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

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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.