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No Ships & Capturing Ships

US Military History Throughout The Years

Short bits of history you know and some you may not!

  • Frigate Alliance: Friday, June 3, 1785 – Over the course of the Revolutionary War the Continental Navy would in total consist of 65 vessels. The frigate Alliance would be the last of those ships to fire a shot during the war and be the last to be sold as well. By the end of the war and the following years the newly established Congress did not have the funds, among other reasons as well, to keep an active Navy. As a result, the Alliance was sold for $26,000 and the USA would no longer have a formal navy. It would be nearly a decade later after continued conflicts with pirates and a Quasi-War with France that the USA would again have a formal navy that would become the US Navy.
  • U-505: Sunday, June 4, 1944 – For the first time since the War of 1812 the US Navy captured an enemy vessel, the German submarine U-505. The sub was captured by a US Navy Hunter-Killer Task Force 22.3 that was aware of German U Boats operating in the area. After locating the sub with sonar and aircraft the task force would attack it, quickly damaging it. Believing the sub to be seriously damaged the German commander would order the U-505 abandoned, though it was not fully scuttled as the crew left the ship. US Navy personnel would quickly board the sub and would keep it afloat. Even though the submarine had been stripped of important code books and intelligence after boarding it was decided, against typical protocol, to tow the U-505 to port. LTJG Albert David, who led the boarding team onto the sub, would be awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions. He would be the only sailor of the US Atlantic fleet to be awarded the medal throughout the war. U-505 would eventually be saved from target practice and turned into a museum ship that can till be visited today.
  • USS Ranger: Monday, June 4, 1934 – The USS Ranger is commissioned. The Ranger was the first US aircraft carrier designed from the keel up to be a carrier, with previous carriers having consisted of converted large Navy ships. The USS Ranger was the only ship of its class built, but was quickly outclassed by carriers built after it. The carrier was deemed to slow for service in the Pacific Theater of WW2 and would be used in the Atlantic against the German Kriegsmarine.
  • The First Declaration of War: Monday, June 1, 1812 – After years of growing tensions between the US and Britain, President James Madison sends a letter to Congress that covered general American grievances against Great Britain. One of the greatest issues at the time with Britain was their continued impressment of US sailors on the open sea, and forcing them into British service. Though the letter was not a declaration of war the House of Representatives would deliberate for four days over the letter. After discussions the House would vote 61% in favor of declaring war against Great Britain. On 18 June the President would sign the measure into law, formally starting the War of 1812. With no Federalists in Congress supporting the war it would quickly come to be called “Mr. Madison’s War” by critics. This is the first time the USA would declare of war on another nation and was the closet vote to declare war in the nations history.

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