Aug 21

Hornet Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Splashdown

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Carefully, a young boy balances his right foot inside the painted outline of a larger foot, then he jumps to the next painted footprint. He’s following the footprints across the floor of the hangar deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, now a museum, berthed at Alameda, California. This is the carrier that recovered the astronauts of Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, the first men to walk on the moon, and Michael Collins, pilot of the command module. The boy is following their path from the helicopter that picked them up from the Pacific Ocean, then across the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 15

White Hulls: Coast Guard Punches Above Its Weight

Thursday, August 15, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Happy birthday to the United States Coast Guard! The Coast Guard is the sea service that everyone counts on during people’s worst days, and 4 August 2019 marked the service’s 229th birthday. Though the modern Coast Guard is an amalgamation of other federal sea-going agencies, it traces its origins to the Cutter Revenue Service established in 1790. On 20 January 1915, Congress merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service to form the Coast Guard in the “Act to Create the Coast Guard.” The Coast Guard maintained the ocean-going component through the new service’s combined fleet of cutters, but… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 14

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 1

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 12:01 AM

By

This is the first in a series exploring the World War II service of my paternal grandfather Thomas D. Schreck. I embarked upon this project two years ago in an effort to learn more about his service. My grandfather did not share much with his family about his time in the military, but fourteen years earlier I had an opportunity to spend a great deal of time with him wherein we talked about many topics including his military service. Many of the stories and information he shared with me he had never shared with his children. When he passed away… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 13

U.S. Revenue Marine to Coast Guard (1790-1915)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:01 AM

By

As George Washington left his retreat in Mount Vernon to enter the office of the presidency, the newly established United States faced a myriad of issues. A new government was formed, and the people hoped this would not mirror the recent failure of the Articles of Confederation. Great Britain and Spain still occupied U.S. territory. Secession loomed in the West. The Army was inadequate, the Navy nonexistent, and the Treasury exhausted. After the war, the new government of the United States had accumulated an impressive amount of debt to both its citizens and foreign countries. While Congress attempted to alleviate… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 8

The 1st Marines on Bloody Nose Ridge

Thursday, August 8, 2019 12:01 AM

By

On 15 September 1944, the 1st Marine Division landed on Peleliu with its commander, Major General William H. Rupertus, confidently predicting the Japanese-held island would be in U.S. hands within four days. But the grueling Battle of Peleliu would last 73 days, with the U.S. Army’s 81st Infantry Division eventually taking over operations. Two key factors contributed to the battle stretching so long: The Japanese abandoned large-scale assaults in favor of attritional, defensive warfare, and they had ideal terrain in which to implement their new tactics—the rugged coral and limestone Umurbrogol Mountain, which Marines nicknamed “Bloody Nose Ridge.”

 
Aug 3

This Day in History: The Nautilus’ Under Pole Passage

Saturday, August 3, 2019 12:01 AM

By

As the first commanding officer of the nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus (SSN-571), Commander Eugene Wilkinson famously broadcast to the world on 17 January 1955, “Underway on Nuclear Power.” He knew firsthand just how capable the boat and her crew were. But by 1958, he had moved on to command Submarine Division 102. The man in charge was now Commander William Anderson. The skipper was slated to take the Nautilus up the West Coast, under the North Pole, and back down the East Coast. To prepare for this tall order, Anderson first drove the Nautilus, loaded with crew and scientists alike, under… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 1

Vietnam Era NROTC Programs

Thursday, August 1, 2019 12:01 AM

By

A. Prentice Kenyon

In this audio excerpt from his oral history, Mr. Kenyon describes how many of the leading institutions of higher learning severed their ties with Navy ROTC during the turbulent Vietnam War years, and how “We had some rough conversations with the school administrations at that time.” Mr. Kenyon retired in 1973 after serving the Navy since 1941, first as an officer and later as a civil servant. In this memoir, he reviews the history of education and training in the Navy, organization within the Navy, transition from old to the current systems, some problems encountered along the way, tools of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 30

Racism, Mutiny, and Exoneration-The Port Chicago Disaster

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 11:53 AM

By

The date is 17 July 1944. It’s nearing half past 10 PM, and the 24-hour cycle of munitions and cargo loading at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine, California is in full swing. Two merchant ships, the SS Quinault Victory and the SS E.A. Bryan, sit at the pier. The SS Quinault Victory is empty, the SS E.A. Bryan holds over 4,000 tons of ammunition, and sixteen railcars sitting on the pier contain 429 tons of ammunition. Hundreds of cargo handlers, munitions handlers, crewmen, and officers swarm the area, working tirelessly to load the two vessels with explosives, bombs, depth charges,… Read the rest of this entry »