Naval History Magazine - April 2012 Volume 26, Number 2

Adobe Folio ID: 
Cover Story
In 1941, a weekend pass in San Francisco and an impetuous sailor’s good intentions erupted into an international incident with Nazi Germany.



  • The Monitor Boys
    By John V. Quarstein

    Referring to themselves as “the Monitor Boys,” the men of the U.S. Navy's first ironclad experienced storms, battles, boredom, poor living conditions, and disaster as they participated in the transformation of naval...

  • A Titanic Centennial
    By John Protasio
    A century later, the story lives on: Human drama on an epic scale—even though the stage was the desolate North Atlantic, and the only audience was the players themselves.

    In all of maritime history...

  • Proving the Power of Iron Over Wood
    By John V. Quarstein
    Often overshadowed by her smaller, turreted nemesis, the ironclad CSS Virginia inaugurated a new era in naval warfare.

  • On Our Scope

    As virtually anyone with a passing interest in naval history knows, the duel between the Monitor and Virginia—which took place 150 years ago in Hampton Roads, Virginia—was a watershed warfare-afloat encounter. In a...

  • The Last Union Survivor
    Edited by Robert M. Browning Jr.
    Before he passed away in 1921, John Driscoll left behind one of the few accounts by an enlisted participant of the historic first battle between ironclads.

  • When the Well Runs Dry
    By Thomas C. Hone
    In response to funding cuts, Navy leaders have consistently worked to preserve the service’s essential force structure, its readiness, and its capability to contribute significantly to national defense....
  • The Last Voyage of Andrew Sterett
    By Terrence S. McCormack
    A rising hero of the early U.S. Navy resigned before his prime; for him, private-sector seafaring would prove far more perilous.

Subscriber Only Content

  • The Navy's 'Screwballs'
    By Daniel J. Demers
    In 1941, a weekend pass in San Francisco and an impetuous sailor’s good intentions erupted into an international incident with Nazi Germany.

  • And the Winner Was . . .
    By Francis DuCoin
    When a Confederate officer on board the Virginia fired his cannon at the pilothouse of the Monitor, the shot set in motion events that remain murky 150 years later.

  • Looking Back - Born in 1912
    By Paul Stillwell

    This year there will be a great deal of hoopla over the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the British liner Titanic on her first voyage (see story, p. 48). My father, Carl Stillwell, felt a kinship with that event for the rest of his...

  • Naval History Digital Edition

    A digital edition of the April issue of Naval History is available for current USNI members to view. The...

  • Contributors

    Robert M. Browning Jr. is the chief historian for the U.S. Coast Guard and the author of four books and nearly 50 articles relating to the Coast Guard and U.S. naval and maritime history. He currently is finishing a manuscript...

  • In Contact

    Special Ops and SEALs

    Sergeant Major Mike R. Vining, U.S. Army (Retired)

    I have a few comments about Captain Dick Couch’s article “...

  • Naval History News

    Long-Lost WWII Shipwreck Located

    For 70 years her final resting place remained a lingering mystery of World War II, but HMS Olympus, a Royal Navy submarine that sank in May 1942 with the loss of 89 lives, finally has been...

  • Historic Aircraft - A Premier Fighter
    By Norman Polmar

    Almost all famous fighter aircraft—those of the United States and other nations—primarily gained their fame by a large number of aerial kills. Not so the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. Although considered an outstanding fighter aircraft by...

  • Historic Fleets - More Lives Than a Cat
    By Robert J. Cressman

    When one needs ships, it is usually too late to build them. In mid-February 1898, as tensions heated the diplomatic climate between the United States and Spain in the wake of the destruction of the battleship Maine at Havana, Cuba, the...

  • Continuing the Monitor Story
    By Anna Gibson Holloway
    Visitors can explore the evolving history of the Navy’s first ironclad at the state-of-the-art USS Monitor Center

  • Book Reviews

    Joe Rochefort’s War: The Odyssey of the Codebreaker Who Outwitted Yamamato at Midway

    Elliot Carlson. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2011. 616 pp. Illus. Maps. Notes. Bibliog. $36.95.

    Reviewed by...

  • Museum Report - Discovering the Navy’s Elite Special Warfare Unit
    By Hans Johnson

    The aquamarine waters and golden sands of Fort Pierce, Florida, are a fitting setting for the National Navy UDT-SEAL Museum, which bills itself as “the birthplace of the Navy Frogman.” After all, it was here on the state’s mid...


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