Monday, December 31, 2012


The MS East Indian....actually built and launched as a Japanese steam merchant as Beikoku Maru, and completed in 1918.  Well to make a somewhat short intro to her history....she was converted in 1926 as a motor merchant.  
She was still running strong in 1942....but then she met up with a German U-boat U-181 when all hell broke loose.

HERE is her story

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Some claimed the million dollars in silver bullion the 6,734-ton freighter carried had much to do with her unsolvable disappearance, but confusing radio signals compounded this unusual mystery of the sea.

Click HERE for the article

Tuesday, December 25, 2012


A frequent pre-war winner of the Navy's coveted Iron Man trophy, the crew of the battleship California (BB-44) proved after Pearl Harbor that even Japan's biggest bombs couldn't keep a good ship down.

Though it was as much a blow to America's national pride as it was a military defeat, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 could easily have been far more disastrous than it really was.

That the United States Navy lost eight battleships in one telling appeared to be a monumental setback to the country's Naval arm.  However, in reality, only two of these ships would never steam again.  All the others eventually were repaired and returned to service.

Click HERE for the article

Monday, December 24, 2012


Yamamoto calculated that if his victorious fleet could eliminate the last capital ships in England’s Far Eastern Fleet, the gates to India would be opened to him.
By the Spring of 1942, the Japanese could now boast of having expanded its Greater Co-prosperity Sphere with the conquest of more than three million square miles of ocean and island domains. At last, Japan now controlled enough petroleum, iron ore, rubber, manganese, and copper resources to feed is voracious war machine. By any measure, Japanese Naval CIC Adm. Isorku Yamamoto’s grand plan had been accomplished with remarkable speed, and few losses to its seemingly unstoppable military juggernaut.

Click HERE for the article

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Many of the nations that has went to war certainly has shipyards, and the shipbuilders themselves to praise.  Well here in the US one state and city stands out as is San Francisco, California.
Now if your 'into' US Shipyards this article just maybe one darn interesting read for you....or if your into just what took place in the shipyards prior and during WW II of the San Francisco also may fine this super interesting.

Let me say, "The City by the Bay can make its rightful claim to once having been home to some of the West Coast's busiest ship yards.

Click HERE for the article

Saturday, December 15, 2012


The ghost ship of manila Bay kept the Japanese invaders confused as to her whereabouts, firepower, and intentions

An Allied force of aircraft, submarines, and a size-able well-trained army could not be permitted to exist along the line of communication and supply for the Philippines. For complete victory, the Japanese were compelled to neutralize and immobilize this very real danger in the Philippine Islands as quickly as possible.

Click: HERE

Monday, December 10, 2012


Shadowed in the exploits of other WW II German raiders - Rogge’s Atlantis, Weyher’s Orion, and Kruder’s Pinguin - little has been written of Germany’s last auxiliary cruiser at sea during World War Two. Michel, under the command of battle-hardened but gentlemanly Helmuth von Ruckteschell, was to account well of herself during the course of the war. She accounted for the loss of 18 ships of 127,018-tons as she roamed the oceans of the world.
Click HERE for the article

Saturday, December 1, 2012


During the first six months of 1942 residents of coastal North Carolina were closer to war than were most of our troops then on overseas duty, and the coastal Carolina war, during that period, was a one-sided affair, with the odds strictly on the other side.

Now many really don't realize this...especially the younger generation.  So here is a tad of "Heads-up History" that may be super interesting to the young individual that has some interest in just how close this war was to the United States....  There is just on statement to define it all..."Damn Close!!!"

Click: HERE for the article

Thursday, November 29, 2012


With hundreds of Allied ships sent to the bottom by enemy torpedoes, the annals of the "Merchant Marine are filled with countless tales of courage, bravery, fortitude, and sacrifice.  Merchant seamen gave their all and more than 5, 000 seamen lost their lives in WW II.  This story that I'm about to relate to you is about a seaman who survived everything the frigid Arctic could throw at him and then some.

HERE is his story

Hope you enjoy with interest


Men of the sea call it Bloody Foreland, and with good reason. Withing the space of ten minutes on the afternoon of 2 October 1942, 338 officers and men of the Royal Navy - my shipmates - died 100-mile off this rocky shoreline. Not as a result of enemy action, but because of an appalling accident. An accident which has gone down in the Naval annals as one of the most terrible tragedies of WW II.

Hope you find this interesting


For more than 200 years the Washington Navy Yard has played an important part in the history of the U.S. republic and its navy.  From being an early center of shipbuilding, to producing heavy ordnance in the Civil War and two world wars to being an administrative center and keeper of the Navy's history, the U.S. Navy's oldest installation always had been a vital servant of the nation's sea services.

Hope you enjoy this page of history


The worst river disaster in American history saw nearly 1600 Union Army soldiers, many of them painfully wounded, died when the boilers of the chartered paddle steamer Sultana suddenly exploded with a force that lit the night sky.  The fiery blast was heard ten miles away in Memphis but this terrible tragedy was overshadowed by news of President Lincoln's death at the hand of an assassin.

Click : Here 
Hope you enjoy

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


“The submarine USS Snook is overdue from patrol and presumed lost,” read the brief Navy Department Communique No. 617 of August 4, 1945.  The “Snook,” veteran of eight Pacific patrols, departed from Midway March 17, 1945.  En route to the forward area, she put in at Guam. She left Guam March 27, bound for an assigned area in the South China Sea. She never came back.

HERE is her story

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Contrary to popular belief, the world had not really seen a "True" submarine until the commissioning of the USS Nautilus (SSN-571) on 30 September 1954.  Before that there were attempts to take underwater vessels on short journey with the designed purposes of exploration, sneaking up on an enemy and so forth, but the operative phrase is "short journey."

So....lets see if this article really answers the above title.

HERE is the link to some discussion on the subject....some will agree, some will not....but you got to admit....a very good subject to be mulled over.


Yes I'm very well aware of the articles that is listed on the web of the USS Mount Hood...and I did not write this article to say that I'm bringing anything new to the surface on this incident.
To the left you see a ship that was peppered with holes...all from the bits and pieces from the Mount Hood fact there was no piece larger than 10-ft of the ill-fated ship.  
Yes, it was an instant explosion snuffing out all of 375 and additional 45 lives from falling parts...and injuring 371.

HERE is this god-awful story


A batch of those land-based Coast Guardsman sometimes jeeringly referred to as “subway sailors” were dawdling in their Jersey City barracks at 5:30 p.m. on the afternoon of
24 April 1943. They were waiting for supper and, afterward, the pleasures of liberty. It was payday and the day before Easter, and New York, in a holiday mood, was just across the harbor.
Well things did not turn out the way these guys was getting their hopes up fact they didn't know it at the time but they would be "heroes" at the end of this ordeal.

Click HERE for the story

Monday, November 19, 2012


Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the 'light-bulb' lit up in the US Navy....the three recruit training stations - Newport, Rhode Island; Great Lakes, Illinois; and San Diego, California - were really stuffed to the breaking point.

Well it was decided that four new training stations, two in the east and two in the west.
This article is about one of those stations in the west located at the end of Lake Pend Oreille in the panhandle of Idaho.  It would be called the Farragut Naval training station.  So here is the story on how that site was made into a training base.

Hope you find it interesting

Click HERE

Saturday, November 17, 2012


This particular article was authored by a gentleman that  became a Midshipman after attending the US Merchant Marine Academy in 1940.

He tells of having a ship he was on ...the SS Stag Hound torpedoed out from under him.  This is not an  intense article...has some humor, the rescue details and so forth and so on...

Is it interesting....yes, at least I thought it was ....I think anytime you hear "first hand" what someone went through in the time of extremely interesting.

If you wish to indulge in this article...Click HERE

Hope you enjoy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012



Organizing a handful of salvage vessels into a dynamic force on the high seas, these resourceful entrepreneurs revolutionized sea salvage.

In 1860 the Board of Marine Underwriters of New York City started to get uneasy with the number of shipwrecks they were having to shell out money for.
So they decided to establish  the Coast Wrecking Company to get these wrecks stabilized....they appointed Israel J. Merritt to head up this operation.  This article is about how this all came about

click on this to read: MERRITT-CHAPMAN AND SCOTT


The SS Eagle being built in 1917 listed as a freighter.    She was actually chartered to the U.S. Army late in 1917 for WW I service.

Then in mid 1918 she was named Peerless.  Late in 1918 the U.S. Navy got interested and commissioned her.  So for a short time period she was commissioned USS Peerless

So here is the documentation on her...and how she got damaged by the German U-boat U-513.

Click: HERE for the short article


Monday, November 12, 2012



In wartime it is not uncommon for certain weapons to be rushed into production simply as a matter of logistic expediency.  Then again, it's often a matter of political dynamics where in Newton's Law that objects in motion tend to remain in motion is mindlessly perpetuated, as in lucrative government procurement contracts.  There were dozens of examples of this phenomenon in WW II which often saw ships built that were not needed, tanks mass-produced that blew up with such frequency that they were nicknamed "Ronsons," or guns delivered that no one dared to fire.  But few of these boondoggles reached the enormity of the saga of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver, a dive-bomber that went on to win combat laurels even though it's very existence caused a scandal which eventually collapsed one of America's largest aircraft manufacturers, the once-esteemed Curtiss-Wright Corporation.

Hope you give it a read.....this is extremely interesting to will blow your mind!!!

Click: HERE

Sunday, November 11, 2012


Here is a short article about one of the many 'Convict Ships' that went back and forth from Great Britain to the Australian Colonies....

She encountered a huge storm....landed on a sand bar off the coast of France.

All but three drowned.....and wait until you read about why this happened....WOW!!!

Just click HERE if you wish to give this a going over.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Well folks this, at least to me, is somewhat of a strange tail about what started out to be a ship built by the British, but the building of the vessel was overseen by a Captain of the Confederate Navy.

Once completed then there was some heated discussion on whether this "290" which was assigned to this vessel while on the blocks, was going to be permitted to leave port.

Well she did "sneak" out of port...and went on a rampage of  a true raider or merchant ships.....

Ok.......I've said enough...I'll let you read this short article on just how much hell this vessel done....and in the'll be very surprised at who "paid the bill" for all this.

You can read about it HERE


Early during the Civil War, President Lincoln’s Secretary of the Navy, Gideon Welles, realized the necessity of capturing New Orleans. With a population of 170,000, it was the largest city of the Confederacy. More important, however, was the fact that the inland seaport controlled the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Welles believed that whoever dominated the waterway would win the war.  On the west side of the river were three states which had cast their lot with the South - Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas. If they could be cut off from helping the rebels, then the Confederacy would be blockaded, both along the river and the east coast.

On 12 November 1861, Cmdr. David Porter approached Gideon Wells with a plan to capture New Orleans by using the Federal Fleet. Porter advocated a heavy bombardment of the river defenses followed by a quick thrust by fast Naval vessels up the channel to the city. The adventuresome young officer planned to use 13-in Army siege mortars, mounted on dismantled schooners, to reduce the enemy fortifications.

Now I'm not attempting to imply that this article has something "new" to this event.....but it certainly does, in my opinion lead the reader to the true "Hell" that both sides went through in this battle...I just found Mr. Tombs memoirs most interesting.  So here is "The memoirs of Engineer James Tomb offer an eye-opening perspective on one of the Civil War’s most-controversial battles."


Hope you find it super interesting.

Friday, November 2, 2012


Now here is a "Liberty Ship" that was assigned a name that goes back a few years......Oh yes, way back to 1816 when the Seminole War broke out

Colonel Duncan Lamont Clinch....was much endeared by the slave-owners of Georgia....well that is a tad of a story in I'll let you indulge in that if your interest in what happen to the Liberty ship named after this Colonel.

The SS Duncan L. Clinch...didn't have a long sea life, but she did give it her all.

Here is her short story

Saturday, October 20, 2012


     No one dared guess that the large number of mess attendants and cooks on the decks of the sub Gudgeon were actually Filipino guerrillas embarking on a dangerous mission in the Japanese-occupied Philippines.  This was the start of a series of daring missions in Japanese-occupied territory

     Anyone happening to glance towards the American fleet-type submarine USS Gudgeon (SS-211) during the night of Sunday, 27 December 1942, as she lay moored to the dock at Fremantle, Australia, might have observed an unusual sight. Seven mess boys boarded the submarine, saluted the colors, and then Immediately proceeded down the hatch. No sooner were they below decks than the Gudgeon, captained by L/Cmdr. William Stovall, Jr., slid away from the dock and quietly maneuvered out to sea.

If this sounds as if it will get your "reading juices" going....then just click: HERE


“The Polish State has refused the peaceful settlement of relations which I desired, and has appealed to arms. Germans in Poland are persecuted with bloody terror and driven from their houses. A series of violations of the frontier, intolerable to a great Power, prove that Poland is no longer willing to respect the frontier of the Reich. In order to put an end to this lunacy, I have no other choice that to meet force with force from now on.” (Chancellor Hitler’s Proclamation to the German
Army, September 1, 1939)

With the above words Hitler announced the invasion of Poland. In a matter of days the weight of Nazi military strength was to crush the Polish state. On September 17, Russia invaded Poland from the east, and between them Germany and Russia partitioned the conquered country. By September 30 all that remained of Polish independence was a provisional Polish government in Paris.  Faced with the necessity of abandoning its capital, what had this exiled government managed to salvage? Of those items necessary to continued resistance, what number had escaped? Unlike men-o’-war which prepare in advance an abandon ship bill, few nations are prepared to deliver their essentials to safety if the state must be abandoned.

Perhaps the best example of this lack of an “abandon nation” bill is found in the chaos
that accompanies the attempts of an invaded state to rescue her treasury, the monetary backing
without which her currency is void, her foreign credit nit, and her ability to fight back crippled.

HERE is that story

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Talk about the “Great White Fleet” and chances are that the listener/reader will think of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous deterrent gesture a century ago when he sent the entire U.S. Navy’s armada on a world cruise. The voyage was intended to drive home a message to Japan that we were usually a peace-loving nation but if goaded into action, we were a force to be reckoned with. The ships, normally battle-gray, were painted white on that occasion because it presented a more snappy appearance.

There was, however, another “Great White Fleet” that received the self-same moniker even earlier than the time - 1907 - 1909 - when its Naval namesake set sail. These were the United Fruit Company’s (UFC) cargo-liners that are known today as the “banana boats” and were instrumental in helping to establish what is popularly known today as the Banana Republics (not to be confused with the trendy apparel chain). There were numerous ships sailing for UFC under a variety of flags and fleets. To describe all of these would involve a lengthy, unsystematic account. I would like to concentrate here on what I consider to be the most notable and important ships that ever sailed for United Fruit - the baker’s dozen ships in the Atenas-class
5,000-tonnes of the first decade of the 20th century - the ships built expressly for UFC’s requirements. But first, it’s necessary to look at the evolution of the fruit carrier industry of Central American and the Caribbean.



Sunday, October 14, 2012


In war, everything is a compromise and some programs are destined to produce disappointing results.  Such a program was the ambitious endeavor to build a fleet of submarine-hunting frigates in maritime shipyards.

One of the best examples of Isaac Newton's incontrovertible theory that objects in motion tend to stay in motion was the highly controversial building program of patrol frigates for the US Navy during World War II.
A totally unnecessary warship that offered too little too late, like Newton’s law, the PF [Patrol Frigates] program seemed impossible to stop once it had begun. Plagued with design flaws, shipyard labor dissension, endless delays, and government investigations of gross mismanagement, a program that never should have been approved in the first pace, or stopped early on in its execution, ultimately saw 96 warships of questionable worth delivered at a cost of $2,530,000 each; nearly double their original estimate to build. Even wore, once launched and commissioned, the Navy had no idea what to do with these hulking 1430-ton submarine hunters for it already had more than enough brand-new 1350-ton destroyer-escorts on hand to destroy the last of Hitler’s undersea marauders.

Click HERE to give this one the once over.

Saturday, October 6, 2012


The evolution from sail to steam power was rife with danger and uncertainly as man learned how to master the strange elements of a totally new science.

In 1819, a small packet ship crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Savannah, Georgia, to Liverpool,
England. It was a rather unremarkable voyage by what was for all intents and purposed a sailing packet of 380-tons burden carrying the normal suite of sails. The most notable aspect of this little ship was that she was fitted with a rudimentary auxiliary steam engine, which was utilized to a small extent on the crossing. This passage has habitually been hyped as the inauguration of the steam age in nautical history.

This is a "TWO PART" article




Thursday, October 4, 2012


With targets few in the latter stages of the Pacific War, American submarines secured their torpedoes and went after Japan's coastal barges and sampans with a vengeance using their hard-hitting deck guns.

Not everyone in the US Navy's brass liked this idea, there was a lot of expressing of views by the Sub Captains.  This is what makes this such an interesting article.

Click HERE if you wish to 'give it a go.'

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Two thousand five hundred people are estimated to have been saved from death and another 3,000 from injury, while millions of pounds' worth of damage to property was avoided, by the use of a system of military and industrial decoy targets as a defense against the Luftwaffe.  Now is a good time to review just what took place....and how it worked.....and actually 'How Well it Worked!"

In reading the article make sure you click on red Link "STARFISH" to the in-depth details.
Link to article HERE 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Some 70-yrs after the construction of the first US Version, two World War II-built Landing Ship Tanks remain in commercial service.  A third became a museum ship because of its long commercial career.  Some 1051 Landing Ship Tanks were built at various shipyards in the US during WW II.  The last US Navy-owned, self-propelled WW II-era LST Hull was decommissioned in 1989, and scrapped in 2007.   A few still serve in Asian Navies.  Many of the amphibious ships that replaced the WW II-and 1950s- built LSTs have already been scrapped, or are soon scheduled to be.

A short article of "Where did some go"


The date was 16 August 1942.  The location San Francisco, California.  With America at war for only nine-months, war jitters were almost a daily occurrence for citizens of the city by the bay.
Rumors of Japanese submarines, reprisal attacks for the Doolittle Raid, and constant fear of Japanese spies among the city's large oriental population all added to the atmosphere of fear.

The sight of an airship silently coming out of a fog bank at near-by Daly City only caused these fears to increase.  Soon, calls were flooding police and military switchboards as the airship sank lower and lower as its envelope began to noticeable deflate.  Sirens filled the streets of Daly City and police and military vehicles sped to the area and began to follow the path of the airship.
Click HERE for this very interesting article

Monday, October 1, 2012


This is the least as much as I could gather on the Dona Aurora.....and her tangle with an Italian Submarine on Dec. 25, 1942.

Why the Sub kept three of the crew as POW's is somewhat of a least to me.  The Captain strongly attempted to have the sub take him....but they didn't believe him...hmmmmmm  strange!!!

HERE is the story behind the sinking of the MV Dona Aurora


Think the Titanic was the world’s greatest marine disaster? Or maybe it was the Lusitania? Would you be surprised to learn that the M/S Wilhelm Gustloff a German ship that sank in the Baltic Sea cost twice as many lives as both British ships combined?  And chances are you've never heard of the loss of the luxury liner Cap Arcona with approximately 4,500 lives.  Or the Thielbek with about 2,800 dead.  On the stricken General Von Steuben 3,500 suffered death by drowning.  On the Gustloff alone more died than in the combine sinking's of the entire British and Spanish amada's in the 16 century.  Yet very little has been written about it.

HERE is your chance.

Saturday, September 29, 2012


The eighth USS Wasp (CV-7), an aircraft carrier, was built on a reduced size version of the Yorktown-class hull. The Navy sought to squeeze an air group onto a ship with nearly 25% less displacement than the Yorktown-class.  Wasp was constructed with low-power machinery, no armor, and - most significantly - no protection from torpedoes. The end result was a ship with major
inherent design flaws. These flaws, combined with the crew’s lack of damage control experience in the early WW II, would prove to be fatal on 15 September 1942, in the South Pacific.

Click HERE to read the article.


It would be a race against time as the 10,000 ton warship made an agonizing 16,000 - mile trek around tip of South America hoping to do battle with the Spanish and win glory for the U.S. Navy.

This ship has many stories to tell about this journey ....and many have already been told.  I'm not saying this  article is a "tell all"...but hopefully if your interested in this vessel and what it may find a tad of data that you have not uncovered before.

Click HERE if you'd care to give this a go.


They went by many names: ‘The Black Cats....The Hunter-Killers..Night Torpedo men...and just plain Night fighters. Naval Aviators that flew in the night...that gained well-earned pride in WW II.

These men....these carrier and shore based attack pilots was un-excelled in achievement or individual excellence in World War II. This gratifying event....not withstanding, the story of night air combat in the U.S. Navy bears repeating since it is replete with lessons which could easily be learned at sickening cost in another war in a type of flying which is its natural descendant, all-weather air combat.

Article is HERE

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


One of the greatest ocean mysteries of the 20th century was the fate of a fleet tug of the U.S. Navy which vanished with all hands while on a routine peacetime voyage to a new home port.  A number of clues to her disappearance existed, but no one knew how to read those clues - and, unfortunately, no one seemed to care.

The year was 1921, a time of frustration for the Navy.  Still smarting from the disappearance of the collier Cyclops with 309 men in 1918, it was now doing battle with Gen. Billy Mitchell of the Army's Air Service who was trying to sink the Navy's battleships, literally and figuratively.  In the midst of that damage to its freputation, and pride, the Navy was forced to work its way through the disappearance of an additional ship which vanished from the face of the earth that year - the USS Conestoga.



Monday, September 24, 2012


Slipping down the builders' ways in inter-war western Europe, the schooner St. Christopher survived World War Two while flying a German flag, lost all her masts along with her original name and worked as a tramp steamer for decades, changed names again, sailed the Caribbean as a tall ship under a host of swashbuckling owners and finally survived being grounded by a hurricane -twice.
Now this ole girl she really gets around....and as far as I know is still around today.

Click HERE to give this one a go.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


The "Jarvis" was a Gridley-Bagley-Class Prewar Destroyer.

Oh my....she was a tough ole bird...actually about as tough as they come.  Here and her crew never considered the consequences of leaving behind their damaged whaleboat and life rafts.

Here is the story about how the US Navy had to put the pressure on the top hats of the US Government to realize what had to be done to be a "Super Navy."

The article is HERE

Friday, September 21, 2012


She served in every major US Naval action of the European War and in the last great action of the Pacific. She even survived a Kamikaze attack. In her career, she had received six Battle Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation. Still, the destroyer Hobson received little public acclaim until, in peace time, she was sliced through by the aircraft carrier Wasp.
On 12 May 1952, Life magazine carried a three-page story headed “Wasp splits the Hobson.” Illustrated with a drawing of a carrier ramming a smaller ship and photos of oil blackened survivors, it detailed a disaster off the Azores where the 27,000-ton Wasp collided with the 16,000-ton Hobson.

Click "HERE" for the article

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


The SS Don Jose was a freighter.....and being a freighter she sure was sure passed around like an old hat to many owners.
Being built in 1920 ....well she made her rounds with the British, Canadian American, Philippines and actually ended by being taken over by the Japanese

Not much is known about her....but if your into ship history...this may be one that you wish to read and stuff away somewhere for reference.
Just click HERE

Friday, September 14, 2012


You know if you are anywhere near being a 'reader' your eyes probably 'dance' over words or letters that you really don't have a clue how they came to be.
Well some years ago I developed an interest in the history of works or 'letters' such as "G.I." just where did this come from.  Well Mr. Reader you would be very surprised....and I'm just talking about "one" set of letters or words.  
So...since my interest or 'hobby if you will' is nautical or military, try wrapping your mind around this.

Why Do We Say "G.I"

Click HERE



The last submarines built by our Navy to be designated by a combined letter and numeral were the S-class - the so-called S-boats.  They started building them way back in 1916, and before the program was completed, 51 of these sturdy craft had slid down the ways.  The Navy's later types of undersea ships were given names of fish or other aquatic dwellers.  At the same time they were laying keels for the S-boats, they also built 27 R-boats, but they were relatively small, and useful mainly for coastal patrol.

The link to the HERE


A former Navy collier, USS Alexander, may have slipped through the pages of history had she not attained a degree of mysterious celebrity when she promptly vanished without a trace after being retired.

Her new life as a merchant ship was full of ambiguity.  Within a year after leaving the Navy, this ship was under charter to the German Navy in the early days of WW I when she was seized as a prize by the British; a year later, she was loading a cargo of construction material to be taken to the Far East, a move that was generally regarded as assisting the Allied cause.  After departing from the Pacific Northwest on this voyage, she was never heard from again.

If you would care to give this article a go...just click HERE

Sunday, September 9, 2012


According to official government figures issued in 1946 the British Merchant Navy suffered 30,248 known fatalities during the war with another 4,654 reported as missing. This enormous combined total of 34,902 deaths (some authorities place the figure even higher than that) was a far higher proportion of its total strength than that of any of the Allied armed services except possibly the Russian Army. A further
4,707 British seamen were wounded, and 5,720 became prisoners of war. The first of the deaths came within hours of war being declared on 3 September 1939 when the liner Athenia  was sunk with the loss of 128 passengers and crew. Despite these huge losses and the call-up of merchant seamen, especially officers, into the Royal Navy Reserve during the war, the Merchant Navy did not suffer many manpower shortages except during the early days of the naval call-up and during particularly bad periods. If it can be said that from 1942 onwards American had a surfeit of ships but a dearth of seamen to man them, then it can be said that with the British it was the other way round.

To read this lengthy article click HERE

Friday, September 7, 2012



Though the military history of the great passenger liners is littered with wreckage of vessels that did not survive their Naval service, none had as much potential, or died as pointlessly, as the elegant and revolutionary Normandie.  The pride of France and, for a short time, the undisputed queen of the North Atlantic, the ship was lost not to the torpedo, bomb or shell that claimed others of her breed, but to a pier-side fire directly attributable to the catastrophic carelessness, stupidity and neglect of those who stood to profit and most from her martial possibilities.  The story of her untimely and unnecessary death is thus one of the saddest yet most instructive events in maritime lore.

  HERE is her story