The Lockheed Neptune was the first U.S. aircraft designed from the outset for the land-based maritime patrol role, and it was the first U.S. Navy aircraft that could carry a nuclear weapon. All previous U.S. land-based maritime patrol aircraft were adapted from bomber or transport designs. Among them were Lockheed’s highly successful PBO-1 Hudson and PV-series Harpoon and Ventura aircraft. Those planes— flown by Navy and Marine Corps pilots—made major contributions to Allied victory in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II. The Neptune was a natural progression from the twin-engine PV series.
The Confederacy has been much in the news—or at least its symbols have, with many Americans wishing to erase those symbols from sight and mind. Thus it may not be the best time to publish a book titled A Confederate Biography. Nevertheless, I was drawn to the subject as a great sea story, and through the course of my research, I discovered that it was much more than that: it is a real American tale, a significant slice of Civil War history, and a wonderful navy narrative—the Confederate navy, our other navy. The idea of biography was suggested by Admiral… Read the rest of this entry »
Just outside the west entrance to Luce Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy sits a stately thirteen-tiered stone pagoda. Though it is relatively unadorned by the standards of many monuments, if one looks closely, on its base one may find this (English) inscription: “In memory of JAPANESE AMBASSADOR HIROSI SAITO, who died at Washington on February 26, 1939, and whose remains were by order of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, conveyed on board the U.S.S. Astoria to his native land, and in grateful appreciation of American sympathy and courtesy this pagoda was presented by his wife and children to the United… Read the rest of this entry »
A ship is built much like a human being, only in the horizontal plane. Her keel fulfills exactly the same purpose as a backbone, being the basic piece to which all others ultimately are connected. The ship’s frames are her ribs, paced out along the length of the keel to give the final structure her form. In human beings, the ribs join in front; in ships, they do not, but have their upper ends held in position by having transverse pieces running between them. These pieces are called “beams,” from the Saxon word for “tree,” and they also serve to… Read the rest of this entry »
“Aloha from the paradise of the Pacific–Hawaii–as we bring you another 15 minutes of lilting Hawaiian music and a story about the U.S. Navy.” Thus began each episode of “Across the Blue Pacific” a radio show broadcast from Pearl Harbor by the Pacific Fleet. The show consisted of a couple of songs and a 10-minute drama based on a historic Navy story. Many Hollywood stars—Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, Fred MacMurray, Dorothy Lamour, Ralph Bellamy, Robert Cummings, and others— volunteered their voices for these stories. Below, from the USNI Archives, is a collection of photos from radio shows broadcast in 1960…. Read the rest of this entry »
The 22 German leaders who stood trial at Nuremberg 70 years ago included Grand Admirals Erich Raeder and Karl Dönitz. In addition to conventional war crimes, for which they were separately charged, the admirals were accused of engaging in aggressive warfare. Conceived in an effort to encourage nations to renounce war, the unprecedented aggressive warfare charges were criticized by some as ex post facto law. Having participated in a prewar conference during which German Führer Adolf Hitler made known his war plans, and having later recommended to Hitler the invasion of Norway, Raeder was heavily exposed by the aggressive warfare… Read the rest of this entry »
An Interview with Joe Bellino Joe Bellino won the 1960 Heisman Trophy, becoming the first of only two U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen (Roger Staubach being the second, in 1963) to win the award. As the 2015 Army-Navy game approaches, many thought Navy’s record-breaking quarterback Keenan Reynolds should have at least been invited to the Heisman award ceremony. But, as Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo said early this week, “I’m really disappointed for Keenan, but life goes on.” Joe Bellino talked with Naval History in 2004 about his extraordinary career, including the real reason he chose pro football over baseball. Naval History:… Read the rest of this entry »
Monday last marked the 74th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Much indeed has been written about the attack, which killed 2,403 US servicemen died, as did 64 of the Japanese attackers and 35 civilians. One particular area of interest has been the operations of the Japanese midget submarines during the attacks. For several decades after the attack, many mysteries surrounded the efficacy and fate of the two-man submersibles. With 9/10 of their crews having perished in the attack, one man (and his vessel) being captured, very little could be found to piece together just what had happened… Read the rest of this entry »