Thursday, December 5, 2013

Education Update: 8 Bells Lecture Series 2014 Schedule

The Eight Bells Book Lecture Series

The format of the Eight Bells Lecture Series has the author speaking about 40-45 minutes on the topic of his book and the facts leading to its publication. The last 15-20 minutes are given over for audience members to ask questions on the topic.  Those who are able to remain after the allotted hour can stay and discuss the book further and have the book signed. Copies of the books are on sale in the Naval War College Foundation Gift Shop. As always, this event is a brown-bag affair which is free and open to the public.
Call the museum at 401-841-4052 to confirm dates and to make a reservation if you do not have access to Naval Station Newport. Reservations must be made at least one business day in advance of visit.
5 December 2013: The Battle of Midway: The Naval Institute Guide to the U.S. Navy’s Greatest Victory edited by Thomas C. Hone
This edited collection is an anthology of memoirs, oral histories, articles and other relevant government documents focusing on events leading up to the battle, the battle, and follow-on interpretations of the events.  Tom Hone is a former faculty member of the Naval War College.

12 December 2013: 21st Century Mahan: Sound Military Conclusions for a Modern Era by LCDR B.J. Armstrong

Alfred Thayer Mahan's The Influence of Seapower upon History is well known to students of naval history and strategy, but his other writings are often dismissed as irrelevant to today's problems. This collection of five of Mahan's essays, along with Benjamin Armstrong's informative introductions, illustrates why Mahan's work remains relevant to the 21st century and how it can help develop our strategic thinking.  Armstrong's analysis is derived directly from Mahan's own writings. From the challenges of bureaucratic organization and the pit falls of staff duty, to the development of global strategy and fleet composition, to illustrations of effective combat leadership, Armstrong demonstrates that Mahan's ideas continue to provide today's readers with a solid foundation to address the challenges of a rapidly globalizing world.

9 January 2014: Legendary Locals of Newport: by Annie Sherman

In Legendary Locals of Newport, local magazine editor Annie Sherman chronicles centuries of these characters tales using images from the islands many historic archives, libraries, organizations, and print media.

16 January 2014: The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World by Lincoln Paine

Lincoln Paine takes us back to the origins of long-distance migration by sea from Africa and Eurasia to Australia and the Americas. He demonstrates the critical role of maritime trade to the civilizations of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley draws upon the examples of the Phoenicians and Greeks, as well as those of India, Southeast and East Asia who parlayed their navigational skills, shipbuilding techniques, and commercial acumen to establish vibrant overseas colonies and trade routes in the centuries leading up to the age of European overseas expansion.

23 January 2014: Blowtorch: Robert Komer, Vietnam and American Cold War Strategy by Frank Jones
Robert Komer was a Cold War national security policy and strategy adviser to three presidents and one of the most influential national security professionals of his time.  This biography gives a useful summary of Komer’s impact on American policy and strategy, and looks at the legacy relating to today’s policies.

6 February 2014:  Congo: The Miserable Expeditions and Dreadful Death of LT Emory Taunt, USN by Andy Jampoler

A young naval officer is given the mission to explore the Congo River in May 1885 and tasked with reporting on opportunities for American business interests.  The trip which had started out with such great promise and hope for wealth ended with bankruptcy, disgrace, and, ultimately, death. 

13 February 2014: A Star for Mrs. Blake by April Smith

Set in the 1930s, this novel is about five American women who travel to France to visit the graves of the sons lost during World War I.  The women come from different ethnic and social background and initially it would seem that the only common thread was their identification as Gold Star Mothers.  The pilgrimage to France changes that as they work through the grief they had been carrying.

20 February 2014Hero of the Angry Sky: The World War I Diary and Letters of David S.Ingalls, America's First Naval Ace by Geoffrey L. Rossano and William F. Trimble

Hero of the Angry Sky draws on the unpublished diaries, correspondence, informal memoir, and other personal documents of the U.S. Navy’s only flying “ace” of World War I to tell his unique story. This edited collection of Ingalls’s writing details the career of the U.S. Navy’s most successful combat flyer from that conflict.  While Ingalls’s wartime experiences are compelling at a personal level, they also illuminate the larger, but still relatively unexplored, realm of early U.S. naval aviation.


 6 March 2014An American Knight by Tory Failmezger

This is the story of the 601st Tank Destroyer Battalion during World War II as told in the letters of Lt. Thomas Peter Welch.  From stateside to North Africa, to Salerno, Anzio, and crossing the Siegfried Line, he saw it all.  But, there was no storybook ending for Welch upon returning to the United States.  Adjustment was difficult. 

13 March 2014: Proceed to Peshawar: The Story of a U.S. Navy Intelligence Mission on the Afghan Border, 1943 by George Hill
A previously untold intelligence mission involving two American naval officers who traveled along 800 miles of the Durand Line, the porous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, gaining a first look of the area for the United States government.

27 March 2014: The Morenci Marines: A Tale of Small Town America and the Vietnam War by Kyle Longley

This is the story of nine young men who left Morenci, Arizona, and joined the Marine Corp to fight in Vietnam.  Three survived.  Their story was covered by ABC News and Time magazine, as well as being voted the most important veterans’ story in state history.  With extensive personal interviews and access to personal correspondence, the author is able to add new detail to this story of loss, grief and guilt.

3 April 2014: The Shining Sea: David Porter and the Epic Voyage of the USS Essex During the War of 1812 by George Daughan

The biography of one of the early heroes of the early Navy, a veteran of the Quasi-War with France and the war with Tripoli, Porter was given command of USS Essex to take the war to the British and attack their shipping in the South Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.  His search for glory ultimately costs him his ship and the lives of over two-thirds of his crew.  This was one of the great voyages of the War of 1812 and reveals an individual with flaws bordering on megalomania.  

10 April 2014: Pushing the Limits: The Remarkable Life and Times of Vice Admiral Allan Rockwell McCann, USN by Carl LaVO 

This book is an overdue appreciation of a significant admiral who had an extraordinary career following his graduation from the United States Naval Academy in 1913.  He saw action in both World War I and II, was involved in the rescue of survivors in the USS Squalus (SS 192), the development of the McCann Submarine Rescue Chamber, and was tasked by President Truman to investigate the Revolt of the Admirals.

8 May 2014: A Two-Edged Sword: the Navy as an Instrument of Canadian Foreign Policy by Dr. Nicholas Tracy

In the first major study of the Royal Canadian Navy's contribution to foreign policy, Nicholas Tracy takes a comprehensive look at the paradox that Canada faces in participating in a system of collective defense. Created in 1910 to support Canadian autonomy, the Royal Canadian Navy has played an important role in defining Canada's relationship with the United Kingdom, the United States, and NATO as the Navy's priorities have realigned since the end of the Cold War.

15 May 2014: A Tainted Dawn: The Great War (1792-1815) Book I by B.N. Peacock

The first book of a planned trilogy surrounding the lives of three youths set as England and Spain are on the brink of war. France, allied by treaty with Spain, readies her warships. As diplomats in Europe race to avoid conflict, war threatens to explode in the Caribbean, with the three youths pitted against each other.

22 May 2014: The Liberty Incident Revealed: The Definitive Account of the 1967 Israeli Attack on the U.S. Navy Spy Ship by A. Jay Cristol

In 2002, Cristol published The Liberty Incident.  As there were many unanswered questions regarding aspects of the attack, Cristol pursued a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against NSA which has allowed an expanded and more in-depth analysis of the details surrounding the event.  The six new chapters go a long way to providing the truth in this sensational, media story.

29 May 2014:  With Commodore Perry to Japan: The Journal of William Speiden Jr., 1852-1855 edited by David Ranzan and John Wolter
Seen through the eyes of a sixteen year old purser’s clerk onboard USS Mississippi, this is an account of M.C. Perry’s expedition to Japan which provides much insight into the social history of the ship and the historic event which was the backdrop.

5 June 2014: The Lucky Few by Jan Herman

The final, chaotic events of the Vietnam War and the role played by the USS Kirk in rendering humanitarian assistance to remnants of the South Vietnamese fleet and the thousands of refugees fleeing Communist forces and trying to make it to freedom.

12 June 2014: Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed by Sandy Grimes 

Written by two of the CIA principals involved in identifying Ames as a Soviet mole and one of the most destructive traitors in American history, this book is also the first to provide details of the operational contact with the agents Ames betrayed, as well as similar cases with which the authors also had personal involvement—a total of sixteen operational histories in all.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: CDR Alan B. Shepard Portrait, 1965

The Best of Navy Art, an exhibition of twenty-five original paintings on loan from the Navy Art Collection, is currently showing at the Naval War College Museum. One of the paintings on exhibit is an oil portrait of astronaut Alan B. Shepard (1923-1998) painted by Everett Kinstler.

New Hampshire native Alan B. Shepard, Jr. graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1944. After graduation, Ensign Shepard was assigned to USS Cogswell (DD 651) for the remainder of World War II. He earned his wings in 1947 and following a tour with VF 42, he attended the United States Navy Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland. Following a second squadron tour with VF 193, he returned to Naval Air Station Patuxent River as a test pilot and instructor. In 1957, Shepard graduated from the Naval War College. One of the first seven astronauts selected for PROJECT MERCURY, he became the first American to journey into space on May 5, 1961. He returned to space in Apollo 14, earning distinction as the fifth person to walk on the moon.

Everett Kinstler (1926-Present) studied at the National Academy of Design (NAD), and the Art Students League of New York under Frank DuMond, Wayman Adams, and John Johansen. Noted for his portraits, he also painted Astronaut Scott Carpenter, Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman,

Organized chronologically by subject, these twenty-five pieces were carefully chosen to highlight the men and women, vessels, aircraft, battles, and actions that made American naval history.

The Best of Navy Art is a collaborative exhibit produced by the Navy Art Collection and the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C. The Naval War College Museum provided new interpretive information to tie some of the paintings to the naval history of Narragansett Bay. The exhibit will be open through May 2, 2014. Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: USS KEARSARGE vs. CSS ALABAMA Painting, 1872

The Best of Navy Art, an exhibition of twenty-five original paintings on loan from the Navy Art Collection, is currently showing at the Naval War College Museum. One of the paintings on exhibit is an 1872 oil on canvas depicting the famous battle between the USS Kearsarge and the CSS Alabama by artist Thomas C. Oliver.
During the Civil War, the commerce raider CSS Alabama severely disrupted U.S. merchant shipping during her twenty-one months at sea. Having searched European ports for over a year, the screw sloop-of war USS Kearsarge finally discovered Alabama at Cherbourg, France in June 1864. In anticipation of the coming battle, Kearsarge’s commander, Captain John Winslow, ordered chain cable secured to vulnerable sections of the hull. Honoring French neutrality, Winslow then waited for Alabama to leave territorial waters before engaging his adversary. During the hour-long battle, Kearsarge’s guns pounded the raider with devastating accuracy. His ship burning and sinking, Captain Raphael Semmes struck Alabama’s colors and asked for assistance. He and several officers escaped on a British yacht and returned to the Confederacy.
Thomas C. Oliver (1827 – 1892), born in Lynn, Massachusetts, was a marine painter known for his luminous works completed around the Lynn and Gloucester areas.
Organized chronologically by subject, these twenty-five pieces were carefully chosen to highlight the men and women, vessels, aircraft, battles, and actions that made American naval history.

The Best of Navy Art is a collaborative exhibit produced by the Navy Art Collection and the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C. The Naval War College Museum provided new interpretive information to tie some of the paintings to the naval history of Narragansett Bay. The exhibit will be open through May 2, 2014. Click here for more information.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Commodore John Rodgers Portrait, date unknown

The Best of Navy Art, an exhibition of twenty-five original paintings on loan from the Navy Art Collection, is currently showing at the Naval War College Museum. One of the paintings on exhibit is an oil portrait of Commodore John Rodgers by renowned American portraitist Gilbert Stuart.

John Rodgers (1773-1838) was the ranking active naval officer in the War of 1812 and first head of the Board of Navy Commissioners, 1815-1837. During the War of 1812 he made four commerce-destroying cruises. A detachment of sailors and marines under his command harassed British forces after the attack on Washington in 1814. In September of the same year, Commodore Rodgers played a leading role in the successful American defense of Baltimore against a formidable enemy force.

Gilbert Stuart (1755 – 1828), one of the premier American portraitists, was born in Saunderstown, Rhode Island and moved with his family to Newport in 1761. He is known for painting over one thousand portraits, including several of George Washington. His unfinished Washington portrait, called the “Athenaeum portrait,” was used for the one dollar bill.

Organized chronologically by subject, these twenty-five pieces were carefully chosen to highlight the men and women, vessels, aircraft, battles, and actions that made American naval history.
The Best of Navy Art is a collaborative exhibit produced by the Navy Art Collection and the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C. The Naval War College Museum provided new interpretive information to tie some of the paintings to the naval history of Narragansett Bay. The exhibit will be open through May 2, 2014. Click here for more information.



Thursday, September 19, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: USS HELENA in Heavy Seas, c. 1905

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

The Best of Navy Art, an exhibition of twenty-five original paintings on loan from the Navy Art Collection, is currently showing at the Naval War College Museum. One of the paintings on exhibit is an oil on canvas titled USS Helena in Heavy Seas.
The scene, painted by an unknown Chinese ship portraitist in 1905, depicts USS Helena riding out a raging storm in the Pacific Ocean. The USS Helena (PG 9) was commissioned in 1897 with Commander William T. Swinburne of Newport, Rhode Island in command. The 250-ft gunboat first served in home waters. She saw action at Manzanillo and Fort Tumas off Cuba during the Spanish-American War and sailed with the Asiatic Squadron during the Philippine Insurrection in late 1898. Helena served in the Far East on the South China and Yangtze River patrols for the rest of her career. The vessel was decommissioned in 1932 and sold two years later.

Organized chronologically by subject, these twenty-five pieces were carefully chosen to highlight the men and women, vessels, aircraft, battles, and actions that made American naval history.
The Best of Navy Art is a collaborative exhibit produced by the Navy Art Collection and the National Museum of the United States Navy in Washington, D.C. The Naval War College Museum provided new interpretive information to tie some of the paintings to the naval history of Narragansett Bay. The exhibit will be open through May 2, 2014. Click here for more information.



Monday, June 24, 2013

Exhibit Update: New Exhibition highlights "The Best of Navy Art"

On Monday 17 June, the museum opened the new temporary exhibition, The Best of Navy Art. The exhibit features twenty-five original paintings on loan from the Navy Art Collection in Washington D.C. Produced by the National Museum of the United States Navy,  the exhibit originally included forty works while on display at that institution. Naval War College Museum staff selected twenty-five paintings to highlight the people, ships, and events that shaped naval history over the last 237 years. One of the earliest scenes depicted is the famous battle between Bonhomme Richard and HMS Serapis in 1779. Joe's Stuff  by Morgan Ian Wilbur, the most recent painting in the exhibit, portrays a corpsman reading letters from home during the Iraq War.

New York Navy Yard, Unknown Artist
The exhibit spans two galleries and includes a stunning portrait of Commodore John Rodgers painted by Rhode Island native Gilbert Stuart and a famous World War I Navy recruiting painting by James Montgomery Flagg. In addition to highlighting two centuries of naval history during wartime, the paintings also reflect the contributions of the submarine service, naval aviation, and the surface navy. The groundbreaking achievements of naval personnel are also represented by the portraits of Commander Alan Shepard (the first American in space), a World War I Yeomanette (the first female enlisted sailors), and Master Chief Carl Brashear (the first African-American Master Diver in the U.S. Navy).We will highlight many of these paintings on the blog in the coming weeks. Please stop in for a visit to fully experience this outstanding collection.

The Destroyer Man, Walter E. Brightwell
The Naval War College Museum is open Monday - Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m  and Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.(June through September only). The museum is located on the campus of the Naval War College at Naval Station Newport. Please call 401-841-2101/4052, 24 hours in advance to make a reservation for base access. Call by 12 p.m. Friday for weekend reservations.

From July 8 through the month of September, the museum will be closed Mondays due to the federal furlough.

Painting Images courtesy of the Navy Art Collection

Friday, April 26, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Continental Frigate Hancock Ship Model

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

There is just one week left to see the exhibit,  Navies in Miniature: Ship Models from the Naval War College Museum Collection.  It is the perfect time to highlight the centerpiece of the exhibit, the model of the Continental frigate Hancock. The frigate began her service as an American Continental Navy vessel but was later captured by both British and French naval forces during the American Revolution.

Launched in Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1775, Hancock was one of the first thirteen frigates of the Continental Navy. She was named for the President of the Continental Congress John Hancock and commissioned on December 13, 1775. The frigate was active during the War for American Independence, and captured several Royal Navy vessels including the frigate HMS Fox. She was the captured by HMS Rainbow in July 1777 and renamed HMS Iris.

While serving with the squadron blockading the entrance to Narragansett Bay, HMS Iris engaged the French frigate Hermione off the coast of Newport on June 7, 1780. The frigate later took several prizes including the American 28-gun frigate Trumbull. She was captured by the French  during the Yorktown Campaign on September 11, 1781. The frigate was then part of the French naval service, until burned by the British at Toulon in 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars.

The model of the frigate was built by Jim E. and Lynda Plante to a 3/8 inch scale and is approximately 90 inches long and 60 inches high.

Navies in Miniature will close on May 3, 2013.

Gift of Rod Turner                                                             2007.03.01

Friday, March 29, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Photographs of the Women's Uniform Shop, 1966

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

Captain Rita Lenihan and Rear Admiral
Means Johnston Jr.
The Naval War College Museum is honoring Women’s History Month by recognizing the history of women in the Navy.  It is a fitting time to share the recent donation of photographs from the opening of the Women Officers Uniform Shop at Naval Station Newport in 1966.

Women have officially served in the U.S. Navy ever since the Navy Nurse Corps was established in 1908. Over 90,000 female officers and enlisted personnel served as part of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II.  In 1948 the Women's Armed Service Integration Act authorized women to serve in the military during peacetime. In previous blogs we wrote about the local ties of one of the first seven women promoted to captain and the first female master chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy. The donation of these photographs revealed that Newport was the location of another milestone. The first ever Women Officers Uniform Shop in the U.S. Navy was opened at Naval Station Newport on 11 October 1966.

The shop, operated by the Navy Exchange, was set up primarily to serve the needs of trainees at the Officer Candidate School. The 700-square foot facility was located in building 36, adjacent to Toyland. Originally a warehouse, the building was redesigned in a residential style and painted in pastel colors. The building does not exist today, but was in the approximate area of Sims Hall at the Naval War College. The shop served approximately 2,000 personnel a year, including chief petty officers, Navy nurses, nurses of the Public Health Service, and Coast Guard officers. It included racks of uniforms, hats, shoes, dressing rooms, and a tailoring section.

During the opening, Navy Exchange officer Lieutenant Commander Glenn L. Gaddis noted that the shop was, "another demonstration that the Navy takes care of its own." Captain R.P. Nicholson, Commanding Officer of NAVSTA Newport reflected that, "This Uniform Shop cannot help but have a very decided effect upon the personal attitudes and morale of all women Naval personnel." He addressed the ways in which the Navy Resale System responds to the needs of the Navy and noted, "To the extent that we can continue to provide the best possible service to all components who form our loyal and devoted members, we can promise you, "'it will be done.'" Captain Rita Lenihan, Bureau of Naval Personnel Assistant Chief for Women, attended the ceremonies and later wrote that the shop created great interest among the officers, many of whom were frustrated with delays in the construction of WAVES barracks.

The Women Officers Uniform Shop has since been replaced by the Uniform and Tailor Shop to service both men and women.

Gift of Captain Glenn L. Gaddis, USN (ret.)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Yeomanette Uniform, c. 1918

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

In honor of Women’s History Month, the museum  recently installed a World War I era Second Class Yeoman (F) uniform in the Naval Training Station Gallery. As the United States entered the war, every able bodied man was needed to fight, but many held non-combat support positions. The Naval Act of 1916 called for all citizens, to join the Naval Reserve Forces, and opened the door for women to join the Navy.

The broad language of the act was interpreted to allow the Navy to enlist women as Yeoman (F), nicknamed “Yeomanettes,” in the Naval Reserve Force, Fourth Class: the Naval Coast Defense Reserve. The “Yeomanettes” served as clerks, cryptographers, radio operators, truck drivers, electricians, camouflage designers, telephone operators and munitions makers.  They allowed men in these positions to be free to go to war.  A total of 11,275 women were enlisted by war’s end.

Newport hosted a large concentration of the new female recruits. Several hundred served in Newport at the Supply Office, Second Naval District. Even greater numbers trained at the Yeoman School on base prior to their wartime assignments.  Since Founders Hall, the current home of the museum, funcitoned as the base administration headquarters during the war, many Yeomanettes served within its walls. The World War I era Second Class Yeoman (F) uniform on display includes the single-breasted blue service coat, skirt, and straight-brimmed sailor hat. This uniform also would have included black shoes, stockings, a white shirt waist, and a cape for cold weather. The women who served were awarded the Victory Medal for their contribution to the American war effort. 

Visitors can see the “Yeomanette” uniform on exhibit and learn more about the role of these women in the naval history of Narragansett Bay.

The uniform is on loan from the Naval History and Heritage Command

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Busts of Agrippa and Themistocles: Classical Studies at the Naval War College

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

Captain W.L. Rodgers
Classical studies have always been an important part of the curriculum at the Naval War College.  Historical case studies, such as the Peloponnesian War, encourage students to think more broadly about their profession by concentrating on strategic principles. Former president Captain William Ledyard Rodgers (1860-1944), who graduated with the class of 1895 and served on the staff in the early 1900s, was a student of the classics and wrote several books on the military history of the ancient world. In 1936, Rodgers donated marble busts of the Roman general Agrippa and the Athenian general Themistocles to the Naval War College in hopes that they would remind students of the importance of the Classics in the study of naval warfare. 

As President of the Naval War College from 1911-1913, Captain William L. Rodgers was instrumental in shaping the curriculum. In The Field of Work to be Filled by a Naval War College he outlined the three goals of the college: to prepare officers for leadership and command in wartime, to develop the art and science of naval war by study and research, and to aid the General Board in war planning. The second objective in particular highlights the importance of studying works such as Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War (still required reading today), and the lessons of Themistocles and Agrippa's victories. In his 1936 letter donating the busts, Rodgers wrote, “I fear their great deeds and their places in the history of naval warfare is little known to most…The variety of fields of action of both put them above all modern admirals that I know of, who were good at their own profession only. These were great in all that they attempted.”   At the time, Rodgers was writing,  Greek and Roman Naval Warfare: A Study of Strategy, Tactics and Ship Design from Salamis (480 B.C.) to Actium and the two generals left quite an impression.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Medals of Lt. William C. Roy, 1946

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

W. Roy's Silver Star
Yesterday was the anniversary of the loss of the submarine USS Grayback (SS-208). Launched in 1941, Grayback was very successful in combat and even rescued six survivors from a crashed B-26 on an island in Munda Bay. The submarine sailed from Pearl Harbor for her tenth and final patrol on 28 January 1944 bound for the East China Sea. Ordered home on 25 February she was expected to arrive at Midway on 7 March but never reached her destination. On 27 February, a direct hit from a Japanese plane sunk the submarine and nearby vessels dropped depth charges on the location.  USS Grayback received eight battle stars and two Navy Unit Commendations. She sunk fourteen vessels and 63,835 tons of shipping.  The museum collection holds the medals of the submarine's first lieutenant William Charles Roy.

W. Roy's Purple Heart
Lieutenant Roy was born on 15 December 1919 in Allen, Indiana. At the time of his death he was residing in Berkley, California with his wife.  For his service to the United States Roy received an American Defense Medal, World War II Victory Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Award, Submarine Combat Insignia, a Silver Star, and a Purple Heart.

The Silver Star is the third highest award for valor in the United States Armed forces.   The citation for the medal states “Lieutenant Roy’s courageous conduct and steadfast devotion to duty under extremely perilous conditions were an inspiration to the officers and men with whom he served and in keeping with the highest tradition of the United States Naval Service.”

The President of the United States awards the Purple Heart to those wounded or killed in service. Preceded by the Badge of Military Merit established by George Washington in 1782, the medal was revived in 1932 as the Purple Heart award. The Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia is a pin worn by members of the Navy Submarine Service who have completed successful war patrols. Lieutenant Roy’s pin has three gold stars for three successful war patrols.

Submarine Combat Patrol Insignia

Gifts of Judy Roy                                                                                    2011.22

Friday, February 22, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: USF Constellation Model, 1985

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

The United States Frigate Constellation, launched in Baltimore on 7 September 1797, was one of the first six frigates constructed by the United States Navy. Constellation was designed by Joshua Humphreys, Josiah Fox, and William Doughty in 1795 and built by David Stodder the following year.  The frigate was the first U.S. Navy ship to win a battle. During the Quasi-War with France, the ship, under the command of Thomas Truxton, captured the French frigate L’ Insurgente.

Constellation has had an interesting and confusing history since its launch in 1797. In 1853 the frigate was broken up at the Gosport Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. Decades later there was a controversy over the sloop of war named Constellation whose keel was laid the same year the frigate was broken up. Many believed the original frigate was rebuilt as the sloop. After a century of service in the U.S. Navy, the sloop of war was saved and brought into Baltimore Harbor for preservation as a historic ship. She was soon chosen to be the focal point of the city's new Inner Harbor in 1955. This controversy fascinated the designer of the Inner Harbor, Thomas Todd, who researched and built this model in 1985.
Stern Detail

The scale of the model is one-quarter centimeters to one inch. Todd had many challenges building this model because of the controversy and because much of the information on the frigate's design was not recorded. Todd chose to use the design from Howard I. Chapelle’s American Sailing Navy and studied a 1797 article from the Baltimore Gazette which described the ship and the carvings by William Rush. Even with these resources, information was still needed. For example, the color of the ship and the figurehead ornaments were not known. Todd used the resources mentioned above and his knowledge of  late eighteenth century ship building practices to portray these pieces. He used white pine and bass wood for the hull, planking, and decks. The carvings, ornaments, and figures are box wood. Birch dowels were used for masts and spars, linen for rigging, bass wood for the boats, and   box wood for the anchors.

The model is currently part of an exhibit at the Naval War College Museum. This exhibit, Navies in Miniature: Ship Models from the Naval War College Museum Collection, will be open until 3 May 2013. The exhibit showcases many models, including war gaming models by Fletcher Pratt and a model of the Continental frigate Hancock by Jim E. Plante, among others.  

Gift of Thomas Todd                                                                                                        2008.08.01

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Army Distinguished Service Medal, c.1943

---Kiersten Tibbetts, Curatorial Intern

Admiral Henry Kent Hewitt (1887-1972) was highly decorated during his service with the United States Navy. His various honors included two Navy Crosses, two Navy Distinguished Service Medals, and various foreign decorations, including Great Britain's Order of the Bath.  In addition to these honors, Admiral Hewitt was one of a select group of naval officers to receive the Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Admiral Hewitt's naval career began in 1907 with the Great White Fleet’s cruise around the world and ended with his retirement in 1949. He achieved international recognition for his role in the Allied victory of World War II. As Commander, Amphibious Force Atlantic Fleet, Admiral Hewitt established Army troops ashore at North Africa during Operation TORCH.  This operation led to the surrender of the Axis Powers in French North Africa, thereby securing the Mediterranean Sea for future operations by the Allied Powers.  Hewitt then served as Commander of the Eighth Fleet and led amphibious forces during the invasion of Sicily and the landings at Salerno in 1943. While still in command the following year, he played an integral part in Operation DRAGOON, the landing of the Seventh Army for the invasion of Southern France. This operation forced the German Army to abandon that region.

Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson presents VADM Hewitt
with the Army DSM on January 6, 1943. Admiral Ernest J.
King (center) and General George C. Marshall are in
attendance. NWC Naval Historical Collection
Admiral Hewitt was awarded two Army Distinguished Service medals for his vital roles in Operation TORCH and Operation DRAGOON. The Army Distinguished Service Medal is awarded to any member of the United States Army who showed "exceptionally meritorious service to the Government in a duty of great responsibility.” Out of a total 1,458 Army Distinguished Service medals awarded during World War II, Admiral Hewitt was one of only thirty recipients from the U.S. Navy. The medal, authorized by Presidential Order on January 2, 1918, can be awarded to other service members, but only in wartime and under exceptional circumstances. The bronze medallion bears the Coat of Arms of the United States and hangs from a red, white, and blue ribbon.  This was a great honor and demonstrated the vital role Admiral Hewitt played in several large Army operations during the war. The first award was presented by Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson in January 1943. In lieu of a second medal, a bronze oak leaf cluster was given.

Admiral Hewitt’s awards and decorations, including this medal, are on display in the museum's Naval War College exhibit. Hewitt had a long and close relationship with the college. He lectured on naval gunnery in 1924 and 1925 and after graduating with the senior class of 1929, taught as a member of the Department of Operations, Strategy, and Tactics. He addressed the college on Operation TORCH in 1945. From 1946 to 1947, he served on special assignment and lectured on his wartime experiences. His contributions were honored when the college named the library and classroom building in his honor in 1976.

Gift of Mrs. Floride Hunt Hewitt                                                                                          73.01.03

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Aztec Club Medal, c. 1880

Reverse of Medal
(ribbon was secured backwards)
The Aztec Club was founded on October 13, 1847 by the officers of the United States Army fighting in the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848). The purpose of the club was to remember the service and traditions of the officers who served in Mexico.  At first, membership in the society included only the original 160 members from 1847. After the Civil War, the club, now called "the Aztec Club of 1847,"extended membership to officers in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps who served in Mexico, the descendants of those killed before it was formed, and the descendants of those deceased officers who were eligible for membership while living. 

Members included U.S. Presidents Franklin Pearce and Ulysses S. Grant, and Civil War generals George B. McClellan, Robert E. Lee, and William Tecumseh Sherman. Naval War College founder Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce became a member in 1894. While planning a display of the insignia of various veterans' organizations, we stumbled on this treasure in the museum collection.

Obverse of Medal
Those admitted were entitled to wear the insignia of the club: a medal in the form of a Maltese cross. The medal's obverse featured an enameled image of an eagle fighting a serpent surrounded by the words "CITY OF MEXICO/ARMY OF OCCUPATION." The reverse side bore an enameled image of an eagle perched above a shield with the words "AZTEC CLUB/U.S. ARMY 1847." The ribbon, a modern replacement secured backwards, has two blue stripes flanking a broad green stripe with white edges.  The medals, first made by the firm of Bailey, Banks and Biddle of Philadelphia, were issued in 1869.

This particular medal is attributed to Silas Casey (1807-1882) who was admitted in 1880 as the 172nd member. A native of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, Casey graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1826 and served as an officer in the United States Army for over forty years. He served with distinction as a captain in the 2nd Infantry and was wounded at the Battle of Chapultepec. During the Civil War he led a division at the Battle of Seven Pines and wrote a widely-used manual of infantry tactics published in 1862. Another treatise, Infantry Tactics for Colored Troops, was published the following year. A colonel in the Regular Army, he received a brevet promotion to major general in 1865 and retired three years later. After his death in 1882, the old officer was buried on his family farm in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. His son Silas Casey III (1841-1913), also a veteran of the Civil War, rose to the rank of rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.

Gift of Captain F.W. Pennoyer, USN (Ret.)                                                                              78.10.03

Monday, January 21, 2013

Education Update: 8 Bells Lecture on Middletown History

Dr. Christine Haverington /U.S. Navy Photo
The museum's most recent 8 Bells Lecture focused on the history of Middletown, the town north of Newport in Rhode Island.   Dr. Christine Haverington, presented an overview of her book Middletown, a very informative piece about the “middle town on Aquidneck Island," published this year as part of the Images of America series. Prior to 1743, Middletown was the northern portion of Newport, a town founded in 1639 that joined the English Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in 1663.

Dr. Haverington, a recent transplant to the Narragansett Bay region, offered fresh eyes to this project and was able to create a wonderful pictorial overview of Middletown. The tone of the book follows the philosophy of Images of America which chronicles the history of towns across the country through the eyes of its inhabitants.   She discussed the  families that opened old photo albums to tell their histories, the various historical societies that opened their files, and the military archives - all resources that she was able to mine and stitch together to inform the research for the book. 

Since the book essentially tells the story up to the 1950s, Dr. Haverington hopes to write a larger work that is more encompassing.  As can be imagined, there was a lively discussion following the presentation. Many in the audience added their own stories and provided more fodder for the next effort.

Upcoming lectures in the 8 Bells Series include Dr. David Skaggs presenting Oliver Hazard Perry: Honor, Courage, and Patriotism in the Early U.S. Navy on February 14, followed on March 14 by Terri Arthur presenting her book Fatal Decision: The Story of Edith Cavell.  For more information, please contact the Naval War College Museum at 841-2101/4052. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Artifact Spotlight: Duc de Bourgogne Ship Model, 2012

The museum recently commissioned and acquired a stunning scratch-built model of the 80-gun French ship of the line, Duc de Bourgogne. The model is now on display in the museum's current temporary exhibit Navies in Miniature: Ship Models from the Naval War College Museum Collection.  Important for it's role in supporting the cause of American independence, this detailed replica will eventually be integrated into the Early Naval History of Narragansett Bay exhibit's Revolutionary War section located on the first floor.

The 1/8": 1' scale model was completed in 2012 by model builder Richard S. Glanville at the American Marine Model Gallery in Gloucester, Massachusetts.  The builder used original eighteenth century plans of the vessel from Danish archives to construct the model. The detail to the rigging, weather deck, and ornamental decorations, as well as the materials used in the construction (the hull is actually sheathed in miniature copper sheathing plates) are all examples of the standard of excellence set forth by the Ship Model Classification Guidelines. The guidelines were written in 1980 by R. Michael Wall, the director of the American Marine Model Gallery. Wall consulted with the model builders, the staff at Mystic Seaport, the Smithsonian Institute, and the Mariners Museum to encourage excellence and quality craftsmanship in model building. 
Why a model of a French ship?  Duc de Bourgogne, was the flagship of the squadron that brought the Comte de Rochambeau and his French troops to America to fight for American independence in July 1780.  She was based in Newport, Rhode Island for more than a year, from her first arrival on 11 July 1780 until her departure  for Chesapeake Bay on 23 August 1781 to support the Yorktown campaign. 
On 29 August, 1780, while anchored off Rose Island in Newport Harbor, a delegation of 18 Native Americans from upstate New York paid their respects to the French naval commanders.   On 6 March 1781, General George Washington boarded the ship to meet with all of the senior French military and naval commanders. The event marked one of the very few occasions that Washington is known to have visited a warship.

Laid down in 1751 and launched in 1752, Duc de Bourgogne first served during the Seven Years War.  Refitted in 1761 and coppered in 1779, she took part in the battle of the Saints between 9 and 12 April1782, when a British fleet under Admiral Sir George Rodney prevented a Franco-Spanish invasion of Jamaica. During that battle, Duc de Bourgogne collided with the similarly named 74-gun ship La Bourgogne.  During the French revolution, she was renamed Peuple in 1792, then Cato in 1794, before being destroyed in 1800.

The model was commissioned with generous funding
 from the Alletta Morris McBean Charitable Trust
to the Naval War College Foundation.                                                                                                              2012.18.01
Images courtesy of the American Marine Model Gallery, Inc.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Ship Model Exhibit Opens at the Museum

Stern detail of USF Constellation. Model built by Thomas Todd

Waterline models
built by Ted Carter
The Naval War College Museum is pleased to announce the opening of Navies in Miniature: Ship Models from the Naval War College Museum Collection, a new exhibit showcasing over one hundred models collected by the museum over the last sixty years. The exhibit includes models previously displayed in permanent exhibitions such as a brass model of HMS Holland, one of  earliest torpedo-firing submarines, and the United States Frigate Constellation (1797), one of the first six frigates built by the U.S. Navy. Never-before publicly exhibited models representing the world’s navies include miniature balsa wood ships carved by Fletcher Pratt for his famous war games and an exquisite scratch-built model of Duc de Bourgogne, the French ship of the line visited by General George Washington and Comte de Rochambeau in Newport during the American Revolution.
Continental Frigate Hancock
by Jim E. Plante
Though late nineteenth century vessels such as the protected cruiser USS Chicago and armored cruiser USS Maine are included, the all-sail men of war are the stars of the show. Accordingly, an 8-foot long model of the Continental Frigate Hancock built by Jim E. Plante is the centerpiece of the exhibit. The captain's cabin and gun deck of this model are lit from the inside! A rare early nineteenth century bone ship model of HMS Confiance is also on display.
We will feature at least one model from Navies in Miniature on the blog for the next four months, but the best way to experience the fine craftsmanship and detail of these models is to visit! The museum, located on the campus of the Naval War College, Naval Station Newport, is free and open to the public. Call 401-842-2101/4052 to make a reservation.

The exhibit is open from January 2 to May 3, 2013

For more information, please visit:

Hancock Image: U.S. Navy Photo/Joseph Quinn Jr.
Other Images: U.S. Navy Photo/Kelly Forst