January 6, 1886 Russell Randolph Waesche, whose influential tenure as commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) included his strong advocacy of maritime safety, was born in Thurmont, Maryland. Waesche graduated from the U.S. Revenue Cutter School of Instruction in 1906, and was commissioned a Third Lieutenant (Ensign). He subsequently served on cutters in the North... Continue Reading →

Ola Mildred Rexroat, who achieved fame as the only Native American to serve as one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II, was an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. She was born in Ogden, Kansas in 1917. Early on in her life, Rexroat moved with her family to South... Continue Reading →

October 2, 1930 USCGC Saranac, one of the Lake-class cutters of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), was officially commissioned as a vessel of that military branch. This cutter had been launched in April of that year at the yards of the General Engineering and Drydock Company in Oakland, California. USCG Captain John Boedker oversaw the... Continue Reading →

July 9, 1942 U.S. Navy Secretary Frank Knox approved the establishment of a training center for pilots at a 1,400-acre (566.6-hectare) tract of land a few miles (kilometers) north of the city of Ottumwa, Iowa. About eight months after that authorization, the Ottumwa Naval Air Station (officially known as NAS Ottumwa) welcomed its first group... Continue Reading →

June 16, 1936 The vessel George W. Campbell was placed in active service as a cutter of the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). This vessel was one of the first of the USCG’s Treasury-class cutters to be commissioned. Those cutters were each named after former U.S. secretaries of the treasury. USCG’s affiliation with the U.S. Department... Continue Reading →

October 25, 1873 John North Willys, a leading automobile industrialist, was born in Canandaigua, New York. His original career involved selling bicycles, but all that changed when he saw his first automobile in 1899. Willys (pronounced Will-is), realizing the automobile’s potential, started selling models of that type of transportation instead. By 1907, Willys’ high volume... Continue Reading →

Frank Sandoval, whose U.S. Army service during World War II included taking part in one of the most critical and formidable roadbuilding projects of that military conflict, grew up in a predominantly Hispanic American community on Second Street in the small town of Silvis, Illinois. That street is just a block-and-a-half long and consists of... Continue Reading →

As a nurse, Maria Esperanza Garcia Roach was one of an estimated 400,000 to 500,000 Hispanic Americans who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. Her own lifesaving role in this global conflict very much depended on airborne transportation. Maria was born on July 16, 1915, in the city of Piedras Negras... Continue Reading →

August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

During the final year of World War II, the Red Ball Express proved to be a vital truck convoy system after the Allies broke out from the D-Day beaches in Normandy and steadily advanced towards Germany. The Red Ball Express was formally launched by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps on August 25, 1944, and over... Continue Reading →

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