Today in U.S. Naval History: October 31

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Today in U.S. Naval History - October 31

1941 - German submarine U-552 sinks USS Reuben James (DD- 245), which was escorting Convoy HX 156, with loss of 115 lives. First U.S. ship lost to enemy action in World War II.

1943 - Lt. Hugh D. O'Neill of VF(N)-75 destroys a Japanese aircraft during night attack off Vella Lavella in first kill by a radar-equipped night fighter of the Pacific Fleet.

1956 - Navy men land in R4D Skytrain on the ice at the South Pole. R.Adm. George Dufek, Capt. Douglas Cordiner, Capt. William Hawkes, Lt.Cdr. Conrad Shinn, Lt. John Swadener, AD2 J. P. Strider and AD2 William Cumbie are the first men to stand on the South Pole since Captain Robert F. Scott in 1912.

1956 - USS Burdo (APD-133) and USS Harlan R. Dickson (DD-708) evacuate 166 persons from Haifa, Israel due to the fighting between Egypt and Israel.

1961 - End of Lighter than Air in U.S. Navy with disestablishment of Fleet Airship Wing One and ZP-1 and ZP-3, the last operating units in LTA branch of Naval Aviation, at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

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

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