Tag Archives: United States Army

Major Bruce P. Crandall & Captain Ed W. Freeman, USA (November 14, 1965)

Today – November 14, 2015 – marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Ia Drang, November 14-18, 1965. This was the first major action of the Vietnam War which saw American forces fighting the People’s Army of Vietnam (PAVN), also known as the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) rather than the Viet Cong guerillas.

1st Cavalry Division patch

Ia Drang was the first time the United States Army‘s new air assault tactics as implemented in the 1st Cavalry Division (Airmobile) were really put to the test, and tested they were. The fighting during the first three days of the battle ultimately produced three Medal of Honor recipients and three recipients of the Distinguished Service Cross. Two of the Medal of Honor recipients were helicopter pilots who maintained the critical airborne lifeline between the soldiers fighting on the ground and their bases to the rear. Their names were Major Bruce P. Crandall and Captain Ed W. Freeman.

Continue reading Major Bruce P. Crandall & Captain Ed W. Freeman, USA (November 14, 1965)

Corporal Melvin Mayfield, USA #MedalOfHonor (July 29, 1945)

MayfieldMelvinMelvin Mayfield was born in Salem, West Virginia on March 24, 1919. He later moved to Ohio, and was living in Nashport when he was drafted into the United States Army on February 11, 1941. What would have been a single year’s service was extended indefinitely with America’s entry into World War II the following December.

Mayfield was a member of Company D, 2nd Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division. The division deployed for service in the Pacific in July of 1943 and kept training until they first saw combat in the New Guinea campaign during June of 1944. After that campaign, they were sent to the Philippines.

Continue reading Corporal Melvin Mayfield, USA #MedalOfHonor (July 29, 1945)

Technical Sergeant John W. Meagher, USA (June 19, 1945)

MeagherJohnJohn William Meagher was born on December 5, 1917 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was still living there when he was drafted at age 24 into the United States Army for service in World War II on March 21, 1942.

Meagher was an infantryman with Company E, 2nd Battalion, 305th Infantry Regiment, 77th Infantry Division. The 77th, known as the “Statue of Liberty Division” for their shoulder patch, was activated just four days after Meagher’s draft date and trained extensively in the United States before heading for war in the Pacific in March, 1944. They fought in the campaigns on Guam and Leyte before joining the forces for the attack on Okinawa.

Continue reading Technical Sergeant John W. Meagher, USA (June 19, 1945)

Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller, USA (November 16-29, 1944)

MillerAndrewAndrew Miller was born in Manitowoc, Wisconsin on August 11, 1916. He was employed in dairy farming when, on June 27, 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army for service in World War II. He was a member of the 95th Infantry Division, which spent over two years in training preparing for combat in Europe. Miller went overseas with the division, which joined the fight in France on October 19, 1944.

Over a two week period from November 16-29, 1944 in both France and Germany, then-Staff Sergeant Miller was both a squad leader and a one-man army as part of Company G, 2nd Battalion, 377th Infantry Regiment. He repeatedly led his men in the attack, and when the circumstances of battle required, attacked alone. His incredible courage and leadership inspired his men from victory to victory and was recognized the following fall with the Medal of Honor.

Continue reading Staff Sergeant Andrew Miller, USA (November 16-29, 1944)

First Lieutenant Edward A. Silk, USA (November 23, 1944)

SilkEdwardAEdward A. Silk hailed from Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He was born there on June 8, 1916 and was living there when he was drafted into the United States Army on April 16, 1941 at age 24.

By November 23, 1944, Silk had earned an officer’s commission, and was a First Lieutenant in Company E, 2nd Battalion, 398th Infantry Regiment, 100th Infantry Division, locked in combat against Nazi Germany near St. Pravel, France. Lieutenant Silk, in command of his company’s weapons platoon, single handedly assaulted a house occupied by enemy troops that was blocking his soldiers’ advance. His courage was recognized with the Medal of Honor in November 1945.

Continue reading First Lieutenant Edward A. Silk, USA (November 23, 1944)

Staff Sergeant John W. Minick, USA (November 21, 1944)

John Wilson Minick was born in Wall, Pennsylvania on June 14, 1908. He was living in Carlisle, Pennsylvania when he was drafted into the United States Army on February 8, 1943. Minick fought in Europe as an infantryman with the 121st Infantry Regiment of the 8th Infantry Division.

Continue reading Staff Sergeant John W. Minick, USA (November 21, 1944)

Lieutenant Colonel George L. Mabry, Jr., USA (November 20, 1944)

George Lafayette Mabry, Jr. was born on September 14, 1917 in Sumter, South Carolina. He graduated from Presbyterian College (Clinton, SC) in 1940, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army via ROTC. Mabry, as Captain in the 8th Infantry Regiment, landed with the 4th Infantry Division on D-Day at Utah Beach. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for valor during the invasion.

Continue reading Lieutenant Colonel George L. Mabry, Jr., USA (November 20, 1944)

Staff Sergeant Herschel F. Briles, USA (November 20, 1944)

Herschel Floyd Briles, nicknamed “Pete”, was born in Colfax, Iowa on February 7, 1914. He joined the United States Army on his 27th birthday in February of 1941. By November of 1944, he was a Staff Sergeant with the 899th Tank Destroyer Battalion and was fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe.

Continue reading Staff Sergeant Herschel F. Briles, USA (November 20, 1944)

Staff Sergeant Eugene J. Bigda, USA (May 28, 1945)

Seventy years ago today – May 28, 1945 – during the Battle of Okinawa, then-Staff Sergeant Eugene J. Bigda of Company B, 1st Battalion, 106th Infantry Regiment, 27th Infantry Division, United States Army single handedly fought both the Japanese and deplorable weather conditions while single-handedly destroying an enemy machine gun post. He was later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.

Continue reading Staff Sergeant Eugene J. Bigda, USA (May 28, 1945)

Private Lloyd G. McCarter, USA (February 16-19, 1945)

Lloyd G. McCarter was born in St. Maries, Idaho on May 11, 1917. He was a member of the Idaho National Guard who was federalized for service in the United States Army during World War II. He also volunteered for airborne training, and was a member of the 503rd Parachute Infantry Regiment. The 503rd’s combat jump onto the Philippine island of Corregidor on February 16, 1945 gave the regiment its nickname – “The Rock”, also the nickname of the island itself.

During the first four days of the battle on Corregidor, McCarter cemented himself as one of our nation’s greatest heroes and was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Continue reading Private Lloyd G. McCarter, USA (February 16-19, 1945)