July 12, 2014

U.S. Navy Catapult Anniversary Highlights Strides in Carrier Aviation

On this day in 1916, the first catapult designed for shipboard use successfully completed calibration launching a Curtiss AB-3 from the deck of the armored cruiser North Carolina making the ship the first to be equipped to carry aircraft. Since then, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier launching technology has evolved, from hydraulics to steam-powered

July 7, 2014

Thomas Edison's Role in Birth of Navy's Department of Invention and Development

It was 99 years ago today when Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels sat down to type a four page letter to Thomas A. Edison, asking him to chair a consulting board for Navy inventions. Daniels had just read an interview in the New York Times where Edison had proposed "The government should maintain a great research laboratory.... In this could be

June 20, 2014

NHHC Announces Spanish-American War Documentary Project

Members of the Navy Court of Inquiry examining Ensign Wilfrid V. Powelson, on board the U.S. Light House Tender Mangrove, in Havana Harbor, Cuba, circa March 1898. Those seated around the table include (from left to right): Capt. French E. Chadwick, Capt. William T. Sampson, Lt. Cmdr. William P. Potter, Ensign W.V. Powelson, Lt. Cmdr. Adolph Marix.

June 19, 2014

Beautiful and Dangerous, CSS Alabama Ruled the Sea

Capt. Raphael Semmes, CSS Alabama's commanding officer, stands by his ship's 110-pounder rifled gun during her visit to Capetown in August 1863. His executive officer, 1st Lt. John M. Kell, is in the background, standing by the ship's wheel. Collection of Rear Admiral Ammen C. Farenholt, USN(MC), 1931. U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.Few

June 12, 2014

Dive on Houston Day 4: The Survey's Final Day

(Thursday, June 11, 2014) Today was our last day of operations on the presumed site of USS Houston. Operations began once more with a morning brief involving the master diver, Senior Chief William Phillips, Chief Warrant Officer Jason Shafer and myself at 6:30 a.m. Following breakfast, the team engaged in gear and camera preparations and by 8:45

June 11, 2014

Dive on Houston Day 3: A Pause to Honor Our Fallen, Then Work Continues

(Wednesday, June 11, 2014) Today has been an exceptionally long and productive day. Between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. we began preparations for the day's dives readying dive gear, prepping cameras and tagging valves, knobs and pumps aboard Safeguard to set the stage for diving operations. Following the first surface-supplied dive, it appeared clear that

June 10, 2014

Dive on Houston Day 2: The Survey Begins

(Tuesday, June 10, 2014) Operations began this morning at 6 a.m. when I held a brief with Master Diver Phillips and Chief Warrant Officer Jason Shafer. By 6:30 a.m. Safeguard was located near the vicinity of the first set of coordinates that we had for USS Houston and shortly thereafter three side-scan sonar technicians and I engaged in a

June 9, 2014

Dive on Houston Day 1: NHHC Underwater Archaeologist Arrives in Jakarta, Begins Mission Planning

After a three day and more than 10,000 mile journey from Washington, D.C., Naval History and Heritage Command Underwater Archaeologist Dr. Alexis Catsambis arrived in Jakarta, Indonesia June 9 to begin collaboration on a survey of the World War II wreck of the cruiser USS Houston (CA 30). The survey is a training evolution as part of the

June 6, 2014

D-Day: General Eisenhower's message to Allied troops

At dawn on June 6, 1944, nearly 7,000 U.S. and British ships and craft carrying close to 160,000 troops lay off the Normandy beaches, surprising German commanders, who had overestimated the adverse weather's impact and were also expecting landings to the northeast, in the Pas-de-Calais area. Known as Operation Overlord, the Allied forces hit the

June 3, 2014

Battle of Midway Q & A's

Capt. Henry Hendrix (Ph.D), Naval History and Heritage Command director and Robert Cressman, NHHC historian answer questions about the Battle of Midway in this five part series.