Birth of Radial Engines!

On 07 February 1922 a Lawrance J-1 radial engine passed the 50 hour test requirement for the U. S. Navy at the Washington Navy Yard. The J-1 was the first successful air-cooled radial engine in the United States. This achievement led to the pursuit and development of other radial engines for the Navy. After World […]

World's First Nuclear Aircraft Carrier!

  The keel of the world’s first nuclear aircraft carrier, USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was laid 04 February 1958. She was commissioned on 25 November 1961 as a CVAN (Nuclear Attack Carrier, changed by the Navy to CVN later). Today the “Big E” (nickname)  is our oldest commissioned warship and even has her own Facebook Page. […]

Video Thursday 2.03.11

It’s Video Thursday…and today we’ll look at women in Aviation and the Military… First we have Patty Wagstaff, Three Time National Aerobatic Champion and Fabulous Airshow Performer. I’ve seen her at multiple airshows and my squadron hosted her at the Azalea Festival Airshow at NAS Norfolk a few years ago. Watch her aviation skills here… […]

First U.S. Carrier Offensive 01 February 1942

Not content to wait for the next Japanese attack, Admiral Chester Nimitz sent two of his warrior admirals out to hit back less than two months after the surprise attack at Pearl Harbor. Task Force 8 under Vice Admiral “Bull” Halsey onboard the USS Enterprise (CV-6) and Task Force 17 led by Rear Admiral “Black […]

The Birth Of Soaring In America

Another Navy first, today eighty-one years ago a glider was dropped from the USS Los Angeles, ZR-3 (seen above). The idea of dropping a glider from an airship was the Chief of the Bureau of Naval Aeronautics, Rear Admiral William A. Moffett. The pilot was Navy Lieutenant Ralph S. Barnaby and he held glider pilot […]

From Joy To Tears: The Challenger Tragedy, 25 Years Ago Today

I was a young Navy Lieutenant on this date in 1986 and was performing my watch standing duty as Squadron Duty Officer (SDO).  I was just completing my briefing on squadron events that day to our Executive Officer (XO)  Commander Bob Ponton. He was excited about his former squadron room-mate,  Navy Commander Mike Smith, being […]

First Airship To Land On Aircraft Carrier, 1928!

ZR-3, USS Los Angeles, was a zeppelin built in Germany for the United States Navy as part of a reparations payment. She was our longest-serving airship from 1924-1939. Her landing onboard the USS Saratoga on 28 January 1928 was a one-time event and as far as I know the only airship landing on a carrier. […]

First Seaplane (Hydroaeroplane) Flight 1911!

  Today one hundred years ago, Glenn Curtiss made the first successful seaplane or as known then, hydroaeroplane, at North Island, San Diego, California. Navy Lieutenant T. G. Ellyson was a witness and helped Curtiss prepare for the first seaplane flight. Below are a takeoff and landing of a replica Curtiss A-1 built for the […]

Where Are Our Carriers?

Where are our carriers? Long a question asked by our Presidents during times of crisis. Today we have eleven aircraft carrier battle groups and today around the world five are deployed. They are: USS Enterprise (CVN 65) – Atlantic Ocean USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) – port visit Port Klang, Malaysia USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN […]

A-4's Fly Coast To Coast 1959!

On 24 January 1959, two A-4D Skyhawks flew from El Toro, California, to Cherry Point, North Carolina (2,082 miles)  in 4 hours and 25 minutes. The pilots of the two jets were Marine Corps naval aviators Major J. P. Flynn and Captain C. D. Warfield of the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW). In order to […]