This Day in Naval History - April 17

Story Number: NNS011216-17Release Date: 12/16/2001 9:57:00 PM
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From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1778 - The sloop-of-war Ranger, commanded by John Paul Jones, captures British ship, Lord Chatham, in St. George's Channel, during the American Revolution.

1808 - Napoleon Bonaparte issued the Bayonne Decree, which authorized the French seizure of all United States ships entering all ports of the Hanseatic League. Napoleon argued the decree would help the United States enforce the Embargo Act signed by President Thomas Jefferson in December 1807.

1918 - USS Stewart (DD-13) is on escort duty in Quiberon Bay, France when nearby the American steamship Florence H suffers an internal explosion. Ship's Cook Third Class Jessie W. Covington and Quartermaster Frank M. Upton dive overboard to save an exhausted survivor surrounded by exploding power boxes. For their actions, both sailors received the Medal of Honor.

1942 - USS Searaven (SS 196) begins rescue of stranded Australian sailors, airmen, and soldiers from Japanese-occupied Timor, N.E.I.

1944 - Minesweeper USS Swift (AM 122) and patrol craft USS PC 619 sink the German submarine, U 986, in the North Atlantic.

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