#MilitaryMonday

Friday: The head of the US Marine Corps confirmed that 10 of its often-problematic stealth F-35B fighter jets are ready for combat. The branch’s own model can take off from warships and aircraft carriers, and land like a helicopter. The program has cost nearly $400 billion and was first kicked off 15 years ago. Photo USMC

Friday: The head of the US Marine Corps confirmed that 10 of its often-problematic stealth F-35B fighter jets are ready for combat. The branch’s own model can take off from warships and aircraft carriers, and land like a helicopter.
The program has cost nearly $400 billion and was first kicked off 15 years ago.
Photo USMC

A weekly feature in appreciation of the US Military and her Allies.

1964, USS Maddox (DD 731) engages three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats. In the resulting torpedo and gunfire, Maddox hit all the boats, while she was struck only by a single 14.5-millimeter machine gun bullet. Air support arrives from USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) and her planes strafe the three boats.

USS Maddox (DD 731) oil on canvas by Cmdr. E.J. Fitzgerald, January 1965. It depicts the engagement between USS Maddox (DD 731) and three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats on 2 August 1964. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Maddox (DD 731) oil on canvas by Cmdr. E.J. Fitzgerald, January 1965. It depicts the engagement between USS Maddox (DD 731) and three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats on 2 August 1964. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Maddox (DD 731) arriving at Pearl Harbor, March 1964. Official US Navy Photo.

USS Maddox (DD 731) arriving at Pearl Harbor, March 1964. Official US Navy Photo.

USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) A-4 Skyhawk landing on board, after a simulated strike on enemy forces during an operational readiness inspection, 18 January 1963. An A-3B Sky Warrior and F-3 Demon are parked on the carrier's after flight deck, and another A-3 is in the upper left distance, making its landing approach.  Official US Navy Photo.

USS Ticonderoga (CVA 14) A-4 Skyhawk landing on board, after a simulated strike on enemy forces during an operational readiness inspection, 18 January 1963. An A-3B Sky Warrior and F-3 Demon are parked on the carrier’s after flight deck, and another A-3 is in the upper left distance, making its landing approach. Official US Navy Photo.

1921, a high-altitude bombsight, mounted on a gyroscopically stabilized base was successfully tested at Torpedo Station, Yorktown, Va. This test was the first phase of Carl L. Norden’s development of an effective high-altitude bombsight, which became known as the Norden Bombsight.

“Field Instructions and Care” of the Nordon Bombsight. USN Photograph Collection, L-File, Weapons.

“Field Instructions and Care” of the Nordon Bombsight. USN Photograph Collection, L-File, Weapons.

Carl L. Norden is standing alongside the equipment bay of an experimental radio-controlled airplane at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Virginia in 1931. Collection of Lt. Cmdr. McLeod, USN/USAAF Photograph Collections

Carl L. Norden is standing alongside the equipment bay of an experimental radio-controlled airplane at the Naval Proving Ground, Dahlgren, Virginia in 1931. Collection of Lt. Cmdr. McLeod, USN/USAAF Photograph Collections

Norden Bombsight. USN Photograph Collection, L-File, Weapons

Norden Bombsight. USN Photograph Collection, L-File, Weapons

1946, President Harry S. Truman approves legislation establishing the Office of Naval Research (ONR), charging ONR to “…plan, foster and encourage scientific research in recognition of its paramount importance as related to the maintenance of future naval power, and the preservation of national security…”

President Harry S. Truman portrait photograph, dated 14 December 1952. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

President Harry S. Truman portrait photograph, dated 14 December 1952. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

(August 14, 2009) - The Office of Naval Research recently conducted tests with a developmental ship hull grooming robot, called the Robotic Hull Bio-inspired Underwater Grooming (HULL BUG) tool. The HULL BUG is similar in concept to a autonomous robotic home vacuum cleaner or lawn mower and incorporates the use of a biofilm detector that utilizes modified fluorometer technology to enable the robot to detect the difference between the clean and unclean surfaces on the hull of a ship.

(August 14, 2009) – The Office of Naval Research recently conducted tests with a developmental ship hull grooming robot, called the Robotic Hull Bio-inspired Underwater Grooming (HULL BUG) tool. The HULL BUG is similar in concept to a autonomous robotic home vacuum cleaner or lawn mower and incorporates the use of a biofilm detector that utilizes modified fluorometer technology to enable the robot to detect the difference between the clean and unclean surfaces on the hull of a ship.

Dahlgren, Va. (Nov. 20, 2008) A Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launches from the Navy Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren test range. Officials from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) and various other military commands used the test launch to confirm the Navy Expeditionary Overwatch (NEO) system's ability to deploy a UAV to successfully to detect and engage fictional insurgents. NEO is the collection, integration and demonstration of manned and unmanned engagement systems, platforms, and integrated sensors to enable tactical decision making by agile expeditionary units such as NECC, Special Operations Command and the Marine Corps who conduct distributed operations in both ground and littoral environments. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

Dahlgren, Va. (Nov. 20, 2008) A Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) launches from the Navy Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Dahlgren test range. Officials from the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Naval Expeditionary Combat Command (NECC) and various other military commands used the test launch to confirm the Navy Expeditionary Overwatch (NEO) system’s ability to deploy a UAV to successfully to detect and engage fictional insurgents. NEO is the collection, integration and demonstration of manned and unmanned engagement systems, platforms, and integrated sensors to enable tactical decision making by agile expeditionary units such as NECC, Special Operations Command and the Marine Corps who conduct distributed operations in both ground and littoral environments. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

Yorktown, Va. (November 20, 2009 The Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded Large Vessel Interface Lift-on/Lift-off (LVI Lo/Lo) crane aboard the SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5) demonstrates container transfers at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown’s Cheatham Annex. The LVI Lo/Lo crane enables the rapid and safe at-sea transfer of standard ISO containers and other heavy loads from military and commercially available ships onto the Sea Base. (U.S. Navy Photo by John F. Williams/Released)

Yorktown, Va. (November 20, 2009 The Office of Naval Research (ONR) funded Large Vessel Interface Lift-on/Lift-off (LVI Lo/Lo) crane aboard the SS Flickertail State (T-ACS-5) demonstrates container transfers at Naval Weapons Station Yorktown’s Cheatham Annex. The LVI Lo/Lo crane enables the rapid and safe at-sea transfer of standard ISO containers and other heavy loads from military and commercially available ships onto the Sea Base. (U.S. Navy Photo by John F. Williams/Released)

“Any man who may be asked in this century what he did to make his life worthwhile, I think can respond with a good deal of pride and satisfaction, ‘I served in the United States Navy,'” – President John F. Kennedy

In 1943, (PT 109), commanded by Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy, is rammed by the Japanese destroyer, Amagiri, which cuts through the vessel at Blackett Strait near Kolombangara Island. Abandoning ship, Kennedy leads his men to swim to an island some miles away.

Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy Courtesy John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Lt. j.g. John F. Kennedy
Courtesy John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

President John F. Kennedy delivers remarks to assembled officers, midshipmen and their guests at Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, August 1, 1963

President John F. Kennedy delivers remarks to assembled officers, midshipmen and their guests at Bancroft Hall at the United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, August 1, 1963

Lt. John F. Kennedy with other crewmen onboard USS PT-109, 1943

Lt. John F. Kennedy with other crewmen onboard USS PT-109, 1943

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#WarriorWednesday

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Warrior Wednesday is a weekly feature honoring the brave men and women of the US Armed Forces and its Allies.

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, fly with Turkish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons during Anatolian Eagle 15, June 17, 2015, in Turkey. The two-week flying training exercise involved U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa units and multiple NATO partners.  Master Sgt. Nick Hodge

U.S. Air Force F-15C Eagles assigned to the 493rd Fighter Squadron at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, fly with Turkish Air Force F-16C Fighting Falcons during Anatolian Eagle 15, June 17, 2015, in Turkey. The two-week flying training exercise involved U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa units and multiple NATO partners. Master Sgt. Nick Hodge

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 prepare to secure a beam, which is intended to simulate a 6,000 pound cargo load, to a CH-53E Super Stallion operated by Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 302 aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 16, 2015. HMHT-302 teamed up with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 to give pilots and landing support specialists familiarization with operating equipment and performing external operations, skills that allow them to deliver and recover supplies and gear quickly and efficiently in deployed settings.  Lance Cpl. Fatmeh/Marine Corps

Marines with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 prepare to secure a beam, which is intended to simulate a 6,000 pound cargo load, to a CH-53E Super Stallion operated by Marines with Marine Heavy Helicopter Training Squadron 302 aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., June 16, 2015. HMHT-302 teamed up with Combat Logistics Battalion 2 to give pilots and landing support specialists familiarization with operating equipment and performing external operations, skills that allow them to deliver and recover supplies and gear quickly and efficiently in deployed settings. Lance Cpl. Fatmeh/Marine Corps

SOCOM athlete Sualauvi Tuimalealiifano competes in discus at the 2015 Warrior Games aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Tuesday, June 23, 2015.  Mike Morones

SOCOM athlete Sualauvi Tuimalealiifano competes in discus at the 2015 Warrior Games aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., on Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Mike Morones

USS New York - A Marine with the Maritime Raid Force, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participates in a live-fire training exercise on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) in the Gulf of Aden, June 14, 2015. The 24th MEU is embarked on the ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of operations.   Cpl. Todd Michalek/Marine Corps

USS New York – A Marine with the Maritime Raid Force, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, participates in a live-fire training exercise on the flight deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New York (LPD 21) in the Gulf of Aden, June 14, 2015. The 24th MEU is embarked on the ships of the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is deployed to maintain regional security in the U.S. 5th Fleet Area of operations. Cpl. Todd Michalek/Marine Corps

A soldier from the 73rd Iraqi Infantry Brigade receives an M16A2 rifle as part of the fielding of combat brigade sets supplied to Iraqi Security Forces in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve at Camp Taji, Iraq, June 15, 2015. Under the direction of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade Forward Support Element, Fort Stewart, Ga., and the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) from Fort Bragg, N.C., Iraqi soldiers received equipment needed in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  Capt. A. Sean Taylor

A soldier from the 73rd Iraqi Infantry Brigade receives an M16A2 rifle as part of the fielding of combat brigade sets supplied to Iraqi Security Forces in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve at Camp Taji, Iraq, June 15, 2015. Under the direction of the 3rd Sustainment Brigade Forward Support Element, Fort Stewart, Ga., and the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) from Fort Bragg, N.C., Iraqi soldiers received equipment needed in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Capt. A. Sean Taylor

The amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage travels through waves in the Indian Ocean, June 22, 2015. The Anchorage, part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.  Liam Ken/Navy

The amphibious transport dock ship USS Anchorage travels through waves in the Indian Ocean, June 22, 2015. The Anchorage, part of the Essex Amphibious Ready Group, is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. Liam Ken/Navy

New York Army National Guard Specialists Kadeem Fowler, from Troy, N.Y., and Richard Madsen, from East Greenbush, N.Y., who are both members of the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, practice combat lifesaver techniques while at annual training June 16, 2015, at Fort Drum, N.Y.  Sgt. J.P. Lawrence/Army National Guard

New York Army National Guard Specialists Kadeem Fowler, from Troy, N.Y., and Richard Madsen, from East Greenbush, N.Y., who are both members of the 42nd Infantry Division Headquarters and Headquarters Battalion, practice combat lifesaver techniques while at annual training June 16, 2015, at Fort Drum, N.Y. Sgt. J.P. Lawrence/Army National Guard

Senior Airman Jason Soliz, a 100th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog Unit handler, and MWD Gina, conduct a sweep of the passenger terminal on Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, June 16, 2015. Members of the 100th SFS and Central Region U.K. Border Force conducted sweeps of the building with their working dogs to strengthen detection methods and learn potential training techniques.  Christine Halan/Air Force

Senior Airman Jason Soliz, a 100th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Dog Unit handler, and MWD Gina, conduct a sweep of the passenger terminal on Royal Air Force Mildenhall, England, June 16, 2015. Members of the 100th SFS and Central Region U.K. Border Force conducted sweeps of the building with their working dogs to strengthen detection methods and learn potential training techniques. Christine Halan/Air Force

More images on the Warrior Games this Friday for #RedFriday

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#MilitaryMonday

An overhead view of the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) firing all 15 of its guns (nine 16-inch and six 5-inch) during a target exercise near Vieques Island.  Careful observation of the three main turrets shows the barrels in various states of recoil. Photo: US Navy

An overhead view of the battleship USS IOWA (BB-61) firing all 15 of its guns (nine 16-inch and six 5-inch) during a target exercise near Vieques Island. Careful observation of the three main turrets shows the barrels in various states of recoil.
Photo: US Navy

A weekly feature honoring the armed forces of the United States and its Allies.

1898, the cruiser Charleston (C 2) captures the island of Guam, its Spanish colonial government unaware that their country is at war with the United States. The island was taken by the United States without incident and the Charleston went down in history as the ship that raised the American flag on Guam.

USS Charleston at Hong Kong, 1898. Credit: US Navy

USS Charleston at Hong Kong, 1898.
Credit: US Navy

An undated photo shows Sailors of USS Charleston (C 2) manning one of the ship's guns during the Spanish-American War.  U.S. Navy photo

An undated photo shows Sailors of USS Charleston (C 2) manning one of the ship’s guns during the Spanish-American War.
U.S. Navy photo

Charleston at Manila. US Navy photo

Charleston at Manila.
US Navy photo

The US Navy’s Last Ships

I talk a lot about US Navy’s firsts and there have been A LOT, but with the TNT premiere of The Last Ship on Sunday night, I thought I’d pay homage to Navy’s “lasts!”

  • The LAST SHIP in commission from the War of 1812: USS Constitution. Currently, the world’s oldest commissioned warship afloat is undergoing restoration, but it’s still open for visitors.
BOSTON (Aug. 29, 2014) USS Constitution sets sail in Boston Harbor during the ship's second and final chief petty officer heritage week underway demonstration of 2014. More than 150 chief petty officer selects and mentors assisted the crew of Constitution with setting the ship's three topsails during the underway to conclude a week of sail training aboard Old Ironsides. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Kinney)

BOSTON (Aug. 29, 2014) USS Constitution sets sail in Boston Harbor during the ship’s second and final chief petty officer heritage week underway demonstration of 2014. More than 150 chief petty officer selects and mentors assisted the crew of Constitution with setting the ship’s three topsails during the underway to conclude a week of sail training aboard Old Ironsides. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Kinney)

  • The LAST SHIP commissioned as a battleship: USS Wisconsin (BB 64). While it’s true USS Missouri (BB 63) was the last battleship in commission, Wisconsin, was not only the last of the four commissioned Iowa-class battlewagons to be commissioned when they were first built, she was the last of the four to be recommissioned for service in the late 80s and early 90s.  She was decommissioned for the final time in 1991 after serving in Desert Storm.
USS Wisconsin (BB-64)  Firing a broadside to port with her 16/50 and 5/38 guns, circa 1988-91.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Wisconsin (BB-64) Firing a broadside to port with her 16/50 and 5/38 guns, circa 1988-91. Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

  • The LAST SHIP to sink at the Battle of Midway: USS Yorktown (CV 5). It might be said that by the time Yorktown participated in the Battle of Midway, she was already on borrowed time having fought so valiantly at Coral Sea only three weeks earlier where she sustained significant damage.  But her crew and shipyard workers at Pearl Harbor returned the ship to sea in time for the pivotal Battle of Midway. Yorktown played a key role in the victory that spelled the beginning of the end of Japanese aggression in the Pacific, but as she was repairing damage from the second battle a Japanese sub launched a salvo of torpedoes at her and the accompanying destroyer USS Hamman, which quickly sank.  Yorktown, struck twice by the subs torpedoes and further damaged as the sinking Hamman’s depth charges ignited, remained stubbornly afloat for another 18 hours before finally rolling over and sinking. Yorktown earned three battle stars for her World War II service; two of them being for the significant part she had played in stopping Japanese expansion and turning the tide of the war at Coral Sea and at Midway.
Anchored in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 30 October 1937.  U.S. Navy Photograph.

Anchored in Hampton Roads, Virginia, 30 October 1937. U.S. Navy Photograph.

  • The LAST SHIP of the Oliver Hazard Perry Class to deploy: USS Kauffman (FFG 59).  She was commissioned in February 1987 and left Norfolk for her last deployment in January 2015. After she returns home from serving and protecting her country, she will become the last of the Oliver Hazard Perry class of ships to retire.
NEW YORK (May 25, 2011) The guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) transits the Hudson River during Fleet Week 2011 parade of ships. Fleet Week has been New York City's celebration of the sea services since 1984. It is an opportunity for citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see first-hand, the latest capabilities of today's maritime services. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric S. Garst)

NEW YORK (May 25, 2011) The guided-missile frigate USS Kauffman (FFG 59) transits the Hudson River during Fleet Week 2011 parade of ships. Fleet Week has been New York City’s celebration of the sea services since 1984. It is an opportunity for citizens of New York and the surrounding tri-state area to meet Sailors, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen, as well as see first-hand, the latest capabilities of today’s maritime services. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eric S. Garst)

  • The LAST SHIP to be named for a Medal of Honor recipient: USS Michael Murphy (DDG 112). Named to honor Lt. Michael Murphy’s heroic actions during Operation Red Wings in Afghanistan, the ship recently returned home from its maiden deployment. The ship and crew of more than 300 Sailors conducted goodwill activities with partner nations and various presence operations such as Oceania Maritime Security Initiative in the Pacific Ocean during its seven month deployment.
  • The LAST SHIP to be commissioned in memory of the sacrifice and loss of 9/11: USS Somerset (LPD 25). Joining her sister ships, USS New York (LPD 21) and USS Arlington (LPD 24), Somerset joined the fleet on March 1, 2014.  Her mission is to embark, transport, and land elements of a landing force for a variety of expeditionary warfare missions.
GULF OF MEXICO (Aug. 19, 2013) The Ingalls-built amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Somerset (LPD 25) transits the Gulf of Mexico during builder's sea trials. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. by Steve Blount)

GULF OF MEXICO (Aug. 19, 2013) The Ingalls-built amphibious transport dock ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Somerset (LPD 25) transits the Gulf of Mexico during builder’s sea trials. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc. by Steve Blount)

  • The LAST SHIP to test the Navy’s X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System Demonstrator (UCAS-D): USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). In August 2014, the X-47B unmanned aircraft conducted its first night time deck handling and taxi tests and completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to take off, land and fly in the carrier pattern with manned aircraft while maintaining normal flight deck operations.
ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 17, 2014) The Navy's unmanned X-47B launches from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The aircraft completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely and seamlessly with manned aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by  Liz Wolter)

ATLANTIC OCEAN (Aug. 17, 2014) The Navy’s unmanned X-47B launches from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71). The aircraft completed a series of tests demonstrating its ability to operate safely and seamlessly with manned aircraft. (U.S. Navy photo by Liz Wolter)

  • The LAST SHIP to have Admiral Chester Nimitz as its Commanding Officer: USS Augusta (CA31). In 1933, long before he became Chief of Naval Operations in 1945, he commanded USS Augusta, the flagship of the Asiatic Fleet.
(CA-31)  Anchored in the Hudson River, off New York City, at the time of the Navy Day Fleet Review, circa late October 1945.  Collection of Warren Beltramini, donated by Beryl Beltramini, 2007.  U.S. Navy Historical Collections Photo.

(CA-31) Anchored in the Hudson River, off New York City, at the time of the Navy Day Fleet Review, circa late October 1945. Collection of Warren Beltramini, donated by Beryl Beltramini, 2007. U.S. Navy Historical Collections Photo.

  • The LAST SHIP to launch U.S. Army bombers: USS Hornet (CV 8). Conceived in January 1942 in the wake of the devastating Japanese surprise attack on Oahu, the Doolittle Raid or the “joint Army-Navy bombing project” was to bomb Japanese industrial centers, to inflict both “material and psychological” damage upon the enemy. In the joint operation, 16 Army B-25 Mitchell Bombers launched April 18, 1942 from the deck of Hornet to conductair raids on Tokyo, Yokosuka, Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagoya, against negligible opposition.
“The Tokyo Raid By US Army B-25 Bombers,” April 1942 by John Charles Roach, Oil Painting on Canvas, WWII. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Gallery 2012-12-8)

“The Tokyo Raid By US Army B-25 Bombers,” April 1942 by John Charles Roach, Oil Painting on Canvas, WWII. (Image courtesy of the U.S. Navy Art Gallery 2012-12-8)

  • The LAST SHIP to have a treaty signed on its decks: USS Missouri (BB63). Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, signed the Instrument of Surrender as United States Representative, on board USS Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945 thus marking the formal end of World War II.
General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, on board USS Missouri (BB-63), 2 September 1945. Watching from across the table are Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Representatives of the Allied powers are behind General MacArthur. Photographed from atop Missouri's 16-inch gun turret # 2.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

General Yoshijiro Umezu, Chief of the Army General Staff, signs the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of Japanese Imperial General Headquarters, on board USS Missouri (BB-63), 2 September 1945. Watching from across the table are Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland and General of the Army Douglas MacArthur. Representatives of the Allied powers are behind General MacArthur. Photographed from atop Missouri’s 16-inch gun turret # 2. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

  • The LAST SHIP to fight in the American Revolution: USS Alliance. On March 10, 1783, more than a month after the Treaty of Paris officially ended the American Revolution, the 36-gun Continental frigate Alliance, commanded by Capt. John Barry, departs Havana with companion ship Due de Lauzun carrying money for Congress. South of Cape Canaveral, Fla., she sights three enemy warships closing in. To protect Due de Lauzen, Barry places Alliance between the vessel and HMS Sybil. After being damaged in battle, Sybil disengages.
USS Alliance

USS Alliance

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#WarriorWednesday

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Warrior Wednesday is a weekly feature dedicated to honoring and remembering the men and women, past and present, of the US Armed Forces and its Allies.

Marvin Shields

Marvin Shields

U.S. Navy Seabee Museum honors the first and only U.S. Navy Seabee ‬to receive the Medal of Honor Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Marvin G. Shields. Shields was also the first ‪‎US Navy‬ ‪‎Sailor‬ to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for action in Vietnam‬. (Link for more about Shields appears at the end of this post).

Midshipman Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., Daguerreotype. He graduated first in the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1854. USN Photo Collection.

Midshipman Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., Daguerreotype. He graduated first in the U.S. Naval Academy class of 1854. USN Photo Collection.

1854, the first formal graduation exercises are held at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Previous classes had graduated without a ceremony. Rear Adm. Thomas O. Selfridge and Rear Adm. Joseph N. Miller, are two of the six graduates that year.

Eight members of the Class of 1861, including Midshipman George M. Bache (3rd from left). Among the others present are (based on other photos) are: Midshipman William F. Stewart (bearded, 2nd from left); Midshipman John F. McGlensey (4th from right); and Midshipman Richard F. Armstrong (2nd from right). Collection of Commander George M. Bache. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

Eight members of the Class of 1861, including Midshipman George M. Bache (3rd from left). Among the others present are (based on other photos) are: Midshipman William F. Stewart (bearded, 2nd from left); Midshipman John F. McGlensey (4th from right); and Midshipman Richard F. Armstrong (2nd from right). Collection of Commander George M. Bache. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph

U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Photograph of the “Old Quarters” with the Recitation Hall on the extreme left, circa the 1860s, possibly taken by Fischer and Brothers., Baltimore. Collection of Commander George M. Bache.

U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Photograph of the “Old Quarters” with the Recitation Hall on the extreme left, circa the 1860s, possibly taken by Fischer and Brothers., Baltimore. Collection of Commander George M. Bache.

U.S. Naval Academy, as it is today.

U.S. Naval Academy, as it is today.

1869, Secretary of the Navy Adolph E. Borie, ordered the construction of the first torpedo station on Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island. During the establishment, the station experimented with torpedoes and trained sailors in the use technology of the weapons. Functions of the station were incorporated in the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

Mark VII Bliss-Leavitt Torpedo, outside Torpedo Factory on Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island, August 1913. Copied from an original negative held by Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island.

Mark VII Bliss-Leavitt Torpedo, outside Torpedo Factory on Goat Island, Newport, Rhode Island, August 1913. Copied from an original negative held by Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island.

MARK III Whitehead Torpedo, fired from East Dock, Goat Island, 1894. USS Cushing (TB #1) is in the background. Copied from an original negative held by Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island.

MARK III Whitehead Torpedo, fired from East Dock, Goat Island, 1894. USS Cushing (TB #1) is in the background. Copied from an original negative held by Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island.

Tug Leyden and three early torpedo boats. Torpedo Station's Ferry Launch at East Dock on Goat Island, 1899. Copied from an original negative held by Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island.

Tug Leyden and three early torpedo boats. Torpedo Station’s Ferry Launch at East Dock on Goat Island, 1899. Copied from an original negative held by Naval Underwater Systems Center, Newport, Rhode Island.

Soldiers assigned to various units throughout Europe, rappel from a UH-60 Black Hawk during an air assault course at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command's Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, June 9.  Markus Rauchenberger/Army

Soldiers assigned to various units throughout Europe, rappel from a UH-60 Black Hawk during an air assault course at the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command’s Grafenwoehr Training Area, Germany, June 9. Markus Rauchenberger/Army

Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 Explosive Ordnance Detachment recover the test vehicle for NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) on June 8 off the coast of the U.S. Navy's Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.  John Hageman/Navy

Sailors assigned to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 Explosive Ordnance Detachment recover the test vehicle for NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD) on June 8 off the coast of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii. John Hageman/Navy

A Marine assigned to Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Maritime Raid Force, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conducts a nighttime high altitude high opening (HAHO) jump during category 3 sustainment training in Louisburg, N.C., June 5.  Cpl. Andre Dakis/Marine Corps

A Marine assigned to Force Reconnaissance Platoon, Maritime Raid Force, 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), conducts a nighttime high altitude high opening (HAHO) jump during category 3 sustainment training in Louisburg, N.C., June 5. Cpl. Andre Dakis/Marine Corps

Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey greets recipient Specialist Spencer Jacobsen of the Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Calvary Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) of Fort Campbell in Kentucky, after a Purple Heart ceremony June 9 at George Washington's Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Sergeant Major of the Army Daniel Dailey greets recipient Specialist Spencer Jacobsen of the Bravo Troop, 1st Squadron, 33rd Calvary Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (AASLT) of Fort Campbell in Kentucky, after a Purple Heart ceremony June 9 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia.

Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit sprint to an MV-22B Osprey aircraft during a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) exercise, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., June, 5.  Cpl. Shawn Valosin/Marine Corps

Marines with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit sprint to an MV-22B Osprey aircraft during a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft and Personnel (TRAP) exercise, aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., June, 5. Cpl. Shawn Valosin/Marine Corps

Army Secretary John McHugh lays a wreath at George Washington's tomb June 9 at Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The U.S. Army held celebration for its 240th birthday.

Army Secretary John McHugh lays a wreath at George Washington’s tomb June 9 at Mount Vernon in Mount Vernon, Virginia. The U.S. Army held celebration for its 240th birthday.

Navy Capt. William Koyama, commander of Carrier Air Wing 5, prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in an F/A-18E Super Hornet after completing his 4000th flight hour near Guam, June 8. The Super Hornet is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron.  Bryan Mai/Navy

Navy Capt. William Koyama, commander of Carrier Air Wing 5, prepares to make an arrested landing on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington in an F/A-18E Super Hornet after completing his 4000th flight hour near Guam, June 8. The Super Hornet is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron. Bryan Mai/Navy

Allied leaders salute the 9th Air Force Memorial, which commemorates fallen U.S. service members, in Picauville, France, June 4, during a D-Day ceremony.  Nicole Sikorski/Air Force

Allied leaders salute the 9th Air Force Memorial, which commemorates fallen U.S. service members, in Picauville, France, June 4, during a D-Day ceremony. Nicole Sikorski/Air Force

Bryan County High School, Ga., JROTC cadet Dikenya Dukes, a rising 11th grader, climbs through a wall on an obstacle course as her classmate and "battle buddy" Mitchell Miller watches, June 9, at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. The Savannah Army post is hosting about 200 JROTC cadets from southeast Georgia high schools this week during its Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge Summer Camp led by the Hunter-based 6th ROTC Brigade.  Corey Dickstein/Savannah Morning News

Bryan County High School, Ga., JROTC cadet Dikenya Dukes, a rising 11th grader, climbs through a wall on an obstacle course as her classmate and “battle buddy” Mitchell Miller watches, June 9, at Hunter Army Airfield, Ga. The Savannah Army post is hosting about 200 JROTC cadets from southeast Georgia high schools this week during its Junior Cadet Leadership Challenge Summer Camp led by the Hunter-based 6th ROTC Brigade. Corey Dickstein/Savannah Morning News

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer throws the first pitch of the 3rd annual Amputee Warrior Softball Classic June 6, at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie, Md.  Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie/Air Force

Air Force Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Larry O. Spencer throws the first pitch of the 3rd annual Amputee Warrior Softball Classic June 6, at Prince George’s Stadium in Bowie, Md. Staff Sgt. Carlin Leslie/Air Force

Marines and sailors with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, escort a simulated isolated person onto an MV-22 Osprey during a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training exercise on May 29 in Southwest Asia.   Lance Cpl. Garrett White/Marine Corps

Marines and sailors with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force – Crisis Response – Central Command, escort a simulated isolated person onto an MV-22 Osprey during a tactical recovery of aircraft and personnel training exercise on May 29 in Southwest Asia. Lance Cpl. Garrett White/Marine Corps

George Shenkle, World War II veteran and former Army Soldier with the Easy Company, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, reacts as soldiers parachute over the historic La Fiere drop zone near Sainte Mere Eglise, Normandy, France, on Sunday to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of D-Day.   Master Sgt. Brian Bahret/Air Force

George Shenkle, World War II veteran and former Army Soldier with the Easy Company, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, reacts as soldiers parachute over the historic La Fiere drop zone near Sainte Mere Eglise, Normandy, France, on Sunday to commemorate the 71st Anniversary of D-Day. Master Sgt. Brian Bahret/Air Force

Marine Corps Hospital Corpsman Melissa Irvin, a 1st Dental Battalion dental corpsman, from Camp Pendleton, Calif., carries a box of medical supplies to Unggai Primary School, where medical professionals set up during Pacific Angel 15-4 at Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, on May 29.  Staff Sgt. Marcus Morris/Air Force

Marine Corps Hospital Corpsman Melissa Irvin, a 1st Dental Battalion dental corpsman, from Camp Pendleton, Calif., carries a box of medical supplies to Unggai Primary School, where medical professionals set up during Pacific Angel 15-4 at Eastern Highlands, Papua New Guinea, on May 29. Staff Sgt. Marcus Morris/Air Force

Sailors man the rails as the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson returns to homeport on Thursday at Naval Air Station North Island.   MC3 Jacob G. Kaucher/Navy

Sailors man the rails as the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson returns to homeport on Thursday at Naval Air Station North Island. MC3 Jacob G. Kaucher/Navy

Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Worley examines a puppy during a Continuing Promise 2015 veterinary event in Colon, Panama, on Tuesday.   Andrew Schneider/Navy

Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Worley examines a puppy during a Continuing Promise 2015 veterinary event in Colon, Panama, on Tuesday. Andrew Schneider/Navy

Visitors stand among a display of 120 American flags, representing the 120 Wyoming soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who died during the Vietnam War, at the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery on Sunday in Evansville, Wyo.   Alan Rogers/The Casper Star-Tribune

Visitors stand among a display of 120 American flags, representing the 120 Wyoming soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who died during the Vietnam War, at the Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery on Sunday in Evansville, Wyo. Alan Rogers/The Casper Star-Tribune

Soldiers from NATO countries attend an opening ceremony of military exercise Saber Strike 2015 at the Gaiziunu Training Range in Pabrade about 38 miles north of Vilnius, Lithuania, on Monday.  Mindaugas Kulbis

Soldiers from NATO countries attend an opening ceremony of military exercise Saber Strike 2015 at the Gaiziunu Training Range in Pabrade about 38 miles north of Vilnius, Lithuania, on Monday. Mindaugas Kulbis

On the Web:

Ceremony to mark 50th anniversary of Seabee’s heroism

HONORING SHIELDS, SEABEE HISTORY

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#MilitaryMonday

Military thank you

US Military appreciation, history and stories in pictures.

1918, USS President Lincoln is torpedoed and sunk by German submarine, (U 90). 26 lives are lost.

Yeoman Howard A. Himmelwright, who was lost in sinking of USS President Lincoln, May 1918. Photo #USN 103369

Yeoman Howard A. Himmelwright, who was lost in sinking of USS President Lincoln, May 1918.
Photo #USN 103369

Officers of USS President Lincoln. Photo #USN 103271

Officers of USS President Lincoln.
Photo #USN 103271

S.S. President Lincoln underway before World War I. She was later named USS President Lincoln. The vessel built by Harland and Wolff (builders of the Titanic , et al.) and acquired in 1917. Photo #USN 41887

S.S. President Lincoln underway before World War I. She was later named USS President Lincoln. The vessel built by Harland and Wolff (builders of the Titanic , et al.) and acquired in 1917.
Photo #USN 41887

Memorial service for those lost with USS President Lincoln, June 1918. Photo #USN 2760

Memorial service for those lost with USS President Lincoln, June 1918.
Photo #USN 2760

U.S. Navy Sailors and Marines from USS Newark (C 1) and USS Oregon (BB 3) arrive at Peking, China, to protect U.S. and foreign diplomatic legations during the Boxer Rebellion in 1900. They are joined by Sailors and Marines from Britain, France, Russia, Italy and Japan.

Boxer Rebellion, 1900. Colt machine gun (also known as a "potato digger") and crew left at Legation. McCalla Collections. Presented to the Navy Library by Captain Dudley W. Knox, USN, (Retired), 1926.

Boxer Rebellion, 1900. Colt machine gun (also known as a “potato digger”) and crew left at Legation. McCalla Collections. Presented to the Navy Library by Captain Dudley W. Knox, USN, (Retired), 1926.

Boxer Rebellion, 1900. Marines defend Peking Legations. Artwork by John Clymer, USMC. Courtesy of the US Marine Corps History Division, #55.

Boxer Rebellion, 1900. Marines defend Peking Legations. Artwork by John Clymer, USMC. Courtesy of the US Marine Corps History Division, #55.

Troops of the Eight nations alliance of 1900. Left to right: Britain, United States, Australian colonial, British India, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Japan. 1900.

Troops of the Eight nations alliance of 1900. Left to right: Britain, United States, Australian colonial, British India, Germany, France, Austria-Hungary, Italy, Japan. 1900.

Boxer Rebellion, 1900. The kind of guards furnished to Legations by the Chinese Government. McCalla Collections. Presented to the Navy Library by Captain Dudley W. Knox, USN, (Retired), 1926.

Boxer Rebellion, 1900. The kind of guards furnished to Legations by the Chinese Government. McCalla Collections. Presented to the Navy Library by Captain Dudley W. Knox, USN, (Retired), 1926.

1904, the Marine Detachment from USS Brooklyn (ACR 3) lands at Tangiers, Morocco to protect the American Consulate during the dispute between Raisuli and the Sultan Abdelaziz of Morocco.

USS Brooklyn crew and goat Photo #USN 93704

USS Brooklyn crew and goat
Photo #USN 93704

USS Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser No. 3) In New York Harbor during the Spanish-American War victory naval parade, August 1898. Photo #USN 63096

USS Brooklyn (Armored Cruiser No. 3) In New York Harbor during the Spanish-American War victory naval parade, August 1898.
Photo #USN 63096

Berth deck cooks aboard cruiser USS Brooklyn, 1899. Library of Congress

Berth deck cooks aboard cruiser USS Brooklyn, 1899.
Library of Congress

2004, USS Pinckney (DDG 91) is commissioned at Naval Construction Battalion Center, Port Hueneme, Calif. The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer is named for Cook 1st Class William Pinckney, a Navy Cross recipient.

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2007) - USS Princeton (CG 59), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91) transit behind the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a joint photo exercise marking the conclusion of Valiant Shield 2007 (VS07). The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 are deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet. Valiant Shield 2007 was the largest joint exercise in recent history, including 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft, and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Marines Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eduardo Zaragoza

PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 14, 2007) – USS Princeton (CG 59), USS John Paul Jones (DDG 53) and USS Pinckney (DDG 91) transit behind the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68) during a joint photo exercise marking the conclusion of Valiant Shield 2007 (VS07). The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11 are deployed in the U.S. 7th Fleet. Valiant Shield 2007 was the largest joint exercise in recent history, including 30 ships, more than 280 aircraft, and more than 20,000 service members from the Navy, Marines Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Eduardo Zaragoza

The guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) fires its MK-45 5-inch/54-caliber gun during a pre-aim calibration fire (PACFIRE) training exercise. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is on a routine deployment to the region.
(U.S. Navy Photo)

GULF OF THAILAND: A U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter lands aboard USS Pinckney (DDG 91) during a crew swap before returning on task in the search and rescue for the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370. (U.S. Navy Photo)

GULF OF THAILAND: A U.S. Navy MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter lands aboard USS Pinckney (DDG 91) during a crew swap before returning on task in the search and rescue for the missing Malaysian airlines flight MH370.
(U.S. Navy Photo)

INCHEON, Republic of Korea - The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) pulls into a lock gate to accommodate for different water levels as the ship makes way to port in Incheon, Republic of Korea. Pinckney is in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eddie Harrison)

INCHEON, Republic of Korea – The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Pinckney (DDG 91) pulls into a lock gate to accommodate for different water levels as the ship makes way to port in Incheon, Republic of Korea. Pinckney is in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Eddie Harrison)

The only U.S. carrier lost in the Atlantic during WWII‬, USS Block Island (CVE 21) was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-549 in 1944. U-549 was later sunk that night by USS Eugene E. Elmore (DE 686) and USS Ahrens (DE 575).

USS Block Island (CVE 21) after torpedo hits from U-549, 29 May 1944. Image from Task Group 21.11 Serial 0027 Report, copied June 1978.

USS Block Island (CVE 21) after torpedo hits from U-549, 29 May 1944. Image from Task Group 21.11 Serial 0027 Report, copied June 1978.

USS Block Island (CVE 21) underway in the Atlantic, off the mouth of Chesapeake Bay (36-54'N, 75-22'W, course 090) on 15 October 1943. Parked on her flight deck are twelve TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo planes and nine F4F/FM Wildcat fighters. Photographed from a blimp of squadron ZP-14.

USS Block Island (CVE 21) underway in the Atlantic, off the mouth of Chesapeake Bay (36-54’N, 75-22’W, course 090) on 15 October 1943. Parked on her flight deck are twelve TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo planes and nine F4F/FM Wildcat fighters. Photographed from a blimp of squadron ZP-14.

USS Block Island (CVE 21), on trials, circa March 1943. National Archives photograph.

USS Block Island (CVE 21), on trials, circa March 1943. National Archives photograph.

USS Block Island (CVE 21), on trails, March 1943. National Archives photograph.

USS Block Island (CVE 21), on trails, March 1943. National Archives photograph.

A SH-60F Seahawk assigned to Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Five (HS-5) aboard USS John F Kennedy (CV 67) lowers a package on a rescue hoist to ‪#US Navy submarine USS Boise (SSN 764) on May 28, 2002. The Kennedy Battle Group was conducting combat operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Photographers Mate 1st Class Jim Hampshire:

13

Raising History: Bringing CSS Georgia to the Surface. The Savannah District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is hosting a special lecture this evening at 7 p.m., at the Savannah History Museum.

Here’s a look at what ‪‎US Navy divers, Navy History’s Underwater Archaeology Branch, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Headquarters and other partners are doing to preserve this piece of‪ American and ‪‎Naval History‬.

Archaeologists working for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, and divers and salvage operations teams from the U.S. Navy, retrieve a 64-square foot section of a Civil War ironclad warship from the bottom of the Savannah River the evening of Nov. 12, 2013.

The South will rise again – just one piece at a time – as U.S. Navy divers from Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU-2) work to free parts of the Confederate ironclad Georgia from the murky, muddy waters of the Savannah River channel.

The Navy divers will work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) June 1-July 20 as part of the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project, which will deepen the channel from 42 to 47 feet. Part of that project requires the recovery of the ironclad which lies in the path of future dredging.

MDSU-2 will bring up the ship’s armor systems, steam engine components and all her weapons, including four cannons and as many as 50 projectiles, such as rifle shells or cannon balls.

It is a mission that will highlight the skills of Navy divers – quite befitting since 2015 is the Year of the Military Diver.

Navy Diver 1st Class Pete Kozminsky (right) assists Navy Diver 1st Class Calum Sanders, assigned to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, don a Kirby Morgan 37 dive helmet during diver training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Va., May 14 to prepare for an upcoming assignment to salvage CSS Georgia in the Savannah River, Ga., June 1-July 20.

Navy Diver 1st Class Pete Kozminsky (right) assists Navy Diver 1st Class Calum Sanders, assigned to Mobile Diving Salvage Unit (MDSU) 2, don a Kirby Morgan 37 dive helmet during diver training at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Va., May 14 to prepare for an upcoming assignment to salvage CSS Georgia in the Savannah River, Ga., June 1-July 20.

“This is what we live for; it’s what we do day in and day out. When it comes to mobile diving, salvage, underwater ship husbandry and force protection, these guys are more proficient than any dive team in the Navy right now,” said Chief Warrant Officer Jason Potts, who leads Mobile Diving Salvage Company 23.

They won’t, however, be the only military personnel involved. Once the weapons are brought onshore, Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians from EOD Mobile Unit 6 Shore Detachment King’s Bay, Ga., will assist in the recovery, and Marine Corps EOD techs will get the ordnance to an offsite location.

Overseeing the operation will be civilian archaeologists from the Underwater Archaeology Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command, which has been tracking CSS Georgia’s progress since its first excavation dive in the fall of 2013.

“The CSS Georgia recovery project is one of the more interesting projects NHHC underwater archaeologists are undertaking,” said UA branch head Robert Neyland, Ph.D. “The Georgia will be the only Confederate ironclad to be recovered and preserved.”

Neyland was among those who attended the “test” excavation in Nov. 2013 and was the project director and chief archaeologist on the recovery team for Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.

During the 2013 excavation, it was “revealed the wooden hull has been lost over time due to current, erosion and previous salvage activities,” Neyland said, leaving behind “a substantial amount of armor made from railroad iron, cannon, ordnance.”

Other artifacts recovered have revealed a glimpse into the design and operation of the ship as well as life onboard, he added.

Apparently it wasn’t very pleasant.

The Rebel Iron-clad ‘Georgia’ Line engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, 1863, depicting the CSS Georgia, an ironclad floating battery that served in the defenses of Savannah, Georgia. U.S. Naval History & HC Photograph.

The Rebel Iron-clad ‘Georgia’ Line engraving published in Harper’s Weekly, 1863, depicting the CSS Georgia, an ironclad floating battery that served in the defenses of Savannah, Georgia. U.S. Naval History & HC Photograph.

It “was an extremely hostile environment for the crew who had to work in engine rooms under hellish heat and humidity,” Neyland explained. “The discovery of numerous sets of leg irons highlights these harsh conditions that led sailors to desert. The ship never saw action, which also leads one to believe boredom added to the crew’s discomfort.”

Some of those artifacts will be featured during a free lecture the week before the divers begin their work. The lecture was held at 7 p.m. May 28 at the auditorium of the Savannah History Museum, 303 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Savannah, Ga. The guest speakers were two of the lead archaeologists involved in preserving the ship’s artifacts: Steven James, M.A., with Panamerican Consultants, a principal investigator on the project, and Gordon Watts, PhD., of Tidewater Atlantic Research, co-principal investigator.

Topics for the lecture included the ship’s construction, since there are no blueprints on how the ship was built. The lecture also discussed life aboard the ironclad, as well as how the recovered artifacts will be preserved.

The lecture, which was sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Savannah District, was hosted by the Coastal Heritage Society. It was the first of eight public outreach efforts focused on CSS Georgia’s recovery, which is expected to cost the Corps of Engineers up to $14 million. The Corps of Engineers works with the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University.

CSS Georgia was built and commissioned in 1863 to protect the river channels below Savannah and Fort Jackson during the Civil War. The ironclad, however, lacked effective locomotion, so she was used mostly as a floating battery. On Dec. 21, 1864, Georgia was scuttled to prevent the ship from falling into the hands of the rapidly advancing Union army led by Gen. William T. Sherman.

After 104 years nestled in the muddy bottom of the Savannah River, the wreck was discovered in 1968 during dredging operations of the channel. Some items were removed during the 1980s. Located on U.S. Navy property, the site was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1987, according to the U.S. Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Division (SUPSALV), part of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA).

When the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project threatened CSS Georgia’s remains, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stepped in to oversee its excavation under the National Historic Preservation Act. The multi-phase operation began in November 2013 with an initial excavation of a 65-square-foot portion of the upper deck structure with iron to determine the condition of the hull material. From there, a plan to recover and relocate historic artifacts was mapped out, with MDSU-2 providing underwater survey, rigging and topside support.

NHHC’s Underwater Archaeology Branch will validate the redeposit and reburial of sections of the ship below water in a back channel area so it can be preserved and protected should funding later come available to preserve and display CSS Georgia.

“NHHC is the federal owner of the wreck and its artifacts and is working with the USACE-Savannah District and State of Georgia to preserve the ship remains and artifacts and make these available for exhibit and interpretation,” Neyland said. “The NHHC mission fosters United States naval heritage and the lessons learned from that history to the current Navy and the American public.”

On the Web: To follow the CSS Georgia project, visit http://1.usa.gov/1G6S2Hn

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#MilitaryMonday #MilitaryAppreciationMonth

Military thank you

A weekly feature honoring the military and the sacrifices they make for freedom, covered in historical images.

1930, the streamlined submarine (V 5) was commissioned. In February 1931, she was named Narwhal, and received the hull number (SS 167) that July. During WWII, Narwhal received 15 battle stars for her war patrols in the Pacific.

Navy Poster, showing USS Narwhal (SS 167). Artwork by Matt Murphy, 8 January 1941. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 77240.

Navy Poster, showing USS Narwhal (SS 167). Artwork by Matt Murphy, 8 January 1941. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 77240.

USS Narwhal (SS 167), artwork by Gordon Grant, 1943. Lithograph by Northern Pump Company, 1943. Courtesy of Captain R.M. Barnes, USN, (Retired). NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 95377-KN (Color)

USS Narwhal (SS 167), artwork by Gordon Grant, 1943. Lithograph by Northern Pump Company, 1943. Courtesy of Captain R.M. Barnes, USN, (Retired). NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 95377-KN (Color)

3

Above: Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. Aerial view of the Submarine Base, with part of the supply depot beyond and the fuel farm at right, looking north on 13 October 1941. Note the fuel tank across the road from the submarine base, painted to resemble a building. The building beside the submarine ascent tower (in left center, shaped like an upside down “U”) housed the U.S. Fleet Headquarters at the time of the Japanese attack on 7 December 1941.

Office of Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, the Fleet’s Commander in Chief, was in the upper left corner of the building’s top floor. USS Wharton (AP-7) is in right foreground. Among the submarines at the base are Tuna (SS-203), Gudgeon (SS-211), Argonaut (SS-166), Narwhal (SS-167), Triton (SS-201) and Dolphin (SS-169). USS Holland (AS-3) and USS Niagara (PG-52) are alongside the wharf on the base’s north side. In the distance (nearest group in upper left) are the battleship Nevada (BB-36), at far left, USS Castor (AKS-1) and the derelict old minelayer Baltimore. Cruisers in top center are USS Minneapolis (CA-36), closest to camera, and USS Pensacola (CA-24), wearing a Measure 5 painted “bow wave”. National Archives photograph: 80-G-451125.

USS Narwhal (SS 167) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, 3 April 1943.  Both the Narwhal and her sister Nautiliss were used heavily for the Marine Raiders. Their two 6 inch deck guns could give quite effective fire support. National Archives photograph, 190-N-42917.

USS Narwhal (SS 167) off the Mare Island Navy Yard, 3 April 1943. Both the Narwhal and her sister Nautiliss were used heavily for the Marine Raiders. Their two 6 inch deck guns could give quite effective fire support. National Archives photograph, 190-N-42917.

1900, USS Kentucky (BB 6) is commissioned. In 1907, she joined the Great White Fleet, returning in 1909.

USS Kentucky (BB 6) photographed in July 1900, a few months after she was commissioned. Courtesy of the Filson Club, Louisville, KY. Gift of Mrs. Alexander M. Watson. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USS Kentucky (BB 6) photographed in July 1900, a few months after she was commissioned. Courtesy of the Filson Club, Louisville, KY. Gift of Mrs. Alexander M. Watson. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USS Kentucky ship's officers, crew and Marines, circa 1914. Most of the Marines are wearing khaki field uniforms. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USS Kentucky ship’s officers, crew and Marines, circa 1914. Most of the Marines are wearing khaki field uniforms. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USS Kentucky (BB 6) photograph taken circa 1912-1916, after modernization with basket masts. It has been color-tinted and published on a post card. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

USS Kentucky (BB 6) photograph taken circa 1912-1916, after modernization with basket masts. It has been color-tinted and published on a post card. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

1919, the Marine detachment from USS Arizona (BB 39) guards the U.S. consulate at Constantinople, Turkey, during the Greek occupation of the city.

In June 1915, the crowd witnesses Miss Esther Ross, sponsor of the battleship Arizona, arrive. Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

In June 1915, the crowd witnesses Miss Esther Ross, sponsor of the battleship Arizona, arrive.
Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

USS Arizona's ship's complement posing on her forecastle, forward turrets and superstructure, circa 1924. The officer seated in the second row, 4th from right, is Ensign Arleigh A. Burke. USNHC # NH 86101, courtesy of Naval Historical Center, from the Collection of Admiral Arleigh A. Burke.

USS Arizona’s ship’s complement posing on her forecastle, forward turrets and superstructure, circa 1924. The officer seated in the second row, 4th from right, is Ensign Arleigh A. Burke. USNHC # NH 86101, courtesy of Naval Historical Center, from the Collection of Admiral Arleigh A. Burke.

A French built Nieuport aircraft is pictured on a wooden deck constructed atop a turret. Note the Arizona's (BB 39) bell behind the plane.  Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

A French built Nieuport aircraft is pictured on a wooden deck constructed atop a turret.
Note the Arizona’s (BB 39) bell behind the plane.
Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

Arizona (BB 39) anchored, possibly on the Hudson after returning from Europe. Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

Arizona (BB 39) anchored, possibly on the Hudson after returning from Europe.
Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

1801, Tripoli declares war on the United States for not increasing the annual tribute paid as protection money to prevent raids on its ships. Within less than a week, a squadron, under Commodore Richard Dale, sets sail to protect American interests and arrives July 1 at Gibraltar.

USS President, 1800-1815, artwork by Boucher done in 1819 and captioned, “United States Frigate ‘President’, flagship of the American Squadron, Captain Stephen Decatur, 1819.” NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 592.

USS President, 1800-1815, artwork by Boucher done in 1819 and captioned, “United States Frigate ‘President’, flagship of the American Squadron, Captain Stephen Decatur, 1819.” NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 592.

“The Assault on Derna, Tripoli, 27 April 1805.” Artwork by Charles Waterhouse. Courtesy of the US Marine Corps History Division. After a bombardment of Tripoli, a landing party with Lieutenant O'Bannon of the Marines in command hauled down the Tripolitan flag and hoisted Old Glory for the first time over a fort in the old world. April 27, 1805. Copy of artwork by Capolino., 1927 – 1981

“The Assault on Derna, Tripoli, 27 April 1805.” Artwork by Charles Waterhouse. Courtesy of the US Marine Corps History Division.
After a bombardment of Tripoli, a landing party with Lieutenant O’Bannon of the Marines in command hauled down the Tripolitan flag and hoisted Old Glory for the first time over a fort in the old world. April 27, 1805. Copy of artwork by Capolino., 1927 – 1981

"Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat", during the bombardment of Tripoli, 3 August 1804. Oil by Dennis Malone Carter, 43" x 59", depicting Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (lower right center) in mortal combat with the Tripolitan Captain. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, DC. NHHC Photograph Collection: NH 44647-KN (Color).

“Decatur Boarding the Tripolitan Gunboat”, during the bombardment of Tripoli, 3 August 1804. Oil by Dennis Malone Carter, 43″ x 59″, depicting Lieutenant Stephen Decatur (lower right center) in mortal combat with the Tripolitan Captain. Courtesy of the Naval Historical Foundation, Washington, DC. NHHC Photograph Collection: NH 44647-KN (Color).

1964, the first all-nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), USS Long Beach (CGN 9) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25), is organized and deploys to the Sixth Fleet. The task group departs in July and circumnavigates the globe without refueling.

Task Force One (All-Nuclear Task Force) operating in the Mediterranean Sea, 18 June 1964. Enterprise crewmembers are spelling out Albert Einstein’s equation for nuclear energy on the flight deck. National Archives Photograph, KN 9027 (Color).

Task Force One (All-Nuclear Task Force) operating in the Mediterranean Sea, 18 June 1964. Enterprise crewmembers are spelling out Albert Einstein’s equation for nuclear energy on the flight deck. National Archives Photograph, KN 9027 (Color).

Task Force One: USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25); USS Long Beach (CGN 9); and USS Enterprise (CVAN 65) in Operation Sea Orbit, which was the first circumnavigation of the glob by a nuclear-powered naval power, 31 August – 3 October 1964. Artwork by Captain Gerard Richardson, USNR. National Archives photograph: KN 9983 (Color).

Task Force One: USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25); USS Long Beach (CGN 9); and USS Enterprise (CVAN 65) in Operation Sea Orbit, which was the first circumnavigation of the glob by a nuclear-powered naval power, 31 August – 3 October 1964. Artwork by Captain Gerard Richardson, USNR. National Archives photograph: KN 9983 (Color).

USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25). Underway during her sea trials, 2-3 September 1962. Photographed by Areostatico. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 98103.

USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25). Underway during her sea trials, 2-3 September 1962. Photographed by Areostatico. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 98103.

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Above: USS Enterprise (CVAN 65) underway in formation with USS Long Beach (CGN 9), center, and USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25), at top, probably in the Mediterranean Sea in June-July 1964. Members of Enterprise’s crew are in a flight deck formation spelling out Albert Einstein’s equation for nuclear energy. Planes on her flight deck include 9 A-5, 22 A-4; 10 F-4; 14 F-8 and 2 E-1 types. Those aft are parked in an arrowhead arrangement. The photograph was released for publication on 30 July 1964, upon the commencement of Operation Sea Orbit, the circumnavigation of the World by Task Force One, made up of the Navy’s first three nuclear-powered surface ships. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, from the Collections of the Naval Historical Center.

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#MilitaryMonday: The Evolution of the US Navy Aircraft Carrier

The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)

The US Navy aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63)

Aircraft carriers are often revered as the “powerhouse of the fleet” because of their size, strength, capabilities and importance to our national security. For nearly 100 years, the aircraft carrier has continued to evolve alongside the technological advancements of America’s Navy.

The U.S. Navy’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV 1), was converted from the collier USS Jupiter (AC 3) and recommissioned March 20, 1922. Lagley had a displacement of 11,500 tons and measured 542 feet in length. She could travel at a speed of 15.5 knots (17.8 mph) and boasted a crew of 468 personnel. Though Langley was not the first ship with an installed flight deck or the first ship from which an airplane had taken off, her service marked the birth of the era of the carrier. She was also the sight of the first carrier catapult when her commanding officer, Cmdr. Kenneth Whiting, was catapulted from her deck.

Gerald R Ford Class (CVN 78/79) – US Navy CVN 21 Future Carrier Program, United States of America.

Gerald R Ford Class (CVN 78/79) – US Navy CVN 21 Future Carrier Program, United States of America.

In his book “U.S. Aircraft Carriers: An Illustrated Design History,” Norman Friedman noted that the Langley did not have a hangar deck in the modern sense because aircraft were not stowed ready for flight. They were actually assembled on the upper deck, loaded into the single elevator, and then hoisted onto the flight deck. She was also equipped with two lift cranes, two flight-deck catapults, and carried 36 aircraft. And according to Norman Polmar in his book “Aircraft Carriers: A History of Carrier Aviation and its Influence on World Events”, the arresting gear on Langley consisted of “wires running fore and aft suspended about 10 inches above the deck” to which the hook of an aircraft would attach to slow the landing. He added that this system of fore-and-aft wires was used on U.S. carriers until 1929 when the Navy began developing a hydraulic arresting gear that could handle high-speed aircraft landings.

In 1927 the Lexington class aircraft carriers, USS Lexington (CV 2) and USS Saratoga (CV 3), were commissioned. Originally designed as battlecruisers, these carriers were much more efficient than Langley. At 888 feet in length and with a displacement of 37,000 tons, the Lexington class carriers traveled at a speed of 33.3 knots (38.3 mph) — more than double the speed of Langley. According to Siegfried Breyer’s “Battleships and Battlecruisers 1905-1970,” the Lexington class carriers featured a new bow called the bulbous bow which reduced water resistance by an average of six percent, supported the forecastle and reduced bending stress on the hull. A proper hangar, two elevators and one aircraft catapult housed and handled the 78 aircraft that Lexington class carriers were designed to carry. By 1942, these carriers accommodated 2,791 personnel.

How US Navy carriers have evolved over time in this infographic.

How US Navy carriers have evolved over time in this infographic.

USS Ranger (CV 4), commissioned in 1934, was the first ship of the U.S. Navy to be designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier. She had a displacement of 14,500 tons, measured 769 feet in length, traveled at a speed of 29.3 knots (33.7 mph), and supported a complement of 2,461 personnel as built. At her maximum, she carried 86 aircraft and was equipped with three elevators and three catapults.

Immediately following Ranger was the Yorktown class, whose lead ship, USS Yorktown (CV 5), was commissioned in 1937. USS Enterprise (CV 6) and USS Hornet (CV 8) were also part of this class. The fast and versatile Yorktown class carriers had a displacement of 20,100 tons, measurement of 809 feet in length, traveling speed of 32.5 knots (37.4 miles per hour), and a complement of 2,919 personnel. They carried up to 90 aircraft and were equipped with three elevators and two flight deck catapults. Yorktown was actually the first carrier to use hydraulic catapults. The Yorktown class carriers suffered heavy losses during World War II, but its sole survivor — Enterprise — went on to become the most decorated U.S. ship of the war.

First commissioned in 1942 with the USS Essex (CV 9), Essex class carriers included an impressive fleet of 24 ships and served as the core of the U.S. Navy’s combat strength during World War II. Better design features made Essex class carriers more resilient and efficient. For example, simultaneous launch and recovery operations became possible when Essex class USS Antietam (CVA 36) made her debut as America’s first angled-deck aircraft carrier. Additional features of Essex class carriers included bigger hangar space; better machinery arrangement and armor protection; a portside deck edge elevator [originating from her predecessor, USS Wasp (CV 7)]; advanced radio and radar equipment; and the incorporation of the “long-hull” or “Ticonderoga class” Essexes. The long-hull Essexes were constructed with a lengthened bow above the waterline which provided deck space for two quadruple 40mm mounts. The flight decks were also shortened forward to provide better arcs of fire. Continuous improvements to the Essex class carriers enabled them to serve through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and assist in the space program until 1973.

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. (Photo: USN)

The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier. (Photo: USN)

In 1943, the smaller and faster Independence class carriers followed the Essex class, but design plans had been underway for a carrier with an armored flight deck that could accommodate more planes than any other carrier yet. So when USS Midway (CV 41) was commissioned in 1945, it was no surprise that it became one of the longest-lasting carrier designs in history. Midway class ships retained their strength at the hangar deck level and the armored flight deck was part of the superstructure. The original design of the Midway class supported up to 130 aircraft, but coordinating that many planes would be ineffective and problematic. All three Midway class ships underwent modernizations in the 1950s and were fitted with angled decks, steam catapults and mirrored landing systems that allowed them to accommodate the new, heavier naval jets.

The 1950s marked the development of the U.S. Navy’s “supercarriers” beginning with USS Forrestal (CVA 59), commissioned in 1955. Ships in this class measured 1,036 feet in length with a displacement of 56,000 tons and a fully integrated angled deck. They could carry up to 90 aircraft and had the most spacious hangar and flight decks. The Forrestal class was succeeded by Kitty Hawk class supercarriers with only minor changes, followed by the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN 65), commissioned in 1961. At 1,101 feet in length, she is still the longest naval vessel in the world.

Following Enterprise was USS Kennedy (CV 67) which was originally designed to be the fourth Kitty Hawk class supercarrier, but because so many modifications were made during construction, she formed her own class.

The USS George H.W. Bush, shown here in the Straits of Hormuz in April 2014.

The USS George H.W. Bush, shown here in the Straits of Hormuz in April 2014.

Finally, the Nimitz class supercarriers are a group of 10 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers currently in service. These carriers use the catapult assisted take-off but arrested recovery (CATOBAR) system for faster launching and recovery. Additionally, the flight deck is angled at nine degrees to allow for simultaneous launch and recovery. Nimitz class carriers utilize only two nuclear reactors compared to the eight on Enterprise. According to Norman Polmar’s “The Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet”, this improvement allows Nimitz class carriers to carry 90 percent more fuel and 50 percent more ordnance compared to the original Forrestal class.

The aircraft carrier continues to evolve as the needs of the U.S. Navy change, and the next evolution of the carrier will be revealed when the Ford class carrier makes its scheduled debut in 2016. With a displacement of more than 90,000 tons, length of 1,092 feet, speeds capable of more than 30 knots (35 miles per hour), and the ability to support 4,297 personnel, she doesn’t seem much different than her predecessors. However, enhancements in the designs will allow her to operate even more efficiently. According to the U.S. Navy Fact File on Gerald R. Ford class carriers, “each ship in the new class will save more than $4 billion in total ownership costs during its 50-year service life, compared to the Nimitz-class.” Furthermore, the ship will be able to operate with fewer crew members, require less maintenance, and allow for 25 percent more sorties per day.

On the Web: 

List of aircraft carriers of the United States Navy

Aircraft Carrier – The US Navy Aircraft Carriers

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#WarriorWednesday: USMC Capt. Katie Higgins Becomes A Blue Angel

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Higgins, first female Blue Angels pilot, takes to the sky in C-130 ‘Fat Albert.

The Navy’s famous Blue Angels has its first female pilot since the team’s inception in 1946.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Higgins, a third-generation military aviator, will now thrill crowds for eight months out of the year. Over 500 million people have seen the Blue Angels during its air shows.

Captain Katie Higgins is a native of Severna Park, Maryland, and graduated from W.T. Woodson High School in 2004. She attended the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science in 2008, and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Katie then attended Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and graduated with a Masters of Arts in International Security in 2009.

Katie reported to Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, for aviation indoctrination in November 2009. She completed primary flight training in the T-6B Texan II at NAS Whiting Field, Florida, and completed intermediate and advanced training in the T-44 Pegasus while assigned to Training Squadron 31 (VT-31) at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas. She received her wings of gold in October 2011.

Katie then reported to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina, for initial training in the KC-130J Hercules. She reported to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR-252), “Otis,” at MCAS Cherry Point, in May 2012, to begin training in the KC-130J Harvest Hercules Armament Weapons Kit.

While assigned to VMGR-252, Katie deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, and to Africa with Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis-Response in support of contingency operations.

Fat Albert performs during the Annual Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., Friday, November 7, 2014. This year, NAS Pensacola is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Fat Albert performs during the Annual Blue Angels Homecoming Air Show aboard Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Fla., Friday, November 7, 2014. This year, NAS Pensacola is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

Katie has flown almost 400 combat hours in support of numerous operations and exercises in Afghanistan, Djibouti, France, Greece, South Sudan, Spain, and Uganda.

“I think that by including a lady on the team that just shows little girls and guys that women can do whatever they put their mind to. Little girls have told me that they didn’t even know that ladies can cry aircraft, that women could be in the cockpit,” Capt. Higgins told CBS of her historic accomplishment.

She discounted talk of her selection to the Blue Angels being a form of damage control after a former commander’s recent sexual harassment scandal.

“Well, honestly, I would just tell them to watch the demo. They can’t tell the difference between mine and the other two pilots on here because I fly it just as well as they do,” the officer told FOX News.

Capt. Higgins will fly the Blue Angels’ C-130 aircraft, known affectionately as “Fat Albert.” She joined the Blue Angels in September 2014. She has accumulated more than 1,000 flight hours. Her decorations include five Air Medals, and various unit and personal awards.

All smiles and all business: U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Higgins joins the Blue Angels. She is the famous group’s first female pilot.

All smiles and all business: U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Katie Higgins joins the Blue Angels. She is the famous group’s first female pilot.

The Lockheed C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft designed and built originally by Lockheed, now Lockheed Martin. Capable of using unprepared runwaysfor takeoffs and landings, the C-130 was originally designed as a troop, medivac, and cargo transport aircraft.

The versatile airframe has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship (AC-130), for airborne assault, search and rescue, scientific research support, weather reconnaissance, aerial refueling, maritime patrol, and aerial firefighting. It is now the main tactical airlifter for many military forces worldwide. Over 40 models and variants of the Hercules serve with more than 60 nations.

On the Web:

Capt. Katie Higgins’ profile from the Blue Angels’ website

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#WarriorWednesday: U. S. Navy

ww header

March 1915, the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) was established by Congress.

The CNO is responsible to the Secretary of the Navy for the command, utilization of resources, and operating efficiency of the operating forces of the US Navy and of the Navy shore activities assigned by the Secretary. Adm. Jonathan W. Greenert is the current CNO.

Tingey House, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. View of the Quarters of the Chief of Naval Operations. This house was constructed between 1804 and 1807 in Georgian Style and changes in “Victorian” style were made in 1861. Photographed circa 1979. National Archives photograph, KN 27600 (Color).  Note: Tingey House became the official residence of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1977.

Tingey House, Washington Navy Yard, D.C. View of the Quarters of the Chief of Naval Operations. This house was constructed between 1804 and 1807 in Georgian Style and changes in “Victorian” style were made in 1861. Photographed circa 1979. National Archives photograph, KN 27600 (Color).
Note: Tingey House became the official residence of the Chief of Naval Operations in 1977.

Adm. William S. Benson, USN. 1st Chief of Naval Operations, 11 May 1915 – 25 September 1919. Portrait by Eleanor R. Beckham, 1960. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 77665-KN (Color). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC. Donated by the Benson Family, 1960.

Adm. William S. Benson, USN. 1st Chief of Naval Operations, 11 May 1915 – 25 September 1919. Portrait by Eleanor R. Beckham, 1960. NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 77665-KN (Color). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC. Donated by the Benson Family, 1960.

Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, USN. 15th Chief of Naval Operations from 17 August 1955 to 01 August 1961. Portrait photograph, dated 15 December 1958. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, KN-12924 (Color)

Adm. Arleigh A. Burke, USN. 15th Chief of Naval Operations from 17 August 1955 to 01 August 1961. Portrait photograph, dated 15 December 1958. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, KN-12924 (Color)

Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda, USN. 25th Chief of Naval Operations from 23 April 1994 to 16 May 1996. Admiral Boorda address the crew on board USS Constellation (CV 64) circa 1995. DOD Still Media Photograph: DN-SC-96-00079.

Adm. Jeremy M. Boorda, USN. 25th Chief of Naval Operations from 23 April 1994 to 16 May 1996. Admiral Boorda address the crew on board USS Constellation (CV 64) circa 1995. DOD Still Media Photograph: DN-SC-96-00079.

Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, USN. Nimitz was promoted to Fleet Admiral on 19 December 1944 . 10th Chief of Naval Operations from 15 December 1945 to 15 December 1947. Portrait by Seymour Stone, 1946. Courtesy of the Artist.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archive, 80-G-K-14615 (Color).

Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz, USN. Nimitz was promoted to Fleet Admiral on 19 December 1944 . 10th Chief of Naval Operations from 15 December 1945 to 15 December 1947. Portrait by Seymour Stone, 1946. Courtesy of the Artist.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archive, 80-G-K-14615 (Color).

‘Enemy Forces Engaged,’ USS Houston Fought Insurmountable Odds

USS Houston (CA 30), starboard view. Undated and unknown location. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)

USS Houston (CA 30), starboard view. Undated and unknown location. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)

In the finest of naval traditions the crew of USS Sampson (DDG 102), along with others, honors their fellow U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy shipmates from USS Houston (CA 30) and HMAS Perth (D 29) during a wreath laying ceremony.

Read more about how Houston and Perth fought against insurmountable odds during World War II‬.

…in remembrance of the 1,082 brave men of the heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA 30).

It was in the early hours of March 1st, 73 years ago, that she sailed for the final time into the teeth of enemy fire. While heading for the Sunda Strait, and in concert with the Australian light cruiser HMAS Perth, she ran into the main Japanese invasion force then landing on the island of Java. This force consisted, in its entirety, of one light carrier, one seaplane carrier, five cruisers, 12 destroyers, a mine-layer and 58 troopships.

Low on fuel and with her after turret out of action, this as a result of earlier damage sustained at the Battle of Makassar Strait, Houston, along with Perth, entered the fray. The last message anyone would ever hear from these ships was a radio transmission sent by Houston; the message read “Enemy forces engaged.”

Perth went down first, fighting to the end, but even the heroism of her crew could not overcome four torpedo strikes and untold hits by enemy cannon. When Perth succumbed, 353 men went down with her including her commanding officer, Capt. Hector Waller.

Battle of Sunda Strait, 28 February – 1 March 1942. Painting by John Hamilton depicting USS Houston (CA 30) in her final action with Japanese forces. Courtesy of the US Navy Memorial Foundation. Painting from the John Hamilton collection. (Courtesy of NHHC Art Gallery/Hampton Roads Naval Museum)

Battle of Sunda Strait, 28 February – 1 March 1942. Painting by John Hamilton depicting USS Houston (CA 30) in her final action with Japanese forces. Courtesy of the US Navy Memorial Foundation. Painting from the John Hamilton collection. (Courtesy of NHHC Art Gallery/Hampton Roads Naval Museum)

Houston was now left alone, surrounded by enemy ships and aircraft. In quick succession she was hit by shell and torpedo but continued to fight on. Some time after 01:30, having been hit scores of times, faced with extensive flooding below decks, out of ammunition for her main guns, and with fires raging out of control, Capt. Albert Rooks, the commanding officer, gave the order to abandon ship. Only minutes later he was killed by an exploding Japanese shell.

Houston was bathed in the glare of Japanese searchlights, still under heavy fire and settling by the bow when her surviving crew gave her to the sea. As she began her final plunge one survivor wrote that “it seemed as a sudden breeze picked up the Stars and Stripes, still firmly blocked on the mainmast, and waved them in one last defiant gesture.” Other survivors saw red tracer fire still spitting out of a machine gun platform as one lone Marine, Gunnery Sgt. Walter Standish, true to the traditions of the Corps continued firing until the sea took him.

Some 675 Sailors and Marines died with Houston. Most of these men were killed during her final battle, were taken down with the ship or died when the pitiless tide washed them into the vast Indian Ocean but others were machine gunned as they swam helpless in the water.

The 366 survivors were taken into captivity, but their ordeal was far from over. Many would end up in POW camps in Burma, where they were forced, under inhuman conditions, to construct the infamous Burma Railway. Of this handful of survivors a further 76 died of sickness, abuse, torture, hunger and neglect. At war’s end in 1945 only 290 men remained, many broken in body but not in spirit, to return to the United States. Think of them, for they paid the full price in defense of our freedoms.

As one of the survivors later wrote —“Well Done , Well Done!”

Images from the USS Houston (CA 30) and HMAS Perth (D 29) wreath laying ceremony:

(Mar. 1, 2015) - Participants in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, salute during the playing of taps aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Matthew Schneider.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Participants in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, salute during the playing of taps aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Matthew Schneider.

(Mar. 1, 2015) - Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) conduct a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Matthew Schneider.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) conduct a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Matthew Schneider.

(Mar. 1, 2015) - (from the left) Cmdr. Steven Foley, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73 and Ambassador Robert Blake, ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, observe a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Matthew Schneider.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – (from the left) Cmdr. Steven Foley, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73 and Ambassador Robert Blake, ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, observe a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Machinery Repairman 3rd Class Matthew Schneider.

 (Mar. 1, 2015) - (from the left) Cmdr. Steven Foley, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), Ambassador Paul Grigson, ambassador designate of the Embassy of Australia in Indonesia, Ambassador Robert Blake, ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, and Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73, conduct a media availability after a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – (from the left) Cmdr. Steven Foley, commanding officer of the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), Ambassador Paul Grigson, ambassador designate of the Embassy of Australia in Indonesia, Ambassador Robert Blake, ambassador of the U.S. Embassy in Indonesia, and Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73, conduct a media availability after a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) - Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), bottom, the Australian Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84), top left, and Indonesian Navy vessels participate in a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102), bottom, the Australian Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84), top left, and Indonesian Navy vessels participate in a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) - Sailors aboard the Australian Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84) conduct a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Sailors aboard the Australian Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84) conduct a wreath laying ceremony held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

 (Mar. 1, 2015) - Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) and the Australian Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84), top, participate in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Sailors aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) and the Australian Armidale-class patrol boat HMAS Larrakia (ACPB 84), top, participate in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait. Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) - Participants in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, salute during the playing of taps aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Participants in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, salute during the playing of taps aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) - Participants in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, bow their heads during a moment of silence aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

(Mar. 1, 2015) – Participants in a wreath laying ceremony, held in commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Sunda Strait, bow their heads during a moment of silence aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102). Representatives from Australia, the U.S. and Indonesia visited the graves of HMAS Perth (D 29) and USS Houston (CA 30) which were sunk fighting Japanese naval forces March 1, 1942. More than 1,000 Australian and U.S. Sailors gave their lives during the battle. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Christopher Perez.

March 1942, the first U-boat sunk by U.S. forces in World War II.

US Navy‬ Reserve pilot Ensign William Tepuni, flying a Lockheed Hudson reconnaissance, light bombing and transport aircraft (PBO) from VP-82 squadron attacks and sinks German submarine U 656 southwest of Newfoundland.

Lockheed PBO “Hudson” Patrol Bomber. NHHC Photograph Collection, Visual-Aid Cards, Aviation.

Lockheed PBO “Hudson” Patrol Bomber. NHHC Photograph Collection, Visual-Aid Cards, Aviation.

Lockheed PBO “Hudson” Patrol Bomber.  Photographed circa 1942-43.  NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 94913.

Lockheed PBO “Hudson” Patrol Bomber.
Photographed circa 1942-43.
NHHC Photograph Collection, NH 94913.

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Fair Winds and Following Seas‬ to U.S. Army Reserve Veteran‬ and actor‪ Leonard Nimoy‬. Scotty … one shipmate to beam up.‪ Live Long And Prosper.‬

This laser disc is part of the U.S. Navy Artifact collection and is a limited edition for the movie StarTrek‬ VI The Undiscovered Country, displayed aboard USS Enterprise‬ (CVN 65).

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#MilitaryMonday: Iwo Jima Survivors Mark WWII Battle

Raising the US Flag on Mount Suribachi. The Pulizer Prize winning photograph of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising was shot by AP Photographer Joe Rosenthal.

Raising the US Flag on Mount Suribachi. The Pulizer Prize winning photograph of the Iwo Jima Flag Raising was shot by AP Photographer Joe Rosenthal.

“Do not expect to return home alive.”

Letters from Iwo Jima

Capt. Larry Snowden led a company of 230 Marines that landed on the beach of a small Japanese island on Feb. 19, 1945. Five weeks later, when Iwo Jima fell to U.S. forces after one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific during World War II, his unit’s losses reflected the steep cost of an historic victory.

LVTs on Iwo Jima

LVTs on Iwo Jima

American supplies being landed at Iwo Jima  a few hours after the Marines had wrested their foothold on the vital island via the US Navy and Coast Guard.

American supplies being landed at Iwo Jima a few hours after the Marines had wrested their foothold on the vital island via the US Navy and Coast Guard.

“When we walked off the island, 99 of us remained,” said Snowden, 93, the senior ranking survivor of the invasion, who retired from the Marines as a lieutenant general in 1979. “That’s a pretty high casualty rate.”

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Snowden spoke Thursday in Washington at a gathering of Iwo Jima survivors who marked the 70th anniversary of the start of the siege. Over the decades, the battle’s prominence has persisted, owing to a photograph that shows five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising an American flag on Mount Suribachi, the island’s highest point.

Yet it is the ferocity of the fighting that lingers in the memories of the men sent to Iwo Jima.

“The battle of Iwo Jima has become part of the very ethos of the Marine Corps. Your legacy transcends the capture of a faraway island in the Pacific long ago.”

– Gen. Joseph Dunford,

Commandant, US Marine Corps

Snowden’s company belonged to the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment of the 4th Marine Division. His unit went ashore the first day, part of the initial push of 30,000 U.S. troops, most of whom were Marines.

The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia

The Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Virginia

An additional 40,000 men later joined the struggle against 22,000 Japanese soldiers, who hid among an intricate network of tunnels and caves spanning the volcanic island 750 miles from mainland Japan. U.S. forces advanced as little as 50 yards a day in the early stages as both sides suffered massive casualties.

By the time combat ended on March 26, 1945, almost 7,000 American troops had been killed and more than 19,000 wounded. Almost 19,000 Japanese soldiers were killed as they followed the orders of Gen. Tadamichi Kuribayashi to fight to the death.

A monument on Mount Suribachi commemorates the Feb. 23, 1945 flag raising during the battle of Iwo Jima.

A monument on Mount Suribachi commemorates the Feb. 23, 1945 flag raising during the battle of Iwo Jima.

U.S. commanders realized only after the battle that they had overrated the strategic importance of the eight-square-mile island and its three airstrips. Iwo Jima nonetheless produced an incalculable morale boost to the American war effort when the photo of the six men raising the flag appeared in newspapers across the country.

Associated Press photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the moment on Feb. 23, 1945, the battle’s fourth day, and the image endures as a symbol of American resolve in wartime. Gen. Joseph Dunford, commandant of the Marine Corps, told the survivors that their triumph has reverberated across the generations.

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“The battle of Iwo Jima has become part of the very ethos of the Marine Corps,” he said. Dunford added that their example inspired Marines who fought in America’s most recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Your legacy transcends the capture of a faraway island in the Pacific long ago.”

Kenichiro Sasae, the Japanese ambassador to the United States, extolled the sacrifice of U.S. and Japanese soldiers alike. Referring to Japanese troops who defended the island as they moved underground, he said, “Mount Suribachi must have felt like a tomb waiting to be closed.”

Captain Snowden (2nd from right) and his Recon Team.

Captain Snowden (2nd from right) and his Recon Team.

Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz remarked in 1945 that, among U.S. troops on Iwo Jima, “uncommon valor was a common virtue.” Snowden, who led his company even after shrapnel from a mortar blast wounded him in the neck and head, described overcoming his injuries in more modest terms.

“Part of the game,” he said.

On the Web: Battle of Iwo Jima

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