By TSgt. Dan Heaton, Michigan Air National Guard
/ Published January 29, 2014
The history of the Michigan National Guard pre-dates the creation of the state of Michigan by more than a century. Units of the Michigan National Guard and its predecessor organizations played key roles at many crucial points in the history of the state and of the nation. The following link provides a look at many of the events that helped shape today's Michigan National Guard by looking at events that took place on various specific dates throughout the calendar year.
All units referenced are components of the Michigan Army National Guard or Michigan Air National Guard, unless otherwise specified.
The 32nd Infantry Division, known as the "Red Arrow" Division and made up of units from the Michigan and Wisconsin National Guards, was mobilized on Oct. 15, 1940. Slated to depart for Northern Ireland after World War II began, the division was diverted to the Pacific at the last minute, arriving in Australia in May 1942. Elements moved to Port Moresby, New Guinea, in September 1942, in order to halt the Japanese invasion which threatened Australia. The Red Arrow's 126th Infantry Regiment went by ship; the 128th Infantry was airlifted in the first mass troop movement by air in World War II. Joining the Australians, the 32nd entered combat on Nov. 16, 1942. The allied forces were to take heavily-fortified Japanese positions at Buna, on New Guinea's southeast coast. It proved to be one of the most difficult campaigns of the war. Fighting in the hot, steamy jungles, the 32nd was desperately short of basic equipment, weapons, medicine and even food. In the terrible heat and drenching rain, the men of the 32nd -- many burning with fever -- had to reduce Japanese positions one at a time, usually by rushing them with grenades. Most of the Japanese fought to the death but, finally, on Jan 2, 1943, Buna fell. It was the Japanese army's first defeat in modern history, but for the 32nd Division the cost was high: 1,954 were either killed or wounded, with 2,952 hospitalized due to disease. After Buna, the 32nd participated in the long campaign to drive the Japanese from the rest of New Guinea, and went on to see heavy fighting in the Philippines. Today, the 32nd Infantry Brigade, Wisconsin Army National Guard, continues to maintain the Red Arrow heritage.
The Michigan National Guard provides escort service and full military honors as former President Gerald Ford, the only U.S. president from Michigan, is buried at the Ford Presidential Museum in Grand Rapids. The funeral and memorial services held in Michigan for President Ford mark the only time to date that a state National Guard, rather than the active duty military, was the lead organization in rendering honors to a former president. The Michigan National Guard served in that capacity based on the previously expressed wishes of the late president. Among the units involved were the Michigan National Guard's 126th Army Band and the 119th Field Artillery Regiment, which fired the 21-gun artillery salute during the internment service.
More than 850 Michigan National Guard Soldiers, primarily members of the 127th Infantry Regiment begin training for a year-long deployment to Iraq, as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. For most soldiers in the regiment, the deployment is their second or third deployment to Iraq since 2002.
The Michigan National Guard is mobilized to keep the peace during the famous Sit-Down Strike at General Motors facilities in Flint. As many as 4,000 Guard personnel were camped outside the factories at one point. Ultimately, the Guard operated primarily as a stand-by force during the 44 days in which the Guard was on duty during the labor strife. The strike helped solidify the role of the organized labor, primarily the United Auto Workers union, in the American auto industry.
Soldiers from the Michigan National Guard and the Latvian Army begin instruction in a training course for senior noncommissioned officers in the Armed Forces of Liberia. The joint instruction in Monrovia, Liberia, is the result of ongoing partnerships between the three nations. In 1993, the Michigan National Guard became partners with Latvia as part of the National Guard's State Partnership for Peace (SPP) Program, in which emerging democracies around the world were partnered with U.S. state National Guards. In 2009, Michigan added a second partner in Liberia, as a number of African nations began to enter the SPP.
With snow drifts reaching as high as 12 feet in parts of southern Michigan and 160,000 homes in the state without power following a devastating blizzard that hit the state, Gov. William Milliken mobilized the state's National Guard to assist overwhelmed county road crews and to assist local police and fire agencies respond to emergency medical calls. Six people across the state died as a result of the storm, which claimed a total of 43 lives across the Midwest.
The 374th Fighter Squadron is constituted for World War II service. After the war, the unit would be re-designated as the 171st Fighter Squadron and assigned to the Michigan Air National Guard. During WWII, the unit operated P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft assigned to the 8th Air Force operating from England.
The 107th, 171st and 172nd squadrons of the Michigan Air National Guard are ordered to federal service for the duration of the Korean War. The 107th and 171st are assigned to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona as training squadrons. The 172nd is assigned to active duty at Selfridge for homeland defense purposes. The units are released from active duty in November 1952.
Company B, 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment is called into federal service to begin training for an eventual 15-month deployment in Iraq. While in Iraq, the company served at Camp Habbaniyah in what became known as the Sunni Triangle. The company engaged in repeated combat patrols and related missions. Over the course of the deployment, seven Michigan Citizen-Soldiers were killed in combat and numerous soldiers were injured. It was the most intense and deadliest combat experienced by a Michigan National Guard unit since World War II.
Members of Camp Grayling's 745th Ordnance Detachment were sent to the Olympics Games, February 8-24, in Salt Lake City, Utah, to support local and federal law enforcement personnel. The unit, trained in bomb search and disposal techniques, was part of about 4,500 National Guard members called up nationwide by the Department of Defense to support the 2002 Winter Olympics. Unit members inspected bags and packages of visitors to Olympic events using their specialized equipment such as X-ray machines. The 745th was chosen for this mission due to its skills and experience in previous deployments, such as Desert Shield/Desert Storm and range clearing operations in Panama, New Mexico, and Utah.
Palmerola Air Base, Honduras - despite an intense debate about the use of Guard personnel for 'nation building' in Central America, 52 members of the 110th Civil Engineer Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard, deploy for 17-days annual training. While in-country they will assist other American and Honduran military units in base construction and improvement. During the late 1980s, there was a serious attempt by some governors to prevent the president and Defense Department from employing Guard units on annual training to potential 'hot spots' in Latin America. In 1990 the Supreme Court found that DOD does indeed have the authority, with presidential approval, to deploy Guardsmen anywhere in the world for training, even over the objections of the governors.
The 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, formerly the 107th Observation Squadron, Michigan National Guard, and other units of the 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group were assigned the responsibility of photographing the French coastline in preparation for the Normandy invasion, Operation Overlord.
Soldiers of the Michigan Army National Guard began arriving at Camp Grayling, Michigan to begin in-processing and training for assignments supporting U.S. Customs, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and the Border Patrol. The 148 volunteer members of the Michigan Army Guard are scheduled to support these agencies for 180 days, as part of Operation Noble Eagle, which provides enhanced security of our nation's borders. This Homeland Defense mission expands operations and assignments the Michigan National Guard has been supporting since the events of September 11, 2001. In addition to the 54 members of the Michigan Guard serving at the Ambassador, Blue Water and International Bridges, the added forces are expected to assist these agencies screen passenger vehicles, provide aviation support and enhance current operations at these and other locations, as requested.
The 107th Fighter Squadron, Michigan ANG, deployed ten F-16C aircraft on their AEF rotation to Iraq for Operation Iraqi Freedom. They were the first F-16 unit Air Force to operate from Kirkuk AB, a former Iraqi Air Force installation. They employed the Theater Airborne Reconnaissance System pod that had been developed by the ANG in actual combat conditions.
The 107th Ordnance Company, Medium Maintenance, returns to state control after spending a year in service in Korea during the Korean War. The Earlier in the month the 1437th Engineer Treadway Bridge Company had also been returned to state control after service in Korea. The two units from Michigan were among 30 National Guard units from the U.S. to be mobilized and sent to Korea during the war. A number of other Michigan National Guard units were activated during the war, serving in a variety of training and support functions in the U.S.
Thirty members of the 110th Fighter Wing, mostly from the medical squadron, including two chaplains, departed for a scheduled 10-day training operation at Soto Cano Air Force Base in Honduras. They provided medical treatment and distribute 2,000 pairs of eyeglasses, and $3,000 in school supplies to several villages around the base.
The 107th Tactical Fighter Squadron is re-designated as the 107th Fighter Squadron. The unit had begun flying F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft in 1988 and would continue to fly that aircraft through 2008.
Departing Selfridge Air National Guard Base about 4 hours after receiving initial warning, Airmen and a KC-135 Stratotanker were among the 11 ANG wings that were called to contribute to Operation Odyssey Dawn, the international operation enforcing a United Nations authorized no-fly zone in Libya. Airmen from the 110th Airlift Wing in Battle Creek also supported Operation Odyssey Dawn.
Approximately 150 Soldiers of the 1776th Military Police Company depart for up to one year providing security and law enforcement support for the military district of Washington, D.C.
Volunteer pilots and ground support personnel from the Michigan Air Guard's 172nd Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron began training at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico for Operation Blue Straw, nuclear tests conducted at Christmas Island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The 172nd was one of five ANG unit that participated in Blue Straw that year. Flying specially equipped RB-57s, their pilots flew through clouds of nuclear dust gather samples for study.
Approximately 150 Soldiers of the 119th Field Artillery Regiment, working alongside elements of the U.S. Marine Corps, help to repel the largest attack on a U.S. military base since the Vietnam War, during the Battle of Abu Ghraib.
The Band, 119th Field Artillery, is organized in Lansing. The band is the direct predecessor of today's 126th Army Band of the Michigan National Guard.
Carol Ann Fausone is the first woman in the Michigan National Guard to be promoted to the rank of brigadier general. A nurse and a member of the Michigan Air National Guard, BG Fausone was also the first Michigan medical officer to achieve the rank of a general officer.
John E. Schwarz was named adjutant general for the Michigan Territory. A native of Austria, he came to Michigan in 1928, working as part of John Jacob Astor's fur trading enterprise. He served as adjutant general for the Michigan Territorial Militia beginning in 1831 and continued to hold that position after Michigan became a state in 1837, leaving that post in 1839. In 1844, he was appointed adjutant general of the state militia again, serving through 1855. Schwarz is the only person to have served as adjutant general in Michigan more than one time.
The East Saginaw Guards and the Flint Grays are combined to form the 2nd Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment, for service in the Union Army during the Civil War. Elements of the unit have been part of the Michigan National Guard ever since, serving today as the 1st Battalion, 125th Infantry Regiment.
The U.S. declared war against Spain on April 25, 1898, and Camp Eaton near Brighton was established, in name at least, the next day. In reality, the camp didn't get set up until the middle of June, when the various companies of volunteers began arriving at the camp to muster in and to be known as the First Regiment Michigan Volunteer Reserve Infantry and later as the 35th Michigan Infantry. On July 1, Col. Edwin M. Irish arrived to take command of the regiment, which consisted of 1,328 men. Here is the text of an historical marker found in Brighton: This was once the summer camp of Michigan's National Guard. Here in 1898 the five regiments which were recruited in the state during the war with Spain were organized. Ten men volunteered for every one who could be accepted. Two of the units, the 33rd and 34th Michigan Infantry, saw action in Cuba during June and July, 1898, in the fighting around Santiago. The 31st Regiment served in the occupation of Cuba. The 32nd and 35th remained in the United States. Of the nearly 6,700 men who served in these regiments, 250 were fatalities. Most of these deaths resulted from disease, not battle action. In 1900, the camp was used as the site of an annual encampment training session for the Michigan National Guard. Shortly thereafter, and exact records are murky, the camp was disbanded and eventually set aside as a recreation area owned and operated by the state.
Under the Army modernization program, the Michigan National Guard replaces its UH-1H "Hueys" and AH-1 "Cobra" attack helicopters with the newer UH-60 "Black Hawks" and CH-47 "Chinooks" at its Grand Ledge Army Aviation Support Facility. The twin-engine "Black Hawk" travels at nearly twice the speed, carries twice the capacity, twice as far as a "Huey," and is capable of travelling over large bodies of water.
Camp Grayling was established on May 2, 1913 under Michigan Public Act 172. The impetus behind this act was the foresight and generosity of Rasmus Hanson, a timber industrialist and Grayling resident. In response to action by the Michigan Legislature in 1911 to identify a suitable permanent military camping ground for the Michigan National Guard, Mr. Hanson offered to donate "about 14,000 acres of land" for an encampment ground.
The 107th Observation Squadron receives federal recognition as the first flying unit of the Michigan National Guard.
In joint ceremonies coordinated by the Michigan National Guard and the French Consulate, more than 800 Michigan veterans are given certificates of appreciation for the liberation of France in World War II.
The first evidence of an organized, formal militia in Michigan is the mention of the participation of the First Regiment of Wayne County in a parade in Detroit on May 11, 1803. However, neither the occasion for the parade nor the strength of the regiment was recorded.
The Michigan State Legislature passes the Military Establishment Act of 1909. The law establishes the modern Michigan National Guard. The 31-page law establishes the pay rate or $1.25 per duty day to enlisted personnel below the rank of corporal. The pay for regimental sergeants major is capped at $1.65 per duty day. A salary of between $1,000 and $2,000 per year is approved for the adjutant general. Most of the 1909 act is repealed with the passage of a similar act in 1967.
Ground is broken for a $5.5 million project to build a new National Guard Armory in Jackson, replacing the Jackson Armory built in 1842. The new armory is 52,933 square feet.
In his annual January address to the State Legislature, Michigan Gov. Austin Blair pledged in 1861 to raise two militia regiments to support the Union cause - more than three months before shots were first fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina, April 12, 1861. After that battle at Fort Sumter, when a desperate federal government called upon the states to send militia to defend the Union, Michigan was ready to respond. As Michigan's 1st Volunteer Regiment marched into Washington on May 16, the beleaguered President Abraham Lincoln is said to have exclaimed "Thank God for Michigan!" Michigan units went on to serve with distinction throughout the war, including a key cavalry unit serving under Gen. George Armstrong Custer at Gettysburg and another Michigan unit that captured former Confederate President Jefferson Davis after the surrender of Confederate forces.
Construction begins on the Michigan National Guard's new Army Aviation Support Facility in Grand Ledge. The $23.3 million flight operations and maintenance hangar will support approximately 80 full-time employees, 21 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and four light utility helicopters, replacing the smaller UH-1 Huey helicopters. The 110,697 square foot main structure includes various aircraft maintenance specialty shops, a high-bay steel frame maintenance hangar capable of supporting 11 aircraft and an administrative area. A separate, unheated, 43,782 square foot aircraft storage hangar will house 14 aircraft. Other site expansions include associated taxiways and parking ramps.
Ten Soldiers of the Michigan National Guard are injured in a roadside bombing while serving in Afghanistan. The Soldiers are all members of the 1-126th Cavalry. It is the largest single attack, in terms of number of soldiers wounded, in decades for the Michigan Guard.
The Michigan Naval Militia Act creates a state naval militia. The Naval Militia was separate from, but affiliated with the Michigan National Guard, operating in a similar manner. The Michigan Naval Militia's most notable moments came during the Spanish-American War. During that conflict, most of the militia was called to federal duty with the U.S. Navy. Most of the crew of the U.S.S. Yosemite was from the Michigan Naval Militia, including 48 crewmembers who were students or faculty at the University of Michigan. The Yosemite participated in blockade duty off Cuba and, on June 28, 1898, successfully intercepted and eventually destroyed the Spanish supply ship Antonio Lopez. When the U.S. Navy Reserve was established in 1915, the Michigan Naval Militia was folded into the Navy Reserve and ceased to exist as a separate organization.
The first burial is held at Fort Custer National Cemetery. The cemetery was created in part through the set-aside of more than 550 acres from the Michigan National Guard-operated Fort Custer Military Reservation near Battle Creek.
Michigan National Guard officials conduct a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new 13,000 square foot training facility at Fort Custer Training Center. The $1.4 million building houses the 51st Civil Support Team, a full-time National Guard unit trained and equipped to support local and regional terrorist response agencies during a known or suspected weapons of mass destruction incident.
Groundbreaking for a new Detroit Light Guard Armory took place on June 4, 1956, at the Armory's current location at 4400 E. Eight Mile, near Ryan Road. At the time of the Armory's construction, it was said to be the Army's largest construction project since the end of World War II, 11 years earlier. The final building dedication ceremony was held on Nov. 16, 1957, the 102nd anniversary of the first time a Detroit militia had been organized under the name "Detroit Light Guard." Of the $3 million cost of the building project, approximately $138,000 came from donations from private citizens in Detroit and surrounding communities to support the project.
Almost 25 Airmen from the Michigan Air National Guard traveled to Latvia to provide medical services in rural areas of that nation, as part of the State Partnership Program of the National Guard. The medical services team made up of Airmen from the 110th Fighter Wing in Battle Creek, the 127th Medical Group at Selfridge ANG Base, and the Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center, worked side-by-side with their Latvian counterparts to provide medical health care screenings, dental fluoride treatments, and optical services to include the dispensing of glasses.
A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft flown by the 107th Fighter Squadron land at Amari Air Base, Estonia, for participation in Saber Strike 2012, a multi-national exercise. It is believed to be the first time any fighter aircraft from a NATO-member nation has landed at the base, which was once operated by the military of the Soviet Union.
The Red Arrow Division, also known as the 32nd Division, a combined force created by the Michigan and Wisconsin National Guards, is deployed along a 17-mile front in France during World War I. In intense fighting over the next several weeks, the Division is able to advance into Germany and is believed to be the first U.S. troops to set foot on German soil during World War I. During the seven days of the most intense fighting, the Red Arrow's casualty list was staggering: 722 soldiers were killed, 992 severely injured, 618 gassed, 46 missing; 75 of the wounded later died.
A distinguished panel of dignitaries, led by US Senator Carl Levin and Michigan's Adjutant General, Major General E. Gordon Stump, preside over the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening the new $6 million Augusta Armory, located at Fort Custer, Augusta, Michigan.
The entire Michigan National Guard is called into federal duty in response to growing tensions along the U.S.-Mexican border. During the U.S. Punitive Expedition into Mexico, elements of the Michigan National Guard had responsibility for security along a roughly 47-mile stretch of the southern U.S. border.
Col. John S. Bersey is appointed adjutant general for the state of Michigan. Col. Bersey served as adjutant general for 25 years, retiring Aug. 8, 1940. Bersey served as Michigan's adjutant general longer than any other person. Bersey initially enlisted in 1889 and served as the regimental sergeant major of the Michigan Fourth Infantry prior to earning his commission. In 1898-99, he served as a lieutenant with the 31st Michigan Volunteer Infantry when that unit was federalized for the Spanish-American War. When he retired, he had served for 51 years as a uniformed member of the Michigan National Guard.
Personnel and several F-6As from the 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, formerly the 107th Observation Squadron, Michigan National Guard, became the first Army Air Forces tactical reconnaissance unit to operate from France.
The Army Institute of Heraldry approves a new shoulder sleeve insignia for the 177th Military Police Brigade. The insignia includes wavy blue lines that represent the Great Lakes and has a key and gear wheel insignia in the center, paying homage to the Motor City of Detroit, where the brigade was first established on June 14, 1921.
The act organizing the Territory of Michigan took effect, with General William Hull as the first Governor. Although the act provided for the creation of a militia consisting of 18- to 45-year-old males, organization never proceeded further than being placed on paper.
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - The largest land battle ever fought in North America, involving about 90,000 Union and 75,000 Confederate troops, begins by accident when a column of southerners encounters Union cavalry while looking for a supply of shoes. On this first day the Confederates push the Union defenders out of the town but stop short of routing them off the field. Among the units engaged is the 2nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry against elements of the famous "Iron Brigade" (often referred to as the "black hats" due to the distinctive Hardee hats most of the men wore). The brigade was composed of the 2nd, 6th, 7th Wisconsin, 19th Indiana and 24th Michigan volunteer infantry regiments. In a sharp engagement in the woods near the McPherson's Farm, nearly half of the 2nd Wisconsin are killed, wounded or captured. By nightfall the northerners take up key positions on a series of hills south of the town. The stage is set for what proved to be the climatic engagement of the war. The lineage of the Iron Brigade is carried today jointly by the 127th and 128th Infantry regiments, Wisconsin National Guard.
Air traffic controllers from the 231st Mobile Communications Squadron, District of Columbia ANG, operated the control tower, ground controlled approach, and navigation aids at the Air Guard's field training site at Phelps-Collins Field, Alpena, Michigan. It was the first time that Air Guardsmen, not active duty Air Force personnel, had assumed the full responsibility for air base traffic control away from their home station during one of their annual training periods.
The first military flight takes place at Selfridge Field. Capt. Byron Q. Jones made the flights in a Curtiss JN-4D Jenny.
The Michigan National Guard helps provide a safe and secure environment for visitors during the 2005 Major League Baseball All Star Game at Comerica Park, in Detroit. The 51st Civil Support Team, an elite military unit based near Battle Creek, conducts chemical and radiological monitoring and sweeps during the week-long festivities leading up to the All-Star Game. The mission of the 51st is to provide support to civil authorities at a potential or actual domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or explosive incident.
The Grand Rapids Light Guard and the Grand Rapids Artillery companies are formed. These units are the direct forebears of the 126th Cavalry Regiment, Michigan National Guard.
Construction begins on a new $4.5 million armory in Calumet. The 27,500 square foot facility will house Michigan Army National Guard's Company, A, 107th Engineer Battalion. The armory's copper-colored standing seam metal roof represents the area's history of cooper mining while the split-block sandstone exterior matches the previous armory, built during WWII.
The Michigan Guard merged with members of the Wisconsin Guard to form the 32nd Infantry Division on July 18, 1917, with Michigan furnishing 8,000 troops of all arms. The Division served with great distinction in World War I.
The 171st Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Selfridge Air National Guard Base takes possession of its first F-106 Delta Dart. With the change, the squadron moves out of the reconnaissance business and into an air superiority mission. The move also prompts the creation of a nickname borne of the arrival of the F-106 - the Michigan Six-Pack. Today, the 127th Air Refueling Group's 171st Air Refueling Squadron and 191st Maintenance and Aircraft Maintenance Squadrons proudly carry on the Michigan Six-Pack name.
The Red Arrow Division, made up of members of the Michigan and Wisconsin National Guards, received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a World War II battle, which began on July 23. The citation reads: "When bold and aggressive enemy invaded Papua in strength, the combined action of ground and air units of these forces, in association with Allied units, checked the hostile advance, drove the enemy back to the seacoast and in a series of actions against a highly organized defensive zone, utterly destroyed him. Ground combat forces, operating over roadless jungle-covered mountains and swamps, demonstrated their courage and resourcefulness in closing with an enemy who took every advantage of the nearly impassable terrain. Air forces, by repeatedly attacking the enemy ground forces and installations, by destroying his convoys attempting reinforcement and supply, and by transporting ground forces and supplies to areas for which land routes were non-existent and sea routes slow and hazardous, made possible the success of the ground operations. Service units, operating far forward of their normal positions and at times in advance of ground combat elements, built landing fields in the jungle, established and operated supply points, and provided for the hospitalization and evacuation of the wounded and sick. The courage, spirit, and devotion to duty of all elements of the command made possible the complete victory attained."
The Michigan National Guard begins mobilization to respond to escalating civil unrest in Detroit. The Detroit riot of 1967 grew to become one of the most violent and deadly instances of rioting in the history of the nation. Eventually, some 8,000 members of the Michigan National Guard responded to the city, later augmented by 4,700 members of the active Army. Members of the Guard were also sent to other Michigan cities to respond to other cases of civil disturbance. Among the many outcomes of the riot was improved training for the National Guard in every state for responding to such events.
After being called up the day before, the first units of the Michigan National Guard begin to arrive in the area of Houghton and Calumet in the Keweenaw Peninsular of Michigan. A strike by copper miners in the region shut down the mines and within days the sheriffs of Houghton and Keweenaw counties were asking Gov. Woodbridge Ferris to send in the National Guard to keep the peace. After discussion with Adjutant General Roy Vandercook, Ferris mobilized the entire state National Guard and sent the units to the Upper Peninsula mining communities in an effort to keep the peace during the strike. Some elements of the Guard remained on duty as the strike lasted well into 1914.
Seventy members of the 177th Military Police Brigade, Michigan Army National Guard, headquartered in Taylor depart for a one-year deployment to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a U.S. naval base. Once in Cuba, the unit will head-up a security mission.
A single B-29 bomber named "Enola Gay" drops the first atomic bomb in history, devastating this city and killing more than 118,000 people either directly from the blast or over the next weeks from radiation sickness. Among the crewmen serving on this mission as a specialized mechanic and gunner was former Michigan Guardsmen Sergeant Robert R. Shumard. He had been a member of Battery C, 182nd Field Artillery when it was mobilized in 1941. After the war he served in the Air Force Reserve and died in 1967.
Helicopters, Soldiers and related equipment from the Michigan National Guard are mobilized and sent to the Eastern Upper Peninsula to help contain what became known as the Sleeper Lake Fire, which burned over 18,000 acres and was one of the largest recorded fires in Michigan history. Thanks to the response of the Michigan National Guard, along with local and state firefighting resources, only one building was destroyed in the massive blaze.
Egbert M. Rosecrans is appointed adjutant general of Michigan. Rosecrans served as an enlisted soldier in two conflicts - serving with the First Michigan Field Artillery on Mexican Border in 1916; and then with the 119th Field Artillery (later redesignated the 1st Michigan Field Artillery) during extensive combat in France during World War I. During World War I, he served as the sergeant major of the 119th while in combat. Rosecrans received his commission about two years after the war ended. He served as adjutant general 1940-43, covering the period of roughly the first half of World War II. Rosecrans was the last officer to serve in the position of Michigan adjutant general with the rank of colonel. Every officer to hold that position since he retired in 1943 has done so as either a brigadier or major general.
Camp Custer near Battle Creek is re-designated as Fort Custer, to become a permanent military training facility. The post had originally been opened in 1917, as part of the run-up to U.S. entry into World War I. More than 300,000 troops trained at Fort Custer prior to overseas duty for World War II. Today the fort is home to several units of the Michigan National Guard, while the 110th Air Wing of the Air National Guard is located on the adjacent Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.
Nearly 500 members of the Michigan National Guard's only African-American unit, the 1279th Combat Engineer Batralion, were sent to Fort Lewis, Washington to prepare for service in Korea. During their training at Fort Lewis, the unit received orders to deploy to Germany in order to help U.S. forces repair the country's transportation infrastructure in anticipation of a Soviet attack through Europe. While many unit members served in Germany, others were ordered to Korea. While performing their engineering mission, the unit received numerous awards and tributes from the cities and countries they served. Upon their return stateside, the Duchess of Holland recognized the service of the 1279th in her country's efforts to rebuild the intricate system of dikes and dams, by presenting the unit with national honors.
The future Alpena Combat Readiness Training Center was opened as Phelps Collins Field with an Aug. 31, 1931, ceremony. The air field was named in honor of Capt. Phelps Collins, a U.S. Army Air Service pilot from Alpena who was the first U.S. Airman to die in combat while flying with a U.S. Army flying squadron in World War I. (Collins, like many other Americans, had originally flown in the war in a French unit known as the Lafayette Escadrille. Several U.S. pilots gave their life while flying with the Escadrille, but Collins was the first to do so flying with a U.S. unit.)
The 127th Wing is created by the merger of the 127th Fighter Wing and the 191st Airlift Group.
Following a sharp increase in the number of highway death reported in Michigan car crashes in the summer of 1954, Gov. G. Mennen Williams calls out selected members and units of the Michigan National Guard to assist with safety patrols of the state's highways during the Labor Day period. The patrols take place with both ground and air units.
In the summer of 1918, during World War I, President Woodrow Wilson, at the urging of Britain and France, sent an infantry regiment to north Russia to fight the Bolsheviks in hopes of persuading Russia to rejoin the war against Germany. The 339th Infantry Regiment with the first battalion of the 310th Engineers and the 337th Ambulance and Hospital Companies, arrived at Archangel, Russia on Sept. 4, 1918. About 75 percent of the 5,500 Americans who made up the North Russian Expeditionary Forces were from Michigan; of those, a majority were from Detroit. The newspapers called them "Detroit's Own,"; they called themselves "Polar Bears." They marched on Belle Isle on July 4, 1919. Ninety-four of them were killed in action after the United States decided to withdraw from Russia but before Archangel's harbor thawed, allowing the regiment to return home.
Planes, pilots and crew members from the 171st Airlift Squadron deployed at a moment's notice on many missions to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The 127th Wing at Selfridge sent two C-130s for air-evacuation of the New Orleans VA Medical Center. One of these planes received a second tasking to fly equipment the following day. Two of the airlift squadron's C-130 aircraft moved the EMEDS+25 mobile hospital equipment from the Combat Readiness Training Center in Alpena, Mich., to New Orleans. This took two days to accomplish due to the amount equipment involved. These planes were further tasked to evacuate almost 100 people from New Orleans to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft from Selfridge Air National Guard Base are in the air, returning from a training mission when highjacked civilian airliners attack the World Trade Center in New York. The aircraft land at Selfridge to re-arm and re-fuel, and begin flying combat air patrols over the Detroit region. In 2008, the air superiority alert mission was transferred from Selfridge to a unit in Toledo, Ohio.
Call-ups begin for about 100 Soldiers of the Lansing-based 119th Field Artillery Regiment to provide security at the two border crossings in Detroit, in response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
ANG C-130 airlift units began supporting Operation Provide Comfort from Incirlik AB, Turkey. The following units participated in 1994: the 133d Airlift Wing, Minnesota, the 191st Airlift Group, Michigan, the 135th Airlift Group, Maryland, the 167th Airlift Group, West Virginia, the 143d Airlift Group, Rhode Island, and the 146th Airlift Wing, California.
U.S. forces re-occupy Fort Detroit, after having surrendered the fort and the city to the British in August 1812, during the War of 1812. Fort Detroit was re-taken by the Americans after British forces left, facing an oncoming large force of U.S. regulars, led by General and future U.S. President William Henry Harrison. Among the officers in Harrison's command was James May. May had been serving at Fort Detroit when U.S. General (and Michigan Territorial Governor) William Hull surrendered the city in August 1812. May had personally taken possession of the U.S. flag that was lowered from the fort at the surrender in 1812. He ensured that same flag was the first to be flown over the fort after the U.S. again took control. Detroit has been an American city ever since. May served as the adjutant general of the territorial militia 1800-1806, the first person to hold that position in Michigan. May was the second person to serve a term as chairman of the board of trustees that governed Detroit before the community became a city, a position roughly equivalent to that of mayor.
During the Cold War only the 156th Signal Battalion was federalized on 1 October 1961 at its home stations in response to the Cuban missile crisis. This marked the Michigan National Guard's last call to federal duty for service outside the state for almost 30 years
The Michigan ANG's 127th Wing at Selfridge ANG Base formally relinquished its Air Sovereignty Alert (ASA) mission to the Ohio ANG's 180th Fighter Wing at Toledo.
A combined British and Native American army is decisively defeated by an American army under the command of General William Henry Harrison, a former general of Indiana militia and future president of the U.S. After the British component of the force was broken by mounted Kentucky militiamen, they went on a killing spree amongst the Indians under the war leader Tecumseh. Tecumseh, a Shawnee, built an Indian confederation combining several tribes as allies of the British. When members of these tribes captured Kentucky militiamen first at the River Raisin, Michigan Territory, in January 1813 and again at the siege of Fort Meigs, Ohio in May 1813, they tortured and killed many of them. The Kentuckians thus took their revenge by killing a large number of warriors, including Tecumseh, leading to the dissolution of the Indian confederacy.
Ground is broken for a new $15.8 million, 106425-square foot complex to consolidate National Guard operations in the Lansing area. The new facility, on North Martin Luther King Boulevard, near Grand River Avenue, houses the Joint Forces Headquarters for the combined Michigan Army and Air National Guard as well as several Army National Guard units.
By special order of Michigan adjutant general Clarence Schnipke, Air National Guard Sgt. Mickey Lolich was exempted from "KP duty" for the remainder of his military career due to Lolich's outstanding performance in his civilian job - as a starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. The order from Schnipke came in the celebration aftermath of Lolich helping the Tigers to win the 1968 World Series. During the summer of 1967, Lolich missed about two weeks of the baseball season when his unit was mobilized to help quell the riots in Detroit that summer.
A Union assault across the Potomac River north of Washington, DC, at a site named Harrison's Landing or better known to history as "Ball's Bluff" was repulsed with heavy losses. While Confederate losses were rather light, the Union forces suffered 223 men killed and more 700 captured, with several hundred more wounded. Among the dead was Colonel, and U.S. Senator from Oregon, Edward D. Baker. Born in England, he came to America as a child and spent his early life in Illinois, where he met and befriended Abraham Lincoln. While in Illinois, Baker was elected to the House of Representatives in 1844. He resigned his seat in 1846 to command the 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry in the Mexican War, commanding the Siege of Veracruz and the Battle of Cerro Gordo. After the war, he moved to California, then Oregon, taking a seat in the U.S. Senate as one of Oregon's first two new Senators. After the Civil War started in April 1861, Baker raised a regiment in New York, but soon after took a commission as the commander of the 71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry while still seated in the Senate. During the Battle of Ball's Bluff, Baker's regiment found itself backed up against the river by Colonel William Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade (13th, 17th, and 18th Mississippi regiments). Killed instantly by a shot in the head, he was the only seated member of Congress to die in combat during the Civil War. Several other interesting notes stem from this battle. Due to Baker's death and the high losses suffered in this operation, questions were raised in Congress about the Army's leadership. As a result, the "Congressional Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War" was established to oversee the handling of the war effort. Barksdale's Brigade would meet some of the very same units it fought at Ball's Bluff again at Antietam and Fredericksburg in 1862. These units included the 7th Michigan and the 19th and 20th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry regiments.
The Michigan National Guard begins a $1.5 million overhaul and renovation of the 21,000 square foot Pontiac Readiness Center, also known as the Pontiac Armory. This is the first major alteration to the building since its original construction in 1973. The readiness center is home to the 1775th Military Police Company.
Members of the Michigan Army National Guard Funeral Honors Team provide guard detail for the casket of former Michigan Gov. Steven T. Mason at the State Capitol Building for one day of public viewing. Governor Mason's was exhumed from Detroit's Capitol Park while the burial location underwent renovation. Mason lay in state at the State Capitol Building for one day and was then transported back to Capitol Park for a re-internment memorial service. In 1830, at age 19, Mason was appointed the Secretary of Michigan Territory and Superintendent of Indian Affairs by President Andrew Jackson. In 1834 he became acting Territorial Governor and in 1835, at age 24, he was elected the state's first governor though Michigan did not officially establish statehood until 1837. Mason led the state until 1840 and, according to Michigan History magazine and other sources, was the youngest state governor in American history.
The 172d Fighter Squadron, 110th Fighter Wing, at Battle Creek ANGB flew their last A-10 Thunderbolt II sortie.
The first indication of an effort to organize a militia is the reference of a proposal made by Antoine de LaMothe, sieur de Cadillac, the founder of Detroit. His proposal, dated November 13, 1708, called for forming four companies of "savages" to act as a militia for the colony. People opposed this idea because they were afraid that if the "savages" became educated in the ways of warfare, they would become formidable.
More than 200 soldiers from 1st Battalion, 119th Field Artillery, Michigan Army National Guard, depart for the first leg of a deployment that ultimately takes them to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a U.S. naval base. Soldiers from field artillery batteries in Lansing, Port Huron, Alma, and Albion will head to Fort Dix, NJ, where they will spend four to six weeks on mission-specific training and in-processing. Once in Cuba, the unit will serve for six months providing security at the base.
Officials unveiled Battle Creek decals on a newly assigned C-21. It was a bridge aircraft designed to maintain a flying mission at that installation until the planned C-27 (the Joint Cargo Aircraft) was assigned to the Michigan ANG unit, the 110th Fighter Wing, which was losing its A-10s. The Air Force later cancelled plans for the C-27.
The Michigan National Guard Army Aviation Support Facility #1 in Grand Ledge takes possession of new Sikorsky UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters. The UH-60M is an upgrade from the combat-proven UH-60 model. The "Mike" model features improved payload, new digital cockpit displays, a strengthened fuselage, more lift than the UH-60A model, and more powerful engines. The Mike models also feature lower maintenance costs than the current fleet.
Union engineers of the Volunteer Engineer Brigade, under the command of Brigadier General Daniel Woodbury, composed primarily of the 15th and 60th New York Engineer regiments; finally succeed in getting two pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River. For more than a day they had failed in accomplishing this goal due to heavy Confederate fire coming from the town of Fredericksburg. Most of this fire came from Brigadier General William Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade (13th, 17th, 18th, 21st Mississippi regiments), who used houses along the shore as cover. While Union artillery pounded the town, destroying many homes and other structures in the process, the rebel fire on the bridge continued. It was only after 7th Michigan and other elements of the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division of the Army of the Potomac staged an assault river crossing in the face of enemy fire that the Confederates were compelled to fall back through the town. Soon the bridges were finished and the Union army moved across only to fight one of the bloodiest battles of the entire war on the 13th.
The Army of the Potomac suffers terrible losses as it makes numerous attacks against entrenched Confederates under the command of General Robert E. Lee. The federal army, under the command of General Ambrose Burnside, numbers over 90,000 men. Before the disastrous assaults on this day, Union forces had made a river crossing under heavy rifle fire from four regiments of Brigadier General William Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade (13th, 17th, 18th, 21st Mississippi regiments) while northern engineers, consisting primarily of two New York engineers regiments, constructed pontoon bridges over the Rappahannock River. On this date General Lee had his men well positioned on a high ridge known as "Marye's Heights." Burnside launched wave after wave of Union regiments piecemeal against the strong rebel defenses, all to no avail. By the end of the battle more than 12,600 Union soldiers are casualties while the southern loses were only 5,300. Pre-war militia (Guard) units exist in both armies. Among the most famous are the 69th New York, part of the famed "Irish Brigade," plus the Wisconsin and Michigan troops in the "Iron Brigade" On the southern side there are the five Guard regiments comprising the "Stonewall Brigade" from Virginia along with three batteries of the "Washington Artillery" from New Orleans. Descendent units of these and other Guard units who faced each other on this field remain in the Guard today.
A time capsule is buried at outside the chapel at Camp Grayling in northern Michigan. The burial of the time capsule is the final event in a year-long series of events held at the camp to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the creation of the military training center. The time capsule is to be opened in 2113.
The 107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, formerly the 107th Observation Squadron, Michigan Air National Guard, commenced combat operations over France from the United Kingdom with its F-6A's in preparation for the Allied invasion of Europe.
Sources for these entries include:
· Michigan National Guard press releases, 2000-2013. http://www.michigan.gov/dmva/0,4569,7-126-34250_34253---Y,00.html
· Today in Guard History. http://www.nationalguard.mil/news/todayinhistory/
· Michigan Air National Guard Chronology, 1926-2011. https://afpims.dma.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-130621-015.pdf
· Heaton, Dan. Forts & Fields: Michigan's Military Places, 1679-2013. Unpublished manuscript, 2013.
· Various entries, Army Lineage Series. http://www.history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/als.html