Mar 20

Celebrating Women’s History Month

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 12:24 PM


Captain Winifred Quick Collins

  I’ve enjoyed reading the oral history of Captain Winifred Quick Collins during Women’s History Month. Captain Collins dedicated her career to the advancement of women in the Navy, and her reminiscences reveal the many obstacles she overcame as we progressed toward a more inclusive Navy. Collins was among the first officers accepted when the WAVES were established in 1942; one of the first female officers commissioned in the regular Navy, which happened in 1948; and at the top of her profession as the only woman line captain at the end of her career. She was selected for the Navy experience as the… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 17

Today in Submarine History

Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:01 AM



In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we remember the Irish-born John Phillip Holland and the Holland IV. 1898: John P. Holland’s submarine, Holland IV, performs the first successful diving and surfacing tests off Staten Island, New York. Read more about Holland and his submarines here.   Another anniversary, 1959: USS Skate (SSN-578) becomes the first submarine to surface at the North Pole, traveling 3,000 miles in and under Arctic ice for more than a month. Read more about the USS Skate here.

Mar 15

Seaplanes Go To War

Thursday, March 15, 2018 12:01 AM


PBY Catalina Sights IJN Fleet 6/42 by John Hamilton

World War II for the flying boats started sooner than many. PBY Catalinas and PBM Mariners, a newer flying boat built to complement the PBY, were sent to Iceland, Newfoundland, Bermuda, and other bases as part of the Neutrality Patrol where they searched for German U-Boats. In May of 1941, Lieutenant Leonard Smith was helping train RAF pilots in PBY operations when he took part in a mission that spotted the German battleship Bismarck, which led to its sinking. The seaplanes escorted the Marine contingent to Iceland in July of the same year.[1] When hostilities commenced, the seaplanes were there…. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 13

USCG Helos to the Rescue (Part 3)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 10:13 AM



On 15 February1943, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest J. King assigned responsibility for sea-going development of helicopters to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has proven time and time again that the helicopter is a unique instrument for the saving of human lives.” Here are some of the important missions flown by the service’s helicopters. ‘Yes, I Can’ The first life-saving mission by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer took place on 10 December 1987. At 1936 the Bluebird, a 26-foot fishing vessel requested assistance. The duty helicopter crew at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Alaska, quickly boarded HH–3F… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 8

12 People You Didn’t Know Were U.S. Marines

Thursday, March 8, 2018 10:18 PM


Marines - Drew Carey

12. Rob Riggle The comedian and actor Rob Riggle who appeared on Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show and dozens of films sitcoms and commercials retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 2013. His deployments included tours in Kosovo and Afghanistan. 11. Bea Arthur Actress Bea Arthur enjoyed a successful career playing acerbic characters on the TV series Maude and The Golden Girls. During WWII under her birth name Bernice Frankel, she served in the USMC as a truck driver and typist. Oddly, in her later years she would deny that she was a Marine…. Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 6

Meeting “Butch” O’Hare

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 12:01 AM


Admiral John S. "Jimmy" Thach, USN (Ret.) (1905-1981)

In this excerpt from his 1970 Oral History Interview with CDR Etta-Belle Kitchen, USN (Ret.), then-Admiral Thach recounts his first first meeting with future Medal of Honor recipient and fighter ace Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare in 1940. The complete oral history is a delightfully told memoir from the man who was probably the Navy’s foremost fighter plane tactician of World War II. He is best known as the inventor of the “Thach Weave,” whereby U.S. fighters could successfully combat Japanese Zeros. Thach tells of devising the maneuver at home with kitchen matches. In a series of enjoyable tales, Thach describes his Naval Academy… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 1

Rocket Ships: A Pictorial Overview

Thursday, March 1, 2018 11:43 AM


Resembling a fireworks display, a five-inch rocket is launched from the USS Clarion River (LSMR-409) on a night mission.

Experience by British, American, and Allied forces during the early parts of the Second World War underscored the need for effective close fire support and beach bombardment. It soon became clear the most effective method for providing this much-needed capability was not to develop specialized platforms for the task, but to modify the ships and craft that already had the capability to get close-in to shore in medias res. The answer was landing craft. Much as the Soviets had done with their Katyusha on land, the British Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy began modifying their existing and planned landing… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 27

Reclaiming Lost Photos

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 12:01 AM


Photograph being placed in the humidification chamber.

Imagine you have a photograph of an event that you know would look just perfect framed on the wall. You also think your family and friends would enjoy having their own copy of the photo, and really want to digitize and email it to them. Depending on how the photograph was stored, this whole scenario can take less than ten minutes to complete. You, however, have a problem: the photograph was stored in a tube, and now refuses to lie flat.   At an archive like the U.S. Naval Institute, running into a problem like this isn’t out of the… Read the rest of this entry »