On July 27, 1917, Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels approved the construction of the Naval Aircraft Factory in Philadelphia to help solve aircraft supply issues during World War I. The project proceeded at an amazing timeline: 6 August 1917 – Contract was let. 10 August 1917 – Ground broken. 16 October 1917 – First machine tool in operation. 28 November 1917 – The entire plant was completed! 27 March 1918 – Only 228 days after groundbreaking, the first H-16 built by the Naval Aircraft Factory flew successfully. Production ended at the Naval Aircraft Factory in early 1945. The… Read the rest of this entry »
From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division It was the night of July 9, 1943 and Operation Husky, the land and air operation to invade the island of Sicily had begun. The weather was already causing havoc with airborne landings and tossing ships, laden with Army personnel. What the allied forces lacked in weather cooperation they made up for in the one element they had working for them: the element of surprise. The Germans had fallen for the fake Operation Mincemeat, the details of they had obtained from a body dressed like a British naval officer the… Read the rest of this entry »
By Joshua L. Wick Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division When many Americans think of the 4th of July, a few words come to mind: Freedom, Independence, America. These words carry a certain weight; they represent power, strength and fortitude. So it’s no wonder why some of the greatest U.S. Navy ships have born these names. Since the establishment of America’s Navy there have been very few years in which Sailors were not actively serving aboard ships with these names. To truly know these Sailors, we need to know their ships – as it is their ships bear… Read the rest of this entry »
From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division It’s July, the month of red, white and blue… and commissionings, too! Perhaps it was an opportunity to save labor on not having to put that bunting up around the ship, but July is among one of the more popular months to hoist a commissioning pennant. Five ships this month will celebrate significant milestones in their careers: 10, 20, and 30 years. From patrol craft, to surface warship, to nuclear-powered submarines; all perform their mission – here and abroad – to protect and defend America as part of today’s Navy…. Read the rest of this entry »
By Sam Cox, Rear Adm., U.S. Navy (Retired), Director, Naval History and Heritage Command While visiting the USS Houston’ s survivors association earlier this spring for a speaking engagement, I took time to visit USS Texas (BB 35) as an opportunity to learn more about the challenges facing Historic Ships, and what could be done to improve their efforts to help inform public understanding of naval contributions to our nation’s security. While there, I took the time to replicate a treasured father-son moment on board Texas in 1965…which was an influential factor in a life-long love of naval history and… Read the rest of this entry »
During my first summer at USNI as photo researcher, I made a friend. Actually, this friend does not work here or anywhere else. His name is Frank H. Wilson, a Chief Photographer for the U.S. Navy. Incidentally he served from 1911 to 1945. So yes, he is no longer with us, but he does live on in our archives.
By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class David R. Krigbaum Utah Beach, a site of intense fighting in June 1944, is now a peaceful place, with a cool breeze, the sound of waves hitting the surf, and the site of numerous memorials to those who fought 71 years ago. High on a hill overlooking the beach the Navy is remembered, along with several memories to various Army units that landed on the beach. But on June 6, 2015, room was made for another, the Higgins Boat Monument, a memorial to the little boats and their crews who made the landing and ultimately… Read the rest of this entry »
Editor’s Note: As the French tall ship replica L’Hermione makes her way up the East Coast to celebrate the relationship between France and the United States, a series of blogs will discuss four topics: the Marquis de Lafayette; the ship that brought him to America the second time in 1780, L’Hermione; the critical Battle of the Virginia Capes on Sept. 5, 1781, and the Franco-American relationship as it has grown over the past years. From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division Proving that partnerships mattered in our countries infancy, during the American Revolution, the American colonies faced… Read the rest of this entry »