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Evacuation Day

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

Happy Thanksgiving Tomorrow! I will try to avoid blasting too many emails over the weekend but tomorrows (or Fridays) holds a sale that has never happened before!

  • Evacuation Day: Tuesday, November 25, 1783 – On this day in 1783 the last of the British Army left New York, following the end of the Revolutionary War. After the Battle of Long Island, in 1776, the city had remained in British control with the British flag flying above Fort George till the British evacuation. During the British occupation of New York, over 10,000 Patriot Sailors and Soldiers would die, more than the combined deaths of every battle fought during the Revolution. The commander of the remaining British forces in America, Sir Guy Carleton, would receive orders to evacuate New York but could not give a date as to when it would be completed. This uncertainty was as a result of over 29,000 loyalist refugees gathering in New York, a combination of loyalists, liberated slaves and military members. As the American forces under George Washington entered the city they found a remaining British Union Jack. The flag had been nailed to a greased poll as a last act of defiance, making the removal of it a hard task. In 1787, the forth anniversary of the evacuation, the first public celebrations were held and it would become a de facto national holiday for nearly a century to follow.
  • First B-52 Down: Wednesday, November 22, 1972 – After over 7 years worth of combat missions and flights the first US B-52 bomber would be lost to enemy fire in Vietnam. During a raid over Vinh a B-52D was hit with a SAM. The crew would be forced to abandon the bomber over Thailand. While this was the first combat loss of a B-52, two would collied during early operations in 1965. The two bombers were attempting to maintain station while taking part of a raid during Operation Rolling Thunder and collided, leading to both aircraft being lost along with 8 crewmembers.
  • Return to Tokyo: Friday, November 24, 1944 – Nearly 2 years after Doolittle would lead an American raid against Tokyo, US B-29 bombers would finally attack the Japanese capital again. The main obstacle in attacking the city was the distance from US Airbases. After bases in the Northern Mariana Islands were established the bombers could now reach the city. Another obstacle was high winds taking bombs off target, the winds were later to be found to be part of the jet stream, which led to the use of incendiary bombs as the main ordnance used. These bombs easily lit the common Japanese wood and paper buildings, making accuracy not as important. By the time the raids would end in 1945 it is estimated at least 300,000 Japanese were killed, 400,000 injured with one raid alone, Operation Meetinghouse causing potentially up to 100,000 casualties.

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