Archive for the 'World War I' Category

Jan 17

Moser’s Naval Photo Logs — ‘Just the Thing’

Thursday, January 17, 2019 10:15 AM

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Battleship Vermont in a storm, by N. Moser

Norbert George Moser was born in Pierceton, Indiana, to the immigrant German merchant Gabriel Moser and Illinois native Anna Miller on 18 September 1885. Shortly after completing high school in 1904, Norbert enlisted in the U.S. Navy and became an electrician’s mate, working with the new wireless radio technologies. He served in such varied assignments as the USS Virginia (Battleship No. 13) stationed out of Hampton Roads in 1910 and, when he married Julia Hall in 1914, he was serving in the same capacity at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. It appears that Moser had grander designs than working the wireless set. At the expiration of his… 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 13

Good Cheer Bag

Thursday, December 13, 2018 9:01 AM

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Good Cheer Bag (Smithsonian National Museum of American History)

Lt Commander Theodorus Bailey Myers Mason, best known as the founder of the Office of Naval Intelligence, no doubt led a fascinating life. He was born to a prominent 5th Avenue family in New York City, where his childhood was spent riding a small white pony daily. He decided by the age of 16 he would join the Navy, and impressed his father by saving up the money for a commission himself. He called upon the Secretary of the Navy at 16 to ask him personally to secure a commission. The plan worked, and he entered the Naval Academy in… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Dec 4

Innovation In Difficult Times

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 12:01 AM

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Japanese Bombard Wanping ca. 1937

In 1868, the Meiji Restoration in Japan began a fundamental shift in Japan’s conception of its place in the world.[i] This shift was catalyzed by the “gunboat diplomacy” of Commodore Matthew C. Perry, who demonstrated the power of the U.S. Navy to secure expanded trading rights between the United States and Japan.[ii] The Meiji Restoration was characterized by an effort to modernize and globalize Japan economically and militarily in order to ensure that Japan would not be subjugated by a foreign power.[iii] Shimazu Nariakira, a powerful feudal lord during the period, stated that “if we take the initiative, we can… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Nov 1

100 Years Ago In USN LTA

Thursday, November 1, 2018 12:01 AM

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North Sea LTA (U.S. Naval Institute Archive)

The following is reprinted with permissions from The Noon Balloon. The late LTAS guru Dr. Dale Topping lamented that in any given book or publication about LTA, at least one photo will always be mis-identified. We often offer gently worded guidance to well meaning LTA-inclusive media to help over previous hiccups, but we are respectful, since we too have to recruit from the human race, and allow too many typos to count. While we LTA nuts realize the photo contains neither a seat nor a depth charge, we held off telling the U.S. Naval Institute it is a North Sea,… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 28

How One Man Started a World War 104 Years Ago Today

Thursday, June 28, 2018 3:17 PM

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(Photo: Smithsonian Magazine)

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, were assassinated in the streets of Sarajevo, which loosed the forces that created World War I. Here are the elements that led to this catastrophic event:   AN ANNEXATION CAUSES TROUBLE IN BOSNIA   Following the Crimean War and various conflicts in Eastern Europe, the Congress of Berlin proposed a treaty that granted independence to the smaller nation-states of Romania, Montenegro, and Serbia. While Austria and Russia initially promised to leave these new countries to their own devices, Austria’s sudden annexation of Bosnia in 1908 generated intense… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Jun 14

USS Cyclops – The Deadliest Unsolved Mystery in the Navy

Thursday, June 14, 2018 12:01 AM

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USS Cyclops circa 1913. Copied from the album of Francis Sargent, courtesy of Commander John Condon, 1986. (Photo: U.S. Naval History and Heritage Command taken by Sargent.)

One hundred years later, the mystery of the USS Cyclops, the greatest non-combat loss of life the Navy ever experienced, remains unsolved. What happened to it? Where did it go? The USS Cyclops was built in Philadelphia; it was 54o feet long and 65 feet wide. The ship was a Proteus class collier and could carry 12,500 tons of coal while making 15 knots with its twin screws. When the United States declared war on Germany and its allies in April 1917, support ships like the USS Cyclops fell under the command of the Navy. The administrative change greatly affected… Read the rest of this entry »

 
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