Apr 18

This Week in U.S. Navy History: 18-24 April

Sunday, April 18, 2010 5:55 AM


April 18

1906 – Navy assists in relief operations during San Francisco earthquake and fire

1942 – USS Hornet launches Doolittle’s Army bombers for first attack on Japan

USS Hornet (CV-8) launches Army Air Force B-25B bombers, at the start of the first U.S. air raid on the Japanese home islands, 18 April 1942. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

1988 – Navy destroys 2 Iranian surveillance platforms, sinks one frigate and one patrol ships, and severely damages a second frigate in retaliation for attack on USS Samuel B. Roberts

April 19

1955 – USS Albany and USS William Wood begin to provide disaster relief to citizens of Volos, Greece, ending 21 April

1989 – an explosion occurred in turret 2 of the battleship USS Iowa (BB 61) as the ship conducted gunnery practice near Puerto Rico. The explosion, which began in the gunpowder charge of the center gun, spread through the three gun rooms and much of the lower levels of the turret. Forty-seven Sailors died. RIP Shipmates. You Stand Relieved. We have the watch.

April 20

1914 – In first call to action of naval aviators, detachment on USS Birmingham sailed to Tampico, Mexico.

1942 – USS Wasp (CV-7) launches 47 British aircraft to reinforce Malta

British Royal Air Force Spitfire V fighter takes off from the carrier, after a 200-foot run, May 1942. Probably taken during Wasp's second Malta aircraft ferry mission. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

1953 – USS New Jersey shells Wonsan, Korea from inside the harbor.

1964 – USS Henry Clay (SSBN-625) launches a Polaris A-2 missile from the surface in first demonstration that Polaris submarines could launch missiles from the surface as well as from beneath the ocean. 30 minutes later the submarine launched another Polaris missile while submerged.

April 21

1861 – USS Saratoga captures slaver, Nightingale.

1898 – U.S. at war against Spain

April 22

1778 – Captain John Paul Jones of Ranger led landing party raid on Whitehaven, England

1898 – U.S. warships begin blockade of Cuba

April 23

1918 – USS Stewart destroys German submarine off France

1945 – In only U.S. use of guided missiles in WW II, 2 BAT missiles release at Balikiapan, Borneo

April 24

1778 – Continental Navy sloop Ranger captures HMS Drake

1862 – Battle of New Orleans; Union Navy under David Farragut runs past forts into Mississippi River

1917 – Destroyer squadron departs Boston for European service

For This Week in U.S. Coast Guard History, click here.