William Halsey, the most famous naval officer of World War II, was known for fearlessness, steely resolve, and impulsive errors. In this definitive biography, Thomas Hughes punctures the popular caricature of the fighting admiral to present a revealing human portrait of his personal and professional life as it was lived in times of war and peace.
Honorable Mention, 2016 Lyman Awards, presented by the North American Society for Oceanic History
This book is a thrillingly-written story of naval planes, boats, and submarines during World War I.
When the U.S. entered World War I in April 1917, America’s sailors were immediately forced to engage in the utterly new realm of anti-submarine warfare waged on, below and above the seas by a variety of small ships and the new technology of airpower. The U.S. Navy substantially contributed to the safe trans-Atlantic passage of a two million man Army that decisively turned the tide of battle on the Western Front even as its battleship division helped the Royal Navy dominate the North Sea. Thoroughly professionalized, the Navy of 1917–18 laid the foundations for victory at sea twenty-five years later.
Navy analysts are struggling to keep pace with the growing flood of data collected by intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance sensors. This challenge is sure to intensify as the Navy continues to field new and additional sensors. The authors explore options for solving the Navy’s “big data” challenge, considering changes across four dimensions: people, tools and technology, data and data architectures, and demand and demand management.
The central figure in the modernization of the U.S. Navy.
The career of Washington Irving Chambers spans a formative period in the development of the United States Navy: He entered the Naval Academy in the doldrum years of obsolete, often rotting ships, and left after he had helped like-minded officers convince Congress and the public of the need to adopt a new naval strategy built around a fleet of technologically advanced battleships. He also laid the groundwork for naval aviation and the important role it would play in the modern navy.
This work covers Chambers’s early naval career, his work at the new Office of Naval Intelligence, his participation in the Greeley Relief Expedition, and a survey for the projected isthmian canal through Nicaragua, before becoming the key advocate for naval modernization. As such, Chambers worked as a pioneering torpedo designer, supervised construction of the Maine, modernized the New York Navy Yard, and became a member of the first permanent faculty at the Naval War College.
During his long career, Chambers not only designed torpedoes, but also several warships, including a prototype Dreadnought-style battleship and a host of small devices that ranged from torpedo guidance systems to the first catapult for launching airplanes from ships. At the close of his career, Chambers purchased the navy’s first aircraft and founded its air arm. Working with Glenn Curtiss, Chambers guided a coalition of aviation enthusiasts and pioneers who popularized naval aviation and demonstrated its capabilities. Chambers arranged the first take-off and landing of an airplane from a ship and other demonstrations of naval aviation. Combined with his tireless advocacy for modernization, these contributions secured a place in naval and aviation history for the innovator.
Hero of the Angry Sky draws on the unpublished diaries, correspondence, informal memoir, and other personal documents of the U.S. Navy’s only flying “ace” of World War I to tell his unique story. David S. Ingalls was a prolific writer, and virtually all of his World War I aviation career is covered, from the teenager’s early, informal training in Palm Beach, Florida, to his exhilarating and terrifying missions over the Western Front. This edited collection of Ingalls’s writing details the career of the U.S. Navy’s most successful combat flyer from that conflict.
While Ingalls’s wartime experiences are compelling at a personal level, they also illuminate the larger, but still relatively unexplored, realm of early U.S. naval aviation. Ingalls’s engaging correspondence offers a rare personal view of the evolution of naval aviation during the war, both at home and abroad. There are no published biographies of navy combat flyers from this period, and just a handful of diaries and letters in print, the last appearing more than twenty years ago. Ingalls’s extensive letters and diaries add significantly to historians’ store of available material.
Barbary pirates in Africa targeted sailors for centuries, often taking slaves and demanding ransom in exchange. First published in 1808, Horrors of Slavery is the tale of one such sailor, captured during the United States's first military encounter with the Islamic world, the Tripolitan War. William Ray, along with three hundred crewmates, spent nineteen months in captivity after his ship, the Philadelphia, ran aground in the harbor of Tripoli. Imprisoned, Ray witnessed-and chronicled-many of the key moments of the military engagement. In addition to offering a compelling history of a little-known war, this book presents the valuable perspective of an ordinary seaman who was as concerned with the injustices of the U.S. Navy as he was with Barbary pirates.
Hester Blum's introduction situates Horrors of Slavery in its literary, historical, and political contexts, bringing to light a crucial episode in the early history of our country's relations with Islamic states.
A volume in the Subterranean Lives series, edited by Bradford Verter
Finalist for the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Excellence in Naval Literature
The man regarded as “the Father of the American Navy” returns to the quarterdeck in John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail, the first comprehensive biography of this legendary officer in generations. Son of a hardscrabble Irish farmer from County Wexford, Barry was sent to sea as a child, arriving in Philadelphia during the restless decade before the American Revolution. Brave and ambitious, he ascended the ratlines to become a successful merchant captain at a young age, commanding the most prestigious ship in the colonies and recording the fastest known day of sail in the century.
Volunteering to fight for the Continental cause, Barry saw his star rise during the War for Independence. As captain of the Lexington, Raleigh, and Alliance, Barry faced down broadsides, mutinies, and even a fleet of icebergs. He captured the first enemy warship taken by a Continental vessel and fought the last battle of the American Revolution. His hard-won victory over two British warships simultaneously garnered him international notoriety, while his skill as a seafarer and cool temper established Barry as a worthy foe among British captains. Without a ship during the winter of 1776-77, the ever resourceful Barry lead a battery of naval artillery at the battle of Princeton. With peace came a historic voyage to China, where Barry helped open trade with that reclusive empire. In 1794, President Washington named Barry as the first commissioned officer in the new United States Navy. Given the title of commodore, Barry ended his career during America’s naval war with France, teaching the ropes to a new generation of officers, most notably Stephen Decatur.
Drawn from primary source documents from around the world, John Barry: An American Hero in the Age of Sail by Tim McGrath brings the story of this self-made American back to life in a major new biography.
In Lincoln’s Trident, Coast Guard historian Robert M. Browning Jr. continues his magisterial series about the Union’s naval blockade of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. Established by the Navy Department in 1862, the West Gulf Blockading Squadron operated from St. Andrews Bay (Panama City), Florida to the Rio Grande River. As with the Navy’s blockade squadrons operating in the Atlantic, the mission of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron was to cripple the South’s economy by halting imports and disrupting cotton exports, the South’s main source of hard currency. The blockade also limited transportation within the South and participated in combined operations with Union land forces.
The history of the squadron comprises myriad parts and players, deployed in a variety of missions across the thousand-mile-wide Western Theater. From disorganized beginnings, the squadron’s leaders and sailors had to overcome setbacks, unfulfilled expectations, and lost opportunities. Browning masterfully captures the many variables that influenced the strategic choices of Navy commanders as they both doggedly pursued unchanging long-term goals as well as improvised and reacted to short-term opportunities.
Notable among its leaders was David Glasgow Farragut, believed by many to be America’s greatest naval hero, who led the squadron through most of the war and the climactic Battle of Mobile Bay. Under his legendary leadership, the squadron not only sealed Confederate sea ports, but also made feints and thrusts up the Mississippi River as far north as Vicksburg, Mississippi.
Knowing the Navy’s role in isolating the Confederate economy and preventing the movement of troops and supplies within the South is crucial to understanding of the outcomes of the Civil War, as well as the importance of naval power in military conflicts. With thirty-five maps and illustrations, Lincoln’s Trident expounds upon an essential part of the Civil War as well as naval and American history.
This comic novel, by the author of The Blossom Festival, is set in Mexican California in 1842 and is based on a true story of mistaken conquest. When Commodore Jones and the crew of the National Intention land in Monterey believing themselves to be bringing freedom and democracy to the benighted Californios, they discover that history has preceded them, that cruelty, betrayal, greed, and lust are already well established there, and that far from existing outside of history, California is a battleground for several contending versions of the past. They also find that their own limitations and illusions are far more powerful than the message of hope that they intend to deliver.
Residents of Vieques, a small island just off the east coast of Puerto Rico, live wedged between an ammunition depot and live bombing range for the U.S. Navy. Since the 1940s when the navy expropriated over two-thirds of the island, residents have struggled to make a life amid the thundering of bombs and rumbling of weaponry fire. Like the armys base in Okinawa, Japan, the facility has drawn vociferous protests from residents who challenged U.S. security interests overseas. In 1999, when a local civilian employee of the base was killed by a stray bomb, Vieques again erupted in protests that have mobilized tens of thousands individuals and transformed this tiny Caribbean Island into the setting for an international cause célèbre.
Katherine T. McCaffrey gives a complete analysis of the troubled relationship between the U.S. Navy and island residents. She explores such topics as the history of U.S. naval involvement in Vieques; a grassroots mobilizationled by fishermenthat began in the 1970s; how the navy promised to improve the lives of the island residentsand failed; and the present-day emergence of a revitalized political activism that has effectively challenged naval hegemony.
The case of Vieques brings to the fore a major concern within U.S. foreign policy that extends well beyond Puerto Rico: military bases overseas act as lightning rods for anti-American sentiment, thus threatening this countrys image and interests abroad. By analyzing this particular, conflicted relationship, the book also explores important lessons about colonialism and postcolonialism and the relationship of the United States to the countries in which it maintains military bases.
The Naval Air War in Korea
Richard P. Hallion University of Alabama Press, 2011 Library of Congress DS920.2.U5H35 2011 | Dewey Decimal 951.904245
“In The Naval Air War in Korea, Dr. Hallion has captured the fact, feel- ing, and fancy of a very important conflict in aviation history, in- cluding the highly significant facets of the transition from piston to jet-propelled combat aircraft.”—Norman Polmar, author of Naval Institute Guide to the Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet, 18th Edition
Richard Gribble Catholic University of America Press, 2015 Library of Congress VG23.G75 2015 | Dewey Decimal 271.5302
Navy Priest is a compelling biography of the Jesuit priest and Navy chaplain John Francis (Jake) Laboon. Father Jake made a significant contribution to the United States Navy, both as a World War II submarine officer and, most prominently, during a 22-year career as a chaplain. Laboon served as the first chaplain for the Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine Program, but also served as chaplain at his alma mater the United States Naval Academy, undertook a tour of duty with the US Marines in Vietnam, where he was awarded the Legion of Merit, and later served as Fleet Chaplain of the United States Atlantic Fleet.
James A. Dunn was a signalman on the USS Mason, a destroyer escort during World War II, the only oceangoing warship in the navy to employ African Americans in positions other than cook or messmate. Manned by African American seamen (and commanded by white officers), the ship made ten crossings of the Atlantic from 1944 to 1945, escorting convoys of merchant ships to and from the United Kingdom and North Africa and operating in hunter-killer groups searching for German submarines.
Dunn kept a day-to-day diary during his spare time on board the Mason. Such diaries are a rarity, for the navy (and other armed services) forbade the keeping of diaries, fearful lest secret information fall into enemy hands. The diary chronicles the Mason’s wartime activities, from the first convoy to the final return to the United States. It captures the feeling and meaning of life on board with an immediacy not fully found in retrospective accounts. The diary accurately records the mortal danger Dunn and his shipmates were in while attacking enemy submarines or dealing with extreme weather conditions in the North Atlantic. It conveys the boredom the men encountered while confined on long, tedious convoys and the joy of shore leaves. Here is the daily life aboard ship—the duties and the pastimes that made shipboard life endurable.
Equally interesting, the diary reveals what it meant to be an African American in a white navy within a segregated American society, the shipboard tensions, and the shipboard cooperation and sense of unity. It also portrays the life of an African American onshore in the United States, Great Britain, and North Africa and the love story that unfolded between James and his wife, Jane.
Supplemented by additional sources, including interviews with Dunn, this diary is a personal view into an important part of American history. Like the Tuskegee airmen, the men of the USS Mason paved the way for desegregation in America’s armed forces, contributing to a civil rights movement that changed the face of a nation.
In the winter of 1917, with most of the world at war, twenty-three-year-old Irving Edward Sheely of Albany, New York, enlisted in Naval Aviation and began his training at Pensacola Naval Air Station. When Congress declared ware on Germany on April 6, 1917, the combined strength of aviation within the Navy and Marine Corps was 48 officers, 239 enlisted men, 54 airplanes, one airship, and one air station.
Lieutenant Kenneth Whiting immediately recruited seven volunteer officers and 122 volunteer enlisted men with orders to go directly to France as the First Aeronautical Detachment. By June, the first organized contingent of American forces arrived in the combat zone at St. Nazaire, France—woefully unprepared to take on the mighty submarine force of Imperial Germany. Among this small detachment was Landsman Machinist Mate Second Class Irving E. Sheely.
Trained by American and foreign officers, using both American and foreign aircraft, Sheely learned aviation and aviation combat at the heart of the action. He served as Observer/Gunlayer with Navy Lieutenant Kenneth MacLeish as pilot, and the two participated in some of the first antisubmarine air patrols in history, including a sea landing to rescue a downed crew. While at Clermont-Ferrand, Sheely developed an improved bombsight, for which he was praised by MacLeish. Following the Armistice, Sheely participated in the closing of the Navy base at Eastleigh, England, and returned to the United States in November 1918.
Utilizing Sheely’s correspondence and meticulous diary spanning 19 months of training and service—mostly on foreign soil and in foreign aircraft—this book presents an unusual first person account of the wartime experience of naval aviation in World War I. Sheely’s letters and diary describe the many deprivations and inadequacies of the aviation program and show clearly the sacrifices made by the officers and enlisted men. He supplied for himself items, such as helmet and goggles, that later servicemen would expect the military to issue. In addition to wartime description, the letters reveal the young man’s concern for his family and his interest in home, so a very human story emerges.
The first book to capture and preserve the inside story of the exclusive brotherhood that manned the front lines of the Cold War
Featuring interviews from seventeen veteran submariners, Standing Watch:American Submarine Veterans Remember the Cold War Era offers the perspective of the submariners themselves—lending them a voice and paying homage to their service. Jonathan Li-Chung Leung provides an original glimpse into a world of unique challenges and characters, a life isolated and submerged, and a duty defined by the juxtaposition of monotonous routine and unparalleled excitement.
These personal accounts of life below the surface offer readers a front-row seat to close encounters with Soviet submarines and the naval blockade during the Cuban Missile Crisis, as well as an intimate understanding of daily life onboard the vessels, the culture of military discipline, and the religious-like fervor exercised in honoring traditions big and small. By applying first-hand perspectives to a larger thematic overview, this book uses authentic narratives to deliver a lively and colorful picture of the Silent Service.
Set against the backdrop of sobering geo-political disputes and their own role as the nation’s defenders against a seemingly ambiguous super-enemy, these veterans focus on their responsibilities and reflect on careers built on the simple axioms of pride and service. This invigorating and unalloyed account is an unprecedented addition to the existing literature on naval and military history.
A personal account of Commodore Perry’s landmark expedition to Japan and life in the antebellum navy
George B. Gideon Jr. served as second assistant engineer aboard the USS Powhatan from 1852 to 1856. From his position on the steam frigate, Gideon traveled to Singapore, Labuan, Borneo, Hong Kong, and many other Asian lands. During his time at sea, Gideon penned dozens of letters to his wife, Lide, back home in Philadelphia. Recently discovered in the attic of his great-great-grandniece, were fifty-one letters penned by Gideon providing thorough and insightful commentary throughout the voyage.
Through these correspondences, Gideon laboriously documents the details of his daily life on board, from the food they ate to the technical aspects of his work, as well as observations concerning the historical events unfolding around him, such as Chinese piracy, the Taiping Rebellion, the Crimean War, and the devastation of Shimoda. To My Dearest Wife, Lide: Letters from George B. Gideon Jr. during Commodore Perry’s Expedition to Japan, 1853–1855 is a rare first-person account of the landmark American naval expedition to Japan to establish commercial relations between the two countries. Gideon’s letters have been meticulously transcribed and annotated by the editors and are an invaluable primary historical source.
Gideon’s letters are candid and revealing, delving into the rampant dysfunction in the navy of the 1850s—sickness and disease, alcohol abuse, and poor leadership, among other challenges. Gideon also unabashedly shares his own cynical views of the navy’s role in supporting American economic interests in Japan. This firsthand account of the political mission of the Perry expedition is a unique contribution to naval and military history and gives readers a better view of life aboard a navy ship.
Katherine C. Epstein Harvard University Press, 2014 Library of Congress V850.E67 2014 | Dewey Decimal 338.476234517
When President Eisenhower referred to the "military-industrial complex" in his 1961 Farewell Address, he summed up in a phrase the merger of government and industry that dominated the Cold War United States. In this bold reappraisal, Katherine Epstein uncovers the origins of the military-industrial complex in the decades preceding World War I, as the United States and Great Britain struggled to perfect a crucial new weapon: the self-propelled torpedo.
Torpedoes threatened to upend the delicate balance among the world's naval powers, they were bought and sold in a global marketplace, and they were cutting-edge industrial technologies. But building them required substantial capital investments and close collaboration among scientists, engineers, businessmen, and naval officers. To address these formidable challenges, the U.S. and British navies created a new procurement paradigm: instead of buying finished armaments from the private sector or developing them from scratch at public expense, they began to invest in private-sector research and development. The inventions emerging from torpedo R&D sparked legal battles over intellectual property rights that reshaped national security law.
Torpedo blends military, legal, and business history with the history of science and technology to recast our understanding of defense contracting and the demands of modern warfare.
Wings of Gold makes a unique contribution to the history of naval aviation. The book sets out the day-to-day experiences and reactions of a cadet who went through the aviation training program at its peak during World War II. An emphasis on training is missing in almost all books dealing with that conflict; in this book, it is the focus. In contrast with official histories, this is an account of how training did occur, rather than how it was intended to occur. It chronicles failures as well as successes, frustrations and achievements. Beginning with a comprehensive introduction to the history of naval aviation training, the authors recount the personal experiences of an individual cadet preparing for war, based on wartime letters written by cadet Rea to his family. The letters are open and candid, and they provide an insider’s look at the conditions and nature of the Naval Aviation Training Program in the 1940s.
Millions of Americans underwent military training during World War II, and contemporary historians and readers have begun to recognize the significance and value of primary sources related not only to combat but also to training and preparedness.