Monday, May 28, 2018

TheList 4730

The List 4730
To All,
I hope that your weekend has started well.
This day in Naval History
May 25
  • 1911—USS Wyoming (BB 32) launches. She is commissioned in Sept. 25, 1912 and later participates in the Veracruz Intervention and World War I.
  • 1943—Patrol bombers from (VP 84) sink German submarine U 467 south-southeast of Iceland.
  • 1944—USS Flying Fish (SS 229) attacks a Japanese convoy and sinks guardboat Daito Maru and freighter Osaka Maru north of Palau.
  • 1952—USS Iowa (BB 61) begins shelling industrial and rail centers at Chongjin, Korea. For her Korean War service, she receives two battle stars. USS Iowa is decommissioned in 1990 and is struck from the Navy's list in 2006. Iowa is currently a museum ship.
  • 1973—Skylab 2, the first U.S. manned orbiting space station, launches with all-Navy crew: Capt. Charles Conrad, Jr., Cmdr. Paul J. Weitz and Cmdr. Joseph P. Kerwin.
  • 1985—USS Alabama (SN 731) is commissioned at Naval Submarine Base New London, CT.
May 26
  • 1943—USS Saury (SS 189) attacks a Japanese convoy south of Kyushu and sinks transport Kagi Maru, about 10 miles north of the Nansei Shoto. Also on this date, USS Whale (SS 239) sinks Japanese gunboat Shoei Maru (which is transporting men of the Guam Base Detachment) about 17 miles north-northwest of Rota, Mariana Islands.
  • 1944—USS England (DE 635) sinks its fifth Japanese submarine in a week, (RO 108), 110 miles northeast of Manus.
  • 1952—The feasibility of the angled-deck concept is demonstrated in tests conducted on a simulated deck by Naval Air Test Center and Atlantic Fleet pilots using both jet and prop aircraft on board USS Midway (CVB 41).
  • 1958—Medal of Honor recipient Hospitalman William R. Charette selects the World War II Unknown Serviceman onboard USS Canberra (CAG 2) off the Virginia Capes.
  • 1990—USS Beaufort (ATS 2) rescues 24 Vietnamese refugees in the South China Sea.
May 27
  • 1862—USS Bienville captures the British blockade-runner Patras off Bull's Island, SC and USS Santiago de Cuba captures the schooner Lucy C. Holmes off Charleston.
  • 1919—The crew of the Curtiss flying boat NC-4 arrives at Lisbon, Portugal for a stop during its transatlantic flight to Portsmouth, England, arriving May 31.
  • 1942—Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller receives the Navy Cross for his heroism at Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941. Adm. Chester W. Nimitz presents the medal to Miller on board USS Enterprise (CV 6). He is killed when his ship is torpedoed Nov. 24, 1943, during the invasion of the Gilbert Islands.
  • 1943—USS Runner (SS 275) departs Midway for her third war patrol but is never heard from again. Overdue and presumed lost in July 1943, she is struck from the Navy list that October.
  • 1952—During the Korean War, USS Douglas H. Fox (DD 779) receives eight to 10 rounds of 76-mm fire off Suwon, Korea. The destroyer returns fire, silencing the gun crew.
  • 1995—USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60) is commissioned at Charleston, SC. Paul Hamilton, named for the third Secretary of the Navy, is the 10th in a class of ship that continues to serve the fleet.
Thanks to CHINFO
Executive Summary:
Top national news headlines include coverage of the cancellation of the U.S./North Korea summit scheduled for June, Harvey Weinstein turning himself in to face criminal charges, and an armed citizen shooting an active shooter in an Oklahoma restaurant. Multiple outlets report that the Trump administration has pulled out of the upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un following recent bellicose rhetoric from North Korea, as President Trump suggested that the dialogue could be reinitiated in the future while also issuing threats against North Korea over their nuclear program. Multiple outlets also report that yesterday President Trump awarded the Medal of Honor to retired Master Chief Britt Slabinski during a ceremony at the White House. Additionally, Seapower Magazine reports that the USS Manchester is set to be commissioned Saturday.
·         Today in History May 26
Germanicus of Rome celebrates his victory over the Germans.
William of Ockham is forced to flee from Avignon by Pope John XXII.
A new law bans Catholic priests from the colony of Massachusetts. The penalty is banishment or death for a second offense.
Charles II and Louis XIV sign a secret treaty in Dover, England, ending hostilities between England and France.
Jacob Leisler, leader of the popular uprising in support of William and Mary's succession to the throne, is executed for treason.
British and Chickasaw forces defeat the French at the Battle of Ackia.
The Russians defeat the Poles at the Battle of Ostroleka.
A resolution is passed in the U.S. Congress stating that Congress has no authority over state slavery laws.
The territory of Montana is organized.
The last Confederate army surrenders in Shreveport, Louisiana.
President Andrew Johnson is acquitted of all charges of impeachment.
The last czar of Russia, Nicholas II, is crowned.
The House Committee on Un-American Activities begins its work of searching for subversives in the United States.
The evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk begins.
A patent is filed in the United States for the H-bomb.
Union Square, San Francisco, becomes a state historical landmark.
The civil rights activist group, Freedom Ride Coordinating Committee, is established in Atlanta.
A U.S. Air Force bomber flies across the Atlantic in a record of just over three hours.
Apollo 10 returns to Earth.
The movie Star Wars debuts.
With our thanks to THE Bear at


May 25, 2018   Bear Taylor  
RIPPLE SALVO… #812… AND THE QUESTION WAS:… WHAT ARE OUR VIETNAM WAR PEACE NEGOTIATORS DOING THESE DAYS IN PARIS?… From the New York Times on 25 May 1968… "Time is becoming a critical factor in the Vietnam talks. Each side is trying to turn it into a weapon against the other. But neither can be certain how it will fare in this slow contest of will. Already it is clear that the process of diplomacy will be excruciatingly slow. Although the American and North Vietnamese negotiators agreed in principle to meet daily, in practice the intervals between their formal sessions have grown progressively longer–first two days, then three, now four. There was only one meeting last week–a week in which the American dead in the war reached near-record levels. The negotiating rhetoric grew harsher. There was no glimmer of compromise…" Continued below in Ripple Salvo… but first…
GOOD MORNING: Day EIGHT HUNDRED TWELVE of a return of fifty years to the air war with North Vietnam fought by America's brave and bold military aviators, who were making life as miserable for the enemy as they were allowed to do… They could have done so much more…
HEAD LINES from THE NEW YORK TIMES on a sunny Sunday, 26 May 1968…
THE WAR: Page 1: "VIETCONG ATTACK SAIGON OUTSKIRTS–CLASHED SHARP AND SPORADIC"… "Sporadic sharp fighting broke out yesterday on the fringes of Saigon as South Vietnamese troops fought entrenched Vietcong units just north of the capital. The attacks came as the South Vietnamese announced a new cabinet with broadened popular base… Late yesterday, fighting flared near a swimming pool adjoining a South Vietnamese officers club and around a motion-picture theater in an area of shacks two miles from Saigon. Initial reports this morning indicated that 14 Vietcong soldiers had been killed in the clashes… four miles south-southwest of Saigon, units of the Ninth Infantry division and the Vietnamese National Police came under fire from an enemy force. The allied units, supported by helicopter gunships, reported having killed 14 enemy soldiers. One American was killed… A United States Air Force plane on a defoliation mission crashed off the southern coast killing the three crew members (RTR reported this loss on 23 May. KIA were LCOL EMMETT RUCKER; MAJOR JAMES I. SHANKS; and SGT HERBERT E. SCHMIDT)… Spokesmen also announced that an Air Force A-1 Skyraider (LCOL WALLACE A. FORD, KIA) and a Marine A-4 Skyhawk were downed by ground fire south of Danang. The Air Force pilot was killed and the Marine aviator ejected and was rescued. The losses raised to 266 the total of American fixed wing aircraft shot down over South Vietnam…."…
See more from THE Bear at
A couple of comments from some aviators on the Magic Carpet article
Magic Carpet' Enables 'Fundamental Shift' In U.S. Naval Piloting
Thanks to Micro
I do hope that the ones that are designing and testing the "Magic Carpet" system have more sense than the author of the article.  Although, it occurs to me, he is either a naval aviator that did some interviews OR he is not a naval aviator and got all his information for the article from the people doing the designing and testing.  Either way, he's stupid.
Besides the other comments in The List, I found this quote from the article of interest:  "The new flight control laws make thousands of microcorrections to the aircraft's control surfaces as it descends toward the carrier deck, visibly different to a manual landing, where the control surfaces are held relatively steady."
Way back around 1970, when my squadron traded in our F-4B's and got our first F-4J's, they came with ACLS, specifically Mode I (one).  That, along with autothrottles, gave us hands-off landing capability, and many of us tried it out occasionally.  I say "occasionally" because it required so many links in the chain to be perfect that it would rarely work correctly.  I remember one dark night (the only times we used it, frankly) I was dirty at 1200 ft when I engaged it.  It rolled into a 40-degree bank to the left, nose dropping, and heading for the water.  Recovery was fun, but the episode also taught me never to trust anything like that.
The other thing the system taught me was how to land on a carrier.  Far better than any simulator ever built.
So, back to the quote of interest above:  I had, up to that point, not been a poor carrier aviator, but I never could beat guys like Jim Flatley on the greenie board.  I was aiming high, I grant you, since he was wearing his shiny new DFC for making over 20 full-stop landings aboard ship in a C-130....  I had asked his RIO's, "Is he really smooth coming aboard?"  Their answers were, "Hell, no.  The airplane practically vibrates!"
I saw the same thing with Mode I landings.  The stick was rapidly moving all over the place.  So, I sat down to think it through.  When you move the stick, say, one inch to the right of center, you're commanding a roll rate, not an angle of bank, as every pilot knows.  It also takes a while for the airplane to get to that steady state roll rate that is commanded because of inertia and such stuff.  If you need a little correction, and you put in a little stick, that little correction takes a while to develop.  However, if you overdo it and put in, say, twice the amount of stick, you get a much faster build-up to the roll rate which means you get to the angle of bank much more quickly.  But you have to take it out quickly, too.  In fact, often, to stop it correctly, you have to put in opposite stick.  Quickly.  Then, you might have overdone the small correction, so you overdo it to the left.  Back and forth and back and forth, up and down and up and down, just to keep the ball in the middle and on centerline.  The airplane seems to vibrate but, from outside, it doesn't move off the rails.
That's what the autopilot was doing to achieve each correction as quickly as possible, and that's what I learned to do.  It worked well, and I was tops or nearly tops on all my airwings' competitions after that.  Many years later one of my JO's during my CO tour reminded me that I had 40-something OK's in a row on one of our deployments.
So, if the Magic Carpet system does "feedback" the stick movement to the pilot, it can be used as a training aid.  That doesn't substitute for going it solo periodically, but it might teach them the right way to land on a ship.  If there is no feedback to make the stick move, the utility as a training aid will be considerably reduced.
When we first started seeing things "automated" in aircraft, we had lots of discussions about what to spend our training time on.  Should we practice with full "up" systems, or should we practice more in degraded modes.  After all, we're flying combat aircraft that could be damaged, not to mention at-sea in salt water for long periods and bouncing around the deck.  If we practiced more with degraded modes, then we would not remain proficient at the full "up" capability that we paid so much for.
One thing seems certain, since Murphy was a Naval Aviator:  When you need the system the most, it won't be there.
Thanks to Bubba
WOW!! Totally automated landings. Might just as well join the damn Air Force then. No more distinction between Navy and Air Force pilots.
Sad Day. Even though there were certainly some nights I might have liked to have had it- the feeling of accomplishment after successfully "doing it on my own" is what set us apart.
Bubba/Track/Half Track/Wide Track Meyers
Thanks to Dutch
I know technology is helping shipboard ops a lot BUT – BUT – my experience toward the end of my career was that we had boarding rates (successful landings versus attempts) in the near 100% numbers – that in the end of the 1980's with F-14, S-3, A-6, etc…
Way, way back in my aging memory I seem to remember more than a few nights far at sea in thunderstorms so bad the TACAN needle just spun wherever,  and me in a tiny A-4 SHYHAWK trying to get it ….. and my shiny ass … back aboard the ship  - no needles, no HUD, no auto throttle, no autopilot and, most certainly, no Magic Carpet.  Back in those dinosaur days we worked on skill – and there wasn't much automation to go wrong 
Thanks to GBox
With regards to Magic Carpet, which WAS the name given to our transportation home after our first Vietnam cruise….not a hands off landing on a black-ass night with pitching deck,
when 'Magic Carpet' signs out the aircraft in Maintenance Control before the flight, then I, as the pilot in command, can talk further on this subject!
Until then, sorry, but "I've got the stick!"…..
Thanks to Carl

Are we a learning institution?

By CDRSalamander | May 23, 2018
Do any of these sound familiar?
– "We need to get rid of the SPRUANCEs early so we can invest that money in (what became) DDG-1000."
– "We need to get rid of the OHP FFGs as soon as possible as we don't need frigates and it will help us get LCS online and deployed ASAP."
– "We don't need organic tanking on our CVN, F-18 buddy-tanking will work just fine."
How'd that work out for us?
Institutional memory should be a thing, but perhaps it isn't.
We could go on and on with more examples, and it isn't just an USN issue. Talk to the Canadian Army about tanks and so one and so on.
There is a trick we keep falling for. We keep getting rid of capabilities now that we will need in any war that crops up in the near future, for systems that not only are not ready for wartime use – but are just PPT-thick.
Here is some hard truth; one of our most useful weapons is the Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missile (TLAM). Without going through the number on this net, those who have been there know we have had supply issues in the past when the predicted unexpected came up and we shot a good portion of our inventory.
Production of weapons systems are not like turning a light on and off. Once you shut it down, it is gone.
Along those lines, the following in one of the most infuriating ideas floated so far this year. If you had me make a list of the five existing programs we should get rid of last, TLAM would be on that list.
And yet …
The U.S. Navy wants to stop production of America's most useful long-range missile, betting that a replacement will arrive without delay.
…acquisition officials and lawmakers appear poised to cut off production of these deep-strike weapons even as our need for them is increasing.

The Navy once again wants to end production of new Tomahawk missiles, focusing instead on the recertification process for the existing inventory.
Here's the hope;
…the Next Generation Land Attack weapon, or NGLAW. Scheduled for introduction in roughly 2025 and 2030 respectively, follow-on weapons to Tomahawk could be supersonic or hypersonic, even more accurate, highly agile, and effective even in a challenging electronic warfare and counter-missile environment.
Who wants to place bets?
Thanks to Ed
Remembered Sky Memorial Day 2018

Remembering a man most have never heard of much less recognized his contribution:
Noting the current series "1942, the Year of the Aircraft Carrier," the first carrier vs. carrier battle was at Coral Sea. The U.S. lost the carrier Lexington and the Yorktown was severely damaged. Had her damage been more severe Yorktown would have been unavailable for the Battle of Midway. History notes without her, the US victory could not have happened. Many men were
 responsible for saving her that day, but Lt. Milton Ricketts stands out for recognition on this Memorial Day weekend.
Milton Ernest Rickets was born on August 5, 1913 in Baltimore, Maryland. He attended the United States Naval Academy, graduating with the class of 1935, He was an engineering officer on the USS Yorktown (CV-5). and was the Officer-in-Charge of a damage control party.
During the final phases of the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942, the Yorktown had evaded repeated Japanese air-dropped torpedo and bomb attacks, save but one. At 1127 hours, a single 250-pound armor piercing bomb sliced through Yorktown's flight deck and exploded three decks below the hangar - and one deck below Lieutenant Ricketts' battle station. Ricketts' damage control team was decimated by the explosion. Despite mortal wounds he began damage control efforts to save the ship. dying in the effort.

Medal of Honor Citation:
"For extraordinary and distinguished gallantry above and beyond the call of duty as officer-in-charge of the Engineering Repair Party of the U.S.S. Yorktown in action against enemy Japanese forces in the Battle of the Coral Sea on 8 May 1942. During the severe bombing of the Yorktown by enemy Japanese forces, an aerial bomb passed through and exploded directly beneath the compartment in which Lt. Ricketts' battle station was located, killing, wounding, or stunning all of his men and mortally wounding him. Despite his ebbing strength, Lt. Ricketts promptly opened the valve of a near-by fireplug, partially led out the firehose, and directed a heavy stream of water into the fire before dropping dead beside the hose. His courageous action, which undoubtedly prevented the rapid spread of fire to serious proportions, and his unflinching devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country."
Without ever firing a shot Lt. Ricketts actions could readily be considered to have  directly altered the course of World War II.
Thanks to Mugs……This is sad but so true

Memorial Day Mayhem – Americans Just Don't Get It

Memorial Day Weekend is fast approaching and with it the usual consumer chaos that surrounds the holiday more than its true meaning; to honor those who have died in our nation's wars.
Last Memorial Day, I was inside the grocery store here in sunny Southern California. I stood in an aisle watching the mayhem all around me. Shoppers were over-running the place as they threw cases of beer, steaks and bags of chips into their carts. As I looked on, I saw an older gentleman standing next to me. He was a tall figure who wore a WWII Veteran ball cap. He seemed to notice my 7th Cavalry ball cap as well.
"They just don't get it." I said to him.
"They never will." The WWII vet said to me. We talked for a while as we looked on at the madness around us. He told me he had been a B-17 pilot and had flown missions over Nazi Germany. I told him about my service with the 7th Cavalry in the Gulf War.
Even though he was at least 40 years older than me, I had more in common with him at that moment than I would have had with any of the maniacal shoppers racing through the aisles.
Today, I was back in the same grocery store. When I was checking out, the cashier told me excitedly that she had Memorial Day off and couldn't wait to party.
What did Jesus say on the cross? Forgive them Father for they know not what they do.
The attitude of the people in the store last year, the callous and quite clueless attitude of the young girl checking me out today is symptomatic of how the whole nation now looks upon Memorial Day in 2016.
With the majority of Americans never having served in the military in peacetime or war, we now have a whole nation oblivious about the true meaning of the holiday.
It is not now, nor has it ever been just a day for barbecues, boating, beer drinking and softball games.
It seems that veterans are the only ones who understand and treasure the true meaning of Memorial Day. Many vets have not only seen the horrors of war, but have lost friends in war. To a vet, Memorial Day can never just be a day at the beach with hot dogs and Frisbees.
The number of Americans killed in action in US wars since and including the American Revolution equals 664,000 combat deaths and including non-combat deaths, 1.3 million, plus 1.5 million US service personnel wounded in battle.
Even vets from other countries seem to understand more about Memorial Day than our own citizens. Twenty-five years ago, I was riding in a taxi at the Grafenwoehr Training Area in Germany. The driver, a German, had a red poppy attached to the steering wheel. When I enquired why he was displaying the poppy on an American holiday, he remarked, "We are all Kamaraden. We are all comrades."
He went on to tell me that he had served in U Boats in WWII.  Considering that three fourths of the U Boat crews went to their deaths, he was not only a respectful man, but a lucky one as well. Yep, even the guys trying to blow our heads off 70 years back, have more reverence for the holiday than many Americans.
"We are all comrades."
We are indeed.
The true sadness of Memorial Day is remembering the hundreds of thousands of young men and women who died in the prime of their lives. They never had the chance to stand in the booze aisle and decide whether to buy a case of Budweiser or Corona. They never had a chance to return home and have a cheeseburger. They never had a chance to fulfill their individual dreams. They never had another chance to "party."
It seems hard or nearly impossible for the narcissistic, shallow, callous, America of 2016 to contemplate supreme sacrifice and true patriotism.  Americans are too caught up in taking another selfie or liking some banal video on Facebook, to focus on the battlefield deaths of WWII, or even the most recent casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
It is up to veterans to continue the Memorial Day traditions of wreath laying and parades and to try and impart the real meaning of the day to especially young Americans.
Perhaps General MacArthur said it the most eloquently in his speech at West Point in 1962, when he described the eternal sacrifices of American service personnel:
My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world's noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless.
His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. 
But when I think of his patience under adversity, of his courage under fire, and of his modesty in victory, I am filled with an emotion of admiration I cannot put into words. He belongs to history as furnishing one of the greatest examples of successful patriotism. 
From one end of the world to the other, he has drained deep the chalice of courage. As I listened to those songs of the glee club, in memory's eye I could see those staggering columns of the First World War, bending under soggy packs on many a weary march, from dripping dusk to drizzling dawn, slogging ankle deep through mire of shell-pocked roads; to form grimly for the attack, blue-lipped, covered with sludge and mud, chilled by the wind and rain, driving home to their objective, and for many, to the judgment seat of God.
I do not know the dignity of their birth, but I do know the glory of their death. They died unquestioning, uncomplaining, with faith in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that we would go on to victory. Always for them: Duty, Honor, Country. Always their blood, and sweat, and tears, as they saw the way and the light.
And twenty years after, on the other side of the globe, against the filth of dirty foxholes, the stench of ghostly trenches, the slime of dripping dugouts, those boiling suns of the relentless heat, those torrential rains of devastating storms, the loneliness and utter desolation of jungle trails, the bitterness of long separation of those they loved and cherished, the deadly pestilence of tropic disease, the horror of stricken areas of war.
Their resolute and determined defense, their swift and sure attack, their indomitable purpose, their complete and decisive victory - always victory, always through the bloody haze of their last reverberating shot, the vision of gaunt, ghastly men, reverently following your password of Duty, Honor, Country.
Somehow, in the last decades, Duty, Honor and Country has metastasized into This Bud's For You.
Those who gave their lives for this nation deserve the respect of this nation.

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