Archive for December, 2012

Dec 31

December 31, 1942: USS Essex Commissioned

Monday, December 31, 2012 1:00 AM

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This article was originally published as “Essex: More than a Ship, More than a Class” by Richard F. Cross III in the September 1975 issue of Proceedings magazine. The Essex-class aircraft carriers are subject to superlatives, and justly so. For some 35 years, they have made a greater contribution to the present state of carrier art, both operational and technological, than any other design, U. S. or foreign.   Much of this record stems from the staying power of the design. It has permitted modifications in equipment and practice to be proven operationally, often in combat. Another reason is sheer… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 16

December 16, 1907: The Great White Fleet departs Hampton Roads for Circumnavigation

Sunday, December 16, 2012 1:00 AM

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This selection comes from The Great White Fleet: Its Voyage Arund the World, 1907-1909 by Robert A. Hart, published in 1965. By late November most of the battleships were at New York, taking in supplies before moving on to Hampton Roads, Virginia, the port of embarkation. Hundreds of young officers came ashore to look at the new Metropolitan Tower, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the notorious suffragette who smoked a cigar each day at noon in Washington Square. New Yorkers gawked, too, gathering around the men in blue, pounding their backs, paying their bills in restaurants, and taking them to the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 7

December 7, 1941: The Destruction of the Battle Line at Pearl Harbor

Friday, December 7, 2012 1:00 AM

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This article was written by Thomas C. Hone for the December 1977 issue of Proceedings magazine. When aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy attacked elements of the U.S. Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, their primary targets were the seven battleships berthed alongside the large mooring quays which ran parallel to the southeast side of Ford Island. The Japanese aircraft attacked the stationary battleships with aerial torpedoes, 40-centimeter (15 1/2-inch) armor-piercing shells converted to bombs, and 250-kilogram (550­pound) high-explosive bombs. The battleships Oklahoma (BB-37, launched 1914) and West Virginia (BB­48, launched 1921) sank during the attack, and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 5

December 5, 1843: The Launch of the U.S.S. Michigan

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:00 AM

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 This article was originally published as “Our First Iron Man-of-War” in 1949 by Captain Frederick L. Oliver in Proceedings magazine. WHAT is probably the oldest iron ship in the world today, and one of the first iron men-of-war built, is approaching the end of a career that exceeds the century mark by a few years. In 1841 Congress authorized the construction of a side-wheel steam man-of-war for use on the Upper Lakes, to match the British naval strength in those waters. The use of iron in shipbuilding at that time was a subject as contentious as the adoption of steam propulsion… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 5

Launching of First Iron-Hulled Warship

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:00 AM

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December 5th, 1843 America’s first iron man-of-war, the USS Michigan, is launched. In 1843, the first iron-hulled and prefabricated warship, the USS Michigan, was launched at Erie, Pennsylvania. A little over a century later, in November 1949, Proceedings published a brief article written by Captain Frederick Oliver, USN (Retired), about the ship’s long and peaceful career. In his article, Oliver describes in great detail the history of the Michigan (later known as the Wolverine), from its unique origins to its slow decline in public interest and, finally, to its unavoidable end: What is probably the oldest iron ship in the… Read the rest of this entry »