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Today in Naval History
November 5
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1775 - Commodore Esek Hopkins is appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy.
On This Day


Commodore Esek Hopkins is appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Navy. Early in 1778, he is dismissed from his position due to dissatisfaction with his service but remains popular in his local community, serving in the Rhode Island legislature.


Lt. Cmdr. Henry C. Mustin, in an AB-2 flying boat, makes the first underway catapult launch from a ship, USS North Carolina (ACR 12) at Pensacola Bay, Fla. This experimental work leads to the use of catapults on battleships and cruisers through World War II and to the steam catapults on present-day aircraft carriers.


While escorting a convoy en route to Brest, France, USS Alcedo (SP 166) is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UC-71. Twenty-one crewmembers are lost with the ship.


PB4Ys from Patrol Bombing Squadron VB-107 and U.S. Army Air Forces B-25s sink the German submarine U-848 480 miles southwest of Ascension Island.


Aircraft from USS Essex (CV 9), as part of Vice Adm. John S. McCain's Task Force 38's two day carrier strikes in the Philippines, sink the Japanese cruiser Nachi in Manila Bay.


Ensign Jake C. West, embarked with VF-51 on board USS Wake Island (CVE 65) for carrier qualifications with the FR-1 aircraft, loses power on the forward radial engine shortly after taking off, forcing him to start his rear engine. Returning to his ship, he makes a successful landing, thus becoming the first jet landing on board an aircraft carrier.


Three navy ships, USS Reeves (CG 24), USS Oldendorf (DD 972), and USS Rentz (FFG 46) visit China for the first time in 37 years. Embarked on the Reeves is the Commander and Chief of the U.S. Pacific fleet.


Amphibious assault ship Tarawa (LHA 1), with Marines of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit embarked, sails on her 14th and final deployment from San Diego, CA. The ship supports Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, visits four continents, and provides humanitarian relief to people in Bangladesh and Djibouti. Tarawa returns June 2008, and is decommissioned after 32 years of service on March 31, 2009.


Fleet Weather Center San Diego is established at NAS North Island, CA. This completed the relocation of Naval Aviation Forecasting Detachment San Diego, Strike Group Oceanography Team San Diego, and Naval Maritime Forecast Center to the command.