Author Archive

Apr 23

SEALAB II: Porpoise Post and Life Beneath the Waves

Tuesday, April 23, 2019 12:01 AM

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It may come as no surprise to you all (seeing as I am a digital archivist who spends all day with technology) but I am a self-admitted nerd, complete with a love of video games. One of my favorite games – and one I suggest to anyone new to solo-gaming – is Bioshock, which takes place in a man-made underwater utopia turned dystopian nightmare. While the technologies featured in this game are worlds away, humanity’s exploration of underwater living was a bit more developed than I expected, as I learned during yet another sojourn into USNI’s Photo Archive. Today we… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 26

Sinking and Submerged: Emergency Escape Equipment for Submarines

Tuesday, March 26, 2019 7:49 AM

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When I picture a naval rescue operation, my mind turns to men in life preservers, huddled together in a lifeboat as they watch their vessel sink beneath the waves. At least, that’s what I thought of until last week, when a stack of World War II naval rescue images crossed my desk, ready for research and processing. There was a good number of the images I was expecting: men in lifeboats; men soaked to the skin wearing life preservers; and men bobbing on the surface of the water, ship sinking in the background. Then, at the bottom of the stack,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 26

A Short History on Segregation in the Navy: From the War of 1812 through World War II

Tuesday, February 26, 2019 12:01 AM

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Alright, everyone, today I’m going to take you on a shallow dive into a topic that’s tough for a lot of people to talk about for a lot of different reasons: racial segregation. Specifically, the history of racial segregation in the Navy through World War II. It’s never fun, but it is a very important part of our history, and something that we need to examine no matter how uncomfortable it can make us feel. The history of Black sailors in the Navy begins with the War of 1812, as the U.S. Navy was not established until after the American… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 29

Battle of Rennell Island

Tuesday, January 29, 2019 12:01 AM

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For years, I thought I knew about World War II. Going to public school, almost every year from sixth grade to senior year had at least a few weeks discussing WWII. I did not realize the blank spot in my education until we came to the combat photos in our archive, and suddenly I am confronted with photo after photo of the Pacific. It suddenly struck me that in all that time learning about WWII, not one of my teachers had taken the time to discuss the Pacific Front in detail. Talking with others, I soon began to realize it… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 28

Unadilla-Class Gunboats

Wednesday, November 28, 2018 11:59 AM

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Did you know that today, on the 28th of November, 1863, the USS Chippewa convoyed the Army transports Monohansett and Mayflower up Skull Creek, South Carolina, on a reconnaissance mission? I don’t imagine the majority of folks do, unless they are American Civil War buffs, but I learned that particular fact perusing through today’s events in history, looking for a subject for my blog post. While the specifics of this mission (which was successful, by the by) aren’t the subject of my blog post today, looking into this event was the catalyst for what I will be covering: Unadilla-class gunboats…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 31

Naval Superstitions – A Sailor’s Antiquated Guide to Avoiding Bad Luck

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:55 AM

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It’s that time of year once again! Where children and adults alike dress up, go to fun parties, and probably eat far too much candy. It’s also a time of spooky stories and superstitions, which is what I decided to research for my dive into naval history this month. Growing up in Wisconsin, sailors and maritime life was not something familiar to me. Most of my impressions of sailors came from movies, television, and books, and one theme always stuck out more than any other: they were just a little bit spooky! There always seemed to be an air of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 25

There are Bears in the Archive!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018 8:03 AM

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During the course of a day working in the USNI Photo Archive, a digital archivist can make their way through a lot of photographs. And I mean a lot of photographs. After a while, they can all just seem to blend together, becoming some strange amalgamation of a battle scene, an aircraft, and a naval vessel in the mind’s eye. That’s why it’s always a treat when a photograph comes along that breaks through the cycle, and brings you something new, or fun, or exciting. Takes this photograph here: Cool, right? Who wouldn’t be drawn in by this photo? Renewed… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 28

A Sailor’s Best Friend: Dogs in the Military

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 11:17 AM

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While working on the U.S. Naval Institute’s photo digitization project, I happened upon a folder of photographs filled with something that always brings joy to my heart: Dogs! It may be a few days after the official National Dog Day, but for dog lover’s, every day is for the dogs, and I thought I’d use today to share some history on dogs in the military. We know that dogs have been keeping us company since before 10,000 BCE. By becoming our companions, dogs also became our allies against our enemies, whether they be the animals early man hunted, or men… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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