Archive for the 'Diversity' Category

Feb 12

A Step Forward

Tuesday, February 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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Less than two years after becoming the first African American commissioned as a regular officer in the Navy, Ensign John W. Lee stands at his battle station on board the aircraft carrier USS Kearsarge, his wish to serve in a large combatant ship granted. (U.S. Naval Institute Photo Archive)

On 15 March 1947, one month to the day before Jackie Robinson became the first black player in baseball’s major leagues, John Wesley Lee Jr. became the first African American to be commissioned as a regular officer in the Navy, that is, no longer a reservist. Many citizens of this country made it clear that they did not welcome Robinson’s arrival in baseball. He received numerous death threats and other pieces of hate mail. John Lee achieved his milestone without encountering hostility, and that was at least in part the result of how the Navy arranged things for him. After… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 8

World War One – USS Olympia’s Sailors

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:01 AM

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USS Olympia (NHHC)

On 6 April 1917, the USS Olympia (C-6) was in transit, sailing from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands to Hampton Roads, Virginia. A gale was blowing from the southwest and the ship had to be secured for heavy weather. It was also the day Congress declared war against Germany. For the next nineteen months, USS Olympia sailors assisted with U.S. war efforts by participating in convoy patrols in the North Atlantic. The day that the Armistice was signed the ship was in Murmansk, Russia and a portion of her crew had spent the previous few months on land fighting the Bolsheviks.1… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 16

Operation Desert Fox – 20 years ago – A “First” for Women

Sunday, December 16, 2018 8:00 AM

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981217-N-3962F-002
ABOARD USS ENTERPRISE (December 17, 1998) – A Naval Fighter Pilot from Strike-Fighter Squadron Thirty-Seven (VFA-37) the "Ragin' Bulls" discusses her mission into Iraq with another member of her squadron which was launched from the deck of the USS Enterprise (CVN 65)in the opening stages of Operation Desert Fox. U.S. Navy Photo by Photographer's Mate 3rd Class Tedrick E. Fryman III. (RELEASED)

Twenty years have passed since Operation Desert Fox, also known as the bombing of Iraq which took place December 16th – December 19th, 1998. The purpose of the attack was to degrade the ability of Iraq to use weapons of mass destruction. The main targets of the bombing included research and development installations, air defense systems, weapons and supply depots & the headquarters of Sadaam’s elite Republican Guard. The bombing was accomplished primarily by American and British jets and cruise missiles launched from the sea. Most of the targets were degraded or destroyed by the fourth night and the mission was declared a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 27

The Programming Pirate: The Inspiring Life of “Amazing” Grace Hopper

Thursday, September 27, 2018 12:01 AM

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Captain Grace M. Hopper, USNR
Description: Head of the Navy Programming Language Section of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. Working in her office, 1 August 1976. Photographed by PH2 David C. MacLean. (NHHC)

  On 7 December 1941, Grace and her husband Vincent listened to the radio at their home as news of a surprise aerial attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese was reported. The next day, the United States joined Britain and declared war on the Japanese Empire. The Pearl Harbor attack “would also be the chronological fulcrum from which Grace Hopper’s own life would pivot. In the months that followed that fateful day, Grace Murray Hopper would leave her position as a tenured professor at Vassar College, divorce her husband, and join the U.S. Navy at the age of 36… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 2

Founding the WAVES

Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:01 AM

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Captain Mildred McAfee Horton. Courtesy of NHHC.

  On 3 August 1942, Mildred McAfee (later Mildred McAfee Horton) was commissioned as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves, making her the first female line officer in the U.S. Navy. Future Captain McAfee was the president of Wellesley College when she was recruited to become the first director of the newly established WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). In this excerpt, Captain McAfee discusses how she became involved with the WAVES and her early introduction to rank.     To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/heritage/oral-history-catalog.  

 
Jul 2

Women in Aviation: an Uplifting Tradition

Monday, July 2, 2018 3:22 PM

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(Photo: National Archives Catalog)

On the anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance, we remember the women who made female aviation possible. Eighty-one years ago today, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe. In a society where women’s capacities to physically and mentally cope with the rigors of aviation faced heavy scrutiny, Earhart overcame barriers and established new standards to pave the way for women in the field. After first flying in an airplane in 1920, she worked odd jobs to purchase her own aircraft and received an international pilot’s license in 1923. Earhart set about breaking altitude and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 11

Nursing to Combat: The Ever Expanding Role of Women

Monday, June 11, 2018 12:01 AM

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WAVES practice marksmanship At an indoor range at Treasure Island Naval Base, California, 11 February 1943. (Photo: Naval History and Heritage Command)

Throughout their history, women have impacted the Navy and Marine Corps. At the outset, women served as dedicated wives managing the household and raising children while their husbands served. As time went on, the role of women grew. Here’s a look at the progression of official responsibilities women undertake in the United States Navy and Marine Corps. 1908- Congress passed the Naval Appropriations Bill which established the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps. The first women to become official members of the U.S. Navy were known as the “Sacred Twenty.” These women payed their own travel expense to Washington D.C. to pass the oral… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 5

LCDR Wesley Brown, the First African American Graduate of the USNA

Tuesday, June 5, 2018 12:01 AM

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Lieutenant Commander Wesley Brown, Civil Engineer Corps, U.S. Navy (Retired)

  This oral history is particularly noteworthy, because it provides personal recollections from the first African-American graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Brown entered the Academy in 1945, a century after the institution was founded, and graduated in 1949. A handful of black midshipmen had previously been appointed to the school in Annapolis, but all were either pushed out or left of their own volition prior to graduation. Brown spent his youth in Washington, D.C., where he attended segregated Dunbar High and had part-time jobs working for the Navy and Howard University. He was able to succeed at the Naval Academy through a combination… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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