June 27 - Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1811 - Little Belt affair
USS President (58), Commodore John Rodgers, engaged HMS Little Belt (20), Cptn. Arthur Bingham, off Cape Hatteras.



The Little Belt affair was a naval battle on the night of 16 May 1811. It involved the United States frigate USS President and the British sixth-rate HMS Little Belt, a sloop-of-war, which had originally been the Danish ship Lillebælt, before being captured by the British in the 1807 Battle of Copenhagen. The encounter took place off the North Carolina coast. The Little Belt Affair was one of many incidents and events that led to the War of 1812.

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Background
The Little Belt affair occurred four years after the ChesapeakeLeopard affair of 1807, in which HMS Leopard had attacked USS Chesapeake, killing three, wounding eighteen, and putting four of her sailors on trial for desertion. It was fifteen days after an incident involving HMS Guerriere, a frigate. On 1 May 1811 HMS Guerriere had stopped the brig USS Spitfire off Sandy Hook in New Jersey and had impressed Maine citizen John Diggio, the apprentice sailing master of Spitfire. Secretary of the Navy Paul Hamilton had ordered President, along with USS Argus, to patrol the coastal areas from the Carolinas to New York.

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This coloured aquatint by William Elmes depicts the engagement between the American ‘President’ and the British ‘Little Belt’; they are shown on the left and right respectively. Both vessels are shown in port bow view, with ‘President’ in the act of firing one of her cannons. Although both vessels have had their sails shot through, the damage to ‘Little Belt’ is more extensive, including the collapse of the lower yard on the mizzen mast. The scene is filled with smoke with no distinguishing features. J.J. College in ‘Ships of the Royal Navy, Vol. I’ states that the ‘President’ captured ‘Little Belt’; however, this, it appears, is incorrect. In Captain Bingham’s biography (John Marshall, ‘Royal Naval Biography’, London, 1829) his official report to Rear-Admiral Sawyer is quoted and from this account we find that ‘Little Belt’ was able to reach Halifax, but was then taken out of service. This action took place before war had been declared between Britain and the USA (the volume of ‘Royal Naval Biography’ containing Bingham’s report of the action is subtitled ‘Post-Captains of 1812’ and ‘Supplement – Part III’; now it is usual to call the volume ‘No. 11’. The report is on pp. 51-53.)


The Affair
Chase

Commodore John Rodgers, commanding the frigate President, had left Annapolis several days earlier and was aware of the Guerriere incident. He was off the Virginia Capes and sailing up the coast towards New York. Little Belt was sighted to the east at about noon on 16 May. Believing her to be Guerriere, Rodgers pursued. Little Belt's captain, Arthur Bingham, had spotted President one hour earlier. Bingham signaled President asking for identification but received none. However, he noticed a blue pennant showing the ship's nationality was American. Bingham continued south, but Rodgers continued his pursuit because he wanted to know the stranger's identity. By 15:30, President was close enough for Rodgers to make out part of the British ship's stern. However, the angle at which he saw her made her appear larger than she was. Little Belt was much smaller than President, displacing only 460 tons in contrast to President's 1,576. The sloop mounted 20 guns, while President carried 56.

Battle
The British and American accounts disagree on what followed. As President closed with Little Belt, Bingham thought the frigate was manuevering to rake his ship with gunfire. Bingham wore ship three times to avoid the threat. The ships were not within hailing range until long after sunset. At about 10:15, each captain demanded the other identify his ship. Each refused to answer before the other. Each captain later claimed he had been the first to ask. Shortly after this a shot was fired, but it is disputed who shot it. The ships were soon engaged in a battle which the sloop had no chance of winning. After fifteen minutes, most of Bingham's guns had been put out of action, and Rodgers ordered a cease fire. President returned and Rodgers asked Bingham if he had struck. Bingham replied he had not, and President withdrew.

Aftermath
President had only one man injured. Little Belt suffered nine dead and 23 injured (two of them fatally). The sloop was also badly damaged in the encounter. The next morning, Lieutenant John Creighton went from President to Little Belt to lament the affair and offer Bingham space at any American port, which he declined. Bingham asked why President had attacked his much smaller ship. Creighton said it was because Little Belt had "provoked" the action. Bingham rejected the charge.

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President and HMS Little Belt

President sailed on to New York City, and Little Belt went to the North America Station in Halifax, Nova Scotia, escorted by HMS Goree The British and American governments argued about the encounter for months. Rodgers insisted that he had mistaken the sloop for a frigate and was adamant that Bingham had fired first. The Admiralty expressed their confidence in Bingham and promoted him to post-captain on 7 February 1812.

On 19 August 1812, after war had finally broken out, HMS Guerriere sailed into her ill-fated action against USS Constitution. Painted across her fore topsail were the words "NOT THE LITTLE BELT".


Lillebælt was a Danish 22-gun warship launched in 1801. The Danes surrendered her to the Royal Navy in 1807 and she became the 20-gun post ship HMS Little Belt. In a single-ship action in 1811 while the United States of America was at peace with Great Britain, USS President fired on Little Belt, ostensibly believing her to be HMS Guerriere, which had recently abducted a sailor from USS Spitfire. Still to this day history is not sure who took the first shot, both sides convinced the other had fired initially. This action was the eponymous "Little Belt Affair". Her captain at the time, Arthur Batt Bingham, maintained that the Americans fired first and that although his vessel had suffered heavy casualties he had not at any time surrendered. She was broken up in 1811.

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The Little Belt Breaking up at Battersea (PAD6072)


USS President was a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy, nominally rated at 44 guns. George Washington named her to reflect a principle of the United States Constitution. She was launched in April 1800 from a shipyard in New York City. President was one of the original six frigates whose construction the Naval Act of 1794 had authorized, and she was the last to be completed. Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so President and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. Forman Cheeseman, and later Christian Bergh were in charge of her construction. Her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi War with France and to engage in a punitive expedition against the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.

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On 16 May 1811, President was at the center of the Little Belt Affair; her crew mistakenly identified HMS Little Belt as HMS Guerriere, which had impressed an American seaman. The ships exchanged cannon fire for several minutes. Subsequent U.S. and Royal Navy investigations placed responsibility for the attack on each other without a resolution. The incident contributed to tensions between the U.S. and Great Britain that led to the War of 1812.

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President rides out a storm at anchor.

During the war, President made several extended cruises, patrolling as far away as the English Channel and Norway; she captured the armed schooner HMS Highflyer and numerous merchant ships. In January 1815, after having been blockaded in New York for a year by the Royal Navy, President attempted to run the blockade, and was chased by a blockading squadron. During the chase, she was engaged and crippled by the frigate HMS Endymion off the coast of the city. The British squadron captured President soon after, and the Royal Navy took her into service as HMS President until she was broken up in 1818. President's design was copied and used to build the next HMS President in 1829.

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Combat soutenu le 23 Aout 1812 par la Fregate le President des Etats-Unis d' Amerique, et la Fregate Anglais le Belvedere (PAD5816)



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Little_Belt_(1807)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1813 - Boats of HMS Berwick (74), Cptn Edward Brace, and HMS Euryalus (36), Cptn. Charles Napier, took or destroyed 20 vessels at Cavalarie Bay near Toulon.


On 16 May 1813, boats from Berwick and Euryalus attacked French coastal shipping at Cavalaire, east of Toulon. There they captured the French naval xebec Fortune, of ten 9-pounder guns and four swivel guns. She was under the command of Lieutenant de Vaisseaux Félix-Marie-Louise-Anne-Joseph-Julien Lecamus, and had a crew of 95 men who had abandoned her before the British boarded. In addition, the British captured 22 small coasting vessels. They took out 14, but then destroyed nine after removing their cargoes. Fifteen of the vessels were chiefly laden with oil, corn, lemons, etc., and one with empty casks; six of those destroyed were empty. In the attack Berwick lost one man killed, and Euryalus had one man missing.


HMS Berwick was a 74-gun Vengeur-class third rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, launched on 11 September 1809 at Blackwall.

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Scale: 1:48. Contemporary copy of a plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for 'Conquestadore' (1810), 'Armada' (1810), 'Vigo' (1810), 'Cressey' (1810), 'La Hogue' (1811), 'Vindictive' (1813), 'Poictiers' (1809), 'Vengeur' (1810), 'Edinburgh' (1811), 'Dublin' (1812), 'Duncan' (1811), 'Indus' (1812), 'Rodney' (1809), 'Cornwall' (1812), 'Redoutable' (1815), 'Anson' (1812), 'Agincourt' (1817), 'Ajax' (1809), 'America' (1810), 'Barham' (1811), 'Benbow' (1813), 'Berwick' (1809), 'Blenheim' (1813), 'Clarence' (1812), 'Defence' (1815), 'Devonshire' (1812), 'Egmont' (1810), 'Hercules' (1815), 'Medway' (1812), 'Pembroke' (1812), 'Pitt' (1816), 'Russell' (1822), 'Scarborough' (1812), 'Stirling Castle' (1811), 'Wellington' (1816), 'Mulgrave' (1812), 'Gloucester' (1812), all 74-gun Third Rate, two-deckers. The plan includes alterations for a rounded bow and circular stern

Career
At the Action of 24 March 1811, Berwick under Captain James Macnamara led the pursuit and destruction of the French frigate Amazone near the Phare de Gatteville lighthouse, Normandy. One sailor was killed in the engagement.

Before the fall of Genoa in April 1814, the boats of Berwick and Rainbow, together with two Sicilian gunboats, attacked French posts near the pass of Rona on 8 and 10 April to assist the British army in its advance. The British drove of the French defenders, who left behind two 24-pounder guns and two mortars. The British lost two men killed and five wounded.

Fate
Berwick was broken up in 1821


HMS Euryalus was a Royal Navy 36-gun Apollo-class frigate, which saw service in the Battle of Trafalgar and the War of 1812. During her career she was commanded by three prominent naval personalities of the Napoleonic and post-Napoleonic period, Henry Blackwood, George Dundas and Charles Napier. After the end of the Napoleonic Wars she continued on active service for a number of years, before spending more than two decades as a prison hulk. She ended her career in Gibraltar where, in 1860, she was sold for breaking up.

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Lines (ZAZ2677)

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The Day after Trafalgar – The Victory Trying to Clear the Land with the Royal Sovereign in Tow to the Euryalus



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Berwick_(1809)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1843 – Launch of HMS Eurydice, a 26-gun Royal Navy corvette which was the victim of one of Britain's worst peacetime naval disasters when she sank in 1878


HMS
Eurydice was a 26-gun Royal Navy corvette which was the victim of one of Britain's worst peacetime naval disasters when she sank in 1878.

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Origins of Eurydice
Designed by Admiral the Hon. George Elliot, the second Eurydice was a very fast 26-gun frigate designed with a very shallow draught to operate in shallow waters. She originally saw service on the North American and West Indies station between 1843 and 1846 under the command of her first captain, George Augustus Elliot (the eldest son of her designer). In July 1845, she was driven ashore near the Moro, Havana, Cuba. Her guns were taken off to lighten her before she was refloated. Under Captain Talavera Vernon Anson, her second commission between 1846 and 1850 was spent on the South African ("Cape of Good Hope") station. Her third commission, under Captain Erasmus Ommanney (between 1854 and 1855) and then Captain John Walter Tarleton (1855 to 1857) saw her first sent briefly to the White Sea during the Crimean War and then to the North American and West Indies station again. The Eurydice saw no further seagoing service in the next twenty years; she was converted into a stationary training ship in 1861. In 1877, she was refitted at Portsmouth and by John White at Cowes for seagoing service as a training ship.

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H.M.S Eurydice, 26 guns (PAH0921)

Loss of Eurydice
After being recommissioned under the command of Captain Marcus Augustus Stanley Hare, Eurydice sailed from Portsmouth on a three-month tour of the West Indies and Bermuda on 13 November 1877. On 6 March 1878, she began her return voyage from Bermuda for Portsmouth. After a very fast passage across the Atlantic, on 24 March 1878, Eurydice was caught in a heavy snow storm off the Isle of Wight, capsized and sank. Only two of the ship's 319 crew and trainees survived, most of those who were not carried down with the ship died of exposure in the freezing waters. Captain Hare, a devout Christian, after giving the order to every man to save himself, clasped his hands in prayer and went down with his ship. One of the witnesses to the disaster was a young Winston Churchill, who was living at Ventnor with his family at the time. The wreck was refloated later that same year but had been so badly damaged during her submersion that she was then subsequently broken up. Her ship's bell is preserved in St. Paul's Church, Gatten, Shanklin. There is a memorial in the churchyard at Christ Church, The Broadway, Sandown and another at Shanklin Cemetery in Lake where seven crew members are buried. The ship's anchor is set into a memorial at Clayhall Cemetery, Gosport. Two of her crew, DAVID BENNETT AB and ALFRED BARNES OS are buried in Rottingdean St Margaret's churchyard when bodies were washed ashore nearby. There are four in the grave, but only two of the men could be identified.

Prelude to a second disaster

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HMS Atalanta. 1880

An inquiry found that the vessel had sunk through stress of weather and that her officers and crew were blameless for her loss. There was some adverse comment on the suitability of Eurydice as a training ship because of her extreme design, which was known to lack stability. However, she was immediately replaced by another 26-gun frigate of identical tonnage but slightly less radical hull-lines, HMS Juno. Juno was renamed HMS Atalanta and made two successful voyages between England and the West Indies before disappearing at sea in 1880 with the loss of 281 lives; the ship is believed to have been lost in a storm. Later British seagoing training ships were smaller purpose-built brigs.

In literature
The Loss of the Eurydice is a major poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins.

Ghost ship
The phantom Eurydice has been sighted frequently by sailors over the years since her sinking, and she is said to haunt Dunnose, a cape on the Isle of Wight that lies west of Shanklin, close to the village of Luccombe at the southwesterly end of Sandown Bay. Most notably, on 17 October 1998, Prince Edward of the United Kingdom reportedly saw the three-masted ship off the Isle of Wight while filming for the television series "Crown and Country", and the film crew claimed to have captured its image on film. There is also a story from Commander F. Lipscomb of a Royal Navy submarine which took evasive action to avoid the ship only for it to disappear.


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Sketch of the bow of HMS Eurydice portside view June 29th 1843 (PAH4394)

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Scale: 1:48. A contemporary half block model of HMS Eurydice (1843), a 24 gun sixth rate sloop. Plaque inscribed "Built at Portsmouth. Capsized and sank off the Isle of Wight in 1878, when serving as a training ship Dimensions: - Gun deck 141ft 2in Beam 38ft 10in"






 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1850 – Launch of Napoléon, a 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, and the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world.


Napoléon was a 90-gun ship of the line of the French Navy, and the first purpose-built steam battleship in the world. She is also considered the first true steam battleship, and the first screw battleship ever.

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Launched in 1850, she was the lead ship of a class of nine battleships, all built over a period of ten years. This class of ship was designed by the famous naval designer Henri Dupuy de Lôme. She was originally to be named Prince de Joinville, in honour of François d'Orléans, Prince of Joinville, but was renamed 24 Février during the French Second Republic to celebrate the abdication of Louis Philippe I, and later to Napoléon in May 1850, a few days after her launch. The Prince of Joinville mentioned the incident in his Vieux Souvenirs, bitterly writing "I still laugh about it".

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Napoléon (1850), the first purpose-built steam battleship in history.


Technological context
Before the experimental adoption of the screw in warships in the 1840s, the only available steam technology was that of the paddle wheels, which, due to their positioning on the side of the hull and the large machinery they required were not compatible with the broadside cannon layout of the battleships.

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Two views of Napoléon. The rounded stern is visible.

"Dupuy de Lôme conceived and carried out the bolder scheme of designing a full-powered screw liner, and in 1847 Le Napoléon was ordered. Her success made the steam reconstruction of the fleets of the world a necessity. She was launched in 1850, tried in 1852, and attained a speed of nearly 14 knots (26 km/h). During the Crimean War her performances attracted great attention, and the type she represented was largely increased in numbers. She was about 240 ft (73 m). in length, 55 ft (17 m). in breadth, and of 5,000 tons displacement, with two gun decks. In her design boldness and prudence were well combined. The good qualities of the sailing line-of-battle ships which had been secured by the genius of Sané and his colleagues were maintained; while the new conditions involved in the introduction of steam power and large coal supply were thoroughly fulfilled."

Developments by other navies
From 1844–45 the Anglo-French Entente collapsed following the French interventions in Tahiti and Morocco, and the publication of French pamphlets advocating a stronger navy (such as "Notes sur l’état des forces navales" by the Prince de Joinville), leading to an arms race in the naval area.

The United Kingdom already had a few coastal units with screw/steam propulsion in the 1840s, called "blockships", which were conversions of small traditional battleships into floating batteries with a jury rig, with a medium 450 hp (340 kW) engine for speeds of 5.8 knots (10.7 km/h; 6.7 mph) to 8.9 knots (16.5 km/h; 10.2 mph). The Royal Navy had also commissioned a number of steam sloops, HMS Rattler being the first screw-propelled warship to be launched anywhere in the world in 1843. Both nations had also developed steam frigates, the French Pomone launched in 1845, and the British Amphion a year later. However, Napoléon was the first regular steam battleship to be launched.

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Napoléon at Toulon in 1852.

In 1847, Britain had designed a screw/steam battleship named James Watt, but the project much delayed and she did not enter service until 1854. Her sister ship, Agamemnon was ordered in 1849 and commissioned in January 1853. Another sailing battleship, Sans Pareilwas converted to steam on the stocks and launched in March 1851; she beat Agamemnon into service in November 1852.[5] Britain’s reluctance to commit to the steam battleship apparently stemmed from her commitment to long-distance, worldwide operation, for which, at that time, sail was still the most reliable mode of propulsion.

In the end, France and Great Britain were the only two countries to develop fleets of wooden steam battleships, although several other navies are known to have had at least one unit, built or converted with British technical support (Russia, Turkey, Sweden, Naples, Denmark and Austria). Altogether, France built 10 new wooden steam battleships and converted 28 from older battleship units, while Britain built 18 and converted 41

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Napoléon at the 1852 naval review in Toulon.

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Wooden planking of the warship Napoléon, hit by cannon during the Crimean war.


The Napoléon class was a late type of 90-gun ships of the line of the French Navy, and the first type of ship of the line designed from the start to incorporate a steam engine.

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Designed by Henri Dupuy de Lôme, the prototype Napoléon displayed such outstanding performances during her trials that a production series was immediately ordered, yielding the Algésiras sub-class. Furthermore, construction of the two Bretagne class 130-gun ships was interrupted: Desaix, whose construction had only just started, was cancelled altogether and replaced with Arcole, while Bretagne was dismantled and entirely rebuilt on principled heralded by Napoléon. Further improvements to the Algésiras type yielded the Ville de Nantes sub-class.

The "swift ships of the line" of the Napoléon class were initially considered of the 3rd rank, behind the 120-gun first rank ships of the Océan class and Valmy and the 2nd rank 100-gun ships of the Hercule-class, and on par with the 90-gun Suffren class; however, in practice, most of the ships of the Hercule and Suffren classes had been transformed for steam and sail, losing ten guns in the operation, which made them steam ships of the line of 90 and 80 guns respectively. The Napoléon class was thus quickly promoted to 2nd-rank ships, also reflecting the status provided by their nautical performances.

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Algésiras used as a school ship

Units
  • Napoléon 90 (launched 16 May 1850 at Toulon) – Stricken 1876
Algésiras sub-class
  • Algésiras 90 (launched 4 October 1855 at Toulon) – Transport 1869
  • Arcole 90 (launched 20 March 1855 at Cherbourg) – Stricken 1870
  • Redoutable 90 (launched 25 October 1855 at Rochefort) – Stricken 1869
  • Impérial 90 (launched 15 September 1856 at Brest) – Hulked 1869
  • Intrépide 90 (launched 17 September 1864 at Rochefort) – Stricken 1889
Ville de Nantes sub-class
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Launching of Ville de Nantes, by Louis Le Breton


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_battleship_Napoléon
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoléon-class_ship_of_the_line
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1874 – Launch of The Brazilian ironclad Sete de Setembro, a wooden-hulled armored frigate built for the Brazilian Navy during the Paraguayan War in the late 1860s.


The Brazilian ironclad Sete de Setembro was a wooden-hulled armored frigate built for the Brazilian Navy during the Paraguayan War in the late 1860s. Construction was delayed by a debate over her armament and she was not completed until 1874, by which time the ship was essentially obsolete. Sete de Setembro was transferred to Rio de Janeiro in the 1880s and captured by the rebels during the Fleet Revolt of 1893–94. She sank after she caught fire when the government forces recaptured her in late 1893.

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Design and description
Sete de Setembro was designed as an enlarged, and seaworthy, version of the casemate ironclad Barroso as part of the 1867 Naval Program, but she was ultimately classified as an armored frigate. Before construction began weather decks were added fore and aft to improve seaworthiness and protect the capstans fore and aft. The hull was sheathed with Muntz metal to reduce biofouling and a bronze ram, 2.4 meters (7 ft 10 in) long, was fitted. For sea passages the ship's freeboard could be increased to 3.2 meters (10 ft 6 in) by use of removable bulwarks 1.1 meters (3 ft 7 in) high.

The ship measured 73.4 meters (240 ft 10 in) long overall, with a beam of 14.2 meters (46 ft 7 in) and she had a mean draft of 3.81 meters (12 ft 6 in). Sete de Setembro normally displaced 2,174 metric tons (2,140 long tons). Her crew numbered 185 officers and men.

Propulsion
Sete de Setembro had two John Penn & Sons 2-cylinder steam engines, each of which drove a single 3.7-meter (12 ft 2 in) propeller. They were powered by four rectangular boilers that produced a total of 2,000 indicated horsepower (1,500 kW) which gave the ship a maximum speed of 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). The ship's funnel was mounted in the middle of her casemate and she carried a maximum of 263 long tons (267 t) of coal.

Armament
Two choices were debated for the ship's armament. The first was for six muzzle-loading 150-pounder Whitworth guns mounted in a central casemate with the end guns pivoting to fire either fore or aft. The second option was for two gun turrets, each mounting a pair of 300-pounder Whitworth guns. A compromise was reached with a casemate armed with four 300-pounder Whitworth guns on pivot mounts at the corners. A new controversy arose, however, over the choice of Whitworth guns as the navy preferred Armstrong weapons. A decision in favor of the Whitworth guns was finally made after a debate of several years, which delayed the completion of the ship. The 9-inch (229 mm) solid shot of the Whitworth gun weighed approximately 300 pounds (136.1 kg) while the gun itself weighed 18 long tons (18 t).

Armor
Sete de Setembro had a complete wrought iron waterline belt that was 3.04 meters (10.0 ft) high and had a maximum thickness of 114 millimeters (4 in). The ship's deck and the roof of the casemate was protected with 12.7 millimeters (0.5 in) of wrought iron. The casemate was armored identically as the hull and both were backed by 593 millimeters (23.3 in) of wood.

Service
Sete de Setembro was laid down at the Arsenal de Marinha da Côrte in Rio de Janeiro on 8 January 1868, during the late stages of the Paraguayan War (also known as the War of the Triple Alliance), which saw Argentina and Brazil allied against Paraguay. She was launched on 16 May 1874, after lengthy delays as to her armament, and commissioned on 4 July 1874 by which time she was obsolete.[2] She was briefly placed into reserve between August 1876 and June 1877. The ship was stationed in Montevideo during the early 1880s before she was transferred to Rio de Janeiro in 1884. Sete de Setembro was assigned to the Evolution Squadron in November 1885 despite having been reclassified in 1879 as a floating battery by virtue of her weak armor and lack of compartmentalization. By 1893, however, her engines had been removed and she was captured by the rebels during the Fleet Revolt of 1893–94. They had her towed to a position near Armação Beach to be used as a stationary guard post. The ship was recaptured on 16 December 1893, but she sank after catching fire.




 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1911 – Launch of SMS Breslau, a Magdeburg-class cruiser of the Imperial German Navy, built in the early 1910s


SMS Breslau
was a Magdeburg-class cruiser of the Imperial German Navy, built in the early 1910s. Following her commissioning, Breslau and the battlecruiser Goeben were assigned to the Mittelmeerdivision (Mediterranean Division) in response to the Balkan Wars. After evading British warships in the Mediterranean to reach Constantinople, Breslau and Goeben were transferred to the Ottoman Empire in August 1914, to entice the Ottomans to join the Central Powers in World War I. The two ships, along with several other Ottoman vessels, raided Russian ports in October 1914, prompting a Russian declaration of war. The ships were renamed Midilli and Yavûz Sultân Selîm, respectively, and saw extensive service with the Ottoman fleet, primarily in the Black Sea against the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

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SMS Breslau in 1912

Midilli was active in laying minefields off the Russian coast, bombarding Russian ports and installations and, because of a shortage of Ottoman merchant ships, transporting troops and supplies to the Black Sea ports supplying Ottoman troops fighting in the Caucasus Campaign. She was lightly damaged several times by Russian ships, but the most serious damage was inflicted by a mine in 1915, which kept her out of service for half of a year. The ship was mined and sunk in January 1918 during the Battle of Imbros, with the loss of the vast majority of her crew.

Description
Main article: Magdeburg-class cruiser
SMS_Breslau.jpg
Breslau in the Kaiser Wilhelm Canal, passing underneath the Levensau High Bridge

Breslau was 138.7 meters (455 ft) long overall and had a beam of 13.5 m (44 ft) and a draft of 4.4 m (14 ft) forward. She displaced 4,570 t (4,500 long tons; 5,040 short tons) at full combat load. Her propulsion system consisted of two sets of AEG-Vulcan steam turbines driving two 3.4-meter (11 ft) propellers. They were designed to give 25,000 shaft horsepower (19,000 kW), but reached 33,482 shp (24,968 kW) in service. These were powered by sixteen coal-fired Marine-type water-tube boilers, although they were later altered to use fuel oil that was sprayed on the coal to increase its burn rate. These gave the ship a top speed of 27.5 knots (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph). Breslau carried 1,200 tonnes (1,200 long tons) of coal, and an additional 106 tonnes (104 long tons) of oil that gave her a range of approximately 5,820 nautical miles (10,780 km; 6,700 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph). Breslau had a crew of 18 officers and 336 enlisted men.

The ship was armed with twelve 10.5 cm (4.13 in) SK L/45 guns in single pedestal mounts. Two were placed side by side forward on the forecastle, eight were located amidships, four on either side, and two were side by side aft. The guns had a maximum elevation of 30 degrees, which allowed them to engage targets out to 12,700 m (41,700 ft). They were supplied with 1,800 rounds of ammunition, for 150 shells per gun. By 1917, the 10.5 cm guns were replaced with eight 15 cm (5.91 in) SK L/45 guns, one fore and aft and three on each broadside. She was also equipped with a pair of 50 cm (19.7 in) torpedo tubes with five torpedoes submerged in the hull on the broadside. She could also carry 120 mines. The ship was protected by a waterline armored belt that was 60 mm (2.4 in) thick amidships. The conning tower had 100 mm (3.9 in) thick sides, and the deck was covered with up to 60 mm thick armor plate.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_134-B0305,_Kleiner_Kreuzer_SMS__Breslau_.jpg
Breslau at sea, c. 1912–1914


The Magdeburg class of light cruisers was a group of four ships built for the Imperial German Navy. The class comprised SMS Magdeburg, the lead ship, Breslau, Strassburg, and Stralsund. All four ships were laid down in 1910 and were completed by the end of 1912. They were armed with a main battery of twelve 10.5 cm guns, though over the course of their careers, Breslau, Strassburg, and Stralsund were rearmed with more powerful 15 cm guns. They displaced 4,570 t (4,500 long tons) at full load and were rated at a top speed of 27.5 knots (50.9 km/h; 31.6 mph), though all four vessels exceeded that figure on trials.

Magdeburg was used as a torpedo test ship before the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, after which she was assigned to the Baltic. She conducted a series of raids on Russian positions culminating in a sweep into the Gulf of Finland that resulted in her grounding off the Estonian coast. Russian cruisers seized the stranded ship and captured code books; they gave one copy to the British Royal Navy, which used it to great advantage. Breslau was assigned to the Mittelmeer division with the battlecruiser Goeben in 1912 and remained in the Mediterranean until the outbreak of war. After evading British warships, the two vessels reached Constantinople, where they were transferred to the Ottoman Navy. She operated primarily in the Black Sea against the Russian Navy, but in January 1918 she ventured into the Mediterranean and was mined and sunk after the Battle of Imbros.

Strassburg and Stralsund served with the High Seas Fleet in the North Sea against the British. They saw action at the Battle of Heligoland Bight in August 1914 and served in the reconnaissance screen for the battlecruisers of the I Scouting Group on several bombardments of the British coast in 1914–1915. Stralsund was also present at the Battle of Dogger Bank, but was not heavily engaged. Strassburg saw action during Operation Albion against the Russians in the Baltic. Both ships were surrendered to the Allies after the end of the war; Strassburg was ceded to Italy and renamed Taranto; she served with the Italian Navy until 1943, when she was scuttled after the Italian surrender. She was raised by the Germans and sunk by Allied bombers twice in 1943–1944, and finally scrapped in 1946–1947. Stralsund was given to France and renamed Mulhouse. She served only until 1925, when she was placed in reserve. She was ultimately broken up in 1935.

SMS_Stralsund_Modell.jpg
Model of a Magdeburg-class cruiser in the Marinemuseum in Dänholm



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SMS_Breslau
 

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16 May 1919 - Three Curtiss NC seaplanes leave from Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, Canada for the first trans-atlantic flight.
Only NC 4 makes the flight successfully reaching the Azores on May 17.



The NC-4 was a Curtiss NC flying boat that was the first aircraft to fly across the Atlantic Ocean, albeit not non-stop. The NC designation was derived from the collaborative efforts of the Navy (N) and Curtiss (C). The NC series flying boats were designed to meet wartime needs, and after the end of World War I they were sent overseas to validate the design concept.

The aircraft was designed by Glenn Curtiss and his team, and manufactured by Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, with the hull built by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Corporation in Bristol, Rhode Island.

In May 1919, a crew of United States Navy aviators flew the NC-4 from New York State to Lisbon, Portugal, over the course of 19 days. This included time for stops of numerous repairs and for crewmen's rest, with stops along the way in Massachusetts, Nova Scotia (on the mainland), Newfoundland, and twice in the Azores Islands. Then its flight from the Azores to Lisbon completed the first transatlantic flight between North America and Europe, and two more flights from Lisbon to northwestern Spain to Plymouth, England, completed the first flight between North America and Great Britain. This accomplishment was somewhat eclipsed in the minds of the public by the first nonstop transatlantic flight, made by the Royal Air Force pilots John Alcockand Arthur Whitten Brown two weeks later.

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The NC-4 after her return to the United States in 1919

The transatlantic flight
The_National_geographic_magazine_(Page_516)_BHL40563513_(cropped).jpg
Crews of the NC-4, NC-3 and NC-1 immediately before the departure of the first transatlantic flight

The U.S. Navy's transatlantic flight expedition began on 8 May 1919. The NC-4 started out in the company of two other Curtiss NCs, the NC-1 and the NC-3 (with the NC-2 having been cannibalized for spare parts to repair the NC-1 before this group of planes had even left New York City). The three aircraft left from Naval Air Station Rockaway, with intermediate stops at the Chatham Naval Air Station, Massachusetts, and Halifax, Nova Scotia, before flying on to Trepassey, Newfoundland, on 15 May. Eight U.S. Navy warships were stationed along the northern East Coast of the United States and Atlantic Canada to help the Curtiss NCs in navigation and to rescue their crewmen in case of any emergency.

The "base ship", or the flagship for all of the Navy ships that had been assigned to support the flight of the Curtiss NCs, was the former minelayer USS Aroostook, which the Navy had converted into a seaplane tender just before the flight of the Curtiss NCs. With a displacement of just over 3,000 tons, Aroostook was larger than the Navy's destroyers that had been assigned to support the transatlantic flight in 1919. Before the Curtiss NCs took off from New York City, Aroostook had been sent to Trepassey, Newfoundland, to await their arrival there, and then provide refueling, relubrication, and maintenance work on the NC-1, NC-3 and NC-4. Next, she steamed across the Atlantic meet the group when they arrived in England.

On 16 May, the three Curtiss NCs departed on the longest leg of their journey, from Newfoundland to the Azores Islands in the mid-Atlantic. Twenty-two more Navy ships, mostly destroyers, were stationed at about 50-mile (80 km) spacings along this route. These "station ships" were brightly illuminated during the nighttime. Their sailors blazed their searchlights into the sky, and they also fired bright star shellsinto the sky to help the aviators to stay on their planned flight path.

After flying all through the night and most of the next day, the NC-4 reached the town of Horta on Faial Island in the Azores on the following afternoon, having flown about 1,200 miles (1,900 km). It had taken the crewmen 15 hours, 18 minutes, to fly this leg. The NCs encountered thick fog banks along the route. Both the NC-1 and the NC-3 were forced to land on the open Atlantic Ocean because the poor visibility and loss of a visual horizon made flying extremely dangerous. NC-1 was damaged landing in the rough seas and could not become airborne again. NC-3 had mechanical problems.

The crewmen of the NC-1, including future Admiral Marc Mitscher, were rescued by the Greek cargo ship SS Ionia. This ship took the NC-1 in tow, but it sank three days later and was lost in deep water.

The pilots of the NC-3, including future Admiral Jack Towers, taxied their floatplane some 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) to reach the Azores, where it was taken in tow by a U.S. Navy ship.

NC_flight_path.jpg
US Navy warships "strung out like a string of pearls" along the NC's flightpath (3rd leg)

Three days after arriving in the Azores, on 20 May, the NC-4 took off again bound for Lisbon, but it suffered mechanical problems, and its pilots had to land again at Ponta Delgada, São Miguel Island, Azores, having flown only about 150 miles (240 km). After several days of delays for spare parts and repairs, the NC-4 took off again on 27 May. Once again there were station ships of the Navy to help with navigation, especially at night. There were 13 warships arranged along the route between the Azores and Lisbon. The NC-4 had no more serious problems, and it landed in Lisbon harbor after a flight of nine hours, 43 minutes. Thus, the NC-4 become the first aircraft of any kind to fly across the Atlantic Ocean – or any of the other oceans. By flying from Massachusetts and Halifax to Lisbon, the NC-4 also flew from mainland-to-mainland of North America and Europe. Note: the seaplanes were hauled ashore for maintenance work on their engines.

The part of this flight just from Newfoundland to Lisbon had taken a total time 10 days and 22 hours, but with the actual flight time totaling just 26 hours and 46 minutes.

The "NC-4" later flew on to England, arriving in Plymouth on 31 May to great fanfare, having taken 23 days for the flight from Newfoundland to Great Britain. For the final flight legs – from Lisbon to Ferrol, Spain, and then from Ferrol to Plymouth – 10 more U.S. Navy warships were stationed along the route. A total of 53 U.S. Navy ships had been stationed along the route from New York City to Plymouth.

Most of the flight route taken by the NC-4 was indicated on the map of the North Atlantic published by Flight magazine on 29 May 1919, while the NC-4 was still on the mainland of Portugal.

The feat of making the first transatlantic flight was somewhat eclipsed shortly afterward by the first nonstop transatlantic flight of some kind by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown in a Vickers Vimybiplane, when they flew from Newfoundland to Ireland nonstop on 14–15 June 1919, in 16 hours and 27 minutes. Consequently, Alcock and Brown won a prize of £10,000 offered by the newspaper, Daily Mail, which had been first announced in 1913, and then renewed in 1918, to "the aviator who shall first cross the Atlantic in an aeroplane in flight from any point in the United States, Canada, or Newfoundland to any point in Great Britain or Ireland, in 72 consecutive hours." The conditions also stipulated that "only one aircraft may be used for each attempt." Hence, there was no possibility of changing to a fresh aircraft in Iceland, Greenland, the Azores, and beyond.

Alcock and Brown also made their flight nonstop, even though this was not specified in the rules given by the Daily Mail. Conceivably, any aviators could have made stops on Iceland, Greenland, or the Azores along the way for refueling, as long as they completed the entire flight within 72 hours. The rule that "only one aircraft may be used" eliminated the possibility of having fresh aircraft, with their fuel tanks already topped off, and new oil in their crankcase(s), waiting for the pilot or pilots to change from one exhausted airplane to a fresh one.

The Curtiss NCs were never entered into the above competition – because the U.S. Navy never planned for their flight to be completed in fewer than 72 hours.


A 1945 newsreel covering various firsts in human flight, including footage of the flight across the Atlantic

The crewmen on the NC-4
NC4Crew.jpg
The crew of the NC-4, posing before Howard was replaced.
Left to right: Read, Stone, Hinton, Rodd, Howard, Breese.

The crewmen of the NC-4 were Albert Cushing Read, the commander and navigator; Walter Hinton and Elmer Fowler Stone (Coast Guard Aviator #1), the two pilots; James L. Breese and Eugene S. Rhoads, the two flight engineers; and Herbert C. Rodd, the radio operator. Earlier, E.H. Howard had been chosen to go as one of the flight engineers, but on 2 May, Howard lost a hand in misjudging his distance from a whirling propeller. Consequently, he was replaced by Rhoads in the crew.

After the crossing
NC-4_Dismantling_landscape.jpg
The NC-4 being dismantled in June 1919 at Plymouth, England, before being shipped back to United States

After arriving at Plymouth, England, the crewmen of the NC-4, who had been reunited with the crewmen of the less-successful NC-1 and NC-3, went by train to London, and there they received a tumultuous welcome. Next, they visited Paris, France, to be lionized again.

The NC-4 was dismantled in Plymouth, and then loaded onto USS Aroostook, the base ship for the Curtiss NC's transatlantic flight, for the return journey to the United States. Aroostook arriving in New York Harbor on 2 July 1919.

Following the return of all three of the aircrews on board the ocean liner USS Zeppelin, a goodwill tour of the East Coast of the United States and the Gulf Coast of the Southern States was carried out by the aircrew.

On 9 February 1929, Congress passed Public Law 70-714 (45 Stat. 1157), awarding Congressional Gold Medals to Lt. Commander John H. Towers for "conceiving, organizing, and commanding the first trans-Atlantic flight", and the six men of the flight crew "for their extraordinary achievement in making the first successful trans-Atlantic flight, in the United States naval flying boat NC-4, in May 1919."[14] The Navy created a military decoration known as the NC-4 Medal.

It is very rare that a Congressional Gold Medal in miniature form be authorized for wear on a naval or military uniform.

The NC-4 is property of the Smithsonian Institution, since it was given to that institution by the Navy after its return home. However, this aircraft was too large to be housed in either the older Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building in Washington, D.C., or in its successor, the 1976-completed National Air and Space Museum main building, also in Washington. A smaller model of the NC-4 is kept in the Milestones of Flight Gallery in the National Air and Space Museum, a place of honor, along with the original Wright Flyer of 1903; Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis of 1927; Chuck Yeager's Glamorous Glennis X-1 rocket plane of 1947, and an X-15 rocket aircraft. As of 1974, the reassembled NC-4 is on loan from the Smithsonian to the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida.

NC-4_Naval_Aviation_Museum_Pensacola_Florida.jpg


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
16 May 1932 - MS Georges Philippar was an ocean liner of the French Messageries Maritimes line that was built in 1930.
On her maiden voyage in 1932 she caught fire and sank in the Gulf of Aden with the loss of 54 lives.



Description
Georges Philippar was a 17,359 GRT ocean liner. She was 542.7 ft (165.4 m) long, with a beam of 68.2 ft (20.8 m) and a depth of 46.9 ft (14.3 m). She was a motor ship with two two-stroke, single cycle single-acting marine diesel engines. Each engine had 10 cylinders of 28 3⁄4 inches (730 mm) bore by 17 1⁄4 inches (440 mm) stroke and was built by Sulzer Brothers, Winterthur, Switzerland. Between them the two engines developed 3,300 NHP, giving the ship a speed of 18 1⁄2 knots (34.3 km/h).

Paquebot_Georges_Philippar_(1931).jpg
16,990 GRT ocean liner Georges Philippar, built in 1930 by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire in St Nazaire for Messageries Maritimes. In May 1932 she caught fire and sank in the Indian Ocean off Yemen with the loss of 54 lives.

History
Georges Philippar was built by Ateliers et Chantiers de la Loire, Saint-Nazaire for Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes to replace Paul Lacat, which had been destroyed by fire in December 1928.[3] She was launched on 6 November 1930.[2] On 1 December 1930 she caught fire while being fitted out.[4]Named after French Messageries Maritimes CEO Georges Philippar, she was completed in January 1932.[2] She was registered in Marseilles.

Before she started her maiden voyage, French police warned her owners that threats had been made on 26 February 1932 to destroy the ship. The outward voyage took Georges Philippar to Yokohama, Japan, without incident and she started her homeward voyage, calling at Shanghai, China and Colombo, Ceylon. Georges Philippar left Columbo with 347 crew and 518 passengers aboard. On two occasions a fire alarm went off in a storeroom where bullion was being stored, but no fire was found. The Georges Philippar class was an innovative design, experimenting with Diesel propulsion, sporting unusual square section short smokestacks (whimsically dubbed flower pots by the sailors) and an extensive use of electricity, for lighting, kitchen and deck winches. CEO Georges Philippar, created a special Greek-Latin term "Nautonaphtes" (Oil-powered ships) for advertising purposes as he felt that Diesel sounded too Germanic for post-World War One French public.

At the time French sailor's lore considered giving a ship the name of a living person a way to attract bad luck and the practice was later discontinued. The electric plant and wiring of the Georges Philippar relied on high voltage (220 volts) Direct current. It proved troublesome from the shipyard stage onwards with cables overheating, circuit breakers malfunctioning … and so on. It was lavishly decorated with wood panelling and sported a high gloss varnished wooden grand staircase which proved highly flammable.


Fire and loss
On 16 May, while Georges Philippar was 145 nautical miles (269 km) off Cape Guardafui, Italian Somaliland, a fire broke out in one of her luxury cabins occupied by Mme Valentin, when a spark from a faulty light switch ignited wood paneling. There was a delay in reporting the fire, which had spread by the time Captain Vicq was made aware of it. Vicq tried different firefighting methods, but to no avail. It has been reported that he decided to beach Georges Philippar on the coast of Aden and increased her speed, which only made the fire burn more fiercely. However, these reports are unsubstantiated as the engine rooms were evacuated and the ship was left drifting. The order to abandon ship was given and a distress signal sent.

Three ships came in response. The Soviet tanker Sovietskaïa Neft rescued 420 people, who were transferred to the French passenger ship Andre Lebon and landed at Djibouti. They returned to France on the French passenger ship Général Voyron. Another 149 people were rescued by Brocklebank Line's cargo ship Mahsud, and 129 more were rescued by T&J Harrison's cargo ship Contractor. The two British ships landed their survivors at Aden. Mahsud also took the corpses of the 54 dead. On 19 May, Georges Philippar sank in the Gulf of Aden. Her position was 14°20′N 50°25′ECoordinates:
14°20′N 50°25′E.

Albert Londres, a French journalist, was last seen trying to escape by a porthole the cabin in which he was trapped. Maurice Sadorge, the second engineering officer, tried to send him the end of a firehose from the deck above, but Londres couldn't grip it strongly enough and either fell in the sea or back into the burning cabin. His body was neither recovered nor identified. Some conspiracy theories, involving either sabotage by Ho Chi Minh or a covert assassination of Londres by the Japanese intelligence services, have been advanced but are deemed dubious.

The November 1932 edition of La Science et la Vie carried an artist's impression of the burning ship on its front cover.

Court inquiry
An official enquiry was held and Cdt Vicq, his officers and crew, along with some passengers appeared in court along with colonel Pouderoux chief paris Firefighter acting as an expert. Shipyard personnel were dissuaded to appear in court but later testified that the electric plant of the Georges Philippar had been troublesome from the start and that the Shipyard board had forecasted to postpone the ship's commission in order to correct the defects but later changed their minds under the pressure of delay penalties. Cdt Vicq downplayed the electrical troubles and frequent short circuits, only admitting trouble with the electric kitchen ovens and appliances (he had to have new heating resistances hastily manufactured in Yokohama as the original ones kept burning in succession, exhausting the ship's supply of spares). He chose to point out the faultless work of the emergency electrical generators, which he said were crucial in the comparatively low death toll. Captain's Vicq statements were probably biased by company loyalty for insurance reasons but the enquiry nevertheless concluded to a "catastrophic fire initiated by a malfunction in the high voltage DC power grid of the ship" and recommended to ban wooden fittings and panelling as much as possible in the design of future ships. The State of the art Normandie was one of the very first ships to benefit from these new guidelines, incorporating a massively over-engineered firefighting equipment, a less troublesome Alternating current powerplant and state of the art circuit breakers.

Ironically this did not prevent Normandie from burning in New-York during WW2 as an inexperienced crew of US Coastguards had taken over from the French crew and were not familiar with the equipment.


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
Other Events on 16 May


1620 – Death of William Adams, English sailor and navigator (b. 1564)

William Adams
(24 September 1564 – 16 May 1620), known in Japanese as Miura Anjin (三浦按針: "the pilot of Miura"), was an English navigator who, in 1600, was the first of his nation to reach Japan during a five-ship expedition for the Dutch East India Company. Of the few survivors of the only ship that reached Japan, Adams and his second mate Jan Joosten were not allowed to leave the country while Jacob Quaeckernaeck and Melchior van Santvoort were to go back to the Dutch Republic to invite them to trade. Adams and Joosten settled in Japan and became two of the first ever (and very few) Western samurai.

300px-WilliamAdams-woodblack-new.svg.png

Soon after Adams's arrival in Japan, he became a key advisor to the shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Adams directed construction for the shōgun of the first Western-style ships in the country. He was later key to Japan's approving the establishment of trading factories by the Netherlands and England. He was also highly involved in Japan's Red Seal Asian trade, chartering and serving as captain of four expeditions to Southeast Asia. He died in Japan at age 55. He has been recognised as one of the most influential foreigners in Japan during this period.



1745 – Launch of French Castor, (26-gun design of 1744 by René-Nicolas Levasseur, with 26 x 8-pounders; launched 16 May 1745 in Québec) - captured by the British Navy in February 1748, not taken into service.


1780 - Launch of French Astrée, a Nymphe class was a class of six 40-gun frigates of the French Navy, designed in 1781 by Pierre-Augustin Lamothe. The prototype (Nymphe) was one of the earliest 18-pounder armed frigates.

Nymphe class
, (32-gun design by Pierre-Augustin Lamothe, with 26 x 12-pounder and 6 x 6-pounder guns).
Nymphe, (launched 18 August 1777 at Brest) – captured by British Navy 1780 and became HMS Nymphe.
Andromaque, (launched 24 December 1777 at Brest) – wrecked to avoid capture 1796.
Astrée, (launched 16 May 1780 at Brest) – lost without trace in the Indian Ocean 1795.
Thétis, Cybèle, and Concorde, were built on the same pattern, but armed with 18-pounders.



1798 – Launch of HMS Porpoise was built as a storeship to a commercial design by John Henslow (Surveyor of the Navy), launched in 1798 and purchased by the Royal Navy.

HMS Porpoise
was built as a storeship to a commercial design by John Henslow (Surveyor of the Navy), launched in 1798 and purchased by the Royal Navy. The Navy commissioned her in July 1798 under Lieutenant Walter Scott. The ship was to carry a collection of trees and plants to Australia for Sir Joseph Banks and they were tended on board by George Suttor. A "garden cabin" 6 by 12 feet was built on the quarterdeck of the ship. After several abortive attempts to reach Australia the ship was condemned as unseaworthy, and the garden was transferred to the new HMS Porpoise.

The Navy renamed her Diligent in 1799 and sold her in 1802 at the end of the French Revolutionary Wars.



1803 Britain declares war on France and Nelson appointed Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napoleonic_Wars


1820 - The frigate USS Congress becomes the first U.S. warship to visit China when she visits Guanhzhou (now Canton).

USS Congress
was a nominally rated 38-gun wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy. She was named by George Washington to reflect a principle of the United States Constitution. James Hackett built her in Portsmouth New Hampshire and she was launched on 15 August 1799. She was one of the original six frigates whose construction the Naval Act of 1794 had authorized. Joshua Humphreys designed these frigates to be the young Navy's capital ships, and so Congress and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than the standard frigates of the period.

Her first duties with the newly formed United States Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War. During the War of 1812 she made several extended length cruises in company with her sister ship President and captured, or assisted in the capture of twenty British merchant ships. At the end of 1813, due to a lack of materials to repair her, she was placed in ordinary for the remainder of the war. In 1815 she returned to service for the Second Barbary War and made patrols through 1816. In the 1820s she helped suppress piracy in the West Indies, made several voyages to South America, and was the first U.S. warship to visit China. Congressspent her last ten years of service as a receiving ship until ordered broken up in 1834.

USSCongress.png

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Congress_(1799)


1861 - The North Star affair occurred in May 1861 when Chinese pirates attacked the British merchant ship North Star.

The North Star affair occurred in May 1861 when Chinese pirates attacked the British merchant ship North Star. Several men were killed in the incident, including a Royal Navy officer. The pirates escaped capture with 4,000 dollars' worth of gold

Chinese_pirates_attack_merchantman.jpg
Chinese pirates attacking a merchant ship.



1900 – Launch of HMS Aboukir, a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900.

HMS Aboukir
was a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900. Upon completion she was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleetand spent most of her career there. Upon returning home in 1912, she was placed in reserve. Recommissioned at the start of the First World War, she played a minor role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight a few weeks after the beginning of the war. Aboukir was sunk by the German submarine U-9, together with two of her sister ships, on 22 September 1914; 527 men of her complement died.

HMS_Aboukir_at_Malta.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Aboukir_(1900)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cressy-class_cruiser


1943 - USS MacKenzie (DD 614) sinks the German submarine (U 182) west of Madeira. Before being sunk, (U 182) sinks five Allied merchant vessels, including the American steam merchant Richard D. Spaight on March 10, 1943.


1944 - USS Franks (DD 554), USS Haggard (DD 555) and USS Johnston (DD 557) sink the Japanese submarine (I 176), 150 miles north of Cape Alexander, Solomon Islands, forcing Japanese to shift the position of their subs in the New-Guinea-Carolines area.


1965 - The first US naval gunfire support in Vietnam is performed by USS Henry W. Tucker (DD-875) as she fires upon the Viet Cong coastal concentrations southeast of Saigon.


1995 - Viva Antipolo VII - On 16 May 1995 the ferry Viva Antipolo VII caught fire and sank in the vicinity of Lucena, Quezon. Of the 214 on board, 62 were killed and 10 were missing in the accident
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1682 – Birth of Bartholomew Roberts, Welsh pirate (d. 1722)


Bartholomew Roberts
(17 May 1682 – 10 February 1722), born John Roberts, was a Welsh pirate who raided ships off the Americas and West Africa between 1719 and 1722. He was the most successful pirate of the Golden Age of Piracy as measured by vessels captured,[1] taking over 400 prizes in his career.[2] He is also known as Black Bart (Welsh: Barti Ddu), but this name was never used in his lifetime.

1.JPG 2.JPG

Bart_Roberts.jpg
Bart Roberts' memorial stone in Casnewydd Bach

Life as a pirate
Commander or commoner?
HowelDav.jpg
The death of Captain Howell Davis in an ambush on Príncipe

In the merchant navy, Roberts' wage was less than £4 per month and he had no chance of promotion to captaincy

A few weeks after Roberts' capture, Royal James had to be abandoned because of worm damage. Royal Rover headed for the island of Príncipe. Davis hoisted the flags of a British man-of-war and was allowed to enter the harbour. After a few days, Davis invited the governor to lunch on board his ship, intending to hold him hostage for a ransom. Davis had to send boats to collect the governor, and he was invited to call at the fort for a glass of wine first. The Portuguese had discovered that their visitors were pirates. They ambushed Davis' party on its way to the fort, shooting Davis dead.

A new captain had to be elected. Davis' crew was divided into "Lords" and "Commons", and it was the "Lords" who had the right to propose a name to the remainder of the crew. Within six weeks of his capture, Roberts was elected captain. This was unusual, especially as he had objected to serving on the vessel. Historians believe he was elected for his navigational abilities and his personality, which history reflects was outspoken and opinionated.

He accepted of the Honour, saying, that since he had dipp'd his Hands in Muddy Water, and must be a Pyrate, it was better being a Commander than a common Man.
— A General History of the ... Pyrates (1724), p.162
Roberts' first act as captain was to lead the crew back to Príncipe to avenge the death of Captain Davis. Roberts and his crew landed on the island in the darkness of night, killed a large portion of the male population, and stole all items of value that they could carry away. Soon afterwards, he captured a Dutch Guineaman, then two days later a British ship called Experiment. The pirate ship took on water and provisions at Anamboe, where a vote was taken on whether the next voyage should be to the East Indies or to Brazil. The vote was for Brazil.

The combination of bravery and success that marked this adventure cemented most of the crew's loyalty to Roberts. They concluded that he was "pistol proof" and that they had much to gain by staying with him.

1024px-Bartholomew_Roberts_Flag.svg.png
Roberts' first flag shows himself and Death holding an hourglass.

Brazil and the Caribbean July 1719 – May 1720
Roberts and his crew crossed the Atlantic and watered and boot-topped their ship on the uninhabited island of Ferdinando. They spent about nine weeks off the Brazilian coast but saw no ships. They were about to leave for the West Indies when they encountered a fleet of 42 Portuguese ships in the Todos os Santos' Bay, waiting for two men-of-war of 70 guns each to escort them to Lisbon. Roberts took one of the vessels and ordered her master to point out the richest ship in the fleet. He pointed out Sagrada Familia, a ship of 40 guns and a crew of 170, which Roberts and his men boarded and captured. Sagrada Familia contained 40,000 gold moidoresand jewellery designed for the King of Portugal, including a cross set with diamonds.

Rover next headed for Devil's Island off the coast of Guiana to spend the booty. A few weeks later, they headed for the River Surinam where they captured a sloop. After they sighted a brigantine, Roberts took 40 men to pursue it in the sloop, leaving Walter Kennedy in command of Rover. The sloop became wind-bound for eight days, and when Roberts and his crew finally returned to their ship, they discovered that Kennedy had sailed off with Rover and what remained of the loot. Roberts and his crew renamed their sloop Fortune and agreed on new articles, now known as a pirate code, which they swore on a Bible to uphold.

1024px-Bartholomew_Roberts_Flag1.svg.png
Black Bart's new flag showed him standing on two skulls, representing the heads of a Barbadian and a Martiniquian

In late February 1720, they were joined by French pirate Montigny la Palisse in another sloop, Sea King. The inhabitants of Barbados equipped two well-armed ships, Summerset and Philipa, to try to put an end to the pirate menace. On 26 February, they encountered the two pirate sloops. Sea King quickly fled, and Fortune broke off the engagement after sustaining considerable damage and was able to escape. Roberts headed for Dominica to repair the sloop, with twenty of his crew dying of their wounds on the voyage. There were also two sloops from Martinique out searching for the pirates, and Roberts swore vengeance against the inhabitants of Barbados and Martinique. He had a new flag made with a drawing of himself standing upon 2 skulls, one labelled ABH (A Barbadian's Head) and the other AMH (A Martiniquian's Head).

Newfoundland and the Caribbean June 1720 – April 1721
Fortune next headed northwards towards Newfoundland, raiding Canso, Nova Scotia,[20] and capturing a number of ships around Cape Breton and the Newfoundland banks. Roberts raided the harbour of Ferryland, capturing a dozen vessels. On 21 June, he attacked the larger harbour of Trepassey, sailing in with black flags flying. In the harbour he discovered 22 merchant ships and 150 fishing ships, all of which were abandoned by their panic-stricken captains and crews, and the pirates were masters of Trepassey without any resistance being offered. Roberts had captured all 22 merchant ships, but was angered by the cowardice of the captains who had fled their ships. Every morning he had a gun fired and the captains were forced to attend Roberts on board his ship; they were told that anyone who was absent would have his ship burnt. One brig from Bristol was taken over by the pirates to replace the sloop Fortune and fitted out with 16 guns. When the pirates left in late June, all the other vessels in the harbour were set on fire. During July, Roberts captured nine or ten French ships and commandeered one of them, fitting her with 26 cannons and changing her name to Good Fortune. With this more powerful ship, the pirates captured many more vessels before heading south for the West Indies, accompanied by Montigny la Palisse's sloop, which had rejoined them.

In September 1720, Good Fortune was careened and repaired at the island of Carriacou before being renamed Royal Fortune, the first of several ships to be given this name by Roberts. In late September, Royal Fortune and Fortune headed for the island of St. Christopher's and entered Basse Terra Road, flying black flags and with their drummers and trumpeters playing. They sailed in among the ships in the Road, all of which promptly struck their flags. The next landfall was at the island of St. Bartholomew, where the French governor allowed the pirates to remain for several weeks to carouse. By 25 October, they were at sea again off St. Lucia, where they captured up to 15 French and English ships in the next three days. Among the captured ships was Greyhound, whose chief mate James Skyrme joined the pirates. He later became captain of Roberts' consort, Ranger.

During this time, Roberts reportedly caught the Governor of Martinique, who was sailing aboard a 52-gun French warship. The Governor was caught and promptly hanged on the yardarm of his own ship, which the pirates converted into the new Royal Fortune. According to Konstam and Rickman, this reported capture was an embellishment by Captain Charles Johnson in his A General History of the Pyrates.

By the spring of 1721, Roberts' depredations had almost brought seaborne trade to a standstill in the West Indies. Royal Fortune and Good Fortune therefore set sail for West Africa. On 18 April, Thomas Anstis, the commander of Good Fortune, left Roberts in the night and continued to raid shipping in the Caribbean, with future captains John Fenn and Brigstock Weaver aboard. Royal Fortune continued towards Africa.

Bartholomew_Roberts.jpg
Bartholomew Roberts at Ouidah with his ship and captured merchantmen in the background.

West Africa April 1721 – January 1722
By late April, Roberts was at the Cape Verde islands. Royal Fortune was found to be leaky and abandoned there. The pirates transferred to Sea King, which was renamed Royal Fortune. The new Royal Fortune made landfall off the Guinea coast in early June, near the mouth of the Senegal River. Two French ships, one of 10 guns and one of 16 guns, gave chase, but were captured by Roberts. Both ships were commandeered. One, Comte de Toulouse, was renamed Ranger, while the other was named Little Ranger and used as a storeship. Thomas Sutton was made captain of Ranger and James Skyrme captain of Little Ranger.

Roberts next headed for Sierra Leone, arriving on 12 June. Here he was told by retired pirate John "Old Crackers" Leadstone that two Royal Navy ships, HMS Swallowand HMS Weymouth, had left at the end of April, planning to return before Christmas.[29] On 8 August, he captured two large ships at Point Cestos, now River Cess in Liberia. One of these was the frigate Onslow, transporting soldiers bound for Cape Coast (Cabo Corso) Castle. A number of the soldiers wished to join the pirates, and they were eventually accepted, however they only received a quarter of a pirates pay because they were not sailors most of their lives. Onslow was converted to become the fourth Royal Fortune. In November and December, the pirates careened their ships and relaxed at Cape Lopez and the island of Annobon. Sutton was replaced by Skyrme as captain of Ranger.

They captured several vessels in January 1722, then sailed into Ouidah (Whydah) harbour with black flags flying. Ten of the eleven ships at anchor there immediately struck their colours, but were restored to their owners after a ransom of eight pounds of gold dust per ship was paid. The refusal of the eleventh vessel to surrender so enraged Roberts' crew that, under cover of night, they climbed aboard and set her on fire. The captured vessels were slave ships, and the one set on fire had around eighty enslaved Africans on board. They perished either as a result of the fire or by drowning or shark attack after jumping overboard.

Death in battle
BartRobCrew.jpg
Bartholomew Roberts's crew carousing at the Calabar River. Most of the crew were drunk when Swallow appeared.

On 5 February 1722, Captain Chaloner Ogle of HMS Swallow came upon the pirate ships Royal Fortune, Ranger, and Little Ranger careening at Cape Lopez. Swallowveered away to avoid a shoal, making the pirates think that she was a fleeing merchant ship; some sources claim Ogle spotted Roberts' ships and turned Swallow as a ruse. Ranger departed in pursuit, commanded by James Skyrme. Once out of earshot of the other pirates, Swallow opened her gun ports and opened fire. Ten pirates were killed and Skyrme had his leg taken off by a cannonball, but he refused to leave the deck. Eventually, Ranger was forced to strike her colors and the surviving crew were captured.

On 10 February, Swallow returned to Cape Lopez and found Royal Fortune still there. On the previous day, Roberts had captured Neptune, and many of his crew were drunk and unfit for duty just when he needed them most. At first, the pirates thought that the approaching ship was Ranger returning, but a deserter from Swallow recognized her and informed Roberts while he was breakfasting with Captain Hill, the master of Neptune. As he usually did before action, he dressed himself in his finest clothes:

Roberts himself made a gallant figure, at the time of the engagement, being dressed in a rich crimson damask waistcoat and breeches, a red feather in his hat, a gold chain round his neck, with a diamond cross hanging to it, a sword in his hand, and two pairs of pistols slung over his shoulders ...
— A General History of the ... Pyrates (1724),
The pirates' plan was to sail past Swallow, which meant exposing themselves to one broadside. Once past, they would have a good chance of escaping. However, the helmsman failed to keep Royal Fortune on the right course, and Swallow was able to approach to deliver a second broadside. Captain Roberts was killed by grapeshot, which struck him in the throat while he stood on the deck. Before his body could be captured by Ogle, Roberts's wish to be buried at sea with all his arms and ornaments on (a request he had repeated in life) was fulfilled by his crew, who weighed his body down and threw it overboard after wrapping it in his ship's sail. It was never found.

Roberts's death shocked the pirate world, as well as the Royal Navy. The local merchants and civilians had thought him invincible, and some considered him a hero.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartholomew_Roberts
 
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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1683 - The attack on Veracruz was a 1683 raid against the port of Veracruz, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (colonial Mexico).


The attack on Veracruz was a 1683 raid against the port of Veracruz, in the Viceroyalty of New Spain (colonial Mexico). It was led by pirates Laurens de Graaf, Nicholas van Hoorn and Michel de Grammont.

Ciudad_de_Veracruz_y_San_Juán_de_Ulúa_en_1615_-_Veracruz,_Veracruz._México.png
Veracruz in the 17th century.

History
On 17 May 1683 the pirates arrived off the coast of Veracruz with a small fleet which included 5 large vessels, 8 smaller vessels and around 1300 pirates. There were only English captains among them, George Spurre and Jacob Hall. At the head of the fleet sailed two Spanish ships, previously captured by van Hoorn, designed to confuse the townsfolk into thinking the fleet was Spanish.

While the fleet was anchored offshore, de Graaf and Yankey Willems were landed some distance from the town and waited until early the following morning. While most of the town's militia were sleeping, the men disabled the town's fortifications and allowed van Hoorn and a large force of pirates, who had marched overland, to enter the city and neutralise the remaining defences. The pirates sacked the town and took a large number of hostages including the town's governor.

On the second day of plundering, the Spanish plate fleet, composed of numerous warships, appeared on the horizon. The pirates retreated with hostages to the nearby Isla de Sacrificios and waited for ransoms. Impatient that payments did not arrive immediately, Van Hoorn ordered the execution of a dozen prisoners and had their heads sent to Veracruz as a warning. De Graaf was furious; the two argued and then fought a duel. Van Hoorn received a slash across the wrist and was returned to his ship in shackles. The wound soon turned gangrenous and Van Hoorn died shortly thereafter. Finally, giving up on further plunder, the pirates departed, slipping past the Spanish without hindrance.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1756 - HMS Colchester (50), Cptn. Lucius O'Brien, and HMS Lyme (20), Capt. Edward Vernon, engaged the french ships Aquilon (42) and Fiddle (24) off Brittany


The French ships were standing in for Rochefort in charge of a convoy, when, quite near the forts, they were sighted by the British and chased. The convoy was ordered to make the best of its way, and the men-of-war gave battle to cover its retreat. The ships paired off, the Colchester engaging the Aquilon, while the frigates fought it out together; but so equal were the forces on both sides, that, when they parted by mutual consent, and with heavy loss, no definite result had been arrived at as the outcome of seven hours' hard pounding.

Another Description
On the 17th of May, early in the morning, the Colchester, of 50, and the Lyme, of 26 guns, Captains Lucius O'Brien and Edward Vernon, part of the fleet of Vice- Admiral Boscawen, being off the Isle of Oleron, discovered and gave chase to two sail. The pursuit lasted all day; but at 5h. p.m., the Colchester having arrived up with the sternmost, the Aquilon, 50, engaged her very closely; while Captain Vernon, in the Lyme, engaged the other, which was the 32 gun frigate Fidelle. After an action of six hours' duration, the French ships made off, leaving the Colchester and Lyme much damaged in hull and rigging, with the loss of a great many men.

A French Account
The Aquion frigate of 40 guns, and the Fidele of 24, commanded by the Sieurs de Maurville, captain, and Lizardais, a lieutenant, who had convoyed some merchantmen to a certain latitude, were returning to Rochefort, when, on the 17th of May, near the Isle of Oleron, they fell in with an Englishman of war of 56 guns, and a frigate of 30, who gave them chase. The fight began at six in the evening between the English man of war with her frigate, and the king's two frigates, in such a manner, that at first the Fidele received part of the large English ship's broadsides, but afterwards it became separate between the large ships, and the English frigate kept to the Fidele, who soon lost sight of the two first. The engagement between the AQuilon and the English man of war lasted almost 8 hours, and the other two fought near 6 hours. Notwithstanding the great superiority of the enemy's artillery, the king's two frigates forced them sheer off; but being disabled in their masts, rigging, &c. could not pursue them.



French ship Aquilon (1731), a fifth rate ship, sunk by HMS Antelope in 1757

HMS Colchester was a 50-gun fourth rate ship of the line of the Royal Navy, built at Southampton according to the dimensions laid down in the 1741 proposals of the 1719 Establishment, and launched on 20 September 1745. She was ordered as a replacement for the previous HMS Colchester, which had been wrecked just two months after being launched.

Colchester served until 1762, when she was found to be unfit for service. She was eventually broken up in 1773.


HMS Lyme was a 28-gun, sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Originally ordered as a 24 gun ship to the draft of the French privateer Tyger. The sixth vessel of the Royal Navy to bear the name, Lyme, as well as Unicorn, which was a near-sister, were the first true frigates built for the Royal Navy. They were actually completed with 28 guns including the four smaller weapons on the quarterdeck, but the latter were not included in the ship's official establishment until 22 September 1756. The two ships differed in detail, Unicorn having a beakhead bow, a unicorn figurehead, two-light quarter galleriesand only five pairs of quarterdeck gunports, while Lyme had a round bow, a lion figurehead, three-light quarter galleries and six pairs of quarterdeck gunports.

Lyme was named on 2 August 1748, and commissioned in September 1748 under Captain Charles Proby, while still building in Deptford Dockyard under the direction of Master Shipwright John Holland. After her launch, she was fitted out there, finally sailing when completed on 8 February 1752. Her total initial cost had been £12,282.0.1d (including fitting out costs). She sailed for the Mediterranean in May 1749. Returning home, she was fitted out at Portsmouth Dockyard from December 1750 to March 1751 (at a cost of £389.6.9d) for bearing the new ambassador to Tripoli out to the Mediterranean.

After her first commission finished in 1752, she was surveyed on 1 July 1753, and then underwent a small repair and was fitted out at Plymouth Dockyard(under Admiralty Order on 4 December 1753, for a total cost of £1,519.6.3d) in February to March 1754. She was recommissioned under Captain Samuel Faulkner, but some months later he was replaced by Captain Edward Vernon, under whom the Lyme joined the Western Squadron based in Plymouth. In March 1758 she was under Captain James Baker, in the Mediterranean to 1759.

Back home, and under Vernon's command again, she was surveyed again on 7 June 1760, and then underwent a small repair and was fitted out at Chatham Dockyard (for a total cost of £4,211.6.4d) in May to August 1760, before sailing for the Baltic.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Colchester_(1746)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1756 – Launch of HMS Lowestoffe, a 28-gun Lowestoffe-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy.


HMS
Lowestoffe
was a 28-gun Lowestoffe-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Named after the UK's most easterly port of Lowestoft in Suffolk the ship was designed by Sir Thomas Slade based on the earlier Lyme of 1748, "with such alterations as may tend to the better stowing of men and carrying for guns." The design provided for a 24-gun ship (from 22 September 1756 this was raised to 28 guns by including the 3 pounders on the quarterdeck in the count) of 583 tons, but on completion the ship measured some 11 tons more.

The ship served in the British operations to relieve Quebec during the Seven Years' War before being wrecked off Pointe-aux-Trembles on 19 May 1760.

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j6391.jpg
Scale 1:48. Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines with inboard detail and longitudinal half breadth for building Lowestoff (1756) and Tartar (1756), both 28-gun, Sixth Rate Frigates. Note the French influence on the designs bow shape, single bitts, and wheel abaft mizzen. Top right: "A Copy of this Draught was given to Mr Graves of Lime house for Building a 28-guns, p. 13th June 1755. Do to Mr Randell....of Rotherhithe."


The Lowestoffe class were a class of two 28-gun sixth-rate frigates of the Royal Navy. They served during the Seven Years' War, with HMS Tartarsurviving to see action in the American War of Independence and the French Revolutionary Wars.

They were designed by Sir Thomas Slade, based on the prototype 28-gun frigate Lyme (launched in 1748), "with such alterations as may tend to the better stowing of men and carrying for guns". These alterations involved raising the headroom between decks. They were originally ordered as 24-gun ships with 160 men, but re-rated while under construction to 28 guns with the addition of 3-pounder guns on the quarterdeck and with their complement being raised to 180 men.

Unbenannt.JPG

Ships in class
  • HMS Lowestoffe
    • Ordered: 20 May 1755
    • Builder: John Greaves, Limehouse.
    • Laid Down: June 1755
    • Launched: 17 May 1756
    • Completed: 8 June 1756 at Deptford Dockyard.
    • Fate: Wrecked at Pointe-aux-Trembles, Canada on 19 May 1760.
  • HMS Tartar
    • Ordered: 12 June 1755
    • Builder: John Randall, Rotherhithe.
    • Laid Down: 4 July 1755
    • Launched: 3 April 1756
    • Completed: 2 May 1756 at Deptford Dockyard.
    • Fate: Wrecked at Puerto Plata, then burnt there 1 April 1797.
j6573.jpg
Scale 1:48. Plan showing sheer lines and only one water line for Tartar (1757), a 28-gun, Sixth Rate Frigate, as being altered during repairs at Chatham by Mr Nicholson's Yard. The decks were raised, as shown by the ticked red lines. Annotation: top right: "A Copy was sent to Mr Belshar the Overseer 2nd December 1790."



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Lowestoffe_(1756)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1779 - Launch of HMS Pandora, a 24-gun Porcupine-class sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy
hms pandora launched
(anatomy ship)


HMS Pandora was a 24-gun Porcupine-class sixth-rate post ship of the Royal Navy launched in May 1779. She is best known as the ship sent in 1790 to search for the Bounty mutineers. The Pandora was partially successful by capturing 14 of the mutineers, but was wrecked on the Great Barrier Reef on the return voyage in 1791. The Pandora is considered to be one of the most significant shipwrecks in the Southern Hemisphere.

HMS_Pandora.jpg
HMS Pandora in the act of foundering 29 August 1791

Early service
Her first service was in the Channel during the 1779 threatened invasion by the combined fleets of France and Spain. She was deployed in North American waters during the American War Of Independence and saw service as a convoy escort between England and Quebec. On 18 July 1780, while under the command of Captain Anthony Parry, she and Danae captured the American privateer Jack. Then on 2 September, the two British vessels captured the American privateer Terrible. On 14 January Pandora captured the brig Janie. Then on 11 March she captured the ship Mercury. Two days later Pandora and HMS Belisarius were off the Capes of Virginia when they captured the sloop Louis, which had been sailing to Virginia with a cargo of cider and onions. Under Captain John Inglis Pandora captured more merchant vessels. The first was the brig Lively on 24 May 1782. More followed: the ship Mercury and the sloops Port Royal and Superb (22 November 1782), the brig Nestor (3 February 1783), and the ship Financier (29 March). At the end of the American war the Admiralty placed Pandora in ordinary (mothballed) in 1783 at Chatham for seven years.

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Voyage in search of the Bounty
Pandora was ordered to be brought back into service on 30 June 1790 when war between England and Spain seemed likely due to the Nootka Crisis. However, in early August 1790, 5 months after learning of the mutiny on HMS Bounty, the First Lord of the Admiralty, John Pitt, 2nd Earl of Chatham, decided to despatch her to recover the Bounty, capture the mutineers, and return them to England for trial. She was refitted, and her 9-pounder guns were reduced to 20 in number, though she gained four 18-pounder carronades.

Pandora sailed from The Solent on 7 November 1790, commanded by Captain Edward Edwards and manned by a crew of 134 men. With his crew was Thomas Hayward, who had been on the Bounty at the time of the mutiny, and left with Bligh in the open boat. At Tahiti they were also assisted by John Brown, who had been left on the island by an English merchant ship, The Mercury.

Unknown to Edwards, twelve of the mutineers, together with four crew who had stayed loyal to Bligh, had by then already elected to return to Tahiti, after a failed attempt to establish a colony (Fort St George) under Fletcher Christian's leadership on Tubuai, one of the Austral Islands. The disaffected men were living in Tahiti as 'beachcombers', many of them having fathered children with local women. Fletcher Christian's group of mutineers and their Polynesian followers had sailed off and eventually established their settlement on the then uncharted Pitcairn Island. By the time of Pandora's arrival, fourteen of the former Bounty men remained on Tahiti, Charles Churchill having been murdered in a quarrel with Matthew Thompson, who was in turn killed by Polynesians, who considered Churchill their king.

The Pandora reached Tahiti on 23 March 1791 via Cape Horn. Three men came out and surrendered to Edwards shortly after Pandora's arrival. These were Joseph Coleman, the Bounty's armourer, and Peter Heywood and George Stewart, midshipmen. Edwards then dispatched search parties to round up the remainder. Able Seaman Richard Skinner was apprehended the day after Pandora's arrival. By now alerted to Edwards' presence, the other Bounty men fled to the mountains while James Morrison, Charles Norman and Thomas Ellison, tried to reach the Pandora to surrender in the escape boat they had built. All were eventually captured, and brought back to Pandora on 29 March. An eighth man, the half blind Michael Byrne, who had been fiddler aboard Bounty, had also come aboard by this time. It was not recorded whether he had been captured or had handed himself in. Edwards conducted further searches over the next week and a half, and on Saturday two more men were brought aboard Pandora, Henry Hilbrant and Thomas McIntosh. The remaining four men, Thomas Burkett, John Millward, John Sumner and William Muspratt, were brought in the following day. These fourteen men were locked up in a makeshift prison cell, measuring eleven-by-eighteen feet, on the Pandora's quarter-deck, which they called "Pandora's Box".

On 8 May 1791 the Pandora left Tahiti and subsequently spent three months visiting islands in the South-West Pacific in search of the Bounty and the remaining mutineers, without finding any traces of the pirated vessel. During this part of the voyage fourteen crew went missing in two of the ship's boats. In the meantime the Pandora visited Tokelau, Samoa, Tonga and Rotuma. They also passed VanikoroIsland, which Edwards named Pitt's Island; but they did not stop to explore the island and investigate obvious signs of habitation. If they had done so, they would very probably have discovered early evidence of the fate of the French Pacific explorer La Perouse's expedition which had disappeared in 1788. From later accounts about their fate it is evident that a substantial number of crew survived the cyclone that wrecked their ships Astrolabe and Boussole on Vanikoro's fringing reef.

Wrecked

HMS Pandora in the act of foundering
by Robert Batty

Heading west, making for the Torres Strait, the ship ran aground on 29 August 1791 on the outer Great Barrier Reef. She sank the next morning, claiming the lives of 35 men - 31 crew and 4 of the mutineers.[16] The remainder of the ship's company (89 crew and 10 prisoners, 7 of whom were released from their cell as the ship sank) assembled on a small treeless sand cay. After two nights on the island they sailed for Timor in four open boats, arriving in Kupang on 16 September 1791 after an arduous voyage across the Arafura Sea. Sixteen more died after surviving the wreck, many having fallen ill during their sojourn in Batavia (Jakarta). Eventually only 78 of the 134 men who had been on board upon departure returned home.

Captain Edwards and his officers were exonerated for the loss of the Pandora after a court martial. No attempt was made by the colonial authorities in New South Wales to salvage material from the wreck. The ten surviving prisoners were also tried; the various courts martial held found four of them innocent of mutiny and, although the other six were found guilty, only three were executed - Millward, Burkitt and Ellison who were executed on 29 October 1792 on board the man of war Brunswick at Portsmouth. Peter Heywood and James Morrison received a Royal pardon, while William Muspratt was acquitted on a legal technicality.

Descendants of the nine mutineers not discovered by Pandora still live on Pitcairn Island, the refuge Fletcher Christian founded in January 1790 and where they burnt and scuttled the Bounty a few weeks after arrival. Their hiding place was not discovered until 1808 when the New England sealer Topaz (Captain Mayhew Folger) happened on the tiny uncharted island. By then, all of the mutineers – except John Adams (aka Alexander Smith) – were dead, most having died under violent circumstances.

sistership
j7944.jpg
Plan showing the body plan, sheer lines, and longitudinal half-breadth for Pelican (1777). Annotated with Isaac Rogers (bottom right). From Tyne & Wear Archives Service, Blandford House, Blandford Square, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4JA


Wreck site: discovery and archaeology
The wreck of the Pandora is located approximately 5 km north-west of Moulter Cay 11°23′S 143°59′ECoordinates:
11°23′S 143°59′E on the outer Great Barrier Reef, on the edge of the Coral Sea. It is one of the best preserved shipwrecks in Australian waters. Its discovery was made on 15 November 1977 by independent explorers Ben Cropp, Steve Domm and John Heyer.

John Heyer, an Australian documentary film maker, had predicted the position of the wreck based on his research in the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. His discovery expedition was launched with the help of Steve Domm, a boat owner and naturalist, and the Royal Australian Air Force. Using the built-in sensors of the RAAF P-2V Neptune, the magnetic anomaly caused by the wreck was detected and flares were laid down near the coordinates predicted by John Heyer.

Ben Cropp, an Australian television film maker, gained knowledge of Heyer's expedition and decided to launch his own search with the intention of following Heyer by boat; In this way Ben Cropp found the Pandora wreck just before John Heyer's boat did. The wreck was actually sighted by a diver called Ron Bell on Ben Cropp's boat. After the wreck site was located it was immediately declared a protected site under the Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act 1976, and in 1978 Ben Cropp and Steve Domm shared the $10,000. reward for finding the wreck.

The Queensland Museum excavated the wreck on nine occasions between 1983 and 1999, according to a research design devised by marine archaeologists at the West Australian and Queensland museums (Gesner, 2016:16). Archaeologists, historians and scholars at the Museum of Tropical Queensland, Townsville, continue to piece together the Pandora story, using archaeological and extant historical evidence. A large collection of artefacts is on display at the museum.

In the course of the nine seasons of excavation during the 1980s and 1990s, the museum's marine archaeological teams established that approximately 30% of the hull is still intact (Gesner, 2000:39ff). The vessel came to rest at a depth of between 30 and 33 m on a gently sloping sandy bottom, slightly inclined to starboard; consequently more of the starboard side has been preserved than the port side of the hull. Approximately one third of the seabed in which the wreck is buried has been excavated by the Queensland Museum, leaving approximately 350 m³ for any future excavations.

HMS_Pandora_Voyage_1791.jpg
Voyage of HMS Pandora in 1791


The Anatomy of the Ship series has also one copy about the 24-gun frigate HMS Pandora - highly recommended

71kQZ2SkGAL.jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Pandora_(1779)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porcupine-class_post_ship
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1795 - HMS Thetis (38), Cptn. Hon. Alexander Cochrane, and HMS Hussar (28), Cptn. John Poer Beresford, engaged 5 French flutes Normand, Trajan, Prévoyante, Hernoux, and Raison off Cape Henry, Chesapeake Bay.
Raison (18) and Prévoyante (24) were taken.


HMS
Thetis
was a 38-gun fifth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy launched in 1782.

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Capture of La Prevoyante and La Raison by Thetis and Hussar, by Thomas Whitcombe

Career
French Revolutionary Wars

On 2 May 1795 Rear Admiral George Murray sent Captain Alexander Cochrane in Thetis, together with HMS Hussar, to intercept three French supply ships reported at Hampton Roads. At daybreak on 17 May the British came upon five ships 20 leagues West by South from Cape Henry. The French made a line of battle to receive the British frigates. An action commenced, with three of the French vessels eventually striking their colours. Thetis took possession of the largest, which turned out to be Prévoyante, pierced for 36 guns but only mounting 24. Hussar captured a second, the Raison, pierced for 24 guns but only mounting 18. One of the vessels that had struck nonetheless sailed off. Two of the five had broken off the fight and sailed off earlier. (The three that escaped were the Normand, Trajan, and Hernoux.) An hour after she had struck, Prévoyante's main and foremasts fell over the side. In the battle, Thetis had lost eight men killed and 9 wounded; Hussar had only two men wounded.

Four of the French ships had escaped from Guadeloupe on 25 April. They had sailed to American ports to gather provisions and naval stores to bring back to France.

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Cochrane attacking five French storeships, 17 May 1795, The Prevoyant dismasted (PAD0403)

Cochrane had intended to leave the prizes in charge of the cutter Prince Edward after repairing the damage to his vessel during the night. However, a breeze picked up and by morning the escaping French vessels were out of sight. The British sailed with their prizes to Halifax. The British took Prévoyante into the Royal Navy as HMS Prevoyante.

On 20 July, Thetis was in company with Hussar and HMS Esperance when they intercepted the American vessel Cincinnatus, of Wilmington, sailing from Ireland to Wilmington. They pressed many men on board, narrowly exempting the Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone, who was going to Philadelphia.

In 1797 Thetis recaptured Indian Trader as Indian Trader was sailing from Cayenne to Baltimore. Thetis sent her into Halifax, Nova Scotia.

In 1801 Thetis took part in Lord Keith's expedition to Egypt. Because Thetis served in the navy's Egyptian campaign (8 March to 2 September 1801), her officers and crew qualified for the clasp "Egypt" to the Naval General Service Medal that the Admiralty authorised in 1850 to all surviving claimants.

HMS Minerva, sistership of Thetis
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Napoleonic Wars
In 1809 boats from Thetis and several other vessels cut out the French 16-gun brig Nisus at Deshaies, Guadeloupe. Captain George Miller sent in boats with the marines from Pultusk, Achates and Bacchus, and 78 sailors. The landing party first captured the fort at Deshaies, whereupon Nisus surrendered when its guns were turned on her. During the operation, Attentive kept up a six-hour cannonade on Nisus and the battery. Many of the 300 men in the battery fled, as did most of the crew of Nisus before the British could take possession. The British destroyed the battery before withdrawing. British casualties amounted to two men from Thetis being wounded on shore, and two men being wounded on Attentive. The Royal Navy took Nisus into service as HMS Guadaloupe.

Thetis then took part in the storming of the batteries at Anse la Barque.

Thetis also participated in the capture of Guadeloupe in January and February 1810. In 1847 the Admiralty awarded the Naval General Service Medal with clasp "Guadaloupe" to all surviving participants of the campaign.

Fate
Thetis was sold in 1814.


HMS Hussar was a 28-gun Enterprise-class sixth-rate frigate of the Royal Navy. Hussar was first commissioned in May 1790 under the command of Captain Eliab Harvey.

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Career
On 2 May 1795 Rear Admiral George Murray sent Captain Alexander Cochrane in Thetis, together with Hussar, to intercept three French supply ships reported at Hampton Roads. At daybreak on 17 May the British came upon five ships 20 leagues West by South from Cape Henry. The French made a line of battle to receive the British frigates. An action commenced, with three of the French vessels eventually striking their colours. Thetis took possession of the largest, which turned out to be Prévoyante, pierced for 36 guns but only mounting 24. Hussar captured a second, Raison, pierced for 24 guns but only mounting 18. One of the vessels that had struck nonetheless sailed off. Two of the five had broken off the fight and sailed off earlier. (The three that escaped were Normand, Trajan, and Hernoux.) An hour after she had struck, Prévoyante's main and foremasts fell over the side. In the battle, Thetis had lost eight men killed and 9 wounded; Hussar had only two men wounded.

Four of the French ships had escaped from Guadeloupe on 25 April. They had sailed to American ports to gather provisions and naval stores to bring back to France.

Cochrane had intended to leave the prizes in charge of the cutter Prince Edward after repairing the damage to his vessel during the night. However, a breeze picked up and by morning the escaping French vessels were out of sight. The British sailed with their prizes to Halifax. The British took Prévoyante into the Royal Navy as HMS Prevoyante.

On 20 July, Hussar was in company with Thetis and HMS Esperance when they intercepted the American vessel Cincinnatus, of Wilmington, sailing from Ireland to Wilmington. They pressed many men on board, narrowly exempting the Irish revolutionary Wolfe Tone, who was going to Philadelphia.


Prévoyante was the second of two flûtes (supply or store ships) built to a design by Raymond-Antoine Haran. She was launched in May 1793 at Bayonne. The British frigates HMS Thetis and HMS Hussar captured Prévoyante in 1795 and the British took her into the Royal Navy after first converting her to a fifth rate. She served as a frigate until 1800, when she underwent reconversion back to a store ship. As a store ship she sailed to the Mediterranean, Cape of Good Hope, and Quebec. She was sold for breaking up in July 1819.

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French career and capture
In late 1794, Admiral Jervis signed a safe-conduct pass for Prevoyante so that she could repatriate British prisoners of war.

On 2 May 1795 Rear Admiral George Murray sent Captain Alexander Cochrane in Thetis, together with Hussar, to intercept three French supply ships reported at Hampton Roads. At daybreak on 17 May the British came upon five ships 20 leagues West by South from Cape Henry. The French made a line of battle to receive the British frigates. An action commenced, with three of the French vessels eventually striking their colours. Thetis took possession of the largest, which turned out to be Prévoyante, pierced for 36 guns but only mounting 24. Hussar captured a second, Raison, pierced for 24 guns but only mounting 18. One of the vessels that had struck nonetheless sailed off. Two of the five had broken off the fight and sailed off earlier. (The three that escaped were Normand, Trajan, and Hernoux.) An hour after she had struck, Prévoyante's main and foremast fell over the side. In the battle, Thetis had lost eight men killed and nine wounded; Hussar had only two men wounded.

Four of the French ships had escaped from Guadeloupe on 25 April. They had sailed to American ports to gather provisions and naval stores to bring back to France.

Cochrane had intended to leave the prizes in charge of the cutter Prince Edward after repairing the damage to his vessel during the night. However, a breeze picked up and by morning the escaping French vessels were out of sight. The British sailed with their prizes to Halifax.

British frigate
Admiral Murray commissioned Prevoyante under Captain John Poo Beresford, who had been captain of Hussar. He proceeded to pay for some of her fitting out from his own pocket. They also took Raison into service. While on the Halifax station, Hussar, Captain Charles Wemyss, and Prevoyante captured the ship Minerva on 10 May 1796. Six or so months after Beresford had assumed command, the Admiralty appointed him to Raison and Charles Wemyss to Prevoyante. Then Beresford apparently returned to command of Prevoyante as he was in command when Prevoyante captured the ship Argus on 7 August 1797.

In October 1797 Wemyss replaced Beresford on Prevoyante, On 9 November 1798 Prevoyante captured the brig Norge.

In January 1799, Captain J. Seater replaced Wemyss. On 16 May, Prevoyante captured the schooner Caroline.

Prevoyante was among the many British vessels that shared in the proceeds of the capture of the French frigate Désirée, which HMS Dart, under Patrick Campbell, captured on 8 July 1800 in the Raid on Dunkirk.

Prevoyante was serving on the North Sea station when she shared in the seizure of the 40-gun Danish frigate Freya on 25 July 1800 off Ostend. The seizure of the Freya for opposing the British right of search led to strained relations with Denmark. The British government had to dispatch Lord Charles Whitworth to Copenhagen, with a substantial Royal Navy escort, to convince the Danes to drop the matter. This incident and another in Malta ultimately led in the next year to the British capturing Copenhagen. At the capitulation the British again captured Freya, which they then added to the Royal Navy as Freya.

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Porto R'e near Fiume in the Gulph of Venice taken on board the Prevoyante S.S Jany 1802 (PAD8519)

British store ship
On 10 September 1800 Prevoyante arrived as Sheerness. Between October and May 1801 she was at Sheerness and Deptford fitting out as a store ship.

In 1803 she was at Woolwich under the command of Mr. William Brown, Master. On 25 April she arrived at Plymouth with a cargo of hemp and iron intended for the dockyards. She had left Malta about a month earlier. On the leg from Gibraltar, Prevoyante was in company with Dragon and Alligator when they sighted two French ships of the line off Cape St. Vincent. The French ships veered off rather than engage the British vessels.

On 10 December 1804, Prevoyante was under the command of Mr. Daniel M'Coy when she was in company with Defence when Defence captured the Spanish vessel "Detipente". Defence, Prevoyante, and Guerrier shared in the capture of the Spanish ship Diligente on 30 December.

Prevoyante shared with Merlin and Eurydice in the proceeds from the capture on 11 June 1805 of the Prussian ship Edward. The proceeds were forwarded from Gibraltar.

Prevoyante, still under Mr. M'Coy's command, sailed for the Cape of Good Hope on 30 August 1806. She then sailed for the Mediterranean on 28 June 1807.

She underwent repair between May 1811 and May 1812. In 1813 her master was Mr. Stephen Trounce. His replacement, in September 1814, was Mr. Thomas Stokes.

On 15 January 1815 HMS Cherub and HMS Racoon left Rio de Janeiro, escorting a convoy that included the storeships Prevoyante and Serapis, and seven merchantmen. They left Pernambuco on 6 March.

In 1817 she was at Quebec.

Fate
Prevoyante was offered for sale at Chatham on 22 July 1819. She was sold that day to Beech & Co. for ₤3,000 for breaking up.



 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1799 – Launch of french Mutine, the name-vessel of her two-vessel class of corvettes designed by Charles-Henri Tellier.


Mutine was the name-vessel of her two-vessel class of corvettes designed by Charles-Henri Tellier. She was ordered as Nouvelle in 1797, but received the name Mutine at her launching in May 1799. She was wrecked near Santiago de Cuba on 17 August 1803 as a consequence of a single-ship action with HMS Racoon.

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Career
Her commander in 1799 was Captain Lambert.

On 28 January 1801 HMS Bordelais was west of Barbados when she encountered two French brigs and a schooner. They gave chase but then Bordelais turned. In the short engagement that followed she captured the larger of the brigs, Curieuse, which sank within an hour or so of her capture. The two other French vessels escaped early in the engagement. Reportedly, the French brig that escaped was Mutine, of sixteen 6-pounder guns and 156 men under the command of J. Reybaud, and the schooner Espérance, of six 4-pounder guns and 52 men under the command of Captain Haywood.

Loss
In 1803, Mutine, under the command of lieutenant de vaisseau Reybaud, sailed from Gibraltar and Malaga for the French Antilles. The crossing took 38 days, during which Mutine took two prizes.

Once in the French Antilles, Mutine sailed from Port-de-Paix to Santiago de Cuba.

At 1p.m. on 12 August Racoon sighted a brig coming along shore that met up with a schooner that had been avoiding the British all day. At 3p.m. the two came up together, but Racoon held back. Then at 4:15 the brig hoisted French colours and opened fire on Racoon. Racoon and the brig exchanged broadsides, with Racoon's fire bringing down most of the brig's rigging. The brig ran on shore on the rocks in a small bay, where she struck his colours. After some maneuvering, Racoon fired a broadside from her other side to try to destroy the brig. After about half an hour, the brig raised her colours again. Racoon made several passes, firing on the brig, which lost her mainmast near sunset, and fell on her side. The brig sent her crew ashore in boats while Racoon watched all night. In the morning it was clear that the brig was a complete wreck, having lost her masts and being full of water. Commander Austin Bissell, of Racoon, decided not to permit Racoon's master to take a boat and some men to the brig to burn her because there were too many armed men on shore who would fire on any boarding party. Also, Racoon had her two lieutenants and 42 men away in the prizes she had taken the previous month. During the engagement, the schooner made her escape despite the efforts of Lieutenant Wright to capture the schooner, using a prize that Racoon had captured earlier.

The sloop turned out to be Mutine.

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HMS Racoon engaging with French navy corvette Mutine, circle of William John Huggins


 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1812 – Launch of French Melpomène, a 44-gun frigate of the French Navy, designed by Sané.


Melpomène was a 44-gun frigate of the French Navy, designed by Sané. She was launched in 1812. In 1815 HMS Rivoli captured her. The Royal Navy never commissioned Melpomène and in 1821 sold her for breaking up.

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Career
Melpomène was commissioned on 1 June 1812 in Toulon under Commander Charles Béville. She took part in the Action of 5 November 1813, where she sustained light damage and had one wounded.

She was decommissioned on 21 February 1814, but reactivated in January 1815 under Captain Joseph Collet, at Toulon.

On 24 April, during the Hundred Days, she was sent to Napoli to transport Letizia Ramolino. Six days later, at 6a.m. on the 30th, she encountered the 74-gun HMS Rivoli off Ischia, commanded by Captain Edward Stirling Dickson. After a 35-minute fight, Melpomène struck to the ship of the line.

Although a key French source states that Melpomène was scuttled, she was not. The Royal Navy sailed her to Portsmouth, where she arrived on 28 December 1815. There she was laid up. She was not commissioned and was not fitted for sea. She was sold on 7 June 1821 at Portsmouth to a Mr. Freake for £2,460.

In May, the frigate Dryade brought Ramolino to France, along with Prince Jérôme Bonaparte.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_frigate_Melpomène_(1812
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1821 – Launch of The first USS Shark, a schooner in the United States Navy.
Built in the Washington Navy Yard to the designs of Henry Steers



The first USS Shark was a schooner in the United States Navy. Built in the Washington Navy Yard to the designs of Henry Steers, Shark was launched on 17 May 1821. On 11 May 1821, Matthew C. Perry was ordered to take command of Shark, and the ship was ready to receive her crew on 2 June 1821.

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Model of the USS Shark in the U.S. Navy Museum

History
Shark sailed from the Washington Navy Yard on 15 July for New York, where she received Dr. Eli Ayers on board for transportation to the west coast of Africa. She cleared New York harbor on 7 August to make her first cruise for the suppression of the slave trade and piracy. Sailing by way of the Madeira, Canary, and Cape Verde islands, she landed Dr. Ayers at Sierra Leone in west Africa in October and returned by way of the West Indies to New York on 17 January 1822.

Shark put to sea from New York on 26 February and joined Commodore James Biddle's squadron for the suppression of piracy and slave trading in the West Indies. On 25 March, Lt. Perry took formal possession of what is now Key West, Florida, in the name of the United States. He called the island Thompson's Island to honor Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson and named the harbor Port Rodgers to compliment Commodore John Rodgers. Under orders from Commodore Biddle, Shark departed Nassau on 14 August for another cruise to the coast of Africa and returned to Norfolk, Virginia on 12 December 1822. She again sailed for the West Indies in February 1823, and returned to New York on 9 July for repairs. On 5 October, she sailed from New York carrying Commodore John Rodgers and three Navy surgeons to Thompson's Island to determine the fitness of that place as a naval base. She debarked Rodgers and his party at Norfolk on 16 November 1823 before resuming her cruise in the West Indies. She returned to New York on 13 May 1824.

After repairs in the New York Navy Yard, Shark sailed from New York on 5 October 1825 and cruised in the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico until 29 August 1826, when she arrived at Norfolk. On 28 November she departed Norfolk and proceeded to the coast of Africa to protect slaves freed from captured slave ships. After seeing that the liberated slaves were safely established in Liberia, she returned by way of the Caribbean and arrived at New York on 5 July 1827.

The busy schooner sailed again on 24 July for a cruise to the Newfoundland fisheries to defend American interests there and returned on 6 October. She then resumed her duty in the West Indies, which included anti-slavery and anti-piracy patrols and periodic voyages to West Africa to check the American settlements there.

In 1833, Shark was relieved in the West Indies by the schooner, Experiment, and sailed for the Mediterranean, where she remained for the next five years, cruising extensively in order to protect American commerce. She cleared Gibraltar for the United States on 22 January 1838 and. sailing by way of the West Indies, arrived at the Norfolk Navy Yard on 24 March.

Shark put to sea from Hampton Roads on 22 July 1839 for duty with the Pacific Squadron. She was the first United States man-of-war to pass through the Straits of Magellan from east to west, a feat accomplished on 13 December 1839 en route to Callao, Peru. During the next five years, she spent much of her time along the coast of Peru to protect American citizens and property during civil disturbances in that country. The Secretary of the Navy noted in 1841 that “all who witnessed the operations of the Shark were inspired with increased respect for the American flag.” She also made infrequent cruises northward to observe conditions in Panama and to receive mail.

Sinking
On 1 April 1846, Shark was ordered to Honolulu, Hawaii for repairs in preparation for an exploratory voyage up the Columbia River, "to obtain correct information of that country and to cheer our citizens in that region by the presence of the American flag." She reached the coast of Oregon on 15 July 1846, and soon crossed the bar off the mouth of the Columbia River (after grounding once on 18 July without any "material damage"), for explorations in the lower Columbia River and Willamette Valley while staging out of Fort Vancouver. After several weeks in the vicinity of the fort, the vessel returned to the mouth of the river on 8 September; and, knowing that the bar had changed position since the last survey was made, spent the following day making new observations of the bar and other preparations for crossing. However, her effort to recross the bar ended in disaster on 10 September, for she struck an uncharted shoal and was swept into the breakers by a swift tide. The ship was a total loss, but her entire crew was saved. Upon learning of the vessel's demise, the Royal Navy and Hudson's Bay Company's officers at Fort Vancouver immediately coordinated and dispatched a relief effort, including food, tobacco, and clothing. Lt. Howison soon returned to Fort Vancouver, where he acquired additional supplies and ultimately chartered the Hudson's Bay Company schooner, Cadboro, on 16 November; reaching San Francisco, California on 27 January 1847. A court of inquiry absolved Lt. Neil M. Howison of all blame for the loss of his ship.

Artifacts
Several artifacts associated with the wrecked schooner are on public display in Oregon. The schooner's capstan and one carronade are viewable at the Cannon Beach History Center in Cannon Beach, Oregon. The carronade was discovered four or five miles north of Arch Cape in 1898, and is what gave Cannon Beach its name. On 16 February 2008, two more carronades believed to have been a part of the USS Shark were discovered on the beach near Arch Cape, Oregon. The newly discovered carronades were restored at the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation at Texas A&M University and are now on display at the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. The Maritime Museum exhibit also features an officer's sword that is believed to have originated on the Shark, along with a large rock known as "Shark Rock" that features words and dates believed to be etched on by survivors of the wreck.



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Shark_(1821)
 

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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1865 – Launch of SMS Meteor, a Camäleon-class gunboat of the North German Federal Navy (later the Imperial German Navy)


SMS
Meteor
was a Camäleon-class gunboat of the North German Federal Navy (later the Imperial German Navy) that was launched in 1865. A small vessel, armed with only three light guns, Meteor took part in the Battle of Havana in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War. There, she battled the French aviso Bouvet; both vessels were lightly damaged, though Bouvet was compelled to disengage after a shot from Meteor disabled her engine. After the war, Meteor returned to Germany, where her career was limited; she served briefly as a survey vessel. From 1873 to 1877, she was deployed to the Mediterranean Sea as a station ship in Constantinople during a period of tensions in the Ottoman Empire. After returning to Germany in 1877, she was decommissioned, converted into a coal hulk and expended as a target ship some time later.

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Painting of Meteor in battle with Bouvet

Design
Main article: Camäleon-class gunboat
Meteor was 43.28 meters (142 ft) long, with a beam of 6.96 m (22 ft 10 in) and a draft of 2.67 m (8 ft 9 in). She displaced 422 metric tons (415 long tons) at full load. The ship's crew consisted of 4 officers and 67 enlisted men. She was powered by a single marine steam engine that drove one 3-bladed screw propeller, with steam provided by two coal-fired trunk boilers, which gave her a top speed of 9.3 knots (17.2 km/h; 10.7 mph) at 320 metric horsepower (320 ihp). As built, she was equipped with a three-masted schooner rig. The ship was armed with a battery of one rifled 15 cm (5.9 in) 24-pounder gun and two rifled 12 cm (4.7 in) 12-pounder guns.

Service history
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Illustration of Meteor

Meteor
was laid down at the Königliche Werft Danzig (Royal Dockyard Danzig) on 27 June 1861. Construction work on the ship was delayed significantly due to a lack of funding, the result of budgetary conflicts between Minister President Otto von Bismarck and the Prussian House of Representatives. The ship was launched on 17 May 1865, though fitting-out work was delayed the following year when the ship was allocated to an expedition to the North Pole. The ship was finally commissioned into service with the North German Federal Navy on 6 September 1869. The Admiralstab (Admiralty Staff) ordered the gunboat to the Caribbean, along with the corvette Arcona. The sailors were concerned with Meteor's seaworthiness for an Atlantic crossing, and so planned to transfer the 15 cm gun to Arcona for the voyage. Arcona was instead reassigned to represent Germany at the opening of the Suez Canal, and so Meteor was forced to make the journal on her own. She departed Kiel on 4 October, under the command of then-Kapitänleutnant (Captain Lieutenant) Eduard von Knorr. En route, she had to put into Falmouth from 12 October to 6 November to repair damage sustained during a storm in the North Sea.

Meteor arrived in Bridgetown, Barbados, on 19 December 1869, and met the training ship Niobe. The gunboat was unable to stay in Barbados, as unrest in Venezuela threatened German nationals in the country, and she was ordered there to protect them. She remained in the area until mid-March 1870; at the beginning of the month, she anchored off La Guaira with Niobe in an attempt to enforce German financial claims in the city. During the period she operated off Venezuela, Meteor left once for periodic repairs at Willemstad, Curacao. On 16 March, she departed Venezuelan waters, bound for Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where she was to meet Arcona. On the way, Meteor struck a coral reef off Gonâve Island, though she was able to get off on her own power. After arriving in Port-au-Prince, Knorr learned that Arcona had gone to La Guaira, and he was to take his vessel there as well. On 19 July, France declared war on Prussia, initiating the Franco-Prussian War.

Battle of Havana
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Painting of the Battle of Havana by Willy Stöwer

On 7 November 1870, Meteor arrived in Havana, Cuba, where the French aviso Bouvet was docked. The French ship was more heavily armed than the Prussian vessel, with one 16 cm (6.3 in) gun and four 12 cm guns compared to a single 15 cm gun and two 12 cm guns aboard Meteor. The French captain issued a challenge to Knorr, who accepted. Bouvet departed the harbor on 8 November, followed by Meteor the following day; international law mandated that belligerent ships wait twenty-four hours after an enemy vessel left port. The Battle of Havana lasted for two hours, Meteor opening fire first with her 15 cm gun.

Meteor fired eight salvos at about 2,000 meters (6,600 ft), all without effect, before Bouvet returned fire, once the range had fallen to 800 meters (2,600 ft). Neither ship scored hits as they circled each other. The engagement ended after Bouvet rammed Meteor in an attempt to either sink her or permit a boarding party to capture her. The collision knocked Meteor's main mast and mizzen-mast over, and the ship's rigging got caught in the propeller, disabling it. While the two ships were close, their crews fired on each other with small arms. Bouvet attempted to ram a second time, but Meteor's gunners scored a hit on the French ship's boiler and disabled her engine. By this time, Meteor's crew had freed the propeller, and Knorr attempted to capture Bouvet, but the French sailors were able to get their ship under sail and escape to neutral Cuban waters. The Spanish corvette Hernan Cortez, which had been observing the battle, intervened and fired a warning shot to prevent Meteor from continuing the battle. After she escaped, Bouvet sailed to Havana.

Casualty figures vary, ranging from two dead and one injury aboard Meteor and three wounded aboard Bouvet to only two Prussian sailors killed with ten killed and wounded on Bouvet. Meteor joined Bouvet in Havana, where the wounded men were taken to a hospital. The two dead aboard Meteor were buried in Havana, and a monument was later erected there. On 1 January 1871, Knorr was promoted to the rank of Korvettenkapitän (Corvette Captain), and two men were awarded the Iron Cross.

Later career
Under pressure from France, the Spanish shipyard in Havana delayed completing the repairs to Meteor until the war ended on 10 May 1871. Three days later, the ship departed for Germany; she sailed up the eastern coast of the United States and Canada before crossing the Atlantic. She reached Plymouth on 13 June and arrived in Kiel on the 25th. There, she was decommissioned on 20 July. From 18 September to 14 October, she was used as a stationary training ship for engine room personnel. On 6 May 1872, Meteor was recommissioned for survey work and was assigned to the Hydrographics Office of the Imperial Admiralty Meteor and her sister ship Drache surveyed the German coast, ending in Mecklenburg on 20 October. On 14 November, Meteor and the gunboat Salamander were forced to take shelter in Friedrichsort due to a heavy storm. She was able to get back underway two days later after the storm had passed. Meteor, Drache, and the transport ship Rhein searched the eastern Baltic for any merchant ships that might have been damaged in the storm. On 7 December, Meteor was again decommissioned, this time in Wilhelmshaven.

In 1873, the ship was recommissioned for another stint with the Hydrographics Office, which lasted from 16 April to mid-September. On 22 September, Meteor left Germany for a deployment to the Mediterranean Sea. After reaching the Mediterranean coast of Spain, she replaced the gunboat Delphin in the Cruiser Squadron under the flagship Friedrich Carl. Following the outbreak of unrest in the Ottoman Empire in March 1874, Meteor was sent to Constantinople to serve as the station ship. As tensions rose in the Balkans—which produced several uprisings against Ottoman rule, culminating in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877—Meteor was reinforced with the gunboats Nautilus and Comet and the aviso Pommerania. The Admiralty also sent the Armored Squadron, led by the flagship Kaiser, to the eastern Mediterranean. Meteor remained in Smyrna until February 1877, at which point she returned to Constantinople. From there, she was recalled to Germany on 3 June; she arrived in Kiel on 4 August and continued to Danzig, where she was decommissioned on the 16th. She was stricken from the naval register on 27 November 1877, her engines were removed, and she was used as a hulk for coal storage at Kiel. Some components from her machinery were reused in the gunboat Iltis then being built in Danzig. Meteor was eventually expended as a target


The Camäleon class was a group of gunboats built for the Prussian Navy. Eight ships comprised the class: Camäleon, Comet, Cyclop, Delphin, Blitz, Basilisk, Meteor, and Drache. The vessels were armed with a battery of one 15 cm (5.9 in) gun and two 12 cm (4.7 in) guns. In 1865, the ships then in service had their 15 cm gun replaced with a 21 cm (8.3 in) gun; Meteor and Drache, not yet completed, entered service with that gun. The vessels saw action during the wars of German unification, with Comet taking part in the Battle of Jasmund and Blitz and Basilisk present during the Battle of Heligoland, both during the Second Schleswig Warin 1864. Several of the ships served in the North Sea during the Austro-Prussian War, where some of them supported operations against the Kingdom of Hanover. During the Franco-Prussian War, Meteor battled the French aviso Bouvet in the Battle of Havana in 1870; the other members of the class were deployed on coastal defense assignments.

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During their peacetime careers, the vessels served in a variety of roles, including as survey vessels, training ships, fishery protection ships, and guard ships. Several of them were sent abroad, usually to the Mediterranean Sea on training cruises; during conflicts in Spain and the Ottoman Empire, these vessels were used to protect German nationals in those countries. Starting in 1872, the members of the class began to be withdrawn from service as their hulls began to deteriorate. Several of the ships were converted into storage hulks, while others were simply broken up or in the case of Meteor and Drache, sunk as target ships. Basiliskwas the last surviving member of the class, remaining in use as a naval mine storage hulk until at least 1900; her ultimate fate is unknown.

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The Battle of Heligoland by Josef Carl Berthold Püttner; Blitz, Basilisk, and the Prussian aviso Preussischer Adler are visible in the left background



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Today in Naval History - Naval / Maritime Events in History
17 May 1897 – Launch of USS Holland (SS-1) was the United States Navy's first modern commissioned submarine, although not the first military submarine of the United States, which was the 1775 submersible Turtle.


USS Holland (SS-1) was the United States Navy's first modern commissioned submarine, although not the first military submarine of the United States, which was the 1775 submersible Turtle. The boat was originally laid down as Holland VI at the Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth, New Jersey for John Holland's Holland Torpedo Boat Company, and launched on 17 May 1897. She was acquired by the USN on 11 April 1900 and commissioned on 12 October 1900, Lieutenant H. H. Caldwell commanding.

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Design and construction
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Rough sketch of Holland.

Holland was built at former Navy Lieutenant Lewis Nixon's Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth, New Jersey for John Holland's Holland Torpedo Boat Company, which became the Electric Boat company in 1899. The vessel was built under the supervision of John Philip Holland, who designed the vessel and her details. Holland's keel was laid at Nixon's Crescent Shipyard with both men present. The two men worked together using many of John Holland's proven concepts and patents to make the submarine a reality, each man complementing the other's contributions to the development of the modern submarine. John Holland was the inventor for US Patent 702,729 for the design of a submarine boat. Important contributions were also made by Arthur L. Busch (or Du Busc), Crescent's superintendent.

Holland VI included many features that submarines of the early 20th century would exhibit, albeit in later, more advanced forms. There was a conning tower from which the boat and her weapons could be directed. Also, she had all the necessary ballast and trim tanks to make precise changes in depth and attitude underwater. Her crew was six men and maximum diving depth was 75 feet (23 m).

For armament, she had a reloadable 18 inch (457 mm) torpedo tube with three torpedoes and an 8.425-inch (214.0 mm) pneumatic dynamite gun in the bow (the dynamite gun's projectiles were called "aerial torpedoes"). A second dynamite gun in the stern was removed in 1900 to make room for an improved engine exhaust, prior to delivery to the Navy.

She had both an internal combustion engine (specifically, a 4-stroke Otto gasoline engine of 45 bhp (34 kW)) for running on the surface and charging batteries, and an Electro Dynamic electric motor of 50 shp (37 kW) for submerged operation, with one shaft. A 66-cell Exide battery powered the electric motor when submerged. This allowed speeds of 6 knots (11 km/h; 6.9 mph) surfaced and 5.5 knots (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph) submerged. Surfaced range was 200 nmi (370 km; 230 mi) at 6 kn (11 km/h; 6.9 mph), while submerged range was 30 nmi (56 km; 35 mi) at 5.5 kn (10.2 km/h; 6.3 mph). There is significant variation in references as to the vessel's horsepower and speed, for example the Register of Ships of the U. S. Navy gives horsepower figures of 45 bhp (34 kW) surfaced and 75 shp (56 kW) submerged, with 8 knots (15 km/h; 9.2 mph) surfaced and 5 knots (9.3 km/h; 5.8 mph) submerged.

Service
Holland VI eventually proved her validity and worthiness as a warship and was ultimately purchased by the U.S. government for the sum of $150,000 on 11 April 1900. She was considered to be the first truly successful craft of her type.[by whom?] The United States Government soon ordered more submarines from Holland's company, which were to be known as the Plunger class. These became America's first fleet of underwater naval vessels.

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USS Holland (SS-1) from Scientific American 1898. The muzzle door of the bow dynamite gun is open.

Holland VI was modified after her christening, and was renamed USS Holland (SS-1) when she was commissioned by the US Navy on 12 October 1900, at Newport, Rhode Island, with Lieutenant Harry H. Caldwell in command.

Holland was the first commissioned submarine in the US Navy and is the first of the unbroken line of submarines in the Navy. She was the fourth submarine to be owned by the Navy, however. (The first submarine was Propeller (also known as Alligator), the second was Intelligent Whale and the third was Plunger, an experimental submarine, built in 1895, which is not to be confused with USS Plunger (SS-2).

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Holland under construction, 1900

On 16 October 1900, in order to be kept serviceable throughout the winter, Holland left Newport under tow of the tug Leyden for Annapolis, Maryland,[9] where she was used to train midshipmen of the United States Naval Academy, as well as officers and enlisted men ordered there to receive training vital in preparing for the operation of other submarines being built for the Fleet.

Holland proved valuable for experimental purposes in collecting data for submarines under construction or contemplation. Her 166 mi (267 km) surface run, from Annapolis to Norfolk, Virginia from 8–10 January 1901, provided useful data on her performance underway over an extended period.

Holland (briefly in 1899, on trials) and five Plunger class Holland-type submarines were based in New Suffolk, New York on the North Fork of Long Island from 1899–1905, prompting the hamlet to claim to be the first submarine base in the United States.

Except for the period from 15 June to 1 October 1901, which was passed training cadets at the Naval Torpedo Station, Newport, Rhode Island, Holland remained at Annapolis as a training submarine until 17 July 1905 when she was decommissioned.

Holland finished her career in reserve at Norfolk, Virginia. Her name was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 21 November 1910. This revolutionary submarine was sold as scrap to Henry A. Hitner & Sons of Philadelphia on 18 June 1913 for $100. Her purchaser was required to put up $5,000 bond as assurance that the submarine would be broken up and not used as a ship.

About 1915 the hulk of the Holland, stripped of her external fittings, was sold to Peter J. Gibbons. As of October 1916 she was on display in Philadelphia. In May 1917 she was moved to the Bronx, New York as a featured attraction at the Bronx International Exposition of Science, Arts and Industries.

Holland was on display for several years in Paterson, New Jersey until she was finally scrapped in 1932.

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Legacy
The success of the submarine was instrumental in the founding of the Electric Boat Company, now known as the Electric Boat Division of General Dynamics Corporation. This company, therefore, can trace its origins to the formation of John Philip Holland's original company and the revolutionary submarines that were developed at this shipyard.

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Holland_(SS-1)
 
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