Archive for May, 2019

May 28

The Lost Men of the Monitor

Tuesday, May 28, 2019 12:01 AM

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Each year on Memorial Day, we stop to remember the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for this nation. This year we share a story over 150 years in the making from the May 2013 issue of Naval History. After years of forensic and genealogical research, the remains of two Monitor sailors who went down with their ship more than a century and a half ago were laid to rest. Early on 31 December 1862, the pride of the U.S. Navy, the Monitor, was about to die. For several hours, her crew fought to keep the ship afloat… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 21

The Transatlantic Flight of the NC-4

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 12:01 AM

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While outside we enter the second-half of May and quickly descend into June, as I work away inside the archive, my mind inevitably wanders to the subject that seems to be on everyone’s mind this time of year: Summer travel plans. Even for those no longer bound to the timetable of the educational system, Summer is still synonymous with vacation and travel, myself included. But with my occupation, even my thoughts on travel end up turning in a historical direction. One hundred years ago, in 1919, our main mode of long-distance transportation today was still a scary, new technology that… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 16

When Dissent was a Common Virtue

Thursday, May 16, 2019 12:01 AM

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Admiral Chester Nimitz summed up the Battle of Iwo Jima: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Nimitz’s words are inscribed on the Marine Memorial in Arlington, VA. The photo of six Marines raising the U.S. flag on Mount Suribachi was the defining image of the Allied victory in World War II, the most often viewed photograph of its time. The photographer was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. The heroism and sacrifice of those Marines were never in doubt. “When dissent was a common virtue” describes the actions of three Marine Generals during the Vietnam War. There was no iconic photo, no… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 14

Museum Report: The Tug That Fought

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 11:07 AM

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Alongside the quay at the Port of Oswego, New York, an old warrior stands guard. On her stack, she proudly displays her “kill mark”: the silhouette of a fighter plane and swastika. Her twin .50-caliber guns still point skyward. She is U.S. Army large tug LT-5, the John F. Nash, originally christened the Major Elisha K. Henson and launched on 22 November 1942. During my three-hour tour of the 115-foot tug, I saw everything from the captain’s cabin to the spike-mounted “stinger” guns on the small gun deck abaft the pilothouse. It was during Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, that… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 10

USS Triton (SSN-586) and her Historic Voyage, ending May 10, 1960

Friday, May 10, 2019 1:00 AM

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On a brisk February day in 1960, the USS Triton (SSN-586) sailed out of New London, Connecticut on the Thames River down to Long Island Sound and into the Atlantic Ocean on what the crew presumed to be its usual patrol. Soon thereafter, they started to notice changes in direction and the suspense grew about where they were headed. Two days later, around 4:00pm, Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr, made his announcement on the general announcing microphone in the control room.   “Men,” He said, “I know you’ve all been waiting to hear what this cruise is all about and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 8

The Eagles Return

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 8 May 1919, the waterfront of Halifax harbor was lined with spectators awaiting the arrival of three U.S. Navy seaplanes from Long Island on the first leg of their much-heralded attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Reports of their progress were received during the afternoon as they moved along the south shore of Nova Scotia and finally, at 7:40 pm, two of the aircraft, NC-3 and NC-1, landed safely in the harbor. These were Navy Curtiss or NC (Nancy) flying boats, designed as self-deploying anti-submarine aircraft and intended for combat duties. But when NC Seaplane Division One was commissioned… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 7

Carrier Carrier Pigeons

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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Letting the carrier pigeon loose from the seaplane while in air. U.S. Naval Station, Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Admiral Alfred Melville Pride‘s early interest in aviation was followed by his enlistment in Naval Reserve for World War I in 1917, aviation training, and brief overseas duty in France. In 1922, Pride joined the commissioning crew of the United State’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV-1), as one of her aviators. Pride recalled many years later one of the little-known facts about the earlier carrier—that when the Langley was built equipped with a carrier pigeon loft. Admiral Pride explains why in an edited excerpt below.

 
May 2

Tenth Patrol of the USS Silversides (SS-236)

Thursday, May 2, 2019 12:01 AM

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RADM John S. Coye Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.)

In this audio excerpt from his oral history, Rear Admiral John Coye describes the tenth war patrol of the USS Silversides (SS-236) and the sinking of three Japanese ships off the Marianas in May 1944. After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1933, Admiral Coye served in the cruiser USS Northampton (CA-26) and destroyer Monaghan (DD-354). Submarine school in 1937 was followed by service in the submarine USS Shark (SS-174) as engineer until 1941. He then helped put the mothballed submarine USS R-18 (SS-95) into commission and succeeded to command during patrols off Panama. The highlight of his career came during… Read the rest of this entry »