This Day in U.S. Military History…… November 30

30 November
Feast Day of St. Andrew the Apostle, Patron Saint of the Rangers: Andrew, like his brother Simon Peter, was a fisherman. He became a disciple of the great St. John the Baptist, but when John pointed to Jesus and said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” Andrew understood that Jesus was greater. At once he left John to follow the Divine Master. Jesus knew that Andrew was walking behind him, and turning back, he asked, “what do you seek?” When Andrew answered that he would like to know where Jesus lived, Our Lord replied, “Come and see.” Andrew had been only a little time with Jesus when he realized that this was truly the Messiah. From then on, he chose to follow Jesus. Andrew was thus the first disciple of Christ. Next, Andrew brought his brother Simon (St. Peter) to Jesus and Jesus received him, too, as His disciple. At first the two brothers continued to carry on their fishing trade and family affairs, but later, the Lord called them to stay with Him all the time. He promised to make them fishers of men, and this time, they left their nets for good. It is believed that after Our Lord ascended into Heaven, St. Andrew went to Greece to preach the gospel. He is said to have been put to death on a cross, to which he was tied, not nailed. He lived two days in that state of suffering, still preaching to the people who gathered around their beloved Apostle.
1707 – The second Siege of Pensacola comes to end with the failure of the British to capture Pensacola, Florida. The Siege of Pensacola was two separate attempts in 1707 by English-supported Creek Indians to capture the town and fortress of Pensacola, then one of two major settlements (the other was St. Augustine) in Spanish Florida. The attacks, part of Queen Anne’s War (the North American theater of the War of the Spanish Succession), resulted in the burning of the town, and caused most of its Indian population to flee, although the fort withstood repeated attacks. The first siege, in August 1707, resulted in the destruction of the town, but Fort San Carlos de Austria successfully resisted the onslaught. In late November 1707 a second expedition arrived, and made unsuccessful attacks on three consecutive nights before withdrawing. Pensacola Governor Don Sebastián de Moscoso, whose garrison was depleted by disease, recruited convicted criminals to assist in the fort’s defense.
1782 – The United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, recognizing American independence and ending the Revolutionary War.
1803 – In New Orleans, Spanish representatives officially transfer the Louisiana Territory to a French representative. Just 20 days later, France transfers the same land to the United States as the Louisiana Purchase.
1810 – Oliver Fisher Winchester, rifle maker, was born. Winchester began his career as a clothing manufacturer. He opened a store in Baltimore making and selling shirts (1837), before moving to New York (1847) where he took on a partner. Winchester patented a new method or manufacturing men’s shirts, and opened a factory in nearby New Haven, Conn. In 1850. He invested his profits from the factory into Volcanic Repeating Arms Company, becoming principal shareholder and president by 1856. Under his leadership, the company acquired rights to manufacture pistols and rifles patented by Tyler Henry and others. The repeating rifle was in full production by 1860, and was in heavy demand during the Civil War, during which Winchester continued to improve the rifle’s design by acquiring other patents. He renamed the company the Winchester Repeating Arms Company in 1866. A political and philanthropic figure, he was lieutenant governor of Connecticut (1866–67) and made large donations to Yale.
1861 – The British Parliament sent to Queen Elizabeth an ultimatum for the United States, demanding the release of two Confederate diplomats who were seized on the British ship Trent.
1864 – Battle of Honey Hill, SC, (Broad River). 96 were killed and 665 wounded. Leaving Hilton Head on November 28, a Union expeditionary force under Maj. Gen. John P. Hatch steamed up the Broad River in transports to cut the Charleston & Savannah Railroad near Pocotaligo. Hatch disembarked at Boyd’s Landing and marched inland. On November 30, Hatch encountered a Confederate force of regulars and militia under Col. Charles J. Colcock at Honey Hill. Determined attacks by U.S. Colored Troops (including the 54th Massachusetts) failed to capture the Confederate entrenchments or cut the railroad. Hatch retired after dark, withdrawing to his transports at Boyd’s Neck. The Naval Brigade composed of 350 sailors and 150 Marines from ships of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron and commanded by Commander George H. Preble who organized an artillery and two naval infantry battalions to operate with the Army.
1864 – The once proud Confederate Army of Tennessee suffers a devastating defeat when its commander, General John Bell Hood, orders a frontal assault on strong Union positions around Franklin, Tennessee. The loss cost Hood six of his finest generals and nearly a third of his force. Hood assumed command in late July 1864 while the Confederates were pinned inside Atlanta by the armies of Union General William T. Sherman. Hood made a series of desperate attacks against Sherman but finally relinquished the city in early September. No longer able to wage an offensive against the massive Yankee force, Hood retreated into Alabama to regroup. In early November, he moved north into Tennessee to draw Sherman out of the Deep South. By now, Sherman had enough troops to split his army. He dispatched General George Thomas to the Nashville area to deal with Hood’s threat while he took the rest of the force on his infamous March to the Sea, during which his men destroyed most of central Georgia. Hood approached Franklin, just south of Nashville, on November 29. Thomas waited in Nashville, while another Union force under John Schofield was moving from the south to join Thomas. Schofield was aware of Hood’s position and was attempting to move past the Confederates on his way to rejoining the rest of the Federal army. Hood tried to flank Schofield, but Schofield marched right past Hood’s army and planted his Yankees in existing defenses at Franklin. Furious, Hood blamed his subordinates for failing to block Schofield’s route, and then prepared for a frontal assault on the formidable Union trenches. Hood was handicapped by the fact that one of his three divisions was still marching toward Franklin and much of his artillery had not yet arrived. Under these circumstances, Hood’s decision to attack may seem foolish, but he was probably motivated by an attempt to discipline his army and rebuild his men’s lost confidence. On the afternoon of November 30, the Confederates charged into the Union defenses. The Rebel lines moved forward in nearly perfect unison, the last great charge of the war. Parts of the Union’s outer trenches fell to Hood’s men, but a Yankee counterattack spelled disaster for the Confederates. They did not penetrate any further and suffered frightful casualties. The fighting continued until after dark before Schofield resumed his march northward. Of 15,000 Union troops engaged, 200 were killed and slightly more than 2,000 were wounded. The Confederates had 23,000 men at Franklin; 1,750 died and 5,500 were wounded or captured. The losses among the Confederate leadership were horrifying. Six generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, one of the Confederate army’s finest division commanders. Another five were wounded, one more captured, and 60 of Hood’s 100 regimental commanders were killed or wounded. Despite the defeat, Hood continued to move against Thomas. Just two weeks later, Hood hurled the remnants of his army against the Yankees at Nashville with equally disastrous results.
1917 – The US 42nd “Rainbow” Division, so named because it contains men from every state in the nation, arrives in France. The division’s chief-of-staff, and later commander, is General Douglas MacArthur.
1920 – The Navy minesweeper USS Swan ran aground on Duxbury Beach, MA. Coast Guardsmen from three nearby stations rescued the minesweeper’s crew with a breeches buoy. The CGC Androscoggin assisted in the rescue.
1930 – George Gordon Liddy, head CIA, Watergate felon, radio host, was born. He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey and educated at Fordham University. Liddy graduated in 1952 and joined the US Army, serving for two years as an artillery officer during the Korean War. He returned home in 1954 to study law at Fordham. Graduating in 1957, he went to work for the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover. Also in 1957 he married Frances Ann Purcell. He left the FBI in 1962 and worked as a lawyer in New York City and Dutchess County, New York. In 1966 he organized the arrest and unsuccessful trial of Timothy Leary. He ran unsuccessfully for the post of District Attorney and then for the House of Representatives in 1968. But he used his political profile to run the presidential campaign of Richard Nixon in the 28th district of New York. The “G” man, as syndicated talk radio listeners may know him, did not personally bring down the Presidency of Richard M. Nixon, but he masterminded the Watergate burglary which brought national attention to corruption at the White House. On June 17, 1972, Liddy’s five burglars were caught breaking into the Democrat National Committee’s suite at the Watergate office complex in D.C. Investigative reporting by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in the Washington Post tracked the break-in and its cover-up to the White House. Facing imminent impeachment, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. Eventually twenty-two men including some prominent administration figures went to jail. Reportedly the burglars were looking for political intelligence for the fall’s presidential election, but Liddy, true to his personal code of honor, wasn’t talking. As the least cooperative witness, he served the longest sentence–4 1/2 years. Later Liddy claimed the break-in was the brainchild of White House counsel John Dean to steal pictures of prostitutes, including Dean’s then girlfriend and later wife, from the committee’s office. Released from prison in 1977, Liddy went on the lecture circuit and wrote the 1991 best selling Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy, in part to pay off his $346,000 in legal debts. More recently he has hosted a nationally syndicated conservative talk show. Liddy lives part time in Scottsdale and usually does his radio show from Northern Virginia.
1931 – A retired United States Navy submarine, the O-12, renamed Nautilus was sunk near Bergen, Norway. Hubert Wilkins, Australian explorer, had used the ship in a failed attempt to sail beneath the North Pole.
1939 – The Red Army crosses the Soviet-Finnish border with 465,000 men and 1,000 aircraft. Helsinki was bombed, and 61 Finns were killed in an air raid that steeled the Finns for resistance, not capitulation. The overwhelming forces arrayed against Finland convinced most Western nations, as well as the Soviets themselves, that the invasion of Finland would be a cakewalk. The Soviet soldiers even wore summer uniforms, despite the onset of the Scandinavian winter; it was simply assumed that no outdoor activity, such as fighting, would be taking place. But the Helsinki raid had produced many casualties-and many photographs, including those of mothers holding dead babies, and preteen girls crippled by the bombing. Those photos were hung up everywhere to spur on Finn resistance. Although that resistance consisted of only small numbers of trained soldiers-on skis and bicycles!–fighting it out in the forests, and partisans throwing Molotov cocktails into the turrets of Soviet tanks, the refusal to submit made headlines around the world. President Roosevelt quickly extended $10 million in credit to Finland, while also noting that the Finns were the only people to pay back their World War I war debt to the United States in full. But by the time the Soviets had a chance to regroup, and send in massive reinforcements, the Finnish resistance was spent. By March 1940, negotiations with the Soviets began, and Finland soon lost the Karelian Isthmus, the land bridge that gave access to Leningrad, which the Soviets wanted to control.
1941 – Japanese Emperor Hirohito consulted with admirals Shimada and Nagano. Hirohito was deeply concerned by the decision to place “war preparations first and diplomatic negotiations second” and announced his intention to break with centuries-old protocol and, at the Imperial Conference on the following day, directly question the chiefs of the Army and Navy general staffs — a quite unprecedented action. Konoe quickly persuaded Hirohito to summon them for a private conference instead, at which the Emperor made it plain that a peaceful settlement was to be pursued “up to the last”. Chief of Naval General Staff Admiral Osami Nagano, a former Navy Minister and vastly experienced, later told a trusted colleague “I have never seen the Emperor reprimand us in such a manner, his face turning red and raising his voice.” The war preparations continued without the slightest change.
1942 – The Battle of Tassafaronga. American attempts to stop the regular night supply run of the “Tokyo Express” under Admiral Tanaka again develops into a major battle. Tanaka has 8 destroyers and Admiral Wright has 5 heavy cruisers and 7 destroyers. Wright uses radar to find the Japanese force and fire the first salvo. However, the American attack is ineffective with only one hit on a Japanese destroyer which sinks later. The Japanese sink one cruiser and damage 3 very seriously. Despite this success, Admiral Tanaka is reprimanded for failing to deliver the supplies needed by the starving Japanese forces on the island.
1942 – The American forces attacking Japanese positions at Buna, New Guinea make their first real headway.
1943 – The Teheran Conference continues. Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin and their staffs meet for the first time.
1944 – To the north and south of Aachen, the US 9th and 1st Armies continue attacks. Southern elements of US 3rd Army reach the Saar River.
1948 – Communists completed the division of Berlin, installing the government in the Soviet sector.
1950 – President Harry Truman publicly referred to the possible use of the atomic bomb in Korea.
1951 – U.S. Air Force Major George A. Davis shot down three Tupolev TU-2s and a MiG jet fighter to become the fifth ace of the war.
1952 – U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Winton W. Marshall destroyed one TU-2 and a LA-9 and was officially credited as the sixth ace of the war.
1956 – U.S. offered emergency oil to Europe to counter the Arab ban.
1956 – Britain and France bowed to UN pressure and agreed to leave the Suez Canal. Russia and the US forced a combined British, French and Israeli operation against Nasser in the Suez to abort.
1961 – Soviets vetoed a UN seat for Kuwait, pleasing Iraq.
1961 – US Special Forces medical specialists are deployed to provide assistance to the Montagnard tribes around Pleiku. Out of this will develop the Civilian Irregular Defense Group (CIDG), a program of organized paramilitary forces among the ethnic and religious minorities of South Vietnam and the chief work of the US Special Forces during the war.
1965 – Following a visit to South Vietnam, Defense Secretary McNamara reports in a memorandum to President Lyndon B. Johnson that the South Vietnamese government of Nguyen Cao Ky “is surviving, but not acquiring wide support or generating actions.” He said that Viet Cong recruiting successes coupled with a continuing heavy infiltration of North Vietnamese forces indicated that “the enemy can be expected to enlarge his present strength of 110 battalion equivalents to more than 150 battalion equivalents by the end of 1966.” McNamara said that U.S. policymakers faced two options: to seek a compromise settlement and keep further military commitments to a minimum, or to continue to press for a military solution, which would require substantial bombing of North Vietnam. In conclusion, McNamara warned that there was no guarantee of U.S. military success and that there was a real possibility of a strategic stalemate, saying that “U.S. killed in action can be expected to reach 1,000 a month.” In essence, McNamara cautioned Johnson that sending additional troops was not likely to prevent the stalemate. In the end, however, Johnson chose to seek a military solution. By 1969, there were more than 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam.
1972 – White House Press Secretary Ron Zeigler announces to the press that the administration will make no more public statements concerning U.S. troop withdrawals from Vietnam since the level of U.S. presence had fallen to 27,000 men. Defense Department sources said that there would not be a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Vietnam until a final truce agreement was signed, and that such an agreement would not affect the 54,000 U.S. servicemen in Thailand or the 60,000 aboard 7th Fleet ships off the Vietnamese coast. All U.S. forces were withdrawn from South Vietnam in March 1973 as part of the terms of the Paris Peace Accords, which were signed in January of that year.
1974 – Pioneer 11 sent photos back to NASA as it neared Jupiter. Pioneer 11 was launched on 5 April 1973, like Pioneer 10, on top of an Atlas/Centaur/TE364-4 launch vehicle. After safe passage through the Asteroid belt on 19 April 1974, the Pioneer 11 thrusters were fired to add another 63.7 m/sec (210 ft/sec) to the spacecraft’s velocity. This adjusted the aiming point at Jupiter to 43,000 km (26,725 miles) above the cloudtops. The close approach also allowed the spacecraft to be accelerated by Jupiter to a velocity 55 times that of the muzzle velocity of a high speed rifle bullet – 173,000 km/hr (108,000 mph) – so that it would be carried across the Solar System some 2.4 billion kilometers (1.5 billion miles) to Saturn. It will make its closest approach to Jupiter on 2 December.
1981 – Representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union open talks to reduce their intermediate-range nuclear forces (INF) in Europe. The talks lasted until December 17, but ended inconclusively. SALT I (1972) and SALT II (1979) reduced the number of strategic nuclear weapons held by the two superpowers, but left unresolved the issue of the growing number of non-strategic weapons-the so-called intermediate-range nuclear missiles in Europe. By 1976, the Soviets began to update their INF systems with better SS-20 missiles. America’s NATO allies called for a U.S. response, and the United States threatened to deploy cruise and Pershing II missiles by 1983 if no agreement could be reached with the Soviets concerning INFs. However, by 1981, the situation changed. No-nuke forces were gaining strength in western Europe and there was a growing fear that President Ronald Reagan’s heated Cold War rhetoric would lead to a nuclear showdown with Europe as the battlefield. The United States and U.S.S.R. agreed to open talks on INFs in November 1981. Prior to the talks, President Reagan announced the so-called “zero option” as the basis for the U.S. position at the negotiations. In this plan, the United States would cancel deployment of its new missiles in western Europe if the Soviets dismantled their INFs in eastern Europe. The proposal was greeted with some skepticism, even by some U.S. allies, who believed that it was a public relations ploy that would be completely unacceptable to the Soviets. The Soviets responded with a detailed proposal that essentially eliminated all of the INFs from Europe, including French and British missiles that had not been covered in Reagan’s zero option plan. Of course, such a plan would also leave west Europe subject to the Soviets’ superior conventional forces. Neither proposal seemed particularly realistic, and despite efforts by some of the U.S. and Soviet negotiators, no compromise could be reached. An INF treaty would not be signed until December 1987, when President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev finally hammered out a plan acceptable to both sides.
1982 – US submarine Thomas Edison collided with a US Navy destroyer in the South China Sea.
1988 – UN General Assembly (151-2) censured US for refusing PLO’s Arafat a visa.
1989 – President Bush left Washington for his first summit with Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev that took place aboard ships off the Mediterranean island of Malta.
1990 – President Bush announced that Secretary of State James Baker the Third would go to Iraq in a last-ditch diplomatic peace effort.
1994 – Two passengers died and nearly 1,000 others and crew members fled the cruise ship “Achille Lauro” after it caught fire off the coast of Somalia; the ship sank two days later. The Achille Lauro had gained notoriety in 1985 when it was hijacked by Palestinian extremists.
1995 – Official end of Operation Desert Storm.
1997 – In Haiti the UN mandate for peace-keeping forces ended and 1,170 soldiers and civilian police officers prepared to leave.
1998 – Pres. Clinton pledged an extra $400 million to aid the Palestinians over the next 5 years. This was in addition to the current $100 million per year for the next 5 years. A total of $3 billion in aid was pledged.
2000 – The space shuttle Endeavour took off to the Int’l. Space Station with a crew of 5 to install new solar panels. STS-97 will build and enhance the capabilities of the International Space Station.It will deliver the first set of U.S.-provided solar arrays and batteries as well as radiators to provide cooling. The Shuttle will spend 5 days docked to the station, which at that time will be staffed by the first station crew. Two spacewalks will be conducted to complete assembly operations while the arrays are attached and unfurled. A communications system for voice and telemetry also will be installed.
2001 – US warplanes continued airstrikes around Kandahar. US Marine and Navy increased to around 1,200.
2002 – International weapons hunters in Iraq paid an unannounced visit to a military post previously declared “sensitive” and restricted by Baghdad.
2003 – US forces used tanks and cannons to fight their way out of simultaneous ambushes in the northern city of Samarra while delivering new Iraqi currency to banks.
2005 – A new campaign against Iraqi insurgents begins with joint U.S.-Iraqi troops conducting Operation Iron Hammer in western Iraq. Operation Iron Hammer, also called Operation Matraqa Hadidia, was a military undertaking by the United States Armed Forces, and the New Iraqi Army, which was conducted east of Hīt, Iraq, until 3 January 2006, during the Iraq War, against the Iraqi insurgency. It was reported that both the New Iraqi Army, and the United States Armed Forces, sustained no losses during the operation. No civilian casualties were reported either. The operation is believed to have benefited villages on the eastern side of the Euphrates River with an increase in security and stability.
2014 – Coalition forces launch over 30 airstrikes on Raqqa, the de facto capital of ISIL.

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