We hope you’re not spending Turkey Day by yourself in front of a radar screen, but let’s remember those who can’t take today off.
Arabian Sea. An air controlman AIRMAN eats his Thanksgiving dinner while keeping an eye on the radar scope in the helicopter direction center aboard the amphibious assault ship USS OKINAWA (LPH 3), 11/26/1987
An A-7E Corsair II aircraft is reflected in the mirrored visor of Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) John Leenhouts’ flight helmet as he takes a self-portrait while in the cockpit of his A-7E. Leenhouts is flying his Attack Squadron 46 (VA-46) aircraft off the coast of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, 11/18/1987
“Five Sullivan Brothers - They Did Their Part”
The five Sullivan brothers (Albert, Francis, George, Joseph, and Madison) served together as shipmates aboard the cruiser USS Juneau after requesting special permission from the Secretary of the Navy. The Juneau was sunk on November 13, 1942, off the island of Guadalcanal by Japanese submarine I-26.
On 12 November 1942 three days of fighting began, in what came to be known as the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. The battle began with Japanese air attacks on American ships which had just landed reinforcements, including units from the US Army’s Americal Division (learn more here). Over the course of the next three days, the battle would evolve into a monumental engagement between battleships, cruisers, and destroyers in the narrow confines of Iron Bottom Sound.
In this photo, USS President Jackson (AP 37) maneuvers while under Japanese air attack off Guadalcanal on 12 November. In the center background is smoke from an enemy plane that had just crashed into the after superstructure of USS San Francisco (CA 38), which is steaming away in the right center. National Archives image 80-G-32366.
On 8 November 1942 American forces landed at Casablanca during Operation Torch. French naval forces attacked U.S. Navy ships and 13 French ships were sunk without a U.S. loss. This photo shows the battleship USS Massachusetts (BB 59) maneuvering off Casablanca during the invasion. Note that Massachusetts’ main battery guns are trained out to port. National Archives image 80-G-K-2134 photographed from USS Mayrant (DD 402).
National Sandwich Day!
Sailor eating sandwich beneath propellers of torpedo being loaded aboard U.S. submarine at New London, Connecticut., 08/1943
Some people will do anything for a great sandwich - what lengths have you gone to in order to get that perfect sandwich (hopefully it didn’t involve standing under naval ordnance)?
Regarding the Capture of H.B.M. Frigate Macedonian by U.S. Frigate United States, 10/25/1812
…She is a frigate of the largest class, two years old, four months out of dock, and reputed one of the best sailers in the British service…
200 years ago today, the frigate USS United States, commanded by Commodore Stephen Decatur, captured the HMS Macedonian, after an hour and a half engagement.
(Reportedly Decatur and the captain of the Macedonian, John Carden, had met previously and bet a beaver hat to the victor if they ever met in battle. However, there is no mention of the hat in Decatur’s report.)
First launched 215 years ago October 21, 1797, the USS Constitution remains the oldest commissioned naval warship afloat. This sail plan was recently treated in the preservation lab, as highlighted during the Preservation 2012 conference.
Today we mark the 200th anniversary of the USS Constitution’s defeat of the HMS Guerriere in which she earned the name “Old Ironsides” for the cannonballs that bounced over her sides. An 1890 tracing by A H Dutton of her sail drawing is in the lab. Treatment will remove pressure sensitive tape and stains from the tracing linen, made from a drawing by Charles Ware in 1817.
On Sunday, the USS Constitution sailed across Boston Harbor to commemorate the battle, for the first time since the bicentennial in 1997 of its launching.
On 18 October 1812, U.S. sloop of war Wasp captured HM brig Frolic during the War of 1812.
This reproduction of an aquatint in colors was drawn and engraved by F. Kearny, from a sketch by Lieut. Claxton, of the Wasp. Published by C.P. Fessenden, No. 7 N. Seventh St., Philadelphia. NHHC image NH 43040. Print from the Beverley R. Robinson Collection. Courtesy of the U.S. Naval Academy Museum, Annapolis, Maryland.
(Note: the National Archives has a similar copy of this print in our holdings but the version here is a higher quality scan.)
United States Navy Memorial Dedication
Dedicated 25 years ago today, our neighbor, the United States Navy Memorial, opened on October 13, 1987.
An elevated view of the dedication ceremonies for the US Navy Memorial on Pennsylvania Avenue at Eighth Street, 10/13/1987
(If you’ve been to Washington lately, you’ll notice that the neighborhood around the National Archives looks quite a bit different now.)
200 years (and 12 days) ago, the USS Constitution defeated the HMS Guerriere, earning her venerable nickname “Old Ironsides.”
Not in Boston to see her in person? This restored sail plan is on display at the National Archives through September 3.
We’re commemorating the War of 1812 bicentennial with a free display of a restored sail drawing of the USS Constitution. Sail maker Charles Ware drew the ship with all its sails unfurled in 1817.
You may know the USS Constitution as “Old Ironsides,” a nickname earned during the War of 1812. During the battle with the British warship HMS Guerriere, a crewman saw 18-pound iron cannonballs bounce off her hull and said, “Huzzah! Her sides are made of iron!”
The USS Constitution is the world’s oldest commissioned ship. It is still afloat and open for tours in Charlestown, Massachusetts.
The drawing goes on display through Monday, September 3 (Labor Day). Stop by and see it!
0658 RECOVERED 2 HELOS. ASTRONAUTS, N.A. ARMSTRONG, LCOL M. COLLINS USAF, AND COL E.E. ALDRIN JR USAF
Deck Log of the USS Hornet, 07/24/1969
Documenting in rather matter-of-fact terms both the arrival of the President of the United States and successful recovery of the Apollo 11 astronauts.
Subject: Olympic Games, 23 July 1923
“It is the policy of the Department, therefore, to urge the men of the Navy and Marine Corps to take part in all contests requiring physical skill, manliness and courage…”