Archive for February, 2014

Feb 28

Lest We Forget: The night of Feb. 28, 1942, USS Houston (CA 30)

Friday, February 28, 2014 3:08 PM


By Capt. R. Mark Stacpoole, United States Navy, American Legation, US Naval Attaché, Jakarta, Indonesia Tonight, while you are at home or out, it might be appropriate to spend a minute in remembrance of the 1,082 men of USS Houston. It was 72 years ago tonight that she sailed for the final time into the teeth of enemy fire. In the Sunda Strait, and in concert with HMAS Perth, she ran into a main Japanese invasion force. Low on fuel and with her after turret out of action; this as a result of damage sustained at the Battle of Makassar Strait (where… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 28

Launching of USS Indiana (BB 1), the Navy’s first battleship

Friday, February 28, 2014 2:22 PM


By Naval History and Heritage Command NOTE: This blog posits that USS Indiana (BB 1) was the U.S. Navy’s first battleship. Why? The hull number, for one thing – BB 1. There’s also the fact that the ships after Indiana were called Indiana-class battleships. Also, based on the Naming of Ships Act of 1819, Indiana was a “first class” battleship based on her 42 guns. Texas was a second-class battleship with only 34 guns. Despite all that, we admit that Texas was commissioned three months before Indiana. No matter which side of that debate you fall on, no one can… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 20

Destroyer duty ‘made me who I am’

Thursday, February 20, 2014 1:24 PM


Hard work, sense of community just two reasons why Sailors are passionate about their tours on destroyers By Naval History and Heritage Command staff It’s been said that if aircraft carriers and big deck amphibious ships are like cities on the sea, the destroyers represent the small towns where everyone knows everyone and Sailors often do more than one or two jobs on the ship. And when destroyermen talk about what they liked during their time on these Greyhounds of the Fleet, they will almost inevitably bring up the comradeship they shared. “The destroyer is the hardest working asset in… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 16

In Harm’s Way: Lt. Decatur Avenges Capture of The Frigate Philadelphia #WarfightingFirst

Sunday, February 16, 2014 8:00 AM


On Feb. 16, 1804, Lt. Stephen Decatur burned the frigate, Philadelphia, in Tripoli Harbor. British Adm. Horatio Nelson called it, “the most bold and daring act of the age.” One wouldn’t think an officer burning a Navy ship would garner such an accolade, but the capture of Philadelphia had been an embarrassment to the young U.S. Navy. The United States was in her first Barbary war with Tripoli, and back then Tripoli, Algiers, Tunis and Morocco were independent North African kingdoms that frequently employed piracy in the Mediterranean unless they received regular payments. The Tripolitans had captured Philadelphia four months… Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 14

USS Essex rounds Cape Horn to sail into history

Friday, February 14, 2014 1:01 PM


By Naval History and Heritage Command Finding the right person to command the first U.S. Navy ship to round Cape Horn and sail into the Pacific Ocean required a captain of considerable experience. So it is with little wonder Capt. David Porter was chosen for that daunting task. Certainly little wonder perhaps on Capt. Porter’s part, whose self-confidence and ego, with a great deal of luck, made the trip successful for those who survived the Feb. 14, 1813 passage through the Le Maire Straits into the Pacific Ocean. While history has put Porter’s face on the success of the frigate… Read the rest of this entry »