Gemini VIII's Emergency Splashdown 1966

Gemini VIII (8) with astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Young made an emergency splashdown in the Pacific Ocean 500 miles east of Okinawa on 16 March 1966 only 10 hours and 41 minutes after launch from the Kennedy Space Center.  The original mission had been to rendezvous and dock with the Gemini Agena target vehicle [...]

Navy's First Choice Of Aircraft Color 1918

Any guesses on what was the first color chosen by the Navy bureaucracy for a tactical paint scheme? Of course it was Navy gray! On 15 March 1918, the Bureau of Construction and Repair directed that all naval aircraft be painted in low visibility naval gray enamel. Over the years the colors and markings of [...]

Day One April 1861 @ Patriots Point 9-14 April

  Over 300 Civil War reenactors will be camped at Patriots Point in an artillery camp overlooking Charleston Harbor with 20-24 artillery pieces to fire upon Fort Sumter. Living history presentations along with artillery, cavalry, infantry and civilian home life  demonstrations will be taking place daily from April 9th until April 14th. Peak shows will [...]

Video Thursday "The War Is Coming"

  Today’s Video Thursday features videos with a Civil War theme as we approach the beginning of our nation’s sesquicentennial events. Events that should highlight the tragedy of our bloodiest war of brother against brother.  First is a video of the Waccamaw Rifle reenactor group firing a cannon at Patriots Point last week. From April [...]

First Practical Sonobuoy 1942

On 07 March 1942 aerial antisubmarine warfare took a leap with the demonstration of an aerial dropped, radio sonobuoy off New London, Connecticut. A K-5 blimp used a sonobuoy to detect the sound of a S-20 submarine. It could detect the submarine up to 3 miles away and radio its information to the blimp up [...]

Centennial of Naval Aviation: First Fleet Use Of The Aircraft Carrier

Beginning on 02 March 1925, the United States Navy made the first tactical use of naval air power with the operations of the USS Langley, CV-1,  during Fleet Problem V.  Interestingly, Fleet Problem V was a fictional attack upon Hawaii! Aircraft from the Langley were only used for scouting purposes, but her air group’s performance [...]

Medal of Honor Recipient Henry "Red" Erwin

This is a repost from February of 2009 on Master Sgt. Henry “Red” Erwin (1921-2002), Medal of Honor recipient. Today I met the granddaughter of Henry E. “Red” Erwin. Jennifer Michaels and her two sons, David (6) and Will (3), were here to visit the Medal of Honor museum, while her Air Force husband was at [...]

Caroline Mars Sets World Record 1949

The Caroline Mars, a JRM-2 flying boat, broke the world record for passenger lift by carrying 202 men from NAS Alameda to NAS North Island, San Diego and broke it again the same day, 25 February 1949,  with a return load of 218 men.  These were the largest operational sea planes in history and after [...]

Video Thursday 2.24.11 Yesterday's Guns, Today's Guns, Tomorrow's Guns

Today on Video Thursday, we’ll take a look at multiple naval guns across the barriers of time. First we’ll start off with some old guns from the USS Wisconsin BB-64, during the battleship era her 16 inch guns were the most feared guns on the high seas. Next we’ll look at two of today’s  CIWS [...]

Navy F4D Skyray Sets Climb Record 1955

On 23 February 1955  Douglas Test Pilot R. O. Rahn piloted his F4D Skyray to an altitude of 10,000 feet in 56 seconds. This was the fourth unofficial Navy climb record set in less than a month! The unofficial nickname of the F4D Skyray was “Ford.” Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots would fly this [...]