Wilcox BOSS Xe

Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Kickstarter’s Soviet Weapons of the Afghan War Is In Its Final Week!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2024

Written by Vlad Besedovskyy of Safar Publishing, “Soviet Weapons of the Afghan War” chronicles the arsenals that the Soviet Union developed and deployed to Afghanistan.

“Soviet Weapons of the Afghan War” is a meticulously researched and visually captivating book that dives deep into the arsenal that played a pivotal role in the conflict. Unlike other books on firearms, we are not focusing on the characteristic tables and manufacturing details, but instead we write about the practical use of the weapons. A substantial amount of effort was devoted to the examination of memoirs and conducting interviews with veterans in pursuit of the completion of this publication.

Get yours on Kickstarter before they are no longer available.

HSP Presents: Battle of Najaf 20TH Anniversary Event & Limited Edition Print

Wednesday, March 27th, 2024

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the battle of Najaf, Haley Strategic Partners is holding an open house from 9AM to 9PM. Additionally, beginning on Thursday, April 4th and ending Sunday April 7th, 2024, they will be celebrating by offering 20% Off Site Wide as well as at their Headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

April 4th, 2024 will mark the 20th Anniversary of the Battle of Al-Najaf, Iraq. It was on that day in 2004 that a small team of coalition forces and Blackwater Contractors faced off against the overwhelming force of the Mahdi Army. In spite of the many obstacles stacked against them, acts of courage, duty, and perseverance enabled the defending coalition and Blackwater Contractors to hold off the Mahdi Army while Blackwater Air Teams provided critical sustainment equipment and life saving evacuation efforts. The Battle of Al-Najaf represents one of the largest insurgent attacks during the Iraq War, we stand together on 4/4 in remembrance of the brave men who selflessly risked everything to save their brothers.

HSP has something else up their sleeve as well. Black Powder Red Earth‘s Creative Director, Jon Chang, and Artist, Josh Taylor, created an original piece of art to remember and honor those who answered the call for help without hesitation on that day.

This one of a kind piece of art which will be offered in three sizes/mediums: 13”x13”, 30”x30”, and a custom 60”x60” Dibond® Aluminum print.

Full details here.

“Filming Under Fire: John Ford’s OSS Field Photo Branch” from the OSS Society

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024

Hollywood director John Ford, who commanded the Off ice of Strategic Services Field Photographic Branch, received six Academy Awards, including four for Best Director.

His WWII service is the subject of the OSS Society’s new short documentary, “Filming Under Fire: John Ford’s OSS Field Photo Branch”


US Army Special Operations Museum Launches New Exhibit

Sunday, March 10th, 2024

WASHINGTON — On March 14th, 2024, the U.S. Army Special Operations Museum will launch an exciting new exhibit, “Opening the Vaults” at Fort Liberty, North Carolina, formerly Fort Bragg.

Opening The Vaults: Treasures of the Fort Liberty Museums is a temporary exhibit that will present rare and never-before-seen artifacts from the Fort Liberty Museums and historical holdings.

The exhibition is a collaborative effort with the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum, 82d Airborne Division War Memorial Museum, U.S. Army Reserve Command History Office, and the 503d Military Police Battalion (Airborne).

ASOM, constructed in 2000, is the first U.S. Army Museum built outside the perimeters of an Army installation. Artifacts from the Fort Liberty Museum Enterprise as well as assets from the U.S. Army Center of Military History (John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum) will be housed together and accessible to the public, in the heart of downtown, Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Jim Bartlinski, Director of the Fort Liberty Museum Enterprise, said, “we thought that this would be a good opportunity not only to showcase rare artifacts, and never before seen artifacts, that we have here at ASOM, but also to give folks who necessarily don’t know about the museums on Fort Liberty the chance to see what those museums offer.”

This exhibition tells the story of the Army Reserve, Special Forces, and the 82d Airborne Division.  “So, it is a great collaborative effort for all of us.”

Historical panels were designed for each museum’s section by the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Museum. The 503d Military Police Battalion, the only airborne military police battalion in the U.S. Army provided uniformed mannequins to “guard” the vault, while drawing in visitors to the exhibit.

The exhibit will also feature a “Seek and Learn” activity geared towards interacting with children to learn about the history of the U.S. Army, developed by ASOM’s Volunteer Coordinator, Laura Monk.

ASOM Curator, Jimmie Hallis, said, “The exhibit is a first of its kind at the Fort Liberty Army Museum Enterprise.”

“Everyone (involved in the exhibition) jumped right on board with it. Up until the artifact installation dates, I really didn’t even know what the other museums would bring. The selection of artifacts run the history realm, from the Civil War to the Global War on Terror, there is something for everyone to see,” Hallis said.

To see the exhibit, visit the U.S. Army Special Operations Museum web page for location and operating hours. Go to: history.army.mil and click on the Museums tab.

Story by CPT Janeen R. Phelps

Photos by James Bartlinski

8th Annual Whiskey & War Stories Operation Lightning Dawn

Wednesday, March 6th, 2024

This year is Operation Lightning Dawn, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips from Somali pirates in 2009.  This is our first year relocating to Virginia Beach, VA. Several of our guest speakers who participated in our past Whiskey & War Stories ™ will be attending. Our past events included:

• Operation Thunderhead
• Operation Urgent Fury
• Operation Ivory Coast/Kingpin
• Operation Eagle Claw
• Operation Acid Gambit

Gala Night Details

Who: The Silent Warrior Foundation

What: 8th Annual 8th Annual Whiskey & War Stories ™ Fundraising Gala and Auction

Where: Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront Reserve

When: Saturday, April 13, 2024, doors open at 5 pm. Event ends at 10 pm.

Why: Fundraising to support the Silent Warrior Foundation

VIP Night Details

When: 5pm to 9pm Friday, April 12, 2024

Where: Military Aviation Museum, 1341 Princess Anne Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23457

What: An informal gathering with our guest speakers over food and drink at the military aviation museum in Pungo. A flight demonstration of the museum’s AD-1 Skyraider and unlimited tour of the museum for all attendees. Attendees can indulge in cigars after the flight demo.  

A chartered bus will leave for the Aviation Museum from the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront Resort and depart from the museum at 9 pm for those who’d like the convenience of not driving. 


The Silent Warrior Foundation is an all-volunteer 501c3 charity serving SOF veterans and their families. SWF funds Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, provides scholarships, service K9’s through HomefrontK9 and emergency assistance.

Link to purchase tickets: 8th Annual Whiskey & War Stories | Auction Frogs

Contact info@silentwarriorfoundation.com to donate auction items or inquire about sponsorship.

Army Honors World War I Buffalo Soldiers with New Headstones

Sunday, March 3rd, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration dedicated new headstones for 17 World War I Black Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, during a memorial ceremony Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas.

Retired Lt. Col. Tanya Bradsher, VA deputy secretary and a fourth-generation veteran, said that two years ago to the day, they held a ceremony at the cemetery to unveil a marker to recognize the painful history, hoping to do more.

On Aug. 23, 1917, 156 Soldiers from the all-Black 24th Infantry Regiment were involved in what was known as the Houston Race Riots of 1917, also known as the Camp Logan Mutiny, in Houston, Texas. The incident occurred within a climate of overt hostility from members of the all-white Houston Police Department against civilians of the Black community and Soldiers. Of those found guilty, most were given prison sentences, and 19 were sentenced to death and executed. It was found that the courts martial of these Soldiers were hastily conducted and flawed with irregularities. The remains of 17 of the executed Soldiers were reburied at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in 1937 after removal from their original graves at Salado Creek.

The bodies of Cpl. Larnon Brown and Pvt. Joseph Smith, also executed, are buried elsewhere, having been reclaimed by family when they died.

The Army reviewed the cases of these Black Soldiers in 2023 and found their trials unfair, saying that “these Soldiers were wrongly treated because of their race and were not given fair trials.” Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth set aside all convictions and directed the Soldiers’ records reflect honorable discharges.

“Today, the focus isn’t on that history; it is not on the marker, the trials or the Army decision,” Bradsher said. “The focus is on restoring the dignity, honor and respect to those 17 Soldiers and, by extension, to those two Soldiers who were executed and buried elsewhere, and to the 91 Soldiers sent to prison in those same trials.”

Retired Maj. Gen. Matt Quinn leads 155 VA national cemeteries and 122 VA grant-funded state and tribal veteran cemeteries in providing dignified burials in national shrines for veterans and eligible family members.

“As an Army veteran and Soldier for life, I’m especially honored to have been present when Army Secretary [Christine] Wormuth set aside the convictions of the 110 Black Soldiers of the 3rd Battalion,” he said. “Today, we right the wrongs of the past and honor the service of these Soldiers who served our country with honor,” he said. “Today, the VA will forever honor their service. This is a proud day for this Soldier, a veteran who would be proud to serve with them.”

These Soldiers were among those executed following the court martials of 110 Black Soldiers charged with murder and mutiny in the 1917 Houston Riots. Consistent with standard procedure of that time for Soldiers who were sentenced to death in a court martial, their graves were marked with headstones that listed only their names and year of death — as opposed to full honors.

Bradsher said equal justice belongs to all Soldiers.

“This day reflects the progress we have made as a nation since these men were first interred here a century ago,” she said. “Progress makes clear that all institutions must live up to the ideals and promise of our nation’s constitution.”

She said the headstones are more than physical markers. They are a symbol of promise and progress. They uphold the promise enshrined in the Constitution.

“All Americans have equal rights and equal worth. They represent the struggle and fight to keep the stories of these men alive,” she said. “These headstones now look like every other honorable veteran buried here. It represents the approval of a final resting place for these 17 Soldiers. They will be recognized and forever called veterans.”

She said their headstones will show their ranks, signifying their dedication, leadership and commitment to duty. They will also show their states of origin, reminding people that people who volunteer to serve come from states across the U.S, and their regiment, connecting them to servicemen and women with shared experiences across generations who safeguard the nation.

“These headstones will not erase history or right the wrongs of the past, but they will ensure future generations can understand that history and remember their names,” she said.

Yvette Bourcicot, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, said this event was meaningful to her as an Air Force veteran.

“These Soldiers are going to take their rightful place in history alongside African-Americans who have served this country honorably and deserve our respect,” she said. “We do ask for forgiveness for the injustice that was perpetrated on these Soldiers, and we’re doing everything we can to make this right. The Army is a learning institution, and we’re learning as we go. I’m appreciative to be here, representing what we’ve done.”

Bourcicot presented the descendants military service certifications with the upgraded honorable discharges and restored ranks. The corrected records are accessible to the public.

“While this can’t take away the generations of pain and trauma their loved ones endured, we hope these actions will serve as one more step down the path of restorative justice,” she said. “Their memory lives in every one of us and will inspire future servicemen and women to continue cultivating the Army and our sister services into a place where everyone who wants to serve can. We can’t erase the past, but we can learn from it and use it to guide our future.”

Jason Holt, a relative of Pfc. Thomas Hawkins, who was executed, acknowledged the painful history of the Houston Riot and praised federal officials like Bourcicot for taking steps to support the Soldiers decades after the event.

“It’s not easy for these folks here today to go back to their respective places of power and say they did something that involved racism,” Holt said. “To say that they did something to set aside convictions, to say they did something that was controversial. It’s not an easy job. I salute your courage.”

Holt was among three family members of Soldiers who received certificates in recognition of their relatives’ service.

The ceremony included a three-round volley, the playing of taps and presentation of colors, along with the unveiling of the headstones.

The Soldiers who received the honors were: Cpl. Charles Baltimore, Pfc. William Breckenridge, Pvt. Albert Wright, Pvt. James Divins, Pvt. James Robinson, Pvt. Thomas McDonald, Pvt. Babe Collier, Cpl. James Wheatley, Pvt. Frank Johnson, Sgt. William Nesbit, Pvt. Pat McWhorter, Pfc. Thomas Hawkins, Pvt. Risley Young, Pvt. Ira Davis, Pfc. Carlos Snodgrass, Pfc. William Boone and Cpl. Jesse Moore.

More than 180,000 service members, spouses and family members are buried in the cemetery at Fort Sam Houston.

By Shannon Collins

Soviet Weapons of the Afghan War

Tuesday, February 20th, 2024

Launching today on Kickstarter from author Vlad Besedovskyy is “Soviet Weapons of the Afghan War.”

The manuscript also includes weapons, which are not to be seen in any other work – such rarities as RPG-16, folding-stock RPKS-74, APB silenced pistol and others.

Each chapter is a comprehensive exploration of a specific Soviet firearm, tracing its origins, modifications, and battlefield performance. Whether you’re a military history enthusiast, firearm collector, or just curious about this era, this book offers a unique blend of information and excitement.


US Air Force Honors 100th Bomb Group’s Legacy with ‘Masters of the Air’ special Screening

Wednesday, February 7th, 2024


Joint Base Andrews hosted the cast and creative team of AppleTV+’s “Masters of the Air,” along with World War II veterans, Department of the Air Force senior leaders, and service members for a reception and special screening of the series’ first episode, Jan. 27.

Based on Donald Miller’s 2007 book of the same title, “Masters of the Air” follows Airmen of the Eighth Air Force’s 100th Bomb Group, commonly referred to as the “Bloody Hundredth,” as they conduct bombing raids over Nazi-occupied Germany and grapple with the frigid conditions and lack of oxygen during combat conducted at 25,000 feet in the air.

Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall expressed his gratitude to everyone for taking part in this historic event at Joint Base Andrews, especially noting the three senior living B-17 Eighth Air Force officers in the room, as well as Tuskegee Airmen and other WWII veterans and family members.

“We got a lot of great participation today,” Kendall said. “We’re extremely grateful to have our veterans here today. These men fought in the most difficult air environment in history. They built a legacy that our current Airmen and Guardians hope to live up to every single day.”

Retired Air Force Maj. John “Lucky” Luckadoo shared his own moment of recollection. After serving in WWII as a B-17 pilot in the 100th BG, he flew a total of 25 combat missions earning multiple honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross presented to recipients for acts of heroism while in aerial flight.

“I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to be in the august (dignified) company of brass,” said Luckadoo, the 101-year-old who remains active in WWII remembrance events today. “I was extremely fortunate to have been a member that is being memorialized in the film that you’ll be seeing, “The Masters of the Air.” It’s indeed an honor and a privilege, to be here – actually, it’s an honor to be anywhere!”

The Air Force’s top leaders attended the reception and screening, such as Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David W. Allvin, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass and commanders of Air Force major commands around the globe. Airmen of all ranks were also afforded the opportunity to experience the special screening.

“I thought the ‘Masters of the Air’ show was outstanding,” said Senior Airman Ernst Motte, audience member of the special screening with the 1st Helicopter Squadron Aviation Resource Management office at JB Andrews. “It was really great to meet all the cast members and a couple of the retired WWII pilots. The film really spoke to the severity of the war and made me really proud of our history.”

Kirk Saduski, Playtone producer and executive, closed the evening by addressing WWII veterans and active service members in the crowd.

“It is too awful to contemplate a world in which the Allies didn’t win WWII,” said Saduski, who previously worked as executive-in-charge of the HBO series of “Band of Brothers” and co-producer of “The Pacific.”

“It is impossible to conceive of an Allied victory without the United States Air Force in Europe, and the Pacific, and the CBI (China-Burma-India) Theater,” Saduski said. “We draw the applause of the crowd. You earn the affection and admiration of our country. In the name of Playtone, Apple, and, if I may, our country – thank you.”

Story by Senior Airman Bridgitte Taylor, 316th Wing Public Affairs

Photos by Senior Airman Austin Pate

*The appearance of Department of Defense personnel does not imply endorsement by the DoD, nor the Department of the Air Force.