Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
April 20
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1953 - USS New Jersey (BB 62) shells Wonsan, Korea, from inside the harbor during the Korean War.
On This Day

1861

Union forces burn screw frigate Merrimack and Gosport Shipyard, Portsmouth, Va., to prevent Yard facilities and ships from falling into Confederate hands during the Civil War.

1914

The first call-to-action of naval aviators is given, creating an aviation detachment of three pilots, 12 enlisted men, and three aircraft to join the Atlantic Fleet forces operating off Tampico during the Mexican crisis.

1942

USS Wasp (CV 7) launches 47 British aircraft to reinforce Malta, repeating the exercise May 9.

1944

USS Seahorse (SS 304) torpedoes and sinks Japanese submarine RO 45 off the Mariana Islands.

1947

Navy Capt. L.O. Fox, backed by 80 Marines, accepts surrender of Japanese Lt. Ei 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 (BB 62) shells Wonsan, Korea, from inside the harbor during the Korean War.

1964

USS Henry Clay (SSBN 625) launches a Polaris A-2 missile in the first demonstration to show that Polaris submarines could launch missiles from the surface as well as from beneath the ocean.

2007

USS Saipan (LHA 2) is decommissioned at Norfolk, Va., after serving the Navy for 30 years, including operations Urgent Fury, Sharp Edge, Desert Storm, Deny Flight, and Iraqi Freedom.