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Eugene P. Wilkinson: Nuclear Navy Pioneer

Eugene P. Wilkinson: Nuclear Navy Pioneer

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Vice Adm. Eugene P. Wilkinson. US Naval Institute Photo

Vice Adm. Eugene P. Wilkinson. US Naval Institute Photo

The following is an excerpt from the introduction of Vice Adm. Eugene Parks Wilkinson’s oral history for the U.S. Naval Institute. Parks died on July 11 in Del Mar, Calif. at the age of 94.

Eugene Parks Wilkinson was born in Long Beach, California, on 10 August 1918, the son of Dennis William and Daisy Parks Wilkinson. He attended Holtville, California, High School and San Diego State College. He graduated from the latter in 1938 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in chemistry. He taught chemistry there for a year. He also filled in and taught a course in mathematics. During this year he attended the University of Southern California. The next year he had a teaching fellowship in chemistry at USC. During those two years he completed all of the course work for a doctor’s degree but never did a thesis or received any graduate degree. Commissioned ensign in the U.S. Naval Reserve on 12 December 1940, he was transferred to the regular U.S. Navy on 28 August 1946. Read More

The Legacy of Adm. Frank Kelso

The Legacy of Adm. Frank Kelso

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An undated file photo of the 24th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Frank B. Kelso II. US Navy Photo

An undated file photo of the 24th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Frank B. Kelso II. US Navy Photo

On Sunday former Chief of Naval Operations, Adm. Frank Kelso, died in his home state in Tennessee, “following a fall this week that resulted in a severe head injury,” according to a report from al.com.

The following is an excerpt of 2009′s preface to Kelso’s U.S. Naval Institute oral history.

The early 1990s were a time of substantial-even tumultuous-change in the United States Navy. Adm. Frank Kelso presided over the service during that era as the Chief of Naval Operations and faced a host of daunting challenges. Read More

Looking Back — Enterprise at 50

Looking Back — Enterprise at 50

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Naval History, October 2012 
During World War II, the war-ship that made the largest contribution to victory in the Pacific was the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CV-6)—hands down. By war’s end, though, newer and more capable members of the Essex class had surpassed “the Big E.” The ship was soon decommissioned, and in 1959 she was scrapped—despite efforts to pre-serve her as a museum and memorial. Her legacy was perpetuated, however, in that she bequeathed her famous name to the world’s first nuclear-powered air-craft carrier, which was commissioned in November 1961.

Then Cdr. Kent Lee aboard the USS Enterprise

Then Cmdr. Kent Lee aboard the USS Enterprise

The namesake carrier, originally CVA(N)-65 and later CVN-65, is now on her 22nd and final overseas deployment, serving with the 5th and 6th fleets. When she returns to the United States this autumn, she will be inactivated and then defueled. The current Enterprise , like her World War II counterpart, will be scrapped. The process of removing her eight nuclear reactors will so disfigure the ship that she will not be recognizable as an aircraft carrier and thus not suitable as a museum. But what a record she has com-piled. Her longevity is truly remarkable.

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