September 11, 2001 More than six years after being retired from service by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY), the fireboat John J. Harvey returned to action when she assisted in the large-scale relief and evacuation efforts at the World Trade Center following the deadly terrorist attacks there. Launched in 1931, the Harvey was named... Continue Reading →

August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

July 26, 1997 The U.S. Navy cargo vessel USNS Watson was launched at the National Steel and Shipbuilding Company’s shipyard in San Diego. U.S. Secretary of the Army Togo D. West, Jr., was the principal speaker at the ceremony and his wife Gail christened the new ship with a bottle of champagne. (The vessel’s prefix... Continue Reading →

July 19, 1843 In southwestern England, the record-setting iron steamship SS Great Britain was launched at Bristol Harbour amid great fanfare. Prince Albert, Prince Consort of the United Kingdom and the husband of Queen Victoria, arrived in Bristol at ten o’clock that morning to participate in the festivities for the new vessel. The Illustrated London... Continue Reading →

June 17, 1999 (Photo caption: Coast Guard Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Popelars, commanding officer of Cutter Frank Drew, pilots the buoy tender on the James River in Newport News, Virginia, Feb. 22, 2018. Courtesy of the Defense Information Visual Distribution Service - https://www.dvidshub.net/image/4176717/coast-guard-cutter-frank-drew-crew-services-buoys-elizabeth-james-rivers-va) U.S Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Frank Drew was officially transferred from... Continue Reading →

June 12, 1940 Naval architect Britton Chance, Jr., who earned considerable acclaim for his creative designs for high-speed yachts, was born in Philadelphia. He acquired a strong enthusiasm for maritime pursuits early on in life. This enthusiasm was hardly surprising in light of his family background; his father Britton Chance, Sr., along with being a... Continue Reading →

March 28, 1918 A milestone in the short but eventful U.S. Navy service of the vessel USS Aphrodite took place when she was assigned to convoy escort duty with a higher-than-average risk along the French coast during World War I. Aphrodite had made her debut a couple of decades earlier in decidedly more luxurious circumstances.... Continue Reading →

March 12, 1941 The car ferry S.S. City of Midland 41 made her maiden voyage along Lake Michigan between Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Ludington, Michigan. (The ferry’s namesake was the city of Midland in central Michigan.) The all-steel vessel, which had been launched the previous September, was constructed by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company for the Pere Marquette Railway’s... Continue Reading →

Maritime transportation entrepreneur Thea Foss was born in the hamlet of Eidsberg in Norway in 1857. She immigrated to the United States in the early 1880s. Not long after arriving in her new homeland, she married fellow Norwegian immigrant Andreas Oleson in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (The couple subsequently changed their last name to Fossen to distinguish themselves... Continue Reading →

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