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Bud Elliott and USS Wasp

By D. Kevin Elliott   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 …

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The Oerlikon 20 mm: The Right Tool for the Job

By Daniel Garas, Naval History and Heritage Command Before it entered World War II, the United States Navy realized aviation would play a significant role in the upcoming conflict. In order to deal with this emerging threat, its ships would need to be outfitted with capable anti-aircraft systems. Throughout the …

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Eyewitness to a Sinking

  By Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum Citizen Sailor Like many who manned the Navy’s ships and flew its aircraft during World War II, William C. Chambliss was a member of the Naval Reserve, a citizen-sailor called to active service. He entered naval service during the year of …

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A Future CNO’s Trial by Fire

    By Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum In 1930, Lt. Forrest P. Sherman authored an article for U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, one of many the prolific writer submitted to the journal during the interwar years. The title was “Some Aspects of Carrier and Cruiser Design,” and in …

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Wasp Sailor Survives Sinking

By Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum Don Cruse of El Paso joined the Navy in July 1938, at the age of 17, wanting to see more of the world than the vast landscape of Texas, eventually experiencing the Navy life in the crew of a destroyer, sleeping in …

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Lessons in Leadership: Stephen Decatur

By: Christine Hughes, Historian, Naval History and Heritage Command  Editor’s note: ‘Why We Do What We Do’ is an initiative CNO Richardson asked the Naval History and Heritage Command to help share with the fleet. Each month, our historians will dissect a seminal moment in our Navy’s past and then …

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