National Guard

 
November - Today in Guard History
November 1
One of the Curtis XO-12's issued to the 118th Observation SquadronOne of the Curtis XO-12's issued to the 118th Observation Squadron in the late 1920s. Its rotary engine, excellent for fighter aircraft for its power and ability to steeply climb to high altitudes, proved less satisfactory when used to power a plane which was intended to fly, slower and with less vibration so its manually operated camera could take sharp images.
The Air Guard, by Rene Francillon, Aerograph Press, 1983

1924Brainart Field, Connecticut - The 118th Observation Squadron, an element of the 43rd Division receives federal recognition on this date. Originally issued with obsolete Curtis JN-4 "Jennies" left over from World War I, the unit was later equipped with experimental Curtis OX-12's with rotary engines and a swept-wing design. While the planes proved an unstable photo-recon platform, the technology continued to improve so by World War II many American aircraft were propelled by rotary engines. When the unit was mobilized in February 1941 for World War II it was flying North American O-47B observation aircraft. Once on active duty it flew antisubmarine patrols off the coasts of South Carolina until it deployed to India in 1943. It ended the war flying reconnaissance missions in China.

November 2
Eleventh President of the United States James K. PolkEleventh President of the United States James K. Polk.
Painting by Chet Jezierski for the National Guard Bureau Presidential Series

1795Mecklenburg Co., North Carolina - Eleventh President of the United States James K. Polk is born. After graduating from law school in North Carolina he moved to Tennessee to practice law. There he became a close friend of General Andrew Jackson. Based upon this relationship, in 1821 Polk, with Jackson's support, was commissioned as a captain in the Maury County, TN, militia. In 1824 he was promoted to major, just before he resigned to run for Congress. He eventually served as Speaker of the House from 1835-1839, supporting Jackson in his ‘war' over the abolishment of the National Bank. He then was elected Governor of Tennessee, serving until his election as the 11th President in 1844. Polk is best remembered as the President who got the United States involved in a war with Mexico, which resulted in America gaining the vast southwest area which today comprises the states of Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico. He died less than a year after leaving office, in June 1849.

November 3
A large portion of army which fought in the 1781 Cowpen's CampaignA large portion of army which fought in the 1781 Cowpen's Campaign was composed of Virginia militia, including many former Continental troops released from active duty but who volunteered to again serve on a part time basis. Shown is a soldier of Captain James Tate's Company from Augusta County. He is rolling cartridges, the bullet of the day, for use in his British-made "Brown Bess" musket. Consisting of blackpowder and a musket ball, these were usually made up ahead of battle by the men themselves. They were stored until needed in a cartridge box, sometimes made of tin like the one shown by his foot
Pen and ink drawing by Robert Flory for the Virginia National Guard Historical Collection

1741Beverley's Mill Place (today Staunton), Virginia - The Augusta County Regiment was organized on this date. Men from this regiment would fight under Lieutenant Colonel George Washington during the French and Indian War (1755-1763); again under Washington during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783); and under General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson during the Civil War, where the regiment earned the nickname "Stonewall Brigade" it still carries today. Its descendant unit, the 116th Infantry, became part of the 29th Infantry Division in 1917 and saw heavy fighting with it in both world wars, including leading the assault wave on Omaha Beach on D-Day. In the War on Terror different battalions of the 116th Infantry, still part of the 29th Division, have served on missions ranging from guarding the perimeter (but not the prisoners) of Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to teaching soldier skills and combat tactics to the members of the newly organized Afghan army.

 

November 4
Members of the 'Sinai Battalion'Members of the "Sinai Battalion" pass in review for dignitaries as they leave for their assignment to safeguard the peace between Israel and Egypt. Guard soldiers comprised 72 percent of the light infantry battalion and filled 45 percent of its leadership positions.
National Guard Bureau Historical Files

1994Ft. Bragg, North Carolina - The 4th Battalion, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division is activated. This unit, better known in the Guard community as the "Sinai Battalion" is composed of 401 Guard volunteers drawn from 24 states plus a few Army Reserve and active duty soldiers. Its mission was to deploy to the border between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai Desert as a peace keeping force as authorized by the 1978 Peace Accords ending the war between the two nations. After intensive training the unit stayed on the border for six months and returned home to July 1995. The commander of the Multinational Force to which the battalion was assigned remarked it "was the best prepared U.S. Battalion to rotate to the Sinai.".

November 5
Watch Over The Rhine"Watch Over The Rhine" depicts pilots of Tennessee's 151st Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, flying their Lockheed F-104A Starfighter jets over the German countryside. The squadron was stationed at Ramstein Airbase in West Germany.
Painting by Ken Riley for the National Guard Bureau Heritage Series

1961Skies over West Germany - In the wake of the Soviet Union's continued construction of the Berlin Wall which they started in August 1961, and a fear of possible conflict in Germany, on October 1st President John F. Kennedy mobilized selected reserve components units including elements of the Army and Air National Guard. To prove his determination to protect Germany along with the other NATO allies, he authorized the deployment ofeleven Air Guard fighter squadrons to bases in Germany, France and Spain (a non-NATO ally). The first of these squadrons arrived in late October, less than a month after mobilization. By this date several, including Missouri's 110th and New Jersey's 141st tactical fighter squadrons, had their ground service personnel join them and they became fully operational. They soon began flying patrols along the border dividing East from West Germany. No Army Guard units were deployed overseas although two divisions and numerous non-divisional units were on active duty in the U.S. Fortunately, no war erupted and by the summer of 1962 all the Guard units were released from active duty.

November 6
Officers from various units of the 40th Infantry DivisionOfficers from various units of the 40th Infantry Division practice digging defensive fighting positions, commonly referred to as "foxholes" while training at Camp Cooke, preparing for their deployment to Korea.
National Guard Education Foundation

1950Camp Cooke, California - The men of California's 40th Infantry Division, numbering 12,065 all ranks, increase their training for preparation for deployment to Korea. Mobilized in September the division, like most other Army Guard units, was immediately levied of most of its World War II veterans who were sent to Korea right away as individual replacements. This policy left the division struggling to train all of the new draftees being assigned to fill its ranks before deployment. Instead of going right to Korea, the 40th was shipped to Japan in April 1951 to continue its training while being closer to the front if quickly needed. It was deployed to Korea in December 1951 and remained in-country until after the armistice ended the fighting in July 1953.

November 7
Ninth President of the United States William H. HarrisonNinth President of the United States William H. Harrison.
Painting by Chet Jezierski for the National Guard Bureau Presidential Series

1811"Prophet Town" near the Tippecanoe River, Indiana - While England and America would not actually go to war until 1812, there was trouble between the Indians (stirred up by the British) and frontier families before hostilities became formalized. The Governor of the Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison, who acted also as a general of militia, commanded an army numbering about 1,000 militiamen as they approach the stronghold of the Shawnee war chief Tecumseh and his brother, a mystic known as the "Prophet." The Prophet foretold of the defeat of the Americans which would force the whites back east away from tribal lands. Tecumseh and his brother used this vision to build a confederacy of mid-western tribes. It was part of this group, gathered at "Prophet Town" that Harrison set out to destroy. However, on this date the American camp was attacked by the Prophet before Harrison reached his goal. After an inconclusive battle in which both sides claimed victory, the Indians withdrew leaving the Americans to burn the town. Tecumseh was away and took no part in the engagement but high losses among the Indians did weaken the confederacy. Harrison had 190 men killed or wounded, nearly 20% of his force. In his report he claimed a great victory which he later used as part of his 1840 presidential campaign slogan "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too!" ("Tyler" was John Tyler, who was a captain of a rifle company in the Virginia militia during the War of 1812). Tecumseh and Harrison would later face each other in battle, first at Fort Meigs, OH, in May 1813 and then at the Battle of the Thames River in Canada in October 1813. At this engagement, Tecumseh was killed and the confederacy died with him.

November 8
Members of the 168th Infantry (Iowa)Members of the 168th Infantry (Iowa) prepare a machine gun position at a U.S. airfield in Algeria soon after their successful landings on this date.
National Archives and Records Administration

1942Algeria - As part of Operation TORCH, the 168th Infantry (IA), 34th Infantry Division (IA, MN, ND, SD) makes an assault landing on the coast of this French colony but meets little resistance as it seizes both the port and the airfield. The colony is controlled by the Vichy French government, a puppet regime under the power of Adolf Hitler. While some French officers try to lead their men in resisting the American landing, most of their troops decide to join the Allies against the hated Nazis. By January 1943 the balance of the 34th has landed and is moving across North Africa but encounters fierce opposition from the vaunted German Afrika Corps in Tunisia. Once the Germans are defeated and the African campaign ends in May, the division prepares itself for its next mission, the invasion of Italy. After making another assault landing at Salerno on September 9th, it spends the rest of the war slogging its way up the Italian ‘boot,' ending the war northwest of Milan. The 34th is credited with 535 days in contact with the enemy, one of the highest number of days in combat of any division in the Army. It had nine members awarded the Medal of Honor and suffered 14,895 total causalities (killed, wounded and missing).

November 9
Air Guard fighter squadrons with their F-100In addition to the two Air Guard fighter squadrons with their F-100 serving in Korea, was New Mexico's 150th Combat Support Squadron. It preformed many administrative tasks necessary to keep the unit running smoothly. Captain Emilio Sanchez (in tan shirt) and his two co-workers all staff the pay section.
National Guard Education Foundation

1968Kusan, South Korea - Two Air Guard squadrons, Kansas' 127th and Ohio's 166th Tactical Fighter squadrons, both mobilized in the aftermath of the North Korean seizure of the USS Pueblo in January 1968, take part in a joint South Korean-American military exercise. Both squadrons, armed with F-100C fighter-bombers, the same type of aircraft being flown by Air Guard units in Vietnam, are used primarily in a ground support role, trained to attack enemy convoys, bunkers and supply points. Each plane is capable of carrying bombs (including napalm), air-to-ground rockets plus having cannon and machine guns to attack ground troops or defend themselves in air-to-air combat. Joining the two fighter squadrons in Korea was New Mexico's 150th Combat Support Squadron, composed of ground maintenance personnel, responsible to keep the aircraft ready to fly.

 

November 10
California Guardsmen patrol the streets of San Francisco following the devastating earthquakeSergeant Alfred Schmidt poses for the camera while serving on the Mexican Border. Note the tent flap behind him is stenciled "3rd Infantry/NGDC."
Courtesy of Mrs. Susan Foulke

1916San Antonio, Texas - Sergeant Alfred G. Schmidt of Company D, 3rd Infantry Regiment, National Guard of the District of Columbia wins his fourth straight rifle match competition against the best marksmen from several other Guard units all stationed at Camp Wilson, outside of San Antonio. The marksmen were all part of the 158,664 Guardsmen mobilized from every state (except Nevada which had no National Guard in 1916) by President Woodrow Wilson to guard the U.S.-Mexico border against bandit raids from Mexico. Schmidt was mobilized for World War I service in 1917 with the 3rd Infantry, NGDC but fought in a non-Guard division in France. He returned to serve in the DC Guard in the 1920s.

November 11
55mm howitzers of Battery C, 130th Field ArtilleryAt 11 AM all the guns on the Western Front, including these 155mm howitzers of Battery C, 130th Field Artillery, an element of the 35th Division fell silent. The fighting was over. The 130th had been the 1st Regiment Field Artillery, Kansas National Guard before the war.
National Archives and Records Administration

1918France - The armistice ending World War I takes effect at 11 AM. More than 325,876 American soldiers are casualties during the war. Of this number 115,660 died (from all causes including disease). Given the way records were kept, there is no accurate number as to how many of these casualties were Guardsmen. However, since nearly half of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) was composed of 18 Guard divisions plus numerous non-divisional units and individual Guardsmen were assigned to non-Guard units, it is surely a high number. Another way to measure Guard involvement is the fact that the 30th Division (NC, SC, TN) has 12 men awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest number of any division in AEF.

November 12
Wisconsin's 126th, at the time of mobilization in 1940Many of the Guard observation squadrons, including Wisconsin's 126th, at the time of mobilization in 1940 were flying North American O-47B photo-reconnaissance aircraft. By current standards in the European war, these were obsolete but they remained in service until late in the war, being used for coastal anti-submarine patrols. Besides being camera-equipped each was capable of carrying up to 500 pounds of bombs or one depth charge to attack submarines.
National Guard Education Foundation

1940Milwaukee, Wisconsin - As war raged in Europe and the very real possibility that the U.S. might be attacked was present in most people's minds, the Army authorized the organization of seven new observation squadrons in the National Guard, even as Guard units are being mobilized for their one year of ‘emergency' training in case of war. On this date the 126th Observation Squadron receives federal recognition at Milwaukee. It was organized and commanded by Major Paul Meyers, the first American aviator in World War I to receive the French Croix de Guerre (Cross of War) Medal for valor in combat. The unit flew obsolete North American O-47B observation aircraft. Unlike prewar observation squadrons, the 126th was not assigned to a Guard division, rather it was assigned directly in support of the II Army Corps and performed various duties, including photographing portions of the Carolina Maneuvers in the autumn of 1941. During the war it served in a photographic reconnaissance role in the European Theater as part of the 9th Air Force and XII Tactical Air Command. After the war the 126th was first reorganized as a fighter squadron, but in 1962 it had a change of mission, converting to an aerial refueling unit flying the KC-97 Stratofreighter until, in 1977, they were reequipped with the KC-135 Stratotanker.

November 13
F-16 'Flying Falcon' fightersAs the American build up of forces in Saudi Arabia changed from defensive to offensive, among the Air Force units deployed were two Air Guard fighter units, both flying F-16 'Flying Falcon' fighters. These were South Carolina's 169th Tactical Fighter Group and New York's 174th Tactical Fighter Wing. This images shows one of the F-16's for the 169th preparing for take off. Note the white "fox head" insignia behind the cockpit. The unit's nickname is the "Swamp Foxes" after Revolutionary War militia guerilla leader Francis Marion, known as the 'Swamp Fox.'
National Guard Education Foundation

1990Washington, DC - President George H. W. Bush extends the initial mobilization of all Reserve Component units called in support of Operation Desert Shield from 90-days to 180-days (soon to be increased to 360-days) as the mission changes from defending Saudi Arabia from Iraqi invasion to compelling the Iraqi Army to withdraw from Kuwait. Along with this announcement came his decision to send an additional 200,000 troops (all branches) to the Southwest Asia theater.

November 14
Members of the 1229th Transportation CompanyMembers of the 1229th Transportation Company from Crisfield, Maryland, arrive in Saudi Arabia before the war.
National Guard Education Foundation

1990Washington, DC - Following the decision, announced yesterday by President George H.W. Bush, to build an offensive force strong enough to push the Iraqi Army out of Kuwait, Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney announces a Reserve Component partial mobilization numbering 125,000. By the time Operation Desert Storm starts on January 16, 1991, 72,867 Guard personnel (62,411 Army and 10,456 Air), are serving on active duty. Of this number some 38,000 Army Guard and 5,240 Air Guard members will serve in the Gulf region during the conflict.

November 15
Lieutenant James ThompsonOne of the defenders of Savannah was Lieutenant James Thompson of the 5th Georgia Infantry. His unit fought several delaying actions trying to stop General Sherman from taking the city, but to no availablel.
National Archives and Records Administration

1864San Francisco, CA - The "great" earthquake strikes this morning. Within hours large portions of the city not already destroyed by the quake itself are consumed in massive, uncontrollable fires. Almost immediately the 2nd Brigade, National Guard of California, under the command of Brigadier General John A. Koster, is called up for state active duty to assist in security. The brigade consisted of one battalion of coast artillery, two troops of cavalry, three infantry regiments and one signal company. However, since many of the members of these units live in the areas affected by the quake they failed to show up, so other California Guardsmen from areas spared damage were brought in. So many men served at least some term of service, and the funds used to pay and feed them totaled nearly $400,000, that the state adjutant general reported to the Chief, National Guard Bureau that summer camp for some units of the CA NG was cancelled for 1906. Looting got so bad that the mayor issued a controversial degree allowing military and police authorities to shoot to kill any looters resisting arrest. Several looters, person's actually attacking soldiers (usually found to be drunk) or in other ways causing "trouble" were shot by Guardsmen. The Guard remained on duty until finally released on June 2nd.

November 16

1776Fort Washington, New York - Approximately 8,000 British and "Hessian" (German auxiliaries hired to fight for the British) soldiers, supported by guns from Royal Navy ships, assaulted Fort Washington on the northern end of Manhattan Island. The fort, meant to hold only about 500 men had been flooded by retreating American troops seeking shelter from the furious attacks which saw many of their comrades killed by Hessian bayonets (few Americans had these to use in their defense). Before the royal forces could launch a coordinated attack on the fort itself, Pennsylvania Colonel Robert Magaw surrenders his garrison of more than 3,000 soldiers. Most of these men were members of the 4th and 6th Pennsylvania regiments along with several companies from Maryland and other states. This was the second worst American defeat of the entire war, only the American surrender of 5,500 troops at Charleston, SC in 1780 was more costly.

November 17
Captain Samuel Morris"Captain Samuel Morris, First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry, 1776-1786" a watercolor by Charles M. Lefferls, 1916. This print shows the dress of the City Troop during the Revolution. Today this is one of the very few Guard units who still maintain a ceremonial unit, wearing historically-inspired uniforms, based upon an 19th century pattern.
Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection

1774Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Twenty-eight leading Philadelphians brought together by Abraham Markoe organize the Philadelphia Light Horse, later known as the "First Troop, Philadelphia City Cavalry" or as the "Philadelphia City Troop." This unit fought with the main American army during the Revolution and has remained an important element of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard for more than 200 years. Today it is Troop A, 1st Battalion, 104th Cavalry.

November 18
Trail-Blazers in The Sky"Trail-Blazers in The Sky" showing the successful return of the 1st Aero Squadron back to Mineola.
Painting by Woodi Ishmael for the National Guard Bureau Heritage Series

1916Mineola, New York - Ten JN-4 "Jennies" bi-wing aircraft lift off to undertake a historic flight, becoming the first multi-plane organization to fly a cross-country course totaling about 200 miles. They land in Princeton, NJ, and then return to Mineola the next morning, arriving to find fog and low clouds, however all the planes land safely. Starting just six years after the Wright Brothers made their first flight at Kitty Hawk, NC, in 1903 several Guardsmen in different states started bringing their personal airplanes to drill to teach flying to their comrades. However, it was not until July 16, 1916 that the first National Guard flying unit received federal recognition. New York's 1st Aero Squadron, commanded by Captain Raynal Bolling, an early flight pioneer, made this nationally recognized flight. In 1917 the unit enters active duty for World War I, but never sees combat, being disbanded with its pilots sent to France as individuals. Bolling himself would die in the war, killed not in a "dog fight" against a German airplane but rather in a pistol fight with an enemy officer after Bolling's car was ambushed while near the Front. Bolling Air Force Base in Washington, DC, is named for this Guard aviator.

November 19
Three members of the 32nd Infantry Division19-1942 Three members of the 32nd Infantry Division move supplies by boat on the Girau River, Buna, New Guinea. With no roads through the jungle water and airborne supply was the only way to keep the troops furnished with the food, ammunition and other goods necessary to operate against the Japanese.
National Archives and Records Administration

1942Buna, New Guinea - Elements of the 32nd Infantry Division (MI, WI) enter combat in the jungles and mountains of New Guinea on a campaign that would last into January 1943. Their primary goal is to halt the Japanese advance across the island which would put the enemy on the doorstep of Australia. Among the events of this two month operation was the first large airlift of soldiers from the 40th Infantry Division (AZ, CA, NV, UT) over the Owen Stanley Mountains. By the end of the campaign, the Japanese were stopped and forced to retreat.

Major Charles WattersMajor Charles Watters as a captain in New Jersey's 108th Tactical Fighter Wing.
National Guard Education Foundation

1967Dak To, Vietnam - Many people assume that to earn the Medal of Honor a soldier must kill a large number of the enemy or capture some strategic position. But a look through the records uncovers men who were awarded the Medal for giving of themselves to save the lives of their comrades. Chaplain/Major Charles J. Watters was one such case. Growing up in New Jersey he was ordained a priest and taught Indian children on a reservation school in Arizona before returning home. In 1962 he joined the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing, New Jersey Air National Guard. As a first lieutenant he ministered during drill periods and made himself available during off-duty hours to help individuals needing religious comfort. While he enjoyed his time with the 108th the war in Vietnam was growing in intensity. By 1965 he felt a calling to minister to men suffering the stress of combat. Now a major, he volunteered his services to the Army for duty in Vietnam. The Army gladly accepted though he was reduced to the rank of captain. Watters became jump qualified and was assigned to the 173rd Airborne Brigade, taking part in its first wartime jump in Vietnam. On this date he accompanied Company A, 173rd Support Battalion when it launched an air assault near Dak To. As soon as the paratroopers landed they came under intense enemy fire and the number of wounded men rose sharply. Watters repeatedly ran out in front of his unit's lines to carry back the wounded. Despite pleas from his men the chaplain kept moving between the lines unconcerned by the bullets flying around him. After the company pulled back into a defensive position he again ventured out into "no man's land" three times bring in more wounded. While giving water to the injured he was killed by enemy fire. For his selfless caring of others and the saving of several American lives Chaplain/Major Watters was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He is buried on "Chaplain's Hill" in Arlington National Cemetery. To further honor his life members of the 108th established a fund in his name to assist Indian children in Arizona.

Astronaut Charles Astronaut Charles "Pete" Conrad
National Guardsman, September 1965

1969Ocean of Storms, Moon - Apollo 12's lunar module, "Intrepid", touches down safely. Under the command of Charles "Pete" Conrad, Jr., the only former Guardsman to ever make it to the lunar surface, this is the second manned mission to the Moon. Unlike the other six former Guardsmen turned astronauts during the Apollo program, Conrad had no Air Guard background. Instead he had been a member of the Pennsylvania Army Guard's 103rd Reconnaissance Troop prior to entering Annapolis and beginning a Navy flying career. Conrad had one of the longest records of space travel prior to the shuttle program, logging a total of 22-days. He flew on two Gemini missions and after Apollo 12 he was the commander of the first Skylab II mission, NASA's first space station. On this Moon mission, he and his partner, Allen Bean, collected rocks, set up scientific experiments and removed the camera to return to Earth from Surveyor 3 which had landed on the Moon in 1967. For his outstanding achievements NASA awarded him the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, the only former Guardsman ever to receive this recognition. He died in a motorcycle accident in 1999.

November 20
Companies of 3rd Battalion, 369th InfantryCompanies of 3rd Battalion, 369th Infantry, under the command of Major L'Esperence, marching through Ungersheim, Alsace, on their way to the Balgau on the Rhine. Alsace was traditionally a French province, captured and annexed by the Germans after the 1870 Franco-Prussian War; its population greeted the African Americans with great was enthusiasm
Army Heritage and Education Center

1918Balgau, on the Rhine River, Germany - The 369th Infantry, the famed "Hell Fighters from Harlem" becomes the first American unit to enter German territory following the November 11th armistice ending the fighting of World War I. The 369th was one of three African American infantry regiments organized from existing pre-war black Guard units. Before the war it was designated as the 15th New York Infantry. When America entered World War I the Army had no plan to use black soldiers but it had three existing African American regiments. Given the racist feeling of the time the Army leadership did not want to inter-mix black soldiers into whites-only units and vice versa so they offered the use of the black troops to the French Army, which gladly accepted their service. The three black Guard regiments, each incorporated into three different French divisions, proved their courage in numerous battlefield actions, especially during the Meuse-Argonne offensive which ended the war. The commander of the French 161st Division, to which the 369th was assigned, selected the black soldiers to be the first Allied troops in his section of the Rhineland to take up occupation duties on German territory. This was a great honor and the black Guardsmen knew it. They marched in proud to represent their regiment and nation in front of the scared German populace. Soon, however, the Germans realized they had nothing to fear from the Americans and relaxed, often welcoming the black soldiers into their homes and shops. In fact, in February 1919, as the 369th prepared to return home, the local people held a feast in their honor.

November 21

1747Philadephia, Pennsylvania - Unlike most of the other English colonies established in North America, Pennsylvania was founded by Quakers, a pacifist religious sect opposed to all forms of military service. As long as the Quakers dominated the legislature, no militia law was passed in the colony. To help protect Philadelphia printer Benjamin Franklin secures the pledge of "150 Persons, mostly tradesman," to accept his Articles of Association. The Philadelphia Associators soon constitute an alternative defense force before Pennsylvania finally organizes its first militia units in the 1770s on the eve of the Revolution. Several Pennsylvania Army Guard units today trace their organization dates to the "Associators.".

November 22
National Guard Education Foundation.Second Lieutenant Constance Kries earned the leadership position of her class at the Air Guard's Officer Training School.
National Guard Education Foundation

1970Hensley Field, Dallas, Texas - Second Lieutenant Constance Kries is welcomed back to her unit, the 136th Air Refueling Wing, after completing her Officer Training School (OTS) course leading to her commission. What is remarkable about this feat is that she is the first Air Guard woman to complete the course, only opened to female Guard personnel earlier this year. She not only finished the course but was the Class 70-04 Distinguished Graduate, ending the course as class leader. Women were authorized to join the Guard starting in 1956 but the only positions available to them were for existing nurses or other college-educated specialties such as in the law or administration. Military schools were not available to them until Congress changed the regulations in 1969, when military education schools such as the Air Guard's OTS were finally opened to female candidates.

November 23
Fourteenth President of the United States Franklin PierceFourteenth President of the United States Franklin Pierce.
Painting by Chet Jezierski for the National Guard Bureau, Presidential Series

1804Hillsboro, New Hampshire - Fourteenth President of the United States Franklin Pierce is born. The son of a Revolutionary War hero, Pierce practiced law and served in the New Hampshire legislature before entering Congress in 1832. Simultaneously he was appointed aide-de-camp to the governor of New Hampshire with the rank of colonel in the state militia. He left Congress in 1842 and returned to his law practice. When America declared war against Mexico in 1846, Pierce was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers and commanded a portion of the Army under General Winfield Scott on its march to and capture of Mexico City. During this campaign he had a bullet shot through his cap but was unhurt. In 1852 he was elected as the 14th President, serving until 1857. Though in poor health during the Civil War he again volunteered his military services to the Union, but was found to be too infirm for field command. He died in 1869.

November 24

2004"Eagle Base," Tuzla, Bosnia-Herzegovina - The U.S. Army formally ends its peacekeeping mission in this troubled land after a nine year commitment. During that period Guardsmen and women from every state played an important role in helping to create an atmosphere safe enough for normal life to return, for the nations of the area to repair their damaged infrastructure, often with Guard assistance, and bring some stability to the Balkans region. Of the 12 operational divisional headquarters having responsibility over the American portion of the multi-national force, five were drawn from the Army Guard. These were the 28th, 29th, 34th, 35th and 38th Infantry Division headquarters. The Guard presence became even more important in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001, as many Regular Army troops were moved to other stations in the support of the War on Terror. Not one American soldier was killed by hostile action in the area during this entire period. In fact, evidence indicates that the American commitment to maintaining the peace was truly appreciated by most of the people of the region, with many expressing sadness when the soldiers departed for home. A small number of American troops remain in neighboring Kosovo under a separate mission tasking.

November 25
The statue of General Hugh Mercer in Fredericksburg, VAThe statue of General Hugh Mercer in Fredericksburg, VA.

1758Fort Duquesne (today Pittsburgh), Pennsylvania - English General John Forbes, leading a mixed force of British regulars and colonial militia, captures the smoldering remains of Fort Duquesne after the French and their Indian allies fled rather than defend the position. Renaming the ruins "Pittsbourgh" (after the then British Prime Minister, William Pitt) Forbes departs, accompanied by his American military advisor, Lieutenant Colonel George Washington of the Virginia Regiment, to return to Philadelphia. He leaves Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Mercer with a battalion of the Pennsylvania Regiment (colonists, mostly with militia backgrounds, who volunteered to become full-time soldiers in the pay of their colony) to rebuild a new fort, to be named "Fort Pitt." This soon became a key starting point for expeditions west into the Ohio territory and beyond. While Washington's record in later years is well known, Mercer too played an important role in the Revolution. Born in Scotland, he came to America after taking part in the failed Scottish revolt of 1745. A doctor he first settled in Pennsylvania and commanded his local militia regiment, later assuming his position with the Pennsylvania Regiment. After the French and Indian War he moved to Fredericksburg, Virginia and set up a medical practice. He soon became a good and trusted friend of Washington. Still retaining strong anti-English feelings he quickly embraced the American cause during the Revolution. But rather than acting in his medical capacity, he accepted command of the 3rd Virginia Regiment of the Continental Army. Due to both his friendship with Washington and actual battlefield talent he was promoted to brigade command in time for the Battle of Princeton in January 1777. He was killed in this battle, but his men captured a British regiment and caused another to flee, giving Washington the victory. His death was greatly mourned by Washington and many historians have speculated on the influence he might have had on American history had he lived. .

November 26
Sergeant Joseph FarinholtSergeant Joseph Farinholt firing his 57mm anti tank gun before leaving to warn his headquarters of the Germany attack.
A painting by Larry Selman for the National Guard Bureau Heritage Series

1944Bourheim, Germany - Technical Sergeant Joseph A. Farinholt, a Guardsman from Baltimore, MD, was a member of the anti-tank platoon of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 175th Infantry (MD), 29th Infantry Division (DC, MD, VA) when he earned a fourth Silver Star on this day by single-handedly destroying a German tank and other actions despite being severely wounded. Farinholt joined the 175th in August 1940 and was mobilized with the 29th Division when it entered active duty in February 1941. His regiment landed on Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944 (one day after D-Day), and immediately entered into combat operations. During the next five and half months Farinholt fought in every engagement involving the 29th as it moved across France and into Germany. Along the way, for various acts of valor in combat he was awarded three Silver Stars for bravery including: risking his life to get close enough to use a bazooka to destroy an enemy tank; exposing himself to incoming fire to rescue at least four injured men, moving them to safety; and leading a nighttime sortie behind enemy lines to retrieve equipment abandoned when their position was overrun earlier that day. On this date the 175th Infantry was spread thin around the outer perimeter of the town of Bourheim, which they had captured three days earlier. For the fourth time in those three days, a German armored column would attempt to break through this front to recapture the town, a key to their defense of the strategic city of Julich on the Roer River. The enemy attack opened with such an intense artillery barrage that the 29th Division's After Action Report cites as it as ".the worst suffered by the division during the war." Then the German infantry and their supporting tanks pushed forward. Men in the outlaying areas fell back toward the town and it looked as though the enemy might finally break through. However, Farinholt, the ranking member of his 3-gun, 57mm towed anti-tank gun section, quickly went into action. His crew, after firing several rounds at the enemy, all became casualties when an German shell hit a tree near their position. Farinholt loaded and fired an additional round, striking the tread of the lead Tiger tank, disabling it. However, the tank returned fire with armor-piercing machine gun shells, hitting the 57mm gun at least 20 times, wounding Farinholt in multiple areas of his body, most seriously in his right leg and foot. Despite his wounds he managed to climb into a jeep and drive to the battalion headquarters to alert its leaders of the direction and strength of the German attack. Because of his wound he could not use the clutch and brake pedals so he hit the building the headquarters was housed in. Immediately a medic started to apply first aid but Farinholt refused until he was able to report to the battalion commander. Once he made his report, he finally allowed himself to receive medical treatment. Unknown to him at this time, due to the rate and accuracy of fire from his platoon, the Germans advance was stalled for almost an hour and then diverted to another sector, buying more time for the 29th Division to move troops and summon air support to successfully stop the attack. The Germans never recaptured Bourheim. For his bravery and determination to alert headquarters of impending danger, Farinholt was awarded his fourth Silver Star for his actions at Bourheim, thus becoming the only enlisted man in World War II to earn four Silver Stars. His wounds were so severe that he was returned home, and though he lived nearly 60 more years, he never fully recovered from his injuries.

November 27
Members of Company D, 151st InfantryA rare picture of members of Company D, 151st Infantry, commonly referred to as the "Indiana Rangers," on patrol in Vietnam. Notice how heavily ladened they are with canteens and other equipment, allowing them to operate for several days without any outside support.
Courtesy of Thomas Blandford

1969Indianpolis, Indiana - Members of the Company D, 151st Infantry (Ranger) are welcomed home by families, friends and dignitaries including the governor and Indiana's Congressional delegation following the company's tour in Vietnam. The last mobilized Army Guard unit to deploy to theater in December 1968, the unit was the only Guard (or Army Reserve) ground combat unit to serve in Vietnam. During its tour Company D had two Guardsmen killed in action along with two non-Guard members. An additional two guardsmen died in accidents, one stateside in an auto crash and one in a non-combat related helicopter crash in Vietnam. While in Vietnam the soldiers in the company were set up in teams of 8-14 men each and they would be flown by helicopter into jungle areas to conduct reconnaissance patrols. Most of their missions were done without getting into fire fights with the enemy, so the Viet Cong were not aware they were being observed. The Rangers returned with their detailed information often used to plan ground raids and air strikes.

November 28

1864Fort Sanders, Tennessee - General James Longstreet, commanding the Confederate forces in East Tennessee, decides the only possible route to allow him to capture Knoxville, TN, from Union forces is to attack Fort Sanders, an apparently exposed position that was part of the city's defensive works. Longstreet selected three brigades, mostly Virginians and Georgians transferred with him from the Army of Northern Virginia, to make a dawn assault. Unknown to him, the fort was protected first by telegraph wire strung amongst tree stumps and posts in thick entanglements (apparently looking much like the use of barbed wire in World War I). This was one of the first times in military history wire was used to protect a fortified position. Next there was a deep ditch, from 4 to 10 feet and measuring 12 feet across, rising to an almost vertical wall at the base of the fort. Longstreet launched his attack as planned but it quickly developed into a nightmare for his troops as they broke ankles in the still dark morning light and then came under concentrated enemy fire from the fort as they looked for a way to get up the sides A few did get into the works, only to be killed, wounded or captured. The Union held the fort, suffering about men 100 killed and wounded. The Confederates, suffering about 780 casualties, were forced to retreat and never again threatened to take control of central Tennessee.

November 29

1864Sand Creek, Colorado - In one of the darkest episodes in Guard history, more than 200 innocent people were killed while offering almost no resistance. Following a number of raids on outlying farms by small groups of Indians, the governor of Colorado Territory organized the 3rd Colorado Volunteers under the command of Colonel John Chivington. Chivington, an avowed Indian hater who wanted to exterminate all Native peoples, had no prior military background. He marched his 700 man force to Sand Creek, about 40-miles from Fort Lyon. There he found the winter camp of about 500 peaceful Cheyenne under the leadership of Chief Black Kettle. Over the chief's teepee flew a large US flag personally presented to Black Kettle by President Abraham Lincoln after the two concluded a treaty of peace. The president promised Black Kettle that as long as he flew this flag, no harm would come from American soldiers. However, Chivington had no such belief and attacked the camp in the early morning hours. In less than two hours, more than 200 Indians, mostly women and children, were dead with the rest driven in the snowy forest, where many more died of exposure. Chivington was later court martialed and removed from command but not further punished. Black Kettle survived the massacre only to be killed in the Washita River Massacre in Oklahoma in November 1868 by forces commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer.

Members of the 131st Engineer CompanyMembers of the 131st Engineer Company standing in a chowline in Sauda Arabia, 1991. Note that not all soldiers had the desert patterned battle dress uniforms (BDUs) issued to them due to a shortage of availability.
National Guard Education Foundation

1990Members of the 131st Engineer Company standing in a chowline in Sauda Arabia, 1991. Note that not all soldiers had the desert patterned battle dress uniforms (BDUs) issued to them due to a shortage of availability.

November 30
Battery B, 1st Illinois Light ArtilleryBattery B, 1st Illinois Light Artillery, under the command of Captain L. B. Bridges, fought as part of the Union's Army of the Cumberland at Franklin.
Army Heritage and Education Center

1864Franklin, Tennessee - The Confederate Army of Tennessee, under the command of Lieutenant General John Bell Hood, suffers a catastrophic defeat when it attacks Union forces commanded by Major General George Thomas. The federal troops were well protected by earthworks, stone fences and other defensive measures. After repeated rebel assaults, during which six Confederate generals were killed and five more were wounded, and more than 1,750 southern soldiers died, the attack was finally broken off. Union losses were about 200 killed. Thomas moved his army back to Nashville, where Hood attacked it again two days later; again suffering heavy losses before being compelled to retreat. The Army of Tennessee was forever crippled and never again posed a threat to Union operations.