Antiaircraft Gunfire Director – The Mark 19

With the advent of high-flying and high-speed aircraft, the United States Navy was faced with a new problem, which was ignored until Billy Mitchell’s demonstration of air power in the sinking of the German battleship Ostfriesland in 1921. In 1925 Ford Instrument built an antiaircraft gun director in response to a navy request and delivered [...]

Radio Technology in Naval Aviation 1918

On 17 November 1918 an H-16 flying boat from Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, detected a radio signal via their British six-stage amplifier radio direction finder from a Virginia radio station located at Arlington, Virginia, a distance of 150 miles. Not only had the Navy entered the world of aviation, but now was helping in [...]

Curtiss-Navy racer sets World Speed Record, 1921

On 03 November 1921, pilot Bert Acosta flying the Curtiss-Navy racer powered by a 400-h.p. Curtiss engine, won the Pulitzer Race at Omaha, Nebraska, with a world record speed of 176.7 mph. The forerunner of the National Air Races at Cleveland was the Pulitzer Trophy Race established by newspaper publisher Ralph Pulitzer. He wanted to [...]

Second Yale Unit, 1917

A group of Yale students volunteered to form a flying unit for the United States Navy in February 1917 and they enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve as seamen second class on 16 April 1917, ten days after the American declaration of war. They were ordered to Buffalo, New York, for flight training at [...]

USS Akron Commissioned 1931

USS Akron was commissioned at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey, on 27 October 1931. She was 785 feet in length and weighed 242,356 pounds. The ZRS-4 was built in 1931 in the largest hangar in the world. The designation, ZRS, was used by the Navy to distinguish ships or aircraft as to type and mission [...]

First landing on the Navy's first aircraft carrier!

On 26 October 1922, Lieutenant Commander Godfrey de Chevalier, USN, flew his Aeromarine 39-B on to the flight deck of the United States Navy’s first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1), while cruising off Cape Henry, Virginia. Chevalier had launched from the Navy’s Yorktown Naval Aviation Field at Yorktown, Virginia (more on Yorktown Airfield). History was [...]

Victory at Sea, 25 October 1812

One hundred and ninety-eight years ago, the young United States Navy gained a victory at sea against the world’s most powerful Navy, when the USS President defeated the HMS Macedonian in a sea battle  west of the Canary Islands. Captain Stephen Decatur used his sailing skills and long-range firing accuracy to destroy Macedonian’s mizzen top [...]

Centennial of Naval Aviation

Next year, 2011, will mark the centennial of Naval Aviation in the United States Navy. It will be a year marked by many celebrations and remembrances across the nation of the contribution of men and women who served flying or fixing or servicing the many aircraft of the Navy, Marines and Coast Guard. Stay tuned [...]

Horace Hunley and His Submarine, October 1863

    One hundred and forty-six years ago today, Horace Hunley was brought up from the depths of Charleston Harbor, not far from the Yorktown’s present location,  along with the 2nd crew of  his new submarine. He was born in Tennessee, but grew up in New Orleans. Trained as a lawyer and a member of [...]

United States Navy – 235 Years Proud!

Today marks the 235th birthday of the United States Navy and in its short history has demonstrated the bravery and skill of well-trained and led patriots of the sea. Our Navy’s history is an inspiration to future generations, who will most certainly find themselves in “harms way.” Our Navy’s beginning has a link to Charleston, [...]