This Week in U.S. Military History, April 12-18

Compiled by Charles O’Leary

April 12, 1945 [World War II]: President Franklin D. Roosevelt dies.

April 13, 1966 [Vietnam War]: Viet Cong forces attack Tan Son Nhut airport in an offensive against U.S. forces.

April 14, 1918 [World War I]: U.S. fliers engage in the first dogfight on the Western Front.

April 15, 1944 [World War II]: American bombers inflict heavy damage to strategic Ploesti oil fields in Bucharest, Romania.

April 15, 1943 [World War II]: 17th Airborne Division activated at Camp Mackall, North Carolina.

April 16, 1947: Financier Bernard Baruch coins the term “Cold War” in a speech in South Carolina.

April 17, 1943 [World War II]: U.S. bombers raid the Sicilian towns of Palermo, Catania and Syracuse.

April 18, 1942 [World War II}: Lt. Col. James Doolittle leads a squadron of B-25s on the first raids over targets in Japan; it was the first time planes that big had taken off from an aircraft carrier in the Pacific and bailed out over China.

April is Vietnam Remembrance Month: “On the way back through the airport we began to feel the anger, the hostility of the American people toward soldiers. They didn’t like the war, they didn’t think we should be there, they were calling us baby killers.” –Julia Grabner Haskell, U.S. Army nurse on her return to the United States from Vietnam.

[From “Forever a Soldier”, the Library of Congress Veterans History Project]

This article is brought to you by Blackwell-Frazier Post 142 of the American Legion in Hominy, which is still shut down due to the Governor’s order and the COVID-19 virus. Some Legion activities will continue, such as flags on Main Street for Federal and military holidays, but only with limited participation or family groups. We are working on a plan for the cemetery flags next month. Meanwhile stay safe everyone, wash your hands, don’t touch your face and maintain a 6ft [double-double dress right dress] interval!