Author Archive

Oct 5

The Death of the Lone Ranger, USMC

Friday, October 5, 2018 8:01 PM

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Death of Lone Ranger 1

In 1933, during the depths of the Great Depression, the “March of the Swiss Soldiers” finale from the William Tell overture came blaring over the airwaves from radio station WXYZ in Detroit to announce the arrival of a new American hero. Station owner George Trendle wanted a show about a mysterious cowboy, so writer Fran Striker developed a character who was the sole survivor of a group of Texas Rangers ambushed by a gang. After being found near death and nursed back to health by the Indian Tonto, the Lone Ranger dons a mask and sets out on his horse… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 31

The Cartoonist Who Predicted Pearl Harbor

Friday, August 31, 2018 8:31 AM

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Featured in comics, novels, radio programs and film serials, Don Winslow of the Navy attracted legions of fans throughout the 1930s and 1940s. The character was created by a former crime reporter, naval intelligence officer and FBI agent named Frank V. Martinek. Although he surely enjoyed the commercial success of Don Winslow, Martinek was in part motived to develop the character because he had been frustrated with the public’s indifference to his dire warnings of an inevitable war with Japan. The creative process that resulted in Don Winslow began when Martinek worked as a young crime reporter for the Chicago… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 8

Frankenships: HMS Zubian and USS Wisconsin

Friday, June 8, 2018 9:14 AM

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HMS Zulu + HMS Nubian = HMS Zubian

When the Royal Navy commissioned the thirteenth Tribal-class destroyer in on 7 June 1917, it unleashed a floating Frankenstein’s monster. HMS Zubian was actually stitched together from the best parts of the class’s tenth and twelfth destroyers after both had suffered heavy damage while serving as part of the Dover Patrol to prevent German vessels from entering the English Channel. HMS Nubian was torpedoed during the Battle of Dover Straight in October 1916 but had remained mostly intact and suffered no casualties. As she was being towed back to port, heavy winds caused her to breakaway and run aground on… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 24

Naval History News of Note

Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:36 PM

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John Glenn Navy Flight Helmet 1

  This week’s news stories concerning naval history:   The U.S. Navy helmet that John Glenn wore during the first supersonic transcontinental flight is up for auction. Glenn flew from Los Alamitos, California to NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York at a record speed of 725.55 mph during Project Bullet. The success of the mission led to Glenn being selected for the Mercury program.   The museum ship USS Slater received a much-needed grant to repair the mast and hull. The Cannon-class destroyer escort was commissioned in 1944 and participated in Atlantic convoys. She was sold to Greece after the war… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 11

Rare German Helmet from Hindenburg Ground Crew

Friday, May 11, 2018 2:15 AM

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A rare German stahlhelm with the DZR logo

May 6 marked the 81st anniversary of the fiery destruction of the Hindenburg at NAS Lakehurst. The cause of the disaster is still debated but the prevailing theory is that the airship’s highly volatile hydrogen gas was ignited by static electricity as the Hindenburg descended. The widely circulated film of the burning zeppelin shocked the public. The incident caused Deutsche Zepplelin Reederei (German Zeppelin Transport Company) to ground its airships and suspend its burgeoning transatlantic operations. The outbreak of WWII a few years later prevented DZR from reestablishing it’s commercial passenger service and all its airships were ordered to be… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 27

Sea Dogs

Friday, April 27, 2018 12:59 AM

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USNI dog 10

Dogs have long been popular mascots in the United States sea services for their ability to build morale. In the early days, dogs often served a more practical function by leading patrols onto foreign shores to search for food and warn of any dangers lurking out of eyesight. But mostly, dogs provided welcome relief from the monotony of being at sea for months on end.                                                                    

 
Apr 13

Cats in the Sea Services

Friday, April 13, 2018 9:18 AM

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9 USS New Mexico cat

Sailors and cats have a special relationship that dates back thousands of years. It is likely that the ancient Egyptians were the first seafarers to realize the true value of having cats as shipmates. In addition to offering sailors much needed companionship on long voyages, cats provided protection by ridding ships of vermin. Without the presence of cats, a crew might find their ship overrun with rats and mice that would eat into the provisions, chew through ropes and spread disease. The more superstitious sailors believed that cats protected them by bringing good luck. Others sailors thought that the keen… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 26

Key Dates in U. S. Military LGBT Policy

Monday, March 26, 2018 9:26 PM

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President Barack Obama signs the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Repeal Act of 2010, Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2010, at the Interior Department in Washington. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

March 11, 1778 – Lieutenant Gotthold Frederick Enslin becomes the first documented service member to be dismissed from the U.S. military for homosexuality. Under an order from General George Washington which states “abhorrence and detestation of such infamous crimes,” Lt. Enslin is drummed out of the Continental Army after being found guilty of sodomy. March 1, 1917 – The Articles of War of 1916 are implemented. A revision of the Articles of War of 1806, the new regulations detail statutes governing U.S. military discipline and justice. Under the category Miscellaneous Crimes and Offences, Article 93 states that any person subject to military law… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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