OAK HARBOR AREA COUNCIL
Friday 24 April 2015
On this date in . . .
1872 Volcano Vesuvius erupts
Dates in American Military History: April 24
from the website: thisdayinusmilhist.wordpress.com/about/
1778 – US Ranger Captain John Paul Jones captured the British ship Drake.
1862 – Flag Officer Farragut’s fleet ran past Forts Jackson and St. Philip and engaged the defending Confederate flotilla. At 2:00 a.m., U.S.S. Hartford had shown Farragut’s signal for the fleet to get underway in three divisions to steam through the breach in the obstructions which had been opened by U.S.S. Pinola and Itasca. A withering fire from the forts was answered by roaring broadsides from the ships. Hartford, grounded in the swift current near Fort St. Philip, was set afire by a Confederate fireraft. Farragut’s leadership and the disciplined training of the crew saved the flagship. U.S.S. Varuna was rammed by two Confederate ships and sunk In the ensuing melee, C.S.S. Warrior, Stonewall Jackson, General Lovell, and Breckinridge, tender Phoenix, steamers Star and Belle Algerine, and Louisiana gunboat General Quitman were destroyed. The armored ram C.S.S. Manassas was driven ashore by U.S.S. Mississippi and sunk. Steam tenders C.S.S. Landis and W. Burton surrendered; Resolute and Governor Moore were destroyed to prevent capture. ”The destruction of the Navy at New Orleans,” wrote Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory, “was a sad, sad blow . . . When the Union Navy passed the forts and disposed of the Confederate forces afloat, the fate of New Orleans was decided. Farragut had achieved a brilliant victory, one which gave true meaning to the Flag Officer’s own words: “The great man in our country must not only plan but execute.
1865 – C.S.S. Webb, Lieutenant Read, dashed from the Red River under forced draft and entered the Mississippi at 8:30 at night in a heroic last-ditch effort to escape to sea. Before departing Alexandria, Louisiana, for his bold attempt, Read wrote Secretary Mallory: “I will have to stake everything upon speed and time.” The sudden appearance of the white-painted Webb in the Mississippi caught the Union blockaders (a monitor and two ironclads) at the mouth of the Red River by surprise. She was initially identified as a Federal ship; this mistake in identification gave Read a lead in the dash downstream. A running battle ensued in which Webb shook off the three Union pursuers. As Read proceeded down the Mississippi, other blockading ships took up the chase but were outdistanced by the fast moving Webb, which some observers claimed was making 25 knots. While churning with the current toward New Orleans, Read paused at one point to cut the telegraph wires along the bank. This proved futile as word of his escape and approach passed southward where it generated considerable excitement and a flurry of messages between the Army and Navy commanders who alerted shore batteries and ships to intercept him. About 10 miles above New Orleans Read hoisted the United States flag at half mast in mourning for Lincoln’s death and brought Webb’s steam pressure up to maximum. He passed the city at about midnight, 24 April, going full speed. Federal gunboats opened on him, whereupon Read broke the Confederate flag. Three hits were scored, the spar torpedo rigged at the steamer’s bow was damaged and had to be jettisoned, but the Webb continued on course toward the sea. Twenty-five miles below New Orleans Read’s luck ran out, for here Webb encountered U.S.S. Richmond. Thus trapped between Richmond and pursuing gunboats, Read’s audacious and well-executed plan came to an end. Webb was run aground and set on fire before her officers and men took to the swamps in an effort to escape. Read and his crew were apprehended within a few hours and taken under guard to New Orleans. They there suffered the indignity of being placed on public display but were subsequently paroled and ordered to their respective homes. Following the restoration of peace, Read became a pilot of the Southwest Pass, one of the mouths of the Mississippi River, and pursued that occupation until his death.
1898 – US fleet under commodore Dewey steamed from Hong Kong to Philippines.
1917 – Destroyer squadron departs Boston for European service
1923 – Colonel Jacob Schick patented Schick razors.
1941 – Roosevelt formally orders US warships to report the movements of German warships west of Iceland. This is happening unofficially already. The information is usually passed one way or another to the British.
1974 – Naval forces begin minesweeping operations in the Suez Canal Zone.
1980 – An ill-fated military operation to rescue the 52 American hostages held in Tehran ends with eight U.S. servicemen dead and no hostages rescued. With the Iran Hostage Crisis stretching into its sixth month and all diplomatic appeals to the Iranian government ending in failure, President Jimmy Carter ordered the military mission as a last ditch attempt to save the hostages. During the operation, three of eight helicopters failed, crippling the crucial airborne plans. The mission was then canceled at the staging area in Iran, but during the withdrawal one of the retreating helicopters collided with one of six C-130 transport planes, killing eight soldiers and injuring five. The next day, a somber Jimmy Carter gave a press conference in which he took full responsibility for the tragedy. The hostages were not released for another 270 days. On November 4, 1979, the crisis began when militant Iranian students, outraged that the U.S. government had allowed the ousted shah of Iran to travel to the U.S. for medical treatment, seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran. The Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran’s political and religious leader, took over the hostage situation and agreed to release non-U.S. captives and female and minority Americans, citing these groups as among the people oppressed by the U.S. government. The remaining 52 captives remained at the mercy of the Ayatollah for the next 14 months. President Carter was unable to diplomatically resolve the crisis, and the April 1980 hostage attempt ended in disaster. Three months later, the former shah died of cancer in Egypt, but the crisis continued. In November, Carter lost the presidential election to Republican Ronald Reagan, and soon after, with the assistance of Algerian intermediaries, successful negotiations began between the United States and Iran. On the day of Reagan’s inauguration, January 20, 1981, the United States freed almost $8 billion in frozen Iranian assets, and the 52 hostages were released after 444 days. The next day, Jimmy Carter flew to West Germany to greet the Americans on their way home.
1988 – Three sailors were killed and 22 injured when fire broke out aboard the submarine USS Bonefish off the Florida coast.
1990 – The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope. It cost $2 billion. The orbital period of the telescope was 97 Minutes.
A special WELCOME to the Oak Harbor Area Council of the Navy League of the United States.
We are civilians in support of the men and women of the
A more detailed WELCOME and information about
joining us can be found in the
5 May 2015
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
2 June 2015
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
No meetings in July and August
Saturday 12 September
noon - 3:00 p.m.
[near the Windmill]
Chaplain David G. Lura,