Fifth ship of the Essex-class CVs. Fifth ship named for Benjamin Franklin… The date – 19 March 1945. Area of operations – fifty miles off the coast of Japan. Flight ops have been underway since before dawn, beginning with a strike against Honshu and another against shipping in Kobe harbor. On the flight deck, aircraft of CVG-5 are being turned around, serviced and armed for another launch and strike; in the ready rooms, the crews are briefing… It never takes much — it happens so fast, in the blink of an eye the world turns upside down… Out of the… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by SteelJaw in Navy, Uncategorized | 

Mabus announced a plan to boost the sea service’s enlisted female recruitment efforts to at least 25 percent of all accessions during a mid-May speech at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. The move, he said, will help attract, recruit and retain women in communities in which they are underrepresented. “[We] need more women in the Navy and Marine Corps; not simply to have more women, but because a more diverse force is a stronger force,” Mabus told an auditorium of midshipmen. … “I’d like to do better than that,” Mabus told reporters Tuesday following an address at the American… Read the rest of this entry »


Even while stepping gingerly past the usual swamps of interservice rivalry, for most of those who have had to work with “them,” it is very clear that there is a large difference in culture between the US Air Force and the Navy-Marine Corps team. Very different – and in important ways not good. One of the areas of difference is in their culture’s tolerance of dissent. While not as open as a spoken-word poetry slam, when compared to the other services, the maritime services are rather open minded and resilient to off-message discussion. Perhaps we can trace it back to the traditions Admirals… Read the rest of this entry »


In 1805, Boston’s Frederic Tudor stumbled upon the most innovative idea of his life. The global economy would actually pay handsomely for ice harvested and shipped from New England. Within fifty years, Tudor grew that idea into a highly profitable industry, shipping this new commodity throughout the U.S. and internationally. He didn’t even flinch with the invention of a new machine that could produce ice anywhere in the world. Large, cumbersome, and expensive, the machine produced ice that came at nearly 21 times the cost of Tudor’s harvested ice. Slowly the industrial ice maker became more efficient and less expensive…. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Capt Chris Wood in Uncategorized | 
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Recent writing by Lieutenants Misso and O’Keefe here at USNI Blog, with their call for JO’s to “stick their neck out,” as well as contributions from Lieutenant Hipple and Major Byerly at FP’s Best Defense Blog, has forwarded a vital challenge. The call for Sailors and Marines, as well as our brothers and sisters from the other services, to become active participants in the debates of the 21st century has come and gone a number of times across our history. Recently Senior Chief Murphy wrote about it from an NCO’s perspective in his Proceedings commentary “A Pseudo-Intellectual Wanna-be” in the March… Read the rest of this entry »


The Carrier Debate

January 2015


“Why is the Naval Academy Museum hosting a debate on the future of aircraft carriers?” It’s a question I was asked earlier this week about the debate between Jerry Hendrix and Bryan McGrath at USNA’s historic Mahan Auditorium. So let’s break down that question and answer it. First, why is the Museum hosting this? Part of the Naval Academy Museum’s mission is to educate Midshipmen and the general public on the history of the Navy. While this debate is about the future of aircraft carriers, both debaters and the moderator are extremely well versed in the utility of carriers for much… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Claude Berube in Navy | 

Please join us for Midrats at 5pm (Eastern U.S.) on Sunday, 18 August 13, for Episode 189: “The Union and Confederate Navies”: The War Between the States, the American Civil War – whichever description you prefer – this crucible on which our nation was re-formed has legions of books, movies, and rhetoric dedicated to it. Most of the history that people know involves the war on land, but what of the war at sea? What are details behind some of the major Naval leaders of both sides that are the least known, but are the most interesting? What challenges and… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by Mark Tempest in Army, Navy, Podcasts | 
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Here and elsewhere much has been written of the Doolittle raid, from the bookstand to Hollywood and the curriculum of War Colleges the world over. Coming fast on the heels of the stunning blows barely four months prior a malevolent arc of destruction and defeat stretching from Pearl Harbor back across the Pacific to the Philippines and the rest of Asia, the raid was, no, is emblematic of the American fighting spirit and ability to improvise on the fly and conduct improbable operations on the field of battle. From John Paul Jones’ raid on the English port of Whitehaven to… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by SteelJaw in Aviation, History, Navy | 

Fifth ship of the Essex class — fifth ship to bear Benjamin Franklin’s name… On the 19th of March, 1945, her crew would write a story for the ages as they were tested in the crucible. Today, like so many of their generation, the already small band of survivors of that day continue to dwindle. This coming March they will hold their reunion at Lodge of the Ozarks (Branson, MO). If you are a former member of the Big Ben, they’re waiting for you. If you are a student of naval history, or even just history — they will welcome… Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by SteelJaw in History, Navy |