Naval History Magazine - December 2016 Volume 30, Number 6

Adobe Folio ID: 
Cover Story
After rigorously preparing his seaplane tender’s crew, Clifton ‘Ziggy’ Sprague calmly commanded them from the ship’s open bridge during the Japanese...


  • On Our Scope

    As the first attack wave of Japanese bombers and fighters passed over northern Oahu, Commander Mitsuo Fuchida faced a critical decision. Should he fire one signal flare, indicating his aircraft would use the “surprise” attack plan, or...

  • Contributors

    Lieutenant Andrea N. Goldstein, U.S. Navy Reserve, served on active duty from 2009 to 2016. She holds a BA in history from the University of Chicago, is a 2016 Pat Tillman Scholar, and is a master’s degree candidate in international...

  • Commander Fuchida's Decision
    By Commander Alan D. Zimm, U.S. Navy (Retired)
    The most crucial Japanese mistake at Pearl Harbor was when the commander of the first-wave strike fired two flares, signaling his aviators to use the ‘no-surprise’ attack plan.

    Commander Mitsuo...

  • A Taranto–Pearl Harbor Connection
    By Christopher P. O'Connor
    U.S. Navy observers on board British carriers realized that torpedo planes could successfully attack an enemy fleet in harbor, but their warnings failed to reach Hawaii before the Japanese onslaught.


  • Whataman!
    By Carl LaVO
    Before he became a fabled submarine commander in World War II, Slade Cutter was the Naval Academy’s undefeated intercollegiate heavyweight boxing champion and an All-American football player whose gridiron feats are...
  • Ghosts of Operation Drumbeat
    By Jonathan L. Hoppe
    An expedition to explore and photograph the wrecks of a U-boat and her prey offers the chance to explore the Battle of the Atlantic’s impact on a nearby Outer Banks community.

    Captain Harold...

  • Museum Report - Chicago's Military History Mecca
    By John Domagalski

    Nestled among the many tall buildings in downtown Chicago lies the Pritzker Military Museum & Library. Founded in 2003 and dedicated to preserving the story of the ordinary citizen-soldier throughout history, the museum is located in the...

Subscriber Only Content

  • Looking Back - The Children of Ford Island
    By Paul Stillwell

    The island in the center of Pearl Harbor provided a vulnerable vantage point for experiencing the devastating Japanese onslaught of 7 December 1941. The mooring quays off one of Ford Island’s flanks marked the outline of what was then known...

  • In Contact

    Fulfilling the Commitment

    Theodore Kuhlmeier

  • Armaments & Innovations - The Steam-Powered 'Cat'
    By Norman Friedman

    Since at least the late 1950s, carrier aircraft have been able to match up evenly against land-based aircraft. While several major innovations made it possible to swap thousands of feet of concrete ashore for a steel deck afloat, the one without...

  • Naval History News

    Women in Military Honored at Athena Conference

    In 1976 women were admitted to the U.S. Naval Academy for the first time and began to be integrated into the Brigade of Midshipmen. The trailblazers who arrived for that historic Induction...

  • Historic Ships - Pioneer of Westward Expansion
    By J. M. Caiella

    In early 1846, Lieutenant Neil M. Howison, commanding officer of the U.S. schooner Shark, was assigned to “make an examination of the situation in Oregon.” That year was momentous in Oregon’s history. The long-festering question...

  • 'Born to Command During a Crisis'
    By John F. Wukovits
    After rigorously preparing his seaplane tender’s crew, Clifton ‘Ziggy’ Sprague calmly commanded them from the ship’s open bridge during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor


  • Not Just for Show
    By Hill Goodspeed
    While the Blue Angels demonstration squadron has electrified crowds for seven decades with its airborne acrobatics, combat skill played a major role in the ‘Blues’ earning elite status.


  • Forgotten Pioneers
    By Lieutenant Andrea N. Goldstein, U.S. Navy Reserve

    First Prize, 2016 Naval History Essay Contest: The Women Who Made it Possible

    From the Revolutionary War through World War II, American women secretly served on the battlefield or behind enemy lines, paving...
  • As I Recall - Eyewitness to Infamy
    By James Leamon Forbis

    James Leamon Forbis enlisted in the Navy in 1939. When war came on 7 December 1941, he was on the front line of history, serving as a coxswain on board the USS Arizona (BB-39) when the bombs started dropping. He survived the attack and went...

  • Historic Aircraft - A Trainer Par Excellence
    By Norman Polmar, Author, Ships and Aircraft of the U.S. Fleet

    Tens of thousands of U.S. and foreign pilots received instruction on the T-2 Buckeye, an outstanding Navy training aircraft. But the T-2—originally designated T2J—was not the Navy’s jet trainer that served the longest or was...

  • Book Reviews

    Revolution on the Hudson: New York City and the Hudson River Valley in the War of American Independence

    George C. Daughan. New York: W. W. Norton, 2016. 432 pp. Intro. Illus. Notes. Biblio. Index. $28.95.

    Reviewed by Tim...

  • Pieces of the Past

    Now here’s a naval artifact you actually can drink tea and eat crumpets on—not that we would recommend that. This lace-trimmed, sateen table cover (a “table round,” to be specific) commemorates the USS Utah (BB-31/AG-16)...


Conferences and Events

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From the Press

23 February - Seminar

Sat, 2019-02-23

David F. Winkler

3 March - Lecture

Sun, 2019-03-03

Stephen A. Bourque

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