Friday, July 7, 2017

Fw: TheList 4495

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The List 4495


To All,
I hope that you all have a great weekend.
Regards,
Skip
 
This Day In Naval History - July 7
1798 - Congress rescinds treaties with France; Quasi War begins with Frigate Delaware capturing French privateer, Croyable.
1846 - Commodore John D. Sloat lands at Monterey and claims California for U.S.
1916 - Thomas A. Edison becomes head of Naval Consulting Board which screens inventions for use by the Navy
1948 - First six enlisted women sworn into Regular Navy. The Navy WAVES in Naval Reserve, who were the first to transfer to the Regular Navy, were Kay Louise Langdon, Aviation Storekeeper First Class; Wilma Juanita Marchal, Chief Yeoman; Frances Teresa Dovaney, Storekeeper, Second Class; Edna Earle Young, Yeoman, Second Class; Doris Roberta Robertson, Teleman, Second Class; and Ruth Flora, Hospital Corpsman, First Class.
1930
 
This Day In Naval History - July 8
1778: The Allied French fleet under Adm. Comte d'Estaing arrives in America with reinforcements for the American Revolution and participates in the Battle of Rhode Island and at the Siege of Savannah.
 
1853 - Commodore Matthew C. Perry sails his squadron into Tokyo Bay.
1879 - USS Jeannette departs San Francisco to explore Arctic.
1944 - Naval bombardment of Guam begins.
1979 - USS Emory S. Land (AS 39) is commissioned at her homeport of Norfolk, Va. The submarine tender is named after Adm. Emory S. Land, an officer noted for his designs of submarines.
 
This Day In Naval History - July 9
1846 - Sailors and Marines from USS Portsmouth occupy and raise flag over San Francisco.
1918 - Henry Ford launches first of 100 Eagle boats.
1944 - Organized Japanese resistence ceases on Saipan, Marianas.
1960 - USS Wasp departs Guantanamo Bay to support United Nations effort to calm the newly independent Congo.
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1742
A Spanish force invading Georgia runs headlong into the colony's British defenders. The battle decides the fate of a colony.
1777
American troops give up Fort Ticonderoga, on Lake Champlain, to the British.
1791
Benjamin Rush, Richard Allen and Absalom Jones found the Non-denominational African Church.
1795
Thomas Paine defends the principal of universal suffrage at the Constitutional Convention in Paris.
1798
Napoleon Bonaparte's army begins its march towards Cairo from Alexandria.
1807
Czar Alexander meets with Napoleon Bonaparte.
1814
Sir Walter Scott's novel Waverley is published anonymously so as not to damage his reputation as a poet.
1815
After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, the victorious Allies march into Paris.
1853
Japan opens its ports to trade with the West after 250 years of isolation.
1863
Confederate General Robert E. Lee, in Hagerstown, Maryland, reports his defeat at Gettysburg to President Jefferson Davis.
1925
Afrikaans is recognized as one of the official languages of South Africa, along with English and Dutch.
1927
Christopher Stone becomes the first British 'disc jockey' when he plays records for the BBC.
1941
Although a neutral country, the United States sends troops to occupy Iceland to keep it out of Germany's hands.
1943
Adolf Hitler makes the V-2 missile program a top priority in armament planning.
1966
The U.S. Marine Corps launches Operation Hasting to drive the North Vietnamese Army back across the Demilitarized Zone in Vietnam.
1969
The first U.S. units to withdraw from South Vietnam leave Saigon.
1981
Sandra Day O'Connor becomes the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
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Thanks to Mike
Nuclear Near Thing
Scary Story! Bomb Tech's Nightmare...
 
 
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Thanks to Outlaw and Sam
Some very interesting historical info here, Skip.  
 

From: Cox, Samuel J SES NHHC, DNS-H

Subject: H-gram 008R Jun 17
From: Director of Naval History
To:  Senior Retired Navy Leadership
Subj: H-gram 008

100th Anniversary of WW I.
- On 25 Jun 1917, the Assistant Chief of Naval Operations dropped dead from exhaustion.  The pace and intensity of operations, and the accomplishments of the U.S. Navy in the first three months of the war, were truly astonishing, especially given the lack of pre-war planning.  Within two months, the U.S. Navy had deployed over 30 destroyers to European waters, aided by the U.S. invention of underway refueling, which were immediately and effectively integrated into the new British convoy system.  The decision to send destroyers overseas was controversial, given the surprise visits of a German merchant U-Boat (Deutschland) to Baltimore and a combat U-boat (U-53) to Newport in 1916 and U-53's subsequent sinking of five merchant ships just outside U.S. territorial waters after leaving Newport, as U.S. destroyers were powerless to intervene due to U.S. neutrality at the time.  Of great significance, the first U.S. convoy escorted by U.S. warships left New York City on 14 Jun and arrived safely at St. Nazaire, France with no loss due to U-boats on 26 Jun, carrying 14,000 troops (including 2,700 U.S. Marines) of the American Expeditionary Force.  The arrival of U.S. troops in France so soon was a profound shock to the German High Command, who did not believe that many could be transported so quickly, and a severe embarrassment to the German Navy, who had assured the Kaiser that U-boats would prevent just such an occurrence.  Although the vast majority of U.S. troops did not in fact arrive until a year later in 1918, the early and safe arrival of initial elements of the AEF was a huge boost to British and French morale and resolve, that contributed (along with war material safely transported by sea) to their ability to withstand the great German offensive in the Spring of 1918.  For more about the U.S. Navy in the first months of the World War I, please see Attachment H-008-1. (Attachment H-0082 is a famous painting from WW I in the U.S. Navy art collection showing the U.S. destroyer USS Allen (DD-66) escorting the troopship USS Leviathan (formerly the German liner and auxiliary cruiser Vaterland) transporting some of the 2 million U.S. troops that reached France safely thanks to the U.S. Navy.)
H-008-1
S.J. Cox
26 Jun 17
WWI 100th Anniversary
    So you think your OPNAV tour was tough?  On 25 Jun 1917, Captain William V. Pratt (future CNO 1930-1933) assumed the duties of Assistant Chief of Naval Operations after the untimely death of Captain Volney Chase due to exhaustion.  The pace of operations and the accomplishments of the U.S. Navy in the opening months of the war were profound, particularly considering much contingency planning had been forbidden by the Wilson Administration in the lead up to the war so as not to compromise U.S. neutrality.
    On 26 Jun 1917 the first convoy transporting troops of the American Expeditionary Force (14,000 total, including 2,700 Marines,) escorted by the U.S. Navy, began arriving in St. Nazaire, France only two and a half months after the U.S. declared war on Germany.  Taken for granted today, the transport of that many troops in so short a time was an astonishing feat in 1917 and shocked the German high command, who had assured the Kaiser that even if the resumption of unrestricted submarine warfare caused the U.S. to enter the war on the side of the Allies, there was no way that the United States could get the U.S. Army (then about 17th largest in the world) through the submarine blockade to Europe before the spring of 1918.  With Czarist Russia knocked out of the war in the spring of 1917, the German plan was to shift hundreds of thousands of troops from the Russian Front to the Western Front and deal a knock-out blow to the French and British before the U.S. could get into the fight.  Actually, the German high command was almost right; the vast majority of American troops didn't begin to arrive in Europe until after the great German offensive in the spring of 1918 had already reached its culminating point.  However the arrival of U.S. troops in June 1917, provided a huge boost to Allied morale and resolve, and the subsequent arrival of vast quantities of war material protected by the U.S. Navy had significant impact on the Allies' ability to hold out until the arrival of 2 million American troops in 1918, which turned the tide and caused the Germans to sue for an armistice.
U-boats Visit the U.S.
     In a previous H-gram, I described how the first U.S. destroyers arrived at Queenstown, Ireland on 4 May 1917, the first U.S. combat forces to reach the European theater, and that the decision to send the destroyers was very controversial within senior leadership of the U.S. Navy.  Primary concerns included the fear that sending destroyers to Europe would leave the U.S. East Coast, and the U.S. Battle Fleet, unprotected against U-boat attack.  Although German U-boats did not begin sinking ships off the East Coast until the spring of 1918, the concerns were not unfounded.   In fact, two U-boats had already visited U.S. ports, much to the consternation of the U.S. Navy.  The first was the German submarine Deutschland, a very large submarine built as a "merchant submarine" (but converted to an attack submarine later in the war,) which showed up at the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, by surprise, on 9 July 1916, made a port call in Baltimore (with much press hoopla and a warm public welcome) and then left with a cargo of critical strategic materials (tin, nickel, and rubber) and avoided several British and French cruisers that arrived off the Virginia Capes in an attempt to intercept the sub.  The British were not amused by this successful effort to avoid the blockade of Germany.
    Then, on 7 Oct 16, the U-53 brazenly entered Newport, Rhode Island and anchored for a port call, also completely by surprise.  While the U-boat's skipper, Kapitanleutnant Hans Rose, paid a courtesy call on RADM Austin Knight, commander of the naval district, boats filled with curious Newport civilians swarmed the U-boat, and many made it on board (including a reporter) and were given tours inside the U-boat.  Rose also paid a call on RADM Albert Gleaves, Commander of the U.S. Destroyer Force, on board his flagship, the scout cruiser USS Birmingham (CS-2.)  Knight and Gleaves (with his wife and daughter) then paid a reciprocal call on board the U-boat.  Under naval protocol at the time it was perfectly legal for a foreign warship to pay a call in a neutral port, so long as it did not stay more than 24-hours.  A port call by a combat U-boat, however, was unprecedented, and the wires burned between Newport and Washington DC seeking guidance, and before nightfall, Knight ordered the U-boat to leave and the circus ended.  However, the next day, U-53 sank five merchant ships just outside U.S. territorial waters while a large number (16) of U.S. destroyers looked on, with no authority to do anything about it except rescue 216 survivors from the British, Canadian, Dutch, Norwegian, and U.S. merchant ships (the U.S. merchant ship West Point had gone down before U.S. destroyers arrived on the scene.)  The U-53 used traditional "cruiser rules" for sinking the merchant ships; surfacing, firing a shot across the bow, reviewing the ship's papers, and if "contraband" was found, ordering the crew into lifeboats and sinking the ship with deck gun, torpedo, or demolition charge (U-53 used all three methods, expending a torpedo on the Canadian liner Stefano that refused to sink despite gunfire and explosive charge.)  The sinkings, despite no loss of life, provoked outrage that soured any goodwill generated by the two portcalls, and resulted in an embarrassment within the U.S. Navy over the German submarines' ability to act with impunity.  When the merchant submarine Deutschland returned for a second visit to the U.S., on 1 Nov 1916, to New London, she received a very unfriendly reception and also collided with a tug while departing, killing five U.S. seamen.  The Germans had definitely worn out their welcome.  The next U-boat to reach the U.S. East Coast, the U-151 in May 1918, would not make a port call, but would turn her torpedoes and guns on U.S. merchant shipping.
U.S. Anti-Submarine Actions in European Waters – May-June 1917
     Despite internal Navy opposition to sending destroyers to Europe, the Navy did so, and by June 1917 over 30 U.S. destroyers were operating in the Western Approaches to Great Britain and the Bay of Biscay off France against German U-boats.  As of 21 May, the British had (finally) adopted the convoy system as the best means to combat U-boat attacks rather than fruitlessly patrolling in open waters.  U.S. destroyers were immediately integrated into the British convoy system.  In the first weeks, although there were several encounters with U-boats, real and imagined, the U.S. destroyers mostly rescued survivors from ships sunk by U-boats that were not protected by convoy.
    On 21 May 1917, the USS Ericsson (DD-56) launched a torpedo at a surfaced U-boat that was shelling a Norwegian and a Russian sailing vessel, the first torpedo fired by the U.S. Navy at an enemy in WWI.  The torpedo missed.  The U-boat dived and sank the two sailing vessels with torpedoes of its own, leaving Ericsson to rescue survivors.
     On 4 Jun 1917, Chief Boatswain's Mate Olaf Gullickson, commanding the Naval Armed Guard on board the U.S. steamship Norlina, opened fire on the German submarine U-88, just as Norlina was hit by a torpedo.  Despite two hits, U-88 survived (the U-boat's skipper was Kapitanleutnant Walter Schwieger, who as skipper of U-20 had sunk the British liner Lusitania in May 1915.  U-88 would hit a mine and be lost with all hands, including Schwieger, in Sep 17.)  For his quick action, Gullickson would be awarded the Navy Cross, the first of the war (I think.)
    On 16 Jun 17, the USS O'Brien (DD-51) depth-charged and slightly damaged a German submarine.  The British were so thrilled (thanks to intercepting and reading German codes) that Vice Admiral Sir Lewis Bayly, Commander-in-Chief of the Western Approaches put the O'Brien's commander, LCDR Charles A. Blakely in for the British Distinguished Service Order (Blakely was also awarded a U.S. Distinguished Service Medal for the same action) and Ensign Henry N. Fallon for a British Distinguished Service Cross (not a bad haul for a near-miss.)  Fallon would later receive a Navy Cross for action with another U-boat in Sep 17.
U.S. Naval Aviation Arrives in European Theater
     On 5 June 1917, the initial elements of the U.S. Navy First Aeronautic Detachment, commanded by LT Kenneth Whiting (yes, namesake of Whiting Field near Pensacola,) arrived in France aboard the collier USS Neptune (AC-8) while a second element arrived three days later on the collier USS Jupiter (AC-3,) which would later be converted to the first U.S. aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV-1).  The detachment, consisting of seven officers and 122 enlisted men, commenced training on French aircraft, experiencing their first fatality on 28 Jun 17 when Thomas W. Barrett was killed in an air crash at Tours France.  Barrett was the first U.S. Navy member killed in France in WW I.
First U.S. Troop Convoy to Europe
     On 14 June 17 the first American Expeditionary Force (AEF) Convoy with 14,000 troops (Army and Marines) departed from New York City in four groups bound for St. Nazaire, France, under the overall command of RADM Gleaves (see U-53 incident above).  Each group consisted of three or four troopships (including USS Dekalb (ID-3010) formerly the commandeered German liner/auxiliary cruiser Prinz Eitel Friedrich, which had been interned in Norfolk in March 1915 following seven months as a commerce raider in which she sank, among others, the U.S. schooner William P. Frye in Jan 1915, the first U.S.-flagged ship sunk in WW I.  Each of the groups was also escorted by an armored cruiser (USS Seattle (CA-11)) and protected cruiser (USS Charleston (CA-19) and USS St. Louis (CA-20) or a scout cruiser (USS Birmingham (CS-2)) and three destroyers each.  The oilers USS Kanawha (AO-1) and USS Maumee (AO-2) provided underway refueling (which had been done only for the first time on 28 May) for the escorting destroyers.   Group 3 also included the armed collier USS Cyclops (AC-4) which would become famous for disappearing without a trace in the "Bermuda Triangle" in March 1918.
    As each Group approached the Western Approaches/Bay of Biscay, additional U.S. destroyers operating out of Queenstown, Ireland augmented the escorts.  Although there were several reported torpedo attacks (which were probably imaginary) none of the ships were hit by U-boats.  On 26 June, while escorting Group 2, the USS Cummings (DD-44) spotted a submarine and dropped a depth charge, bringing considerable oil and debris to the surface.  Although the U-boat apparently survived, the British once again richly awarded the crew of Cummings with Distinguished Service Order for the CO, LCDR George P. Neal, and Distinguished Service Cross and Distinguished Service Medals for other crew.
    On 26 June, Group 1 anchored in the Loire River off St. Nazaire, France and immediately began disembarking troops, leading to one of the most famous quotes of the war, "Lafayette, we are here" by AEF Commander Major General John J. Pershing's "designated orator," Colonel C.E. Stanton, in Paris on 4 July 1917.  Of note, before VADM William S. Sims (Commander U.S. Naval Forces Operating in European Waters) met to greet  Major General Pershing, he removed his newly acquired third star, so as not to upstage the AEF Commander, who had yet to receive his third star.
(My thanks to Dr. Frank Blazich, former NHHC historian, for his research and WWI chronology, to Dr. Dave Kohnen, NHHC Naval War College Museum Executive Director, for his original research on William S. Sims, and Matt Cheser, NHHC historian, for his research on the first AEF convoy.  Also, the book, "America's U-boats" by Chris Dubbs, has the best accounts of German U-boat visits to the U.S.)
 
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80th Anniversary of Loss of Amelia Earhart: 2 July 1937
- Eighty-years ago, the famous woman aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan were lost on a 2,000 mile flight from Lae, New Guinea to Howland, Island on the trans-Pacific portion of her attempt to circumnavigate the globe.  Her disappearance resulted in the largest U.S. Navy search since the disappearance of the tug USS Conestoga in 1921.  The aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CV-2) was dispatched from San Diego, along with her air group, and escorts to spend several weeks searching the remote (and poorly charted, and therefore dangerous) waters in the vicinity of tiny Howland Island.  Earhart most likely ran out of fuel while trying to locate the island and crashed at sea.  However, given Earhart's fame (and political connections at the highest levels) her disappearance is arguably considered one of the greatest aviation mysteries of all time, and all manner of conspiracy theories and alternative hypotheses have been advanced to explain what happened (and which have sold countless books.)  There is, however, no credible evidence that she was on any kind of spy mission of Japanese Islands on behalf of the U.S. government, although many have tried to make that case.  The fuel capacity of her aircraft and the distance off-track of the Japanese Mandate Islands make it virtually impossible that she would have deliberately gone so far off course (in the dark, no less), nor is it likely that she could have ended up there after missing Howland Island (450 nm in a tangential direction.)  There is some intriguing new information that outside researchers are working on that may soon become public suggesting she somehow ended up in Japanese hands, but I remain highly skeptical given the fuel/time/distance issues involved.

75th Anniversary of WW II.
- Torpedo versus Torpedo: Before WW II, the U.S. Navy received, and ignored, accurate intelligence about the capabilities of the Japanese Type 93 Oxygen Torpedo ("Long Lance.")  More than 3,100 U.S. Sailors perished because the U.S. Navy did not understand or prepare for Japanese night torpedo attack capabilities and tactics.  At the same time, U.S. sub, surface, and air-launched torpedoes, considered by us to be the most sophisticated in the world, repeatedly failed in combat.   Countless opportunities to sink Japanese ships early in the war were lost, along with many U.S. lives as a result.  In one of the worst instances of attempted blame shifting in U.S. Navy history, the shore establishment (the Bureau of Ordnance in particular) refused to believe reports from the field that U.S. torpedoes were defective, and not until tests conducted by operational forces (and bad combat experience) were severe shortcomings addressed.  Even until 1943 and into 1944, numerous problems remained, and not until late 1944 did U.S. torpedoes evolve into highly effective weapons.  For more on what some historians have called the "Great Navy Torpedo Scandal" please see Attachment H-008-3.  (Attachment H-008-4 is a photo of a Type 93 torpedo outside the Navy Department ("Main Navy") in Washington DC after it had been found washed ashore on Guadalcanal.  Only then, too late for many ships and Sailors, did the U.S. Navy begin to have a full appreciation of the weapon's capabilities.

 
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- Admiral Ernest J. King, Wartime CNO: ADM King earned a reputation as the most disliked senior Allied military leader in WW II.  Even the normally mild-mannered General Dwight D. Eisenhower suggested that the war effort would be greatly aided if someone would shoot King.  Abrasive and blunt, King was nevertheless a brilliant strategist who achieved extraordinary results.  He was not anti-British as many have claimed, nor was he against the strategy of "defeat Germany first" agreed by President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill.  However, the British did not believe the Allies would be ready to invade France before 1944 at the earliest, and King argued that in the interim, while the buildup continued, some additional resources should be shifted to the Pacific to take advantage of the victory at Midway, and commence offensive operations to draw the Japanese into a battle of attrition, that the U.S. would eventually win.  The result were some truly acrimonious meetings of the U.S. and British Combined Chiefs of Staff that tested the cohesiveness of the Alliance.  In King's first months as CNO, he faced profound crises in both the Atlantic and the Pacific, and many historians have blamed him for the U.S. Navy's lack of preparedness to counter the U-boats that (unlike in WW I) Germany immediately sent to the U.S. East Coast and which ran amok sinking over 600 merchant ships in 1942 with a huge loss of life, before the U.S. was finally able to implement an effective coastal convoy system.  The disaster that befell the Artic Convoy PQ-17 in July 1942 at the hands of German U-boats and torpedo-bombers, during which only 11 ships of a 35 ship convoy made it to Russia, contributed to poor relations between King and the British, since PQ-17 was the first joint U.S.-British Navy effort, under British Command.  King also arguably has some of the best all-time Navy quotes (most of which never made it into Reef Points.)  To read more about King (and his quotes) please see attachment H-008-5
 
H-008-5
S.J. Cox
29 JUN 17
Admiral Ernest J. King – Chief of Naval Operations, 1942
    "Brooke got good and nasty and King got good and sore.  King about climbed over the table at Brooke.  God he was mad.  I wish he had socked him."  General Joseph "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell wrote this description of an encounter between Admiral Ernest J. King, Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief U.S. Fleet (CNO/COMINCH) and General Sir Alan Brooke, Chief of the (British) Imperial General Staff, at the Cairo Conference in Nov 1943.  Brooke described it as "the mother and father of a row."  So much for the "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom.  The issue in contention, as usual, was a dispute between King and the British regarding allocation of resources between the European and Pacific theaters of operations.   Contrary to many historic interpretations, King was not opposed to the Allies' "Defeat Germany First" strategy, nor was he especially anti-British.  King was pretty much abrasive and rude to everyone (not just the British) and he believed that as long as the British resisted U.S. Army proposals to land in France as soon as possible, more resources should be shifted in the interim to the Pacific to take advantage of the stunning U.S. victory at Midway.  Kings' view, in a nutshell, was that the Pacific should be getting 30% of available resources instead of the 15% he claimed it was getting.  King was not hostile to the British, or British ideas, but the relationship was certainly far from harmonious, much of which stemmed from events of the first half of 1942,
    King had become Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet in the fall of 1940, when his career was resurrected by CNO Admiral Harold "Betty" Stark.  Stark had gotten the CNO position instead of King in 1939, and King had been assigned to be a member of the General Board, generally regarded as a twilight tour for very senior admirals.  King was highly intelligent (fourth in his USNA class of '01) with extensive experience in submarines (he proposed and designed the "Dolphin Pin," although he never earned one) and was a qualified aviator.  He had a long and distinguished record for being able to get things done.  He also did not suffer fools (or anyone who disagreed with him) gladly, with a leadership style and a volcanic temperament that would probably not survive in today's Navy.  King's leadership philosophy can be summed up by a quote when he was a two-star, "I don't care how good they are.  Unless they get a kick in the ass every six weeks, they'll slack off."  President Roosevelt said that King, "shaves every morning with a blowtorch."  Even his own daughter (one of six) was quoted as saying of her father, "He is the most even tempered person in the United States Navy.  He is always in a rage."  He also partied hard and had a reputation as a womanizer, and was even upbraided as junior officer by RADM Charles McVay (father of the skipper of USS Indianapolis (CA-35)) for bringing women on board his ship.  Perhaps worst of all, King was an avid reader and proponent of the study of military history (as was Nimitz, for that matter.)
     After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Admiral Husband Kimmel was relieved of his duties as Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Fleet (CINCUS) and Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet (CINCPACFLT.)  (Before WWII, CINCUS was the senior of the three U.S. Fleets (Pacific, Atlantic, and Asiatic) which was invariably CINCPACFLT.)  However, after Kimmel's relief, and in recognition of the "Germany First" strategy, the CINCUS title passed to CINC Atlantic Fleet, ADM King on 30 Dec 41.  On being tapped to be CINCUS, King was widely reputed throughout the Navy to have said, "When they get in trouble, they send for the sons of bitches."  When asked near the end of the war if he really said that, King replied that he hadn't, but if he had thought of it, he would have.   The CNO, ADM Stark was also a casualty of Pearl Harbor, although he received more gentle treatment than Kimmel.  King was selected by President Roosevelt to relieve Stark, who retained four stars and was reassigned as the new Commander U.S. Naval Forces Europe.  On 18 Mar 42, King became CNO and retained CINCUS responsibility, although he immediately changed the acronym from CINCUS "Sink Us" to COMINCH.  King was the first and last to hold both positions simultaneously; he was also the first qualified aviator to serve as CNO.  The Assistant CNO, RADM Royal Ingersoll (whose son would be killed in a "friendly fire" incident at Midway) received a third star and relieved King as CINCLANTFLT (and got his fourth star in Jul 42.)
    As CINCUS, King had responsibilities in both the Atlantic and the Pacific and faced extreme challenges in both.  Exercising oversight of both ADM Nimitz in the Pacific and VADM Ingersoll in the Atlantic, King found the situation dire in both.  Previous H-grams have covered the situation in the Pacific, and in one I described the beginnings of the "Second Happy Time" for German U-boats on the U.S. East Coast.  After Germany declared war on the U.S., and the U.S. reciprocated, the head of the German submarine force Vizeadmiral Karl Donitz wasted no time in seizing an opportunity to take the war to the U.S. before we were ready.  Operation Paukenschlag (literally "Timpani beat" although usually translated as "Drumbeat") commenced in January 1942 with the arrival of five Type IX long-range U-boats.  Although the Type VII U-boats were much more numerous, they lacked the endurance to sustain patrols off the U.S. East Coast, at least initially (by mid-1942, the innovative Germans had figured out ways to do it.)  Although Donitz' assets were limited, the first few U-boats ran amok.  Successive waves of U-boats also had great success, and in the late spring U-boats began operating in the Caribbean (threatening oil supplies from Venezuela) and even in the Gulf of Mexico (Operation Neuland.)  During 1942, U-boats would sink over 600 ships (over 3 million tons,) killing thousands of merchant seamen.  Although the scale of losses did not equal that of the unrestricted U-boat boat campaign in 1917, which almost  brought Britain to its knees, and brought the U.S. into WW I, it did represent about a quarter of all losses to U-boats during WW II.  The Germans lost about 22 U-boats in the process, although very few in the opening months.
     The fact that the U.S. Navy was so unprepared to deal with the arrival of U-boats on the U.S. East Coast had been roundly criticized by many historians, especially since the U.S. Navy had been engaged in an undeclared war with U-boats for many months before Pearl Harbor.  Much of the blame has been heaped on ADM King, some deserved, most not.  The unlikeable King makes for an easy target, but there were many factors that resulted in what was effectively a disaster as great as Pearl Harbor in terms of ships sunk and lives lost.  British Naval Intelligence provided timely warning to the U.S. that the first U-boats were on the way, but little was done with it.  The Commander of the U.S. Eastern Sea Frontier, RADM Adolphus Andrews had very little to work with, at least initially, with only 100 or so aircraft along the entire coast, and a number of U.S. Coast Guard cutters that were brought under Navy command.  Given the lessons-learned from WW I, the failure of the U.S. to immediately implement a convoy system along the U.S. East Coast, has attracted a lot of historical "analysis."  There were certainly cases were U.S. destroyers were inappropriately apportioned, and some were occasionally idle in port while merchant ships were being sunk almost within sight.  Nevertheless, the destroyer force was actually heavily tasked and generally in very short supply.  Most were committed to escorting transatlantic convoys providing troops and critical war materials to the British war effort, and others to escorting U.S. Navy ships operating in the Atlantic to guard against forays by the German surface navy, as the battleship Bismarck had done earlier in 1941.
     What the U.S. sorely lacked was the large number of small anti-submarine craft ("sub-chasers") like the hundreds that had been hastily built in WW I, but no longer existed.  With insufficient escorts, King, Ingersoll and Andrews reasoned that congregating coastal merchant ships into inadequately protected convoys would only make the U-boats' job of sinking large number of ships even easier and more efficient.  This was not because King was anti-British or anti-convoy, but a matter of scarce resource allocation.  It was, however, arguably arrogant on King's part to initially refuse the British offer to send smaller escort ships to the U.S. east coast.  By this point in the war the British had those types of small escorts in comparative abundance, which is how they had ended the U-boats first "Happy Time" in 1940.  Eventually, the U.S. relented, and in March 1942, the British deployed 24 anti-submarine trawlers and 10 corvettes to the U.S. East Coast to assist, and the 53rd Squadron of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command (flying U.S. made Lockheed Hudson aircraft) operated out of Quonset Point, Rhode Island.
    The critical situation was also not helped by the initial refusal of the U.S. government to order coastal cities to turn out their lights at night, because of counter-arguments that this was bad for tourism and business.  The German U-boats' tactical preference was to attack ships on the surface at night with deck guns so as to conserve torpedoes for the most lucrative targets.  With lone coastal merchant ships backlit by coastal cities, the U-boats had easy pickings, sinking ships within sight of the U.S. coast.  Eventually coastal blackouts were implemented (and implementation of strict gas rationing pretty much solved the tourist problem.)  Some improvement was noted in April 42 after RADM Andrews issued enforceable orders that coastal shipping traffic could only transit during daylight hours between protected ports.  Numerous small craft were requisitioned by the Navy and put into service as coastal patrol boats. But, the first coastal convoy did not occur until 14 May.  The implementation of escorted convoys on the East Coast had rapid positive effect, which is what prompted the Germans to shift their main effort to the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico.  Eventually the extension of the convoy system to those areas as well significantly cut down on losses to U-boat attacks, and brought about the end of the Second Happy Time.
    Nevertheless, convoys were not a panacea, and the experience of Arctic convoy PQ-17 in early July 1942, which was the first joint U.S. and British effort under British command, was a total disaster, and which served to further sour relations between King and the British.  PQ-17 was a 35-ship convoy that departed from Iceland on 27 Jun 42 en route to the Soviet Arctic port of Arkhangelsk carrying desperately needed war supplies to the Russians, then facing a second summer of offensive operations by the German Army.   The convoy included 23 U.S. merchant ships, with close escort provided by British ships.  A covering force consisting of British cruisers and destroyers, and the U.S. cruisers USS Tuscaloosa (CA-37) and USS Wichita (CA-45) and two American destroyers trailed behind to guard against any sortie by German surface combatants, including the battleship Tirpitz, which were then based in northern Norway.  An additional heavy covering force was also on alert, which included a British aircraft carrier and battleship, and the new U.S. battleship USS Washington (BB-56.)  The Washington had been detached from U.S. Task Force 39, which had been established by King and also included the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Wasp (CV-7.)  The Washington would go on to a stellar combat record in the Pacific, but began her career with the dubious distinction as the only U.S. ship to lose an admiral overboard.  On 27 Mar 42, the first Commander of TF-39, RADM John W. Wilcox, Jr., was washed overboard in heavy seas, and his body was never recovered.  The Board of Inquiry was unable to determine exactly how and why it happened.
   Although 12 previous convoys had gone from Great Britain to Russia with the loss of only one ship out of 105, German intelligence provided ample warning of PQ-17 and the Germans were ready.  The Germans also ignored a returning convoy in ballast, and either failed to detect or ignored two decoy convoys.  Initially the convoy PQ-17 went reasonably well; a couple ships turned back due to engine casualty or ice damage, and a couple were lost to U-boats.  On 4 July, concerted German air attacks by dive-bomber and torpedo-bombers went after the convoy.  During the attacks, the American destroyer USS Wainwright (DD-419) distinguished herself by damaging multiple German aircraft and severely disrupting multiple waves of German torpedo-bombers (including a last wave of 25 HE-111 bombers) so that only a few torpedoes found their mark on merchant ships.  However, after that, everything went to hell.
      German surface ships did sortie to intercept PQ-17, but that turned into a fiasco of its own, when the German heavy cruiser Lutzow and three destroyers ran aground in fog, followed by some chaotic German command and control and return of the rest of the ships, including Tirpitz to port without engaging.  However, when British reconnaissance aircraft detected the Tirpitz missing, the British First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Dudley Pound, issued orders for the covering force to withdraw and for the convoy to scatter and continue to Russia.  Scattering the convoy was deemed the best defense against surface ship attack.  However, the result was a bloodbath as German bombers and U-boats picked off one lone merchant ship after another, and merchant ships were scattered all over the Barents Sea, some taking refuge in the ice, and some in inlets on Novaya Zemlya.  It wasn't until 25 July that the last of the surviving merchant ships made it into Arkhangelsk.  Twenty-four of the merchant ships were sunk, with the loss of 153 merchant seamen in the frigid Arctic waters.  Only five of the U.S. merchant ships made it to Russia, although one other ran aground and was recovered later.  The Germans lost five aircraft.
    The debacle of PQ-17 resulted in a suspension of Artic convoys, with the next one not leaving until Sep 42, with a radical increase in close escorts and overhaul of escort procedures.  It also resulted in a diplomatic flap, as Soviet dictator Josef Stalin refused to believe that almost an entire convoy could be lost, and accused the Allies of lying about how many ships had been sent in the first place and reneging on their pledges of support.  An investigation into the affair came to naught, since it was the First Sea Lord himself who gave the order to scatter, and it was considered politically unpalatable to hold him publically accountable.  British Prime Minister Winston Churchill described the PQ-17 affair as "one of the most melancholy naval episodes of the whole war."  RADM Daniel V. Gallery, then based in Iceland, called it a "shameful page in naval history."  ADM King was disgusted by the whole affair and withdrew TF-39 and sent Wasp and Washington to the Pacific (although he was probably looking for an excuse to do so anyway) where they served in the waters off Guadalcanal, which will be the subject of the next H-gram.
And lastly, just for my friends at CHINFO.  When asked about the U.S. Navy's public relations strategy for dealing with the press early in the war, Kings responded, "Don't tell them anything.  When it's over, tell them who won."
 
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50th Anniversary of Vietnam War: USS Forrestal Disaster - 29 July 1967
- Fifty years ago, the aircraft carrier USS Forrestal (CVA-59) suffered a devastating fire while conducting combat strike operations on Yankee Station off North Vietnam.  Caused by an electrical malfunction that ignited a Zuni rocket that fired across the flight deck and ignited a fire which cooked off an unstable bomb resulting in a series of explosions and a massive fire that killed 134 men, injured 161, and destroyed 21 aircraft.  LCDR John S. McCain III was in the cockpit of one of the first two aircraft hit by the rocket.  Lessons learned (and in many cases re-learned from WW II) had profound effect on the U.S. Navy's approach to damage control training, equipment, and ordnance handling and in many respects are responsible for the comparatively safe operations of the U.S. Navy today.  In recent years, numerous highly inaccurate accounts about the Forrestal fire have appeared on the internet.  So, if you would like more detail, as accurate as I could make it, please read attachment H-008-6

Very respectfully,

Sam

Samuel J. Cox
RADM, USN (Retired)
Director of Naval History
Curator of the Navy
Director, Naval History and Heritage Command
H-008-6
S.J. Cox
28 Jun 17
USS Forrestal Disaster – 29 July 1967
     On 29 July 1967, the USS Forrestal (CVA-59) experienced a severe fire while operating on Yankee Station off Vietnam which killed 134 Sailors and aviators, injured 161, and destroyed 21 aircraft.  This was (and remains) the second worst loss of life on a U.S. Navy ship since World War II.  The disaster resulted in a very long list of "lessons learned" (many of which were "lessons forgotten" from carrier conflagrations during WWII) which transformed the U.S. Navy's approach to fire-fighting, damage control, and ordnance handling in the decades since.  In recent years, articles have appeared on the internet that are extremely inaccurate, generally intended to attempt to unfairly tarnish the reputation of Senator John S. McCain III, who survived the fire.
     At 1050, Forrestal commenced early launch of two KA-3B tankers, an EA-1 and an E-2A in preparation for an 1100 launch of a 24-plane Alpha Strike, the second of the day.  At that time, the VF-11 F-4B (#110,) was spotted on the extreme starboard quarter of the flight deck.  As the pilot of F-4B 110 shifted from external to internal power, multiple electrical malfunctions ignited one of the four 5-inch Mk-32 Zuni unguided rockets in a pod on external stores station 2 (port inboard station) which fired across the flight deck and struck VF-46 A-4E #405, piloted by LCDR Fred White, rupturing its fuel tank, igniting the fuel and initiating the fire.  Although the Board of Investigation reached the opinion that the Zuni rocket hit #405, there is some ambiguity in eyewitness accounts as to whether the rocket hit #405 or the plane next to it, #416, piloted by LCDR John McCain.  The rocket itself actually impacted the ocean beyond both aircraft.  Regardless, shrapnel ripped into both aircraft, and both were immediately sprayed by fuel and a pool of fuel ignited between and under the two aircraft.  Both pilots initially escaped from the flames around their aircraft.
    The impact of the Zuni rocket dislodged at least one, probably two, 1,000-lb AN-M65A1 bombs, which fell into the flames.  The outdated AN-M65's were being used because of an acute shortage of Mk 83 general purpose 1,000-lb bombs resulting from the intense Navy bombing campaign in North Vietnam which expended bombs faster than they could be produced.  The AN-M65 bombs had been brought aboard the day before, were over a decade old, in very poor condition and considered an extreme safety hazard by the Commanding Officer of the Forrestal, Captain John Beling, and according to the ship's Ordnance Officer were an imminent danger to the ship and should be jettisoned overboard.  Doing so, however, would have necessitated scrubbing that day's combat mission over North Vietnam, so Captain Beling reluctantly accepted the risk.
    Damage Control Team Eight, led by Chief Aviation Boatswain's Mate Gerald Farrier, which had received specialized flight deck fire-fighting training, immediately reacted to fight the fire.  Based on their training with Mk-83 bombs, they expected to have approximately 10 minutes to extinguish the fire around the bomb before there was risk of the case melting or cook off  with a designed very low-order explosion.  Chief Farrier immediately smothered the bombs with a PKP ("Purple K") extinguisher in order to cool them.  However the AN-M65's were not only unstable, their age and chemical composition actually enhanced the power of the blast (exact opposite of a Mk-83).  A little more than one minute after the fire started, one of the bombs fractured open, and Chief Farrier immediately ordered his team to withdraw, fearing an imminent cook-off.  At one minute and 34 seconds, the bomb exploded, killing Chief Farrier and almost his entire team (only three survived severely injured,) and also killed LCDR White.  A second bomb exploded nine seconds later and a chain reaction followed.
   Both White's and McCain's A-4's, fully fueled and loaded with ordnance, were destroyed by the blast.  Per the initial Mishap Board ("Informal Board of Investigation") Report, "In  period of four minutes, seven major explosions shook the entire ship and some 40,000 gallons of jet fuel from aircraft spotted on the flight deck was ignited and contributed to the damage.  Fire-fighting teams, pilots, and squadron personnel on deck were knocked down, injured or killed by the series of explosions.  The fire spread with the first explosion to every aircraft across the entire after part of the flight deck.  Seven holes were ripped through the deck from explosions of 750 lb., 500 lb., and 1000 lb. bombs.  Rockets and 20mm shells shot across the deck, and ejection seats fired into the air."  Actually, later analysis indicates at least nine bombs exploded on the flight deck, eight of them AN-M65's with significantly enhanced blast over a normal 1,000 lb bomb.  Other bombs on the flight deck performed as designed and did not detonate due to the fire.
    Most of the pilots on the aft of the flight deck were able to escape, but two more (besides LCDR White,) LT Dennis Barton and LCDR Gerry Stark, were killed in the explosions.  LCDR McCain was helping another pilot who was on fire when the first explosion occurred and barely escaped by rolling into the port catwalk as other bombs exploded; he then proceeded to assist ordnancemen on the hangar deck in jettisoning bombs over the side, to prevent them from exploding as well.  (Three months later, on 26 Oct 67, flying from USS Oriskany (CVA-34,) LCDR McCain would be shot down over North Vietnam on his 23rd bombing mission.)
    The bomb blasts blew large holes in the flight deck, and flaming fuel oil poured down into the hangar bay and berthing compartments in the aft end of the ship, accounting for many of the casualties.  Some of the burning fuel was spread by untrained hose teams using water on a fuel (Class B) fire, in some cases washing away foam laid by other teams and reigniting the fire.  The death and incapacitation of the entire specialized fire-fighting team in the initial explosion had critical impact.  By the end of WWII, as a result of lessons learned during the war, most Sailors on ships had received training in fighting shipboard fires.  By 1967, the U.S. Navy had reverted to the Japanese model at Midway with specialized, highly-trained damage control and fire-fighting teams, but most of the crew was not trained.  Doing so probably saved some money, but the result in crisis was heroic, but uncoordinated, often ineffective and counter-productive efforts by untrained teams that resulted in needless additional deaths and injuries.  Nevertheless, the ad hoc firefighting teams of Sailors and Marines had the fire on the flight deck out by 1215.  However the fires below decks, spread by the burning fuel on water, were much more difficult to put out, with the last fire not extinguished until 0400 the next day.  The damage to Forrestal was so severe that she had to come off Yankee Station for repairs, commencing post-repair sea trials in April 1968.
 
     The Navy investigation absolved Captain Beling of responsibility for the fire.  Beling, who had been in has cabin at the time, and supervised the damage control effort in his t-shirt, displayed considerable leadership throughout the harrowing 11 hour ordeal.  Nevertheless, the initial Board of Investigation stated, "Poor and outdated doctrinal and technical documentation of ordnance and aircraft equipment and procedures, evident at all levels of command, was a contributing cause of the accidental rocket firing."  At that time, such a state was not unique to Forrestal.  The Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Fleet (to which Forrestal was assigned when not deployed) Admiral Ephraim P. Holmes did not concur with some of the results of the final investigation report, specifically the part that cleared Captain Beling.  ADM Holmes appended a Letter of Reprimand for CAPT Beling to the final report, which was removed by direct order of CNO ADM Thomas Moorer.  CAPT Beling made flag, but his orders to command of a carrier battle group were cancelled by new CNO ADM Elmo Zumwalt, and he was reassigned to command of the Iceland Defense Force, from which RADM Beling retired.
     The Forrestal was the second (and worst) of three serious U.S. Navy carrier fires in the 1960's.  In the first, the USS Oriskany (CVA-34) suffered a fire on 26 Oct 66 on Yankee Station that killed 44 and injured 138 when a magnesium parachute flare was accidentally ignited (human error) and a panicked Sailor threw it back into the magnesium storage locker instead of overboard; many of the dead were pilots killed by toxic smoke inhalation in their sleep.  The third disaster occurred on USS Enterprise (CVA(N)-65) on 14 Jan 69 while she was en route to Vietnam which killed 28 and injured 314, and destroyed 15 aircraft when hot exhaust from an improperly placed aircraft starter ignited another Zuni rocket and started a series of explosions.  In the case of Enterprise, lessons learned from Forrestal (and not having dangerous old and unstable ordnance on board) resulted in the fire being contained more rapidly with fewer casualties.  Enterprise put in for repairs at Pearl Harbor and continued en route to Vietnam in March 69, although she was diverted to Korean waters due to the North Korean capture of the USS Pueblo (AGER-2.)
    The Forrestal disaster resulted in many lessons learned (and re-learned) and resulted in significant changes in the U.S. Navy in training for shipboard damage control, the biggest being (re)-institution of firefighting training for all crew-members.  Another was the installation of a flight-deck washdown system that could spread water or foam as needed, with the first being installed on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) during her 1968-69 refit.   Another major change was establishment of the Weapon System Explosives Safety Review Board.  The training films "Learn or Burn" (which included film from the flight-deck PLATT camera that filmed the entire Forrestal event) and "Trial by Fire: A Carrier Fights for Life," have influenced countless firefighting, damage control, and recruit training classes.  Even I remember from my midshipman days, "the Chief with the Purple K" – Chief Farrier, who sacrificed his life trying to buy time for aviators to escape their jets before the flames spread.
Of note, the greatest loss of life on a U.S. Navy ship since WWII was 176 killed when USS Hobson (DMS-26) broke in half and sank after a collision with USS Wasp (CV-18) on 26 Apr 52.
(My thanks to Dr. Richard Hulver, NHHC historian, for sifting through mounds of official documentation, sometimes contradictory, so I didn't have to read it all myself.  Due to the extent of the damage, there are still details which remain unknown.)
 
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Item Number:1 Date: 07/07/2017 CAMEROON - INCREASE IN SUICIDE BOMBINGS LINKED TO OPERATIONS IN NEIGHBORING NIGERIA (JUL 07/VOA)  VOICE OF AMERICA NEWS -- Northern Cameroon has suffered multiple deadly suicide attacks in recent weeks, reports the Voice of America News.   At least 20 people, including nine suicide bombers, were killed in Fomeka, Mora and Kerawa, near the border with Nigeria, since Saturday, according to military officials cited by VOA on Thursday.   There has been a resurgence in suicide attacks in northern Cameroon since late May, coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the officials said. The attacks were also likely related to military operations in northeastern Nigeria.   The 7,000-strong multinational force fighting Boko Haram in Nigeria has been conducting raids on the militant group's remaining strongholds since May in an effort to quickly reduce the terrorist threat, said officials.   As a result, suicide bombers have been escaping to Cameroon disguised as refugees or internally displaced persons, said Gen. Bouba Dobekreo, the commander of the Cameroonian troops in the multinational force.   Authorities must work with Nigeria to stop the influx of refugees, he said
Item Number:2 Date: 07/07/2017 CHINA - MAIDEN VOYAGE TAKES LIAONING CARRIER TO HONG KONG AHEAD OF PUBLIC TOURS (JUL 07/STIMES)  STRAITS TIMES -- China's first operational aircraft carrier has reached Hong Kong on its maiden visit, reports the Straits Times.   The Liaoning carrier group arrived Friday morning to join celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the territory's handover by the U.K. to Chinese rule.   The carrier group includes the Liaoning carrier, the guided-missile destroyers Jinan and Yinchuan, the guided-missile frigate Yantai and several J-15 fighter jets.   Officials said 3,600 tickets were distributed for a tour of the aircraft carrier this weekend. This is the first time the ship has been open to the public. Ticket-holders are banned from bringing cameras, and foreign media outlets have not been invited, reported local media.   A no-fly zone was established where the Liaoning is berthed, near the city's Tsing Ma suspension bridge
Item Number:3 Date: 07/07/2017 CYPRUS - LATEST REUNIFICATION TALKS END WITH PARTICIPANTS YELLING (JUL 07/BBC)  BRITISH BROADCASTING CORP. -- A week of talks in Switzerland to reunify the divided island of Cyprus have collapsed, reports the BBC.   The talks were called off early Friday after negotiations became deadlocked.   Cyprus was split in 1974 following a Greek-backed coup and a subsequent Turkish invasion. A round of U.N.-backed talks in Switzerland began in January aimed at reuniting the island's Greek and Turkish communities. The most recent round, held in the Swiss Alps, began on June 28.   "I'm very sorry to tell you that despite the very strong commitment and engagement of all the delegations and different parties ... the conference on Cyprus was closed without an agreement being reached," said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.   The final session included yelling and high drama, said a source cited by AFP.   One major sticking point was said to be the removal of 30,000 Turkish troops deployed on the island. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan demanded that Greece commit to removing its 1,000 troops
Item Number:4 Date: 07/07/2017 EGYPT - CAR BOMBING, SHOOTING IN SINAI LEAVE MORE THAN 2 DOZEN SOLDIERS DEAD, WOUNDED (JUL 07/AHRAM)  AHRAM ONLINE -- Egyptian officials say attacks on checkpoints in the Sinai Peninsula have left 26 soldiers dead or wounded, reports Ahram Online (Egypt).   Two car bombs were detonated Friday while the vehicles were passing through two checkpoints on a road outside the border city of Rafah, said security sources cited by Reuters. Fighters then opened fire.   At least 10 Egyptian soldiers were killed, the sources said. The dead included a special operations colonel, noted Al Jazeera.   Later in the day, the army said in a statement that the attacks had injured or killed 26 soldiers. Security forces killed 40 militants and destroyed six of their vehicles after the attack, the statement said.   "Law enforcement forces in northern Sinai succeeded in thwarting a terrorist attack on some checkpoints south of Rafah," said the army.   There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The attack bore the hallmarks of the Islamic State's Sinai Province, said officials.  
 Item Number:5 Date: 07/07/2017 INDIA - AUTHORITIES LOCK DOWN KASHMIR TO STOP PROTESTS (JUL 07/DC)  DECCAN CHRONICLE -- Parts of Kashmir are being locked down by Indian authorities ahead of the death anniversary of a Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) leader, reported the Deccan Chronicle.   Burhan Wani, a HM commander, was killed in southern Kashmir on July 8, 2016. He became widely known via social media.   On Friday, police locked down his hometown of Tral as part of an effort to head off gatherings and protests, reported Reuters.   Officials shut down internet in Kashmir and made preventive arrests before the anniversary.   A security alert is in effect "not only for unlawful assembly of people and rallies but also for militant strikes," said one police official.   Paid subscribers to Military
Item Number:6 Date: 07/07/2017 INDIA - MIG-23 TRAINER GOES DOWN IN RAJASTHAN; PILOTS EJECT SAFELY (JUL 07/HINDU)  THE HINDU -- An air force training jet has crashed near Jodhpur in India's northwestern Rajasthan state, reports the Hindu.   The Indian MiG-23UB trainer was on a routine training flight when it went down in the Balesar area on Thursday, said unnamed air force sources.   Both pilots reportedly ejected safely.   The MiG-23UB is used to train pilots for the MiG-27 fighter, the newspaper noted.   An investigation has been ordered into the incident
  Item Number:7 Date: 07/07/2017 INDONESIA - U.S. MARINES JOIN INDONESIAN COUNTERPARTS IN BATTLE PLANNING EXERCISE (JUL 07/ANTARANA)  ANTARA NEWS AGENCY -- Indonesian and U.S. Marines are wrapping up a three-day battle planning exercise in East Java, reports Antara News, Indonesia's national news agency.   The Subject Matter Expert Exchange Military Decision-Making Process exercise ends July 7 at the 3rd Marine Corps Battalion Gedangan in Sidoarjo.   The exercise is designed to improve the battle planning capabilities of the participants as well as enhancing interoperability, said Lt. Col. Prasetyo Pinandito, the commander of Indonesia's Marine Infantry Battalion 3.   The joint exercise has over recent years greatly improve the planning, operations and tactics of the participants, he said.  
  Item Number:8 Date: 07/07/2017 IRAQ - ISIS FIGHTERS HIT VILLAGE SOUTH OF MOSUL (JUL 07/REU)  REUTERS -- Islamic State fighters have attacked a village south of Mosul, say security sources cited by Reuters.   ISIS terrorists infiltrated Imam Gharbi, about 44 miles south of Mosul, on Wednesday evening from a pocket of territory that the terror group still controls on the eastern bank of the Tigris River, said security sources.   Up to 13 militiamen were killed and 14 injured Wednesday in the village by the ISIS fighters, reported the Baghdad Post.   On Friday, two Iraqi journalists were killed and two others wounded while covering a government counterattack on the village.   There are no accurate numbers of the civilians and security personnel that have been killed or wounded.   One expert cited by the wire service said that ISIS was likely to make more such raids to divert security forces away from the main battle in Mosul, which is expected to end soon
Item Number:9 Date: 07/07/2017 ISRAEL - IDF HEAD WARNS OF IRANIAN, SYRIAN, HEZBOLLAH ROCKET CAPABILITIES (JUL 07/TOI)  TIMES OF ISRAEL -- In a review of national security threats, the head of the Israel Defense Forces has told lawmakers that the military is in the midst of a major campaign. The effort is aimed at combatting efforts by Iran, Syria and the Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon to acquire more accurate missiles, reports the Times of Israel.   Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot made his comments on Wednesday before the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee.   The primary threat to Israel are these efforts to acquire more precise weapons, said the general.   This includes efforts to interdict Hezbollah's attempts to obtain advanced rockets through Syria, said Eisenkot.   The paper noted that Iran has begun building new missile factories in Lebanon after Israeli airstrikes in Syria destroyed several rocket shipments headed to southern Lebanon.   Defense Minister Avidgor Liberman on Sunday publicly warned Hezbollah and Iran against developing rocket-production capabilities inside Lebanon.   Eisenkot told lawmakers that the nation's military capabilities are the highest ever
Item Number:10 Date: 07/07/2017 NIGER - MILITARY KILLS 14 CIVILIANS MISTAKEN FOR BOKO HARAM TERRORISTS (JUL 07/AFP)  AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE -- Niger's army has killed 14 civilians in a restricted zone who were mistaken for Boko Haram terrorists in the country's remote southeast, reports Agence France-Presse.   There are conflicting reports on the incident – with some saying an airstrike was involved and other accounts saying patrolling soldiers opened fire, noted the BBC. Some accounts suggested displaced persons were killed.   The incident occurred Wednesday afternoon around the village of Abadam near Lake Chad, where attacks by Boko Haram are common, reported Reuters.   Those killed were were returning to the area which they had fled due to Boko Haram violence, said one official. Two of those killed were from Niger, while the others were from Nigeria.   Nigeria-based Boko Haram has carried out numerous cross-border attacks into Niger. Thousands have been displaced in Niger's Diffa region.  
Item Number:11 Date: 07/07/2017 POLAND - TRUMP VISIT COINCIDES WITH AGREEMENT FOR PATRIOT MISSILE SYSTEMS (JUL 07/PAP)  POLISH PRESS AGENCY -- The U.S. and Poland have signed a memorandum of agreement for missile defense systems.   Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said an agreement was signed for Patriot air defense systems, reports the Polish Press Agency.   The agreement for eight Patriot systems was completed Thursday during U.S. President Donald Trump's first visit to Warsaw.   The Patriot systems are Poland's answer to Russia's Iskander ballistic missiles, said Macierewicz.   The Polish government selected the Patriot in 2015. They are being acquired in the same configuration as that used by the U.S. Army, according to Michal Dworczyk, the Polish deputy defense minister.   The first battery is scheduled for delivery in 2022.   In March, Polish officials said they expected to sign a contract worth up to US$7.6 billion for Patriot systems by the end of the year, noted Reuters
Item Number:12 Date: 07/07/2017 SOUTH KOREA - AIR FORCE, NAVY HOLD JOINT DRILL SIMULATING MARITIME ATTACK (JUL 07/YON)  YONHAP -- The South Korean air force and navy held a joint live-fire exercise on Thursday in another response to North Korea's recent intercontinental ballistic missile test, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul).   The exercise simulated a response to a maritime attack, officials said. The drill was held in the East Sea, known as the Sea of Japan by Tokyo.   Taking part were the destroyer Yang Munchun, frigate Chungbuk and 13 other warships as well as P-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft, Lynx maritime helicopters and FA-50, F-4E and KF-16 tactical fighters.   Various missiles were launched at simulated targets, including Harpoon and Haeseong-I anti-ship missiles and AGM-65 Maverick ground attack missiles.   On Wednesday, South Korea test-fired a Hyunmoo-2A ballistic missile into the same waters as part of a combined exercise with U.S. Forces Korea
  Item Number:13 Date: 07/07/2017 SOUTH SUDAN - BRITISH FIELD HOSPITAL IN BENTIU NOW CONSIDERED OPERATIONAL (JUL 07/UKMOD)  U.K. MINISTRY OF DEFENSE -- British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has announced that a temporary hospital built by the U.K. to support the U.N. Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) is fully operational, reports the U.K. Ministry of Defense.   The facility in Bentiu will support more than 1,800 U.N. peacekeepers and staff, Fallon said on Wednesday.   The U.N. requested the construction of the hospital to support UNMISS, the ministry said.   The temporary hospital will be staffed by personnel from all three British military services. It will eventually be replaced by a permanent field hospital built by Royal Engineers, said an MoD release.   The facility accommodates more than 75 medical personnel and includes an emergency department; surgical theater; laboratory; x-ray and head CT scanner; aero-medical evacuation team; and various wards including an isolation facility.   The U.K. has deployed about 400 military personnel to South Sudan to support U.N. operations there.   The British contingent is also providing engineering support to projects such as the construction of a jetty on the Nile River, helicopter landing sites and other infrastructure improvements.  
  Item Number:14 Date: 07/07/2017 SYRIA - GOVERNMENT EXTENDS ITS DECLARED CEASE-FIRE IN SOUTH; FIGHTING STILL ONGOING, SAY REBELS (JUL 07/SPUTNIK)  SPUTNIK -- The Syrian government has announced that it is extending a unilateral cease-fire in the country's south, repots Russia's Sputnik news agency.   On Monday, the Syrian army declared a temporary cease-fire in the provinces of Daraa, Quineitra and As-Suwayda until July 6. The army said the move was aimed at supporting "reconciliation efforts," as quoted by Reuters.   On Thursday, the army extended the truce through the end of July 8.   Rebels call the move a charade, asserting that the cease-fire had already been violated with airstrikes and artillery shelling.  
  Item Number:15 Date: 07/07/2017 TURKEY - RAIDS IN ISTANBUL AIMED AT ISIS TERRORISTS PREPARING TO RETURN TO SYRIA (JUL 07/ANADOLU)  ANADOLU NEWS AGENCY -- Turkish police have arrested 29 suspects allegedly linked to the Islamic State in raids throughout Istanbul, reports the Anadolu Agency.   Anti-terror police made the arrests during an operation on Friday, said a security source.   Raids were reportedly made at 20 addresses in the districts of Atasehir, Bagcilar, Basaksehir, Cekmekoy, Esenyurt and Umraniye.   The suspects included 22 foreign nationals and seven Turks who were attempting to travel to Syria. All of those arrested are believed to have fought in ISIS ranks in Syria and were said to be preparing to return there, noted the news agency
Item Number:16 Date: 07/07/2017 UKRAINE - PRAISING KIEV'S PROGRESS, SENIOR E.U. OFFICIAL PLEDGES CYBERSECURITY COOPERATION (JUL 07/INT-AVN)  INTERFAX-MILITARY NEWS AGENCY -- A senior European Union official says the organization will provide technological assistance to neighboring countries, including Ukraine, as part of a new cybersecurity strategy, reports Interfax-AVN (Russia).   The E.U. will help Ukraine to bolster its cybersecurity, with a focus on critical infrastructure, said Valdis Dombrovskis, the vice president for financial stability and financial services at the European Commission. He made his comments Thursday at a conference on reform in Ukraine in London.   The commission has also called on E.U. member states to step up their cybersecurity efforts, he said.   The commission plans to provide 200 million euros (US$225 million) in grants to Ukraine in 2017, Dombrovskis said. Praising Ukraine's recent progress, Dombrovskis noted that the E.U. had already extended financial assistance to Kiev totaling 3.4 billion euros (US$3.8 billion), reported UNIAN (Ukraine
  Item Number:17 Date: 07/07/2017 USA - AFTER 810-MILE FLIGHT, CH-53K HELICOPTER ARRIVES AT PATUXENT RIVER FOR FURTHER TESTING (JUL 07/NAVAIR)  NAVAL AIR SYSTEMS COMMAND -- The first CH-53K King Stallion transport helicopter has arrived at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for trials, reports the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command.   The aircraft arrived at the base on June 30 after flying from Sikorsky's Development Flight Center in West Palm Beach, Fla. It is the first of seven helicopters scheduled to arrive over the next 12 months, the command said on Wednesday.   The 810-mile flight took about six hours with stops for fuel at Naval Air Station Mayport, Fla., and Marine Corps Air Station new River, N.C., reported Heliweb Magazine.   At Patuxent River, the helicopter will undertake various flight quality, ground and avionics testing.   The initial CH-53K is an engineering and development manufacturing model designed to demonstrate platform capabilities
Item Number:18 Date: 07/07/2017 USA - AFTER TRUCK TESTS POSITIVE FOR EXPLOSIVES, HANSCOM AFB, MASS., EVACUATED TEMPORARILY (JUL 07/BH)  BOSTON HERALD -- Normal operations have returned to Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., after a bomb scare on Thursday.   A suspicious truck sparked the scare at Hanscom AFB, reports the Boston Herald.   Security personnel at the base detected traces of potential explosive material on a truck during a routine inspection of the vehicle, said base officials.   The results were confirmed in a second check. At that point, the gate was closed and several nearby buildings evacuated. The state bomb squad was called in, said officials.   The vehicle and its contents were ultimately determined to be safe.   Pieces of two containers in the truck were sent to a crime lab.   Hanscom is the home of the 66th Air Base Group, which is part of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center. About 10,000 military personnel, civilians and contractors work there, noted the Air Force Times.  
  Item Number:19 Date: 07/07/2017 USA - DEMONSTRATING 'FREEDOM OF NAVIGATION' RIGHTS, 2 USAF BOMBERS FLY OVER S. CHINA SEA (JUL 07/FN)  FOX NEWS -- Asserting the right to treat the area as international territory, two U.S. Air Force bombers flew over the disputed South China Sea on Friday, reports Fox News.   China claims almost all of that region.   The B-1B Lancers from Guam took part in joint military drills with Japan in the East China Sea before flying over the South China Sea, said the Air Force.   "This is a clear demonstration of our ability to conduct seamless operations with all our allies," said an Air Force spokesman.   The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said there was no problem with freedom of navigation or overflight in the East and South China Seas, but "China resolutely opposes individual countries using the banner of freedom of navigation and overflight to flaunt military force and harm China's sovereignty and security
Item Number:20 Date: 07/07/2017 USA - USCG WELCOMES BENJAMIN DAILEY CUTTER; VESSEL WILL BE STATIONED IN PASCAGOULA, MISS. (JUL 07/USCG)  U.S. COAST GUARD -- The U.S. Coast Guard has commissioned another Sentinel-class fast response cutter.   The Benjamin Dailey, the 23rd cutter in the class, formally entered service during a ceremony on July 4 in its homeport of Pascagoula, Miss., according to a service release on Wednesday.   The new cutter is the first in the class to be stationed in Pascagoula.   The vessel is named after Benjamin Dailey, who was the keeper of the Cape Hatteras, N.C., lighthouse on Dec. 22, 1884, when he and his crew, aided by another lifeboat station, saved nine men from the foundering ship Ephraim Williams.   Dailey and his crew withstood rough seas for two hours to rescue the ship's crew. He was awarded the Gold Lifesaving Medal for his actions, noted the USCG release.  
 
 
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