The Whale in Vietnam

Our newest aircraft the Douglas A-3D, Skywarrior aka Whale, served during the Vietnam War. Its primary mission in the EA-3 variant was to warn Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force aviators, whenever SAMs (surface to air  missiles) were launched at them. On Tuesday, 14 September, one of the former crew members, who actually flew in [...]

Henry and John Laurens

South Carolinian Henry Laurens and his son John Laurens both played pivotal roles in the American Revolution.  Both father and son’s life histories  were influenced by events at Yorktown, Virginia. John Laurens was a descendant of Huguenots, who fled France for religious liberty.  He was a wealthy merchant in Charleston, South Carolina and entered the [...]

03 September 1783 – Independence Day?

Lots of Americans know the significance of 01 September (Germany invaded Poland) and 02 September (VJ Day), but rare is the individual who knows the significance of 03 September. In 1783, three American peace commissioners and one British commissioner Richard Oswald signed the Treaty of Paris . This treaty between Great Britain and United States [...]

A Hero's Hero: Part II

Here is the rest of Colonel Murray’s story…read here if you missed the first part… He knew that this bridge like the first would be mined. Lt. Murray considered using the rubber boats, but quickly discarded that idea as it would take too long and he didn’t have the time. The planks were a possible [...]

A Hero's Hero! Part I

Everyone has a hero, someone you admire and wish to become. Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle wrote, “Show me the man you honor, and I will know what kind of man you are, for it shows me what your ideal of manhood is and what kind of man you long to be.” As a young boy, [...]

Volunteer Profile on Dr. Art Schmitt – Helicopter pilot extraordinaire!

One beautiful summer day a 15-year-old boy and future Eagle Scout looked up into the New Jersey sky and saw a Marine F4U Corsair fly over in a low pass, he said to himself, “That’s what I want to do one day!” Be careful what you wish for… Art Schmitt grew up in Brooklyn, New [...]

What is a knot? Part II

The use of the term knot goes back to the day of sailing ships. Sailors would toss over a “Dutch log” which had a line attached with knots tied into it at intervals. Through trial and error, seamen found that the 28-second sand glass would do the best job and you didn’t want more time, [...]

Bureau of Naval Aeronautics founded 1921

Yesterday marked the 89th anniversary of the formation of the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics on 10 August 1921. Charlestonian Captain William Adger Moffett was nominated by President Harding to become the first Chief of the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics, a position he would hold until his death in the crash of the airship Akron in [...]

USS Yorktown at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot Part 2

Dawn came at 0430 on 19 June 1944. The weather was expected to be CAVU (ceiling and visibility unlimited) and the temperature in the low to mid 80′s. Wind was out of the east at 9 to 12 knots. Conditions were also right for lots of contrails at altitude…in other words, a great day for [...]

USS Yorktown at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot Part 1

On 18 June 1944, two large aircraft carrier battle groups approached each other southwest of Saipan in the Marianas. The First Mobile Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy carried 440 aircraft on nine carriers: Taiho, Shokaku, Zuikaku, Junyo, Hiyo, Ryuho, Chitose, Chiyoda, and Zuiho. It was led by Vice Admiral Jisaburo Ozawa, a 1909 graduate [...]