You couldn"t help but have a lump in your throat during Vice Admiral William P. Lawrence's funeral service, especially when Senator John McCain called his fellow Vietnam POWs forward to the altar in the standing-room-only Naval Academy Chapel to pay tribute to the man they praise for steadfast leadership during the most trying time of their lives. Admiral Lawrence's selflessness and service to country bolstered his fellow captives nearly four decades ago and his example will live on to inspire present and future generations.
He was a 31-year member and a frequent and popular visitor to the Institute, chatting with the staff and doing research in our reference library and photo archives. Some of that research is part of his oral history. Although the Naval Institute was not able to finish Admiral Lawrence's oral history before his death on 2 December 2005, the most important part of the project, the interviews, had been recorded and their content already approved by the admiral.
With his passing, we have rededicated ourselves to find the financial support to complete his oral history as soon as possible. You can make this happen by sending your tax-deductible gift to the Naval Institute Foundation, 291 Wood Road, Annapolis, MD 21402. (Please stipulate your gift is to help underwrite the Lawrence oral history.) For more information, contact Bill MacIntosh at (410) 295-1056, or at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A Salute to the Inaugural Members of The 1873 Society
Last year, the Naval Institute launched a new annual donor society to recognize its increasing base of donors who make cash gifts of at least $5,000 within a calendar year. The Institute is grateful for the generous support of the following individuals who will hereafter be recognized as the plank-owning members of The 1873 Society.
Alfred M. Cady III
John H. Fullmer
Robert E. Hanrahan Jr.
Nicki and J. Ira Harris
Michael A. Howland
HON Paul R. Ignatius
Clarence G. Leggett
HON Robert C. McCormack
Rosa Laird McDonald, CBE
Christopher P. Michel
Joyce and Edward S. Miller
Barbara Garrett Nelson, MD
P. X. O'Neill
COL (IL) James N. Pritzker
Edgar F. Puryear Jr.
The John J. Schiff Family
COL Willard B. Snyder, USAR (Retired)
Joseph K. Taussig III
Jack C. Taylor
Sandra and Stephen M. Waters
Everett P. Weaver
MGEN Thomas L. Wilkerson, USMC (Retired)
Historic Photos Preserve Aviation Milestone
Ninety-five years ago, aviation pioneer Eugene B. Ely landed on the deck of USS Pennsylvania (ACR-4) at San Francisco, the first-ever shipboard landing. He wore a padded cloth football helmet, and crisscrossed bicycle inner tubes across his chest for flotation in case of an emergency water landing. The budget for this experiment was so tight that Ely and Pennsylvania skipper Captain Charles F. Pond personally shared the cost of sand and rope for the lines and sandbags that were strung across a platform rigged on the armored cruiser's deck. Ely's Curtiss Pusher aircraft was rigged with a meat hook that finally snagged a line as he barreled down the platform. His plane had no brakes.
Ely's daring feat ushered in a new era of naval aviation. In Captain Pond's words, it was ". . . the most important landing since the dove came back to the ark."
Dozens of extremely rare images from the earliest days of aviation are among the nearly 450,000 photographs in the Naval Institute's archives. Several special groupings of photos are featured at the Institute's Web site, including a new collection added in December commemorating the Pearl Harbor attack. Tax-deductible gifts help underwrite the cost of digitizing these photos. For more information, please contact Sue Sweeney at (410)-295-1054, or at email@example.com .
Articles on technology and innovation are made possible in part by a grant from Battelle Memorial Institute.
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