Authors William M. Fowler Jr. and James D. Hornfischer were named the recipients of the 2023 Commodore Dudley W. Knox Medal during an awards ceremony held at the U.S. Naval Institute in Annapolis, Maryland, on 22 September.
The award is named for Commodore Dudley Wright Knox (1877–1960), esteemed historian, librarian, and archivist of the Navy. Established by the Naval Historical Foundation in 2013 and now carried forward by the Naval Institute, the medal is presented to individuals who have dedicated a lifetime of work to further the public’s understanding of naval history.
Dr. Fowler, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Northeastern University, is the author of a number of books dealing with American history, including: Under Two Flags: The Navy in the Civil War; Silas Talbot, Captain of the Old Ironsides; America and the Sea (as coauthor); William Ellery: A Rhode Island Politico and Lord of Admiralty; Rebels Under Sail: The Navy in the Revolution; Jack Tars and Commodores: The American Navy, 1783–1815; Samuel Adams: Radical Puritan; and Empires at War: The French and Indian War and The Struggle for North America, 1754–1763.
Mr. Hornfischer, who died in 2021, was a literary agent, book editor, and most notably, the author of the New York Times bestsellers Neptune’s Inferno, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, Ship of Ghosts, and The Fleet at Flood Tide, all widely acclaimed accounts of the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during World War II. His books have received numerous awards, including the Samuel Eliot Morison Award for Distinguished Service and the Naval Historical Foundation Distinguished Service Award.
2023 CNO Naval History Essay Contest
The winners of the 2023 CNO Naval History Essay Contest, jointly presented by
the Naval History and Heritage Command and the U.S. Naval Institute, were
announced at an awards luncheon during the McMullen Naval History Symposium at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis on 21 September.
Winners in the Professional Historian Category were:
First Prize: Andrew Blackley, for “A Double-Edged Sword: The Legacy Bases of the Central Pacific”
Second Prize: Commander Jeff Vandenengel, U.S. Navy, for “Fighting Sail and Submarines.”
Winners in the Rising Historian Category were:
First Prize: Major Ryan Ratcliffe, U.S. Marine Corps, and Douglas Bryant, for “Learning from History in the Making: Combining Lessons from Ukraine and Naval History”
Second Prize: Commander Richard. O. Morgan, U.S. Navy Reserve, for “Disruptive Technologies and Great Power Conflict: The Maritime Propeller Case Study”
Third Prize: Lieutenant Vince Kindfuller, U.S. Navy, for “Rekindling Innovation in Naval Exercises: Lessons from the Interwar Fleet Problems, 1923–1940.”
This year’s CNO Naval History Essay Contest introduced a new category:
Winners in the Midshipman/Cadet Historian:
First Prize: Midshipman First Class Liam Nawara, U.S. Naval Academy, for “Lessons for a Wartime U.S. Navy: STUFT Vessels in the Falklands War”
Second Prize: Midshipman First Class Nels J. Waaraniemi, U.S. Naval Academy, for “The Invasion that Never Was: Operation Causeway and its Lessons”
Third Prize: Midshipman Third Class Pierre S. Briand, University of SouthernCalifornia NROTC, for “Rivalry and Confusion at Leyte: Lessons for Sea Control in the Pacific.”