Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
May 15
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1800 - The frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. Edward Preble, arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort United States merchant ships.
On This Day

1800

The frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. Edward Preble, arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort United States merchant ships. During her journey, she is the first U.S. Navy warship to cross the Equator and the first U.S. man-of-war to double the Cape of Good Hope.

1930

The streamlined submarine (V 5) is commissioned, then named Narwhal in Feb. 1931, and receives the hull number (SS 167) that July. During World War II, Narwhal participates in 15 war patrols, serving in the Pacific Theatre, earning 15 battle stars.

1939

A contract is issued to Curtiss-Wright for the XSB2C-1 dive bomber, thereby completing action on a 1938 design competition. Retired from the active Navy in 1947, SB2Cs continues to serve in the reserves until 1950.

1942

The first Naval Air Transport Service flight across the Pacific takes place.

1944

PBY-5 Catalina aircraft from (VP 63) and British escort vessels HMS Kilmarnock and HMS Blackfly sink German submarine U 731 off Tangiers.

1969

The pre-commissioned submarine Guitarro (SSN 665) accidentally sinks while moored at U.S. Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Calif. Due to the damage, her commissioning date is rescheduled to Sept. 1972.