On This Day…December 28th
Battleship USS Iowa entering floating dry-dock ABSD-2 at Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, December 28th 1944. The Iowa earned 9 Battlestars in WWII and two for her service in Korea. Quite unbelievably she was only finally decommissioned in 1990, due to her reactivation (along with her sister ship USS New Jersey) in 1990 as part of Ronald Reagan’s “600 ship Navy” scheme.
When Zuiho and her sister ship Shoho were laid down, they were of such a flexible design that they could be completed as a light carrier, an oil tanker, or a submarine tender. She was originally launched in 1934 as the oil tanker Takasaki, but was converted to a light carrier in 1941. The Zuiho was sank in In October 1944, during the Battle of Cape Engaño.
The much maligned competitor to the Bristol Beaufort, the Blackburn ‘Botha’ took to the air for the first time on December 28th, 1938. Underpowered, with poor lateral stability and with terrible problems with field of vision, the Botha was relegated to Target Tug duties although 580 somehow managed to get built.
The disappearance of a Douglas DST airliner, registered NC16002, occurred on the night of 28 December 1948 near the end of a scheduled flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico to
Miami, Florida. The aircraft carried 29 passengers and 3 crew members. No probable cause for the loss was determined by the official investigation and it remains unsolved.
Soldiers rest near the shoreline at Suvla Point, Gallipoli, waiting for evacuation on December 28th, 1915.
December 28th, 1946 saw the first flight of the Edo OSE. A rarely seen aircraft designed for a variety of roles including observation and anti-submarine patrols. Unusually, it carried a rescue pod on the underwing hardpoints, which would be capable of carrying a single person when used for air-sea rescue.