On this day...
May 12th, 1975 - SS Mayaguez, a tanker ship, is seized by Khmer Rouge, the Communist party of Kampuchea, and is escorted to Koh Tang Island with her 39 crew. In response, President Nixon sends a detatchment of Marines who meet heavy resistance, but after crew is found safe, they retreat, although three Marines are inadvertently left behind and killed.
May 13th, 1908 - The Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, is authorized for the enlargement of the Pearl Harbor channel and locks to admit the largest ships as it becomes a coaling station for the U.S. Navy.
May 14th, 1801 - Tripoli declares war on the United States for not increasing the annual tribute paid as protection money to prevent raids on its ships. Within a week, a squadron with USS President, USS Philadelphia and USS Essex sets sail to protect American interests.
May 15th, 1800 - The frigate USS Essex, commanded by Capt. Edward Preble, arrives in Batavia, Java, to escort United States merchant ships. During her journey, she is the first U.S. Navy warship to cross the Equator and the first U.S. man-of-war to double the Cape of Good Hope.
May 16th, 1820 - The frigate Congress becomes the first U.S. warship to visit China when she visits Guanhzhou (now Canton).
May 17th, 1990 - USS Roark (FF-1053) rescues 42 refugees from an unseaworthy craft in the South China Sea.
May 18th, 1969 - Apollo 10 is launched with Cmdr. John W. Young as command module pilot and Cmdr. Eugene Cernan as the lunar module pilot. The mission is a dress rehearsal for the first lunar landing.
Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood Public Affairs Officer