David Farragut became the first person to be promoted to the rank of rear admiral in the US Navy on July 16, 1862:

David Farragut became the first person to be promoted to the rank of rear admiral in the US Navy on July 16, 1862:



The Ancient Egyptians created the first organized navy in 2300 BC.

During the 13th century the Mongolian Navy was known to be the largest Navy in the whole world.

The HMS Victory was launched in 1765 and is best known as Lord Nelson’s flagship at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. In 1922, she was moved to a dry dock at Portsmouth, England, and preserved as a museum ship. She has been the flagship of the First Sea Lord since October 2012 and is the world’s oldest naval ship still in commission.

In the 1790s, a quarter of the sailors in the British Royal Navy were black.

The establishment of a permanent US Navy came with the authorization to build six frigates in 1794.

The Naval School (later renamed the United States Naval Academy) opened on October 10, 1845 in Annapolis, Maryland with 50 midshipman students and seven professors.

U.S. Naval Academy in 1853

38-year-old Captain David Beatty was promoted to Rear admiral on January 1, 1910, becoming the youngest admiral in the Royal Navy (except for Royal family members), since Horatio Nelson.

The Earl Beatty while a vice admiral

The US Navy built a replica ship in the middle of New York City during World War One to boost recruitment. It was staffed by a full crew who stood guard, slept on board and manned wooden guns. It helped enlist 25,000 men.

Until 1948, people didn’t have to know how to swim to join the U.K. Navy.

The United States Navy SEALs was established on January 1, 1962.

The Coronado US Navy Base was completed in 1970 in San Diego, California. It featured four L-shaped buildings, forming a swastika. The Navy was eventually forced to budget $600,000 in 2008 to camouflage the site after aerial images of the base from Google Earth began circulating online.

The Falklands War of 1982 was the largest naval conflict since World War II.

The US Navy set up booths outside theaters that were showing Top Gun in order to recruit moviegoers to join the Navy—and it worked.


The Royal Navy last executed one of their own Admirals, John Byng on March 14, 1757 for ‘neglect of duty’. He had failed to save the British-controlled island of Minorca from attack by the French. Admiral Byng faced the firing squad with “cool courage” and was the first and last admiral sentenced to death.

The Shooting of Admiral Byng, artist unknown

American filmmaker George Lucas was rejected from joining the US Air Force because he had too many speeding tickets.


An English seaman’s staple drink was for many years a gallon of strong beer a day. This was bulky to carry and on longer voyages it often run out, so in the eighteenth century a pint of white wine or half a pint of rum or brandy was issued instead. These quantities may seem excessive, but heavy drinking was part of everyday life for officers and men in those days. Requirements for beer were so great that in 1760 the navy’s brewery in Gosport produced four million gallons of the alcoholic beverage.

A fifth-rate warship of the 1790s putting to sea with a crew of 590, was provisioned for five months. In its holds were 41 tons of biscuit, 407 barrels of beer, 23 tons of beef, 12 tons of pork, 10 tons of pease, four tons of oatmeal, two tons of butter and four tons of cheese.

A ship’s biscuit—purportedly (circa 1852) the oldest in the world. By Paul A. Cziko,

A typical English seaman’s breakfast at the turn of the nineteenth century was burgoo, made of boiled oatmeal seasoned with salt, sugar and butter, and accompanied by ‘Scots coffee’ – made of hard-baked ships biscuits burnt to a charcoal, then crushed and mixed with hot water. Lunch was soup or stew with salt beef, pork or fish, plus dried or fresh vegetables if available.

The evening meal meant ships biscuits with butter or cheese. The biscuits were usually infested with weevils, but hungry sailors would bang them on a table to knock out any inside. All of this was washed down with around eight pints of beer a day.


David Farragut became the first person to be promoted to the rank of rear admiral in the United States Navy on July 16, 1862. Before this time, the American Navy had resisted the rank of admiral, preferring the term “flag officer”, to distinguish the rank from the traditions of the European navies.

Admiral David Farragut, from wet collodion glass negative

The US Naval Academy admitted women for the first time in its history with the induction of 81 females on July 6, 1976.

Lillian Elaine Fishburne was the first African-American female to hold the rank of rear admiral in the United States Navy. She was appointed to the rank of Rear Admiral (Lower Half) by President of the United States Bill Clinton and was officially promoted on February 1, 1998.

Lillian E Fishburne

After Top Gun was shown in cinemas, recruitment into the Navy by young men went up by 500 percent.

The US Navy has a ship partially built using steel salvaged from the World Trade Center.

The U.S. Navy has 75 trained dolphins to detect enemy swimmers and underwater mines.

The bill for the U.S. Navy’s futuristic new ‘supership’ USS Milwaukee, commissioned on November 21, 2015, came to $362 million. Designed to be difficult to detect on radar, the ship was there for all to see when it had to be towed back to port just 20 days after coming into service, after the vessel experienced a “complete loss of propulsion.”

Milwaukee off Naval Station Mayport in February 2016

The modern Spanish Navy is still called the Armada.


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