Archive for the 'World War II' Category

Sep 11

The VT Fuze: The Other Secret Weapon of World War II

Friday, September 11, 2015 9:16 AM


USNI VT fuze.

As a young officer, then-Lieutenant Commander (later Admiral) W.H. P. Blandy, USN, had a keen interest in gunnery. Writing for Proceedings in 1920 (“Director Fire a Century Ago”) and 1925 (“Possible Improvements in our Gunnery Training”), LCDR Blandy understood well the history of fire control and what could be done to improve its effectiveness. Ever forward-thinking, Blandy noted elsewhere in 1925 of what a remarkable device a fuze that would detonate based on its proximity to the target would be. The key would be to find a way to trigger the shell to that its fragmentation pattern would be effective,… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 14

Landing the Planes

Friday, August 14, 2015 11:12 AM


Lieutenant Robin M. Lindsey, USS Enterprise landing-signal officer, epitomized leadership on the flight deck. (USS Enterprise CV-6 Association)

An excerpt from “‘The Big E’ Leadership Factory,” by Barrett Tillman, in the October 2015 issue of Naval History. Leadership also was evident on the Enterprise’s flight deck, never better demonstrated than during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands at the height of the Guadalcanal campaign. The ship’s landing-signal officer was Lieutenant Robin M. Lindsey, assisted by the air group LSO, Lieutenant (junior grade) James G. Daniels. Lindsey had been on board since July 1941 and learned the “paddles” trade under the tutelage of prewar LSOs. Daniels had survived Fighting Squadron Six’s debacle in the night sky over Pearl… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 13

Restoring the US/C-3 Infrared Signalling Telescope

Thursday, August 13, 2015 2:15 PM


Bottom view

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.

Aug 4

Semper Paratus

Tuesday, August 4, 2015 9:00 AM


Signalman First Class Douglas Munro

Semper Paratus As the daughter of a Coast Guard officer and in honor of Coast Guard Day, I present the story of Signalman 1st Class Douglas Munro, USCG. SM1 Munro is the U.S. Coast Guard’s only Medal of Honor recipient. He was awarded the nation’s highest honor posthumously for his service in World War II during the battle of Guadalcanal.

Apr 1

Operation Iceberg — Okinawa Invasion in 1945

Wednesday, April 1, 2015 1:33 PM


By Joshua L. Wick, Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division Editor’s Note: The following photos tell just a brief story of the U.S. Navy’s involvement during the Okinawa Invasion and Battle of Okinawa. One of the unique items NHHC has in its archives is an oral history of Cmdr. Frederick J. Becton, commanding officer of destroyer USS Laffey (DD-724), which saw action during the Okinawa operations. To read Cmdr. Becton’s interview click here. All the photos below are courtesy of NHHC’s Photo Archives, the Navy Art Collection and the National Archives. On April 1, 1945, under heavy naval gunfire and aircraft support, U.S…. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 7

NHHC Director Speaks at USS Houston (CA 30) Survivors Association Reunion

Saturday, March 7, 2015 1:55 PM


  This weekend members of the USS Houston (CA 30) Survivors Association and Next Generations are gathered for their 2015 reunion in Houston, Texas. In addition to conducting the business of the organization the reunion featured a dinner last night in which Naval History and Heritage Command Director Rear Adm. (Ret) Sam Cox provided the keynote remarks updating reunion attendees on the NHHC study of the condition of Houston’s wreck as well as ongoing Navy and diplomatic efforts to prevent further unauthorized disturbance of the ship which is the final resting place of more than 700 Houston Sailors and Marines… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 26

‘Enemy Forces Engaged,’ USS Houston Fought Insurmountable Odds

Thursday, February 26, 2015 4:44 PM


By Capt. R. Mark Stacpoole, U.S. Navy, American Legation, U.S. Naval Attaché, Jakarta, Indonesia I ask you to spend a minute this weekend in remembrance of the 1,082 brave men of the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA 30). It was in the early hours of March 1st, 73 years ago, that she sailed for the final time into the teeth of enemy fire. While heading for the Sunda Strait, and in concert with the Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth, she ran into the main Japanese invasion force then landing on the island of Java. This force consisted, in its entirety,… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 29

Paying Respects to USS Houston (CA 30) Crew and the Navy Family

Friday, August 29, 2014 2:24 PM


WASHINGTON (Aug. 29, 2014) Vice Adm. Scott Swift, Director of the Navy Staff, poses for a photo during a meeting with family members of the USS Houston Survivors Association. Pictured are, from left to right: -Dr. Jay Thomas
- Mr. Joel Earl Snyder, Ms. Davidson’s father; the son of a Houston survivor
- Ms. Stacey Davidson, an Military Sealift Command employee who is a
Houston survivor’s granddaughter
- Vice Adm. Swift
- Ms. Sue Kruetzer, President, USS Houston CA-30 Survivors Association
and Next Generations
- Mr. John Schwarz, Executive Director, USS Houston CA-30 Survivors
Association and Next Generations
- Dr. Alexis Catsambis(U.S. Navy photo by MC1 Gabrielle Blake)

By Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division Officers of the USS Houston CA 30 Survivors Association and Next Generations, and descendants of the crew from the World War II cruiser USS HOUSTON (CA 30) spent the day with naval leadership at the Pentagon and the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). The Houston went down fighting during the Battle of Sunda Strait on March 1, 1942, with approximately 700 Sailors and Marines on board. The visitors were: – John Schwarz, Executive Director, USS Houston CA 30 Survivors Association and Next Generations – Sue Kreutzer, President, USS Houston… Read the rest of this entry »

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