Highlights from Naval History
Ghost Ship

Superstitions and the Sea

By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)
February 2024
Superstition will likely remain tucked away in the sailor’s sea bag to emerge when strange happenings seem to defy logic.
The Bonhomme Richard (foreground) engages HMS Serapis in the Battle of Flamborough Head, 23 September 1779.

On Our Scope

February 2024
In this issue we run the gamut from John Paul Jones storming across the deck of the Bonhomme Richard to the birth of the nuclear Navy.
6 December 1917: The munitions ship Mont-Blanc exploded in Halifax Harbor following a collision with another ship. The blast vaporized the iron-hulled ship, flattened much of the city, and killed or gravely injured thousands.

Havoc in Halifax

By Robert L. Willett
February 2024
It was a catastrophic occurrence of historic proportions: the gargantuan 1917 explosion of an ammunition ship loaded for transport to the Western Front in World War I.
Nautilus, the Navy’s first nuclear-powered submarine, which Rickover was instrumental in bringing to fruition. But the Nautilus actually stood on the shoulders of an earlier sub project.

The First Atomic Submarine

By Norman Polmar
February 2024
Years before the launching of the Nautilus, the Naval Research Laboratory labored throughout the 1940s on the concepts and prototypes that would culminate in the birth of the nuclear Navy.


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