Archive for the 'History' Category

May 19

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 10

Tuesday, May 19, 2020 12:01 AM

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When we left, my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), was off the coast of San Tropez, France participating in Operation Dragoon. As the initial landings were over the ship’s main job was to keep the shipping channels open and clear of any mines dropped from German aircraft. They also patrolled for German E-boat’s (small armed patrol craft) that tried to enter the area. As noted with previous blogs all entries come from the ship’s war diary unless otherwise noted. August 22, 1944 Day’s Operations-0000-8 Patrolling from point “SS” to point “SR” Delta Assault area, Operation DRAGOON. 08-24 Anchored in Gulf… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 14

The U.S. Navy–China Bicentennial

Thursday, May 14, 2020 7:13 AM

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As today’s U.S. fleet faces the challenges of a navally ascendant China, it’s interesting to look at the relationship through the lens of history and recall that the U.S. Navy and China, they go back a ways. Back before the days of the Yangtze Patrol—back, in fact, a full 200 years ago to the day, as of Saturday, 16 May 2020. For it was on this day in 1820 that the U.S. Navy had its first-ever contact with China. American merchant ships had ventured to those shores before an American warship ever came calling. The first such to do so,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 14

Remembering the Solace

Tuesday, April 14, 2020 7:19 AM

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The U.S. Navy’s hospital ships are very much in the news these days. And in a bit of coincidental timeliness, 14 April marks the anniversary of the commissioning of the Navy’s first post–Civil War hospital ship, the USS Solace (AH-2). Commissioned in 1898, she saw service in the Spanish-American War and the early 20th century. Her name and legacy lived on in World War II with the second hospital ship Solace (AH-5), which was present at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, when the Japanese attack on the U.S. fleet brought the nation into the conflict. But back to the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 31

Steps on the Path to Gender Equality

Tuesday, March 31, 2020 12:01 AM

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As we near the end of Women’s History month, please enjoy a short timeline of American women’s continued journey to equality. 1781 Deborah Sampson, disguises herself as a man, enlists in the Continental Army as “Robert Shurtleff,” and becomes one of the first American women who is documented to have served in combat. 1840 Catherine Brewer becomes the first woman to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduating from Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. 1848 Seneca Falls Convention, first women’s right convention held in the U.S. Elizabeth Cady Stanton presented the Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions 1865 Mary Edwards Walker, a contract surgeon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 17

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 8

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:01 AM

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The previous blog left off at the end of June with my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), operating in Italy and preparing to return to combat after undergoing refitting and repairs. In my search of naval records I was unable to find any entries for the ship’s war journal for the month of July. The ship’s history, however, shows the month was spent traveling back and forth between Italy and Tunisia. This entry will pick up in August 1944 with the Sway in Naples, Italy and unless otherwise noted the entries will be from the ship’s war diary as my grandfather stopped keeping a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 18

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 7

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:01 AM

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This blog begins on 10 June 1944. My grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck, joined his ship the USS Sway (AM-120) an Auk class minesweeper in Bizerte, Tunisia at the end of May. The ship just spent the last nine days undergoing refitting and maintenance and was now about to get underway once again to resume operations off the coast of Italy. Before returning however, they stopped in Malta to prepare the ship for the dangerous job of clearing mines. Before getting into the ship’s operations, I want to provide some information on the USS Sway. The Sway belonged to the Auk class of fleet going minesweepers…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 11

The Antiaircraft Fire Control 'Shoebox'

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 12:01 AM

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In the spring of 1941, the staff of the fire-control section in the newly reorganized Bureau of Ordnance’s Research and Development Division was struggling with the problem of how to provide fire control for the heavier antiaircraft machine guns that were just entering production, such as the 40-mm Bofors and the 1.1-in machine cannon. Although a series of development contracts had been awarded to the traditional suppliers of fire-control directors, none of the devices submitted to date lent themselves to quantity production, none had proven to work, and all were deemed too difficult to maintain afloat. Unbeknown to anyone in… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 4

The Strike Cruiser

Tuesday, February 4, 2020 12:01 AM

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In the 75 years since the end of World War II only two countries have constructed major surface combatant ships other than aircraft carriers. The Baltic Shipyard in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) built four nuclear-propelled battle cruisers, completing the 28,000-ton warships of the Kirov class from 1980 to 1996.[1] These massive warships were fitted with the latest weapons and electronic systems. Earlier, the U.S. Navy built the nuclear cruiser Long Beach (CGN 9), completed in 1961. The most capable surface combatant of her era, the Long Beach at 16,250 tons was significantly smaller than the Soviet giants. But the Long… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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