Even before settlers came to the Puget Sound, the U.S. Navy was exploring the sheltered inlets and deep water ports of what was dubbed "America's Mediterranean." In 1856, the sailors of the navy warship Decatur repelled an attack by Native Americans, saving a tiny village on the shores of Elliott Bay named Seattle. In the ensuing years, Puget Sound became the West Coast's premier port of call for the navy's vessels and aircraft operating in the vast Pacific Ocean. During World War II, the region turned out a long line of combat and support vessels while quickly repairing many other ships that had been horribly damaged in clashes with the Japanese. In both peace and war, the communities of Puget Sound and the U.S. Navy have shared an enduring partnership that remains today.