Mar 17

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 8

Tuesday, March 17, 2020 12:01 AM

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The previous blog left off at the end of June with my grandfather’s ship, the USS Sway (AM-120), operating in Italy and preparing to return to combat after undergoing refitting and repairs. In my search of naval records I was unable to find any entries for the ship’s war journal for the month of July. The ship’s history, however, shows the month was spent traveling back and forth between Italy and Tunisia. This entry will pick up in August 1944 with the Sway in Naples, Italy and unless otherwise noted the entries will be from the ship’s war diary as my grandfather stopped keeping a… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 10

Suicide at the Top, Remembering RADM Don P. Moon

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 12:01 AM

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As we remember and observe the 75th anniversary of Operation Dragoon, the Allied amphibious landing in southern France on 15 August 1944, it is worthwhile to reflect on one high ranking casualty just prior to the invasion, RADM Don P. Moon. Sadly, RADM Moon committed suicide ten days prior to the assault. In light of the recent suicides of VADM Scott Stearney, commander of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, on 1 December 2018[i], and Army CSM Noel Foster, the Fort Campbell Garrison CSM, on 1 September 2017, RADM Moon’s case is worth studying to understand how the pressures of command and… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Mar 3

Inchon Landing 15 September 1950

Tuesday, March 3, 2020 12:01 AM

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Captain Glyn Jones, CHC, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

  In this audio selection from his oral history, Captain Jones serves up a vivid, you-are-there account of the Marines’ push through South Korea after the historic Inchon Landing in 1950, as one of three chaplains assigned to the large-scale invasion force. Jones graduated from Andover Newton Theological Seminary in 1940 and joined the Navy in 1942. His duties included: Third Marine Regiment in Samoa, New Zealand, Guadalcanal, Truk, Bougainville; station chaplain at Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, Rhode Island; First Marine Division, FMF Pac in Korea; senior chaplain, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island; director, Marine Corps Educational Center… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 27

Pearl Harbor's Second, Secret Disaster

Thursday, February 27, 2020 11:30 AM

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The attack on the naval base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 was not the only fiery tragedy that befell the bustling Hawaiian hub throughout the duration of the Second World War. Some 3 and a half years following the deadly Japanese-led strike, Pearl Harbor found itself in the midst of another deadly inferno that tore through the previously untouched West Loch, destroying six LSTs, killing 163 personnel, and injuring a further 396. Despite the large loss of life, knowledge of this explosive catastrophe was and continues to be limited, as an immediate press blackout surrounding the incident was… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 21

The Evolution of Naval Wargames

Friday, February 21, 2020 2:05 PM

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  Naumachiae: Sea Battles in the Colosseum The Romans always enjoyed a good game, especially if it was extravagant and resulted in multiple gruesome deaths. Historical accounts from the reign of Emperor Titus detail spectacles known as naumachiae (Latin for “naval combat”) in which arenas such as the Coliseum were flooded and prisoners were then forced to reenact famous sea battles by fighting from scale-model ships. The easily bored Romans occasionally spiced up the games by added specially trained bulls that could fight in water. The Fred Jane Naval War Game In the 19th century, several games were produced for… Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 18

The Life & Service of a World War 2 Mine Warfare Sailor. Part 7

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 12:01 AM

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This blog begins on 10 June 1944. My grandfather, Seaman Thomas Schreck, joined his ship the USS Sway (AM-120) an Auk class minesweeper in Bizerte, Tunisia at the end of May. The ship just spent the last nine days undergoing refitting and maintenance and was now about to get underway once again to resume operations off the coast of Italy. Before returning however, they stopped in Malta to prepare the ship for the dangerous job of clearing mines. Before getting into the ship’s operations, I want to provide some information on the USS Sway. The Sway belonged to the Auk class of fleet going minesweepers…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 14

Letters From Home

Friday, February 14, 2020 10:52 AM

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  On Valentines Day, I’m reminded of how much a nice long letter used to mean to me when I was stationed away from family and friends. Times have changed as text messages, email, FaceTime, Google Duo & social media have advanced the speed at which one can receive news from home. As a bit of nostalgia, I pulled some photos from the Naval Institute archive for you to enjoy. Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company. ~Lord Byron What a wonderful thing is the mail, capable of conveying across continents a warm human hand-clasp…. Read the rest of this entry »

 
Feb 11

The Antiaircraft Fire Control 'Shoebox'

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 12:01 AM

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In the spring of 1941, the staff of the fire-control section in the newly reorganized Bureau of Ordnance’s Research and Development Division was struggling with the problem of how to provide fire control for the heavier antiaircraft machine guns that were just entering production, such as the 40-mm Bofors and the 1.1-in machine cannon. Although a series of development contracts had been awarded to the traditional suppliers of fire-control directors, none of the devices submitted to date lent themselves to quantity production, none had proven to work, and all were deemed too difficult to maintain afloat. Unbeknown to anyone in… Read the rest of this entry »