Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
August 13
Javascript required!
Please enable javascript
in your browser to use
this feature.

1870 - The armed tug, USS Palos, becomes the first Navy ship to transit the Suez Canal.
On This Day


A spar torpedo made by David Bushnell is used unsuccessfully against HMS Cerberus, off New London, Conn. Bushnell and his brother, Ezra, also designed the first submersible vessel: Turtle. Two ships have been named after David Bushnell, USS Bushnell (AS 2), 1915-1940 (renamed Sumner), and USS Bushnell (AS 15), 1943-1980.


During the War of 1812 and while returning to New York from Bermuda waters, the frigate, USS Essex, commanded by Capt. David Porter, engages the British brig HMS Alert in intense gunfire, broadsides the British brig and forcing her surrender.


The armed tug, USS Palos, becomes the first Navy ship to transit the Suez Canal.


USS Atule (SS 403) sinks Japanese Coast Defense Vessel No.6 and damages Coast Defense Vessel No.16 off Hokkaido. Also on this date, USS Torsk (SS 423) sinks Japanese merchant cargo ship, Kaiho Maru.


While serving in combat with a 1st Marine Division Rifle Company during the Korean War, Hospitalman John E. Kilmer exhibits great heroism moving from one injured man to the next administering aid under intense enemy fire. While administering aid to a fallen Marine and using his own body as a shield, Kilmer is mortally wounded. For his "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity" at that time, he is posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.


USS Stout (DDG 55) is commissioned at Houston, Texas. The sixth Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is named for Rear Adm. Herald F. Stout for his actions as a commander of USS Claxton during World War II.