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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WHAT THINK YOU OF AN AMERICAN FLEET?



Did you ever wonder just how the U.S. Navy actually got started???...  How she took that first 'baby step' in acquiring a Navy?

You see the United States of America is one of the very few countries in the world which can claim what at least some justice to have had a navy of at least some sort since its very earliest days.  Actually the above ship picture....which is a ship named "Hannah" was "the ship" that got it all started....and to top it all off....Rhode Island....the smallest state...had her nose right in with all of it ....now that dear folks it pretty darn neat.  This all took place of course back in the late 1700's....actually 1775 to be a state of fact.

The above "Hannah" was in fact a 78 ton schooner....converted from a merchantman....to a tough seahorse by adding some cannons....and a number of swivel guns....  Now you would think this ship that was suppose to be the first ship to help the colonys gain independance, would have been paid for by Congress.....whoa...hold on there ...that is not the case at all.  Ole George Washington he dug deep into his own pocket and paid for that schooner himself....as well as all the conversion from schooner to ...somewhat of a warship.

So this was the 'bare bones beginning' of what was to become and we now know as the U.S. Navy....oh yes we went through many steps from the "Hannah" to where we are today....but when you look at the above ship your looking at the "first steps of an infant vessel that actually turned into a mighty warship fleet"

If you want to read about the bare bones beginnings.....[and there will be more articles on this as I go along this path in attempting to provide some insight on how we got from 0 to where we are today]....just click on this title:  WHAT THINK YOU OF AN AMERICAN FLEET  I really do think you'll surprise yourself on the interest you have in this part of history...

Enjoy!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

BRING ' EM BACK ALIVE..........NAVY STYLE


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I don't know if you realize it or not....but we'll do 'anything it takes' to rescue a navy man....it don't make any difference the expense or the danager....those men come first...that is the bottom line.

Many times Navy flyers took off from a carrier in the Pacific....flew many miles to engage in smashing out Jap flyers out of the sky....in doing so they run out fuel, had to land someplace....so they landed on the first carrier they come too....regardless if that carrier had a flight deck loaded with it's own planes....so how did they make room?

Well to make room for the 'fly boys'.....over the side was pushed Hellcats priced at $88,000 each, along with Helldivers costing $108,000....yes in deed....the deck crews went out on the deck, and pushed over planes to make room for the guys to land....there was never a question in doing what was needed to bring them boys home.

But that is not the only type of incident that took place to rescue "Boys of Blue" ....submarines risk 'life and limb' to go in close in lagoons to pick up not only one downed crew but sometimes several...going from one to the other in a matter of hours....they would have so many rescued pilots aboard they didn't have bunks for them and the crew....and some had to sleep "two to a bunk"....yep, I kid you not....and I don't mean "hot bunking"....I mean "two at the same time in a bunk"...  If you can imagine a "bunk" on a WW II sub...well folks it is barely big enough for one...let alone two.

Then there was one incident on board the USS Card....where as a rescued pilot got knocked overboard....a destroyer threw him a line...and then before they could get him out of the water...an enemy sub came into the area....and the destroyer took off ....full tilt...  Well I don't have to tell you what this sailor on the end of this rope was going through.....he barely made it.

Well I could go on and on here about these rescue attempts but why do so..... I'll just direct you to my article and you can click on this title: BRING 'EM BACK ALIVE....NAVY STYLE  and link up directly ....and every one of them you read about will set you on the edge of your chair....and you wonder...how in the hell did these guys do what they did??

Hope you enjoy the article

Saturday, November 20, 2010

THE SEAGOING AMBULANCES


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In you've dabbled in reading many naval articles....especially where warships were named you become accustom to those "letters" that follow the name of the ship.  After awhile you get somewhat educated on just what some of those letters refer too......such as a DD, DE, CL,...etc..etc...and the list travels on for a few pages. 

Well this article that I'm about to spring on you is about a group of vessels that you may be unfamiliar with.....and the letters at the end of the name you've not seen before....reason is not much was ever broadcasted about these 'corks in the water.'  But, if you were on an assualt ship that was involved in a WW II landing on one of the Pacific Islands....and your particular landing ship got hit with 'incoming'....and you were injuried..in the water....you were sure glad to see these guys......they could and did save 100's of lives.  Hospital ships were not always available in these mass landing assualts.....they couldn't be in the mix .....so someone had to get in....get the 100's of wounded out of the water...as well as have expert medical help to treat the wounded and care for the dying as well....not a pleasant experience.

They were I.D ed as PCE (R)......Yes!!! they were the "Navy Seagoing Ambulances".....this is a story that will drive home what these guys went through to help others.  I call this a 'grey story' but one that needs to be told.
If you'd care to give this a read.....just click on this title: THE DECKS RAN RED!



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

THE "CIVIL WAR"..WHICH PLAYED A ROLL IN 'DEVELOPMENT OF THE U. S. NAVY'

Battle of Mobile Bay Aug. 5, 1864
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You can go to any library in any city or town and find book after book describing the beginnings....and ending of "The Civil War"....and all the battles inbetween, so can I say, "Yes, much has been written about the battles...the 'why's'....the 'what-if's'....and what 'should-have-happened.'

Did you know...or do you realize it was America's down right uglyest war?  Also I mean to tell you the blood of those killed run "shoe top deep" across our nation. 

If you pick up any of the above library books that I referred to above....you'll see it so noted in those books that more American's died in the Civil War than in WW II.  Oh yes ....I will agree the figures are somewhat inflated due to numbers being from 'both sites.'.....but they still were 'American's'  WoW!!!....just give that a moment to roll around in that 'grey matter'....that is alot of grief!!!

And just think...all of this took place on American soil....so you see 'Trauma" settled over our nation like a grey storm cloud in the dead of winter.

Inter-woven in this slaughter of Americans were naval forces.  Did these naval forces have an impact on the Civil War?  You bet they did.....both the timing and direction of this War was affected.....Hummmmmmmmmmmmmm....something to consider here.

Ok...this brings me to the article that may sort some of this all out for you....it is a "two part" article, and both 'Links' are listed below.....hopefully it will be an informative article....as well as an interesting article.  Just click on to 'open and read.



Enjoy

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A "FLEET-TUG" WITH ALOT OF CLASS


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This ole girl was the last of her kind...........and Ocean Going Fleet Tug that was somewhat of a "Jack-of-all-Trades."

If you happen on to any old salts of todays world an quiz them about this ole girl...they'll probable say she was remembered as the retired Coast Guart Cutter "Tamaroa."   But if your ever in an old waterfront bar....and happen on to an old WW II salt, buy him a beer or two and start up a conversation about the "Tamaroa"....he'll probable recall her as the Fleet Tug USS "Zuni (ATF-85)."

So you see she was just one of those vessels that somewhat "wore a few hats" in her day.  A bit colorful I'd say....in fact she even had a crew that was just as colorful as she was....  There is a story going around that one of her crew went on 'liberty' one night....had a few too many....came back to the ship and for some reason...[I will not go into it in great detail on this lead-in]....opened a valve...flooded the ole girl and she was laying over on her side the very next morning........Hmmmmmm...one of those crewmen that couldn't handle his beer I venture to say.

Well anyway if you'd care to give this one a read...and see what her wanderings were....all you have to do is just click on this: USCGCT TAMAROA (WMEC-166)  and I do believe you'll be in for a pleasant reading surprise.

Hope you enjoy the article.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MAN-MADE GRAVEYARD


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Ah....Yes....Ship graveyards....a divers dream come true!!!  These graveyards are worldwide....and actually came about by numerous events.

The photo above is somewhat of a rare color pic of Test Baker, which many know is connected to the "Bikini Atoll,"....a most famous gravesite.  This is actually where we (the U.S.) demonstrated to everyone concerned....especially Russia..... just how nasty a nuclear bomb could be.

Now I will not go into any great detail here on the 'lead-in'  of this article.  Some of it you may well know about, some of you may not know about....but I still find it interesting to refresh the memory every now and then on just what did take place on one of the most famous man-made graveyards.

This is not a long article....about 5 or 6 pages...but if you are wanting a short read, before you have to get up from the breakfast table to 'walk-the-dog'....well you may want to take a gander at this one.
You can link to the article by clicking on this title: BIKINI ATOLL'S MAN-MADE GRAVEYARD

Hope you enjoy!!

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

DARING ESCAPE OF THE SS MORMACSEA


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I'm sure your mind is wondering just a tad at how the above picture relates to the 'title,' and to the subject matter that this 'blog' of mine normaly cranks out.....well let me provide you with just a 'taste' of this particular article ...then you can decide from there if you want to devote any time to 'give it a read.'

The SS Mormacsea, which was a merchant freighter, was laying dockside in Trondheim, Normay in the early morning of April 9th, 1940.

The Captain, Master William McHale, and her crew were all snuggled down in there bunks enjoying the few remaining minutes of a good nights sleep when a few of these sleepy souls, including the Captain, was awakened by the noise of serveral aircraft circling the ship..........Whoa!!!...what is going on here??

Well just about the time the Captain decided to get up....grab his pants and make himself presentable to the 'masses'...he was notified that a German cruiser was pulling into this same harbor....and low and behold the same cruiser was asking permission to pull along side the Mormacsea.  Now, this made Captain McHale just a tad uneasy....to say the least.

Once the German cruiser was secured along side the Mormacsea her captain came aboard and greeted Captain McHale.....he explained that 2,000 Nazi troops had just landed and now occupied the port of Trondheim....as well as surrounding countryside.

The German Captain wanted to make it very clear to Captain McHale that Germany had no quarrel with the U.S. or any of her merchant vessels....he and the troops were only there to protect the Norwegians against a British attack.....so he could rest easy.

The reason Captain McHale was just a tad more than 'uneasy' with all of this.....at such an early hour on this morning was.....unknown to the Germans at the times was the $4,500,000 of gold ingots buried deep in the hold of the SS Mormacsea...that held 800 tons of peat.....of which was actually headed for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

So...immediately what was running through Capatin McHale's mind....."Hmmmmmm...how in the hell am I going to get this 'cargo' out of 'Dodge?????"

Well so now you know how gold ingots has a "headline" in this article....well if you'd care to give this one a going over....just click on this title: DARING ESCAPE OF THE SS MORMACSEA 
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Hope you enjoy the article



Saturday, November 6, 2010

THE NAVY'S FIRST--ALL-METAL TWIN-ENGINE MONOPLANE

MR. STOUT'S
TORPEDO-BOMBER
The ST-1

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With the development of aircraft some of the 'thinkers' in the high levels of the U.S. Navy had some thoughts on how to use these new devices in the quest of sea power.  'Sea Power' always being referred too as "the best weapon"....as well as the 'best way to deliver that weapon'.....and so the 'Naval Brass' put "two and two" together..."How about the airplane and the torpedo??"

Hmmmmmmmmm....sounds like a heck of an idea to me.  Well along about 1917 or so there was some test done with a Curtiss R-6 float biplane, but these so called test were not as successful as was hoped for.

What the tests brought to the forefront was for a successful drop....the speed and altitude would have to be carefully monitored to ensure that the torpedo was entering the water at the right angle.....otherwise it would skip in and out of the water.  Also the airplane itself had to have the muscle to carry this "giant cigar shaped" weapon....so the idea the 'Brass' had was a good one....but they lacked the tools of delivery of this weapon.

So the hunt was on for this "tool"...the one airplane that could 'do it all'.......  Well here is where Mr. William Bushnell Stout came into the picture.  Ole Stout had his nose in alot of designing of anything mechanical....engines, motorcycles, model planes, and 'yes' even automobiles....and then all of sudden he got bitten by the bug of 'aeronautics.'

This article is about Mr. Stout building his airplanes....and one in particular....so as to sell to the U.S. Navy as the "tool" to deliver the torpedo......in the proper manner.....but he wasn't alone ...there were many that had the same idea.  Anyway, Mr. Stout done his thing....and if you are interested in Naval History...this article may enlighten you on what took place.....and was Mr. Stout successful?....and where did he end up in this quest for a new tool in the delivery system of the torpedo?

If you'd care to give this article a 'going over'....just click on this title: MR. STOUT'S TORPEDO-BOMBER

Hope you enjoy
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Friday, November 5, 2010

LAST OF THE U-BOAT ATTACKS

GRUPPE SEEWULF


U-805 surrenders off Portsmouth, New Hampshire
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The term "GRUPPE SEEWULF".....is somewhat of an unfamiliar term to most....but if you mention it too those in the 'know' in the higher ranks of the U.S. Navy....it referred to "Hilter's planned U-boat attack on the East Coast of the U.S."

Six German U-boats was to form up on April 14th, 1945 just north of the Azores....this 'Group' was to be known as "Gruppe Seewulf."  There mission.....as was generally described was to sweep across the North Atlantic convoy routes in order to draw some of the American Hunter-Killer Groups from British coastal waters.

The U.S. Navy got word of this "Group"...so they formed two lines of ships in the expected path of this 'group' heading for the U.S. East Coast......because the Navy had figured the "Gruppe Seewulf's" mission was to fire V-2 rockets from towed launching pads on too the U.S. coast.

So the push was on to stop this 'group' ....and 'stop them they did.'

This article is about the sinking, capture, and surrender of these six U-boats....as well as some details on how events lead up to this event.
If you think you'd care to give this 8 or 9 page article....by the way there is some excellent pictures imbedded in the article.....just click on this title: GRUPPE SEEWULF

Hope you enjoy
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A MODERN TORPEDO SHOT...AWESOME!!!

From time to time individuals that find and casually read a few of my Naval & Nautical articles will send me pictures, videos as well as documents that they happen onto during their searches of the net or in their visits to their local library.

In any regard I normally look it over and if I find it appropriate I'll offer to share what they send to my readers or anyone that is interested in this sort of material, and this is the case with the following video....

A Mr. Highton sent me this short video....which demonstrates the awesome power of the modern day torpedo.  In Mr. Highton's e-mail to me....he also sent the following text:


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Torpedo practice shot


This is an Australian Navy submarine doing a live torpedo practice shot on one of Australia's de-commissioned frigates. It used a Mk 48 torpedo developed in the USA. It is non-nuclear and not a contact weapon. It is designed to go off directly underneath the ship at about 50 feet under the keel. The effect is devastating as you can see from the video.


Quite an amazing display of 'hogging' and 'sagging' on the poor frigate's structure as well!

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video

Just 'click' on the 'forward arrow' to 'run' the video....and make sure your speakers are turned up.

If anyone wishes this particular video 'sent' to their personal e-mail 'inbox'...just send me your mailing address and I'll be glad to reply with the video attached.
 
Hope you enjoy this interesting video!!
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Monday, November 1, 2010

WHAT HAPPENED TO HITLERS "MILK COWS"

SLAUGHTERED
"MILK COWS"

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A fantastic Allied intelligence coup quickly sealed the fate of all ten Hitler's all-important submersible U-tankers.
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The signal was short and terse.  U-66 was dangerously low on fuel and in dire need of a doctor for a seriously injured crewman.  It's captain urgently wanted to know if there was a "milk cow" in the area - a supply sub that could render medical air and provide fuel.  The replay from Germany was a somber "nichts."  There had been on word from the milk cow assigned to that area of the mid-Atlantic for some time.  Headquarters had to assume the worst.  U-488 had disappeared without a trace; overdue and presumed lost.  The ninth of ten supply submarines sunk, she had vanished in the North Atlantic while trying to provide vitally needed provisions, fuel and torpedoes to German U-boats in mid-ocean rendezvous.

Unable to secure fuel to carry on its partrol, nor able to help a dying sailor because she carried no doctor.  U-66 had no choice but to cease its partol and return to Germany.  With her departure there was one less German U-boat for the Allied sub-hunters to be concerned with; one less torpedo-firing menace able to send an allies ship to the bottom.  But if fate of U-488 was an unconfirmed suspicion to the German High Command, its status was no secret to the U.S. Navy's Tenth Fleet, nor the hunter-killer group of destroyer escorts built around the escort carrier USS Croatan (CVE-25).  On that balmy 26th of April 1944, .........U-488 met a swift demise.

Above is the lead-in of how the U.S. detected the "Milk Cows"....and come to realize if we can get rid of the "supply source" to the U-boats....we can cripple them to the point of having to limp back to home base...and in the process being more vulnerable to complete destruction.

Ok folks....if you wish to give this one a read....you can get to the article by clicking on this title:  SLAUGHTERED "MILK COWS"

Hope you enjoy!!

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