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 →

February 21, 1935 Luis Antonio Pardo Villalón, a Chilean Navy veteran who became famous for his against-the-odds rescue of explorers in the Antarctic region, died in Santiago at the age of 52. Pardo, who was born in Santiago in 1882, received extensive training as a maritime pilot (a mariner who is skilled in maneuvering vessels... Continue Reading →

SS Booker T. Washington, which had been built by California Shipbuilding Corporation, was launched at the company’s yards in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington in September 1942. The ship though it was only one of more than 2,700 standardized, mass-produced Liberty ships built in the United States during World War II to serve as cargo... Continue Reading →

January 10, 1987 A major transportation milestone for India was achieved when the nation’s first crew to sail around the world completed their ambitious journey, returning to Bombay (now known as Mumbai) 470 days after leaving from there. All 10 of the crew members were from the Indian Army Corps of Engineers. The vessel they... Continue Reading →

January 8, 2004 Queen Elizabeth II christened the transatlantic ocean liner RMS Queen Mary 2 in Southampton, England. Queen Mary 2 was the first major ocean liner built since Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969, and she succeeded that earlier vessel as the Cunard Line’s flagship. “A steel-hulled behemoth, the Queen Mary 2 is the largest... Continue Reading →

December 19, 1983 The Irish Naval Service vessel  LĖ Eithne (P31) was launched at Verolme Cork Dockyard at Great Island in Ireland’s Cork Harbour. The prefix “LĖ” stands for “Long Ėiereannach,” which means “Irish ship” in the Irish language, a.k.a., Gaelic; “Eithne” refers to an Irish mythology character whose father was a one-eyed supernatural king... Continue Reading →

October 16, 1965 After more than a decade with the reserve fleet at Suisun Bay in northern California, the United States Navy hospital ship USS Repose (AH-16) was recommissioned for service in the Vietnam War. The vessel dated back to the World War II era, having been built in 1943 by the Sun Shipbuilding &... Continue Reading →

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