Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
August 19
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1812 - The frigate USS Constitution captures the frigate HMS Guerriere, off Halifax, Nova Scotia after an intense battle.
On This Day

1812

The frigate USS Constitution captures the frigate HMS Guerriere, off Halifax, Nova Scotia after an intense battle.

1818

Capt. James Biddle, as commanding officer of USS Ontario, takes possession of Oregon Territory for United States.

1936

Lt. B. L. Braun, pilot, completes test bombing against the submarine USS R-8 (SS 85) off the Virginia capes, sinking the old submarine and proving the value of properly armed aircraft in antisubmarine warfare.

1943

USS Finback (SS 230) sinks the Japanese auxiliary submarine chaser (No.109) off the eastern Celebes.

1981

Two F-14 Tomcats of VF-41 shoot down two Libyan (Su 22) Sukhoi aircraft over international waters. Flying off USS Nimitz (CVA(N) 68), the Tomcats are on a reconnaissance mission for a missile-firing exercise being conducted by U.S. ships from two carrier battle groups when they are fired on by the Libyan planes.

2000

USS Oscar Austin (DDG 79) is commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is the first ship named for Marine Private First Class Oscar P. Austin, who earned the Medal of Honor, posthumously, for his “indomitable courage, inspiring initiative and selfless devotion to duty” after he twice threw himself between a North Vietnamese weapon and a wounded comrade on Feb. 23, 1969.

2017

A team of civilian researchers led by entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen announces they found the wreck of World War II cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35), which was lost July 30, 1945, in 18,000 feet of water. About 800 of the ship's 1,196 Sailors and Marines survived the sinking, but after four to five days in the water - suffering exposure, dehydration, drowning, and shark attacks - only 316 survived.