Browsing: Military

A Brief History On October 27, 1954, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. became the first African-American general (brigadier, or 1 star) in the U.S. Air Force.  In 1998, he was promoted by President Clinton to (full) general (4-star rank).  This accomplishment is all the more notable as he was the son of the first African-American general in the U.S. Army.  His father, Benjamin O. Davis Sr., made general in 1940, a time when the U.S. military was still segregated. Digging Deeper Born in 1912, Ben Jr. was granted an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy (West Point) in 1932.  There, in 1936, he became the…

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A Brief History On October 25, 1944, the U.S. submarine USS Tang (SS-306), commanded by ace submarine skipper Richard O’Kane, was sunk when a torpedo that it had fired malfunctioned, turned around, and struck the hapless submarine. Digging Deeper You may have read the History and Headlines article “There is No Such Thing as Friendly Fire!”  Friendly fire is the accidental coming of harm to one’s own troops through one’s own weapons.  As military instructors are quick to point out, however, no fire is “friendly fire,” as bullets, bombs and shells will kill you no matter who launched them in the first place.  Weapons of…

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A Brief History On October 23, 1939, the Japanese G4M, named the “Betty” bomber by the Allies, made its maiden flight.  Destined to be the main Japanese land-based bomber for the entire war, it was, like other Japanese planes, state of the art at the beginning of World War II but grossly outmatched by American models later in the war.  Made by Mitsubishi, the same company that made the Zero and now makes cars and trucks, its performance was roughly on par with the American B-25 as far as speed and climb, and it had better range. Digging Deeper Unfortunately for some Japanese airmen,…

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A Brief History On October 14, 1066, the Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.  This date is one that you might find on a high school or college history test or perhaps on the television trivia show Jeopardy. Certain battles in history are associated with a particular date or year that many people remember or are reminded of, regardless of the importance of the battle.  Here 9 such dates and battles are listed. (By battles we mean the starting or ending date of the battle or the date of a significant event that…

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A Brief History On October 8, 1806, British forces fighting the French at Boulogne employed Congreve rockets, the same type of rockets mentioned in the National Anthem of the United States (“…and the rockets red glare…”). Here nine people or things named “Rocket” are listed.   Digging Deeper 9. Congreve Rockets. These weapons of war were actually developed to replicate the Mysorean rockets which had been used in India against the British in the late 18th century.  The Mysorean Rockets were the first iron-cased rockets to have been successfully utilized in combat.  The British rocket program began in 1801, and the Congreve rocket was the…

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