#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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Saturday Reader: Warsaw Uprising at 71

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Today marks the 71st Anniversary of the World War II Resistance to Nazi Occupation in Poland.

Led by the Polish Home Army, the rebellion was the largest military effort by any European resistance group in World War II. The Nazis ended the uprising after 63 days, killing over 200,000 civilians..

Prompted by the Soviet‬ advance on the Eastern Front, the Home Army ‬Command gave the order to liberate the Polish‬ capital on 1 August 1944 at 5pm. In four days, the insurgents managed to capture most of west-bank Warsaw‬, including a number of key buildings, failing however to capture the bridges over the Vistula‬ river. The arrival of German reinforcements on 5 August, brought a massacre of 50,000 civilians in the western quarters of the city: ‪‎Wola‬ and Ochota‬. Despite ‪‎German‬ advantage in military‬ aircraft and armoured divisions, the Home Army resisted the enemy in the rest of the city, undertaking offensive strikes.

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Despite desperate efforts of the Polish Government-in-Exile, the Uprising received little outside help, limited to ammunition airdrops by the Royal Air Force as well as Polish, South African, and US aircraft. The Allied command refused, however, the deployment of the 1st Polish Independent Parachute Brigade which was operationalised in Holland instead. The ‪‎Red Army‬ stalled its advance on the right bank of the Vistula, allowing few volunteers from the Polish First Army to cross the river at their own risk.

The Uprising ended after 63 days. Crushing it, Nazi‬ Germans and their allies destroyed 85% of the city, killed 200,000 civilians, expelled further 700,000, of whom 150,000 were sent to labour camps.

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#MilitaryMonday

MilMon title image

Military Monday is a weekly feature in appreciation of the armed forces of the United States and its Allies.

1777, the Continental Congress adopts the design of the present U.S. flag. Journal entry reads: “Resolved, that the Flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the Union be thirteen stars, white on a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

The ‪‎US Navy‬ played a key role in our flag’s history: http://go.usa.gov/3EqJA

“140th Flag Day, 1777-1917”. Color lithograph shows a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above. 'Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave’ Library of Congress photograph

“140th Flag Day, 1777-1917”. Color lithograph shows a man raising the American flag, with a minuteman cheering and an eagle flying above. ‘Tis the Star Spangled Banner, oh, long may it wave, o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave’ Library of Congress photograph

The Birth of Old Glory. Artist Percy Morgan, circa 1917. Betsy Ross and two girls showing the U.S. Flag to George Washington and three other men. Library of Congress Photograph

The Birth of Old Glory. Artist Percy Morgan, circa 1917. Betsy Ross and two girls showing the U.S. Flag to George Washington and three other men. Library of Congress Photograph

U.S. Navy Sailors and Morning Colors. U.S. Navy photo

U.S. Navy Sailors and Morning Colors.
U.S. Navy photo

(April 5, 2011) Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) practice for the San Diego Padres opening day flag ceremony. Approximately 300 volunteers unfurled an 800-pound flag that covered the entire field. Bonhomme Richard is in dry dock for maintenance and upgrades through April. (U.S. Navy photo)

(April 5, 2011) Sailors assigned to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) practice for the San Diego Padres opening day flag ceremony. Approximately 300 volunteers unfurled an 800-pound flag that covered the entire field. Bonhomme Richard is in dry dock for maintenance and upgrades through April. (U.S. Navy photo)

Pacific Ocean (April 11, 2006) - The American flag flies high as the Utility Landing Craft (LCU 1635) travels to unload excess ammunition off of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is offloading her ammunition to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), which is preparing for a deployment to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Bryan Niegel

Pacific Ocean (April 11, 2006) – The American flag flies high as the Utility Landing Craft (LCU 1635) travels to unload excess ammunition off of the amphibious assault ship USS Tarawa (LHA 1). Tarawa is offloading her ammunition to the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), which is preparing for a deployment to the Persian Gulf. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate Airman Apprentice Bryan Niegel

1956, USS Canberra is recommissioned as (CAG 2) at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, Pa. Originally to be named USS Pittsburgh, the ship was renamed to honor the loss of HMAS Canberra during the Battle of Savo Island.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) eight-inch guns of Turret # 2 firing, during a Vietnam War gunfire support mission, March 1967. Note the two outgoing projectiles in the upper right corner. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) eight-inch guns of Turret # 2 firing, during a Vietnam War gunfire support mission, March 1967. Note the two outgoing projectiles in the upper right corner. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) underway on 9 January 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) underway on 9 January 1961. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower practicing his golf game, while on board USS Canberra (CAG 2) en route to Bermuda for a conference, 14 March 1957. The driving target and protective netting has been rigged on the main deck, just to starboard of the ship's Number Two eight-inch gun turret.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower practicing his golf game, while on board USS Canberra (CAG 2) en route to Bermuda for a conference, 14 March 1957. The driving target and protective netting has been rigged on the main deck, just to starboard of the ship’s Number Two eight-inch gun turret.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) crewmen sponge out a 8/55 gun of Turret # 2, following Vietnam War bombardment operations, March 1967. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

USS Canberra (CAG 2) crewmen sponge out a 8/55 gun of Turret # 2, following Vietnam War bombardment operations, March 1967. Photographed by Chief Journalist R.D. Moeser.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph.

1939, USS Saratoga (CV 3) and USS Kanawha (AO 1) complete a two-day underway refueling test off the coast of southern Calif., demonstrating the feasibility of refueling carriers at sea where bases are not available.

Painting by Walter L. Greene, 1927, depicting the USS Saratoga launching aircraft. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 42486-KN). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC

Painting by Walter L. Greene, 1927, depicting the USS Saratoga launching aircraft.
U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph (# NH 42486-KN). Courtesy of the Navy Art Collection, Washington, DC

USS Saratoga (CV 3) in the Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), Panama Canal, bound for the Pacific, on the morning of 7 February 1928. Naval Aviation Museum

USS Saratoga (CV 3) in the Gaillard Cut (Culebra Cut), Panama Canal, bound for the Pacific, on the morning of 7 February 1928.
Naval Aviation Museum

USS Kanawha (AO 1), probably at Noumea, New Caledonia, as seen from USS Wasp (CV 7) on the eve of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi invasion. Photo is dated 4 August 1942. Other ships present include, at right, USS San Juan (CL 54), an old "flush-deck" destroyer in center, and in the distance a heavy cruiser (left) and a transport (right). U.S. National Archives photo

USS Kanawha (AO 1), probably at Noumea, New Caledonia, as seen from USS Wasp (CV 7) on the eve of the Guadalcanal-Tulagi invasion. Photo is dated 4 August 1942. Other ships present include, at right, USS San Juan (CL 54), an old “flush-deck” destroyer in center, and in the distance a heavy cruiser (left) and a transport (right).
U.S. National Archives photo

USS Kanawha (AO 1), off Mare Island, California, 23 June 1915.  US Navy Photo Collection.

USS Kanawha (AO 1), off Mare Island, California, 23 June 1915. US Navy Photo Collection.

1881, the bark-rigged wooden steamship Jeannette sinks after she is crushed in an Arctic ice pack during the expedition to reach the North Pole through the Bering Strait. She departed in July 1879, entered the Arctic ice in September and is frozen in. The ship is eventually crushed and only 13 of her crew survive out of 33.

USS Jeannette (1879-1881). Composite photograph of the ship, and the officers of her Arctic expedition. Those shown are (clockwise from top center): Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, USN, Commanding Officer; Passed Assistant Surgeon James M. Ambler, USN; Chief Engineer George W. Melville, USN; Raymond Lee Newcomb, Naturalist and Astronomer; William Dunbar, Pilot; Jerome J. Collins, Correspondent for the "New York Herald"; Lieutenant John W. Danenhower, USN, Second Officer; and Lieutenant Charles W. Chipp, USN, Executive Officer. Donation of Captain T.S. Wilkinson, USN, 1934. USN Photo Collection.

USS Jeannette (1879-1881). Composite photograph of the ship, and the officers of her Arctic expedition. Those shown are (clockwise from top center): Lieutenant Commander George W. DeLong, USN, Commanding Officer; Passed Assistant Surgeon James M. Ambler, USN; Chief Engineer George W. Melville, USN; Raymond Lee Newcomb, Naturalist and Astronomer; William Dunbar, Pilot; Jerome J. Collins, Correspondent for the “New York Herald”; Lieutenant John W. Danenhower, USN, Second Officer; and Lieutenant Charles W. Chipp, USN, Executive Officer. Donation of Captain T.S. Wilkinson, USN, 1934. USN Photo Collection.

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. "The Sinking of the Jeannette" Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 575, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts USS Jeannette after she was crushed by ice flows north of Siberia on 12 June 1881. She sank in the morning of 13 June in position 77 14'57" N, 154 58'45"E.  USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. “The Sinking of the Jeannette” Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from “The Voyage of the Jeannette …”, Volume II, page 575, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts USS Jeannette after she was crushed by ice flows north of Siberia on 12 June 1881. She sank in the morning of 13 June in position 77 14’57” N, 154 58’45″E.
USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. Engraving of the expedition's survivors, based on a photograph taken at Yakutsk, Siberia, in 1882. Those present are (left to right, in front): Lauderback, Bartlett, William Coles, Seaman William F.C. Nindemann, and Mansen. (left to right, in middle): Chief Engineer George W. Melville and Lieutenant John W. Danenhower. (left to right, in back): Raymond Lee Newcomb (naturalist), Seaman Louis P. Noros, Henry Wilson, Tong Sing (cook), Anequin and H.W. Leach.  USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. Engraving of the expedition’s survivors, based on a photograph taken at Yakutsk, Siberia, in 1882. Those present are (left to right, in front): Lauderback, Bartlett, William Coles, Seaman William F.C. Nindemann, and Mansen. (left to right, in middle): Chief Engineer George W. Melville and Lieutenant John W. Danenhower. (left to right, in back): Raymond Lee Newcomb (naturalist), Seaman Louis P. Noros, Henry Wilson, Tong Sing (cook), Anequin and H.W. Leach.
USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. "Dragging the Boats over the Ice" Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from "The Voyage of the Jeannette ...", Volume II, page 629, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts the crew of USS Jeannette hauling the ship's boats over the very rough Arctic ice north of Siberia in June-August 1881. Jeannette had been crushed in the ice and sunk on 12-13 June. USN Photo Collection

Jeannette Arctic exploring expedition, 1879-1881. “Dragging the Boats over the Ice” Engraving by George T. Andrew after a design by M.J. Burns, copied from “The Voyage of the Jeannette …”, Volume II, page 629, edited by Emma DeLong, published in 1884. It depicts the crew of USS Jeannette hauling the ship’s boats over the very rough Arctic ice north of Siberia in June-August 1881. Jeannette had been crushed in the ice and sunk on 12-13 June.
USN Photo Collection

1916, USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) is commissioned and is the lead ship of the Pennsylvania class of a U.S. Navy super-dreadnought battleship. During her service to our nation, she received eight battle stars and one Navy Unit Commendation.

Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the interior of the Pennsylvania's (BB 38) wheelhouse, showing a binnacle, steering wheel and an engine order telegraph. Taken circa 1916-1918, it was published in about 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten images in a "Souvenir Folder" concerning Pennsylvania.  USN Photo

Halftone reproduction of a photograph of the interior of the Pennsylvania’s (BB 38) wheelhouse, showing a binnacle, steering wheel and an engine order telegraph. Taken circa 1916-1918, it was published in about 1919 by A.M. Simon, 324 E. 23rd St., New York City, as one of ten images in a “Souvenir Folder” concerning Pennsylvania.
USN Photo

USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) view of the battleship's forward 14/45 guns and her forward superstructure, circa the early 1930s. USN Photo

USS Pennsylvania (BB 38) view of the battleship’s forward 14/45 guns and her forward superstructure, circa the early 1930s.
USN Photo

Humorist Will Rogers with crewmen of USS Pennsylvania (BB 38), on the battleship's after deck, 28 March 1928. USN Photo

Humorist Will Rogers with crewmen of USS Pennsylvania (BB 38), on the battleship’s after deck, 28 March 1928.
USN Photo

Pennsylvania (BB 38) leading two other battleships during maneuvers, during the 1920s. The other ships are two of these three: Colorado (BB 45), Maryland (BB 46) and West Virginia(BB 48). USNHC # NH 63346, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

Pennsylvania (BB 38) leading two other battleships during maneuvers, during the 1920s. The other ships are two of these three: Colorado (BB 45), Maryland (BB 46) and West Virginia(BB 48). USNHC # NH 63346, from the collections of the Naval Historical Center.

June 1948 – The Women’s Armed Forces Integration Act provides for enlistment and appointment of women in the Navy Reserve.

WAVES take the oath. USN Photo.

WAVES take the oath.
USN Photo.

WAVES were first authorized to transfer to the ‪#‎USNavy‬. Pictured Front Row: YNC Wilma Juanita Marchal; YN2 Edna Earl Young; HM1 Ruth Flora. Back Row: AK1 K.L. Langdon, SK2 Frances Teresa Devaney, TE2 Doris Roberta Robertson. Also pictured Capt. Joy B. Hancock, director of the Women’s Reserve, Secretary of the Navy John Sullivan, and Rear Adm. L. Russell, Judge Advocate General. For more Navy Reserve history visit http://navyreservecentennial.com/

1944, one of our nation’s most famous battleships, USS Missouri (BB 63) is commissioned. USS Missouri was the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan which ended WWII‬.

Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945  Adm. William F. Halsey and Vice Admiral John S. McCain on board USS Missouri (BB 63) shortly after the conclusion of the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945. Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN.

Surrender of Japan, Tokyo Bay, 2 September 1945
Adm. William F. Halsey and Vice Admiral John S. McCain on board USS Missouri (BB 63) shortly after the conclusion of the surrender ceremonies, 2 September 1945. Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN.

USS Missouri (BB 63) Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter (Bureau # 122527) landing on the forward 16-inch gun turret, during the 1948 Midshipmen's cruise. Guard mail, ships' newspapers and personnel were exchanged via helicopter while the Midshipmen's cruise squadron was at sea. Most exchanges were made by hovering pick-up. The forward turret was used as a landing platform since the floatplane catapults on the ship's fantail prevented helicopters from operating there.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB 63) Sikorski HO3S-1 helicopter (Bureau # 122527) landing on the forward 16-inch gun turret, during the 1948 Midshipmen’s cruise. Guard mail, ships’ newspapers and personnel were exchanged via helicopter while the Midshipmen’s cruise squadron was at sea. Most exchanges were made by hovering pick-up. The forward turret was used as a landing platform since the floatplane catapults on the ship’s fantail prevented helicopters from operating there.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB-63) ship's crew and midshipmen celebrate the fourth anniversary of V-J Day, during the Midshipmen's cruise, 2 September 1949. They are gathered around the plaque that marks the spot where Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945. Turret Two is trained as it was during the surrender ceremonies.  Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB-63) ship’s crew and midshipmen celebrate the fourth anniversary of V-J Day, during the Midshipmen’s cruise, 2 September 1949. They are gathered around the plaque that marks the spot where Japan surrendered on 2 September 1945. Turret Two is trained as it was during the surrender ceremonies.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.

USS Missouri (BB 63) in port, circa 1948, with a motor launch full of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen passing by in the foreground. U.S. Navy Photo Collection.

USS Missouri (BB 63) in port, circa 1948, with a motor launch full of U.S. Naval Academy Midshipmen passing by in the foreground. U.S. Navy Photo Collection.

For the US Army’s 240th Birthday, here’s one example of One Team operating together: “The Tokyo Raid By the 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)

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Little Known History: The Boy Who Didn’t Want To Be Photographed With Hitler

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1936: Gerhard Bartels, age 4, with Hitler.

Gerhard Bartels speaks about being photographed with Hitler, and being used for Nazi propaganda.

With his blue eyes, fair hair and Aryan features Gerhard Bartels was the perfect Nazi poster child. And, because his uncle was a friend of Adolf Hitler, being pictured with the dictator became an annual event for the youngster.

In the years before the outbreak of the Second World War his face appeared on postcards, books and campaigns for the regime.

Eight decades later, Mr Bartels, 83, has spoken for the first time about being used by the Nazi propaganda machine.

He said that in 1936, aged four, his parents told him to put on his best clothes because he was ‘going to meet the Fuhrer’.

‘I was not allowed to play with the other children that day in case I might get my clothes dirty,’ Mr Bartels recalled.

Gerhard Bartels, now 80, with the first of several photos with the German dictator.

Gerhard Bartels, now 80, with the first of several photos with the German dictator.

‘I didn’t like that, I just wanted to be out with the other children.’ Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s personal photographer, captured the images that were used to promote Nazi campaigns for the adoption of Aryan children.

Hitler was a regular visitor to Weiss’s Bavarian hotel, which was next to the Alpenhof guesthouse owned by Mr Bartels’ parents.

Mr Bartels, who still works in the Alpine hotel, said: ‘Hitler was just a gangster. The Nazis used me for propaganda purposes. I was used to show Hitler loved children.

‘But every dictator did the same, from Mussolini to Stalin. I was also chosen because I obviously fitted what Hitler thought a good Aryan child should look like.’

Mr Bartels said that he defied instructions to greet Hitler with the customary words ‘Heil Mein Fuhrer’. He added: ‘Even at such a young age, deep down I knew I was being manipulated.’

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VE Day Reader: A Polish Girl’s Holocaust Diary

Rutka Laskier and her baby brother in 1938. They were both murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.

Rutka Laskier and her baby brother in 1938. They were both murdered in Auschwitz in 1943.

A teenage Jewish girl living under the Nazis in Poland during 1943 feared she was “turning into an animal waiting to die”, according to her diary, which documents the final months before her death in the Auschwitz concentration camp.

Rutka Laskier, 14, the same age as the Dutch teenager Anne Frank, wrote the 60-page diary over a four-month period in Bedzin, Poland. The diary, published by Israel’s Holocaust museum, documents the steady collapse of the ghetto under the weight of the Nazi occupation and deportations, as well as the first loves, friendships and jealousies of an adolescent girl growing up during the war.

News of the concentration camps, including Auschwitz, and the brutal killings of Jews, filtered through to her.

Writing on February 5 1943, she said:

“I simply can’t believe that one day I will be allowed to leave this house without the yellow star. Or even that this war will end one day. If this happens I will probably lose my mind from joy.

“The little faith I used to have has been completely shattered. If God existed, he would have certainly not permitted that human beings be thrown alive into furnaces, and the heads of little toddlers be smashed with the butt of guns or be shoved into sacks and gassed to death.”

Later she wrote: “The rope around us is getting tighter and tighter. I’m turning into an animal waiting to die.” Her final entry is brief: “I’m very bored. The entire day I’m walking around the room. I have nothing to do.”

The last entry is dated April 24 1943, at which point she hid the notebook in the basement of the house her family were living in, a building that had been confiscated by the Nazis to be part of the Bedzin ghetto. In August that year, the teenager and her family were transported to the Auschwitz concentration camp and it is thought she was killed immediately.

The diary was found after the war by Stanislawa Sapinska, a Christian whose family owned the house lived in by the Laskiers, and who had met Rutka several times during the war.

Ms Sapinska, now in her late 80s, took the diary and kept it secret for more than 60 years until one of her nephews last year convinced her to present it to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust museum and archive in Jerusalem.

“She wanted me to save the diary,” Ms Sapinska told the Associated Press. “She said ‘I don’t know if I will survive, but I want the diary to live on, so that everyone will know what happened to the Jews’.”

The diary was authenticated by Yad Vashem, which has now published it as Rutka’s Notebook, in Hebrew and English. Rutka’s father, Yaakov, was the only member of the family to survive the camp. He moved to Israel and had a new family. He died in 1986.

His daughter in Israel, Zahava Sherz, who has written a foreword to the diary, knew nothing about Rutka before the journal surfaced. “I was struck by this deep connection to Rutka,” said Dr Sherz, 57. “I was an only child, and now I suddenly have an older sister. This black hole was suddenly filled and I immediately fell in love with her.”

Diary entry from February 20 1943

“I have a feeling that I am writing for the last time. There is an Aktion [a Nazi arrest operation] in town. I’m not allowed to go out and I’m going crazy, imprisoned in my own house. For a few days, something’s in the air. The town is breathlessly waiting in anticipation, and this anticipation is the worst of all. I wish it would end already! This torment; this is hell.

“I try to escape from these thoughts, of the next day, but they keep haunting me like nagging flies. If only I could say, it’s over, you only die once. But I can’t, because despite all these atrocities I want to live, and wait for the following day. That means waiting for Auschwitz or labour camp. I must not think about this so now I’ll start writing about private matters.”

Crash

#MilitaryMonday: 73rd Anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

Less than 300 feet. Could this really work? It had barely succeeded in practice runs (and those were from the comforts of Eglin Airfield's endless runway.) Now here they were, aboard the seemingly inadequate deck of the USS Hornet - pitching and heaving in the swells of the Pacific.

Less than 300 feet. Could this really work? It had barely succeeded in practice runs (and those were from the comforts of Eglin Airfield’s endless runway.) Now here they were, aboard the seemingly inadequate deck of the USS Hornet – pitching and heaving in the swells of the Pacific.

It’s April 1942 and in the first attack of the Japanese mainland during World War II, the Doolittle Raid begins with 16 Army Air Force B-25 bombers launching from USS Hornet‬ (CV 8), approximately 650 miles off Japan due to being discovered by a Japanese guardboat. U.S. Pacific Fleet

Embarrassed by the attack, the Japanese high command resolves to eliminate the risk of any more raids by destroying America’s aircraft carriers, moving up a decision that leads them to disaster at the Battle of Midway six weeks later in June 1942.

Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle, USAAF. Courtesy of US National Archives

Lt. Gen. James H. Doolittle, USAAF.
Courtesy of US National Archives

Nobody spoke. The B-25’s engines droned on. Co-pilot Lt. Rich Cole’s dogtags clinked and vibrated as the engines grew louder. One last look at the sweetheart – a small photo wedged into the instrument panel.

“God, I hope we covered the checklist,” he silently thought to himself. “Boss will be mad if we didn’t.”

Daring was too weak a description for what these raiders were attempting to pull off. This would alter history … If it were to work.

Failure was not an option.

Cole took a deep breath and pushed the throttle forward.

Less than 19 weeks after the U.S. Navy was attacked at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, the American military struck back. On April 18, 1942 – 72 years ago this month – sixteen Army Air Force bombers launched from a Navy aircraft carrier to attack the enemy’s homeland.

Led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, the raid was launched from USS Hornet, commanded by Capt. Marc Mitscher and escorted by ships under the command of Vice Adm. “Bull” Halsey aboard his flagship, USS Enterprise.

The extraordinary joint Doolittle Raid showed Imperial Japan’s military leaders their vulnerability and America’s resolve.

The raid also demonstrated innovation, courage and resilience.

The five-man B-25 crews trained relentlessly prior to their mission, with specialized training led by Navy flight instructor Lt. Henry F. Miller. The Army Air Force made ingenious modifications so the bombers could have extra fuel but less weight.

Pilots, all volunteers, needed to be extremely fearless, taking off in their huge planes from a short flight deck. On rough seas they launched in bitter cold, 75-knot winds and foam-flecked spray, as Sailors aboard recalled.

Doolittle, as his team’s leader, took off first. His success inspired the other pilots just as their entire mission would inspire the nation – putting action to the nationwide words of resolve heard throughout the world: “Remember Pearl Harbor!”

The innovation, courage and resilience demonstrated by Halsey and Doolittle and countless others carried over into the weeks and months that followed – first in the Battle of the Coral Sea and then, in the big turning point of the War in the Pacific – the Battle of Midway.

Historians tell us that the Doolittle Raid contributed strategically to our victory at Midway, as the enemy felt humiliated and overextended to try to prevent another attack on their homeland.

The Doolittle Raid is also an early example of the evolution of “air sea battle,” integrating air and naval capabilities across domains, where collaboration and cooperation helped win the day – and eventually win the war. We remember the heroes of the Doolittle Raid.

This strategically important event is particularly meaningful to our joint team today. This uniquely shared accomplishment is a reminder of what we have the potential to accomplish when we mutually support each other.

The Doolittle Raiders – The Mission

On April 18, 1942, it was a “nice sun-shiny day overcast with anti-aircraft fire,” according to Army Air Force Tech. Sgt. Eldred V. Scott.

Over Tokyo, anyway.

Scott’s weather quip signaled the near completion of the Doolittle Raiders’ mission on that day 72 years ago today. But it was just the beginning of the unknown for the 80 men and their 16 planes.

Seven of those airmen would never return home. None of the planes did. While the bombing mission itself was relatively minor in terms of damage inflicted, the raid set into motion what would become a pivotal naval victory for the U. S. at the Battle of Midway.

The Doolittle Raid featured Army Air Force pilots and planes, but it was a joint effort with the Navy. The raid itself was concocted by Navy Capt. Francis Lowe. Another Navy officer, Lt. Henry L. Miller, is one of two men named as “Honorary Tokyo Raiders.” Miller supervised the take-off training the pilots received at Eglin Field, Fla., and was there for the raid launch. The other was Tung Sheng Liu, a Chinese engineer who helped several Tokyo Raiders escape to safety.

And it was the Navy that provided the transportation – via USS Hornet (CV 8) and her escorts – to the launch point.

The Navy wasn’t without its losses for the Tokyo Raid. One patrol plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire, landing in the water, but the crew was recovered uninjured. Another patrol plane was lost during patrol operations, with both the plane and crew lost. And during the hour-long launch, a Sailor lost his arm after being hit by the final B-25 when it rolled backward out of position, striking him with its propeller.

Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942. Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, USAAF (front), leader of the raiding force, wires a Japanese medal to a 500-pound bomb, during ceremonies on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV 8), shortly before his force of sixteen B-25B bombers took off for Japan. The planes were launched on 18 April 1942. The wartime censor has obscured unit patches of the Air Force flight crew members in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-41191

Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 1942. Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle, USAAF (front), leader of the raiding force, wires a Japanese medal to a 500-pound bomb, during ceremonies on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV 8), shortly before his force of sixteen B-25B bombers took off for Japan. The planes were launched on 18 April 1942. The wartime censor has obscured unit patches of the Air Force flight crew members in the background. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives, 80-G-41191

From Conception to Launch

After Pearl Harbor, there was pressure from the commander-in-chief to strike back at Japan. Using carrier-capable aircraft to strike the enemy’s homeland would put a carrier task force into harm’s way for a counterattack, since the lighter Navy planes didn’t have the range of land-based bomb-delivering aircraft. And with only three aircraft carriers left in the Pacific fleet after Pearl Harbor, the U.S. needed to protect every asset.

Navy Capt. Francis Lowe, assigned to U.S. Fleet Commander Adm. Ernest J. King, had seen B-25s taking off from Norfolk, Va., using airstrips shaped a little like a carrier deck, minus the rolling waves. The Mitchell medium bombers, which had never been used in combat before, had the range and the wing-span that would allow for carrier takeoff. Lt. Col. James H. “Jimmy” Doolittle, an air racer who had helped develop instrument flying, was brought in to investigate the feasibility of such a mission, along with Adm. King’s Air Ops officer, Capt. Donald B. “Wu” Duncan.

The newly-commissioned aircraft carrier Hornet left Norfolk under the command of Capt. MarcMitscher to join a convoy to the Panama Canal. Meanwhile Doolittle had chosen his raiders, 5-man crews for the 16 planes, and was training for 500-foot takeoffs at Eglin Field, Fla., under the guidance of Lt. Miller. At the end of March, Hornet docked at Alameda, Calif. Using cranes, 16 B-25s were loaded onto the ship’s deck. With all of the planes loaded and lashed to the deck, the Hornet moored in the bay for the night. It was April 1.

The following morning, Hornet’s crew was made aware of their mission.

Army B-25’s onboard the USS Hornet while en route to their launching point April 18, 1942. (NH 53426 Courtesy of the NHHC Photo archives)

Army B-25’s onboard the USS Hornet while en route to their launching point April 18, 1942. (NH 53426 Courtesy of the NHHC Photo archives)

On April 7, naval operation plan No. 20-42 was issued, creating Task Force 16, with Task Group 16.1 under Vice Adm. William “Bull” Halsey with flagship carrier Enterprise (CV 6) and her escorts. Task Group 16.2 was headed by Capt. Mitscher with his carrier Hornet (CV 8) and her escorts.

The instructions were simple. Proceed after joining up to carry out the attack; upon completion return to Pearl Harbor; destroy enemy forces as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the attack. The two task groups met up April 13 and proceeded to steam toward a point 500 miles east of Tokyo, where they would launch the attack.

To prepare each B-25, loaded with a one-ton bomb, for its mission and flight to a safe zone in China, engineers removed the tail gunner section, painting broomsticks to look like machine guns. A rubber fuel tank was installed in the tail section, along with 10 5-gallon gas cans for manual fuel addition during the flight to a tank installed where the lower gun turret was, and a larger tank located in the bomb bay. The total fuel payload was 1,141 gallons for a 2,000-mile range.

An Army Air Forces B-25B bomber awaits the takeoff signal on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV-8), as the raid is launched, 18 April 1942. Note Flight Deck Officer holding launch flag at right, and white stripes painted on the flight deck to guide the pilot's alignment of his plane's nose and port side wheels. Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives (photo # 80-G-41194).

An Army Air Forces B-25B bomber awaits the takeoff signal on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV-8), as the raid is launched, 18 April 1942. Note Flight Deck Officer holding launch flag at right, and white stripes painted on the flight deck to guide the pilot’s alignment of his plane’s nose and port side wheels.
Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives (photo # 80-G-41194).

Air patrols scouted the sea looking for enemy ships that could relay their location back to Japan, and submarines Trout and Thresher kept a steady surveillance.

After plowing through gale-force winds of 36 knots during the afternoon of April 17, enemy vessels were picked up on radar at 3:12 a.m. April 18. A light on the horizon confirmed their presence. The task group changed direction by 350 degrees and 30 minutes later, the vessels left the radar screen.

At 7:15 a.m., an Enterprise search plane reported an enemy patrol vessel and the task force sighted it at 7:44 a.m. Nashville dispatched the vessel with gunfire. Over concern the vessel had alerted the Japanese of their presence, Doolittle decided to launch the planes immediately, still 400 miles from their original launch destination.

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, USAAF, (center) with members of his flight crew and Chinese officials in China after the 18 April 1942 attack on Japan. Those present are (from left to right): Staff Sergeant Fred A. Braemer, Bombardier; Staff Sergeant Paul J. Leonard, Flight Engineer/Gunner; General Ho, director of the Branch Government of Western Chekiang Province; Lieutenant Richard E. Cole, Copilot; Lt.Col. Doolittle, Pilot and mission commander; Henry H. Shen, bank manager; Lieutenant Henry A. Potter, Navigator; Chao Foo Ki, secretary of the Western Chekiang Province Branch Government. Official U.S. Army Air Forces Photograph, from the collections of the US Navy Museum (# 97502).

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, USAAF, (center) with members of his flight crew and Chinese officials in China after the 18 April 1942 attack on Japan.
Those present are (from left to right): Staff Sergeant Fred A. Braemer, Bombardier; Staff Sergeant Paul J. Leonard, Flight Engineer/Gunner; General Ho, director of the Branch Government of Western Chekiang Province; Lieutenant Richard E. Cole, Copilot; Lt.Col. Doolittle, Pilot and mission commander; Henry H. Shen, bank manager; Lieutenant Henry A. Potter, Navigator; Chao Foo Ki, secretary of the Western Chekiang Province Branch Government.
Official U.S. Army Air Forces Photograph, from the collections of the US Navy Museum (# 97502).

The first B-25, flown by Lt. Col. Doolittle, launched at 8:20 a.m. The take-offs were timed for when the ship’s bow pitched highest to give the Mitchell more loft. The average time between takeoffs was less than four minutes. The last B-25 left at 9:19 a.m.

Around 2 p.m., aircraft from Enterprise picked up two more enemy vessels, sinking one and damaging the other.

It wasn’t until after the war the Navy was able to confirm crew on the patrol boat had alerted the Japanese of their location. But when they requested confirmation, there was no answer since the vessel had already been sunk. Getting no response, the Japanese government chose to ignore the message.

The Doolittle Raiders faced some resistance from antiaircraft fire, but most were able to hit their 10 civilian and military targets in Japan. The repercussions of the U.S. hitting the Japanese homeland set in motion a tsunami-like strategic response that would ultimately change the tides of war to an American victory.

Nose of one of the raiding force's B-25B bombers, which is tied down on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV-8) while en route to the takeoff point. This aircraft is mission plane # 11 (USAAF serial # 40-2249), nicknamed "Hari Carrier" and decorated accordingly. The plane's pilot was Capt. C. Ross Greening. It attacked targets in Yokohama. Note slippage mark on the nosewheel and tire, and inscription on the wheel cover: "Inflating instructions inside — check tire pressure daily". USNHHC photograph (#NH 53287).

Nose of one of the raiding force’s B-25B bombers, which is tied down on the flight deck of USS Hornet (CV-8) while en route to the takeoff point. This aircraft is mission plane # 11 (USAAF serial # 40-2249), nicknamed “Hari Carrier” and decorated accordingly. The plane’s pilot was Capt. C. Ross Greening. It attacked targets in Yokohama. Note slippage mark on the nosewheel and tire, and inscription on the wheel cover: “Inflating instructions inside — check tire pressure daily”.
USNHHC photograph (#NH 53287).

Army Air Force Raid That Set Up Naval Victory

After Doolittle’s Raiders dropped bombs on Tokyo, the Japanese military reaction was swift and vengeful. Japanese Combined Fleet commander Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto decided to strike the United States’ mid-Pacific base at Midway atoll and turn it into a Japanese air field. Yamamoto knew the U.S. had insufficient strength to defeat his Royal Imperial Navy, which could generally choose where and when to attack.

The Americans, however, had deduced Yamamoto’s attack through communications intelligence. Adm. Chester Nimitz, the U.S. Pacific Fleet commander, established an ambush and was waiting for the Imperial Navy. The second of the Pacific War’s great carrier battles began June 4, 1942, and by the end, Yamamoto’s forces lost four fleet carriers compared to just one for the United States.

The Battle of Midway had leveled the naval playing field for the American naval force. The base at Midway, though damaged by Japanese air attack, remained operational and later became a vital component in the American trans-Pacific offensive, which soon had the Japanese Imperial Navy on the ropes.

An Army Air Force B25B bomber takes off from USS Hornet (CV 8) at the start of the raid, April 18, 1942. Note men watching from the signal lamp platform at right. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives – Courtesy of the NHHC Photo archives)

An Army Air Force B25B bomber takes off from USS Hornet (CV 8) at the start of the raid, April 18, 1942. Note men watching from the signal lamp platform at right. (Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the U.S. National Archives – Courtesy of the NHHC Photo archives)

Best Laid Plans…

After completing their bombing mission, finding safe haven would be the Raiders’ toughest task. Taking off 400 miles sooner than planned had the planes nearly empty on fuel as they headed toward China. Of the 16 planes, 15 either crash-landed or crew bailed out. Only one plane landed – in Russia – where the crew was held as prisoners with liberal privileges. They escaped 13 months after the raid to a British consulate in Iran.

Seven Doolittle Raiders were killed in the mission: Two drowned and a third was killed by the fall after bailing out; eight were captured by the Japanese. Three of the eight POWs were executed Oct. 15, 1942, and another died of malnutrition Dec. 1, 1943. The surviving four POWs were released in August 1945.

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle (left front), leader of the attacking force, and Captain Marc A. Mitscher, Commanding Officer of USS Hornet (CV-8), pose with a 500-pound bomb and USAAF aircrew members during ceremonies on Hornet's flight deck, while the raid task force was en route to the launching point. NHHC photo (# NH 64472).

Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle (left front), leader of the attacking force, and Captain Marc A. Mitscher, Commanding Officer of USS Hornet (CV-8), pose with a 500-pound bomb and USAAF aircrew members during ceremonies on Hornet’s flight deck, while the raid task force was en route to the launching point.
NHHC photo (# NH 64472).

The Raiders who landed in China were assisted by American missionary Rev. John M. Birch, whose contacts within Japanese-occupied China helped the Raiders to escape. Afterward, Birch was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army Air Force, continuing his work as a missionary while gathering intelligence on the Japanese. He was killed Aug. 25, 1945, at the age of 27, during a confrontation with Chinese Communists. The John Birch Society honors Birch, a recipient of both the Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal.

Even though the Doolittle Raiders bombed Tokyo, it was the Chinese who suffered the most from the raid. Furious the Chinese nationalists were protecting the Americans, the Japanese retaliated against several coastal cities suspected of harboring the Americans, killing an estimated 250,000 Chinese citizens.

Brig. Gen James Doolittl poses beside an Air Corps recruiting poster that alluded to his bombing raid on Japan in April 1942. c. 1943.

Brig. Gen James Doolittl poses beside an Air Corps recruiting poster that alluded to his bombing raid on Japan in April 1942. c. 1943.

Doolittle was so convinced his mission had been a failure, he was convinced he would face a court-martial upon his return to the United States. Instead, he was promoted to general, skipping the rank of colonel. He and all of his Raiders were awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Mitscher served in a variety of command leadership positions for the rest of World War II, earning the rank of admiral and title as Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet.

Capt. Lowe, a submariner, was promoted to rear admiral and as Chief of Staff of the 10th Fleet, guided the Atlantic anti-submarine effort. He was also commander of the Cruiser Division 16, which supported the Okinawa invasion and participated in several strikes against the Japanese. After the war, he supervised the surrender and neutralization of Japanese installations in the Pacific. By his retirement in 1956, Lowe had achieved the rank of admiral due to his leadership and combat actions.

Photo # 80-G-41197  USS Hornet launches B-25 bombers on the Doolittle Raid.

Photo # 80-G-41197
USS Hornet launches B-25 bombers on the Doolittle Raid.

Flight instructor Miller earned a Legion of Merit for his duties in training the Doolittle Raider pilots. He served with distinction throughout his career in the Navy, serving in Vietnam and launching the first aircraft carrier strikes on North Vietnam from the decks of Ranger (CV 61), Coral Sea (CV 43) and Hancock (CV 19). On Dec. 2, 1965, he engaged the first nuclear powered Task Force Enterprise (CVN 65) and Bainbridge (DLGN 25) against Vietnam. Miller retired as a Rear Admiral in 1971.

Just weeks after Doolittle’s Raiders flew off her deck, Hornet fought gallantly in the Battle of Midway, where her aircraft shared in the sinking of a Japanese cruiser. During the fight for Guadalcanal, Hornet was the only remaining operational carrier to oppose the enemy.

It was during the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands, while Hornet’s aircraft attacked and damaged a Japanese carrier, the carrier suffered irreparable damage from torpedoes and kamikazes. After her crew was forced to abandon ship and American attempts to scuttle her failed, Hornet remained afloat until she was torpedoed and sunk by Japanese ships Oct. 27, 1942.

Of the more than 260 American deaths during the battle, 118 came from Hornet, the last U.S. fleet carrier ever sunk by enemy fire.

Hornet was awarded four service stars for her World War II action and Torpedo Squadron 8 earned a Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism during the Battle of Midway.

Medal to commemorate Doolittle's Raid on Tokyo, April 18, 1942 (obverse and reverse). CMU War Collection

Medal to commemorate Doolittle’s Raid on Tokyo, April 18, 1942 (obverse and reverse).
CMU War Collection

As for Tech. Sgt. Scott, he successfully bailed out over Chun King, China. Upon his return to the U.S. in Aug. 1942, Scott entered officer candidate school, and then served overseas as an aircraft maintenance officer for the rest of World War II, and through both the Korean and Cold wars, retiring from active duty in 1959 as a lieutenant colonel. He died in 1978 at the age of 71.

On the Web:

Doolittle Raid, 18 April 1942 – download the PowerPoint plans of the raid

Official Doolittle Raiders site

Other Official Doolittle Raiders site

Navy’s Role In Doolittle Raid Honored

James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle

USS Hornet (CV-8)

USS Enterprise (CV-6)

Crash

Sources:

  • Chang, Iris. The Rape of Nanking. New York: Basic Books, 1997. ISBN 0-465-06835-9.
  • Chun, Clayton K.S. The Doolittle Raid 1942: America’s First Strike Back at Japan (Campaign: 16). Botley, Oxford, UK: Osprey, 2006. ISBN 1-84176-918-5.
  • Coletta, Paolo. “Launching the Doolittle Raid on Japan, April 18, 1942”. The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 63, No. 1, February 1993.
  • Craig, John S. Peculiar Liaisons: In War, Espionage, and Terrorism in the Twentieth Century. New York: Algora Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-0-87586-331-3.
  • Craven, Wesley Frank and James Lea Cate, series editors. “Chapter 12: Drawing the Battle Line in the Pacific”. Army Air Forces in World War II, Vol. I: Plans and Early Operations, January 1939 to August 1942 . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1948. (Air Force Historical Studies Office internet edition.)
  • Culbertson, Charles. Forgotten Hero: The Story of Jack Manch, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo and the Self-Sacrifice of An American Warrior. Staunton, Virginia: Clarion Publishing, 2013. ISBN 978-1493501847.
  • Doolittle, James H. and Carroll V. Glines. I Could Never Be So Lucky Again: An Autobiography. New York: Bantam Books, 1991. ISBN 0-553-58464-2.
  • Emmens, Robert G. Guests of the Kremlin. San Rafael, California: Ishi Press International, 2007. ISBN 0-923891-81-1.
  • Gill, G. Hermon. “Volume II – Royal Australian Navy, 1942–1945.” Australia in the War of 1939–1945. Canberra: Australian War Memorial, 1968.
  • Glines, Carroll V. The Doolittle Raid: America’s Daring First Strike Against Japan. New York: Orion Books, 1988. ISBN 0-88740-347-6
  • Doolittle’s Tokyo Raiders. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1981, First edition 1968. ISBN 978-0-44202-726-1.
  • Four Came Home: The Gripping Story of the Survivors of Jimmy Doolittle’s Two Lost Crews . New York: Van Nostrad Reinhold, 1981, First edition 1966. ISBN 978-1-57510-007-4.
  • Glover, Charles E. “Jimmy Doolittle’s One Moment in Time.” The Palm Beach Post, 18 April 1992.
  • Lawson, Ted W. and Robert Considine, ed.Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. New York: Random House, Inc., 1943.
  • Martin, Adrian R., and Larry W. Stephenson. Operation Plum: The Ill-fated 27th Bombardment Group and the Fight For the Western Pacific. College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2008. ISBN 1-60344-019-4.
  • Nelson, Craig. The First Heroes: The Extraordinary Story of the Doolittle Raid—America’s First World War II Victory. London: Penguin Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-14-200341-1.
  • Oxford, Edward. “Against All Odds: B-25 Bombers Strike Japan in 1942.” American History Illustrated, March–April 1992.
  • Prange, Gordon W., Donald M. Goldstein and Katherine V. Dillon. Miracle at Midway. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1982. ISBN 0-07-050672-8.
  • Tillman, Barrett. Enterprise: America’s Fightingest Ship and the Men Who Helped win World War II. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2012. ISBN 978-1-4391-9087-6.
  • Watson, Charles Hoyt. DeShazer: The Doolittle Raider Who Turned Missionary. Winona Lake, Indiana: The Light and Life Press, 1950.
  • Yamamoto, Masahiro. Nanking: Anatomy of an Atrocity. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 2000. ISBN 978-0-2759-6904-2.

Friday Reader: The Real Stalag 13

A US Army M4 Sherman tank of the 47th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division, crashes through the fence of Oflag XIII-B, April 6, 1945.

A US Army M4 Sherman tank of the 47th Tank Battalion, 14th Armored Division, crashes through the fence of Oflag XIII-B, April 6, 1945.

Stalag 13 didn’t just exist in the celluloid world of Hogan’s Heroes. There really was a POW camp called Stalag 13 (or Stalag XIII C) on the outskirts of Hammelburg, about 50 miles (80 km) east of Frankfurt.

Oflag XIII-B was a German Army World War II prisoner-of-war camp camp for officers (Offizierlager), originally in the Langwasser district of Nuremberg. In 1943 it was moved to a site 3 km (1.9 mi) south of the town of Hammelburg in Lower Franconia, Bavaria, Germany.

In 1893, the Kaiser created a training camp for German soldiers in a large forested area about 2.5 miles (4 km) south of Hammelburg. This training area was called Lager Hammelburg (or Camp Hammelburg) and it still goes by that name.

Lager Hammelburg and the Town of Hammelburg, 1920's (Truppen-Übungsplatz is the camp)

Lager Hammelburg and the Town of Hammelburg, 1920’s
(Truppen-Übungsplatz is the camp)

During World War I, the camp was used to house Allied prisoners of war and in 1920, a Children’s Home was established on the premises.

The Home for poor children was run by the Benedictine nuns and expanded over the years to take over many of the buildings. When it closed in 1930, over 60,000 children had been cared for there.

Lager Hammelburg in 1916

Lager Hammelburg in 1916

How the camp looked in 1938 when an artillery regiment was stationed there:

Future Stalag 13C (or rather Oflag 13B), 1938

Future Stalag 13C (or rather Oflag 13B), 1938

Lager Hammelburg, 1938

Lager Hammelburg, 1938

An expansion of the camp in 1938 swallowed two nearby villages. The ghost town of Bonnland is still there and is now used for urban warfare training.

The Birth of Stalag 13

In the summer of 1940, the southern end of the camp was prepared for prisoners of war from the enlisted ranks. The camp was called Stammlager XIII C, or Stalag XIII C for short, and wooden barracks were built to house POWs of a variety of nationalities.

The first to arrive were the Dutch, Belgian and French soldiers captured during the Blitzkrieg invasion of France in 1940.

In 1941, Serbian, Polish and Russian soldiers joined them after battles on the eastern front; the Serbians arrived in the spring, and the Russians in the summer.

Some of the British, Australian and other Commonwealth soldiers captured in the fighting in Crete in 1941 also ended up in the camp.

Australian POW's at Stalag 13

Australian POW’s at Stalag 13

The third man from the right, bottom row, is Arthur Hunt, father-in-law of the contributor of the photo. Below is the reverse side of the photo, with the official Stalag XIII C stamp.

Other side of the photo.

Other side of the photo.

Here’s an interesting article about an Australian POW and undercover work at Stalag 13.

After the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944, several hundred captured American officers were sent to Oflag 13B. More Americans started arriving from camps in the east as the Russian army advanced.

The Lager held over 30,000 POW’s, with the Russians as the largest group. As required by the Geneva Convention, different nationalities were housed separately.

Junior enlisted prisoners, corporal and below, were required to work. These POW’s were assigned to work units in neighboring factories, farms and forests. They lived outside the camp and were guarded by a battalion of Home Guards (Landschützen).

The real Kommandants of Stalag 13 between 1940 and 1945 were Lieutenant Colonel von Crailsheim, Colonel Franck and Colonel Westmann.

Officer’s Camp

The officers were housed in stone buildings at the northern end of the camp (the Nordlager), separately from the enlisted prisoners, except for a handful of privates and NCO’s who assisted the officers. This camp was called Offizierlager XIII B, or Oflag 13 B.

The officers’ camp was divided into two sections: Serbian and American.

In the spring of 1941, 6,000 Serbian officers arrived, and they witnessed the arrival of the Russian prisoners a few months later.

Judging from the large number of Russians buried at the camp (over 3000), the appalling treatment of Russian POW’s in general, and a report from a Serbian officer at Oflag 13B, it appears the Russian prisoners were treated very poorly and had a very high mortality rate, unlike most of the other nationalities.

Among the Russian officers arriving in Hammelburg in 1941 was the eldest son of Joseph Stalin, Yakov. He only spent a few weeks in Oflag 13 before the SS came and moved him to another camp.

The Germans offered to exchange him for Field Marshall Paulus. Stalin replied, “You have millions of my sons. Free all of them or Yakov will share their fate.” Later, Yakov allegedly committed suicide in Sachsenhausen concentration camp by running into the electrified fence.

In March of 1945, a group of about 400 Americans arrived from Poland after marching hundreds of miles in snow and extreme cold. One of the men was Lieutenant Colonel John K. Waters, the son-in-law of General George Patton.

The 11th Hour Raid

By early April of 1945, the Americans had crossed the Rhine and were within 80 miles of Hammelburg. General Patton ordered a special armored task force to go deep behind the German lines and free the prisoners in Oflag/Stalag 13.

Lieutenant Colonel John Waters, here, seen as a general. He was General Patton's son-in-law.

Lieutenant Colonel John Waters, here, seen as a general. He was General Patton’s son-in-law.

The men of Task Force Baum, as it was called, ran into heavy resistance coming in but they reached the camp on March 24, 1945. The tanks knocked down the fences, but they also started firing at the Serbian officers, mistaking them for Germans. Lieutenant Colonel Waters came out with a white flag, accompanied by a German officer, to contact the Americans and stop the shooting. Waters was shot in the stomach by a German guard and was taken to the camp hospital.

The tanks left, accompanied by many of the able-bodied prisoners, but without Waters. On the way back, the Task Force was ambushed and forced to surrender. Out of the 314 men in the unit, 26 were killed and most of the rest were captured. Most of the POW’s returned to the camp as well. Lt.Col. Waters survived and eventually retired as a four-star general.

For more information, see Task Force Baum , a very interesting website about this event.

After the failed rescue attempt, the Germans moved all of the Western Allied prisoners to other camps, except the ones in the camp hospital.

Stalag 13 Camp Conditions

Life in Oflag and Stalag 13 became grim as the war neared its end. The Germans were running out of food and fuel and having difficulty getting supplies for the prisoners.

A Red Cross report following an inspection of Oflag 13B by the Swiss in March, 1945, revealed dreadful conditions. Daily calories provided by the Germans were 1050 per day, down from 1700 calories earlier. The average temperature in the barracks was 20 degrees F (or -7 degrees C) due to lack of fuel.

Many men were sick and malnourished, and morale and discipline were low. No Red Cross packages had reached the Americans since they started arriving in January. They only reason they didn’t starve was the generosity of the Serbian officers, who shared their packages.

You can read the full report at International Red Cross Report on the Task Force Baum website.

Liberation of Stalag 13

The prisoners are freed.

The prisoners are freed.

The buildings in the above photo still stand. The map below shows where they are now, on the grounds of Lager Hammelburg. They’re inside the restricted area, but can be easily seen from the fence near the main gate. The locations of the first building and the tank from the title photo of this piece are marked, as well the main gate of the camp and a good spot for viewing the remaining buildings. (Thanks to Geoff Walden of thirdreichruins.com in identifying it.)

On April 6, 1945, the US Army’s 47th Tank Battalion liberated Lager Hammelburg without a fight. Lt. Col. Waters was still there, recuperating in the hospital with some other sick or wounded men. Otherwise, the only prisoners left were the Serbian officers and the Polish and Yugoslavian enlisted men.

One of the American prisoners in Stalag XIIIC at the end of the war was Sergeant Bradford Sherry. His son in the past has posted photos and documents related to his father’s captivity.

Several days later, the tank battalion left to rejoin the fighting, leaving a supply unit at the camp. For the next month, no one was in charge of the POW’s and there was widespread looting of the surrounding villages, including Hammelburg.

When peace came with the German surrender on May 8, 1945, the Americans returned to occupy Lager Hammelburg and restored order in the town. The remaining prisoners were sent home.

Stalag 13 After World War II

The Americans continued to occupy the camp until 1956. They renamed it Camp Denny Clark, after a medic who was killed in action.

Barracks housing POWs, photographed in 1948 by ex-POW Lt. Donald Prell when he visited the camp in 1948.

Barracks housing POWs, photographed in 1948 by ex-POW Lt. Donald Prell when he visited the camp in 1948.

The northern part of the Stalag 13 was used to intern former Nazi Party members. The camp also housed large numbers of German refugees who had fled the advancing Russian army in eastern Germany as well as ethnic Germans who had been expelled from areas of Poland and Czechoslovakia.

POW Background Information

P47 Thunderbolt (Kogo, GNU FD license.)

P47 Thunderbolt
(Kogo, GNU FD license.)

One of the American POW’s at Oflag 13 in Hammelburg was Walter Frederick Morrison, the inventor of the frisbee. He was a fighter pilot and was shot down flying a P-47 Thunderbolt. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 90.

There was a real life counterpart to the fictional Colonel Robert Hogan of Hogan’s Heroes of Stalag 13. Lieutenant Robert Hogan was an American bomber pilot shot down and imprisoned in Oflag 13D near Nuremberg.

Although the studio maintains that Colonel Robert Hogan of Hogan’s Heroes was a completely fictional character, there really was a POW in a Stalag 13 named Robert Hogan whose story bears striking similarities to the Hollywood version.

The real Robert Hogan was a pilot flying B24 bombers out of Italy, who was shot down in January of 1945 over Yugoslavia and sent eventually to the Stalag 13 camp outside of Nuremberg (actually the Oflag 13 camp, since he was an officer. Stalags were only for enlisted men.) This camp was adjacent to Stalag 13 D, not the Stalag 13 C camp outside of Hammelburg, but close enough for the producers of the TV show to be interested when Dr. Robert Hogan contacted them. The real Robert Hogan got to meet Bob Crane of Hogan’s Heroes in 1966.

Robert Hogan’s son stated his father didn’t talk much about his POW experiences, but he did mention the following:

The POW’s were reasonably well-treated by the German guards, though they were gradually starving to death. Of course, the German guards were not much better off than the prisoners – food was scarce. A young girl from the nearby village would occasionally throw pieces of fruit over the fences for the prisoners. He said that food was the thing they thought and talked about the most…and also dreamed about.

The prisoners’ rations consisted of only one meal a day: a bowl of “cabbage soup”, which was nothing more than a bowl of warm water with a few cabbage leaves thrown in. Each barracks also shared one loaf of “bread”, baked with a significant amount of sawdust mixed in to stretch it further.

Though there was little similarity between his real-life experience and the Hogan’s Heroes series, there were three significant things that were similar: 1) the commandant wore a monocle like Colonel Klink, 2) there was a big, fat, goofy sergeant like Sergeant Schulz, and 3) the prisoners had a “secret” radio.

As for item #3, that radio was not very “secret”. In fact, the commandant of the Stalag allowed the POW’s to continue to operate their “clandestine” radio because the commandant got more reliable information from that source than he did from the official Nazi propaganda.

For more information about Lt. Robert Hogan (later Dr. Robert Hogan), his life and wartime experiences, see this article from the Jefferson County Historical Association in Alabama.

On the Web:

List of Kriegsgefangenenlager Moosburg Online (in German)

A Brief History of Oflag 64

Oflag XIII-B, Report of the International Red Cross

Task Force Baum and the Hammelburg Raid

Oflag 64 Association

First hand account of Oflag XIII-B by Donald Prell

Patton’s Ill-Fated Raid

Crash

#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.

ST

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).

Crash

#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.”

IJ2

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.

IJ5

“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

Crash

Saturday Reader: Secret Notes From Bletchley Park’s Code-Breaking Days Found

An Enigma deciphering machine from the German navy  Photo courtesy of Bletchley Park

An Enigma deciphering machine from the German navy
Photo courtesy of Bletchley Park

The rare code-breaking documents include sheets used to calculate settings for the machine working on “Enigma”

Sometimes, even at Bletchley Park, everyday problems like drafty buildings must have intruded on the work of Alan Turing and the other brilliant minds cracking the Germans’ “Enigma” code. At least, enough so that notes used to break the code were wadded up and stuffed into cracks to better insulate Hut 6.

During the building’s restoration in 2013, part of a huge effort to restore the historic complex, the notes and other documents were found and immediately preserved, NBC News reports. Now they’ve been restored in time for a soon-to-open exhibition. Like Turing’s notebook, soon up for auction, the documents give us a peek into that time.

Notes secretly compiled by Alan Turing during World War Two have been found.

Notes secretly compiled by Alan Turing during World War Two have been found.

“The fact that these papers were used to block drafty holes in the primitive hut walls reminds us of the rudimentary conditions under which these extraordinary people were working,” Iain Stander, chief executive of the Bletchley Park Trust, told Jessica Duncan for MKWeb. Duncan reports that several other artifacts were discovered during the restoration, including a piece of a 1940s teapot, glass bottles and a time capsule left inside Hut11A’s door.

Some of the papers are Banbury sheets, named for a code-breaking technique called Banburismus. The website I Programmer explains how they were used:

Banburismus was a cryptanalysis procedure that took advantage of operator shortcomings in the Enigma encoding that could reveal the position of the rotor by noticing overlaps of letters in two messages. Banbury sheets were used to look for overlaps. Two cipher tests were punched onto different sheets and the sheets were slid past one another.

Finding new documents from that time is rare, notes the BBC, because many were destroyed after WWII to keep the methods secret. The rest are already stored in the Park’s archives. Some of the other papers are handwritten.

“These are the actual documents used by codebreakers, and in terms of the codebreaking process they are pivotal,” Gillian Mason, Bletchley Park curator, told MKWeb. “I can just see these people beavering away. There is a lot of pencil and crayon activity.”

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