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U.S. Military History, Nov. 22 - Dec. 5

Compiled by Charles O'Leary

Nov. 22, 1963 [Vietnam War]: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated, sparking speculations about U.S. involvement in Southeast Asia.

Nov. 23, 1981 [Cold War]: President Ronald Reagan gives the CIA authority to aid the "Contras" in opposing the Nicaragua’s leftist regime.

Nov. 24, 1944 [World War II]: The American firebombing of Tokyo begins.

Nov. 25, 1941 [World War II]: U.S. commanders in the Pacific are warned of the threat of a Japanese surprise attack.

Nov. 26, 1941 [World War II]: A task force sails from Japan for the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

Nov. 27, 1950 [Korean War]: Chinese forces attack in huge numbers at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea, intensifying the Korean War. Maj. Gen. Oliver P. Smith of 1st Marines, along with the Army's 7th Infantry Division, a force of 30,000, was surrounded by 120,000 Chinese, but broke out of the reservoir to an evacuation site at the sea. He uttered the famous quote: “Retreat? Hell, we’re attacking in a different direction!"

Nov. 28, 1943 [World War II]: At the Tehran Conference, the date is set for Operation Overlord [D-Day].

Nov. 29, 1952 [Korean War]: Fulfilling a campaign promise, President-elect Dwight D. Eisenhower goes to Korea to inspect the progress of the war.

Nov. 30, 1981 [Cold War]: The United States and the Soviet Union open talks to reduce intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

Dec. 1, 1969 [Vietnam War]: The first draft lottery since 1942 is held at the offices of the Selective Service System.

Dec. 2, 1943 [World War II]: British and American forces attack Italy’s Monte Camino. Lt. Audie Murphy and the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division were involved.

Dec. 2, 1942 [World War II]: 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment arrives in Cairns, Australia.

Dec. 3, 1942 [World War II]: U.S. advances in North Africa are slowed by a lack of air cover and monstrous German Tiger tanks.

Dec. 4, 1945: The Senate approves U.S. participation in the United Nations.

Dec. 5, 1950 [Korean War]: Pyongyang, Korea, falls to the invading Chinese army.

Dec. 5, 1992 [Somalia]: Somalia Campaign began.

“This is what hell is like. In my mind I imagined the devil himself coming up out of the ground. And I looked up in the sky and I said, ‘God get me out of this place.” – James Dorris, U.S. Army, describing his first impression of the concentration camp at Dachau. [Oklahoma’s 45th Infantry Division was one of the units that liberated Dachau from the Germans in WW II.]

[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 would like to remind all veterans the American Legion is only holding one meeting a month now due to COVID-19 activity. Next Legion meeting will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at the Legion Hut. No Monday morning breakfasts till the COVID settles down and we find an early morning cook[s]. Stay safe everyone. See you at the parade on Saturday.