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 »
On October 26, 1963,the first submerged launching of the Navy’s 2500 nautical mile A-3 Polaris Missile was successfully made by the gold crew of the USS Andrew Jackson (SSBN-619), commanded by Commander James B. Wilson, USN, from a point some 30 miles off Cape Canaveral, Florida. A practice warhead was hurled over 2,000 NM down the Atlantic Missile Range to land on target. The A-3 Missile added 1,000 NM miles to the reach of the Polaris nuclear retaliatory missile system.
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 »
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
“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.”
October 9th, 1873
First meeting of the U. S. Naval Institute
The Big “E”
By Captain Vincent P. de Poix, U. S. Navy, published in the June 1962 issue of Proceedings magazine:
From an operational standpoint, the ability of Enterprise to accelerate and decelerate merits first mention. In both cases our capability exceeds any conventional aircraft carrier. This capability is of tremendous benefit when carrying out our primary function of air operations in that we can turn into the wind at a later time with assurance that we can produce the requisite 35 knots of wind over the deck for launching or recovering aircraft.
During periods of light wind in particular since she can accelerate at such a tremendous rate- it is possible to steam down wind or along our intended course for longer periods and still turn into wind and be up to speed at the time appointed for aircraft operations.
We can decelerate very rapidly at the end of a launch or recovery in order to take our helicopters aboard if this course of action is preferable to turning out of the wind. The helicopters are subject to definite wind limitations which are le s than the relative wind over the deck which we require during fixed wing air operations. Recovering our helicopters rapidly means time saved in reassuming our intended track.
Our superior ability to accelerate and decelerate can also extricate us from tight spots in a hurry if necessary. This increases the safety of operation of the nuclear carrier as well as that of other ships which may be involved in a potential collision.
Enterprise is equipped with eight of the most powerful nuclear reactors now supplying power for propulsion. These reactors, operating on four shafts and arranged in pairs, can develop over 200,000 shaft horsepower. In fact, on trials, Ente1prise developed more horsepower than any ship in history.
It almost goes without saying that the high speed we can maintain continuously for long periods of time is not only a tactical but a strategic advantage. Among the tactical advantages are those of the ASW protection inherent in the ability to steam at high speed without necessary regard for depletion of fuel on board. Strategic advantages accrue in several ways. One is that the nuclear carrier can proceed at high speed to any trouble spot to which it may be directed and arrive considerably a head of any other carrier. And on arrival, the nuclear carrier can be ready to execute any assigned task without a needed pause for refueling at sea from tankers.
Much has been said about the fact that Enterprise makes no smoke. The greatest booster of this advantage are the pilots who land aboard, seconded closely, of course, by those charged with topside cleanliness and upkeep. This unobscured visibility and decreased turbulence in landing also increase safety. Our early operations point this out, since we have already had over 3,000 landings aboard Enterprise with no accidents or near accidents. Another “no smoke” factor involves aircraft cleanliness. Airplanes aboard Enterprise are not affected by corrosion caused by stack gas components.
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The U.S. Marine Corps Band gave its first concert in Washington D.C. on August 21, 1800. The following article, published in the April 1923 issue of Proceedings, gives a brief history of the Marine Corps Band.
HOW THE MARINE BAND STARTED
BY MAJOR EDWIN N. McCLELLAN, U. S. MARINE CORPS MARINE CORPS HISTORIAN
So many and varying accounts have been given of the first organization of the Marine Band of Washington, that it is time that the real, and interesting, true story should be told.
The Marine Band did not just happen into being, nor were its beginnings in an Act of Congress. There always have been “Musics” in the Marine Corps-from its birthday on November 10, 1775, to date-but it was not until 18oo that the Marine Band had its inception; and like every one of the Marine bands playing today, it was first composed of volunteer musicians from the line.
At the end of the Revolution in 1783, the American people looked upon the soldier, sailor, or Marine, as a man out of a job. He was; and until July 11, 1798–when Congress authorized the Marine Corps-the only Marines were those serving in the State Navies, and a few serving on board the frigates of the “New Navy” in 1797·
William Ward Burrows, a native of South Carolina, but a Philadelphian by adoption, was the first Commandant of the Marine Corps. He was a lawyer, an organizer, and according to Washington Irving, “a gentleman of accomplished mind and polished manner.” Of him the editor of Poulson’s American Daily Advertiser, wrote in 1805, “his services in nursing the infant corps over which he presided, so useful to our naval enterprizes, ought to be particularly commended by a grateful country.” At first “Major Commandant,” and later “LieutenantColonel Commandant,” it was he who fathered the Marine Band. Read the rest of this entry »
The Navy’s first hydrofoil patrol craft was launched on this day 50 years ago, in 1962. Published in the September, 1963 issue of Proceedings, the following article describes the mechanics of the USS High Point, and the reactions from the people who witnessed the launch of the revolutionary craft.
USS High Point (PCH-1)
By Charles H. Nelson, Jr. Chief Journalist, U.S. Navy
She took off quickly, flew quietly, and landed smoothly. Thus the first public “flight” of the Navy’s revolutionary hydrofoil patrol craft High Point was described just a few short weeks ago. The High Point is a unique blend of aerodynamics and hydrodynamics, carrying within her 115-foot length-overall hull the newest hopes of the Navy’s antisubmarine warfare program.
Rear Admiral Ralph K. James, U. S. Navy, (ex-Chief, Bureau of Ships) in testimony before a special investigative subcommittee of the science and astronautics committee of the House of Representatives, explained in these words the mission of the High Point: “This ship shows tremendous promise for antisubmarine warfare where we need speed as never before. The modern submarine is capable of operating at tremendous pace when submerged. To close within kill range before it outruns sonar range is an increasingly tough task. Ideally, two hydrofoil patrol craft will operate together in a “grasshopper” or “leapfrog” technique. One will move slowly through the water in the displacement position listening for submarines … the other will fly ahead, then settle into the water and listen while its partner flies in turn. When the listener gets a submarine on its sonar, it will signal its partner to guide it to the target to track it down and drop a homing torpedo for the kill.”
This is the “grasshopper” technique as it is presently envisioned to be used by the High Point when she joins the Fleet. Frequent tests on the waters of Puget Sound have proven the ship’s capability to rise quickly to her foils, to fly silently, and to lower smoothly to her hull or cruising position.
The actual flight of the High Point creates an almost eerie feeling in observers. Although the vessel has a displacement of 110 tons, she rises almost effortlessly out of the water into the “flying” position. Her flight at speeds over 40 knots is so silent that the true speed is deceptive. She seems to glide through the water, the only sounds being the dripping of the water from her hull and the faint whine of her turbines. Read the rest of this entry »