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J. Richard Briggs, M.D. - 1960 - East Coast , U.S. Navy The first nuclear-powered submarine, Nautilus SSN 571, had just returned from her shakedown cruise in 1956 and the boat was found to be uninhabitable. The equipment that controlled the atmosphere within the boat was faulty and although much research had been done on it, much more remained to be discovered. Submarine Medicine was a new technical specialty and there were a lot of unanswered questions. Although we knew how to set a broken arm or pull a tooth or even remove an appendix, how does a physician really practice medicine 300 feet under the surface of the ocean in an upholstered steel tube? Admiral Hyman G. Rickover, USN (Director of Naval Reactors and de facto officer in charge of building nuclear powered submarines) had insisted that “nuclear-trained doctors be assigned to each new ship because he knew that the unprecedented long submergence tours might lead to situations as yet unforeseen. “ In 1960, ten young and eager Navy doctors were chosen for Admiral Rickover’s nuclear program and put through a study and training curriculum specially designed for them. Eight physicians suvived the year of preparation and reported for duty on the newest Polaris Missile Submarines. We were two of them.
Joseph C. Cline - 1917 - Europe , United States Naval Reserve Forces The life of a U.S. Naval Aviation Pilot serving in France in World War I is vividly recounted in this recollection by Joseph C. Cline. It is from a never-before-published series of interviews with early naval aviators conducted by the U.S. Naval Institute in the 1960s and 1970s, capturing these irreplaceable memories while these men were still alive. Cline spoke with U.S. Naval Institute interviewer Commander Etta-Belle Kitchen, USN (Ret.), in Coronado, California, on 14 September 1969.
Francis R. Donovan - 1990-1991 - Persian Gulf Vice Admiral, U.S. Navy In 1991, the Roland Company collaborated with the U.S. Naval Institute in producing the documentary film “Storm From the Sea,” which featured extensive interviews with many of the key players in Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm. It was the first truly inside, in-depth look at that still-recent war to be presented to general audiences. Only a minor portion of the stories told by these men was used in the completed film, leaving unused a trove of valuable material for historians and others interested in the Gulf War. The transcripts of these interviews provide a moment-in-time personal snapshot of a consequential military event—when all the memories were very recent and very fresh. The Roland Company has graciously donated these unedited and unfiltered firsthand accounts to the U.S. Naval Institute Memoir Collection. They are presented here to the public for the first time. In this interview, Vice Admiral Francis R. Donovan, commander of Military Sealift Command during the conflict, describes his experiences.
Maurice Emanuel - 1941 - , U.S. Navy When Gary Emanuel's mother Jeanette passed away in 2016, among her effects were found 60 love letters from her then-future husband Maurice, a U.S. Navy sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1941. "The letters clearly demonstrate that my father was madly in love with my mom," writes Gary Emanuel in the introduction to the epistolary collection he has e-published on Amazon. "This was likely not an uncommon emotion from a sailor or soldier separated from the love of their life. Aside from that, the letters give a very personal account of a 25-year-old Navy sailor's life and the times in which they lived." The letters were written during the period leading up to the U.S. entry into World War II—from Pearl Harbor before the bombs fell.
Maurice Emanuel - 1941 - , U.S. Navy When Gary Emanuel's mother Jeanette passed away in 2016, among her effects were found 60 love letters from her then-future husband Maurice, a U.S. Navy sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor in 1941. "The letters clearly demonstrate that my father was madly in love with my mom," writes Gary Emanuel in the introduction to the epistolary collection he has e-published on Amazon. "This was likely not an uncommon emotion from a sailor or soldier separated from the love of their life. Aside from that, the letters give a very personal account of a 25-year-old Navy sailor's life and the times in which they lived." The letters were written during the period leading up to the U.S. entry into World War II—from Pearl Harbor before the bombs fell.
William M. Fogarty - 1990-1991 - Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy In 1991, the Roland Company collaborated with the U.S. Naval Institute in producing the documentary film “Storm From the Sea,” which featured extensive interviews with many of the key players in Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm. It was the first truly inside, in-depth look at that still-recent war to be presented to general audiences. Only a minor portion of the stories told by these men was used in the completed film, leaving unused a trove of valuable material for historians and others interested in the Gulf War. The transcripts of these interviews provide a moment-in-time personal snapshot of a consequential military event—when all the memories were very recent and very fresh. The Roland Company has graciously donated these unedited and unfiltered firsthand accounts to the U.S. Naval Institute Memoir Collection. They are presented here to the public for the first time. In this interview, Rear Admiral William M. “Bill” Fogarty ponders obstacles faced and “major lessons learned” during the course of the conflict.
Minoru Genda - 7 December 1941 - Pacific , Imperial Japanese Navy On 3 March 1969, the U.S. Naval Institute made history (and generated no small degree of controversy) when it hosted a talk by retired Japanese General Minoru Genda, a “mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack,” at the U.S. Naval Academy. Genda spoke to a packed house that included more than 750 midshipmen as well as active-duty and retired officers and numerous members of the Naval Institute. The former foe’s presence had generated a firestorm of criticism, from letters in local newspapers to impassioned oratory in the halls of Congress. What many who were outraged didn’t realize or acknowledge was that Genda had become a highly respected friend of America by then and had even been awarded the U.S. Legion of Merit by the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1962. In this historic talk, Genda served up personal reminiscences about his naval career and his role in Japanese strategic planning in the buildup to World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. (He also displayed a penchant for Sun-Tzu.) In the question-and-answer period following the talk, his candid comments about the atomic bomb would end up landing him in political hot water back home in Japan.
Charles Thomas Hibbett - 1875-1913 - North Atlantic, Mediterranean, South America, Philippines , Medical Corps This is the never-before-seen memoir of the U.S. Navy surgeon Charles Thomas Hibbett (1851-1930), who served from 1875 to 1913. Though this was ostensibly written for his daughter Alice, about age 23 at the time, Dr. Hibbett occasionally addresses "the reader." His first wife, Florence Wilson of Petersburg, died in September of 1892 when Alice was less than one year old. No mention is made of Alice's care or living situation during Hibbett's extended absences. He did not remarry for several years; his second wife, Gladys McDow (1883-1974), of Nashville was some 30 years his junior. The document was only recently discovered, and has been contributed to the U.S. Naval Institute Memoir Collection by the descendants of Dr. Hibbett. More details on him follow: Charles Thomas Hibbett was born in Castalian Springs, Tennessee, on 23 November 1851. He attended the University of Virginia and Jefferson Medical College, obtaining an M.D. degree. He served in the US Navy as a surgeon from 1875 until 1913. He died 30 March 1930. He was married in 1886 to Florence Wilson of Petersburg (1866-1892). Their daughter and only child Alice Coke was born 3 November 1891 in Norfolk. Alice married Henry Edwards Mecredy of Roanoke on 29 September 1914 at Farmville, Virginia. Her only child, Henry Edwards Mecredy Jr., was born 2 June 1916 (died 8 September 2006). Alice died on 14 April 1919 in the postwar influenza pandemic.
Steve F. Kime - 20th century - Captain, U.S. Navy This memoir is an intellectual journey. It is based in the fundamental middle-American values and opinions, good and bad, of the "happy Days" of the Fifties. These values and opinions are dragged kicking and screaming through a rich and varied set of experiences as a young man is, amazingly, nurtured and tolerated by a usually hidebound Navy. The journey ends with summaries about Russia, US Military Policy and Strategy and the prospects for social and political turmoil in America. Steve F. Kime, a retired Navy Captain, is not a cookie-cutter product of a military academy. His unusual career led him from his roots in Indiana to submarine duty, a doctorate at Harvard, service in Russia during treaty negotiations and the shootdown of an airliner, and responsibilities in strategy, intelligence and higher education. His was a politico-military coming of age. He pulls no punches in relating his mid-America upbringing and the experiences of his unusual career to current social, political and military issues.
Frederick E. Lewis - 1956-1958 - Atlantic Lieutenant Commander, U.S. Navy Frederick E. Lewis joined the reserves during high school, on his 17th birthday, embarking on a naval career spanning decades. In this excerpt from his larger memoir still in progress, he describes service on board the USS Talbot County (LST-1153) in the mid- to late 1950s.

 
 

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