This Day in Naval History - Nov. 11


Story Number: NNS020711-15Release Date: 7/11/2002 4:10:00 PM
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From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1861 - Thaddeus Lowe conducts an aerial observation of Confederate positions from Balloon-Boat G.W. Parke Custis. This observation aves the way for the Navy's present effective use of the air as an element of sea power.

1870 - The Navy expedition to explore the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Southern Mexico, commanded by Capt. Robert W. Shufeldt, enters the Coatzacoalcos River to begin a survey for a possible inter-oceanic canal. Support is provided by USS Kansas and USS Mayflower.

1918 - Fighting ceases on the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" when an armistice is signed between Germany and the Allied nations, regarding this day as the end of World War I. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

1920 - Lenah S. Higbee becomes the first woman to be awarded the Navy Cross for her service as a nurse in World War I. Named in her honor, USS Higbee (DD 806) is commissioned in 1945 and is the first U.S. Navy combat ship to bear the name of a female member of U.S. Navy service.

1943 - Task Force 38 and Task Group 50.3 attack Japanese shipping at Rabaul, where the Japanese destroyer Suzunami is sunk and damage is inflicted to enemy destroyers Naganami, Urakaze, and Wakatsuki. This raid is the first use of SB2C Curtiss Helldivers in combat.

1954 - Americans celebrate Veteran's Day for the first time, a day honoring American veterans of all wars. This holiday grew out of Armistice Day, which celebrated the armistice between the Allies and Germany Nov. 11, 1918, essentially ending World War I.

1966 - Gemini 12 is launched with former aviator Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Cmdr. James A. Lovell, Jr., the command pilot. The mission lasts three days, 22 hours, and 34 minutes and includes 59 orbits at an altitude of 162.7 nautical miles. Recovery is done by HS-11 helicopter from USS Wasp (CVS 18).

 
 
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