Wednesday, February 27, 2013

This Week in Naval History

28 Feb 1893: First true US Navy battleship, USS Indiana launched

On 28 February 1893, the first true US Navy battleship, USS Indiana (BB 1), was launched. During the Spanish-American War, she operated in the Caribbean and participated in the Battle of Santiago, Cuba. During WWI, Indiana served as a training ship. Decommissioned in January 1919 and with a name change to Coast Battleship #1, she was used for ordnance tests and sunk in November 1920. To read more about USS Indiana, please click here:

File:PBO-1 VP-82 NAS Argentia.jpg

1 March 1942: VP-82 Hudson bomber sank German Submarine U-656

1 March 1942, Ensign William Tepuni, USNR, piloting a Lockheed Hudson, PBO, of VP-82 based at Argentia, Newfoundland, attacked and sank the U 656 southwest of Newfoundland—the first German submarine sunk by U.S. forces in World War II. Before being sunk, U 656 served on two war patrols but didn’t sink any Allied vessels.
To read more about Naval Aviation during this period, please click here:

2 March 1973: 1st 4 Women began US Navy flight training

On 2 March 1973, the first four women began US Navy flight training to become Naval Aviators. The women were: Lieutenant Junior Grade Barbara A. Allen (Rainey); Lieutenant Junior Grade Judith A. Neuffer; Ensign Jane M. Skiles, and Ensign Kathleen L. McNary.

William S. Benson

3 Mar 1915: Chief of Naval Operations Rank Established

On 3 March 1915, the Office of Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) was established by Congress. Under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy, the CNO is charged with the operations of the fleet and with the preparation and readiness of plans for its use in war. Admiral William S. Benson was the first CNO. Currently serving as the 30th CNO is Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert.

4 Mar 1825: US Navy captured Caribbean Pirates

On 4 March 1825, the schooner Grampus, commanded by Lieutenant Francis H. Gregory, captured a pirate sloop off the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Also on this date, Lieutenant Junior Grade G. Pendergast, sailing in a prize sloop with 26 men, engaged a pirate sloop in a 40-minute action. The sloop was captured after much loss of life. Some of the pirates escaped ashore to Boca del Inferno, West Indies, where they were imprisoned by the Spanish.

5 Mar 1942: Seabees name and insignia authorized

On 5 March 1942, the "Seabees" name and insignia were officially authorized. Rear Admiral Ben Moreell personally furnished them with their official motto: Construimus, Batuimus -- "We Build, We Fight."

6 Mar 1822: USS Enterprise captured 4 pirate ships

On 6 March 1822, the schooner Enterprise captured four pirate ships in Gulf of Mexico. During her time in the Gulf, Enterprise took 13 vessels while suppressing pirates, smugglers, and slaves.

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