Apr 2

Impact of the Writings of Captain Edward L. Beach Sr.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 12:01 AM

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Rear Admiral Walter C Ansel, USN (Ret.)

  In this excerpt from his oral history, Read Admiral Ansel tells of how he was profoundly influenced to attend the Naval Academy and pursue a naval career by the writings of Captain Edward L. Beach Sr. — who, along with his son and namesake, is whom the Naval Institute’s headquarters, Beach Hall, is named after. Both Captain Beach Sr. and son Ned Beach were inextricably linked to the Institute throughout its history, and both embodied the Naval Institute ideal encoded in its insignia: the pen and the sword. A 1918 graduate of the Naval Academy, Admiral Ansel served on… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 31

Steps on the Path to Gender Equality

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 12:01 AM

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As we near the end of Women’s History month, please enjoy a short timeline of American women’s continued journey to equality. 1781 Deborah Sampson, disguises herself as a man, enlists in the Continental Army as “Robert Shurtleff,” and becomes one of the first American women who is documented to have served in combat. 1840 Catherine Brewer becomes the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduating from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, first women’s right convention held in the U.S. Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 1865 Mary Edwards Walker, a contract surgeon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 24

The History of Hospital Ships

Tuesday, March 24, 2020 11:05 AM

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Did you know that the USNS Mercy (T-AH-19) arrived in Los Angeles, California earlier today? The Mercy and her sister ship, the USNS Comfort, are both hospital ships operated by the United States’ Military Sealift Command, and both have a long history of aiding combatant forces as well as civilians in need of disaster and humanitarian relief. Seeing the Mercy on the news, however, lit a question in my archival brain: just what is the history of hospital ships? While we do not have concrete evidence, there is a possibility that hospital ships have existed since ancient times. The Athenian… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 17

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 8

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:01 AM

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The previous blog left off at the end of June with my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), operating in Italy and preparing to return to combat after undergoing refitting and repairs. In my search of naval records I was unable to find any entries for the ship’s war journal for the month of July. The ship’s history, however, shows the month was spent traveling back and forth between Italy and Tunisia. This entry will pick up in August 1944 with the Sway in Naples, Italy and unless otherwise noted the entries will be from the ship’s war diary as my grandfather stopped keeping a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 10

Suicide at the Top, Remembering RADM Don P. Moon

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 12:01 AM

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As we remember and observe the 75th anniversary of Operation Dragoon, the Allied amphibious landing in southern France on 15 August 1944, it is worthwhile to reflect on one high ranking casualty just prior to the invasion, RADM Don P. Moon. Sadly, RADM Moon committed suicide ten days prior to the assault. In light of the recent suicides of VADM Scott Stearney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, on 1 December 2018[i], and Army CSM Noel Foster, the Fort Campbell Garrison CSM, on 1 September 2017, RADM Moon’s case is worth studying to understand how the pressures of command and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 3

Inchon Landing 15 September 1950

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 12:01 AM

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Captain Glyn Jones, CHC, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

  In this audio selection from his oral history, Captain Jones serves up a vivid, you-are-there account of the Marines’ push through South Korea after the historic Inchon Landing in 1950, as one of three chaplains assigned to the large-scale invasion force. Jones graduated from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1940 and joined the Navy in 1942. His duties included: Third Marine Regiment in Samoa, New Zealand, Guadalcanal, Truk, Bougainville; station chaplain at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island; First Marine Division, FMF Pac in Korea; senior chaplain, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island; director, Marine Corps Educational Center… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 27

Pearl Harbor’s Second, Secret Disaster

Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:30 AM

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The attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 was not the only fiery tragedy that befell the bustling Hawaiian hub throughout the duration of the Second World War. Some 3 and a half years following the deadly Japanese-led strike, Pearl Harbor found itself in the midst of another deadly inferno that tore through the previously untouched West Loch, destroying six LSTs, killing 163 personnel, and injuring a further 396. Despite the large loss of life, knowledge of this explosive catastrophe was and continues to be limited, as an immediate press blackout surrounding the incident was… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 21

The Evolution of Naval Wargames

Friday, February 21, 2020 2:05 PM

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  Naumachiae: Sea Battles in the Colosseum The Romans always enjoyed a good game, especially if it was extravagant and resulted in multiple gruesome deaths. Historical accounts from the reign of Emperor Titus detail spectacles known as naumachiae (Latin for “naval combat”) in which arenas such as the Coliseum were flooded and prisoners were then forced to reenact famous sea battles by fighting from scale-model ships. The easily bored Romans occasionally spiced up the games by added specially trained bulls that could fight in water. The Fred Jane Naval War Game In the 19th century, several games were produced for… Read the rest of this entry »