This Day in Military History

16 January: This Day in Military History

Today’s post is in honor of Sgt. David J. Chambers, who was killed by an improvised explosive device on this day in 2013 in Afghanistan’s Panjway district. The 25-year-old from Hampton, Va. was assigned to 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division.

1917: British intelligence intercepts a coded telegram from the German government requesting an alliance with Mexico if the U.S. enters World War I. In return for a Mexican attack on the United States, Germany would offer financial aid and assist Mexico in regaining Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The Mexicans decline, and the “Zimmermann Telegram” sparks outrage when published in U.S. papers, leading Congress to declare war on Germany in April.

Zimmerman Telegram

1942: As U.S. and Philippine soldiers conduct a delaying action on Luzon Island, 26th Cavalry Regiment troopers and their Philippine Scouts spot a detachment of Japanese troops approaching the town of Morong. Lt. Edwin P. Ramsey orders what becomes the last cavalry charge in U.S. military history, which surprises and scatters the enemy.

Edwin Ramsey on Bryn Awryn in the Philippines in the year before he successfully led the last American cavalry charge in history.

On Bataan, U.S. Army Sgt. Jose Calugas – a Philippine Scout – notices that one of the gun batteries have been disabled by enemy bombs and shelling, killing or wounding the gun’s operators. Without orders, he charges across a 1,000-yard killzone, where he organizes a crew of men to get the cannon working again and begins returning fire.

After being relieved, he returns to his normal post as mess sergeant. He is nominated for the Medal of Honor, but falls into enemy hands when the island is captured. The Japanese put Calugas on a work detail, and he secretly joins a guerilla unit and fights to liberate the Philippines. After the war, he is finally awarded the Medal of Honor and receives a commission.

Sgt. Jose Calugas, Philippine Scout, salutes the officer who presented him with the Medal of Honor for gallantry on Bataan. Sgt. Calugas is the first Filipino to receive this highest award of the United States.

1945: As the Red Army drives west through Poland and the Wehrmacht is beaten back to its positions prior to their last-ditch Ardennes Offensive (the Battle of the Bulge), Adolf Hitler enters the underground Nazi command post known as the Führerbunker. The German dictator will spend the rest of his life at the compound.

The Führerbunker

1991: (Featured Image) When the UN deadline for Saddam Hussein to withdraw his military from Kuwait expires at midnight, hundreds of planes take off from U.S. carriers and from bases in Saudi Arabia, decimating Iraq’s air force and air defense network. Operation DESERT STORM – Saddam’s “Mother of All Battles” – has begun.

Members of Battery A, 5162d Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 11th Air Defense Artillery Brigade, hold an FIM-92A Stinger portable missile launcher during Operation DESERT SHIELD.
U.S. Central Command’s Gen. Norman H. Schwarzkopf consults with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Colin Powell.
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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 SWAT Magazine, Human Events, Canada Free Press, Deutsche Welle,, Lifezette, and other publications. Chris is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, warrant officer in the South Carolina State Guard, and retired firefighter.

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