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Commander
april 

April

The Month of April in American Naval History
April 1

1893 - Navy General Order 409 of 25 February 1893 establishes the rate of Chief Petty Officer as of this date.
1917 - Boatswain's Mate 1/c John I. Eopolucci, a Naval Armed Guard on board the steamship Aztec, died when the vessel was sunk by a German U-boat. He was the first U.S. Navy sailor killed in action in World War I.
1942 - First Naval Air Transportation Service (NATS) squadron for Pacific operations commissioned
1945 - Over 1200 Navy ships and Army troops begin invasion of Okinawa
1966 - The command, US Naval Forces Vietnam established
1967 - Helicopter squadron HAL 3 activated at Vung Tau

April 2

1781 - Frigate Alliance captures 2 British privateers, Mars and Minerva
1827 - First Naval Hospital construction begun at Portsmouth, VA
1898 - Adoption of U.S. Naval Academy coat of arms
1947 - UN places former Japanese mandated islands under U.S. trusteeship
1951 - First Navy use of jet aircraft as a bomber, launched from a carrier, USS Princeton.
1960 - USS Glacier begins 12 days of relief operations, providing helicopter and boat transportation and emergency supplies to residents of Paramaribo, Suriname after floods.

April 3

1797 - CAPT Thomas Truxtun issued first known American signal book using numerary system
1942 - ADM Nimitz named Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Ocean Areas, a joint command, and retained his other title, Commander-in-Chief, Pacific Fleet
1992 - First five coed recruit companies from Orlando, FL Naval Training Center granduate.

April 4

1776 - Continental Navy frigate Columbus captures HM Tender Hawke, first American capture of British armed vessel
1854 - Sailors and Marines from sailing sloop, Plymouth, protect U.S. citizens at Shanghai
1898 - Appointment of first Civil Engineering Corps officer, Mordecai Endicott, as Chief, Bureau of Yards and Docks
1949 - Establishment of NATO

April 5

1946 - USS Missouri arrives in Turkey to return the body of Turkish ambassador to the U.S. and to show U.S. support and willingness to defend Turkey.

April 6

1776 - Sloop-of-war Ranger, frigate Queen of France and frigate Warren capture British Hibernia and 7 other vessels
1862 - Naval Gunfire from Tyler and Lexington help save Union Troops at Battle of Shiloh
1909 - Commander Robert E. Peary reports reaching the North Pole
1917 - U.S. declares war on Germany
1945 - First heavy kamikaze attack on ships at Okinawa.
1961 - USS Lake Champlain brings oxygen to aid stricken passenger of British liner Queen of Bermuda.
1968 - USS New Jersey recommissioned for shore bombardment duty in Vietnam
1989 - President orders DOD to assist in Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup
1993 - Branch Navy Hospital Adak responds to crash of civilian Chinese airline providing lifesaving treatment and medical evacuation of 89 injured passengers. Only one passenger out of 265 passengers died.

April 7

1776 - Continental brig Lexington captures British Edward
1917 - Navy takes control of all wireless radio stations in the U.S.
1942 - Navy accepts African Americans for general service
1945 - First two Navy flight nurses land on an active battlefield (Iwo Jima): ENS Jane Kendeigh, USNR, and LTJG Ann Purvis, USN
1945 - Carrier aircraft defeat last Japanese Navy sortie (Battle of East China Sea); Yamato, world's largest battleship, and five other ships sunk
1979 - Launching of first Trident submarine, USS Ohio (SSBN-726) at Groton, CT

April 8

1925 - First planned night landings on a carrier, USS Langley, by VF-1
1950 - Unarmed Navy patrol aircraft shot down over Baltic Sea by USSR
1951 - 1st of 4 detonations, Operation Greenhouse nuclear test

April 9

1861 - Second relief convoy for Fort Sumter left New York
1941 - Commissioning of USS North Carolina, which carried 9 16-inch guns
1943 - Re-establishment of Commodore rank
1959 - Selection of first 7 Mercury astronauts, include 4 naval aviators

April 10

1941 - USS Niblack, while rescuing survivors of torpedoed ship, depth charged German submarine; first action of WW II between U.S. and German navies
1963 - During diving tests, USS Thresher lost with all hands (112 crew and 12 civilians) east of Cape Cod, MA
1966 - River Patrol Boats of River Patrol Force commenced operations on inland waters of South Vietnam

April 11

1783 - Congress declares end of war with Great Britain
1900 - Navy accepted its first submarine, USS Holland
1970 - Launch of Apollo 13, commanded by CAPT James A. Lovell, Jr., USN. Former naval aviator Fred W. Haise, Jr. was the Lunar Module Pilot. While 200,000 miles from Earth there was an explosion on board which forced Apollo 13 to circle the moon without landing. Mission duration was 5 days, 22 hours, and 54 minutes. Recovery was by HS-4 helicopters from USS Iwo Jima (LPH-2).
1991 - U.N. ceasefire ends Persian Gulf War

April 12

1861 - Civil War begins when Confederates fire on Fort Sumter, SC
1911 - LT Theodore Ellyson qualifies as first naval aviator
1962 - U.S. Navy demonstrates new landing craft with retractable hydrofoils, LCVP (H)
1975 - Operation Eagle Pull evacuation from Cambodia
1981 - First launching of re-useable Space Shuttle Columbia (STS-1) with all Navy crew. CAPT John W. Young, USN (Ret.) commanded, while LCDR Robert L. Crippen, USN was the pilot. Mission duration was 2 days, 6 hours, and 20 minutes. Sixteen of the shuttle's heat-shielding silicon tiles were lost and 148 damaged during reentry.
1993 - Aircraft from USS Theodore Roosevelt and NATO forces begin enforcing the no-fly zone over the Bosnia in Operation Deny Flight

April 13

1847 - Naval Forces begin 5 day battle to capture several towns in Mexico
1861 - Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces
1960 - Navy's navigation satellite, Transit, placed into orbit from Cape Canaveral, FL and demonstrates ability to launch another satellite

April 14

1898 - Commissioning of first Post Civil War hospital ship, USS Solace
1969 - North Korean aircraft shoots down Navy EC-121 reconnaissance aircraft from VQ-1 over the Sea of Japan
1988 - USS Samuel B. Roberts struck Iranian mine off Qatar
1989 - First Navy ship arrives on scene to assist in Exxon Valdez oil spill cleanup

April 15

1885 - Naval forces land at Panama to protect American interests during revolution
1912 - USS Chester and USS Salem sailed from MA to assist RMS Titanic survivors
1918 - First Marine Aviation Force formed at Marine Flying Field, Miami, FL
1961 - Launching of first nuclear-powered frigate, USS Bainbridge, at Quincy, MA
1962 - USS Princeton brought first Marine helicopters to Vietnam. This was first Marine advisory unit to arrive in South Vietnam.
1986 - Operation Eldorado Canyon, Navy aircraft from USS America (CV-66) and USS Coral Sea (CV-43) attack Libya in conjunction with USAF aircraft after Libya linked to terrorist bombing of West Berlin discotheque which killed 1 American and injured 78 people.

April 16

1863 - Union gunboats pass Confederate batteries at Vicksburg
1924 - Navy commences relief operations in Mississippi Valley floods, lasting until 16 June
1947 - Act of Congress gives Navy Nurse Corps members commissioned rank
1959 - Helicopters from USS Edisto begin rescue operations in Montevideo, Uruguay. By 26 April they had carried 277 flood victims to safety.

April 17

1778 - Sloop-in-war Ranger captures British brig

April 18

1848 - U.S. Navy expedition to explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan, commanded by LT William F. Lynch, reaches the Dead Sea.
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
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

1783 - George Washington proclaims end of hostilities
1861 - President Lincoln orders blockade of Southern ports from SC to Texas
1955 - USS Albany and USS William Wood begin to provide disaster relief to citizens of Volos, Greece, ending 21 April

April 20

1796 - Congress authorizes completion of 3 frigates
1861 - Norfolk Navy Yard abandoned and burned by Union forces.
1914 - In first call to action of naval aviators, detachment on USS Birmingham sailed to Tampico, Mexico.
1915 - First Navy contract for lighter-than-air craft awarded.
1942 - USS Wasp (CV-7) launches 47 British aircraft to reinforce Malta
1947 - CAPT L.O. Fox, USN, supported by 80 Marines, accepted the surrender of LT Yamaguchi and 26 Japanese soldiers and sailors, two and one half years after the occupation of Peleliu and nearly 20 months after the surrender of Japan.
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.
1906 - Commander Robert Peary discovered supposed Arctic Continent did not exist.
1972 - Moonwalk in the Descartes Highlands by CAPT John W. Young, USN Commander of Apollo 16. He was the ninth man to walk on the moon. LCDR Thomas K. Mattingly II, USN was the Command Module Pilot. During the 11 day, 1 hour and 51 minute mission, 213 lbs. of lunar material was collected. Recovery by HC-1 helicopters from USS Ticonderoga (CVS-14)

April 22

1778 - Captain John Paul Jones of Ranger led landing party raid on Whitehaven, England
1898 - U.S. warships begin blockade of Cuba
1987 - U.S. Navy ordered to provide assistance to neutral vessels under Iranian attack outside the exclusion zone and that requested help

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
1956 - Project Vanguard, earth satellite launching program, assigned to DCNO (Air)

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
1884 - USS Thetis, Bear, and Alert sailed from New York to search for Greeley expedition lost in Arctic
1906- Ceremonies at Naval Academy commemorate John Paul Jones; President Theodore Roosevelt delivers speech
1917 - Destroyer squadron departs Boston for European service
1959 - Organization of American States asks U.S. to establish naval patrols off east coast of Panama to prevent invasion of Cuban forces
1974 - Naval forces begin minesweeping operations in the Suez Canal Zone
1981 - RCA delivers to the Navy, NOVA I, the 1st production unit of the improved navigational satellite.

April 25

1862 - Union naval forces occupy New Orleans, LA
1898 - Congress declares war existed with Spain since 21 April
1914 - First combat observation mission by Navy plane, at Veracruz, Mexico.
1917 - Naval Armed Guard crew on board SS Mongolia engage and damage a German U-boat. This was the first engagement of U.S. naval personnel against the enemy in World War I.
1959 - USS Eversole rescues 14 Chinese Nationalist fishermen from their sinking fishing trawler in the Formosa Strait.

April 26

1921 - U.S. Naval Detachment left Yugoslavia after administering area around Spalato for 2 years to guarantee transfer of area from Austria to new country
1952 - USS Hobson sinks after colliding with USS Wasp; 176 lives lost

April 27

1805 - Naval forces capture Derne, Tripoli; raise U.S. flag over foreign soil
1813 - U.S. Navy and Army forces capture York (now Toronto), Canada
1861 - President Lincoln extended blockade of Confederacy to VA and NC ports
1865 - Body of John Wilkes Booth brought to Washington Navy Yard.

April 28

1962 - Naval forces capture Forts Jackson and St. Philip, LA
1965 - Dominican Republic intervention began
1944 - U.S. LSTs attacked during Operation Tiger
1993 - SECDEF memo orders Armed Forces to train and assign women on combat aircraft and most combat ships, but not to ground combat positions.

April 29

1814 - USS Peacock captures HMS Epervier
1898 - U.S. warships engage Spanish gunboats and shore batteries at Cienfuegos, Cuba
1944 - Fast carrier task force (12 carriers) commence 2 day bombing of Truk
1975 - Operation Frequent Wind evacuation from Vietnam begins

April 30

1798 - Congress establishes Department of the Navy
1975 - Saigon falls to North Vietnamese forces