u.s. navy

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Once bitter enemies….now respected friends….

The Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) guided-missile destroyer JS Inazuma (DD 105) trains with the United States Navy guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and guided-missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) during recent exercises in the Western Pacific.

Today, December 7, 2017, marks the 76th anniversary of the Imperial Japanese Navy sneak-attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii….December 7, 1941….and the beginning of four years of vicious fighting in the Pacific theatre of World War II.

                                             *          *          *          *

Time has healed those wounds….perhaps never better in human history.

What were once bitter enemies….are now the best of respected and reliable friends.

To see the battle flags of both the United States and Japan flying together in a naval formation….is a testament to the miracles of human forgiveness, healing, and friendship.

                                       _________________________

>>Photo: Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Russell, USN

On a quiet morning 76 years ago today, Imperial Japanese forces attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. More than 2,400 Americans were killed and 1,100 more wounded. Twenty-one ships of the Pacific Fleet were sunk or damaged, including the USS Arizona. Shocked and angered by the attack, the country joined the Allied forces to fight World War II, inspired by the call of “Remember Pearl Harbor.” A moving reminder of the service and sacrifice of those who fought, the USS Arizona Memorial is jointly administered by the U.S. Navy and the National Park Service. Photo by National Park Service.

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Now You See Me, Now You…..Still See Me? Hand-Painted British Dazzle Camouflage Templates from WWI

During WWI, 1914-1918, the Fleet Admiral of the British Navy had a problem.  German U-Boats were sinking British ships at an astonishing rate.  Something had to be done to halt the destruction of the fleet and the loss of life, and that something was what would come to be known as Dazzle Camouflage.  Unlike other types and styles of camouflage, it was not intended to hide the ship, but rather to visually disrupt the outline of the ship to the degree that an observer would have no idea what they were looking at.

The German Navy had a well-deserved reputation for having a very low margin of error when it came to sinking British ships, but it was reported that dazzle camouflage could throw an experienced submariner’s aim off by multiple degrees, meaning a harmless miss rather than a devastating hit.

Dazzle camouflage was pioneered by British naval officer Norman Wilkinson and was based on the theory that, just like stripes on a zebra and spots on a cheetah, stripes and odd patterns on a battleship would make it harder to target by breaking up its outline.  Dazzle camouflage utilized oddly angled lines and very bright colors including green, yellow, pink, purple, blue, and black to make it impossible to determine the size, shape, speed, or heading of a ship.  Also, for added confusion, no two ships were painted alike so that the Germans would have nothing to latch onto as a template for the patterns on the ships.

Type 8, Design A, Starboard Side (NAID 46740258) RG; 19, Camouflage Design Drawings for U.S. Navy Commissioned Ships, U.S. Merchant Ships and British Ships.  

This type of camouflage enjoyed great success and was eventually adopted by the United States navy, prompting an unnamed American journalist at the New York Times to write, “You should see our fleet, it’s camouflaged to look like a flock of Easter eggs going out to sea.”

By WWII, this type of camouflage was becoming less and less effective because of inventions like radar and range finders and the fact that torpedoes were no longer hand guided.

All of the images shown above in addition to the over 300 other templates in the National Archives holdings are available for viewing online at https://catalog.archives.gov, search “British Camouflage Type” and then choose which “type” (1-20) you wish to view.

More on Dazzle Camouflage at Now You See Me, Now You…..Still See Me? Hand-Painted British Dazzle Camouflage Templates from WWI | The Unwritten Record

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Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha.
United States Army Special Forces a.k.a. “Green Berets

The United States Army Special Forces, known as the Green Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations force tasked with five primary missions: unconventional warfare (the original and most important mission of Special Forces), foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, direct action, and counter-terrorism. 

The first two emphasize language, cultural, and training skills in working with foreign troops. Other duties include combat search and rescue (CSAR), counter-narcotics, counter-proliferation, hostage rescue, humanitarian assistance, humanitarian demining, information operations, peacekeeping , psychological operations, security assistance, and manhunts; other components of the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) or other U.S. government activities may also specialize in these secondary areas. Many of their operational techniques are classified, but some nonfiction works and doctrinal manuals are available.

As special operations units, Special Forces are not necessarily under the command authority of the ground commanders in those countries. Instead, while in theater, SF units may report directly to a geographic combatant command, USSOCOM, or other command authorities. The Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) highly secretive Special Activities Division (SAD) and more specifically its Special Operations Group (SOG) recruits from the Army’s Special Forces. Joint CIA-Army Special Forces operations go back to the MACV-SOG branch during the Vietnam War. The cooperation still exists today and is seen in the War in Afghanistan.

“The five Sullivan Brothers, all of whom were lost in the sinking of the U.S.S. Juneau, November 13, 1942.”

Series: Photographs of Notable Personalities, 1942 - 1945Record Group 208: Records of the Office of War Information, 1926 - 1951

The five Sullivan brothers (Albert, Francis, George, Joseph, and Madison) served together as shipmates aboard the cruiser USS Juneau after requesting special permission from the Secretary of the Navy. The Juneau was sunk on November 13, 1942, off the island of Guadalcanal by Japanese submarine I-26

 "Five Sullivan Brothers - They Did Their Part" NAID 514265

it’s really nice to have someone who loves and supports you despite the distance. sometimes all you need are words of encouragement and a reminder that everything is going to be okay and it’s a lovely feeling to hear the person you love saying the words you need to hear even if that person can’t be with you physically.

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U. S. Navy Report of the Search for Amelia Earhart, July 2-18, 1937., 7/31/1937

“At 1100, 2 July, information was received that failure of the flight was imminent, and shortly thereafter that the plane was believed to be down.”

Series: World War II Action and Operational Reports, 12/7/1941 - 1946
Record Group 38: Records of the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, 1875 - 2006

80 years ago on July 2, 1937 famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart went missing during her round-the-world flight along with navigator Fred Noonan.  Following the report of her disappearance, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, assisted in search operations.  These efforts are detailed in these pages excerpted from the “U.S. Navy Report of the Search for Amelia Earhart, July 2-18, 1937″.  Read the entire report in the National Archives Catalog.

Extortion 17

To the families of these brave men, we salute you and will never forget the sacrifices that were made for all of us.  We are forever grateful. 

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.,

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, California;

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Arkansas;

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Connecticut;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Massachusetts;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Missouri;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas;

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, West Virginia;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, Louisiana;

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Michigan;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, California;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, North Carolina;

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah;

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Nebraska;

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Florida;

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah.

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, California, and

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

The soldiers killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colorado. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora;

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kansas. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas;

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Nebraska;

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Washington. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas; and

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kansas. He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kansas.

The airmen killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Florida;

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, California; and

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pennsylvania.

All three airmen were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, North Carolina. 

Via Dailymail.

John McCain. 1936-2018. American. Patriot. Hero. 

“My fellow Americans, whom I have gratefully served for sixty years, and especially my fellow Arizonans,

Thank you for the privilege of serving you and for the rewarding life that service in uniform and in public office has allowed me to lead. I have tried to serve our country honorably. I have made mistakes, but I hope my love for America will be weighed favorably against them.

I have often observed that I am the luckiest person on earth. I feel that way even now as I prepare for the end of my life. I have loved my life, all of it. I have had experiences, adventures and friendships enough for ten satisfying lives, and I am so thankful. Like most people, I have regrets. But I would not trade a day of my life, in good or bad times, for the best day of anyone else’s.

I owe that satisfaction to the love of my family. No man ever had a more loving wife or children he was prouder of than I am of mine. And I owe it to America. To be connected to America’s causes — liberty, equal justice, respect for the dignity of all people — brings happiness more sublime than life’s fleeting pleasures. Our identities and sense of worth are not circumscribed but enlarged by serving good causes bigger than ourselves.

‘Fellow Americans’ — that association has meant more to me than any other. I lived and died a proud American. We are citizens of the world’s greatest republic, a nation of ideals, not blood and soil. We are blessed and are a blessing to humanity when we uphold and advance those ideals at home and in the world. We have helped liberate more people from tyranny and poverty than ever before in history. We have acquired great wealth and power in the process.

We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe. We weaken it when we hide behind walls, rather than tear them down, when we doubt the power of our ideals, rather than trust them to be the great force for change they have always been.

We are three-hundred-and-twenty-five million opinionated, vociferous individuals. We argue and compete and sometimes even vilify each other in our raucous public debates. But we have always had so much more in common with each other than in disagreement. If only we remember that and give each other the benefit of the presumption that we all love our country we will get through these challenging times. We will come through them stronger than before. We always do.

Ten years ago, I had the privilege to concede defeat in the election for president. I want to end my farewell to you with the heartfelt faith in Americans that I felt so powerfully that evening.

I feel it powerfully still.

Do not despair of our present difficulties but believe always in the promise and greatness of America, because nothing is inevitable here. Americans never quit. We never surrender. We never hide from history. We make history.

Farewell, fellow Americans. God bless you, and God bless America.”