Jan 20

Ladies Wear the Blue

Thursday, January 20, 2011 9:57 PM

This 1974 Navy documentary celebrates the history of women in the Navy. Part 1 includes a lengthy interview with Captain Joy Bright Hancock, USN, a veteran of both world wars, as well as footage of women during during the first half of the 20th century. Part 2 looks at the further integration of women into the Navy during the Cold War, and includes interviews with the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, and Admiral Alene Duerk, the first woman appointed to flag rank. It also includes candid interviews with sailors on both sides of the issue in 1974, and footage from “Boot Camp,” Recruit Training Command, Naval Training Center Orlando. Part 3 concludes the film by introducing women serving throughout the Navy in 1974, including a singer in the U.S. Navy Band, a lawyer, and a plastic surgeon. It includes an interview with LTJG Judith Neuffer, the first woman to solo a Navy aircraft.

Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section Box UA.

 
Jan 19

John Paul Jones and Russia

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 8:52 AM

America is often called a nation of immigrants, and Scottish-born John Paul Jones is as much a citizen of his adopted country as is any other immigrant. Jones was not unique as a foreign-born officer in the Continental Navy. John Barry, born in Ireland, Denis-Nicolas Cottineau de Kerloguen, born in France, and John Manley, born in England, are a few other examples. Although, in the spirit of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, Jones called himself a “citizen of the world,” Americans today can justly embrace him as their own.

While it is true that in accepting appointment to command in the navy of Catherine the Great Jones sought personal glory, the story is not so simple as that. First, in the eighteenth century the desire for glory was considered a virtue. Second, there is reason to believe that, in joining the Russian Navy, Jones sought to expand his experience in fleet operations, as opposed to command of a single warship, in preparation for the day when the United States would create its own fleet. He had sailed with the French fleet to gain similar experience for that purpose.

Although the United States dissolved the Continental Navy at the end of the American War of Independence, Jones expected that the implementation of the United States Constitution would lead to the reestablishment of a United States Navy. As an officer of the Continental Navy of the American Revolution, John Paul Jones helped establish the traditions of courage and professionalism that the sailors of the United States Navy today proudly maintain. Jones is remembered for his indomitable will, his unwillingness to consider surrender when the slightest hope of victory still burned.

Throughout his naval career Jones promoted professional standards and training. Dr. Dennis M. Conrad sums it up well: “His strategic vision that placed the nations’ interest over his own personal gain, his rise to the top levels of the new American navy through dint of hard work and application, his skill as a naval architect, his continued study to better himself as an officer and commander, and his attempts to reform the navy and to substitute merit and ability in place of nepotism and influence, all marked him as one who sought to professionalize the early Navy.”

Sailors of the United States Navy can do no better than to emulate the spirit behind John Paul Jones’s stirring Declaration: “I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast for I intend to go in harm’s way.” John Paul Jones is unusual in having served as an officer in the navies of both the United States of America and Russia. He brought his experience in the Continental Navy to his service in the Russian navy, and may have hoped to bring his experience in the Russian navy back to a reestablished United States Navy.

Thus, he represents a link between the two countries’ navies.

 
Jan 18

Admirals in the U.S. Navy 1862-1900

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 12:01 AM

A

Alden, James (1810 –1877).

Almy, John Jay (1815 – 1895).

Ammen, Daniel (1820 – 1898).

B

Bailey, Theodorus (1805 – 1877).

Balch, George Beale (1821 – 1908).

Baldwin, Charles Henry (1822 – 1888).

Barker, Albert Smith (1843 – 1916).

Beaman, George William (1837 – 1917).

Beardslee, Grove Spooner (1838 – 1906).

Beardslee, Lester Anthony (1836 – 1903).

Beaumont, John Colt. (1821 – 1882).

Belknap, George Eugene (1832 – 1903).

Bell, Charles Heyer (1798 – 1875).

Bell, Henry Haywood (1808 – 1868).

Benham, Andrew Ellicott Kennedy (1832 – 1905).

Boggs, Charles Stuart (1811 – 1877).

Book, George Milton (1845 – 1921).

Braine, Daniel Lawrence (1829 – 1898).

Breese, Samuel Livingston (1794 – 1870).

Bright, George Adams (1837 – 1905).

Brown, George (1835 – 1913).

Bryson, Andrew (1822 – 1892).

Buehler, William George (1837 – 1919).

C

Carpenter, Charles Carroll (1834 – 1899).

Carter, Samuel Powhatan (1819 – 1891).

Case, Augustus Ludlow (1813 – 1893).

Casey, Silas (1841 – 1913).

Caswell, Thomas Thompson (1840 – 1913).

Chandler, Ralph (1829 – 1889).

Clark, John Howe (1837 – 1913).

Cleborne, Christopher James (1838 – 1909) [Scottish/British].

Clitz, John Mellon Brandy (1821 – 1897).

Colhoun, Edmund Ross (1821 – 1897).

Collins, Napoleon (1814 – 1875).

Cooper, George Henry (1822 – 1891).

Cotton, Charles Stanhope (1843 – 1909).

Crabbe, Thomas (1788 – 1845).

Craven, Thoms Tingey (1808 – 1887).

Creighton, Johnston Blakeley (1822 – 1883).

Cromwell, Bartlett Jefferson (1840 – 1917).

Crosby, Peirce (1824 – 1899).

D

Dahlgren, John Adolphus Bernard (1809 – 1870).

Davis, Charles Henry (1807 – 1877).

Davis, John Lee (1825 – 1889).

Day, Benjamin Franklin (1841 – 1933).

DeCamp, John (1812 – 1875).

De Krafft, John Charles Philip (1826 – 1885).

Dewey, George (1837 – 1917).

Donaldson, Edward (1816 – 1889).

Drennan, Michael Coyle (1838 – 1915).

Du Pont Samuel Francis (1803 – 1865).

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 17

Navy-Themed Sheet Music of the WWI Era (1914-1919)

Monday, January 17, 2011 12:01 AM

Navy-Themed Sheet Music of the WWI Era (1914-1919) as drawn from Bernard S. Parker’s World War I Sheet Music. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company, 2007. 2 vols.

The purpose of this list is to provide basic information on Navy-themed sheet music of the WWI period (1914-1919) as drawn from Parker’s work. The term “Navy-themed” refers to the cover illustration of the sheet music. In order to be considered “Navy-themed”, the cover illustration must be totally or mostly related to a Navy theme–sailors, warships, etc. While the Navy appears on a great many of the 9,670 items listed in Parker, it is usually in a minor role—a sailor standing next to a soldier, a warship in the background, etc. These have not been included in this list, nor have sheet music with words only on the cover.

1. Admiral Dewey. (1917) Lyricist: M.W. Murray

2. All For The Red, White, and Blue. (1919) Lyricist: Samuel E. Carter

3. All Hail To America. (1917) Lyricist: Peter Philip Bilhorn

4. America Awakes. (1918) Lyricist: Allen W. Woodruff

5. America Home Sweet Home. (1917) Lyricist: Carrie M. Brooks

6. America Is Ready. (1917) Lyricist: Josephine B. Cassidy

7. America Leads The Way. (1917) Lyricist: Addison A. Dart

8. American War March. (1917) Lyricist: S.J. Trietel

9. America’s Call. (1918) Lyricist: Edward F. Larkins

10. (Army) Yankees On The Rhine, (Navy) Yankees On The Brine. (1918) Lyricist: F.N. Graves

11. Battle Ship Rag. (1915) Lyricist: Thos S. Allen

12. Battleship Connecticut. (1919) Lyricist: James M. Fulton

13. Beacon Lights. (1918) Lyricist: M.T. Donovan

14. Boys In Navy Blue. (1918) Lyricist: Tom W. Sageman

15. Boys Of The USA. (1918) Lyricist: Elizabeth Kelly

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 16

Lexington Provides Power for Civilians Ashore, 16 January 1930

Sunday, January 16, 2011 12:01 AM

On 16 January 1930 the aircraft carrier Lexington (CV 2) completed thirty days of providing electrical power to the city of Tacoma, Washington, during a city-wide power shortage caused by drought at the area’s hydroelectric generation facilities. Like some other capital ships of that era, Lexington’s turbines produced electricity to operate the shaft motors, but didn’t turn the shafts themselves as on most steam-driven ships then and now. The ship therefore had great electrical generation capacity that made her ideal for this task. Lexington provided power twelve hours a day between 17 December 1929 and 16 January 1930, ultimately totaling more than 4.25 million kilowatt hours.

 
Jan 15

“Fighting Bob” Evans at Fort Fisher

Saturday, January 15, 2011 12:01 AM

Robley D. Evans enjoyed a colorful Navy career, but is most often remembered as the U.S. admiral who commanded the Great White Fleet as it began its voyage on 16 December 1907 to circumnavigate the globe. He earned his nickname, “Fighting Bob,” while in command of the gunboat Yorktown in Chilean waters to protect American interests following the controversial death of two U.S. sailors in Valparaiso on 16 October 1891. But perhaps no other experience in his career better illustrated Evans’s fighting spirit than his leadership during the assault on Fort Fisher during the American Civil War.

Fort Fisher guarded the Cape Fear River and the port of Wilmington, North Carolina, the Confederacy’s last major terminus for blockade runners bringing in vital materials from overseas. The strong earthen fortification mounted forty-seven powerful guns and contained a fighting garrison of 1900 men. After a failed expedition to capture the fort at the end of December 1864, Union forces tried again two weeks later, under the command of Maj. Gen. Alfred H. Terry and Rear Adm. David Dixon Porter. A massive bombardment by Porter’s fifty-seven warships covered the landing of Federal troops north of Fort Fisher on 13 January. As Terry organized his units for the assault Navy ships, including five ironclads, kept up a nearly continuous fire for fifty hours, dismounting Confederate guns, blasting holes in the wooden palisades, damaging the earthworks, and making sure that the southern defenders received little rest.

Rear Adm. Porter called for volunteers to form a brigade of 2000 men from the ships’ crews to assist the Army in storming the fortifications. Sailors during the Civil War regularly trained to operate as landing parties, and Porter received an overwhelming response from his men, even being forced to turn away hundreds who were eager to take part in the assault. Shortly after noon on 15 January 1600 Sailors armed with revolvers and cutlasses, and 400 Marines landed a mile and a half north of the fort and quickly formed into three divisions to attack the key northeast bastion of Fort Fisher. Porter appointed thirty-three year old Lt. Cmdr. K. Randolph Breese to lead the Naval Brigade and coordinate his assault with the Army. After the brigade moved up to a position 1200 yards from the fort, the flagship’s steam whistle blared the signal to launch the attack. Sailors and Marines dashed forward led by their young officers. The Confederate commander of the fort, Col. William Lamb, personally led the majority of his garrison to defend the northeast bastion in the upcoming action. Porter’s ships intensified their bombardment and covered the Naval Brigade until the men were within 600 yards of the defenses.

Eighteen-year old Ensign Robley Evans ran through the sandy soil along the beach at the head of his company of Sailors. At about 500 yards from the fort, the Confederate troops opened a volley on the head of the column, and if as one, the northerners dropped to their stomachs. The Navy and Marine officers quickly rose and called for their men to follow as they charged forward. At 300 yards, another volley issued from the defenses, and the men again threw themselves to the ground. Evans rose again and rallied his men to press forward. A withering fire cut down many of the attackers, and Evans instinctively pulled his hat down over his eyes unwilling to view the flashing blue line along the fort’s parapet. A flesh wound to the chest startled him, but he shortly realized he could go on.

As he neared the remains of the wooden palisade, a Confederate sharpshooter (Lamb had instructed his best riflemen to aim for the Union officers) fired a shot that struck Evans in the left leg about three inches below the knee. After receiving help from another officer in bandaging the wound, the determined young ensign managed to get back on his feet and led his men through a breach in the palisade. As he approached the base of the parapet, another shot struck him in the right knee, inflicting a dreadful wound that bled profusely. Unable to stand, Evans focused his efforts on bandaging his knee when yet another round entered the sole of his shoe and took off the end of one of his toes and wrenching his ankle. This last act enraged the naval officer, and he responded by rolling over to face his antagonist who stood above him thirty-five yards away. Taking careful aim Evans fired a single shot from his revolver that passed through the sharpshooter’s throat, causing the Confederate soldier to topple from the parapet and land close to where the ensign lay.

A number of Evans’s men and fellow officers lay dead or dying around him. A Marine from his ship, Private Wasmouth, rescued Evans, eventually dragging him to a place of safety. A bullet soon struck the heroic Marine in the jugular causing him to bleed to death at the feet of the man whose life he had saved. As the Sailors and Marines of the Naval Brigade streamed away from the fortifications, their attack repulsed, the Confederate defenders stood on top of their works and cheered. At this point Col. Lamb looked toward the far end of the landward defenses and stared in horror at the several U.S. flags flying above the western bastions. While the Sailors and Marines were struggling and dying before the northeast point of the defenses, Federal infantry had overwhelmed and breached the fortifications at the other end of the line. Much desperate fighting remained inside Fort Fisher, but the failed attack by the Naval Brigade had focused Lamb’s attention away from the fatal blow that turned the battle. The leadership of young officers like Robley Evans forced the Confederates to take the threat to their key position seriously, giving others the opportunity to win the day.

 
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

Navy TV – Navy Supply and Regis!

Thursday, January 13, 2011 9:25 AM

The Navy Supply Corps provides the “beans, bombs and black oil” to the fleet. More than 50,000 professionals are responsible for the fleet’s supply chain management, acquisition management and operational logistics for the Navy.

Navy TV will showcase five films that take a look at the history of supplying the Navy, a day in the life of a Supply Corps officer today and commentary from Regis Philbin, television entertainer and former Navy Supply Corps officer.

Watch the first two videos here.