Archive for December, 2019

Dec 17

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 5

Tuesday, December 17, 2019 12:01 AM

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This entry picks up where my grandfather’s journal left off in May, 1944. After a long voyage to Algeria and a brief stay at the Oran Naval Receiving Station he received his travel orders to Tunisia where he met his ship. As stated in previous blogs these entries are copied word for word from the original journal. Language is contemporary and some entries may not be politically correct. They are recorded here as part of the historical record. Saturday May 20th Got our clearance cards this A.M. Hate to leave. Going to Biserte by train. Bizerte, Tunisia was home to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 11

Honoring USS Eagle (PE-56)

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 10:49 AM

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I received an email this morning from a Naval Institute friend that I wanted to share about a new memorial which is replacing an old one. In part, the email read: During World War II, on April 23, 1945, the USS Eagle 56 was sunk by a German submarine about five miles off the coast of Cape Elizabeth. 49 sailors were killed in action; 13 survived. A memorial is currently located at Fort Williams Park to the right of the lighthouse, when facing the water, between the two binoculars. On November 21, 2019 Steve Lyons, Cape Elizabeth, and Paul Lawton, Naval… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 10

The U.S. Navy's 'Smashers'

Tuesday, December 10, 2019 12:01 AM

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Introduced in the U.S. Navy at the beginning of the 19th century, the carronade saw extensive service in American warships during the War of 1812. The Carron Company in Scotland had produced a prototype of the weapon, designed for the protection of merchantmen, in 1776. The success of early carronades resulted in the Royal Navy placing large orders for the guns, and other naval powers soon copied the basic design. Henry Foxall, superintendent of the Eagle Foundry on the Schuylkill River at Philadelphia, cast the first American versions, but probably not until 1799. Certainly he cast the majority of the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 5

From Bad to Worse

Thursday, December 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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After two months in Vietnam, I had learned a lot about being a corpsman on the front lines. I had already filled out dozens of casualty cards, and I had seen more KIAs (killed in action) and WIAs (wounded in action) than I cared to think about. On this particular day, we were on another search and destroy mission. The sun was just rising, and with no clouds in the sky, we were already sweating from the heat and humidity. With Vietnam only eight degrees north of the equator, we knew it was going to be another very hot day…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 3

Risky Rescue off Nauru Island, December 1944

Tuesday, December 3, 2019 8:50 AM

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Admiral U. S. Grant Sharp, USN (Ret.)

  In this clip excerpted from his oral history recordings, Admiral Sharp recalls a risky rescue mission five miles off Nauru Island in December 1944, in which the downed “pilot” turned out to be a float light bobbing in the water. During World War II, Admiral Sharp was commanding officer of the USS Hogan (DD-178) on convoy duty in the Western Atlantic and Caribbean as well as in the invasion of North Africa. In 1943 he was CO of the USS Boyd (DD-544) and took part in many strikes in the Pacific: Wake Islands, Nauru, the Marianas, the Bonins, Mindanao, Cebu, Negros, Luzon, Truk,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 2

The Mysterious Disappearance of Flight 19

Monday, December 2, 2019 11:08 AM

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At 1410 hours on 5 December 1945, a group of five TBM Avenger torpedo bombers took off from the U.S. Naval Air Station, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for a routine overwater navigational training flight. The flight leader in charge of the unit, dubbed “Flight 19,” was U.S. Navy Lieutenant Charles Carroll Taylor, who had amassed some 2,500 flying hours in addition to the completion of a combat tour in the Pacific Theater during World War II. Taylor and his crew of 13 airmen, some trainee pilots, were to execute “navigation problem No. 1,” described by the Naval History and Heritage Command… Read the rest of this entry »