Archive for the 'Accident' Category

May 2

Tenth Patrol of the USS Silversides (SS-236)

Thursday, May 2, 2019 12:01 AM

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RADM John S. Coye Jr., U.S. Navy (Ret.)

In this audio excerpt from his oral history, Rear Admiral John Coye describes the tenth war patrol of the USS Silversides (SS-236) and the sinking of three Japanese ships off the Marianas in May 1944. After graduation from the Naval Academy in 1933, Admiral Coye served in the cruiser USS Northampton (CA-26) and destroyer Monaghan (DD-354). Submarine school in 1937 was followed by service in the submarine USS Shark (SS-174) as engineer until 1941. He then helped put the mothballed submarine USS R-18 (SS-95) into commission and succeeded to command during patrols off Panama. The highlight of his career came during… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 7

Forty-Two

Sunday, April 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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April 7th, 2009 was the 20th anniversary of the sinking of K-278 Komsomolets, a Project 685 or in NATO-speak “Mike” class submarine. Forty-two souls were lost on that date in 1989. On the 20th anniversary, I travelled up from Moscow by train to St. Petersburg to represent the U.S. Navy at the ceremonies to honor those who died as well as those who survived. A service was first held at Nikolsky Cathedral, better known as the Sailor’s Cathedral, where the echoes of the singing and chants swung back and forth from the Orthodox priests to the choir and back again…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 7

The Loss of the USS Macon, 12 February 1935

Thursday, February 7, 2019 12:01 AM

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Lieutenant Harold B. "Min" Miller at the controls of his F9C over Moffett Field. In 1934, Miller became the HTA Unit's senior aviator and was co-developer of the radio equipment which "homed" the pilots back to the airship.

  Following graduation from the Naval Academy in 1924, Harold B. Miller spent two years in the crew of the battleship USS California (BB-44) before going to flight training. As an aviator, he initially was in the battleship USS West Virginia (BB-48) and carrier USS Langley (CV-1). He served as a scout plane pilot from the Navy’s last two rigid airships, the USS Akron (ZRS-4) and Macon (ZRS-5). In this excerpt from his second interview at his home in Manhasset, New York, Admiral Miller recounts the dramatic loss of the USS Macon off the coast of California in 1935.     To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 15

Angels of the Oriskany – Fire!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12:01 AM

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I sent my father’s cousin Dale Barck a postcard during a port call to Hong Kong in 1997, he replied sending me letters filled with sea stories from his days in the Navy, including the fateful events of his deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in 1966. Following the rescue of the August Moon’s crew in September, the adventure continued. Just before 0730 on 26 October 1966, the USS Oriskany was back on Yankee Station. Three overnight launches were cancelled due to poor weather. Dale wrote, “It was my turn to take the early launch. I was turned… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 20

The Indianapolis Tragedy: My Perspective-The Court-Martial

Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:01 AM

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The search for blame for the disaster began on 13 August 1945. A Court of Inquiry was held in Guam at which Captain Charles B. McVay III was present to represent himself. The inquiry focused on the events of the night of 30 July, (1) the failure to zigzag, (2) the alleged failure to send out distress signals, (3) the mix-up in advising Leyte of the arrival time, (4) the failure of Leyte authorities to report the ship overdue, (5) the failure to provide an escort for the ship, (6) the failure to warn McVay of the known presence of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 18

The Indianapolis Tragedy: My Perspective-The Sinking

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:01 AM

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On 30 July 1945 the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), proceeding alone at a leisurely 15.7 knots, unprotected by sonar-equipped vessels, or vessels of any kind, en route from Guam to the Philippines, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the waters near Leyte Gulf. At least 879 of its crew of 1157 perished, many of them badly burned, most of them floating without food or water, some without rafts, without radios or flares, in the shark-infested waters of the western Pacific. Tragically, the search did not begin, despite the fact that they were overdue, at their scheduled destination in Leyte Gulf… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 6

The Sinking of the USS Nevada (BB-36)

Thursday, December 6, 2018 12:01 AM

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Captain Charles J. Merdinger, CEC, USN (Retired)

On the morning of 7 December 1941, then-Ensign Charles Merdinger awoke to alarms and stepped through his socks in his haste to get to his battle station on board the battleship USS Nevada (BB-36) when she was bombed at Pearl Harbor. In this audio clip, Captain Merdinger gives a vivid account of the near-disastrous situation he found himself in while in the sinking Nevada‘s plotting room during the attack.   To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/heritage/oral-history-catalog.  

 
Oct 23

The WEST-PAC Cruise From Hell

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 12:01 AM

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I enlisted in the U.S. Navy on my 17th birthday. Within four months I finished basic training, graduated from data processing school and reported aboard the USS Ranger (CV-61), an aircraft carrier home ported out of San Diego, California. The ship was scheduled to deploy on a Western Pacific cruise (WEST-PAC). The “itinerary” included 12 fantastic port calls. It was so impressive that one would have thought that I was stationed aboard the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, instead of an aircraft carrier. On the fateful day of 15 July 1983, it was time for the ship to depart. The ship… Read the rest of this entry »