Archive for the 'Ships' Category

Mar 12

They Became Banana Boats

Tuesday, March 12, 2019 12:01 AM

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Broadside view of the motor fruit carrier Truxtun, ex-USS Truxtun (DD-14)

Shortly after the cessation of hostilities of World War I, the United States found itself with a number of obsolete craft from the beginning of the era of the all-steel Navy. Now no longer needed, U.S. Navy disposed of its original torpedo boat destroyers that had entered service shortly after the end of the Spanish-American War. The three boats Truxtun class were bought by private shipping interests. The Truxtun (DD-14) and her sisters Whipple (DD-15) and Worden (DD-16) were refitted with diesel engines for the first experiment in making small, fast, shallow draft banana carriers. As Commander John D. Alden, U.S. Navy (Retired) recounts below, they… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jan 24

The Life and Death of the USS YMS-365

Thursday, January 24, 2019 12:01 AM

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(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 17

USS Bon Homme Richard (CV/CVA-31) to Hold 34th Annual Reunion in September 2019

Thursday, January 17, 2019 2:42 PM

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"Butch O'Brien", Cocker Spaniel mascot aboard the carrier Bon Homme Richard is fitted out with his own life preserver for an "abandon ship" drill. Photograph waken on 30 November 1953.

The 34th annual reunion of the USS Bon Homme Richard Shipmates Association will be held 11-14 Sept 2019 at the Red Lion Hotel in Harrisburg, PA. For additional information please go to www.ussbhrshipmates.org or contact Jim Kosinski. Email: [email protected] or phone: 805-650-9134

 
Jan 15

Angels of the Oriskany – Fire!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019 12:01 AM

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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

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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

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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 20

The Indianapolis Tragedy: My Perspective-The Court-Martial

Thursday, December 20, 2018 12:01 AM

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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 »

 
Dec 18

The Indianapolis Tragedy: My Perspective-The Sinking

Tuesday, December 18, 2018 12:01 AM

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Ambulances lined up at Guam, awaiting arrival of USS Tranquility (AH-14) with survivors of the sunken Indianapolis (National Archives)

On 30 July 1945 the USS Indianapolis (CA-35), proceeding alone at a leisurely 15.7 knots, unprotected by sonar-equipped vessels, or vessels of any kind, en route from Guam to the Philippines, was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in the waters near Leyte Gulf. At least 879 of its crew of 1157 perished, many of them badly burned, most of them floating without food or water, some without rafts, without radios or flares, in the shark-infested waters of the western Pacific. Tragically, the search did not begin, despite the fact that they were overdue, at their scheduled destination in Leyte Gulf… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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