Ditty Bag: Japanese Navy Minister Flag

Ditty Bag: Collections of the Naval Historical Foundation An Artifact and Collections Blog Series Imperial Japanese Navy Minister Flag The Meiji Restoration saw an end to the Tokugawa shogunate rule of the Edo period in favor of imperial rule in Japan. The implementation of new political structures drastically changed the methods of military decisions and

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Norman’s Corner: Edward Teller and the A-Bomb

By Norman Polmar (Editor’s note: This is the eleventh in a series of blogs by Norman Polmar, author, analyst, and consultant specializing in the naval, aviation, and intelligence fields. Follow the full series here.) I had the privilege of meeting Dr. Edward Teller, the “father” of the hydrogen bomb. Teller believed strongly that the United

Midway Dinner 2013

NHF Co-Sponsors Successful Battle of Midway Dinner

  Last night, the 71st Annual Battle of Midway Commemorative Dinner was held at the Army-Navy Country Club in Arlington, VA. Looking back from a vantage point of 71 years, Midway is viewed as one of the more significant actions in world history – more significant than simply a strategic victory as part of a

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BOOK REVIEW – Black Hell: The Story of the 133rd Navy Seabees at Iwo Jima

By Kenneth E. Bingham., Seabee Book (2011). Reviewed by Charles H. Bogart This book is, in reality, three books in one, with the book divided into thirds. The first third of the book gives background information on Iwo Jima, the formation of the Seabees and, in particular, the activation and training of the 133rd Naval

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BOOK REVIEW – Refighting the Pacific War: An Alternative History of World War II

Edited by Jim Bresnahan, Naval Institute Press, 2011. Reviewed by Rear Admiral Ed Keats, USN (Ret) Counter factional histories have been popular with chimerical writers over many years. I can recall from high school days being fascinated with a book based on the author’s imagination of an early ending to the Civil War right after

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BOOK REVIEW – A Plain Sailorman in China: The Life and Times of Cdr. I. V. Gillis, USN, 1875-1948

By Bruce Swanson with Vance H. Morrison, Don H. McDowell, and Nancy N. Tomasko, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD. (2012) Reviewed by Diana L. Ahmad, Ph.D. A Plain Sailorman in China by Bruce Swanson discussed the life of I. V. Gillis, part of a multigenerational Navy family, who became the first United States naval attaché

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BOOK REVIEW – Pacific Crucible: War at Sea in the Pacific, 1941-1942

By Ian W. Toll, W.W. Norton Company, New York, London, (2011). Reviewed by Rear Adm. Richard Gentz, USN (Ret.) Do not expect an objective review to follow! I was an immediate fan of Ian Toll when I found his first book Six Frigates in a gift shop on the Newport, Rhode Island waterfront. The continued

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BOOK REVIEW – Kamikaze: Japanese Special Attack Weapons 1944-45

By Steven J. Zaloga, Osprey Publishing, Oxford, UK, (2011) Reviewed by Rear Admiral Ed Keats, U.S. Navy (Retired) In 1944, the Japanese high command realized they had been defeated in the war against the United States. Their efforts then concentrated on procuring the best post-war terms they could gain. They believed the optimum way was

A New Independent Film Project: The Battle off Samar

We recently learned about a new film project being developed about the Battle off Samar. An independent group of filmmakers is working on a virtual recreation of this pivotal American victory in the Pacific during World War II – one of the great “upsets” in naval history. This ambitious project is currently in the research

Rare Pearl Harbor Attack Footage

Iconic images of U.S. Navy warships under attack and on fire at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941 are seared into the collective American memory. Yet the total amount of moving picture footage of the surprise Japanese attack in Hawaii is limited, with the same shots often repeated over and over again. Rare footage shot

Slade Cutter: A Letter Home from Pearl Harbor

Slade Cutter (1911–2005) was a career U.S. naval officer and a legendary submariner. He gained early notoriety as an All-American football player at the Naval Academy, and was later named to the College Football Hall of Fame. As commanding officer of USS Seahorse (SS 304) he tied for the second most Japanese ship kills of

USS Houston Survivors Dedicate New Model Case

On Thursday 17 November the National Museum of the United States Navy hosted a remarkable event to honor those who were lost and those who survived the sinking of USS Houston (CA 30) on 1 March 1942 off Java.  Over the past 17 months, the Curator of Ship Models with Navy Sea Systens Command, Dana