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Monday, December 16, 2019

Naval History News

A paintings by Maarten Platje called the Great Chase  tells this amazing story of the US Frigate Constitution being becalmed off the New Jersey coast and becoming engaged in a rowing race to keep out of range of a powerful British Squadron. The Constitution escaped and went on to have her amazing victories that year, but if she had been caught, today we would have never heard of her. Credit Maarten Platje

Ship Design & The Inevitability of Change

At one time the most powerful lighthouse in the United States was Twin Lights in Highlands New Jersey. Today it is a wonderful little museum and right now it has a very interesting show of paintings by Maarten Platje on the War of 1812. One painting is called the Great Chase and it tells this amazing story of the US Frigate Constitution being becalmed off the New Jersey coast and becoming engaged in a rowing race to keep out of range of a powerful British Squadron. The Constitution escaped and went on to have her amazing victories that year…

Photo: United States Navy

USS Indianapolis Wreckage Located

A team of civilian researchers led by entrepreneur and philanthropist Paul G. Allen have found the wreck of the World War II cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35), which was lost July 30, 1945. This is a significant discovery considering the depth of the water in which the ship was lost - more than 18,000 feet. Around 800 of the ship's 1,196 Sailors and Marines survived the sinking, but after four to five days in the water - suffering exposure, dehydration, drowning and shark attacks - only 316 survived.

The National Museum of the American Sailor name change signals a shift in vision from a regional focus to one that depicts the diverse history of Sailors who have served in the U.S. Navy. (U.S. Navy photo)

National Museum of the American Sailor Unveiled

The Great Lakes Naval Museum was officially renamed the National Museum of the American Sailor during a ceremony and sign unveiling at the museum July 4. The Navy's top enlisted Sailor, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (AW/NAC) Mike Stevens, was joined by retired Rear Adm. Sam Cox, director of Naval History and Heritage Command, North Chicago Mayor Leon Rockingham, Capt. James Hawkins, commanding officer of Naval Station Great Lakes, Jennifer Searcy, Ph.D., director of the National Museum of the American Sailor…

Capt. Brian Penoyer transferred command of Sector Houston-Galveston to Capt. Peter Martin during a change-of-command ceremony Friday Photo USCG

USCG Change of Command in Houston-Galveston

Coast Guard Capt. Brian Penoyer transferred command of Sector Houston-Galveston to Capt. Peter Martin during a change-of-command ceremony Friday at the Bayport Cruise Terminal near Houston. Martin assumed command of Sector Houston-Galveston and responsibility as Captain of the Port for operations along the Gulf of Mexico coastline from Lake Charles, Louisiana, to the Colorado River in Matagorda, Texas. This extensive area of responsibility includes 10 units and eight cutters between Texas City, Galveston, Port Arthur, Freeport, Sabine and the entirety of the Houston Ship Channel.

New Entry Officers' Course 54 perform an Advance and Review as a AS-350BA Squirrel and two Bell 429's from 723 Squadron and a S-70B-2 Seahawk helicopter from 816 Squadron conduct a fly past. Photo RAN

Australian Navy Welcomes its Newest Officers

Twenty weeks since walking through the gates of HMAS Creswell to start initial training, 104 naval officers graduated today. Friends and family were on hand to share in the achievements of the 82 men and 22 women. Honouring a long-standing commitment to the New Entry Officers, the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, AC, reviewed the parade, hosted by Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett, AO, CSC, RAN. “While we celebrate the achievements of the officers on parade today…

Artist's impression of the Immersive Cinema Experience: drama, danger and suspense on the big screen with a pumping soundtrack to set the scene. (Image: Australian National Maritime Museum)

Australia Maritime Museum Calls ‘Action Stations’

The Australian National Maritime Museum’s new “Action Stations” attraction officially opened in Darling Harbour, Sydney, on Sunday, offering guests a uniquely dynamic “Immersive Cinema Experience”. The $12 million (AUD ) Action Stations attraction, located in a new waterfront pavilion, highlights the history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and its people, the various periods of engagement from World War I to the present day and brings to life the human stories behind the uniform and the fleet.

Vincent Woolsgrove with one of the Dutch cannons (Photo: Maritime and Coastguard Agency)

Diver Pleads Guilty to Fraud Involving Historic Cannons

A commercial diver has pleaded guilty at Southampton Crown Court to a fraud offence in excess of £46,000 following a two year investigation by the U.K. Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). The diver, Vincent Woolsgrove of Ramsgate, Kent, reported finding five cannons during the summer 2007, two from the wreck of the warship, London, and three in international waters off the coast of Kent. The cannons recovered from the warship were both very rare bronze Peter Gill and commonwealth cannons.

USS Constitution enters Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard to commence a multi-year planned restoration period. This is Constitution's first time in dry dock since its 1992-1996 restoration. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Matthew R. Fairchild/Released)

Historic Warship Docked for Restoration

One of the world's oldest commissioned warships has entered dry dock for a planned multiyear restoration, the U.S. Navy reports. On May 19, USS Constitution eased into Dry Dock 1 at Charlestown Navy Yard Boston National Historical Park with the help and coordination of a large team of stakeholders including the ship's crew, Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Naval History and Heritage Command's Maintenance Detachment Boston, USS Constitution Museum and the National Park Service. "We couldn't…

Howard Joshua Humphreys, descendent of 19th century American frigate designer Joshua Humphreys, delivers remarks at a dedication ceremony for Naval Sea Systems Command headquarters. Humphrey's ancestor designed the original six U.S. Navy frigates, including USS Constitution. (U.S. Navy photo by Nathan Laird)

NAVSEA Dedicates Building to Historic Shipbuilder

Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) headquarters officially opened its recently redesigned, renovated and renamed building with a ceremony April 20 at the Washington Navy Yard. With a nod to NAVSEA's mission, Building 197 will be known as the Humphreys Building, named in honor of Joshua Humphreys, the original designer of the U.S. Navy's first six frigates. "As America's first warship designer, he laid the foundation upon which the Navy and NAVSEA is built ... As the designer, builder maintainer…

Lookout on the bridge of USS Nautilus (SSN 571) keeps an alert watch for pieces of ice as the Nautilus presses closer to the Polar Ice Cap, August 1958. (NHHC Photograph Collection, L-File, Ships)

Today in U.S. Naval History: August 1

Today in U.S. Naval History - August 1 1801 - U.S. schooner Enterprise captures Tripolitan ship Tripoli 1921 - Successful tests of gyroscopic high level bombsight (Norden Bombsight) at Torpedo Station, Yorktown, Va. Carl Norden developed the bombsight for the Bureau of Ordnance. 1946 - Office of Naval Research established 1950 - Control of Guam transferred to Department of Interior 1958 - USS Nautilus (SSN-571) submerges under Arctic ice cap near Point Barrow For more information about naval history, visit the Naval History and Heritage Command website at history.navy.mil.

Howell Torpedo Received: Photo credit Navy NHHC

Dolphins Find Rare Navy Torpedo

The Marine Mammal Program's trained Navy dolphins, of the Space and Navy Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SPAWAR), found the century-old torpedo off the coast of San Diego. Naval History and Heritage Command's (NHHC) Underwater Archeology Branch (UAB) at Washington Navy Yard recently received the crated remains of a historic and rare Howell Torpedo. "The Howell torpedo was very important in the development of submarine warfare," said Alexis Catsambis (PhD), NHHC UAB archeologist and cultural resource manager.

Battleship Wisconsin: Photo credit Wiki CCL

Volunteer Surveyors Check Battleship 'Wisconsin'

Inspectors from the Navy's Board of Inspection & Survey (INSURV) conduct a survey aboard the floating museum ship. After a storied history beginning in World War II, the battleship received its last official INSURV inspection in 1992, before becoming a floating museum on the James River. John Elliker, Battleship Wisconsin project manager, said the city of Norfolk initially contacted INSURV to ask them about surveying the ship. The conversation progressed into the INSURV team volunteering…

This Day in Naval History - July 13

From the Navy News Service:   1863 - USS Wyoming battled Japanese warlord's forces. 1939 - Appointment of Rear Adm. Richard Byrd as commanding officer of 1939-1941 Antarctic Expedition. 1943 - During Battle of Kolombangara in Solomon Islands, U.S. lost USS Gwin (DD 433), while Japanese lost light cruiser Jintsu.

This Day in Naval History - July 03

From the Navy News Service:   1898 - At Battle of Santiago, Cuba, Rear Adm. Sampson's squadron destroys Spanish fleet. 1950 - USS Valley Forge (CV 45) and HMS Triumph participate in first carrier action of Korean Conflict. VF-51 aircraft (Valley Forge) shoot down two North Korean aircraft. The action is first combat test of F9F Panther and AD Skyraider.

This Day in Naval History - July 02

1923 - Commissioning of Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 1926 - Distinguished Flying Cross authorized by Congress. 1937 - Amelia Earhart disappears in Pacific. Navy conducts extensive unsuccessful search. 1945 - USS Barb (SS 220) bombards Japanese installations on Kaihyo Island, Japan; first successful use of rockets against shore positions. 1946 - Establishment of VX-3 to evaluate adaptability of helicopters to naval purposes. 1950 - USS Juneau (CLAA 119) and two British ships sink five of six attacking North Korean torpedo boats and gunboats.

This Day in Naval History - June 20

1813 - Fifteen U.S. gunboats engage three British ships in Hampton Roads, Va. 1815 - Trials of Fulton I, built by Robert Fulton, are completed in New York. This ship would become the Navy's first steam-driven warship. 1898 - U.S. forces occupied Guam, which became first colony of United States in the Pacific. 1913 - First fatal accident in naval aviation, Ensign W. D. Billingsley killed at Annapolis, Md. 1934 - Commander in Chief, Asiatic Fleet Adm. 1944 - Battle of Philippine Sea ends with Japanese losing two aircraft carriers and hundreds of aircraft.

This Day in Naval History - June 19

From the Navy News Service:   1864 - USS Kearsarge sinks Confederate raider Alabama off France. 1944 - Battle of the Philippine Sea begins ("The Marianas Turkey Shoot"). 1948 - Chief of Naval Operations assigns three destroyers to U.N. mediator for the Palestine truce.

This Day in Naval History - June 12

From the Navy News Service:   1944 - Four U.S. Carrier Groups (15 carriers) begin attack on Japanese positions in the Marianas. 1948 - The Women's Armed Forces Integration Act provides for enlistment and appointment of women in the Naval Reserve. 1970 - After earthquake in Peru, USS Guam (LPH 9) begins 11 days of relief flights to transport medical teams and supplies, as well as rescue victims.   For more information on naval history, visit the Naval Historical Center Web site at www.history.navy.mil.

This Day in Naval History - June 11

From the Navy News Service:   1853 - Five Navy ships leave Norfolk, Va., on three-year exploring expedition to survey the far Pacific. 1927 - USS Memphis arrives at Washington, D.C., with Charles Lindbergh and his plane, Spirit of St. Louis, after his non-stop flight across the Atlantic. 1944 - U.S. battleships off Normandy provide gunfire support. 1953 - Navy ships evacuate 20,000 Koreans from West Coast Islands to safety south of 17th parallel.   For more information on naval history, visit the Naval Historical Center Web site at www.history.navy.mil.

This Day in Naval History - June 05

1794 - First officers of the U.S. Navy under the Constitution are appointed. The first six captains appointed to superintend the construction of new ships were John Barry, Samuel Nicholson, Silas Talbot, Joshua Barney, Richard Dale, and Thomas Truxtun. 1917 - First military unit sent to France, First Naval Aeronautical Detachment, reaches France aboard USS Jupiter (AC 3). 1945 - Typhoon off Okinawa damages many U.S. Navy ships. For more information about naval history, visit the Naval Historical Center Web site at www.history.navy.mil/wars/dates.htm.

This Day in Naval History - May 25

From Navy News Service:   1952 - USS Iowa (BB 61) bombards Chongjin, Korea. 1973 - Launch of Skylab 2 mission, which was first U.S. manned orbiting space station. It had an all Navy crew of Capt. Charles Conrad Jr. (commanding), Cmdr. Joseph P. Kerwin, and Cmdr. Paul J. Weitz.       For more information about naval history, visit the Naval Historical Center Web site at http://www.history.navy.mil.

This Day in Naval History - May 23

1850 - Navy sends USS Advance and USS Rescue to attempt rescue of Sir John Franklin's expedition, lost in Arctic. 1939 - USS Squalus (SS 92) sinks off Postsmouth, N.H., with loss of 26 lives. 1962 - Launch of Aurora 7 (Mercury 7), piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Malcolm Scott Carpenter who completed three orbits in four hours, 56 minutes, at an altitude up to 166.8 statute miles at 17,549 mph. 1962 - USS Valcour (AVP 55) provides medical care to a merchant seaman from tanker SS Manhattan in the Persian Gulf.

This Day in Naval History - May 22

From the Navy News Service:   1882 - Commodore Shufeldt signs commerce treaty opening Korea to U.S. trade. 1958 - Naval aircraft F4D-1 Sky Ray sets five world speed-to-climb records, May 22-23. 1967 - New York City reaches agreement to purchase Brooklyn Navy Yard, ending 166 years of construction and repair of naval vessels. 1968 - USS Scorpion (SSN 589) is lost with all hands.   For more information about naval history, visit the Naval Historical Center Web site at http://www.history.navy.mil.

This Day in Naval History - April 30

From the Navy News Service:   1798 - Congress establishes Department of the Navy. 1975 - Saigon falls to North Vietnamese forces.   For more information about naval history, go to www.history.navy.mil

This Day in Naval History - April 23

From the Navy News Service:   1918 - USS Stewart (DD 13) destroys German submarine off France. 1934 - In the first Navy movement through the Panama Canal, more than 100 ships transited. 1945 - In only U.S. use of guided missiles in World War II, two BAT missiles release at Balikpapan, Borneo. 1956 - Project Vanguard, earth satellite launching program, assigned to Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air).   For more information about naval history, visit the Naval Historical Center Web site at http://www.history.navy.mil.

This Day in Naval History - April 18

1848 - A Navy expedition to explore the Dead Sea and the River Jordan, commanded by Lt. William F. Lynch, reaches the Dead Sea. 1906 - The Navy assists in relief operations during the San Francisco earthquake and fire. 1942 - USS Hornet (CV 8) launches Doolittle's Army bombers for the first attack on Japan. 1988 - Navy destroys two Iranian drilling platforms and a frigate in retaliation for attack on USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG 58). For more information about naval history, visit the Naval historical Center Web site at http://www.history.navy.mil.