Then Lt. Cmdr. John Thach during World War II. US Navy Photo
The following is from the June, 2007 issue of Naval History Magazine:
Six Grumman F4FA Wildcat fighters of Fighting Squadron (VF)-3 were the sole protection for the USS Yorktown’ s 12 torpedo planes and 17 dive bombers that attacked the Japanese First Carrier Striking Force early on 4 June 1942. Launching nearly two hours after their compatriots on board the USS Enterprise and USS Hornet , the F4Fs were led by then-Lieutenant Commander Jimmie Thach and were the only fighters to engage the Japanese over their ships that morning. The following account is adapted from Thach’s U.S. Naval Institute oral history.
Before leaving Pearl Harbor, I was given very brief indications that we expected an attack, and there was obviously a big battle coming up in the middle of the Pacific. That’s about all I was told before I landed aboard the Yorktown (CV-5) on May 30. That night, the air group met in the wardroom where Commander Murr Arnold, the air officer, gave us a complete briefing on everything they knew about the opposing Japanese forces and their probable intentions. So we had a day or so to think before we arrived in position. After this briefing, it was obvious a very serious and crucial engagement was coming up. If we could win this one, we might be able to stop the Japanese advance.
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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.
Iranian missile launchers in a May, 26 2013 display. Iranian Ministry of Defense Photo
Iran could have enough launchers to send a salvo of medium range ballistic missiles that would overwhelm Israeli ballistic missile defense systems, according to a Wednesday report from IHS Jane’s.
A May, 26 broadcast on Iranian television showcased a collection of transporter erector launchers (TELs) capable of launching the Iranian Shahab-3 guided ballistic missiles. Read More
US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon with General Fan Changlong, vice chairman of China’s Central Military Commission in Beijing, on May, 28 2013. Voice of America Photo
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet and a senior leader of China’s People’s Liberation Army vowed to increase naval cooperation, during a Tuesday meeting in Beijing.
Lt. Gen. Qi Jianguo, PLA’s deputy chief of the general staff, vowed to establish military ties based on “equality, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation,” with a meeting with Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, reported Xinhua news service. Read More
Russian Border Guard vessel Vorovsky during a visit to Seattle, Wash. in 2009. US Coast Guard Photo
Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has plans to build four military ships for Arctic duty by 2020, deputy head of the Border Service of the FSB Col. Gen. Nikolai Rybalkin told reporters on Monday. Read More
The U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter. A Pentagon report alleges F-35 designs were among those stolen by China in a cyber espionage scheme. US Navy Photo
The Pentagon attempted to allay fears Tuesday it had lost an edge in technology development following a Monday revelation China had hacked more than two dozen weapons programs from the U.S.
“Suggestions that cyber intrusions have somehow led to the erosion of our capabilities or technological edge are incorrect,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a Tuesday statement. Read More
A launch of the US Army’s Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system. THADD and two dozen other weapons designs have been stolen by China according to a classified Pentagon report. Missile Defense Agency Photo
Chinese hackers have obtained designs for more than two dozen U.S. weapon systems — including the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense System, the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, the Littoral Combat Ship and electromagnetic railguns — according to a Monday report from The Washington Post. Read More
A KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-15 Eagle during a training sortie near Kadena Air Base, Japan. U.S. Air Force Photo
An U.S. Air Force pilot is safe after the pilot’s F-15 crashed 70 miles from Okinawa, according to a release from the service.
“Japan Air Self Defense Force rescue squadron crews safely recovered the pilot who ejected from a Kadena-based F-15 aircraft over the Pacific Ocean approximately 70 miles east of Okinawa at around 9 a.m. May 27,” according to the statement. Read More
Swarming is the distinct tactic of striking at a target using dispersed, flexible and seemingly independent units. Swarming units operate in a coordinated manner to attack from several directions simultaneously. The advantage of using swarming tactics is achieved when a network is able to sustain an unceasing surge of force before superior forces can assemble and counterattack. Now the age old tactic of the swarm is making a return. Read More
The following is from the January, 1972 issue of Proceedings.
For 112 years, the Tripoli Monument has stood on the grounds of the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, but its unique and tumultuous history began long before 1860. Read More