Kentucky military history for the month of April

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The following is a compilation of significant dates in our commonwealth’s military history.  For more on the legacy of our Citizen-Soldiers and Airmen, visit the Kentucky National Guard eMuseum.

The Bataan Death March (1942)

April 1, 1945 – Invasion of Okinawa began (World War II)

April 1, 1968 – Operation Pegasus began (Vietnam War)

Lt. Gen. John B. Conaway

April 1, 1977 – Kentucky Air National Guard wing vice commander John B. Conaway appointment as Deputy Director the Air National Guard at the National Guard Bureau approved by Congress.

April 5, 1951 –  Operation Rugged began (Korean War)

April 6, 1972 –  Operation Linebacker began (Vietnam War)

April 8, 1972 – Siege of An Loc began (Vietnam War)

April 9, 1845 – The officers of the 123rd regiment of Kentucky Militia unanimously, by newspaper communications and petitions, seek the abolition of the present militia system.

April 9, 1858 – Twenty-one companies volunteered for service. Only 10 companies were selected by Governor Morehead. (The Utah War)

April 9, 1865 – General Robert E. Lee surrenders (Civil War)

April 9, 1942 – Fall of Bataan (World War II)

April 10, 1942 – Bataan Death March –  Sixty-six Kentucky Army National Guardsmen from Harrodsburg  took part in the march; only 33 survived captivity to return home.   (World War II)

April 10, 1968 – Battle for Lang Vei began (Vietnam)

April 11, 1873 – Brig. General Edward R.S. Canby, U.S. Army, commanding the Department of Columbia, murdered by Captain Jack, chief of the Modoc Indians, while mediating for their removal from their rocky fastness on the northern border of California to a government reservation. General Canby was a native of Mason County, Kentucky.

April 11, 1991 – Official cease fire (Persian Gulf War)

Attack on Fort Boonesborough (1777)

April 15, 1777 – First attack on Fort Boonesborough by Indians

April 16, 1953 – Battle of Pork Chop Hill began (Korean War)

April 17, 1868 – Re-interment, with impressive ceremonies, at the cemetery in Lexington, of the remains of General John Hunt Morgan.

April 18, 1847 – Storming of Cerro Gordo, Mexico. Captain John S. Williams’ company (the only Kentucky company engaged) behave with distinguished valor (Mexican-American War).

The Kentucky National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery in Vietnam

The Kentucky National Guard's 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery in Vietnam (1968)

April 18, 1942 – Doolittle Raid on Japan (World War II)

April 19, 1968 – The Kentucky Army National Guard’s 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery with units in Louisville, Bardstown, Elizabethtown and Carrollton were ordered to active duty by President Lyndon B. Johnson. (Vietnam War)

April 19, 1968 – Operation Delaware began (Vietnam War)

April 20, 1953 – Operation Little Switch began (Korean War)

Frankfort War Memorial

April 24, 1873 – Kentucky Legislature directs that the remains of General Cary H. Fry, Colonel Theodore O’Hara, and Adjutant George N. Cardwell to be brought from distant States, and buried in State military lot at Frankfort, and graves marked with appropriate stones.

April 24, 1967 – Battle of the Hills began (Vietnam War)

April 27, 1805 –  Lt. Presley O’Bannon led an expedition across North African desert and captured the fortified city then held against numerous attempts to retake the place until peace treaty was signed on June 4 1805. [Courtesy Luther Davenport] O’Bannon was the first to plant the American Flag on foreign soil. The phrase “the shores of Tripoli” from the U.S. Marine Corps Hymn refers to Lt. O’Bannon’s expedition. O’Bannon is now buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.  (Battle of Derne, War with Tripoli)

Lt. Presley O’Bannon

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