Mar 21

Sinbad – The Dog Behind the Legend

Thursday, March 21, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Sinbad (U.S. Coast Guard)

Throughout the centuries many ships have had mascots – cats, dogs, monkeys, parrots – and during World War II there were a profusion of them. Many were adopted as part of the ship’s crew, but somehow none ever achieved Sinbad’s stature or lasting fame. His fame extended to sailors of all countries whose ships plied the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea and spread ashore to American cities far inland. It all started on a winter’s evening in late 1937, Blackie and his friend Ed Maillard returned from Liberty to the Cutter Campbell in Staten Island, New York. Blackie was carrying… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 19

From Small Town Girls to Prisoners of War

Tuesday, March 19, 2019 12:01 AM

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Laura Cobb along with the other Navy nurses speaking with Admiral Thomas Kinkaid on 23 February 1945. (U.S. Navy)

In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to tell you a story. It is a story I never heard until I went digging for it, but it is a story of valor, honor, and perseverance. It this, the Angels of Bataan, a group of U.S. Army and Navy nurses held captive by the Japanese in the Philippines for three grueling years during the Second World War. It begins on 8 December 1941, sometime in the predawn hours. Business was usual in the U.S. military hospitals located across the Philippines. But the nurses and other medical staff at Canacao Naval… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 14

ASW Rise and Fall

Thursday, March 14, 2019 12:01 AM

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TBM-3@ in flight over Boca Chica, Key West (U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive)

The submarine is an elusive creature. Designed to operate mostly alone, and stealthily, it has become a factor far out of proportion to its size in the battle at sea. Fighting the submarine requires a well thought out strategy, supported by carefully coordinated tactics, carried out sequentially, to implement such strategy. The slightest tactical omission can result in lost ships. The Submarine Threat in World War I During WWI, U-Boats severely threatened the Allied War effort. Waiting, submerged and silent, at choke points along Allied logistics routes, submarines quickly became a severe danger. To combat submarines, ad hoc measures: nets,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 12

They Became Banana Boats

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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Broadside view of the motor fruit carrier Truxtun, ex-USS Truxtun (DD-14)

Shortly after the cessation of hostilities of World War I, the United States found itself with a number of obsolete craft from the beginning of the era of the all-steel Navy. Now no longer needed, U.S. Navy disposed of its original torpedo boat destroyers that had entered service shortly after the end of the Spanish-American War. The three boats Truxtun class were bought by private shipping interests. The Truxtun (DD-14) and her sisters Whipple (DD-15) and Worden (DD-16) were refitted with diesel engines for the first experiment in making small, fast, shallow draft banana carriers. As Commander John D. Alden, U.S. Navy (Retired) recounts below, they… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 7

Korean War Era Night Fighter Training

Thursday, March 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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Vice Admiral Gerald E. Miller, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

  Gerald E. Miller enlisted in the Navy in 1936 and served in the fleet for two years before getting an appointment to the Naval Academy, from which he was graduated in late 1941. He then spent two years of wartime duty in the light cruiser USS Richmond (CL-9) before he could go to flight training. Throughout his aviation experiences, Admiral Miller placed particular emphasis on nighttime flight operations. During the Korean War, he served on the staff of Rear Admiral E. C. Ewen, Commander Task Force 77, and then commanded a fighter squadron. During a mid-1950s tour in the Bureau of Naval Personnel, Admiral Miller… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 5

Admiral Thach: A Tactical Artist

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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Lieutenant Commander John Thach in the cockpit of an F4F Wildcat, 10 April 1942 (NHHC)

Standing about six feet tall and weighing a measly 135 pounds, it is hard to imagine how young Jack Thach felt as he prepared to begin his plebe training at the United States Naval Academy. It was the summer of 1923, and at his initial physical assessment, Jack’s frailty evoked great skepticism from the examining physician. Told to eat and exercise more, time would tell if Jack could translate his high school football success in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to achievement at the Academy. Two weeks into his first academic term, Midshipman 4/C Thach received failing grades in every subject. After… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 28

March is here: Celebrate Women’s History

Thursday, February 28, 2019 2:58 PM

By

Sarah Edmonds

It’s March: Women’s History Month, and a time to contemplate & celebrate the advances that women have made in our profession and in all professions. With that in mind, I’ve selected some special readings from the Naval Institute’s archive which I hope will inspire you to learn about women’s history, to embrace your leadership roles confidently & to mentor women who are starting out in their careers. Sarah Edmonds leaves the hospital tents for the battlefield, in a Civil War–era engraving. Before serving as a nurse, she had disguised herself as a man and enlisted in a Union infantry regiment,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 26

A Short History on Segregation in the Navy: From the War of 1812 through World War II

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Alton Augustus Adams

Alright, everyone, today I’m going to take you on a shallow dive into a topic that’s tough for a lot of people to talk about for a lot of different reasons: racial segregation. Specifically, the history of racial segregation in the Navy through World War II. It’s never fun, but it is a very important part of our history, and something that we need to examine no matter how uncomfortable it can make us feel. The history of Black sailors in the Navy begins with the War of 1812, as the U.S. Navy was not established until after the American… Read the rest of this entry »