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Dates in American Naval History: October

October 1

1800 - U.S. Schooner Experiment captures French Schooner Diana.
1844 - Naval Observatory headed by LT Matthew Fontaine Maury occupies first permanent quarters.
1874 - Supply Corps purser, LT J. Q. Barton, given leave to enter service of new Japanese Navy to organize a Pay Department and instruct Japanese about accounts. He served until 1 October 1877 when he again became a purser in the U.S. Navy. In 1878, the Emperor of Japan conferred on him the Fourth Class of Rising Sun for his service.
1880 - John Phillip Sousa becomes leader of Marine Corps Band
1928 - First class at school for enlisted Navy and Marine Corps Radio intercept operators (The "On the roof gang")
1937 - Patrol aviation transferred to Aircraft Scouting Force, a reestablished type command. With change five patrol wings were established as separate administrative command over their squadrons.
1946 - Truculent Turtle lands at Columbus, Ohio, breaking world's record for distance without refueling with flight of 11,235 miles.
1949 - Military Sea Transportation Service activated.
1955 - Commissioning of USS Forrestal (CVA-59), first of postwar supercarriers
1979 - President Jimmy Carter awards the Congressional Space Medal of Honor to former naval aviators Neil Armstrong, CAPT Charles Conrad, Jr., USN (Ret.), COL John Glenn, USMC (Ret.), and RADM Alan Shepard, Jr., USN (Ret.)
1980 - USS Cochrane (DDG-21) rescues 104 Vietnamese refugees 620 miles east of Saigon
1990 - USS Independence (CV-62) enters Persian Gulf (first carrier in Persian Gulf since 1974)

October 2

1799 - Establishment of Washington Navy Yard
1939 - Foreign ministers of countries of the Western Hemisphere agree to establish a neutrality zone around the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North and South America to be enforced by the U. S. Navy

October 3

1921 - USS Olympia sails for France to bring home the Unknown Soldier from World War I
1955 - USS Saipan (CVL-48) begins disaster relief at Tampico, Mexico rescuing people and delivering supplies. Operations ends 10 October.
1962 - Launch of Sigma 7 (Mercury 8) piloted by CDR Walter M. Schirra, Jr., USN. In a mission lasting 9 hours and 13 minutes, he made 6 orbits at an altitude up to 175.8 statute miles at 17,558 mph. Recovery by USS Kearsarge (CVS-33).

October 4

1821 - LT Robert F. Stockton sails from Boston for Africa to carry out his orders to help stop the international slave trade.
1944 - Aircraft from USS Ranger sink 5 German ships and damage 3 in Operation Leader, the only U.S. Navy carrier operation in northern European waters during World War II.
1952 - Task Force 77 aircraft encounter MIG-15 aircraft for the first time.
1976 - USS Jonas Ingram (DD-938) rescues 7 survivors of a Finnish motor craft that sank in the Baltic Sea.
1991 - USS Arkansas, USS Sioux, USS Aubrey Fitch and Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron SIX rescue personnel on merchant ships in three different rescue operations in the Arabian Sea.
1998 - U.S. and Algierian Navies conduct first bilateral exercise since Algerian independendence in 1962. It was a search and rescue operation involving USS Mitscher.

October 5

1863 - Confederate David seriously damages USS New Ironsides with a spar torpedo off Charleston, South Carolina.
1913 - Trial of OWL, Navy's first amphibian flying boat
1957 - Minitrack, a satellite tracking net developed by the Naval Research Laboratory, becomes operational. This network, with stations from Maine to Chile, tracked the Vangard satellite.

October 6

1884 - Department of the Navy establishes the Naval War College at Newport, RI (General Order 325).
1940 - Fourth group of 8 U.S. destroyers involved in Destroyers for Bases Deal are turned over to British authorities at Halifax, Canada.
1943 - In night Battle of Vella Lavella, 3 U.S. destroyers attack 9 Japanese destroyers to stop evacuation of Japanese troops from Vella Lavella., Solomon Islands
1958 - USS Seawolf (SSN-575) completes record submerged run of 60 days, logging over 13,700 nautical miles.
1962 - Commissioning of USS Bainbridge (DLGN-25), first nuclear-powered destroyer
1987 - Destruction of 3 Iranian small boats
1997 - NASA Astronaut CDR Wendy B. Lawrence, USN returns from mission of STS-86: Shuttle -Mir 7 when Atlantis docked with Mir Space Station. The mission began on 25 September.

October 7

1864 - USS Washusett captures Confederate raider CSS Florida in harbor of Bahia, Brazil.
1924 - Rigid airship Shenandoah commences transcontinental flight.
1975 - President Gerald Ford signs law allowing admission of women into service academies (Public Law 94-106).
2001 - Operation Enduring Freedom begins with carrier air strikes, and ship and submarine Tomahamk strikes.

October 8

1812 - Boat party under Lt. Jesse D. Elliott captures HMS Detroit and Caledonia in Niagara River.
1842 - Commodore Lawrence Kearny in USS Constitution addresses a letter to the Viceroy of China, urging that American merchants in China be granted the same treaty privileges as the British. His negotiations are successful.
1950 - 1st Marine Division commences embarkion at Inchon for landings at Wonsan, Korea.
1961 - USS Tulare (AKA-112) and USS Princeton (CVS-7) rescue seamen from an American and a Lebanese merchant ship, which were aground on Kita Daita Jima.

October 9

1873 - LT Charles Belknap calls a meeting at the Naval Academy to establish the U.S. Naval Institute for the purpose of disseminating scientific and professional knowledge throughout the Navy.
1942 - First three schools for enlisted WAVES open at Stillwater, OK (Yeoman), Bloomington, IN (Storekeepers), and Madison, WI (Radiomen).
1945 - Parade in New York City honors FADM Chester W. Nimitz and 13 other Navy and Marine Corps Medal of Honor winners.
1961 - USS Princeton rescues 74 survivors of two shipwrecks (U.S. lines Pioneer Muse and SS Shiek) from the island of Kita Daito Shima.

October 10

1845 - Naval School, later the Naval Academy, opens in Annapolis, Maryland with 50 midshipmen and seven faculty.
1923 - First American-built rigid airship, Shenandoah, is christened. It used helium gas instead of hydrogen.
1944 - Opening of Leyte campaign begins with attack of four Carrier Task Groups of Task Force 38 on Okinawa and Ryukyus.
1960 - Navy assigned responsibility for program management and technial direction of Project SPASUR, the first U.S. universal satellite detection and tracking network.
1985 - Fighters from USS Saratoga (CV-60) force Egyptian airliner, with the hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro aboard, to Italy, where the hijackers were taken into custody.

October 11

1776 - Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain, New York. Although defeated, the American flotilla delayed the British advance and caused it to fall back into winter quarters.
1824 - Marquis de Lafayette visits the Washington Navy Yard during his year long tour of America. He returned to the yard the next day, October 12, to continue his visit.
1942 - Battle of Cape Esperance begins: In two-day battle, American task force stops Japanese attack on Guadalcanal and sinks two Japanese ships while losing only USS Duncan (DD-485).
1945 - Typhoon hits Okinawa, damaging many Navy ships.
1950 - Task Force 77 Aircraft destroy North Korean vessels off Songjin and Wonsan and north of Hungham.
1963 - Navy medical team from Norfolk, VA begins massive inoculation program to safeguard against outbreak of typhoid in the wake of Hurricane Flora.
1967 - Operation Coronado VI began in Rung Sat Zone
1968 - Launch of Apollo 7, the first U.S. 3-man space mission, commanded by CDR Walter Schirra, JR. USN. MAJ Ronnie Cunningham, USMCR served as Lunar Module pilot. The mission lasted 10 days and 20 hours. Recovery was by HS-5 helicopters from USS Essex (CVS-9).

October 12

1914 - USS Jupiter (AC-3) is first Navy ship to complete transit of Panama Canal.
1944 - Aircraft from Carrier Task Force 38 attack Formosa.
1957 - RADM Dufek arrives at McMurdo Sound, Antarctica to command Operation Deep Freeze III during the International Geophysical Year of 1957-58.
1961 - Five men cholera treatment demonstration team from Naval Medican Research Unit, Taipei leaves to assist setting up of facilities to treat an epidemic in Manila.
1965 - End of Project Sealab II where teams of naval divers and scientists spent 15 days in Sealab moored 205 feet below surface near La Jolla, California.
1965 - First group of men commissioned into Navy Nurse Corps report for one month indoctrination to Naval Service; LTJG Jerry McClelland, ENS Charles Franklin, ENS Israel Miller, ENS Richard Gierman and ENS George Silver.
1980 - USS Guadalcanal and other ships of Amphibious Forces, Sixth Fleet begin assistance to earthquake victims in Al Asnam, Algeria.
2000 -
Terrorists in a boat make suicide attack on USS Cole (DDG-67) while the ship refuels in the port of Aden, Yemen. Seventeen Sailors are killed.

October 13

1775 - Birthday of U.S. Navy. The Continental Congress establishes Continental Navy, later the U.S. Navy.
1954 - USS Saipan begins relief and humanitarian aid to Haitians who were victims of Hurricane Hazel. The operation ended 19 October.

October 14

1918 - Naval Aviators of Marine Day Squadron 9 make first raid-in-force for the Northern Bombing Group in World War I when they bombed German railroad at Thielt Rivy, Belgium.

October 15

1917 - USS Cassin (DD-43) torpedoed by German submarine U-61 off coast of Ireland. In trying to save the ship, Gunner's Mate Osmond Kelly Ingram becomes first American sailor killed in World War I and later is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism. He becomes the first enlisted man to have a ship named for him, in 1919.
1948 - First women officers on active duty sworn in as commissioned officers in regular Navy under Women's Service Integration Act of June 1948 by Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan: CAPT Joy B. Hancock, USN; LCDR Winifred R. Quick, USN; LCDR Anne King, USN; LCDR Frances L. Willoughby, MC, USN; LT Ellen Ford, SC, USN; LT Doris Cranmore, MSC, USN; LTJG Doris A. Defenderfer, USN; and LTJG Betty Rae Tennant, USN.
1957 - USS Lake Champlain reaches Valencia, Spain to assist in flood rescue work.
1960 - USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) begins successful firing of four Polaris test vehicles under operational rather than test conditions. Tests are completed on 18 October.
1965 - U.S. Naval Support Activity Danang Vietnam, established.

October 16

1885 - CAPT Alfred Thayer Mahan, USN, becomes Superintendent of the Naval War College
1891 - Baltimore Incident, Valparaiso, Chile.
1940 - 5th group of 10 destroyers from the Destroyers for Bases Deal turned over to British at Halifax, Canada.
1942 - Carrier aircraft from USS Hornet (CV-8) conduct attacks on Japanese troops on Guadalcanal.
1943 - Navy accepts its first helicopter, a Sikorsky YR-4B (HNS-1) at Bridgeport, Connecticut.

October 17

1922 - LCDR Virgil C. Griffin in Vought VE-7SF makes first takeoff from U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1) anchored in York River, Virginia.
1941 - U-568 torpedoes and damages USS Kearny (DD-432) near Iceland, resulting in 11 killed and 22 injured.
1944 - Naval Forces land Army rangers on islands at the entrance to Leyte Gulf in preparation for landings.
1989 - Following San Francisco earthquake, 24 Navy and Military Sealift Command ships rendered assistance.

October 18

1812 - U.S. sloop of war Wasp captures HM brig Frolic.
1859 - U.S. Marines reach Harper's Ferry, VA and assault the arsenal seized by John Brown and his followers.
1867 - USS Ossippee and USS Resaca participate in formal transfer of Alaska to U.S. authority at Sitka and remain to enforce law and order in new territory.
1944 - 3rd Fleet Carrier aircraft attack Japanese ships in harbor and land forces around Manila.
1968 - In Operation Sea Lords, the Navy's three major operating forces in Vietnam (TF 115, 116, and 117) are brought together for the first time to stop Vietcong infiltration deep into South Vietnam's Mekong Delta.

October 19

1843 - CAPT Robert Stockton in Princeton, the first screw propelled naval steamer, challenges British merchant ship Great Western to a race off New York, which Princeton won easily
1915 - Establishment of Submarine Base at New London, Connecticut.
1944 - Secretary of Navy orders African American women accepted into Naval Reserve.
1987 - Destruction of an Iranian oil-drilling platform used for military purposes.

October 20

1824 - U.S. Schooner Porpoise captures four pirate ships off Cuba.
1944 - Seventh Fleet lands over 60,000 Army troops on Leyte, Philippines while Japanese aircraft attack.
1952 - Task Force 77 establishes ECM Hunter/Killer Teams of 2 ECM equipped aircraft and an armed escort of 4 Skyraiders and 4 Corsairs.
1967 - Operation Coronado VII began in Mekong Delta, Vietnam.
1983 - Due to political strife, USS Independence (CV-59 ) ordered to Grenada.

October 21

1797 - Launching of USS Constitution at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts. The ship is now the oldest commissioned ship in the U.S. Navy.
1942 - British submarine lands CAPT Jerauld Wright, USN and four Army officers at Cherchel, French North Africa, to meet with a French military delegation to learn the French attitude toward future Allied landings.
1944 - Leyte Landings continue.

October 22

1846 - Miss Lavinia Fanning Watson of Philadelphia christens the sloop-of-war Germantown, the first U.S. Navy ship sponsored by a woman.
1951 - First of seven detonations, Operation Buster-Jangle nuclear test.
1962 - President John F. Kennedy orders surface blockade (quarantine) of Cuba to prevent Soviet offensive weapons from reaching Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

October 23

1944 - Battle of Leyte Gulf, a series of separate battles, begins with attacks on Japanese ships.
1983 -
A suicide truck bomber attacks the Marine barracks at Beirut airport, Lebanon killing 241 (220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and 3 soldiers)
1983 - Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada, West Indies) begins.

October 24

1944 - In air-sea battle in the Sibuyan Sea, carrier aircraft attack Japanese Center Force.
1958 - USS Kleinsmith (APD-134) evacuates U.S. nationals from Nicaro, Cuba.
1962 - Atlantic Fleet begins quarantine operations to force Soviet Union to agree to remove ballistic missiles and long range bombers from Cuba.

October 25

1812 - USS United States (CAPT Stephen Decatur) captures HMS Macedonian.
1924 - Airship, USS Shenandoah (ZR-1), completes round trip transcontinental cruise that began on 7 October.
1944 - During Battle of Leyte Gulf in Battle of Surigao Straits, U.S. battleships execute the maneuver of "crossing the tee" of the Japanese forces. In Battle Off Samar, escort carriers, destroyers and destroyer escorts heroically resist attacks of Japanese Center Force. In Battle Off Cape Engano, 3rd Fleet carriers attack Japanese Northern Force sinking several small carriers.
1950 - Chinese Communist Forces launch first offensive in Korea.
1966 - Operation Sea Dragon logistics interdiction began.
1983 - U.S. Marines and U.S. Army troops land on Grenada to evacuate U.S. citizens threatened by the island's unstable political situation.

October 26

1921 - In first successful test, a compressed air, turntable catapult, launches an N-9 seaplane.
1922 - LCDR Godfrey deC. Chevalier makes first landing aboard a carrier (USS Langley) while underway off Cape Henry, Virginia.
1942 - Battle of the Santa Cruz Island. USS Hornet (CV-8) was lost and USS Enterprise (CV-6) was badly damaged during the battle.
1944 - Battle of Leyte Gulf ends with Navy carrier and USAAF aircraft attacks on the retreating Japanese ships. U.S. forces sink many Japanese ships including 4 carriers, 3 battleships, 10 cruisers, and 9 destroyers, for a total of 26 capital ships. Afterwards Japanese fleet ceases to exist as an organized fighting fleet.
1944 - Special Task Air Group One makes last attack in month long demonstration of TDR drone missile against Japanese shipping and islands in the Pacific. Of 46 missiles fired, 29 reached their target areas.
1950 - U.S. Amphibious Force Seventh Fleet lands 1st Marine Division at Wonsan, Korea
1963 - USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619) launches first Polaris A-3 missile from a submerged submarine, off Cape Canaveral, Florida.

October 27

1864 - LT William Cushing, USN, sinks Confederate ram Albemarle with a spar torpedo attached to the bow of his launch.
1922 - Navy League of U.S. sponsors first annual celebration of Navy Day to focus public attention on the importance of the U.S. Navy. That date was selected because it was Theodore Roosevelt's birthday.
1943 - First women Marines report for duty on West Coast, Camp Pendleton.
1944 - Fast Carrier Task Forces attack Japanese shipping and installations in Visayas and northern Luzon.
1967 - Operation Coronado VIII begins in Rung Sat Zone.

October 28

1864 - Steamer General Thomas and gunboat Stone River destroy Confederate batteries on Tennessee River near Decatur, Alabama.
1882 - Orders issued for first Naval Attache (LCDR French Chadwick sent to London, England).

October 29

1814 - Launching of Fulton I , first American steam powered warship, at New York City. The ship was designed by Robert Fulton.
1980 - USS Parsons (DDG-33) rescues 110 Vietnamese refugees 330 miles south of Saigon.

October 30

1775 - Congress authorizes four vessels for the defense of the United Colonies.
1799 - William Balch becomes Navy's first commissioned Chaplain.

October 31

1941 - German submarine U-552 sinks USS Reuben James (DD- 245), which was escorting Convoy HX 156, with loss of 115 lives. First U.S. ship lost to enemy action in World War II.
1943 - LT Hugh D. O'Neill of VF(N)-75 destroys a Japanese aircraft during night attack off Vella Lavella in first kill by a radar-equipped night fighter of the Pacific Fleet.
1956 - Navy men land in R4D Skytrain on the ice at the South Pole. RADM George Dufek, CAPT Douglas Cordiner, CAPT William Hawkes, LCDR Conrad Shinn, LT John Swadener, AD2 J. P. Strider and AD2 William Cumbie are the first men to stand on the South Pole since Captain Robert F. Scott in 1912.
1956 - USS Burdo (APD-133) and USS Harlan R. Dickson (DD-708) evacuate 166 persons from Haifa, Israel due to the fighting between Egypt and Israel.
1961 - End of Lighter than Air in U.S. Navy with disestablishment of Fleet Airship Wing One and ZP-1 and ZP-3, the last operating units in LTA branch of Naval Aviation, at Lakehurst, New Jersey.


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28 January 2004