Author Archive

Jun 19

Marianas Turkey Shoot—Plus Seventy-Five

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 12:01 PM

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Air Battle Of The Philippine Sea by John Hamilton

An Allied armada hoisted anchor on 6 June 1944 and departed its base to force a landing on a hostile shore. The result would prove decisive to the outcome of the World War II and would free an enslaved population from years of brutal oppression. That day the world’s attention was focused on the north coast of France, where Allied troops were pushing inland in the largest-ever amphibious assault. While Operation Overlord would become the one and only D-Day in the public’s mind, in truth there were many other D-Days, many other H-Hours on many beaches throughout the world. From… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 7

Carrier Carrier Pigeons

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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Letting the carrier pigeon loose from the seaplane while in air. U.S. Naval Station, Anacostia, Washington, D.C.

Admiral Alfred Melville Pride‘s early interest in aviation was followed by his enlistment in Naval Reserve for World War I in 1917, aviation training, and brief overseas duty in France. In 1922, Pride joined the commissioning crew of the United State’s first aircraft carrier, the USS Langley (CV-1), as one of her aviators. Pride recalled many years later one of the little-known facts about the earlier carrier—that when the Langley was built equipped with a carrier pigeon loft. Admiral Pride explains why in an edited excerpt below.

 
Mar 12

They Became Banana Boats

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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Broadside view of the motor fruit carrier Truxtun, ex-USS Truxtun (DD-14)

Shortly after the cessation of hostilities of World War I, the United States found itself with a number of obsolete craft from the beginning of the era of the all-steel Navy. Now no longer needed, U.S. Navy disposed of its original torpedo boat destroyers that had entered service shortly after the end of the Spanish-American War. The three boats Truxtun class were bought by private shipping interests. The Truxtun (DD-14) and her sisters Whipple (DD-15) and Worden (DD-16) were refitted with diesel engines for the first experiment in making small, fast, shallow draft banana carriers. As Commander John D. Alden, U.S. Navy (Retired) recounts below, they… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 17

Moser’s Naval Photo Logs — ‘Just the Thing’

Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:15 AM

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Battleship Vermont in a storm, by N. Moser

Norbert George Moser was born in Pierceton, Indiana, to the immigrant German merchant Gabriel Moser and Illinois native Anna Miller on 18 September 1885. Shortly after completing high school in 1904, Norbert enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became an electrician’s mate, working with the new wireless radio technologies. He served in such varied assignments as the USS Virginia (Battleship No. 13) stationed out of Hampton Roads in 1910 and, when he married Julia Hall in 1914, he was serving in the same capacity at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. It appears that Moser had grander designs than working the wireless set. At the expiration of his… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 8

This Day in History: The Trent Affair

Thursday, November 8, 2018 12:01 AM

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Trent affair engraving

November 8 marks the anniversary of the Trent Affair of 1861. During the opening months of the Civil War, the U.S. Navy stopped the British mail steamer RMS Trent and seized two Confederate diplomats bound for England in the hope of negotiating diplomatic recognition for the secessionist states. The Trent Affair itself threatened to achieve exactly that and brought the United States and Great Britain close to war. Author James D. Hill wrote extensively of the Trent Affair and one of its main players—Captain Chalres Wilkes, U.S. Navy—in the July 1931 issue of Proceedings. It is excerpted here.

 
Aug 14

Today in Naval History: The Capture of the U.S. Brig Argus by H.M Brig Pelican

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 10:15 AM

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Kimball Argus Burning commerce

Two hundred and five years ago today, on 14 August 1813, the U.S. Brig Argus, under command of Captain William H. Allen, fought her final battle with the HMS Pelican off the coast of England during the War of 1812. During the early-morning battle, Allen’s right leg was shot off, but he remained on station until fainting from a loss of blood. As Pelican‘s men boarded, Argus struck her colors. Allen died four days later. Writing about the incident in the May 1939 issue of Proceedings, Prof. Wilbur E. Apgar gave a thorough summary of the events. His summary is excerpted here. The amazing lack of concern… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 12

The Sinking of the USS President Lincoln, 31 May 1918

Tuesday, June 12, 2018 12:01 AM

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Painting by Fred Dana Marsh, 1920, depicting the ship sinking after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-90 on 31 May 1918

May 31st marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the troop transport USS President Lincoln. Formerly a German ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line, the Navy had commissioned her in 1917 to ferry young men and equipment over to the Western Front. In 1918, her luck ran out when she was torpedoed by the German submarine SM U-90.  In 1922, her commanding officer at the time of the sinking, Commander P. W. Foote, USN, wrote his remembrances of the fateful day for Proceedings. It is excerpted and illustrated here.

 
Apr 19

Side Glances at Operation Crossroads

Thursday, April 19, 2018 5:21 PM

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One of the benefits of digitized archives are the ability to call up pieces of the past that are physically apart from each other and see them all together in context. This ability to make connections can often lead to interesting glances not shown in context together before. Scattered throughout the Naval Institute’s roughly half-million photographic subject files are many that deal with Operation Crossroads in 1946. These famous nuclear tests, whose iconic images of mushroom clouds exploding out of an over the Pacific Ocean would cement the awesome destructive power of nuclear weapons in the minds of the world… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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