Archive for the 'Ships' Category

Aug 17

USS High Point: The Navy's First Hydrofoil Patrol Craft

Friday, August 17, 2012 8:30 AM


The Navy’s first hydrofoil patrol craft was launched on this day 50 years ago, in 1962. Published in the September, 1963 issue of Proceedings, the following article describes the mechanics of the USS High Point, and the reactions from the people who witnessed the launch of the revolutionary craft. USS High Point (PCH-1) By Charles H. Nelson, Jr. Chief Journalist, U.S. Navy She took off quickly, flew quietly, and landed smoothly. Thus the first public “flight” of the Navy’s revolutionary hydrofoil patrol craft High Point was described just a few short weeks ago. The High Point is a unique blend… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 26

U.S.S. Scorpion Artifact Vignette: Surgical Scissors

Tuesday, June 26, 2012 8:49 AM


“It is no small presumption to dismember the image of God.” -John Woodall (1556-1643) The Naval History and Heritage Command’s Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) has been conducting a multi-year investigation of a shipwreck in the Patuxent River believed to be War of 1812 vessel USS Scorpion. During the 2011 field season, several artifacts were recovered from the vessel’s hold including a pair of surgical scissors, SCORP-2011-53 (Figure 2). Previous investigation of the shipwreck in 1979 yielded another pair of surgical scissors, 99-69-AE (Figure 1). UAB has been conducting ongoing research to better understand the specific medical uses of these artifacts…. Read the rest of this entry »

Nov 6

Neutrality Patrol Seizes German Prize, 6 November 1941

Sunday, November 6, 2011 12:01 AM


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


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 »

Jul 10

Operation Husky and the First Use of Landing Craft, 10 July 1943

Sunday, July 10, 2011 12:01 AM


On the morning of 10 July 1943, American and British troops stormed ashore on the beaches of Sicily in the initial stages of Operation Husky, the first major amphibious operation to employ landing ships and craft. Army troops were landed in LCVPs (landing craft, vehicle, personnel), while their heavy equipment, including jeeps and tanks, were transported in the much larger LSTs (landing ship, tank). Most of the Sicilian beaches were fronted by “false beaches”—sand bars positioned dozens of yards offshore that were covered by a few feet of water. These sand bars were high enough to prevent the LSTs from… Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 8

Delaware Makes First Quasi-War Capture, 7 July 1798

Friday, July 8, 2011 12:01 AM


During the Quasi-War with France, the former merchant ship Delaware cruised to protect American merchant shipping from French privateers. She guarded convoys during their approach to Philadelphia and New York, patrolled the West Indies, and escorted convoys into Havana. On 7 July 1798 Delaware, under the command of Captain Stephen S. Decatur, Sr., captured the privateer La Croyable off Great Egg Harbor, New Jersey. The schooner had been preying upon shipping off the Delaware Capes, taking a British brigantine and a Philadelphia merchantman, Liberty, and boarding and robbing the coaster Alexander Hamilton. This was Delaware’s first capture, and also the… Read the rest of this entry »

Jun 16

Reactivation of Hospital Ship Repose

Thursday, June 16, 2011 1:00 AM


June, 16th 1965 The Navy Department schedules reactivation of hospital ship Repose (AH-16). 1st hospital ship activated for service during the Vietnam Conflict. Below is an article from Proceedings March, 1946 called “The Function of a Hospital Ship” written by Captain Howard K. Gray (M.C.), U.S. Naval Reserve.

May 11

Cutting Out Sandwich on May 11, 1800

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 12:01 AM


Constitution’s “Trojan Horse” Of all the “forgotten wars” in the history of the United States, the undeclared Quasi-War with France (1797-1801) likely ranks at the top of the list. A sea war, the young United States put its untested, brand-new war ships into the Caribbean to protect American merchant shipping from the depredations of French privateers. USS Constitution, commanded by Captain Silas Talbot and first Lieutenant Isaac Hull, sailed for the West Indies in September, 1799. April 1800, found Talbot sailing Constitution near Puerto Plata harbor, observing the British Sandwich, now a French letter of marquee, loading. Talbot aimed to… Read the rest of this entry »

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