Norman Polmar discusses his relationship with Rear Admiral Wayne E. Meyer, the “Father of Aegis” in today’s NHF blog post. Do you have a story to share with Aegis? Did you serve/serving on a current Aegis warship? Let us know.

Read the full story HERE.

GRACE HOPPER, REAR ADMIRAL AND COMPUTER PIONEER, HONORED IN GOOGLE DOODLEHave you checked Google this morning? The “doodle” celebrates the 107th birthday of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer programming and women in the Navy. Take a second today and go to Google to honor “Grandma COBOL.”GO TO GOOGLE HERE.Go to Washington Post story on Hopper’s “Doodle” HERE.

Have you checked Google this morning? The “doodle” celebrates the 107th birthday of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, a pioneer in the field of computer programming and women in the Navy. Take a second today and go to Google to honor “Grandma COBOL.”


Go to Washington Post story on Hopper’s “Doodle” HERE.

Norman’s Corner: Admiral Chris Cagle in War and in Peace

By Norman Polmar
In high school I began writing my first book—a history of the world’s aircraft carriers. In 1964, I wrote to the U. S. Naval Institute asking if they would be interested in considering the book for publication. The response was that they had a contract with then-Captain Malcolm W. (Chris) Cagle for a book on U.S. aircraft carriers. That book was to be a popular history, similar to Theodore Roscoe’s books Destroyer and Submarine, both published by the Naval Institute. The staff suggested that I should contact Cagle about a possible collaboration. A graduate of the Naval Academy class of 1941, Cagle served at sea in a destroyer from 1941 to 1943, when he underwent flight training. After duty as an assistant flight instructor, in 1944 he reported to Fighter Squadron (VF) 88 as executive officer. Flying the F4U Corsair, he was awarded the Navy Cross and the Distinguished Flying Cross for action against the Japanese.

Norman Polmar’s Corner: Missile Boat Commander Extraordinaire

By Norman Polmar

During my professional career I have consulted to three foreign navies—Australian, Chinese, and Israeli—as well as to several foreign commercial firms. I met and worked with interesting people in all of these countries and have maintained friendships with several of them. Among them is Micha (Michael) Ram, retired vice admiral and former Commander-in-Chief of the Israeli Navy. I first met Ram in 1980 when he was a student at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. Our friendship began at a Washington reception when he was introduced to me as a “comer” in the Israeli Navy.

(read more here)
Hooper Early Radio History Recordings Unveiled
Tapes from the History of Early Radio recording project that was conducted by Rear Admiral Edwin Hooper have been transcribed by Naval Historical Foundation retired Yeoman Chief Frank Arre. Dr. Jonathan Winkler of Wright State University (no relation to the NHF’s Dr. David Winkler) is editing the transcripts for eventual publication. The reel-to-reel tapes spent over a half century in storage at the Library of Congress Sound Recording Division.
Admiral Kane: An Appreciation
By Dr. Bill Dudley
The recent news of Rear Admiral John D. H. Kane, Jr.’s death brought back a flood of memories among those who recall his days as the Director of Naval History and the Naval Historical Center (now the Naval History and Heritage Command). He had a distinguished career, reaching back to his graduation from the Naval Academy in 1941 and many years in the surface navy. During the World War II battle for Okinawa, he survived a suicide boat attack in the Fletcher-class destroyer USS Charles J. Badger (DD-657), and was decorated for his bravery in the aftermath of that attack. He served in several ships, and commanded cruiser Northampton when she was the Sixth Fleet flagship in 1954-55. He served at the Bureau of Personnel, held a diplomatic post at NATO, and as a rear admiral was Commandant of the Ninth Naval District and Commander of the Great Lakes Naval Base. After retirement in 1975, he was recalled to active duty as Director of the Naval Historical Center in Washington, D.C.

On 5 August 1864 during the American Civil War, a Union squadron commanded by Rear Admiral David G. Farragut was victorious at the Battle of Mobile Bay, sealing off the last Confederate port on the Gulf Coast. This is the battle in which Farragut uttered his famous quote, “Damn the Torpedoes, Full speed ahead!” This oil painting by by Xanthus Smith (circa 1890) depicts the surrender of CSS Tennessee to the Union squadron. Identifiable U.S. Navy ships present include: Winnebago (monitor in the left distance), Chickasaw (monitor in the foreground) and Hartford (Farragut’s flagship, in the right center, painted light gray). NHHC image KN-843.

Naval Historical Foundation Oral History Program

Over the years we’ve compiled over 200 oral histories of sailors and individuals involved in naval activities. We invite you to check out the index of those people online, and to read the selected histories we have posted so far. We plan to post more in the future, stay tuned!

(see the NHF oral history index)

On 3 July 1898 at the Battle of Santiago de Cuba, during the Spanish-American War, a U.S Navy fleet commanded by Rear Admiral William Sampson destroyed a Spanish fleet commanded by Admiral Pascual Cervera y Topete, as the Spanish attempted to break out past a US blockade. This painting by Fred S. Cozzens depicts the battle. NHHC image NH 85767-KN.

BOOK REVIEW – Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater

By Brayton Harris, Palgrave Macmillan: New York, (2012)

Reviewed by Captain Scott Mobley, U.S. Navy (Retired)

Brayton Harris begins his narrative by pledging to give the reader a “guided tour” of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz’s life.  Harris delivers on this promise, tracing Nimitz’s rise from a small-town Texas boyhood to the apex of naval high command. U.S. Naval Institute oral histories inform Harris’ research, as do contemporary news stories and an array of secondary sources-most notably E.B Potter’s monumental biography of the admiral: Nimitz, published in 1976. Compared to Potter’s earlier work, Admiral Nimitz: The Commander of the Pacific Ocean Theater provides a tidy, straightforward account-in a volume considerably slimmer than its predecessor.

(read the full review)