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Tag: WWII

Sept. 3, 2021

Seaman First Class Freddie Falgout: First Military Casualty of World War II

On the evening of August 20, 1937, on the eve of his 21st birthday, Seaman First Class Freddie Falgout was searching for a seat for movie night on the well deck of USS Augusta (CL-31). Augusta had arrived off Shanghai a week earlier, on August 14, 1937, and was moored on the Huangpu River. A humanitarian crisis was underway as hostilities between Chinese and Japanese military forces had resulted in the death of hundreds of civilians, including four Americans, and the ship and her crew were evacuating American citizens and refugees from Shanghai. 

Dec. 24, 2020

Passing of Vice Adm. Douglas C. Plate, U.S. Navy (Retired)

It is with deep regret I inform you of the passing of Vice Admiral Douglas C. Plate, U.S. Navy (Retired) on December 21, 2020 at age 100. Below is what I wrote on the occasion of his 100th Birthday last July.It is with great pleasure I inform you that Vice Adm. Douglas Caulfied Plate, U.S. Navy (Retired) is about to celebrate his 100th Birthday on

June 4, 2019

Operation Neptune: Innovating on the Spot Made D-Day a Success

Editor's note: Planning is critical to success, but innovation and initiative during battle is a necessary part of combat. As part of CNO's effort to apply lessons from our history to better prepare today's Sailors for battle, we explore Operation Neptune and how Destroyer captains' quick thinking and decisive actions helped secure victory at

May 21, 2019

The Workhorse of Normandy: Remembering the Role of LSTs in Medical Evacuation

June 6, 1944, Normandy Coast, France. Pharmacist's Mate 1st Class Stephen Cromwell stood on the bow of the LST-280 watching the Higgins Boats transporting troops to the beachhead. "The fire was quite intense," Cromwell later recalled. "In fact, before we went in there, you really couldn't see beyond the bluffs because there was so much smoke and

May 6, 2019

Even When All Seems Lost, Sailor Toughness and Resilience Make All the Difference

The Battle of the Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942) was the first carrier vs. carrier battle in history - the opposing Australian-American and Japanese fleets never sighted each other. Though tactically inconclusive, the battle blunted a Japanese offensive aimed at capturing Port Moresby on the island of New Guinea, a position that would have threated

April 17, 2019

Bud Elliott and USS Wasp

My dad was descending a ladder on the starboard stern of USS Wasp (CV 7) when he was rocked by the concussion from three torpedoes hitting the aircraft carrier in rapid succession. Just 35 minutes later the captain ordered abandon ship and my dad slid down a fire hose into the warm water of the Coral Sea.Arles Edward "Bud" Elliott, was a

July 20, 2018

USS Robin: When the CNO Needed a Royal Navy Carrier - Part I

In autumn 1942, Adm. Ernest J. King, the Chief of Naval Operations, faced a dilemma: The battles of the Coral Sea and Midway, and the still-ongoing Guadalcanal campaign had severely weakened the U.S. Navy's fleet carrier presence in the Pacific. USS Lexington (CV 2) had been lost at Coral Sea, USS Yorktown (CV 5) at Midway, and Hornet (CV 8) during

July 13, 2018

Together At Last: Twin Sailors Reunited 74 Years After D-Day

"Already the sea runs red. Even among some of the lightly wounded who jumped into shallow water the hits prove fatal. Knocked down by a bullet in the arm or weakened by fear and shock, they are unable to rise again and are drowned by the onrushing tide. Other wounded men drag themselves ashore and, on finding the sands, lie quiet from total

Nov. 6, 2017

The Brothers of Waterloo

When it comes to the history of our Navy - or the history of our nation for that matter - there are not too many families that have sacrificed more than the Sullivans. Shortly after the devastating Japanese attacks on Pearl Harbor, the family would send all 5 of their sons to sea to serve their country together. Not one of the sons - Albert,

May 31, 2017

Innovation and Victory at the Battle of Midway

When I take a look at the arc of history in the Pacific, in particular the history of the Pacific Fleet, one of the things I find most compelling is the immense shift that took place at the Battle of Midway. For decades prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, our Navy was centered around our battleships. By the time we fought at Midway just six months