Archive for October, 2019

Oct 15

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 3

Tuesday, October 15, 2019 12:01 AM

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This Blog picks up with my grandfather Thomas Schreck’s journal on 8 May 1944. My grandfather was a passenger on the liberty ship SS Reverdy Johnson in route to Algeria to meet the ship he served on until the end of the war. The Reverdy Johnson was part of convoy UGS-40 that sailed from Norfolk, Virginia on 23 April, my grandfather boarded two days earlier. Monday May 8th Started betting on when we would see the rock, Saw birds and small craft. The rock is the Rock of Gibraltar, which every ship traveling to North Africa passed. Seeing birds and small… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 8

The Retro Bomb

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 12:01 AM

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Author’s note: The term “retro bomb” is used throughout this article in preference to the alternate “retrorocket” which to the modern reader might cause confusion. The later term was often used at the time this weapon was in service, as a retrorocket as we know it today had yet to exist. On 24 February 1944, Patrol Squadron VP-63 scored their first victory against a German U-boat, marking almost two years of development and use of their unique weapon, the retro bomb. Two of their PBY Catalina aircraft drove U-761 to the surface and forced its abandonment off Gibraltar. Weeks after… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 3

Whatever Happened to the Battleship Oregon?

Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:01 AM

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USS Oregon returning to the U.S. from Cuba, following the Spanish-American War, 1898

The battleship Oregon fought in three wars–though only in two of them as a battleship. An emblem of the New Steel Navy during the Spanish American War, a special flagship during World War I, and finally a symbol of American resourcefulness during World War II, the old Oregon’s storied history was well-captured by John D. Alden in a 1968 Proceedings article, excerpted here.

 
Oct 1

World War II V-12 College Training Program

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 12:01 AM

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Admiral Charles K. Duncan, USN (Ret.)

In this audio excerpt from his oral history, Admiral Duncan describes the Navy’s V-12 College Training Program, which was launched to beef up the numbers of commissioned naval officers during World War II (some 125,000 participants passed through the program during and immediately after the war years). Admiral Duncan was XO of the USS Hutchins (DD-476) in 1942 in combat action in the Aleutians and South Pacific, then CO of the USS Wilson (DD-408), taking part in action in the South and Central Pacific. After World War II, he served as XO of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) and CO of the Chilton (APA-38), Assistant Chief of… Read the rest of this entry »