Kentucky military history for the month of November

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.

John Crepps Wickliffe

November 1, 1893 – John Crepps Wickliffe is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. John Y. Brown.

November 1, 1920 – Jackson Morris is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Edwin P. Morrow.

November 1, 1950 – Northernmost U.S. action of Korean War (Korean War)

November 3, 1813 – In a letter, from General William Henry Harrison to British General Vincent, discussion is made of the use of Native Americans by the British against the Americans, and the treatment of Prisoners of War, with the following comment:

. . . I have never heard a single excuse for the employment of the savage by your government unless we can credit the story of some British officer having dared to assert that “as we employed the Kentuckians, you had a right to make use of the Indians.”

November 3, 1967 – Battle of Dak To began (Vietnam War)

St. Clair's defeat

November 4, 1791 – Gen. Arthur St. Clair’s expedition against the Indians on the Maumee river ends most disastrously. Upon the banks of a small branch of the Wabash, just south of the headwaters of the St. Mary of the Maumee, the army of 1400 men and 86 officers (regulars and Kentucky Militia) is surprised and overpowered by Indians, under Brant and Little Turtle, and defeated with terrible slaughter, losing 890 men and 16 officers in killed and wounded. Gen. Richard Butler is among the killed (Butler was the brother of Kentucky’s first Adjutant General P.P. Butler).  Butler County, Kentucky is named in his honor (Early Indian Wars)

November 6, 1792 – Maj. John Adair and about 100 Kentucky Militia attacked near Fort St. Clair (now Eaton, Ohio) by a large body of Indians under Little Turtle, after a gallant fight in which they several times drive back the Indians, they are forced to retreat with loss of 6 men killed, 5 wounded, their camp equipage and 140 pack mules (Early Indian Wars)

November 6 1814 – McArthur’s Raid. Following victory at Thames the northwest front was completely in American hands. However, in the East the opposite was the case. General Duncan McArthur led an expedition of mostly Kentucky Militia over 200 miles into British held territory. Engaged in 5 or 6 small engagements, capturing hundreds of British regulars & Canadian Militia, destroyed munitions stores, bridges, and gristmills. This raid forced the British currently engaged with Americans at Fort Erie to withdraw and counter the threat to the interior of Canada (War of 1812)

Battle of Tippecanoe

November 07, 1811 – Battle of Tippecanoe, in which Col. Joe Hamilton Daveiss and other distinguished Kentuckians fell (Early Indian Wars)

November 08, 1942 – Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa began (World War II)

November 08, 1950 – First All-Jet Combat in history (Korean War)

November 10, 1782 – Miami Indian town burned by a large force of Kentuckians under command of George Rogers Clark (Early Indian Wars)

November 10, 1775 – U.S. Marine Corps established.

November 11, 1918 – Signing of World War I Armistice (Veterans Day)

November 15, 1968 – Larry Clark Dawson is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

November 17, 1873 – Excitement against Spain, and sympathy for Cuba, so great, because of recent horrible butchery of the captives on the ship Virginius, that Gov. Leslie receives the offer of one regiment and several companies of volunteers, in case the U.S. declares war against Spain.

OH-13 G Model on Capitol Lawn in Frankfort

November 22, 1812 – Lt. Cols. Miller and Wilcox, with about sixty horsemen, were led into an ambush on Wildcat Creek, about seven miles east of the Winnebago town, in the Indiana Territory, and were compelled to retreat in a most hasty manner.  This engagement is known as the Second Battle of Tippecanoe or “Spur’s Defeat,” probably alluding to the spurs which the men used so vigorously upon their horses (War of 1812)

November 23, 1954The Kentucky Army National Guard received its first helicopter, a “G” model Bell OH-13 Sioux, Light Observation Helicopter, at Bowman Field in Louisville.  This addition planted the seed of the Kentucky Guard’s rotary wing legacy.

OH-13E during a maintenance run up by Harold Canon at the controls and Kelly Barker standing.

November 25, 1940 – The 38th Tank Company from Harrodsburg, which was redesignated as Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion, was the first Kentucky unit ordered to active duty reporting to their armory on this date.

November 27, 1950 – Battle of the Chosin Reservoir began (Korean War)

November 27, 1968 – Lt. Col. William Leo Smith of Louisville, Jefferson County, died in an aircraft accident when the UH-1 Helicopter he was a passenger on crashed off the coast of Kangnung, Korea in the Sea of Japan while he was on extended active duty. Smith joined the Kentucky Army National Guard’s Battery C, 138th Field Artillery Battalion in Louisville in February 1949. He left the Guard in January 1954 as a Private. Apparently after a break in service of an undetermined time he returned to the Kentucky Army National Guard and the Field Artillery as an officer and eventually went onto federal active duty. Kentucky Special Orders Number 111 separated him from the Army National Guard effective 27 November 1968, his presumed date of death, from an extra TOE position.  Weather was probably a factor in the crash with flying conditions at the time described as marginal with a heavy cloud cover from 700′ to 9,000′. An AP story at the time states that the aircraft was returning from a routine “service mission” that afternoon. Dropped off radar at approx 4 p.m.

Adjutant General David Rodman Murray, Jr.

The aircraft, assigned to the 6th Aviation Platoon, I Corps, US Army, was returning to its base at Kangnung, located approximately 100 miles east of Seoul.  Search and rescue operations failed to locate the missing aircraft and were called off on December 4. He is listed as having died of non-hostile causes. His death occurred while the 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery was serving in Vietnam. It is unknown if his deployment was in any way associated with the battalion (Vietnam War)

November 30, 1900 – David Rodman Murray, Jr. is assigned as Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. J.C.W. Beckham.

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