Archive for June, 2014

Jun 27

A Message From Capt. Henry J. Hendrix II, Ph.D

Friday, June 27, 2014 8:47 AM


On the Ocassion of His Retirement from Naval Service June 27, 2014:   “It is difficult to believe that 26 years have rushed by since I raised my right hand and swore the oath in the Armory Building at Purdue University, and I am more than a little broken hearted that it is coming to an end. Being an officer in the Navy was always a dream of mine, and I have lived that dream and achieved all that I sought, and more. Wearing the uniform has been a privilege and being selected for promotion to Captain was the highest… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 20

NHHC Announces Spanish-American War Documentary Project

Friday, June 20, 2014 1:00 PM


    By Dennis Conrad, Ph.D., Histories and Archives Division, Naval History and Heritage Command  There are two wars that defined the modern U.S. Navy: World War II and the Spanish-American War. While the Navy’s performance in World War II gets lots of attention from the media (for example, the History Channel), historians, and history-buffs, its equally impressive record in the Spanish-American War is largely forgotten.  A new documentary project from the Naval History and Heritage Command, entitled The United States Navy’s Involvement in the Spanish-American War, aims to change that.  We are now preparing a new documentary history, to… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 20

CSS Alabama Continues to Yield Insights to 19th Century Life at Sea

Friday, June 20, 2014 8:05 AM


A shell recovered from the wreckage of CSS Alabama during a 2001-02 excavation  shows it still in its wood case, with a rope tying it shut.

From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communications and Outreach Division What is perhaps one of the most important artifacts from CSS Alabama, which sank 150 years ago today off the coast of France, actually came from the ship that destroyed her – USS Kearsarge. It’s a shell from Alabama’s 110-pound rifle that smashed through USS Kearsarge’s transom frame shortly after 11 a.m. June 19, 1864, and lodged in her stern post – never exploding. Fired early in the action as the two ships circled each other, the shell jammed against the rudder, forcing four Sailors to man the helm. But… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 19

Beautiful and Dangerous, CSS Alabama Ruled the Sea

Thursday, June 19, 2014 2:51 PM


  From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communications and Outreach Division Few ships during the Civil War carried the mystique of the infamous commerce raider CSS Alabama. The side-wheel steamer was the 007 of ships, her sleek and elegant built belying her long-range armament, canons and rifles above and below deck. She could switch out her flags to trick unsuspecting merchant ships and whalers before taking them as prizes, politely depositing the prisoners in an accommodating nation while living off the largess they captured. For nearly two years, CSS Alabama roamed the world’s seas. But even the ship’s unparalleled success had its Waterloo,… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 12

Dive on Houston Day 4: The Survey’s Final Day

Thursday, June 12, 2014 3:29 PM


By Dr. Alexis Catsambis, Naval History and Heritage Command, Underwater Archaeology Branch (Thursday, June 11, 2014) Today was our last day of operations on the presumed site of USS Houston. Operations began once more with a morning brief involving the master diver, Senior Chief William Phillips, Chief Warrant Officer Jason Shafer and myself at 6:30 a.m. Following breakfast, the team engaged in gear and camera preparations and by 8:45 a.m. a small boat was in the water to undertake the first U.S. Navy dive of the morning. By 11:00 a.m., we had completed three dives between the U.S. and Indonesian… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 11

Dive on Houston Day 3: A Pause to Honor Our Fallen, Then Work Continues

Wednesday, June 11, 2014 2:30 PM


By Dr. Alexis Catsambis, Naval History and Heritage Command, Underwater Archaeology Branch (Wednesday, June 11, 2014) Today has been an exceptionally long and productive day. Between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. we began preparations for the day’s dives readying dive gear, prepping cameras and tagging valves, knobs and pumps aboard Safeguard to set the stage for diving operations. Following the first surface-supplied dive, it appeared clear that SCUBA diving provided a more appropriate alternative, as it offered divers increased flexibility to swim along the wreck-site. Divers from Indonesia and the U.S. Navy were both able to dive on the wreck before the 11:15 a.m. arrival… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 10

Dive on Houston Day 2: The Survey Begins

Tuesday, June 10, 2014 5:05 PM


By Dr. Alexis Catsambis, Naval History and Heritage Command, Underwater Archaeology Branch (Tuesday, June 10, 2014) Operations began this morning at 6 a.m. when I held a brief with Master Diver Phillips and Chief Warrant Officer Jason Shafer. By 6:30 a.m. Safeguard was located near the vicinity of the first set of coordinates that we had for USS Houston and shortly thereafter three side-scan sonar technicians and I engaged in a small-boat survey of the area to locate the target. After eliminating two possible sets of coordinates, we had a positive hit at 11:35 a.m. on a large metallic target… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 9

Dive on Houston Day 1: NHHC Underwater Archaeologist Arrives in Jakarta, Begins Mission Planning

Monday, June 9, 2014 2:39 PM


From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division After a three day and more than 10,000 mile journey from Washington, D.C., Naval History and Heritage Command Underwater Archaeologist Dr. Alexis Catsambis arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia June 9 to begin collaboration on a survey of the World War II wreck of the cruiser USS Houston (CA 30). The survey is a training evolution as part of the Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) 2014 exercise series and involves Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit One divers embarked in USNS Safeguard (T-ARS-50), assisted by personnel from the Indonesian navy. Houston was chosen… Read the rest of this entry »

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