Jul 12

Stan the Navy Man Musial

Friday, July 12, 2019 10:27 AM

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Some shards of memory gleam back from long ago with a special sparkle that keeps them ever fresh in mind. For my brother Mark and me, a cluster of such memories assembled one hot summer evening, 27 August 1954, at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. We had been captivated by bubble-gum baseball cards and Harry Caray’s exciting radio broadcasts of Cardinal games. For months we had been begging our parents to take us to our first big-league game. The magic evening arrived. Alas, the Brooklyn Dodgers won the game 8–4, but we were hooked. Our hero, then and since, was… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 10

That Time the Navy Learned the Way to Beat a Zero is to Catch a Zero

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 7:41 AM

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Japanese Zero crashed in marsh.

During the Cold War air-to-air warfare was alive and well. The Soviets had a huge air force, and their fighters were a viable threat to NATO aircraft. As a result, American fighter crews trained extensively in matters pertaining to shooting down other airplanes. Among the air-to-air training programs was a super-secret one called “Constant Peg.” In the late ’70s the U.S. Air Force came into possession of a few Soviet aircraft (MiG 21s and 23s) that Israel captured from Syria. Over the years that inventory grew to more than a dozen airplanes acquired from places like Pakistan and China. The… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 4

Baseball Has Marked the Time

Thursday, July 4, 2019 12:01 AM

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There are few things that define a nation like its traditions. For the U.S., it’s turkey for Thanksgiving, fireworks on the 4th of July, apple pie, hot dogs, cracker jacks and baseball. The game is not only a part of everyday life, it has also found a home in the U.S. Navy. Below are a collection of photos showing the history of sailors enjoying America’s pastime over the last 150 years.                                        

 
Jul 3

Our First Korean War

Wednesday, July 3, 2019 12:01 AM

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As we remember the 69th anniversary of the start of the Korean War, many Americans forget that it was by no means our first Korean War. That title belongs to a conflict involving the 1871 Korean Expedition. In the period between the Civil War and the Spanish-American War, the Navy’s purpose shifted to various peacetime operations. During this time, the United States sent its Navy to far foreign stations and exerted its power with greater authority than ever before. The 1871 Korean Expedition exemplified the role of the Navy during this time period, as it involved both an attempt at… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 2

The Early Years: Remembering Admiral Rickover

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 12:01 AM

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Rear Admiral Charles E. Loughlin, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

In this audio sample from his oral history, Admiral Loughlin looks back on his service in the 1930s on board the battleship USS New Mexico (BB-40), where he worked for a certain assistant chief engineer named Lieutenant Hyman G. Rickover. The future Admiral Rickover was, says Loughlin, “one of the big influences on my life . . . one of the most loyal naval officers I’ve ever worked for . . . . He made a tremendous difference.” Loughlin, who graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1933, went to submarine school and served in various boats before taking command… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

The Iowa-Class Battlecarrier: A Design that Never “Took Off”

Friday, June 28, 2019 9:07 AM

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Concept model of the USS Missouri (BB-63) fitted as a VSTOL-capable interdiction/assault ship (Courtesy Martin

The history of naval architecture is replete with designs that, however innovative, never made it out of the concept phase. Some, like the Large Surface Effect Ship, seemed promising but could not deliver their designed performance even as smaller prototypes; others, like the Sea Control Ship escort concept, were cancelled because of budget cuts; still others, however mercifully, never made it off of paper. Such was the Iowa-class interdiction/assault ship, a late-1970s proposal which would have transformed the four battleships into “battlecarriers”–one-ship power-projection forces with a landing deck for short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft operations.

 
Jun 19

Marianas Turkey Shoot—Plus Seventy-Five

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 12:01 PM

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Air Battle Of The Philippine Sea by John Hamilton

An Allied armada hoisted anchor on 6 June 1944 and departed its base to force a landing on a hostile shore. The result would prove decisive to the outcome of the World War II and would free an enslaved population from years of brutal oppression. That day the world’s attention was focused on the north coast of France, where Allied troops were pushing inland in the largest-ever amphibious assault. While Operation Overlord would become the one and only D-Day in the public’s mind, in truth there were many other D-Days, many other H-Hours on many beaches throughout the world. From… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 18

Aviator and Antarctic Adventurer: Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 12:01 AM

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While doing research for my last blog topic, the Trans-Atlantic Flight of the NC-4, I stumbled across a name that I’ve seen many times during the Naval Institute’s photo digitization project: Richard E. Byrd. Byrd was one of the men who was consulted for the flight plan of the NC-4, and his name titles a series of Antarctic expeditions I personally scanned and researched for our new digital photo archive. It wasn’t until seeing his name appear connected to the NC-4, however, that the realization I knew so little about this renowned adventurer himself hit me. Just who was Richard… Read the rest of this entry »