This Day in Naval History - February
These pages list the key dates in the history of the sailing navies of the world.
France declared war on Britain and Holland starting Revolutionary War.
Adam Duncan promoted to Vice Admiral.
HMS Lark (16), Cptn. Robert Nicholas, and boats at Zispata Bay. Silenced a battery and engaged a convoy with 3 small escorts. 1 enemy was taken but 2 earlier prizes ran aground and were burnt.
|02 February||1712||George Anson entered the navy as a volunteer on board HMS Ruby (54)|
|1799||HMS Nautilus (16) wrecked off Filey Bay|
|1800||USS Constellation, (38) Cptn. Thomas Truxtun, defeats la Vengeance (54), Cptn. Pitot|
|1801||HMS Legère Sloop (24), Cdr. Cornelius Quinton, sprang a leak and had to be run ashore to save the lives of the crew in Jamba Bay, east of Carthagena, S. America.|
|1812||HMS Southampton (32), Sir James Yeo, captured Haytian privateer Amethyst (44)|
|1813||Boats of HMS Kingfisher (18) took 6 vessels at Corfu.|
|1839||Capture of Kurrachee by HMS Wellesley (74), HMS Algerine (10), Lt. William Sidney Thomas, and troops.|
|1862||USS Hartford, Cptn. David G. Farragut, departs Hampton Roads for Mississippi River campaign|
|03 February||1735||Dutch frigates Anna Catharina, Cptn. Jacon de Prinseran,and 't Vliegent Hart ran aground on the sandbanks around Duerloo Channel.|
|1762||HMS Raisonable (64) lost of Martinique.|
|1781||St. Eustatia taken by Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney.|
|1798||HMS Speedy (14), Hugh Downman, engaged Papillon (14) off Vigo|
|1799||Commencement of bombardment of Alexandria by HMS Bulldog bomb (16) and HMS Perseus bomb, James Oswald|
|1801||US Senate approves peace treaty with France ending undeclared Quasi War that began 1798|
|1805||HMS Arrow (28), Richard Budd Vincent, and HMS Acheron bomb (8), Cdr. Arthur Farquhar, escorting a convoy of 32 ships taken by French frigates Hortense (40) and Incorruptible (38) off Cape Caxine on the Algerian coast. Arrow sank and Acheron was burnt as a result of their damage but only 3 of the convoy were taken.|
|1810||HMS Valiant (74), Cptn. John Bligh, captured Confiance (14) off Belleisle.|
|1814||HMS Majestic (54), Cptn. John Hayes, took Terpsichore (44).|
|04 February||1779||John Paul Jones takes command of Bonhomme Richard|
|1804||Boats of HMS Centaur (74), Cpt. Murray Maxwell, cut out French corvette Curieux (16) as she lay under Fort Edward in Port Royal Harbour, Martinique|
|1811||Four of the enemy's vessels captured off Pestichi, by boats of HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn Henry Whitby, and HMS Active (38), Cptn. James Alexander Gordon.|
|1825||USS Ferret schooner capsized in a storm off Cuba|
|05 February||1744||HMS Looe (44), Cptn. Ashby Utting, foundered off Sable Cape|
|1800||HMS Fairy (16) and HMS Harpy (18), Henry Bazely, engaged French frigate Pallas (38) off Cape Frehel. She struck to Harpy when HMS Loire (38), HMS Danae (20) and HMS Railleur came up.|
|1804||HMS Eclair (10), Lt. Carr, engaged French privateer Grand Decide (22) off Tortola.|
|1807||HMS Blenheim (90), Cptn. Austen Bissell, Vice Ad. Sir Thomas Troubridge, and HMS Java (32), Cptn. George Pigot, lost during a gale off the island of Rodriguez, India Ocean.|
|1809||HMS Carrier Cutter (10), Lt. Robert Ramsey, was wrecked on the French coast.|
|1836||HMS Pike (14) wrecked on Pelican Reef in Jamaica.|
|06 February||1799||HMS Argo (44), Capt James Bowen, captured Spanish frigate Santa Teresa (34) off Majorca.|
|1800||HMS Loire (40), Cptn. James N. Newman, HMS Danae (20), Cptn. Lord Proby, HMS Railleur (20), Cptn Turquand, HMS Fairy (16) and HMS Harpy (18), Henry Bazely, captured French frigate Pallas (38) off Cape Frehel|
|1806||British aquadron of 7 ships of the line, two frigates and two brigs, under Vice Ad. Sir John Thomas Duckworth, defeated French squadron of five ships of the line, two frigates and a corvette, under Vice-Admiral Corentin Urbain Leissègues, off St. Domingo.|
|1810||End of campaign with final capture of Guadaloupe by Britsh fleet, under Rear Ad. Sir Alexander Cochrane, of HMS Pompee (80), Capt. George Cockburn, and consorts.|
|1862||Union gunboat squadron captures Fort Henry, Tennessee River|
|07 February||1758||Cptn. Samuel Hood joined HMS Vestal (32).|
|1793||Cptn. Horatio Nelson joins HMS Agamemnon (64).|
|1800||USS Essex becomes first U.S. Navy vessel to cross the Equator.|
|1808||HMS Decouverte (8) drove ashore a privateer.|
|1810||HMS Achates (10), Thomas Pinto, wrecked at Guadeloupe.|
|1813||HMS Amelia (38), Cptn. Frederick Paul Irby, engaged French frigate Arethuse (46), Capt. Bouvet, off Sierra Leone|
|1829||HMS Nightingale (8), Lt. George Wood, wrecked on the Shingles|
HMS Fortitude (74), Cptn. William Young, and HMS Juno (32) engaged tower on Mortella Point, Corsica an event which eventually led to the construction of 'Martello' towers on the south coast of England.
|1804||HMS Hussar (38), Cptn. Philip Wilkinson, struck on the southernmost part of the Saintes, beat over the rocks, carrying away the rudder and was bilged. Burnt to prevent capture.|
|1805||HMS Curieux (18), George Edmund Byron Bettesworth, captured French privateer brig Dame Ernouf (16) some 60 miles east of Barbados.|
|1808||Boats of HMS Meleager (36), Cptn. John Broughton, captured French felucca-rigged privateer Renard. off the port of San-Jago de Cuba.|
HMS Amphion (32), Cptn. William Hoste, and HMS Redwing (18), Edward Augustus Down, destroyed stores and took two prizes at Meleda, Adriatic.
|1813||Boats of HMS Belvidera (36), Cptn. Richard Byron, HMS Maidstone, HMS Junon (38), Cptn. James Sanders, and HMS Statira (38), Cptn. Hassard Stackpoole, took American letter of marque Lottery (6)|
|09 February||1692||HMS Crown Prize (26) lost outside the entrance to Dartmouth Harbour.|
|1707||HMS Hastings (32), Cptn. Francis Vaughan, capsized off Yarmouth|
|1746||HMS Portland (50), Cptn. Charles Stevens, captured French Auguste (50) off Scilly|
USS Constellation, (38) Cptn. Thomas Truxtun, captures French l'Insurgente (36), Captain Barreaut, off the island of Nevis.
HMS Daedalus (32), Cptn. Henry Lidgbird Ball, captured Prudente (38) near the Cape of Good Hope.
|1808||HMS Decouverte (8), Lt. Colin Campbell, captured French armed schooner Dorade (3), Cptn. Netley, off St. Domingo.|
HMS Horatio (44), Cptn. George Scott, and HMS Latona (38), Cptn. Hugh Pigot, captured Junon (40), Cptn. Rousseau (Killed in Action), off the Virgin Islands
|1810||HMS Thistle (8), Lt. Peter Proctor, captured Dutch national corvette Havik (10), Lt. Stirling.|
|1811||News received in England of the capture of the Isles of Bourbon and France, with their dependencies, and the capture or extirpation of the enemy's entire naval force in those seas, by Major-general Abercrombie, and Commodore Rowley.|
|1862||Union gunboats destroy Confederate ships at Elizabeth City, NC|
|11 February||1744||British Fleet of 30 ships of the line, under Admiral Thomas Mathews, engaged Franco-Spanish fleet of 27 ships of the line, under Juan José Navarro, off Toulon.|
|1778||HMS Liverpool (28), Cptn. Henry Bellew, driven ashore near Jamaica Bay, Long Island, in thick weather and a heavy sea while taking dispatches from the Delaware to New York|
|1796||HMS Leda (36) foundered off Madeira|
HMS Alligator (28), Cptn. William Affleck, captures the French privateer Sans Peur in the North Sea
HMS Atalante (16), Lt. John Bowker, wrecked when running aground on La Grande Blanche, Island of Rhe, France.
|1811||HMS Cerberus (32), Cptn. Henry Whitby, and HMS Active (38), Cptn. James Alexander Gordon, take or destroy, under the town of Ortano, Italy, a Venetian trabaccolo and 9 transports.|
|13 February||1801||HMS Success (32), Cptn. Shuldham Peard, captured by French squadron under Rear Ad. Gantheaume near Toulon|
Boats of HMS Confiance (20), Cptn. James Lucas Yeo, cut out a French gunboat, Enseigne Gaudolphe, off the Tagus.
HMS Bassora Brig (12), James Violet, wrecked near Carthagena.
|1811||HMS Pandora (18), John Macpherson Ferguson, struck the Scaw Reef off Jutland and was wrecked.|
|1812||HMS Apollo (38), Cptn. Bridges W. Taylor, took French frigate-built storeship Merinos (20).|
HMS Boyne (98), Cptn. Burton, and HMS Caledonia (120), Cptn. Jeremiah Coghlan, engaged Romulus and Adrienne off Toulon
Island of Paxo surrendered to HMS Apollo (38), Capt. Bridges W. Taylor, and troops.
|1854||Admiral Perry anchors off Yokosuka, Japan to receive Emperor's reply to treaty proposal|
|14 February||1760||HMS Ramillies (90) driven ashore and wrecked in what is today Ramillies Cove near Salcombe, Devon|
|1778||John Paul Jones in Ranger receives first official salute to U.S. Stars and Strips flag by European country, at Quiberon, France.|
|1779||Captain Cook killed|
|1797||Battle of Cape St. Vincent. British fleet, under Sir John Jervis, defeated Spanish fleet, under Jose de Cordoba|
|1805||HMS San Fiorenzo (38), Cptn. Henry Lambert, captured French frigate Psyche, Capt. Bergeret, off Vishakhapatnam in the Indian Ocean.|
HMS Bacchante (22), Cptn. James R. Dacres, and HMS Mediator (44), Cptn. William Furlong Wise, captured the French national schooner Dauphin (3) off Cape Raphael and used her to to get the ships into and attack her home port of Samana, St Domingo. The fort was carried and destroyed and 2 privateers and 2 prizes in the harbour were taken.
HMS Ajax (74), Cptn. Henry Blackwood, burnt by accident off the Island of Tenedos in the Dardanelles.
|1810||HMS Rainbow (28) and HMS Avon (18), Henry Fraser, engaged French frigate Nereide (44)|
USS Essex becomes first U.S. warship to round Cape Horn and enter the Pacific Ocean.
Boats of HMS Bacchante (38), Cptn. William Hoste, captured French gunboat Alcinous (2) taken off Otranto with eight trading vessels under her convoy.
|1814||USS Constitution (44), Cptn. Charles Stewart, captured HMS Pictou schooner (16) and armerd merchant Lovely Ann. Pictou was destroyed.|
|15 February||1775||HMS Halifax schooner (10) wrecked.|
|1793||HM Brig Sloop Childers (16), Robert Barlow, captures the French privateer Patriote near Gravelines in the first capture of the Revolutionay War|
|1808||HMS Raposo gun-brig, Lt. James Violett, burnt to avoid capture near Carthagena.|
|1809||HMS Belle Poule (38), Cptn. James Brisbane, captured French frigate Var (26) in the Gulf of Valona, Adriatic|
|1811||HMS Amethyst (36), Cptn. Jacob Walton, driven ashore and wrecked on Cony Cliffs, Plymouth Sound, by a violent gust of wind.|
|16 February||1745||HMS Weymouth (60), Cptn. Warwick Calmady, grounded and wrecked off English Harbour, Antigua|
|1793||HMS Iphigenia (32), Cptn. Patrick Sinclair, captures the French privateer Elizabeth in the Channel|
|1798||Boats of HMS Alfred (74), Cptn. T. Totty, captured Scipion.|
|1804||Lt. Stephen Decatur USN leads Tripoli raid to burn the captured frigate Philadelphia.|
|1815||USS Constitution (44), Cptn. Charles Stewart, captured British merchantman Susannah|
|17 February||1782||British fleet of 9 ships of the line, under Sir Edward Hughes, engaged a French fleet of 11 ships of the line, under Bailli de Suffren, off the East coast of India.|
|1793||HMS Juno (32), Cptn. Samuel Hood, captures the French privateer Entreprenant in the Channel|
|1794||British squadron under Commodore Robert Linzee captured Fornelli, Corsica.|
|1805||French frigateVille de Milan (38), Cptn. Jean-Marie Renaud (Killed in Action), captured,HMS Cleopatra (32), Cptn. Sir Robert Lawrie, off Bermuda.|
|1864||Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley sinks USS Housatonic|
|18 February||1653||Start of 3 day Battle of Portland. English fleet, under Robert Blake, was attacked by a Dutch fleet escorting a large convoy, under Lt.-Admiral Maarten Tromp. Figures are unclear but each fleet had 70-80 warships and whilst the British lost 1-3 warships the Dutch lost 8-12 and 40- 50 merchantmen.|
|1756||HMS Royal George (100), built at Woolwich Dockyard, launched|
|1800||HMS Alexander (74), Lt. William Harrington (Acting), and HMS Success (32), Cptn. Shuldham Peard, captured Genereux (74) off Malta.|
|1801||HMS Penguin (16), Robert Mansel, engaged a French corvette (24) and two merchantmen (16) in the South Atlantic.|
HMS Griper (12), Lt. Edward Oorris, foundered off Ostend.
HMS Inveterate Gun-boat (12), Lt. George Norton, wrecked near St. Valery en Caux, Calais, when she drifted ashore in a heavy gale.
HMS Prospero bomb (8), William KING(1), and HMS Speedwell (16) foundered off Dieppe.
|1817||HMS Alceste (38), Cptn. Murray Maxwell, wrecked off Island of Pulo Leat, China Seas.|
|1827||HMS Diamond (38) accidentally burnt whilst out of commission at Portsmouth|
|19 February||1694||HMS Sussex (80), Ad. Sir Francis Wheler, and HMS Cambridge (70) Capt. John WARD (1), lost in a hurricane off Gibraltar.|
|1758||HMS Invincible (74) lost on the Owers.|
|1781||Whilst proceeding to the Chesapeake HMS Romulus (44), Cptn. George Gayton, was captured by a French squadron from Des Touches's squadron under the orders of Cptn Le Gardeur de Tilly, composed of the Eveille (64), Gentille (32), Surveillante (32) and the cutter Guepe|
|1794||British squadron under Commodore Robert Linzee captured Minerve.|
|1801||HMS Phoebe (36), Cptn. Robert Barlow took French frigate Africaine (44), Cptn. Majendie, off Ceuta in Morocco.|
Boats of HMS Drake (14), Samuel W. King, cut out a schooner from the harbour of Trinite in the north part of Martinique.
HMS Cerberus Gun-brig, Lt. Joseph Patey, wrecked on rocks near Berry Head
|1807||HMS Ignition Fire-ship, Phillip Griffin, wrecked off Dieppe.|
|1814||USS Constitution (44), Cptn. Charles Stewart, captures British merchant brig Catherine|
|20 February||1745||HMS Chester (50), Cptn. Francis Geary, and HMS Sutherland (50) captured privateer Elephant.|
|1804||HMS Active (38), Cptn. Richard Hussey Moubray, engaged 16 gunboats and took a transport.|
|1811||Sir Joseph Yorke's squadron arrived in the Tagus, with a reinforcement of 6,500 men for Lord Wellington.|
|1815||USS Constitution (44), Cptn. Charles Stewart, captures HMS Cyane (22), Cptn. Gordon Falcon, and sloop-of-war HMS Levant (20), Hon. George Douglas, east of Madeira.|
|21 February||1692||British squadron of 7 ships, under Commodore Ralph Wrenn, engaged a French squadron of 18 ships, under M. de Blenac, in the West Indies.|
|1759||HMS Vestal (32), Cptn. Samuel Hood, took French frigate Bellona (32) in the Channel|
|1793||HMS Alligator (28), Cptn. William Affleck, captures the French privateer Prend Tout in the North Sea|
|1810||HMS Horatio (44), Cpt. George Scott, captured Necessite (28).|
|22 February||1799||HMS Espoir, Cptn. James Sanders, engaged Spanish flotilla and captured Spanish xebec Africa off Marbella|
|1812||HMS Victorious (74), Cptn. John Talbot, and HMS Weasel (18), John William Andrew, captured French Rivoli (74), Commodore Jean-Baptiste Barré, engaged brig Mercure (16) which blew up, off Venice.|
|1815||Engagement between British boats and U.S. troops in St. Mary's River.|
|23 February||1805||HMS Leander (50), Cptn. John Talbot, re-captured HMS Cleopatra and took French frigateVille de Milan (38), Cptn. Pierre Guillet.|
|1814||HMS Epervier (18), Ruchard Wales, took U.S. privateer brig Alfred (16), Cptn. Williams.|
|1824||HMS Delight (10), Robert Hay, lost in a hurricane at the Mauritius.|
|24 February||1808||HMS Hirondelle (16), Lt. Joseph Kidd, wrecked on shore the coast of Barbary.|
|1809||HMS Ceasar (80), Cptn. Charles Richardson, Rear Ad. Robert Stopford, and consorts forced three French frigates Italienne, Calypso and Cybe ashore near the Basque Roads|
|1813||USS Hornet (20), James Lawrence, sank HMS Peacock (18), Cptn. William Peake (Killed in Action), off the mouth of the Demerara River, Guiana|
|25 February||1761||Adam Duncan promoted Captain into HMS Valiant (74).|
|1798||HMS Marquis of Coburg sunk Revanche.|
|1811||HMS Shamrock (8), Lt. Wentworth Parsons Croke, wrecked on Cape Santa Maria|
|1813||HMS Linnet (14), Lt. John Tracey, taken by French frigate Gloire (40), Cptn Albin-Réné Roussin, in the Channel.|
|1814||HMS Eurotas (38), Cptn. John Phillimore, captured Clorinde (42) about 250 miles south of Cape Clear|
|1861||USS Saratoga, member of U.S. African Squadron, captures slaver sloop Express|
|26 February||1705||HMS Harman fireship sank off Port Royal, Jamaica.|
|1813||Island of Ponza taken by HMS Thames (32), Cptn. Charles Napier, HMS Furieuse (38), Cptn. William Mounsey, and army units.|
HMS St. Lawrence (12) taken by American privateer brig Chasseur (14), Cptn. Thomas Boyle, off Havana.
HMS Statira (38), Cptn. Spelman Swaine, struck an uncharted rock and sank off Cuba.
|27 February||1748||HMS Lizard (14) wrecked on the Scilly Isles.|
|1780||HMS Leviathan storeship foundered while returning home from Jamaica.|
|1806||HMS Hydra (38), Cptn. George Mundy, captured French national brig Le Furet (18), Lt. Demay, off Cadiz|
|1835||HMS Firefly Schooner (5), Lt. John M'Donnell, wrecked on reef near Belize.|
|28 February||1653||First day of Battle of Portland, or Three Days' Battle. Commonwealth Fleet under General at Sea Robert Blake attacked by Dutch Fleet under Lieutenant-Admiral Maarten Tromp escorting merchant shipping through the English Channel.|
|1758||HMS Revenge (64), Cptn. John Storr, took Orphte.
HMS Monmouth (64), Cptn. Arthur Gardiner (Killed in Action), and HMS Swiftsure (70), Cptn. Stanhope, took Foudroyant (80) off Toulon.
HMS Monarch (74), Cptn. John Montagu, drove ashore French Oriflamme (50) near Cape de Gato
|1760||British squadron, under Cptn. Elliot, defeated a French squadron, under François Thurot (Killed in Action), off the Isle of Man.|
|1797||HMS Terpsichore (32), Cptn. Sir Richard Bowen, engaged Santissima Trinidad (136) damaged at the Battle of Cape St. Vincent|
|1799||HMS Sybille (44), Cptn. Edward Cooke (Killed in Action) captured French frigate Forte, Cptn. Beaulieu-Leloup, off Bengal River|
|1809||HMS Proserpine (32), Cptn. Charles Otter, captured by French frigates Peneloe(44) and Pauline (44) off Cape Sicie, near Toulon.|
|1814||HMS Anacreon Sloop (16), John Davies, foundered in the Channel.|
|1844||Explosion of Peacemaker, experimental 14 inch gun, on board USS Princeton which killed eight, including U.S. Secretary of State Abel Parker Upshur and Secretary of the Navy Thomas Gilmer. Spared were the lives of U.S President John Tyler and his son, along with U.S. Senator from Missouri Thomas Hart Benton who were also among the dignitaries aboard for the demonstration of naval gunnery.|
|29 February||1812||HMS Fly (16), Henry Higman, wrecked on the Knobber reef at the eastern end of Anholt Is. in the Kattegat.|
*Dates of events prior to September 1752 may be quoted differently in some countries as both the Julian and Gregorian calendars were in use by countries. Calendars were regularised when Britain passed the Calendar Act of 1751 An Act for Regulating the Commencement of the Year; and for Correcting the Calendar now in Use.