This Day in Military History

13 December: This Day in Military History

1636: The Massachusetts General Court in Salem orders the creation of a militia, requiring all able-bodied men between the ages of 16 and 60 join, to defend the colony if necessary. Three regiments are created: the North Regiment – today’s 181st and 182nd Infantry Regiments; the East Regiment – today’s 101st Engineer Battalion; and the South Regiment – today’s 101st Field Artillery Regiment. The National Guard is born.

1918: The U.S. Army of Occupation crosses the Rhine and enters Germany.

1951: Air Force pilot George A. Davis Jr. shoots down four MiG-15 jets, the largest one-day total of the Korean War. Davis was the war’s first double ace (10 kills), shooting down a total of 14 Chinese, Korean, and Soviet jets (adding to seven Japanese planes shot down during World War II), but he would later become the only ace to be killed during the conflict and will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

George A. Davis Jr.

1966: U.S. aircraft bomb the North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi and Haiphong harbor for the first time, targeting oil facilities.

1970: U.S. forces return from Cambodia, bringing an end to President Richard Nixon’s limited incursion. Some 30,000 Americans and 50,000 South Vietnamese troops had been deployed, making the two-month mission the largest combat operation in the Vietnam War since Operation JUNCTION CITY in 1967.

1974: Just north of Saigon, the North Vietnamese Army attacks Phuoc Long Province in a “test” attack. South Vietnamese resistance is ineffective and the United States does nothing. In coming weeks, North Vietnamese forces will capture Saigon and South Vietnam surrenders unconditionally.

2003: (Featured Image) Some 600 members of the Fourth Infantry Division, along with special operators from Task Force 121, conduct a massive search for the deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein when intelligence suggests he is hiding near his hometown of Tikrit.

Operation RED DAWN is about to come up empty-handed, but with helicopters enroute to pick up the team, one of the operators discovers a “spider hole” hidden under a section of flooring, where Saddam had been hiding. Although armed with an AK-47 and a Glock handgun, he surrenders without a fight.


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Chris Carter

Chris Carter is 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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