Military history for April

The following is a compilation of significant dates in our 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.

Roadblock on the Road to Bataan

Battle for Bataan, April, 1942

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

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

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

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James Alexander Sherrill

April 3, 2005 – Sgt. James Alexander Sherrill, of Ekron, Ky. in Meade County, was killed in Bayji, Iraq, when his armored medium truck encountered an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Sherrill was assigned to the  2113th Transportation Company, Paducah, Ky. This unit mobilized for Operation Iraqi Freedom in December 2004 and deployed to Southwest Asia in January 2005.

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)

Appomattox surrender

Confederate Soldiers surrender to Gen. Joshua L. Chamberlain during the Army of Northern Virginia’s surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, Va., April 9, 1865.

April 9, 1856 – Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Va. (Civil War)

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

Bataan death march

American and Filipino Soldiers during the Bataan death march, April, 1942.

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 War)

April 10, 1990 – Staff Sgt. Regina L. Isenberg of Bowling Green was killed in a military vehicle accident on the Western Kentucky Parkway near Leitchfield in Grayson County. She was assigned to Headquarters, State Area Command (STARC) Kentucky Army National Guard.  She was transporting a M-60 tank engine from the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center to the Combined Support Maintenance Shop (CSMS) in Frankfort in an engineer dump truck on rain slick roads. She was a Technician Material Control and Accounting Specialist at the Unit Training Equipment Site (UTES 2) in Greenville. Isenberg graduated from Warren Central High School in 1978 and joined the 2123d Transportation Company in Bowling Green in February 1981. She also served in Headquarters and Headquarters Battery of the 138th Field Artillery Brigade.

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 – Persian Gulf Official Cease Fire

April 13, 1865 – Louisville native, U.S. Army Maj. John Francis Weston, while serving with the 4th Regiment Kentucky Volunteer Cavalry, was part of a daring raid on Confederate supply boats near Wetumpka, Ala., capturing all supplies and boats. He would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions. Weston enlisted in the Union Army at the age of 16 while his father, uncle and brother joined the Confederacy. After the Civil War, Weston would serve for more than 40 years in the Army, reaching the rank of major general before retiring in 1909. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

April 15, 1777 – First attack on Fort Boonesborough by Indians (Early Indian Wars)

April 16, 1851 – John Marshall Harlan appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Governor John L. Helm.  At time of his appointment Harlan was 17 years old, the youngest individual to hold the position.  He served as Adjutant General from 1851 to 1859.

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

April 16, 1978 – Private First Class Jeffery Clinton Howard died while training with his unit, the 307th Maintenance Company – Central City, at Ft. Campbell. Howard reportedly retrieved his gas mask from the cab of the truck to put it on as a part of training and unknowingly released the hand brake before he walked behind the truck, which had been parked on a gradual incline, the vehicle rolled backwards some 4 feet and pinned him between a tree and the trailer of a truck.

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Master Sgt. Clinton Wayne Cubert

April 16, 2006 – Master Sgt. Clinton Wayne Cubert, died at the Lexington Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Lexington, Ky., of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his armored Humvee during combat operations in Samarra, Iraq, on Sept. 11, 2005.  Cubert was assigned to the 2113th Transportation Company, based in Paducah, during his deployment.

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

 

 

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Robert Henderson

April 17, 2004 – First Lieutenant Robert Lewis Henderson, II, of Alvaton, Ky., (Warren County) died in Diwaniyah, Iraq when his convoy tried to avoid an overturned trailer and came under small arms attack.  Henderson, though mortally wounded, continued to drive his vehicle and lead the convoy out of the ambush and repositioned his vehicle so that the other soldiers in the vehicle could return fire before he collapsed.  Henderson was assigned to Detachment 1, 2123rd Transportation Company, Owensboro, Ky.

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

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

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Sgt. Randolph Sigley

April 18, 2010 – Sgt. Randolph A. Sigley Jr., of Richmond (Madison County), was found dead in his quarters at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan where he was serving with the 2123rd Transportation Company. A member of the Kentucky Army National Guard since 2006, Sigley served from 2000-2004 with the United States Marine Corps.  He served a tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Marines.

April 19, 1906 – Henry Robert Lawrence appointed Adjutant General of Kentucky by Governor J. C. W. Beckham.

April 19, 1968 – 2nd Battalion, 138th Field Artillery, Kentucky National Guard with units in Louisville, Bardstown, Elizabethtown and Carrollton, Kentucky 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)

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Capt. Clayton Adamkavicius

April 20, 2006 – Capt. Clayton Lee Adamkavicius, of Louisville, was mortally wounded by small arms fire while investigating an anti-coalition weapons cache discovered near Dihrawud district, Uruzghan Province, Afghanistan. Adamkavicius, a native of California, joined the Kentucky Army National Guard in 1999, and was assigned to Headquarters Company, 149th Brigade in Louisville. Adamkavicius was on his third operational deployment with the Kentucky National Guard. His first deployment was to Eastern Europe in 2003 where he served as Commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 123rd Armor, in support of Operation Joint Forge at Eagle Base, Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina. In a subsequent deployment to Bosnia in 2004, he served with Headquarters Company, 149th Brigade. Adamkavicius had been training Afghan soldiers when he was killed.

April 21, 1945 – Second Lieutenant Everett R. Preston, assigned to Company A, 192nd Light Tank Battalion (Harrodsburg Tankers), died at Fukuoka Camp #1-D Honshu, Japan of acute enteritis.

April 22, 1942 – Sgt. Edward Theodore French, Company D, 192nd Light Tank Battalion (Harrodsburg Tankers) died in a field hospital on Bataan while recovering from shrapnel wounds received in a Japanese bombing attack. He perished when the hospital was inadvertently hit by artillery fire from Fort Drum.

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)

battle of Derne

The Battle of Derne, Triploi, April 27, 1805

April 27, 1805 – Battle of Derne – 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. 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 O’Bannon’s expedition. O’Bannon is buried in the Frankfort Cemetery. (War with Tripoli)

April 28, 1967 – Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army and was stripped of his boxing title.

April 29, 1984 – Private Steven E. Jones of DeMossville (Pendleton County), died while training with his unit, Company C, 201st Engineer Battalion in Cynthiana. Jones was killed after an accident near the armory when the unit was training on erecting and using gin poles. Jones was struck by the pole when the rigging failed and he was unable to escape the falling pole. He was given immediate aid by members of the 475th Combat Support Hospital who were at the armory and transported to the hospital but he died from his injuries a short time later. Jones had just joined the unit on March 2, 1984 and was training with the unit until he got orders sending him to basic and advanced training as a Combat Engineer.

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