1941 – The U.S. fleet is reorganized, reviving the Atlantic and Pacific Fleets.
1942 – USS Enterprise (CV 6) and USS Yorktown (CV 5) make the first World War II air strike on the Japanese in the Marshall Islands.
1955 – Operation Deep Freeze, a research task force, is established in Antarctica.
2003 – Space shuttle Columbia broke apart during re-entry on mission STS-107. Cmdr. William C. McCool (Pilot), Capt. David M. Brown (Mission Specialist) and Cmdr. Laurel B. Clark (Mission Specialist) were killed in the incident, along with four other astronauts.
1800 – USS Constellation, commanded by Capt. Thomas Truxtun, captures French vessel la Vengeance.
1862 – USS Hartford, commanded by Capt. David G. Farragut, departs Hampton Roads for Mississippi River campaign.
1894 – Sloop Kearsarge, commanded by Cmdr. Oscar F. Heyerman, wrecks without loss of life on Roncador Reef off Central America
1991 – Coalition naval operations continue in the Gulf War with an attack on the Al Kalia naval facility. One Iraqi Exocet-capable patrol craft is hit directly with two laser-guided bombs, while a second U.S. aircraft launches a string of twelve 500-pound bombs across another patrol boat. The bombs also strike several buildings on the pier, generating several secondary explosions.
1801 – The U.S. Senate approves a peace treaty with France, ending an undeclared naval war which began in 1798.
1917 – The United States severs diplomatic relations with Germany.
1991 – Battleship USS Missouri (BB 63) fires eight 2,000-pound shells from her 16-inch guns, destroying prefabricated enemy concrete command and control bunkers Iraq is moving into Kuwait.
1779 – John Paul Jones takes command of the vessel Bonhomme Richard.
1919 – The Navy Cross and the Navy Distinguished Service Medal are created by an act of Congress.
1959 – The keel of USS Enterprise (CVN 65), the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is laid in Newport News, Va.
1991 – The Pentagon releases its budget for Fiscal Year 1992. The budget includes $2.8 billion for the creation of a Seawolf nuclear attack submarine and the decommissioning of the Navy’s last two active battleships, USS Missouri (BB 63) and USS Wisconsin (BB 64).
1854 – The first chapel built on Navy property is dedicated in Annapolis, Md.
1971 – Capt. Alan B. Shepherd Jr., commander of Apollo 14, and Cmdr. Edgar D. Mitchell, lunar module pilot, participate in a moonwalk. During the nine-day mission, 94 pounds of lunar material was collected, and Shepard became the first person to hit a golf ball on the moon. A helicopter from USS New Orleans (LPH 11) takes care of recovery.
1981 – John F. Lehman Jr. assumes office as 65th Secretary of the Navy.
1778 – Treaties of commerce and alliance are signed with France. This turns the American Revolutionary War into an international conflict.
1862 – A Union gunboat squadron captures Fort Henry on the Tennessee River.
1922 – World powers sign the Washington Naval Treaty, providing limitations for naval armament.
1973 – Operation End Sweep, a mine-clearing operation, begins off North Vietnam.
1979 – Six U.S. vessels evacuate 200 American citizens and 240 other persons from the ports of Bandar Abbas and Char Bahar in revolution-wracked Iran.
1991 – Within two hours of relieving her sister battleship during the Gulf War, USS Wisconsin (BB 64) conducts her first naval gunfire support mission since the Korean War, destroying an Iraqi artillery battery in Southern Kuwait.
1800 – Essex becomes the first U.S. Navy vessel to cross the equator.
1815 – The Board of Naval Commissioners, a group of senior officers, is established to oversee the operation and maintenance of the Navy under the direction of the Secretary of the Navy.
1955 – Ships from the 7th Fleet begin the evacuation of Chinese nationalists from the Tachen Islands.
1965 – In response to a Viet Cong attack on a U.S. barracks area in Pleiku, South Vietnam, aircraft from carriers USS Coral Sea (CV 43), USS Hancock (CV 19) and USS Ranger (CV 61) attack a North Vietnamese area near Donghoi.
1991 – Using her remotely piloted vehicle for spotting, USS Wisconsin (BB 64) pounds Iraqi artillery, electronic warfare and naval sites with her 16-inch guns. Fifty rounds sink or severely damage 15 boats, and destroy piers at Khawr al-Mufattah Marina.
1862 – A Union joint amphibious force captures Roanoke Island, N.C., opening the entire North Carolina coast to the Federals.
1890 – USS Omaha Sailors and Marines assist the city of Hodogary, Japan, in subduing a large fire.
1974 – Three Skylab III astronauts are recovered by USS New Orleans (LPH 11) in the Pacific Ocean about 150 miles west of San Diego.
1991 – Battleship USS New Jersey (BB 62) is decommissioned at Long Beach, Calif.
1799 – USS Constellation, commanded by Capt. Thomas Truxtun, captures the French warship l’Insurgente.
1943 – The organized Japanese resistance on Guadalcanal ends.
1947 – Carrier USS Wright (CVL 49) is commissioned.
1978 – A new era in naval communications begins with the launching of the first satellite of the Navy’s Fleet Satellite Communications System.
1984 – Destroyer USS Moosbrugger (DD 980) fires approximately 150 shells at Syrian artillery positions east of Beirut.
1862 – Union gunboats destroy Confederate ships during a victory in the Battle of Elizabeth City.
1900 – The first naval governor of Guam, Commodore Seaton Schroder, is appointed.
1960 – USS Sargo (SSN 583) surfaces at the North Pole.
1780 – A British army, with support from a powerful naval squadron, invades Charleston, S.C., in the American Revolution.
1862 – The Secretary of the Navy directs the formation of an organization to evaluate new inventions and technical development – eventually leading to the creation of the National Academy of Science.
1971 – The United States and the Soviet Union sign a treaty prohibiting the deployment of nuclear weapons on the ocean floor.
1991 – At the height of the Gulf War, the USS America (CV 66) Carrier Battle Group transits the Strait of Hormuz en route to their deployment in the Persian Gulf.
1945 – USS Batfish (SS 310) sinks its second Japanese submarine within three days.
1947 – USS Cusk (SS 348) sets a a milestone, launching the first guided-missile (Loon) from a submarine.
1950 – The U.S. naval forces operating in the Mediterranean Sea since 1946 are officially designated the 6th Fleet.
1976 – Capt. Fran McKee becomes the Navy’s first woman line officer selected for promotion to the rank of rear admiral.
1854 – Adm. Matthew Calbraith Perry anchors off Yokosuka, Japan, to receive the Japanese Emperor’s reply to a treaty proposal.
1913 – Naval Radio Station, Arlington, Va., begins operations.
1945 – Naval units enter Manila Bay for the first time since 1942.
1968 – Operation Coronado XI begins in Mekong Delta, South Vietnam.
1778 – John Paul Jones, while commanding the American vessel Ranger, receives the first official salute to the U.S. Stars and Stripes flag by a European country, at Quiberon, France.
1804 – Lt. Stephen Decatur, with volunteers from frigate Constitution and schooner Enterprise, enters Tripoli Harbor by night in the ketch Intrepid to destroy the captured frigate Philadelphia. Decatur succeeds without American losses.
1813 – USS Essex becomes first U.S. warship to round Cape Horn and enter the Pacific Ocean.
1814 – USS Constitution captures the British ships Lovely Ann and Pictou.
1840 – Officers from USS Vincennes make the first landing in Antarctica on floating ice.
1856 – USS Supply, commanded by Lt. David Dixon Porter, sails from Smyrna, Syria, bound for Indianola, Texas, with a load of 21 camels intended for experimental use in the American desert west of the Rockies.
1898 – The battleship USS Maine “mysteriously” blows up in Havana Harbor in Cuba, killing more than 260 Sailors and Marines while injuring scores more. The tragedy sparks the Spanish-American War.
1815 – USS Constitution captures the British vessel Susannah.
1945 – Carrier aircraft from Vice Adm. Marc A. Mitscher’s Task Force 58 strike Japanese installations around Tokyo.
1967 – Operation River Raider begins in the Mekong Delta, South Vietnam.
1864 – The Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sinks USS Housatonic
1942 – The 1st Construction Battalion (Seabees) arrives at Bora Bora.
1944 – U.S. carrier aircraft strike the Japanese fleet at Truk, sinking ships and destroying aircraft.
1846 – General order on port and starboard is issued. Port replaces the term “larboard.”
1944 – An amphibious force under Rear Adm. Harry W. Hill lands troops on Engebi Island, Eniwetok, in the South Pacific.
1955 – The first of 14 detonations takes place during the Operation Teapot nuclear test.
1814 – USS Constitution captures the British brig Catherine.
1906 – Battleship USS Rhode Island (BB 17) is commissioned.
1945 – U.S. Marines, with Naval gunfire support, land on Iwo Jima. The island is secured March 16.
1991 – USS Beaufort (ATS 2) and minesweeper escort USS Adroit (MSO 509) maneuver through an uncharted mine field to reach USS Princeton (CG 59), which was damaged by a mine in the Persian Gulf two days before. Beaufort and Adroit proceed to tow Princeton to a Gulf port for a detailed inspection.
1815 – USS Constitution, under Capt. Charles Stewart, captures HMS Cyane and sloop-of-war Levant.
1962 – Marine Corps Lt. Col. John Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth. His flight in Friendship 7 (Mercury 6) consisted of three orbits in 88 minutes at a velocity of 17,544 mph, with a high altitude of 162.2 statute miles. Recovery was by USS Noa (DD 841).
1962 – USS Dixie (AD 14) rescues the lone crewman aboard a sailing yawl adrift for four days.
1974 – The S-3A Viking anti-submarine warfare aircraft was introduced officially and given to Sea Control Squadron 41.
1861 – Steven R. Mallory, a former chairman of the U.S. House Naval Affairs Committee, is appointed Secretary of the Navy of the Confederate States.
1943 – American forces land unopposed on the Russell Islands, 30 miles northwest of Guadalcanal, beginning the advance through the central Solomons.
1944 – U.S. Marines, with support of naval bombardment and carrier aircraft, secure Eniwetok Atoll.
1991 – Marine AV-8Bs conduct bombing runs off the flight deck of USS Nassau (LHA 4). This is the first time in history that Marine AV-8B jump jets have conducted combat missions from a helicopter assault ship.
1865 – A Union squadron under the command of Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter bombards and captures Wilmington, N.C.
1870 – After arriving on USS Nipsic, the Darien Expedition, commanded by Cmdr. Thomas O. Selfridge Jr., begins active operations ashore at Caldonia Bay. The exhibition then surveys the Isthmus of Darien, Panama, for an interoceanic ship canal.
1909 – The “Great White Fleet” returns to Hampton Roads, Va., from its historic around-the-world cruise.
1943 – USS Iowa (BB 61), the lead ship of the last class of American fast battleships, is commissioned.
1974 – Lt. j.g. Barbara Ann Allen becomes the first Navy officer designated as a female aviator.
1795 – The U.S. Navy Office of Purveyor of Supplies is established. This is officially recognized as the Navy Supply Corps Birthday.
1919 – USS Osmond Ingram (DD 255), the first Navy ship named for an enlisted man, is commissioned.
1944 – Carrier groups under Adm. Raymond Spruance attack Saipan, Tinian and Rota in the Marianas.
1945 – U.S. Marines and a Navy corpsman raise the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. The scene has been forever remembered on the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington, D.C.
1813 – USS Hornet, under command of Capt. James Lawrence, captures HMS Peacock.
1942 – Japanese occupation forces are attacked by planes from carrier USS Enterprise (CV 6) task force under Vice Adm. W.F. Halsey.
1973 – In accordance with the Paris Accords, Navy Task Force 78, composed of four ocean minesweepers plus Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 12, begins sweeping the North Vietnamese waters of the mines laid in 1972.
1991 – Forces from the United States, United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Egypt, Syria and Kuwait proceed with major ground, air and naval offensive to drive Iraq out of Kuwait.
1861 – Saratoga, a member of the U.S. African Squadron, captures the slaver sloop Express.
1933 – USS Ranger (CV 4), the first true aircraft carrier, is commissioned.
1959 – USS Galveston (CLG 3) fires the first Talos surface-to-air missile.
1811 – Congress authorizes the first naval hospital.
1944 – Sue Sophia Dauser, superintendent of the Navy’s Nurse Corps, is the first woman in the Navy promoted to the rank of captain.
1991 – Navy A-6Es of USS Ranger’s (CVA 61) Attack Squadron 155 and Marine aircraft bomb Iraqi troops fleeing Kuwait City to Basra in convoys after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein announces a withdrawal from Kuwait.
1861 – Congress approves the construction of seven steam sloops.
1928 – A packtrain escorted by 35 Marines is ambushed by 600 Sandinastas near Bromaderos, Nicaragua. The Marines fight off the repeated attacks and are relieved the next day.
1942 – During the Battle of the Java Sea, an allied naval force attacks a Japanese invasion convoy.
1844 – The Peacemaker, an experimental 14-inch gun, explodes aboard USS Princeton.
1893 – USS Indiana (BB 1), the first true battleship in the U.S. Navy, is launched.
1959 – USS Strong (DD 758) rescues 13 Arab fishermen from Bahrain when their fishing boats flounder in a storm.
1980 – The blue crew of USS Francis Scott Key (SSBN 657) launches four Trident I (C-4) missiles in the first C-4 operational test.