Nov 21

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 4

Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:01 AM

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When last we left my grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck was settling into life at the Oran Naval Receiving station in Algeria. This was merely a stopping off point until he moved on to Tunisia where he joined the Auk Class minesweeper USS Sway (AM-120). This blog entry picks up on 16 May 1944. Tuesday May 16th Our convoy that went to Oran was bombed and they lost two Navy ships and five merchant. Guess we rate a star. First time we saw those French and English planes got scared. Nice ships. Played ball this A.M. Our crew against the Phillies. Beat… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 14

When the Navy Flew to the Moon

Thursday, November 14, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 20 July 1969 two American’s made history when they first stepped foot on the moon. Everyone remembers the Apollo 11 mission and those first steps, but most people forget the six missions that followed. Only four months after the triumph of Apollo 11 the next crew made the second landing. Apollo 12 was a longer mission with a pinpoint landing and more detailed scientific objectives. It also featured the only all Navy crew of the Apollo program. The crew consisted of Navy Commanders Charles “Pete” Conrad, Richard “Dick” Gordon and Alan L. Bean. All were experienced Naval aviators. Conrad… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 12

Navy Bands: Diversity in Action

Tuesday, November 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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During the late-nineteenth century and early-twentieth century, musicians from South America, Central America, and Caribbean countries filled vacant ranks in U.S. Navy Bands, swearing an oath of enlistment that afforded a path to American citizenship. Early twentieth-century Navy Band rosters prove strikingly diverse. In addition to affording citizenship, music served as a medium to help bring diversity to the U.S. Navy. Of the many attempts to define the American national identity, the most enlightening are those that read American identity as a synthesis of many different influences. Unsurprisingly, American musical identity is also best defined as a synthesis. Forged through… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 7

The Coal Barge at the Cradle of Naval Aviation

Thursday, November 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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AB-2 flying boat on Coal Barge No. 214

On 5 November 1915, Lieutenant Commander Henry C. Mustin made history when he made the first underway catapult launch from a ship, the USS North Carolina (Armored Cruiser No. 12) in the Curtiss Model F flying boat AB-2—experimental work that ultimately led to the use of catapults today. Several months before, though, trials of the device were undertaken using a less auspicious craft—Coal Barge No. 214.

 
Nov 5

German Fleet Surrender of World War I

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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Head shot of Vice Admiral John L. McCrea, USN (Ret.)

  In this clip excerpted from his oral history recordings, Vice Admiral McCrea recalls the remarkable capstone of his World War I service on board the battleship USS New York (BB-34) — the German fleet surrender of World War I. McCrea was a Naval Academy midshipman in 1914 when his ship, the USS Idaho (BB-24), was sold to Greece on the eve of World War I. After graduating in 1915, he served in the New York and was present when the German fleet surrendered following the war. He served a tour in Guam in the 1930s, then was executive officer of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 31

This Day In History: The Sinking of the USS Reuben James (DD-245)

Thursday, October 31, 2019 11:45 AM

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Most of us tend to associate the start of America’s involvement in World War II with the tragedy that struck Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Technically, we aren’t wrong. The United States did in fact make the decision to officially enter the war following the events of that terrible day. However, the Attack on Pearl Harbor was not the first deadly attack against U.S. forces during the overall duration of the war, nor was it the first time a U.S. warship was ravaged by the Axis.   The story I am about to tell you may sound familiar to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 30

Richardson: Late Famed Oceanographer’s Legacy is One of “Lives Saved”

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 9:12 AM

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When retired Adm. John Richardson, former Chief of Naval Operations, reflected on the legacy of the late oceanographer Walter Munk, perhaps the most striking impact from a career that stretched over a century is this: Lives saved. Munk’s vast research work – from predicting waves so amphibious landing forces could avoid the harshest seas to understanding underwater sound transmission to find, or hide, submarines – stretched from World War II through the Cold War and to current day, Richardson told an audience last week at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. “If you think about, for a second,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 24

Leyte Gulf Reminiscences

Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:53 AM

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Excerpted from The Battle of Leyte Gulf at 75: A Retrospective, by Thomas J. Cutler (Naval Institute Press, 2019) The Battle of Leyte Gulf, an epic page in the history of World War II, is the victory of thousands of U.S. warriors at sea, ashore, beneath the sea, and in the air—their actions, professional can-do spirit, heroism, and sacrifices. The Japanese committed their carriers and main battle fleet to the action, and they fought hard, determined to turn back U.S. amphibious landings at Leyte and Philippine shores beyond. Mistakes were made on both sides. The Americans rose to the challenge…. Read the rest of this entry »