Archive for the 'Naval Institute' Category

Aug 13

Restoring the US/C-3 Infrared Signalling Telescope

Thursday, August 13, 2015 2:15 PM
Bottom view

Bottom view of the US/C-3 Infrared Signalling Telescope. Collection of Tom Cutler.

In Greek Mythology, the prophet Tiresias was blinded by the gods as punishment for revealing their secrets. He begged the goddess Athena to restore his sight, but she could not. Instead, she gave him the gift of foresight, and Tiresias spent the remainder of his days spouting prophesy.

Tiresias had seen too much and had paid the price for it. Such too may be the case of a battered US/C-3 infrared signalling telescope that came into this writer’s care for restoration.

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Aug 10

The Dropping of the TURDSID in Vietnam

Monday, August 10, 2015 7:00 AM

A TURDSID with most of its plastic camouflage covering and battery pack removed, showing the electronics package and copper shielding. Courtesy of Jonathan L. Hoppe.

Electronic warfare and surveillance are increasingly becoming topics of discussion. The nature of that type of warfare (and indeed combat itself) calls for a certain amount of creativity. To see, but not be recognized or seen oneself, begs for innovation and novel solutions to life-threatening problems. But even the most brilliant plans can be rendered moot if one builds an idea on a false assumption.

Such is the nature of the ingenious yet flawed TURDSID.

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Oct 9

140th Birthday of the U. S. Naval Institute

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 1:00 AM

October 9th, 1873

First meeting of the U. S. Naval Institute

The U.S. Naval Institute was born on 9 October 1873, when fifteen officers met at the U.S. Naval Academy’s Department of Physics and Chemistry “…to organize a Society of Officers of the Navy for the purpose of discussing matters of professional interest” with Rear Admiral John L. Worden presiding. The meeting was likely the brainchild of Commodore Foxhall Parker & organized by Lieutenant Charles Belknap. The meeting was held in the department’s lecture room which was on the second floor, front of the building shown in the center of this picture dated 1873. School ships, the frigates Constitution and Santee, and sloops-of-war Marion and Dale can be seen at right. The double turreted monitor, Amphitrite, is on the Severn River behind the building.
Oct 7

U.S. Naval Institute Birthday: October 9,1873

Thursday, October 7, 2010 8:19 AM

Congratulations to the U.S. Naval Institute on reaching its 137th year!

Read what Rear Admiral Bradley A. Fiske had to say about the Naval Institute in Proceedings, Vol. 45 No. 192, February 1919:

Without some such stimulus as the Institute, the navy would be less like a pro­fession and more like a trade; we would be less like artists, and more like artisans; we would become too practical and narrow; we would have no broad vision of the navy as a whole.

Each one of us would regard his own special task as the only thing that concerned him, and would lose that sympathetic touch with his brother officers which all of us now enjoy.

The Naval Institute is a club at once social and professional, which is not restricted to any club-house on any avenue in any city, but which spreads over all the oceans to all of our ships and stations, down even into the depths of the sea where our submarines lie, and ten thousand feet into the air where our aeroplanes fly. It is the embodiment of the thought of the navy. It is the unofficial custodian of the navy’s professional hopes and fears. It looks ahead into the future, and back into the past, and keeps track of the happenings of the present.

During the forty-five years that have elapsed since Admiral Luce wrote the first article in the first number of the Naval In­stitute, the Naval Institute has been the most stimulating single agency that has existed for the development of an American navy; for, while the official publications of governments, and the official reports concerning their activities, are our surest sources of information as to what other navies are doing, yet their only usefulness to us, is in showing us what foreign ideas we should adopt; whereas the Naval Institute enables officers to look into the great beyond, and discuss and perhaps develop ideas of their own on original American lines. Officers are officially responsi­ble for the discharge of their official tasks, and are of necessity compelled to strict reticence concerning them; but the Naval Institute, by reason of its unofficial character, enables them to get out of the rut of the actual sometimes, and soar among the glories of the possible.

In the early days of the Naval Institute, it was ridiculed by a large class of naval officers, who called themselves “practical.” They were practical, but that was all. To them, the whole of the naval profession was comprehended in the practice of the various drills and exercises in gunnery, seamanship, navigation, etc., which they saw in any ship. Their highest ideal of an offi­cer was a man who performed those duties well. Read the rest of this entry »