This Day in Naval History - Oct. 31

Story Number: NNS020723-41Release Date: 7/23/2002 3:59:00 PM
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From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1941 - German submarine U-552 sinks USS Reuben James (DD 245), which was escorting Convoy HX 156, with a loss of 115 lives -- First U.S. ship lost to enemy action in World War II.
1943 - Lt. Hugh D. O'Neill of VF(N)-75 destroys a Japanese aircraft during night attack off Vella Lavella in first kill by a radar-equipped night fighter of the Pacific Fleet.
1956 - Navy men land in R4D Skytrain on the ice at the South Pole. Rear Adm. George Dufek, Capt. Douglas Cordiner, Capt. William Hawkes, Lt. Cmdr. Conrad Shinn, Lt. John Swadener, Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class J. P. Strider and Aviation Machinist's Mate 2nd Class William Cumbie are the first men to stand on the South Pole since Capt. Robert F. Scott in 1912.
1956 - USS Burdo (APD 133) and USS Harlan R. Dickson (DD 708) evacuate 166 persons from Haifa, Israel, due to the fighting between Egypt and Israel.
1961 - End of Lighter than Air in U.S. Navy with disestablishment of Fleet Airship Wing 1 and ZP-1 and ZP-3, the last operating units in LTA branch of naval aviation, at Lakehurst, N.J.
2013 - The MQ-8C Fire Scout, an unmanned helicopter, completed its first day of flying at Naval Base Ventura County at Point Mugu, Calif.
2013 - USS Ford (FFG 54), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, decommissioned during a ceremony at Naval Station Everett, Wash. Ford was commissioned June 29, 1985, in Long Beach, Calif.

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