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Video: Americans At War

Video: Americans At War

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The following are selections from the U.S. Naval Institute series American’s at War — personal stories of notable American veterans.
More information and videos can be found here.

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A Brief History of Grooming in the U.S. Navy

A Brief History of Grooming in the U.S. Navy

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Military grooming standards made news this summer when African American women in the Army and Navy complained about revisions in the regulations governing hair. At least one sailor was discharged for a hairstyle that was unauthorized when the Navy said she couldn’t wear a gas mask properly.

The instance is the latest in a long line of revisions and controversies over military grooming standards in the U.S. Navy going back more than a century.

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The John Walker Spy Ring and The U.S. Navy's Biggest Betrayal

The John Walker Spy Ring and The U.S. Navy’s Biggest Betrayal

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US Naval Institute Photo Illustration

US Naval Institute Photo Illustration

Notorious spy John Walker died on Aug. 28, 2014. The following is a story outlining Walker’s spy ring from the June 2010 issue of U.S. Naval Institute’s Naval History Magazine with the original title: The Navy’s Biggest Betrayal.

Twenty-five years ago the FBI finally shut off the biggest espionage leak in U.S. Navy history when it arrested former senior warrant officer John A. Walker. Read More

The 'Nightmare' Night USS Houston Went Down

The ‘Nightmare’ Night USS Houston Went Down

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USS Houston (CA-30) in 1934. US Navy Photo

USS Houston (CA-30) in 1934. US Navy Photo

The following is a first person account of the 1942 Battles of Java and Sunda Strait. The work was published in the February 1949 issue of Proceedings as, “The Galloping Ghost.” The text is presented unaltered and includes language some could find offensive.

On the night of February 28, 1942, the U.S.S. Houston, Admiral Tommy Hart’s former Asiatic flagship, vanished without a trace somewhere off the Northwest coast of Java. The mystery of the Houston remained complete until the war ended and small groups of survivors were discovered in Japs prisoner of war camps, scattered from the island of Java through the Malay Peninsula, the jungles of Burma and Thailand, and northward to the Islands of Japan. Read More

Remembering the Gulf of Tonkin: A First Hand Account

Remembering the Gulf of Tonkin: A First Hand Account

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Lt. j.g. Forrest "Zeke" Zetterberg disembarking from E-1B Vietnam mission. Forrest Zetterberg Photo

Lt. j.g. Forrest “Zeke” Zetterberg disembarking from E-1B Vietnam mission. Forrest Zetterberg Photo

The following is a first person account of the events over the Gulf of Tonkin on Aug. 4, 1964. Another view of the Gulf of Tonkin incident can be found in the August, 2010 issue of Proceedings

At approximately 0355 on the morning of Aug. 4, 1964 in the South China Sea, the aircraft carrier USS Constellation (CVA-64), was steaming toward the Gulf of Tonkin at as high a speed as she could without losing her accompanying destroyers. Despite an attack by North Vietnamese PT boats two days earlier, the U.S. government had decided to send the destroyers USS Maddox (DD-731) and Turner Joy (DD-951), on a route similar to the one where that attack had occurred.

The carrier USS Ticonderoga was already operating in the area and Constellation, though still about 200 miles away, was rapidly moving into position to provide support. Read More

The Legacy of USS Indianapolis

The Legacy of USS Indianapolis

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USS Indianapolis in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1937. US Navy Photo

USS Indianapolis in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1937. US Navy Photo

The following is a 1999 article from Proceedings, originally titled: The Sinking of the Indy & Responsibility of Command.

The July 30, 1945 sinking of the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA-35) by the Imperial Japanese submarine 1-58 has been called the last, great naval tragedy of World War II. It is the stuff of legend: after delivering the atomic bombs to Tinian, the Indy was torpedoed, sinking in 12 minutes. At least 800 crew members survived the sinking and went into the water. On their rescue after five days, only 320 still were alive. Their stories have inspired three books, a movie, and perhaps yet another feature film.  Read More

A Hundred Years Dry: The U.S. Navy's End of Alcohol at Sea

A Hundred Years Dry: The U.S. Navy’s End of Alcohol at Sea

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Sailors on USS Normandy enjoy a rare beer. With limited exceptions, ships in the US Navy have had no alcohol for a hundred years. US Naval Institute Archives

Sailors on USS Normandy enjoy a rare beer. With limited exceptions, ships in the US Navy have had no alcohol for a hundred years. US Naval Institute Archives

As a flotilla of naval vessels from around the world participates in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise (RIMPAC) to sustain relationships in the maritime community, a century ago this week international navies converged for a remarkably different occasion—to drink the last of the U.S. Navy’s supply of alcohol. Read More

D-Day at 70: The Port of Omaha Beach

D-Day at 70: The Port of Omaha Beach

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Naval Reserve Captain Edmond J. Moran receives urgent and specific instructions from Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Dwight D. Eisenhower on board the destroyer USS Thompson after D-Day. The general ordered Moran back to the United States “for more supplies and equipment to keep the invasion going.”

Naval Reserve Captain Edmond J. Moran receives urgent and specific instructions from Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Dwight D. Eisenhower on board the destroyer USS Thompson after D-Day. The general ordered Moran back to the United States “for more supplies and equipment to keep the invasion going.”

The following post is from the June, 2014 issue of Proceedings. The article was originally titled, ‘A Project So Unique.’ Read More

Through Japanese Eyes: World War II in Japanese Cinema

Through Japanese Eyes: World War II in Japanese Cinema

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eternal zero 2

A film about kamikaze pilots has been playing to packed theaters from Hokkaido to Kyushu since its release in December of 2013, becoming one of the top-grossing Japanese productions of all time. In addition to attracting the admiration of Prime Minster Shinzo Abe, “The Eternal Zero” has drawn a fair amount of criticism for being the latest in a string of recent films that mythologize the Japanese role in World War II. Read More