May 16

This Week in U.S. Navy History: 16-22 May

Sunday, May 16, 2010 12:20 AM


May 16

1820 Congress becomes first U.S. warship to visit China

1919 Three Navy flying boats begin 1st trans-Atlantic flight from Newfoundland

1965 First US gunfire support in Vietnam by USS Tucker

May 17

1940 FDR announces plans to recommission 35 more destroyers

1942 USS Tautog (SS-199) sinks Japanese sub, I-28; while USS Triton (SS-201) sinks I-164

1951 Aircraft from carriers attack bridges between Wonsan and Hamhung, Korea

1962 Naval amphibious ready group lands Marines to guard Thailand’s borders from Communist probes

1966 Naval Support Activity Saigon established

1973 First woman to hold a major Navy command, Captain Robin Lindsay Quigley assumes command of Navy Service School, San Diego, CA.

1987 USS Stark (FFG-31) struck by Iraqi Exocet missile in Persian Gulf, killing 37 Sailors. 21 were wounded.

1990 USS Roark rescues 42 refugees from unseaworthy craft in South China Sea

May 18

1775 Benedict Arnold captures British sloop and renames her Enterprise, first of many famous ships with that name

1798 Appointment of Benjamin Stoddert as first Secretary of the Navy

1969 Launch of Apollo 10, dress rehearsal for first lunar landing mission. CDR John W. Young, USN, was the Command Module Pilot and CDR Eugene A. Cernan, USN, was the Lunar Module Pilot. During the 8 Day mission, the craft made 31 lunar orbits in 61.6 hours. Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Princeton (LPH-5).

May 19

1882 Commodore Shufeldt (USS Swatara) lands in Korea to negotiate first treaty between Korea and Western power

1912 Navy establishes North Atlantic Ice Patrol following RMS Titanic disaster

1965 30th Naval Construction Regiment activated at Danang, Vietnam

May 20

1801 Four warships sent to Mediterranean to protect American commerce

1815 Commodore Stephen Decatur ( Frigate Guerriere) sails with 10 ships to suppress Mediterranean pirates’ raids on U.S. shipping

1844 USS Constitution sails from New York on round the world cruise

1943 Establishment of Tenth Fleet in Washington, DC, under command of ADM King to coordinate U.S. antisubmarine operations in Atlantic

May 21

1850 Washington Navy Yard begins work on first castings for the Dahlgren guns

1917 USS Ericsson fires first torpedo of war

1944 During preparations for the invasion of Saipan an accidental ordnance blast on LST 353 sets off cataclysmic ammunition explosions at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, killing 163 and injuring 396. Six tank landing ships (LST-39, LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, LST-353, LST-480), three tank landing craft (LCT-961, LCT-963, LCT-983), and 17 track landing vehicles (LVTs) are destroyed in explosions and fires.

1964 The initiation of the standing carrier presence at Yankee Station in the South China Sea.

May 22

1882 Commodore Shufeldt signs commerce treaty opening Korea to U.S. trade

1958 Naval aircraft F4D-1 Sky Ray sets five world speed-to-climb records, 22-23 May

1967 New York City reaches agreement to purchase Brooklyn Navy Yard, ending 166 years of construction and repair of naval vessels.

1968 USS Scorpion (SSN-589) lost with all hands