Recalling the rigors of training on a sailing ship, Admiral James Gracey observed, “You learned that you could do things you never dreamed of, and you learned the importance of teamwork.”

Going Aloft

By Admiral James S. Gracey, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)
February 2021
Admiral Gracey describes his experience in the 1940s as a cadet on board a sail training ship that Denmark had loaned to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.
An R3C-2 before the 1925 Schneider contest, believed to be piloted by Lieutenant (later Vice Admiral) Ralph Ofstie. The Navy’s two racers entered in that year’s contest failed to complete the course. Note the insignias on upper wing surfaces and tail.

The Curtiss Racers

By Norman Polmar, Author, Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet
February 2021
Jacques Schneider, a wealthy French aero-enthusiast, originated the races as a stimulus for seaplane design and the development of overwater flying.
Targeting Iraqi assets in Kuwait, the USS Wisconsin (BB-64) fires a round from one of her Mark 7 16-inch/50-caliber guns in turret no. 1, adding her firepower to a war that necessitated a shift from “widely accepted doctrines and methods of operation.”

Weathering the Storm

By Edward J. Marolda
February 2021
The U.S. Navy had built and trained for a Cold War adversary, but it quickly shifted gears to meet the challenges of the Persian Gulf War.
Since his teenage years, slave Robert Smalls had been leased out by his owner to toil on the South Carolina waterfront. By the outbreak of the Civil War, he had become a skilled pilot—and was in a prime position to make a break for freedom.

‘A Hero’

By Commander Benjamin Armstrong, U.S. Navy
February 2021
Robert Smalls was a slave—but he was a slave with navigational skills; therein lay his opportunity to risk all on a dash for freedom.
The Bloody Flag Cover

Book Reviews

February 2021
Experts review Chinese Maritime Power in the 21st Century, Active Measures, and other new and noteworthy books.

Pieces of the Past

By Eric Mills
February 2021
A movement sprang up to show support for the POWs and those missing in action. The effort grew to be an early-’70s cultural phenomenon: the Vietnam POW/MIA bracelet.

From Seam to Sage

By Gannon McHale
February 2021
“Attention must be paid.”—Arthur Miller That exhortation from playwright Arthur Miller’s masterwork, Death of a Salesman, is one of the most famous lines in the American theater, and it ...
Joy Bright Hancock

WAVES: Laying the Groundwork

By Taira Payne
February 2021
Captain Joy Bright Hancock's naval service spanned three wars, starting with duty as a yeoman (F) in World War I. She went on to be the third director of the ...
River Belus

Stars and Stripes in Palestine

By John W. Davis
February 2021
“For the first time, perhaps, without the consular precincts, the American flag has been raised in Palestine.” Lieutenant William Lynch, USS Supply, Lieutenant-Commanding

Lieutenant Porter's Camel Expedition

By Naval Institute Archives
February 2021
Just five years before the outbreak of the Civil War, Lieutenant David Dixon Porter received unusual orders from the Secretary of War at the time, Jefferson Davis, to travel to ...
USS Thresher

66 Years of Undersea Surveillance

By Captain Brian Taddiken, U.S. Navy and Lieutenant Kirsten Krock, U.S. Navy
February 2021
Just over 66 years ago, one of the Navy’s most secretive communities began. Its members went by the code word SOSUS, which means “Sound Surveillance System.” A new front line ...