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US Military History

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

  • Airship Down: Sunday, July 18, 1943 – During WW2 the US airship K-74 would become the only blimp to be shot down during the war. While on anti-submarine patrol on the east coast of the US, the crew would spot the German U-Boat U-134. Going against doctrine the pilot of U-74 would pursue the sub as it approached US ships ahead of it. During its approach to dissuade the sub from its actions, they would be engaged by U-134’s 20mm cannon, taking several hits. K-74 would return fire, shooting over 100 rounds at the sub with its M2 machine gun. The airship successfully dropped depth charges on the enemy sub as it flew over it, causing some damage. The airship would crash land from damage sustained from enemy fire, though all 10 crewmembers would escape without injury. Only one crewmember would die as a result of the engagement, a machinists mate would be attacked by a shark minutes before rescue and drowned.
  • A Two Ocean Navy: Friday, July 19, 1940 – The Two Ocean Navy Expansion Act is signed by President FDR. The bill increased the size of the Navy by 70% and cost $8.55 billion (after inflation it would be about 157 billion in 2020 dollars). 257 ships would be added to the US Navy with an added emphasis to naval aircraft, with 18 aircraft carriers to be built as a result of the bill. The increase in the size of the US Navy would expand the United States capabilities across the globe and in the dominant oceans it operated in, the Pacific and Atlantic.
  • Sons of a Dictator: Tuesday, July 22, 2003 – US Army forces kill Saddam Husseins two sons, Qusay and Uday, at a villa located in Mosul, Iraq. Both were high value targets and there was a $30 million dollar reward for information leading to their capture. The battle lasted a total of 6 hours. After Special Forces attempted to enter the villa and were fought back with wounded, elements of the 101st Airborne were called up with air support. Along with small arms fire, air support attacks and .50 cal machine gun fire a total of 12 TOW missiles ( Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire-guided) were fired in order to kill the defenders of the house. US forces were led to the villa by an informant who was possibly the owner of the villa.

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