Military history for December

The following is a compilation of significant dates in our Nation’s and our commonwealth’s military history.  For more on the legacy of Kentucky’s men and women in uniform, visit the Kentucky National Guard eMuseum.

Last convoy out of Iraq

A Kentucky Guardsman with the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade waves the Kentucky flag at the border crossing into Kuwait, Dec.2, 2011, as part of one of the last Kentucky convoy out of the country. (Kentucky National Guard photo by Capt. Andrea Hahn)

Pfc. Alva Holland

Pfc. Alva Holland

December 1, 2009 – Pfc. Alva Lorenzy Holland, of Bellevue, Ky., was killed in a motorcycle accident while en route to 149th Vertical Engineer Construction Company of Cynthiana. Holland was a medical assistant at a chiropractic center in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was a 2004 graduate of Bellevue High School and was a medic with the 149th.  Holland volunteered for an active duty deployment in February, 2010 with the 2123rdTransportation Company.

December 2, 2011 – Last Soldiers of the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade leave Iraq. They are among the final U.S. Forces to exit the country following the nearly nine-year war. (Operation New Dawn)

December 6, 1776 – Kentucky County established by Virginia, out of part of Fincastle County.

December 7 – National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, observed in remembrance of the December 7, 1941 attack.

December 7, 1971 – Richard L. Frymire is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Wendell H. Ford.  He would be re-appointed by Gov. Julian Carroll.  Frymire, the former commander of the 165th Rac. Recon. Sq. became the first member of the Kentucky Air National Guard to serve as Adjutant General of Kentucky.

December 7, 1987 – Michael Walker Davidson is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Wallace G. Wilkinson.

Courier Journal Dec. 8, 1941

Front page of the Courier Journal, Louisville, Ky., Dec. 8, 1941.

December 8, 1941 – The United States declared war on Japan (World War II)

December 8, 1941 – Initial Japanese attack on the Philippine Islands.  Co. D, 192nd Tank Battalion (aka “The Harrodsburg Tankers”), come under attack. (World War II)

December 8, 1959 – Arthur Young Lloyd is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Bert T. Combs and re-appointed by Gov. Edward T. Breathitt.

Maj. Gen. Billy Wellman

Maj. Gen. Billy G. Wellman

December 8, 1977 – Billy Gene Wellman is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Julian M. Carroll.  He would be re-appointed to the position by Govs. John Y. Brown, and Martha Layne Collins.

December 9, 1947 – Roscoe Lee Murray is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Earle C. Clements and re-appointed by Gov. Lawrence W. Wetherby.

December 8, 2015 – Brig. Gen. Stephen R. Hogan is named adjutant general by Gov. Matt Bevin.

December 9, 1990 – 1st Battalion, 623rd Field Artillery federally activated for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

December 9, 2003 – Donald C. Storm is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Ernest Fletcher.

December 10, 1829 – Peter Dudley is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Thomas Metcalf.  Dudley would be re-appointed to the position by Governors John Breathitt, James T. Morehead, James Clark, Charles A. Wicklife, Robert P. Letcher, William Owsley, John J. Crittenden, and John L. Helm.

December 10, 1895 – Daniel Ray Collier receives his first appointment as Adjutant General of Kentucky from Gov. William O. Bradley.  He received a second appointment on November 1, 1898, from Gov. William S. Taylor. Collier was re-appointed Adjutant General under Gov. William S. Taylor on December 13, 1899, following the contested governor’s election, and  continued to hold office simultaneously with John B. Castleman from February 3, 1900 while the two candidates disputed the issues in the courts. Collier remained in office in the Old Capitol, serving under Taylor, until May 22, 1900, at which time he yielded the office to General Castleman in compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court order.

December 10, 1903 – William Purcell Dennis (Percy) Haly is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. J.C.W. Beckham.

December 10, 1939 – John Arthur Polin is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Keen Johnson.

December 10, 1950 – Wonsan-Hungnam Campaign ended. (Korean War)

Maj. Gen. Robert DeZarn

Maj. Gen. Robert DeZarn

December 10, 1991 – Robert Louis DeZarn is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Brereton C. Jones.

December 11, 1923 – Jouett Henry Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. William J. Fields.

December 11, 1935 – George Lee McClain is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Albert B. (Happy) Chandler.

December 11, 1941 – The United States declared war on Germany and Italy. (World War II)

December 11, 1951 – Jesse Scott Lindsay is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Lawrence W. Wetherby.

December 11, 2006 – Staff Sgt. Thomas W. Clemons, Falls of Rough, (Grayson County) Ky., died as he was preparing to go on patrol with his team near Ad Diwaniyah, Iraq, when he succumbed to a heart attack.  A member of the Kentucky Army Guard since August 2000, Clemons deployed in March 2006 to Iraq with Company B, 2nd Battalion, 123rdArmor.
clemons_thomas

Staff Sgt. Thomas Clemons

December 11, 2007 – Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini is appointed Adjutant General by Gov. Steve Beshear.

December 12, 1967 – Allan Kenneth Carrell is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Louie B. Nunn.

December 12, 1985 – Gander, Newfoundland airplane crash. Upon leaving the Gander airfield, a military chartered Arrow Air DC-8 left from Gander headed for Fort Campbell, Kentucky, the plane crashed shortly after take-off, killing all 256 people aboard. Two hundred forty-eight members of the 101st Airborne Division and eight crewmembers died.

December 12, 1995 – John Russell Groves, Jr. is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Paul E. Patton.

December 13, 1636 – General Court of the Massachusettes Bay Colony ordered the organization of the Colony’s militia companies into three regiments, the North, South and East Regiments. The colonists had adopted an English militia system in which all males, aged 16-60 were required to possess arms and participate in the defense of the community. The roots of the modern day National Guard.

Pvt. Willard Yeast

Pvt. Willard Yeast

December 13, 1907 – Philip Preston Johnston is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Augustus E. Wilson.

December 13, 1955 – John Jacob Bethurum Williams is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Albert B. Chandler.

December 13, 2003 – Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein captured near his home town of Tikrit, Iraq by U.S. Forces.

December 14, 1927 – William Henry Jones, Jr. is appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Gov. Flem D. Sampson and re-appointed to the position by Gov. Ruby Laffoon.

December 14, 1944 – Staff Sgt Joseph Baxter Million, and Pvt. Willard R. Yeast, both of Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion (aka “The Harrodsburg Tankers”) died when they were burned to death during the Palawan Island Massacre. (World War II)

December 14, 2002 – Carrollton National Guard Armory named in honor of Robert “Goose” Caldwell.

carroltonarmory

Caldwell Armory, home of Alpha Battery, 2/138th FIeld Artillery

December 16, 1944 – Battle of the Bulge began (World War II)

December 16, 1951 – 1st Lt. Lawrence Bertrand Kelly of Louisville (Jefferson County) died in Korea while serving on active duty flying an F-80 with the 80th Fighter Bomber Squadron, 8th FTR Bomb Group. He was declared missing on this date and his status was changed from MIA to KIA on December 31, 1953. Prior to his active service he was a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard. (Korean War)

December 17, 1861 – Battle of Rowletts Station (Hart County) (Civil War)

December 17, 1989 – Operation Just Cause (Panama).

Battle of Mississinewa

Battle of Mississinewa, Ind.

December 17-18, 1812– Battle of Mississinewa (near Marion, In.) (War of 1812)

December 18, 1972 – Operation Linebacker II (Christmas Bombing) (Vietnam War)

December 20, 1919 – James Madison DeWeese receives his first appointment as Adjutant General of Kentucky, his second appointment is June 16, 1920, by appointments made by Gov. Edwin P. Morrow.

December 22, 1921 – Newport Rolling Mills Strike Duty – The Kentucky National Guard under command of Col. Henry H. Denhardt, who later became Adjutant General, ordered by Gov. Edwin P. Morrow to quiet rioting and wide-spread violence. The first troops arrived on the morning of December 24th to sound of gunfire. The strike continued into 1922.

December 22, 1921– Cpl. Edward Vivion Trisler, of Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion died on 23 December 1942 at Camp Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines of dysentery.

Pvt. Robert Brooks

Pvt. Robert Brooks

December 23, 1941 – The main parade grounds at Fort Knox named Brooks Field in honor of Private Robert H. Brooks of Sadieville. Brooks was the first Armored Force casualty of World War II, killed in the Philippines while serving with Co. D, 192nd Tank Battalion. (World War II)

December 24, 1921 – Pvt. Robert Deaton, a member of Company G, 149th Infantry, Barbourville, Ky., was accidentally killed at the corner of Powell and Brighton streets in Covington, while on state active duty during steel strikes at Newport. While he and Sgt. Charles Black were on duty, Sgt. Black became suddenly ill and about to fall, in recovering his balance his right arm knocked Deaton’s revolver from his holster. The revolver fell to the street discharging the cartridge. The bullet struck the right side of Deaton’s neck. He was rushed to the hospital but bled to death on the way. Col. H. H. Denhardt, commanding the troops made an investigation and pronounced the death accidental. Denhardt would later serve as Adjutant General.

December 24, 1964 – USAF began strikes on Laos. (Vietnam War)

December 25, 1846 – Gen. Alexander W. Doniphan (formerly of Mason County, Ky.) defeats the Mexicans at Bracito. (Mexican-American War)

December 27, 1860 – Major Robert Anderson (of Kentucky), U.S. Army, in command in Charleston harbor, burns the inside of Fort Moultrie, spikes the guns, and retires, with his band of 80 men, to Fort Sumter. (Civil War)

December 29, 1776 – McClellan’s fort (Georgetown) attacked by Indians. (Early Indian Wars)

December 29, 1862 – U.S. Army Col. James Williamson from Adair County, Ky., while serving with the 4th Iowa Infantry, led his regiment against a superior force, strongly entrenched, and held his ground when all support had been withdrawn during the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou, Miss. Williamson received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

December 31, 1946 – President Harry S. Truman officially proclaims the end of hostilities in World War II.

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