27 April 1805 A.D. TRIPOLI, LIBYA: LT O’Bannon, United States Marines, Battle of Derna, and “…from halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli…”
1805 - With naval bombardment from USS Nautilus, USS Hornet, and USS Argus, Lt. Presley OBannon leads his Marines to attack Derne, Tripoli, and raises the first U.S. flag over foreign soil. The Battle of Derna was the Marines' first battle on foreign soil, and is notably recalled in the first verse of the Marines Hymn.
1813 - A U.S. naval squadron under the command of Commodore Isaac Chauncey supports an attack on York (now Toronto), Canada, of nearly 1,800 troops under Gen. Zebulon Pike during the War of 1812.
1944 - USS Bluegill (SS 242) torpedoes the Japanese light cruiser Yubari west of Sonsorol Island, while USS Halibut (SS 232) sinks Japanese minelayer off Okinawa.
1952 - During the Korean War, USS Samuel N. Moore (DD 747) conducts counter-battery fire against enemy shore batteries off Kosong, Korea. The enemy guns are silenced. Also on this date, USS Waxbill (AMS) is damaged by enemy shore battery off Wonsan, Korea.
1963 - USS Daniel Webster (SSBN 626) is launched at Groton, Conn. Commissioned a year later, she serves until decommissioned in August 1990.
1805 – After marching 500 miles from Egypt, U.S. agent William Eaton leads a small force of U.S. Marines and Berber mercenaries against the Tripolitan port city of Derna. The Marines and Berbers were on a mission to depose Yusuf Karamanli, the ruling pasha of Tripoli, who had seized power from his brother, Hamet Karamanli, a pasha who was sympathetic to the United States. The First Barbary War had begun four years earlier, when U.S. President Thomas Jefferson ordered U.S. Navy vessels to the Mediterranean Sea in protest of continuing raids against U.S. ships by pirates from the Barbary states–Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, and Tripolitania. American sailors were often abducted along with the captured booty and ransomed back to the United States at an exorbitant price. After two years of minor confrontations, sustained action began in June 1803, when a small U.S. expeditionary force attacked Tripoli harbor in present-day Libya. In April 1805, a major American victory came during the Derna campaign, which was undertaken by U.S. land forces in North Africa. Supported by the heavy guns of the USS Argus and the USS Hornet, Marines and Arab mercenaries under William Eaton captured Derna and deposed Yusuf Karamanli. Lieutenant Presley O’ Bannon, commanding the Marines, performed so heroically in the battle that Hamet Karamanli presented him with an elaborately designed sword that now serves as the pattern for the swords carried by Marine officers. The phrase “to the shores of Tripoli,” from the official song of the U.S. Marine Corps, also has its origins in the Derna campaign.
To Those Who’ve Fallen