Archive for the 'This Day in History' Category

Feb 1

“Sixteen Minutes from Home” Willie McCool’s Memorial

Saturday, February 1, 2020 12:01 AM

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Commander William C. McCool, USN gave his life on 1 February 2003 while piloting Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107. Foam from the external fuel tank broke off and struck the shuttle’s left-wing during take-off. The seemingly minor damage led to the shuttle’s disintegration during reentry over two weeks later. McCool has several schools, tracks, parks, and buildings named in his honor. There are even memorials to him spread across the solar system. There is Asteroid 51829 Williemccool and McCool hill on Mars. One of the most personal memorials, however, resides on the U.S. Naval Academy Cross Country Course in Annapolis,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 14

When the Navy Flew to the Moon

Thursday, November 14, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 20 July 1969 two American’s made history when they first stepped foot on the moon. Everyone remembers the Apollo 11 mission and those first steps, but most people forget the six missions that followed. Only four months after the triumph of Apollo 11 the next crew made the second landing. Apollo 12 was a longer mission with a pinpoint landing and more detailed scientific objectives. It also featured the only all Navy crew of the Apollo program. The crew consisted of Navy Commanders Charles “Pete” Conrad, Richard “Dick” Gordon and Alan L. Bean. All were experienced Naval aviators. Conrad… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 31

This Day In History: The Sinking of the USS Reuben James (DD-245)

Thursday, October 31, 2019 11:45 AM

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Most of us tend to associate the start of America’s involvement in World War II with the tragedy that struck Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Technically, we aren’t wrong. The United States did in fact make the decision to officially enter the war following the events of that terrible day. However, the Attack on Pearl Harbor was not the first deadly attack against U.S. forces during the overall duration of the war, nor was it the first time a U.S. warship was ravaged by the Axis.   The story I am about to tell you may sound familiar to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 23

Can You Hear Me Now?

Friday, August 23, 2019 12:01 AM

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Satellite based communication, from satellite phone service to G.P.S., has become essential to everyday life, however fifty years ago, it was almost impossible to imagine. That changed on 23 August 1963, when President John F. Kennedy made the first call relayed by satellite between two heads of state. President Kennedy called Nigerian Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on board the USNS Kingsport (T-AG-164), a converted Victory Class Military Sea Lift Command ship. Beginning in January of 1962 and completed in December, “The Kingsport was converted to a communication terminal by the Navy Bureau of Ships for use by the U.S…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 22

This Day in History: U.S. Navy Dental Corps Anniversary

Thursday, August 22, 2019 12:01 AM

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Today 107 years ago, the 62nd Congress passed an act, later signed by President Howard Taft, establishing the U.S. Navy Dental Corps. Since then, the Corps, whose mission is to prevent or remedy dental conditions that may interfere with the performance of duty by members of the active naval forces, has treated members of the active naval forces and their families worldwide.  In October 1912, the first two dental officers, Emory Bryant and William Cogan, entered active duty in the U.S. Navy. A year later, the Surgeon General of the United States reported to the Secretary of the Navy that… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 3

This Day in History: The Nautilus’ Under Pole Passage

Saturday, August 3, 2019 12:01 AM

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As the first commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus (SSN-571), Commander Eugene Wilkinson famously broadcast to the world on 17 January 1955, “Underway on Nuclear Power.” He knew firsthand just how capable the boat and her crew were. But by 1958, he had moved on to command Submarine Division 102. The man in charge was now Commander William Anderson. The skipper was slated to take the Nautilus up the West Coast, under the North Pole, and back down the East Coast. To prepare for this tall order, Anderson first drove the Nautilus, loaded with crew and scientists alike, under… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 2

This Day in Naval History: June 2 – FIRST Aircraft Escort Carrier

Sunday, June 2, 2019 12:01 AM

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Aerial port broadside view of USS Long Island (CVE-1) underway.

On June 2, 1941, the USS Long Island (AVG-1) was commissioned as the first Auxiliary Aircraft Escort Carrier. The design led to more experimentation, turning merchant ships into aircraft carriers. By the end of World War II, there were more escort carriers than aircraft carriers. You are probably wondering what is an escort carrier? Don’t you mean an aircraft carrier? Wasn’t the first carrier called the Langley? Yes, the aircraft carrier came before the escort carrier. During World War II, there was a shortage of aircraft transport vessels. As a result, the escort carrier was created out of merchant ships… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 8

The Eagles Return

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 8 May 1919, the waterfront of Halifax harbor was lined with spectators awaiting the arrival of three U.S. Navy seaplanes from Long Island on the first leg of their much-heralded attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Reports of their progress were received during the afternoon as they moved along the south shore of Nova Scotia and finally, at 7:40 pm, two of the aircraft, NC-3 and NC-1, landed safely in the harbor. These were Navy Curtiss or NC (Nancy) flying boats, designed as self-deploying anti-submarine aircraft and intended for combat duties. But when NC Seaplane Division One was commissioned… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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