Military history in October

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.

Battle of Point Pleasant

The Battle of Point Pleasant, October 10, 1774

October 1, 1879 – Joseph Preyer Nuckols appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Luke P. Blackburn.

October 1, 1887 – Samuel Ewing Hill is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Simon Bolivar Buckner.

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Capt. Richard Ross

October 1, 1950 – Capt. Richard Lee Ross, of Prospect (Jefferson County) died in an aircraft accident near West Point Kentucky during a training flight. He was a member of the 165th Fighter Squadron, Kentucky Air National Guard.

October 2, 1867 – Franklin Lane Wolford is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. John W. Stevenson.

October 2, 1869 – Pvt. Allie Cooper was killed while on state active duty in Springfield, Marion County while serving with Captain Levy’s Cavalry Company of the Woodford Rifles . The Guard had been called out by the governor in response to a request from a District Judge citing lawless bands in the area, sometimes referred to as “Regulators,” they had hung a man named Clem Crowdus. The Guard was sent to assist in capturing those responsible and to keep further similar incidents from occurring. Pvt. Allie Cooper’s killer, a citizen with the last name of Rollins was tried and convicted for Cooper’s murder. Newspaper accounts from the time say that Cooper and an unknown number of fellow soldiers were apparently off duty, were fired upon from the back room of a saloon by at least two assailants. Cooper and his fellow soldiers had been attending the county fair, was reportedly killed by a member of one of the “lawless bands” the Guard had been called in to quiet shortly after they entered the saloon and were speaking to the owner.

October 3, 1993 – Rangers from the 3/75th Ranger Regiment and Soldiers of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment were involved in the Battle of Mogadishu, Somalia, later known through a book and movie as “Black Hawk Down.” Task Force Ranger successfully captured two high-ranking members of clan leader Mohammed Farah Aidid’s forces, but at the loss of 18 U.S. Service Members and two aircraft.

 October 4, 1846 – Duel at Port Lavacca, Texas, between Capt. Thos. F. Marshall and Lieut. James S. Jackson, of Capt. Cassius M. Clay’s company, both of the Kentucky cavalry regiment; two shots exchanged, but both escape unhurt (Mexican-American War).

October 5, 1813 – Kentucky Governor Shelby, with 4,000 Kentuckians reinforce Gen. Harrison, and take part in the brilliant victory at the Battle of the River Thames, which closes the hostilities in the northwest theatre of operations (War of 1812).

Medal of Valor recipients

Recognized for their gallantry in rescuing Puerto Rican soldiers from a civilian air crash at Standiford Field were (from left): Master Sgt. Howard Curtis, Tech. Sgt Walter Carter, Tech. Sgt. Charlie Simmons, and Airman 1st Class Jessie Brown.

October 6, 1954 – The Kentucky Medal for Valor presented to Airman 1st Class Jessie Brown, Tech. Sgt. Walter Carter, Master Sgt. Howard Curtis and Tech. Sgt. Charles Simmons by Governor Lawrence Wetherby. They were the first Kentucky Air National Guard recipients to be awarded the medal.

October 7, 1961 – The 413th Ordnance Company arrived at Fort Stewart for active duty in response to the Berlin Crisis. They returned to Kentucky National Guard status on August 12, 1962.

October 7, 2001 – Operation Enduring Freedom began (Global War on Terrorism).

October 8, 1862 – Battle of Perryville, followed by Gen. Bragg’s withdrawal from Kentucky (Civil War).

October 8, 1971 – Operation Jefferson Glenn (Vietnam War)

October 9, 1950 – Invasion of North Korea (Korean War)

October 10, 1774 – Battle of Point Pleasant during Lord Dunmore’s War. Frontier militiamen from Va. were attacked by Ohio River Valley Indian tribes. After an all day battle the Indians left the field, heavy casualties on both sides. The treaty that followed this battle ceded the land southeast of Ohio River to Virginia, opening up that territory for settlement.

October 10, 1864 – Sgt. John Darrough from Maysville, Ky., serving with F Company, 113th Illinois Infantry saves the life a Union officer during action near Eastport, Miss.  For his heroism, he receives the Medal of Honor.

October 10, 1942 – Sgt. Oscar Dean, Company D, 192nd Tank Battalion (Harrodsburg Tankers) died at Camp Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines of dysentery (World War II).

October 10, 1950 – Kentucky Air National Guard’s 123rd Fighter Group, personnel and equipment placed on active duty at the direction of President Harry S. Truman. They are ordered to report to Standiford Municipal Airport to serve for a period of 21 consecutive months unless sooner relieved. The unit is part of the First Air Force, Continental Air Command. Elements called to active duty: 123rd Fighter Group, 165th Fighter Squadron, 223rd Air Service Group (Less Detachment C) and 165th Utility Flight (Korean War).

October 10, 1961 – The 3rd Medium Tank Battalion arrived at Fort Knox for active duty in response to the Berlin Crisis. They returned to Kentucky National Guard status on August 12, 1962.

October 11, 1867 – Gov. John W. Stevenson authorizes Adjutant General Frank Wolford to raise 3 volunteer companies in Boyle, Marion, and Casey counties, to sustain the laws and protect the people against the outrages and murders of the “regulators.”

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National Guard Association of the United States

October 11, 1879 – The first annual conference of the National Guard Association is held. The Association, which continues in operation today, acts as a political interest group representing Guard concerns with members of Congress. Federal law prohibits members of the armed forces on active duty from ‘lobbying’ Congress so the Association, which is composed of active and retired Guard officers, performs this function.

October 11, 1991 – Tebbs Shewmaker Moore is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Wallace G. Wilkinson.

October 12, 2000 – Bombing of USS Cole in Yemen.

October 13, 1775 – United States Navy established in Philadelphia, Pa.

October 14, 1861 – John William Finnell is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Beriah Magoffin and re-appointed to the position by Gov. James F. Robinson.

October 14, 1858 – Presentation to the Masonic Grand Lodge of Kentucky, of the sword worn by Col. Joseph Hamilton Daviess when he fell at the Battle of Tippecanoe – enclosed in a box made of oak from the vary tree under whose shade he expired; presented by Judge Levi H. Todd, of Indiana, a native of Kentucky and a member of the family of Col. Daviess.

October 14, 1952 – Operation Showdown/Battle of Hill 598 (Sniper Ridge) began. (Korean War)

October 15, 1813 – Kentucky troops reach Frenchtown, on the river Raisin, on their return from the victory of the Thames. They collect 65 skeletons of their massacred countrymen, and inter them with proper honors. (War of 1812)

Surrender at Yorktown, 1781

Cornwallis’ surrender at Yorktown, 1781

October 19, 1781 – Surrender of Gen. Charles Cornwallis at Yorktown, Virginia. (American Revolutionary War)

October 19, 2001 – First U.S. Combat Forces on ground in Afghanistan. (Operation Enduring Freedom)

October 20, 1969 – 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery returned home and was released from active duty on October 20, 1969 after serving 11½ months in Vietnam. (Vietnam War)

October 20, 1950 – Korean War’s first Airborne Operation (Korean War)

October 22, 1790 – Harmar’s Defeat. Col. Trotter leads Kentuckians during the campaign. (Early Indian Wars)

October 23, 1944– Battle for Leyte Gulf (World War II)

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Capt. John Shewmaker

October 23, 1951 – Capt. John William Shewmaker of Harrodsburg was a pilot with the 165th Fighter Squadron for several years and went to Korea with the 111th Fighter-Bomber Squadron and was killed while flying an escort mission over North Korea on a bombing raid on this date. He was classified missing in action until the end of 1953. The Kentucky Air National Guard base was named Shewmaker Air National Guard Base in his honor on February 17, 1959 with a public ceremony in June 1960. The name was ordered changed in 1976 with the new designation of Standiford Field (ANG).

October 23, 1965 – Battle of the Ia Drang Valley began (Vietnam War)

October 23, 1983 – Beirut Terrorist Attack

October 23, 2012 – Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team V deploys to Afghanistan under the command of Col. Bob Hayter. The deployment would be the last Kentucky ADT mission. The mission of the ADT was to mentor and develop Afghan farmers and local officials in the sustainable and economically viable farming techniques to counter insurgency and help stabilize the Afghan government. (Operation Enduring Freedom)

October 24 – United Nations Day

October 24, 1944 – Pvt. Vernon H. Bussell, Pfc. Robert V. Cloyd, Pfc. Ancel Edgar Crick, Pvt. First Class John Lewis Cummins, Pvt. James William Sallee, all serving with Headquarters Company 192nd Light Tank Battalion (Harrodsburg Tankers) died aboard the Japanese “Hell Ship” Arisan Maru, when it was sunk.

October 25, 1983 – Operation Urgent Fury.

October 26, 1918 – Godman Airfield at Fort Knox becomes first airfield for U.S. Army Air Corps in Kentucky. It was built for the 29th Aero Squadron and first used by the 31st Balloon Company.

October 27 – Navy Day

October 28, 1961 – The 2nd Medium Tank Battalion arrived at Fort Stewart for active duty in response to the Berlin Crisis. They returned to Kentucky National Guard status on August 12, 1962.

October 29, 1967– Battle of Loc Ninh began (Vietnam War)

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2nd Lt. Richard Hudson

October 30, 1957 – 2nd Lt. Richard Lloyd Hudson perished near Vevay, In., when the Kentucky Air National Guard F-86A Sabre Jet he was piloting crashed during a routine Air Defense Command scramble. He enlisted in the Kentucky Air National Guard in August 1953. He entered cadet training in November 1955 and received his commission and wings on March 28, 1957.

October 31, 1968 – Operation Rolling Thunder ended (Vietnam War)

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Sgt. Daniel Wallace

October 31, 2008 – Sgt. Daniel Wallace, of Dry Ridge, Grant County, Kentucky was killed when his unit was attacked by enemy forces while conducting a route clearing mission to remove improvised explosive devices (IED’s) in West Paktika Province, Afghanistan. Wallace was a member of Company C, 201st Engineer Battalion based in Cynthiana and serving with Company B from Olive Hill in Afghanistan. Wallace was serving as a gunner on a Mine-Resistant, Armor-Protected vehicle (MRAP) when they came under small-arms fire.  The 201st mobilized in March 2008 and deployed to Afghanistan in May 2008. Wallace enlisted in the Kentucky National Guard in May of 2006.

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