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On Our Scope

June 2024
June 1944, that pivotal month in the course of 20th-century history, could be aptly framed as “A Tale of Two D-Days.”
In Contact Hero

In Contact

June 2024
More on the Possible Monitor Revelation Jim Caiella In his “A New Look for an Old Icon,” Francis DuCoin makes an interesting argument for a view of the ironclad USS ...
The frigate Philadelphia in Tripoli Harbor, 16 February 1804, by Edward Moran (1829–1901). Previously captured by the Tripolitans, the frigate was boarded and burned by a party from the ketch Intrepid led by Lieutenant Stephen Decatur.

A Daring Little Ketch

By BJ Armstrong, Author of Small Boats and Daring Men
June 2024
When the coastal trading vessel Mastico sailed from Tripoli Harbor in North Africa in December 1803, her master set a course into the dangerous waters of the Mediterranean.
Lieutenant Theodore Ellyson is in the pilot’s seat of A-1 as preparations are made for the cable test launch. The main cable ran in an inverted U-channel beneath the pontoon; thinner cables were strung near each wingtip for balance. The broad U-shaped tip guides are visible beneath the wings.

The Navy’s First

By J. M. Caiella
June 2024
Practical flight was less than eight years old when the U.S. Navy made its first tentative commitment to put sailors aloft in heavier-than-air craft.
Facing stiff resistance, U.S. Marines inch forward into the maw of battle on Saipan, June 1944. The conquest of the Marianas has begun.

Seizing Saipan

By Chris K. Hemler
June 2024
Eighty years ago, Operation Forager—the invasion of the Marianas—was launched with the Battle of Saipan, a brutal struggle that deftly coordinated U.S. land, sea, and air elements on the path ...
A pair of F4F-3 Wildcat fighters of Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 22 head toward the enemy’s formation of Midway-bound bombers early on 4 June 1942.  Of MAG-22’s 26 fighter pilots who took off that morning, 14 later would be missing in action.

Marine Air’s Dark Day at Midway

By Lieutenant Colonel Peter F. Owen, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)
June 2024
It was one of the U.S. Navy’s finest victories, but it was a very bad day for Marine aviation. From the experience came crucial lessons to be learned—lessons still relevant ...
HMS Dreadnought (inset) was the showpiece of British naval supremacy—the perfect target for six friends hoping to prank the Royal Navy.

The Dreadnought Hoax

By Andrew K. Blackley
June 2024
How a gang of merry pranksters dressed up as comic-opera “Abyssinian royals” and bamboozled the Royal Navy into a red-carpet tour of the pride of the fleet.
NMAH, Smithsonian Institution

Pieces of the Past

June 2024
Operation Neptune witnessed the largest naval armada ever assembled in the history of warfare. (See “The Invasion Fleet that Liberated Europe,” pp. 28–35.) Among the hundreds of warships, junior officers ...