March 19, 2014

Salutations with a Bang! The Military Gun Salute

If you've ever attended a significant military ceremony, you may not have seen it, but you certainly heard it: the booming report of a military gun salute. Gun salutes have been around for centuries and, as they've evolved, shared a common purpose with the hand salute. Although those origins are not entirely clear, it is believed that both honors

March 11, 2014

Operation Market Time Challenges North Vietnamese Resupply Efforts

]The U.S. Navy fast patrol craft PCF-38 of Coastal Division 11 patrols the Cai Ngay Canal in South Vietnam.Most of the blogs that appear on this space are tributes to the Blue Water Navy, those Sailors and Marines who fought their enemies in magnificent warships, impenetrable ironclads, stealthy submarines and a whole fleet of aircraft carriers,

March 5, 2014

After much deliberation, Seabees settle on March 5 as birthday

Since March 5, 1942, the U.S. Navy has employed an elite cadre of construction battalions better known as Seabees. Guided by the motto, "We Build, We Fight," over the past 72 years the Seabees have served in all major American conflicts, supported humanitarian efforts, and helped to build communities and nations around the globe. Today, Seabees

March 4, 2014

Building for a Nation and for Equality: African American Seabees in World War II

   Visitors to the U.S. Navy Seabee Museum may wish to walk to the display of battalion plaques from World War II. Among the blur of polished wood, painted plaster, and engraved metal one may gaze upon the plaques of the 34th, 20th (Special), and 80th Naval Construction Battalions (NCB). The plaque for the 20th bears the motto "Proving Our Worth,"

Feb. 28, 2014

Launching of USS Indiana (BB 1), the Navy's first battleship

NOTE: This blog posits that USS Indiana (BB 1) was the U.S. Navy's first battleship. Why? The hull number, for one thing - BB 1. There's also the fact that the ships after Indiana were called Indiana-class battleships. Also, based on the Naming of Ships Act of 1819, Indiana was a "first class" battleship based on her 42 guns. Texas was a

Jan. 3, 2014

Return of USS HOUSTON Artifacts to NHHC

Last week, the Naval History & Heritage Command (NHHC) Underwater Archaeology Branch (UAB) received a trumpet and ceramic cup and saucer from World War II cruiser USS HOUSTON. The artifacts were returned to the US Naval Attache in Canberra, Australia after their unsanctioned removal from the wreck site and made a journey of more than 10,000 miles

Dec. 24, 2013

Holiday season celebrated by service members at home and abroad

For military personnel deployed in wartime, the arrival of the holiday season brings a mixture of emotions. The sense of normalcy that comes with being home with family is absent, the void filled by brethren in uniform, bonds forged between them in combat in some ways closer than any shared with loved ones. They celebrate a season in which mankind

Dec. 20, 2013

First female Navy captain oversaw greatest growth of Nurse Corps

This Day in History, Dec. 22, 1942: The First Female Captain in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps Superintendent Sue Dauser (1888-1972) was promoted to the "relative rank" of captain, becoming the first woman in United States Navy history to achieve this status, Dec. 22, 1942.[1] Just two years later, when Public Law No. 238 granted full military

Dec. 9, 2013

Honoring Shipmates Past and Present: Laying a Wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns on Pearl Harbor Day

Dec. 7, 2013 was a bitingly cold day in Northern Virginia, made all the more so by having unseasonable warm days the few days before it. But as two Seaman made their way along the pathways of Arlington National Cemetery to the Tomb of the Unknowns, their attention was less on their cold hands and feet and more on the ceremony less than an hour

Nov. 26, 2013

Battle of Midway lecture offers fascinating detail into US Navy victory

SBD "Dauntless" dive bombers from USS Hornet (CV-8) approaching the burning Japanese heavy cruiser Mikuma to make the third set of attacks on her, during the early afternoon of 6 June 1942. Mikuma had been hit earlier by strikes from Hornet and USS E...