Celebrating the U.S. Navy Birthday and taking a look on how it all began. The U.S. Navy has been a key element in protecting our country since the beginning. British sea control had gone uncontested for years, and with the Revolutionary War fast approaching, the Continental Congress scrambled to put together a force in 1775 that would even out the playing field. The original naval force was small and laughably amateur compared to the elite British fleet, but the goal of the Navy during this war was not to engage with Royal Navy men-of-war. Instead, the Continental Navy primarily targeted commerce, and the Navy’s tactical raids prevented many supply ships from reaching British forces in America, thereby weakening their soldiers. Then it wasn’t long before the Continental Navy was joined by French allies, and together they pulled down the British. At the conclusion of the war, the Navy was dismantled for 4 years due to political and economic obstacles, but the Navy birthday still remains Oct. 13, 1775.
U.S. Navy Accomplishments
Since the Navy birthday 241 years ago, the U.S. Navy has accomplished many great feats and what better way to say “happy birthday” than by showing a timeline that highlights the Navy’s greatest moments.
- 1794: After the Navy is dismantled in 1783, priacy and foreign aggression prompt Congress to construct 6 new ships to reestablish the Navy.
- 1798 – 1800: The U.S. fights on the high seas against France in the Quasi War.
- 1798: The Department of the Navy is created.
- 1812: During a 35-minute battle against the British HMS Guerriere, the USS Constitution earns the nickname “Old Ironsides” when several witnesses see cannonballs bouncing off her hull. She remains the oldest commissioned vessel that is still afloat today.
- 1813 – 1814: Victories on Lake Erie and of the Battle of Lake Champlain give control of the Great Lakes to the U.S.
- 1853 – 1854: Japanese-American trade and relations are established and Japan’s modernization period begins when Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry signs the Treaty of Kanagawa.
- 1861 – 1865: Submarines, torpedoes, and steamships are introduced into the Navy during the Civil War.
- 1900: The first commissioned submarine is the USS Holland.
- 1907: The Great White Fleet is created when President Roosevelt adds 16 battleships to the Navy.
- 1915: The Navy Reserve is created.
- 1930: The Naval Research Laboratory works on enemy vessel detection, and eventually, the first RADAR systems are created.
- 1931: The USS Lexington delivers humanitarian relief to Nicaragua after a damaging earthquake, becoming the first aircraft carrier to do so.
- 1941: Pearl Harbor is bombed on December 7.
- 1942: The Battle of Midway is won, a spectacular victory by the U.S. Navy.
- 1944: U.S. Navy ships participate in the D-Day amphibious landing, the largest of its kind ever operated in the world.
- 1961: The USS Enterprise becomes the world’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
- 1963: The Navy SEALs become known as the best special ops groups in the world as a result of their efforts in Vietnam.
- 2001: USNS Comfort is sent to Manhattan Pier 92 to address medical needs as a result of the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
- 2011: Navy SEALs infiltrate a secret compound in Pakistan and kill Osama Bin Laden without any U.S. casualties.
Not for Self but for Country
The timeline above is not an exhaustive list of every U.S. Navy accomplishment, but it certainly illustrates the Navy’s dedication to its mission: “The mission of the Navy is to maintain, train and equip combat-ready Naval forces capable of winning wars, deterring aggression and maintaining freedom of the seas.” Today, the Navy has over 327,000 active-duty personnel and almost 109,000 in ready reserves. Its forces are also made up of 272 deploy-able battle force ships and over 3,700 operational aircraft.
We at Low VA Rates are grateful for the many sacrifices that the men and women of the Navy have made for our country since its beginning. Today, we’d like to say “Happy Birthday Navy!” If you’d like to know more about Low VA Rates or the U.S. Navy, check out more on our blog.