This Day In Naval History: May 12
1780 - The city of Charleston, S.C., falls to the British when Continental Gen. Benjamin Lincoln surrenders during the American Revolution. Three Continental Navy frigates (Boston, Providence, and Ranger) are captured; and one American frigate (Queen of France) is sunk to prevent capture.
1938 - USS Enterprise (CV 6) is commissioned. Notable service during WWII include the Doolittle Raid, the Battle of Midway, the Guadalcanal Campaign, Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, the Battle of the Philippine Sea, the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the Okinawa Campaign, where she was badly damaged by a kamikaze strike.
1942 - USS Massachusetts (BB 59) is commissioned. She serves in both the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, notably participating in Operation Torch, Battle of Leyte Gulf, and the bombing of the Japanese homeland.
1975 - SS Mayaguez, a tanker ship, is seized by Khmer Rouge, the Communist party of Kampuchea, and is escorted to Koh Tang Island with her 39 crew. President Gerald Ford sends in Marines who meet heavy resistance, but after crew is found safe, they retreat, although three Marines are inadvertently left behind and killed.
1986 - USS David R. Ray (DD 971) deters an Iranian Navy frigates attempt to board SS President McKinley in the Gulf of Oman.
(Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division)