Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
March 26
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1942 - During World War II, Adm. Ernest J. King becomes Chief of Naval Operations and also Commander, U.S. Fleet, holding both positions through the rest of the war.
On This Day

1942

During World War II, Adm. Ernest J. King becomes Chief of Naval Operations and also Commander, U.S. Fleet, holding both positions through the rest of the war, guiding the Navy's plans and global operations.

1942

Task Force 39, commanded by Rear Adm. John W. Wilcox, Jr., sails from Portland, Maine, for Scapa Flow, Orkeny Islands, Scotland, to reinforce the British Home Fleet due the British Fleets involvement in Operation Ironclad, the British invasion of the Vichy French controlled Madagascar. The following day, Rear Adm. Wilcox, while taking an unaccompanied walk on his flagship, USS Washington (BB 56), is washed overboard and disappears in the heavy seas.

1943

During the Battle of Komandorski Islands, Task Group 16.6, commanded by Rear Adm. Charles H. McMorris, prevents Japanese reinforcements from reaching Kiska, Aleutian Islands. USS Salt Lake City (CA 25) is damaged by gunfire from Japanese heavy cruisers, but damages one with return fire.

1945

USS Halligan (DD 584) is sunk by a mine off Okinawa. Also on this date, USS Balao (SS-285) sinks Japanese army stores ship No.1 Shinto Maru.