Archive for June, 2018

Jun 28

How One Man Started a World War 104 Years Ago Today

Thursday, June 28, 2018 3:17 PM

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(Photo: Smithsonian Magazine)

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in the streets of Sarajevo, which loosed the forces that created World War I. Here are the elements that led to this catastrophic event:   AN ANNEXATION CAUSES TROUBLE IN BOSNIA   Following the Crimean War and various conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Congress of Berlin proposed a treaty that granted independence to the smaller nation-states of Romania, Montenegro, and Serbia. While Austria and Russia initially promised to leave these new countries to their own devices, Austria’s sudden annexation of Bosnia in 1908 generated intense… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

Here’s How the French Created Military Aviation

Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:28 AM

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On June 26, 1794, the French army launched their military balloon, L’Entreprenant, for reconnaissance during the Battle of Fleurus — the first use of an aircraft for military purposes. The Committee of Public Safety approved the creation of the French Company of Aeronauts in 1794 and sponsored the development of the hydrogen that would be used to raise the craft. After much testing and experimentation with gases and structures, L’Entreprenant was born [1].   Following a brief debut during a bombardment on June 2, L’Entreprenant was used to report enemy movements during a conflict with Austrian forces [2]. At Fleurus, the balloon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 27

The Stories Behind 6 of the USMC’s Bulldog Mascots

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:19 AM

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Marine Barracks mascot Chesty XII, shortly before retiring and being replaced by Chesty XIII in 2008.

Marines earned the title “Teufel Hunden” (German for “Devil Dog”) at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, so it was only natural that on June 27, 1927, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted the English Bulldog as the official mascot. Here are six Bulldogs of the Marine Corps:   1. Sergeant Major Jiggs I (1922-1927)   The first English Bulldog to join the ranks was Jiggs, who was enlisted in 1922 by BGen. Smedley Butler. “Sgt. Jiggs” starred in the 1926 movie “Tell It To The Marines.” Jiggs ultimately rose to the rank of Sergeant Major before he died in 1927. His memorial was… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 22

First SOSUS signal at Cape Hatteras – June 1962

Friday, June 22, 2018 3:21 PM

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A view of the Cape Hatteras lighthouse from the beach. (National Park Service)

I started to feel a little nostalgic when I found out that the first SOSUS signal of a Soviet diesel submarine was detected by the Cape Hatteras Naval Facility (NAVFAC) on June 26, 1962. Like many other women naval officers who launched their careers in the Cold War era, SOSUS was one of the few real ‘operational’ billets available to us, so we requested and got orders to the ‘Naval Facilities’ to begin our careers as watch officers for what was a secret but highly successful cold war antisubmarine warfare asset at the time. Our job was to monitor, detect, hold… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 19

Today in Naval History

Tuesday, June 19, 2018 8:25 AM

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U.S. Kearsarge faces off against the Confederate raider Alabama in Cherbourg Harbor
(By Jean-Baptiste Durand-Brager)

On this day in 1864 – During the Civil War, USS Kearsarge, commanded by Capt. J.A. Winslow, sinks CSS Alabama, commanded by Capt. R. Semmes, off Cherbourg, France, ending the career of the Souths most famous commerce raider, which included burning 55 vessels valued at $4.5 million. Read an excerpt from the USS Kearsarger‘s No. 1 gun’s sponger James Lee’s journal below.   Sunday, 19 June: This is a fine morning, cool and pleasant, holystoned decks, and put everything in apple pie order. At 8 am the word was passed to shift in clean blue mustering clothes. At 10 am… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 14

USS Cyclops – The Deadliest Unsolved Mystery in the Navy

Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:01 AM

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USS Cyclops circa 1913. Copied from the album of Francis Sargent, courtesy of Commander John Condon, 1986. (Photo: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command taken by Sargent.)

One hundred years later, the mystery of the USS Cyclops, the greatest non-combat loss of life the Navy ever experienced, remains unsolved. What happened to it? Where did it go? The USS Cyclops was built in Philadelphia; it was 54o feet long and 65 feet wide. The ship was a Proteus class collier and could carry 12,500 tons of coal while making 15 knots with its twin screws. When the United States declared war on Germany and its allies in April 1917, support ships like the USS Cyclops fell under the command of the Navy. The administrative change greatly affected… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 12

The Sinking of the USS President Lincoln, 31 May 1918

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:01 AM

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Painting by Fred Dana Marsh, 1920, depicting the ship sinking after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-90 on 31 May 1918

May 31st marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the troop transport USS President Lincoln. Formerly a German ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line, the Navy had commissioned her in 1917 to ferry young men and equipment over to the Western Front. In 1918, her luck ran out when she was torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-90.  In 1922, her commanding officer at the time of the sinking, Commander P. W. Foote, USN, wrote his remembrances of the fateful day for Proceedings. It is excerpted and illustrated here.

 
Jun 11

Nursing to Combat: The Ever Expanding Role of Women

Monday, June 11, 2018 12:01 AM

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WAVES practice marksmanship At an indoor range at Treasure Island Naval Base, California, 11 February 1943. (Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command)

Throughout their history, women have impacted the Navy and Marine Corps. At the outset, women served as dedicated wives managing the household and raising children while their husbands served. As time went on, the role of women grew. Here’s a look at the progression of official responsibilities women undertake in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. 1908- Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Bill which established the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. The first women to become official members of the U.S. Navy were known as the “Sacred Twenty.” These women payed their own travel expense to Washington D.C. to pass the oral… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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