Today in U.S. Naval History: December 12
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Sketch of the ship's wreck, entitled "Cairo Submerged", probably depicting the scene immediately after she was sunk by a Confederate mine in the Yazoo River, Mississippi, on 12 December 1862. Note men sitting on projecting timbers and swimming in the water nearby. Courtesy of Mrs. A. Hopkins, 1927. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Today in U.S. Naval History: December 12

1862 - Confederate torpedo (mine) sinks USS Cairo in Yazoo River.

1937 - Japanese aircraft sink USS Panay in Yangtze River near Nanking, China.

1941 - Naval Air Transport Service is established.

1951 - First flight of helicopter with gas-turbine engine at Windsor Locks, Conn., demonstrates adaptability of this engine to helicopters.

1972- Captain Eugene A. Cernan, USN, commander of Apollo 17, walks on the Moon. Commander Ronald E. Evans, USN, was the Command Module Pilot. The mission lasted 12 days, 13 hours and 52 minutes. Recovery by HC-1 helicopters from USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14).

For more information about naval history, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website at

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