Preservation, Education, and Commemoration of Naval History
Shortly after midnight on 30 July 1945 the cruiser USS Indianapolis (CA 35), which had just completed a high speed transit from California to Tinian to deliver atomic bomb components, was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-58 and sank quickly. Due to communications and other errors, her loss went unnoticed until survivors were seen from a passing aircraft on 2 August. Rescue efforts over several days saved only about a quarter of her nearly 1200-man crew, who had been savaged by sharks during their days adrift. This image shows Indianapolis at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, circa 1937. NHHC image NH 53230.
BOOK REVIEW: Kaigun – Strategy, Tactics, and Technology in the IMPERIAL JAPANESE NAVY, 1887-1941
By David C. Evans and Mark R. Peattie, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis (1997).
Reviewed by Nathan B. Albright
David C. Evans served in the U.S. Navy as an ensign and a lieutenant (junior grade), and previously edited The Japanese Navy in World War II: In the Words of Former Japanese Naval Officers. Mark R. Peattie has written numerous works about Japanese history, including Ishiwara Kanji and Japan’s Confrontation with the West and Nan’yo: The Rise and Fall of the Japanese in Micronesia, 1885-1945. Both authors spent twelve years working on this book, and their acknowledgement section demonstrates the immense amount of people who helped in this labor of love.
New Exhibition Opening on World War II and New York City
This fall, a new exhibition will open at the New York City based New-York Historical Society. The exhibition will be called WWII & NYC and is scheduled to open 5 October 2012. The exhibition will chronicle the most widespread and consequential conflict in history through the lens of New York City. Featuring more than 300 objects – including artifacts, paintings, maps, models, photographs, posters, film footage, music, radio broadcasts, and newly recorded eyewitness accounts – WWII & NYC will restore to memory New York’s crucial and multifaceted role in winning the war.
BOOK REVIEW: The United States Coast Guard in World War II – A History of Domestic and Overseas Action
By Thomas P. Ostrom, McFarland & Company, Jefferson, NC, (2009)
Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart
This is a well-written and nicely researched account of the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. The author, using seventeen topical chapters, provides short, concise accounts of various missions carried out by the Coast Guard during the war. Each of these chapters is a standalone article highly suitable for publication in Naval History.
The Marianas Operation Phase I: Saipan
This multi-part World War II documentary, produced by the United States Marine Corps in 1944, provides a detailed examination of the campaign to take the Marianas from the Japanese. Initial landings began on 15 June 1944. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, UM-24.
Navy Photographer Remembers Sinking of USS Yorktown (CV 5)
By CDR William G. Roy, USN(Ret)
I was a member of the Yorktown salvage party. I volunteered 5 June 1942. I had been picked up by the USS Hammann (DD 412), with Captain Buckmaster, after we had abandoned Yorktown. He called for volunteers. I knew Captain Buckmaster, since I served on the bridge of Yorktown at Coral Sea as his photographer. I returned with the salvage party on USS Hammann early on the morning of 6 June 1942. Our first order of business was to put out the persistent fire burning below decks in the forward rag locker, near the aviation gasoline, bomb storage and torpedo storage.
Top Photo: 80-G-312018, Scene on board USS Yorktown (CV-5), shortly after she was hit by three Japanese bombs on 4 June 1942 during Battle of Midway, photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class William G. Roy.
Bottom Left Photo:Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class William G. Roy, holding the camera he used to film the Battle of the Coral Sea and Battle of Midway. Photo courtesy of William Roy.
Bottom Right Photo: NH 95576, USS Yorktown sinking 7 June 1942, photo by Photographer’s Mate 2nd Class William G. Roy.
On 4 June 1942, the Battle of Midway began. The outnumbered U.S. Navy turned the tide of World War II in the Pacific by sinking four Japanese aircraft carriers.
Image: “Air Attack on Japanese Carriers” by Griffith Baily Coale, Navy Art Collection 88-188-AE
New History Published on US Navy’s Seventh Fleet
A new book has been published by the Naval History and Heritage Command, authored by historian Dr. Edward J. Marolda. It is titled Ready Seapower: A History of the U.S. Seventh Fleet. This historical study covers the service in the Asia-Pacific region of the U.S. Seventh Fleet during the 20th and 21st centuries. The Fleet saw combat in nearly every major battle of World War II in the Pacific and was in the forefront of U.S. forces involved in Korea, Vietnam, and the Arabian Gulf. Today the Fleet acts as a deterrent to aggressor nations, participates in joint and combined exercises, conducts counterterrorism and antipiracy operations, and provides humanitarian assistance as well as disaster relief.
On 21 May 1944, during preparations for the invasion of Saipan, an accidental ordnance blast on LST 353 set off cataclysmic ammunition explosions at West Loch, Pearl Harbor, killing 163 and injuring 396. Six tank landing ships (LST-39, LST-43, LST-69, LST-179, LST-353, LST-480), three tank landing craft (LCT-961, LCT-963, LCT-983), and 17 track landing vehicles (LVTs) were destroyed in explosions and fires.
This aerial photograph of West Loch shows the burning LSTs at berths T-8 and T-9. Some LSTs are maneuvering in the foreground, leaving the vicinity of the explosions and fire, while other ships have yet to get underway. National Archives photo 80-G-276907.