Naval History Magazine - August 2017 Volume 31, Number 4

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Cover Story

Marines assigned to safeguard Nicaraguan national elections found themselves fighting a guerrilla war and enmeshed in a diplomatic tug of war.



  • Armaments & Innovations - Last of the 8-inch Cruiser Guns
    By Commander Tyrone G.Martin, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    Heavy cruisers were a part of the U.S. Navy for about 50 years, until the late 1970s. Almost all of them were armed with nine 8-inch/55-caliber guns of several different types whose projectiles were fired using bagged powder charges. With the...

  • Voyage to War
    By David C. Isby

    Six months before the Pearl Harbor attack, the destroyer USS Mayo set out to battle U-boats and hazardous weather in an undeclared war being waged in the North Atlantic.

  • A Sailor's Letters Home
    By Vincent P. O’Hara

    The World War I correspondence between Engineman Second Class Robert Orville Carver and his family poignantly underscores how, even in a time of destruction on a grand scale, every life—and death—is significant.

  • Leading the Charge at Savo Island
    By Captain Toshikazu Ohmae

    About 40 hours after the first Marines splashed ashore on Guadalcanal, a Japanese cruiser force inflicted a crushing defeat on the U.S. Navy. A staff officer on board the Japanese force’s flagship recalls the Battle of Savo Island...

  • Acts of Valor


Subscriber Only Content

  • On Our Scope

    The first U.S. Marine fighter pilots to arrive at Guadalcanal’s Henderson Field 75 years ago faced hard facts. For one, the Japanese flew the aerial equivalent of a hot rod—the Zero. For another, the Marines’ counterparts were...

  • As I Recall - "A Brilliant Accomplishment by the Japanese"
    By Vice Admiral Lloyd M. Mustin, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    Vice Admiral Lloyd Mustin was born to a Navy career, being the son of pioneering naval aviator Captain Henry Mustin. Lloyd Mustin was serving as assistant gunnery officer on board the cruiser USS Atlanta (CL-51) during World War II, got...

  • In Contact

    Fletcher Grades Spruance
    Captain Howard C. Cohen, JAGC, USNR (Ret.)

    In “Grading Midway’s Commanders” (June, pp. 14–19), Jonathan Parshall...

  • Bluejacket's Manual - Talking Between Ships
    By Lieutenant Commander Thomas J. Cutler, U.S. Navy (Retired)

    The U.S. Navy’s use of shipboard radiotelephone (RT)—also known as “voice radio”—for tactical communications began in 1916, when the first RT message was sent from ship to ship. During World War I, primitive voice...

  • Naval History News

    What’s Up at the NHHC


    WWI Navy Uniform Gets New Lease on Life

    Just in time for the 100th anniversary of U.S. entry into World War I, a junior naval officer uniform from that period has...

  • Historic Aircraft - What's Out There?
    By Norman Polmar

    When U.S. aircraft carriers are at sea, on their flight decks—or flying nearby—are Grumman E-2 Hawkeye airborne early warning (AEW) aircraft. Radar-equipped planes have been flying from U.S. carriers in the AEW role for more than half...

  • Cooperation & Conflict During a Banana War
    By David Bettez

    Marines assigned to safeguard Nicaraguan national elections found themselves fighting a guerrilla war and enmeshed in a diplomatic tug of war.

  • Flying in the Eye of the Guadalcanal Storm
    BY Colonel Richard Camp, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

    The Cactus Air Force—a conglomeration of planes and their fliers based at a primitive, muddy airfield—were instrumental to ensuring the success of the first U.S. offensive in the Pacific.


  • Portrait Perfectionist

    Renowned American portrait artist Albert K. Murray—viewed by many as being in the same league as John Singer Sargent—reflected on his art in an oral history published by the U.S. Naval Institute in 1994. He was commissioned as a...

  • The Cactus Air Force's Humble Home
    By Colonel Richard Camp, U.S. Marine Corps (Retired)

    Henderson Field was located in a cleared area near the north coast of Guadalcanal, just east of the Lunga River and west of the Ilu River, nicknamed “Alligator Creek.” When the first planes arrived, the field was little more than a...

  • Defending the Final Line at Shiloh
    By Phillip R. Kemmerly

    With the Union army pushed back nearly to the Tennessee River, a pair of timberclad gunboats played a key role in repulsing the Confederates’ last desperate charges late on the Battle of Shiloh’s first day.

  • Historic Ships - From Kiel to Kwajalein
    By J. M. Caiella

    Included among the most unusual ships ever to serve with the U.S. Navy was perhaps its most unwanted—the German World War II heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen (IX-300). By the end of the conflict, the cruiser was the Kriegsmarine’s largest,...

  • Museum Report - Denmark's New Maritime Museum
    By Andrew C. A. Jampoler

    Denmark’s Museet for Søfart, the Maritime Museum of Denmark, sits in the shadow of historic Kronborg Castle—the home of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, in Shakespeare’s brilliant tragedy—and is a must-see attraction for...

  • Book Reviews

    As Good As Dead: The Daring Escape of American POWs from a Japanese Death Camp

    Stephen L. Moore. New York: Caliber, 2016. 358 pp. Plates. Maps. Appendices. Biblio. Endnotes. Index. $27.
    Reviewed by Mark Felton


  • Pieces of the Past
    Eric Mills

    It is an interesting irony of World War I that U.S. troops who showed up in mass numbers to defeat the Germans were transported in German ships. (See “A Sailor’s Letters Home, p. 44). The Vaterland was one such repurposed vessel...


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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