Archive for the 'Heritage' Category

May 22

Beating 1,000-to-1 Odds

Friday, May 22, 2020 12:25 PM

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“Fantastic Feat of Suicide Plane Sank USS Drexler” was the headline of the press release the U.S. Navy sent out on 12 August 1945, three days after the second atomic bomb had been dropped on Japan and two days before that country surrendered. The USS Drexler (DD-741) had gone down more than two months earlier, on 28 May, but because of the grievous losses—158 dead and 52 wounded out of a 350-man crew—notifying the next of kin doubtlessly had taken much time. Commissioned on 14 November 1944, the Drexler had sailed from Norfolk to Trinidad and then on to the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 9

An Old Naval Tradition – First Watch

Thursday, January 9, 2020 10:22 AM

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January has rolled around again. No one knows how the tradition of writing the log in rhyme on the New Year’s midwatch began, or when it began. Perhaps the OOD was simply entertaining himself while the rest of the crew was out celebrating. According to Naval Ceremonies, Customs, and Traditions by Royal W. Connell and William P. Mack: “Regardless of rhyme, Navy Regulations and OpNav Instructions require that certain information be reported. Those requirements, plus the awkward names of some of the ships present, the lack of euphony in many nautical expressions, and the need to comply with “the poetic… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 24

Leyte Gulf Reminiscences

Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:53 AM

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Excerpted from The Battle of Leyte Gulf at 75: A Retrospective, by Thomas J. Cutler (Naval Institute Press, 2019) The Battle of Leyte Gulf, an epic page in the history of World War II, is the victory of thousands of U.S. warriors at sea, ashore, beneath the sea, and in the air—their actions, professional can-do spirit, heroism, and sacrifices. The Japanese committed their carriers and main battle fleet to the action, and they fought hard, determined to turn back U.S. amphibious landings at Leyte and Philippine shores beyond. Mistakes were made on both sides. The Americans rose to the challenge…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 17

Theodore Roosevelt, Naval Expansion, and Guaranteeing Peace

Thursday, October 17, 2019 3:32 PM

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In 1897, William McKinley was inaugurated as 25th President of the United States. As an advocate of tariffs and protectionist policies, McKinley believed in supporting U.S. interests in Cuba and around the globe through diplomacy and tough negotiations. And yet, just over 12 months after his inauguration, McKinley would find himself leading the United States into war against a European power. Although America would enjoy total victory in 1898, this was despite the lack of naval preparation throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The near-immediate naval build-up in 1897 and early 1898 was due in large part to the bold actions… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 1

World War II V-12 College Training Program

Tuesday, October 1, 2019 12:01 AM

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Admiral Charles K. Duncan, USN (Ret.)

In this audio excerpt from his oral history, Admiral Duncan describes the Navy’s V-12 College Training Program, which was launched to beef up the numbers of commissioned naval officers during World War II (some 125,000 participants passed through the program during and immediately after the war years). Admiral Duncan was XO of the USS Hutchins (DD-476) in 1942 in combat action in the Aleutians and South Pacific, then CO of the USS Wilson (DD-408), taking part in action in the South and Central Pacific. After World War II, he served as XO of the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) and CO of the Chilton (APA-38), Assistant Chief of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 8

The 1st Marines on Bloody Nose Ridge

Thursday, August 8, 2019 12:01 AM

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On 15 September 1944, the 1st Marine Division landed on Peleliu with its commander, Major General William H. Rupertus, confidently predicting the Japanese-held island would be in U.S. hands within four days. But the grueling Battle of Peleliu would last 73 days, with the U.S. Army’s 81st Infantry Division eventually taking over operations. Two key factors contributed to the battle stretching so long: The Japanese abandoned large-scale assaults in favor of attritional, defensive warfare, and they had ideal terrain in which to implement their new tactics—the rugged coral and limestone Umurbrogol Mountain, which Marines nicknamed “Bloody Nose Ridge.”

 
May 14

Museum Report: The Tug That Fought

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 11:07 AM

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Alongside the quay at the Port of Oswego, New York, an old warrior stands guard. On her stack, she proudly displays her “kill mark”: the silhouette of a fighter plane and swastika. Her twin .50-caliber guns still point skyward. She is U.S. Army large tug LT-5, the John F. Nash, originally christened the Major Elisha K. Henson and launched on 22 November 1942. During my three-hour tour of the 115-foot tug, I saw everything from the captain’s cabin to the spike-mounted “stinger” guns on the small gun deck abaft the pilothouse. It was during Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, that… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 18

Reflections on Admiral Yamamoto

Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:01 AM

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On this date in 1943, U.S. Army Air Forces P-38 Lightning fighters, acting on U.S. Navy signals intelligence, shot down a bomber carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet and architect of the Pearl Harbor attack. Yamamoto’s death was a devastating blow to Japan’s war effort. Commander Edwin T. Layton, intelligence officer on the staff of Admiral Chester Nimitz, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander-in-Chief, played a key role in the events that led to Yamamoto’s death. Ironically, Layton had gotten to know the Japanese admiral while serving as assistant naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo from… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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