Display of small Marine Corps, Navy and one Coast Guard emblems representing all those Marine, Navy and Coast Guard personnel who lost their lives during the battle of Iwo Jima at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia. This week marks the 72nd anniversary of the battle.
“Flying dangerously close, a U.S. Navy photographer got this spectacular aerial view of a heavy Japanese cruiser of the Mogima class, demolished by Navy bombs, in the battle of Midway, in June of 1942. Armor plate, steel decks and superstructure are a tumbled mass.”
Doris “Dorie” Miller
was born in Waco, Texas in 1919. He was unable to finish high school, but helped around the family farm until just before his 20th birthday. He then enlisted with the Navy as a Messman, one of the few positions open to African-Americans.
On December 7th, 1941, Miller was a Messman Third Class serving on the USS West Virginia. He was a ship’s cook, with minimal combat training and no gunnery training, as the military was still segregated and African-Americans were not trained on the heavy guns.
When the bombs began dropping on Pearl Harbor, Miller ran to the deck of the ship and began assisting moving the wounded, including the captain of the ship. He then jumped on one of the anti-aircraft guns on deck and proceeded to try to shoot the Japanese planes down until ordered to abandon ship, at which point he continued to help move wounded soldiers from the ship.
Miller was hailed as the “Number One Hero” for African-Americans and considered one of the first American heroes of WWII. He was awarded the Navy Cross and after a massive community campaign, went on a war bond tour.
Miller returned to service on the Liscome Bay, where he died when the ship was lost at the battle of Makin Island.
Bonus: Admiral Nimitz, a native of Fredericksburg, Texas and CINCPAC during WWII, pinning the Navy Cross on Dorie Miller.
29 Days of February - 29 Photos of African Americans throughout Naval History. #BlackHistoryMonth
Original Caption: US Navy African-American Navy Cross-awarded gun crew: Jonell Copeland, Que Gant, Harold Clark Jr., James Eddie Dockery, Alonzo Alexander Swann, Eli Benjamin; circa 1945. (National Archives Photo # 80-G-334029)
Photos I took during an excursion into Arlington National Cemetery and Washington D.C. on Memorial Day. I wanted to visit and photograph each of the memorials as well as take time to reflect on the sacrifice the men and women of our armed forces have made throughout the years so that we may live free. It was a successful mission. I got some good shots and had the pleasure of meeting many fellow veterans while exchanging some stories.
Grace Hopper (1906-1992), sometimes referred to as ‘Amazing
Grace’, was a computer scientist and an Admiral in the US Navy. In 1944, she
invented the first compiler for a computer programming language.
earned her master’s and PhD in mathematics from Yale, and began teaching at
Vassar in 1931. She was part of the US Navy Reserve during World War II, all
while working for the Harvard Computation Lab, where she was part of the Mark I
computer programming project. She remained on active duty well beyond the
retirement age, becoming the oldest active-duty officer in the history of the
Navy, at 79 years of age.
In 1944, a boarding party from the US Navy destroyer escort USS Pillsbury stormed the damaged German unterseeboot U-505. They managed to salvage the submarine, as its crew did not fully complete scuttling procedures prior to abandoning the stricken boat.
It’s kind of a shame that a bunch of surface pukes got their grubby hands all over a fine submarine, but they did keep the vessel after the war. A decade later, it was donated to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry.
All of the boat’s removable components had long since been stripped for study, and there was no way it was usable as a museum exhibit. The museum’s president, Lenox Lohr, contacted the parts’ original manufacturers in Germany and asked for replacements. To his astonishment, most of the suppliers provided the parts, and all free of charge. They were that proud of their craftsmanship.
You can see the U-505 today at the MSI in Chicago, Illinois. It is one of the only two surviving Type IXC U-boats in the entire world.
Anyone who has spent any time aboard a submarine can tell you that there’s a particular odor associated with being in the boats. It’s certainly not pleasant, but, after a time, one becomes accustomed to it. It’s rather amazing that, after over half a century as a museum piece, when you enter the U-505, you can still detect traces of that distinctive smell.
I’m not sure how hey managed to capture it with a torpedo frozen in time, but I hear people were tougher back then.