Browsing: World War II

The Naval Academy has another viral internet hit, but it’s a little more solemn than the “Gangnam Style” spirit spot a few weeks ago. The Navy Athletics Facebook page posted the below photo on Sunday. As of Wednesday afternoon, the photo has over 22,000 likes and has been shared over 5,000 times. The photo shows Naval Academy midshipmen saluting a bus of World War II veterans, according to the Facebook post. The Navy men’s lacrosse team met the group of 67 vets at Baltimore-Washington International airport while returning home from playing Notre Dame over the weekend. The team had the…

(cross-posted from Military Times’ After Action sports blog) Boston Red Sox shortstop, coach, manager and all-around legend Johnny Pesky died Monday at age 92. The Fenway fans’ seven-decade love affair with Pesky went well beyond his stat sheet, even though he hit .307 over 10 seasons and led the American League in hits three times — 1942, 1946 and 1947. What happened in 1943, 1944 and 1945? Like so many others, baseball icon or no, Pesky went to war. He began his naval aviator training in Massachusetts before the 1942 season ended, learning alongside Ted Williams at Amherst College. (Williams…

Ernie Borgnine was the reason I joined the Navy, though I didn’t meet him until 2003 at the Navy Memorial in downtown Washington, D.C. As a child growing up in the 1960s, one of my favorite television shows was “McHale’s Navy,” with Borgnine playing the part of Lt. Cmdr. Quentin McHale, drawing from his own experiences in nearly 10 years on active duty. “Doing that show was very much like being back in the Navy for me,” Borgnine said. “And like being part of a ship’s crew, we really became very close doing that show and many of us stayed…

Reaching 100 years of age is remarkable enough. But the Navy made it extra special for a former Navy Seabee Dec. 2. Retired Capt. James R. Mims, the nation’s oldest living Seabee, was made an honorary member of Amphibious Construction Battalion 2 by the unit’s top sailor, Command Master Chief (SCW) Johnny DeSarro, during Mims’ 100th birthday party, held at the Oaks Country Club in Richmond, Va.. Mims also received a U.S. flag flown over the Capitol building, a birthday greeting from President Obama and a very cool commemorative paddle. Mims has experienced some remarkable moments in his life. In…

Next month, Naval Academy midshipmen will perform possibly the most nautical musical ever to hit Broadway — but you wouldn’t know it by reading the school’s announcement of tickets for the winter musical. It’s South Pacific, but “licensing restrictions prohibit releasing the name of the production in this announcement.” The story is set on a South Pacific island during World War II, featuring two love stories threatened by prejudice and war. Nellie, a spunky nurse from Arkansas, falls in love with a French planter, while Lt. Joe Cable finds himself denying his love for an island native. The songs are…

With the battleship Iowa being prepared for its debut next year as an interactive museum near Los Angeles, you might be thinking, where’s my battleship? The car enthusiast website jalopnik.com has the scoop: For a mere $80,000, you can own your own replica of the battleship New Jersey. The ebay auction description notes the ship is powered by a 120 HP Sea Doo jet drive. Also: “Two of the main guns are fully articulating and fire streams of high pressure water. The vessel also contains a 4000 watt generator, air compressor and high pressure stainless steel water pump.” And since…

The idea for Doritos tortilla chips, which brought about a sea change in snacking and became a top seller for Frito-Lay, came from the mind of former Navy man Arch West, who died of natural causes on Sept. 20. He was 97. West joined the Navy in 1943 and served as a gunnery officer onboard destroyer escort Holt in the Pacific during World War II, according to The Dallas Morning News. A chance encounter on a family vacation inspired West to mass-market tortilla chips, according to The Washington Post: “He was on a family vacation in Southern California in 1964…

I remember a 1990-ish visit to a Japanese submarine base and being dumbfounded to see the subs flying the rising sun flag off their stern masts. Dumbfounded, because being, ahem, of a certain age, I associated the flag — a red disc with red and white “beams” extending outward — with the aggressive World War II-era regime that launched a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor in an effort to exercise total dominance over the Pacific. Its use was banned in 1945 following the surrender to the United States and its allies, but many Americans don’t realize that it was re-adopted…

When submarine vets gathered last Thursday in Manitowoc, Wis., they found an accurate – and edible – tribute to their years of undersea service: a 22-inch-long sculpture of attack submarine Jallao made of pure cheese. It was the creation of Sarah Kaufmann, a.k.a. the Cheese Lady. You won’t be surprised to know that this “nationally-recognized cheese sculptor,” according to a press release, hails from Wisconsin, the nation’s cheese capital. (Jallao was built with sturdy two-year-old aged Wisconsin cheddar.) Behind the conning tower of the surfacing sub is its hull number, 368. Jallao was one of 28 subs built by…

Today marks the 69th anniversary of “a date which will live in infamy” — the devastating Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that prompted the U.S. entry into World War II. The Navy regrouped, fought back and, four years later, enjoyed the ultimate payback, hosting the formal Japanese surrender ceremony aboard the battleship Missouri. The anniversary is being marked at commemorations around the world, chief among them ceremonies at the new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument and on Ford Island, where a memorial commemoration will be held in honor of those…

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