Archive for the 'Animals' Category

Jun 27

The Stories Behind 6 of the USMC’s Bulldog Mascots

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 10:19 AM

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Marine Barracks mascot Chesty XII, shortly before retiring and being replaced by Chesty XIII in 2008.

Marines earned the title “Teufel Hunden” (German for “Devil Dog”) at the Battle of Belleau Wood in 1918, so it was only natural that on June 27, 1927, the U.S. Marine Corps adopted the English Bulldog as the official mascot. Here are six Bulldogs of the Marine Corps:   1. Sergeant Major Jiggs I (1922-1927)   The first English Bulldog to join the ranks was Jiggs, who was enlisted in 1922 by BGen. Smedley Butler. “Sgt. Jiggs” starred in the 1926 movie “Tell It To The Marines.” Jiggs ultimately rose to the rank of Sergeant Major before he died in 1927. His memorial was… 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 »

 
May 5

The Elephant in the Archive

Thursday, May 5, 2016 12:01 AM

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Naval Institute Photo Archive.

It was in 218 B.C. that the Carthaginian commander Hannibal famously marched some 30 elephants across the Alps and over the Rhône River by boat to attack Rome during the 2nd Punic War. In the millennia that have followed, the use of elephants in naval warfare has not accounted to much — certain films, of course, excepted. But that has not stopped pachydermous photographs from appearing in the Naval Institute’s Photo Archive for one reason or another. The selection that follows shows some of the interactions naval personnel have had over the years with the elephants they’ve encountered in their… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 14

Howell Torpedo

Friday, June 14, 2013 11:11 AM

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In 1883 the United States Navy held a public contest to find new design concepts for torpedoes. After reviewing several proposals, the Navy Torpedo Board selected a design submitted by the head of the Department of Astronomy and Navigation for the U.S. Naval Academy, Lieutenant Commander John A. Howell. The Howell torpedo was initially conceived in 1870 and was an improvement to older torpedo models. A key enhancement to the weapon was the addition of a flywheel, which acted as both a means of propulsion and provided additional stability to the torpedo. The Howell torpedo was 11 feet long with… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 15

Lieutenant Porter’s Camel Expedition

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 1:00 AM

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February 15th, 1856 LT David Dixon Porter leaves Smyrna, Syria for Indianola, Texas with 21 camels on board   Just five years before the outbreak of the Civil War, Lieutenant David Dixon Porter received unusual orders from the Secretary of War at the time, Jefferson Davis, to travel to the Mediterranean on the USS Supply. There, he was required to join Major Henry C. Wayne, then the Quartermaster of the Army, and aid him in finding and purchasing camels for experimental use in the American desert. The Supply had already traveled to the Mediterranean before, on Lieutenant William Lynch’s expedition to the Dead Sea, where… Read the rest of this entry »