Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Today in Naval History
October 23
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1983 - A suicide truck bomb explodes at the Marine Barracks at Beirut Airport and kills 241 Americans (220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and three Army Soldiers).
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1862

CSS Alabama, commanded by Capt. Raphael Semmes, captures and burns the American bark Lafayette south of Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1864

During the Civil War, the blockade-runner Flamingo, which is run aground off Sullivans Island, S.C., is destroyed by shell fire from Fort Strong and Putnam, Battery Chatfield, and ships of Rear Adm. John A. Dahlgren's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

1942

USS Kingfish (SS 234) sinks Japanese gunboat at the entrance to Kii Suido, Honshu, Japan.

1944

The Battle of Leyte Gulf, considered the largest naval battle of World War II, begins with the U.S. submarines attacking two elements of the Japanese armada moving towards Leyte. In the Palawan Passage, USS Darter and USS Dace sink heavy cruisers Maya and Atago. Takao is also hit, but survives. Off Manila Bay, USS Bream's torpedoes damage the heavy cruiser Aoba.

1961

Submarine Ethan Allen (SSBN 608) makes the first underwater launch of a Polaris A-2 fleet ballistic missile. The Polaris soars 1,500 miles down the Atlantic Missile Range.

1972

The United States ends all tactical air sorties into North Vietnam above the 20th parallel and brings to close Operation Linebacker raids as a goodwill gesture to promote the peace negotiations in Paris. From May through October, Navy aircraft fly a total of 23,652 attack sorties into North Vietnam, which helps stem the flow of supplies into North Vietnam.

1983

A suicide truck bomb explodes at the Marine Barracks at Beirut Airport and kills 241 Americans (220 Marines, 18 Sailors, and three Army Soldiers).

1983

The U.S. Navy begins preparation for Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada, West Indies), which occurs only two days later.

1999

USS O'Kane (DDG 77) is commissioned at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

2004

USS Virginia (SSN 774) is commissioned at Naval Station Norfolk, Va., the sixth U.S. Navy ship named Virginia; she is the first of its submarine class.