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Author Topic: This Day In 'Boating' History  (Read 159888 times)

heritorasphodel

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #275 on: April 09, 2013, 10:23:45 PM »

9th April 1941


During an air raid a German bomb hits the Tynemouth Lifeboat house. The 18 month old 41ft Watson class 'John Pyemont', the last of the pre-war built 41s, was in the boathouse at the time, and was destroyed. 'John Pyemont' had served the Tynemouth station since October 1939, and had launched 20 times saving 59 lives. The station was re-opened 6 months later.





The wreckage of the 'John Pyemont' (stern to right) on the launching trolley in the remains of the Tynemouth boathouse. While the fore half of the boat was destroyed, the stern was remarkably intact, with 'Tynemouth Life-Boat' still visible in some photographs.


Andrew
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Neil

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #276 on: April 10, 2013, 09:09:15 AM »

April 10th, 1912................a most infamous day in shipping history.when man's arrogance to God and the elements was to be tested to the  greatest.
 
The day when an "unsinkable" ship left Southampton with over 2200 souls on board, never to return to again to her home port
 
A tragedy indeed, and even though some say the incedent was and is hyped up beyond all proportions.....it was indeed a tragedy but saw to change maritime history and the way shipping companies operated for all time.
 
God bless them all.
 
neil
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ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #277 on: April 10, 2013, 01:37:06 PM »

April 10th...

1606: The Charter of the Virginia Company of London is established by royal charter by King James I of England with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.
It was responsible for establishing the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English settlement in the present United States in 1607, and in the process of sending additional supplies, inadvertently settled the Somers Isles (present day Bermuda), the oldest-remaining English colony, in 1609. In 1624, the company lost its charter, and Virginia became a royal colony.


Obverse and Reverse of the Seal of the Virginia Company.

1756: (Admiral) William Carnegie (GCB, 7th Earl of Northesk) was born at Bruntsfield in Edinburgh to Admiral George Carnegie, 6th Earl of Northesk and Anne Melville.
He would go on to serve during several wars and be initiated into the Order of the Bath, eventually reaching the position of Knight Grand Cross. He would also reach the rank of full admiral, the ceremonial post of Rear-Admiral of Great Britain and be made Commander-in-Chief, Plymouth later in his career.

1786: Vice Admiral The Hon. John Byron, RN, aged 62 years, "died at his house in Bolton-row, of a disorder in his liver." He left a wife, Sophia, and several children.
Known as 'Foul-weather Jack' because of his frequent encounters with bad weather at sea, Byron had joined the Royal Navy in 1731, accompanying George Anson on his circumnavigation of the globe as a midshipman.
In later years (1776-78), Byron completed his own circumnavigation of the globe as captain of H.M.S. 'Dolphin'. This was the first such circumnavigation of less than 2 years.
Byron's remains were buried in the Berkeley family vault situated beneath the chancel of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Twickenham.


Vice-Admiral The Hon. John Byron (8th November 1723 – 10th April 1786)
by Joshua Reynolds, 1759

1963: the the lead boat of her class, becomes the first nuclear submarine lost at sea when she sank 220 miles east of Boston during deep-diving trials after flooding, loss of propulsion, and an attempt to blow the emergency ballast tanks failed, causing it to exceed crush depth. Its disappearance generated international shock and sympathy as all 129 men on board died.


U.S.S. 'Thresher' (SSN-593),

1968: The 'Wahine' disaster occurred on 10 April 1968 when the TEV 'Wahine', a New Zealand inter-island ferry of the Union Company, foundered on Barrett Reef at the entrance to Wellington Harbour and capsized near Steeple Rock. Of the 610 passengers and 123 crew on board, 53 people died.
The wrecking of the 'Wahine' is one of the better known maritime disasters in New Zealand's history, although there have been worse with far greater loss of life. New Zealand radio and television captured the drama as it happened, within a short distance of shore of the eastern suburbs of Wellington, and flew film overseas for world TV news.


The TEV 'Wahine' lists heavily to starboard as it sinks in Wellington Harbour.
Lifeboats from the ship can be seen to the left.

1991: At 22:23, the 'Moby Prince' an Italian ferry owned by Navarma Lines (today Moby Lines), ship collided with the oil tanker 'Agip Abruzzo' in Livorno harbour and it caught fire killing 140 people.
Not all the deaths were caused by the fire; it has been reported that a large portion of the victims died intoxicated by massive toxic inhalations, while they were gathered in the main internal room of the ship. The operations of rescue were managed badly; the may day sent from the 'Moby Prince', very weak, was not apparently heard by the radar officers of Livorno. The rescue teams were deployed only on the 'Agip Abruzzo'. Initially the commander of 'Agip Abruzzo' thought that the ship hit was a barge, and also said to the rescuers "Not to confuse our ship with that one".


MV Moby Prince, with obvious fire damage
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #278 on: April 11, 2013, 12:30:40 AM »

Friday, 11th April 1941   The Contraband Control Vessel 'Othello' was sunk by a mine in the Humber.
 
(Unable to locate any photo of this vessel)
 
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #279 on: April 11, 2013, 07:55:14 PM »

April 11th...

1809: The Battle of the Basque Roads, (aka Battle of Aix Roads) was fought between France and the United Kingdom, off the Island of Aix. On the night of 11 April 1809 Captain Lord Cochrane led a British fireship attack against a powerful squadron of French ships anchored in the Basque Roads. In the attack all but two of the French ships were driven ashore. The subsequent engagement lasted three days but failed to destroy the entire French fleet.

Cochrane accused the British commanding officer, Admiral James Gambier, of being reluctant to press the attack. Gambier demanded a court-martial, and was duly exonerated; Cochrane's career in the Royal Navy ended. The French Navy continued to operate against the British from the Basque Roads until the end of the Napoleonic Wars.


H.M.S. 'Imperieuse' (right) engages the grounded French ships.

1908: SMS 'Blücher', the last armoured cruiser to be built by the German Imperial Navy, is launched. She was designed to match what German intelligence incorrectly believed to be the specifications of the British Invincible-class battlecruisers. Blücher was larger than preceding armored cruisers and carried more heavy guns, but was unable to match the size and armament of the battlecruisers which replaced armored cruisers in the British Royal Navy and German Imperial Navy (Kaiserliche Marine). The ship was named for the Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard von Blücher, the commander of Prussian forces at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.


SMS 'Blücher' was the last armoured cruiser built by the German Empire.

1970: 'K-8', a Project 627 November class submarine was lost 260 nautical miles northwest of Spain in the Bay of Biscay, whilst being towed in rough seas. The submarine had been disabled by two fires on the 8th april, and was initially evacuated, but 52 crew-members reembarked for the towing operation. They were subsequently all lost when the vessel sank, 73 of their fellow crewmen survived on the rescue vessel.
Note: Some sources give the date of the sinking as 12th April, and also that it was was kept secret until 1991.

1976: The original Apple personal computer is created. Known retroactively as the Apple I, or Apple-1, it was designed and hand-built by Steve Wozniak. Wozniak's friend Steve Jobs had the idea of selling the computer.

1990: Customs officers in Middlesbrough, England, United Kingdom, said they had seized what they believed to be the barrel of a massive gun during the search of a ship at the Teesport Docks.
When assembled, the length of the barrel was said to measure 130 feet, ld making it by far the largest gun in the world with a range of approximately 600 miles.
The ship where the pipes were found, the 'Gur Mariner', was being chartered by the Iraqi Maritime Organisation. Exports of parts for a weapon to Iraq would contravene British restrictions on arms sales to President Saddam Hussein's state.
A spate of arrests followed around Europe as other suspected parts of the "supergun" were discovered.
Investigations revealed the gun was part of "Project Babylon", the brainchild of Canadian Dr Gerald Bull, who was assassinated shortly before the parts were discovered.
In April 1990 two men - a scientist and a director of the company Walter Somers company - were charged in connection with the "supergun". However, charges against them were withdrawn suddenly and without explanation in November.

2001: The crew of a United States EP-3E aircraft that had been detained since the 1st April when it landed in Hainan, China, after a collision with a J-8 fighter, was released after a letter expressing 'regret' over the incident was delivered by the United States Ambassador to the Chinese authorities. It also led to the release of the (by now) disassembled and inspected aircraft.


The damaged EP-3 E, on the ground on Hainan Island (Lo-Res image).
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 11th
« Reply #280 on: April 11, 2013, 10:03:25 PM »

Aprill 11th...

1912: After R.M.S. 'Titanic' sailed from Southampton at noon on 10th April, she crossed the channel to Cherbourg where she picked up more passengers before setting sail for her last port of call, Queenstown on the southern coast of Ireland, at 20:00hrs.
At 11.30hrs on Thursday 11th April, 'Titanic' arrived at Cork Harbour. It was a partly cloudy but relatively warm day with a brisk wind. Like Cherboug, the dock facilities were not suitable for a ship of her size, and tenders were used to bring passengers aboard.


The Titanic pictured in Cobh Harbour, 11th April 1912.

One-hundred & thirteen Third Class and seven Second Class passengers came aboard, while seven passengers left. Among the departures was Father Francis Browne, a Jesuit trainee, who was a keen photographer and took many photographs aboard 'Titanic', including the last-ever known photograph of the ship.
A decidedly unofficial departure was that of a crew member, stoker John Coffey, a native of Queenstown who sneaked off the ship by hiding under mail bags being transported to shore.
'Titanic' weighed anchor for the last time at 13.30hrs and departed on her westward journey across the Atlantic.


Possibly the last-ever photograph of RMS 'Titanic', April 11th, 1912.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 12th...
« Reply #281 on: April 12, 2013, 06:57:43 PM »

April 12th...

1606: On 12th April 1606, the Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships.
This new Union Flag represented the regal union between England and Scotland and was specified in a royal decree, according to which the flag of England (a red cross on a white background, known as St George's Cross), and the flag of Scotland (a white saltire on a blue background, known as the Saltire or St Andrew's Cross), would be joined together, forming the flag of Great Britain and first union flag. This royal flag was, at first, to be used only at sea on civil and military ships of both England and Scotland, whereas land forces would continue to use their respective national banners.


The Union Flag, The King's Colours or "Union Jack"
Adopted: England 1606 - 1801; Scotland 1707 - 1801.

1782: The Battle of the Saintes (aka the Battle of Dominica), taking place over four days (9th-12th April) during the American War of Independence, concludes with a decisive victory for the British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney over a French fleet under the Comte de Grasse, forcing the French and Spanish to abandon a planned invasion of Jamaica.
However, Rodney’s failure to follow up the victory by a pursuit was much criticised. Rear-Admiral Hood said that the 20 French ships would have been captured had the commander-in-chief maintained the chase.
Rodney was later created a peer with Ł2,000 a year settled on the title in perpetuity for this victory. Hood was elevated to the peerage as well.


Battle of the Saintes - Surrender of the 'Ville de Paris' by Thomas Whitcombe, painted 1783,
depicts Hood's H.M.S. 'Barfleur' (centre), attacking the French flagship 'Ville de Paris', (right).

1833: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): On 12th April, 1833, in strong winds, the 'Beagle' and 'Adventure' arrive at the Rio Negro from the Falkland Islands. A few days later the 'Adventure' was sent to Maldonado for refitting.


1836: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): Today in 1836, 'Beagle' expedition sailed away from the Cocos Islands. Taking cocoa-nuts, pigs, poultry, pumpkins, and turtles on board for food, they sailed past North Keeling Island, Chagos Islands and then to Rodriguez Island.


Static model of H.M.S. 'Beagle' from a kit by Mamoli.

1910: The SMS 'Zrinyi', one of the last pre-dreadnoughts built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy, is launched. She was built at the Stabilimento Tecnico Triestino dockyard in Trieste, the same place where her sister ships were built earlier. She was laid down in November 1908 and launched from the slipway on 12th April 1910. The teak used on 'Zrínyi's deck was the only material Austria-Hungary had to purchase abroad to build the ship. She was the last ship of the class to be completed and had a crew of 880 to 890 officers and men.


SMS 'Zrínyi', after being handed over to the United States at the end of WWI.

1911: Lt. Theodore 'Spuds' Ellyson qualifies as the first United States naval aviator.

1935: First flight of the Bristol Type 142/'Blenheim'. In 1934, Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail newspaper, challenged to the British aviation industry to build a high-speed aircraft capable of carrying six passengers and two crew members. At the time, German firms were producing a variety of record-breaking high-speed designs, and Rothermere wanted to recapture the title of fastest civilian aircraft in Europe. Bristol had been working on a suitable design as the Type 135 since July 1933, and further adapted it to produce the Type 142 to meet Rothermere's requirements.
Named 'Britain First', the aircraft first flew at Filton on 12th April 1935, and proved to be faster than any fighter in service with the Royal Air Force at the time. The Air Ministry was obviously interested in such an aircraft and quickly sent out Specification B.28/35 for prototypes of a bomber version - the Type 142M (M for military).


Bristol Type 142 'Britain First'

1962: The U.S. Navy demonstrated a new type of landing craft with retractable hydrofoils - LCVP(H) on the Potomac River. The craft was able to obtain speeds in excess of 35 knots, potentially speeding up the delivery of men and equipment onto assault beaches, but after evaluation, the LCVP(H) was rejected. Though the jet could be rotated and was manoeuverable, the craft couldn't keep a straight path as a standard LCVP.


U.S. Navy Hydrofoil Landing Craft LCVP(H), being tested on thePotomac River (Clickable Image)

1963: The Soviet nuclear-powered submarine 'K-33' collides with the Finnish merchant vessel M/S 'Finnclipper' in the Danish straits.
The 'Finnclipper' was en route to the United States with a load of 6,000 tons of paper. When it reached Kattegat at around 11:05 hrs, in a mist, the crew heard engine noise on their port side and a submarine emerged. The 'Finnclipper' steered heavily to starboard to try to avoid a collision, but to no avail.
 
The 'Finnclipper' returned to the submarine to see if it needed help. Two Russian officers on board told the Finnish captain that the side had received large structural damage and that the side had been pressed in and had become deformed. The Soviet officers did not reveal their nationality, but told that it was a Warsaw Pact submarine. The Finns could however read the number 921 clearly on the side of the submarine.
 
The captain of the Finnish vessel gave a maritime declaration when arriving in New York, but the report was labeled secret for over 44 years. It has been speculated that the incident was held secret due to the Soviet-Finnish YYA-treaty, where the Soviets would have forbid the Finns to report this in the news media or even to research the incident.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 13th
« Reply #282 on: April 13, 2013, 09:00:04 PM »

April 13th...

1608: French navigator, cartographer, draughtsman, soldier, explorer, geographer, ethnologist, diplomat, and chronicler, Samuel de Champlain, leaves the French port of Honfleur in command of a fleet of three ships with orders to set up a new French colony and trading post on the shores of the St. Lawrence in New France.
Champlain commanded the main ship, called the 'Don-de-Dieu' (the Gift of God), another ship, the 'Lévrier' (the Hunt Dog), was commanded by his friend Du Pont.
The small group of male settlers eventually landed at the "point of Quebec" in July, and set about fortifying the area by the erection of three main wooden buildings, each two stories tall, that he collectively called the "Habitation", with a wooden stockade and a moat 12 feet wide surrounding them. This was the very beginning of Quebec City.


A static model of Samuel de Champlain's ship 'Don de Dieu,' by Nain Trading, Germany.

1888: John Hays Hammond, Jr. was born in San Francisco, California, the son of mining engineer John Hays Hammond, Sr. At the age of twelve, young John Hays Hammond will meet Thomas Edison who will mentor him. He will also be taken under the wing Alexander Graham Bell. He will go on to become an inventor in his own right, where his own field of expertise will result in him being known as "The Father of Radio Control".

1904: During the Russo-Japanese War, the Imperial Russian Navy battleship 'Petropavlovsk', the lead ship of the Petropavlovsk class of pre-dreadnought battleships and the flagship of the First Pacific Squadron, was sunk around 2 miles from shore after striking a mine near Port Arthur on 13th April (31st March - Old Style).
652 men and 27 officers died, including the Fleet Admiral Stepan Makarov and renowned war artist Vasily Vereshchagin. The loss of 'Petropavlovsk' and Makarov greatly hindered the Russians in the war.
A monument was constructed in St. Petersburg in 1913 to honour Stephan Makarov after Japanese divers identified his remains inside the wreck of 'Petropavlovsk' and gave him a burial at sea.


Imperial Russian battleship 'Petropavlovsk' in Kronshtadt, 1899.

1917: Battleship U.S.S. 'New Mexico' (BB-40) is launched at the New York Navy Yard, as the lead ship of a class of three battleships. Unlike the geared turbine propulsion system fitted to her sisters, 'New Mexico' is equipped with a turbo-electric propulsion system, where the high-speed steam turbine drove a set of generators providing electricity to electric motors turning the propeller shafts.
A direct comparison of the two types of propulsion systems demonstrated that the conventional design generated 2.5x the power per ton of machinery and required 1/3 the floor area although at the cost of 20% greater fuel consumption, whilst the turbo-electric design did allow for the equipment to be split between smaller watertight compartments, which was a potential benefit should parts of the engine space be attacked and flooded.
However, when 'New Mexico' was modernised and overhauled at Philadelphia (between March 1931 – January 1933), the turbo-electric drive was replaced with conventional geared turbines.


The U.S. Navy battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40) San Pedro, California (USA), in 1921.

1940: RAF Bomber Command mounts the first Royal Air Force minelaying operation of the Second World War. Fifteen Handley Page Hampdens are despatched and of this force, fourteen lay sea mines off Denmark and one aircraft is lost.

Mine laying was given the code name of “Gardening” and the mines themselves were known as “Vegetables.”The mines were “planted” in areas identified in code by the names of vegetables and flowers, some examples being Yams, Daffodils, and Quince.

During the course of the Second World War, the Royal Air Force flew 19,917 minelaying sorties and the sea mines laid sank 638 vessels, at a cost of 450 lost aircraft.


A Handley Page Hampden being armed with a parachute sea-mine, in preparation for a mine-laying mission.

1940: The Second Battle of Narvik takes place as H.M.S. 'Warspite' and nine destroyers, accompanied by aircraft from the aircraft carrier HMS Furious, are sent into the Narvik Fjords to finish off the remaining German ships. The allied forces arrive in the Ofotfjord to find that eight German destroyers - now under the command of Fregattenkapitän Erich Bey - were virtually stranded due to lack of fuel and were short of ammunition. In the ensuing battle, three of the German destroyers were sunk by 'Warspite' and her escorts, and the other five were scuttled by their own crews when they ran out of fuel and ammunition. The Royal Navy's H.M.S. 'Eskimo' and H.M.S. 'Cossack' were damaged in the action.

 
German Zerstörer 1934A class destroyer Z11 'Bernd von Arnim' beached & scuttled in the fjord Rombaksbotn near Narvik, Norway.
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ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #283 on: April 14, 2013, 06:43:48 AM »

April 14th...

1629: Christiaan Huygens was born into a rich and influential Dutch family at The Hague, in the Dutch Republic.  The second child (of five) of Constantijn Huygens, a diplomat, counselor of the House of Orange, who had studied philosophy and was also a poet, composer and musician. Through him, Christiaan would have contact with some of the most prominent mathematicians and scientists of the day, including Galileo Galilei, Marin Mersenne and René Descartes. Christiaan's mother's was Suzanna van Baerle - she sadly died when Christiaan was eight.
Christiaan Huygens would be educated at home until turning sixteen years old, progressing on to become a prominent Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist and horologist, with a wide and varied range of inventions and discoveries to his name.

1912: Four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City, with an estimated 2,224 people on board, White Star liner R.M.S. 'Titanic', the largest passenger liner in service at the time, strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 23:40 hrs (ship's time) on Sunday 14th April. Her sinking two hours and forty minutes later at 02:20 hrs (05:18 GMT) on Monday 15th April, results in the deaths of more than 1,500 people.

1940: Royal Marines land in Namsos, The cruiser H.M.S. 'Glasgow', accompanied by the Cruiser H.M.S. 'Sheffield' and ten destroyers, landed a small party of Royal Marines in Namsos, Norway in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later. Under the command of Captain Edds, the landing party took up blocking positions in the hills outside the town.

1944: The 'Bombay Explosion' occurred in the Victoria Dock of Bombay (now Mumbai) when the 7,142 gross register ton freighter SS 'Fort Stikine' carrying a mixed cargo of raw cotton bales, oil, timber, gold bullion, and ammunition, including around 1,400 tons of explosives, caught fire and was destroyed in two giant blasts, scattering debris, sinking surrounding ships and setting fire to the area killing at least 800 people and injuring more than 2500.


The SS 'Fort Stikine' - When she exploded, her cargo included 238 tons of sensitive "A" explosives, torpedoes, mines, shells, munitions, Supermarine Spitfire fighter aircraft, and Ł1-2 million of gold bullion in bars in 31 crates.

1986: On 14th April, following several days of diplomatic talks, U.S. President Ronald Reagan orders major air-strikes against Libya in response to the Berlin discotheque bombing which killed two U.S. servicemen.
Code-named Operation El Dorado Canyon, eighteen F-111F strike aircraft, flying from RAF Lakenheath supported by four EF-111A Ravens, from RAF Upper Heyford in England, in conjunction with fifteen A-6, A-7, F/A-18 attack aircraft and EA-6B Prowler Electronic Warfare Aircraft from the carriers U.S.S. 'Saratoga', U.S.S. 'America' and U.S.S. 'Coral Sea', on station in the Gulf of Sidra, struck five targets at 02:00hrs on 15th April, with the stated objective that their destruction would send a message and reduce Libya's ability to support and train terrorists.


A 48th Tactical Fighter Wing F-111F aircraft takes off from RAF 'Lakenheath', East Anglia England, to participate in the air strike on Libya.

1988: The Oliver Hazard Perry class guided-missile frigate, U.S.S. 'Samuel B. Roberts' struck an M-08 naval mine in the Persian Gulf, 65-miles east of Bahrain, whilst heading for a refueling rendezvous during Operation Earnest Will. The mine blew an immense hole in the hull, which flooded the engine room, and knocked the two gas turbines from their mounts. The blast injured 10 crewmembers, and also broke the keel of the ship.

Although the damage could have been fatal to the vessel, sailors cinched cables on the cracked superstructure in an effort to stabilise it, whilst others fought fire and flooding for five hours to save the ship. Using her auxiliary thrusters she was able to get out of the mine field at 5 knots, never losing combat capability with her radars and Mk13 missile launcher.

U.S. divers recovered several unexploded mines, and found that their serial numbers matched the sequence on mines seized the previous September aboard an Iranian mine-layer named 'Iran Ajr'. Four days later, U.S. forces retaliated fiercely against Iran in Operation Praying Mantis.


A port-side view of the 'Sammy B' undergoing temporary repairs in dry dock in Dubai, UAE.

2003: U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 15th
« Reply #284 on: April 15, 2013, 01:07:23 AM »

April 15th...

1452: Leonardo da Vinci, is born on April 15th, 1452 (Old Style), "at the third hour of the night" in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci, in the lower valley of the Arno River in the territory of the Medici-ruled Republic of Florence.

He was the out-of-wedlock son of the wealthy Messer Piero Fruosino di Antonio da Vinci, a Florentine legal notary, and Caterina, a peasant. Leonardo had no surname in the modern sense, “da Vinci” simply meaning “of Vinci”: his full birth name was "Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci", meaning "Leonardo, (son) of (Mes)ser Piero from Vinci". The inclusion of the title "ser" indicated that Leonardo's father was a gentleman.

In time, Leonardo would become a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer - a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination" and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived.


One of Leonardo's many inventions; His paddlewheel boat.

1755: Samuel Johnson's 'A Dictionary of the English Language' is published in London on 15th April 1755. Having taken Johnson almost 9 years to compile, it was, and is, among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language.
The first edition contained a 42,773 word list, to which only a few more were added in subsequent editions, although the words; contrafribularites; anispeptic; frasmotic; compunctuous; and, pericombobulation; remain conspicuous by their absence.

1848: The 'Philip Laing' is the second ship to arrive in Dunedin, New Zealand, carrying Scottish settlers. Departing from Greenock on 23rd November 1847, via Milford Haven on 20th December 1847, she arrived at Port Chalmers on 15th April 1848. Her sister ship, the 'John Wickliffe', had arrived three weeks earlier on 23rd March.

1942: In recognition of the gallantry of it's citizens and defenders, under constant attack, and in the face of serious food shortages, the island of Malta is awarded the George Cross.
In his letter addressed to the British Governor of Malta from Buckingham Palace, and in his own hand, King George VI wrote:

"To honour her brave people, I award the George Cross to the Island Fortress of Malta, to bear witness to a heroism and devotion that will long be famous in history."

The George Cross is woven into the upper hoist corner of the Flag of Malta and can be seen wherever the flag is flown.
The actual medal and the King's message are today found in the War Museum in Fort Saint Elmo, Valletta.


Maltese ratings of the Royal Navy mounting guard over the George Cross as it is ceremoniously displayed in Palace Square, Valletta, on the first anniversary of the award.

1969: A U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121M 'Warning Star' on a reconnaissance mission was intercepted by a pair of North Korean MiGs, and shot down over the Sea of Japan. The plane crashed 90 nautical miles off the North Korean coast, killing all 31 Americans on board.
The Nixon administration chose not to retaliate against North Korea apart from staging a naval demonstration in the Sea of Japan a few days later. It also resumed the reconnaissance flights within a week to demonstrate that it would not be intimidated by the action while at the same time avoiding a confrontation.


A U.S. Navy Lockheed EC-121M 'Warning Star' of fleet air reconnaissance squadron (VQ-1) 'World Watchers', similar to the aircraft shot down by a North Korean MiG, on 15th April 1969.
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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 16th
« Reply #285 on: April 16, 2013, 07:30:36 AM »

April 16th...

1797: At Spithead, near Portsmouth, a mutiny begins when Royal Navy sailors on sixteen of the Channel Fleet, commanded by Admiral Lord Bridport, protest against the living conditions aboard Royal Navy vessels and demand a pay rise. Lasting until the 15th May 1797, the mutiny was not a violent insurrection, but more in the nature.
The discontent wasn't exclusive to Spithead though, with minor incidents occuring on ships in other locations during the same year. The mutinies were potentially dangerous for Britain, because at the time the country was at war with Revolutionary France. There were also concerns among some members of the British ruling class that the mutinies might be the trigger to a wider uprising similar to the French Revolution.


The Delegates in Council, or Beggars on Horseback - A contemporary caricature.

1854: As the 600-ton wooden schooner 'Powhatan' was nearing the end of its journey from Le Havre, France to New York, it encountered a hurricane-like snowstorm near Long Beach Island, New Jersey. The storm was one of the worst in the state's history, and the crew struggled against the powerful and dangerous currents.
Pummeled by huge waves and fierce wind,s the ship was forced closer to the island, before being slammed against the Barnegat Shoals. With a large hole punched in the bow, the 'Powhatan' began to break apart, and passengers, some already dead, were washed overboard. Eventually the vessel broke in two and sank.
Because of the weather, a lifeboat station six miles away was unable to send help. The passengers, who were primarily German immigrants, all perished. The loss of life was estimated by various sources to be between 250 and 311 people.

1863: On a clear night with no moon, Admiral David Dixon Porter, heading a convoy of several gunboats and troop-transports loaded with stores, encountered a heavy barrage of Confederate artillery as they ran the rebels blockade of the Mississippi at Vicksburg.
Porter realised that the Confederates were mostly hitting the high parts of his boats. Reasoning that they could not depress their guns, he had his boats hug the east shore, right below the Confederate cannon - so close he could hear their commanders giving orders as shells flew overhead. Apart from the transport 'Henry Clay', which was disabled and burned at the water's edge, the fleet survived with little damage; thirteen men were wounded and none killed.


Lithograph of the Mississippi River Squadron running the Confederate blockade at Vicksburg on 16th April, 1863.

1944: Iowa-class battleship U.S.S. 'Wisconsin' (BB-64), was commissioned on 16th April 1944 with Captain Earl E. Stone in command. She was one of the "fast battleship" designs planned in 1938 by the Preliminary Design Branch at the Bureau of Construction and Repair.
Whilst 'Wisconsin' remains the highest numbered U.S. battleship built, and her keel was laid down after that of the U.S.S. 'Missouri' (BB-63), 'Wisconsin' was actually commissioned before the 'Missouri'. Thus, 'Wisconsin's construction began after 'Missouri's, but finished earlier.


U.S.S. 'Wisconsin' (BB-64), underway at sea, c.1988-91.

1945: Eighteen RAF Avro Lancasters armed with Tallboy bombs, attack the German pocket-battleship 'Lützow' (formerly 'Deutchsland') in the Kaiserfahrt, sinking her with a single direct hit after several near misses. The water was shallow enough that her main deck was still 2 metres above water, permitting her use as a stationary gun battery in support of German troops against the advancing Soviet forces. She continued in this role until 4th May, when she was disabled by her crew having used her main battery ammunition.
It is believed she was raised by the Soviet Navy in 1947, and was subsequently sunk as a target in the Baltic.


An RAF reconnaissance photo taken on 25th April 1945, shows the German cruiser 'Lützow', in the Kaiserfahrt in western Pomerania, after being hit by British bombers.

1953: Thousands of wellwishers greeted the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh when they arrived at Clydeside to launch the new royal yacht, 'Britannia'. The Queen (who would be crowned in June), named the ship at a ceremony at the Clydebank yard of John Brown and Co. In spite of heavy rain, more than 30,000 people came to hear Her Majesty say: "I name this ship Britannia."
'Britannia' was designed to be converted into a hospital ship in time of war, although this capability was never used. In the event of nuclear war it was intended that the Queen would take refuge aboard 'Britannia' in the North West coast of Scotland.


The Royal Yacht 'Britannia' served the Royal Family for 44 years.

1987: In the Sea of Japan, 33 nautical miles off Ascold Island, Russian Project-1234 corvette 'Musson', was accidentally damaged and sunk by a target-missile 'RM-15M Termit-R', launched by a missile boat 21 km away.
'Musson' launched two surface-to-air missiles and made several shots by gun mount, but the target-missile hit the ship’s portside, destroying the conning room, chart-room, radio room, and main control room, killing the C.O. and some other officers. The remaining fuel and oxidants contained within the target-missile instantly ignited, caused a severe fire which spread throughout the  ship.
Damage control operations lasted about six hours, but rescuers failed to extinguish flames. The fire eventually reached the ammo magazine, where missiles and artillery shells detonated. Having burned out and lost buoyancy, 'Musson' finally sank to a depth of approx 2,900 meters. Thirty-nine members of her crew died and thirty-seven were rescued.

In 2012, Pacific Fleet servicemen commemorated the 25th anniversary of the accident, when they laid wreaths at the location of the sinking in honour of the 'Musson' crew.


The corvette 'Musson', on fire after being struck by an out-of-control target-missile.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 17th
« Reply #286 on: April 17, 2013, 12:35:21 PM »

April 17th...

1492: The Capitulations of Santa Fe between Christopher Columbus and the Catholic Monarchs were signed in Santa Fe, Granada. They granted Columbus the titles of Admiral of the Ocean Sea, the Viceroy, the Governor-General and honorific Don, and also the tenth part of all riches to be obtained from his intended voyage.

1797: Lieutenant-General Sir Ralph Abercromby attempts to invade the Spanish colonial port city of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with an armada of 60 or so ships, and a force of several thousand men, including German soldiers and Royal Marines. 
When the Spanish sighted the enemy convoy off the coastline on the morning of April 17th, the Governor, Brigadier General Ramón de Castro put a defence plan into action, placing garrison troops at strategic points along the coastline. The Battle of San Juan would last until 2nd May 1797.


The Fort San Jerónimo was key to the defence of San Juan.

1886: The newly constructed Tilbury Docks on the River Thames at Tilbury, England, are opened on 17th April 1886. The first vessel to enter the docks is the 360ft, 2985grt steam-ship, 'Glenfruin', carrying the official party for the opening ceremony and a host of VIPs who toured the area.
The dock system consisted of three parallel branch docks( (East, Central and West) linked to one large main dock, with transit sheds, a hotel and a buffet. The docks benefitted from the connection with the London, Tilbury and Southend railway line, allowing rapid distribution of goods to the capital and the rest of the country.


SS 'Glenfruin', was the first vessel to officially enter Tilbury Docks.

1939: Returning the remains of the the late Hiroshi Saito, the former Japanese Ambassador to the United States, the heavy cruiser U.S.S. 'Astoria', accompanied by the Japanese destroyers 'Hibiki', 'Sagiri', and 'Akatsuki', steamed slowly into Yokohama harbour with the United States ensign at half-staff and the Japanese flag at the fore. The warship fired a 17-gun salute which was returned by the light cruiser 'Kiso'.
The ceremonial urn containing the ashes of Ambassador Saito was taken ashore by American sailors that afternoon, and funeral ceremonies took place the following morning.


U.S.S. 'Astoria' sailors transfering the ceremonial urn containing the ashes of Ambassador Saito, to a launch waiting to go ashore, 17th April 1939.

1942: Twelve RAF Avro Lancasters are despatched on a daylight low-level raid on the MAN submarine diesel engine works at Augsburg in southern Bavaria. Seven aircraft from the attacking force are shot down en route to, or at the target. Furthermore, little damage is done to the MAN factory with five of the seventeen bombs that hit the target failing to detonate. Squadron Leader J.D. Nettleton, is awarded the Victoria Cross for the valour and leadership that he demonstrated during the attack.

1970: After a six-minute communications blackout during reentry, the 'Apollo 13' Command Module 'Odyssey' carrying James A. Lovell, John L. "Jack" Swigert and Fred W. Haise, re-establishes contact with mission control and splashes-down safely in the South Pacific Ocean, southwest of American Samoa and just 4.0 miles from the waiting recovery ship U.S.S. 'Iwo Jima' (LPH-2) - the flagship of Task Force 130.

In the 1995 film 'Apollo 13', the 'Iwo Jima' was played by her sister ship,' New Orleans' (LPH-11). Captain Jim Lovell appears towards the end of the film in a cameo role as 'Iwo Jima's skipper, Captain Leland E. Kirkemo.


The Apollo 13 Command Module is hoisted aboard the U.S.S. 'Iwo Jima' after the memorable "successful failure" mission. The Apollo 13 astronauts were already aboard the 'Iwo Jima' when this photograph was taken.

1986: The 'Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years' War', a theoretical state of war existing between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly (located off the southwest coast of Great Britain), is said to have been extended by the lack of a peace treaty for 335 years without a single shot being fired, which would make it one of the world's longest wars and a bloodless war.
Despite the uncertain validity of the declaration of war, and thus uncertainty about whether or not a state of war ever actually existed in the first place, peace was finally declared in 1986, bringing an end to any hypothetical war that may have been legally considered to exist.
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ardarossan

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #287 on: April 18, 2013, 04:23:42 AM »

April 18th...

1863: Linton Chorley Hope (FRAes) is born in Macclesfield, Cheshire. Linton Chorley Hopps the son of Edwin and Sara Hopps. He later changed his surname to Hope. 
He will go on to become English naval architect and yachtsman, designing a variety of yachts as well as international canoes and Thames Raters, and he will win two gold medals for sailing at the 1900 Olympic Games in France, aboard 'Scotia', a yacht of his own design.


The Linton Hope designed, 33ft Thames Rater 'Dorothy', originally built in 1894.

1912: RMS 'Carpathia docked at New York's Pier 54 carrying 700+ survivors that had been rescued from the lifeboats of the 'Titanic' disaster. She was greated by some 40,000 people waiting at the quayside in heavy rain.

The ship's arrival in New York led to a frenzy of press interest, with newspapers competing to be the first to report the survivors' stories. Some reporters bribed their way aboard the pilot boat 'New York', which guided 'Carpathia' into harbour, and one apparently managed to get onto 'Carpathia' before she docked.

After the survivors of 'Titanic' had disembarked, 'Carpathia' was hurriedly restocked with food and provisions so she might resume her journey to Fiume, Austria-Hungary. Her crew were given a bonus of a month's wages by Cunard as a reward for their actions, and some of Titanic's passengers joined together to give them an additional bonus of nearly Ł900 (Ł66,038 today), divided among the crew members.


'Carpathia' docked at Pier 54 in New York, following the rescue of survivors from 'Titanic', 1912.

1942: The first air attack on the Japanese homeland is carried out by sixteen specially-prepared North American B-25 'Mitchell' bombers, taking off from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet'.
The operation, now known as 'The Doolittle Raids', was the U.S. response to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, and was as imporant psychologically as militarily, with the intendion of restoring American morale, whilst denting the Japanese population's belief in it's leadership when shown that Japan was not beyond the reach of the enemy, as they were being told.


Lt. Col. 'Jimmy' Doolittle's B-25 takes-off first, from the carrier U.S.S. 'Hornet', 18th April 1942.

1943: Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander of the Combined Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy, and as such, responsible for major battles such as Pearl Harbor and Midway, was killed in an ambush as he was being flown to an inspection tour of forward positions in the Solomon Islands on board a Mitsubishi G4M "Betty" bomber. Unfortunately for Yamamoto, U.S. naval intelligence had learned of the tour from decrypted Japanese messages, and were able to specifically target him in a mission involving sixteen U.S. Lockheed P-38 'Lightning' fighters, codenamed 'Operation Vengeance'.
His death was a major blow to Japanese military morale during World War II.


Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto,
(4th April 1884 - 18th April 1943).

1945: 969 aircraft, comprised of 617 Lancasters, 332 Halifaxes, and 20 Mosquitoes, attack Heligoland, a small German archipelago in the North Sea. The Naval base, airfield, & town are bombed into crater-pitted 'moonscapes'. 3 Halifaxes were lost. The islands were evacuated the following day.

1947: From 1945 to 1952 the uninhabited Heligoland islands were used as a bombing range. On 18th April 1947, the Royal Navy detonated 6,700 tonnes of explosives ("Big Bang" or "British Bang"), creating one of the biggest single non-nuclear detonations in history. While aiming at the fortifications, the island's total destruction would have been accepted. The blast shook the main island and changed its shape, creating the 'Mittelland'.

1949: The keel for the first of the five planned postwar aircraft carriers, U.S.S. 'United States' (CVA-58), is laid down at Newport News Drydock and Shipbuilding, Virginia. She is to be the lead ship of a new design of 'supercarriers' - The order  was cancelled five days later.


'United States' keel plate being laid in a construction dry dock, 18th April 1949.

1955: Albert Einstein, the German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, died in hospital in Princeton, New Jersey, aged 76, having been admitted three days earlier with an internal complaint.
The eminent scientist's work laid the foundations for many modern technologies including nuclear weapons and cosmic science, and also earned him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.
After his death, Einstein's brain was removed and preserved for scientific research by Canadian scientists. It was found that the part of Einstein's brain responsible for mathematical thought and the ability to think in terms of space and movement was 15% wider than average. It also lacked a groove which normally runs through this region suggesting that the neurons were able to communicate.


Task Force 1, the world's first nuclear-powered task force in the Mediterranean, June 1964.
U.S.S. 'Enterprise' (in formation with 'Long Beach' & 'Bainbridge') has Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula E=mc˛ spelled out on it's flight deck.

1978: The U.S. Senate backed a treaty to transfer the Panama Canal to the control of Panama. The Senate's approval by 68 votes to 32 was by the narrowest of margins - just one vote more than the two-thirds majority required. The outcome was seen as a victory for President Jimmy Carter's foreign policy at a time when the effectiveness of his administration was under question.

1988: U.S. naval forces within Iranian territorial waters launch 'Operation Praying Mantis'. It is an  offensive against Iranian naval forces in retaliation for the Iranian mining of the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq war and the subsequent damage caused to an American guided-missile frigate, U.S.S. 'Samuel B. Roberts', which was almost sunk by one of the mines while deployed in the Persian Gulf as part of 'Operation Earnest Will' - The 1987-88 convoy missions in which U.S. warships escorted reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers to protect them from Iranian attacks.

'Praying Mantis' was the largest U.S. surface engagement since World War II, and marked the U.S. Navy's first exchange of anti-ship missiles by ships. By the end of the operation, American Marines, ships and aircraft had damaged Iranian naval and intelligence facilities on two inoperable oil platforms, sank at least three armed Iranian speedboats, one Iranian frigate and one fast attack gunboat. One other Iranian frigate was damaged in the battle.

The U.S. suffered two casualties, the crew of a Marine Corps AH-1T Sea Cobra helicopter gunship, which crashed sometime after dark while flying a reconaissance mission. Navy officials said the wreckage showed no sign of battle damage.


The Vosper Thornycroft-built frigate of the Iranian Navy, IS 'Sahand' (F-74), was sunk after being hit by three Harpoon missiles and numerous cluster bomblets during 'Operation Praying Mantis'.
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Capt Podge

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Re: This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #288 on: April 18, 2013, 11:31:36 PM »

Friday, 18th April 1941   The drifter 'Young Ernie' (88t) was on Admiralty service when she was in collision, off Tynemouth, with the examination vessel 'Ben Idris'. The 'Young Ernie' sank at 55°01'18"N - 01°21'23"W.
 
 
Regards,
 
Ray.
 
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History
« Reply #289 on: April 19, 2013, 05:28:15 AM »

April 19th...

1770: The 1st Voyage of Captain James Cook (1768–71): Having sailed west from New Zealand, Captain James Cook and the crew of H.M.S. 'Endeavour' sight the eastern coast of what is now Australia, and in doing so his expedition become the first recorded Europeans to have encountered it's eastern coastline.


1775: The Siege of Boston begins, marking the the opening phase of the American Revolutionary War as New England militiamen (who later became part of the Continental Army) surround the town of Boston, Massachusetts, preventing movement by the British Army garrisoned within.
The siege would last for almost eleven months, ending when the British withdraw by sea, leaving the town to the American colonists led by George Washington.

1782: The Battle of the Mona Passage takes place between a British squadron under Rear-Admiral Sir Samuel Hood, and a small French fleet, in the strait separating Hispaniola and Puerto Rico, shortly after the British victory at the Battle of the Saintes (9th-12th April 1782).
On 17th April, with orders to seek out any disabled or damaged French ships that had escaped the battle, Hood's division of twelve ships had set out towards toward Saint-Domingue.

The French 64-gun ship of the line 'Caton' had been damaged in the initial encounter between the fleets on 9th April, and the 'Jason', also 64 guns, had been damaged on the 10th April when it collided with the heavily-damaged 'Zélé'. Both of these ships were in the Mona Passage, making sail for Cap-Français along with several smaller ships, when Hood's squadron spotted them.

Hood chased down the French ships, the faster copper-sheathed British ships outpacing the damaged French ships. H.M.S. 'Valiant' captured both 'Jason' and 'Caton' at the cost of four men killed and six wounded, whilst H.M.S. 'Magnificent' captured the frigate 'Aimable' at the cost of four killed and eight wounded. The corvette 'Ceres' was also captured, while the frigate 'Astrée' managed to escape with minimal damage.

The captured French ships were taken back to England for further use. 'Jason' was renamed H.M.S. 'Argonaut', while 'Caton' was used as a prisoner of war hospital ship and moored off Saltash in Cornwall. She continued in this role well into the Napoleonic Wars. 'Aimable' was renamed H.M.S. 'Aimable' and served in the Royal Navy until 1811


The French 64-gun ship of the line, 'Jason', is captured in the Mona Passage, 19th April, 1782.

1945: The Royal Air Force targets Heligoland (the German North Sea archipelago) for the final time. Using 36 Avro Lancasters from 9 and 617 Squadrons, they attack submarine pens and coastal battery positions with Tallboy bombs for no losses.
Meanwhile, following the yesterday's air raid (18th April 1945) by 969 Allied aircraft, the civilian population is evacuated. It had remained on the main island throughout WW2, being protected from Allied bombing raids in rock shelters. Most of the island's 128 casualties during the wartime period were anti-aircraft crews.

In 1952, the islands were restored to the German authorities, who had to clear a huge amount of undetonated ammunition, landscape the main island, and rebuild the houses before it could be resettled.
Heligoland is now a holiday resort and enjoys a tax-exempt status, as it is part of the EU but excluded from the EU VAT area and customs union, and consequently, much of the economy is founded on sales of cigarettes, alcoholic beverages and perfumes to tourists who visit the islands.
Heligoland is also home to a search and rescue (SAR) base of the DGzRS, the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Rettung Schiffbrüchiger ("German Maritime Search and Rescue Service").


Heligoland with the main island in foreground and the islet of Düne in the background.

1989: On board U.S.S. 'Iowa (BB-61), At 09:55 hrs, during a gunnery exercise, an explosion ripped through the Number Two 16-inch gun turret, killing 47 crewmen. A gunner's mate in the powder magazine room quickly flooded the No. 2 powder magazine, likely preventing catastrophic damage to the ship.
The incident was the subject of two investigations. The first by the, Naval Investigative Service (later renamed Naval Criminal Investigative Service or NCIS), satisfied the Navy with their theory that one of the dead crewmen was responsible due to his emotional state at the time. However, much criticism forced Congress to reopen the case, resulting in independant investigators uncovering evidence which pointed to an accidental powder explosion rather than an intentional act of sabotage.

Heavy smoke pours from Turret Two of U.S.S. 'Iowa' after the internal explosion on 19th April 1989. The left gun of Turret One in the background is fully elevated as it's crew tries to clear an earlier misfire by trying to coax the powder bags to slide backwards against the primer.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 20th
« Reply #290 on: April 20, 2013, 08:37:42 PM »

April 20th...

1453: The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn. The Ottoman fleet is prevented from following by way of a huge chain which is strung across the estuary, and is controlled to allow or deny access to the harbour.
The Golden Horn is an inlet off the Bosphorus dividing the city of Istanbul and forming the natural harbour that has sheltered ships for thousands of years. The scimitar-shaped estuary joins the Bosphorus just at the point where that strait enters the Sea of Marmara, thus forming a peninsula the tip of which is 'Old Istanbul'.


A map of Byzanz, showing the Golden Horn.

1534: French explorer, Jacques Cartier, set sail from Saint-Malo with two ships and a crew of 61, under a commission from King François of France, hoping to discover a western passage to the wealthy markets of Asia. In the words of the commission, he was to "discover certain islands and lands where it is said that a great quantity of gold and other precious things are to be found". Twenty days later he reached Newfoundland.

1657: Under heavy fire, an English fleet commanded by Admiral Robert Blake, attacks and destroys a Spanish treasure fleet (that had already landed the treasure) at the Battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Spanish Canary Islands. Blake issued specific orders to his captains that no Spanish ships were to be taken as prizes - they were to be destroyed, Consequently the remainder of the Spanish merchantmen that hadn't been scuttled to prevent capture, were burnt by the English.


Robert Blake's flagship the 'George' at the battle of Santa Cruz de Tenerife in 1657.

1865: Father Pietro Angelo Secchi, astronomer and scientific advisor to the Pope, demonstrates the 'Secchi disk', an instrument with which to measure water clarity, from the Papal steam yacht, Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception) in the Mediterranean Sea.

The 'Secchi disk', a circular metal plate attached to a calibrated rope, is still in use today. It is probably the least expensive and easiest to use tool in water quality monitoring. One of it's best attributes is that the information it provides is easily interpreted by volunteers and can be used to detect water quality trends in lakes.

The 'Immacolata Concezione', built in 1859 for the Pope's private use by the Thames Iron and Shipbuilding Company, was 178 feet long and carried 8 brass 18-pounder guns. She was lost in the Mediterranean in 1905.
The flag and a scale model are in the Vatican Museum in the Lateran Palace.


The armed screw steam yacht 'Immacolata Concepzione', built for His Holiness the Pope.

1893: His Majesty's Yacht 'Britannia', a Gaff-rigged cutter built to the "Length And Sail Area Rule" for Commodore Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, is launched at the D&W Henderson shipyard on the River Clyde. 
By the end of her first year's racing, the 'Britannia' scored thirty-three wins from forty-three starts. In her second season, she won all seven races for the first class yachts on the French Riviera, and then beat the 1893 America's Cup defender Vigilant in home waters.


Prince Albert Edward's first-class rater 'Britannia' (George Lennox Watson design) c.1893-1899.

1942: Codenamed 'Operation Calendar', 47 Supermarine Spitfires are flown to Malta from the deck of the United States Navy carrier U.S.S. 'Wasp', together with the pilots of No.601 and No.603 Squadrons RAF.
However, the Luftwaffe launch a series of devastating raids on the airfields at Luqa and Ta'Kali, and by 23rd April, nine of the Spitfires have been destroyed on the ground and a further 29 damaged.


British Spitfires reving their engines prior to take off from U.S.S. 'Wasp', on their way to Malta.

2010: At 09:45hrs (CDT), during the final phases of drilling an exploratory well at Macondo in the Gulf of Mexico, a geyser of seawater erupted 240 ft into the air from the marine riser of the 'Deepwater Horizon' ultra-deepwater, dynamically positioned, semi-submersible offshore oil drilling rig.

This was soon followed by the eruption of a slushy combination of mud, methane gas, and water. The gas component of the slushy material quickly transitioned into a fully gaseous state and ignited into a series of explosions and then a firestorm, which was visible 35 miles away. An attempt was made to activate the blowout preventer, but it failed.

At the time of the explosion, there were 126 crew on board. Eleven workers were presumed killed in the initial explosion. The rig was evacuated, with numerous injured workers airlifted to medical facilities.


The 'Deepwater Horizon' platform engulfed in flames, April 2010.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 20th
« Reply #291 on: April 20, 2013, 11:53:46 PM »

April 20th...

1944: Liberty ship, SS 'Paul Hamilton' (Hull Number 227) was on her fifth voyage (as part of convoy UGS 38) carrying supplies and the ground personnel of the 485th Bombardment Group of the U.S.A.A.F. to Italy.
On the evening of 20th April, she was attacked in the Mediterranean Sea, 30 miles off the coast of Cape Bengut near Algiers, by 23 German Ju 88 bombers of III./KG 26, I. and III./KG 77.


Liberty Ship 'Paul Hamilton'

One aerial torpedo struck the 'Paul Hamilton', detonating the cargo of high explosives and bombs.
The 441ft long ship disappeared within 30 seconds. Of the 580 crew and passengers on board, including 154 officers and men of the 831st Bombardment Squadron, none survived the violent explosion. Only one body was recovered.


The ammunition-laden SS 'Paul Hamilton' is completely destroyed after being struck by a German aerial torpedo.

During the engagement five ships were torpedoed, three of them being sunk. Sunk were the destroyer U.S.S. 'Lansdale' (DD-426) and the SS Paul Hamilton. The SS 'Royal Star' was torpedoed aft and was abandoned by her crew. The SS 'Samite' and the SS 'Stephen F. Austin' were both torpedoed in the bow, but managed to reach Algiers.
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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 21st
« Reply #292 on: April 21, 2013, 07:13:23 PM »

April 21st...

1500: Seaweed was sighted by sailors of Pedro Alvares Cabral's fleet, leading them to believe they were nearing land. The fleet of 12-ships, which sailed from Lisbon, Portugal, bound for Calicut, on March 9th, had continued to sail away from their intended destination since crossing the equator on 9th April.
India-bound Portugese navigators sailors understood that by sailing west, they could use the Southern Atlantic's counter-clockwise rotating wind system to carry them past the entire western coast of Africa.


1509: Henry VIII becomes the second monarch of the Tudor dynasty, ascending the throne of England on the death of his father, Henry VII.
Henry's reign would have a significant effect on Britain's maritime history, not least because he is traditionally cited as one of the founders of the Royal Navy.
Henry would invest in large cannon for his warships, replacing the smaller serpentines that were in use - an idea that had taken hold in other countries. He was responsible for the creation of a permanent navy, with the supporting anchorages and dockyards. Henry would see the Navy move away from boarding tactics to employ gunnery instead, and he would order more ships (including the Mary Rose), to increase the size of the Navy.
He also was responsible for the establishment of the "council for marine causes" to specifically oversee all the maintenance and operation of the Navy, becoming the basis for the later Admiralty.


The 'Mary Rose', Henry VIII's Flagship, at Spithead in 1545.

1914: The SS 'Ypiranga', a German-registered cargo-steamer commissioned to transport arms and munitions to the Mexican government under control of Victoriano Huerta, reached the port of Veracruz in Mexico. While attempting to unload the ship on the first day of the (unofficial) U.S. occupation, workers were detained by American troops (by the order of President Woodrow Wilson) because the landing of weapons completely violated the arms embargo that the U.S. had placed on Mexico, which was at the time, in the midst a civil war.

Because there was neither a declaration of war on Mexico by the U.S., nor a formal blockade on its ports, the detention of the 'Ypiranga' was not legal and it was quickly released. It proceeded to Puerto Mexico, a port outside of American influence and it was able to unload its cargo to Huerta’s officials.


The cargo-steamer 'Ypiranga'.

1934: Probably the most famous photo allegedly showing the 'Loch Ness Monster', is supposedly taken by Robert Kenneth Wilson, a London gynaecologist. The image was published in the Daily Mail on 21st April 1934, but Wilson's refusal to have his name associated with the photograph led to it being called 'Surgeon's Photograph.
In 1999, the photo was revealed to be a hoax (really!). Essentially, it was a toy submarine bought from F.W. Woolworths with a head and neck made of plastic wood.


The 'Surgeons Photograph' on the front of the Daily Mail newspaper, 21st April, 1934.

1959: Off the coast of Ceduna, South Australia Alfred Dean caught a 2,664-pound Great White Shark. Amazingly, he subdued this monster - the heaviest record fish ever listed by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) - in only 50 minutes on 130-pound test line.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 22nd
« Reply #293 on: April 22, 2013, 09:25:30 PM »

April 22nd...

1453: The Ottoman blockading fleet's failure to overcome the chain which protected the Golden Horn, whilst allowing a small flotilla of four Christian ships from entering on 20th April, strengthened the morale of the defenders and caused embarrassment to the 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan, Mehmed II.
To circumvent the chain, Mehmmet ordered the construction of a road of greased logs across Galata on the north side of the Golden Horn, and rolled his ships across on 22nd April. An action which would seriously threaten the flow of supplies from Genovese ships from the (nominally neutral) colony of Pera, and demoralise the Byzantine defenders.


Sultan Mehmet II oversees his boats being transported overland into the Golden Horn.
Painting by Fausto Zonaro, (1854-1929)

1500: Whilst sailing in a westerly direction, en route to India with a fleet of twelve ships, Portuguese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral became the first European to sight a new land which he initially assumed to be a large island. In reality, he had accidentally discovered what is now known as Brazil. The fleet anchored near what Cabral christened the Monte Pascoal ('Easter Mount', it being the week of Easter).



1519: (Good Friday) Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico and establishes the first Spanish settlement on the mainland of the Americas, which he names Villa Rica de la Vera Cruz (Present day Veracruz).
'Villa Rica' (Rich Village) referring to the area’s gold, and 'Vera Cruz' (derived from the Latin Vera Crux) dedicated to the 'True Cross', because he landed on the Christian holy day of Good Friday, the day of the Crucifixion.

1529: Treaty of Saragossa divides the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal along a line 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas. The Treaty of Zaragoza, also referred to as the Capitulation of Zaragoza was a peace treaty between Spain and Portugal signed on 22nd April, by King John III and the Emperor Charles V, in the Spanish city of Zaragoza.
The treaty defined the areas of Spanish and Portuguese influence in Asia to resolve the 'Moluccas issue', when both kingdoms claimed the Moluccas islands for themselves, considering it within their exploration area established by the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494. The conflict sprung in 1520, when the expeditions of both kingdoms reached the Pacific Ocean, since there was not a set limit to the east.

1622: The Capture of Ormuz by an Anglo-Persian force ends more than a century of Portuguese control of Hormuz Island, and entirely changes the balance of power and trade through the Persian Gulf.
The English force, supplied by the English East India Company, consisted of five warships and four pinnaces. The Persian army, already besieging the Portuguese fort in Kishm, negotiated with the English to obtain their support to capture Ormuz, promising the development of silk trade in their favour. An agreement was signed, providing for the sharing of spoils and customs dues at Hormuz, the repatriations of prisoners according to their faith, and the payment by the Persians of half of the supply costs for the fleet.


The position of the city of Hormuz set on the strait at the bottom of the Arabian Gulf, 1572.

1676: The naval Battle of Augusta (also known as the Battle of Agosta) takes place during the Franco-Dutch War between a French fleet of 29 man-of-war, five frigates and eight fireships under Abraham Duquesne and a Dutch-Spanish fleet of 27 (17 Dutch, 10 Spanish) plus five fireships with Dutch Lieutenant-Admiral-General Michiel de Ruyter in command.
The battle was a short but intense affair and ended abruptly when Duquesne, after hearing that De Ruyter had been mortally wounded, retreated. Neither side lost a ship, though there were many dead and wounded, especially among the Dutch.


A naval engagement, said to be the Battle of Agosta, By Aernout Smit.

1782: Pirate Anne Bonny died today. Born in Kinsale, Ireland. Bonny's family relocated to the New World very early on in her life. Her mother died shortly after they arrived in North America, where her father eventually joined a merchant business.
Anne became famous as a female pirate operating in the Caribbean. What little is known of her life comes largely from 'A General History of the Pyrates', a 1724 book published in Britain, containing biographies of contemporary pirates.

Pyrate Anne Bonny (8th March 1702 – 22nd April 1782)
“Well behaved women seldom make history”

1838: The wooden-hulled side-wheel paddle steamer 'Sirius', chartered by the British and American Steam Navigation Company to make the first Transatlantic crossing by steamship (ahead of Brunel's 'Great Western'), arrives in New York to the acclaim of a large and enthusiastic crowd, 18 days 10 hours after her departure from Cork, Ireland.
'Srius' is also regarded as the first holder of the 'Blue Riband', although the term was not used until decades later.


Sidewheel Paddle-Steamer 'Sirius'.

1898: U.S.S. 'Nashville' (PG-7) captures a Spanish merchant ship as the U.S. Navy begins a blockade of Cuban ports during the Spanish-American war. She captured another three Spanish vessels by 26th July, and also assisted in cutting the undersea telegraph cable just off the shore of Cienfuegos, where many of her sailors and Marines were honored with Medals of Honor. 'Nashville' remained on duty off Cuba until the war's end.


Gunboat U.S.S. 'Nashville', the only ship of her class.

1902: R.M.S. 'Carpathia', built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson at their Newcastle upon Tyne, England shipyard, begins her sea trials between 22nd and 25th April

1930: The United Kingdom, Empire of Japan and the United States sign the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting naval shipbuilding.
Ratifications would be exchanged in October 1930, and it would be registered in League of Nations Treaty Series in February 1931.

1944: Operation Reckless and Operation Persecution are initiated with Allied amphibious landings taking place at at Hollandia, in Dutch New Guinea (currently known as Jayapura, Indonesia) and Aitape, in the Australian Territory of New Guinea (later Papua, New Guinea) about 140 miles east of Hollandia, thus commencing the Western New Guinea campaign.


Operation Reckless - LVT's head for the invasion beaches at Humboldt Bay, as cruisers bombard in the background. The ship firing tracer shells is U.S.S. 'Boise' (CL-47). Just ahead of her is U.S.S. 'Phoenix' (CL-46), 22nd April 1944.

1945: After learning that Soviet forces have taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admits defeat in his underground bunker and states that suicide is his only recourse. Unfortunately, this (being one of his better ideas) has come to him ten years too late...

1969: British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston wins the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race and completes the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world, between 14th June 1968 and 22nd April 1969 aboard 'Suhaili', his 32ft Bermudan Ketch (44ft including bowsprit and to end of Mizzen boom).


Robin Knox-Johnston, on his boat Suhaili, as he sailed towards Falmouth at the end of the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, 1969.

2010: The 'Deepwater Horizon' semi-submersible offshore oil rig, sinks to 5000-ft in the Gulf Of Mexico after suffering the extreme consequences of a blowout two days earlier. The well then created the largest spill in U.S. history (to date), with oil gushing from the damaged wellhead. A situation that would last until 15th July when it was temporarily sealed by a cap.


'Deepwater Horizon', listing before sinking in the Gulf of Mexico, April 22nd, 2010.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 23rd 'St. George's Day'
« Reply #294 on: April 23, 2013, 06:55:17 PM »

April 23rd... 'Saint George's Day'

1014: (Good Friday) The Battle of Clontarf takes place with the forces of Brian Boru defeating Viking mercenaries from Dublin and the Orkney Islands, led by the King of Leinster, Máel Mórda mac Murchada. Brian Boru was killed by Norsemen who stumbled upon his tent as they were fleeing the battle.


Battle of Clontarf, oil on canvas painting by Hugh Frazer, 1826.

1348: The founding of the Order of the Garter by King Edward III is announced on St George's Day. The premier order of chivalry or knighthood in England. The Order was put under Saint George’s patronage and the medal is awarded on the 23rd April by the reigning Monarch. Membership in the order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, and no more than twenty-four members, or Companions.

1500: With Pedro Álvares Cabral fleet anchored at the newly-christened 'Monte Pascoal' on the northeast coast of present-day Brazil, the Portuguese became aware of inhabitants on the shore. After gathering the ships' captains aboard Cabral's ship, Cabral ordering Nicolau Coelho, a captain who had experience from Vasco da Gama's voyage to India, to go ashore and make contact. He set foot on land and exchanged gifts with the indigenous people.

1598: Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp is born in Brill (Brielle), an historic seaport in the western Netherlands. Tromp was the oldest son of Harpert Maertensz, a naval officer who became captain of the 'Olifantstromp' - from the name of this ship the family name 'Tromp' probably has been derived, first appearing in documents in 1607. His mother supplemented the family's income as a washerwoman. At the age of nine, Tromp will go to sea with his father and be present in a squadron covering the Dutch main fleet fighting the Battle of Gibraltar in 1607. He will go on to become an officer and later an admiral in the Dutch navy.


Dutch vs  Spanish at the Battle of Gibraltar, 1607.


1621: (Admiral Sir) William Penn is born in St. Thomas Parish, Bristol to Giles Penn and Joan Gilbert. He will serve his apprenticeship at sea with his father, and during the the first Civil War he will fight on the side of the parliament, in command of a ship in the squadron maintained against the king in the Irish seas. Later will go on to become an English admiral, a politician, and the father of William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania.

1655: The Siege of Santo Domingo was fought from 23rd to 30th April at the Spanish Colony of Santo Domingo. A force of 2,400 Spanish troops led by Governor Don Bernardino Meneses y Bracamonte, Count of Peńalba, successfully resisted a force of 13,120 troops and 34 ships of the English Commonwealth Navy led by Admiral Sir William Penn.

1661: The coronation of King Charles II of England, Scotland and Ireland took place at  Westminster Abbey. Charles was the last sovereign to make the traditional procession from the Tower of London to Westminster Abbey the day before the coronation.

1770: Captain James Cook made his first recorded direct observation of indigenous Australians at Brush Island near Bawley Point, noting in his journal:
"…and were so near the Shore as to distinguish several people upon the Sea beach they appear'd to be of a very dark or black Colour but whether this was the real colour of their skins or the clothes they might have on I know not."

1832: Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36): Charles Darwin returned to Rio de Janeiro on the evening of 23rd April with a collection of insects and plants that was beyond his wildest dreams. He learned that the 'Beagle' had gone back towards Salvador to check on some survey readings in the Abrolhos Shoals, so he took a boat to Botofogo Bay with Augustus Earle (the ship's draughtsman) and Philip King (Midshipman) to wait for the 'Beagle' to return and  spent the next few weeks in a little cottage located beneath the rounded mountain of Corcovado (2,300 feet).

1838: Isambard Kindom Brunel's paddle-steamer 'Great Western', the first steamship purpose-built for crossing the Atlantic, completes her maiden voyage from Avonmouth to New York in just over 15 days. Even with a four-day head start, PS 'Sirius' only narrowly beat 'Great Western', arriving the previous day. In addition, when coal ran low on board 'Sirius', the crew had to burn cabin furniture, spare yards and one mast, inspiring the similar sequence in Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days. 'Great Western' had arrived with 203 tons of coal still aboard.
Although the term Blue Riband was not coined until years later, 'Sirius' is often credited as the first winner at 8.03 knots. However, she only held the record for a day because 'Great Western' had made the voyage faster at 8.66 knots.


'Great Western' makes the transatlantic crossing to New York, USA, from Avonmouth, England, in fifteen days, inaugurating a regular steamship service, 23rd April, 1838.

1889: (Rear Admiral) Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman, is born in Utrecht, to a family of professional soldiers. In 1906, he and his brother would be commissioned as midshipmen. He will be steadily promoted through the ranks, and become well known as the Dutch Rear Admiral who commanded ABDACOM Naval forces, a hastily-organized multinational naval force formed to defend the East Indies against an overwhelming Imperial Japanese attack.

1918: The Zeebrugge Raid, takes place when the British Royal Navy and Royal Marines attempt to neutralise the key Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge by intentionally sinking older British ships in the canal entrance to prevent German ships from leaving port. The port was used by the German Navy as a base for their U-boats and light shipping, which was a serious threat to Allied shipping, especially in the English Channel. Eight participants in the raid were awarded the Victoria Cross.

1947: In near-hurricane conditions, the eight crew of the Mumbles lifeboat, 'Edward, Prince of Wales', were all lost while attempting to rescue the crew of SS 'Samtampa', a 7,219 ton Liberty ship that had got into severe difficulties on Sker Point, off Porthcawl and Kenfig, Wales, in the Bristol Channel.
The lifeboat was launched and the crew drove into the darkness of the bay, returning for further information regarding the position of the 'Samtampa', as there was no radioman on board. Then they went back out to rescue the stricken ship - this was the last time they were seen alive.
The following morning the 'Samtampa' was found broken into several pieces, it's crew was been lost. The lifeboat was found, bottom up, on the rocks not far away.
The lifeboat crew are remembered in a memorial stained-glass window at All Saints Church, Oystermouth in the heart of Mumbles, Swansea.


Designed by Tim Lewis, the 'Lifeboat Window' is a tribute to; Coxswain William J. Gammon, 2nd Coxswain William Noel, 1st Mechanic Gilbert Davies, 2nd Mechanic Ernest Griffin, Boatman William Thomas, Boatman William Howell, Boatman Ronald Thomas and Boatman Richard Smith.

1949: Swayed by 'limited funds' (despite funds having already been provided in the Naval Appropriations Act of 1949) and bitter opposition from the United States Army and Air Force, Secretary of Defense Louis A. Johnson announced on 23rd April 1949 - five days after the ship's keel was laid down - the cancellation of construction of the U.S.S. 'United States' (CVA-58), the lead ship of a new design of supercarrier.
Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan immediately resigned, and the subsequent "Revolt of the Admirals" cost Admiral Louis Denfeld his position as Chief of Naval Operations.
The 'United States' was not completed, and the other four planned carriers were never built.


An artist's impression of the U.S.S. 'United States' aircraft carrier.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 24th
« Reply #295 on: April 24, 2013, 04:37:11 AM »

April 24th...

1500: After going ashore and successfully making contact with the indigenous locals, Nicolau Coelho returns to Pedro Álvares Cabral's anchored at Monte Pascoal on the northeast coast of present-day Brazil.

Still believing this new land to be an island, Cabral moved the fleet north, where after traveling 40 miles along the coast, it anchored on 24th April in what the commander-in-chief named Porto Seguro (Safe Port) - The place was a natural harbour.

Again they made contact with the local inhabitants, and as before, the meeting was friendly. Cabral presented them with gifts.


A depiction of Pedro Álvares Cabral's first landing at Porto Seguro. He is standing in front of an armoured soldier, who is carrying a banner of the Order of Christ.

1895: Joshua Slocum begins, what will be a three year solo-circumnavigation, when he set sail from Boston, Massachusetts, aboard 'Spray', a 36' 9" rigged sloop oyster boat he rebuilt in Fairhaven, Mass.
In his famous book, 'Sailing Alone Around the World', now considered a classic of travel literature, he described his departure in the following manner:

"I had resolved on a voyage around the world, and as the wind on the morning of April 24, 1895 was fair, at noon I weighed anchor, set sail, and filled away from Boston, where the Spray had been moored snugly all winter. The twelve o'clock whistles were blowing just as the sloop shot ahead under full sail. A short board was made up the harbor on the port tack, then coming about she stood to seaward, with her boom well off to port, and swung past the ferries with lively heels. A photographer on the outer pier of East Boston got a picture of her as she swept by, her flag at the peak throwing her folds clear. A thrilling pulse beat high in me. My step was light on deck in the crisp air. I felt there could be no turning back, and that I was engaging in an adventure the meaning of which I thoroughly understood."


Captain Joshua Slocum's boat 'Spray', taken in 1898.

1916: Following the loss of their ship 'Endurance' in Weddell Sea ice, and a harrowing ordeal for survival on drifting ice floes, the 28 exhausted members of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition were stranded on Elephant Island.

Realising that there was no chance of rescue, Ernest Shackleton decided to sail to South Georgia where he knew there was a whaling station. In one of the most incredible feats in the history of sailing and navigation, Shackleton sailed with five other men on an 800-mile voyage in the 22.5-ft open lifeboat, 'James Caird', on Easter Monday, 1916, arriving at South Georgia almost two weeks later.


Launching the 'James Caird' from the shore of Elephant Island, 24th April 1916.
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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 25th
« Reply #296 on: April 25, 2013, 10:21:24 AM »

April 25th...

1607: The naval Battle of Gibraltar takes place during the Eighty Years' War, when a Dutch fleet of 26 warships surprises and engages a Spanish fleet led by Don Juan Álvarez de Ávila, anchored at the Bay of Gibraltar. During the four hours of action, most of the Spanish fleet is destroyed.


The explosion of the Spanish flagship 'San Augustin' during the Battle of Gibraltar,1607.
Oil on canvas by Hendrick Cornelisz Vroom, c.1621.

1829: Charles Fremantle arrives in H.M.S. 'Challenger' off the coast of modern-day Western Australia, prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom on 2nd May 1829.

1908: During a late snowstorm off the Isle of Wight, H.M.S. 'Gladiator' was heading into port when she struck the outbound American steamer 'Saint Paul'. Visibility was down to 800 yd, but the strong tides and gale force winds required both ships to maintain high speeds to maintain steerage.

Lookouts on each vessel saw the approaching danger off Point Hurst, and the American ship attempted to pass to the port side. Lacking room to reciprocate the manoeuvre, 'Gladiator' turned the opposite way, ensuring a collision. 'Saint Paul' struck 'Gladiator' just aft of her engine room, the glancing blow ripping open the sides of both ships. 'Gladiator' foundered at once, while the American was able to remain afloat and launch lifeboats. Several men were saved by Royal Engineers from nearby Fort Victoria. At least 27 sailors were lost.


H.M.S. 'Gladiator (Arrogant-class cruiser).

1859: The Suez Canal Company (Compagnie Universelle du Canal Maritime de Suez) officially starts the construction of the Suez Canal, on the shore of the future Port Said. The project would take more than 10 years using forced labour (corvée) of Egyptian workers during a certain period. Some sources estimate that over 30,000 people were working on the canal at any given period, that altogether more than 1.5 million people from various countries were employed, and that thousands of laborers died on the project.


The Suez Canal at Ismailia, c.1860. The Ismailia segment was completed in November 1862.

1915: Australian and New Zealand forces land at Anzac Cove as part of the amphibious invasion of the Turkish Gallipoli Peninsula. The landing, north of Gaba Tepe on the Aegean coast of the Peninsula, was made by soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) and was the first major combat of the war for these two countries. Another landing was made several miles to the south west at Cape Helles by British and French troops.


Australian 4th Battalion troops landing in Anzac Cove, 25th April 1915.

1915: The balloon spotters of H.M.S. 'Manica', the first kite balloon ship of the Royal Naval Air Service are put into action directing shells onto various Turkish positions, reporting naval movements and supporting ANZAC operations.
The balloon, with its two observers, was in the air from 05:21 to 14:05 hrs, constantly reporting on the activities associated with Anzac Cove, while Australian and New Zealand Army Corps troops scaled the cliffs. One of the observers sighted the Turkish battleship 'Turgut Reis' in the Narrows. H.M.S. 'Triumph' was contacted by wireless, and the balloon-directed fire forced the Turkish warship to withdraw.


H.M.S. 'Manica', the first kite-balloon ship of the R.N.A.S.

1945: U.S. and Soviet troops meet at Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War 2 in Europe.
The initial contact was made between the two sides when First Lt. Albert Kotzebue of the 3rd Battalion, 273rd Infantry, 69th Infantry Division took his men in a boat across the Elbe to be greeted by Lt Col Alexander Gardiev, Commander of the 175th Rifle Regiment of the 58th Guards Division, 34th Corps.

1959: The St. Lawrence Seaway, (Great Lakes Waterway) is opened to commercial traffic. The icebreaker 'D'Iberville' was the first vessel through the system of locks, canals and channels which linked the North American Great Lakes & St. Lawrence River with the Atlantic Ocean.
The formal opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway took place several weeks later on 26th June.


Icebreaker C.G.S. 'd'Iberville' in the St. Lambert locks, during the first transit of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

1960: The U.S. Navy submarine U.S.S. 'Triton' completes the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe between 24th February and 25th April 1960, covering 26,723 nautical miles in 60 days and 21 hours at the average speed of 18 knots while crossing the Equator on four different occasions.

'Triton' had actually submerged soon after departure of her shakedown cruise on 16th February and remained submerged as she began her circumnavigation. Consequently, the total duration of her maiden voyage was 84 days 19 hours 8 minutes, covering 36,335.1 nautical miles (41,813.7 miles), of which she was continuously submerged for 83 days 9 hours, covering 35,979.1 nautical miles (41,404.0 miles).


U.S.S. 'Triton' (SSRN-586).

1961: Robert Noyce is granted U.S. Patent 2,981,877  for his "Semiconductor Device and Lead Structure", a type of integrated circuit (aka IC Chip or 'microchip').
Noyce came up with his own idea of an integrated circuit half a year later than a similar idea by Jack Kilby. However,  Noyce's chip solved many practical problems that Kilby's had not. Produced at Fairchild Semiconductor, it was made of silicon, whereas Kilby's chip was made of germanium.

1982: Britain re-established it's presence in the Falkland Islands after a two-hour assault by Royal Marines on the remote island of South Georgia. The victory was signalled to London by the commanding officer with a brief but dramatic message, "Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God Save the Queen."


The British flags being raised over South Georgia, 25th April 1982.
 
"Be pleased to inform Her Majesty that the White Ensign flies alongside the Union Jack in South Georgia. God Save the Queen."
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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 26th
« Reply #297 on: April 26, 2013, 03:25:27 PM »

April 26th...

1500: While Portugese navigator Pedro Álvares Cabral's fleet was anchored in the natural harbour they had named Porto Seguro (Safe Port), more and more curious and friendly natives appeared. Cabral ordered his men to build an altar inland where a Christian Mass was held - the first celebrated on the soil of what would later become Brazil. He, along with the ships' crews, participated. The following days were spent stockpiling water, food, wood and other provisions. The Portuguese also built a massive  wooden cross.


1607: With a charter from the Virginia Company of London, English colonists aboard three ships, the 'Susan Constant'*, the 'Godspeed', and the 'Discovery' reached the New World at the southern edge of the mouth of (what is now known as) Chesapeake Bay. Led by Captain Christopher Newport, the colonists (all male) came ashore at the point where the southern side of the bay meets the Atlantic Ocean, an event which has come to be called 'The First Landing'. They erected a cross, and named the place Cape Henry, in honour of Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King James.
* Early documentary evidence now supports the possibility that the ship currently known as the 'Susan Constant', was really named 'Sarah Constant'


Full-size replicas of (from L to R) 'Godspeed', 'Susan Constant'* and 'Discovery'.

1833:  Voyage of H.M.S. Beagle (1831-36):: The 'Beagle' arrived at Montevideo on 26th April, dropped off some French passengers from the Falkland Islands, and sailed the next day to Maldonado to check on the 'Adventure'. More mail arrived by packet ship a few days later and Charles Darwin received six letters from his sisters: two from Caroline, two from Catherine, and two from Susan.

1956: SS 'Ideal X', the first commercially successful container ship, began her new career when she sailed from Port Newark, New Jersey for the Port of  Houston, Texas, carrying 58 35-feet (8ft wide x 8ft high) containers. She arrived at Houston five days later where 58 trucks were waiting to be loaded with the containers.
'Ideal X' was originally built in 1945, as a T-2 oil tanker named 'Potrero Hills'. She was later purchased by Malcom McLean's Pan-Atlantic Steamship Company and reconfigured to carry shipping containers.
However, 'Ideal X' was not the first container ship, the 'Clifford J. Rodgers', operated by the White Pass and Yukon Route, made its debut in 1955.


'Ideal X', The first commercially successful container ship.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 27th
« Reply #298 on: April 27, 2013, 08:00:35 AM »

April 27th...

1521: Magellan's Voyage around the World (1519-1522): After completing around two thirds of the first circumnavigation of the globe, Portugese navigator and explorer, Ferdinand Magellan's plans come unstuck at the Battle of Mactan, in the Phillipines, when he gets dead.

On the morning of 27th April, Magellan and forty-nine Spanish soldiers armed with guns, sailed to Mactan where they were confronted by Lapu-Lapu and 1,500 Mactan warriors, armed with machette-like knives, swords, spears, and shields.

In the ensuing 'battle', Magellan was hit by a bamboo spear and then surrounded and finished off with other weapons. Several of his men were also killed as they retreated to their boat.

Lapu-Lapu, the only native chieftain who refused to recognise the power & authority of Magellan and the sovereign power & dominion over the islands by the Spanish monarchy, is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.


The Death of Magellan on Mactan, 1521.

1791: Samuel Finley Breese Morse is born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of the pastor Jedidiah Morse (who was also a geographer) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese. Samuel Morse would go on to become an inventor, contributing to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system (based on European telegraphs), to co-invent the Morse code, and also an accomplished artist.

1863: Iron screw steam ship, 'Anglo Saxon', built by William Denny and Brothers of Dumbarton in 1856, operated on the Liverpool-Canada route. On 16th April, commanded by Captain William Burgess, she sailed out from Liverpool bound for Quebec with 360 passengers and 85 crew aboard. On 27th April, in dense fog, she ran aground in Clam Cove about four miles north of Cape Race on the Newfoundland coast. The ship broke up within an hour of hitting the rocks, and sank. Of those on board 237 people died, making this one of Canada's worst shipwrecks.


The Stranding of the SS 'Anglo-Saxon'.

1865: Dangerously overloaded, the Mississippi River-steamboat 'Sultana' exploded at around 02:00hrs on 27th April, and became the worst maritime disaster in United States history.
An estimated 1,600 of Sultana's 2,400 passengers were killed due to a catastrophic failure of the ship's boiler(s). The tremendous explosion destroyed a large section of the vessel, scattering hot coals throughout the remaining superstructure, turning it into an inferno.
Passengers and crew surviving the blast and flames, were subsequently killed by drowning or hypothermia in the icy river water.
The burning wreck eventually sank around dawn, near the tiny settlement of Mound City near present-day Marion, Arkansas.
This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events. John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln's assassin, was killed the day before.


1960: The first submarine specifically designed as an ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) weapon, U.S.S. 'Tullibee' (SSN-597) is launched from Groton, Connecticut. Built in response to a need for deeper-diving, ultraquiet submarine designs using long-range sonar, 'Tullibee's design incorporated three signicant differences. First, she incorporated the first bow-mounted spherical sonar array. This resulted in the second innovation: amidships, angled torpedo tubes. Thirdly, 'Tullibee' was propelled by a very quiet turbo-electric power plant based on the S2C reactor.


U.S.S. 'Tullibee' (SSN-597) is launched from Groton, Connecticut., April 27th 1960.
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ardarossan

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This Day In 'Boating' History - April 28th
« Reply #299 on: April 28, 2013, 06:49:26 AM »

April 28th...

1503: The French were defeated by the Spanish under Gonsalvo de Cordoba at the 'Battle of Cerignola' near Naples. Although this was a land battle, it is notable for being the first major battle won largely through the use of small arms fire using gunpowder.

1789: A mutiny occurs aboard the British Royal Navy ship H.M.S. 'Bounty' on 28th April 1789. The mutiny was led by Fletcher Christian against commanding officer Lieutenant William Bligh. According to most accounts, the sailors were attracted to the idyllic life on the Pacific island of Tahiti and had been motivated by harsh treatment from their captain.

Eighteen mutineers set Lieutenant Bligh adrift in a small boat with eighteen of the twenty-two crew loyal to him. The mutineers then variously settled on Pitcairn Island or in Tahiti and burned the Bounty off Pitcairn Island, to avoid detection and to prevent desertion.

Bligh navigated the 23-foot open launch on a 47-day voyage to Timor in the Dutch East Indies, equipped with a quadrant and pocket watch and without charts or compass. He recorded the distance as 3,618 nautical miles. He then returned to Britain and reported the mutiny to the Admiralty on 15th March 1790, 2 years and 11 weeks after his original departure.


The Mutiny on His Majesty's Ship 'Bounty', 29th April 1789, by Robert Dodd.

1865: Sir Samuel Cunard, 1st Baronet, died on this day in Kensington. He was buried nearby in Brompton Cemetery.
Known for the shipping line that carries his name, the Canadian-English shipping magnate was already a highly successful entrepreneur in Halifax shipping and one of a group of twelve individuals who dominated the affairs of Nova Scotia. Early investments in steam included co-founding the steam ferry company in Halifax harbour and an investment in the pioneering steamship 'Royal William'.
Later, Cunard travelled to the United Kingdom, where he set up a company with several other businessmen to bid for the rights to run a transatlantic mail service between the UK and North America. The group was successful with its bid, and the company later became Cunard Steamships Limited. 

1944: Code-named 'Exercise Tiger' (or Operation Tiger), the large-scale rehearsals for the D-Day invasion of Normandy were taking place on Slapton Sands or Slapton Beach in Devon.
In the early hours of 28th April, an allied convoy of Landing Craft was positioning itself for a landing, when it came under attack from nine E-boats of the German Kriegsmarine, resulting in the deaths of 946 American servicemen. The incident was under the strictest secrecy at the time due to the impending invasion, and was only nominally reported afterward; as a result it has been called 'forgotten'.

1947: Norwegian explorer & writer Thor Heyerdahl with five companions, set off from Peru on board a balsa wood raft, in order to discover whether it was possible that Peruvian Indians could have crossed the Pacific ocean and settled in the Polynesian islands.
The raft, named 'Kon-Tiki' after the Inca sun god, Viracocha (for whom 'Kon-Tiki' was said to be an old name), was constructed in an indigenous style, as recorded in illustrations by Spanish conquistadores, and using only technologies available to those people at the time.


Thor Heyerdahl's 'Kon-Tiki' during its 101-day voyage from Peru to Polynesia, 1947.

1986: The United States Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. 'Enterprise' becomes the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal, navigating from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to relieve the U.S.S. 'Coral Sea'.
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