Military history for the month of March

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

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Takur Ghar, Afghanistan, March 4, 2002

March 1, 1781 – Attack on Strode’s Station, Clark County (Early Indian Wars)

March 1, 1847 – Central mound in the Frankfort cemetery conveyed to the State for a public burying ground, The State Mound.

March 2, 1943 – Battle of Bismarck Sea began (World War II)

March 2, 1968 – Operation Rolling Thunder began (Vietnam War)

March 3, 1931 – “Star Spangled Banner” made U.S. National Anthem.

March 4, 1966 – Operation Utah (Vietnam War)

March 4, 2002 – Takur Ghar, Patkia Province, Afghanistan-Tech Sgt. Keary Miller, a Combat Search and Rescue Team Leader from the Kentucky Air Guard’s 123rd Special Tactics Squadron, earns a Silver Star for his actions in pulling wounded men out of the line of fire after their MH-47E helicopter crashed landed due to ground fire. Once he established a safe causality treatment area he immediately began giving first aid to a growing number of men. Later he stripped ammunition from the dead and injured and, while repeatedly exposing himself to enemy fire, resupplied those men still able to defend the position. Although seven soldiers lost their lives and ten others were seriously wounded during this 17-hour engagement with Taliban fighters, probably several more would have died without Miller’s heroic service (Global War on Terrorism).

March 5, 1860 – Act for organization of the Kentucky Militia (State Guard Law).

March 7, 1777 – First siege of Harrodsburg by 47 Indians, under their chief, Blackfish (Early Indian Wars).

March 7, 1951 – Operation Ripper began (Vietnam War)

March 7, 1867 – 235 copies ordered to be purchased of Adjutant General Daniel W. Lindsey’s Report for 1861-66, known as the “History of Kentucky Soldiers during the late War;” by the Kentucky State Legislature.

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Josiah Stoddard Johnston, 1870

March 9, 1870 – Josiah Stoddard Johnston is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. John W. Stevenson.

March 9, 1867 – The Kentucky legislature cedes to the United States government jurisdiction over the national cemeteries at Perryville, Camp Nelson, Lebanon, and at Mill Springs.

March 11, 1968 – Operation Resolve to Win began (Vietnam War)

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Sgt. Glenn Scott Stanfill

March 12, 2004 – Sgt. Glenn Scott Stanfill, Perry County, sustained fatal injuries when the HUMMWV (M998) he was driving was struck by a tractor-trailer on the Hal Rogers Parkway just East of Manchester, Ky. Stanfill was in route to the East Kentucky Training Site EKTS-A (Artemus) with B Company 206th Engineer Battalion, Hazard, Ky., as part of a Battalion Field Training Exercise (FTX).

March 13, 1922 – Pvt. Frank Crone, of Covington, a member of the Kentucky National Guard, was on duty as a guard at the Newport Rolling Mill, he was being relieved from duty by John Yates of Newport.  Pvt. Crone was accidentally killed when a revolver slipped from Yates’ pocket and fell to the ground, discharging and mortally wounding Crone.

March 14, 1862 – Engagement at Pound Gap, Letcher County (Civil War)

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Henry Herman Denhardt

March 14, 1932 – Henry Herman Denhardt is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Ruby Laffoon.

March 18, 1969 – Operation Breakfast (Vietnam War)

March 19, 1836 – Arsenal at Frankfort burnt, with 4,740 stand of arms, besides equipments.

March 19, 1912 – Kentucky State Guard becomes the Kentucky National Guard.

March 19, 1924 – James Arthur Kehoe is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. William J. Fields.

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Sgt. Jonathan Hughes

March 19, 2005 – Sgt. Jonathan “Adam” Hughes, of Lebanon, Marion Co., Ky., was killed in Iraq when his armored HMMWV vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) during an escort patrol for a convoy enroute to Baghdad International Airport.  At the time of his death, Hughes was assigned to B Battery, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, based in Campbellsville, Ky. He joined the Guard in May 2001 when he was 17. His unit mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in November and deployed to Southwest Asia in January 2005 (Global War on Terrorism)

March 22, 1782 – Estill’s defeat by Indians, near Little Mountain (Mount Sterling) (Early Indian Wars)

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Staff Sgt. Brock Beery

March 23, 2006 – Staff Sgt. Brock A. Beery, of Whitehouse, TN was killed when his armored vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device (IED) near Al Habbaniyah, west of Fallujah in Iraq. At the time of the incident Beery was driving a fully-armored light medium tactical vehicle (LMTV). Beery was assigned to the Kentucky Army National Guard’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor, based in Bowling Green. The unit mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in March of 2005 and deployed to the Persian Gulf that July (Global War on Terrorism)

March 24, 1992 – SSgt. William Dean Bentley of Elizabethtown (Hardin County) died while on active duty for training at Fort Knox from cardiac arrest while training at the Kentucky Military Academy’s Non-Commissioned Officer Academy in the Primary Leadership Development Course during a field problem. Immediate aid was rendered by members of the 475th MASH and Emergency Room Staff member from Ireland Army Hospital, also participating in PLDC, but they were unable to revive him. Bentley was a member of Battery B, 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, located in Elizabethtown.

MOH

The Medal of Honor

March 25 – Medal of Honor Day.

March 25, 1917 – Claude Somerville of Portland TN. died at the Louisville city hospital, following surgery. He had been ill with measles and later developed pneumonia and after recovering from that became ill from emphysema. He enlisted in the 3rd Infantry Regiment of the Kentucky National Guard in Franklin, Kentucky. He died shortly after returning from federal active duty on the Mexican Border.

March 29, 1973 – Last remaining U.S. forces withdraw from South Vietnam

March 30, 1825 – Confederate General Samuel Maxey is born in Tompkinsville, Kentucky.

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Capt. Merlin Kehrer

March 30, 1951 – Capt. Merlin R. “Bob” Kehrer perished in the crash of his F-51 “Mustang” near Leesburg, Va., while returning to Louisville from Bolling Air Force Base , D.C.  He was a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard.

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Sgt. Eric Lee Toth

March 30, 2005 – Sgt. Eric Lee Toth, of Edmonton, Metcalfe Co., Ky, was killed in Iraq when his HUMVEE encountered a vehicle-borne Improvised Explosive Device (IED) while returning from an escort patrol for a convoy along the main supply route in Baghdad. Toth joined the National Guard in May 2001. He was assigned to A Battery, 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery, based in Tompkinsville, Ky. This unit mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in November and deployed to Southwest Asia in January 2005 (Global War on Terrorism)

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