Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
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Norman Polmar’s Corner: The Envelope Aircraft Carrier
By Norman Polmar
A telephone call in early March 1974 from one of my consulting customers in the Navy Department alerted me to a problem: The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, was upset with me. I had written a brief article in the March issue of the Naval Institute Proceedings—“Sea Control Ship and Navy Missions”—raising questions about the proposed sea control ship, one of several Zumwalt ship initiatives.
Norman’s Corner: Convincing Admiral Burke
By Norman Polmar
Admiral Arleigh A. Burke was a top destroyer commander and then chief of staff for the Fast Carrier Force during World War II. After the war a succession of important posts led to his appointment as Chief of Naval Operations; he served an unprecedented six years as CNO, from August 1955 to August 1961. In retirement, on the evening of 8 March 1966, Burke spoke at the Naval Academy to a small group composed of Academy officials, midshipmen, the staff of the U.S. Naval Institute, and a few USNI members in the area.
The evening was sponsored by the Naval Institute as part of its distinguished visitor program. Professor Robert M. (Bob) Langdon* of the Naval Academy’s history department directed the program for the USNI.
That evening a few persons from each category were invited to have coffee with Admiral Burke and his wife. I was among those invited. At the time I was assistant editor of the Naval Institute Proceedings and Bob wrote the column “professional reading,” which I edited for the magazine; we had become good friends while I was at the Naval Institute. When he introduced me to the Admiral, Bob mentioned that I was writing a history of aircraft carriers.
The Constitution Fighting Top
One of the largest artifacts on display at the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, DC, is the fighting top from USS Constitution. Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Jonathan Greenert, frequently addresses the fleet by video, using the fighting top for a background, as he does in this 2012 photo. (US Navy photo 121011-N-WL435-161),
If you would like to learn more about the history of the “Old Ironsides” fighting top, and how it was installed in the museum, check out our short publication, “The Constitution Fighting Top,” now available in digital format on our website: http://www.navyhistory.org/the-constitution-fighting-top/
CNO and Symonds Talks Highlight 2012 Midway Commemoration Dinner Event
This past weekend at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia, some 200 guests gathered to salute seven veterans in attendance, and the memories of thousands more, who fought in one of the greatest battles in naval history – the Battle of Midway.
(read the full story here)
Above photo: Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Jonathan Greenert poses for a photo with Battle of Midway veteran William Roy. See our earlier post with Roy’s firsthand account of the sinking of USS Yorktown here. (U.S. Navy photo 120603-N-WL435-017 by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter D. Lawlor/Released).
Admiral James Holloway: Operation Lion’s Den
Thanks to our friends at Aerocinema: The Aviation Channel, we’re pleased to present a brand new 18 minute interview with Admiral James L. Holloway III, USN (Ret). The former CNO and Naval Historical Foundation Chairman Emeritus spoke at length about Operation Lion’s Den, a 1972 raid by four U.S. Navy warships into Haiphong Harbor to shell enemy shore positions during the Vietnam War. Admiral Holloway was along as Commander, Seventh Fleet, and had a front row seat for the dramatic events that unfolded.
As you may know, we’re currently deep into the planning stages for a new exhibit at the Cold War Gallery based on Operation Lion’s Den. If you’d like to learn more about the exhibit, or make a donation to support its construction, we invite you to read our earlier announcement. Completion of the exhibit is planned by summer 2012 at the Cold War Gallery, part of the National Navy Museum at the Washington Navy Yard, Washington, DC. Alternately, you can make a donation on our Fundly page.
In March 1942, Admiral Ernest J. King relieved Admiral Harold Stark as Chief of Naval Operations. King thus became the the first and only officer to simultaneously serve as Chief of Naval Operations and Commander, U.S. Fleet. Later promoted to Fleet Admiral, King served as President of the Naval Historical Foundation from 1946-1949.
This portrait of King by McClelland Barclay, USNR, was painted during World War II (National Archives photo 80-G-K-13800)
ADM Holloway Visits NHF and Cold War Gallery on 90th Birthday
Admiral James Holloway III, USN (Ret), former Chief of Naval Operations, and Chairman Emeritus of the Naval Historical Foundation, stopped by our office yesterday on his 90th birthday. He had the chance to enjoy some birthday cake, and toured the Cold War Gallery with his son-in-law, Richard Quist. He also had the opportunity to go over plans for the new exhibit being planned for the Gallery, “Into the Lion’s Den.”