Naval History Magazine - February 2017 Volume 31, Number 1

Adobe Folio ID: 
Cover Story
Slow but rugged, the SBD Dauntless dive bomber ravaged the Imperial Japanese Navy during the monumental first year of the Pacific contest, in the process earning a place in the...


  • Prewar Voyage Down Under
    By John J. Domagalski
    As war clouds gathered over the Pacific, the heavy cruiser Chicago led a flotilla on a goodwill mission that left her sailors with pleasant memories that would last a lifetime.

    Rear Admiral John Henry Newton, on board the...

  • Flying the Empire Express
    By David L. Sears

    Carrier-based plane flew over. . . . Evacuated to the summit. Air raids carried out frequently. . . . Heard loud noise. It is naval gun firing. . . . Prepared battle equipment. . . . Twenty boats landed at Massacre Bay.

  • Pipeline to Freedom
    By David L. Sears
    A Navy ensign’s diary entries provide a personal perspective on the small joys and increasing frustrations of American aviators interned in the Soviet Union during World War II.

    June 20, 1944 0345 local time—...

  • Asymmetric Warfare, Early American Style
    By Louis Arthur Norton
    Audacious captains employed a disruptive maritime strategy to rattle the British public during the Revolution and the War of 1812.

    In this day and age, many of the threats facing the United States and its allies can be...

Subscriber Only Content

  • Bluejacket's Manual - Cracking the ‘Hull Number’ Code
    By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    For more than a hundred years, U.S. Navy ships were known only by type and name, as in “the frigate Constitution.” But as more and more ships entered service, this practice became cumbersome and often confusing, as ship names...

  • On Our Scope

    Thirty years ago the U.S. Naval Institute debuted Naval History. With 163 issues under its belt, the magazine remains the only publication dedicated to documenting and preserving the history of the U.S. Sea Services—the Navy, Marine Corps,...

  • In Contact

    Closer Look at the Evidence

    Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan

    In our book A Matter of Justice: Pearl Harbor: Betrayal, Blame and a Family’s Quest for Justice (Harper, 2016) we layout new information...

  • As I Recall - Competing for the Top Job
    By Admiral Robert E. Kramek, U.S. Coast Guard (Retired)

    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...

  • Naval History News

    Scavengers Trash WWII Java Sea Shipwrecks

    The Guardian reported the alarming news in November that three World War II–era British warships and a U.S. submarine that sank in the Java Sea have been desecrated (and in some cases...

  • Armaments & Innovations
    By Commander Tyrone G. Martin, U. S. Navy (Retired)

    Steering a Ship with a Pole

    When people began traveling afloat, they soon learned that the easiest way to change direction was to stick something in the...

  • Historic Aircraft - Flying Sans Engines
    By Norman Polmar

    Germany’s highly successful use of airborne troops to capture Belgian forts in 1940 and to seize the British-held island of Crete in 1941 encouraged the U.S. Army and Marine Corps to develop airborne forces. These efforts included both...

  • The Plane That Won the War
    By Barrett Tillman
    Slow but rugged, the SBD Dauntless dive bomber ravaged the Imperial Japanese Navy during the monumental first year of the Pacific contest, in the process earning a place in the hearts of its pilots.

    Three U.S. aircraft were...

  • Calling Cards From the Civil War
    By Ronald S. Coddington
    In 1861, young men going off to war had photos made that today are an important addition to the historical record.
    How would we remember the Civil War if photography had...
  • Great Expectations for an Ill-Fated Ironclad
    By Charles E. Pearson

    The story of the Eastport­—from packet steamer to Confederate gunboat to U.S. ironclad to shipwreck—is one of the most intriguing of any Civil War vessel.

  • Historic Ships - A ‘Sloop-of-Mercy’
    By J. M. Caiella


    The Jamestown was one of the typically handsome U.S. sloops-of-war of the antebellum Navy. There was nothing remarkable about her form, construction, or armament to set her apart from the other six 20-gun sloops laid down from...

  • Book Reviews
    Reviewed by Norman Polmar<p>

    The Fleet at Flood Tide: America at Total War in the Pacific, 1944–1945

    James D. Hornfischer. 640 pp. New York: Random House, 2016. Illus. Notes. Biblio. Index. $35.

    Reviewed by Craig L. Symonds

  • Museum Report - Idyllic Fjord's Wartime Heritage
    By Mark D. Van Ells

    The rugged inlet of Hvalfjordur in western Iceland seems far removed from the tragedies of war. Nearby black volcanic mountains, cut by streams and waterfalls and graced with patches of snow even in summer, rise from the fjord’s rich blue...

  • Pieces of the Past

    To a lover of naval artifacts, any relic from the Age of Fighting Sail is a special thing. And if it happens to have a Nelsonian connection, well, then, all the more so. And if, beyond all that, it happens to have a Trafalgar connection, then we...


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