Archive for the 'Heritage' Category

Oct 31

Naval Superstitions – A Sailor’s Antiquated Guide to Avoiding Bad Luck

Wednesday, October 31, 2018 9:55 AM

By

An eerie glow winks out from diving helmets aboard the USS Escape (ARS-6), serving as Jack-O'-Lanterns for the ship.

It’s that time of year once again! Where children and adults alike dress up, go to fun parties, and probably eat far too much candy. It’s also a time of spooky stories and superstitions, which is what I decided to research for my dive into naval history this month. Growing up in Wisconsin, sailors and maritime life was not something familiar to me. Most of my impressions of sailors came from movies, television, and books, and one theme always stuck out more than any other: they were just a little bit spooky! There always seemed to be an air of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 16

ACTION REPORT: HMAS Australia off Luzon

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 10:38 AM

By

The heavy cruiser HMAS Australia in late August 1942. (Naval History and Heritage Command)

In October 1944 near the Philippine island of Leyte, Japan unleashed a powerful, unforeseen weapon against enemy warships—the kamikaze. During the next few months, the heavy cruiser HMAS Australia, received more than her share of attention from the deadly suicide planes. According to Australian sources, the cruiser became the first Allied ship hit by a kamikaze when on 21 October a D3A “Val” bomber struck her foremast, killing 7 officers—including her commanding officer—and 23 sailors. (Other sources deny the attack was a preplanned suicide attack.) That was just a taste of what was in store for the Australia during the January 1945 operation… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 21

Day 3- March 17/18 Honolulu to Saipan, via Guam

Tuesday, August 21, 2018 12:01 AM

By

IMG_3615

Lieutenant Leroy Fadem recently revisited sites in the Pacific where he saw action in the Navy during the tumultuous years of the War in the Pacific over 70 years ago. This is a journal of that recent trip as kept by his son, Steven Fadem, who accompanied Lt. Fadem on that journey of rediscovery. Back in 1944 when Dad traveled from Honolulu to Guam on the Stevens it took over a week at sea. Today we made the journey in a little over eight hours, with two meals, some wine, a movie and air conditioning. The juxtaposition is stunning. The world… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 10

Past as Prologue in US-Mexican Relations

Friday, August 10, 2018 12:01 AM

By

Gen Scott's grand entry into the city of Mexico, Sept. 14th, 1847

U.S. national security relations with Mexico stretch back to the 1840s and the presidency of James K. Polk, when the United States wanted to expand the country’s size. Polk was explicit about his policy goals, one of which was the annexation of California,[1] and he viewed his election as a mandate to annex that territory, as well as others if the opportunity arose. That opportunity materialized when Mexico tried to retake Texas[2]. Polk, without hesitation, convinced Congress to declare war on Mexico. President Polk accomplished more than what his constituents expected. Today, the United States shares an open border with… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 7

Commencing the Attack on Guadalcanal

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 2:00 PM

By

Marine forces training for an amphibious landing prior to the beginning of the Guadalcanal campaign.  (Photo: USNI Archive)

On 7 August 1942 the Allied forces began their first major counter-offensive against the Japanese at Guadalcanal. Since Pearl Harbor the U.S. had spent most their time recovering from the attack and re-building the badly damaged Pacific fleet. One high-poin, however, were the highly successful attacks known as “Doolittle’s Raids.” This “lull” in activity ended with the invasion of Guadalcanal. Code-named “Operation Watchtower,” Marines conducted a surprise raid of their primary target, the airfield, and quickly established a presence that allowed troops to arrive on the island. The initial invasion was such a surprise that the first Marines encountered little resistance…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 31

Today in Naval History: The Four Ships Named USS Intrepid

Tuesday, July 31, 2018 1:43 PM

By

Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum (Acroterion)

On this day in 1874, the USS Intrepid, second ship of her name, was commissioned by the U.S. Navy. The name Intrepid means fearless or adventurous, both things this mighty ship was not. Despite the cutting edge technology and new designs used to create the massive ship, she proved merely experimental. The Intrepid was the Navy’s first ship equipped with self-propelled torpedoes and led the way for future ships of more efficient and useful designs. Her predecessor, the USS Intrepid (1798) has a peculiar and distinguished history. Captured from the Tripolitan Navy several months after the USS Philadelphia ran aground, the first Intrepid was converted to a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 30

The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis

Monday, July 30, 2018 12:47 PM

By

The USS Indianapolis (CA-35) before the war in September 1939. (Photo: NHHC)

At roughly 0015 on July 30, 1945 the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) was struck by two torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-58 in the Philippine Sea. The ship was on a highly classified mission, to deliver various parts needed to finish the field construction of the atomic bomb “Little Boy” on Tinian Island. Only a little more than two weeks from the surrender of Japan, the sinking of the Indianapolis was one of the last major naval events of World War II. Once struck, it took only 12 minutes to sink, which was not enough time for a distress signal to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 27

This Day in History – July 27th, 1953

Friday, July 27, 2018 10:35 AM

By

Korean War Armistice with North Korean, Chinese, and American leaders.

The Armistice between the United States, South Korea, and North Korea that ended the Korean War was signed on July 27th, 1953. The Armistice marked the end of three years of bloodshed, setting terms and conditions that were meant to be temporary. It was to be followed by legislators and diplomats to settle the question of Korean statehood. Military leaders from each of the combatant countries oversaw the talks. Field Marshall Peng Dehuai was the representative from the People’s Republic of China, Lieutenant General William Kelly Harrison was the United States’, and General Nam Il was the People’s Democratic Republic… Read the rest of this entry »

 
« Older Entries