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February 7: Learn what happened on this day in US military history, from US Navy firsts to US bombing raids over Iwo Jima.

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1800: USS Essex becomes first U.S. Navy vessel to cross the Equator.

The USS Essex departed Newport, RI with the USS Congress on January 6, 1800 under the command of Captain Preble to join and protect a convoy of merchant ships returning from the Dutch East Indies. Not long into the journey, the Congress was dismasted and the Essex was obliged to complete the voyage alone. With successful completion of her mission, the Essex became the first US Man-of-War to Double the Cape of Good Hope, both in March and August of 1800.

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1832: 282 Marines and Sailors defeated Malay pirates in Sumatra, Indonesia.

In response to the attack and plunder of the US merchantman Friendship on Sumatra Island in Indonesia, President Andrew Jackson dispatched the frigate USS Potomac to punish the local pirates for their savagery, under the Command of Commodore John Downs. When the Potomac reached the island, Downs decided to disguise the ship as a Danish merchantman to enter the harbor and surprise his enemies. This tactic worked, and his his detachment of Marines and Sailors were able to defeat the Malay pirates with minor casualties.

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1945: American USAAF B-24 and B-29 bombers raid Iwo Jima in preparation for the landings later in the month.

The US Pilots hammer the Japanese with an average of 450 tons of bombs per day over the course of 15 days (6800 tons).

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