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Tag: World War II

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. 

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

July 11, 2018

NAS Whiting Field: 75 Years of Military Excellence

Commander Kenneth Whiting was one of the pioneers of submarine warfare and naval aviation. During World War I, he was among the first Americans to reach Europe and helped established a naval air station at Dunkirk. He went on to a distinguished career.

March 1, 2018

The Plan to Attack Pearl Harbor - Again

Emboldened by a string of victories across the Pacific in the early months of World War II, the Japanese empire launched a bold and unorthodox attack that is seldom remembered today. Though a tactical victory, the December 7 attack on Pearl Harbor was also a strategic blunder, as the Japanese failed one of their most critical objectives: destroy

March 23, 2017

Navy Medal of Honor Recipients at Iwo Jima

The first Medals of Honor were presented on March 25, 1863. To commemorate this date, in 1990, Congress designated March 25 "National Medal of Honor Day" to recognize recipients of the Medal of Honor, the highest and most prestigious military decoration awarded to U.S. service members who have distinguished themselves through acts of valor. In

Dec. 6, 2016

Pearl Harbor Diorama: More than 25 Years in the Making

More than 25 years ago, historian Reverend Todd Hammond decided to make a model display of the center of Pearl Harbor based in part on photos taken prior to the attack. The model has only been seen by personal invitation by a number of veterans and other interested persons over the years, but has not been on public display. An earlier, much smaller

Dec. 6, 2016

As Infamy Dawned in the Pacific, War Simmered in the Atlantic

Although Dec. 7, 1941 is marked as the entry of the U.S. into WWII, the fact is that the U.S. Navy was already in an undeclared shooting war with Nazi Germany at sea well before that. President Roosevelt and other senior U.S. and political leadership were convinced that England could not be allowed to fall. U.S. Navy leaders were particularly

Dec. 5, 2016

Stories of Valor on a Day of Infamy

Although Pearl Harbor was a devastating tactical defeat resulting in 2,335 U.S. military deaths, the vast majority of U.S. Sailors responded immediately and in many cases with extraordinary acts of bravery, many of which were unrecorded due to the deaths of so many witnesses. Even so, Navy personnel were awarded 15 Medals of Honor, 51 Navy Crosses,

Dec. 2, 2016

The Story of USS Ward and Navy Readiness as the Sun Rose on the Day of Infamy

"At Dawn We Slept" was the title of one of the most influential books about the disastrous Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941, "a date which will live in infamy" as President Franklin Roosevelt called it in his declaration of war speech. However, I respectfully disagree with the premise of the title, as it gives

Dec. 5, 2014

On the Edge of Infamy: Misinformation Worked in U.S. Favor

USS Lexington (CV-2) leaving San Diego, Calif., Oct. 14, 1941, on her way to Pearl Harbor. Planes parked on her flight deck include F2A-1 fighters (parked forward), SBD scout-bombers (amidships) and TBD-1 torpedo planes (aft). Official U.S. Navy Photograph, now in the collections of the National Archives.  As the Japanese Imperial Navy Strike Group