Archive for the 'Destroyers' 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 31

This Day In History: The Sinking of the USS Reuben James (DD-245)

Thursday, October 31, 2019 11:45 AM

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Most of us tend to associate the start of America’s involvement in World War II with the tragedy that struck Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Technically, we aren’t wrong. The United States did in fact make the decision to officially enter the war following the events of that terrible day. However, the Attack on Pearl Harbor was not the first deadly attack against U.S. forces during the overall duration of the war, nor was it the first time a U.S. warship was ravaged by the Axis.   The story I am about to tell you may sound familiar to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Oct 22

Midget Submarines at Guadalcanal

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 12:01 AM

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The story of the Japanese midget submarines at Pearl Harbor is pretty well known. But that only covers 5 of the little submersibles. What about the others? There were 50 of the original type A midgets. They participated in other daring raids, some more successful than others. However, the use of Type A midgets at Guadalcanal have received scant attention. The entire Solomons campaign was marked by several major battles which is, possibly, one reason that the midget submarines participation has been so poorly covered. The midgets were used at Pearl Harbor and then at Sydney and Diego Suarez. All… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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 »

 
Aug 28

A Sailor’s Best Friend: Dogs in the Military

Tuesday, August 28, 2018 11:17 AM

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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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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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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 »

 
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