Aug 18

‘The Stern Hit the Water with a Jar’

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 9:53 AM


Literally a flying aircraft carrier, the USS Macon (ZRS-5) featured a hangar that accommodated four scout planes.

For the first time since 2009, undersea explorers, with support from the NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, today are investigating the secret wreck site of the U.S. Navy airship Macon (ZRS-5). Remote-controlled vehicles from Robert Ballard’s exploration vessel Nautilus are mapping the site, located within Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and evaluating the condition of the remains of the airship and her F9C-2 Sparrowhawk scout planes. The future of the Navy’s ambitious rigid-airship program was uncertain even before the 785-foot Macon crashed on the night of 12 February 1935. The USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) had gone down in 1925,… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 14

Landing the Planes

Friday, August 14, 2015 11:12 AM


Lieutenant Robin M. Lindsey, USS Enterprise landing-signal officer, epitomized leadership on the flight deck. (USS Enterprise CV-6 Association)

An excerpt from “‘The Big E’ Leadership Factory,” by Barrett Tillman, in the October 2015 issue of Naval History. Leadership also was evident on the Enterprise’s flight deck, never better demonstrated than during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands at the height of the Guadalcanal campaign. The ship’s landing-signal officer was Lieutenant Robin M. Lindsey, assisted by the air group LSO, Lieutenant (junior grade) James G. Daniels. Lindsey had been on board since July 1941 and learned the “paddles” trade under the tutelage of prewar LSOs. Daniels had survived Fighting Squadron Six’s debacle in the night sky over Pearl… Read the rest of this entry »

Aug 13

Restoring the US/C-3 Infrared Signalling Telescope

Thursday, August 13, 2015 2:15 PM


Bottom view

In Greek Mythology, the prophet Tiresias was blinded by the gods as punishment for revealing their secrets. He begged the goddess Athena to restore his sight, but she could not. Instead, she gave him the gift of foresight, and Tiresias spent the remainder of his days spouting prophesy. Tiresias had seen too much and had paid the price for it. Such too may be the case of a battered US/C-3 infrared signalling telescope that came into this writer’s care for restoration.

Aug 10

The Dropping of the TURDSID in Vietnam

Monday, August 10, 2015 7:00 AM



Electronic warfare and surveillance are increasingly becoming topics of discussion. The nature of that type of warfare (and indeed combat itself) calls for a certain amount of creativity. To see, but not be recognized or seen oneself, begs for innovation and novel solutions to life-threatening problems. But even the most brilliant plans can be rendered moot if one builds an idea on a false assumption. Such is the nature of the ingenious yet flawed TURDSID.

Aug 6

Sailing into the Future with the United States Coast Guard

Thursday, August 6, 2015 6:57 AM


USCG Eagle Mode.

In honor of the United States Coast Guard, which turned 225 years old this week, the Naval History Blog offers a selection from a speech delivered by A. Denis Clift, Vice President for Planning and Operations at the United States Naval Institute. In 2002, the United States Coast Guard formally entered the United States Intelligence Community, building on a long and distinguished career in law enforcement, defense, and myriad other maritime operations. In this October 2000 speech, as president of the Joint Military Intelligence College, Clift told the cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, of the… Read the rest of this entry »


Endgame: August 1945 in Asia and the Pacific

Endgame: August 1945 in Asia and the Pacific
A Historical Symposium Commemorating
The 70th Anniversary of the End of the Pacific War

On August 6, 2015, noted experts on U.S., Japanese, Russian, and Chinese history will convene in Washington, D.C., to explore the critical decisions made at the end of the war in 1945. This full day event will include presentations from Richard B. Frank, author of Downfall: The End of the Imperial Japanese Empire; prolific naval analyst Norman Friedman; D. M. Giangreco, author of Hell to Pay; David Glantz, author of The Soviet Strategic Offensive in Manchuria, 1945; John T. Kuehn, author of A Military History of Japan; and Richard C. Thornton, author of China: A Political History.

Detailed agenda is at

WHEN: Thursday, August 6, 2015
8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., reception to follow

WHERE: United States Navy Memorial
Naval Heritage Center, Burke Theater
701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004

RSVP: Registration requested to
[email protected]

Admission is free.

Jul 9

Out of Control Smoke Pot Forges Medal of Honor, Extinguishes Ensign’s Life

Thursday, July 9, 2015 1:19 PM


From Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division It was the night of July 9, 1943 and Operation Husky, the land and air operation to invade the island of Sicily had begun. The weather was already causing havoc with airborne landings and tossing ships, laden with Army personnel. What the allied forces lacked in weather cooperation they made up for in the one element they had working for them: the element of surprise. The Germans had fallen for the fake Operation Mincemeat, the details of they had obtained from a body dressed like a British naval officer the… Read the rest of this entry »

Jul 4

America, Independence and Freedom: Three Great Names That Go Great With Navy Ships

Saturday, July 4, 2015 10:47 AM


By Joshua L. Wick Naval History and Heritage Command, Communication and Outreach Division When many Americans think of the 4th of July, a few words come to mind: Freedom, Independence, America. These words carry a certain weight; they represent power, strength and fortitude. So it’s no wonder why some of the greatest U.S. Navy ships have born these names. Since the establishment of America’s Navy there have been very few years in which Sailors were not actively serving aboard ships with these names. To truly know these Sailors, we need to know their ships – as it is their ships bear… Read the rest of this entry »