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Naval History On This Day, Any Nation


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1853 - Admiral Perry and U.S. Navy visit Japan.

1916 - 1st cargo submarine to cross Atlantic arrives in U.S. from Germany.

1917 - HMS Vanguard explodes at Scapa Flow killing 804.

1943 - World War II: Operation Husky – Allied forces perform an amphibious invasion of Sicily.
1944 - Organized Japanese resistence ceases on Saipan, Marianas.
1960 - USS Wasp departs Guantanamo Bay to support United Nations effort to calm the newly independent Congo.

2003 - The ferry "MV Nasrin-1" travelling from Dhaka, to Lalmohan hits strong winds and high seas causing the ferry to overturn ( It is also believed the ferry was overloaded with passengers and cargo ) making it more unstable. At least 500 are believed to have drowned in the strong currents and 200 are rescued.

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HMS Lively (20) Cptn. Biggs, left to watch Brest, found herself in the middle of the French fleet in a fog, and was captured by the French Iphigenie.


HMS Captain (74), Cptn. Andrews, seized Porto Ferrajo.


Boats of HMS Porcupine (22), Cptn. Hon. Henry Duncan, at Port d'Anzo.

HMS Netley (12), Lt. Charles Burman, wrecked in the Leeward Islands


HMS Amazon sloop, Cdr. J. E. Hunter, ran into the s.s. Osprey, Capt. Burtridge, (cutting her in two and causing her to sink in a few minutes) off Portland, sustaining vital damage, and sank.

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1934 - USS Houston takes Franklin Delano Roosevelt on first visit of U.S. President to South America.
1943 - Naval gunfire help Allied troops land on Sicily. It was first extensive use of LST's and smaller landing craft to deliver heavy equipment over the beach.
1945 - 14 carriers from Third Fleet carriers begin air strikes on Japanese Home Islands which end 15 August.

1985 - The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior is sunk when French agents plant a bomb on the hull of the boat while docked in Auckland harbour, New Zealand. The Rainbow Warrior had been preparing for a protest voyage to the French nuclear test site in the South Pacific

1987 - An attack by an Iranian Gunboat on a US super tanker in the Persian Gulf caused oil prices to jump to $21.23 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.  

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Reestablishment of US Marine Corps under the Constitution

Boats of HMS Regulus (44) captured three vessels.


HMS Racoon (16), Austin Bissell, captured Lodi (10), Cptn. Pierre Taupier, in Leogane Roads between  the island of Guanaba and St. Domingo.


Boats of HMS Narcissus (32), Cptn. Ross Donnelly, HMS Seahorse (38), Cptn. Courtenay Boyle, and HMSMaidstone (32), Cptn. R. H. Moubray, boarded and fired eleven enemy vessels and brought one out at La Vandour in Hieres Bay.


Boats of HMS Minerve (32), Cptn. George Ralph Collier, captured Spanish privateer Buena Dicha.


HMS Solebay (32), Commodore Edward Henry Columbine,  in moving up a river in Senegal went on shore and was wrecked


HMS Encounter Brig (14) taken attempting to cut out some vessels at San Lucar, Spain.


HMS Conflict (12), Cptn. Henry Baker, and consorts under Ad. Sir J. B. Warren, took Portsmouth, Ocracoke Island, Anacondo (18) and Atlas (10).

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1405 - Ming admiral Zheng He sets sail to explore the world for the first time.

1576 - Martin Frobisher sights Greenland.

1776 - Captain James Cook begins his third voyage.

1863 - Japanese battle cruiser shoots at Dutch warship Medusa, kills 4.

1882 - British fleet bombs Alexandria

1914 - USS Nevada (BB-36) is launched.

1918 - Henry Ford launches first of 100 Eagle boats.
1943 - Gunfire from U.S. cruisers and destroyers stop German and Italian tank attack against Army beachhead at Gela, Sicily.

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HMS Lichfield (50), Cptn. Matthew Barton, and HMS Warwick (60) captured Arc en Ciel (50) off Louisburg


HMS Endeavour, Lt. James Cook, arrived back in England.


HMS Adventure (10), Lt. Tobias Furneaux, arrived Britain after first Eastward circumnavigation.


HMS Resolution, Cptn. James Cook, departed from Plymouth on 3rd voyage of discovery.

HMS Egmont schooner (10) lost


Horatio Nelson's right eye injured at Calvi.


French fleet with 17 ships of the line, under Rear-Admiral Pierre Martin, engaged British fleet of 22 ships of the line,under Vice-Admiral Hotham, off the Hyères Islands (off the French Mediterranean coast).  HMS Cumberland(74), Cptn. R. S. Rowley, captured Alcide.  which caught fire and exploded.


British squadron, under Rear-Admiral Sir James Saumarez, engaged Franco-Spanish squadron, under Rear-Admiral Linois, off Gibraltar as they took the captured HMS Hannibal (74) to Cadiz. In darkness HMS Superb(74), Cptn. Richard Goodwin Keats, engaged Real Carlos (112), Cptn Don J. Esquerra, with some shot hittingSan Hermenegildo (112), Cptn Don J. Emparran. In the confusion the two Spanish ships engaged one another, collided and a fire spread to both resulting in their loss. Superb went on to take San Antonio (74).


HMS Aigle (36), Cptn. George Wolfe, drove Charente (20), John Sanson, and Joie (8), Benjamin Godobert, ashore in the mouth of the Gironde and burnt them.


HMS Landrail (4), Lt. R. D. Lancaster, taken by U.S. privateer Syren (7) in the Channel.

Edited by Kevin
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1801 - British Royal Navy ships inflict heavy damage against Spanish and French ships in the Second Battle of Algeciras.

1916 - North Carolina is first Navy ship to carry and operate aircraft

1918 - The Imperial Japanese Navy battleship Kawachi blows up at Shunan, western Honshu, Japan, killing at least 621.
1951 - Ninth Naval District forces assist in flood relief work in Kansas City through 20 July
1953 - United Nations Fleet launches heavy air and sea attack on Wonsan; Major John Bolt, USMC becomes first jet ace in Marine Corps.
1988 - SECDEF approves opening Navy's Underwater Construction Teams, fleet oiler, ammunition ships, and combat stores ships to women.

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1943 - During Battle of Kolombangara in Solomon Islands, U.S. lost USS Gwin. (DD-433) while Japanese lost light cruiser Jintsu.

2012 - A cargo ship carrying humanitarian aid supplies like food and medicine has traveled from Miami to Havana, Cuba for the first time in fifty years. Other similar services have operated out of different ports but only recently had the International Port Corporation obtained the special permit required to transport these services from Miami to Cuba due to the trade embargo that was placed on the country in 1962.

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Russian fleet of 30 ships of the line and 180 galleys under Admiral Apraxine, defeated a Swedish fleet, about one-third of that strength, under Admiral Erinschild off the island of Aland. The Czar, Peter the Great, serving under Apraxine as Rear-Admiral, captured Erinschild's flagship.


HMS Nonsuch (64), Cptn. Sir James Wallace, took French frigate Belle Poule (32) off the mouth of the Loire


Fort at Carry-le-Rouet, near Marseilles, stormed and carried by boats of HMS Scout (18), William Raitt.


HMS Contest (14), James Rattray, and HMS Mohawk (18) captured U.S. schooner Asp (3) up a narrow inlet called Yeacomoco Creek in the Potomac River.

The US prize vessel Greenwich captured the British whaler Seringapatam. Greenwich was commanded by Lieutenant John M. Gamble, USMC, the first Marine to command a ship.


Commodore Matthew Perry lands and holds first meeting with Japanese at Uraga, Japan 

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1698 - The Darien scheme begins with five ships, bearing about 1,200 people, departing Leith for the Isthmus of Panama.

1714 - Battle of Aland, Russian fleet overpowers larger Swedish fleet.
1882 - Sailors and Marines from 4 U.S. ships land to help restore order at Alexandria, Egypt.
1945 - U.S. warships bombard Kamaishi, Japan; first naval gunfire bombardment of Japanese Home Islands.
1950 - U.S. Marines sail from San Diego for Korean Conflict.
1952 - Laying of keel of USS Forrestal, the first 59,900 ton aircraft carrier.

1952 - SS United States crosses Atlantic in 84:12 (record westward).

1957 - Soviet steamer Eshghbad sinks in Caspian Sea.

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George Byng promoted Vice-Admiral of the Blue


HMS Glatton (56), Cptn. Henry Trollope, engaged French Squadron off Flanders.


HMS Lion (64), Cptn. Manley Dixon, engaded four Spanish frigates off Cartagena, capturing Santa Dorotea (42)


HMS Lily (16), Lt. William Compton (Killed in Action), captured by French privateer Dame Ambert (16) off the Georgia


Gunbrigs HMS Plumper, Lt. James Henry Garrety, and HMS Teazer, Lt. George Lewis Kerr, captured by French gun vessels off Granville


CSS Arkansas sailed down the Yazoo River, encountering the Union gunboats Carondelet, Tyler, and Queen of the West. In the ensuing battle, Arkansas damaged the first two gunboats and made her way into the Mississippi River, where she boldly fought through the Federal fleet to find refuge at the Confederate fortress at Vicksburg.

Edited by Kevin
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1741 - Aleksei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.

1815 - Napoleonic Wars: Napoleon Bonaparte surrenders aboard HMS Bellerophon.

1958 - In response to request by President of Lebanon, Sixth Fleet lands 1,800 Marines at Beruit to support Lebanese government against Communist rebels.

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HMS Thunderer (74), Cptn. Charles Proby, and HMS Thetis (44) took Achille (54) and frigate Bouffon off Cadiz


HMS Resolution, Cmdr. James Cook, and HMS Adventure, arrived Tahiti.


HMS Anson (44), Cptn. Philip Charles Durham, and HMS Sylph (18), Cptn. John Chambers White, destroyedCalliope (32) off Ushant


HMS Gardland (28), Cptn. James Athol Wood, wrecked off Madagascar.


Boats of British squadron under Commodore Sir Samuel Hood cut out Cesar (16), Lt. Louis-François-Hector Fourré, from the mouth of the Gironde


Boats of HMS Osprey (18), Timothy Clinch, and HMS Britomart (10), William Buckley Hunt, captured French privateer Eole (5) off Heligoland.


US Congress creates rank of Rear Admiral. David G. Farragut is named the first Rear Admiral

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1618 - Captain John Gilbert patents 1st dredger in Britain.

1915 - First Navy ships, battleships Ohio, Missouri, and Wisconsin transit Panama Canal.

1945 - The heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis leaves San Francisco with parts for the atomic bomb "Little Boy" bound for Tinian Island.

1960 - USS George Washington a modified Skipjack class submarine successfully test fires the first ballistic missile while submerged.

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A Russian fleet of 17 ships of the line under Admiral Samuel Greig met the Swedish fleet of 15 ships of the line under Prince Karl, Duke of Södermanland, off Hogland Island, Gulf of Finland. Greig's flagship, Rostislav (100), forced the surrender of Prins Gustav (70), Vice-Admiral Gustav Wachtmeister and the Swedes disabledVladislav (74), which also surrendered to Kronprins Gustav Adolf (62). The fighting continued for six hours, and the fleets only separated after dark with the Swedish ships beginning to run out of ammunition.


HMS Ariadne (24), Cptn. Hon. Edward King, and consorts engaged off Boulogne.

HMS Orestes (16), Thomas Browne, ran aground on the Splitter Sands off Gravelines and was burnt to prevent capture by the enemy.


HMS Euryalus (36), Cptn. George Heneage Dundas, engaged a French 74 off Toulon.


U.S. sloop Niagara departs Queenstown, Ireland, to assist in laying first trans-Atlantic telegraph cable. 

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1774 - Captain Cook arrives at New Hebrides (Vanuata).

1866 - Italian fleet under Admiral Persano capture Austrian Fort Lissa.

1898 - Santiago, Cuba surrenders to U.S. Naval forces.

1918 - The RMS Carpathia, the ship that rescued the 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic, is sunk off Ireland by the German SM U-55; 5 lives are lost.

1944 - Port Chicago disaster: Near the San Francisco Bay, two ships laden with ammunition for the war explode in Port Chicago, California, killing 320.

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Continental Congress resolves that each colony provide armed vessels


Commodore Abraham Whipple's squadron captures 11 prizes in largest prize value of Revolutionary War.


John Paul Jones dies in Paris, France 


HMS Aigle (38) wrecked off Cape Farina, Spain.


HMS Alcmene (32), Cptn. G. Hope, and boats captured two Spanish vessels.


USS President (44), John Rodgers, sinks British brig Daphne off the Irish coast.


French convoy captured by HMS Ferret (14), William Ramsden, HMS Fly (18).

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1588 - Admiral Howard beats Spanish Armada.

1696 - Czar Peter I's fleet occupies Azov at mouth of Don River.

1813 - U.S. Frigate President captures British Daphne, Eliza Swan, Alert and Lion.
1920 - Naval aircraft sink ex-German cruiser Frankfurt in target practice.
1943 - German submarine shoots down K-74, the first and only U.S. airship lost during WW II.
1973 - Task Force 78, Mine Countermeasures Force, departs waters of North Vietnam after completing their minesweeping operations of 1,992 tow hours for the cost of $20,394,000.

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Henry VIII's Mary Rose sinks  in the Solent during an engagement with the French fleet.


HMS Lowestoffe (32), Cptn. William Locker, (2nd. Lt. Horatio Nelson) arrives at Port Royal, Jamaica.


HMS Blanche (36), Cptn. Zachary Mudge, taken and destroyed by French  Topaze (44), Department des Landes (20), Torche (18) and Faune (16) some 150 miles north of Puerto Rico.


 HMS Blanche (38), Cptn. Thomas Lavie, captured French frigate Guerriere (50) off the Farroes.


Squadron of 6 Danish brigs departing from Norway, under Cmdr. Johannes Krieger, defeats a British convoy of 47 merchant ships in the Skagerak.


USS Constitution (44), Isaac Hull, escapes from British squadron after 3 day chase off New Jersey


Earl St. Vincent confirmed in rank of Admiral of the Fleet

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1836 - HMS Beagle and Charles Darwin reach Ascension.

1843 - Brunel's steamship the SS Great Britain is launched, becoming the first ocean-going craft with an iron hull or screw propeller and becoming the largest vessel afloat in the world.
1886 - Atlanta, the first steel-hulled American cruiser armed with breechloading rifled guns, is commissioned.
1897 - LT Robert E. Peary departs on year long Arctic Expedition which makes many important discoveries, including one of largest meteorites, Cape York.
1918 - Armored cruiser USS San Diego sunk off Fire Island, NY by a mine laid by U-156.
1940 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs second Naval Expansion Act.

1940 - Battle of Cape Spada – The Royal Navy and the Regia Marina clash; the Italian light cruiser Bartolomeo Colleoni sinks, with 121 casualties.

1942 - German Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz orders the last U-boats to withdraw from their United States Atlantic coast positions in response to the effective American convoy system.

1945 - USS Cod saves 51 sailors from Dutch sub in only sub-to-sub rescue.

1979 - Two giant supertankers collide in the Caribbean Sea, killing 26 crew members and spilling 280,000 tons of crude oil.

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HMS Iphigenia (32) burnt by accident at Alexandria


HMS Warspite (76), Cptn. Hon. H. Blackwood, and consorts engaged French squadron off Toulon.


HMS Thames, Cptn. Napier, and HMS Cephalus, Cptn. Clifford, took possession of a strong fort on the coast and 26 vessells at Palinurus.


First visit of U.S. warships (USS Columbus and USS Vincennes) to Japan is unsuccessful in negotiating a treaty. 

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1866 - Battle of Lissa – The Austrian Navy , led by Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff, defeats the Italian Navy near the island of Vis in the Adriatic Sea.
1960 - In first launch of Polaris missile, USS George Washington (SSBN 598) successfully fires 2 operational Polaris missiles while submerged off Florida.
1964 - Four Navy divers enter Project SEALAB I capsule moored 192 feet on the ocean floor off Bermuda for 11 day experiment.
1969 - Former Navy pilot Neil Armstrong is first man to set foot on the moon. While taking the first step, he said, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Armstrong was Commander of Apollo 11 which during its 8 day mission landed on the Sea of Tranquility. Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Hornet (CVS-12).

Edited by st george
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HMS Charlestown (28), Cptn. Evans (Killed in Action), HMS Allegiance (24), HMS Vulture (20), Cptn. George, armed transport Vernon (14), HMS Thorn, and armed ship Little Jack (14) escorting a convoy of 18 ships engaged Astrée (38), Jean-François de Galaup, comte de La Pérouse, and Hermione (34), Louis-René Levassor de Latouche Tréville, off the harbour of Louisbourg. Little Jack, Thorn and three merchantmen were taken.


Boats of HMS Beaulieu (40), Cptn. Stephen Poyntz, HMS Doris (36), Cptn. John Halliday, and HMS Uranie(38), Cptn. W. H. Gage, cut out French corvette Chevrette (20) from Camerat Bay.

HMS Sir Thomas Paisley (16), Lt. Wooldridge, engaged a Spanish xebec (22) off the island of Carbera

HMS Jason (36), Cptn. Hon. John Murray, wrecked near St. Malo.


HMS Sealark (10), Lt. Thomas Warrand, captured Ville de Caen (16), Cptn. Cocket, off Start Point


After pirate attack, LT David G. Farragut leads landing party to destroy pirate stronghold in Cuba. 


The Danish paddle steamer Hekla, Cmdr. Edouard Suensson, opens fire at a Schleswig-Holstein gunboat, which catches fire and explodes, in the Bay of Neustadt.

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1588 - English fleet defeats Spanish armada.

1823 - After pirate attack, LT David G. Farragut leads landing party to destroy pirate stronghold in Cuba.

1918 - U-156 shells Nauset Beach, in Orleans, Massachusetts.
1944 - Invasion and recapture of Guam begins.
1946 - In first U.S. test of adaptability of jet aircraft to shipboard operations, XFD-1 Phantom makes landings and takeoffs without catapults from Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1959 - 1st nuclear powered merchant ship, NS Savannah, christened, Camden, New Jersey.

1960 - Francis Chichester arrive in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II, setting record of 40 days for a solo Atlantic crossing.

1964 - Netherlands last whaling ship Willem Barents Sea sold to Japan.
1997 - Thousands watched as the USS Constitution, known as Old Ironsides, celebrated 200 years by sailing from Marblehead, Massachusetts, under its own power for the first time in 116 years.

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HMS Aimable (32), Cptn. Jemmet Mainwaring, engaged French frigate Pensee (44), Cptn. Valto, which escaped off Guadeloupe.


USS Constellation (38) defeats 9 Corsair gunboats off Tripoli.


Battle of Cape Finisterre. Inconclusive action between British fleet under Admiral Sir Robert Calder and French fleet under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve

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1797 - Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Battle between Spanish and British naval forces during the French Revolutionary Wars. During the Battle, Rear-Admiral Nelson is wounded in the arm and the arm had to be partially amputated.

1802 - Frigate Constellation defeats 9 Corsair gunboats off Tripoli.

1805 -  Battle of Cape Finisterre – an inconclusive naval action is fought between a combined French and Spanish fleet under Admiral Pierre-Charles Villeneuve of Spain and a British fleet under Admiral Robert Calder.
1953 - U.S. ships laid down heavy barrage to support UN troops in Korea
1964 - Four Navy Divers (LCDR Robert Thompson, MC; Gunners Mate First Class Lester Anderson, Chief Quartermaster Robert A. Barth, and Chief Hospital Corpsman Sanders Manning) submerge in Sealab I for 10 days at a depth of 192 feet, 39 miles off Hamilton, Bermuda. They surfaced on 31 July 1964.
1974 - Evacuees from the coup on Cyprus arrive on board Navy vessels in the Mediterranean. Operation ended on 24 July.

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British fleet under Sir George Rooke captured Gibraltar.


Keel of HMS Victory (100) laid down at Chatham Dockyard


HMS Champion (24), Cptn. Robert Howe Bromley, and consorts engaged a French flotilla off Fecamp.


Boats of HMS Belvidera (36), Cptn. Richard Byron, and HMS Nemesis (28), Cptn. Ferris, took Bolder (8) andThor (8) and destroyed a sloop near Studtland, Norway.



The construction of HMS Victory begins

JUL 23rd, 1759 - Richard Cavendish recounts the birth of a great warship

The keel of the most famous ship in the history of the Royal Navy was laid down in the Old Single Dock (now the Victory Dock) at Chatham Dockyard in Kent. Present with Admiralty officials at the occasion was William Pitt the Elder, whose government had announced a major ship-building programme of first-rate ships of the line and frigates the year before.

The new first-rate was designed by the Surveyor of the Navy, Sir Thomas Slade. Her keel was to be 259 ft long, she would have a displacement of 2,162 tons, carry a crew of about 850 and be armed with more than 100 guns. Some 6,000 trees would be used to build her, the great bulk of which were oaks, mainly from Kent, the New Forest and Germany. She was the Navy’s sixth Victory. One of them, under Sir John Hawkins, had fought the Spanish Armada in 1588. Another, of 80 guns, had been launched in 1666 and the fifth, launched in 1737, had sunk with all hands in 1744.

Edited by Kevin
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