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This Week in U.S. Military History, July 5-11

Compiled by Charles O’Leary

July 5, 1814 [Indian Wars]: Battle of Chippewa

July 5, 1950 [Korean War]: American forces fire their first artillery shots of the Korean War at North Korean forces near Osan, South Korea [Task Force Smith].

July 6, 1953 [Korean War]: The second battle of Pork Chop Hill begins.

July 7, 1944 [World War II]: Battle of St. Lo begins.

July 7, 1948: Already enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve, six women become the first women to be sworn into the U.S. Navy.

July 8, 1969 [Vietnam War]: The first of 25,000 troops are withdrawn from Southeast Asia, as mandated by President Richard Nixon’s Vietnamization policy.

July 9, 1918 [Word War I]: Warrant Officer Corps established.

July 9, 1943 [World War II]: The invasion of Sicily by Allied Forces begins, starting the Italian campaign (with Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry Division as one of the first units to hit the beaches at Sicily).

July 9, 1943 [World War II]: 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and 3/504th Parachute Infantry Regiment of 82nd Airborne Division combat jump, Gela, Sicily, Operation Husky I, 3,406 troops jumped.

July 10, 1940: The Armored Force is formed as part of the U.S. Army; it becomes a permanent branch in 1950. [Armor Corps soldiers are known to everyone else as “tread-heads” (refers to the tank treads they travel on); they call Infantrymen, and everyone else who sleeps on the ground at night, “crunchies” (because they might get run over by a tank if they sleep in the wrong place!).

July10, 1999 [Kosovo Conflict]: 1st Battalion, 26th Infantry begins operations in Kosovo.

July 11, 1923 [World War I]: U.S. Army occupation forces leave Germany.

July 11, 1941 [World War II]: President Franklin D. Roosevelt appoints William Donovan head of the Coordinator of Information, precursor to the OSS and CIA. [This eventually led to formation of U.S. Army Special Forces “Green Berets”].

July 11, 1943 [World War II]: 504th PIR of 82nd Airborne Division, combat jump, Gela, Sicily, Operation Husky II, 2,304 troops jumped.

Survivors:

Giles McCoy was aboard the U.S.S. Indianapolis on July 31, 1945, when a Japanese torpedo sank it. He spent five nights and four days in shark-infested waters before being rescued. –Giles McCoy Collection, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress;

Nathan Raley flew P-38’s over Africa and Italy in World War II. He was shot down and captured, surviving 15 months in German POW camps. – Nathaniel Raley Collection, Veterans History Project, Library of Congress.

[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 reminding all veterans we are not holding our Monday morning breakfasts yet, but will probably start in August, depending on the COVID-19 virus and what it is doing. We have gone back to our regular meetings on first and third Thursdays at 7 p.m. at the Hut. Love to see your there! Wear a mask if you want!