THIS DAY IN MILITARY HISTORY

20 September
 

NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY
National POW/MIA Recognition Day is observed across the nation on the third Friday of September each year (can fall on any date from the 14th to the 20th of a given year). Many Americans take the time to remember those who were prisoners of war (POW) and those who are missing in action (MIA), as well as their families.

pow-mia-day 


 
1776 – American soldiers, some of them members of Nathan Hale’s regiment, filtered into British-held New York City and stashed resin soaked logs into numerous buildings and a roaring inferno was started.
1797 The US frigate Constitution (Old Ironsides) was launched in Boston.
1814 – With the U.S. Capitol destroyed by the British, Marines protected Congress in a hotel.
1881 Chester A. Arthur was sworn in as the 21st president of the United States, succeeding James A. Garfield, who had been assassinated.
1917 – The 26th "Yankee” Division (CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT) becomes the first American division to arrive in Europe during World War I. 
1951 – In Operation Summit, the first combat helicopter landing in history, U.S. Marines were landed in Korea.
2001 – Iraq accuses Kuwait of excessive extraction of the joint al-Ratqa border oilfield. Iraq’s foreign minister requests compensation from Kuwait.
2001 – In Macedonia NATO troops began the 3rd stage of Essential Harvest.

 

Congressional Medal of Honor Citations for Actions Taken This Day

PIERCE, LARRY S.

Rank and organization: Sergeant, U.S. Army, Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade. Place and date: Near Ben Cat, Republic of Vietnam, 20 September 1965. Entered service at: Fresno, Calif. Born: 6 July 1941, Wewoka, Okla. G.O. No.: 7, 24 February 1966. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Sgt. Pierce was serving as squad leader in a reconnaissance platoon when his patrol was ambushed by hostile forces. Through his inspiring leadership and personal courage, the squad succeeded in eliminating an enemy machinegun and routing the opposing force. While pursuing the fleeing enemy, the squad came upon a dirt road and, as the main body of his men entered the road, Sgt. Pierce discovered an antipersonnel mine emplaced in the road bed. Realizing that the mine could destroy the majority of his squad, Sgt. Pierce saved the lives of his men at the sacrifice of his life by throwing himself directly onto the mine as it exploded. Through his indomitable courage, complete disregard for his safety, and profound concern for his fellow soldiers, he averted loss of life and injury to the members of his squad. Sgt. Pierce’s extraordinary heroism, at the cost of his life, are in the highest traditions of the U.S. Army and reflect great credit upon himself and the Armed Forces of his country.