Naval Aviation History: February

February 1 – February 7

1942 – USS Enterprise and Yorktown make first WW II air strike, Japanese Marshall Islands.

1955 – Operation Deep Freeze, a research task force, established in Antarctic.

1959 – Keel laying of USS Enterprise, first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, Newport News, VA.

1965 – In response to a Viet Cong attack on barracks area at Pleiku, South Vietnam, aircraft from carriers, USS Coral Sea, USS Hancock, and USS Ranger attack North Vietnamese area near Donghoi.

1971 – Moonwalk by CAPT Alan B. Shepherd, Jr. USN, Commander of Apollo 14 and CDR Edgar D. Mitchell, USN Lunar Module Pilot. During the 9 day mission, 94 lbs of lunar material was collected and Shepard became the first person to hit a golf ball on the moon. Recovery was by helicopter from USS New Orleans (LPH-11).

February 8 – February 15

1778 – John Paul Jones in Ranger receives first official salute to U.S. Stars and Strips flag by European country, at Quiberon, France

1813 – Essex becomes first U.S. warship to round Cape Horn and enter the Pacific Ocean.

1945 – First naval units enter Manila Bay since 1942.

February 16 – February 22

1944 – Carrier aircraft strike Japanese fleet at Truk, sinking ships and destroying aircraft.

1962 – LCOL John Glenn,USMC becomes first American to orbit Earth. His flight in Friendship 7 (Mercury 6) consisted of 3 orbits in 88 minutes at a velocity of 17,544 mph with the highest altitude of 162.2 statute miles. Recovery was by USS Noa (DD-841).

1974 – S-3A Viking ASW aircraft (carrier jet) introduced officially, given to VS-41.

1974 – LTJG Barbara Ann Allen becomes first Navy designated female aviator.

February 23 – February 29

1913 – Approval of experimental wind tunnel for Navy.

1933 – Commissioning of USS Ranger, first true aircraft carrier.

1944 – Carrier groups under Spruance attack Saipan, Tinian and Rota in the Marianas.

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