EAWS Phase 1 Block 12

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  1. What happened 14 November 1910?
    First take-off from a ship—Eugene Ely, a civilian pilot, took off in a 50-hp Curtiss plane from a wooden platform built on the bow of USS BIRMINGHAM (CL 2). The ship was at anchor in Hampton Roads, Va., and Ely landed safely on Willoughby Spit.
  2. What happened 08 May 1911?
    Captain W. I. Chambers prepared requisitions for two Glenn Curtiss biplanes, although these requisitions lacked the signature of the Chief of the Bureau of Navigation they did indicate Captain Chambers' decision as to which airplanes the Navy should purchase. The planes were purchased for $5,500 each and later became the Navy’s first aircraft the A-1 Triad. From this, May 8 has been officially proclaimed to be the birthday of naval aviation. The Wright brothers soon sold the Navy another aircraft. Curtiss and the Wrights agreed to train a pilot and a mechanic.
  3. What happened 20 June 1913?
    Ensign William D. Billingsley, piloting the B-2 at 1,600 feet over the water near Annapolis, Md., was thrown from the plane and fell to his death, the first fatality of Naval Aviation. Lieutenant John H. Towers, riding as passenger, was also unseated but clung to the plane and fell with it into the water, receiving serious injuries.
  4. What happened 22 October 1917?
    Special courses to train men as inspectors were added to the Ground School program at MIT with 14 men enrolled. Eventually established as an Inspector School, this program met the expanding need for qualified inspectors of aeronautical material by producing 58 motor and 114 airplane inspectors before the end of the war, becoming the predecessors of the modern Quality Assurance Representatives.
  5. What happened 10 March 1922?
    The Jupiter, a former collier or coal-carrier, was re-commissioned after conversion to the Navy's first carrier, the USS LANGLEY (CV-1).
  6. What happened 10 March 1948?
    FJ-1 Fury, The first Navy jet made its first carrier landing on the USS Boxer (CV 21).
  7. What was the significance of the conflict of Coral Sea 7-8 May 1942?
    Thanks to the breaking of the Japanese Navy code, the U.S. was alerted to a large Japanese force moving to the Coral Sea to seize Port Moresby on the southwest coast of New Guinea. It was to be the first step of a planned invasion of Australia. The Japanese operation centered around three aircraft carriers and dozens of troop transports, but the Americans met them with two carriers of their own. On May 7, the Japanese planes sank two minor ships, while U.S. planes sank an isolated enemy carrier. The next day, both sides launched all their planes against the other. The aircraft passed each other unseen in the clouds, in the world's first carrier verses carrier battle. One Japanese carrier was damaged. The U.S. carrier Lexington was sunk, and the carrier Yorktown was damaged. After this action, both sides withdrew. Although a tactical victory, Coral Sea was a strategic setback for the Japanese who never again threatened Australia.
  8. What was the significance of the conflict of Midway 3-5 June 1942?
    Midway was the turning point of the Pacific war. The U.S. breaking of the Japanese naval code was again the key element as it had been at Coral Sea a month earlier. A huge Japanese armada of 160 warships was involved, but Commander-in-chief Admiral Yamamoto split his force, sending some ships north to the Aleutian Islands in a diversionary attack. The Japanese retained superior numbers approaching Midway which included 4 aircraft carriers and 11 battleships. At Midway the U.S. had 3 carriers and no battleships. The Americans knew what was coming because of the broken codes, and Admiral Nimitz positioned his 3 carriers, the Hornet, Enterprise and Yorktown, out of Japanese reconnaissance range. As the Japanese carriers launched their planes to assault the Midway defenses, the U.S. planes headed for the enemy carriers. It took attack after attack, but finally the U.S. crews got through and sank 3 Japanese carriers. The next day the fourth carrier was sunk. Japanese planes sank the Yorktown. In one day Japan lost its bid for control of the Pacific.
  9. What was the significance of the conflict of Guadalcanal 13-15 November 1942?
    After three days of bitter fighting, the Japanese naval forces retreated and U.S. Marines were able to secure the island of Guadalcanal. The Japanese lost 2 cruisers and 6 destroyers. The USS JUNEAU was involved in the battle. Navy policy was to place members of the same family on different ships, but the five Sullivan brothers, from Waterloo, Iowa, insisted on staying together. An exception was made and they all became crewmen onboard the JUNEAU. The JUNEAU was damaged during the battle in a close-range night encounter. As it limped off for repairs, it was torpedoed. The Sullivan's along with 700 others were lost. Because of this tragedy, Navy policy concerning family member separations was reinstated. A ship was later named in their honor. With the fall of the island, the southern Solomon's came under Allied control and Australia was in less danger of attack.
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EAWS Phase 1 Block 12
2012-06-09 06:46:45

Naval Aviation Heritage
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