1297 All vessels of 40 tons or more and all vessels in Cinque Ports mobilised by royal writ to take an expeditionary force to France.
1521 Magellan’s Voyage around the World (1519-1522): After completing around two thirds of the first circumnavigation of the globe, Portugese navigator and explorer, Ferdinand Magellan’s plans come unstuck at the Battle of Mactan, in the Phillipines, when he dies. Wikipedia – Battle of Mactan – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Mactan
The Death of Magellan on Mactan, 1521.
On the morning of 27th April, Magellan and forty-nine Spanish soldiers armed with guns, sailed to Mactan where they were confronted by Lapu-Lapu and 1,500 Mactan warriors, armed with machette-like knives, swords, spears, and shields.
In the ensuing ‘battle’, Magellan was hit by a bamboo spear and then surrounded and finished off with other weapons. Several of his men were also killed as they retreated to their boat.
Lapu-Lapu, the only native chieftain who refused to recognise the power & authority of Magellan and the sovereign power & dominion over the islands by the Spanish monarchy, is now regarded as the first Filipino hero.
An anonymous portrait of Ferdinand Magellan, 16th or 17th century (The Mariner’s Museum Collection, Newport News, VA) Legend: “Ferdinan[dus] Magellanus superatis antarctici freti angustiis clariss.” (Fedinand Magellan, you overcame the famous, narrow, southern straits.) Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Magellan
1770 Edward Codrington born.
Sir Edward Codrington, hero of trafalgar, by Henry Perronet Briggs (died 1844). Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Codrington
1791 Samuel Finley Breese Morse is born in Charlestown, Massachusetts, the first child of the pastor Jedidiah Morse (who was also a geographer) and Elizabeth Ann Finley Breese. Samuel Morse would go on to become an inventor, contributing to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system (based on European telegraphs), to co-invent the Morse code, and also an accomplished artist.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse, 1840. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Morse
Morse Code – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morse_code
1799 Black Joke captured the French Rebecca 18 miles W.S.W. of Ushant, the latter carrying papers intended for capture to distract Bridport at the start of Brieux’s campaign. Wikipedia – Black Joke – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hired_armed_cutter_Black_Joke
1813 Surveillance and Lyra captured the American letter of marque Tom 85 miles N.N.W. of Cape Ortegal.
1858 Capt Sir William Peel, VC, commanding the Naval Brigade from Shannon, died of smallpox at Cawnpore. Memorial raised in Eden Gardens, Calcutta.
William Peel – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Peel_(Royal_Navy_officer)
1863 Iron screw steam ship, Anglo Saxon, built by William Denny and Brothers of Dumbarton in 1856, operated on the Liverpool-Canada route. On 16th April, commanded by Captain William Burgess, she sailed out from Liverpool bound for Quebec with 360 passengers and 85 crew aboard. On 27th April, in dense fog, she ran aground in Clam Cove about four miles north of Cape Race on the Newfoundland coast. The ship broke up within an hour of hitting the rocks, and sank. Of those on board 237 people died, making this one of Canada’s worst shipwrecks.
The Stranding of the SS Anglo-Saxon. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_Anglo_Saxon_(1856)
1865 Dangerously overloaded, the Mississippi River-steamboat Sultana exploded at around 02:00hrs on 27th April, and became the worst maritime disaster in United States history.
An estimated 1,600 of Sultana’s 2,400 passengers were killed due to a catastrophic failure of the ship’s boiler(s). The tremendous explosion destroyed a large section of the vessel, scattering hot coals throughout the remaining superstructure, turning it into an inferno.
Passengers and crew surviving the blast and flames, were subsequently killed by drowning or hypothermia in the icy river water.
The burning wreck eventually sank around dawn, near the tiny settlement of Mound City near present-day Marion, Arkansas.
This disaster was overshadowed in the press by other recent events. John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln’s assassin, was killed the day before.
Mississippi Steamboat Sultana, 26th April 1865. Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sultana_(steamboat)
1876 Battleship Inflexible launched at Porstmouth Dockyard. She carried thicker armour than any warship before or since (24in citadel), carried compound armour for the first time and had a higher metacentric height than any British warship to that date. She was ‘one of the milestones in the history of British naval architecture’ – Oscar Parkes, British Battleships, p. 252.
HMS Inflexible (1876) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Inflexible_(1876)
1908 Destroyer Gala sunk in collision with Attentive off Harwich, the latter’s second collision within a year.
HMS Gala (1905) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Gala_(1905)
HMS Attentive (1904) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Attentive_(1904)
1915 VC: Lt-Cdr Edward Courtney Boyle (E 14) and Lt-Cdr Martin Eric Nasmith (E 11) for work in the sea of Marmora, beyond the Dardanelles.
Edward Courtney Boyle VC – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Courtney_Boyle
Martin Dunbar-Nasmith VC – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Dunbar-Nasmith
1916 Battleship Firedrake captured the German UC-5, which had grounded on the Shipwash shoal (52-05N, 01-46E), and took her into Harwich.
HMS Firedrake (1912) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Firedrake_(1912)
German submarine UC-5 – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SM_UC-5
1917 German destroyer raid on Ramsgate. Ships: Marshal Ney, TB 4.
1937 National Maritime Museum, Greenwich opened by King George VI. Destroyer Wishart and MTBs 3, 4, 5 and 6 provided Royal Escort.
1941 Destroyers Diamond and Wryneck sunk by German aircraft S. of Nauplia. They had just rescued 700 troops. Only 50 survivors, none from Diamond (36-30N, 23-34E). Operation Demon.
1941 Patia, fighter catapult ship, sunk by German aircraft off the Tyne.
HMS Patia – wikipedia – Fighter catapult ship – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fighter_catapult_ship
1942 Minesweeper Fitzroy sunk on British mine 40 miles E.N.E. of Yarmouth.
1944 Submarine Untiring sank the German UJ-6075 off Toulon.
HMS Untiring (P59) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Untiring_(P59)
1945 Frigate Redmill torpedoed by U-1105 25 miles N.N.W. of Blacksod Bay (54-23N, 10-36W). Towed into Londonderry by Jaunty, rescue tug, but CTL.
HMS Redmill (K 554) after being torpedoed, assisted by HMS Rupert (K 561). Photo courtesy of K.R. MacPherson.
Wikipedia – HMS Redmill (K554) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Redmill_(K554)
Black Panther U-1105 – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_submarine_U-1105
1960 The first submarine specifically designed as an ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) weapon, USS Tullibee (SSN-597) is launched from Groton, Connecticut. Built in response to a need for deeper-diving, ultraquiet submarine designs using long-range sonar, Tullibee‘s design incorporated three signicant differences. First, she incorporated the first bow-mounted spherical sonar array. This resulted in the second innovation: amidships, angled torpedo tubes. Thirdly, Tullibee was propelled by a very quiet turbo-electric power plant based on the S2C reactor.
USS Tullibee (SSN-597) is launched from Groton, Connecticut., April 27th 1960.
Wikipedia – USS Tullibee (SSN-597) – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Tullibee_(SSN-597)
2001 John WInton (Lt-Cdr John Pratt) died, aged 69. Naval engineering officer, submariner, historian, biographer and novelist. Creator of ‘The Bodger’ (We Joined the Navy), ‘Benbow’ in Naval Review. Retired 1964. Born 3 May 1931.
John Winton – Wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Winton
Obituary Daily Telegraph 03 May 2001 – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1328867/John-Winton.html
2002 Enterprise, multi-role surveying ship, launched at Appledore. Sister ship Echo launched at same yard 2 March 2002.
HMS Enterprise (H88) – wikipedia – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Enterprise_(H88)
wrecksite.eu – On This Day – http://wrecksite.eu/wrecked-on-this-day.aspx