1776 – Continental Navy frigate Columbus captures HM Tender Hawke, first American capture of British armed vessel
1898 – Appointment of first Civil Engineering Corps officer, Mordecai Endicott, as Chief, Bureau of Yards and Docks
1946 – USS Missouri arrives in Turkey to return the body of Turkish ambassador to the U.S. and to show U.S. support and willingness to defend Turkey.
1779 – Sloop-of-war Ranger, frigate Queen of France and frigate Warren capture British Hibernia and 7 other vessels
1917 – U.S. declares war on Germany marking the official entry of the U.S. in World War I.
1945 – First heavy kamikaze attack on ships at Okinawa
1968 – USS New Jersey recommissioned for shore bombardment duty in Vietnam
1945 – Carrier aircraft defeat last Japanese Navy sortie (Battle of East China Sea); Yamato, world’s largest battleship, and five other ships sunk
1979 – Launching of first Trident submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726) at Groton, CT
1925 – First planned night landings on a carrier, USS Langley, by VF-1
1941 – Commissioning of USS North Carolina, which carried 9 16-inch guns
1943 – Re-establishment of Commodore rank
1959 – Selection of first 7 Mercury astronauts, include 4 naval aviators
1941 – USS Niblack, while rescuing survivors of torpedoed ship, depth charged German submarine; first action of WW II between U.S. and German navies
1963 – During diving tests, USS Thresher lost with all hands (112 crew and 12 civilians) east of Cape Cod, MA
If you think we are missing any key events in U.S. Navy history, please let us know in the comments section — NHHC