Tag Archives: World War II

Document: Dive Report on USS Houston

Document: Dive Report on USS Houston

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

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

The following is a July 25, 2014 report from the Naval History and Heritage Command on the June expedition to the wreck of USS Houston (CA-30). 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

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

Coast Guard Led 9-11 Water Evacuation Was ‘Bigger Than Dunkirk’

Coast Guard Led 9-11 Water Evacuation Was ‘Bigger Than Dunkirk’

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A Coast Guard RHIB off Manhattan on the morning of 11 September 2001.

A Coast Guard RHIB off Manhattan on the morning of 11 September 2001.

The U.S. Coast Guard led a water evacuation of more than 500,000 people from Manhattan following the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center towers in an action that moved more people from the island than the 1940 evacuation of Allied troops from France, according to a new oral history of former USCG commandant, Adm. James Loy. 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

Disney Insignia from World War II

Disney Insignia from World War II

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Pensacola

During World War II, Disney had its artists draw up roughly 1,200 insignias for the U.S. military, many for Naval units. After Mickey Mouse rode a goose in a patch for a Naval Reserve squadron stationed at Floyd Bennett Field in New York, the illustrations became illustrious among units and inspired Naval artists to recreate the magic, designing their own logos in the Disney style. Read More

Midway at 71: 'I Sank the Yorktown at Midway'

Midway at 71: ‘I Sank the Yorktown at Midway’

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USS Yorktown after a series of torpedo strikes in 1942. Naval Institute Archives

USS Yorktown after a series of torpedo strikes in 1942. Naval Institute Archives

The following ran in Proceedings in May 1968:

The tension in I-168’s conning tower had been steadily building up for six and a half hours. In the cramped command post, I stood, palms out, waiting to grip the rising periscope’s handles. We were all perspiring heavily. My torpedo petty officer was scanning his switch panel, and a nervous helmsman wiped clammy hands frequently on his pants. Lieutenant (jg) Nakagawa, pencil in hand, mopped his damp brow between looks at the compass and speed indicator. But my gunnery officer, Ensign Watanabe, seemed almost unconcerned. Of the five, his job was by far the simplest. Our submarine was creeping straight toward the crippled American aircraft carrier Yorktown. There were no ballistics problems for Watanabe to work out-the range was point-blank, and target speed was nearly zero.

The whine of the periscope’s lift motor died away as I sighted through the eyepiece. I had been allowing myself a maximum of five seconds on each sight check and I didn’t intend to change the tactic. One quick glance would give me the range, and I could give the order to fire torpedoes.

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Camouflaged Ships: An Illustrated History

Camouflaged Ships: An Illustrated History

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Friday’s deployment of USS Freedom (LCS 1) will revive a tradition of camouflaging warships. Outside of smaller patrol boats, the U.S. largely abandoned elaborate color schemes and stuck with haze gray. 

USS Freedom in its new paint scheme on Feb. 22. US Navy Photo

USS Freedom in its new paint scheme on Feb. 22. US Navy Photo

But with the advent of the Littoral Combat Ship, a combatant designed to operate close to shore, the concept has returned. To put Freedom’s new look in context, the following are some examples of patterns from the past.

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