On This Day… December 11th.
Cannot resist an opportunity to squeeze in a photo of the Enterprise, seen here entering Pearl Harbour on Dec 11th, ‘43, before heading back to the Marshall Islands. This was a few months into what would become a 560 consecutive day mission away from the US mainland for the Big E.
The launch of the USS Bunker Hill (CV-17) on 11th December, 1942. Named after the Battle of Bunker Hill (1775) fought at the siege of Boston during the American Revolutionary War, the Bunker Hill lost 389 men in the Battle of Okinawa after being hit by kamakaze pilots. The invasion of Okinawa cost over 160, 000 dead across both sides, one of the Pacific’s bloodiest conflicts.
Staying with the theme of carriers, this is the USS Wasp (CV-18), sister ship of the Bunker Hill and one of 24 Essex class carriers built in WWII.
Adolf Hiltler addresses the Reichstag and declares war on the United States, December 11th, 1941.
Press roll out of the first Concorde (001) on December 11th, 1967.
A U.S. crewman runs from a crashed CH-21 Shawnee troop helicopter near the village of Ca Mau in the southern tip of South Vietnam, on December 11, 1962. Two helicopters crashed without serious injuries during a government raid on the Viet Cong-infiltrated area. 5, 086 helicopters were destroyed in the vietnam conflict.
One of the last engagements during the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir was an ambush at Sudong by the pursuing People’s Volunteer Army, 89th Division, which Task Force Dog of the 3rd Infantry Division repulsed with little difficulty. The trapped UN forces finally reached the Hungnam perimeter (there’s another story...) by 21:00 on 11 December, below...
Another fine selection of milestone and more mundane happenings. That Concorde photo certainly deserves a place in history. Too bad the closing chapter of this groundbreaking plane was so tragical, it deserved a different one
Thanks, Pedro. I think the whole Concord saga was sad in some ways, it was an amazing joint European venture that was ground breaking. Since then, we’ve had nothing like her.
Interesting as usual! Nice poster.
Now all ship builders:
Look at the beautifully bleached hull sides of the USS Enterprise in the first picture. Pay particular attention to how the color is bleached just above the waterline.
Brilliant post, Ulf. I am currently working on a project that highlights this exact issue.
So did the first Concorde not have the drooping nose for landing and take off ?
Another great set Dave, Cheers.
I believe it did.
Hitler's single dumbest move of his life, the one time in his career he ever kept a promise. Had he not declared war on the US as he did, it is highly unlikely the US would have declared war on Germany unilaterally, and would have confined its efforts to the Pacific. But he decided to stick to his treaty obligations under the Tripartite (Axis) Treaty.
That picture of the 'new Reichstag' is pretty ominous. What a scary time in history. A couple years ago I was fortunate enough to go to Berlin for about a week. I had some time to find some "then and now" scenes. When the Nazis burned downed the Reichstag building in 1933 they started using the Kroll Opera House, which is where this photo was taken. The Kroll Opera house was heavily damaged during the war and finally demolished in 1951. The area of the building is now a grass field and part of the Tiergarten. In my photo, the opera house stood along the far tree line. Different times for sure. Thanks for posting these, they are great reminders of the price paid for freedom.
1 attached image. Click to enlarge.
Agreed, Jim. As they say, freedom isn’t free.
Another event of December 11:
December 11, 1968, the battle of Mutter's Ridge, Vietnam. The day 2nd Lieutenant Robert S. Mueller, USMC, demonstrated to the world what he was made of. What he is still made of today as he saves our democratic constitutional republic.
"After nine months at war, he was finally due for a few short days of R&R outside the battle zone. Mueller had seen intense combat since he last said goodbye to his wife. He’d received the Bronze Star with a distinction for valor for his actions in one battle, and he’d been airlifted out of the jungle during another firefight after being shot in the thigh. He and Ann had spoken only twice since he’d left for South Vietnam.
"Despite all that, Mueller confessed to her in Hawaii that he was thinking of extending his deployment for another six months, and maybe even making a career in the Marines.
"Ann was understandably ill at ease about the prospect. But as it turned out, she wouldn’t be a Marine wife for much longer. It was standard practice for Marines to be rotated out of combat, and later that year Mueller found himself assigned to a desk job at Marine headquarters in Arlington, Virginia. There he discovered something about himself: 'I didn’t relish the US Marine Corps absent combat.'”
And yet, throughout his five-decade career, that year of combat experience with the Marines has loomed large in Mueller’s mind. “I’m most proud the Marines Corps deemed me worthy of leading other Marines,” he told me in a 2009 interview.
Before he became special counsel, Mueller freely and repeatedly told me that his habits of mind and character were most shaped by his time in Vietnam, a period that is also the least explored chapter of his biography.
This first in-depth account of his year at war is based on multiple interviews with Mueller about his time in combat—conducted before he became special counsel—as well as hundreds of pages of once-classified Marine combat records, official accounts of Marine engagements, and the first-ever interviews with eight Marines who served alongside Mueller in 1968 and 1969. They provide the best new window we have into the mind of the man leading the Russia investigation.
After three days of patrols, isolated firefights with an elusive enemy, and multiple nights of American bombardment, another unit in 2nd Battalion, Fox Company, received the order to take some high ground on Mutter’s Ridge. Even nearly 50 years later, the date of the operation remains burned into the memories of those who fought in it: December 11, 1968.
As his commendation for the Bronze Star later read, “Second Lieutenant Mueller’s courage, aggressive initiative and unwavering devotion to duty at great personal risk were instrumental in the defeat of the enemy force and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.”
Never. Ever. Cross. A. Combat. Marine.
1 attached image. Click to enlarge.
Brilliant, Tom. I had great expectations with this series that people would add to the posts and this is a GREAT example. Terrific post.