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Only the best officers are given command of U.S. Navy ships, and only the elite of these are selected for aircraft carriers. The USS America was the third of four Kitty Hawk-class super-carriers. Commissioned in 1965, decommissioned in 1996, she served three times in Vietnam, and once each in Libya, the Persian Gulf and Bosnia. This book profiles the 23 men who commanded the America and her crew of 5,000 during 31 years. Most of them were combat veterans-World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Mayaguez Rescue Operations, Lebanon, Haiti, Libya, Bosnia, and Desert Storm. Four were Naval Academy graduates; seven were test pilots; one became Inspector General of the Navy; one wore both Navy wings and submariner dolphins; and one was a prisoner of war in Vietnam for nearly six years. Two retired as admirals-one was Chief of Naval Operations-five as vice admirals, and 11 as rear admirals. Each profile gives a career account based on official biographies, published memoirs, and interviews with the commanders or their families.
14-hour battle that won medals and cost lives The 1975 American operation to recapture the US container ship SS Mayaquez and her crew is unfamiliar to most Americans. A force comprised of approximately 200 Marines, most of whom were fresh out of boot camp, was tasked with the rescue. They were briefed to expect minimal resistance from some 20 to 30 lightly armed fishermen militia but what they found was between 400 and 600 Khmer Rouge combat veterans with heavy weapons in entrenched and fortified positions. Plagued by incomplete and inaccurate intelligence and hindered by a micro-managed command and control structure that extended all the way to the Oval Office, the Marines held out for 14 hours against a vastly superior and more experienced enemy in a fight they dare not lose. Getting on the island was remarkable, getting off the island was a miracle and as a result of that 14-hour battle, four Air Crosses and a Navy Cross were awarded, 41 US servicemen lost their lives, three Marines were left behind and America regained a small bit of luster to a reputation tarnished by its withdrawal from Cambodia and Vietnam. In addition to a comprehensive narrative of the planning and the battle itself, the book contains over 30 first-person accounts by Koh Tang veterans and unpublished photographs taken by veterans while engaged with the enemy. The appendices include verbatim minutes of NSC discussions and decisions regarding the strategy and tactics to be carried out by local commanders, U.S. Marine Corps Post Action and Investigative reports and the latest information on what happened to those three Marines left behind.
The Cold War was only cold in that the major powers, the U.S. and the Soviet Union, did not engage in a nuclear war. But during that period (1945-1991) there were wars, spying, shoot downs of numerous reconnaissance aircraft, captures of U.S. military personnel, murders, defections, a space race with men put in orbit and an eventual moon landing. Dangerous Games: Faces, Incidents and Casualties of the Cold War is a return to that era. This book contains many unknown and long-since forgotten stories of that period. Some of the Cold War incidents covered include: the Marines in China; the first Cold War downing of an American Aircraft in the Baltic Sea; death on the Orient Express (the murder of a U.S. Naval Attache Officer); the Soviet spy Betty Bentley who triggered an earthquake in American politics; No Kum-Sok, the North Korean pilot who defected to South Korea delivering the first MIG Fighter to the West; CIA Officers Downey& Feacteau who spent 20 years in a Chinese prison; the mysterious death of British Frogman Buster Crabb; Yuri Gagarin, first man in Space and the USS Forrestal Fire. With the resurgence of Russia, and its aggressive handling of the Georgian situation, Eastern European countries have become increasingly alarmed that Russia is attempting to recreate a sphere of influence over satellite states of the former Soviet Union. Considering that we may be facing a second Cold War, this book is a timely reminder of some notable incidents from the intense political period following the end of the Second World War. About the Author JAMES E. WISE Jr., a former naval aviator, intelligence officer, and Vietnam veteran, retired from the U.S. Navy as a captain. SCOTT BARON, is a U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War.
The Silver Star is awarded for gallantry in action against an enemy of the United States not justifying a higher award. It may be awarded to any person who, while serving in any capacity with the U.S Armed Forces, distinguishes himself or herself by extraordinary heroism involving one of the following actions: In action against an enemy of the United States: While engaged in military operations involving conflict with an opposing foreign force While serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in an armed conflict against an opposing armed force in which the United States is not a belligerent party The Silver Star differs from the Distinguished Service Cross, Navy Cross or Air Force Cross, in that it requires a lesser degree of gallantry and need not be earned while in a position of great responsibility. Soldiers who received a citation for gallantry in action during World War I were eligible to apply to have the citation converted to the Silver Star Medal. The authors have compiled this stirring collection of profiles in courage to honour the Sailors and Marines awarded the Silver Star by the U.S. Navy while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. It documents the extraordinary, award-winning actions of young American men in the war against global terrorism. A companion volume to The Navy Cross (Naval Institute Press, 2007), this book also includes selected profiles of Silver Star recipients from previous wars whose stories stand out as the best among an elite group. It is the first book to recognize and preserve for future generations the selfless dedication shown by Silver Star medalists in their fight for freedom.
On 4 June 1944 the German submarine U-505 became the first man-of-war captured by the US Navy in battle on the high seas since the War of 1812. Attacked by the American hunter-killer force Task Group 22.3 off the coast of West Africa, the 750-ton U-boat was forced to the surface, boarded by American sailors and secretly towed to Bermuda. Renamed USS Nemo, it made a war bond subscription tour before docking to await scrapping. The book offers a vivid description of these events and continues the story by explaining how U-505 became a major attraction at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Author Jim Wise tells of the efforts of Dan Gallery, the commander of Task Group 22.3, to convince the Navy to transfer U-505's ownership to the museum in his native Chicago. Wise chronicles the boat's arduous journey down the St Lawrence River and across three Great Lakes to the shores of Lake Michigan for restoration. He then offers a memorable description of the staggering engineering feat that moved the boat overland to an outdoor exhibit area at the museum, where it was opened to the public in 1954. By the turn of the century, museum executives determined that nearly fifty years of exposure to the elements and more than 24 million visitors had taken their toll. They raised millions of dollars to restore the U-boat and build an indoor site four stories below ground that the author calls an architectural wonder. In addition to the fully restored boat, there is an exhibit area filled with artefacts and interactive stations to give visitors a taste of what it was like for the crewmen in battle. Some two hundred photographs of the U-boat and exhibit are included in the book. James E. Wise Jr., a former naval aviator and intelligence specialist, is the co-author of many books published by the Naval Institute, including Soldiers Lost at Sea, Stars in Blue, and Shooting the War.
Heroism, tragedy, devotion to duty, and scandal are just a few of the ingredients that make up this dramatic first-time account of troopship losses in wartime. International in scope, it offers a compilation of stories about historic troopship disasters caused by torpedoes, aerial attacks, mines, surface fire, foul weather, friendly fire, and poor planning by military decision makers. Some are well known, like the explosion of the steamship Sultana on the Mississippi while transporting 2,000 Union soldiers home from Confederate prisons. Others, like the June 1945 sinking of the Japanese cruiser Ashigara by a British submarine that resulted in the loss of 800 Japanese soldiers, are little known. An extraordinary few far surpass the authors' criteria for selection of disasters with high troop loss and the involvement of heroic acts. Among the most memorable is the 1851 sinking of the British frigate Birkenhead with some 600 soldiers and their wives and children aboard. Lacking sufficient lifeboats, the men stood steady in their ranks on deck as the ship went down. Board of Inquiry hearings, action reports, survivor debriefings, and personal correspondence collected from archives in Germany, Italy, Russia, Australia, Britain, and the United States tell the story of some fifty vessels that went down. Many of these disasters, the authors explain, were kept secret for decades. An introductory chapter provides an overview of troop losses at sea beginning with the age of galley warfare, but the majority of the book focuses on losses of World War II Allied and Axis ships followed by incidents from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. James E. Wise Jr., a former naval aviator and intelligence specialist, is the coauthor of many books published by the Naval Institute Press, including Shooting the War and International Stars at War (see pages 12 and 24), which was also written with Scott Baron. Baron is the author of a collection of biographies of uncommon Americans.
Henry Fonda, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, and Ernest Borgnine are among many stars who have portrayed naval personnel on film - but do their fans know that Fonda won a Bronze Star for his actions during Pacific naval encounters, that Bogart dropped a fleeing prisoner with his .45, that Montgomery was awarded a Bronze Star for his courageous performance of duty during the Normandy invasion, or that Borgnine hunted U-boats off America's East Coast? A virtual who's who, this entertaining and historically accurate work brings to life these and dozens of other stars' naval and coast guard service backgrounds and film careers. It is drawn from interviews with the actors, diaries, letters, and official military and film industry archives. Here you'll find out how John Howard won a Navy Cross, how Navy Hellcat ace Wayne Morris downed seven Japanese planes, how UDT frogman Aldo Ray reconned the Okinawa landing beaches, how Eddie Albert saved more than a dozen wounded marines on the bloody reefs of Tarawa, and how Hedy Lamarr patented World War II communications antijamming technology still in use today. Rarely have movie stars' real lives been portrayed in such detail, including interesting anecdotes from their Hollywood careers and never-before-published photographs from their military careers, including Paul Newman as a Navy radioman/gunner who flew in torpedo bombers during World War II.