Archive for February, 2013

Feb 23

February 23, 1795: Birthday of the Navy Supply Corps

Saturday, February 23, 2013 1:00 AM

This article was published in the December 1927 issue of Proceedings magazine as “A New Job for the Supply Corps” by Lieutenant T. E. Hipp, (SC), U.S. Navy.

The Naval aircraft factory at the Navy Yard, Philadelphia, was organized during the stress of the World War when naval officers were not available to recruit the organization and the work of airplane manufacture was a new departure for the Navy. The engineers and executives for the factory were procured almost entirely from civil life and the organization was so drawn as best to handle the factory’s peculiar mission. Naval precedent and tradition had little place in the structure of the organization and the selection of personnel. The present structure of the organization, although in some particulars similar to that of the standard Navy industrial organization, presents certain salient and unusual features which may be of interest to students of naval industrial management. The following organization chart shows the Naval aircraft factory lines of authority and the relations existing among the different offices and sub-divisions of the main departments. Special attention is invited to the position of inside superintendent, to which a member of the supply corps was assigned May 15, 1923.

Navy Supply Corps002
The two outstanding features of this organization are the centralization of engineering responsibility and the close interlocking of the functions of procurement, production and accounting. It is this second feature, of particular interest to supply officers and production superintendents, that this article will describe. The cooperation of the supply department is essential to economical and expeditious production. Although, on account of desirable central control, available space and favorable location, the supply department of the naval aircraft factory functions as a general storehouse for aeronautical supplies for the entire naval service, its prime and vital duty in the production system is the procurement and storage of raw materials and shipment of completed aeronautical equipment.

To perform such duties it is necessary to maintain an organization capable of secur­ing the most satisfactory material required in the manufacturing processes, equipment and general supplies; to secure the most de­sirable delivery of material, keeping com­plete and accurate record of all unfilled pur­chase orders. Navy Regulations and orders provide for the manner of purchase, terms of payment and the recording and classify­ing of material after receipt. There are slight changes and modifications in the usual methods of storekeeping and record­ing at the naval aircraft factory in order to meet the needs of this particular in­dustry.

All production work, however authorized, is originated in the supply department by the means of a “Supply Officer’s Request,” which briefly outlines that which is to be done, and either makes references to, or encloses, specifications therefor, furnished by the engineering department. This work is assigned a specific priority in relation to other work in the plant, and in cases where it is necessary to make use of material or tools other than those which have been es­tablished as standard stock, the supply de­partment is required to become a part of the production schedule by furnishing esti­mated date of receipt of such items with subsequent revision’s when the necessity arises. To do this it is necessary for the supply department to maintain a definite follow-up on all material expected from sources outside of the factory. Therefore, in being charged with the duties of initiating all requests for production, the provision of specified material on scheduled dates, and the ultimate shipment of the completed prod­uct, the supply department does perform a function which is essential to and closely interlocked with production.

Another department which is closely allied with and essential to the production organization is the accounting office. In the civilian industrial field, the manufacturer is dependent upon records of past perform­ances and accurate cost records to enable him intelligently to operate his establishment to meet the keen competition encountered in making bids and estimates, and in providing a safe return and profit on the capital invested. Similarly in naval industrial organizations, and especially at the present time, due to the limited money allowances granted the bureaus to maintain and operate the fleet, it is necessary that intelligent cost data be furnished for the purpose of making estimates which will be useful in acquainting the department with the amounts that have been and will be obligated.

Taking into consideration this close interlocking of procurement, production and accounting, it was decided to request the assignment of an officer of the supply corps to the position of inside superintendent in the works department of the naval aircraft factory. The inside superintendent is the coordinator of the planning office, the schedule office, and the preparation division. His three principal assistants are the planning superintendent, the schedule superintendent, and the preparation superintendent.

The planning superintendent, under the general supervision of the inside superintendent, is in charge of the making of all estimates of the cost of work, the issuance of job orders for work, however authorized, with the responsibility for charging work to the proper appropriation title and account, and the checking of the authenticity of the authority. He is charged with the issuance of manufacturing orders or detailed work orders to shops for their portions of the work covered by the job order as a whole; and for the supply of plans, or other working data, to shops for work manufacturing orders. He is responsible for the drawing up or checking of bills of material, and the transmission of them to the Preparation Division.

The preparation superintendent, under the general supervision of the inside superintendent, is responsible for the stubbing from store of all material for authorized work; for the submission of purchase requests to the supply officer for material not in stores, which is required for authorized work; for the maintenance of shortage lists of material for authorized work; for the operation of sub-storerooms, or material depots for raw material or work in progress, in the custody of the works department, which is not being worked upon; for the operation of shop store rooms or material depots containing small amounts of material located within the shop areas, but which has not yet been stubbed from the supply officer’s books. He is responsible for the operation of the salvage section, handling rejected material; he is in charge of the
operation and maintenance of the factory transportation system, including operation of overhead cranes.

The schedule superintendent, under the general supervision of the inside superin­tendent, is responsible for the preparation and issuance of all works department sched­ules; for the maintenance of status reports on all work in progress; for the preparation of the weekly progress report, which is for­warded to the Bureau of Aeronautics; for the preparation of the monthly factory mas­ter schedule, which shows the general time-planning of work ahead of the factory, and for the maintenance of the work load on the various shops.

After analyzing these duties, it is appar­ent that the position of inside superintend­ent, which embraces these functions, is a central office, making intimate contact, not only with all of the shops, but also with the engineering department, the supply depart­ment and the accounting department. In requesting the assignment of an officer of the supply corps to this duty, it was believed that a supply officer, with his knowledge of accounting and material sup­ply, could as quickly acquaint himself with those phases of this position usually not within the scope of a supply officer, as a line officer, or naval constructor, who is more familiar with the manufacturing problem; could acquaint himself with those phrases related to supply and accounting, and furthermore, the experience to be gained in such a position should prove of great value professionally, in the future.

Due to the rapid growth and recognized necessity of aviation throughout the naval service, it is desirable that officers of the supply corps become familiar with the needs and requirements of this important branch of the nation’s first line of defense, and it is believed that the naval aircraft factory, for the time being at least, is the best aviation school for supply officers in existence.

Having in mind a more far-reaching ef­fect and influence, it is believed, that, not only will the duties described be of great benefit to an officer who might at some time or other be concerned with aviation account­ing and supply, but surely a certain period of service within the organization of any industrial department will better fit him for the position of supply officer of a yard or vessel. Through such service, he has been able to observe the problems encount­ered; the cause and effect of the different policies, systems and requirements, all tending to make of him an abler executive with a larger and more cooperative spirit.

Why not then, assign junior officers in the supply corps to duty in industrial or­ganizations for training and experience? Even further, carrying this idea to its logical conclusion, there is no apparent reason why a supply officer, with such experience and training, should not be eminently capable of assuming the responsibilities of directing any Navy industrial establishment. It is to the best interest of each corps to take ad­vantage of any opportunity afforded to enlarge its field of activities, and especially, if by so doing, it arrives at a broader view­point, which tends to promote a greater spirit of harmony and efficiency in the or­ganization of the Navy as a whole.

Feb 20

February 20, 1815: The Capture of HMS Cyane and Levant by the USS Constitution uder Captain Charles Stewart

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:00 AM

This article, written by Naval Constructor C. W. Fisher, U. S. Navy was published in the February 1917 issue of Proceedings magazine, entitled “The Log of the Constitution, Feb. 21-24, 1815: The Capture of the Cyane and the Levant .


025 Capture of Cyane and Levant NH 86692-KN

The Capture of the Cyane and Levant by U.S. frigate Constitution


Enclosed herewith is a blueprint of an extract from the log of the U. S. frigate Constitution, dated February 21 to February 24, 1815. This brief extract includes a description of the action between the Constitution and British vessels Cyane and Levant. As an example of most admirable seamanship, excellent control, fine tactics, and a happy as well as forceful style of recording important events, I consider this brief extract to be of sufficient value to warrant its being published for the “information and guidance” of the navy to-day. It would be hard to find a better model than this modest record of a most unusual and courageous action.


Log of the Constitution001

Remarks &c. on board U. S. frigate Constitution, Charles Stewart Esq., Commander on a Cruise, Tuesday February 21, 1815


Log of the Constitution002

Remarks &c. continued, Tuesday February 21, 1815


Log of the Constitution003

Remarks &c. on board U. S. frigate Constitution, Charles Stewart Esq. Commander on a Cruise, Wednesday February 22, 1815


Log of the Constitution004

Remarks &c. on board U. S. frigate Constitution, Charles Stewart Esq., Commander on a Cruise, Thursday February 23, 1815


Log of the Constitution005

Remarks &c. on board U. S. frigate Constitution, Charles Stewart Esq. Commander on a Cruise, Friday, February 24, 1815

Feb 7

February 6, 1973: Navy Task Force 78 Begins Operation End Sweep

Thursday, February 7, 2013 9:19 AM
A Marine Sea Stallion helicopter with a magnetic orange pipe in tow sweeps the Bay in Hon Gay, North Vietnam during Operation End Sweep.

A Marine Sea Stallion helicopter with a magnetic orange pipe in tow sweeps the Bay in Hon Gay, North Vietnam during Operation End Sweep.

This article was originally published in the March 1974 issue of Proceedings magazine by Rear Admiral Brian McCauley, U. S. Navy

Western strategists of every stripe had grown hoarse calling for the mining of Haiphong Harbor and, at last, it was done. Now, with the ceasefire signed, the mines had to be retrieved or destroyed and, as surface ships of Task Force 58 trailed a sweeping heli­copter into Haiphong on 17 June 1973, the end of “End Sweep”—a tedious, lengthy, and totally unglamorous job—was in sight. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 1

February 1, 1955: Task Force 43 Commissioned to Plan and Execute Operation Deepfreeze

Friday, February 1, 2013 1:00 AM
A Dog Team Trail Party leaves the unloading area at McMurdo Sound for a reconnaissance trip.

A Dog Team Trail Party leaves the unloading area at McMurdo Sound for a reconnaissance trip.


This article was written by Rear Admiral George J. Dufek, USN (retired) with Joseph E. Oglesby, JOC, USN. It was originally published as “Operation Deepfreeze Fits Out” in the March 1956 issue of Proceedings magazine.

When President Eisenhower an­nounced a renewal of American in­terest in the Antarctic early last year, he gave the Department of Defense the responsibility for supporting American sci­entists in the greatest American undertaking in the barren history of the Antarctic.

Considering the complexities involved, it immediately became apparent that the Navy would draw the bid as the Defense agency best qualified to undertake the four-year task. At a point some eleven thousand miles south of Boston, the Navy had to build three permanent bases (one of them by air­drop at the South Pole) and an air operating facility big enough to handle four-engine planes. It had to ferry thousands of tons of scientific supplies, countless gallons of gaso­line and other fuels, plus construction equip­ment including thirty-ton tractors, and a bewildering variety of equipment and pro­visions to aid the scientists during the Inter­national Geophysical Year (IGY) from July, 1957, through December, 1958.

The Navy had to begin moving early in 1955 to be prepared for the great scientific venture. Task Force 43 was formed under the Commander in Chief, U. S. Atlantic Fleet, as the support force for American participation in the year of science.

Read the rest of this entry »