Archive for the 'Aircraft' Category

May 5

Ensign Bradley and the U-853

Tuesday, May 5, 2020 12:01 AM

By

On Friday morning, 5 May 1945, Ensign John G. Bradley Jr. and his Radioman 3rd Class, Clifford Brinson, were flying their TBM Avenger torpedo-bomber from out of Composite Squadron 15, Fentress Field, Virginia. Their assignment out of Quonset Point Naval Air Station was as an air detachment to act as targets simulating being an enemy plane for the U.S. submarines operating out of Groton, Connecticut, to train their lookouts to spot German subs. The theater of operations was south of Fish’s Island, New York, and Westerly, Rhode Island, just east of Long Island Sound. According to Bradley, they spotted the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 20

A Brief Illustrated History of Navy Victory Markings

Monday, April 20, 2020 1:56 AM

By

The taking of trophies and the building of memorials to mark military victories has been common throughout the history of warfare. The English word “trophy” is derived from the ancient Greek tropaion, which was a display of captured weapons, armor and standards commemorating the defeat of an enemy. Warriors took great pride in the trophies representing their unit’s triumphs in battle but many also wanted to record their individual victories over a foe. Headhunting and scalping were perhaps the most gruesome means for exhibiting defeated enemies. A less grisly practice in some cultures was to get special tattoos after vanquishing… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 16

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 9

Thursday, April 16, 2020 12:01 AM

By

When we left my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), it was 14 August 1944. The Sway, an Auk class minesweeper, was off the coast of southern France preparing for Operation Dragoon. Dragoon was the invasion of southern France launched in August 1944 to relieve pressure on Allied Forces fighting in Normandy and Italy. It was hoped the Allies could cut off the Axis forces and defeat them more quickly. Dragoon is not as well known as many other operations of the war and is often criticized because it pulled Allied troops away from areas of heavier fighting and is thought by some to have… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 28

The Incredulous Adventure of Ensign George William Denby, USNR

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10:07 AM

By

Every once and a blue moon, a piece of history crosses my desk that immediately drives me to tell its story to everyone and anyone who will listen. Which is what I did this Fall, when I told my fellow archivists, the photo historian upstairs, and my friends about this story from World War II. This story has still stuck in my brain, however, which is why I’m going to share it with you all right now. Here is the strange but true story of Ensign George William Denby, USNR:   Ensign George William Denby, USNR (of Van Nuys, California)… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 24

How the Navy Got a Hit Recruiting Video From Van Halen

Friday, January 24, 2020 5:06 AM

By

In 1986, the band Van Halen was in transition. After scoring a major commercial success with the album 1984 that included their first #1 single “Jump.” the antics and overbearing personality of lead singer David Lee Roth had become too much for the rest of the band and they decided to part ways. Critics questioned if Van Halen could continue without the charismatic Roth serving as the frontman. The announcement that the “Red Rocker”—Sammy Hagar—would be Roth’s replacement was met with mixed reactions from fans. So it was a surprise to many when 5150, Van Halen’s first album recorded with… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 14

Flying Beer Trucks

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 10:04 AM

By

In October 1944, I was with Marine Scout Bomber Squadron (VMSB) 142 stationed on Emirau Island, 1 degree south of the equator, in the northern Solomons. We were part of the force keeping the Japanese bases of Kavieng and Rabaul isolated. Training flights in our Douglas SBD Dauntlesses plus an occasional strike was the order of the day, as we waited for the Philippine liberation campaign to begin. I had noticed a small growth on the sole of my left foot that made it painful to walk on, and also painful to put pressure on the rudder pedal of the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 21

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 4

Thursday, November 21, 2019 12:01 AM

By

When last we left my grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck was settling into life at the Oran Naval Receiving station in Algeria. This was merely a stopping off point until he moved on to Tunisia where he joined the Auk Class minesweeper USS Sway (AM-120). This blog entry picks up on 16 May 1944. Tuesday May 16th Our convoy that went to Oran was bombed and they lost two Navy ships and five merchant. Guess we rate a star. First time we saw those French and English planes got scared. Nice ships. Played ball this A.M. Our crew against the Phillies. Beat… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 7

The Coal Barge at the Cradle of Naval Aviation

Thursday, November 7, 2019 12:01 AM

By

AB-2 flying boat on Coal Barge No. 214

On 5 November 1915, Lieutenant Commander Henry C. Mustin made history when he made the first underway catapult launch from a ship, the USS North Carolina (ACR-12) in the Curtiss Model F flying boat AB-2—experimental work that ultimately led to the use of catapults today. Several months before, though, trials of the device were undertaken using a less auspicious craft—Coal Barge No. 214.

 
« Older Entries