Archive for the 'People' Category

Jan 28

The Incredulous Adventure of Ensign George William Denby, USNR

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 10:07 AM

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Every once and a blue moon, a piece of history crosses my desk that immediately drives me to tell its story to everyone and anyone who will listen. Which is what I did this Fall, when I told my fellow archivists, the photo historian upstairs, and my friends about this story from World War II. This story has still stuck in my brain, however, which is why I’m going to share it with you all right now. Here is the strange but true story of Ensign George William Denby, USNR:   Ensign George William Denby, USNR (of Van Nuys, California)… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 24

Leyte Gulf Reminiscences

Thursday, October 24, 2019 11:53 AM

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Excerpted from The Battle of Leyte Gulf at 75: A Retrospective, by Thomas J. Cutler (Naval Institute Press, 2019) The Battle of Leyte Gulf, an epic page in the history of World War II, is the victory of thousands of U.S. warriors at sea, ashore, beneath the sea, and in the air—their actions, professional can-do spirit, heroism, and sacrifices. The Japanese committed their carriers and main battle fleet to the action, and they fought hard, determined to turn back U.S. amphibious landings at Leyte and Philippine shores beyond. Mistakes were made on both sides. The Americans rose to the challenge…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 17

Theodore Roosevelt, Naval Expansion, and Guaranteeing Peace

Thursday, October 17, 2019 3:32 PM

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In 1897, William McKinley was inaugurated as 25th President of the United States. As an advocate of tariffs and protectionist policies, McKinley believed in supporting U.S. interests in Cuba and around the globe through diplomacy and tough negotiations. And yet, just over 12 months after his inauguration, McKinley would find himself leading the United States into war against a European power. Although America would enjoy total victory in 1898, this was despite the lack of naval preparation throughout the 1880s and 1890s. The near-immediate naval build-up in 1897 and early 1898 was due in large part to the bold actions… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Sep 5

Japanese Surrender of WWII

Thursday, September 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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A head shot of Captain Roland William Faulk, USN (Ret.)

  In the late 1930s, as World War II approached, Captain Roland William Faulk was serving at the Cavite Navy Yard in the Philippines on board the battleship Idaho (BB-42). He would go on to serve in the battleship Missouri (BB-63) at the end of the war and the immediate postwar period; as chaplain at the Recruit Training Center, Bainbridge, Maryland; as fleet chaplain for the Pacific Fleet; and at the Eleventh Naval District. Faulk’s recollections of service during World War II are important because of his observations concerning Rear Admiral Robert Workman, wartime Chief of Chaplains, and because of Faulk’s… 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.”

 
Jun 13

The Ladies of Newport

Thursday, June 13, 2019 12:01 AM

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In February 1919, Chief Machinist’s Mate Ervin Arnold found himself stationed at the Newport Naval Training Station in Newport, Rhode Island. Then a 14-year veteran with the U.S. Navy, and around 40, Arnold previously had worked as a detective in his home state of Connecticut for nearly nine years. On his arrival to Newport, Arnold was sent almost directly to the hospital, as he was struggling with a rather severe bout of rheumatism that required frequent medical attention. Not long after arriving, the machinist’s mate became somewhat friendly with his significantly younger fellow sailors, and their conversations eventually turned toward… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Apr 18

Reflections on Admiral Yamamoto

Thursday, April 18, 2019 12:01 AM

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On this date in 1943, U.S. Army Air Forces P-38 Lightning fighters, acting on U.S. Navy signals intelligence, shot down a bomber carrying Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet and architect of the Pearl Harbor attack. Yamamoto’s death was a devastating blow to Japan’s war effort. Commander Edwin T. Layton, intelligence officer on the staff of Admiral Chester Nimitz, U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander-in-Chief, played a key role in the events that led to Yamamoto’s death. Ironically, Layton had gotten to know the Japanese admiral while serving as assistant naval attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo from… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 5

Admiral Thach: A Tactical Artist

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 12:01 AM

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Standing about six feet tall and weighing a measly 135 pounds, it is hard to imagine how young Jack Thach felt as he prepared to begin his plebe training at the United States Naval Academy. It was the summer of 1923, and at his initial physical assessment, Jack’s frailty evoked great skepticism from the examining physician. Told to eat and exercise more, time would tell if Jack could translate his high school football success in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, to achievement at the Academy. Two weeks into his first academic term, Midshipman 4/C Thach received failing grades in every subject. After… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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