Archive for the 'Destroyers' Category

Aug 28

A Sailor’s Best Friend: Dogs in the Military

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 11:17 AM

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Mascot Card for U.S. Navy Mascot Apache

While working on the U.S. Naval Institute’s photo digitization project, I happened upon a folder of photographs filled with something that always brings joy to my heart: Dogs! It may be a few days after the official National Dog Day, but for dog lover’s, every day is for the dogs, and I thought I’d use today to share some history on dogs in the military. We know that dogs have been keeping us company since before 10,000 BCE. By becoming our companions, dogs also became our allies against our enemies, whether they be the animals early man hunted, or men… 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 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 »

 
Jan 5

The First Surface Action

Tuesday, January 5, 2016 12:01 AM

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Action Report

U.S. victories were few and far between during the early months of the Pacific war, especially for the hard-pressed and understrength U.S. Asiatic Fleet, which along with other Allied forces was attempting to stem Japan’s conquest of the Dutch East Indies. Nevertheless, four Asiatic Fleet CLEMSON-class destroyers share the honor of winning the first surface action of the Pacific contest, a tactical victory that was of little strategic importance. In the early hours of 24 January 1942, the flush-deck four-pipers attacked a dozen Japanese transports assembled off Balikpapan, Borneo, prior to the invasion of the oil center, sinking four of… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 13

Eugene A. Barham: A JO Steps Up to the Plate

Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:01 AM

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During combat, situations often arise that cause junior officers to step up to the plate, testing their mettle. Eugene A. Barham’s critical moment came during the Guadalcanal campaign. “Slim” Barham had graduated from the Naval Academy in 1935 and had become engineer officer of the destroyer Laffey at her commissioning on 31 March 1942. The Laffey spent the next 228 days in the Pacific, escorting aircraft carriers and trying to stop the “Tokyo Express” from delivering reinforcements down “the Slot” to Guadalcanal. On Friday 13 November 1942, the Laffey and seven other American destroyers and five cruisers fought eleven Japanese… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 13

Sullivan Brothers Lost at Guadalcanal, 13 November 1942

Sunday, November 13, 2011 12:01 AM

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On 13 November 1942 the light cruiser Juneau (CL 52) sank off Guadalcanal, with the loss of all but ten of her crew. Among the dead were all five brothers of the Sullivan family from Waterloo, Iowa. Albert, Francis, George, Joseph, and Madison Sullivan had enlisted together on 3 January 1942, with condition that they be allowed to serve on the same ship. News of the deaths of all five brothers became a rallying point for the war effort, with posters and speeches honoring their sacrifice, extensive newspaper and radio coverage, and war bond drives and other patriotic campaigns which… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 6

Neutrality Patrol Seizes German Prize, 6 November 1941

Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:01 AM

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While on neutrality patrol in the Atlantic Ocean near the Equator on 6 November 1941, the light cruiser OMAHA (CL 4) and the destroyer SOMERS (DD 381) sighted a suspicious vessel. Although flying the American flag and carrying the name WILLMOTO of Philadelphia on her stern, the freighter refused to satisfactorily identify herself and took evasive actions. The Americans ordered the stranger to heave to. As OMAHA’s crew dispatched a boarding party, the freighter’s crew took to life boats and hoisted a signal which indicated that the ship was sinking. When the OMAHA party pulled alongside they could hear explosions… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 31

First U.S. Ship Lost in WWII, 31 October 1941

Monday, October 31, 2011 12:01 AM

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Commissioned on 24 September 1920, the destroyer REUBEN JAMES (DD 245) served in the Atlantic Fleet, operating in the Adriatic, Mediterranean, and off Nicaragua, before decommissioning at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 20 January 1931. She recommissioned on 9 March 1932, and upon the outbreak of war in Europe in September 1939 she joined the Neutrality Patrol, guarding the Atlantic and Caribbean approaches to the American coast. In March 1941 REUBEN JAMES joined the convoy escort force established to promote the safe arrival of war materials to Britain. This escort force guarded convoys as far as Iceland, where they became the responsibility… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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