Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
February 15
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1898 - The battleship Maine explodes in Havana Harbor and the Spanish-American war starts soon after.
On This day

1856

The stores-ship, 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 Maine explodes in Havana Harbor and nearly three-quarters of the battleship's crew die as a result of the blast. Popular opinion blames Spain, and the Spanish-American war starts soon after.

1943

USS Gato (SS 212) sinks Japanese stores ship Suruga Maru in Bougainville Strait and USS Pickerel (SS 177) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks cargo vessel Tateyama Maru off the east coast of Honshu.

1944

While serving as commander of a Catalina patrol plane, Lt. Nathan Gordon responds to a report of U.S. Army Fifth Air Force personnel shot down over Kavieng Harbor in the Bismarck Sea. Risking his life and under Japanese fire, he makes a daring rescue mission, saving 15 service members from certain death or capture by the enemy. For his "extraordinary heroism, Gordon is awarded the Medal of Honor.

1960

Icebreakers USS Burton Island (AGB-1) and USS Glacier (AGB-4) become the first US Navy vessels to reach Thurston Peninsula in the Antarctic.