October 31, 1956 [Photo courtesy of McDonnell Douglas.] The first-ever aircraft landing at the South Pole took place as a key part of Operation Deep Freeze II, the codename for a series of U.S. missions to Antarctica during 1956-57. The U.S. Navy plane used for this touching down at Earth’s southernmost point was a ski-equipped... Continue Reading →

Horacio Rivero, Jr., who was born in 1910 in the city of Ponce on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, earned renown as one of the U.S. Navy’s highest-ranking Hispanic American pioneers. In 1927, he received an appointment to attend the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA). Rivero graduated from the USNA in 1931, standing third in... 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 →

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 →

During the course of her extensive and eventful military career, U.S. Navy Admiral Michelle Janine Howard achieved several noteworthy “firsts” in such areas as maritime transportation. Howard, who was born into a military family at the March Air Reserve Base in southern California, graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1982. Her class was among... 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 →

Chapman Scanandoah, an inventor and decorated U.S. Navy serviceman who ultimately became chief of the Oneida people (one of the five founding nations of the Iroquois Confederacy), was born in 1870 in the town of Lenox in upstate New York. The name Scanandoah means “He Moves with Fire” in the Oneida language. (This name was... Continue Reading →

Joseph J. Clark was a Native American pioneer in the U.S. Navy. He saw duty in three wars and steadily rose through the ranks of the Navy to become an admiral. Clark was born in 1893 in the town of Pryor Creek (now the city of Pryor) in present-day Oklahoma. At the time, that section... Continue Reading →

In 2002, astronaut John Herrington became the first enrolled member of a Native American tribe to travel into outer space. (William R. Pogue, who flew into outer space during the 1970s as the pilot for the Skylab 4 mission, was of Choctaw ancestry; however, he was not an enrolled member of the Choctaw.) As a... Continue Reading →

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