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Old 12-12-2006, 09:21   #181
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another, plus diatribe about the Normandie

1781 - The British navy defeated a French fleet in the Second Battle of Ushant.

[rant]
The U.S. seized the Normandieand proceeded to destroy her. At the time of her seizure she was the second fastest and easily the most gorgeous vessel afloat (she was also, barely, the largest commercial vessel, having cheated slightly to be bigger than the Queen Mary by creating an enclosed lounge on the aft deck.)

After her siezure she was to be refitted as a troop transport ship. During the refit the US Navy disabled the electrical system and the fire-fighting system, despite the fact it was an automated system which could flood any fire-affected space with sprayed water, because they did not have metric fittings for the port plumbing and they did not use 220v. When a fire started in the first-class dining lounge, the ship's fire-fighting systems were completely unable to control the fire. Fire ships and shore-side hoses eventually poured enough water into the ship that she capsized at the dock, in part because none of her water pumps were electrical and unpowered.

Having sunk her, the US Navy salvaged her at great expense, and began repairing the damage. They capsized her a second time at the pier, this time with more extensive damage to the engine systems (which were electric turbines, not steam turbines, which is why it is a misnomer to prefix her name with SS.)

At this point the USN determined the cost to repair the damages they'd caused were too great, and determined to sell her for scrap to Lipsett, Inc. The ship's original designer made an effort to salvage her with Lipsett, shortening the hull considerably and refloating it, but financial backing during the war was lacking the and the hull was eventually scrapped by Lipsett.
[/rant]
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Old 13-12-2006, 03:17   #182
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December 13

2003 ~ Saddam Hussein captured

1944 ~ Japanese kamikaze crashes into U.S. Brooklyn Class cruiser “Nashville”
[size=1]The Japanese had begun the practice of “Kamikaze” (suicide aircraft) as a desperate measure during the final stages of the Leyte Campaign. On December 13th, two days before the scheduled US assault on Mindoro, the light cruiser “Nashville” (CL43) was hit by a kamikaze (off Negros Island), killing over 130 men and wounding another 190. Among the injured was Brig. Gen. William C. Dunkel, commander of the landing force. Later kamikaze attacks damaged two landing ships, tank (LSTs) and disabled several other ships.
More: DANFS: USS Nashville (CL-43)

1941 ~ U-81 torpedoes British aircraft carrier “Ark Royal”
While returning to Gibraltar from a British naval raid deep into Italian-controlled waters near Malta, “Ark Royal” was torpedoed by the German submarine U-81. After a difficult struggle against progressive flooding, the carrier capsized and sank on 14 November 1941.
More: uboat.net - Allied Warships - Aircraft Carrier HMS Ark Royal of the Ark Royal class
And: http://www.edgetech.com/pdf/Hydro2004


1934 ~ Thomas Augustus Watson Dies
Watson was the American telephone pioneer (along /w Canadian Alexander Bell) and shipbuilder, one of the original organizers of the Bell Telephone Company, who later turned to shipbuilding and constructed a number of vessels for the United States government.

1919 ~ Capt Ross Smith and Lt Keith Smith land in Australia from a flight from London
The brothers Ross and Keith Smith, together with mechanics Jim Bennett and Wally Shiers, won the 1919 England to Australia air race, in a time of 27 days 20 hours.

1816 Patent for a dry dock issued to John Adamson
In 1816, the first U.S. patent for a dry dock was issued to John Adamson of Boston, Mass. A floating dry dock was built a few years later in Weehawhen Cave, Hoboken, N.J. for the dry docking and repair of canal boats.

1729 ~ Materialist Philosopher and freethinker, Anthony Collins dies

1642 ~ Abel Tasman sights New Zealand
Dutch navigator, Abel Tasman, becomes the first European explorer to sight the South Pacific island group now known as New Zealand (named after the Dutch province of Zeeland).
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Old 13-12-2006, 12:30   #183
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a couple

  • 1577 - Sir Francis Drake sets out from Plymouth, on his round-the-world voyage
  • 1939 - World War II: Battle of the Rio Plata Captain Hans Langsdorff of the German panzerschiff Admiral Graf Spee engages with Royal Navy cruisers HMS Exeter, HMS Ajax and HMNZS Achilles. Langsdorf retired to Montevideo, and scuttled his ship after a period of waiting rather than face the overwhelming force he believed had been assembled to face him.
  • 1992 - The Greek oil tanker Aegean Sea, carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude oil, runs aground in a storm while approaching La Coruńa, Spain, spilling much of its cargo.
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Old 14-12-2006, 03:09   #184
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December 14

1991 ~ Ferry boat sinks in Red Sea (476 die)
The “Salem Express” struck coral, and sank outside Safaga.

1946 ~ U.N. General Assembly votes to establish United Nations HQs in New York City

1941 ~ “U-557" torpedoes British cruiser HMS “Galatea”
More: HMS Galatea - Loss in WW2

1911 ~ Norwegian Roald Amundsen reaches South Pole

1900 ~ Quantum Theory born
German physicist, Max Planck, publishes his groundbreaking study of the effect of radiation on a "blackbody" substance, and the quantum theory of modern physics is born. Other scientists, such as Albert Einstein, Niels Bohr, Louis de Broglie, Erwin Schrodinger, and Paul M. Dirac, advanced Planck's theory and made possible the development of quantum mechanics--a mathematical application of the quantum theory that maintains that energy is both matter and a wave, depending on certain variables.
More: Quantum Theory


1799 ~ George Washington dies

1600 ~ Spanish galleon “San Diego” sinks (350 die)
The 35 m long Spanish galleon, “San Diego”, sank in battle having rammed the Dutch ship “Mauritius”, off the Philippines .
Her wreck was found in 50-55 m depth, off Fortune Island, Nasugbu, Philippines.


1287 ~ Zuider Zee seawall collapses
On December 14th, 1287, the Zuider Zee sea wall, in what is now the Netherlands, collapsed, killing 50,000 people. It is the most massive such flood in the history of Holland.
The Zuider Zee is one of the most massive projects in the history of engineering.


1503 ~ Nostradamus born
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Old 14-12-2006, 10:29   #185
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Where did you find the date on the San Diego?
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Old 14-12-2006, 14:04   #186
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San Diego:
http://www.vocshipwrecks.nl/out_voyages/hendrik_frederik.html
http://www.nasugbu.gov.ph/history.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Diego_(ship)
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Old 15-12-2006, 03:17   #187
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December 15

1976 ~ “Argo Merchant” runs aground off Massachusetts' coast
In December 1976, the Liberian registered “Argo Merchant” loaded 7.7 million US gallons (29 million l)) of No. 6 fuel oil at Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela, sailing for Boston under Captain Georgios Papadopoulos. It was later established that the ship carried two unqualified crew as helmsmen, a broken gyrocompass, inadequate charts, and an inaccurate radio direction finder. At six p.m. on December 15, in high winds and ten foot (3 m) seas, the tanker ran aground on Middle Rip Shoal in position 41̊2'N 69̊27'W — about 25 nautical miles (46 km) southeast of Nantucket and more than 24 miles (44 km) off her intended course.
The thirty-eight members of the crew were evacuated, but the shallow waters and weather conditions made it impossible to offload the oil or salvage the ship.
On December 21, 1976, “Argo Merchant” broke apart and spilled its entire cargo of fuel oil. Fortunately, northwesterly winds blew the 60 by 100 nautical mile oil slick offshore, and coastal fisheries and beaches were spared the worst.
More: The ARGO MERCHANT Oil Spill on-Scene Coordinator's Report.


1970 ~ S. Korean ferry “Namyong-Ho” sinks in Strait of Korea (308 die)

1966 ~ Audouin Dollfus discovers “Janus” - 10th satellite of Saturn

1965 ~ Third cyclone of year strikes mouth(s) of Ganges River (15,000 die)

1964 ~ HAMs found American Radio Relay League (ARRL)

1964 ~ Canada adopts maple leaf flag

1943 ~ Jazz great Thomas W "Fats" Waller dies at 39
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Old 16-12-2006, 07:02   #188
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December 16


1965 ~ Taufa'ahau Tupou IV becomes King of Tonga
Tupouto’a was the king of Tonga from the death of his mother in 1965 until his own death in 2006.

1916 ~ Grigori Rasputin murdered

1915 ~ Albert Einstein publishes the General Theory of Relativity

1773 ~ Vandalism in Boston harbor
Protesting the Tea Act of 1773*, a group of Massachusetts dissidents, disguised as Mohawk Indians, board three British tea ships (the “Dartmouth”, “Eleanor” & “Beaver”) moored in Boston Harbor, and dump 342 chests of tea into the water.
When the Bostonian vandals refused to pay for the property they had destroyed, George III and Lord North decided closed the port of Boston, drastically reduced the powers of self-government in the colony, permitted royal officers to be tried in other colonies or in England when accused of crimes, and provided for the quartering of troops in the colonists' barns and empty houses. The so-called "Coercive Acts" sparked new revolts up and down the coast, and eventually ...
* The Act provided no new tax on tea, and would have reduced the price of tea to American consumers.


1770 ~ Ludwig von Beethoven born

1631 ~ Mount Vesuvious erupts, destroys 6 villages (4,000 die)
The great eruption of 1631 is the largest explosive eruption of Mt. Vesuvius since those of 472 and 512 AD. The most famous and destructive eruption of Mt. Vesuvius occurred in AD 79.
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Old 16-12-2006, 11:19   #189
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bunch more...

  • 1598 - Admiral Yi Sun Sin's Korean navy defeated the Japanese fleet in the Battle of Noryang Point, the final naval battle of the Imjin War.
  • 1824 - Noordhollandsch Kanaal(North Holland Canal) opens, connecting Den Helder in the north with Amsterdam in the south,
  • 1850 - The first four ships arrive at Lyttelton to settle Christchurch, New Zealand.
  • 1907 - The Great White Fleet departs Hampton Roads, Virginia, to circumnavigate the world.
  • 1922 - USS Bainbridge (DD 246) rescues 482 people from the burning French transport Vinh-Long.
  • 1997 - Typhoon Paka makes landfall on the island of Guam with 130 knot winds.
Births
  • 1622 - Kurt Sivertsen, Norwegian-born Admiral for Venice and Denmark. (d. 5 November 1675)
Deaths
  • 1263 - Haakon IV of Norway, king and naval campaigner. (b. 1204)
  • 1515 - Alfonso d'Albuquerque Portuguese naval general (at sea) (b. 1453)
  • 1783 - William James U.S. Navy Commander (b. c. 1720)
  • 1965 - W. Somerset Maugham, writer (b. 1874)
Oh, and thanks for the links re: San Diego! it was a great read!
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Old 17-12-2006, 04:22   #190
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December 17

1992 ~ 4.4 million year old Australopithecus ramidus discovered
Australopithecus ramidus was discovered by a team led by Tim White, Berhane Asfaw and Gen Suwa at Aramis in Ethiopia. Estimated age is 4.4 million years. The find consisted of fossils from 17 individuals. Most remains are teeth, but there is also a partial lower jaw of a child, a partial cranium base, and partial arm bone from 2 individuals.
ARA-VP-6/1 consists of 10 teeth from a single individual.
ARA-VP-7/2 consists of parts of all three bones from the left arm of a single individual, with a mixture of hominid and ape features.
When compared with Australopithecus afarensis and with modern and fossil apes the Aramis fossil hominids are recognized as a new species of Australopithecus—A. ramidus sp. nov. The antiquity and primitive morphology of A. ramidus suggests that it represents a long-sought potential root species for the Hominidae.


1969 ~ USAF closes “Project Blue Book”
On December 17th of 1969, agreeing with the conclusions of the Condon report, the new Secretary of the Air Force, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., announced the termination of Blue Book and all involvement in UFO investigations. The Air Force’s justification stated UFOs presented no threat to national security and had no scientific value for study.

1944 ~ Public Proclamation No. 21
On February 19, 1942, 10 weeks after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, authorizing the removal of any or all people from military areas "as deemed necessary or desirable." The military in turn defined the entire West Coast, home to the majority of Americans of Japanese ancestry or citizenship, as a military area. By June, more than 110,000 Japanese Americans were relocated to remote internment camps built by the U.S. military in scattered locations around the country.
Public Proclamation No. 21, issued by Major General Henry C. Pratt on December 17/44 (effective January 2, 1945), allowed evacuees to return home and lifted contraband regulations.


1944 ~ Task force 38 endures storm off Philippines (790 die)
On 17 December 1944, the ships of Task Force 38, seven fleet and six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers were operating about 300 miles east of Luzon in the Philippine Sea. The carriers had just completed three days of heavy raids against Japanese airfields, suppressing enemy aircraft during the American amphibious operations against Mindoro in the Philippines. Although the sea had been becoming rougher all day, the nearby cyclonic disturbance gave relatively little warning of its approach. On 18 December, the small but violent typhoon overtook the Task Force while many of the ships were attempting to refuel. Many of the ships were caught near the center of the storm and buffeted by extreme seas and hurricane force winds.
Three destroyers, USS “Hull”, USS “Spence”, and USS”Monaghan”, capsized and went down with practically all hands, while a cruiser, five aircraft carriers, and three destroyers suffered serious damage.
Approximately 790 officers and men were lost or killed, with another 80 injured.
Fires occurred in three carriers when planes broke loose in their hangars and some 146 planes on various ships were lost or damaged beyond economical repair by fires, impact damage, or by being swept overboard. This storm inflicted more damage on the Navy than any storm since the hurricane at Apia, Samoa in 1889.
In the aftermath of this deadly storm, the Pacific Fleet established new weather stations in the Caroline Islands and, as they were secured, Manila, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. In addition, new weather central offices (for coordinating data) were established at Guam and Leyte.


1941 ~ Kimmel fired
Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel was relieved of his command of the U.S. Pacific Fleet as part of a shake-up of officers in the wake of the Pearl Harbor disaster. Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was named Commander in Chief, US Pacific Fleet, to relieve Admiral Husband Kimmel. Admiral William Pye becomes acting commander until Nimitz's arrival.

1939 ~ German pocket battleship “Graf Spee” scuttled
”Admiral Graf Spee” leaves Montevideo at 6:15 pm and is scuttled in the La Plata estuary at 7:52 pm.
More: ::The Graf Spee in Montevideo::


1927 ~ U.S. submarine 'S-4' sinks (40 die)
[size=1]On 17 December 1927, while conducting submerged trials off Provincetown, Massachusetts, “S-4" was rammed by the U.S. Coast Guard destroyer “Paulding” (CG-17). Holed in the starboard side, just forward of her deck gun, the submarine sank immediately.
All of her officers and men were able to reach unflooded compartments as S-4 went to the bottom in 110 feet of water.
However, the majority, who had gone aft, soon succumbed.
In her torpedo room, forward, six men remained alive. In extremely cold water and tangled wreckage, Navy divers worked desperately to rescue them, but a storm forced the abandonment of this effort on 24 December.
In all, forty men lost their lives in the tragedy.

1903 ~ 1st sustained motorized aircraft flight (Wright)

1830 ~ Simon Bolivar dies
More: History of Simon Bolivar
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Old 18-12-2006, 04:35   #191
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December 18

1972 ~ Nixon announces start of "Christmas Bombing" of North Vietnam
Operation Linebacker II was the most concentrated air offensive of the war, and was conducted by U.S. aircraft, including B-52s, Air Force fighter-bombers flying from bases in Thailand, and Navy and Marine fighter-bombers flying from carriers in the South China Sea. During the 11 days of the attack, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bomber sorties were flown. These planes dropped roughly 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong.

1969 ~ Britain abolishes death penalty

1941 ~ Japan invades Hong Kong

1912 ~ Piltdown Man discovered

1865 ~ 13th Amendment (USA) ratified - slavery abolished

1632 ~ Mayflower passengers come ashore at Plymouth Harbor
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Old 18-12-2006, 04:40   #192
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December 18

1972 ~ Nixon announces start of "Christmas Bombing" of North Vietnam
Operation Linebacker II was the most concentrated air offensive of the war, and was conducted by U.S. aircraft, including B-52s, Air Force fighter-bombers flying from bases in Thailand, and Navy and Marine fighter-bombers flying from carriers in the South China Sea. During the 11 days of the attack, 700 B-52 sorties and more than 1,000 fighter-bomber sorties were flown. These planes dropped roughly 20,000 tons of bombs, mostly over the densely populated area between Hanoi and Haiphong.

1969 ~ Britain abolishes death penalty

1941 ~ Japan invades Hong Kong

1912 ~ Piltdown Man discovered

1865 ~ 13th Amendment (USA) ratified - slavery abolished

1632 ~ Mayflower passengers come ashore at Plymouth Harbor
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Old 19-12-2006, 04:00   #193
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December 19

1984 ~ Hong Kong Treaty sined
British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and Chinese Premier Zhao Ziyang sign an agreement committing Britain to return Hong Kong to China in 1997 in return for terms guaranteeing a 50-year extension of its capitalist system.

1972 ~ Apollo 17, last of Apollo Moon landing series, returns to Earth

1960 ~ Fire aboard USS “Constellation” (50 die)
The construction of the carrier “Constellation” was nearly 90% completed when a forklift collided with a fuel tank in the hangar, where welders were working. A fire started and the flames quickly grew up because of all the wooden materials stored in the hangar bay and on the flight deck. Moments later a huge flame and a dark cloud of smoke could be seen above the carrier.
At the time of the accident, a total of 4200 people worked aboard the carrier and so the fire department had not only to extinguish the fire but also to rescue the people.
All in all it took twelve hours to extinguish the fire. 50 people were killed and hundreds were injured and the ship was heavily damaged.
The carrier was scheduled to be commissioned in early 1961 but because of the fire and the resulting damage, the commissioning ceremony had to be postponed to October 27, 1961.


1790 ~ Arctic explorer, William Edward Parry , born
More: William Parry - The Arctic and More - 19th Century - Pathfinders and Passageways

1776 ~ “American Crisis” published
Thomas Paine published his 1st "American Crisis" essay, in which he wrote, "These are the times that try men's souls ..."

1741 ~ Dutch explorer, Vitus Jonassen Bering, dies
Bering was the first European to sight Alaska. He died on Bering Island in the Bering Sea, both named after him, as is the Bering Strait, which separates Asia (Russia) from North America (Alaska).
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Old 20-12-2006, 03:16   #194
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December 20

1989 ~ US troops invade Panama

1987 ~ “Dona Paz” ferry sinks after crash with oil tanker “Vector” (4000 + die)
The 2,215-ton ro/ro ferry “Dona Paz” was rated to carry 1,400 passengers. On December 20, it was going from Tacloban on Leyte Island to Manila, a 375-mile trip. There was much demand due to the Christmas holidays and the company allowed approximately 4,000 people to board.
By 10 p.m., many of the ship’s officers were drinking and watching television while an apprentice officer piloted the ship through the busy Tablas Strait, 110 miles south of Manila. Also coming through the strait was the 629-ton tanker “Vector”, carrying 8,000 barrels of oil to Masbate Island. The two ships collided, for reasons still unknown, and a huge explosion resulted. Both ships sank quickly and although the “Don Eusebio” arrived on the scene shortly to help, it could only circle the fiery area in vain looking for survivors. Only 24 survivors were found, half of whom were crew members from the “Victor”.
“Dona Paz” is considered the worst peacetime maritime disaster ever. (over double the casualties of the "Titanic")
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Old 21-12-2006, 01:48   #195
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December 21

1988 ~ NY bound Pan Am Flight 103 explodes over Lockerbie, Scotland (270 die)

1985 ~ “Arco Anchorage” runs aground near Port Angeles, WA
The “Arco Anchorage” drifted aground whilst anchoring, spilling 239,000 gallons of crude oil into the harbor at Port Angeles (the largest spill in Washington state history).
More: www.eho.wa.gov/Archive/PCHB/PCHB1986-28.pdf

1975 ~ Carlos the Jackal attacks OPEC headquarters
In Vienna, Austria, Ilich Ramírez Sanchez (“Carlos the Jackal”) leads a raid on a meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). German and Arab terrorists stormed in with machine guns, killed three people, and took 63 people hostage, including 11 OPEC ministers. Calling his group the "Arm of the Arab Revolution," Carlos demanded that an anti-Israeli political statement be broadcast over radio, and that a bus and jet be provided for the terrorists and their hostages. Austrian authorities complied, and all the hostages were released in Algeria unharmed. OPEC did not hold another summit for 25 years.
Nearly apprehended on several occasions, Carlos managed to evade international authorities until 1994, when French agents captured him hiding in the Sudan. Secretly extradited to France, he was sent to a French prison, where he lived for three years before being put on trial in 1997 for the 1975 Paris murders of two French counterintelligence officers and a pro-Palestinian Lebanese who had turned informant. On December 23, 1997, a French jury found Sanchez guilty and sentenced him to life imprisonment.


1968 ~ Apollo 8 launched
Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon (orbit only), is successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, Jr., and William Anders aboard.

1945 ~ General George S. Patton dies in a freak car accident

1117 ~ Thomas Becket born
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