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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.”
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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 ...
NAVAL HISTORY AND HERITAGE COMMAND  During rehearsals for the 1944 invasion of Europe, LCF-22, A British warship manned by a U.S. crew, stands offshore during a practice landing in England. (Note the USS LST-17 in the background.)

Flak Ships and 90-Day Wonders

By James H. Rhodes and Andrew Rhodes
June 2024
Remembering the unsung LCFs—British vessels turned over to U.S. crews—that provided close-in gunfire support on D-Day.
Future broadcast-news icon Walter Cronkite (center) and other American military journalists undergo flight training for bombing missions in 1943.

‘And That’s the Way It Was’

By Fred L. Schultz
June 2024
The former Editor-in-Chief of Naval History reflects on his interview with CBS News icon Walter Cronkite, who had covered the Normandy invasion as a young war correspondent.
The hard-fought Battle of Saipan, 15 June–9 July 1944, decisively paved the way for the U.S. capture of the Marianas. For the residents of the island, things would never be the same.

Micronesian Voices of the Pacific War

By Bruce M. Petty
June 2024
As the Battle of Saipan ravaged their island, local residents were swept up in the maelstrom. Their memories of that time provide a fuller picture of the history that unfolded ...