Navy Commissions Ship Named in Honor of Frank E. Petersen Jr.
In a ceremony attended by Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday, the U.S. Navy commissioned its latest Arleigh Burke–class destroyer, the USS Frank E. Petersen Jr. (DDG-121), in Charleston, South Carolina, on 14 May. The ship is named in honor of the first black U.S. Marine Corps aviator and the first black Marine to become a three-star general.
Petersen served two combat tours, Korea in 1953 and Vietnam in 1968. He flew more than 350 combat missions and had over 4,000 hours in various fighter and attack aircraft. His autobiography, Into the Tiger’s Jaw: America’s First Black Marine Aviator, was republished by the Naval Institute Press in 2012.
Retiring in 1988 after 38 years of service, Petersen’s awards included the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat V, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, and the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V. He died in 2015 at the age of 83.
Naval Institute Authors of the Year Announced
At its first-ever Annual Meeting held in the new Jack C. Taylor Conference Center in April, the U.S. Naval Institute was pleased to announce the recipients of its 2021 Author of the Year awards.
Dr. Prados, a senior analyst at the National Security Archive, is the author of numerous books related to intelligence and military history, including Combined Fleet Decoded: The Secret History of American Intelligence and the Japanese Navy in World War II (Random House: 1995) and Storm Over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy (Dutton, 2016).
The U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 2021 Author of the Year honors go to Major Brian A. Kerg, U.S. Marine Corps, whose prolific contributions to the magazine through the year were highlighted by his April 2021 feature “Naval Intelligence for Maritime COIN,” his October feature “Human Geography for Intelligence Advantage,” and his December feature “Cooperate for Sea Control.”
The Naval Institute Press 2021 Author of the Year is Paul Stillwell, the first-ever Editor-in-Chief of Naval History magazine, who garnered the award for his book Battleship Commander: The Life of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr. Stillwell’s study, which was excerpted in the April 2022 issue of Naval History (pp. 52–57), is the first biography of Vice Admiral Willis A. Lee Jr., who served a key role during World War II in the Pacific.
The winners of the Naval Institute’s 2021 General Prize Essay Contest (funded by Andrew and Barbara Taylor) are: First Prize—First Lieutenant David Alman, Alabama Air National Guard, for “Don’t Buy Warships (Yet)”; Second Prize—Lieutenant Commander Brian Hayes, U.S. Navy Reserve (Retired), for “The Myth of Maritime Counterinsurgency”; and Third Prize—Captain Sam J. Tangredi, U.S. Navy (Retired), for “Keep War Confined to the Seas.”