This Day in Naval History - May 24

Story Number: NNS020131-25Release Date: 1/31/2002 10:56:00 AM
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By Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1917 - The first U.S. convoy left Hampton Roads, Va. to cross the North Atlantic after entering World War I. During the 18 months of war while American vessels escort convoys through the war zone, 183 attacks are made by submarines, 24 submarines are damaged and two are destroyed.

1918 - USS Olympia (C 6) is anchored at Kola Inlet, Murmansk, Russia, to protect refugees during the Russian Revolution.

1939 - Vice Adm. Allan McCann's Rescue Chamber is first used to rescue 33 men from the sunken USS Squalus (SS 192). Four Navy divers receive the Medal of Honor for their heroic actions on May 24-25 to rescue the trapped men.

1945 - Patrol bomber PBM aircraft sink Japanese Special Coast Defense Ship No.21 off the China coast, Task Force 58 attacks airfields on southern Kyushu. In return, the Japanese attack U.S. positions and ships at Okinawa and kamikazes strike USS William C. Cole (DE 641), USS Sims (APD 50), LCS (L) 121.

1961 - USS Gurke (DD 783) notices signals from 12 men from Truk Island who are stranded for three months first at sea and then on an island. USS Southerland (DD 743) investigates the situation and notifies Truk Island, and provides provisions and supplies to repair their outrigger canoe. The men are picked up on June 7 by the motor launch Kaselehlia.

1962 - Aurora 7 (Mercury 7) is launched and piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm Scott Carpenter. Aurora 7 completes three orbits in 4 hours, 56 minutes at an altitude up to 166.8 statute miles at 17,549 mph.

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