Archive for the 'History' Category

Apr 10

Seaplanes: The End (of the beginning)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 12:01 AM

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P6M Seamaster takeoff

By the end of the war, the Navy had a number of advanced seaplane designs in the works – the JRM Mars and H-4 Hercules, the Spruce Goose, in particular. These were developed as large (or, in the Hercules case, extremely large) transport seaplanes. The H-4 had a similar mission to some of the earliest Navy seaplanes: crossing the Atlantic, although it would do it with a 150,000 pound payload. With the end of the war, however, development largely stopped to make way for new operational challenges and design paradigms. Captured German hydrodynamics and aerodynamics research complemented contemporary American knowledge… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 27

The Naval Act of 1794: Piracy and the U.S. Navy’s Re-Birth

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 3:00 PM

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Painting of the USS Constitution, the first ship completed after the re-establishment of the Navy.

I learned something today, dear reader. For nine long years, the United States didn’t have a Navy. Nine years! Between August 1785 and 27 March 1794, there were no Naval officers, nor sailors, not even a single ship to the Navy’s name. Yes, today is the anniversary of the rebirth of the United States Navy, and it is all thanks to pirates. At the end of the Revolutionary War in August 1785, Congress sold the last Continental Navy ship, the Alliance. There just simply wasn’t enough money available to maintain a ship or support a naval force. Moreover, the United… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 17

Today in Submarine History

Saturday, March 17, 2018 12:01 AM

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Feature

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day we remember the Irish-born John Phillip Holland and the Holland IV. 1898: John P. Holland’s submarine, Holland IV, performs the first successful diving and surfacing tests off Staten Island, New York. Read more about Holland and his submarines here. https://www.navalhistory.org/2012/03/17/uss-holland-ss-1-makes-her-first-successful-submerged-run-17-march-1898   Another anniversary, 1959: USS Skate (SSN-578) becomes the first submarine to surface at the North Pole, traveling 3,000 miles in and under Arctic ice for more than a month. Read more about the USS Skate here. https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1984-06/us-navy-sailing-under-ice

 
Mar 13

USCG Helos to the Rescue (Part 3)

Tuesday, March 13, 2018 10:13 AM

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2a

On 15 February1943, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest J. King assigned responsibility for sea-going development of helicopters to the U.S. Coast Guard. The Coast Guard has proven time and time again that the helicopter is a unique instrument for the saving of human lives.” Here are some of the important missions flown by the service’s helicopters. ‘Yes, I Can’ The first life-saving mission by a Coast Guard rescue swimmer took place on 10 December 1987. At 1936 the Bluebird, a 26-foot fishing vessel requested assistance. The duty helicopter crew at Coast Guard Air Station Sitka, Alaska, quickly boarded HH–3F… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 6

Meeting “Butch” O’Hare

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 12:01 AM

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Admiral John S. "Jimmy" Thach, USN (Ret.) (1905-1981)

In this excerpt from his 1970 Oral History Interview with CDR Etta-Belle Kitchen, USN (Ret.), then-Admiral Thach recounts his first first meeting with future Medal of Honor recipient and fighter ace Edward Henry “Butch” O’Hare in 1940. The complete oral history is a delightfully told memoir from the man who was probably the Navy’s foremost fighter plane tactician of World War II. He is best known as the inventor of the “Thach Weave,” whereby U.S. fighters could successfully combat Japanese Zeros. Thach tells of devising the maneuver at home with kitchen matches. In a series of enjoyable tales, Thach describes his Naval Academy… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 27

Reclaiming Lost Photos

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 12:01 AM

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Photograph being placed in the humidification chamber.

Imagine you have a photograph of an event that you know would look just perfect framed on the wall. You also think your family and friends would enjoy having their own copy of the photo, and really want to digitize and email it to them. Depending on how the photograph was stored, this whole scenario can take less than ten minutes to complete. You, however, have a problem: the photograph was stored in a tube, and now refuses to lie flat.   At an archive like the U.S. Naval Institute, running into a problem like this isn’t out of the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 20

USCG Helos to the Rescue (Part 2)

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 12:01 AM

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HH-52A

On 15 February1943, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Ernest J. King assigned responsibility for sea-going development of helicopters to the U.S. Coast Guard. The first helicopter to enter the Navy’s inventory, an HNS-1, was tested and accepted by naval aviation’s first designated helicopter pilot, Coast Guard Lieutenant Commander Frank Erickson, at Bridgeport, Connecticut on 16 October 1943. This was the beginning of a 74-year journey featuring man’s ingenuity, skill, and daring as industry and technology constantly improved rotary-wing aircraft.

 
Feb 8

A Deeper Dive into Hell to Pay

Thursday, February 8, 2018 12:01 AM

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9781682471654

In 2009, D. M. Giangreco’s award-winning book Hell to Pay: Operation Downfall and the Invasion of Japan, 1945–1947 was published by the Naval Institute Press. We recently spoke with Mr. Giangreco about his latest book—a revised and expanded edition of Hell to Pay (Naval Institute Press, 2017). Naval History: Tell us about the expanded edition of Hell to Pay. D. M. Giangreco: The new Hell to Pay expands on several areas examined in the previous book and deals with three new topics: U.S.-Soviet cooperation in the war against imperial Japan; U.S., Soviet, and Japanese plans for the invasion and defense… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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