Thursday, November 8, 2007

This week in Naval history


Naval Historical Center photo

Lt. Eugene B. Ely flies his Curtiss pusher airplane from USS Birmingham (Scout Cruiser # 2), in Hampton Roads, Va., during the afternoon of Nov. 14, 1910. It was the first airplane takeoff ever from a warship. USS Roe (Destroyer # 24), serving as plane guard, is visible in the background.
November 8

1861 - Capt. Charles Wilkes seizes two Confederate diplomats from the British steamer Trent, causing an international controversy with Great Britain (known as the Trent Affair).

1942 - Operation Torch (Allied landings in French Northwest Africa). American forces land at Casablanca. French naval forces attack U.S. Navy ships and 13 French ships are sunk without a loss to the U.S.

1956 - Navy Stratolab balloon (Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm D. Ross and Lt. Cmdr. M. Lee Lewis) better world height record soaring to 76,000 feet over Black Hills, S.D., on flight to gather meteorological, cosmic ray and other scientific data.

1975 - More than 100 Sailors and Marines from USS Inchon (LPH 12) and USS Bagley (DE 1069) fight a fire aboard a Spanish merchant vessel at Palma.

November 9

1921 - USS Olympia (CL 15) arrives at the Washington Navy Yard from France carrying the body of the World War I Unknown Soldier for internment at Arlington National Cemetery.

1950 - Task Force 77 makes first attack on the Yalu River bridges. In first engagement between MIG-15 and F9F jets (USS Philippine Sea, CV 47), Lt. Cmdr. William T. Amen, Fighter Squadron (VF) 111, shoots down a MIG and becomes first Navy pilot to shoot down a jet aircraft.

1956 - Secretary of the Navy proposes the Polaris missile program to the Secretary of Defense.

November 10

1775 - Congress votes to raise two battalions of Continental Marines, establishing the Marine Corps.

1941 - U.S.-escorted convoy WS-12, carrying 20,000 British troops to Singapore, sails from Halifax.

November 11

1870 - Navy expedition to explore the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, southern Mexico, commanded by Capt. Robert W. Shufeldt, enters the Coatzacoalcos River to begin a survey for possible interoceanic canal. Support provided by U.S. steamships Kansas and Mayflower.

1918 - Armistice ends World War I.

1920 - Lenah S. Higbee becomes the first woman to be awarded the Navy Cross. It was awarded for her World War I service.

1921 - Washington Naval Conference begins.

1943 - Two Carrier Task Forces strike Japanese shipping at Rabaul, sinking one carrier and damaging other ships. Raid was first use of SB2C Curtiss Helldivers in combat.

1954 - November 11 designated as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars

1966 - Launch of Gemini 12, with Cmdr. James A. Lovell, Jr., as the command Pilot. Mission lasted 3 days, 22 hours and 34 minutes and included 59 orbits at an altitude of 162.7 nautical miles. Recovery by Helicopter Squadron (HS) 11 helicopter from USS Wasp (CVS-18).

1981 - Commissioning of first Trident-class Nuclear Powered Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726).

November 12

1912 - Lt. Theodore Ellyson makes first successful launching of an airplane (A-3) by catapult at the Washington Navy Yard.

1940 - Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Harold R. Stark submits memorandum to Secretary of the Navy on four plans if U.S. enters war. He favors the fourth one, Plan Dog, calling for strong offensive in the Atlantic and defense in the Pacific.

1942 - First day of the three days of fighting in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal.

1943 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt embarks on USS Iowa (BB 61) to go to the Allied conferences at Teheran, Iran, and Cairo, Egypt.

November 13

1776 - Captain John Paul Jones in Alfred with brig Providence captures British transport Mellish, carrying winter uniforms later used by Washington's troops.

1942 - Loss of USS Juneau (CL 52) during Battle of Guadalcanal results in loss of the five Sullivan Brothers.

1943 - 5th Fleet carriers begin long range night bombing attacks on Japanese positions in Gilberts and Marshalls in preparation for landings.

1957 - First firing of Regulus II bombardment missile.

November 14

1846 - Naval forces capture Tampico, Mexico.

1910 - Civilian Eugene Ely pilots first aircraft to take off from a ship, USS Birmingham (CL 2) at Hampton Roads, Va. He lands safely on Willoughby Spit, Norfolk, Va.

1941 - Order to withdraw Marines at Shanghai, Peiping and Tientsin, China.

1944 - Carrier aircraft attack Japanese shipping in Philippines sinking five ships and damaging one.