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Peaches and Pound Cake

Story Corps has this great bit of relation from PFC Roman Coley Davis, who grew up in a small town in southern Georgia.

After graduating from high school in 2004, he joined the military. By the time he was 20 years old, Roman found himself 7,000 miles away from home, in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan — one of the most remote outposts in the U.S. war there. At StoryCorps, he told his friend Dan Marek about his family and his time in Afghanistan.

After the military, Roman enrolled in culinary school. He used his GI Bill to attend Le Cordon Bleu. He’s now a chef, based in Arkansas.

The final Navy carrier deployment of the F-18 Charlie has concluded

A sight that will go unseen moving forward, barring Marine air units deploying with carrier groups:

Photo US Navy

From Scramble Magazine:

On 11 April 2018, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 Blue Blasters (‘NE-4xx’) arrived back home at NAS Oceana (VA) after a three-month deployment with CVW-2 on board the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).

The F/A-18C squadron embarked on 5 January 2018 the Vinson. The deployment marked the sundown cruise of the US Navy F/A-18C Hornet.

CVW-3’s VFA-131 Wildcats (‘AC-3xx’) and and CVW-8’s VFA-37 Bulls (‘AJ-4xx’) still operate the legacy F/A-18C Hornet but these squadrons will not deploy anymore with these types.

VFA-34 will transition to F/A-18E Super Hornet in the upcoming months, likewise followed by VFA-131 and VFA-37.

 

The Cricket Ball grenade

This bad boy seemed like a good idea at the time it was invented, but the lengthy fuze and the fact that it was thrown to some of the most capable hobby bowlers in Thrace gave it an Achilles heel.

From the AWM

The Turkish 1914 model hand grenade, better known to the Australians as a ‘cricket ball’ grenade, was developed by Tufenidjieff, according to an August 1915 translation of a Turkish handbook by the Intelligence section of the Headquarters Unit, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Manufactured by the Kalafat Yeri Foundries at Constantinople, they formed an essential part of the Turkish Army’s capability.

The spherical bodies of these grenades were about 73 mm in circumference and made from cast iron, the body being divided into equal rectangles and dimpled on the insides to assist fragmentation. They were filled with 100 grams of TNT (described in the translation as ‘Bombiet’ by the Turks) and provided with a fuse protected by a copper tube; the fuse – 2 grams of fulminate of mercury – is lit by a friction material, described in the booklet as being similar to that “put outside the safety match boxes”. The fuse is capped on the exterior by a screwed bronze cover provided with a belt hook.

The handbook then describes the method of use: “The man holds his rifle with his left hand and the grenade with his right hand. He uncovers the fuse with his right hand; he rubs the fuse on the match sheet hung on the right or left of his chest, [and] throws it to the desired place. It explodes in 19 seconds as the pieces of the grenade are dispersed in a circular and upward direction, the thrower must find a cover if possible.”

The 19 second timing of this fuse explains the ability of Australians, often noted in accounts such as the battle of Lone Pine, to grab a Turkish grenade and hurl it back.

More here.

One of the most advanced U-boats ever to take to the sea, located

Ordered in 1943 from F Schichau GmbH, Danzig as werk 1668, German submarine U-3523 was an advanced Type XXI U-boat that wasn’t completed until 23 January 1945– just over two months before Berlin fell. Attacked by a British B-24 Liberator of 86 Squadron/G RAF on 6 May, only two days before VE-Day, she sank off Jutland with 58 souls aboard.

And, thanks to Sea War Museum Jutland, she has been found.

Found at 123m, she is literally stuck in the mud: U-3523 appeared on the screen during the museum’s scan of the seabed ten nautical miles north of Skagen, and the picture was very surprising. Most unusual the whole fore part of the U-boat lies buried in the seabed, while the stern is standing 20 meters above the bottom.

From Sea War Museum Jutland:

After the war, there were many rumors about top Nazis who fled in U-boats and brought Nazi gold to safety, and the U-3523 fed the rumors. The Type XXI was the first genuine submarine that could sail submerged for a prolonged time, and the U-3523 had a range that would have allowed it to sail non-stop all the way to South America. But nobody knows if this was the U-boat’s destination, and nobody knows, if the U-boat had valuables or passengers aboard in addition to the 58 crew, all of whom perished.

More here

Migs swimming with Hornets and Tomcats

Off Pula, Croatia, 2002 — An F-14 Tomcat fighter assigned to the Jolly Rogers of Fighter Squadron One Zero Three (VF-103) leads a formation comprised of F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters from the Blue Blasters of VFA-34, the Sunliners of VFA-81, and the Rampagers of VFA-83:

U.S. Navy photograph 021029-N-1955P-020 by CAPT Dana Potts. (RELEASED)

More on the photo:

“U.S. aircraft belong to Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17), currently embarked on board. Two Croat MiG-21 Fishbed fighter-interceptors flank the each side of the formation. U.S. Navy aviation squadrons assigned to Carrier Air Wing Seventeen (CVW-17) have sent a detachment to Croatia in order to participate in Joint Wings 2002. Joint Wings is a multinational exercise between the U.S. and the Croat Air Force designed to practice intelligence gathering. George Washington is homeported in Norfolk, Va., and is nearing the end of a scheduled six month deployment after completing combat missions in support of Operations Enduring Freedom and Southern Watch.”

A look at Spooky

In the developmental process of the modern USAF airborne gunship, the AC-47D was very special.

She mounted a trio of MXU-470A modules portside each with a 7.62x51mm GAU-2B A (M134) Minigun.

The affect was, well, spooky.

Here is one Spooky mock-up on display at the Air Force Armament Museum outside of Eglin Air Force base in Crestview, Florida that took photos of awhile back. However, it should be pointed out that the airframe in question was never an actual AC-47, but rather a visually modified regular unarmed C-47– but you get the point.

 

Happy Birthday, Yorktown

First off, this is a Kodachrome original, not a colorized photo. It shows the crew of the brand-new U.S. Navy Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Yorktown (CV-10) at attention as the National Ensign is raised, during her commissioning ceremonies at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Virginia, on 15 April 1943– some 75 years ago today.

Official U.S. Navy photo 80-G-K-15555 photographed by Lieutenant Charles Kerlee, USNR. From the U.S. Navy Naval

For the record, Yorktown is freshly painted in Camouflage Measure 21. Two steel-hull submarine chasers (PC) are at right, on the other side of the pier.

The fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name of the famous Revolutionary War siege, she was initially to have been named Bonhomme Richard, but this was switched to Yorktown while under construction to commemorate the loss at Midway of the carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5).

After earning 11 battlestars in WWII (along with a Presidental Unit Citation), and five more stars in Vietnam, she decommissioned 27 June 1970 after 37 years of service. Since 1975 she has been a museum ship at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.

Please visit her should you have the chance.

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