Highlights from Naval History
The NB-36H was the world’s first aircraft to fly with an operating nuclear reactor on board. The reactor did not power the plane but was used to obtain data on the effects of radiation on instruments, equipment, and the airframe. The NB-36H’s dark blue nose and orange radiation symbol on its tail distinguished it from a conventional B-36.

Atomic-Powered Aircraft

April 2024
The program that developed the atomic bomb awarded a contract to the Fairchild Engine and Airplane Company to determine the feasibility of using nuclear energy to power an aircraft.
17 April 1943: Guns ablaze, the USCGC Spencer bears down on U-175 after having blown the U-boat to the surface with depth charges.

A Nautical Knife Fight

By Chief Petty Officer William A. Bleyer, U.S. Coast Guard
April 2024
A gripping account of one of the most dramatic U.S. Coast Guard engagements of World War II, when the USCGC Spencer attacked, boarded, and sank U-175 in April 1943.
Hero Image goguen

From Exigent to Expendable

By Commander Randy Carol Goguen, U.S. Navy (Retired)
April 2024
With World War II heating up, the U.S. Navy needed women to help fill its ranks—but was keen on making it clear that this was but a temporary wartime measure.
A contemporary lithograph “sketched and drawn on stone by Parsons; lithographed and published by Endicott & Co., New York,” shows the ship uncluttered by sails.

The Service’s White Elephant

By J. M. Caiella
April 2024
Perhaps the least known of the U.S. Navy’s Civil War–era ironclads was a highly innovative, technologically advanced, high-freeboard seagoing ship built solely to battle the Royal Navy.
Frigate United States

The Heroic James Barron

By William Prom
December 2020
Barron would take Decatur’s life in 1820, but first he saved him and others of the pantheon of early American naval heroes.

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