Archive for the 'Navy' Category

Aug 7

Commencing the Attack on Guadalcanal

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 2:00 PM

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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 »

 
Aug 7

Ticonderoga: The Almost-First Steam-Powered Warship

Tuesday, August 7, 2018 12:01 AM

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Commodore Thomas Macdonough (Gilbert Stuart-National Gallery of Art)

Demologos, later renamed Fulton after its creator Robert Fulton, was the first steam-powered vessel in the U.S. Navy in 1815. The unique floating battery almost did not receive that distinction. Only a matter of months earlier, Master Commandant Thomas Macdonough almost brought a steam-powered warship to the most decisive battle of the War of 1812. The United States and Great Britain had been at war since June 1812, and Napoleon’s defeat in April 1814 brought thousands of experienced soldiers to Canada. The war of 1812 began as a sideshow to the British government, but now had their military’s undivided attention…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Aug 2

Founding the WAVES

Thursday, August 2, 2018 12:01 AM

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Captain Mildred McAfee Horton. Courtesy of NHHC.

  On 3 August 1942, Mildred McAfee (later Mildred McAfee Horton) was commissioned as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Naval Reserves, making her the first female line officer in the U.S. Navy. Future Captain McAfee was the president of Wellesley College when she was recruited to become the first director of the newly established WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service). In this excerpt, Captain McAfee discusses how she became involved with the WAVES and her early introduction to rank.     To read more about the Naval Institute Oral History Program, go to https://www.usni.org/heritage/oral-history-catalog.  

 
Aug 1

The 7 Best Beards in U.S. Naval History

Wednesday, August 1, 2018 12:01 AM

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Screen Shot 2018-07-25 at 10.17.00 AM

Recently male sailors in the U.S. Navy are speaking out for equality within the ranks. The push was fueled when the Navy authorized women to wear more relaxed hairstyles such as ponytails. Men are not asking to grow their hair long, rather they are pushing for more relaxed grooming standards with regards to facial hair. The Navy has a long history of great beards, but was sadly ended in 1984. In honor of this valiant fight for hair equality I compiled a list of the seven best beards in U.S. Navy history.   7. Samuel Francis Du Pont Rear Admiral… 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

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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

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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

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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 »

 
Jul 26

The National Security Act and Inter-Service Rivalry

Thursday, July 26, 2018 3:09 PM

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President Harry Truman signing the National Act into law on July 26, 1946.  The act would not go into effect until September 18 of that year. (Photo: Department of State)

On this day in 1947 President Harry Truman signed into law the National Security Act of 1947. The bill reorganized the military, by placing the Army and Navy into the Department of Defense, and creating the position of Secretary of Defense at its head. It also created the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council. However, it seems the most impactful act from the bill, was establishment of a new branch of the military; the United States Air Force. Upon its inception, the Air Force began a campaign designed to downplay the significance of the Navy, especially aircraft carriers,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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