Archive for the 'Travel' 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

 

 
Feb 15

Lieutenant Porter’s Camel Expedition

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:00 AM

February 15th, 1856

LT David Dixon Porter leaves Smyrna, Syria for

Indianola, Texas with 21 camels on board

 

Just five years before the outbreak of the Civil War, Lieutenant David Dixon Porter received unusual orders from the Secretary of War at the time, Jefferson Davis, to travel to the Mediterranean on the USS Supply. There, he was required to join Major Henry C. Wayne, then the Quartermaster of the Army, and aid him in finding and purchasing camels for experimental use in the American desert. The Supply had already traveled to the Mediterranean before, on Lieutenant William Lynch’s expedition to the Dead Sea, where Lynch himself had encountered camels, and managed to substitute them for draught-horses. Lynch’s interactions with these camels, and his lengthy descriptions of these creatures, no doubt inspired Porter’s unique assignment. Proceedings describes the history of Lieutenant Porter’s travels, as well as the fate of the camels he acquired.

Supply‘s next assignment was perhaps the most unusual duty of her career. Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 14

Wilkes Exploring Expedition

Saturday, May 14, 2011 1:40 AM

May, 14 1836
A U.S. Exploring Expedition was authorized to conduct exploration of Pacific Ocean and South Seas. This was the first major scientific expedition overseas by the United States. LT Charles Wilkes USN, led the expedition in surveying South America, Antarctica, Far East, and North Pacific.



Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 10

USS Triton Circumnavigates the Globe

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1:51 AM

May, 10th 1960



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Jan 14

Mexican Navy Uniforms on Display at El Museo Histórico Naval de la Ciudad de México

Friday, January 14, 2011 12:01 AM
Part 2 of 2 … More photos from the Director of the Navy Department Library’s trip to El Museo Histórico Naval de la Ciudad de México. Today’s post focuses on uniforms.

Uniform of a Méxican Navy cadet from 1920. El Museo Histórico Naval de la Ciudad de México, June 2010. Photograph by Glenn E. Helm.

Uniform of a Méxican Navy cadet from 1945. El Museo Histórico Naval de la Ciudad de México, June 2010. Photograph by Glenn E. Helm.

 
Jan 13

El Museo Histórico Naval de la Ciudad de México

Thursday, January 13, 2011 12:01 AM

Part 1 of 2…

The Director of the Navy Department Library recently visited El Museo Histórico Naval de la Ciudad de México which is located on the fourth floor of the Palacio Postal in Mexico City. Here are just a few of his pictures. Check back tomorrow for additional photos.

Diorama depicting a fleet of Méxica (Aztec) canoes attacking some of Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés’ thirteen brigantines in a naval battle on Lago (Lake) de Texcoco in the Valley of México during the siege of the Aztec island capital of Tenochtitlan in 1521. The brigantines were constructed under the direction of Martín López, a master shipbuilder. Each vessel was armed with a single cannon, and had a detachment of 25 Spanish soldiers on board. After fierce fighting the Spanish were able to successfully blockade Tenochtitlan and subject the city to starvation during the conquest of the island. Photograph by Glenn E. Helm.

Model of the coastal fortress of San Felipe Bacalar in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo in the east of the Yucatán Peninsula. Spanish conquistadors led by Gaspar Pacheco founded the town of Salamanca de Bacalar on the site of a Mayan city in 1545; the fortress was completed in 1729. The town and fortress were conquered by Mayan Indians in 1848 during the Caste War of Yucatán (1847–1901), and not reoccupied by the Méxican military until 1902. The name Bacalar derives from the original Mayan name b'ak halal, which meant "surrounded by reeds.” Model of the Spanish colonial coastal fortress of Fuerte Sisal located on the northern coast of the Yucatán peninsula in the state of Yucatán, México. The port of Sisal was founded in 1811, and was the chief port in the Yucatán during the Henequen boom which paralleled the presidency of Porfirio Díaz (1876-1910). Henequen is a type of agave plant whose leaves yielded a fiber used in the manufacture of high quality rope, and yarn used to make burlap bags. The port eventually declined and is now a small fishing village. Although Henequen was used by the Mayan Indians, Mexican-born naval engineer José María Lanz first recognized its potential for manufacturing rope for the Spanish Navy in 1783. Henequen production was extremely profitable and contributed to millions of Mayan Indians becoming debt-bound workers on Henequen haciendas (plantations) where they were unable to pay off loans, essentially making them into slaves until the Méxican Revolution overthrew the system. Photograph by Glenn E. Helm.

Model of coastal Fortaleza (fortress) de San Carlos de Perote in the Méxican state of Veracruz. The fortress was constructed during 1770-1776 to store treasure including silver prior to its shipment to Spain. It was the site of México’s first military academy which was founded in 1823. During the Texas War of Independence it was used to hold Texan survivors captured from the Santa Fe Expedition of 1841, the company led by Nicholas Mosby Dawson in 1842, and the Mier Expedition which met a tragic fate in December 1842. The revolutionary leader and first president of Mexico, Guadalupe Victoria (José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix), died and is buried in the town of Perote. During the later part of World War II the fortress-prison was used to intern German and Italian nationals. Photograph by Glenn E. Helm

Coastal fortress of San Juan de Ulúa overlooking the port of Veracruz, México. Construction started on the fort in 1565. A force of English privateers commanded by Sir John Hawkins accompanied by Francis Drake was defeated here in 1569 during the Battle of San Juan de Ulúa, with Hawkins and Drake barely escaping the Spanish fleet. Drake and Hawkins later held command positions during the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588. Photograph by Glenn E. Helm.

Part 2: Uniforms

 
Jul 30

Remembering the USS Indianapolis (CA-35)

Friday, July 30, 2010 10:51 AM

On 30 July 1945, while sailing from Guam to Leyte, Indianapolis was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58. The ship capsized and sank in twelve minutes. Survivors were spotted by a patrol aircraft on 2 August. All air and surface units capable of rescue operations were dispatched to the scene at once, and the surrounding waters were thoroughly searched for survivors. Upon completion of the day and night search on 8 August, 316 men were rescued out of the crew of 1,199.

RIP Shipmates. You Stand Relieved. We have the watch.

The USS Indianapolis National Memorial is located at the North end of the Canal Walk. The Memorial is an outdoor site and is available to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Engraved on the South face of the monument are the names of the ship's company and one passenger who made up her final crew.

The USS Indianapolis National Memorial is a must see for all students of naval history.

Please also view our FAQ about about the sinking of the USS Indianapolis for additional information and photos.

 
Jul 30

After 65 years, Shipyard Worker Reunites with USS Orleck (DD-886)

Friday, July 30, 2010 12:01 AM

(DD–886: dp. 2,425; l. 390’6”; b. 41’1”; dr. 18’6”; s. 34 k.; cpl. 367; 6 5”, 16 40mm., 5 21” tt., 6 dcp., 2 dct., 1 dcp (hh); cl. Gearing)

Brandon Richards of KPLC 7 in Lake Charles, Louisiana reports:

It’s been sixty-five years since J.T. Platt last boarded the USS Orleck. “I was one of the grunts. I did what I was told,” said Platt, who worked at Consolidated Steel Corporation, the group that built the Orleck starting in 1944. Platt worked at the company in Orange, Texas from 1944 to 1945.

He left Consolidated Steel two months after the Orleck was commissioned. Platt was part of the original group from Consolidated Steel, responsible for making sure all of the equipment on board the Orleck was in working order. Platt was also in charge of making sure all of the ship’s wires were working properly…

Click here to read the rest of the story. For a brief history of the USS Orleck as well as background information on her namesake, please click here.

To plan a visit to the USS Orleck Naval Memorial in Lake Charles, Louisiana, click here.

 
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