Author Archive

Jan 8

Telling Sea Stories

Friday, January 8, 2016 12:01 AM


I’ve learned some things about writing nonfiction since Adak, the Rescue of Alfa Foxtrot was published by the Naval Institute Press in 2003, the first of what have since become my seven books from NIP about maritime history. The first thing I learned since then is that it takes me some 3,300 hours, or the better part of two years, to research and write a 300-page book. This means that the first person my budding story has to interest is me. The second is NIP’s acquisition editor. A second lesson learned is that I must establish very early in this… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 18

Our Other Navy

Friday, December 18, 2015 12:01 AM


The Confederacy has been much in the news—or at least its symbols have, with many Americans wishing to erase those symbols from sight and mind. Thus it may not be the best time to publish a book titled A Confederate Biography. Nevertheless, I was drawn to the subject as a great sea story, and through the course of my research, I discovered that it was much more than that: it is a real American tale, a significant slice of Civil War history, and a wonderful navy narrative—the Confederate navy, our other navy. The idea of biography was suggested by Admiral… Read the rest of this entry »

Dec 4

Impact of Japanese Source Materials on “No One Avoided Danger”: NAS Kaneohe Bay and the Japanese Attacks of 7 December 1941

Friday, December 4, 2015 12:01 AM


Upon the publication of “No One Avoided Danger”: NAS Kaneohe Bay and the Japanese Attacks of 7 December 1941, Naval Institute Press invited me to share some of the observations that my co-authors, Robert J. Cressman and John F. Di Virgilio, and I faced when we researched American and Japanese source materials for our book. This post is intended to illustrate the impact Japanese source materials had on the compilation of “No One Avoided Danger.” Nowhere are the difficulties of writing military history more apparent than in presenting the history of World War II in the Pacific using Japanese source… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 15

99 Years Old: The Panama Canal

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:00 AM


THE PANAM A CANAL OPENING.-With the successful passing of the Panama Railroad steamship Ancon through the canal on 15 August 1914, in nine and a half hours, the big man-made waterway, one of the wonders of the age, was officially opened to the commerce of the world, and is now ready for the use of all vessels drawing not to exceed 30 feet.-Army and Navy Journal. THE PANAMA CANAL’S NAVAL SIGNIFICANCE.-So much have the commercial values and aspects of the Panama Canal absorbed the interest of Americans that it may seem to many of them its opening for business in… Read the rest of this entry »

May 6

73 Years Ago Today: Hindenburg, "Oh the Humanity"

Thursday, May 6, 2010 12:44 AM


It was the early evening of May 6, 1937 when the German Hindenburg made its fatal descent into Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. Radio broadcaster Herbert Morrison famously wept for the humanity as the airship burst into flames and crashed to the ground. 35 passengers and one member of the ground crew were killed. Amazingly, 62 people managed to escape the fiery wreck. The cause of the accident is still a fiercely debated topic, with competing theories blaming sabotage, static electricity, gas leaks and malfunctioning engines. Often overlooked is the fact that the tragic crash over the Atlantic… Read the rest of this entry »

May 5

From Our Archive: Vietnam Prisoner of War CAPT Jack Fellowes

Wednesday, May 5, 2010 8:28 PM


Retired Navy Captain Jack Fellowes passed away May 3 in Annapolis, MD. Man among men. Humor and humility above all. Flying combat missions from the aircraft carrier USS Constellation in August 1966, his A-6 Intruder was shot down over North Vietnam. Seriously injured, he and the jet’s navigator were captured by North Vietnamese militia forces. So began a grueling, more than six-year ordeal as a prisoner of war – much of that captivity endured in the infamous prison ironically dubbed the “Hanoi Hilton.” Operation Homecoming by Captain Jack H. Fellowes, USN (Ret.), Proceedings Magazine, December 1976 The emotional airport welcome… Read the rest of this entry »

May 4

From Our Archives: Caption Contest

Tuesday, May 4, 2010 12:01 AM


May 3

History Makers Series: David McCullough

Monday, May 3, 2010 1:05 PM


Drawn from the anthology History Makers, this interview of David McCullough is the first in a series encompassing those who have participated in historic events as well as those reporters, writers and filmmakers who have helped us to understand history. All interviews were conducted by Proceedings Managing Editor Fred Schultz and included in the pages of Proceedings or Naval History. ‘The Old Water Pull’ An Interview with David McCullough, February 1994 The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and host of the PBS televisions series “The American Experience” hinted recently to Naval History editors Fred L. Schultz and Scott E. Belliveau that “the old water pull” is… Read the rest of this entry »

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