Author Archive

May 19

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 10

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 12:01 AM

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When we left, my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), was off the coast of San Tropez, France participating in Operation Dragoon. As the initial landings were over the ship’s main job was to keep the shipping channels open and clear of any mines dropped from German aircraft. They also patrolled for German E-boat’s (small armed patrol craft) that tried to enter the area. As noted with previous blogs all entries come from the ship’s war diary unless otherwise noted. August 22, 1944 Day’s Operations-0000-8 Patrolling from point “SS” to point “SR” Delta Assault area, Operation DRAGOON. 08-24 Anchored in Gulf… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 5

Ensign Bradley and the U-853

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 12:01 AM

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On Friday morning, 5 May 1945, Ensign John G. Bradley Jr. and his Radioman 3rd Class, Clifford Brinson, were flying their TBM Avenger torpedo-bomber from out of Composite Squadron 15, Fentress Field, Virginia. Their assignment out of Quonset Point Naval Air Station was as an air detachment to act as targets simulating being an enemy plane for the U.S. submarines operating out of Groton, Connecticut, to train their lookouts to spot German subs. The theater of operations was south of Fish’s Island, New York, and Westerly, Rhode Island, just east of Long Island Sound. According to Bradley, they spotted the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 16

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 9

Thursday, April 16, 2020 12:01 AM

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When we left my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), it was 14 August 1944. The Sway, an Auk class minesweeper, was off the coast of southern France preparing for Operation Dragoon. Dragoon was the invasion of southern France launched in August 1944 to relieve pressure on Allied Forces fighting in Normandy and Italy. It was hoped the Allies could cut off the Axis forces and defeat them more quickly. Dragoon is not as well known as many other operations of the war and is often criticized because it pulled Allied troops away from areas of heavier fighting and is thought by some to have… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 17

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 8

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:01 AM

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The previous blog left off at the end of June with my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), operating in Italy and preparing to return to combat after undergoing refitting and repairs. In my search of naval records I was unable to find any entries for the ship’s war journal for the month of July. The ship’s history, however, shows the month was spent traveling back and forth between Italy and Tunisia. This entry will pick up in August 1944 with the Sway in Naples, Italy and unless otherwise noted the entries will be from the ship’s war diary as my grandfather stopped keeping a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 10

Suicide at the Top, Remembering RADM Don P. Moon

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 12:01 AM

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As we remember and observe the 75th anniversary of Operation Dragoon, the Allied amphibious landing in southern France on 15 August 1944, it is worthwhile to reflect on one high ranking casualty just prior to the invasion, RADM Don P. Moon. Sadly, RADM Moon committed suicide ten days prior to the assault. In light of the recent suicides of VADM Scott Stearney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, on 1 December 2018[i], and Army CSM Noel Foster, the Fort Campbell Garrison CSM, on 1 September 2017, RADM Moon’s case is worth studying to understand how the pressures of command and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 18

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 7

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:01 AM

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This blog begins on 10 June 1944. My grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck, joined his ship the USS Sway (AM-120) an Auk class minesweeper in Bizerte, Tunisia at the end of May. The ship just spent the last nine days undergoing refitting and maintenance and was now about to get underway once again to resume operations off the coast of Italy. Before returning however, they stopped in Malta to prepare the ship for the dangerous job of clearing mines. Before getting into the ship’s operations, I want to provide some information on the USS Sway. The Sway belonged to the Auk class of fleet going minesweepers…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 4

The Strike Cruiser

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 12:01 AM

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In the 75 years since the end of World War II only two countries have constructed major surface combatant ships other than aircraft carriers. The Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) built four nuclear-propelled battle cruisers, completing the 28,000-ton warships of the Kirov class from 1980 to 1996.[1] These massive warships were fitted with the latest weapons and electronic systems. Earlier, the U.S. Navy built the nuclear cruiser Long Beach (CGN 9), completed in 1961. The most capable surface combatant of her era, the Long Beach at 16,250 tons was significantly smaller than the Soviet giants. But the Long… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 1

“Sixteen Minutes from Home” Willie McCool’s Memorial

Saturday, February 1, 2020 12:01 AM

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Commander William C. McCool, USN, gave his life on 1 February 2003 while piloting Space Shuttle Columbia mission STS-107. Foam from the external fuel tank broke off and struck the shuttle’s left-wing during take-off. The seemingly minor damage led to the shuttle’s disintegration during reentry more than two weeks later. McCool has several schools, tracks, parks, and buildings named in his honor. There are even memorials to him spread across the solar system. There is Asteroid 51829 Williemccool and McCool hill on Mars. One of the most personal memorials, however, resides on the U.S. Naval Academy Cross Country Course in… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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