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1 December

1842 – Three crew members of USS Somers, Midshipman Philip Spencer, Boatswain Samuel Cromwell and Seaman Elisha Smallare, executed for mutiny.

1921 – In the first flight of an airship filled with helium, Blimp C-7, piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Ralph F. Wood, left Norfolk, Va., for Washington, D.C.

1959 – The Bureau of Ordnance merges with the Bureau of Aeronautics to form the Bureau of Naval Weapons.

2 December

1775 – Congress orders the first officers’ commissions printed.

1908 – Rear Adm. William S. Cowles submits a report to Secretary of the Navy recommending the purchase of aircraft suitable for operating from Naval ships on scouting and observation missions.

1941 – The first Naval armed guard detachment (seven men under a coxswain) of World War II reports to liberty ship SS Dunboyne.

1944 – Two-day destroyer Battle of Ormoc Bay begins.

1965 – USS Enterprise (CVAN 65) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25) become the first nuclear-powered task unit used in combat operations with the launch of air strikes near Bien Hoa, Vietnam.

3 December

1775 – Lt. John Paul Jones raises the Grand Union flag on the Continental Navy ship Alfred. It is the first American flag raised over an American Naval vessel.

1940 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt embarks on USS Tuscaloosa (CA 37) to inspect bases acquired from Great Britain under the Destroyer-for-Bases agreement.

1983 – Two F-14s flying over Lebanon were fired upon by Syrian antiaircraft artillery.

4 December

1918 – President Woodrow Wilson sails in USS George Washington for Paris Peace Conference.

1943 – Aircraft from USS Lexington (CV 16) and USS Independence (CVL 22) attack Kwajalein Atoll, sinking four Japanese ships and damaging five others while only three U.S. ships suffered damage.

1944 – USS Flasher (SS 249) sinks Japanese destroyer Kishinami and damages a merchant ship in the South China Sea. Flasher is only U.S. submarine to sink over 100,000 tons of enemy shipping in World War II.

1965 – Gemini 7, piloted by Cmdr. James A. Lovell, is launched. This flight consisted of 206 orbits at an altitude of 327 km, lasting 13 days and 18 hours. HS-11 helicopters from USS Wasp (CVS 18) lead the recovery efforts.

1983 – Aircraft from USS John F. Kennedy (CV 67) and USS Independence (CV 62) strike against the anti-aircraft positions in Lebanon that fired on U.S. aircraft Dec. 3. Two U.S. Navy planes are shot down in the strike.

5 December

1843 – USS Michigan is launched at Erie, Penn. Michigan is America’s first iron-hulled warship, as well as the first prefabricated ship.

1941 – USS Lexington (CV 2) sails with Task Force 12 to transport Marine aircraft to Midway, leaving no carriers at Pearl Harbor only days before the attack on Pearl Harbor.

6 December

1830 – The Naval Observatory, the first U.S. national observatory, was established in Washington, D.C., under the command of Lt. Louis Malesherbes.

1901 – The first report on the Ship Model Basin at the Washington Navy Yard was issued by Naval constructor David W. Taylor, who designed the basin. It’s the first facility of this type in U.S. to test hull shapes.

1917 – German submarine torpedoes sink USS Jacob Jones (DD 61) off England.

1968 – Operation Giant Slingshot began in Mekong Delta.

7 December

1917 – Four U.S. battleships arrive at Scapa Flow to take on the role of the British Grand Fleet’s 6th Battle Squadron. The ships include USS Delaware (BB 28), USS Florida (BB 30), New York (BB 34) and USS Wyoming (BB 32).

1941 – Japanese aircraft attack the U.S. Pacific Fleet based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

1944 – Seventh Fleet forces land Army troops on shore of Ormoc Bay. Kamikazes attack task force, damaging several U.S. Navy ships.

8 December

1933 – The Secretary of the Navy establishes the Fleet Marine Force, integrating a ready-to-deploy Marine force with their own aircraft into fleet organization.

1941 – The United States declares war on Japan.

1941 – USS Wake (PR 3), a river gunboat moored at Shanghai, is only U.S. vessel to surrender during World War II.

1942 – Eight PT boats (PT 36, PT 37, PT 40, PT 43, PT 44, PT 48, PT 59 and PT 109) turn back eight Japanese destroyers attempting to reinforce Japanese forces on Guadalcanal.

9 December

1938 – Prototype shipboard radar, designed and built by the Naval Research Laboratory, is installed on USS New York (BB 34).

1941 – USS Swordfish (SS 193) makes the initial U.S. submarine attack on Japanese ship.

1952 – A strike from Task Force 77 aircraft destroys a munitions factory and several rail facilities near Rashin, North Korea.

10 December

1941 – Guam surrenders to Japanese forces.

1941 – Aircraft from USS Enterprise (CV 6) attack and sink Japanese Submarine I-70 north of the Hawaiian Islands. A participant in the Pearl Harbor Attack, I-70 is the first Japanese combatant ship sunk during World War II.

1941 – A patrol bomber from Patrol Squadron 101 shoots down a Japanese zero fighter in first Navy air-to-air kill during World War II.

1950 – Evacuation operations at Wonson, North Korea, are completed.

1979 – The first Poseidon-class submarine configured with Trident missiles, USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN 657), completes its initial deterrent patrol.

1982 – USS Ohio (SSBN 726), the first Trident-Class submarine, returns from first deterrent patrol.

11 December

1941 – A contract establishes the Naval Salvage Service.

1941 – The Wake Island Garrison, under the command of Cmdr. Winfield Cunningham, turns away a Japanese invasion force.

1954 – The first supercarrier, USS Forrestal (CVA-59), launched at Newport News, Va., weighing more than 59,630 tons.

12 December

1862 – A Confederate torpedo (mine) sinks USS Cairo in the Yazoo River.

1937 – Japanese aircraft sink USS Panay (PR 5) in the Yangtze River near Nanking, China.

1941 – The Naval Air Transport Service is established.

1951 – The first flight of helicopter with a gas-turbine engine at Windsor Locks, Conn., demonstrates the adaptability of this engine to helicopters.

1972 – Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, walks on the Moon. Cmdr. Ronald E. Evans was the command module pilot. The mission lasted 12 days, 13 hours and 52 minutes. HC-1 helicopters from USS Ticonderoga (CV 14) led the recovery.

13 December

1775 – The Continental Congress authorizes the building of 13 frigates.

1941 – Cmdr. William A. Sullivan designated the first supervisor of salvage, giving the supervisor an office in New York City.

14 December

1814 – A British squadron captures U.S. gunboats in Battle of Lake Borgne, La.

1944 – The rank of fleet admiral (five star admiral) is established.

1945 – Capt. Sue S. Dauser receives the first Distinguished Service Medal awarded to a nurse.

1965 – The Navy announces completion of 1,272-ft. radio tower at North West Cape, Australia. It is the highest manmade structure in the Southern Hemisphere at the time.

15 December

1943 – The Chief of Naval Operations issued the Bureau of Naval Personnel Circular Letter on non-discrimination in the Navy V-12 program.

1944 – Congress appoints the first three of four fleet admirals.

1965 – Gemini 6 is launched with Capt. Walter M. Schirra Jr. as Command Pilot. The mission included 16 orbits in 25 hours and 51 minutes. Recovery was by HS-11 helicopters from USS Wasp (CVS 18).

1988 – Earnest Will convoy operations to escort reflagged tankers in the Persian Gulf is ceased.

16 December

1821 – Lt. Robert F. Stockton and Dr. Eli Ayers, a Naval surgeon and member of the American Colonizing Society, induce a local African king to sell territory for a colony, which eventually became the Republic of Liberia.

1907 – The Great White Fleet departs Hampton Roads, Va., to circumnavigate the world.

1922 – USS Bainbridge (DD 246) rescues 482 people from the burning French transport Vinh-Long.

1941 – USS Swordfish (SS 193) sinks Japanese cargo ship Atsutasan Maru.

1942 – Pharmacist’s Mate 1st Class Harry B. Roby performs an appendectomy on Torpedoman 1st Class W.R. Jones aboard USS Grayback (SS 208). It is the second appendectomy ever performed aboard a submarine.

1998 – In Operation Desert Fox, Navy cruise missiles attack Iraq.

17 December

1846 – Ships under Commodore Matthew Perry capture Laguna de Terminos during the Mexican War.

1941 – Adm. Chester W. Nimitz is named commander in chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet, relieving Adm. Husband Kimmel. Adm. William Pye becomes acting commander until Nimitz’s arrival.

18 December

1902 – Admiral of the Navy George Dewey receives orders to send his battleship to Trinidad and then to Venezuela to make sure Great Britain and Germany’s dispute with Venezuela was settled by peaceful arbitration not force.

1944 – Adm. William Halsey’s 3rd Fleet encounters a typhoon northeast of Samar. Destroyers USS Hull (DD 350), USS Monaghan (DD 354) and USS Spence (DD 512) sink, while 21 other ships are damaged.

1965 – The River Patrol Force is established in Vietnam.

1965 – Helicopters from Helicopter Squadron 11 on USS Wasp (CVS 18) pick up crew and capsule of Gemini 7 after picking up the crew and capsule of Gemini 6 two days earlier.

1967 – Operation Preakness II begins in Mekong Delta.

1972 – Mining and bombing of North Vietnam resumes with Linebacker II Operation.

19 December

1870 – After a month at sea in a 22-foot boat, Coxswain William Halford, the lone survivor out of a crew of five, reaches Hawaii to seek help for the crew of USS Saginaw, wrecked near Midway Island. Rescuers reach the 88 Saginaw survivors on Jan. 4, 1871.

20 December

1822 – Congress authorizes the 14-ship West Indies Squadron to suppress piracy in the Caribbean.

1941 – Adm. Ernest J. King is designated commander-in-chief in charge of all operating Naval fleets and coastal frontier forces, reporting directly to the president.

1964 – USS Richard E. Kraus (DD 849) completes a successful emergency mission, aiding the disabled American merchant ship SS Oceanic Spray in the Red Sea.

1974 – Clearance of the Suez Canal for mines and unexploded ordnance completed by joint task force.

1989 – Operation Just Cause begins in Panama.

1998 – Operation Desert Fox in Iraq ends.

21 December

1861 – Congress declares Naval personnel eligible for the Medal of Honor, the Nation’s highest award.

1943 – USS Grayling (SS 208) sinks its fourth Japanese ship in three days.

1951 – The first helicopter landing aboard a hospital ship takes place aboard USS Consolation (AH 15).

1968 – Apollo 8 is launched with Capt. James A. Lovell Jr. as Command Module Pilot. During the mission, Lovell becomes one of the first three people to see the far side of the moon. The mission lasted 6 days and 3 hours, including 10 moon orbits. Helicopters from USS Yorktown (CVS 10) take care of the recovery.

22 December

1775 – Congress commissions the first Naval officers: Esek Hopkins, commander in chief of the fleet, Capts. Dudley Saltonstall, Abraham Whipple, Nicolas Biddle and John Hopkins. Lieutenants appointed included John Paul Jones.

1841 – USS Mississippi, the first U.S. ocean-going side-wheel steam warship, is commissioned in Philadelphia.

1942 – Pharmacist’s Mate 1st Class Thomas A. Moore performs an appendectomy on Fireman 2nd Class George M. Platter aboard USS Silversides (SS 236).

1942 – Sue Dauser takes the oath of office as Superintendant of the Navy Nurse Corps, becoming the first woman with the relative rank of captain in U.S. Navy. She was promoted to the rank of captain on Feb. 26, 1944.

1944 – The first two African-American Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service officers, Harriet Ida Pickens and Frances F. Wills, are commissioned.

1960 – USS Valley Forge (CV 45) helicopters rescue 27 men from oiler SS Pine Ridge. Pine Ridge was breaking up in heavy seas off of Cape Hatteras.

23 December

1826 – Capt. Thomas Catesby Jones of USS Peacock and King Kamehameha negotiate first treaty between Hawaii and a foreign power.

1910 – Lt. Theodore G. Ellyson becomes the first Naval officer sent to flight training.

1941 – The gallant defenders of Wake Island (Sailors, Marines, volunteer civilian contractors, and Army/Air Force radio detachment) surrender.

24 December

1814 – The Treaty of Ghent ends the War of 1812.

1864 – Naval forces, under the command of Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter, begin an unsuccessful two-day attack against Fort Fisher, N.C.

1950 – Under the cover of Naval gunfire support, Task Force 90 completes a 14-day evacuation of 100,000 troops and equipment from Hungnam, North Korea. More than 91,000 refugees are also rescued.

25 December

1941 – Adm. Chester W. Nimitz arrives at Pearl Harbor to assume command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet.

26 December

1862 – Four nuns who were volunteer nurses aboard Red Rover were the first official female nurses on a U.S. Navy hospital ship.

1943 – Seventh Amphibious Force lands 1st Marine Division on Cape Gloucester, New Britain.

27 December

1814 – Destruction of schooner Carolina, the last of Commodore Daniel Patterson’s make-shift fleet that fought a series of delaying actions that contributed to Andrew Jackson’s victory at the Battle of New Orleans. After loss of craft, the naval guns were mounted on shore to continue the fight.

28 December

1867 – U.S. claims Midway Island, first territory annexed outside Continental limits.

1905 – Drydock Dewey left Solomon’s Island, MD, enroute through the Suez Canal to the Philippines to serve as repair base. This, the longest towing job ever accomplished, was completed by Brutus, Caesar, and Glacier on 10 July 1906.

1941 – Chief of Bureau of Yards and Docks requests that construction battalions be recruited.

1982 – Recommissioning of USS New Jersey (BB-62), the first of four Iowa-class battleships that were returned to service in 1980s.

1990 – LCDR Darlene M. Iskra becomes commander of USS Opportune, a salvage vessel.

1998 – USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) and USS America (CV-66) Carrier Battle Groups deploy from Norfolk, VA, for Middle East to join Operation Desert Shield.

29 December

1798 – First annual report by Secretary of the Navy, sent by Benjamin Stoddert.

1812 – USS Constitution (Captain William Bainbridge) captures HMS Java off Brazil after a three hour battle.

1943 – USS Silversides (SS-236) sinks three Japanese ships and damages a fourth off Palau.

30 December

1941 – Admiral Ernest J. King assumes duty as Commander in Chief, United States Fleet.

1959 – Commissioning of first fleet ballistic missile submarine, USS George Washington (SSB(N)-598), at Groton, CT.

31 December

1862 – USS Monitor founders in a storm off Cape Hatteras, N.C.

1941 – Adm. Chester W. Nimitz assumes command of U.S. Pacific Fleet.

1942 – Commissioning of USS Essex (CV 9), first of new class of aircraft carriers, at Norfolk, Va.

1948 – Last annual report by a Secretary of the Navy to Congress and the President filed by SECNAV John L. Sullivan. Thereafter, the Secretary of Defense would report annually to Congress.