Archive for October, 2019

Oct 31

This Day In History: The Sinking of the USS Reuben James (DD-245)

Thursday, October 31, 2019 11:45 AM

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Most of us tend to associate the start of America’s involvement in World War II with the tragedy that struck Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Technically, we aren’t wrong. The United States did in fact make the decision to officially enter the war following the events of that terrible day. However, the Attack on Pearl Harbor was not the first deadly attack against U.S. forces during the overall duration of the war, nor was it the first time a U.S. warship was ravaged by the Axis.   The story I am about to tell you may sound familiar to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 30

Richardson: Late Famed Oceanographer’s Legacy is One of “Lives Saved”

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 9:12 AM

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When retired Adm. John Richardson, former Chief of Naval Operations, reflected on the legacy of the late oceanographer Walter Munk, perhaps the most striking impact from a career that stretched over a century is this: Lives saved. Munk’s vast research work – from predicting waves so amphibious landing forces could avoid the harshest seas to understanding underwater sound transmission to find, or hide, submarines – stretched from World War II through the Cold War and to current day, Richardson told an audience last week at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego. “If you think about, for a second,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 24

Leyte Gulf Reminiscences

Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:53 AM

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Excerpted from The Battle of Leyte Gulf at 75: A Retrospective, by Thomas J. Cutler (Naval Institute Press, 2019) The Battle of Leyte Gulf, an epic page in the history of World War II, is the victory of thousands of U.S. warriors at sea, ashore, beneath the sea, and in the air—their actions, professional can-do spirit, heroism, and sacrifices. The Japanese committed their carriers and main battle fleet to the action, and they fought hard, determined to turn back U.S. amphibious landings at Leyte and Philippine shores beyond. Mistakes were made on both sides. The Americans rose to the challenge…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 22

Midget Submarines at Guadalcanal

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:01 AM

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The story of the Japanese midget submarines at Pearl Harbor is pretty well known. But that only covers 5 of the little submersibles. What about the others? There were 50 of the original type A midgets. They participated in other daring raids, some more successful than others. However, the use of Type A midgets at Guadalcanal have received scant attention. The entire Solomons campaign was marked by several major battles which is, possibly, one reason that the midget submarines participation has been so poorly covered. The midgets were used at Pearl Harbor and then at Sydney and Diego Suarez. All… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 17

Theodore Roosevelt, Naval Expansion, and Guaranteeing Peace

Thursday, October 17, 2019 3:32 PM

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In 1897, William McKinley was inaugurated as 25th President of the United States. As an advocate of tariffs and protectionist policies, McKinley believed in supporting U.S. interests in Cuba and around the globe through diplomacy and tough negotiations. And yet, just over 12 months after his inauguration, McKinley would find himself leading the United States into war against a European power. Although America would enjoy total victory in 1898, this was despite the lack of naval preparation throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The near-immediate naval build-up in 1897 and early 1898 was due in large part to the bold actions… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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.

 
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