This Day in Naval History - March 24

Story Number: NNS011215-25Release Date: 12/15/2001 6:31:00 PM
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From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1898 - The battleship USS Kentucky (BB 6) is launched in Newport News, Va.

1903 - Adm. George Dewey is commissioned Admiral of the Navy, the only person to hold this rank. Upon his death Jan. 16, 1917, Congress deactivates the rank.

1919 - The battleship USS Idaho (BB 42) is commissioned. Idaho serves with the Pacific fleet, participating in gunfire support of the Aleutian, Marianas, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa Campaigns, and is in Tokyo Bay Sept. 2, 1945 when Japan formally surrenders.

1936 - USS Balch (DD 363), named after Rear Adm. George B. Balch, is launched.

1944 - USS Bowfin (SS 287) attacks a Japanese convoy, sinking both a transport and army cargo ship.

1977 - The initial service acceptance trials for the CH 53E Super Stallion are completed at Naval Air Test Center (NATC), Naval Air Station Patuxent River.

1986 - The first operational use of a Harpoon missile in combat is used by A-6A aircraft from VA-34 against a Libyan Combatant II G-class fast-attack missile craft. The engagement occurs after Libyan armed forces fire missiles at U.S. Navy forces operating in the Gulf of Sidra. Retaliatory strikes by A-7E Corsair II aircraft put the SA-5 missiles out of action at Surt and VA-85 aircraft then sink the missile craft.

2009 - Coastal patrol craft USS Chinook (PC 9) arrives at Umm Qasr, Iraq. During this port visit to Iraq, she is the first U.S. Navy ship to stay overnight.

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