively bring an end to the American Revolution.
SEP281787After putting the finishing touches on the Constitution of the United States, the Continental Congress sends copies out to the states for ratification.
SEP281918MAJ Oscar F. Miller of the 361st Infantry Regiment rushes to the front of his battalion and personally leads the formation across open ground against prepared enemy positions. Miller encourages his men as they face down withering machinegun fire and direct artillery. Miller is shot through the leg, but he continues forward. Then he is shot in the arm. Still, he pushes his men forward. He is shot a third time, in the abdomen, and cheers his men forward and orders them to leave him behind. MAJ Miller will die of his wounds and is one of three soldiers to earn the Medal of Honor on this day alone. The other two are 1LT Dwite H. Schaffner of the 306th Infantry and CPL Freddie Stowers of the 371st Infantry.
SEP281924Two Douglas DT-2 biplanes land at Sand Point, Washington, completing the U.S. Army Air Service's 175-day, 27,553-mile journey, marking the first ever aerial circumnavigation of the globe.
SEP281941A day after the Imperial Japanese Navy changes their communication codes, officer-in-charge of Pearl Harbor's cryptology section CPT Joseph J. Rochefort warns commanders that he believes the switch could indicate a major operation.
SEP281945GEN Dwight Eisenhower relieves GEN George Patton of his post as military governor in Bavaria following controversial statements about the de-nazification process. Next month, Eisenhower transfers Patton from his beloved Third Army to lead the Fifteenth Army, a relatively small staff responsible for compiling a history of the European War.
SEP281964The Lafayette-class ballistic missile submarine USS Daniel Webster departs Charleston Harbor, becoming the first ship to deploy with the new Polaris A3 missiles. The A3 carries three 200-kiloton warheads with a maximum range of 2,500 nautical miles. When the USS Daniel Boone joins the Pacific Fleet in December, American nuclear missiles can now target anywhere on the entire Eurasian landmass.
SEP282001President George W. Bush declares that American combat forces are in "hot pursuit" of those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, while the Pentagon adds that American and British special operations forces have deployed to Afghanistan.
SEP282012Contrary to the Obama Administration's narrative that the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous protest over a YouTube video, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence announces that it was in fact a "deliberate and organized terrorist attack."
SEP291909Construction begins on the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. when President Theodore Roosevelt lays the cornerstone.
SEP291918During the opening days of the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, a battalion of African-American soldiers serving under French command secures Sechault, France, but is quickly surrounded when the French units on their flanks retreat. German troops surround the "Hell Fighters from Harlem", as the Americans hold their ground through the night despite numerous assaults and artillery barrage that devastates the town. Once relief arrives, the former members of the 15th New York Infantry have nearly exhausted their supplies and have suffered 982 casualties. One officer receives the Medal of Honor, two soldiers will earn the Legion of Honor, and another 100 are decorated for valor.
SEP2919182LT Frank Luke, Jr. takes to the skies on a voluntary patrol, shooting down four German observation balloons despite hot pursuit by eight enemy fighters. Luke exposes himself to additional ground fire when he strafes German troop positions, crippling his SPAD XIII warplane. The fate of America's second-leading ace of the war remained a mystery until after the armistice, when America learns that Luke pulled out his pistol after crash-landing and the wounded pilot fought off approaching German infantry until he was finally killed. Luke is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, and Arizona's Luke Air Force Base is named in his honor.
SEP291941Outside of Kyiv, Ukraine, German SS troops massacre 33,371 Jews in just two days at the Bibi Yar ravine. The captives are driven from town, stripped, and forced to lay down on the pile of corpses when they are systematically shot in the back of the neck by a submachine gun.
SEP291942Three new U.S. fighter squadrons are formed, consisting of American pilots that had crossed into Canada to join the war in Europe. The aviators had previously flown for the Royal Air Force, under English squadron commanders, until rejoining the Army Air Forces.
SEP291946A Lockheed P2V "Neptune" patrol aircraft takes off from Perth, Australia for a non-stop, unrefueled flight to the United States. The Truculent Turtle manages to cover 11,235 miles, in 55 hours and 17 minutes.
SEP291990The YF-22, predecessor for the F-22 "Raptor" makes its first flight. Although slower and less stealthy than Northrop's YF-23, the jointly produced Lockheed/Boeing/General Dynamics YF-22 is far more agile and will soon win the Air Force's Advanced Tactical Fighter competition.
SEP291990The National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. is completed when the “final finial” is placed with President George H.W. Bush in attendance.