U.S. Military History, Feb. 7-20

Compiled by Charles O'Leary

February 7, 1944 [World War II]: German forces launch a counteroffensive at Anzio, Italy.

February 8, 1918 [World War I]: The first issue of STARS AND STRIPES is published in France.

February 8, 1944 [World War II]: CPL Paul Huff [509th Parachute Infantry Regiment] first U.S. paratrooper to receive Medal of Honor.

February 9, 1965 [Vietnam War]: The United States sends its first combat troops to South Korea on their way to Vietnam.

February 10, 1962 [Cold War]: Captured U.S. spy pilot Gary Powers is exchanged for Soviet Col. Rudolf Abel.

February 10, 1945 [World War II]: 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment assigned to 82nd Airborne Division.

February 11, 1945 [World War II]: The Yalta Conference concludes deciding the fate of postwar Europe.

February 11, 1945 [World War II]: 17th Airborne Division moved Chalon-Sur-Marne, France for operation VARSITY.

February 12, 1973 [Vietnam War]: Operation Homecoming begins, marking the release of U.S. prisoners captured during the Vietnam War.

February 13, 1945 [World War II]: Allied forces firebomb Dresden, Germany

Wartime Romances in February: “As I was coming up one side of a hill, she was coming down the other side, when her sister Carrie said, ‘Oh, there’s a soldier coming.’ Jo’s heart almost jumped out of her mouth, for she had planned to meet me dressed in such a pretty dress, and instead she had on a pair of coveralls and overshoes, with an old sun hat. As if her clothes mattered to me.”— U.S. Army soldier Vincent Reed, on coming home from World War I to his sweetheart.

February 14, 1943 [World War II]: The United States suffers a rare defeat in North Africa with the Battle of the Kasserine Pass, in Tunisia.

February 15, 1919: A group of World War I veterans forms THE AMERICAN LEGION in Paris.

February 16, 1951 [Korean War]: The 861-day siege of Wonsan, North Korea opens; it is now the longest effective siege of a port in U.S. naval history.

February 17, 1947 [Cold War]: The Voice of America network begins broadcasting to the U.S.S.R.

February 17, 1945 [World War II]: 82nd Airborne Division crosses the Roer River in Germany.

February 18, 1944 [World War II]: U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine forces invade the Marshall Islands.

February 19, 1942 [World War II]: President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizes the internment of Japanese Americans living in three west coast states.

February 19, 1945 [World War II]: The Battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific begins.

February 20, 1942 [World War II]: Lt. Edward O’Hare becomes America’s first flying ace, downing five Japanese aircraft.

February 20, 1962 [Cold War]: First U.S. orbiting of the Earth by John Glenn.

Women at War: “There was one shower; it was outside and there was a little tent around it and it was open to the air above. Some of the fly-boys thought it was comical to fly overhead while we were showering. The water was so welcome it didn’t really matter.” –Rhona Knox Prescott, Vietnam War nurse


This article is brought to you by Blackwell-Frazier Post 142 of the American Legion in Hominy. Monday morning breakfasts are still cancelled because of COVID-19.