1777: Congress formally declares the "Stars and Stripes" as the official flag of the thirteen United States. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest dismantle the Mobile and Ohio railroad tracks around Jackson, Tenn., delaying Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's drive to Vicksburg. Though tactically inconclusive, the battle is a strategic victory for the Americans who prove they can go toe-to-toe with the British Army in a large pitched battle. Barton manages to throw off the enemy fighters but not before they inflict heavy damage to his Halifax, causing three of his seven-man crew bail out. The Japanese Army's 16th Division, which conducted the brutal Bataan Death March and held Leyte Island, is completely wiped out during the fighting. When one of the choppers is hit by enemy ground fire and has to depart, the Pararescueman waves off his ride and remains with the soldiers. Joseph C. Beard, Jr. 1846: When Maj. Gen. (and future president) Zachary Taylor receives reports that Mexican forces - seeking to reclaim Texas - have crossed the Rio Grande, he dispatches two companies of dragoons (mounted infantry) to investigate. Within days, President Harry S. Truman authorizes Gen. Douglas MacArthur (Commander-in-Chief of Far East Command) to deploy troops. The badly shot up plane runs out of fuel once they hit the coast, and Barton crash-lands - saving the crew, but at the cost of his life. In 20 years, America will meet General Giap again - as enemies in a grueling war. Together with Naval gun battery support, every available bomber is summoned to Salerno and the German attack is devastated. The cutting-edge design will pave the way for forthcoming platforms such as the F-102 Delta Dagger, F-106 Delta Dart, and the B-58 Hustler. Backed by the Marines, aid workers are soon able to restore humanitarian aid to civilians. The Colonists will soon capture Maj. John André, Britian's top spy in the United States, foiling Arnold's plan to hand over West Point to the enemy. 1965: A Titan II rocket blasts off from Cape Canaveral, carrying Gemini V astronauts Col. "Gordo" Cooper (USAF) and Lt. Cmdr. It is during the battle that Lee – emotionally moved by the valor of the Federal Army, which, despite terrible losses, attacks his impregnable position time-and-again – says, “It is well that war is so terrible, lest we grow too fond of it.”. 1941: U.S. intelligence warns the Soviets of the possibility that Germany may invade the Soviet Union. During World War II, the "Black Sheep" of VMF-214 destroyed hundreds of Japanese aircraft, sank several vessels, and earned the Presidential Unit Citation under Medal of Honor recipient and former "Flying Tiger" Maj. Greg "Pappy" Boyington - the Marine Corps' top ace, with 28 aerial victories. He enlists in the Marine Corps when he turns 17. 1942: 5,000 Japanese soldiers, supported by aircraft and naval artillery, begin a series of nighttime frontal assaults against the Marines defending Guadalcanal's Henderson Field. The fighting is quick and hot: Both captains are wounded; Dickenson mortally. Museum of the American Military Family & Learning Center, Tijeras, New Mexico. Codenamed "Operation Shingle", the Allies achieve complete surprise against – and encounter little initial resistance from – the Germans, but the landings kick off what will become one of the most grueling campaigns of World War II. 324 of Kilpatrick's soldiers are killed or wounded in the raid and another 1,000 are taken prisoner. 1862: In day-two of the now-famous Battle of Hampton Roads (Va.), the Confederate Navy’s ironclad warship, CSS Virginia (built from the remains of the previously scuttled frigate USS Merrimack) and her Union rival, the also-ironclad USS Monitor, begin exchanging shots in history’s first duel of ironclads. 2013: Special operations forces conduct two simultaneous counterterrorism missions in Africa. The blockade is extended to North Carolina and Virginia the following week. James Dickenson engages the sloop USS Hornet (the third of eight so-named American Navy ships) under Capt. At least 1,500 soldiers perish in the greatest maritime disaster in U.S. history. 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