OPC: Making Naval History
In September, 2016, an U.S. shipyard and the Canadian design business of an Italian-owned Norwegian shipyard won the largest vessel procurement contract in U.S. Coast Guard history. Now, Eastern Shipbuilding will build nine — and possibly many more — Vard Marine designs in its Panama City, Fla., shipyard. Early impressions are of a unique vessel not so unlike comparable European designs by Vard Holdings or parent company Fincantieri. An oceangoing hull of clean, classic — some would say Canadian — lines are the platform for an electronics and weapons payload designed…
USS Constitution Refloated
After a two-year restoration at historic Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston National Historical Park, America's oldest commissioned warship, USS Constitution was refloated July 23. Since entering dry dock on May 18, 2015, ship restorers from the Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston, and teams of Constitution Sailors have worked tirelessly side-by-side to bring Old Ironsides back to her glory. Captain Robert S. Gerosa, Jr., commanding officer of Constitution, said he was proud of the hard work and dedication of his Sailors during the restoration.
USS Indianapolis Wreckage Located
A team of civilian researchers led by entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen have found the wreck of the World War II cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35), which was lost July 30, 1945. This is a significant discovery considering the depth of the water in which the ship was lost - more than 18,000 feet. Around 800 of the ship's 1,196 Sailors and Marines survived the sinking, but after four to five days in the water - suffering exposure, dehydration, drowning and shark attacks - only 316 survived.
The Quest to Find and Explore USS Indianapolis
Sunk by Japanese torpedoes near the end of World War II, heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis disappeared to the darkest depths of the Philippine Sea, where it remained undiscovered for more than 70 years. Recently a team of civilian researchers led by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen set out equipped with an arsenal of high-tech search equipment on a mission to locate the historic vessel last seen on July 30, 1945. The story of the USS Indianapolis is one of military might, heroism, tragedy, controversy and mystery.
Iconic USS Ranger Dismantled
A two-year project to dismantle and recycle the decommissioned U.S. Navy vessel USS Ranger (CV-61) has recently concluded. Ordered in 1954 and commissioned in 1957, the Ranger was the first U.S. carrier vessel built as an angled-deck ship from inception. She served in the Pacific, the Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf, and earned 13 battle stars for her service in the Vietnam War. During her 37 years of service, she also appeared in blockbuster films such as Top Gun and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.
This Day In Naval History: August 19
1812 - The frigate USS Constitution captures the frigate HMS Guerriere, off Halifax, Nova Scotia after an intense battle. 1818 - Capt. James Biddle, as commanding officer of USS Ontario, takes possession of Oregon Territory for United States. 1936 - Lt. B. L. Braun, pilot, completes test bombing against the submarine USS R -8 (SS 85) off the Virginia capes, sinking the old submarine and proving the value of properly armed aircraft in antisubmarine warfare. 1943 - USS Finback (SS 230) sinks the Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser (No.109) off the eastern Celebes.
This Day In Naval History: August 23
1819 - Commodore Oliver H. Perry, the hero of the Battle of Lake Erie, dies on board the schooner, USS Nonsuch, in Trinidad of a fever contracted during his successful efforts to suppress piracy while maintaining the friendship of Latin American governments. It was his 34th birthday. 1862 - A boat crew from USS Essex, commanded by Capt. William D. Porter, is fired on by Confederate guerillas at Bayou Sara, La. In return, USS Essex shells the town. 1864 - During the Civil War, Rear Adm. David G. Farraguts squadron capture Fort Morgan at Mobile Bay, Ala., winning control of Mobile Bay. The fort withstands naval bombardment for more than two weeks. 1890 - USS Baltimore (Cruiser #3) departs New York Harbor to return the remains of inventor John Ericsson to his native Sweden.
This Day In Naval History: August 24
1814 - During the War of 1812, the British invade Md. and burn Washington, D.C. Commodore Thomas Tingey, superintendent of the Washington Navy Yard, burns the Navy Yard to prevent British access during the invasion. 1862 - During the Civil War, Capt. Raphael Semmes takes command of CSS Alabama at sea off the island of Terceira, Azores, beginning his career of raiding American commerce. 1912 - The collier, USS Jupiter, is launched. The vessel is the first electrically-propelled Navy ship.
This Day In Naval History: August 25
1864 - CSS Tallahassee, commanded by Cmdr. John Taylor Wood, returns to Wilmington, N.C. to refuel on coal. During her more than two week raid, CSS Tallahassee destroys 26 vessels and captures seven others. 1927 - USS Los Angeles (ZR 3) rises to a near-vertical position due to the sudden arrival of a cold air front that lifts the airships tail, causing it to rise before she can swing around the mast parallel to the new wind direction. Los Angeles only suffers minor damage but the affair demonstrates the risks involved with high mooring masts. 1943 - Depth charges from USS Patterson (DD 392) sink the Japanese submarine RO-35, 170 miles southeast of San Cristobal Island, Solomon Islands.
This Day In Naval History: August 29
1861 - During the Civil War, Seaman Benjamin Swearer lands with troops from the steam sloop of war, Pawnee, and takes part in the capture of Fort Clark, at Hatteras Inlet, N.C. He serves throughout the action and has the honor of being the first man to raise the flag on the captured fort. For his gallant service throughout the action, he was awarded the Medal of Honor. 1862 - The gunboat, USS Pittsburgh, supports Army troops landing at Eunice, Ark., during the Civil War. 1915 - After pontoons are brought to Hawaii from the west coast…
This Day In Naval History: August 30
1923 - USS Colorado (BB 45) is commissioned. Notable during her pre-World War II service, she helps in the search for missing aviator, Amelia Earhart, in 1937. During WWII, USS Colorado serves in the Pacific during World War II and is hit by kamikazes at Leyte in November 1944. 1929 - At New London, Conn., 26 officers and men test the Momsen lung to exit an intentionally-bottomed submarine. The device was created by Lt. C.B. Momsen following the failure to save surviving crew members trapped in USS S-4 (SS 109) that sank after a collision with Coast Guard cutter USS Paulding in 1927.
This Day In Naval History: August 31
1842 - Congress replaces the Board of Navy Commissioners, a group of senior officers who oversee naval technical affairs, with the five technical Bureaus, ancestors of the Systems Commands. One of the 1842 Bureaus, the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, continues to serve under its original name. 1862 - The daily rum issued to US Navy sailors on board vessels is abolished. On July 14, by an Act of Congress, the spirit ration ceases Sept. 1. Secretary of Navy Gideon Welles issues…
This Day In Naval History: September 1
1800 - During the Quasi-War with France, the schooner, USS Experiment, commanded by Lt. Charles Stewart, captures the French privateer Deux Amix off Barbuda, West Indies. 1814 - The sloop-of-war, USS Wasp, commanded by Johnston Blakely, sinks the British brig sloop, HMS Avon, south of Ireland. 1925 - Cmdr. John Rodgers and a crew of four in a PN-9 aircraft run out of fuel on the first San Francisco to Hawaii flight. Landing at sea, they rig a sail and set sail for Hawaii. On Sept. 10, they are rescued by the submarine USS R-4, 10 miles from Kaui, then Territory of Hawaii. 1941 - The United States assumed responsibility for trans-Atlantic convoys from Argentia, Newfoundland, to the meridian of Iceland. 1942 - The United States Naval Air Force, Pacific Fleet is established. Vice Adm.
This Day In Naval History: September 2
1777 - The frigate, USS Raleigh, commanded by Thomas Thompson, captures the British brig, HMS Nancy, while en route to France to purchase military stores. 1864 - During the Civil War, the 8-gun paddle-wheeler, USS Naiad, engages a Confederate battery at Rowes Landing, La., and silences it. 1940 - As the Battle of Britain intensifies, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull agrees to the transfer 50 warships to the Royal Navy. In exchange, the U.S. is granted land in various British possessions for the establishment of naval or air bases, on ninety-nine-year rent-free leases.
This Day In Naval History: September 6
1861 - USS Tyler and USS Lexington, support Gen. Ulysses S. Grants Army operations against strategic Paducah and Smithland, Ky. The ships mobile firepower assists in the capture of the cities, helping to preserve Kentucky in the Union. 1918 - In the first use of major-caliber naval guns in a land offensive, a U.S. naval railway battery of five, 14-inch guns begin long-range bombardment of German forces near Soissons, France. 1930 - USS Grebe (AM 43) arrives at Santo Domingo with supplies and medicines for victims of a hurricane three days prior.
This Day In Naval History: September 7
1775 - During the American Revolution, the British supply ship Unity is taken by the Continental schooner, Hannah, paid for by Army Gen. George Washington. It is the first prize taken by a Continental vessel. 1776 - David Bushnells submarine Turtle is used by Sgt. Erza Lee to attack HMS Eagle in New York Harbor. Lees efforts to attach a "torpedo" to the ship's hull are frustrated by copper-sheathing, marine growth, perhaps merely a hard spot in the hull, which prevents the drill from boring into the ship bottom and it drifts away.
This Day In Naval History: September 8
1858 - The sloop-of-war USS Marion captures the American slave ship Brothers off the southeast coast of Africa. 1923 - At Honda Point, Calif., seven destroyers are run aground due to bad weather, strong currents, and faulty navigation. Twenty-three lives are lost during the disaster. 1933 - Six consolidated P2Y 1 flying boats of Patrol Squadron 5, under the command of Lt. Cmdr. Herman Halland, make a record formation distance flight of 2.059 miles from Norfolk, Va. to Coco Solo, Canal Zone in 25 hours and 19 minutes. 1939 - President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaims limited national emergency and increases enlisted strength in the Navy and Marine Corps; also authorizes the recall to active duty of officer, men and nurses on the retired lists of the Navy and Marine Corps.
Navy Surveys North Sea for Links to the Toughness of its Past
A multinational group of Sailors and scientists from a variety commands, organizations and militaries searched for the wreckage of Revolutionary War ship Bonhomme Richard, Sept. 2-9. Underwater archaeologists from the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC), Navy divers from Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit(MDSU) 2, Sailors from Naval Oceanography Mine Warfare Center (NOMWC), Sailors from the French Mine Clearance Dive Unit (MCDU) and members from Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration…
This Day In Naval History: September 13
1803 - Commodore John Barry dies at Philadelphia, Pa., having served in numerous commands and over vessels in the Continental Navy during the American Revolution and in the newly formed U.S. Navy. 1814 - During the War of 1812, the British bomb Fort McHenry at Baltimore Harbor for 25 hours. The sight of Fort McHenrys flag and the British withdrawing from Baltimore the next morning inspires Francis Scott Key to write the Star Spangled Banner. 1847 - During the Mexican-American War, Chapultepec - the gateway to Mexico City - is successfully stormed by Marines.
This Day In Naval History: September 14
1814 - During the War of 1812, the sloop-of-war, Wasp captures and burns the British merchant brig, HMS Bacchus, in the Atlantic. A week later, she captures the brig, Atlanta. 1899 - During the Philippine Insurrection Campaign, the gunboat, USS Concord, and the monitor, USS Monterey, capture two insurgent schooners at Aparri, Philippine Islands. 1944 - USS Ludlow (DD 438) fires at an enemy shore battery and also fires direct hits on enemy vessels off Imperia. 1952 - USS Lewis (DE 535) and USS Evansville (PF 70) are fired on by enemy shore batteries off Wonsan, Korea. Their counter-batteries silence the enemy guns. 1971 - USS Wiltsie (DD 716) spots a crippled A-7 Corsair plunging into the Gulf of Tonkin and rescues the pilot from the water.
This Day In Naval History: September 15
1942 - USS Wasp (CV 7) is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine while operating in the Southwestern Pacific in support of forces on Guadalcanal. USS O'Brien (DD 415) and USS North Carolina (BB 55) are also struck by torpedoes from the same submarine. 1943 - USS Saufley (DD 465) and a Catalina Patrol Bomber piloted by Lt. W. J. Geritz from Patrol Squadron Twenty Three (VP 23) sinks the Japanese submarine RO-101 100 miles southeast of San Cristobal, Solomons. 1944 - USS Pampanito (SS 383) and USS Sealion (SS 315) rescue 73 British and 54 Australian POWs who survive the loss of Japanese freighter…
USS Zumwalt Arrives in Norfolk
The U.S. Navy’s newest and most technologically advanced surface ship, future USS Zumwalt (DDG 1000), pulled into Naval Station Norfolk Wednesday for another port visit as part of its three-month journey to its new homeport in San Diego. Crewed by 147 Sailors, Zumwalt is the lead ship of a class of next-generation multi-mission destroyers designed to strengthen naval power. They are capable of performing critical maritime missions and enhance the Navy's ability to provide deterrence, power projection and sea control.
This Day In Naval History: September 16
1814 - A squadron from the schooner USS Carolina attacks and raids the base of the pirate Jean Lafitte, at Barataria, La., capturing six schooners and other small craft while the pirates flee the attack. 1823 - Samuel Southard becomes the seventh Secretary of the Navy, serving until March 3, 1829. During his tenure, he enlarges the Navy, improves administration, purchases land for the first Naval Hospitals, begins construction of the first Navy dry docks, undertakes surveying U.S. coastal waters and promotes exploration in the Pacific Ocean. 1854 - Mare Island, Calif. becomes the first permanent U.S. naval installation on the west coast, with Cmdr. David G. Farragut as its first base commander. 1922 - Cmdr.