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david leigh-smith
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On This Day...March 15th.

March 15, 2019 · in Photo Collections · · 7 · 1.8K

The nuclear powered aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) in the Indian Ocean during the second Gulf War. March 15th, 2005.

USS Wasp (CV-18) in ‘Measure 33/10A’ camouflage colours after her shakedown cruise, seen here preparing to leave Boston, United States, for the Panama Canal, 15 Mar 1944.

Medal of Honor Citation. Ruppert L. Sargent.

“...For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While leading a platoon of Company B, 1st Lt. Sargent was investigating a reported Viet Cong meeting house and weapons cache. A tunnel entrance which 1st Lt. Sargent observed was booby trapped. He tried to destroy the booby trap and blow the cover from the tunnel using hand grenades, but this attempt was not successful.”

“He and his demolition man moved in to destroy the booby trap and cover which flushed a Viet Cong soldier from the tunnel, who was immediately killed by the nearby platoon sergeant. 1st Lt. Sargent, the platoon sergeant, and a forward observer moved toward the tunnel entrance. As they approached, another Viet Cong emerged and threw 2 hand grenades that landed in the midst of the group.”

“1st Lt. Sargent fired 3 shots at the enemy then turned and unhesitatingly threw himself over the 2 grenades. He was mortally wounded, and his 2 companions were lightly wounded when the grenades exploded. By his courageous and selfless act of exceptional heroism, he saved the lives of the platoon sergeant and forward observer and prevented the injury or death of several other nearby comrades.”

“1st Lt. Sargent's actions were in keeping with the highest traditions of the military services and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Army.”

B-24M Liberator ‘Second Chance II’ of the 328th Bomb Squadron flie with other 8th Air Force bombers, approaching their bomb run over Zossen, Germany, March 15th, 1945.

Soldiers of the 61st anti-tank Regiment Royal Canadian Army in the Reichswald, Germany, inspect an abandoned Jagdpanther on March 15th, 1945. Lots of diorama detail in here.

Boomerang fighter 'Sinbad II' of No. 5 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force in flight over Mareeba, Queensland, Australia, 15th March, 1944. The pilot was Lieutenant A. W. B. Clare.

On March 15th fighting stopped In the Third Battle of Kharkov. The ‘Donets Campaign’ as it was known by the Germans, saw them shatter fifty-two Soviet divisions while inflicting approximately 45,300 killed/missing and 41,200 wounded on the Soviet forces.

Pushing out from the Kharkov, Field Marshall von Manstein's forces drove northeast and secured Belgorod on March 18. With his men exhausted and the weather turning against him, von Manstein was forced to call a halt to offensive operations. As a result, he was unable to press on to Kursk as he had originally intended. The German victory at the Third Battle of Kharkov set the stage for the massive Battle of Kursk that summer. More of that later.

Membury Aerodrome, England. There are two separate citations for this Mk IVb Spitfire, one for August 15th and the other for March 15th, 1943. Always love to see a Spitfire in American ‘colors’. Pilot Norm Thomson, 309 FS, 31st Fighter Group 8th.

Simply stunning study of the USS Texas (she does photograph very well). No stranger to this series, the USS Texas (BB -35) was decommissioned in 1948, having earned a total of five battle stars for service in World War II. Among the world's remaining battleships, Texas is unique for being the oldest remaining dreadnought battleship. She is also noteworthy for being one of only six remaining ships to have served in both World Wars.

Among US-built battleships, USS Texas is notable for a huge number of firsts:

  • the first US battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns.
  • the first US ship to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers
  • the first US battleship to launch an aircraft
  • the first US battleship to become a permanent museum ship
  • and the first battleship declared to be a US National Historic Landmark.

Quite a lady.


Reader reactions:
8  Awesome

7 responses

  1. David, like many have stated here... Thank you for sticking with OTD. At the very least we get a good refresher and, for me especially... some new knowledge. Continuously.

    I read these posts diligently though I don't often comment. I like the broad spectrum of items... military equipment, heroic stories and above all, the opportunity to reflect on personal sacrifice.

    Kudos my friend.

    • You are more than welcome, Gary. It’s touching that you recognise the issue of sacrifice as being the main focus of the series. Of course we all focus on the hardware because we are modelers, but the people who gave all, they are everything.

  2. David, the USS Texas is moored in LaPorte, Texas about 25 miles from where I live. Her 100th birthday celebration was in 2016, her keel having been laid in 1910, the year my grandmother was born. However, the elements have not been kind to her, and she is always just a rusted steel hull plate away from sinking into the Houston ship channel. The park service spends quite a bit on keeping her afloat and always appreciates donations, so if anyone can spare some change, send it in to help keep the old girl above water.

    If you ever happen to make it Houston, look me up and I'll take you out to see her. It's definitely a step back in time.

  3. You have a deal, Jaime. I’m aware of Texas’ dilemma - she’s such an important ship, for all th3 reasons I listed above, and a lot more. I’ll be making a donation.

  4. USS Texas is also about to sink from rusting away there in the Houston Ship Channel, her hull corroded by god knows what chemicals in that "water."

  5. 'Where are the carriers?' They're here!

  6. They’re always here, Robert. Need a fix, you know where to come.

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