May 29

Pieces of the Past-Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018 12:01 AM

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Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in uniform

Naval History magazine recently showcased a fascinating relic of the U.S. Navy in World War II—a relic with a celebrity vibe: the custom-made oaken case housing an array of medals from ten nations, all awarded to the classic Hollywood legend Douglas Fairbanks Jr. for his wartime service. He was one of those rare few stars who was more of a hero in real life than on the silver screen. The case and medals, now in the collection of the U.S. Naval Institute, served as an interesting photographic subject—interesting in its many angles and in its diverse content. Alas, due to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 24

Naval History News of Note

Thursday, May 24, 2018 11:36 PM

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John Glenn Navy Flight Helmet 1

  This week’s news stories concerning naval history:   The U.S. Navy helmet that John Glenn wore during the first supersonic transcontinental flight is up for auction. Glenn flew from Los Alamitos, California to NAS Floyd Bennett Field, New York at a record speed of 725.55 mph during Project Bullet. The success of the mission led to Glenn being selected for the Mercury program.   The museum ship USS Slater received a much-needed grant to repair the mast and hull. The Cannon-class destroyer escort was commissioned in 1944 and participated in Atlantic convoys. She was sold to Greece after the war… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 22

The Diligence of the Blue Angels

Tuesday, May 22, 2018 12:01 AM

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Blue Angel F11F-1 Tiger aircraft fly past the Golden Gate Bridge in formation.

It’s that time of year once again, dear reader: Graduation Week. Lots of speeches, potlucks with family, and celebrations are held around the country to commemorate the completion of years of hard work for students young and old. And with everyone wanting to make these celebrations special, it’s no surprise that the Naval Academy goes all out for this event. Which brings me to my topic for this blog post: The Blue Angels. Tomorrow the windows of my building will rattle as the Blue Angels zip by on practice runs for their Wednesday performance. If I go out to the… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 17

The Making of a Naval Disaster

Thursday, May 17, 2018 12:01 AM

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The Peloponnesian War Battle of Syracuse, 413 B.C. (Alamy)

The Peloponnesian War of 431–404 B.C. between the Spartan-led Peloponnesian alliance and the Delian League dominated by Athens was a seminal event in naval history. The nature of the conflict itself practically guaranteed that maritime control would be a critical factor, as neither of the two major power blocs had the means to launch a decisive assault on the other’s homeland and were forced into a long series of peripheral actions in an attempt to wear the other side out. The great Athenian statesman Pericles openly and explicitly built Athenian military strategy around protecting and using the Athenian navy to… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 11

Rare German Helmet from Hindenburg Ground Crew

Friday, May 11, 2018 2:15 AM

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A rare German stahlhelm with the DZR logo

May 6 marked the 81st anniversary of the fiery destruction of the Hindenburg at NAS Lakehurst. The cause of the disaster is still debated but the prevailing theory is that the airship’s highly volatile hydrogen gas was ignited by static electricity as the Hindenburg descended. The widely circulated film of the burning zeppelin shocked the public. The incident caused Deutsche Zepplelin Reederei (German Zeppelin Transport Company) to ground its airships and suspend its burgeoning transatlantic operations. The outbreak of WWII a few years later prevented DZR from reestablishing it’s commercial passenger service and all its airships were ordered to be… Read the rest of this entry »

 
May 10

Today in Navy History-USS Triton

Thursday, May 10, 2018 12:52 PM

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Insignia USS Triton (SSR(N)-586)

On this day in 1960 – USS Triton (SSRN 586), commanded by Capt. Edward L. Beach, completes a submerged circumnavigation of the world in 84 days following many of the routes taken by Magellan. To learn more about the voyage, please enjoy this article from the June 2010 Naval History by Carl LaVO. https://www.usni.org/magazines/navalhistory/2010-06/incredible-voyage

 
May 3

Shipwreck Discovery

Thursday, May 3, 2018 12:01 AM

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USS Lexington anti-aircraft gun

In the latest issue of Naval History, we featured in Naval History News the discovery of the USS Juneau and USS Lexington by entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul Allen and his team in March of this year. Below are additional photos and videos we could not include courtesy of Paul Allen. Please enjoy!  

 
May 1

Blue Angels Skipper, Captain Arthur R. Hawkins, USN (Ret.)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 12:01 AM

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Future Captain Arthur R. Hawkins, USN (Ret.)

In this U.S. Naval Institute oral history excerpt, Captain Hawkins speaks about his becoming the first man to perform a through-the-canopy ejection from a jet aircraft on 4 August 1953, when his aircraft, an F9F-6 Cougar of the Blue Angels, encountered trouble at 42,000 feet. After enlisting in the Naval Reserve in April 1942, Hawkins went through cadet training in Texas prior to being designated a naval aviator and commissioned in January 1943. During World War II, as a fighter pilot in VF-31, he flew in combat from the light carriers USS Cabot (CVL-28) and Belleau Wood (CVL-24). In all, he shot down 14 Japanese aircraft. He… Read the rest of this entry »