As Naval Veterans, the PMI Bluebonnet team (owner Steven Poer and manager, Tara Devine) take great pride in wishing the United States Navy a happy 245th Birthday. Here are some facts you may not know about the greatest naval force in the world.
1. To combat the British Navy during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress purchased a small fleet of ships, to included frigates, brigs, sloops, and schooners. Manned by privateers, the fleet sailed solo or in pairs, hunting British supply ships.
2. Two years after defeating the British, a money-poor Congress sold off the last ship of the Continental navy, the frigate Alliance. By March of 1794, Congress reconsidered and called for the construction of a fleet of ships whose primary responsibility would be to seek out and encounter a growing number of pirate ships, as well as be a show of force against European powers who might want to test the fledgling United States of America.
3. The sinking of the Union sloop (Housatonic) by the Confederate submarine H.L Hunley showed that submersibles were viable as weapons and by 1898 the Navy’s had successfully launch a submarine.
4. The Civil War was also responsible the end of wooden ships, with the ushering in of two ironclad warships, the USS Monitor, and the Confederate Merrimack (or Virginia). A two-day battle between the two (March 1862) resulted in a draw with both sides claiming victory primarily because the other side had mistakenly thought that the other side had given up.
5. The tradition of crossing the Equator is a Naval initiation dating back more than 400 years. With the crossing of the Equator, one transforms from a slimy polliwog to a trusty shellback. Today the Navy has curtailed much of the activities that were deemed to be physical hazing. The two-day event starts with Wog Day. Wog receive subpoenas to appear before King Neptune and his court. Once the initiation is complete, each new Shellback is given a certificate recognizing their status.
6. The first flight from the deck of a USN cruiser occurred in 1910, resulting in the Navy adding its firs operations Lexington-class aircraft carriers to the fleet by 1927.
7. The Navy’s first aircraft, a Curtiss A-1 Triad was purchased in 1911.
8. Admiral Burke authorized the creation of SEAL (SEa, Air and Land) in 1961. Each year approximately 1,000 sailors submit to grueling training but on average only 200 – 250 successfully complete the requirements necessary to become part of a SEAL team.
9. Currently, the USN has 11 nuclear powered fleet carriers, each having approximately 80 fighter jets onboard. That is the largest carrier group in the world.
10. The United States Navy was placed within the Department of Defense as of 1949. The United States Marine Corp is part of the USN, as is the Coast Guard during times of war.
While we are no longer active duty, the PMI Bluebonnet Realty team believes that we can still serve our neighbors, thus our motto, “Continuing to Serve Through Commitment to Community.”