May 2

This Week in U.S. Navy History: 2 May – 8 May

Sunday, May 2, 2010 12:01 AM

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May 2

1975 US Navy departs Vietnamese waters at end of evacuation.

May 3

1861 USS Surprise captures Confederate privateer Savannah

1898 Marines land at Cavite, Philippines, and raise U.S. flag

1949 First Navy firing of a high altitude Viking rocket at White Sands, NM

May 4

1917 First Navy ships, Destroyer Division 8, arrive at Queenstown, Ireland, to provide convoy escorts against German U-boats

1942 Battle of Coral Sea, first carrier vs. carrier battle, begins

1945 Japanese attempt to land on Okinawa repulsed; kamikaze attacks damage 6 U.S. Navy ships

1961 Pilot CDR Malcolm D. Ross, USNR, and medical observer LCDR Victor A. Prather, Jr., ascended in two hours to over 110,00 feet in Strato-Lab 5, a 411-foot hydrogen filled balloon launched from from the deck of USS Antietam. This was the highest altitude attained by man in an open gondola. Tragically, Prather drowned during the recovery.

May 5

1944 USS Comfort is commissioned in San Pedro, CA; first ship to be manned jointly by Army and Navy personnel

1948 VF-17A becomes first carrier qualified jet squadron (USS Saipan)

1961 CDR Alan Shepard Jr. makes first U.S. manned space flight. Flight of Freedom 7 (Mercury 3) which lasted 15 minutes and 28 seconds reached the altitude of 116.5 statute miles with a velocity of 5,134 mph. Recovery was by HUS1 helicopter of HMR(L)-262 from USS Lake Champlain(CVS-39).

1980 USS Robert E. Peary rescues 440 Vietnamese refugees from disabled craft south of Thailand

May 6

1909 Great White Fleet anchors in San Francisco

1916 First ship-to-shore radio telephone voice conversation from USS New Hampshire off Virginia Capes to SECNAV Josephus Daniels in Washington, DC

1942 CAPT Milton Miles arrives in Chungking, China, to begin building an intelligence and guerilla training organization, Naval Group China

1945 Naval landing force evacuates 500 Marshallese from Jaluit Atoll, Marshall Islands

May 7

1779 Continental Navy sloop Providence captures British brig Diligent off Cape Charles

1934 USS Constitution completes tour of principal U.S. ports

1940 FDR orders Pacific Fleet to remain in Hawaiian waters indefinitely

1942 Carrier aircraft sink Japanese carrier Shoho during Battle of Coral Sea

May 8

1911 Navy ordered its first airplane, Curtiss A-1, Birthday of Naval Aviation

1942 Battle of the Coral Sea ends with Japanese retiring from area

1945 VE Day, Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies

1963 Navy ships evacuate 2,279 civilians from Haiti during crisis.

1972 U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft mine Haiphong Harbor in North Vietnam.