Archive for the 'Navy' Category

Dec 5

Launching of First Iron-Hulled Warship

Wednesday, December 5, 2012 1:00 AM

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 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. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 27

The First Navy Day: October 27, 1922

Saturday, October 27, 2012 1:00 AM

DURING the World War there was a club for the enlisted men of the Navy and Marine Corps located at 509 Fifth Avenue, New York City, known then as the Navy Club. The club was operated by a group of ladies under the leadership of Mrs. William H. Hamilton. Countless tales could be told of the club of the war period, but this article does not concern those years which were heroic and memorable to all who visited there. Some time after the Armistice it was decided that the club should be continued as a permanent institution. The rented quarters on Fifth Avenue were unsuitable for a real man’s club, and two houses were purchased on East 41st Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues. How the money was raised and how interest in the volunteer work was continued after the glamour of war service was ended is a story all its own and credit goes chiefly to a noble group of women and a few business men who somehow did the impossible and made the Manhattan Navy Club a living thing, permanent in its ideals and in its own home. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 22

Cuban Missile Crisis: “When the Right Words Counted”

Monday, October 22, 2012 1:00 AM

On 22 October 1962, President John F. Kennedy delivered a televised speech, arguably “the most serious speech delivered in his lifetime” and the “most frightening presidential address” in U.S. history.’ Soviet missile-launch sites had been discovered under construction in Cuba. The response resuIted from deliberations among the President and his ad hoc Executive Committee (ExCom).

Its final draft was improved significantly by an unlikely person: the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), Admiral George W. Anderson, Jr.  Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 12

Champion of the Navy – Remarks to the Naval Institute by author David McCullough regarding John Adams’ role in the birth of the U.S. Navy

Friday, October 12, 2012 12:00 PM

“We live, my dear soul, in an age of trial. What will be the consequence, I know not.”-John Adams, 1774.

The hardest thing in the world, and
maybe the most important thing of all in writing and teaching history, is to convey the fun­damental truth that nothing ever had to happen the way it happened. The tendency when one teaches and writes history is that this followed this, and that followed that; therefore that’s the way it was preordained. But it never, ever was. The Founding Fathers did not know what was going to happen next, what the outcome of this very dangerous path they were taking-to stage a revolution against the most powerful nation in the world-was going to mean for the country and for themselves.

John Adams’s marvelous wife Abigail wrote back: “You cannot, I know, nor do I wish to see you an inac­tive spectator. We have too many high-sounding words and too few actions to correspond with them.”

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 1

Operation Sea Orbit

Wednesday, August 1, 2012 9:18 AM

The Nuclear Fleet comprised of USS Enterprise, USS Long Beach and USS Bainbridge in various formations while in the Mediterranean.

On July 31, 1964, three nuclear-powered Navy ships left Norfolk, Virginia, to begin their journey around the globe without refueling. The following account of Operation Sea Orbit’s success was published in the March 1965 issue of Proceedings.

OPERATION SEA ORBIT

By Rear Admiral Bernard M. Strean, U.S. Navy, Commander, Task Force One

The U. S. Navy is an old hand at “showing the flag,” at conducting good will visits, and at entertaining foreign dignitaries on board ship. The Navy is also an old hand at conducting test and evaluation cruises, and at establishing records. But rarely does the Navy have the opportunity to do all of things in one operation.

Operation Sea Orbit, the unprecedented around-the-world cruise by the Navy’s three nuclear-powered surface ships, did all of these things and more. Not since President Theodore Roosevelt sent out the Great White Fleet of 16 first-line battleships in December 1907, had the Navy attempted such a cruise.

The three ships which comprised Task Force One, formed specifically to carry out Sea Orbit, were no longer news in the Navy. The attack carrier Enterprise (CVAN-65), and guided missile cruiser Long Beach (CGN-9), and the guided missile frigate Bainbridge (DLGN-25) had a total of eight years service, but the three ships had never operated together as a unit, as a self-contained task force, until Sea Orbit. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 23

Richard Dale Strikes Barbary Pirates

Monday, July 23, 2012 9:47 AM

July 23, 1801

Commodore Richard Dale blockades Tripoli in America’s first foreign war.

In the December 1937 issue of Proceedings, Lieutenant Felix Howland wrote about the American blockade of Tripoli during 1801 to 1802, examining the popular conception that the blockade had been a success. Howland’s article highlighted the necessity of vigilantly maintaining the blockade, and emphasized the implications of failing to do so:

On May 14, 1801, Tripoli declared war against the United States. Shortly thereafter an American squadron under the command of Commodore Richard Dale appeared in the Mediterranean, and on July 23, 1801, Mr. William Eaton, the Consul at Tunis, taking advantage of the presence of the American ships, declared Tripoli under blockade and notified Commodore Dale of his action. As there has been generally current the idea that this blockade was successfully and vigorously prosecuted thereafter until the end of the war in 1805, it is the purpose of this paper to present some hitherto unpublished documents in the archives of the State Department which show how false is such an opinion and which help to explain why Commodore Richard V. Morris, who succeeded Dale, was subsequently disgraced for his part in the failure of the blockade. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 18

John Paul Jones Remembered

Wednesday, July 18, 2012 8:15 AM

Portrait of John Paul Jones by Cecilia Beaux in the U. S. Naval Academy Museum

The United State’s first well-known naval fighter died 220 years ago, on July 18, 1792. Originally published in the July 1947 issue of Proceedings to mark the bicentennial of his birth, the following article outlines the life of John Paul Jones and his contributions to the Navy.

THE BICENTENNIAL OF JOHN PAUL JONES

By DR. LINCOLN LORENZ

VIEWED from the bicentennial of his birth, John Paul Jones has even greater eminence now as a leader of the American Navy at its beginning than he won at the time of his incomparable triumph in the battle of the Bonhomme Richard with the Serapis. The climax of his intrepid career on this occasion was in keeping with his life so that he remains today, even following the panorama of heroic exploits of two world wars, an indomitable warrior of unique personality. He became the first American naval officer to set a tradition of victory, to win respect for the flag by other nations, and to have the statesmanship to foresee and urge the paramount importance of the Navy in our future history. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 13

Exploring The Antarctic

Friday, July 13, 2012 9:52 AM

On July 13, 1939, RADM Richard Byrd was appointed as commanding officer of the 1939-1941 Antarctic exploration. This was Byrd’s third Antarctic expedition, and the first one that had the official backing of the U.S. Government. In honor of his work, and the work done by many others who braved the cold and ice, here is a brief history of American Antarctic exploration, originally published in the November 1961 issue of Proceedings.

Ice floes off the coast of Marie Byrd Land.

Charting of an Unknown Land: The Antarctic Continent

By SCOT MAcDONALD

There is a suspicion among some cartographers that Christopher Columbus carried with him on his first trip to the New World a map of the Antarctic coastline.

Later, so the story goes, a Turkish naval officer and geographer, Piri Reis, waylaid a former pilot of the famous explorer and swiped from him one of Columbus’ charts-the one purported to be of the Antarctic. Piri Reis then set about compiling a map of the world, using this chart and others, many first drawn some 300 years before Christ was born.

The existing fragment of the map (now in the Library of Congress) has stumped experts since its discovery. But famed cartographer Arlington H. Mallery believes he has solved the mystery. The fragment, he claims, represents an ice-free Antarctic continent as it appeared 5,000 years ago.

Though the map, or chart, is interesting, it hardly represents the continent as it appears today. Antarctica measures some 5 1/2 million square miles in area, most of this solid ice. Mountain ranges, peaks, and nunataks (out­croppings) pierce the ice sheet, sometimes in an expected orderly fashion, but more often in places completely strange and unsuspected. Read the rest of this entry »

 
« Older Entries Newer Entries »