Wikipedia:Main Page history/2013 February 20

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HMS Eagle

HMS Eagle was an early aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy. Ordered by Chile as the Almirante Latorre-class battleship Almirante Cochrane, she was laid down on 20 February 1913. In early 1918 she was purchased by Britain for conversion to an aircraft carrier. The ship was initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and then later to the China Station. Eagle spent the first nine months of World War II in the Indian Ocean searching for German commerce raiders. She was equipped solely with Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers until late 1940. She was transferred to the Mediterranean in May 1940, where she escorted multiple convoys to Malta and Greece and attacked Italian shipping, naval units and bases in the Eastern Mediterranean. Whenever Eagle was not at sea, her aircraft were disembarked and used ashore. The ship was relieved by a more modern carrier in March 1941 and ordered to hunt for Axis shipping in the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic. After completing a major refit in early 1942, the ship made multiple trips delivering fighter aircraft to Malta to boost its air defences. Eagle was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-73 in August 1942 while escorting a convoy to Malta. (Full article...)

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February 20

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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Today's featured picture

Portrait of a Bald Eagle

The Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) is a bird of prey found in North America. As visible here, adults are not bald, but have a head of white feathers. Its name comes from an older meaning of the word, meaning "white headed".

Photograph: W. Lloyd MacKenzie

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