April 20: This Day in Naval History

Monday, April 19, 2004
1796 - Congress authorizes the completion of three frigates.

1861 - Norfolk Navy Yard in Virginia is abandoned and burned by Union forces.

1914 - In the first call to action of naval aviators, a detachment on USS Birmingham sailed to Tampico, Mexico.

1915 - The first Navy contract for lighter-than-air craft is awarded.

1942 - USS Wasp (CVS 18) launches 47 British aircraft to reinforce Malta.

1947 - Navy Capt. L.O. Fox, supported by 80 Marines, accepted the surrender of Lt. Yamaguchi and 26 Japanese soldiers and sailors, two-and-a-half years after the occupation of Peleliu and nearly 20 months after the surrender of Japan.

1953 - USS New Jersey (BB 62) shells Wonsan, Korea, from inside the harbor.

1964 - USS Henry Clay (SSBN 625) launches a Polaris A-2 missile from the surface in the first demonstration that Polaris submarines could launch missiles from the surface as well as from beneath the ocean. Thirty minutes later, the submarine launched another Polaris missile while submerged.

(Source: Navy News Service)

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