Archive for the 'History' Category

Aug 21

Hornet Celebrates 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Splashdown

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:01 AM

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Carefully, a young boy balances his right foot inside the painted outline of a larger foot, then he jumps to the next painted footprint. He’s following the footprints across the floor of the hangar deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, now a museum, berthed at Alameda, California. This is the carrier that recovered the astronauts of Apollo 11: Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, the first men to walk on the moon, and Michael Collins, pilot of the command module. The boy is following their path from the helicopter that picked them up from the Pacific Ocean, then across the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 15

White Hulls: Coast Guard Punches Above Its Weight

Thursday, August 15, 2019 12:01 AM

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Happy birthday to the United States Coast Guard! The Coast Guard is the sea service that everyone counts on during people’s worst days, and 4 August 2019 marked the service’s 229th birthday. Though the modern Coast Guard is an amalgamation of other federal sea-going agencies, it traces its origins to the Cutter Revenue Service established in 1790. On 20 January 1915, Congress merged the Revenue Cutter Service with the Life-Saving Service to form the Coast Guard in the “Act to Create the Coast Guard.” The Coast Guard maintained the ocean-going component through the new service’s combined fleet of cutters, but… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 14

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 1

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 12:01 AM

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This is the first in a series exploring the World War II service of my paternal grandfather Thomas D. Schreck. I embarked upon this project two years ago in an effort to learn more about his service. My grandfather did not share much with his family about his time in the military, but fourteen years earlier I had an opportunity to spend a great deal of time with him wherein we talked about many topics including his military service. Many of the stories and information he shared with me he had never shared with his children. When he passed away… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 13

U.S. Revenue Marine to Coast Guard (1790-1915)

Tuesday, August 13, 2019 12:01 AM

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As George Washington left his retreat in Mount Vernon to enter the office of the presidency, the newly established United States faced a myriad of issues. A new government was formed, and the people hoped this would not mirror the recent failure of the Articles of Confederation. Great Britain and Spain still occupied U.S. territory. Secession loomed in the West. The Army was inadequate, the Navy nonexistent, and the Treasury exhausted. After the war, the new government of the United States had accumulated an impressive amount of debt to both its citizens and foreign countries. While Congress attempted to alleviate… 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.”

 
Jul 30

Racism, Mutiny, and Exoneration-The Port Chicago Disaster

Tuesday, July 30, 2019 11:53 AM

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The date is 17 July 1944. It’s nearing half past 10 PM, and the 24-hour cycle of munitions and cargo loading at the Port Chicago Naval Magazine, California is in full swing. Two merchant ships, the SS Quinault Victory and the SS E.A. Bryan, sit at the pier. The SS Quinault Victory is empty, the SS E.A. Bryan holds over 4,000 tons of ammunition, and sixteen railcars sitting on the pier contain 429 tons of ammunition. Hundreds of cargo handlers, munitions handlers, crewmen, and officers swarm the area, working tirelessly to load the two vessels with explosives, bombs, depth charges,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 27

This Day In History: The Korean War Armistice

Saturday, July 27, 2019 12:01 AM

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The 27th of July, 2019 marks the 66th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. While a peace treaty was never signed (leaving the two Koreas still technically at war) the 1953 armistice nevertheless finally brought a cessation of all hostilities to the Korean War. The armistice also established the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).  While numerous factors played a role in complicating the Korean War Armistice, there were two notable reasons it took more than two years to negotiate. First, there was disagreement over the placement of the demarcation line dividing the two Koreas, which involved determining the actual location of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 25

We All Scream For Ice Cream: World War II and America’s Sweet Tooth

Thursday, July 25, 2019 12:01 AM

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It’s late July, and in Maryland and most of the United States, this month provides one certainty: it is hot. There are plenty of ways to combat the heat, from taking a swim to just staying indoors in the relative protection of air conditioning, but there’s one form of cooling off that never gets old for me, and that’s having an ice cream. Something about that first taste always transports me – if I don’t get a brain freeze – to other sunny afternoons and happy days, and I can never eat an ice cream on a hot day without… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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