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(SP-384: 1. 150'; b. 24'; dr. 13'; s. 11 k.; cpl. 28; a. 2 3")
The first Rehoboth (SP-384), built in 1912 as a fishing boat by W. G. Abbott, Milford, Del., was acquired from W. C. Lofland, Lewes, Del., for service during World War I and commissioned at Philadelphia on 12 May 1917, Lt. (jg.) W. M. Bertrand, USNRF, in command.
Acquired originally for section patrol duty, Rehoboth was designated for distant service in June and, on 14 August, headed for Boston. Thence, at the end of the month, she continued on across the Atlantic. Steaming via the Azores, she reached Brest, France, on 18 September and began operations as a unit of Division 12, Patrol Force. On 4 October, however while on escort duty, her hull began to leak. Her crew, unable to control the flooding, was taken off and Rehoboth was sunk by H.M.S. Castor.
1683 – German Quaker and Mennonite families found Germantown in the colony of Pennsylvania, marking the first major immigration of German people to America.
1781 – Americans and French began the siege of Cornwallis at Yorktown, the last battle of Revolutionary War. They began digging the first parallel trenches, a distance of 500 to 600 yards from the enemy’s works. A French wagon train arrived at the siege site.
1861 – USS Flag, Commander Louis C. Sartori, captured Confederate blockade running schooner Alert near Charleston.
1864 - CSS Constance Decima was a side-wheel steamer, 345 bulk tons, 163 registered tons, 140 tons. Length 201 feet 5 inches, beam 20 feet 2 inches, depth 9 feet 5 inches, draft 6 feet. Crew of twenty-nine. Cargo of weapons and possibly some gold to buy cotton.
While en-route from Nova Scotia for Charleston, South Carolina, Constance Decima hit the wreck of Confederate blockade runner Georgiana and sank a mile out and 2 miles east of Breach Inlet in 15 feet of water. The wreck was discovered in 1967.
1884 – Department of the Navy establishes the Naval War College at Newport, RI. Secretary of the Navy William E. Chandler signed General Order 325, which began by simply stating: “A college is hereby established for an advanced course of professional study for naval officers, to be known as the Naval War College.”
1942 – An additional Lend -lease agreement is signed in Washington by representatives of the USA and the USSR. Between this date and July 1943 it is planned to deliver 4,400,000 tons of supplies to the Soviet Union, 75 percent by sea, the rest though Iran.
1947 – Former USS Crittenden (APA-77) took part in the Operation Crossroads nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll, then was towed to San Francisco and sunk in an explosives test off California either off the Farallone Islands or San Clemente Island (sources differ).
1958 – USS Seawolf (SSN-578) remained a record 60 days under the north polar ice.
1961 – JFK advised Americans to build fallout shelters from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union.
1966 – Test pilot Mike Adams flew the X-15 to 22,982 meters (75,404 feet) and Mach 3.00.
1981 – Egyptian Pres. Anwar Sadat was killed by an assassin at the parade ground of Nasser City by Islamic fundamentalists during a ceremony commemorating the Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
2008 – Former USS O'Bannon (DD-987) was sunk as a target off Virginia by aircraft from USS Dwight D. Eisenhower (CVN-69).
Oct 07, 2018 #1212 2018-10-07T01:22
1862 – “Dunkirk” was a Union Brig of 293 tons carrying a cargo of Flour and Portuguese Bibles on route from New York City for Lisbon, Portugal. She was captured and burned off Nova Scotia by CSS Alabama.
1862 – “Francis Elmor” (aka Frances Elmore) was a Union schooner. With a cargo of hay, she was captured and burned off Popes Creek, Virginia, in the Potomac River by a Confederate boarding party led by Lt. John Taylor Wood. The crew of 7 was later released.
1862 – “Wave Crest” was a Union bark of 409 tons carrying a cargo of grain out of New York City for Cardiff, Wales when she was captured, used for target practice and then burned southeast of Nova Scotia by CSS Alabama.
1862 – “Blanche” was a British side wheel paddle steamer of 750 tons built in 1857 at Wilmington, Delaware. as merchantman PSS General Rusk. She was seized by the state of Texas and converted to a blockade runner and renamed PSS Blanche.
While on route to Havana, Cuba she was chased by wooden screw steamer USS Montgomery to Maiano Beach, Cuba. She was then burned either by the crew of Montgomery or her own crew.
Strong protests were made by Britain & Spain over violation of neutral water by the Union Navy. Reparations were paid to Spain by the United States and Cdr. Charles Hunter captain of the USS Montgomery was court martialed, convicted of violating Spanish territorial jurisdiction and dismissed from the US Navy.
1863 – “Robert Fulton” was a Confederate side-wheel steamer of 158 tons, built in 1860 at California, Pa that was captured with a cargo of stores, along with steamer Argus (see below) near the mouth of Red River, Louisiana, by the USS Osage. She was burned when the Union crew could not pass a shoal to get into the Mississippi River.
1863 – “Argus” was a Confederate steamer that was captured and burned together with Robert Fulton (see above) by USS Osage while at anchor in Red River.
1863 – “Pushmataha” was a British flagged sloop used for Confederate commercial interests. While in company with another schooner, she was chased ashore by gunboat USS Cayuga at the mouth of the Mermentau River, Louisiana, 0.75 miles from the beach.
Pushmataha was carrying a cargo of rum, claret and French gunpowder. She was stripped of all but two kegs of gunpowder and blown up by a Union boarding party.
1863 – “Argus” was a Confederate States steamer used for transportation. She was captured and burned by monitor USS Osage while at anchor on the Red River in Louisiana.
1864 – USS Wachusett, a screw sloop-of-war of 1,032 tons, illegally captures the CSS Florida Confederate raider while in port in Bahia, Brazil in violation of Brazilian neutrality.
1949 - USS Chehalis (AOG-48) lay alongside the navy dock at Tutuila, American Samoa, when one of her gasoline tanks exploded, killing six of her 75-man crew. The ship burst into flames, capsized, and sank in 45 feet of water. She later slid off the ledge, atop of which she had originally sunk, into 150 feet of water. She was stricken from the Naval Register on the 27th October 1949.
1952 - A US Air Force RB-29 Superfortress “Sunbonnet King” (44-61815) of the 91 st Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron was shot down over the Kurile Islands, between Yuri Island and Akiyuri Island, by two Soviet La-11 Fang fighters, flown by Alekseyevich Zhiryakov and Lesnov.
The crew of eight, Eugene M. English, John R. Dunham, Paul E. Brock, Samuel A. Colgan, John A Hirsch, Thomas G. Shipp, Fred G. Kendrick and Frank E. Neail III, were all listed as missing, presumed dead. Soviet search and rescue units recovered the body of one crewman, John R. Dunham. His remains were initially buried on Yuri Island in the Kurile chain, but were returned to the US in the 1994.
1953 - Second Lt. G. A. Thomas, of the 18th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, based at Saint Paul, Minnesota, departs from Yuma, Arizona, on a gunnery training flight, in an F-86A Sabre, but has an emergency and attempts to bail out. The pilot's body is found Wednesday 7 October, 25 miles S of the Mexican-American border. March AFB officials said that the downed fighter was located on Thursday, four miles N of the border.
1958 – The U.S. manned space-flight project is renamed Project Mercury. Originally it was called Project Astronaut, but President Dwight Eisenhower thought that it gave too much attention to the pilot. Instead, the name Mercury was chosen from Greco-Roman mythology, which already lent names to rockets like the Atlas and Jupiter. It absorbed military projects with the same aim such as the Air Force Man-in-Space-Soonest.
1963 – President Kennedy signed the documents of ratification for a limited nuclear test ban treaty with Britain and the Soviet Union. Testing was outlawed in the atmosphere, underwater and in outer space.
1963 - -Test pilot Joe Engle flew the X-15 to 23,713 meters (77,802 feet) and Mach 4.20.
1964 – Former USS Barbero (SS-317) was sunk as a target off Pearl Harbor.
1975 – President Gerald Ford signs law allowing admission of women into service academies (Public Law 94 -106).
1985 – The United States announced it would no longer automatically comply with World Court decisions. This was in response to a June 25, 1985, World Court ruling that U.S. involvement in Nicaragua violated international law. The ruling stemmed from a suit brought in April 1984 after revelations that the CIA had directed the mining of Nicaraguan ports. The U.S. later vetoed two U.N. resolutions calling for compliance to the World Court ruling.
1985 – Four Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro in the Mediterranean and demanded the release of 50 Palestinians held by Israel. 413 people were held hostage for 2 days in the seizure that was masterminded by Mohammed Abul Abbas. American Leon Klinghoffer was shot while sitting in his wheelchair and thrown overboard.
Oct 08, 2018 #1213 2018-10-08T04:47
1775 – Officers decided to bar slaves and free blacks from Continental Army. This decision will be formalized by the Continental Congress in November.
1812 – Boat party under Lt. Jesse D. Elliott captures HMS Detroit and Caledonia in Niagara River. Adams-a newly constructed 200-ton brig-was purchased during the summer of 1812 by General William Hull, the Army commander at Detroit (now in Michigan) to add to the defenses of that forward outpost. However, before the ship could be armed Hull sur rendered her along with Detroit on 16 August 1812. The British armed the prize and commissioned her as HMS Detroit. She and HMS Caledonia gave the British undisputed control of Lake Erie. All changed early in the morning when a boat expedition commanded by Lt. Jesse D. Elliott captured the two vessels right under the muzzles of the guns at Fort Erie. Caledonia made it safely to the temporary American base at Black Rock, but Detroit, owing to light wind, was swept away by the Niagara River’s strong current and was forced to anchor within range of British guns. An artillery duel ensued.
Elliott brought all his guns to his engaged side and continued the cannonade until his supply of ammunition was exhausted. Thereupon, he cut the cable and the brig drifted down the river. She grounded on Squaw Island within range of both British and: American batteries. Elliott and his men abandoned her, and almost immediately, some two score British soldiers took brief possession of the brig. American guns soon drove them out with great loss, and both sides began pounding her with gunfire. The Americans finally set fire to and destroyed the battered hulk.
1842 – Commodore Lawrence Kearny in USS Constitution addresses a letter to the Viceroy of China, urging that American merchants in China be granted the same treaty privileges as the British. His negotiations are successful.
1864 - USS Aster (ex-Alice) was a Union wooden screw steam tug of 285 tons, built in 1864 at Wilmington, Del.
She grounded while chasing the blockade-runner, steamer Annie. The tug USS Berberry tried to pull Aster off but failed. To avoid capture, she was burned on the North Carolina Shoals off New Inlet.
1864 - USS Picket Boat No.2 was a Union screw steam 'torpedo' boat, built at Boston. While en-route from Baltimore to Hampton Roads to join Lt. William Barker Cushing's expedition against the CSS Albemarle, her engine broke down and she anchored in the Great Wicomico Bay near the mouth of Reason Creek.
On this date the vessel was attacked and captured by Confederate guerrillas under Capt. S. Covington when it ran aground on Potomac River oyster beds.
USS Commodore Read, formerly the ferryboat Atlantic, and tug USS Mercury later shelled the USS Picket Boat No.2 and the Confederates scuttled it after salvaging her 12-pounder howitzer.
1918 – Sgt. Alvin C. York almost single-handedly killed 25 German soldiers and captured 132 in the Argonne Forest in France.
1942 - "Long Beach, Oct. 8 - Capt. Don E. Brown, 25, son of Actor Joe E. Brown, was killed in the crash of an army bomber near Palm Springs this afternoon. An announcement from ferrying command said 'Capt. Brown was on a routine flight from the Long Beach air base to Utah when the crash occurred nine miles north of Palm Springs. Brown was flying alone.'” Douglas A-20B-DL Havoc, 41-3295, of the 1st Ferrying Squadron, 6th Ferrying Group, Long Beach AAF, crashed after takeoff due to engine failure.
1943 - First (of two) Northrop XP-56 tailless flying wing fighters, 42-1786, suffers blown left main tire during
130 mph (210 km/h) taxi across Muroc Dry Lake, Muroc Air Base, California. Aircraft tumbles, goes airborne, throws pilot John Myers clear before crashing inverted, airframe destroyed. Pilot, wearing a polo helmet for protection, suffers only minor injuries.
1945 - YMS-478 ran aground at Wakanoura, Japan this date Hulk destroyed 24 October 1945.
1947 – Test pilot Chuck Yeager flew the X-1 to Mach 0.925 in an instrumentation calibration flight.
1952 – Test pilot Jean Ziegler flew the X-2 on its first glide flight.
1952 - A US Air Force Boeing B-29A-75-BN Superfortress, 44-62320, of the 1st Bomb Squadron, 9th Bomb Wing, 15th Air Force, Travis AFB, California, and a Lockheed F-94A-5-LO, 49-2574, of the 318th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, 4704th Defense Wing, McChord AFB, Washington, collide 1.5 miles N of Wilsonville, Oregon. The B-29 was making a simulated attack on Portland, Oregon, when it was struck by the F-94, making a simulated gunnery pass. Fighter landed at the Aurora State Airport, but the B-29 was lost with all 11 crew killed.
1952 - A US Air Force C-47 was fired on near Berlin Germany.
1952 – Operation RED COW, a joint Navy -Air Force mission against enemy positions near Kaesong, was conducted with Navy F2H Banshee fighter jets from Task Force 77 providing fighter escort for Air Force B-29 Super Fortress bombers. This was one of only two instances in the war in which Navy fighters escorted Air Force bombers.
1953 - "Three Air Force fliers died in the blazing wreckage of their jet bomber which crashed Thursday at 4:55 p.m., 15 miles southeast of Riverside while on a test flight. An Air Force spokesman said the plane was a jet B45 Tornado, stationed temporarily at Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, while undergoing repairs. He said the plane left Norton on a routine test flight at 4:18 p.m., carrying a crew consisting of a major and two first lieutenants. According to the Air Force spokesmen, the three officers were making final test runs with the plane before returning to their home base, which was unknown at the time. Names of the fliers are being withheld pending notification of relatives. The bodies were taken to Preston Funeral Home in Riverside." At 4:56 p.m., the Riverside sheriff's office received a call from an unidentified woman that a plane had crashed about seven miles SE of March Air Force Base, near Lakewood. The victims' bodies were badly charred as the wreckage burned for four hours. Reports that the plane exploded in air were disbelieved by investigators as the wreckage was concentrated in a small area. A board of Air Force officers will be appointed to investigate the accident, said Floyd K. Smith, civilian public information officer at Norton.
1953 - "PALM SPRINGS - Disaster to an Air Force C-47 and the plane's load of 28 was narrowly averted in Palm Springs. Merton Haskell, who with his brother Malcolm operates the Palm Springs Municipal Airport, said the carrier plane was reported in difficulties around 2 a.m. by the Civilian Aeronautics Authority [sic] station at Thermal, with one motor out of commission. Haskell commented, "we can thank the good Lord we have been keeping the lights on all night. The situation could have been bad." The plane's origin and destination have not been revealed, but it was reported that the passengers aboard were all Air Force jet pilots being transferred from one base to another. A crash landing was expected and police emergency patrol cars and fire station equipment rushed to the scene while Wiefels and Sons Palm Springs ambulance stood by. While spectators watched tensely, the pilot of the C-47 succeeded in making his emergency landing with only one motor of the twin-engine craft in operation."
1957 - USNS Mission San Miguel (T-AO-129) was on a voyage from Apra, Guam to Seattle, Washington when she ran aground on Maro Reef in the Hawaiian Islands while running at full speed and in ballast. When she began to go down by the stern, USNS LST-664 took off Mission San Miguel's crew despite darkness, 8-foot seas, and numerous reefs. Declared unfit for further naval service and salvage, she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register on 20 December 1957.
1959 - A USAF Boeing B-47E-65-BW Stratojet, 51-5248, of the 307th Bomb Wing at Lincoln AFB, Nebraska, crashes during RATO take-off, killing instructor pilot Maj. Paul R. Ecelbarger, aircraft commander 1st Lt. Joseph R. Morrisey, and navigators Capt. Lucian W. Nowlin and Capt. Theodore Tallmadge.
1966 - Lockheed U-2C, 56-6690, of the 349th Strategic Reconnaissance Squadron, 100th Strategic Reconnaissance Wing, develops technical problems while on high-altitude reconnaissance flight over North Vietnam, attempts to recover to base but crashes near Bien Hoa, South Vietnam. Pilot Maj. Leo J. Stewart ejects and survives. This is the only U.S. Air Force U-2 loss in theatre during the War in Southeast Asia.
1969 – Former USS Barton (DD-722) was sunk as a target off Virginia.
2014 - United States Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-15D-41-MC Eagle, 86-0182, c/n 0994/D062, of the 493d Fighter Squadron, 48 th Fighter Wing, 'LN' tail code, crashed in a field at Broadgate, Weston Hills, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. The pilot ejected and survived with minor injuries. He was taken by a HH-60G Pave Hawk from the resident 56th Rescue Squadron for evaluation at the RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk base hospital.
Oct 09, 2018 #1214 2018-10-09T02:43
1781 – The bombardment of the British forces at Yorktown begins. Among the American guns there were three twenty-four pounders, three eighteen pounders, two eight-inch (203 mm) howitzers and six mortars.
1814 – Sloop-of-war USS Wasp vanished at sea. On this date, she informed the Swedish brig Adonis that she was “standing for the Spanish Main.” She was never seen again, and all hands were lost.”
1862 – “Eliza” was a Confederate sloop that was captured by steamship USS Kensington when carrying a cargo of 15 Hogshead of sugar. She was burned near Calcasieu, Louisiana.
1863 – “Bold Hunter” was a Union cargo ship carrying a cargo of 1025 tons of coal, from Dundee, Scotland for Calcutta, India. She was captured at sea, west of Africa, this date by screw steamer CSS Georgia and burned the next day.
1864 – “Roanoke” was a Union mail steamer of 1,071 tons built in 1851 at New York City. She was on route from Havana, Cuba for New York City with 50 crew and 35 passengers when she was captured 12 miles off Cuba by 2 or 3 Confederates posing as passengers. Reinforced from another ship, the Confederates planned to run the blockade but abandoned the plan and burned the Roanoke off Bermuda.
1867 – The Russians formally transferred Alaska to the US. The U.S. had bought Alaska for $7.2 million in gold.
1873 – LT Charles Belknap calls a meeting at the Naval Academy to establish the U.S. Naval Institute for the purpose of disseminating scientific and professional knowledge throughout the Navy.
1888 – The Washington Monument officially opens to the general public.
1919 - Continuing the transcontinental reliability and endurance test (see 8 October), a DH-4B hits the side of a mountain W of Cheyenne, Wyoming, killing 1st Lt. Edwin V. Vales and badly injuring 2nd Lt. William C. Goldsborough.] Lt. A. M. Roberts and his observer survive a close call when, in an effort to make up for lost time, Roberts chooses the direct route, over Lake Erie, between Buffalo and Cleveland. His engine fails, and he has to ditch in the lake. Luckily, a passing freighter sees the crash and picks up the two men.
1931 - U.S. Navy Keystone PK-1 flying boat, BuNo A-8516, is forced down in heavy seas and sinks.
1933 - Prototype Martin XB-10, 33–157, assigned to the 59th Service Squadron, Langley Field, Virginia, is lost when landing gear will not extend during routine flight, Lt. E. A. Hilary parachutes from bomber, which is destroyed with only 132 flight hours.
1941 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt requested congressional approval for arming U.S. merchant ships.
1945 – The following ships were lost this date in typhoon Louise at or near Okinawa:
USS Dorsey (DD-117)
USS Greene (DD-266)
USS Snowbell (AN-52)
1949 - Douglas C-47A-90-DL Skytrain, 43-16062, c/n 20528, of the 6th Rescue Squadron, Air Rescue Service, MATS, based at Goose Bay, Labrador, fails to gain sufficient airspeed on takeoff from primitive Isachsen airstrip, abandoned Isachsen weather station, Ellef Ringnes Island, Northwest Territory, Canada, at 1800 hrs. Zulu, lifting off twice before landing gear/skis contacted rising terrain and collapsed. Cause was icing and overload conditions. Four crew and six passengers suffer only minor injuries. Airframe abandoned in place.
1957 - Boeing DB-47B-35-BW Stratojet, 51-2177A, of the 447th Bomb Squadron, 321st Bomb Wing, taking part in a practice demonstration at Pinecastle Air Force Base suffers wing-failure during the annual Strategic Air Command Bombing Navigation and Reconnaissance Competition. The aircraft comes down north of downtown Orlando killing pilot Colonel Michael N. W. McCoy, commander of the 321 st Bombardment Wing, Group Captain John Woodroffe of the Royal Air Force, Lieutenant Colonel Charles Joyce, and Major Vernon Stuff. Pinecastle AFB is renamed McCoy Air Force Base in McCoy's honor on 7 May 1958. Details of the accident remained classified for five decades, presumably because they would reveal flaws in the aircraft, but an FOIA request resulted in the release that showed that the investigation laid the blame on pilot McCoy.
1962 – Test pilot John McKay flew the X-15 to 39,685 meters (130,206 feet) and Mach 5.46.
1967 - Second (of five) Ling-Temco-Vought XC-142As, 62-5922, suffers major landing gear and fuselage damage during STOL landing at Edwards Air Force Base, California, following a 28-minute functional check flight after incorporation of modified control system components. Crew uninjured. This was the 488th test flight of the XC-142 program, and it turns out to be the last one before the program is cancelled. Airframe not repaired.
1969 - A U.S. Air Force Boeing B-52F Stratofortress, 57-0172, of the 329th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 93d Bombardment Wing (Heavy) crashes about 1,000 feet beyond end of runway while doing night time touch-and-goes at Castle AFB, California. The plane exploded on impact, killing the six man crew.
1991 - Four members of a Sikorsky SH-3H Sea King crew operating from the Norfolk, Virginia-based USS America (CV-66) were presumed lost after the aircraft crashed during a training mission near Bermuda, the Navy said Friday. The helicopter was assigned to the Anti-Submarine Squadron 11 at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida. The crewmen were identified as: Lt. Richard D. Calderon, 26, of Jacksonville, Florida Lt. Cmdr. Karl J. Wiegand, 35, of Orange Park, Florida aviation anti-submarine warfare operator Karl J. Wicklund, 23, of Clear Lake, Minnesota and aviation anti-submarine warfare operator Vincent W. Bostwick, 20, of Orange Park, Florida.
1999 – The last flight of the SR-71 Blackbird (AF Ser. No. 61-7980/NASA 844).
2002 – Former USS Towers (DDG-9) was sunk by USS Sides (FFG-14) in a Sink Ex off the coast of California.
Oct 10, 2018 #1215 2018-10-10T01:48
680 – Imam Hussein, grandson of prophet Mohammed, was beheaded. He was killed by rival Muslim forces on the Karbala plain in modern day Iraq. He then became a saint to Shiite Muslims. Traditionalists and radical guerrillas alike commemorate his martyrdom as the ceremony of Ashura. The 10-day mourning period during the holy month of Muharram commemorates the deaths of Caliph Ali’s male relatives by Sunnis from Iraq.
732 – At Tours, France, Charles Martel killed Abd el-Rahman and halted the Muslim invasion of Europe. Islam’s westward spread was stopped by the Franks at Poitiers.
1845 – In Annapolis, Maryland, the Naval School (later renamed the United States Naval Academy) opens with 50 midshipman students and seven professors.
1864 – “Leighton” was a Union sailing bark that capsized in Rio de Janeiro harbor during a hurricane.
1919 - On third day of the transcontinental reliability and endurance test (see above), an east-bound DH-4B, piloted by Maj. Albert Sneed, almost out of gas, makes fast landing at Buffalo, New York. Passenger Sgt. Worth C. McClure undoes his seatbelt and slides onto the rear fuselage to weight down the tail for a quicker stop. Plane bounces on landing, smashes nose-first into the ground, and McClure is thrown off and killed.
1923 – First American-built rigid airship, Shenandoah (ZR-1), is christened.
1924 - U.S. Army blimp TC-2 explodes over Newport News, Virginia, when a bomb it is carrying detonates. Two of five crew killed.
"WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 - Lieutenant Bruce Martin of San Francisco was seriously injured with four other army men when the army blimp TC-2 was forced to the ground by the explosion of one of its bombs at Langley Field, Virginia."
"NEWPORT NEWS, Va., Oct. 10 - Lieutenant Bruce H. Martin died at midnight as a result of injuries sustained at Langley Field this morning when a bomb carried by the U. S. Army blimp TC2 prematurely exploded, wrecking the craft and injuring the five members of its crew."
1924 - The rear section of USS Shenandoah (ZR-1) is damaged while making a landing in windy conditions at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, after completing the second leg of a cross-country flight from Fort Worth, Texas. "Slight damage was done to the Shenandoah when the airship was brought to the ground last night. Officers at North Island this morning stated that one of the rear gondolas struck the ground slightly, but with sufficient force to strain two of the girders in the aft portion. The damage, it was said, is not serious, but on account of the mountains to be flown over on the flight to Camp Lewis, it was deemed best to make thorough tests to avoid any possibility of accident. The work of repairing the strained girders continued all day yesterday (13 October)."
1933 - Fokker Y1O-27, 31-602, '3', of 30th Bombardment Squadron, Rockwell Field, California, en route from Burbank, California to Crissy Field, California, lands at Crissy with landing gear retracted. Both light and buzzer in cockpit that are supposed to activate when the throttles are retarded fail to function. Only serious damage is to the propellers but airframe is surveyed and dropped from inventory with 115 hours, 15 minutes flying time. Pilot 2nd Lt. Theodore B. Anderson uninjured.
1944 - First Fisher P-75A-GC Eagle, 44-44549, crashes on flight test out of Eglin Field, Florida, when propellers apparently run out of oil, pilot Maj. Harold Bolster attempts dead-stick landing but crashes short on approach, dies.
1947 – Test pilot Chuck Yeager flew the X-1 to Mach 0.997 in a stability and control test.
1950 - USS Pledge (AM-227) was sunk by a mine off Wonsan, Korea.
1953 – A Mutual Defense Treaty Between the United States and the Republic of Korea is concluded in Washington, D.C.
1956 - A United States Navy Douglas R6D-1 Liftmaster, BuNo 131588, c/n 43691/321, of Air Transport Squadron 6 (VR-6), assigned to the Military Air Transport Service, disappears over the Atlantic Ocean about 150 miles (240 km) north of the Azores. All 59 aboard – 50 U.S. Air Force passengers from Lincoln Air Force Base and the crew of nine U.S. Navy personnel – died. Another source cites 11 October as crash date.
1956 - Two U.S. Air Force F-86 Sabres collided over Lake Michigan. The Lake freighter S/S Ernest T. Weir, Captain Ray R. Redecker, rescued one of the pilots (Lt. Kenneth R. Hughes) after he spent three hours in the water. Several other ships in the area participated in an unsuccessful attempt to locate the second pilot.
1958 - Thunderbirds support aircraft, Fairchild C-123B Provider, 55-4521, en route from Hill AFB, Utah to McChord AFB, Washington, with five flight crew and 14 maintenance personnel, flies through a flock of birds, crashes into a hillside six miles (10 km) E of Payette, Idaho, just before 1830 hrs., killing all on board.
1961 – Former USS Guardfish (SS-217) was sunk as a target off Block Island, Rhode Island.
1967 – Former USS Harveson (DER-316) was sunk as a target off the California coast.
1967 – The Outer Space Treaty, signed on January 27 by more than sixty nations, comes into force. The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law.
1968 - Lockheed SR-71A, 61-7977, Article 2028, lost at end of runway, Beale Air Force Base, California after tire explosion and runway abort. Pilot Maj. Gabriel A. Kardong rode airframe to a standstill. RSO James A. Kogler ejected safely. Both survived.
1972 - Douglas A-3B Skywarrior, BuNo 138968, of VAQ-33, crashes 1.6 statute miles NW of Holland, Virginia on old Highway 58 in Nansemond (Suffolk, Virginia), off Glen Haven Drive. The crew is killed.
1973 – Vice President of the United States Spiro Agnew resigns after being charged with evasion of federal income tax.
1980 – Former USS Mindanao (ARG-3) was scuttled as an artificial reef off Daytona Beach, Florida.
1984 - The first of three Northrop F-20 Tigersharks, 82-0062, c/n GG1001, N4416T, during a world sales tour, crashes at Suwon Air Base, South Korea, killing Northrop chief test pilot Darrell Cornell. During the last manoeuvre of the final demonstration flight at Suwon, the aircraft stalled at the top of an erratic vertical climb and dove into the ground from 1,800 feet. High-G pilot incapacitation was suspected as the cause, as the investigation found no evidence of airframe failure.
1985 – F-14s from USS Saratoga (CV-60) forced an Egyptian plane carrying the hijackers of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro to land in Italy, where the gunmen were taken into custody.
2002 – The US Congress gave Pres. Bush authorization to use armed forces against Iraq. The House voted 296-133 in favor.
2009 – United States President Barack Obama announces he will end the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against homosexuals serving in the U.S. military.
Oct 11, 2018 #1216 2018-10-11T01:28
1776 – USS Philadelphia was a gunboat sunk during the Battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain. The wreck was raised in 1935 and is now on display at the National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.
1776 - USS Royal Savage was a British built two-masted schooner sunk and then raised by colonial soldiers. During the Battle of Valcour Island, she ran aground and had to be abandoned. The ship was ultimately set afire by a British boarding party.
1861 – “Martha Washington” was a Confederate schooner that was burned at Dumfries, Virginia by steamers USS Rescue, USS Resolute and USS Satellite.
1862 – “Manchester” was a Union sailing ship of 1,062 tons carrying a cargo of grain from New York City for Liverpool, England. She was captured and burned by commerce raider CSS Alabama SE of Nova Scotia, Canada.
1863 – “Douro” was a Confederate iron screw steamer of 180 tons. While carrying a cargo of 20 tierces of tobacco, 279 boxes of tobacco, 550 cotton bales, turpentine, and rosin, she was chased aground by sidewheel steamer USS Nansemond, above Fort Fisher, North Carolina. Douro was boarded by Union sailors who captured two officers, two crewmen, and one passenger. With little of the cargo salvaged, she was subsequently burned.
1910 – Former President Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first U.S. president to fly in an airplane. He flew for four minutes with Arch Hoxsey in a plane built by the Wright brothers at Kinloch Field (Lambert–St. Louis International Airport), St. Louis, Missouri.
1924 - "PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 11 - Flying in excess of 150 miles an hour, the United States navy racing seaplane FTW fell 100 feet into the Delaware river [sic] today and was completely wrecked. The pilot, badly injured, extricated himself."
This was actually the Wright F2W-2, A7644, which suffered from poor handling characteristics, the tremendous torque of its huge Wright T-3 Tornado liquid-cooled engine flipping the racer onto its back on landing during its first and only flight.
1939 – The famous Einstein – Szilard letter to FDR about the scientific feasibility of atomic weapons was delivered. This ultimately led to the creation of the Manhattan Project.
1942 - Consolidated B-24D-1-CO Liberator, 41-23647, c/n 442, the eighth block 1 airframe, of the 469th Bomb Squadron, 333d Bomb Group, based at Topeka Army Airfield, Kansas, piloted by Ralph M. Dienst, suffers engine failure and crashes into a hillside three miles W of the base, killing eight and critically injuring one. "The plane was on a routine flight, army officers reported. Lt. H. R. Rubin of the Topeka base said the dead included: Lieut. Ralph M. Dienst, 26, Pasadena, California Second Lieut. James H. Edwards, 24, Berkeley, California, and Second Lieut. James L. Holmes, 24, Fort Bragg, California."
1953 - U.S. Air Force spokesmen at Hamilton AFB, California, report that an Air Force Reserve pilot, 1st Lt. Frederick H. Reed, 32, Berkeley, California, was killed when his F-51 Mustang crashed into San Pablo Bay, a half mile from the base.
1957 - On takeoff shortly after 0000 hrs. from Homestead AFB, Florida, a Boeing B-47B-35-BW Stratojet, 51-2139, c/n 450192, of the 379th Bomb Wing, participating in exercise Dark Night, suffers port-rear wheel casing failure at 30 kts. The bomber's tail hits the runway and a fuel tank ruptures, crashing in an uninhabited area approximately 3,800 feet from the end of the runway, four crew KWF. The aircraft burns for seven hours after the firecrew evacuates the area, ten minutes after the crash.
The aircraft was carrying an unarmed nuclear weapon in the bomb bay and fuel capsule in a carrying case in the cabin. "Two low order detonations occurred during the burning." The nuclear capsule and its carrying case were recovered intact and only slightly damaged by heat. Approximately one-half of the weapon remained. All major components were damaged but were identifiable and accounted for.
1961 – Test pilot Robert White flew the X-15 to 66,142 meters (217,012 feet) and Mach 5.21.
1968 - Fifth prototype U.S. Navy Grumman F-111B, BuNo 151974, c/n A2-05, crash landed at Point Mugu, California. Scrapped. Both houses of Congress refuse to fund production order in May 1968 and Navy abandons the F-111B program completely.
1988 - Boeing KC-135A-BN refueling tanker, 60-0317, c/n 18092, crashes on landing at Wurtsmith AFB, Michigan aircraft is destroyed and six of 17 on board are killed.
1991 - The crash of a Beechcraft T-34C Turbo-Mentor in Baldwin County, Alabama, kills Navy Cmdr. Duane S. Cutter, 44, from Newfield, New York, and his student, Marine 2nd Lt. Thomas J. Gaffney, 24, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, while on a routine training mission out of NAS Whiting Field, Florida, said Lt. Cmdr. Diane Hooker, a Navy spokeswoman at Whiting Field. Hooker couldn't immediately say what techniques the two were practicing when the T-34 went down.
Oct 12, 2018 #1217 2018-10-12T00:30
1492 – Christopher Columbus sited land, an island of the Bahamas which he named San Salvador, but which was called Guanahani by the local Taino people.
1776 – Gunboat USS Providence took part in the battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain. She retreated with the rest of the American squadron to Crown Point. Pursued by the British and damaged, Providence was stranded and burned by her crew at Schuyler Island.
1776 – Gunboat USS Spitfire suffered the same fate as USS Providence (see above).
1863 – “Columbia” was a Confederate schooner, used for smuggling and raiding. She was burned by a Union small boat expedition at Ape's Hole near the head of Pocomoke Sound, Maryland.
1863 – “Jane” was a British schooner, on voyage from New Providence, Bahamas that was destroyed by her crew to prevent capture by side wheel steamer USS Tennessee off the Brazos River, Texas.
1863 - USS Madgie was a Union wooden screw steamer of 218 tons, built in 1858 at Philadelphia. While being towed by the USS Fahkee, she took on water and sank in 18 fathoms, 12 miles southeast of Frying Pan Shoals, North Carolina.
1914 – USS Jupiter (AC-3) is first Navy ship to complete transit of Panama Canal from west to east.
1917 – The 1st Marine Aviation Squadron and 1st Marine Aeronautic Company formed at Philadelphia.
1933 - USCG CG-256 ran aground in Spanish Bay, California during a gale
1942 – During World War II, Attorney General Francis Biddle announced that Italian nationals in the United States would no longer be considered enemy aliens.
1942 - "Los Angeles, Oct. 12. - Four barrage balloons of the army's coastal defense system broke from their moorings today, one falling in flames after its metal trailing cable struck a high-tension wire. Two were later recaptured and the fourth continued to soar."
1945 - USAAF Curtiss C-46F-1-CU Commando, 44-78591, was on approach to Nanyuan Airport, China, en-route from Hankou when it struck a radio antenna and crashed near Beijing, killing all 59 passengers and crew on board. The crash is the worst-ever involving the C-46.
1950 - USS Pirate (AM-275) was sunk by a mine off Pusan, Korea.
1954 - USAF North American F-100A-1-NA Super Sabre, 52-5764, c/n 192–9, crashes at Edwards Air Force Base, California, at 1100 hrs., killing North American test-pilot Lt. George Welch, a veteran of the Japanese Navy attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. During terminal velocity dive test from 45,000 feet (14,000 m), aircraft yaws to starboard, then begins roll. Airframe breaks up under 8 G strain, pilot falls clear, chute opens, but he sustains fatal injuries, dying shortly after reaching the ground.
1954 - A US Navy Lockheed P2V Neptune undergoing test cycles by the Air Force Operational Test Center at Eglin AFB suffers a structural failure on landing at Auxiliary Field Number 8 which causes the starboard engine to break loose and burn in a Tuesday morning accident. The crew of two escape injury.
1965 – Test pilot Pete Knight flew the X-15 to 28,773 meters (94,404 feet) and Mach 4.62.
1966 - Two North American F-100 Super Sabres of the USAF Thunderbirds demonstration team collide during practice for a show at Sheppard AFB, Texas, at Indian Springs Air Force Auxiliary Field, Nevada, killing two of the three pilots. The jets were performing opposing half Cuban Eights when witnesses said that the two jets scraped each other at the top of a loop. The pilot of the F-100F, Capt. Robert H. Morgan, 32, of Pendleton, South Carolina, ejected but his chute did not have time to deploy and he died when he struck the ground still strapped to his seat, while team member, Maj. Frank E. Liethen, Jr., 36, Appleton, Wisconsin, riding in the second seat, died when the Super Sabre struck the desert floor. The fighter impact left a crater almost twelve feet deep. "Liethen, executive officer of the Thunderbirds, was riding with Morgan on an orientation flight. He had been with the group since last December, but ordinarily did not take part in formation flying. However, he had been scheduled to take over soon as commander and would have flown at the head of the group's diamond formation." Capt. Robert D. Beckel, 29, of Walla Walla, Washington, was able to land his F-100D at Nellis AFB, Nevada.
"The Air Force said it was a 'tribute to his flying skill' that Beckel was able to land his plane, damaged in a wing. The red, white and blue jets cost a reported $650,000." Both Liethan and Morgan leave a widow and four children. "A Thunderbird spokesman said a show Saturday in Wichita Falls, Tex., would go on despite the crash – but maybe with five planes instead of six because there was no one trained to replace Morgan."
1966 - Lockheed C-130E-LM Hercules, 63-7886, c/n 3957, of the 516th Troop Carrier Wing, Dyess AFB, Texas, flies into ground at night circa 30 kilometers north-northwest of Aspermont, Texas. It impacts in a brushy pasture on the 6666 Ranch, 75 miles NW of Abilene near U.S. 83. Only one of the crew of six survives, a loadmaster, who is pulled from the wreckage by a passing truck driver, Carroll Brezee. He was in critical condition. The fuselage and tail section lay near the center of a burned area about 50 X 200 yards, with parts scattered along a half mile stretch. Sheriff E. W. Hollar, of Guthrie, nine miles N of the crash site, said that persons first reaching the scene found two bodies. A ground party from Dyess AFB found the other three in a search through heavy mesquite brush. Authorities said that these were the first fatalities in the 516th Troop Carrier Wing since it was formed at Dyess in December 1958.
1972 – Forty six sailors are injured in a race riot involving more than 100 sailors aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63) en-route to her station in the Gulf of Tonkin off Vietnam.
1979 – Former USS Alfred A. Cunningham (DD-752) was sunk as a target, being struck by five laser guided bombs off Southern California.
1986 – The superpower meeting in Reykjavik, Iceland, ended in stalemate, with President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev unable to agree on arms control or a date for a full-fledged summit in the United States.
2000 – USS Cole (DDG-67), refueling in Yemen suffered an enormous explosion in a terrorist attack killing 17 sailors, injuring 39 others, and damaging the ship.
Oct 12, 2018 #1218 2018-10-12T23:32
1775 – Navy founded. The Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed with ten carriage guns, as well as swivel guns, and manned by crews of eighty, and to send them out on a cruise of three months to intercept transports carrying munitions and stores to the British army in America. This was the original legislation out of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth certificate of the Navy.
1776 – The following US Navy ships participated in the battle of Valcour Island on Lake Champlain. Forced to retreat, they were in danger of being overtaken by British forces, so were burned.
Gunboat USS Boston
Gunboat USS Connecticut
Gunboat USS New Haven
Row galley USS Congress
1860 – The 1st US aerial photo was taken from a balloon over Boston.
1884 – Greenwich was established as universal time meridian of longitude.
1914 – Garrett Morgan invented and patented the gas mask.
1922 – Pilot Billy Mitchell sets a world speed record of 222.88 MPH (358.836 KPH) in a Curtiss R6 racer at Detroit.
1933 - Douglas B-7, 32-310, c/n 1110 of the 11th Bombardment Squadron, departs March Field, California, piloted by Lt. Kenneth P. Gardner. A few minutes into the flight, a gasoline fire begins in the port engine carburetor and as it spreads, Lt. Gardner orders Sgt. James E. Carter and Pvt. D. Russell to bail out. The pilot attempts to stay with the plane to keep it from crashing into a populous area but when the blaze spreads, he, too, takes to his parachute. The burning bomber comes down at Azusa, California, and is destroyed. Carter is slightly bruised upon landing but the other two are unhurt.
1943 – During World War II, Italy declared war on Germany, its one-time Axis partner.
1953 - Boeing B-47B-30-BW Stratojet, 51-2096, of the 33d Bomb Squadron, 22d Bomb Wing crashes and explodes at 1925 hrs., shortly after takeoff from March Air Force Base, California, during a touch-and-go, killing three crew. The crash scatters wreckage over five acres of open brushland near Alessandro Boulevard and Highway 395 in the Moreno Valley, two miles W of the base. Aircraft commander was Capt. Byron M. Steel. Two other victims were Capt. Charles W. Brosius, of the 33d BS, 22d BW, and Capt. Earl F. Poytress, Headquarters, 12th Air Division. This was the first loss of a March B-47 since they arrived at the base on 30 January 1953.
1955 - Boeing B-47B-40-BW Stratojet, 51-2231, of the 320th Bombardment Wing, crashes while taking off from March Air Force Base, California, coming down in what is now the Sycamore Canyon Wilderness Park, NW of the base. Capt. Edward Anthony O'Brien Jr., pilot, Capt. David James Clare, co-pilot, Major Thomas Francis Mulligan, navigator, and Capt. Joseph M. Graeber, chaplain, are all killed. Crew chief Albert Meyer, of Westchester, California, was not flying with his aircraft that day because he had already exceeded his flight hours.
1987 – The US Navy made the 1st military use of trained dolphins in the Persian Gulf.
1999 – The US Senate rejected the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban treaty 51-48.
Oct 14, 2018 #1219 2018-10-14T03:09
1863 – “Lady Jackson” was a Union stern wheel paddle steamer of 207 tons built in 1860 at Cincinnati. She ran aground and was wrecked on the White River in Arkansas.
1912 – Theodore Roosevelt, former president and the Bull Moose Party candidate, was shot at close range by anarchist William Schrenk while greeting the public in front of the Hotel Gilpatrick in Milwaukee while campaigning for the presidency. He was saved by the papers in his breast pocket and still managed to give a 90 minute address in Milwaukee after requesting his audience to be quiet because “there is a bullet in my body.” Schrenk was captured and uttered the now famous words “any man looking for a third term ought to be shot.”
1917 - USS Rehoboth (SP-384) was a fishing vessel requisitioned by the U.S. Navy and used as a patrol craft during the war. While escorting a convoy off the coast of France, she suffered an uncontrollable leak and the crew had to abandon the ship, which was sunk by gunfire from light cruiser HMS Castor.
1918 – Naval Aviators of Marine Day Squadron 9 make first raid-in-force for the Northern Bombing Group in World War I when they bombed German railroad at Thielt Rivy, Belgium.
1922 - The Navy-Wright NW-1, BuNo A-6543, a racer designed and built in a mere three months, flew for the first time on 11 October 1922, just days before it was entered in the 14 October 1922 Pulitzer air race at Selfridge Field, Michigan. Entered at the last minute, the press dubbed the new entry, the Mystery Racer. Assigned to the second of three heats, and wearing race number 9, the close-fitting cowling over the Wright T-2 engine retained heat and caused the oil temperature to exceed its operating limit. Streaming smoke around the race course, the pilot was over Lake St. Clair, near Detroit when the red-hot engine failed. "The extreme low position of the lower wing was not conducive to ditching and the "Mystery Racer" flipped over and sank in the mud. The aircraft was written-off but the pilot emerged unscathed."
1931 – Former USS Essex (IX-10) was an armed naval sloop built between 1874 and 1876 at East Boston, Mass. The ship was finally sold for scrap in Nov. 1930 and taken to the beach outside Duluth harbor where the ship was burned to the waterline. The remains of U.S.S. Essex were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
1942 - The apparent mid-air explosion and crash of Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan, 41-27447, of the 383d School Squadron, out of Kirtland Field, four miles W of Belen, New Mexico, kills three crew. "The dead, as released by the Albuquerque air base: Second Lieut. Boyd C. Knetsar, the pilot, of Houston, Texas, and Aviation Cadets John Joseph Fischer, Detroit, and Earl William Ferris, St. Louis."
1947 – Test pilot Chuck Yeager flew the X-1 to 13,115 meters (43,030 feet) and Mach 1.06, becoming the first man to officially exceed the speed of sound.
1950 – Nine Chinese armies, totaling over 300,000 men, began to cross the Yalu River. By traveling at night and hiding during the day, the largely foot-mobile Communist Chinese Forces avoided detection by U.N. aerial surveillance.
1953 - Second of two Bell X-5 swing-wing testbeds, 50-1839, gets into irrecoverable spin condition at Edwards AFB, California during aggravated stall test, crashes in desert, killing test pilot Maj. Raymond Popson on his first flight in the type. On the same date, the nose gear of the XF-92 collapses, ending use by NACA.
1955 - A Strategic Air Command Boeing B-47E-90-BW Stratojet, 52–500, crashes while attempting landing on 3,400-foot (1,000 m) runway 27 at NAS Atlanta, Georgia, shearing off tail and coming to rest beside runway. This facility is now DeKalb-Peachtree Airport.
1962 – A U.S. Air Force U-2 reconnaissance plane and its pilot fly over the island of Cuba and take photographs of Soviet missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads being installed and erected in Cuba. Major Richard Heyser took 928 pictures on a path selected by DIA analysts, capturing images of what turned out to be an SS-4 construction site at San Cristóbal, Pinar del Río Province (now in Artemisa Province), in western Cuba.
1964 - Boeing KB-50K Superfortress, 48-065, of the 421st Air Refueling Squadron, Takhli RTAFB, crashed in Thailand shortly after takeoff on training mission while supporting Yankee missions over Laos. Corrosion found in wreckage led to early retirement of the KB-50 fleet and its replacement with Boeing KC-135s.
1965 – Test pilot Joseph Engle flew the X-15 to 81,229 meters (266,512 feet) and Mach 5.08.
1969 – Former USS Madison (DD-425) was sunk as a target off Southeastern Florida.
1975 - USAF McDonnell Douglas F-15A Eagle, 73-0088, of the 555th TFTS, 58th TFTW, crashes W of Minersville, Utah, due to electrical smoke/fire from generator failure pilot ejects safely. This was the first F-15 crash.
1987 - Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk, 83-815, of the 4450th Tactical Group, piloted by Maj. Michael C. Stewart, callsign BURNR ("burner") 54, crashes at 2033 hrs.,
100 miles N of Nellis AFB, just E of Tonopah. Stewart was just 40 minutes into a routine single-ship sortie when his aircraft crashed into the gently sloping terrain 60 miles E of Alamo, Nevada, pilot KWF. Cause is thought to be spatial disorientation – pilot made no attempt to eject.
2012 – Felix Baumgartner set a world speed record of 844 MPH (1,358 KPH) for the fastest unpowered descent of a human when he jumped from a helium filled balloon at 39,045 meters (128,100 feet).
Oct 15, 2018 #1220 2018-10-15T01:00
1862 – “Lamplighter” was a Union Bark of 365 tons carrying a cargo of tobacco and on route from New York City for Gibraltar. She was captured and burned by screw sloop-of-war CSS Alabama off the coast of Nova Scotia.
1862 – “Lone Star” was a Confederate schooner that was burned by boats from wooden schooner USS Rachel Seaman and steamship USS Kensington in Taylor's Bayou, Texas.
1862 – “Stonewall” was a Confederate schooner that suffered the same fate as “Lone Star” (see above).
1863 – For the second time, the Confederate submarine H L Hunley sank during a practice dive in Charleston Harbor, S.C, this time drowning its inventor along with seven crew members.
1892 – US government convinced the Crow Indians to give up 1.8 million acres of their reservation (in the mountainous area of western Montana) for 50 cents per acre. Presidential proclamation opened this land to settlers.
1917 – USS Cassin (DD-43) torpedoed by German submarine U-61 off coast of Ireland. In trying to save the ship, Gunner’s Mate Osmond Kelly Ingram becomes first American sailor killed in World War I and later is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism. He becomes the first enlisted man to have a ship named for him, USS Osmond Ingram (DD-255/AVD–9/APD-35).
1919 - Two more fatalities are recorded in the transcontinental endurance test when 2nd Lts. French Kirby and Stanley C. Miller die in an emergency landing in their DH-4 near the Wyoming–Utah border when they suffer engine failure near Evanston, Wyoming. During the two-week test, 54 accidents wreck or damage planes. Twenty-nine result from motor trouble, 16 from bad landings, 5 from poor weather, 2 when pilots lose their way, 1 in take-off, and 1 by fire. In 42 cases the accident meant the end of the race for the pilot. Seven fatalities occur during the race, one in a de Havilland DH-4B, the others in DH-4s. Lt. John Owen Donaldson was awarded the Mackay Gold Medal for taking first place in the Army's only transcontinental air race. Donaldson Air Force Base, South Carolina, would be eventually named for the Great War ace (eight credited victories).
1929 - Martin XT5M-1 dive bomber, BuNo A-8051, during terminal dive test at 350 IAS at 8,000 feet, lower starboard wing caves in, ripping extensive hole. NACA test pilot Bill H. McAvoy staggers aircraft back to the Martin field north of Baltimore, Maryland, landing at 110 mph with full-left stick input. Aircraft will go into production as the Martin BM-1.
1942 - Douglas C-49E-DO Skytrain, 42-43619, DST-114, c/n 1494, ex-American Airlines Douglas Sleeper Transport NC14988, A115 "Texas", first flown as X14988 on 17 December 1935 sold to TWA, 14 March 1942, as line number 361 commandeered by USAAF, 31 March 1942 assigned to the 24th Troop Carrier Squadron, crashed this date in bad weather at Knob Noster, Missouri. Another source gives crash location as 2.5 mi SW of Chicago Municipal Airport, Illinois. An Associated Press item states that the transport crashed and burned on a prairie about two miles W of the municipal airport on Chicago's southwest side, the public relations office for the Sixth Service Command announced. The two crew and seven passengers were all killed.
1942 - Nine men are killed when Boeing B-17E-BO Flying Fortress, 41-9161, of the 459th Bomb Squadron, 330th Bombardment Group, Alamagordo, New Mexico, piloted by John R. Pratt, crashes into Magdalena Peak, 6 miles SE of Magdalena, New Mexico.
1943 - USCG Dow (W-353) foundered in a gale, near Puerto Rico. Crew abandoned ship & and 30 were rescued by USCGC Marion (WSC-145). Another source says 14 October.
1946 – Nazi war criminal Hermann Goering poisoned himself hours before he was to have been executed.
1948 – First women officers on active duty sworn in as commissioned officers in regular Navy under Women’s Service Integration Act of June 1948 by Secretary of the Navy John L. Sullivan: CAPT Joy B. Hancock, USN LCDR Winifred R. Quick, USN LCDR Anne King, USN LCDR Frances L. Willoughby, MC, USN LT Ellen Ford, SC, USN LT Doris Cranmore, MSC, USN LTJG Doris A. Defenderfer, USN and LTJG Betty Rae Tennant, USN.
1951 - Convair B-36D-35-CF Peacemaker, 49-2664, c/n 127, '664', triangle 'J' tail markings, of the 436th Bomb Squadron, 7th Bomb Wing, Carswell AFB, Texas, experiences main gear extension failure, pilot Maj. Leslie W. Brockwell bellies it in at Kirtland AFB, New Mexico, with just the nose gear extended, doing such a deft job that this is the only B-36 ever crash landed that was returned to flight.
1952 - A B-47 photo reconnaissance flight, authorized by President Truman and staged out of Eielson AFB, was flown over the Chukotsky Peninsula. It confirmed that the Soviets were developing Arctic staging bases on the peninsula from which their bombers could easily reach targets on the North American continent.
1955 - A Lockheed T-33A-1-LO Shooting Star trainer, 51-9227, crashes into Santa Monica Bay. Pilot Richard Martin Theiler, 28, and copilot Paul Dale Smith departed Los Angeles International Airport at 0215 PST aboard the T-33A, bound for Yuma, Arizona. This was an IFR departure, with instructions to report 2,000 feet (610 m) on top of overcast. The Los Angeles weather at the time was 1,200 feet (370 m) overcast, 4 miles (6.4 km) visibility, in haze and smoke. After they were given clearance for takeoff they were never seen nor heard from again. Plane was found in 2009 by aviation archaeologist G. Pat Macha and a group of volunteers, in 100 feet of water.
1958 - A USAF Fairchild C-123B-6-FA Provider, 54-0614, c/n 20063, en route from Dobbins AFB, Georgia, to Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York, runs out of fuel, comes down on the Southern State Parkway on Long Island while attempting emergency landing at Zahn's Airport at North Amityville, one-half mile short, injuring five, and killing one motorist. The transport skids several hundred feet, passes through an underpass, and strikes three cars. Harold J. Schneider, West Islip, New York, dies of head injuries shortly after the accident. Three Air Force men and two women motorists suffer minor injuries. They are identified as Mrs. Mary Rehm, Islip Terrace, and Mrs. Frank Calabrese, West Islip. The injured Air Force men are identified as Capt. John Florio, Sgt. Wallett A. Carman and Sgt. Edgar H. Williamson. The pilot was Lt. Gary L. Moolson. The aircraft, with a 119 foot wingspan, passed through a 50-foot wide underpass, shearing both outer wings, the port engine, and the vertical fin, before coming to a stop on fire.
1959 - USAF Boeing B-52F Stratofortress, 57-036, collides with Boeing KC-135A Stratotanker, 57-1513, over Hardinsberg, Kentucky, crashes with two nuclear weapons on board, killing four of eight on the bomber and all four tanker crew. One bomb partially burned in fire, but both are recovered intact. Bombs moved to the AEC's Clarksville, Tennessee storage site for inspection and dismantlement. Both aircraft deployed from Columbus AFB, Mississippi.
1960 – USS Patrick Henry (SSBN-599) begins successful firing of four Polaris test vehicles under operational rather than test conditions. Tests are completed on 18 October.
1962 - Eighty two days after the failure of the Bluegill Prime test in Operation Fishbowl, under Operation Dominic, a third attempt is made, Bluegill Double Prime. Launched from rebuilt facilities on Johnston Island, damaged in the last attempt, at
2330 hrs., local time (16 October UTC), the SM-75 Thor missile, 58-2267, vehicle number 156, malfunctions and begins tumbling out of control about 85 seconds after liftoff, and the range safety officer orders the destruction of the missile and its nuclear warhead about 95 seconds after launch. Although, by definition, this qualifies as a Broken Arrow incident, this test is rarely included in lists of such mishaps.
1964 – Test pilot John McKay flew the X-15 to 25,878 meters (84,906 feet) and Mach 4.56.
1976 – Former USS George K. MacKenzie (DD-836) was sunk as a target off California.
1989 - U.S. Air Force General Dynamics F-16D Block 32F Fighting Falcon, 87-0369, c/n 5D-63, from Luke AFB, Arizona, crashed in the middle of the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress parking ramp at Carswell AFB, Texas, during a simulated airfield attack for an Operational Readiness Inspection for the 301st Tactical Fighter Wing (AFRES). The two pilots aboard the F-16D were both killed. Three B-52H aircraft parked nearby suffered minor damage.
2000 – Former USS Ashtabula (AO-51) was sunk as a target by British, French and American Navies 200 nautical miles southwest of San Diego CA. In all, Ashtabula was subjected to eight Harpoon missiles, two standard (SM-2) missiles, three Sea Skua missiles, four bombs from S-3 Vikings, and over 100 rounds of gunfire from 3", 100mm, and 5" guns.
2009 - United States Air Force Lockheed Martin F-16C Fighting Falcon, 91-0365, is lost while flying on a routine night flying exercise from the 77th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Wing, based at the Shaw Air Force Base, Sumter, South Carolina when it collides mid-air with F-16C 91-0364. The two aircraft from the 20th Fighter Wing were training with night vision equipment and practicing combat tactics when the accident occurred 40 miles (64 km) east of Folly Beach, South Carolina at
2030 hrs. The United States Coast Guard commenced a search for a missing aircraft in the North Atlantic of the coast of South Carolina while the second aircraft, piloted by Capt. Lee Bryant, despite damage was able to land at Charleston Air Force Base. On 16 October, Coast Guard searchers found crash debris in the Atlantic Ocean believed to belong to the missing F-16. "The Coast Guard has found some debris in the ocean that is apparently from our missing F-16", said Robert Sexton, the Shaw Air Force Base Public Affairs chief in Sumter, South Carolina. The other pilot, Capt. Nicholas Giglio, is missing. "They have not yet found any sign of the pilot and the search continues", Mr. Sexton said. No one witnessed what happened to Captain Giglio after the collision.
Rehoboth Christian School was started by missionaries from the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) who came to the Southwest in 1896 to bring the Gospel to the Navajo and Zuni people. In 1903, the CRC Board of Missions purchased a 320 acre ranch, located six miles east of Gallup, which would become the center of Indian missions and include a boarding school for Native American children. The new mission was named Rehoboth in the spirit of Genesis 26:22 and was opened in December 1903 with six Navajo children, ranging in age from five to eleven as its first students. By 1917, there were 100 students, and by the end of the 1940s a high school was added. The number of students in the elementary, middle and high school has continued to grow, and today Rehoboth has 511 students in grades PreK-12.
In the 1970s, the CRC Board of Missions began to reduce its control and financial support for the school with more responsibility resting on a local school board largely made up of Native American parents. The school&rsquos name was changed from Rehoboth Mission School to Rehoboth Christian School.
Although many families were introduced to the Gospel through Rehoboth in its early boarding school days, there were components of the methodology used to present Christ that Rehoboth now laments. Becoming a Christ follower sometimes appeared to be confused with becoming more like a white American. Many aspects of Navajo culture were prohibited, including the speaking of the Navajo language. The boarding school experience for some children resulted in trauma as they lived away from that which was familiar, especially their families. In 2003 the school issued a document entitled &ldquoA Message of Confession and Reconciliation&rdquo. As part of the observance of the school&rsquos Centennial Celebration these issues were raised as past sin, and the need for forgiveness and prayers for reconciliation and healing were expressed. This process continues as Rehoboth seeks to humbly move forward with the desire to celebrate that which is beautiful in all cultures and mourn that which has caused hurt in the past.
Rehoboth Christian School has grown to serve one of the most diverse student bodies of any Christian school in the country,in terms of ethnic, economic, religious and academic diversity. Native Americans make up more than 75 percent of the student population with Anglos, Hispanic, and other ethnic minorities making up the rest. Students come from a number of Christian denominations including Christian Reformed, Baptist, Catholic, and Assemblies of God. More than half of Rehoboth&rsquos students come from low-income and poverty-level income families. Students are able to receive instruction in the Navajo language at all grade levels. The Navajo Code Talker Center, housed in our middle-school celebrates the use of the Navajo language as a code during World War II. In 2001, the dormitories were closed and an extensive bus transportation system was developed so children living within a 60-mile radius could attend Rehoboth Christian School and remain living in their homes.
Known for its academic excellence, discipline, rigor, responsibility and Christian values, Rehoboth Christian School consistently prepares students to be leaders in their professions, communities, and churches. Graduates serve in professional fields ranging from medicine, education and engineering to tribal government and the church. More than 90 percent of Rehoboth graduates go on to college or vocational training school.
Here at LSOZI, we are going to take off every Wednesday for a look at the old steam/diesel navies of the 1833-1946 time period and will profile a different ship each week. These ships have a life, a tale all their own, which sometimes takes them to the strangest places. – Christopher Eger
Warship Wednesday, March 11, 2020: Flory’s Battle-scarred Bugle
National Records of Scotland, UCS1/118/Gen 372/2
Here we see a vessel identified as the brand-new light cruiser HMS Castor, at the time the flagship of Royal Navy’s 11th Destroyer Flotilla, passing Clydebank, February 1916. A handsome ship, she would very soon sail into harm’s way.
Laid down at Cammell Laird and Co. Birkenhead three months after the war started, Castor was a member of the Cambrian subclass of the 28-strong “C”-class of oil-fired light cruisers. Sturdy 446-foot ships of 4,000
tons, their eight-pack of Yarrow boilers trunked through two funnels and pushing a pair of Parsons turbines coughed up 40,000 shp– enough to sprint them at 29-knots.
Comparable in size to a smallish frigate today, they packed four single BL 6-inch Mk XII guns along with a more distributed battery of six or eight QF 4-inch Mk IV guns in addition to a pair of bow-mounted 21-inch torpedo tubes. With up to 6-inches of steel armor (conning tower), they could hold their own against similar cruisers, slaughter destroyers, and gunboats, and run away from larger warships.
After just 11 months on the builder’s ways, Castor was commissioned in November 1915, the fourth of HMs vessels to carry the name one of the Gemini twins since 1781.
A port quarter view of the Cambrian class light cruiser HMS Castor (1915) underway off Scapa Flow. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich (N16682)
Castor at commissioning became the flagship of the Grand Fleet’s 11th Destroyer Flotilla, which consisted of 14 Admiralty M (Moon)-class destroyers (HMS Kempenfelt, Magic, Mandate, Manners, Marne, Martial, Michael, Milbrook, Minion, Mons Moon, Morning Star, Mounsey, Mystic, and Ossory) under the overall flag of Castor’s skipper since November 1915, Commodore (F) James Rose Price Hawksley. Hawksley had previously spent much of his 19-year RN career up to then as a destroyerman, so it made sense.
With her paint still fresh and her plankowners just off her shakedown, Castor, along with the rest of the mighty Grand Fleet, crashed into the German High Seas Fleet off Denmark’s North Sea Jutland coast, the largest battleship-cruiser-destroyer surface action in history.
While covering the whole Battle of Jutland goes far beyond the scope of this post, we shall focus on Castor’s role and that of her flotilla on the night of the 31st of May. With the day’s fleet action broken up and the two fleets searching for each other in the darkness, the leading German light cruisers brushed into the British rear-guard starboard wing, that being HMS Castor and her destroyers. The official history states:
“At 20:11 hrs., the 11th Flotilla led by Commodore Hawksley, onboard Castor spotted German Destroyers to his NWN and turned to attack, supported by the 4th Light Cruiser Squadron. They had found not destroyers but the main German battle line.”
Castor’s force was soon spotted by the German ships, who approached in the darkness and mimicked the response to a British challenge signal that they had been confronted with, in turn getting one correct out of three challenges. This meant that they were able to approach much closer than usual.
Then, at a range of just 2,000 yards, the German ships threw on their searchlights and opened fire. Castor returned fire, and she and at least two of her destroyers (Marne and Magic), each snap-shotted one torpedo each at the German ships, with the cruiser aiming at the first German in line and the two lead destroyers on the following. “This was followed by an explosion. It may be taken for certain that it was Magic’s torpedo that struck the second ship in the enemy’s line.”
This confused surface action lasted for about five minutes before both sides heeled away into the safety of the black night. Some of the other destroyers reported that they were unable to see the enemy because of glare from Castor’s guns, while others believed there had been some mistake and the contact was friendly fire. No news of the engagement reached Jellicoe in time for him to react with the main battle line.
While her 14 destroyers came away unscathed, Castor received 10 large caliber shell hits, which set her ablaze, and lost 12 of her Sailors and Marines killed or missing.
A photograph was taken from inside the hull of the light cruiser HMS Castor after the Battle of Jutland showing a large shell hole. IWM photograph Q 61137
The dozen killed included bugler Albert Flory, RMLI, who gave his last full measure at the ripe old age of 16.
Marine Albert Flory, RMLI, Castor’s bugler via Royal Marines Museum
Two others among Castor’s dead carried the rank of “Boy,” one generally reserved for apprentice sailors under the age of 18. At the time, about one in 10 of her complement were such modern powder monkeys.
BAKER, William, Boy 1c, J 39706
BARTRAM, Leslie, Able Seaman, J 14191 (Po)
BROOMHEAD, Alfred, Stoker 1c (RFR B 4446), SS 103448 (Po)
CANDY, William A V, Ordinary Signalman, J 28149 (Po)
CHILD, Frederick T, Stoker Petty Officer, 308828 (Po)
EVANS, Alfred O, Ordinary Signalman, J 27451 (Dev)
FLORY, Albert E, Bugler, RMLI, 18169 (Po)
FOX, John E, Stoker 1c, SS 114531 (Po)
GASSON, Harry, Able Seaman (RFR B 6769), 212007 (Po)
HALLAM, Fred, Boy 1c, J 39695
KILHAMS, Alfred J, Ordinary Telegraphist, J 30359 (Po)
MACGREGOR, Donald N, Chief Yeoman of Signals, 173674 (Po)
Added to the butcher’s bill was 26 seriously and 13 lightly wounded.
HMS Castor. Wounded Received After the Battle of Jutland, 31st May 1916 painting by Jan (Godfrey Jervis) Gordon. IWM ART 2781 Note from IWM: This scene of British wounded sailors being tended to during the Battle of Jutland is by the artist Jan Gordon. It was one of four paintings completed by Gordon on behalf of the Imperial War Museum’s Royal Navy Medical Section between 1918 and 1919. Gordon’s painting shows the wounded crew members being brought below deck, each bearing a variety of injuries and corresponding treatments.
Castor would spend most of the rest of 1916 and the first part of 1917 undergoing repairs and, as the High Seas Fleet didn’t sortie again until the surrender at Scapa Flow, the remainder of Castor’s war was relatively uneventfully spent on duty in the Home Islands. The most interesting action of this period was when she responded to the sinking armed trawler USS Rehoboth (SP-384) in October 1917, during which the cruiser took on the stricken vessel’s crew and sent the derelict hull to the bottom with shellfire.
On 23 November 1918, she was tasked with counting and watching surrendering German destroyers.
Royal Navy C-class light cruiser HMS Castor, 1918 IWM SP 2750
Hawkesley, Castor’s first skipper, and 11th Flotilla commodore at Jutland would move on to finish the war in command of the battlecruiser HMS Inflexible. He would go on to retire as a Rear Admiral in 1922 in conjunction with the Washington Naval Treaty drawdown, a rank advanced to Vice-Admiral while on the Retired List four years later. He would be replaced on Castor’s bridge by Commodore (F) Hugh Justin Tweedie, a man who would go on to retire as a full admiral in 1935. Sir Hugh would return to service in the early days of WWII, working with the Convoy Pools in his 60s.
Castor, whose 4-inch secondary battery was replaced by a smaller number of AAA guns, is listed as serving in the Black Sea with the British force deployed there for intervention into the broiling Russian Civil War from 1919-20. Such duty could prove deadly. For example, while none of the 28 C-class light cruisers were lost during the Great War– despite several showing up in U-boat periscopes and being present at Jutland and the Heligoland Bight– Castor’s sister Cassandra was sunk by a mine in the Baltic on 5 December 1918 while acting against the Reds.
Castor followed up her Russian stint service on the Irish Patrol in 1922. Then came a spell as the floating Gunnery School at Portsmouth until 1924 when she passed into a period of refit and reserve.
She was recommissioned at Devonport for China Station June 1928, to relieve her sistership Curlew and saw the globe a bit.
HMS Castor at Devonport, where she was commissioned to relieve the Curlew on China Station. NH 61309
HMS Castor, Malta, note her extensive awnings and reduced armament
With the times passing and newer cruisers coming on line eating up valuable treaty-limited tonnage, Castor was paid off in May 1935 and sold two months later to Metal Ind, Rosyth, for her value in scrap metal. There has not been a “Castor” on the British naval list since. Most of her early sisters were likewise disposed of in the same manner during this period.
Just half of the class, 14 vessels, made it out of the Depression still in the fleet and most went on to serve in one form or another in the Second World War, despite their advanced age and outdated nature. Of those, six were lost: Curlew, Calcutta, and Coventry to enemy aircraft Calypso and Cairo to submarines, as well as Curacoa to a collision with the Queen Mary.
Just one C-class cruiser survived past 1948, Jutland veteran Caroline, a past Warship Wednesday alum. Having served as an RNVR drillship in Alexandra Dock, Belfast until 2011, since 2016 she has been a museum ship. She is the last remaining warship that was at Jutland.
Castor’s sister Caroline in Belfast recently, disarmed, decommed, but still proud
When it comes to Castor, a number of relics remain.
Her White Ensign (Length 183 cm, Width 92 cm) is in the IWM collection, although not on display while her (525x 425x30mm) ship’s badge is at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.
One of Castor’s unidentified lost souls was finally discovered in 2016, a full century after Jutland.
Able Seaman Harry Gasson‘s body was blown to sea in the engagement and was recovered about two nautical miles off Grey Deep on 25 September 1916– an amazing four months after the battle. With no identification, he was and buried simply as a “British Seaman of the Great War Known unto God” five days later in the Danish town of Esbjerg.
The local people of Esbjerg maintained the grave for almost 100 years, but it wasn’t until local historians looked into the church records to find it was recorded that the sailor had the name H. Gossom written in his trousers. After work by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and checking naval records, the MOD was able to agree that the identity of this sailor was H. Gasson, and there had been an error in the transcription.
His anonymous headstone was replaced with his correct name in a ceremony attended by two of his descendants along with the ship’s company of the HMS Tyne.
Relatives and representatives from the Royal Navy attend the service on 31 May 2016, for AB Gasson in Denmark (MoD photo)
As for Marine Albert Flory’s shrapnel-riddled bugle, to mark this year’s Bands of HM Royal Marines Mountbatten Festival of Music 2020, the Royal Marine Museum is giving the public the chance to “adopt” it to support the new Royal Marines Museum Campaign.
Flory’s instrument, no doubt close to him when he was struck at Jutland. Via the Royal Marine Museum
Displacement: 3,750 tons (designed) 4,320 fl 4,799 deep load
Length: 446 ft (o/a)
Beam: 41 ft 6 in
Draught: 14 ft 10 in (with Bunkers full, and complete with Provisions, Stores and Water: 16 feet 3 inches mean)
Propulsion: 8 Yarrow Small tube boilers, 2 Parsons steam turbines, 2 shafts, 30,000 shp natural/40,000 Forced Draught
Speed: 28.5 knots max (some hit 29 on trials)
Number of Tons of Oil Fuel Carried: 841
Quantity of Water carried: For Boilers, 70 tons, For Drinking 49.25 tons
Ship’s Company (typical)
Engine-room establishment: 88
Other non-executive ratings: 44
One motorboat 30 feet
One sailing cutter 30 feet
Two whalers 27 feet, Montague
One gig 30 feet
Two skiff dinghies 16 feet
One motorboat 30 feet for Commodore’s use
Waterline belt: 1.5–3 in
Deck: 1 in
Conning tower: 6 in
4 x single BL 6″/45 Mk XII guns on Forecastle, Forward superstructure, Aft Forward superstructure and Quarterdeck
6 x single QF 4″/40 Mk IV guns
1 x single QF 4 in 13 pounder Mk V anti-aircraft gun
2 x 21-inch (533 mm) submerged torpedo tubes, typically with eight Mark IV Torpedoes
4 x single BL 6″/45 Mk XII guns
2 x QF 3-inch 20 cwt IV on Mark IV AAA mounting on foc’sle
2 x QF 2 pole Pom-pom AAA on the aft superstructure
2 x 21-inch (533 mm) submerged torpedo tubes, typically with eight Mark IV Torpedoes
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A forgotten Great War tale
With today being International Women’s Day, there is no better time to point out a forgotten story in the U.S. Navy’s Great War experience, one that would echo across future conflicts.
While the role of female Navy nurses and the wartime Yeomen (F) program of WWI often get a lot of play— and for good reason– there were other women suiting up to do hard work for Uncle during 1917-19 that weren’t changing bandages or pushing paper.
Nearly 600 Yeomen (Female) were on duty by the end of April 1917, a number that had grown to over 11,000 in December 1918, shortly after the Armistice.
U.S. Naval Gun Factory, Washington Navy Yard, District of Columbia: Panoramic photograph of the Gun Factory’s Clerical Force employees, posed in front of the north face of the Commandant’s Office (Building 1), with the east addition of Building 76 behind them, circa 1918-1919. Note a large number of Yeomen (F) and female civilian employees, who make up about 2/3 of the assembly, as well as the two banners, one featuring the Naval Gun Factory emblem and the other its seal. Panoramic photograph by Schutz NH 105074
Following in the wake of the one-two punch that was conscription for the great new Army of the U.S. and rapid expansion of U.S. factories for war production, able-bodied young women stepped forward and went to work.
In Connecticut alone– home to giant firearms concerns like Colt, Marlin and High Standard– no less than 86,991 women joined the workforce by 1918.
Yup, odds are, those iconic Great War-era Colt M1911s were made by a woman.
The Navy also was no shirker when it came to signing up female factory workers to help kick the Kaiser.
Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Female worker planing a woodblock in the panel department, 16 August 1918. NH 2662
Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Female worker filing dirigible frames, 5 February 1919. NH 2660
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Female employee caulks boats, October 1918. NH 46516
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Cargo nets are manufactured by female employees, October 1918 NH 46514
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Female power press operators on duty, 1918. NH 46508
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Female operating the power presses, October 1918. NH 46512
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Female sheet metal operators manufacturing bread pans for mess use, October 1918. NH 46517
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. Female employees assembling electrical fixtures. October 1918. Note: flags and SecNav portrait NH 46510
Navy Yard, Portsmouth New Hampshire. A female operator on bending press. C. 1918. NH 46518
So while, yes, nurses and yeomen helped in the war effort for Mr. Wilson, the weapons, accessories, aircraft and ships produced by American women likely endured in many cases on to the next World War and beyond. For example, there are still WWI-era M1911s in the Army’s stockpiles in Anniston.
Remember that whenever someone says that they just don’t make them like they used to.
“It is time for healing and these programs teach our youth that their voices matter.” - Barbara Antlitz, CAMP Rehoboth Youth Coordinator
CAMP Rehoboth is announcing a slate of illuminating, educational, and entertaining program offerings to help celebrate Black History Month.
“This year CAMP Rehoboth will celebrate Black History Month, by acknowledging those who made enormous sacrifices in their own lives to begin a movement toward greater freedom and equality.” said Salvatore Seeley, the Director of Health and Wellness at CAMP Rehoboth. “At the same time, we will also confront the barriers that continue to exist for Black people and Black LGBTQ people. We are excited to be offering a host of programs that will start the conversation and turn that into action for our community.”
All events are free of charge and provided in a COVID-safe format of Virtual and On-line. Some offer the opportunity to interact with the presenters. CAMP Rehoboth remains committed to providing a safe, open and equitable space where all are welcome. Barbara Antlitz, CAMP Rehoboth Youth Coordinator was especially pleased with the line-up of options and added: "To offer programs like these presents the opportunity for our youth to celebrate the successes and achievements of black people, as well as be part of a community and to be seen as our future leaders. It is a time for healing and these programs teach our youth that their voice matters and that they are seen.”
The following Events are being sponsored by CAMP Rehoboth during the month of February.
Each event is free to the public and each has its own link to sign-up.
February 18th at 6:30 p.m.
What Took So Long? School Integration in Sussex County
Join us for this LIVE virtual program.
In 1954, U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education unanimously ruled separate but equal schools unconstitutional and required States to desegregate with "all deliberate speed." Yet, it took until 1967 for schools in Sussex County to finally integrate. On February 18, 2021, CAMP Rehoboth and the Southern Delaware Alliance for Racial Justice will sponsor a panel discussion on the experiences of African Americans who helped integrate the schools here in Sussex County. We will explore the personal challenges that came with integration and learn what it was like to be in the forefront of major social change. Please email [email protected] for login information
Feb 18th at 6:30 p.m.
Controlled Chaos: Navigating Social Justice Movements & Self-Care
LIVE discussion. Target Audience: LGBTQ+ Youth Discussion
CAMP Youth Up will be offering a youth zoom conversation with Lena Queen, M.Ed., LCSW, on “Controlled Chaos: Navigation Social Justice Movements & Self-Care" conversation with Mx. Lena Queen, LCSW, M.Ed. (she/they). This workshop will honor this generation’s Civil Rights Movement, Black Lives Matter, and the call for healing and transformative justice. Social justice requires social action and sustaining social action requires self-care. Participants will be guided to understand landscape, language, and healing practices to assist them in providing space for self and for others. Please be mindful these meetings are specifically open to youth ages 10 -19. For ZOOM meeting ID and password contact Barbara at [email protected]
Feb 22 at 5:30 p.m.
CAMP Rehoboth Book Club - In honor of Black History Month, we are reading The Prophets by Robert Jones, Jr.
The Prophets is a book is Mr. Jones debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Our book club is virtual. All are welcome. Please email [email protected] for login information.
Feb 24 at 6:30 pm.
Meet Us At The Intersection - A Virtual Discussion About Supporting the Black LGBTQ+ Community.
Lewes and Rehoboth: A Tale of Two Delaware Beach Towns
GROWING UP IN THE South , I remember my Grandma Missy describing the difference between Charleston and Savannah, two charming and competitive port cities I’d not yet had the privilege to visit. She explained to me that both were like the attractive daughters of a gentile Southern family. Older sister Charleston married well and joined the D.A.R. And Savannah? Well, the poor girl had an affinity for strong drinks and was a little cuckoo in the head. Bless her heart.
I think about that anecdote whenever I describe the difference between Lewes and Rehoboth, the two main municipalities dominating the 28-mile long Delaware seashore. They’re only eight miles apart geographically, but like Charleston and Savannah, they couldn’t be more different in temperament and history.
Quaint Lewes prides itself on its historic preservation and colonial and maritime past. Visitors today peruse its antique stores and museums and sup on the catch of the day in dockside restaurants. Independence Day features an annual parade of boats festooned with red, white and blue décor that winds its way down the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Delaware Seashore State Park from Wikipedia
Rehoboth, founded as a modest Methodist retreat, now draws a different congregation, a delightful and eclectic mix of highbrow and lowbrow, homo and hetero. Visitors enjoy au courant dining and outdoor drinking, pizza and French fry joints, art galleries and t-shirt shops, and a golden sand beach regularly rated one of the best in the mid-Atlantic region. Drag volleyball on Labor Day draws hundreds of spectators to the beach at the south end of the town’s wooden boardwalk to say goodbye to summer in a unique way.
Grandma Missy passed away 10 years ago. But even into her 90s, she enjoyed telling me the history of places, usually with a vodka martini in her hand. I invite you to grab your favorite libation, settle back and let me share stories about the unique history of these two Delaware towns.
Lewes: T he First Town in the First State
Exploration & Colonization
In 1631, Dutch whale and fur were the first Europeans to settle in what is now the State of Delaware. They selected the geographically advantageous location where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean and named their settlement Zwaanendael. A tribe of local Native Americans wiped it out a year later.
The Dutch, however, were not easily deterred, and by 1673 another settlement known as Whorekill was built back on the cape and claimed by both the Netherlands and England. Should you think the name of the town a tad unsavory, well, you aren’t alone. “Kill” is Dutch for creek, and the settlement was indeed sited along a creek flowing into the bay.
“Whore,” on the other hand, has been interpreted two different ways. Some historians say the English corrupted it from the name Hoorn, a Dutch city where many early inhabitants came from. Others believe it was because prostitution was prevalent in the frontier settlement full of rough and tumble Dutch seamen, soldiers and fur traders. The Dutch word for a prostitute is “hoern.”
Either way, the English burned the town on Christmas Eve 1673 and soon took control of all Dutch land in North America. William Penn became the proprietor of the Pennsylvania colony, and he renamed the settlement at the cape Lewestown.
By the 18th century, Lewestown had grown slowly and steadily, and like many other smaller mid-Atlantic port towns, it was harassed and sacked by pirates. Despite remaining a hot bed of Tory sentiment, not much happened along coastal Delaware during the Revolutionary War. After independence, the three lower counties of Pennsylvania along the Delaware River organized as the separate state of Delaware and became the first state to ratify the Constitution.
War of 1812
Patriotism was on full display in Lewestown during the War of 1812. With Philadelphia at that time the most populous and economically important city in the country — and with the new DuPont gunpowder mills near Wilmington — the Delaware Bay was a critical asset the British sought desperately to control.
In March 1813, a flotilla of British ships arrived off Cape Henlopen and demanded food and water. When the request was rebuffed, the British bombarded the town. The outmanned citizens fought back. According to historians, town folk gathered enemy cannonballs and re-fired them, striking several ships and sending the flotilla scurrying to safety offshore. The battle was national news, and a volunteer militia of riverboat pilots successfully defended the bay for the duration of the war.
Eyes on the Atlantic during World War II
Lewes played another important role in the defense of the nation during WWII. The day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the U.S. Coast Guard began constructing one of the most formidable, heavily armed coastal defense forts in the country. Fort Miles, perched atop the dunes at Cape Henlopen, cost $24 million and was designed with a series of gun installments powerful enough to fight the strongest ships in the German navy fleet.
Today, a museum in one of the underground bunkers brings to life stories of submarine warfare off the coast. Visitors can walk up comfortably to the top of a restored observation tower to see firsthand how soldiers used triangulation to track suspicious ships and submarines in the bay and ocean. The concrete used in the towers’ construction was made with beach sand and intended to last no more than 10 years. Well, they’re still standing.
Indian River Yacht Basin Postcard from the Rehoboth Beach Historical Society & Museum
Lewes still commands its prime position on the Delaware Bay, and much of its vibrant economy capitalizes on that location — outdoor activities, museums, retail and restaurants are popular with locals and visitors. The city is also the hub for a growing health care industry serving coastal Delaware. While it might be the state’s oldest city, it regularly ranks among Delaware’s top livable towns.
Don’t Miss in Lewes
Explore the founding of Delaware’s first European settlement by the Dutch in 1631. Collections showcase the area’s maritime, military and social history.
See the impact of the British attack at the old Cannonball House (circa 1765) in downtown Lewes, the site of the Lewes Historical Society’s Maritime Museum.
Fort Miles Historical Area
Walk to the top of the only restored concrete observation tower in Delaware and southern New Jersey and see firsthand how soldiers used triangulation to track suspicious ships and submarines offshore during WWII.
Narrated Tours & Cruises
Cape Water Tours & Taxi’s natural habitat and historical boat tours offer a unique perspective of the Delaware Bay area.
Rehoboth Beach: T he Nation’s Summer Capital
Fresh Air, Salt Water & God
In 1872, a group of Methodists bought 400 acres of land on the Delaware coast, which they called Rehoboth, a Biblical name interpreted as “broad place” or “having room for all.” Their purpose was to establish a summer camp meeting, i.e. a religious retreat, to help city dwellers renew their spiritual and physical health, a place where they could gather and pray — then take to the sea in heavy woolen bathing suits. Rehoboth was one of many leisure-by-the-sea retreats established in the late 1860s and ’70s as part of the wave of Methodist revivalism in America.
The Methodists quickly laid out the grounds in a fan-shaped pattern with streets wider the closer they were to the beach to pull in the cool Atlantic breezes. Lots sold for $50 each. Some of the faithful preferred old-style camping in white cotton tents around the tabernacle building. Others constructed “camp houses,” one-room cypress or pine structures with a front porch and sleeping loft.
Alas, the religious experiment proved short-lived. One of the Methodist founders put up a hotel and permitted card playing and drinking. When railroad service reached Rehoboth in 1884, things began to change quickly. Additional hotels, boarding houses and stores were built to accommodate the influx of secular tourists.
An official government was formed, and civic improvements such as sewer systems and streetlights were installed. Dancing, drinking and courting took place on the boardwalk. Artists came to paint among the pine trees, dunes and beaches. By all accounts, Rehoboth in the early 20th century was booming like other resort towns along the mid-Atlantic coast.
The Mosquito Matron
Rehoboth had one little problem. Actually, it was a big problem — mosquitoes and biting flies. Given the town’s location near coastal marshes and wetland forests, clouds of mosquitoes descended upon the town at sunset. Animals were driven to bellowing madness by the stinging insects. Homeowners screened their porches and covered their legs with newspapers while sitting on the beach to keep the flies away whenever a land breeze blew.
Enter Mrs. H.B. Thompson, a wealthy and politically connected summer resident and close friend of the DuPont family. The wife of a U.S. Senator, she detested bright lipstick on women and led the defeat of women’s suffrage in Delaware. That said, she helped establish the Rehoboth Art League and, in the 1930s, she organized a group of women to rid Rehoboth of its mosquito problem.
Consulting with experts from President Theodore Roosevelt’s administration who had experience with mosquitoes during the building of the Panama Canal, she brought valuable tactical advice to the battle, such as spraying massive doses of chemicals and kerosene and digging irrigation ditches. Largely through her efforts, Civilian Conservation Corps soldiers armed with shovels drained coastal marshes that served as mosquito breeding grounds. The efforts worked.
Rehoboth Beach Boardwalk from Wikimedia Commons
The Bay Bridge
Probably the biggest impact on Rehoboth’s history was the Chesapeake Bay Bridge opening in 1952. Residents of Washington, DC, had always vacationed in Rehoboth, the closest Atlantic beach to the nation’s capital, but now the trip became much quicker as the bridge replaced slow ferryboat service. So many DC residents, diplomats and government officials came to Rehoboth for their summer vacations that the town quickly became known as the nation’s summer capital, a moniker it retains today.
Richard Nixon vacationed in Rehoboth in the 1950s when he was a young senator. Some say he started working on his famous “Checkers” speech while staying with friends in Rehoboth. When first daughter Lynda Bird Johnson and her fiancé Marine Captain Chuck Robb (yep, the future senator from Virginia) partied on Rehoboth Beach in the summer of 1967, it made headlines across the nation. Washington insider and writer Sally Quinn was a young reporter for the Washington Star when she chronicled the social goings on in Rehoboth Beach in the late 1960s.
Rehoboth Beach was founded as a summer resort, and for the most part it remains a traditional vacation getaway for families. Delaware’s most popular destination draws up to 50,000 visitors a day during the peak summer months. Its quaint sophistication has made it a favorite destination for mid-Atlantic gays and lesbians.
Don’t Miss in Rehoboth
Anna Hazzard Museum
Housed in one of the few remaining original “tent houses” built in the late 1870s by members of the Methodist Meeting Association and providing a look at daily life in the early years of Rehoboth, well before air conditioning, electricity and running water.
Rehoboth Art League
Situated on a historic 3.5-acre homestead with gardens, the Art League was established in 1938 as a summer artist colony. It now features solo and group exhibits, classes and programs for children. Don’t miss the outdoor fine arts and fine craft show held annually on the first two weekends in August.
Rehoboth Beach Museum
Exhibits show the history of having fun at the beach through vintage bathing suits, post cards, photos, maps and more.
Visit this popular family amusement park, located on the boardwalk since 1962. Old-fashioned rides still cost 35 cents.
Three brothers from Greece helped shape Rehoboth’s culinary history
My recent column about Back Porch Café’s upcoming season - number 48, to be exact - set off a bit of an e-tussle regarding other longtime eateries here at the beach. A number of emails I received centered on the Robin Hood restaurant and its family of associated (yet long-gone) eateries. It’s an engaging success story about achieving the American dream with hard work and perseverance. And the Robin Hood is still going strong to this day.
The Robin Hood became the Robin Hood in 1968 when it was acquired by Harry and Niki Tsoukalas. Sadly, we lost Harry several years ago, but his legacy lives on. The Robin Hood was originally opened in 1948 as the Robert Lee restaurant. Harry didn’t want to make waves in the rather insular Rehoboth Beach of ‘68, so he changed the name . but only just a bit.
Twenty-seven year-old Harry arrived in Wilmington from Greece in ’57 with his brothers, George and Nick. They learned the restaurant biz from their uncle Charlie at Wilmington’s Presto restaurant where the Tsoukalas boys met head cook, Tony Apostolopolous. Tony was the first to venture south to Rehoboth, opening the Delaware Room restaurant on Rehoboth Avenue next to the old Dairy Queen. The place is now the T-shirt shop to the right of Chip Hearn’s The Ice Cream Store.
Harry’s younger brother Nick bought the Country Squire restaurant (it preceded Seaside Thai in that spot and is now Semra’s Mediterranean Grill) and ended up selling it to the Hearns in 1980. Tony loved this quiet town and encouraged his friend Harry to check out a little ocean-block joint called the Robert Lee.
Now this is where we have to back up a bit. Harry returned to Greece for a time, and came back in ’65 with Niki as his bride. But all was not well in Wilmington. Niki was frightened by the civil unrest following the 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., so when they vacationed in Rehoboth Beach, she was captivated. “It reminded me of my home,” she smiles.
Well, if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, so her devoted husband bought the Robert Lee and made their home in Sussex. The Tsoukalas boys’ emigration southward didn’t end with Harry and Nick. George, the oldest, owned the Sea Wood restaurant on Rehoboth Avenue in the space to the left of Grotto Pizza. Grotto eventually razed the building to make room for their outdoor patio. Both Nick and their friend Tony are memorialized on marble plaques one in front of Go Fish!, and the other in front of Louie’s Pizza.
I remember back in the late ‘60s when the Robin Hood was open 24 hours. Many a nighttime scrapple and cheese omelet was consumed by a skinny, long-haired yours truly after bangin’ out rock ‘n’ roll ‘til 2 a.m. by the boardwalk in Ocean City. After the restaurant got a liquor license in ’89, the Robin Hood began to close at night. Apparently it was a challenge to stop vacationers from partying just because of something as inconsequential as state liquor laws.
Harry and Niki’s son Kosta took over the Robin Hood, splitting time there with his mom. Dad used to keep a tight hold on a couple of things, including the recipe for their signature vegetable soup and his impossibly rich and fragrant rice pudding. Kosta still greets customers at the door and splits shifts in the kitchen with the cook. He laughs and reminisces, “Then dad walked in and got all the glory!”
Niki tells the story about a mandated evacuation in the face of an impending 1980s hurricane. Everything was battened down and they were all set to leave the round-the-clock eatery - until they discovered there was no key to the front door. It had been that long since they’d locked it. So Niki’s brother stayed behind to keep an eye on the place. The hurricane was a bust, and all’s well that ends well, but nobody ever found that key. Yet another bit of Rehoboth Avenue lore that has helped to carve our culinary landscape here at the beach.
Jake's Seafood House in Rehoboth to close
Jake&rsquos Seafood House, a Rehoboth Beach dining staple for decades, will close in less than a week.
Owners Billy and Lois Klemkowski announced the Sunday, Sept. 20, closure on the business&rsquos Facebook page Monday, Sept. 14.
"I've been doing this for 33 years and the restaurant business has been getting considerably more stressful, even before the virus hit," Billy Klemkowski said. "And there is considerably more competition with other restaurants in the area. Before the virus hit, there was actually an overabundance of restaurants."
Jake&rsquos opened at 19178 Coastal Highway on Route 1 in March 2003. The restaurant&rsquos original location, on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and First Street in downtown Rehoboth Beach, was open from 1988 to 2017.
Klemkowski said the decision to close came after another restaurant group approached him recently, offering to purchase the 2-acre Route 1 property and restaurant.
"It was just getting harder and the COVID didn&rsquot help," he said. "Survivability was going to be more difficult over the winter because sales this summer weren't nearly what they should have been. I think it's time to move on and my wife agreed."
Jake's has about 22 employees, including the Klemkowskis' son, Will, who served as general manager.
Rehoboth I SP-384 - History
Historic Walking Tours 2021
The Rehoboth Beach Historical Society is offering its Walking Tours through August, 2021. Tours start at 9 a.m. at the bandstand. For more info, click image.
Historic Walking Tours 2021
The Rehoboth Beach Historical Society is offering its Walking Tours through August, 2021. Tours start at 9 a.m. at the bandstand. For more info, click image.
Dive into History!
We welcome you to the Rehoboth Beach Museum website. Our exhibits at the museum show the history of having fun at the beach. But right now we cannot welcome you inside as we are currently closed. Check back for updates.
In the meantime, check us out on YouTube and our Facebook page to see our virtual offerings to stay in touch. In “Off the Shelf” our museum director presents various items from our collection, with a brief history of each item and its donor. “Golden Age of Rehoboth Beach: The Railroad Era” is a series of videos of the diorama done by local resident Paul Lovett that recreates Rehoboth Beach in the early 20th Century. Do you miss the albums of postcards on display? Our director posts varied selections on Facebook. Watch or listen to Oral histories created over the years. Some, we have on video and some audio with text. Stay tuned as we work our way forward into virtual programming.