Archive for December, 2010

Dec 24

Guest Post by David F. Winkler: Two Centuries of Catamarans

Friday, December 24, 2010 12:01 AM


The Navy’s experience with catamarans goes back nearly two centuries. It was Christmas Eve in 1813, the War of 1812 had entered its second year, and despite some notable victories on the high seas by Constitution, United States, and Essex, an increasingly effective British blockade choked off American commerce along the eastern seaboard. Robert Fulton hosted a group of distinguished civic and military leaders at his New York residence to address the challenge. Having an established reputation as a designer and builder of vessels propelled with steam-driven paddlewheels, Fulton unveiled plans for a maneuverable floating battery that employed this new… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 23

Remember Wake Island

Thursday, December 23, 2010 12:00 PM


69 years ago today, the gallant defenders of Wake Island surrendered to a numerically superior Japanese force. 

Dec 23

First Navy Officer sent to Flight Training

Thursday, December 23, 2010 1:00 AM


16 December, 1910 – LT Theodore G. Ellyson of the submarine service asked to “be assigned to duty in connection with aeroplanes as soon as such duty may become available.” On December 23rd,1910 Ellyson was reassigned becoming the first naval officer sent to flight training. | |

Dec 20

The Challenges of Fighting Piracy

Monday, December 20, 2010 12:01 AM


On 20 December 1822, Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson appointed Captain David Porter to command the West India Squadron. A veteran combat officer whose bold 1812 exploits in the Pacific had earned him national fame, Porter seemed the ideal choice to lead American naval forces in a campaign to suppress piracy in the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. To the Navy Department and the public, Porter embodied the warrior qualities (courage, aggressiveness, tenacity) necessary to hunt down and eradicate a murderous and elusive foe. On the eve of his departure for the West Indies, Porter vowed to seal… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 18

Ens. Donald W. Lynch: The Scars of War

Saturday, December 18, 2010 12:02 AM


“War should not be glamorized,” wrote Donald W. Lynch long after his service as Chief Engineer in destroyer Mugford (DD-389) during World War Two. He had purposefully put much of his wartime experiences out of his mind but later, in an undated letter to a Mugford reunion group, he described why that was so. Lynch joined the Navy after Pearl Harbor and, after four months of intense steam and electrical engineering training at the Naval Academy, received his commission in May 1942. Three months later he was serving in Mugford during the invasion of Guadalcanal in August 1942. As he… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 17

Motor Torpedo Boat Squadron Three and the Rescue of Survivors from the Steamship Corregidor, 17 December 1941

Friday, December 17, 2010 12:01 AM


Circumstances sometimes compel officers and enlisted people of the U.S. Navy to perform missions of mercy in the midst of war, with means not designed for that purpose. These actions fulfill mariners’ long-time practice of rescue at sea. One such occasion occurred just before Christmas of 1941 in the Philippines, with World War II less than a fortnight old. The venerable steamship Corregidor, crowded with about 1,200 people fleeing Manila in advance of the invading Japanese, set out for Mindanao. In the dark, however, she fouled a mine off Corregidor, sinking with heavy loss of life. Motor torpedo boats PT-32,… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 16

USS Charles R. Ware – On Navy TV

Thursday, December 16, 2010 8:38 AM


Now on NAVY TV – The story of the USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865). USS Charles R. Ware (DD-865) was named for Lieutenant Charles Rollins Ware, a hero of the Battle of Midway. She sailed the seas for 36 years until the Navy scuttled her on November 15, 1981. This is her story as told by the men that sailed her and remember her as they gather annually at the ship’s reunions. Produced by John Bailey Take a tour of the ship, and listen to the sea stories of her days at sea.

Dec 16

RIP Chief Bob Feller

Thursday, December 16, 2010 8:22 AM


The Naval History & Heritage Command joins a greatful nation in mourning the passing of our shipmate Chief Bob Feller, the Ace of the Greatest Generation. When asked once what was his most important victory, he replied, “World War II.” Dr. Ed Furgol of the National Museum of the U.S. Navy has prepared a short vignette about Chief Feller’s naval service which originally appeared on Naval History Blog on 9 December 2010 – the 69th anniversary of his enlistment in the U.S. Navy. It is reprinted below: After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on 7 December 1941, Major League… Read the rest of this entry »

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