Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The Vancouver Canucks were a minor league professional ice hockey team in the Pacific Coast Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. Inaugurated in 1945 with the PCHL, they became a WHL team with the merger of the PCHL with the Western Canada Senior Hockey League in 1952.
Monday, February 07, 2011
The 761st Tank Battalion, was a United States Army tank battalion during World War II. The unit was one of three battalions serving from the U.S. 5th Tank Group. The unit was also made up of black soldiers (Buffalo Soldiers), who by Federal law were not permitted to serve alongside white troops. (The US Army did not officially desegregate until after World War II). They were known as the “Black Panthers” after their unit's distinctive insignia. Their motto was “Come out fighting”.
The most famous member of the 761st was Second Lieutenant Jack Robinson. During the 761st's training, a white bus driver told Robinson to move to the back of the bus, and Robinson refused. Although his battalion commander, Lieutenant Colonel Paul L. Bates, refused to consider the court-martial charges put forward by the arresting Military Policemen, the base commander transferred Robinson to the 758th Tank Battalion, whose commander was willing to sign the insubordination court-martial consent. Robinson would eventually be acquitted of all charges, though he never saw combat. He became famous a few months later when he was instrumental in the desegregation of professional baseball.
Tank commander Sergeant Warren G. H. Crecy came to the aid of his men on 10 November 1944, and fought through enemy positions until his tank was destroyed. He eliminated an enemy position that had knocked out his tank by commandeering a vehicle armed with only a .30-caliber machine gun. He then eliminated the German forward observers who were directing artillery fire on the US positions.
After manning a replacement tank, Crecy's new vehicle lost traction in heavy mud and he was forced to exit the tank under fierce machine gun, antitank, and artillery fire to free the tracks. When attacked by German infantry, he had to abandon his salvage efforts to man the .50-caliber machine gun, effectively holding off the advancing enemy, then forcing them to withdraw.
Described as a baby-faced, "quiet, easy-going, meek-looking fellow", Crecy had destroyed an antitank position and a number of German machine gun positions armed only with a machine gun and without regard for his personal safety, under heavy fire. His men reportedly experienced difficulty getting the machine gun away from him after the action.
Crecy was nominated for the Medal of Honor and received a battlefield commission, eventually retiring with the rank of Major. His heroic actions earned him the title "Baddest Man in the 761st" from his comrades.
The 758th Tank Battalion was formed in 1941 and served in Italy during World War II. It was the first United States Army armored unit to be made up of African American soldiers.
On May 8, 1941 at Fort Knox, Kentucky the 78th Tank Battalion was re-designated as the 758th Tank Battalion. It was the first of three units that would form the 5th Tank Group. The 758th trained in mechanized warfare using light tanks, specifically the M5 light tank. One of the battalion's more notable members was Jackie Robinson. Robinson was transferred to the unit from the 761st Tank Battalion after an incident in which he refused to move to the back of a civilian bus. The 758th was permanently attached to the 92nd Infantry Division until September 22, 1945 when the unit was inactivated. The unit's insignia is the head of a black African elephant accompanied by the motto, "We Pierce".
The 332nd Fighter Group is an inactive United States Air Force unit, last assigned to the 332nd Fighter Wing at Lockbourne AFB, Ohio. It was deactivated on 1 July 1949.
Formally, the 99th Pursuit Squadron established on 19 March 1941 and activated on 22 March 1941 was the beginning of the 332nd. The 99th Fighter Squadron, Single Engine eventually expanded into the 332nd Fighter Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps. In succession, the 99th Fighter Squadron was joined by the 100th Fighter Squadron, 301st Fighter Squadron and 302nd Fighter Squadron.
The 332nd Fighter Group was also known as being a sizable component of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American military aviators in the United States armed forces. During World War II the Tuskegee Airmen were subject to racial discrimination, both within and outside the army, and had to overcome it as part of their mission to serve their nation. They flew with distinction; the 332nd Fighter Group, and most particularly the 99th Pursuit Squadron, were particularly successful in their missions as bomber escorts in Europe. The fighter units were joined in service later in the war by African Americans constituting the 477th Bombardment Group.
The 92nd Infantry Division was a unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. Organized in October 1917 at Camp Funston, Kansas, the unit was formed with African American soldiers from all states. Before leaving for France in 1918, the buffalo was selected as the divisional insignia due to the Buffalo Soldiers nickname, given to African American cavalrymen by Native Americans in the 19th century. The "Buffalo Soldiers Division" nickname was inherited from the 367th Infantry, one of the first units of the division organized. This segregated unit was the only African American infantry division to see combat in Europe during WWII, as part of the 5th Army. It served in the Italian Campaign from 1944 to the war's end.
The 369th Infantry Regiment, formerly the 15th New York National Guard Regiment, was nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters and the Black Rattlers, in addition to several other nicknames. The 369th was known for being the first African American regiment to serve in World War I.
The 93rd Infantry Division was a "colored" segregated unit of the United States Army in World War I and World War II. During tough combat in France it soon acquired from the French the nickname Blue Helmets. This referred to the service of several of its units with the French Army during the Second Battle of the Marne. Consequently, its shoulder patch became a blue French Adrian helmet, to commemorate its service with the French Army during the Spring Offensive.
The division was reactivated as infantry on 15 May 1942 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and shipped overseas in 1944. Most of the division did see service in the Pacific Theater during World War II, but the division's regiments were mainly utilized as construction units and in defensive operations. In 1945, the 93rd Infantry Division was inactivated, though the lineage of several of its units are carried on by the Illinois and Maryland Army National Guard.