January 14, 1995 An icebreaker that had been in service with the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) for more than a quarter-century officially became part of the Chilean Navy’s fleet. This vessel was constructed by Canadian Vickers Limited at its shipyard in Montreal and acquired by the CCG in 1969. The vessel’s original name was CCGS... Continue Reading →

December 23, 1950 In the midst of the Korean War, the United States Merchant Marine ship SS Meredith Victory departed North Korea’s port city of Hŭngnam carrying thousands of refugees. The evacuation holds the record as the largest-ever humanitarian rescue operation by a single ship. In December 1950, United Nations Command (UNC) troops led by the... Continue Reading →

November 19, 1984 The record-setting cruise ship Royal Princess embarked on her maiden voyage, departing from Southampton, England, for Miami, Florida, with approximately 700 passengers on board. The transatlantic trip began only four days after the British-registered vessel, which had been built for Princess Cruises by the Finnish corporation Wärtsilä at its Helsinki shipyard, was... Continue Reading →

September 27, 1938 The steam-powered ocean liner RMS Queen Elizabeth, constructed by the shipbuilding firm John Brown & Company for Cunard-White Star Line (renamed Cunard Line in 1949), was launched at a shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland. This ocean liner was named for the wife of England’s King George VI and queen consort of the United Kingdom... Continue Reading →

September 20, 1910 The ocean liner SS France, which sailed for the French shipping company Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (CGT), was launched into the River Loire at Saint-Nazaire, France. Approximately 2,000 people were on hand to witness the ship’s grand debut. The France, measuring 712 feet (217 meters) in length, became one of the fastest and... Continue Reading →

José M. Cabanillas, whose longtime U.S. Navy career included service in two wars, was born in 1901 in the city of Mayagüez in western Puerto Rico. In 1920, he received an appointment to attend the U.S. Naval Academy. After graduating in 1924, Cabanillas was commissioned an ensign in the Navy. Over the next several years,... Continue Reading →

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 →

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