This Day in History: A Confederate submarine sinks USS Housatonic

On this day in 1864, a Confederate submarine torpedoes and sinks the USS Housatonic. The H.L. Hunley changed naval warfare forever. It was the first submarine to successfully sink a warship! Americans had been trying to develop submarines for use in warfare for decades. As early as 1776, an attempt was made to use a […]

This Day in History: USS Reuben James, first warship lost in World War II

On this day in 1941, USS Reuben James is torpedoed by a German submarine. She would become the first American warship sunk during World War II. But how could that be? Wasn’t America then still neutral? After all, the attack on Pearl Harbor was still weeks away. Reuben James wasn’t even the first to clash […]

This Day in History: USS Indianapolis is sunk by Japanese torpedoes

On this day in 1945, the USS Indianapolis travels from Guam toward the Leyte Gulf in the Philippines. Unfortunately, Indianapolis would never arrive at its destination. Instead, it was sunk by Japanese torpedoes. There was just one silver lining to the tragedy. Indianapolis had already performed the most important part of its mission: It had […]

This Day in History: SS Eastland capsizes in the Chicago River

On this day in 1915, the excursion boat SS Eastland capsizes in the Chicago River. More than 800 were killed. It was the worst maritime disaster on the Great Lakes—and one of America’s worst such incidents during peacetime. Twenty-two whole families were lost. Nearly 200 women, including three pregnant women, were widowed. In the end, more […]

This Day in History: USS Thresher tragically sinks during a deep dive test

On this day in 1963, the USS Thresher sinks off the coast of Cape Cod. Sadly, a rescue ship was floating helplessly above the wreckage, listening to the sounds of the submarine breaking up below. The tragedy shocked the naval community. Thresher was considered one of the premier submarines of its time. It was fast—and […]