Military and Police

4 December: This Day in Military History

1783: Nine days after the British evacuate New York City, Gen. George Washington bids farewell to his fellow Continental Army officers over a turtle feast at Fraunces Tavern. Washington tells them that “With a heart full of love and gratitude, I now take leave of you. I most devoutly wish that your latter days may be as prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and honorable.”

1861: Jefferson Davis is elected President of the Confederate States of America. Previously, Davis served as a junior officer in the U.S. Army following graduation from the U.S. Military Academy. During the Mexican-American War, he raised a volunteer infantry regiment and became its colonel. President James Polk will offer Davis a federal commission as brigadier general, which he will turn down.

1941: PBY “Catalina” patrols report that a flotilla of 30 transports at the Indochina (Vietnam) port of Cam Ranh Bay have disappeared. Marine Fighter Squadron 211, having just been delivered to Wake Island by the carrier USS Enterprise immediately begin their patrols, as the carrier returns to Hawaii. The Pearl Harbor attack schedule is dispatched to the Japanese submarine fleet, and a destroyer squadron sets out for the Japanese invasion of Guam.

1942: B-24 “Liberator” bombers of the 12th Air Force bomb Naples, marking the first time U.S. aircraft target Italy.

1950: (Featured Image) While flying a search-and-destroy mission during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir, Ensign Jesse L. Brown – the Navy’s first black aviator – is shot down. His wingman, Lieutenant Junior Grade Thomas J. Hudner, Jr. crash-lands his Corsair and feverishly attempts to rescue the seriously injured Brown. A helicopter arrives to rescue the downed pilots, but the men are unable to extricate the mortally wounded Brown from the plane. For his actions, Hudner is awarded the Medal of Honor.


Ensign Jesse L. Brown


Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Thomas J. Hudner, USN receives MOH congratulations from President Harry S. Truman

1965: A Titan II rocket carrying Lt. Cmdr. James Lovell (USN) and Maj. Frank Borman (USAF) blasts off from Cape Canaveral. The Gemini VII crew will spend the next 14 days in space, doubling the amount of time humans have spent in space – a record that will stand for the next five years.

James Lovell and Frank Borman
Chris Carter

Chris Carter is an OpsLens contributor, the director of the Victory Institute, and deputy regional director of the U.S. Counterterrorism Advisory Team. His work appears at The US Report, International Analyst Network, Human Events, Canada Free Press, Family Security Matters, Deutsche Welle,, Blackfive and other publications. Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, non-commissioned officer in the South Carolina State Guard, and retired firefighter.

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