Archive for the 'Naval Aviation' Category

Apr 18

Operation Praying Mantis, 18 April 1988

Thursday, April 18, 2013 6:40 AM

On 14 April 1988, watchstanders aboard USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58) sighted three mines floating approximately half of a mile from the ship. Twenty minutes after the first sighting, as Samuel B. Roberts was backing clear of the minefield, she struck a submerged mine. The explosive device tore a 21-foot hole in the hull, causing extensive fires and flooding. Ten Sailors were injured in the attack. Only the heroic efforts of the ship’s crew, working feverishly for seven straight hours, saved the vessel from sinking. Four days later, forces of the Joint Task Force Middle East (JTFME) executed the American response to the attack: Operation Praying Mantis. The operation called for the destruction of two oil platforms being used by Iran to coordinate attacks on merchant shipping. On 18 April, the coalition air and surface units not only destroyed the oil rigs but also various Iranian units attempting to counter-attack U.S. forces. By the end of the battle, U.S. air and surface units had sunk or severely damaged half of Iran’s operational fleet. Navy aircraft and the destroyer Joseph Strauss (DDG 16) sank the frigate Sahand (F 74) with harpoon missiles and laser-guided bombs.

 

The main building of the Iranian Sassan oil platform burns after being hit by a BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-guided, Wire-guided (TOW) missile fired from a Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter

The main building of the Iranian Sassan oil platform burns after being hit by a BGM-71 Tube-launched, Optically-guided, Wire-guided (TOW) missile fired from a Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter

A laser-guided bomb dropped from a Navy A-6 Intruder disabled frigate Sabalan (F 73), and Standard missiles launched from the cruiser Wainwright (CG 28) and frigates Bagley (FF 1069) and Simpson (FFG 56) destroyed the 147-foot missile patrol boat Joshan (P 225). In further combat A-6s sank one Boghammer high-speed patrol boat and neutralized four more of these Swedish-made speedboats. One Marine AH-1T Sea Cobra crashed from undetermined causes, resulting in the loss of two air crew. Operation Praying Mantis proved a milestone in naval history. For the first time since World War II, U.S. naval forces and supporting aircraft fought a major surface action against a determined enemy. The operation also demonstrated America’s unwavering commitment to protecting oil tankers in the Arabian Gulf and the principle of freedom of navigation.

The Iranian frigate Is Sahand (74) burns after being attacked by aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 11 from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

The Iranian frigate Is Sahand (74) burns after being attacked by aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 11 from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

An aerial view of the Iranian frigate Is Alvand (71) burning after being attacked by aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 11 from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

An aerial view of the Iranian frigate Is Alvand (71) burning after being attacked by aircraft of Carrier Air Wing 11 from the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN-65).

Sources: Edward J. Marolda and Robert J. Schneller Jr., Sword and Shield: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf War (Washington, DC: GPO, 1998), 37-8; Michael A. Palmer, On Course to Desert Storm: The United States Navy and the Persian Gulf (Washington, DC: GPO, 1992), 141-46; unpublished draft material from Mark Evans’ forthcoming naval aviation chronology.

For more information on Operation Praying Mantis,
visit the NHHC website:
http://www.history.navy.mil/Special%20Highlights/OperationPrayingMantis/index.html

 

 
May 24

NHHC Underwater Archaeology Branch and MDSU2 Survey SB2C Helldiver Wreck

Thursday, May 24, 2012 4:34 PM

The Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) is currently cooperating with the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) and U.S. Navy Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit TWO (MDSU-2) to investigate a WWII-era SB2C Helldiver aircraft wreck off the coast of Jupiter, FL. The objectives of the investigation are to identify the aircraft using its numbered identification plates, measure and map the wreck site, and document the aircraft.

Investigation operations are being conducted from USNS Apache (T-ATF 172), one of MSC’s four Fleet Ocean Tugs and one of the 14 ships in its Surface Support Program. USNS Apache’s main mission is to render assistance to the US Navy’s numbered fleets by providing towing, diving platform and other services. UAB is also pleased to have the opportunity to once again work with MDSU-2. Their expertise and support were much appreciated aboard USNS Grasp, during the 2011 collaborative survey expedition to locate the wreck of USS Bonhomme Richard in the North Sea. (Photo to the left courtesy of Military Sealift Command Ship Database)

In addition to assisting UAB with its archaeological investigation, this project also provides MDSU-2 divers the opportunity to gain valuable training experience by performing deep water, mixed-gas dives up to 185 ft (56.4 m); collecting measurements of underwater sites; and conducting underwater navigation exercises. Over the previous four days, MDSU-2 divers have assisted with measuring the wreck site, documenting the aircraft, and mapping its disarticulated pieces. All divers are equipped with live video feed in their helmets, which allows MDSU-2 dive supervisor and UAB representative underwater archaeologist Heather Brown to observe underwater operations from aboard Apache in real time.

The wreck was first discovered and filmed by a local dive charter operator late last year, who then contacted NHHC about the find in early 2012. Video footage of the wreck (photo on the right is a still taken from video by Randy Jordan) shows that it is relatively intact and currently rests in an inverted position on the sandy ocean floor. The vertical stabilizer, ailerons, flaps, and elevators initially appeared to be missing, however portions or fragments of those elements have since been located on the site. The propellers and engine have been separated from the fuselage and lie several meters away from of the main body of the wreck. There are a number of ropes wrapped around the propellers and what appears to be a lobster trap lying beside the engine, suggesting the wreck may have been previously snagged by a fishing boat. (Sonar image of the SB2C site shown at the right)

As the wreck is resting in an inverted position on the sandy bottom, the cockpit and the aircraft bureau number were not readily accessible to the divers. However, they were able to locate a model number plate, heavily covered in marine growth and currently illegible, and carefully remove it. The plate is being sent to the Underwater Archaeology & Conservation Lab at NHHC headquarters on the Washington Navy Yard, DC, where it will be treated and examined by UAB’s conservation team and hopefully provide data to help identify the aircraft.

(The heavily corroded data plate)

Stay tuned for more updates as the project progresses!

Click the below link to watch Local News Channel 5 WPTV.com interview with NHHC underwater archaeologist Heather Brown:

 
Mar 25

Beginning of Naval Aviation

Sunday, March 25, 2012 1:00 AM

March 25th, 1898

Beginning of the Navy’s Interest in Aviation

In 1898, Theodore Roosevelt, then Assistant Secretary of the Navy, ushered in the beginning of Naval Aviation, with a proposal that the Navy investigate Samuel Langley’s flying machine for military purposes. However, as an article printed in the January 1971 issue of Proceedings notes, a long time passed between Roosevelt’s proposal and the first use of planes by the Navy. The article excerpted below, written by Thomas Ray, documents the first application of Roosevelt’s proposal, beginning in 1910.

Prior to September 1910—when the Navy Department appointed an officer to keep abreast of world aviation developments—the U. S. Navy had manifested little interest in aviation except to send token representation to certain aeronautical test flights and meets. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 19

Apollo 12 Moon Landing

Saturday, November 19, 2011 1:00 AM

November 19th, 1969

Navy astronauts become 3rd and 4th men to walk on the moon.

“The impact of man in space and man on the Moon has been felt in almost all segments of our society. The astronauts are in every sense explorers who have broadened the limits of mankind’s environment . . .”

On November 19th, 1969, CDR Charles Conrad Jr. and CDR Alan L. Bean became the third and fourth men to walk on the moon. Conrad and Bean were members of the all-Navy crew in the Apollo 12 mission, along with CDR Richard F. Gordon, Jr., the mission’s Command Module Pilot. In the October 1972 issue of Proceedings, Midshipman Second Class Raymon Paul Wiggers, Jr., U. S. Naval Reserve, described the Apollo 12 mission in an article about the Navy’s invaluable role in the United States Astronaut Corps. This detailed history examined the importance of Navy astronauts in the success of NASA’s missions, and speculated on the fate of the space program following the acheivements of the Apollo lunar missions.

 In the exploration of a world consisting of island continents surrounded by vast oceans, it is not difficult to understand why explorers have often been men of the sea. Throughout history, the great seafaring nations, using their navies and maritime fleets, have predominated in the great discoveries. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 24

David S. Ingalls becomes First Navy “Ace”

Saturday, September 24, 2011 1:00 AM

September 24th, 1918

Lieutenant David S. Ingalls becomes the first “Ace” of the U. S. Navy, and the only “Ace” of World War I.

 

David S. Ingalls’ accomplishment as the first Navy “Ace” gave him a unique perspective of the origins and development of Naval aviation in the United States. It was this perspective that he shared later in an article written for the October 1930 issue of Proceedings. Ingalls, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Aeronautics, described the evolution of Naval aviation in the years before and during the first World War and speculated on the developments that the future would bring:

Naval aviation today is the result of a post-war incorporation of aviation into our Navy. Prior thereto there was no such thing as naval aviation as now known. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 7

Navy TV – All Hands TV

Thursday, July 7, 2011 11:32 AM

In the July edition of All Hands Television, we see the responsibilities of a Blue Angel Plane Captain, we see how sailors are put to the test in SERE, we meet some SERE instructors as they share their responsibilities, we see the high intensity training of Rescue Swimmers, and we hear the incredible stories of two soldiers preparing for the Warrior Games.

The Naval Media Center creates rich and enduring films about the Navy as part of All Hands Television. These segments document the most interesting facets of our sea services. All Hands Television releases these short documentaries on a monthly basis. Come back each month to find something new!

 
Apr 21

NAVY TV – Hook Down, Wheels Down

Thursday, April 21, 2011 4:42 PM

This month, the Navy Memorial cut the ribbon on its new exhibit “The Art of Naval Aviation” in support of the nationwide celebration of the Centennial of Naval Aviation.

To commemorate the Centennial, NavyTV features one of the most comprehensive (and expensive) films made by the U.S. Navy: “Hook Down, Wheels Down.” This 57-minute film covers the history and development of the aircraft carrier through interviews with many of the men who were instrumental in these ships’ history.Produced in 1974, “Hook Down, Wheels Down” is one of the most comprehensive (and expensive) films made by the U.S. Navy about the history and development of the U.S. aircraft carrier.

First hand accounts from pilots, gunners and navigators, stunning aerial footage; it’s a history lesson and tribute to the men who flew the planes and the men who caught them. From WW2 ships and single engine fighter planes to nuclear powered carriers and sleek jets, it’s all here!

 
Mar 15

Transatlantic Flight Record

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 1:09 AM

March, 15th 1957
Goodyear N-class ZPG-2 airship, commanded by Commander J. R. Hunt, landed at NAS Key West, Florida after a flight that began on March, 4th at South Weymouth, Massachusetts. The flight continued over the Atlantic toward Portugal, then south toward the African coast and back across the Atlantic covering 9,448 miles and remaining in air 264 hours and 12 minutes, without refueling, setting a new world record in distance and endurance.

 
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