Archive for the ‘History’ Category
Was browsing around, ended up reading about the Essex-class carrier USS Lake Champlain (CV-39), and found out a couple of interesting things about her that I didn’t know. First, she got the updated island superstructure and jet-handling upgrades of the SCB-27 program, but she never got the angled flight deck:
Also, during Operation Magic Carpet in 1945, she set a transatlantic speed record bringing US troops home from Europe. It stood until it was broken by the liner SS United States (currently and shamefully rotting away in Philadelphia) in 1952.
Two years ago:
“We have some planes.”
The man who said that is no longer in this world, and Murdoc strongly suspects that he is disappointed about how things turned out for him in the next one.
For Murdoc’s thoughts and feelings about what happened on this day in 2001, see 9/11 Report: “Planes. As in plural.”
We don’t always get to choose which wars to fight.
This is what happens when you land on the wrong ship.
You don’t have this sort of problem when you never have more than one carrier in the area.
NOTE: This is a re-post from 2009.
There are a lot of familiar images from the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941. Here is one of them:
Those who don’t know or haven’t looked closely might not notice that there are two destroyers in front of the battleship. The drydock had been dry when the attack began, but after raging fires began setting off ammunition aboard the destroyers, it was flooded in an attempt to douse the flames. Cassin slipped from her blocks and rolled against Downes.
Both ships were 1500-ton Mahan-class ships and had been commissioned in the mid-30s.
Here’s another image, taken from near where the two men in the first photo are standing at the head of the dock. The men on the Downes surveying the damage give a great sense of scale:
Notice the man in white uniform crawling on the Cassin, just behind the partially submerged #2 turret.
Here’s a shot from the rear of the destroyers:
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Murdoc was in NYC for the first time last month and took a tour of the WTC Memorial. While there, he snapped this picture:
The tenth anniversary has come and gone. The sharp edges of the pain are fading. Life goes on.
But we will never forget.
For a summary of the events, see “Planes, as in plural.” written in 2004.
On July 9, 1962 — 50 years ago today — the United States detonated a nuclear weapon high above the Pacific Ocean. Designated Starfish Prime, it was part of a dangerous series of high-altitude nuclear bomb tests at the height of the Cold War. Its immediate effects were felt for thousands of kilometers, but it would also have a far-reaching aftermath that still touches us today.
EMP from 1.4 megaton high atmosphere blast was far more damaging at far greater ranges that expected.
By coincidence, we watched during the time of day over there that they were jumping. According to Wikipedia, Mission Albany (the 101st Airborne Division) jumped between 00:48 and 01:40 British Double Summer Time.
So I’m posting in America on June 5th. In France it’s D-Day.
This is something I posted a few years back. It is always one of the first things Murdoc thinks about when he thinks of Memorial Day.
Several years ago my family and I visited the USS Yorktown in Charleston, South Carolina. While wandering the great ship, I happened to notice this among the thousands of displays:
It says WITHIN AND NEAR THESE EXHIBIT COMPARTMENTS 32 MEN DIED AND 71 WERE WOUNDED 16 APRIL 1945 WHILE FIGHTING 50 KAMIKAZES.
Right there. Right where I and my family were standing.
Sixty years ago. Before my kids were born. Before I was born. Before my parents were born.
And those men died fighting for all of us.
I don’t know what else to say about it.
Thank-you veterans past and present. Especially those who never come home.