Mar 28

This Week in U.S. Navy History: 28 March-3 April

Sunday, March 28, 2010 12:00 PM


March 28

1800 – Essex becomes first U.S. Navy vessel to pass Cape of Good Hope

1814 – HMS Phoebe and Cherub capture USS Essex off Valparaiso, Chile. Before capture, Essex had captured 24 British prizes during the War of 1812.

1848 – USS Supply reaches the Bay of Acre, anchoring under Mount Carmel near the village of Haifa, during expedition to explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan.

March 29

1954 – Carrier aircraft began reconnaissance near Dien Bien Phu, Indochina

1960 – Launch of first fully integrated Fleet Ballistic Missile from USS Observation Island

1973 – Naval Advisory Group and Naval forces, Vietnam disestablished and last U.S. prisoners of war left Vietnam.

1975 – Evacuation of Danang by sea began

March 30

1944 – First use of torpedo squadrons from carriers to drop aerial mines (Palau Harbor)

1972 – Easter Offensive began in Vietnam

March 31

1854 – Commodore Matthew Perry negotiates Treaty of Kanagawa to open trade between U.S. and Japan

1971 – Poseidon (C-3) missile becomes operational when USS James Madison began her 3rd patrol carrying 16 tactical Poseidon missiles.

1992 – USS Missouri (BB-63), the last active American battleship is decommissioned.

April 1

1893 – Navy General Order 409 of 25 February 1893 establishes the rate of Chief Petty Officer as of this date.

1917 – Boatswain’s Mate 1/c John I. Eopolucci, a Naval Armed Guard on board the steamship Aztec, died when the vessel was sunk by a German U-boat. He was the first U.S. Navy sailor killed in action in World War I.

1942 – First Naval Air Transportation Service (NATS) squadron for Pacific operations commissioned

1945 – Over 1200 Navy ships and Army troops begin invasion of Okinawa

1966 – The command, US Naval Forces Vietnam established

1967 – Helicopter squadron HAL 3 activated at Vung Tau

April 2

1781 – Frigate Alliance captures 2 British privateers, Mars and Minerva

1827 – First Naval Hospital construction begun at Portsmouth, VA

1898 – Adoption of U.S. Naval Academy coat of arms

1951 – First Navy use of jet aircraft as a bomber, launched from a carrier, USS Princeton.

1960 – USS Glacier begins 12 days of relief operations, providing helicopter and boat transportation and emergency supplies to residents of Paramaribo, Suriname after floods.

April 3

1797 – CAPT Thomas Truxtun issued first known American signal book using numerary system

1942 – ADM Chester Nimitz named Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, a joint command, and retained his other title, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet

1992 – First five coed recruit companies from Orlando, FL Naval Training Center graduate.

Have any events you feel should be included in this week’s installment of This Week in U.S. Navy History? Please feel free to add them in the comments section.

  • Paul M Hupf

    I welcome the Naval History Blog. I am a Marine whose active duty service encompassed the years from January 1943 to January 1946, holding the rank of 1st Lieutenant at the conclusion of my active duty service. I was assigned to duty aboard the USS Portland (CA33) on which I served from April 6, 1944 to the war’s end. The Portland participated in 16 actions (7 while I was aboard) for which combat stars were awarded during WWII. I have recollections of my service which may be of interest to others. I hope that there will be an opportunity to pass these on.