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On Eternal Patrol -- May 8

On this date in 1942 (May 
, British submarine HMS Olympus leaves Malta ferrying crews from sunken submarines HMS Pandora, HMS P36 and HMS P39 to Gibraltar. HMS Olympus soon hits a mine and sinks (89 killed, 9 survivors swim 7 miles back to Malta). (WW@daybyday)

The wreck of HMS Olympus will be discovered in 2011. 

The Daily Mail reports that a team of explorers has discovered the wreck of a British submarine that sunk off the Maltese coast during the Second World War.

HMS Olympus struck a mine in the early hours of 8 May, 1942 shortly after she left Malta Harbor under the cover of darkness.

Nearly 90 men perished in what was one of the worst naval disasters of the war. Only nine of the vessel's 98 crew members survived after swimming seven miles back to shore in cold water.

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1911 - U.S. Navy ordered its first airplane, Curtiss A-1, Birthday of Naval Aviation
1942 - B The Battle of Coral Sea, between the Japanese Navy and the United States and Australian Navies ends with the loss of the carrier USS Lexington and the Japanese carrier Shōhō.     
1963 - U.S. Navy ships evacuate 2,279 civilians from Haiti during crisis.
1972 - U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft mine Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam.

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May 09




HMS Crocodile (24) wrecked in thick fog on Prawle Point, Devon   1795

HMS Melampus (36), Sir Richard Strachan, HMS Diamond (38) Cptn. Sir W. Sidney Smith and another frigate left anchorage in Gourville Bay, Jersey and took convoy of 11 French merchantmen and 2  gun-vessels, Eclair and Crache-Feu.

1812 HMS America (74), Cptn. Josias Rowley, HMS Leviathan (74) Cptn. Patrick Campbell, and HMS  Eclair (18), Cptn. John Bellamy, carried the batteries at Languelia and captured or destroyed French convoy of 18 vessels.    

1859 HMS Heron (12), William Henry Truscott, foundered between Ascension and Sierra Leone    

1864 The Battle of Heligoland. The Danish North Sea Squadron under Cptn. Edouard Suensson, frigates Niels Juel and Jylland, and the corvette Heimdal, defeat an Austrian squadron under Linienschiffskapitän von Tegetthoff, frigatesSchwarzenberg and Radetzky, and the 3 Prussian paddle steamer gunboats Preussischer Adler, Blitz and Brasilisk.

Edited by Kevin
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1942 - USS Wasp in Mediterranean launches 47 Spitfire aircraft to help defend Malta

1956 - A British naval diver ( Commander Lionel "Buster" Crabb ) goes missing ( Later Found Dead ) during a Goodwill Visit by a Soviet cruiser carrying Soviet leaders Nikita Khruschev and Marshal Nikolai Bulganin. At the time no one would admit that he was spying on the Russian Cruiser on a spying mission for MI6 and had dived under the cruiser to check out the hull and any other information he could find. And it still remains a mystery on how he died.  

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Coast Guard Strikes Back! Awarded Navy Cross

On this date in 1942 (May 9), thirty miles Southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, U-352 attacks US Coast Guard cutter USCGC Icarus but misses with 2 torpedoes.

USCGC Icarus (WPC-110) a steel-hulled, diesel-powered Thetis-class patrol boat, counterattacks with depth charges forcing U-352 to the surface. The crew abandons ship and scuttles U-352 (15 killed, 33 survivors). (WW2Daybyday)

Wikipedia reports, Icarus sank the U-boat U-352 off the coast of North Carolina and took its survivors into custody as prisoners of war. U-352 was the second World War II U-boat sunk by the US in American waters, and the first one from which survivors were taken as prisoners.

U-352 Incident
While in Torpedo Alley, off the coast of Cape Lookout en route to Key West on May 9, 1942, Icarus picked up a contact on sonar, and a torpedo exploded nearby. Icarus anticipated the presumed U-boat's next move and dropped 5 depth charges at the site of the prior torpedo explosion. As sonar picked up a moving target again, Icarus moved to intercept, dropping two more depth charges, apparently hitting their target as bubbles were seen rising to the surface. Passing the spot again, Icarus dropped three more charges. Shortly thereafter, U-352 surfaced, and Icarus opened fire with machine guns and prepared for a ramming maneuver. When the U-boat's crew abandoned ship, Icarus ceased fire, releasing one last depth charge over U-352 as it sank beneath the water.

The only U-boat previously sunk on the East Coast had gone down with all hands, and there were no standing orders concerning the rescue of survivors. Icarus had to call both Norfolk and Charleston before receiving authorization to pick up U-352's survivors. Forty minutes after the incident, Icarus picked up 33 of its crew, including U-352's commander, Kapitänleutnant Hellmut Rathke, and delivered them to the Commandant of the 6th Naval District at Charleston Navy Yard the next day.

For his actions in sinking U-352, Lieutenant Maurice D. Jester, commander of the Icarus, was awarded the Navy Cross. There were only six Coast Guard recipients of the Navy Cross during World War II.

Icarus was decommissioned on March 15, 1948 and sold on July 1, 1948 to the Southeastern Terminal and Steamship Company. She was later transferred to the Navy of the Dominican Republic where she was renamed Independencia (P-105, later P-204). She saw combat in the Dominican Civil War in 1965, was rebuilt in 1975, and was later sent to reserve.



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May 10



1800 USS Constitution (100), Cptn. Silas Talbot captured French privateer Sandwich (6) from the harbor at Port Plate, Hispaniola.  

1808 Start of 5 day engagement between HMS Wizard (16), Abel Ferris, and Requin(16) from off Toulon to Goulette near Tunis.    

1862 Confederates destroy Norfolk and Pensacola Navy Yards. 

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1775 - Force under Ethan Allan and Benedict Arnold cross Lake Champlain and capture British fort at Ticonderoga, New York.
1949 - First shipboard launching of LARK, guided missile by USS Norton Sound.
1960 - USS Triton (SSRN-586) completes submerged circumnavigation of world in 84 days following many of the routes taken by Magellan and cruising 46,000 miles.

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On this date in 1917, (May 10), the first convoys were introduced by the British, and were immediately successful. Overall losses started to fall; losses to ships in convoy fell dramatically. In the three months following their introduction, on the Atlantic, North Sea, and Scandinavian routes, of 8,894 ships convoyed just 27 were lost to U-boats. By comparison 356 were lost sailing independently.

As shipping losses fell, U-boat losses rose; during the period May to July 1917, 15 U-boats were destroyed in the waters around Britain, compared to 9 the previous quarter, and 4 for the quarter before the campaign was renewed.


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May 11


1762 Cptn. John Jervis (later Eart St. Vincent) HMS Gosport (44) escorting convoy to North America repelled a French squadron, under de Ternay, which was on its way to capture Newfoundland.  

1780 Fall of Charleston, SC; three Continental Navy frigates, BostonProvidence, andRanger, captured and frigate Queen of France sunk to prevent capture    

1806 Capture of Capri by English squadron under Sir Sidney Smith.    

1808 HMS Bacchante (22), Cptn. Samuel Hood Inglefield, captured French national brigGriffon (16), Jaques Gautier, near Cape Antonio in Cuba.    

1809 HMS Melpomene (38), Cptn. Peter Parker, destroyed a Danish man-of-war cutter at Huilbo, Jutland.    

1862 CSS Virginia blown up by Confederates to prevent capture. 

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1898 - Sailors and Marines from USS Marblehead cut trans-oceanic cable near Cienfuegos, Cuba, isolating Cuba from Spain.
1943 - Naval task force lands Army troops on Attu, Aleutians.
1965 - U.S. destroyers deliver first shore bombardment of Vietnam War.

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On this date, 11 May 1918 - German Submarine SM U-154 is torpedoed in the Atlantic at 3651N 1150W by HM Sub E35. 


There were 77 dead (all hands lost).


Wikipedia states, HMS E35 was a British E class submarine built by John Brown, Clydebank. She was laid down on 20 May 1916 and was commissioned on 14 July 1917.

Service history


HMS E35 sank U-154 (one of the 1,512 ton U-boat cruisers originally designed as cargo carrying blockade runners) off the island of Madeira on 11 May 1918. This sinking was helped by British intelligence who had learned of a planned rendezvous between two U-boats off Cape St Vincent.


HMS E35 was sold in Newcastle on 6 September 1922.



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May 12



1708 Sir John Leake's Fleet took a French frigate and convoy.  

1781 HMS Thetis (32) wrecked off St. Lucia    

1796 HMS Phoenix (36), Cptn. Lawrence Halstead, captured Argo (36) in the North Sea.    

1797 The mutiny at the Nore begins    

1799 HMS Courier cutter engaged a French privateer brig near Winterton.    

1806 HMS Pallas (32), Cptn. Lord Cochrane, HMS Indefatigable (44), Cptn. John Tremayne Rodd, and HMS Kingfisher (18), George Francis Seymour, engaged French squadron off Isle of Aix.

Boats of HMS Juno (32), Capt. H. Richardson, and Neapolitan Minerve, Cptn. Vieugna, destroyed batteries at Gaeta.

1808 HMS Amphion (32), Cptn. William Hoste, and boats engaged Baleine at Rosas.

HMS Tartar (32), Cptn. G. E. B. Bettesworth (Killed in Action), and boats engaged at Bergen.

1810 HMS Tribune (36), Cptn. Reynolds, engaged Danish squadron of 4 brigs, under Cmndr Johannes Krieger, outside Mandal, Norway but was forced to withdraw.

1846 U.S. declares war against Mexico

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1780 - Fall of Charleston, SC; three Continental Navy frigates (Boston, Providence, and Ranger) captured; and one American frigate (Queen of France) sunk to prevent capture
1975 - SS Mayaguez seized by Khmer Rouge and escorted to Koh Tang Island.
1986 - Destroyer USS David R. Ray deters an Iranian Navy attempt to board a U.S. merchant ship.

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May 13


1793 HMS Iris (32), Cptn. George Lumsdaine, engaged Citoyenne Francaise (32) about 6 leagues from Gibraltar in the first action of the war with a French naval ship.

1796 HMS Salisbury (50) wrecked near San Domingo

1798 Boats of HMS Flora (36) cut out Mondavi,

1807 HMS Cassandra (10), Lt. George Le Blanc, lost by upsetting in a sudden squall off Bourdeaux.

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1908 - Naval Nurse Corps established.

1908 - Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, was officially established in the Territory of Hawaii as a coaling station for U.S. Navy ships transiting the Pacific Ocean.
1943 - Bureau of Navigation renamed Bureau of Naval Personnel
1945 - Aircraft from fast carrier task force begin 2-day attack on Kyushu airfields, Japan
1964 - Organization and deployment of world's first all nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise, USS Long Beach, and USS Bainbridge, to Sixth Fleet

1988 - Iraq bombed and destroyed 2 of the worlds largest supertankers in the Southern Persian Golf loading oil in the Iranian offshore loading terminal of Larak . This is seen as a further escalation of the 7 1/2 year war between Iraq and Iran

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May 14



1741 HMS Wager (24), Cptn. Dandy Kidd, wrecked on the South coast of Chile

1747 First Battle of Cape Finisterre. 14 British ships of the line under Admiral George Anson attack a French 30-ship convoy commanded by Admiral de la Jonquière and capture 4 ships of the line, 2 frigates and 7 merchantmen, in a five-hour battle in the Bay of Biscay.

1757 HMS Antelope (54), Cptn. Alexander Arthur Hood, drove ashore and wrecked Aquilon (50) in Audierne Bay.

1781 HMS Nonsuch (64), Cptn. Sir James Wallace, engaged Actif (74).

1801 Tripoli declares war against the United States 

1807 Boats of HMS Spartan (38), Cptn. Jahleel Brenton, repulsed by a polacca off Nice.

1812 HMS Thames (32), Cptn. Charles Napier, and HMS Pilot (18), Cptn. John Toup Nicholas took 29 vessels at Port Sapri, Calabria. Most were destroyed by a gale during the night.

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1836 - U.S. Exploring Expedition authorized to conduct exploration of Pacific Ocean and South Seas, first major scientific expedition overseas. LT Charles Wilkes USN, would lead the expedition in surveying South America, Antarctica, Far East, and North Pacific.
1845 - First U.S. warship visits Vietnam. While anchored in Danang for reprovisioning, CAPT John Percival commanding USS Constitution, conducts a show of force against Vietnamese authorities in an effort to obtain the release of a French priest held prisoner by Emperor of Annam at Hue.
1975 - Marines recapture Mayaguez, go ashore on Koh Tang Island and release the crew.

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May 15





British fleet under Cptn. Richard Munden re-capture the Island of St. Helena.


John Jervis (later Earl St. Vincent) promoted Commander into HMS Scorpion (14).


Midshipman Horatio Nelson transfers to the Triumph (74).


Spithead Mutiny ends 


HMS Cruizer (18), John Hancock, HMS Rattler (16), Francis Mason, HMSPenelope (36), Cptn. W. R. Broughton, HMS Antelope (50), Commodore Sir Sidney Smith, and HMS Aimable (32), Cptn William Bolton, engaged Flushing flotilla of 59 vessels (2 praams, 19 schooners and 38 schuyts) off Blankenberg.


HMS Juno (32), Capt. H. Richardson, supported a Neopolitan sortie from Gaeta.


Boats of HMS Tartar (32), Cptn. Jos. Baker, drove ashore and captured a Danish privateer (4) near Felixberg on the coast of Courland.

HMS Mercury (28), Cptn. Henry Duncan, bombarded Rotti.


HMS Bacchante (38), Cptn. William Hoste, bombarded Karlebago and destroyed the fort and other defences.


HMS Parthian (10), George Hotham, wrecked near Marabout Island, Egypt.

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1800 - CAPT Preble in Essex arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort U.S. merchant ships
1942 - First Naval Air Transport Service flight across Pacific
1969 - Sinking of USS Guitarro (SSN-665)
1991 - Amphibious Task Force arrives at Chittagong, Bangladesh, for relief operations after Cyclone Marian

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May 16




1760 HMS Lowestoffe (28) sunk in a battle with the French in St. Lawrence.

1803 Britain declares war on France and Nelson appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet.

1807 HMS Dauntless (22), Christopher Strachey, surrendered to the French at Danzig after grounding.

1811 USS President (58), Commodore John Rodgers, engaged HMS Little Belt (20), Cptn. Arthur Bingham, off Cape Hatteras.

1813 Boats of HMS Berwick (74), Cptn Edward Brace, and HMS Euryalus (36), Cptn. Charles Napier, took or destroyed 20 vessels at Cavalarie Bay near Toulon. 

1820 USS Congress becomes first U.S. warship to visit China

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May 17



1756 HMS Colchester (50), Cptn. Lucius O'Brien, and HMS Lyme (20), Capt. Edward Vernon, engaged Aquilon and Fiddle off Brittany

1795 HMS Thetis (38), Cptn. Hon. Alexander Cochrane, and HMS Hussar (28), Cptn. John Poer Beresford, engaged 5 French flutes Normand, Trajan, Prévoyante,Hernoux, and Raison off Cape Henry, Chesapeake Bay. Raison (18) and Prévoyante (24) were taken.

1800 HMS Railleur (20), Cptn. J. Raynor, and HMS Lady Jane (8), William Bryer, foundered in the English Channel.

1809 HMS Goldfinch (10) engaged Mouche.

1813 Boats of HMS Apollo (38), Cptn. Bridges W. Taylor, and HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn. Thomas Garth, took a vessel near Brindisi.

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1940 - FDR announces plans to recommission 35 more destroyers
1942 - USS Tautog (SS-199) sinks Japanese sub, I-28; while USS Triton (SS-201) sinks I-164
1951 - Aircraft from carriers attack bridges between Wonsan and Hamhung, Korea
1962 - Naval amphibious ready group lands Marines to guard Thailand's borders from Communist probes
1966 - Naval Support Activity Saigon established
1973 - First woman to hold a major Navy command, Captain Robin Lindsay Quigley assumes command of Navy Service School, San Diego, CA.
1987 - USS Stark (FFG-31) struck by Iraqi Exocet missile in Persian Gulf, killing 37 Sailors. 21 were wounded.
1990 - USS Roark rescues 42 refugees from unseaworthy craft in South China Sea

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May 18


1709 HMS Falmouth (50), Cptn. Walter Ryddell, defended a convoy against 4 French vessels off Scilly

1759 HMS Thames (32) and HMS Venus (32) took Arethuse (36), Marquis Vandrenil, near Audierne Bay

1775 Benedict Arnold captures British sloop George at St. Johns, Quebec, and renames her Enterprise, first of many famous ships with that name

1777 HMS Beaver (14), Cptn. Jones, took American privateer Oliver Cromwell (24), Cptn. Harman, off St. Lucia.

1803 HMS Doris (36), Cptn. R. H. Pearson, captured French lugger Affronteur (14), Lt. Marce Dutoya, off Ushant.

1807 HMS Cassandra (10), Lt. George Le Blanc, foundered off Bordeaux

1808 HMS Rapid (12) ,Lt. Henry Baugh, sunk by batteries in the River Tagus while attempting to cut out two merchantmen.

1809 HMS Standard (74), Cptn. Askew Hollis, and HMS Owen Glendower (36) captured the island of Anholt.

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May 19



1652 English fleer under Robert Blake fire on Maarten Tromp's Dutch fleet off Dover starting the First Anglo-Dutch War

1692 Start of Battle of Barfleur, and destruction of ships at La Hogue. A French fleet of 44 ships of the line, under Comte Anne Hilarion de Tourville, engaged an Anglo-Dutch fleet of 82 ships of the line, under Edward Russell.

1745 HMS Superb (60), Commodore Warren, captured Vigilante (58) in Bight of' Louisbourg

1759 George Rodney promoted Rear-Admiral.

1780 British fleet under George Rodney engaged French fleet under Comte de Guichen in the West Indies.

1808 HMS Virginie (38), Cptn. Edward Brace, captured Dutch frigateGuelderland (36), Colonel de mer Pool.

1814 HMS Halcyon Sloop (18), John Marshall, wrecked on reef of rocks in Annatto Bay, Jamaica.

1835 HMS Challenger (28) wrecked on coast of Moquilla, Conception, Chile.

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1882 - Commodore Shufeldt (USS Swatara) lands in Korea to negotiate first treaty between Korea and Western power
1912 - Navy establishes North Atlantic Ice Patrol following RMS Titanic disaster
1965 - 30th Naval Construction Regiment activated at Danang, Vietnam

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