Monday, January 13, 2020

The List 5189

The List 5189

To All,

I hope that you all had a great weekend..



Today in Naval History

January 13

. This Day In Naval History

1865 - With 8,000 Union soldiers, Rear Adm. David Porter provides 59 warships and 2,000 Sailors and Marines to take Confederate Fort Fisher, N.C., after a 2-day assault.

On This Day

1865 With 8,000 Union soldiers, Rear Adm. David Porter provides 59 warships and 2,000 Sailors and Marines to take Confederate Fort Fisher, N.C., after a 2-day assault.

1943 PBY-5A aircraft from (VP-83) sink German submarine U-507 off Brazil, which had sunk 19 and damaged one Allied merchant vessels, including seven that were American.

1945 Destroyer escort Fleming (DE 32) sinks a Japanese submarine 320 miles north-northeast of Truk.

1964 Destroyer Manley (DD-940) evacuates 54 Americans and 36 allied nationals after the Zanzibar government is overthrown.

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:

• Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly interviewed with both Defense & Aerospace Report and Defense News and discussed his priorities, the path to 355 ships, the Integrated Naval Force Structure Assessment and USS Gerald R. Ford, among other topics.

• Multiple outlets covered release of the Navy’s comprehensive review of the military legal community.

• A dozen Saudi Arabian military trainees will be expelled in the wake of last month’s shooting at NAS Pensacola, multiple outlets report.

• Multiple outlets reported on the continued protests in Iran following the Iranian government’s admission that it shot down a Ukrainian jetliner.

Today in History: January 13

1846 President James Polk dispatches General Zachary Taylor and 4,000 troops to the Texas Border as war with Mexico looms.

1862 President Lincoln names Edwin M. Stanton Secretary of War.

1900 To combat Czech nationalism, Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria-Hungary decrees German the official language of the Imperial Army.

1919 California votes to ratify the prohibition amendment.

1923 Hitler denounces the Weimar Republic as 5,000 storm troopers demonstrate in Germany.

1927 A woman takes a seat on the NY Stock Exchange breaking the all-male tradition.

1931 The bridge connecting New York and New Jersey is named the George Washington Memorial Bridge.

1937 The United States bars Americans from serving in the Civil War in Spain.

1943 General Leclerc's Free French forces merge with the British under Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery in Libya.

1944 Plants are destroyed and 64 U.S. aircraft are lost in an air attack in Germany.

1945 The Red Army opens an offensive in South Poland, crashing 25 miles through the German lines.

1947 British troops replace striking truck drivers.

1955 Chase National and the Bank of Manhattan agree to merge resulting in the second largest U.S. bank.

1965 Two U.S. planes are shot down in Laos while on a combat mission.

1968 U.S. reports shifting most air targets from North Vietnam to Laos.

1976 Argentina ousts a British envoy in dispute over the Falkland Islands.

1980 The United States offers Pakistan a two-year aid plan to counter the Soviet threat in Afghanistan.

1982 Air Florida Flight 90 Boeing 737 jet crashes into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge shortly after takeoff, then plunges into the Potomac River; 78 people, including 4 motorists, are killed.

1990 In Virginia, Douglas Wilder, the first African American elected governor of a US state, takes office.


Thanks to Dr Rich, Great video on Blue Angel Skipper Gil Rud

Thanks to Billy … great story !!

"Blue Angels Leader, Gil Rud (1986 - 1988)" on YouTube


This Day in Aviation History” brought to you by the Daedalians Airpower Blog Update. To subscribe to this weekly email, go to

Jan. 12, 1961

Air Force Maj. Henry J. Deutschendorf, 43rd Bomb Wing, Strategic Air Command, flew from Carswell AFB, Texas, to Edwards AFB, California, with a Convair B-58A-10-CF Hustler, serial number 59-2442, named Untouchable. There, he flew two laps of a 1,000-kilometer circuit between Edwards and Yuma, establishing six new Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) speed records at an average of 1,708.82 kilometers per hour (1,061.81 miles per hour). Major Deutschendorf and his crew, Capt. Raymond R. Wagener, Defensive Systems Officer, and Capt. William L. Polhemus, Radar Navigator/Bombardier, were each awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Major Deutschendorf was the father of Henry J. Deutschendorf Jr., who was better known by his stage name, John Denver.

Jan. 13, 1942

The Sikorsky XR-4, the U.S. Army Air Force's first helicopter, made its initial flight with its creator, Igor Sikorsky, at the controls.

Jan. 14, 1957

The U.S. Air Force signed at $74 million contract for Convair F-102A “Delta Dagger” supersonic all-weather fighters.

Jan. 15, 1911

During the San Francisco Air Meet at Tanforan Race Track, Lt. Myron S. Crissy, Daedalian Founder Member #10814, and Lt. Philip O. Parmelee, Founder Member #12889, dropped America’s first live bomb over the side of a Wright airplane on a target 1,500 feet below. Crissy and Lt. Paul W. Beck, Founder Member #2938, designed the bomb.

Jan. 16, 1911

Lt. George E. M. Kelly, Daedalian Founder Member #575, piloted a Wright Flyer over the San Bruno Hills in California on Jan. 16, 1911, and conducted the first aerial reconnaissance mission when he tried unsuccessfully to photograph and detect camouflaged troops from 2,000 feet. Less than 3 months later, on May 10, Kelly crashed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio. He died from a skull fracture an hour after the accident. He was buried in San Antonio National Cemetery. On June 11, 1917, a new airfield just southwest of San Antonio was named Camp Kelly. It became Kelly Field on July 30 of that year, and finally Kelly AFB on Jan. 29, 1948.

Jan. 17, 1991

War began in the Persian Gulf. Operation Desert Shield became Operation Desert Storm. More than 1,200 combat sorties were flown, and 106 cruise missiles were launched against targets in Iraq and Kuwait during the first 14 hours of the operation.

Jan. 18, 1911

At 10:48 a.m., civilian exhibition stunt pilot Eugene B. Ely flew the same Curtiss pusher that he had used during his launch from Birmingham (Cruiser No. 2) on Nov. 14, 1910, and took off from Selfridge Field south of San Francisco. At 11:01 a.m. he landed on board Pennsylvania (Armored Cruiser No. 4) at anchor off Hunters Point in San Francisco Bay. The plane made a smooth landing from astern onto a specially built 130-foot long by 32-foot wide platform. At 11:58 a.m. Ely took off and returned to Selfridge Field, completing the earliest demonstration of the adaptability of aircraft to shipboard operations.


Another outstanding H-Gram from Admiral Cox and the Naval History and Heritage Command

- On Jan. 9, 1945, 75 years ago, amphibious ships from Task Force 7 landed Sixth Army Soldiers on the shores of Lingayen Gulf.

H-Gram 040: “One Helluva Day”—Lingayen Gulf and the Death of Rear Admiral Theodore E. Chandler

9 January 2020

This H-gram covers:
The combat death of Rear Admiral Theodore E. Chandler, 6 January 1945
Actions in the Philippines in late 1944 and early 1945: Leyte, Ormoc, and Mindoro
Amphibious landings in the Lingayen Gulf, 9 January 1945

The costly U.S. and Allied naval campaign in the Philippines required securing the island of Leyte, capturing the island of Mindoro, and then conducting the main amphibious landing on the island of Luzon at Lingayen Gulf under concerted and increasingly effective Japanese kamikaze attacks during the period of November 1944 to January 1945. The suicide attacks claimed the escort carrier Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) and caused serious damage to other major U.S. warships. The latter included the kamikaze strike on the heavy cruiser Louisville (CA-28) on 6 January 1945 that resulted in the death of Rear Admiral Theodore E. Chandler (USNA ’15), who was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross and Silver Star, and was one of four U.S. admirals killed in battle during World War II. Also covered is the posthumous Medal of Honor to the commanding officer of USS Walke (DD-723), Commander George F. Davis.

As always, you are welcome and encouraged to distribute H-grams widely. “Back issue” H-grams can be found here on the Naval History and Heritage Command website.

Japanese kamikaze pilots were briefed to strike U.S. ships in the bridge area in order to inflict maximum casualties on senior personnel and degrade the ship’s ability to conduct further operations. That’s exactly what the kamikaze pilot who attacked the heavy cruiser Louisville late on the afternoon of 6 January 1945 in Lingayen Gulf intended to do. Louisville was the flagship of Commander, Cruiser Division FOUR, Rear Admiral Theodore E. Chandler, assigned the task of bombarding Japanese positions ashore in advance of the amphibious landing planned for 9 January 1945. The previous day, Louisville had been hit by a kamikaze whose aim was slightly off and who impacted on the armored faceplate of turret No. 2 (the 8-inch triple turret just in front of the bridge). The strike only killed one man, but wounded 59, including Louisville’s commanding officer, Captain Rex Legrand Hicks, who continued to command his ship despite being severely burned before the extent of his injuries forced him to relinquish command to the executive officer (Hicks would be awarded a Silver Star for his gallantry).

The next day, “Lucky Lou’s” luck ran out. Despite intense anti-aircraft fire, the kamikaze hit Louisville right in the flag bridge area on the starboard side, with devastating result. Given the relative proximity of Japanese airfields on Luzon to the Lingayen beachhead area, the kamikaze still had a large amount of fuel. The resulting gasoline fireball turned the topside area on the forward superstructure into an inferno, killing many bridge personnel and gunners, who had stood their ground and fired at the plane until impact; 32 men would die and another 56 were wounded, many grievously. Rear Admiral Chandler was in an exposed weather position when the plane hit, jumping from the flag bridge to the signal bridge and emerging with his clothes on fire. Others doused the flames, and despite his severe injuries he assisted Sailors in manning a fire hose and then attempted to remain in command of his task force until finally being compelled by his chief of staff to seek medical attention, and even then refusing preferential treatment, patiently waiting his turn. Unfortunately, Chandler’s lungs had been severely scorched and despite the best efforts of the medical staff, he died the next day, and was buried at sea.

Chandler was the grandson of a Secretary of the Navy and son of a U.S. Navy rear admiral, and had graduated near the top of his class in Annapolis in 1915. He had distinguished himself even before World War II broke out, when in command of the elderly light cruiser Omaha (CL-4) in November 1941, he had identified a German blockade runner (Odenwald) disguised as a U.S. merchant ship in the South Atlantic. Chandler ordered Odenwald to stop and sent a boarding party, which went aboard the blockade runner just as the German scuttling charges went off. However, the boarding team was able to prevent the ship from sinking. A prize crew was put on board that took Odenwald to Puerto Rico (the boarding team and prize crew thus became the last U.S. Sailors to receive “prize money” for capturing a ship, although not until the court case was finally settled after the war). As a rear admiral, Chandler served with distinction in the Caribbean, the invasion of southern France (receiving a Legion of Merit for each tour), and as Battleship Division TWO commander during the Battle of Surigao Strait.

Chandler was posthumously awarded a Navy Cross (for Lingayen Gulf), a Silver Star (for Surigao Strait) and an Army Distinguished Service Medal (from General Douglas MacArthur). The Gearing-class destroyer Theodore E. Chandler (DD-717) was named in his honor and served from 1946 to 1975, earning nine battle stars in the Korean War and eight battle stars and a Navy Unit Commendation in the Vietnam War (and being hit by Communist shore fire in 1967). The Kidd-class guided missile destroyer Chandler (DDG-996) was also named in his honor and served from 1982 to 1999. For a short biography of Rear Admiral Chandler and text of his award citations, please see attachment H-040-1, which also includes a photo of Louisville being hit by a kamikaze at Lingayen Gulf on 6 January 1945.

The U.S. Navy was in for a rude shock after exalting in the great victory in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. There were many who believed that because of the staggering losses in ships, aircraft, and men that the Japanese had been “licked” and war would be over soon. However, not only did the Japanese not quit, they unleashed a fearsome new weapon, the manned suicide aircraft: the kamikaze (“divine wind”). The psychological impact was profound as ship after ship was hit by kamikaze, often with devastating results even when a ship wasn’t sunk. In the Philippines campaign, one out of four kamikaze hit a ship, many times in the bridge area. The kamikaze were harder to shoot down and would keep on coming no matter what: only the physical disintegration of the suicide aircraft would stop the attack once committed, and, even then, killing debris from the plane might hit the ship. The concept that an enemy would willingly kill themselves to achieve an outcome was unfathomable to most Americans. Navy leadership was so concerned about what the impact of suicide attacks might be on morale that for many months the Navy used wartime censorship to keep the fact of kamikaze attacks from the American public.

The Japanese kamikaze pilots were not crazy. By this time of the war, the Japanese were well aware that practically every plane that went out against a U.S. carrier task force failed to return—so even a conventional attack was essentially a suicide mission—and that every pilot’s days were almost certainly numbered anyway. The kamikaze pilots were volunteers, initially from among the most junior pilots, while the more senior and experienced pilots flew escort missions to help the kamikaze get to their targets. However, as the campaign went on, even the most senior Japanese pilots began flying suicide missions. By the time of the culmination of the Philippine campaign at Lingayen Gulf, U.S. ships were being hit by some exceptionally good pilots (far better than would be the case off Okinawa later in the spring of 1945).

Ultimately U.S. Navy Sailors responded to the kamikaze threat with grim determination and resolve equal to that of the enemy pilots. There are numerous examples of U.S. gunners standing their ground and firing on the kamikaze right up until the moment of impact, even in the face of certain death. The U.S. Navy responded with numerous operational and technical innovations that I will cover in a future H-gram, as most were not in effect (except the bravery of the gunners) during the Philippine campaign.

In the initial weeks after the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the battle ashore became a protracted campaign, in significant part due to delay in developing airfields for U.S. Army tactical aircraft. U.S. carriers and escort ships were forced to remain tethered to the Leyte area to provide critical air support, especially as the Japanese continued to flow aircraft into the area, and even at times achieved air superiority at night. This negated the advantage of naval mobility, and soon U.S. ships were frequently being hit by kamikaze and even a submarine. Several U.S. fleet carriers were put out of action by kamikaze strikes, including Franklin (CV-13), Belleau Wood (CVL-24), Lexington (CV-16), and Intrepid (CV-11), while light cruiser Reno (CL-96) was knocked out of the war by a submarine torpedo. Destroyer Abner Read (DD-526) was sunk with large loss of life.

In order to interrupt the flow of Japanese troops and material into the west side of Leyte via Ormoc Bay, U.S. destroyers and PT boats made sweeps before mounting an amphibious assault into the bay on 7 December 1944. These operations cost three destroyers and a destroyer-transport sunk: Cooper (DD-695) by torpedo in a surface action, and Mahan (DD-364), Reid (DD-639), and Ward (APD-16) by kamikaze (Cooper and Reid with heavy loss of life), along with numerous other ships damaged.

After Leyte, the next island to be taken was Mindoro. The landing on 15 December 1944 and occupation by the Army went well, but the approach and sustainment was very costly to the U.S. Navy. The first ship to be hit by a kamikaze was the flagship for the entire operation, the light cruiser Nashville (CL-43), with horrific casualties (133 dead). During the operation, two Liberty ships carrying ammunition, John Burke and Lewis L. Dyche, were hit by kamikaze and vaporized with their entire crews when they blew up. Numerous other Navy ships were hit and damaged. The Japanese even sent a cruiser-destroyer surface action group to attack the beachhead area, which was successful in catching the Americans by surprise, but not successful in the result, losing a destroyer to a U.S. PT boat (this would be the second-to-last offensive sortie by a Japanese navy force during the war).

For more detail on the costly battles around Leyte, the landings at Ormoc Bay, and the landings on Mindoro, please see attachment H-040-2.


Daily News from Military Periscope for13 January

USA—New Army Unit To Counter China In The Pacific Bloomberg News | 01/13/2020 The U.S. Army is developing a new unit that will deploy to the Pacific to counter China, reports Bloomberg News. The new task force was unveiled on Jan. 10 by Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy, reported Reuters. It is expected to be deployed on islands east of Taiwan and the Philippines, where it will provide information, electronic, cyber and missile capabilities to deter Chinese threats. The unit would be equipped with land attack and anti-ship missiles, possibly including new hypersonic systems. A new arrangement has been formed with the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) to provide the unit with better access to information from intelligence satellites. The unit is intended to neutralize developments made by the Chinese and Russian militaries, particularly in anti-access area denial systems, McCarthy said. In a possible conflict, Army units could punch holes in adversary defensive networks for the Air Force and Navy to exploit, the secretary said.

USA—QinetiQ, Textron To Build Robotic Combat Vehicle Prototypes For Army Defense News | 01/13/2020 The U.S. Army has selected QinetiQ North America and Textron to build prototype light and medium uncrewed ground vehicles, reports Defense News. On Jan. 9, the service announced that Textron would build four Remote Combat Vehicle-Medium (RCV-M) prototypes and QinetiQ, four RCV-Light (RCV-L) prototypes. The awards come ahead of the previously announced schedule, which anticipated contracts by the end of the second quarter of 2020. Contracts are now expected to be finalized by mid-February. The prototypes will be used to evaluate the feasibility of integrating robotic vehicles into ground combat operations, the Army said. The light and medium vehicles are expected to participate in a company-level experiment in late 2021. A platoon-level test is slated for March 2020, with the results of the trials expected to inform an Army decision around 2023 about how it will approach robots on the battlefield. Meanwhile, National Defense magazine reported that the Army last month canceled a contract with General Dynamics Land Systems for the Squad Multipurpose Equipment Transport (SMET) UGV, based on the company’s MUTT robot. The cancellation was related to an expected ruling by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) upholding a protest by losing bidder Textron. The Army instead chose to cancel the contract and recompete the program prior to the issuance of the GAO ruling, a service spokesperson told the magazine. Only contractors who originally made proposals will be able to participate in the new competition.

USA—Fincantieri Touts Power-Generation Capability Of Frigate Offering USNI News | 01/13/2020 Fincantieri Marine says that its frigate design proposed for the U.S. Navy’s FFG(X) program offers considerable power-generation capability to support future weapons with margin for more, reports USNI News. The design, based on the European multimission frigate (FREMM), will offer 12 MW of power generation, equal to that of the larger Arleigh Burke-class Flight III destroyers, Fincantieri officials said on Jan. 8. Should the Navy decide that it wants additional power, that could be increased to 16 MW with the installation of larger diesels. The baseline power-generation capacity is enough to support current lethal and non-lethal directed-energy weapons. Such weapons could be integrated as soon as the second ship, the officials said. The trade off of speed for power needed for directed-energy weapons is not significant, Fincantieri said. Reducing the ship’s speed from 28 knots (52 kph) to 24 knots (44 kph) would free up a significant amount of power for the weapons, according to the shipbuilder. Fincantieri also revealed that it is working on several improvements at its yard in Marinette, Wis., to meet the service’s desired construction rate of two frigates per year. Power generation is expected to be a key factor in the Navy’s frigate decision, said analysts in the July 2019 issue of Proceedings magazine. The power plants selected for the ships will need to be able to provide sufficient power for current and future needs, since they are unlikely to be replaced during the service life of the vessels.

USA—Air Guard F-16s At Joint Base Andrews Get New Radars Northrop Grumman | 01/13/2020 The U.S. Air Force has completed installing new radars on Air National Guard fighters assigned to Joint Base Andrews, Md., reports Northrop Grumman. The installation of the APG-83 radars meets an emergent operational requirement identified by U.S. Northern Command for homeland defense missions, the company said on Jan. 9. The installation at Joint Base Andrews paves the way for the Guard’s future initial operational capability declaration. A total of 72 ANG F-16s will receive the new radar, reported Breaking Defense. Plans call for the active-duty fleet of F-16s to be refitted with the APG-83 by 2025. A contract for 372 radars for the active-duty jets was signed on Dec. 19. Funding to begin the upgrades was included in the fiscal 2020 budget.

France—Macron Hosts G5 Sahel Leaders To Discuss Anti-French Sentiment Amid Counterterror Ops Agence France-Presse | 01/13/2020 President Emmanuel Macron is hosting leaders from five Sahel countries to assess the French counterterrorism campaign in the African region, reports Agence France-Presse. On Monday, Macron sat down with leaders from Burkina Faso, Chad, Niger, Mali and Mauritania in Pau in southwest France. The countries are members of the G5 Sahel, which was formed in 2014 to better coordinate counterterrorism efforts in the region. The town was home to seven of the 13 soldiers killed in a Nov. 26 helicopter collision during an operation over Mali. At the time, Macron criticized some regional leaders for stoking anti-French sentiment while France has led international efforts to combat militants in the region. Following the meeting, leaders are expected to issue a statement supporting the French Operation Barkhane, which is headquartered in Mali, reported Reuters. Despite sustained operations since Operation Serval in 2013, militants, including some linked to Al-Qaida and ISIS, have strengthened their presence in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

France—Armed Forces To Evaluate Stratobus Airship For ISR Missions Thales Alenia Space | 01/13/2020 Thales Alenia Space says it has signed a contract with the French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) to conduct a concept study on the use of its Stratobus airship platform by the French military. Under the contract announced Jan. 8, Thales will conduct an operational concept study evaluating the ability of the Stratobus to perform intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions to meet French military needs. The study will include simulated operations. The deal also covers a full-scale demonstrator concept capable of showing off the in-flight ISR capabilities of such a platform. The goal is to study the advantages of continuous stratospheric platforms to enhance and bolster French defense capabilities. The value of the contract was not disclosed. The Stratobus is a “stratospheric platform” designed to operate similarly to an artificial satellite, flying at altitudes of 12 miles (20 km) to provide regional surveillance, monitoring and communications capabilities. The system is solar powered and can maintain position over an area for up to a year at a time before being required to land for maintenance, reported Defense News. Development of the system began in 2016.

China—Navy Commissions 1st Nanchang-Class Cruiser South China Morning Post | 01/13/2020 The Chinese navy has commissioned its most advanced guided-missile cruiser, reports the South China Morning Post. On Sunday, the Nanchang was commissioned in a ceremony at the Qingdao naval base in the eastern Shandong province, reported Xinhua, China's state-run news agency. The ceremony had been scheduled for Saturday but was pushed back so as to not coincide with Taiwanese elections, said officials. The Nanchang made its public debut last April but had not finished the installation of its radar, communication and weapon systems, a military source told the newspaper. Chinese officials said the Nanchang represents a generational leap for the navy. She is expected to serve as an escort for the Liaoning, China’s first aircraft carrier, reported the Global Times. At least five more ships in the class are planned, all of which are in various stages of construction.

Taiwan—Tsai Re-elected In Landslide In Rebuke To China Taiwan News | 01/13/2020 Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen has handily won re-election, reports the Taiwan News. Tsai, a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), received about 57 percent of the votes in Saturday's election. She beat out Kuomintang (KMT) candidate Han Kuo-yu, who was widely perceived as being more friendly toward Beijing. Following Tsai's victory, mainland Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi said that the One China policy remained unbroken, reported Reuters. Beijing views Taiwan as a wayward province and has never renounced the use of force to reunite it with the rest of China.

Indonesia—6,000 Citizens Identified As Foreign Terrorist Fighters Jakarta Post | 01/13/2020 Indonesian government officials say more than 6,000 Indonesian citizens are involved in terrorist activity abroad, reports the Jakarta Post. These include 187 Indonesians designated “foreign terrorist fighters” (FTFs) in Syria who are taking part in the conflict there, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mohammad Mahfud MD said on Jan. 10. The government is looking to return the identified FTFs to Indonesia but must figure out a way to do so without creating a risk to national security, he said. Mahfud MD made his comments after a meeting with Shigenobu Fukumoto, the head of Japan’s counterterrorism agency, to discuss areas for cooperation, reported the Jakarta Globe. The talks covered basic ideas for cooperation, which could be finalized in the next year, the minister said. These include a bilateral forum on counterterrorism and regional security.

Afghanistan—2 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Roadside Blast ABC News | 01/13/2020 Two U.S. troops have been killed and two injured in a bomb attack in Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, reports ABC News. On Saturday, the troops were conducting operations when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device (IED), said a statement from the Resolute Support mission. A provincial representative told the Washington Post that the attack occurred in the Dand district and that the troops, assigned to NATO's training and advisory mission, were likely on patrol. In a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The soldiers were identified as Pfc. Miguel Villalon and Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, both from Company B, 307th Airborne Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, out of Fort Bragg, N.C. They are the first U.S. fatalities in Afghanistan in 2020.

Libya—Rival Leaders In Moscow For Talks Asharq Al-Awsat | 01/13/2020 The leaders of Libya's two main factions are in Moscow this week for talks and possibly to formalize a cease-fire agreement, reports Asharq Al-Awsat (London). On Monday, the head of the U.N.-backed Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Serraj, and eastern militia leader Khalifa Haftar were expected to sign a Russian- and Turkey-brokered truce that entered into effect over the weekend. It was unclear if the rival leaders would meet face to face. The goal of the meeting is to sign the cease-fire, which entered into effect on Sunday, reported Al Jazeera (Qatar). Reports indicated that representatives from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, both of which back Haftar, would attend the ceremony. Khaled al-Mechri, head of Libya's High Council of State, said the agreement could revive the long-stalled political process. In an interview with Al Ahrar TV, Serraj called on Libyans to "turn the page on the past" and move toward stability.

Kenya—3 Teachers Killed In Another Al-Shabaab Attack Daily Nation | 01/13/2020 At least three teachers have been killed and one injured in an attack in northern Kenya, reports the Daily Nation (Nairobi). On Monday, gunmen attacked a boarding school in the Kamuthe region of Garissa county. The attackers set fire to a nearby police post and destroyed a communications mast, reported Capital FM (Nairobi). A wire service report indicated that three non-Muslim teachers were killed and another injured while a Muslim teacher was abducted. Media reported that a female nurse was spared during the attack, likely due to her gender. Al-Shabaab later claimed responsibility for the attack. The Al-Qaida-affiliated terrorist group has increased its operations in northern Kenya over the last several weeks. It has also increasingly targeted communications masts, most recently on Jan. 7, as part of efforts to soften target locations before larger attacks, noted analysts. Local officials called on the Kenyan government to do more to strengthen security in the region.

Burkina Faso—Mothballed Mi-17 Helos To Be Returned To Service Defence Web | 01/13/2020 Two Mi-17 cargo helicopters that were in storage are being returned to service with the Burkina Faso military, reports Defence Web (South Africa). The helicopters are expected to return to service early this year after they finish an overhaul in Czechia. The aircraft had been in storage for several years when they were flown to Czechia in March 2019 for upgrades at a Lom Praha facility outside of Prague, reported Jane’s Defence Weekly. The work includes a full overhaul, including the engines, and will extend the service life of the helicopters by an additional four years, giving them a total of another eight years of service 

USS Louisville (CA-28) (right) in Surigao Strait, Philippines, with an escort carrier and destroyer escort. All are units of task force 77.4, en route for the Lingayen Gulf on 3 January 1945 (NH 94433).

The major U.S. invasion of Luzon took place on 9 January 1945 at the southern end of Lingayen Gulf, with pre-invasion bombardment commencing on 6 January, a date that naval historian Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison described as “one helluva day” as kamikaze took a fearsome toll on U.S. ships and crews. The escort carrier Ommaney Bay (CVE-79) was sunk by a kamikaze on the transit to Lingayen. Louisville (CA-28), Columbia (CL-56), and HMAS Australia were hit by kamikaze on the transit. (Louisville would be hit twice, Columbia three times, and Australia five times during the operation.) In the Lingayen area, battleships New Mexico (BB-40), Mississippi (BB-41), and Vice Admiral Oldendorf’s flagship California (BB-44) would be hit with major casualties, with a British lieutenant general killed on New Mexico. Escort carriers Manila Bay (CVE-61), Savo Island (CVE-78), Kadashan Bay (CVE-76), Kitkun Bay (CVE-71), and Salamaua (CVE-96) were hit, along with numerous other ships, often in the bridge and often with heavy loss of life. The destroyer Walke (DD-723) was hit in the bridge, and her commanding officer, Commander George F. Davis, would be awarded a posthumous Medal of Honor for continuing to command his ship even while suffering mortal wounds as a “living torch.” The light cruiser Boise (CL-47), with General MacArthur aboard, was nearly hit by a torpedo from a Japanese midget submarine. The Japanese even used suicide boats in an attempt to inflict casualties during the landings. During the operation 45 U.S. and two Australian ships would be hit or suffer damaging near misses from kamikaze attacks or bombs.

In the end, the Japanese army chose not to defend Luzon at the Lingayen beachhead, and the landings by U.S. Army troops were essentially unopposed. In hindsight, the sacrifice of so many U.S. Sailors at Lingayen Gulf to conduct pre-landing bombardment was not necessary, but that detracts nothing from the extraordinary bravery of the Sailors and the resolve of the commanders to fight their way through to victory.

For more detail on the Lingayen landings, please see attachment H-040-3.

Sources for this H-gram are primarily the Naval History and Heritage Command Dictionary of American Fighting Ships (DANFS) for U.S. ships and for Japanese ships. Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison’s two volumes, Leyte (XII) and The Liberation of the Philippines (XIII), from his History of United States Naval Operations in World War II series are key sources. Two very useful websites are the Military Times Hall of Valor ( for award citations, and USNA Virtual Memorial Hall (https:, since the great majority of ship/squadron commanding officers and senior Navy commanders at this time were Naval Academy graduates.

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