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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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The End of Hornet – Part 3

As a 19-year-old seaman who had been in the Navy for about a year and a half, Richard Nowatzki’s ship USS Hornet (CV 8) was mortally wounded in the intense World War II Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.  In this first-handaccount, from his book Memoirs of a Navy Major, Nowatzkishares …

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The End of Hornet – Part 2

As a 19-year-old seaman who had been in the Navy for about a year and a half, Richard Nowatzki’s ship USS Hornet (CV 8) was mortally wounded in the intense World War II Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.  In this first-handaccount, from his book Memoirs of a Navy Major, Nowatzki …

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The End of Hornet – Part 1

As a 19-year-old seaman who had been in the Navy for about a year and a half, Richard Nowatzki’s ship USS Hornet (CV 8) was mortally wounded in the intense World War II Battle of Santa Cruz Islands.  In this first-hand account, from his book Memoirs of a Navy Major, …

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Naval History Matters: Raye Montague

By Joyce Conyers, YNC, USN Retired Raye Montague, a brilliant African American woman and an American naval engineer, was credited with creating the first computer-generated rough draft of a U.S. naval ship design. She further distinguished herself as the Navy’s first Program Manager of Ships (PMS-309) for Naval Sea Systems …

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Famed Blue Angel’s First Mission was from USS Hornet

By Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum In famous director John Ford’s color film titled The Battle of Midway, an eighteen-minute documentary capturing events of the landmark battle that took place in June 1942, one of the scenes shows naval aviators walking from a PBY Catalina to a waiting …

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An Artist’s View of USS Hornet

By Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum During World War II war correspondents spanned the globe to cover its pivotal events. Their proximity to the action brought them up close and personal with the hazards faced by those in uniform.  Some like Walter Cronkite flew on bombing missions, while …

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Two Flights Defined Hornet’s Service

By Hill Goodspeed, Historian, National Naval Aviation Museum The aircraft carrier Hornet (CV 8) served for just 372 days, her short lifespan reflective of the fact that she put to sea in dangerous waters.   During that brief time, it can be said two distinct flights defined the service of …

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