Kevin

Naval History On This Day, Any Nation

773 posts in this topic

May 20

 

 

1756 Battle of Minorca. French fleet under la Galissonnière defeat British fleet under John Byng

1797 HMS Oiseau (36), Cptn. Charles Brisbane, engaged one of two Spanish frigate off the mouth of the Rio de la Plata.

1800  HMS Cormorant Sloop (24), Cptn. Hon. Courtenay Boyle, wrecked on a shoal near Rosetta, coast of Egypt.

1801 Four US warships sent to Mediterranean to protect American commerce under Commodore Richard Dale

1811 HMS Astrea (36), Cptn. Charles Marsh Schomberg, HMS Phoebe (36), HMSGalatea (36), Cptn. Woodley Losack, and HMS Racehorse (18), James De Rippe, engaged 3 large French frigates, full of troops off Foul Point, Madagascar.Renommee surrendered but Clorinde and Nereide escaped.

1813 HMS Algerine Schooner (10), Lt. Daniel Carpenter, wrecked Galapagos Roads, West Indies.

1815 Commodore Stephen Decatur, USS Guerriere,  sails with 10 ships to suppress Mediterranean pirates' raids on U.S. shipping 

1844 USS Constitution sails from New York on round the world cruise

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1943 - Establishment of Tenth Fleet in Washington, DC, under command of ADM King to coordinate U.S. antisubmarine operations in Atlantic

1973 - The British Royal Navy Frigates the Cleopatra, the Plymouth and the Lincoln are sent to the disputed Icelandic 50-mile zone to protect British trawlers fishing inside the zone as the COD WAR between Britain and Iceland escalates.

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May 21

 

 

1762

HMS Active (28), Cptn. Herbert Sawyer, and HMS Favorite, Cptn. Pownall, took Spanish Hermione off Cape St. Vincent.

1800

Boats of HMS Minotaur (74), Cptn. Thomas Louis, & consorts cut out a galley La Prima, Cptn. Patrizio Galleano, from Genoa.

1809

HMS Black Joke lugger engaged French Corvette Mouche.

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1850 - Washington Navy Yard begins work on first castings for the Dahlgren guns
1917 - USS Ericsson fires first torpedo of war
1944 - During preparations for the invasion of Saipan an accidental ordnance blast on LST 353 sets off cataclysmic ammunition explosions at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, killing 163 and injuring 396. Six tank landing ships (LST-39, LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, LST-353, LST-480), three tank landing craft (LCT-961, LCT-963, LCT-983), and 17 track landing vehicles (LVTs) are destroyed in explosions and fires.
1964 - The initiation of the standing carrier presence at Yankee Station in the South China Sea.

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A few more for today.

1968 - The nuclear-powered U.S. submarine Scorpion while heading back to Naval Base Norfolk from the Azores is heard from for the last time. The Scorpion and her crew of 99 was officially declared lost on June 5, 1968. (The remains of the sub were later found on the ocean floor 400 miles southwest of the Azores.)

1982 -  Argentine planes sink HMS Ardent with the loss of 22 lives in the Falklands War.
 

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May 22

 

 

 

1681

HMS Kingfisher (46) engages seven Algerine pirates.

1798

USS Ganges (24), Cptn Richard Dale, is the first US warship to set sail since independance 

1801

Nelson created Viscount Nelson of the Nile and Burnham Thorpe.

1810

Boats of HMS Alceste (38), Cptn. Murray Maxwell, captured four feluccas, drove two on the rocks at Agaye.

1812

HMS Northumberland (74), Cptn. Henry Hotham,  and HMS Growler (12), Lt. Hugh Anderson, drove ashore and destroyed French frigates Arianne (44) andAndromaque (44)  and brig Mameluke (18) off Port Louis.

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1967 - New York City reaches agreement to purchase Brooklyn Navy Yard, ending 166 years of construction and repair of naval vessels.
1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN-589) lost with all hands

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May 23

1792

George Rodney died

1798

HMS Braak Sloop (14) foundered in Delaware Bay.

1799

HMS Les Deux Amis Sloop wrecked in Great Chine, Isle of Wight.

1809

A Danish flotilla of 20 gunboats, under Lt. Cmdr Ulrich A. Schønheyder, engaged a large British convoy in the "Storebælt" (Great Belt) escorted by 5 ships-of-the-line and 2 frigates.

1811

HMS Sir Francis Drake (32), Captain George Harris, captured of 14 Dutch gun-vessels off Java.

HMS Amazon (38), Cptn. Parker, captured the French privateer brig Cupidon (14)

1850

America sends USS Advance and USS Rescue to attempt rescue of Sir John Franklin's British expedition, lost in Arctic. 

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1939 - USS Squalus (SS-92) sinks off Postsmouth, NH, with loss of 26 lives.

1941 - The Axis powers of Germany and Italy have claimed to have sunk or badly damaged 26 British warships in an all out banish to British warships from the Mediterranean
1966 -  The British government declares a state of emergency following the start of the nationwide seamen's strike one week ago. The state of emergency will allow the Royal Navy to take control and clear the ports and lift restrictions on driving vehicles to allow for the free movement of goods.

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May 24

 

1779

Black Prince, owned by Irish and French smugglers, is commissed as an American privateer through the efforts of Benjamin Franklin.

1808

HMS Swan (10), Lt. Mark Robinson Lucas, destroyed Danish cutter (8) at Bornhohn.

HMS Astræa (32), Cptn. Edmund Heywood, wrecked on a reef off Anegada in the Virgin Islands.

1810

HMS Fleche Sloop (16), George Hewson, wrecked on the Shaarhorn Sand, off Newark, Elbe.

HMS Racer (12), Lt. Daniel Miller, wrecked on the coast of France

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1917 - First U.S. convoy to cross North Atlantic during World War I leaves Hampton Roads, VA
1918 - USS Olympia anchors at Kola Inlet, Murmansk, Russia, to protect refugees during Russian Revolution
1939 - The submarine Squalus sunk in the Atlantic with the loss of many lives and the worst part of this tragedy was how the 5 that were saved only did so by sacrificing their 26 crew mates by closing the Bulk Head door to the battery compartment to stop the rest of the submarine flooding. This must have been one the most difficult decisions for any sub mariner and these men who were lucky enough to survive

1941 - Authorization of construction or acquisition of 550,000 tons of auxiliary shipping for Navy
1941 - The German battleship Bismarck sank the HMS Hood with with the loss of more than 1,400 lives after a shell exploded in the armory in a battle of the giants of the sea during the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

1945 - Fast carrier task force aircraft attack airfields in southern Kyushu, Japan
1945 - 9 US ships damaged by concentrated kamikaze attack off Okinawa
1961 - USS Gurke notices signals from 12 men from Truk who were caught in a storm, drifted at sea for 2 months before being stranded on a island for 1 month. USS Southerland investigated, notified Truk, and provided provisions and supplies to repair their outrigger canoe. The men would be picked up on 7 June by the motor launch Kaselehlia.
1962 - Launch of Aurora 7 (Mercury 7), piloted by LCDR Malcolm Scott Carpenter, USN, who completed 3 orbits in 4 hours, 56 minutes at an altitude up to 166.8 statute miles at 17,549 mph. He was picked up by HSS-2 helicopters from USS Intrepid (CVS-11). The capsule was recovered by USS John R. Pierce (DD-753).

trippwj likes this

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picking up one of the above dates, made my hair - as a ex submariner stand up

 

1939 - The submarine Squalus sunk in the Atlantic with the loss of many lives and the worst part of this tragedy was how the 5 that were saved only did so by sacrificing their 26 crew mates by closing the Bulk Head door to the battery compartment to stop the rest of the submarine flooding. This must have been one the most difficult decisions for any sub mariner and these men who were lucky enough to survive

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Sailfish_(SS-192)

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May 25

 

 

1768

James Cook promoted to Lieutenant and given command of the bark, HMSEndeavour.

1795

HMS Thorn , Cdr. Robert Otway, captured Courier National in the West Indies. 

1801

Boats of HMS Mercury (28), Cptn. T Rogers, re-took and brought out Bulldog from Ancona but had to abandon her.

1811

Tamatave and French frigate Nereide surrendered to HMS Astrea (36), Cptn. Charles Marsh Schomberg.

1812

HMS Hyacinth (26), Cptn. Thomas Ussher, HMS Termagant (18), Cptn. Gawen William Hamilton, and HMS Basilisk (14), Lt. George French, silenced the fortress and destroyed a small privateer at Almunecar.

1814

Boats of HMS Elizabeth (74), Cptn. Leveson Gower, took Aigle off Corfu.

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1920 -   A study into American merchant shipping confirms that 79% of new ships just built or in design and build stages have moved from coal burners to oil burners as fuel.

1952 - USS Iowa bombards Chongjin, Korea.

1982 - Two Argentinean Super Etendards fire French-built Exocets and destroy the Atlantic Conveyor. In A separate attack Argentinean Skyhawks hit HMS Coventry four times with 1,000 bombs causing explosions and the ship to capsize.

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May 26

 

 

1758

HMS Dolphin (24), Captain Benjamin Marlow, and HMS Solebay (28), Captain Robert Craig, engage Marechal de Belleisle (44), François Thurot.

1811

Boats of the HMS Sabine sloop (18), George Price, captured privateers Guardia De ViaCanari and Madina in the roadstead at Chipiona.

HMS Pilot (18), John Toup Nicholas, destroyed and captured a number of vessels at Stongoli.

HMS Alacrity (18), Nisbet Palmer, captured by French corvette Abeille (20) off Bastia, Corsica.

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1940 - The Dunkirk evacuation begins "Operation Dynamo" was launched for the evacuation of British, French and Belgian soldiers from the beaches of Dunkirk in northern France, they were rescued by a flotilla of any and every craft that could make the channel crossing which included fishing boats, pleasure craft and The Royal Navy and the new British Spitfire fighters helped provide air cover. The evacuation ended on 4th June.

1944 - USS England sinks fifth Japanese submarine in one week
1952 - Tests from 26-29 May demonstrate feasibility of the angled-deck concept conducted on simulated angled deck on USS Midway
1990 - USS Beaufort rescues 24 Vietnamese refugees in South China Sea

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May 27

1793

HMS Venus (32), Cptn. Jonathan Faulknor, engaged La Proserpine (36).

HMS Hyaena (24), Cptn. William Hargood, taken by French Concord (40) in the West Indies .

1796

HMS Suffisante (14), Cdr. Nicholas Tomlinson, captured Revanche (12).

1813

Boats of HMS Apollo (38), Cptn. Bridges W. Taylor, and HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn. Thomas Garth, took 3 gunboats at Faro.

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1805 - Naval forces capture Derne, Tripoli; raise U.S. flag over foreign soil
1813 - American joint operations against Fort George, Canada
1919 - Navy NC-4 completes trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland to Lisbon, Portugal

1936 -  The Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary leaves Southampton on her maiden voyage to New York with more than 1800 passengers 
1941 -  The German battleship Bismarck is sunk in the Atlantic by the Royal Naval ships Dorsetshire, King George V and Rodney after it had been damaged by torpedos dropped by British aircraft from HMS Ark Royal.
 

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May 28

1672

Battle of Solebay. A Dutch fleet of 75 ships, under Lt.-Admirals Michiel de Ruyter, Adriaen Banckert and Willem Joseph van Ghent, surprised an Anglo-French fleet of 93 ships, under The Duke of York and Vice-Admiral Comte Jean II d'Estrées, at anchor in Solebay. HMS Royal James (102) was destroyed by a fireship and the Earl of Sandwich was drowned. HMS Royal Katherine (84), Cptn. John Chichely, struck but was recaptured. The Dutch Jozua was destroyed, Stavorenwas captured, and a third ship blew up.

1708

British squadron, under Charles Wager, of HMS Expedition (70), Cptn. Henry Long, HMS Kingston (60), Cptn. Simon Timothy Bridges, HMS Portland (50), Cptn. Edward Windsor, and HMS Vulture fireship (8), Cdr. Caesar Brooks, engaged Spanish treasure fleet, under José Fernández de Santillán , of eleven merchant ships (some armed), and seven escorting warships San José (64), Cptn. Santillán, San Joaquín (64), Cptn. Villanueva, Santa Cruz (44), Cptn. de la Rosa, Concepción (40), Cptn Francis, Carmen (24), Cptn Araoz, French Le Mieta(34) and French Saint Sprit (32) off Cartagena. San José blew up, Santa Cruz was taken and Concepción beached itself on Baru Island where the crew set the ship alight. The rest escaped.

1803

HMS Minotaur (74), Cptn. C. J. M. Mansfield, HMS Thunderer (74), Cptn. William Redford, and HMS Albion (74), Cptn. John Ferrier, captured French frigate Franchise (34), Capt. Jurien, near Brest.

1808

Boats of HMS Fawn (18), Hon. George Alfred Crofton, cut out a large Spanish privateer schooner and three merchant ships at Porto Rico.

1812

HMS Menelaus (38), Cptn. Peter Parker, engaged French frigate Pauline and brig Ecureuil off Toulon.

1813

USS Essex (36), Cptn. David Porter, and prize capture five British whalers

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Battle of Solebay

 

A fleet of 75 ships, 20,738 men and 4,484 cannon of the United Provinces, commanded by Lieutenant-Admirals Michiel de RuyterAdriaen Banckert and Willem Joseph van Ghent, surprised a joint Anglo-French fleet of 93 ships, 34,496 men and 6,018 cannon at anchor in Solebay (nowadays Sole Bay), near Southwold in Suffolk, on the east coast of England.

The Duke of York and Vice-Admiral Comte Jean II d'Estrées planned to blockade the Dutch in their home ports and deny the North Sea to Dutch shipping. The Dutch had hoped to repeat the success of the Raid on the Medway and a frigate squadron under Van Ghent sailed up the Thames in May but discovered that Sheerness Fort was now too well prepared to pass. The Dutch main fleet came too late, mainly due to coordination problems between the five Dutch admiralties, to prevent a joining of the English and French fleets. It followed the Allied fleet to the north, which, unaware of this, put in at Solebay to refit. On 7 June the Allies were caught by surprise and got into disarray when the Dutch fleet, having the weather gauge, suddenly appeared on the horizon in the early morning. The French fleet, whether through accident or design, steered south followed by Banckert's fifteen ships and limited its action to long-distance fire. Nevertheless theSuperbe was heavily damaged and des Rabesnières killed by fire from Enno Doedes Star's Groningen; total French casualties were about 450.

This left the Dutch van and centre to fight it out with the English, and the latter were hard pressed, as they had great difficulty to beat up the wind to bring ships out. The Duke of York had to move his flag twice, finally to London, as his flagships Prince and St Michael were taken out of action. The Prince was crippled by De Ruyter's flagship De Zeven Provinciën in a two hours' duel. De Ruyter was accompanied by the representative of the States-General of the NetherlandsCornelis de Witt (the brother of Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt) who bravely remained seated on the main deck, although half of his guard of honour standing next to him was killed or wounded.

Lieutenant-Admiral Aert Jansse van Nes on the Eendracht first duelled Vice-Admiral Edward Spragge on HMS London and then was attacked by HMS Royal Katherine. The latter ship was then so heavily damaged that Captain John Chichely struck her flag and was taken prisoner; the Dutch prize crew however got drunk on the brandy found and allowed the ship to be later recaptured by the English.

300px-Battle_of_Solebay_june_7_1672_-_De
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Overview of the battle by Van de Velde
220px-Saint-Philipe_at_Sole_Bay_mg_0505.
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French flagship Saint-Philippe at the Battle of Solebay

The flagship of Admiral Edward Montagu, 1st Earl of SandwichHMS Royal James, was first fiercely engaged by Lieutenant-Admiral Van Ghent, who in 1667 had executed the Raid on the Medway, on Dolfijn. Van Ghent was however killed by shrapnel. Then captain Jan van Brakel made his Groot Hollandia attach to the Royal James, incessantly pounding the hull of that ship for over an hour and bringing her into such a condition that Lord Sandwich considered to strike his flag but decided against it because it was beneath his honour to surrender to a mere captain of low birth. He then ordered sloops from other ships to board the Groot Hollandia; his upper deck soon swarming with Englishmen Van Brakel was forced to cut the lines and retreat between friendly vessels to drive the boarding teams off. The Royal James now drifted away, sinking, and was attacked by several fire ships. She sank two, but a third, Vrede, commanded by Jan Daniëlszoon van den Rijn, its approach shielded by Vice-Admiral Isaac Sweers's Oliphant, set her on fire. She burnt with great loss of life; Sandwich himself and his son-in-law Philip Carteretdrowned trying to escape when his sloop collapsed under the weight of panicked sailors jumping in; his body washed ashore, only recognisable by the scorched clothing still showing the shield of the Order of the Garter.

During the battle the wind shifted, now giving the English the benefit of the weather gage; in the late afternoon the Dutch withdrew.

Losses were heavy on both sides: one Dutch ship, the Jozua, was destroyed and another, the Stavoren, captured, a third Dutch ship had an accident during repairs immediately after the battle and blew up. The battle ended inconclusively at sunset. Both sides claimed victory, the Dutch with the more justification as the English-French plan to blockade the Dutch was abandoned.

The fleets met again at the Battle of Schooneveld in 1673.

Ship List [edit]

Not all fireships are listed; there were about 24 of them on the Allied, 36 on the Dutch side.

England and France (The Duke of York and Albany) [edit] White Squadron (French) Guns Captain Terrible 70 (Rear Admiral Abraham Duquesne) Illustre 70 Marquis de Grancey Conquérant 70 M. de Thivas Admirable 68 M. de Beaulieu Téméraire 50 M. de Larson Prince 50 Charles Davy, Marquis d'Amfreville Bourbon 50 M. de Kervin Vaillant 50 Chevalier de Nesmond Alcion 46 M. Bitaut de Beor Hasardeux 38 M. de la Vigerie Saint Phillippe 78 (Vice Admiral Jean II, Comte d'Estrées; cp. M. Pierre de Cou) Foudroyant 70 M. Louis Gabaret Grand 70 M. Gombaud Tonnant 58 M. Des Ardents Brave 54 Chevalier Jean-Baptiste de Valbelle Aquilon 50 Chevalier d'Hally Duc 50 Chevalier de Sepville Oriflamme 50 M. de Kerjean Excellent 50 M. de Magnon Eole 38 Chevalier de Cogolin Arrogant 38 M. de Villeneuve-Ferriere Superbe 70 (Chef d'escadre Des Rabesnières, killed in battle) Invincible 70 Comodorre de Verdille Sans-Pareil 66 M. de la Clocheterie Fort 60 Comte de Benac Sage 50 M. Anne Hilarion de Contentin, Comte de Tourville Heureux 50 M. Francois Panetie Rubis 46 M. de Saint Aubin d'Infreville Galant 46 Chevalier de Flacourt Hardi 38 M. de la Roque-Garseval Red Squadron (English) Guns Captain London 96 (Vice Admiral Edward Spragge) Old James 70 John Haywood Resolution 70 John Berry Dunkirk 60 Francis Courtney Monck 60 Bernard Ludman, killed in battle Monmouth 70 Richard Beach Royal Katherine 86 John Chicheley Dreadnought 62 Arthur Herbert, 1st Earl of Torrington Adventure 44   Dartmouth 32 Richard Sadlington Supply 6   Prince 100 (James Stuart, Duke of York and Albany, Lord High Admiral; First Captain John Cox, killed in battle, Second Captain John Narborough) St Michael 96 Sir Robert Holmes Victory 82 Thomas Butler, Earl of Ossory Cambridge 70 Frescheville Holles, killed in battle York 64 Thomas Elliot, killed in battle Fairfax 60 George Legge Yarmouth 54 Robert Werden Portland 50 Thomas Guy Diamond 50 Thomas Foulis Phoenix 40 Richard Le Neve Robert 26   Charles 96 (Rear Admiral Sir John Harman) Rainbow 64 James Storey Revenge 62 John Hart Sr. Greenwich 60 Levi Greene Anne 58 John Waterworth, killed in battle Advice 50 Dominick Nugent Dover 48 Sir John Ernle (or Ernley) Forester 40   Blue Squadron (English) Guns Captain St Andrew 96 (Rear Admiral John Kempthorne) French Ruby 80 Thomas R. Cole St George 70 Jeffrey Pearce, killed in battle Warspite 70 Richard White Gloucester 62 William Coleman Bonaventure 48 Richard Trevanion Antelope 48   Success 32 George Watson Royal James 100 (Admiral Sir Edward Montagu, Earl of Sandwich (killed in battle); Captain Richard Haddock) Henry 82 Francis Digby, killed in battle Edgar 72 John Wetwang Rupert 66 John Holmes Montagu 62 Thomas Darcy Leopard 54 Peter Bowen Crown 48 William Finch Falcon 40 Charles Montague Alice & Francis 26 George Yennes, killed in battle Royal Sovereign 100 (Vice Admiral Sir Joseph Jordan) Triumph 74 Willoughby Hannam, killed in battle Unicorn 68 Richard James Mary 62 John Brooks Plymouth 60 Sir Roger Strickland Princesse 54 Sir Richard Munden Ruby 48 Stephen Pyend Mary Rose 48 William Davies Tyger 44 John Turner

davyboy likes this

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1813 - Frigate Essex and prize capture five British whalers
1917 - First underway fueling in U.S. Navy, USS Maumee fuels 6 destroyers in North Atlantic. LCDR Chester W. Nimitz served as Maumee's executive officer and chief engineer.
1957 - 1st of 24 detonations, Operation Plumbbob nuclear test
1967 -  British sailor Francis Chichester arrives back in Plymouth after sailing round the world single-handed in his boat Gipsy Moth IV.

1980 - 55 women become first women graduates from the U.S. Naval Academy.

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1588 – The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel. (It will take until May 30 for all ships to leave port).

1905 – Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima ends with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by Admiral Togo Heihachiro and the Imperial Japanese Navy (for more see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tsushima).
st george likes this

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There would appear to be a new naval battle going on here!

 

Mike,

You lost me on that one...  

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May 29

 

1719

HMS Blandford (20), Cptn. Erasmus Phillips, foundered in the Bay of Biscay with the loss of all on board.

1758

HMS Dorsetshire (70) and HMS Achilles (60), Cptn. Hon. Samuel Barrington, took French Raisonnable (64).

1781

Colonial frigate Alliance (36), Cptn. John Barry, captures HMS Atalanta (14), Cdr. Sampson Edwards, and HMS Trepassy (14), Cdr. James Smyth (Killed in Action), off Nova Scotia.

1794

HMS Carysfort (28), Cptn. Francis Laforey, re-captured HMS Castor (32) off Land's End.

1797

Boats of HMS Lively (20) and HMS Minerve (38), Cptn. George Cockburn, cut outMutine (14) from the roads of Santa Cruz, under command of Thomas Masterman Hardy.

1807

HMS Jackall Gun-boat (14), Lt. Charles Stewart, captured by the French after going ashore near Calais.

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1592 - At the Battle of Sacheon, the Korean navy led by Admiral Yi Sun Shin, repels a Japanese army that outnumbers it nearly 3 to 1.

1652 - English Admiral Robert Blake drives out Dutch fleet under lt-adm Tromp

1914 -  The RMS Empress of Ireland and A Norwegian coal freighter, the Storstad, crash in St. Lawrence River in thick fog causing the deaths of 1,073 passengers and crew, this was one of the worst maritime accidents in history.  

1950 - The St Roch, the first ship to circumnavigate North America, arrives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1991 - Amphibious Task Force in Bangladesh for cyclone relief redeployed

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May 30

1781

HMS Crescent (28), Lt. John Bligh (act.), taken by Gloire (40) and Friponne (36)

1798

HMS Hydra (38), Cptn. Sir Francis Laforey, and consorts destroyed Confiante (36)

1814

US Navy gunboats capture three British boats from HMS Montreal and HMSNiagara on Lake Ontario near Sandy Creek, NY 

1696

HMS Lizard (24), Cptn. Joseph Welby, was lost off Toulon

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1498 - Columbus departs with 6 ships for 3rd trip to America

 

1539 - Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto discovers Florida

 

1574 - Sea battle at Lillo Belgium (Adolf Van Haemstede vs Louis de Boisot)

 

1588 - The last ship of the Spanish Armada sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

 

1815 – The East Indiaman ship Arniston is wrecked during a storm at Waenhuiskrans, near Cape Agulhas, in present-day South Africa, with the loss of 372 lives.

 

1914 – The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York City.

 

1959 - The first full size hovercraft , the SR-N1, designed by Sir Christopher Cockerell, is launched and tested at Cowes on the Isle of Wight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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May 31

1803

HMS Resistance (36), Cptn. Hon. Philip Wodehouse, wrecked on Cape St. Vincent

1805

Bombardment of HMS Diamond Rock commenced.

1808

HMS Redwing (18), Thomas Ussher, took two sail at Tarifa.

1809

HMS Topaze (38), Cptn. A. J. Griffiths, took four vessels and destroyed five at St. Maura, Albania.

HMS Unique (12) used as a fireship in Guadeloupe.

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