This Day in Naval History - Dec. 12

Story Number: NNS011210-18Release Date: 12/10/2001 5:42:00 PM
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From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division

1862 - During the Civil War, a Confederate torpedo (mine) sinks USS Cairo in Yazoo River. Her wreck is recovered in 1965, but is badly damaged during the salvage efforts.

1937 - After Japan invades Nanking, China, USS Panay (PR 5) evacuates American citizens when it comes under attack from Japanese aircraft, killing three men and wounding 43 sailors and five civilians.

1941 - The Naval Air Transport Service (NATS) is established.

1942 - Five torpedo boats attack 11 Japanese destroyers off Cape Esperance, Guadalcanal. Motor torpedo boats PT 37 and PT 40 sink Japanese destroyer Terutsuki. In return, the Japanese destroyers Kawakaze and Suzukaze sink PT 44 off Savo Island.

1972 - Capt. Eugene A. Cernan, commander of Apollo 17, walks on the Moon and raises the U.S. flag. Cmdr. Ronald E. Evans is the Command Module Pilot and Harrison H. Schmitt is the Lunar Module pilot. The mission lasts 12 days, 13 hours and 52 minutes.

2001 - USS Russell (DDG 59) recovers four crewmembers from an Air Force B-1B Lancer bomber, which crashed at about 11:30 a.m. EST into the Indian Ocean 30 miles north of the British base of Diego Garcia.

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