The silent service – ‘We Come Unseen’

750px-Royal_Navy_Submariner's_Dolphin_Badge_MOD_45155740Youngsters don’t want to serve on Royal Navy submarines because they can’t log on to Facebook while under the waves. The Royal Navy is struggling to recruit young people as they are no longer willing to tolerate the isolation of underwater life. 

It’s part of a wider trend that has seen all the armed forces struggling to meet recruitment targets as the social media generation expect more from their employers.480px-HMS_Ambush

HMS Ambush of the Astute Class.  Hunter killer Submarine 

The news has emerged as part of research by PA Consulting which has been trying to help the Royal Navy tackle its staff shortages.

Methinks the cub reporter has grabbed the s****y end of the tosh & piffle stick! Young matelots have to undergo a minimum of 3 to 5 years ‘skimmer’ sea service – and be of good character (undetected crime) before they are even considered for the ‘Silent Service.’  Severe cut backs on pay – and manpower cut to the bone (leading to promotion through dead man’s shoes) are just two of the reasons concerning the shortage of ‘sun dodger’ volunteers. Recruiting is also down within Britain’s Armed Forces due to the governments piss poor pay scales.      Yours_Aye.

USS Indianapolis

2ADAB62B00000578-0-image-a-4_1437915908010The men who survived the worst sea disaster in U.S. naval history – The survivors of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis – have shared their memories of the horror story as Hollywood prepares to release two movies on the subject. Nicholas Cage and Robert Downey Jr are starring in separate films about the naval disaster as the 70th anniversary approaches on July 30. It’s a long-time coming for the survivors, who are now in their 80s and 90s and are helping the producers and actors get their stories together for the proper treatment.

Of the 1,197 men aboard the Indianapolis when it was torpedoed by the Japanese, only 317 survived after spending five days adrift in shark-infested waters, and 32 of those men are still alive today.

I hope to Gawd Hollywood pays a true tribute to the ship, its crew, and in particular to Captain Charles B. McVay III who was shamefully hung out to dry  when he was Court-Martialled by the USN.   Yours_Aye.

“Captain McVay was found guilty on the charge of ‘Suffering his vessel to be hazarded by not zigzagging.’ The court sentenced him to lose 100 numbers in his temporary rank of Captain and 100 numbers in his permanent rank of Commander, thus ruining his Navy career.”

Captain Charles McVay Testifying at his Court Martial

In 1946, at the behest of Admiral Nimitz who had become Chief of Naval Operations, Secretary Forrestal remitted McVay’s sentence and restored him to duty. McVay served out his time in the New Orleans Naval District and retired in 1949 with the rank of Rear Admiral. He took his own life in 1968.

“In the early afternoon of a dreary November day in 1968, he told his housekeeper that he would eat his sandwich later. He had shared with her earlier that he had been having nightmares about sharks. He then walked into the front yard, lay down, and shot himself in the head. He was holding a toy soldier his father had given him as a boy. Twenty-three years after the disaster, and years of receiving Christmas hate mail blaming him for the loss of loved ones, his mental anguish over the catastrophe was finally over. His question – why the Navy had taken five days to rescue him and his men, has never been satisfactorily answered. As one of the Marine survivors, Melvin C. Jacob, recounted in an interview, McVay repeatedly raised this question to anyone who would listen. But there was no answer. As Jacob stated, had even one more day gone by, there would have been no survivors from the Indianapolis.”

The Battling Boys of Benghazi

27DE1C4B00000578-3050850-image-m-34_1429721439584 27DE1C6100000578-3050850-image-a-33_1429721435327

Glen Doherty (left) and Tyrone Woods (right) were in the capital of Benghazi, Libya, assigned to a State Department security detail. On September 11, they were staying in a secure annex on the other part of town when they heard that the consulate compound was under attack – and the diplomats there had only nine security officers to protect them against the armed mob. Without hesitating they rushed to their aid…


We’re the Battling Boys of Benghazi,
no fame, no glory, no paparazzi.
Just a fiery death in a blazing hell,
defending the country we loved so well.
It wasn’t our job, but we answered the call,
fought to the consulate, ‘n scaled th’ wall.
We pulled twenty countrymen from the jaws of fate,
led them to safety, ‘n stood at th’ gate.
Just the two of us, ‘n foe by th’ score,
but we stood fast to bar th’ door.
We called for reinforcement, but it was denied,
so we fought, ‘n we fought, ‘n we fought, ‘n we died.
We gave our all for our Uncle Sam,
‘n Obama didn’t give a damn,
just two dead SEALS that carried the load,
no thanks to us, we were bumps in the road.

This has to be seen by every American with a computer, to remind everyone of the ultimate sacrifice paid by two fine American’s. Unlike the press who gave an easy ride to the incompetents who literally sat in the White House, and watched the execution of two former US Navy SEAL’s on a live streaming video link – and did absolutely nothing!

It is obvious the Obama Administration will not be held accountable, because Hillary Clinton’s statement is being accepted by the ‘sheeple’ due to her easy press ride27DECD1700000578-3050850-image-a-1_1429722376082 The fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make?

Hillary Clinton wants to be the next President of the United States – do you really want her to be?  At this point – you can make a difference…  ‘Lest We Forget’  U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith, as well as several others wounded throughout the attack.   Yours Aye.

Very Many Thanks to Kristen for the ‘heads up.’ 

To Infinity & Beyond – Go Navy

US Navy tests its electromagnetic catapult: New device is capable of hurling 80,000lb fighter jets into the sky at 240mph. Dubbed the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System, or Emals, the idea behind the technology is to replace existing steam catapults used to launch planes. While steam catapults can give fighters the extra boost they need to take off, they are heavy and cause stress to a fighter plane’s systems. The ‘dead-load’ was recently launched aboard the Gerald R. Ford carrier into the James River in Virginia297C749B00000578-0-image-a-6_1433889054321

A recent test of ‘Emals’ proved that it can haul up to 80,000lbs (36,300kg) of dead load steel into the air. For comparison an F-35 has a maximum takeoff weight of 60,000lb (27,000kg). Test showed the electromagnetic catapult provided much smoother acceleration, placing less stress on the aircraft.

According to Air and Space, an electromagnetic catapult can launch every 45 seconds. Sounds like a win-win for the USN as well as the taxpayer, perhaps even for the poor sods who occupy the cabins directly below the flight deck.   Yours Aye.

We’re Afloat – Splice the Mainbrace

Happy to report that NavyOne caught sight of the distress flares, and came to the rescue – Three cheers for the USN… Very Many Thanks to Kristen for her crystal clear advice, which was heeded. You may well notice a slight change to the site that was probably long overdue. Please do not adjust your setfurther twiddling & tweeking may be required through the wee hours…      Yours Aye.

Ahoy there shipmate

28A1057900000578-3080176-Announcement_Secretary_of_the_Navy_Ray_Mabus_pictured_in_March_w-a-5_1431536666081US Navy to double maternity leave, make fitness changes and ease body fat restrictions in bid to recruit more women. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus will reveal his plan today to double the amount of paid maternity leave for Sailors and Marines so they can take 12 weeks. The Navy also plans to ease body fat restrictions for women who weren’t meeting standards because of their body shapes.

As part of Mabus’ proposals, child care hours around the world would be extended each day by two hours in the morning and two hours each evening.
For those who want to take time off to raise a family or to take a step away to keep from burning out, Mabus wants as many as 400 slots available for people to take up to three years off from service before returning to duty. Those who are part of the program would be expected to provide two years of service for each year they take off.  Mabus also wants more sailors and Marines to go to civilian graduate schools full-time and for other higher performing officers to be embedded at top corporations for about two years, the official said.

Truthfully I have no idea how such news would be received among the USN/USMC. When any service drops its standards to boost recruiting it is definitely the thin edge of the wedge, as more often than not political correctness tends to hold court. I do know the Royal Navy grants up to 52 weeks maternity leave, with 26 weeks on full pay and 13 weeks on reduced pay – with two weeks paternity leave on full pay. Royal Marines do not receive maternity leave, which is due to the scientific biological fact that RM’s can not ever fall pregnant – being there are no females or transgender men within the Corps. However, RM’s do qualify for paternity leave. Just stating a fact, and stood-to for incoming flak…      Yours Aye.

“Isn’t technology simply marvellous?”

US Navy’s drone CANNON: Delivery system capable of launching 30 swarm bots into the sky in under a minute in a ‘new era’ for warfare. It could be the ultimate weapon – a cannon capable of launching not missiles, but drones. The US Navy says its system will be able to launch a 30 drone ‘swarm’ in under a minute from which the ‘swarm’ is capable of flying together to carry out attack, or defensive missions. 

Something you wont hear from a group of ISIS terrorists as they use 14Ib sledgehammers to destroy ancient artefacts: “Isn’t modern technology simply marvellous?”       Yours Aye.

Johnny Reb finds a pot of gold

150203-N-TC437-198Set a course for the end of the rainbow! If anyone was ever going challenge the leprechaun for his treasure, the crew of this ‘carrier’ must have had a pretty good chance. The USS John C. Stennis, a nuclear-powered, Nimitz-class aircraft carrier steamed through one of the rare meteorological phenomena as it cruised the Pacific Ocean. Navy photographer Ignacio Perez captured the incredible scene from the Nimitz’s flight deck at the end of a short run. Good luck finding that pot of gold! US Navy Photographer captures moment US Navy aircraft carrier steams through a rainbow

How apt that ‘Look Ahead’ is the motto of Johnny Reb!       Yours Aye.

US Navy – Seal Team Six

1415211847820_wps_1_Robert_O_Neill_Navy_SealNavy SEAL who killed bin Laden revealed: Rob O’Neill named as SEAL Team Six hero who shot 9/11 mastermind three times in head.

The Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden dead in the special force’s most famous operation can be named today. The Navy hero is set to give a full interview to Fox News later this month and waive his anonymity but MailOnline has established that he is Rob O’Neill, a highly decorated veteran who quit after 16 years service.1415211851228_wps_2_Robert_O_Neill_Navy_Seal

In an exclusive interview Rob’s father, Tom O’Neill, tells MailOnline, “People are asking if we are worried that ISIS will come and get us because Rob is going public. I say I’ll paint a big target on my front door and say come and get us. My ex-wife gave birth to a man. We shouldn’t be cowering in fear”   Rob O’Neill: 400 combat missions, killed more than 30 targets, and is one of the most-decorated SEALs ever 

He obviously has his reasons for stepping forward, I wish him well, and I’d buy him a gallon of fine ale should I ever bump into him.  And I like his Father’s attitude…   Yours Aye.

A traitorous barsteward…

article-2737905-20E6FC3D00000578-61_306x423US Navy Warrant officer who spied for Soviet Union with his son and brother in ‘most devastating leak in US military history’ dies in prison. A former American sailor convicted during the Cold War of leading a family spy ring for the Soviet Union has died in a prison hospital in North Carolina. ‘Retired’ Navy Warrant Officer John A. Walker Jr. died Thursday at the Federal Medical Center in Butner, Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke said. The cause of death was not immediately released. He was 77.

Walker was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty in 1985 to passing secrets to the Soviets while he was a shipboard communications officer.The security breach was then considered among the largest and most devastating leaks of military secrets in the nation’s history.article-2737942-20E7364200000578-111_306x423 

A cryptologist, Walker used his high-level security clearance to provide Navy codes, ship locations, and other sensitive data in exchange for cash. After his 1976 retirement, Walker recruited his son, his brother and a friend to keep providing the Soviets fresh information. All were convicted. Walker’s spying career began in 1967, when he was based at the massive U.S. Naval Station in Norfolk, Virginia.

Walker went to the Soviet Embassy in Washington and volunteered to hand over secret coded material on a regular basis, according to court documents.

The death penalty would have saved the tax payer an awful lot of money; there will be no tears shed over this side of the pond at this traitors demise…        Yours Aye.

Bush sails to Obama’s rescue…

article-2657936-1EC4075100000578-696_634x339American Aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush ordered to the Persian Gulf ahead of possible strikes on Iraq. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered an aircraft carrier — the USS George H.W. Bush — to move from the northern Arabian Sea to the Persian Gulf as President Barack Obama considers possible military options for Iraq. Hagel’s press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said in a statement the order will give the president added flexibility if military action is required to protect American lives, citizens and interests in Iraq. Aircraft carrier USS George H. W. Bush ordered to the Persian Gulf 

Oh the irony of it all; old man Bush has to step in to sort out Obama’s political nightmare 😉 Perhaps when Obama leaves office they could name a garbage barge after him? Just a passing thought…            Yours Aye.

Admiral Sir Hugo White R.N. Obituary

Hugo-White_2937078bAdmiral Sir Hugo White, who has died aged 74, overcame repeated attacks by Exocet missiles during the Falklands War and rose to be Governor of Gibraltar.
In the Spring of 1982 White was Captain of the 4th Frigate Squadron, known as the “Fighting Fourth”, a flotilla of fast well-armed frigates which were urgently needed in the South Atlantic to combat the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands. When the war started in early April, White’s own command, HMS Avenger a Type 21 Frigate, was being worked on in the dockyards. He hurried the work forward and sailed on May 10, to make the 8,000 mile passage through seas at an average 28 knots. Collectively the captains of the ships in his squadron were known as the “Boy Racers” and when White arrived on May 25, shortly after two Types 21s, HMS Ardent and HMS Antelope, had been sunk, he was greeted with a signal: “Blimey, that was Formula One.”

His ships divers salvaged a 20mm Oerlikon gun from the wreck of Antelope and remounted it to improve Avenger’s anti-aircraft capability — naming the weapon “Antelope’s Avenger” — and soon White was in the thick of battle. On the night of May 26 he joined Cardiff and Yarmouth in firing 640 rounds of 4.5 inch shells on enemy positions at Bluff Cove. The ships were used to withdrawing westward by day, out of the range of the Argentine Air Force, but to maximise his time on task, White explored Albemarle Sound in the West Falklands, and during the day hid in a deep-sided, narrow, winding fjord which offered natural protection from marauding aircraft — and from Exocet missiles.Hugo-whiteAvenger_2937094c

Twice White’s Avenger survived attacked by Exocet missiles. On May 28, when the Argentines launched a land-based Exocet at the ships which were bombarding Port Stanley, a missile passed five feet above the Avenger’s flight deck. On May 30 six aircraft attacked the fleet, one of which fired the Argentine Air Force’s last Exocet at White’s ship. The missile was distracted by chaff (an artificial cloud of aluminium foil) and passed down Avenger’s side. The aircraft pressed home their attack on White’s ship — which was now wreathed in smoke with her guns spitting — but their bombs fell clear. Avenger shot down one aircraft which cartwheeled into the sea.

White undertook other tasks, including escorting the submarine Onyx through friendly shipping into San Carlos Water; landing the Special Boat Service in Volunteer Bay and on Sea Lion Islands; and escorting landing craft. On June 11-12, Avenger covered the advance on Mount Longdon by firing 156 rounds ahead of the paratroopers who were fighting a bloody hand-to-hand battle to reach the heights over Port Stanley.

On June 14 White returned to West Falklands to accept the capitulation of Argentine forces at Fox Bay. When invited on-board Avenger for breakfast, the Argentine colonel arrived wearing his sidearm, a problem which White’s steward solved by asking, “Would you care to hang up your gunbelt, Sir?” White sent a surrendered sword to his Admiral, John “Sandy” Woodward, who returned it with the message: “My gratitude to the Fighting Fourth in this vicious six weeks fighting is boundless, and their press-on spirit has not gone unnoticed, I am only sad at the cost in men and ships, and I am proud of you all.”

Hugo Moresby White was born on October 22 1939 in Torquay, the son of a colonial officer in Nigeria. He was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, then at Pangbourne Nautical College, where he was a cadet-captain, and finally the Britannia Royal Naval College. His first ship was the frigate Blackpool and he saw action during the Kuwait crisis of 1961 — a threat to the oil-rich sheikhdom which Britain deterred by the timely deployment of a fleet to the Gulf. White was selected for flying training, but instead he volunteered for “the trade” — as the Submarine Service was known — and won the Max Horton prize as the best student on his training course.

Whilst serving in the 4th Submarine Squadron based in Sydney, he showed his charm and competence by persuading the Australian Museum and the Northern Territory Administration to let him lead an expedition to research the flora and fauna of the islands in the Amadeus salt lake. Next, White served in the submarines Tabard, Tiptoe and Odin. He specialised in navigation in 1966, and became the navigator of the nuclear-powered submarine Warspite in 1967, when he made a submerged passage from Scotland to Singapore. In 1968–69 he was first lieutenant of the diesel-powered submarine Osiris, before commanding Oracle (1969–70). In 1971 he returned to Dartmouth to teach, and in 1973 he became Commander Submarine Sea Training.

During the Third Cod War (a long-running dispute between Britain and Iceland over fishing rights) White commanded the frigate Salisbury (1975-1977). On April 1 1976 there were 31 trawlers of various nationalities in an area protected by White (in Salisbury) and Commander (later Vice-Admiral) “Jim” Weatherall in the frigate Tartar, when the Icelandic gunboat Tyr attempted to run through the fleet and cut the trawlers’ nets. Handicapped by orders from Whitehall to avoid damage, for several hours White skilfully manoeuvred Salisbury to prevent Tyr from reaching the trawlers. He collided five times with the Icelandic boat and all three ships sustained dents and minor damage. However, Tyr never got closer than three miles to the fleet, which continued to fish uninterrupted.                 Rigid Raiding Squadron R.M. Amphibious exercise Scotland. 


Having proved himself as a man of action, White showed himself to be a consummate staff officer. He was made Captain, Naval Plans (1978-80) — an appointment reserved for the Navy’s most cerebral officers — dealing with plans for war and, in peacetime, battling the Treasury. At the end of 1982 when the Chief of the Defence Staff, Field Marshal Sir Edwin Bramall, needed a new principal staff officer, the Navy sent White. In 1983, when US forces invaded Grenada, White was one of the first British officers to be told by the Americans what they had done. He woke his chief in the middle of the night and went with him to brief a furious Mrs Thatcher before she rang President Reagan to protest at America’s invasion of a Commonwealth country.

He commanded the destroyer Bristol in 1985 and, on promotion to flag rank, he was Flag Officer Third Flotilla and Commander of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Striking Force in 1987. He next became Assistant Chief of the Naval Staff in 1988. At the time of the first Gulf War, in 1991, he was Flag Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and, in 1992, Commander-in-Chief Fleet. Between 1995-1997 White was Governor of Gibraltar, where, unusually, he served on the active list of the Royal Navy in the expectation of many that he might return to become First Sea Lord. Despite his short tenure on the Rock, Gibraltarian’s grew to appreciate White for his efficiency, honesty and tolerance, and many locals considered that his standing as a serving officer allowed him more sway when dealing with the Foreign Office. Admiral Sir Hugo White, Governor of Gibraltar receiving the keys of Gibraltar from the Sergeant of the Rock. 


To his officers and sailors alike, White seemed a gentle giant. Tolerant and without guile, he delegated judiciously, and his benign expression was always searching but inspired confidence. White was appointed CBE in 1985, knighted in 1991 and appointed GCB 1995. In 2002 White suffered a fall and a serious head injury: his gradual recovery was aided by the care of his wife, Josephine “Jo” Mary Lorimer, née Pedler, whom he had met returning from Australia aboard a P&O liner in 1964.

Admiral Sir Hugo White is survived by his wife and their two sons.

Admiral Sir Hugo White, born October 22 1939, died June 1 2014

A great man, ‘sun-dodger to surface fleet’ ~ ‘poacher turned game-keeper’; who I am reliably informed was admired by all who served under his various commands. Each day in San Carlos water I would watch the Royal Navy shield the attacks of the Argentine Air Force, even though they had very little room to manoeuvre. I saw HMS Avenger in action, and witnessed her ‘hissy fit’  when she turned her upper deck weapons skyward. Some time later the Type 21’s provided great comfort as we listened to the distant and constant boom of their 4.5 inch guns covering the main assaults; more so when the rounds accurately struck home in the pitch black providing a shocking flash of misery for their intended victims. Rest easy Admiral, you are no longer required to carry your sword.                   Yours Aye.

The Battle for Cuba 1898 (updated)

The battle for Cuba: Rarely seen photos of the Spanish-American war found by U.S. Navy deep in neglected archive. Rare pictures of the U.S. Navy taken during the Spanish-American war have been unearthed after being found hidden away in storage by military archivists. A box, containing about 150 original glass plate photographs, was uncovered at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington DC, featuring images of all aspects of the war from logistics to diplomacy. They were only brought to light again when the photo archive team was preparing for a major renovation and archivists Dave Colamaria and Jon Roscoe stumbled across the pictures. USS Boston (below)article-2624052-1DB0F4D400000578-763_964x535Lisa Crunk, head of the photo archives branch at the Naval History and Heritage Command, said: ‘The plates were individually wrapped in tissue paper and include full captions and dates, which were likely prepared by the photographer, Douglas White. ‘Research on Mr White discovered that he was a special war correspondent of the San Francisco Examiner during the Philippines War. ‘Once it was realised what we had uncovered, there was tremendous excitement amongst the staff, especially the historians. ‘The images are an amazing find, though they were never really lost – they were simply waiting to be rediscovered.’ Plans are now in place for the entire collection to be re-housed into new archival enclosures and shelving units. American sailors pictured during the Spanish-American war. ‘L-R’ Dave Ireland, Purdy, Tom Griffin and John King.article-2624052-1DB0F4C800000578-46_964x692 The battle for Cuba. Rarely seen pictures found by photo archivists at the Naval History and Heritage Command in Washington DC during a renovation

A hidden treasure discovered; best they dig a little deeper and see what else they may have ‘misplaced!’             Yours Aye.

AFTER COMMENT: Referring to the photograph above. It truly hacks me off when ‘department chiefs’ within daily newspapers hand research down to trainee scribes, and then accept their ‘fact-finding’ without scrutinising the basics. Having studied and practised photography (in particular black & white) I have a mild passion for any military photograph that catches my eye. The one presented above is ‘fairly’ accurate in that the names mentioned are correct though they are printed in reverse order to the original. ‘Purdy’ is in fact Gilbert Purdy; the reason for the reversed order of names is down to the original negative being used in reverse. Note the lanyard pocket on each individuals jerkin; they each appear on the right, which is incorrect as it should appear on the top left of a jerkin top. Consequently John King the pipe holder appears left-handed, and we have Gilbert Purdy pointing with the finger on his left hand. David Ireland has his arms folded as only a right handed person would do it comfortably (it obviously means he is left handed-your trying it out now aren’t you?) It took ten minutes of research to find the original photograph printed correctly, as well as a little background on each individual shown. True justice to the old four salts featured, which is all the more remarkable when you read on…'Old Salts of the Square-Rigger Navy USS Mohican 1988Photograph (above) taken on board USS Mohican in 1888 by Assistant Surgeon H.W. Whitaker, USN. The Sailors in the photograph are (from left to right): David Ireland, Gilbert H. Purdy, John T. Griffith and John King.    USS Mohican anchored at Mare IslandUSS_Mohican_Mare_island1. Gilbert H. Purdy, who is standing addressing the others. Purdy was born in 1828, and therefore was 60 years old when the picture was taken. He was a physically powerful man and was remarkably well-preserved, as is shown by the photograph. He died December 24, 1912, at San Diego, California, at the age of 84, being at the time of his death the oldest man on the retired list of the Navy. During the Civil War he served as sergeant in Battery K, 4th U.S. Artillery, and as a seaman on board several Naval vessels. He, also, had the honor of serving under Admiral Dewey on the Olympia during the Spanish-American War. He was transferred to the retired list on February 7, 1900. Purdy served as captain of the hold on board the Mohican from May 25, 1885 to August 28, 1888.

2. David Ireland, seated with arms folded. Ireland was born in 1833, and was, therefore, 55 years old when the picture was taken. He first enlisted in the Navy on April 8, 1850, so he had seen 38 years of service … He served on many ships in all parts of the world and died at the Mare Island Hospital on January 16, 1894, aged 61 years. He served on board the Mohican from May 25, 1885, to November 20, 1890, as captain of the forecastle, seaman, and captain of the hold.

3. John King, seated on ditty box. King was born in England in 1834, so at the time the picture was taken was 54 years old. He followed the sea in merchant ships for a number of years before enlisting in the Navy, which he first did on April 9, 1875, he then being in his 42nd year. He was finally discharged on April 2, 1896, and admitted to the Naval Home at Philadelphia. He served on board the Mohican from May 25, 1885, to January 25, 1889, as chief gunner’s mate. The exact date of his death is not known.

4. John T. Griffith, seated with hands behind his head. Griffith was born at Albany, New York, December 25, 1826, being 62 years of age when the picture was taken, and the oldest man of the group. The record of his first enlistment is not at hand, but he last enlisted on October 18, 1888, and was finally discharged on December 10, 1889. He served on board the Mohican as chief carpenter’s mate from June 3 to June 30, 1888. The date of his death is not known.

Women’s Royal Naval Service Bletchley Park

Reunited at last: Last surviving women who helped crack Adolf Hitler’s top-secret codes using Colossus computer at Bletchley Park during WWII meet again after 70 years.article-2621807-1DA2C80600000578-572_634x424This rare picture, taken at Bletchley where photography during wartime was strictly forbidden, shows the female code breakers. (Pictured: 1. Margaret Mortimer, 2. Margaret O-Connell, 3. Lorna Cockayne, 4. Margaret Kelly, 5. Joanna Chorley 6. Betty Warwick)article-2621807-1DA0402E00000578-235_634x423Their reunion happened after a rare picture of the Women’s Royal Naval Service was discovered in a drawer by veteran Joanna Chorley, 88, from Bucks. It is believed to be one of only a handful in existence as photos were not meant to be taken at Bletchley Park during the war years.article-2621807-1D9AE44800000578-744_634x424Of the 9,000 women who worked at Bletchley Park during World War II, just 600 went on to join the fledgling GCHQ or other branches of the secret services. Last-surviving-women-operated-code-breaking-Colossus-computer-Bletchley-Park-Second-World-WarDSC_00460272A young Wren; known to be fast, flirty, with a remarkably loud voice… 😉 Jenny Wrens bless them one, and all. Their outstanding effort and work ethics within Bletchley Park saved countless allied lives in WWII, which went unrecognised for thirty years after the war. In 23 years service I never met a bad one attached to the Royal Marines (there were even one or two who could stand and match us drink for drink!).                  Yours Aye.

Retired Rear Admiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. Obituary

Handout photo of retired rear admiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. in WashingtonRetired Rear Ddmiral Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. addresses the audience during the National POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony at the Pentagon in Washington, September 18, 2009. The prisoner of war had been tortured for 10 months and beaten repeatedly by his North Vietnamese captors in recent days, and there were threats of more if he did not respond properly when the propaganda broadcast began. Haggard but gritty, Cmdr. Jeremiah A. Denton Jr. slumped in a chair before the television cameras. Pretending to be blinded by the spotlights, he began blinking — seemingly random spasms and tics. He answered interrogators’ questions with a trace of defiance, knowing he would be beaten again and again, but hoping that America would detect his secret message in Morse code. 

To a question about American “war atrocities,” the captured pilot said: “I don’t know what is happening in Vietnam because the only news sources I have are North Vietnamese. But whatever the position of my government is, I believe in it, I support it, and I will support it as long as I live.” The North Vietnamese, who lost face, were even more outraged when they learned that Commander Denton, in the Japanese-taped interview broadcast on American television on May 17, 1966, had blinked out “T-O-R-T-U-R-E” It was the first confirmation that American prisoners of war were being subjected to atrocities during the Vietnam War. The commander was beaten all night. DENTON-1-obit-master675Mr. Denton, who returned home after seven years as a prisoner went on to become a Rear Admiral and a United States Senator from Alabama. He died on Friday at Sentara Hospice House in Virginia Beach, his son, Jeremiah A. Denton 3rd, said. He was 89. Mr. Denton called himself “an average product of Middle America,” but his story was anything but ordinary — a war hero appalled by what he called America’s moral degeneracy, a crusading spokesman for right-wing Christian groups, a one-term Republican senator in the patriotic matrix of President Ronald Reagan. It was a political life shaped by indelible experiences in Vietnam.

On July 18, 1965, Commander Denton, leading a squadron of 28 A-6 Intruder attack jets and flying his 12th mission over North Vietnam, took off from the aircraft carrier Independence in the South China Sea. His bombardier-navigator was Lt. Bill Tschudy, and the target was a complex of military warehouses at Thanh Hoa, 75 miles south of Hanoi. As he came in over the heavily defended Thanh Hoa Bridge on the Ma River, antiaircraft batteries opened up. Shells riddled the Intruder, knocking out its sophisticated guidance system. The aircraft went into a tailspin, and pain shot through the commander’s left thigh; a tendon had ruptured as he desperately tried to regain control, but it was hopeless. The fliers bailed out and were captured. “Dazed and bleeding as I was, my principal emotion was fury,” Mr. Denton recalled. “I was mad as hell at being shot down, and even angrier at being captured.” CDR Denton with his A-6A Intruder aboard the USS Independence 1965.DentonwithA6

Over the next seven years and seven months, Commander Denton was held in various prison camps, including the notorious “Hanoi Hilton,” and endured beatings, starvation, torture and more than four years of solitary confinement, including periodic detentions in coffin like boxes. He and other officers nevertheless maintained a chain of command and a measure of discipline among the prisoners. “I put out the policy that they were not to succumb to threats, but must stand up and say no,” he told The New York Times in 1973. “Figuratively speaking, we now began to lie on the railroad tracks hoping that the sheer bulk of our bodies would slow down the train. We forced them to be brutal to us.”HanoiHilton

The commander was often punished for urging others to resist. He also devised ways for prisoners to communicate by signs or numbers, tapping on a wall or coughing signals in a sequence. Ten months after his capture, he was selected for a propaganda interview to be broadcast on Japanese television. It became famous after it was discovered that he had tricked his captors and blinked out the Morse code message that exposed North Vietnam’s brutal treatment of prisoners of war. During his captivity, Commander Denton was awarded the Navy Cross and promoted to captain. In 1973, after President Richard M. Nixon announced a Vietnam peace agreement, Captain Denton was in the first group of prisoners released. “We are honored to have had the opportunity to serve our country under difficult circumstances,” he said at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Commander Denton at Clark Air Base in the Philippines just after his release 387px-J_Denton_speech

His ordeal in Vietnam was graphically chronicled in a 1976 memoir written with Ed Brandt, “When Hell Was in Session,” and made into a 1979 NBC television movie starring Hal Holbrook and Eva Marie Saint. In the book, he described an ordeal under torture. “A special rig was devised for me in my cell,” he recalled. “I was placed in a sitting position on a pallet, with my hands tightly cuffed behind my back and my feet flat against the wall. Shackles were put on my ankles, with open ends down, and an iron bar was pushed through the eyelets of the shackles.”

“The iron bar was tied to the pallet and the shackles in such a way that when the rope was drawn over a pulley arrangement, the bar would cut into the backs of my legs, gradually turning them into a swollen, bloody mess. The pulley was used daily to increase the pressure, and the iron bar began to eat through the Achilles tendons on the backs of my ankles. For five more days and nights I remained in the rig.”


Promoted to Rear Admiral, he was named Commandant of the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va., a post he held until his retirement in 1977. Dismayed by what he regarded as a widespread failure of morality in America — from adolescent promiscuity to political disunity and disrespect for authority — Mr. Denton, in 1977, established the Coalition for Decency, dedicated to family values and good citizenship. A Roman Catholic, he also became a consultant to the Christian Broadcasting Network and to his friend Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition, and began lecturing on domestic and foreign affairs, voicing support for the military services and for the contra rebels in Nicaragua.

In 1980, capitalizing on his war-hero image and running on a platform of strong national defense, he was elected to the Senate, defeating the Democrat, James E. Folsom Jr. He was Alabama’s first Senate Republican since Reconstruction and the first former Admiral elected to the Senate. He served from 1981 to 1987, compiling a solid conservative voting record. He lost his bid for re-election in 1986 to Richard C. Shelby, a Democratic congressman who later became a Republican and who continues to hold the Senate seat.  President Ronald Reagan speaks with then-U.S. Sen. Jeremiah Denton in the White House in 1987.

Jeremiah Andrew Denton Jr. was born in Mobile, Ala., on July 15, 1924, one of three sons of Jeremiah and Irene Steele Denton. His father, a hotel clerk, moved the family often and the boy attended 13 elementary schools. In 1936, his father left the family, which returned to Mobile, and the parents were divorced in 1938. Jeremiah Jr. attended a parochial high school, McGill Institute, excelling in athletics and graduating in 1942. He studied at Spring Hill College in Mobile, but in 1943 entered the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., and graduated with honors in engineering in 1946. In 1946, he married the former Kathryn Jane Maury. The couple had seven children. Mrs. Denton died in 2007. Besides his son Jeremiah, Mr. Denton is survived by his second wife, Mary Belle Bordone; four sons, William, Donald, James and Michael; two daughters, Madeleine Doak and Mary Beth Hutton; a brother, Leo; 14 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

He served aboard the aircraft carrier Valley Forge in 1946 and 1947, testing and flying blimps. He also took flight training and became a pilot in the late 1940s, and over the next decade served as a flight instructor, test pilot and squadron leader. He studied at the Armed Forces Staff College and the Naval War College, becoming an expert on airborne electronics and antisubmarine warfare, and in 1964 earned a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University.

A year later, Commander Denton began flying missions over Vietnam.497472

His Navy Cross Citation reads:

“For extraordinary heroism while serving as a Prisoner of War in North Vietnam from February 1966 to May 1966. Under constant pressure from North Vietnamese interrogators and guards, Rear Admiral Denton experienced harassment, intimidation and ruthless treatment in their attempt to gain military information and cooperative participation for propaganda purposes. During this prolonged period of physical and mental agony, he heroically resisted cruelties and continued to promulgate resistance policy and detailed instructions. Forced to attend a press conference with a Japanese correspondent, he blinked out a distress message in Morse Code at the television camera and was understood by United States Naval Intelligence. When this courageous act was reported to the North Vietnamese, he was again subjected to severe brutalities. Displaying extraordinary skill, fearless dedication to duty, and resourcefulness, he reflected great credit upon himself, and upheld the highest traditions of the Naval Service and the United States Armed Forces.”

 A true American. A true American hero in every sense of the word.            Yours Aye.

‘Away she goes’

HMS Argyll a Royal Navy Type 23 ‘Duke’ Class frigate ‘accidentally’ fires 9ft torpedo into HM Dockyard Devonport, which houses NUCLEAR submarines.1407935

images-1The Royal Navy’s high command have launched an investigation into the blunder, which took place during a training drill at Devonport Naval Base in Plymouth on Wednesday afternoon. Dockyard workers watched as the projectile shot out of a torpedo port on HMS Argyll, as it flew 200 yards through the air before blasting a hole in a security fence and slamming into a storage container. The torpedo was an unarmed ‘inert’ version used for training, so it did not explode and merely thudded into the forty-foot  metal container.   ‘Away she goes’ along with the Skipper, and the Weapons Electrical Officer’s careers…article-2581082-1C4A44D200000578-629_634x422MORE HERE: Royal Navy warship accidentally fires 9ft torpedo into Devon dockyard which houses NUCLEAR submarines

Oh the irony of it all; HMS Argyll’s motto is… ‘Ne Obliviscaris’ ~ “Lest We Forget” Sadly this ‘incident’ will unjustly ruin a few career’s, unless there was a catastrophic weapons systems failure.  Fingers crossed for all concerned in the Admiralty Board investigation…       Yours Aye.