Wednesday, September 26, 2018

TheList 4821

The List 4821TGB

To All,
A lot of history today thanks to H-Gram 21 and Admiral Cox.

This day in Naval History - Sept. 26

§ 1860—The sloop-of-war, USS Constellation captures the American slaver Cora with 705 slaves on board off the Congo River. The newly freed slaves are taken to Monrovia, Liberia.

§ 1863—During the Civil War, the "double-ender" side-wheel steamer, USS Tioga captures Confederate steamer Herald near the Bahamas off the Florida Keys with cargo including cigars and sugar.

§ 1910 - First recorded reference to provision for aviation in Navy Department organization

§ 1918—After shepherding a convoy to the Irish Sea, while under the command of the U.S. Navy during World War I, Coast Guard cutter Tampa is steaming through the Bristol Channel when she is torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine UB-91. All those on board, 115 crew members and 16 passengers, are killed, resulting in the greatest combat-related loss of life suffered by the U.S. Naval forces during WWI.

§ 1931—The keel to USS Ranger (CV 4) is laid at Newport News, VA. She is the first ship designed and constructed as an aircraft carrier.

§ 1944—USS Pargo (SS 264) sinks the Japanese minelayer, Aotaka, off Borneo. Also on this date, USS McCoy Reynolds (DE 440) sinks Japanese submarine I-175 northeast of Palaus.

§ 1963—The first steam-eject launch of a Polaris missile at sea occurs off Cape Canaveral, FL, from USS Observation Island (EAG 154).

§ 1987—USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55) is commissioned at Port Everglades, FL. The Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser is the ninth in her class and the second to be named after the World War II Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Pacific.

§ 1991—USNS Effective (T-AGOS 21) is christened and launched at Morgan City, Louisiana. The Military Sealift Command vessel is one of several ocean surveillance ships that conduct Surveillance Towed Array Sensory System (SURTASS) operations and is assigned to the Navy's Special Mission Program. 

Thanks to CHINFO

Executive Summary:
Today's national headlines highlights contain reactions to the President's speech at the UN, the upcoming congressional hearing with Judge Kavanaugh and a woman accusing him of inappropriate sexual behavior, and actor Bill Cosby being sentenced to prison for sexual assault. The Chinese government has denied the USS Wasp a port visit to Hong Kong in October reports the Wall Street Journal. The move comes after the State Department imposed sections on a Chinese military agency for buying Russia's SU-35 combat aircraft and S-400 surface to air missile system. Defense News reports that Valiant Shield 2018 gave presented an opportunity to test the joint force's ability to operate in the Indo-Pacific. "In any future conflict, no service will go alone," said exercise director Rear Adm. Daniel Dwyer. "Any opportunity that we can come together to train as a joint force makes us that much more lethal and capable." Additionally, Seapower Magazine reports that the future USS South Dakota has been delivered to the U.S. Navy.

On this day in history (September 26): 

1962: "The Beverly Hillbillies" premiered. Oh those dreadful Clampetts!

1964: It began as a three hour tour, "Gilligan's Island" premiered.

1968: "Hawaii 5-0" debuts. Book 'em , Danno! 

2016 Today in History September 26 


Sir Francis Drake returns to Plymouth, England, aboard the Golden Hind, after a 33-month voyage to circumnavigate the globe. 

1777 - The British army launches a major offensive, capturing Philadelphia. 

1786 - France and Britain sign a trade agreement in London. 

1820 - The legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone dies quietly at the Defiance, Mo., home of his son Nathan, at age 85. 

1826 - The Persian cavalry is routed by the Russians at the Battle of Ganja in the Russian Caucasus. 

1829 - Scotland Yard, the official British criminal investigation organization, is formed. 

1864 - General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his men assault a Federal garrison near Pulaski, Tennessee. 

1901 - Leon Czolgosz, who murdered President William McKinley, is sentenced to death.. 

1913 - The first boat is raised in the locks of the Panama Canal. 

1914 - The Federal Trade Commission is established to foster competition by preventing monopolies in business. 

1918 - German Ace Ernst Udet shoots down two Allied planes, bringing his total for the war up to 62. 

1937 - Bessie Smith, known as the 'Empress of the Blues,' dies in a car crash in Mississippi. 

1940 - During the London Blitz, the underground Cabinet War Room suffers a hit when a bomb explodes on the Clive Steps. 

1941 - The U.S. Army establishes the Military Police Corps. 

1950 - General Douglas MacArthur's American X Corps, fresh from the Inchon landing, links up with the U.S. Eighth Army after its breakout from the Pusan Perimeter. 

1955 - The New York Stock Exchange suffers a $44 million loss. 

1960 - Vice President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy participate in the first nationally televised debate between presidential candidates. 

1961 - Nineteen-year-old Bob Dylan makes his New York singing debut at Gerde's Folk City. 

1967 - Hanoi rejects a U.S. peace proposal. 

1969 - The Beatles last album, Abbey Road, is released. 

1972 - Richard M. Nixon meets with Emperor Hirohito in Anchorage, Alaska, the first-ever meeting of a U.S. President and a Japanese Monarch. 

1977 - Israel announces a cease-fire on Lebanese border. 

1983 - In the USSR Stanislav Petrov disobeys procedures and ignores electronic alarms indicating five incoming nuclear missiles, believing the US would launch more than five if it wanted to start a war. His decision prevented a retaliatory attack that would have begun a nuclear war between the superpowers.. 

1984 -The UK agrees to transfer sovereignty of Hong Kong to the People's Republic of China. 

1997 - Two earthquakes strike Italy, causing part of the Basilica of St. Francis to collapse, killing four people and destroying much of the cycle of frescoes depicting the saint's life. 

2008 - Yves Rossy, a Swiss pilot and inventor, is the first person to fly a jet-powered wing across the English Channel. 


Thanks to THE Bear at


September 26, 2018Bear Taylor

RIPPLE SALVO… #935… ON 26 SEPTEMBER 1966, CAPTAIN ARTHUR T. BALLARD, F-105D DRIVER WITH THE 13TH TACTICAL FIGHTER SQUADRON and 388TH TACTICAL AIR WING OPERATING OUT OF KORAT IN THAILAND was part of a wing strike on a POL storage target north of Hanoi, North Vietnam when his aircraft was hit by AAA 25 miles northwest of Thai Nguyen and short of his target. With his Thunderchief on fire he gave it his best to get bombs on target and pressed on until the smoke in the cockpit rendered him unconscious. When he came around he heard a wingman telling him to eject. He did. This time when he regained consciousness he was on the ground in the middle of North Vietnam with a broken leg, among other injuries. More than 2,350 days as a POW of the North Vietnamese followed. He was released from the Hanoi lock-up in March 1973, pen in hand. Two of Ted Ballard's captivating testimonials are linked to the RTR archive today, on the 52nd anniversary of his touchdown in North Vietnam… See below…But first… 

GOOD MORNING…Day NINE HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE of a return to the days of the air war called Operation Rolling Thunder and the sacrifices and heroism of the men who were called Yankee Air Pirates…

See the rest Thanks to THE Bear at



H-Gram 021: Operation Avalanche, Fritz X, and the Battle of Durazzo 18 September 2018 


1. 75th Anniversary of World War II: Operation Avalanche—The Invasion of Italy, September 1943

2. 100th Anniversary of World War I: Naval Aviation "Firsts," U.S. Navy Railway Artillery Batteries in France, Largest U.S. Naval Loss, Battle of Durazzo: The Navy's Only World War I Surface Engagement 

("Back issue" H-grams can be found here.)
75th Anniversary of World War II
Operation Avalanche—The Invasion of Italy, September 1943

On 11 September 1943, the day after the light cruiser USS Savannah (CL-42) inflicted serious damage on German armor attempting to throw the Allied invasion force back into the sea at Salerno, Italy, the Luftwaffe struck back with a new weapon that would change the nature of warfare forever: the Fritz X, a radio-controlled glide-bomb that was the world's first precision-guided weapon deployed in combat— and the first to sink a ship. Dropped from over 18,000 feet, well above shipboard anti-aircraft fire, the 3,000-pound Fritz X achieved trans-sonic velocity as the operator aboard the Dornier Do 217K-2 twin-engine bomber guided the weapon to a direct hit on Savannah's No. 3 turret, penetrating the armored roof all the way to the lower ammunition handling room, where it exploded, blowing out the bottom of the ship (which prevented a magazine explosion due to the massive influx of water) and opening a long seam in the side of her hull. For 30 minutes, secondary explosions wracked the forward part of the ship and the forecastle came within inches of going under.

The explosions and toxic gases killed 197 Savannah crewmen, about one fifth of the crew, and all but a handful of men forward of the superstructure, including the entire No. 1 damage control crew in central station. The explosions snuffed out all boilers, leaving the ship listing and dead in the water for eight hours. Nevertheless, led by Captain Robert W. Carey (who already had a Medal of Honor and a Navy Cross to his credit), her surviving crew rallied, and, in an extraordinary feat of damage control, stopped the flooding, corrected the list, put out the fires, re-lit the boilers, resumed firing on German positions from the cruiser's aft turrets, and made it to Malta under her own power, an incredible example of toughness and resilience by a crew that was not about to give up their ship. Two days earlier, German aircraft had sunk Roma, the largest battleship in the Italian navy, as she was steaming to switch sides from the Axis to the Allies. Two Fritz X hits sent Roma to the bottom with a catastrophic explosion and the loss of 1,393 Italian sailors, including the commander of the Italian fleet, Vice Admiral Carlo Bergamini.
USS Savannah (CL-42) Is hit by a German radio-guided Fritz X bomb while supporting Allied forces ashore during the Salerno operation, 11 September 1943. The bomb hit the top of the ship's number three 6-inch/47-caliber gun turret and penetrated deep into her hull before exploding. The photograph shows the explosion venting through the top of the turret and also through Savannah's hull below the waterline. A motor torpedo boat (PT) is passing by in the foreground (NH 95562). 

Operation Avalanche, the Allied amphibious landings at Salerno, Italy, beginning on 9 September 1943, were nearly a disaster. Lulled by word of an armistice between Italy and the Allies, and hopeful of meeting minimal or no resistance from Italian forces, the American and British troops who landed at Salerno instead found themselves outnumbered by German Panzer divisions ready and willing to fight. German counterattacks were so aggressive that at one point the U.S. commander, General Mark Clark, wanted his troops evacuated off the beach and consolidated with the British. Admiral Kent Hewitt, the U.S. naval commander (and overall Allied amphibious force commander) helped convince Clark otherwise. Although great credit most go to the stiff resistance of American and British ground forces in the face of determined German attempts to push them back off the beachhead, much must also go to the naval gunfire support provided by U.S. and British ships, especially the rapid-fire six-inch guns of Savannah and her sister, USS Philadelphia (CL-41), and later USS Boise (CL-47), of the class known by the Japanese as "machine-gun cruisers" (armament that was a double-edged sword when the ships ran out of flashless powder in night battles in the Solomons). The German ground forces and artillery had no answer for the firepower from the light cruisers, which decimated multiple German tank attacks and caused the ships to be put at the very top of the Luftwaffe's target list in their attempt to defeat the landing.

After a vicious and bloody fight ashore, and multiple Allied ships being hit and put out of action by German guided glide bombs (for which the Allies had no initial answer), including the British battleship HMS Warspite, the Allies nevertheless carried the day, and established a major foothold in Italy. This would be followed by a protracted, costly, high-casualty campaign, which neither the Americans nor the Germans wanted. The U.S. Navy would lose three destroyers and over 800 men in the Salerno operation, making it one of the costliest naval operations of the war.

Please see this H-gram's attachments for more on the Fritz X (H-021-1) and Operation Avalanche and the precursor invasion of Sicily, Operation Husky (H-021-2)

100th Anniversary of World War I
As World War I reached its bloody culmination in August–September 1918, during which the overwhelming number of U.S. Army Expeditionary Force troops began to roll back the Germans, there were several significant U.S. Navy developments: 
On 21 August 1918, Navy Enlisted Pilot Charles Hammann landed his own damaged seaplane in the northern Adriatic to rescue a fellow downed naval aviator who had been shot down by Austro-Hungarian aircraft defending the naval base at Pola. In doing so, Hammann would become the first U.S. aviator of any service to be awarded the Medal of Honor. 
On 6 September, a U.S. Navy 14-inch railway gun on the Western Front in France opened fire on German strategic positions. Five U.S. railway guns would fire over 700 rounds at German targets in the last two months of the war (including possibly the very last shot of the war). The U.S. Navy railway guns represented an extraordinary example of innovation, rapid prototyping, production, testing, acquisition, and deployment. 
On 20 September 1918, Lieutenant David Ingalls, USNR, became the first U.S. Navy "ace" (and the only U.S. Navy ace during the conflict), when he shot down his fifth German aircraft, a lone fighter. Flying with a Royal Air Force Sopwith Camel squadron, Ingalls would finish with six kills, including a German observation balloon. 
On 26 September 1918, the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Tampa, under U.S. Navy wartime subordination, was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine UB-91 in the Bristol Channel off Wales, with the loss of all 131 people aboard (111 U.S. Coast Guard, four U.S. Navy, 11 Royal Navy enlisted sailors, and 5 British dockyard workers). This was largest loss of U.S. life aboard a warship due to enemy action in World War I. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard suffered proportionately the largest loss of life of any U.S. service during the war. 
On 2 October 1918, twelve U.S. Navy submarine chasers participated in a surface action and bombardment off Durazzo, Albania, the only surface action of the war in which U.S. vessels were engaged. During the battle, the U.S. sub chasers were part of a combined Italian, British, and Australian force. The U.S. vessels engaged two Austro-Hungarian destroyers, a torpedo boat, and damaged two submarines. Despite heavy enemy fire, damage to U.S. vessels was minimal, although the press played it up as a "suicide mission" against overwhelming opposition. Nevertheless, the U.S. submarine chasers acquitted themselves well in the first U.S. Navy surface battle since the Spanish-American War. 
For more on the above events, please see attachment H-021-3.

H-021-3: U.S. Navy in World War I—First Naval Aviation Medal of Honor, First Ace, Railway Artillery, Heaviest Loss, and Only Surface Action, August–October 1918
Left: Ensign Charles H. Hammann, USNRF; right: Lieutenant David S. Ingalls, USNRF (NH 49249).

H-Gram 021, Attachment 3
Samuel J. Cox, Director NHHC
September 2018 
First Naval Aviation Medal of Honor
Enlisted Pilot Charles Hazeltine Hammann, U.S. Naval Reserve Force (Naval Aviator No. 1494), became the first U.S. aviator—of any service—to receive the Medal of Honor for his actions on 21 August 1918 off the Austro-Hungarian coast (now Croatia) where he rescued downed naval aviator Ensign George M. Ludlow (Naval Aviator No. 342). The U.S. Army had two aviators who were Medal of Honor recipients during the conflict: Captain Eddie Rickenbacker for his actions on 25 September 1918 and First Lieutenant Frank Luke Jr. (posthumously) for his actions on 29 September 1918. U.S. Marine Corps pilot Second Lieutenant Ralph Talbot received the nation's highest honor for actions on 8 October and 14 October 1918, but would be killed in a crash before receiving it.

At the invitation of the Italian government, which was on the Allied side during World War I, the U.S. Navy established a naval air station co-located with an Italian seaplane base at Porto Corsini, about 50 miles from Venice. On the night of 24 July 1918, planes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (Germany's ally) bombed the station, fortunately with little damage. Nevertheless, the U.S. base became operational, and was the only U.S. naval air station on the Adriatic. On 21 August 1918, five U.S. Navy Macchi M.5 seaplanes—a small single-seat seaplane fighter built by the Italians—flew their first combat mission, escorting two Italian M.8 seaplane bombers on a leaflet-dropping mission over the heavily defended Austro-Hungarian port and naval base of Pola. Five land-based Austro-Hungarian Albatross fighters and two seaplanes engaged the escorting U.S. aircraft.

During the dogfight near Pola, the M.5 flown by Ensign George Ludlow was hit and so badly damaged that Ludlow had to set down in the Adriatic about three miles off the coast of Pola, where he risked being captured (the Austrians had threatened to execute any downed aviators flying missions over their territory). As Ludlow took steps to scuttle his aircraft, Enlisted Pilot Charles Hammann landed his seaplane on the water alongside Ludlow. Although Hammann's seaplane had also been damaged in the dogfight and had not been designed to carry the weight of two people, Hammann brought Ludlow on board as Ludlow's aircraft sank. Barely able to get the plane airborne, Hammann nevertheless succeeded in doing so while avoiding additional Austro-Hungarian search planes. He made his way back to Porto Corsini, where his plane sank after landing due to the excessive weight. Hammann would receive the Medal of Honor for his actions along with an Italian Medaglia a'Argento al Valore Militare. Ludlow was awarded the Navy Cross. Hammann would also be commissioned an ensign in October 1918, but would unfortunately be killed in a crash of an M.5 at Langley, Virginia, on 14 June 1919. On 15 September 1918, Ensign Louis J. Bergen, USNRF, and Gunner Thomas L. Murphy, USN, were killed in an accidental crash of an M.8 at Porto Corsini.

The destroyer USS Hammann (DD-412) would be named in honor of Charles Hammann, and would be sunk by the Japanese submarine I-168 while rendering alongside assistance to the stricken carrier USS Yorktown (CV-5) on 6 June 1942 following the Battle of Midway, with the loss of more than 80 of Hammann's crew. A subsequent Edsall-class destroyer escort (DE-131) would be named after Hammann and serve at the end of World War II.

Ensign Hammann's Medal of Honor citation reads:
"For extraordinary heroism as a pilot of a seaplane on 21 Aug 1918, when with three other planes Ens. Hammann took part in a patrol and attacked a superior force of enemy land planes. In the course of the engagement which followed the plane of Ens. George M. Ludlow was shot down and fell in the water 5 nm. off Pola. Ens Hamman immediately dived down and landed on the water close alongside the disabled machine and took Ludlow on board. Although his machine was not designed for the double load to which it was subjected, and although there was danger of attack by Austrian planes, he made his way to Porto Corsini."
First U.S. Navy Ace

On 24 September 1918, Lieutenant David Stinton Ingalls, U.S. Naval Reserve Force (Naval Aviator No. 85), shot down six German aircraft in six weeks, becoming the U.S. Navy's first ace—and only ace of World War I—on 20 September when he shot down a German Fokker D.VIII fighter. Flying a Sopwith Camel, and assigned to Royal Air Force No. 213 Squadron, Ingalls sighted a two-seat German Rumpler reconnaissance aircraft over Nieuport, Belgium, and, in conjunction with another Sopwith Camel, shot it down. Ingalls would be awarded the Distinguished Service Medal—at that time a higher award than a Navy Cross—a British Distinguished Flying Cross, and a French Legion of Honor. Ingalls would shoot down a total of five German aircraft and a balloon during the war. (Although an observation balloon itself was an easy target, German balloons were invariably heavily defended by ground anti-aircraft fire and were actually very dangerous targets, which made U.S. Army Air Corps pilot Frank Luke Jr.'s downing of four balloons in one day, at the cost of his life, worthy of the Medal of Honor.)

Ingalls entered Yale University in 1916, learning to fly as part of the civilian 1st Yale Unit, which transitioned into the U.S. Naval Reserve Flying Corps. Ingalls enlisted on 26 March 1917—just before the outbreak of war—and was promoted to lieutenant junior grade upon completion of initial training in September 1917. He was ordered to Europe in September 1917 and trained with both the British in fighters and French air force in bombers before winding up flying Sopwith Camel fighters. Royal Air Force No. 213 Squadron, which flew from Dunkirk, France, escorted bombers attacking German submarine bases on the coast of Belgium at Bruges, Zeebrugge, and Ostend. The intensity of air combat on the Western Front was such that in one ten-day period in May 1918 the Royal Air Force lost 478 aircraft; the average life expectancy of a pilot was measured in days. Just to survive was a major accomplishment.

On 11 August 1918, after a long scoreless period, Ingalls and his British flight leader downed a German Albatross fighter flying an observation mission over the port of Dixmunde, Belgium. Two nights later, Ingalls participated in a nighttime bombing and strafing mission on the airfield near Zeebrugge, during which 38 German aircraft were destroyed on the ground. On 21 August 1918, Ingalls shot down a German LVG two-seat reconnaissance aircraft, sharing credit with another Camel pilot. On 15 September, Ingalls participated in another bombing and strafing mission of a German airfield, during which his bombs destroyed several parked aircraft. While returning to base, he and another Camel pilot downed a Rumpler reconnaissance aircraft. On 18 September, Ingalls and two other pilots downed a German observation balloon. On the 20 September, Ingalls lost his engine and nearly crash-landed in a field behind enemy lines, but his engine restarted at the last moment. While returning to base, Ingalls surprised a Fokker D.VIII fighter from behind and shot it down, his only solo kill. On 26 September, he shared credit for downing his sixth aircraft (counting the balloon). Although Ingalls is considered an ace, all his kills but one were shared credit, usually with other British aces.

Ingalls was released from Navy service in January 1919, going on to a career in law, journalism, politics, and government, including serving during the Hoover administration as the Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air. During his tenure in this position, Ingalls tripled the number of Navy aircraft and was instrumental in establishing fully deployable carrier task forces.

(Sources: United States Naval Aviation, 1910–2010, Vol. I: Chronology by Mark L. Evans and Roy A. Grossnick; and America's Sailors in the Great War: Sea, Skies, and Submarines by Lisle A. Rose.)

(Back to H-Gram 021 summary) 
A complete naval railway battery train: one 14-inch gun and its locomotive, tender, and logistical support cars, 1918 (NH 63238).
U.S. Navy Railway Guns: A Case Study in Rapid Prototyping and Acquisition

On 6 September 1918, the 14-inch, 50-caliber Mark IV naval rifle of Battery 2, commanded by Lieutenant Junior Grade E. D. Duckett, USN, of the U.S. naval railway gun unit opened fire on a key German railway hub in France at a range of over 20 miles. The firing marked the combat debut of a weapon that had been conceived, designed, built, and shipped in only a few months. The firing position at Compi├Ęgne was the same spot where the Germans would later sign an armistice ending the war on 11 November 1918—and where France would surrender in World War II. The five batteries—one gun each—of the naval railway unit would go on to fire 782 14-inch rounds on 25 occasions at strategic targets far behind German lines before the war ended. In fact, Battery 4 fired her last round timed to impact seconds before the armistice cease-fire was to go into effect at 1100—possibly, the last shot to impact before the war ended.

The German's got the jump on the Allies in building rail-mobile long-range artillery that could hit targets very accurately far behind Allied lines without risking vulnerable bomber aircraft—or the even more vulnerable Zeppelin airships. During 1917, German railway guns regularly bombarded the key port of Dunkirk, France, which was critical to supplying British troops on the Western Front, among other targets. At the peak of the German's spring 1918 offensive, their largest railway gun—often erroneously referred to as "Big Bertha" (a different gun)—lobbed shells into the city of Paris.

On the Allied side, the U.S. Navy was the first to develop a similar weapon system. Rear Admiral Ralph Earle, chief of the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ordnance and for whom the Naval Weapons Station Earle, New Jersey, is named, led the development of requirements for the railway guns and for the new type of mine used in the North Sea Mine Barrage. Design work on the weapon commenced at the end of December 1917 and concluded in late January 1918. The first weapons were built and ready to ship by April 1918, as the situation in France became increasingly desperate with the rapid advance of the German army that would eventually run out of steam just short of Paris. The commander of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF), Lieutenant General John J. Pershing, wanted the weapons delivered to France as fast as possible. The primary reason for the delay between when the weapons were ready to ship and when they went into action was uncertainty as to which ports would still be in Allied hands given the rapid German advance. Efforts by the other Allies, and the U.S. Army, to develop similar long-range rail artillery were generally not completed or deployed before the armistice.

Each of the initial five batteries consisted of one 14-inch naval rifle on a special railroad car. As the newest U.S. battleships were being armed with 16-inch guns, there were a number of spare 14-inch guns that were readily available for use. The guns were assembled at a naval gun factory at the Washington Navy Yard and mated with railway carriages at the Baldwin Locomotive Works and Standard Steel Car Company in Pennsylvania. In addition to the gun car, each battery included a locomotive, two ammunition cars with 25 rounds each, two construction materiel cars, a crane, fuel, a workshop, berthing, kitchen and medical cars, all under the command of a Navy lieutenant. The five batteries were each independently mobile, but under the overall command of Rear Admiral Charles P. Plunkett, who had his own staff train. The entire unit had about 25 officers and 500 enlisted personnel. 

Due to the limited traverse of the gun, a railway siding would have to be quickly constructed that pointed in the direction of the intended target, hence the construction cars. In addition, to elevate the gun, a pit had to be dug underneath the rail bed, and the rails removed due to the width of the gun breech. The Mark II components to the gun fixed these issues, but they were not ready before the war ended. The weight of the gun carriage greatly exceeded the rated capacity of French railroads, so the trains were constrained to a speed of only about five miles per hour. The mobility of the trains was their best defense, but they were subject to German aerial observation and occasional air attack and counter-battery fire. However, only one U.S. Navy crewman was killed as a result of enemy action and a number wounded.

An example of the Navy railway gun is on display at the Washington Navy Yard. This Mark I gun was used for testing in the United States and is not one of the five that deployed to France. Those were later turned over to the U.S. Army, with some serving as coastal artillery between the world wars before eventually being scrapped.
(Source: NHHC Document, United States Naval Railway Batteries in France. )

(Back to H-Gram 021 summary) 


Thanks to Lurch and Dutch

Great definition of Socialism. Should be read by everyone. The author states that 57 percent of the Demos support this. Why not if they know they know all their needs will be paid for. Also, I wonder how many in this poll were paid to suddenly become Democrats and buy in on this system. It's how the left operates.

Nothing new here but a well articulated explanation of socialism

To: Americans Everywhere
August, 2018

I have been asked by many people around the Country if I would write a definition of Socialism, its inherent evils and the effects it would have upon us as individuals. The following is my attempt at answering that request. For certain, it would be a death blow to capitalism as well as to the God-given freedoms which we have enjoyed for so long in the United States.

Our country's economic system is called capitalism. It is based upon private ownership of property, which includes the means of production for the creation of goods or services for income and profit by individuals. It is a free market economic system based on the recognition of individual rights to own property (lands, businesses, goods, etc.). Such rights give individuals security and a means to control their own affairs, thus their own destiny. Under capitalism, private citizens, with their ownership of property, are responsible for the production and distribution of goods.

Whereas, Socialism is government ownership of property and control of production and distribution. The essential characteristic of Socialism is the denial of individual property rights. Individuals have no control over their own affairs and destiny. Almost every aspect of living will be regulated by the government.

It has been said, "Socialism is the doctrine that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that his life and his work do not belong to him, but belong to society, that the only justification of his existence is his service to society, and that society may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, or collective good."

I do not believe the majority of the American people would knowingly or willingly adopt Socialism, once understood, even though a poll conducted this week showed 57% of the Democrats polled would. It has been seeping in, little by little, over the past one hundred years pushed by the Democrat Party's progressives and liberals. If we aren't careful, every fragment of a socialist state will be adopted a little slice at a time, until one day America will be a full-blown socialist nation, without realizing how it happened.

Karl Marx, the nineteenth century German socialist revolutionary, taught that "Democracy is the road to Socialism" and preached that "Socialism represents the stage following Capitalism in a country transforming to Communism." The platforms of Liberals, Progressives and Socialists such as Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and other Democrat Party leaders are drawn from either Communism, Marxism or Fascism. They are all varying degrees of Socialism known as totalitarian concepts, differing in degrees only. There is not one example of a Socialist country, past or present, ever producing the level of prosperity and happiness for the people which our Capitalist system of private enterprise, individual ownership of property, has accomplished. If there were, people would not be cutting fences, climbing walls, swimming rivers or loading onto boats to escape those countries to get into the United States.

The Representative Republic of the United States with our Capitalist and Free Enterprise Market System has been the world's dominant economic system for over two hundred years. Within it, the means of production of goods and the distribution of those goods are owned by individuals. Since America's beginnings, the freedom of private ownership and free enterprise with its spirit of competition, have led to the abundance of food and products, more efficiency, lower prices, better products and rising prosperity. The production of food and materials and private individual prosperity has never been – can never be – equaled by any socialist country.

The people of almost every country on the continent of Africa are starving to death. Daily, we are shown the fly blown faces of these starving people. Venezuela is in total chaos with hungry people rioting in the streets. Every one of those countries have Socialist governments of some form. Every country on the continent of Europe is today experiencing the results of the evils of their respective degrees of Socialism with extremely high taxes. Despite tax rates of 75% and more Socialist countries all over the world are without enough food and goods to support the people. The Democrat Party, now becoming a strong proponent of Socialism, is leading our Country toward that same end.

How would Socialism affect YOU as an individual? By necessity, tax rates in America will reach upward of 90%, and our way of life will be exactly like that in Europe, Africa, Central America, Asia, Russia and elsewhere. Socialized health care will mandate who your doctor will be, even whether or not you are a candidate for treatment of an illness. It will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to buy a new home, land, a car, or reap the benefits of your own labor. Birth control will be mandated, private ownership of property will be denied, starting and maintaining a business impossible. Even the small things in our everyday lives such as the kind of windows you may put in your house and the type of light bulbs you may buy. The list of evils of Socialism is a long one. We hear a great deal from the proponents of Socialism about the sharing of wealth. Be warned – Socialism is nothing more than the sharing of misery.

The preachers of Socialism use the plight of the poor, the disenfranchised and the jobless with their promises to equalize income, share the wealth, level the economic playing field, take from those who have and give to those who have not, every thing will be free. The concept that with hard work and perseverance anybody can get ahead economically in the United States will be destroyed. Again, misery will be shared by all.

Most Americans think this could not happen here. I used to think that … until I realized differently. Not only can it happen here, IT WILL happen here if we allow the Socialist Democrat Party to gain control of our government. In the primaries now going on and the general election on November 6, this year we are being given the opportunity to choose our destiny. The choices are clear, the bondage of one world Socialism and its miseries or America first with the individual freedom of Capitalism and its prosperity.

The Democrat Party being lead by Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Cortez, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren and others are committed to destroying capitalism, that which has made America great, and replacing it with Socialism. Their giant first step will be to destroy President Trump because he looms large in their path with his dedication to America First Capitalism and Constitutional mind set. Today, the Democrat Party stands on the rocket launching pad for a Socialist States of America and a farewell to the Constitutional Republic of The United States of America. The date for launching is set for November 6, 2018. The American people who love freedom and responsibility can cause it to fizzle or watch as it soar in flight. No one will be exempt from the evils and misery of Socialism, not you, not your children, not your grandchildren.

We, that would be you and me, have got to fight what is happening. We cannot sit this one out. We cannot rely on someone else doing it for us. We have a duty and an obligation to protect, defend and preserve our Country, our freedom, our way of life. We don't have a lot of time. IF we lose, that loss will come at an unthinkable cost to every American.

The price of freedom has always come with a hefty price tag. Not a single American soldier has ever died in defense of Socialism.

You are free to distribute this letter in any way you wish.


Thank you until next time;
John Porter
118 Approach Drive
Harrison, Arkansas

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