Archive for the 'Ships' Category

Aug 7

Commencing the Attack on Guadacanal

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 »

 
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 20

The USS Essex From Mutiny to F-35s

Friday, July 20, 2018 12:01 AM

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Artist's rendition of the Battle of Valparaiso, depicting naval warfare between the frigate USS Essex, the HMS Phoebe, and the HMS Cherub. The battle raged for two and a half hours, ending with the surrender of the USS Essex. (Photo: USNI Archive)

As reported by USNI News, the USS Essex quietly deployed last Tuesday, 10 July. [Essex Amphibious Ready Group Quietly Deployed on Tuesday with Marine F-35s] The lack of “fanfare” was for “reasons of operational security”, according to USNI sources. The USS Essex is carrying the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit and their F-35s. However, this isn’t the first time a US Navy ship named USS Essex made headlines. There were five ships named USS Essex in U.S. Navy history, starting with the 32-gun sailing frigate commissioned in 1799. On 9 December 1813, the sailors of USS Essex staged a mutiny. Luckily, CAPT Porter… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jul 3

The Ship That Would Not Die

Tuesday, July 3, 2018 12:01 AM

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Captain Frank A. Manson

Frank Manson was commissioned in the Naval Reserve in 1942 and went through the naval training school at Ithaca, New York, before he transferred to the regular Navy on 7 May 1947. He attained the rank of captain before retiring on 1 January 1969. Ordered to duty afloat in 1944, Manson joined the USS Laffey (DD-724). On 16 April 1945, the Laffey suffered heavy casualties following a concentrated Japanese aerial attack in which she was struck by bombs and kamikaze attacks. For services in the Laffey, Manson received a letter of commendation, with authorization to wear the commendation ribbon with combat “V,” and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

Here’s How the French Created Military Aviation

Thursday, June 28, 2018 8:28 AM

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On June 26, 1794, the French army launched their military balloon, L’Entreprenant, for reconnaissance during the Battle of Fleurus — the first use of an aircraft for military purposes. The Committee of Public Safety approved the creation of the French Company of Aeronauts in 1794 and sponsored the development of the hydrogen that would be used to raise the craft. After much testing and experimentation with gases and structures, L’Entreprenant was born [1].   Following a brief debut during a bombardment on June 2, L’Entreprenant was used to report enemy movements during a conflict with Austrian forces [2]. At Fleurus, the balloon… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 8

Frankenships: HMS Zubian and USS Wisconsin

Friday, June 8, 2018 9:14 AM

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HMS Zulu + HMS Nubian = HMS Zubian

When the Royal Navy commissioned the thirteenth Tribal-class destroyer in on 7 June 1917, it unleashed a floating Frankenstein’s monster. HMS Zubian was actually stitched together from the best parts of the class’s tenth and twelfth destroyers after both had suffered heavy damage while serving as part of the Dover Patrol to prevent German vessels from entering the English Channel. HMS Nubian was torpedoed during the Battle of Dover Straight in October 1916 but had remained mostly intact and suffered no casualties. As she was being towed back to port, heavy winds caused her to breakaway and run aground on… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 24

Naval History News of Note

Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:36 PM

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John Glenn Navy Flight Helmet 1

  This week’s news stories concerning naval history:   The U.S. Navy helmet that John Glenn wore during the first supersonic transcontinental flight is up for auction. Glenn flew from Los Alamitos, California to NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York at a record speed of 725.55 mph during Project Bullet. The success of the mission led to Glenn being selected for the Mercury program.   The museum ship USS Slater received a much-needed grant to repair the mast and hull. The Cannon-class destroyer escort was commissioned in 1944 and participated in Atlantic convoys. She was sold to Greece after the war… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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