Archive for June, 2019

Jun 28

The Iowa-Class Battlecarrier: A Design that Never “Took Off”

Friday, June 28, 2019 9:07 AM

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Concept model of the USS Missouri (BB-63) fitted as a VSTOL-capable interdiction/assault ship (Courtesy Martin

The history of naval architecture is replete with designs that, however innovative, never made it out of the concept phase. Some, like the Large Surface Effect Ship, seemed promising but could not deliver their designed performance even as smaller prototypes; others, like the Sea Control Ship escort concept, were cancelled because of budget cuts; still others, however mercifully, never made it off of paper. Such was the Iowa-class interdiction/assault ship, a late-1970s proposal which would have transformed the four battleships into “battlecarriers”–one-ship power-projection forces with a landing deck for short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft operations.

 
Jun 19

Marianas Turkey Shoot—Plus Seventy-Five

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 12:01 PM

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Air Battle Of The Philippine Sea by John Hamilton

An Allied armada hoisted anchor on 6 June 1944 and departed its base to force a landing on a hostile shore. The result would prove decisive to the outcome of the World War II and would free an enslaved population from years of brutal oppression. That day the world’s attention was focused on the north coast of France, where Allied troops were pushing inland in the largest-ever amphibious assault. While Operation Overlord would become the one and only D-Day in the public’s mind, in truth there were many other D-Days, many other H-Hours on many beaches throughout the world. From… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 18

Aviator and Antarctic Adventurer: Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd, Jr.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019 12:01 AM

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While doing research for my last blog topic, the Trans-Atlantic Flight of the NC-4, I stumbled across a name that I’ve seen many times during the Naval Institute’s photo digitization project: Richard E. Byrd. Byrd was one of the men who was consulted for the flight plan of the NC-4, and his name titles a series of Antarctic expeditions I personally scanned and researched for our new digital photo archive. It wasn’t until seeing his name appear connected to the NC-4, however, that the realization I knew so little about this renowned adventurer himself hit me. Just who was Richard… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 13

The Ladies of Newport

Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:01 AM

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In February 1919, Chief Machinist’s Mate Ervin Arnold found himself stationed at the Newport Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island. Then a 14-year veteran with the U.S. Navy, and around 40, Arnold previously had worked as a detective in his home state of Connecticut for nearly nine years. On his arrival to Newport, Arnold was sent almost directly to the hospital, as he was struggling with a rather severe bout of rheumatism that required frequent medical attention. Not long after arriving, the machinist’s mate became somewhat friendly with his significantly younger fellow sailors, and their conversations eventually turned toward… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 11

VADM Thomas Weschler’s Recollections of ADM Arleigh Burke

Tuesday, June 11, 2019 12:01 AM

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Vice Admiral Thomas R. Weschler

In this excerpt, Weschler provides insights into Admiral Arleigh A. Burke’s personality and working style. Weschler was not commissioned at the time of his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1939 because he did not meet the vision standards. Instead, he became a merchant marine officer and served until joining the Naval Reserve in 1941 and being recalled to active duty. He taught briefly at the Naval Academy, then served in the carrier USS Wasp (CV-7) and was on board when she was torpedoed and sunk in September 1942. He was selected as the first personal aide for Admiral… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 3

USOs Not UFOs Have Been the Greatest Threat to the Navy

Monday, June 3, 2019 3:21 AM

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The United States Navy created a bit of a buzz recently when it revealed that new guidelines had been issued for pilots who wanted to report encounters with unexplained aerial phenomena. The guidelines were created in response to a rash of unusual sightings over the past several years. Many media outlets equated unexplained aerial phenomena to unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, which in turn was interpreted by a lot of people as meaning “spacecraft flown by aliens.” To the disappointment of believers, most reported phenomena are probably due to something a bit more mundane than extraterrestrials taking a joy ride… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 3

Death of a Destroyer

Monday, June 3, 2019 12:01 AM

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To mark the 50th anniversary, below is a reprint of Captain Paul Sherbo’s article from the December 2003 issue of Naval History. Many a ship driver reading of the 1969 collision between the USS Frank E. Evans and HMAS Melbourne can see familiar errors that again could end in catastrophe. But tracking down the cause of the disaster has been no easy task. At quarter past three in the morning on 3 June 1969, 74 crewmen of a U.S. destroyer in the South China Sea began to die.1 It was not enemy fire that took them. The tragedy occurred when… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 2

This Day in Naval History: June 2 – FIRST Aircraft Escort Carrier

Sunday, June 2, 2019 12:01 AM

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Aerial port broadside view of USS Long Island (CVE-1) underway.

On June 2, 1941, the USS Long Island (AVG-1) was commissioned as the first Auxiliary Aircraft Escort Carrier. The design led to more experimentation, turning merchant ships into aircraft carriers. By the end of World War II, there were more escort carriers than aircraft carriers. You are probably wondering what is an escort carrier? Don’t you mean an aircraft carrier? Wasn’t the first carrier called the Langley? Yes, the aircraft carrier came before the escort carrier. During World War II, there was a shortage of aircraft transport vessels. As a result, the escort carrier was created out of merchant ships… Read the rest of this entry »