In April 1909, Ensign Kenneth Whiting, a future naval aviation pioneer, became the commanding officer of Porpoise. On 15 April, Whiting and his crew of six took the submarine out for what was to be a routine run. Porpoise got underway, cleared the dock and moved out into Manila Bay. She dove soon thereafter, and […]Read More 1909 – the First Torpedo Man and a Revolutionary Change in Submarines
On March 20, 1942, the cruiser Birmingham was launched at Newport News Virginia. Like so many ships of her generation, she was planned and designed around a model that had been determined during the various naval arms limitation treaties that predated the war she would fight in. In 1942, ships were desperately needed to fight […]Read More The Mighty “B” – Don’t give up the ship… the story of the USS Birmingham CL-62
Where are the planes? March 7th In the Philippines, the ever-encroaching forces of the Imperial Japanese Army must have seemed relentless. The under gunned and under-protected American and Philippine forces were subjected to an increasingly powerful Japanese force. Fall of the Philippines Only in the Philippines, almost on Japan’s southern doorstep, was the timetable of […]Read More When are those P-40’s going to arrive to “raise hell on the other side of the line?” March 1942
On February 12, 1922, the American fleet began their annual exercises. These exercises had been conducted for a very long time and were designed to test the readiness of the sips and the men who sailed on them. But in 1922, a very different atmosphere hung heavy over the entire fleet. Coming off of […]Read More The cost of peace is often the next war.
In January 1942, fighting between the invading Japanese and the America/Philippine Army was raging. Because of the decision made in 1922 by America to limit their growth of military infrastructure in the Pacific, the Allied forces were playing a game of catch up when the Japanese launched their surprise attacks. In 1921-22, the United States […]Read More “To my fellow soldiers in the Philippines and America:” Manila, January 1942
USS Seawolf (SS 197) When the Japanese attacked the Philippines at the beginning of World War 2, all of the defensive plans that had been painstakingly drawn out before the war fell by the wayside. The tragedy of Pearl Harbor ensured that the relief that was supposed to come and rescue in the aftermath of […]Read More Coins of all denominations – The Story of the USS Seawolf SS 197
Merry Christmas. Simple words of greeting that have been shared all over the world in so many languages. But often the greeting is sent from far away from home. In December 1945, my Dad was working as part of the post war draw down in Manila. He had entered the war on March 8th, 1945 […]Read More Christmas in Manila – 1945
March of 1941 was a month of great significance in the march to global war. I don’t know anything about the writer of this article in the Washington Evening Star. But I do know that his column was probably being used as a way to telegraph the activities to the world at a time when […]Read More March 2, 1941… Japan will be a pushover
Part Two: Admiral Taussig. Yes, Senator. Shall I proceed with my statement? The Chairman. Proceed. Admiral Taussig. In spite of our desires to remain aloof from international problems, we cannot do so. The world has shrunk too much. Can we look on a development in the Far East such as out lined above with detached interest, as a matter of no immediate concern to us as […]Read More The Tanaka Memorial – Real or Imagined? Part 2
This story will be done in two parts. In 1940, Rear Admiral Joseph Taussig was called to testify to Congress about the ship building program and the perceived threats that were emerging in the Far East. This controversial testimony placed him at odds with an old nemesis – the former Assistant Secretary of the Navy […]Read More The Tanaka Memorial – Real or Imagined?