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 →

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 →

September 26, 1944 With the United States still fighting the Axis powers during World War II, the U.S. Navy cargo ship USS Beltrami was launched. Beltrami, which had been named after a county in northwestern Minnesota, was built by the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company at its shipyards in Richmond, California. The launch of Beltrami at Richmond... Continue Reading →

In April 2007, U.S. Navy Commander Yvette Marie Gonzalez Davids assumed command of the frigate USS Curts. This assignment made Davids the first Hispanic-American woman to command a Navy ship. This milestone was commemorated during the 2008 Annual Las Primeras Awards Gala of the Mexican American Women’s National Association, and Davids used the occasion to... Continue Reading →

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