Author Archive

May 30

May 30, 1943 Attu Recaptured

Sunday, May 30, 2010 5:39 PM


Three score and seven years ago, on what used to be Memorial Day, organized resistance by Japanese forces ended on the island of Attu in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. Although primarily a land battle involving the 7th U.S. Army Infantry Division, the United States Navy made that day possible, by pulling off one of the most challenging amphibious operations of the war. In this case the strongest ally the Japanese had was nature who in the late Aleutian Spring did her best to delay and hamper the safe landing of American Forces. The Naval History and Heritage Command posted a series of pictures commemorating this… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 29

Operation Frequent Wind: April 29-30, 1975

Thursday, April 29, 2010 5:01 AM


For 125,000 Vietnamese-Americans and their descendants, April 30, 1975 marks the day their lives changed forever. On that date, Saigon fell to the forces of North Vietnam and thousands of “at risk” Vietnamese joined the dwindling number of Americans still left in Vietnam to be evacuated by Operation Frequent Wind a massive assembly of aircraft and ships that became the largest helicopter evacuation in history. With the fall of Saigon imminent, the United States Navy formed Task Force 76 off the coast of South Vietnam in anticipation of removing those “at risk” Vietnamese who had ardently supported our efforts to stop the Communist takeover of South Vietnam.  Task Force 76 Task Force 76 USS Blue Ridge… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 23

A 16 AP: Direct hit on the importance of military history and it's place in the human experience

Friday, April 23, 2010 12:38 AM


  Bon Hom Richard Sgt Dan Daly, USMC, 2nd MOH, 1915 U.S. Navy Aircraft This blog was launched a few weeks ago with the intent to provide an open enviornment to encourage discussion and more importantly, interest in Naval history and to highlight the essential role that navies have played in the human experience. Germain to this subject is the direction that studying history has taken as it has been presented, or ignored, in all levels of education, from grade school to the most prestigious institutions. A recent post on the USNI Blog by the intrepid CDR Salamander hits the this target with the precision and force of a 16\” Mark 7.  A failure of historic proportions… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 18

The Navy Runs the Guns at Vicksburg: April 16-17, 1863

Sunday, April 18, 2010 12:26 PM


  One event in U.S. Naval history slipped by this past week, that had it not been successful, would have delayed and perhaps stopped Grant’s campaign to seize Vicksburg during the Civil War.  The winter of 1863 saw General Ulysses S Grant trying to find a way to take Vicksburg, Mississippi. Located on a commanding bluff at a hairpin turn in the Mississippi River, the guns of Vicksburg made a any thought of a direct assault a suicide mission. The only reasonable approach was along the broad band of high ground that lay between the Yazoo and Black Rivers, stretching off to the northeast. The idea… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 7

The First Truly Amphibious Assault in History

Wednesday, April 7, 2010 10:20 PM


The past month the HBO series The Pacific has drawn long overdue attention to the War in the Pacific as it followed the United States Marine Corps in a series of amphibious assaults that were designed to cut off the tentacles of the Japanese war machine and provide for unsinkable aircraft carriers from which to launch bombers against the Japanese mainland. This caused me to reflect on how far back the strategy and tactics of amphibious warfare went in history. I settled on one crucial battle that reflected what at the time was a combined sea and land attack that when studied… Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 3

South to Java

Saturday, April 3, 2010 12:26 AM


  Twenty two years ago I was browsing a local bookstore when I happened upon a blue jacketed book with the exotic title of South to Java. Spying an old four stack destroyer profiled across the cover, I picked it up and when the inside cover revealed it was about an old navy destroyer caught up in the opening battles of the War in the Pacific and the vain attempt to stop the Japanese advances into the Dutch East Indies, it became my companion for the next few weeks. By the last chapter, I felt like I had sailed with the men of the fictional USS… Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 27

Why I Joined the Navy

Saturday, March 27, 2010 7:45 PM


USS Zeilin APA-9 Air Attack Guadalcanal By way of an introduction, I want to take the time to explain how a former member of an unnamed branch of military service came to become a guest blogger on a site devoted to naval history. Two words best describe that reason. Duty, a word coming from the 13th century Middle English word duete, meaning conduct due parents and superiors, done with the force of moral obligation; and the word Honor, as in the Biblical Commandment to one’s father and mother. These two words led me to have an unabated interest in naval history… Read the rest of this entry »