Archive for the 'History' Category

Feb 5

What to do when your commander burns his own perfectly good fleet?

Tuesday, February 5, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Hernando Cortez scuttles his ships

If you ever find yourself in command of an invading army, and surrounded by a numerically superior enemy hell-bent on your destruction, it is probably not a good idea to intentionally eliminate your only means of retreat. Yet that is what the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés did in 1519 when he sunk his own naval fleet to keep his men from deserting during his campaign to conquer the Aztec Empire. It was one of the biggest gambles in military history. He conquered the Aztec two years later, but things could have easily gone the other way. If Cortés had been defeated,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 24

The Life and Death of the USS YMS-365

Thursday, January 24, 2019 12:01 AM

By

(Credit CMoMM Ed Johnson, USNR)

On 26 June 1945, USS YMS-365 struck a mine and sank while conducting minesweeping operations off the Japanese-held oil producing city of Balikpapan, Borneo in the Dutch East Indies. Many of the officers and enlisted men on board were injured. Fortunately, no one was killed and all the officers and men and the ship’s mascot “Doc” the dog were safely transferred to another YMS and eventually to the cruiser USS Columbia (CL-56). The ship was listing badly and another YMS poured gunfire into it to sink it. This is the story of how the YMS came to life, was commissioned,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 22

Day 9 — March 25 — Guam — Our Own Tour

Tuesday, January 22, 2019 12:01 AM

By

(Courtesy of the Author)

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. I awoke in the dark, the victim of a telemarketing call at 4:47am from, ironically, an alleged veteran’s association in the States. I could not fall back asleep and so decided watch the dawn’s blue-gray fingers creep across the horizon. As the sky lightened I saw… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 15

Angels of the Oriskany – Fire!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12:01 AM

By

Crewmen fighting the fire on the USS Oriskany on 26 October 1966 (NHHC)

I sent my father’s cousin Dale Barck a postcard during a port call to Hong Kong in 1997, he replied sending me letters filled with sea stories from his days in the Navy, including the fateful events of his deployment aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in 1966. Following the rescue of the August Moon’s crew in September, the adventure continued. Just before 0730 on 26 October 1966, the USS Oriskany was back on Yankee Station. Three overnight launches were cancelled due to poor weather. Dale wrote, “It was my turn to take the early launch. I was turned… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 10

Heroes in Camouflage

Thursday, January 10, 2019 12:01 AM

By

7

We are very familiar with the names of famous naval leaders and heroes of World War I. But there are hundreds of other individuals whose efforts contributed to achieving victory in 1918. The story of a few starts in Philadelphia and the individuals who worked for the Fourth Naval District and the U.S. Shipping Board. Their stories are presented here as an example of those efforts. Sara Elizabeth Carles was born in Philadelphia on the first day of January, 1894. Her brother, Arthur Beecher Carles Jr., was 12 years older. Nothing indicated at the time that the siblings would, in… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 8

World War One – USS Olympia’s Sailors

Tuesday, January 8, 2019 12:01 AM

By

USS Olympia (NHHC)

On 6 April 1917, the USS Olympia (C-6) was in transit, sailing from St. Thomas, Virgin Islands to Hampton Roads, Virginia. A gale was blowing from the southwest and the ship had to be secured for heavy weather. It was also the day Congress declared war against Germany. For the next nineteen months, USS Olympia sailors assisted with U.S. war efforts by participating in convoy patrols in the North Atlantic. The day that the Armistice was signed the ship was in Murmansk, Russia and a portion of her crew had spent the previous few months on land fighting the Bolsheviks.1… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 25

Day 8- March 24- Iwo Jima

Tuesday, December 25, 2018 12:01 AM

By

(Courtesy of the Author)

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. For me, the ability to share the experience of Guam with Dad was pretty unbeatable. But Iwo Jima is a once-in-a lifetime experience so today came in a close second. Too many histories exist describing that battle and I cannot possibly do it justice. On 19… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 20

The Indianapolis Tragedy: My Perspective-The Court-Martial

Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:01 AM

By

Captain McVay tells War Correspondents about the sinking of his ship (National Archive)

The search for blame for the disaster began on 13 August 1945. A Court of Inquiry was held in Guam at which Captain Charles B. McVay III was present to represent himself. The inquiry focused on the events of the night of 30 July, (1) the failure to zigzag, (2) the alleged failure to send out distress signals, (3) the mix-up in advising Leyte of the arrival time, (4) the failure of Leyte authorities to report the ship overdue, (5) the failure to provide an escort for the ship, (6) the failure to warn McVay of the known presence of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
« Older Entries Newer Entries »