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I hope that you all had a great Mother’s Day weekend.
This day in Naval History May 13, 2019
1846 Congress declares war against Mexico. Commodore David Conner is responsible for the landing of the Army at Vera Cruz. In April 1847, Commodore Matthew C. Perry relieves Conner. On Feb. 2, 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is signed ending hostilities.
1908 The Navy Nurse Corps is established by Public Law No. 115, though nurses have been volunteering onboard Navy ships prior to the Civil War.
1908 The Pearl Harbor Navy Yard, later called Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, is authorized for the enlargement and dredging of the Pearl Harbor channel and locks to admit the largest ships as it becomes a coaling station for the U.S. Navy.
1944 USS Francis M. Robinson (DE 220) sinks Japanese submarine RO 501 (ex-German U 1124) en route to Japan on her maiden voyage, 400 miles south-southwest of the Azores.
1964 The first all nuclear-powered task group, USS Enterprise (CVAN 65), USS Long Beach (CGN 9) and USS Bainbridge (DLGN 25), is organized and deploys to the Sixth Fleet. The task group departs in July and circumnavigates the globe without refueling, returning that October.
Thanks to CHINFO
Leading national news headlines today are multiple reports on the trade war between the U.S. and China. The Press Trust of India states the CNO Adm. John Richardson is visiting India to meet his Indian counterpart and other senior officials to further strengthen the partnership between the U.S. and Indian navies. USNI News reports that the Navy will soon have a finalized plan for its proposed assistant secretary of the Navy for information management office. Additionally, the Virginian-Pilot state the Navy’s Career Intermission Program helps to retain talented sailors by being more accommodating to working parents. "The bottom line is that women can be wives, mothers and Sailors all at the same time," said Lt. Cmdr. Jessica McNulty.
Today in History: May 13
1607 English colonists land near the James River in Virginia.
1648 Margaret Jones of Plymouth is found guilty of witchcraft and is sentenced to be hanged.
1779 The War of Bavarian Succession ends.
1846 The United States declares war on Mexico after fighting has already begun.
1861 Britain declares its neutrality in the American Civil War.
1888 Slavery is abolished in Brazil.
1912 The Royal Flying Corps is established in England.
1913 Igor Sikorsky flies the first four-engine aircraft.
1944 Allied forces in Italy break through the German Gustav Line into the Liri Valley.
1958 French troops take control of Algiers.
1968 Peace talks between the United States and North Vietnam begin in Paris.
1981 Pope John Paul II survives an assassination attempt.
Thanks to THE Bear
COMMANDO HUNT and ROLLING THUNDER REMEMBERED…WEEK FIFTEEN of THE HUNT…17-23 FEBRUARY 1969…
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This Week in Aviation Heritage
May 12, 1938
Three Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress four-engine bombers of the 49th Bombardment Squadron, 2nd Bombardment Group, departed Mitchel Field, Long Island, New York, in heavy rain and headed eastward over the Atlantic Ocean. Their mission, assigned by Maj. Gen. Frank M. Andrews, commanding general, Headquarters U.S. Army Air Corps, was to locate and photograph the Italian passenger liner, S.S. Rex, then on a transatlantic voyage to New York City. The purpose was to demonstrate the capabilities and effectiveness of long-range bombers. Read the full story HERE. Andrews was Daedalian Founder Member #2129.
May 13, 1916
The Lafayette Escadrille flew French Nieuport 11s on their first patrol over Mulhouse on the Verdun Front, led by Cpl. Kiffin Rockwell. Five days later, Rockwell attacked and shot down a German aircraft, a two-man observational plane, over the Alsace battlefield despite having troubles with the motor. Thus, he became the first American pilot to shoot down an enemy plane during World War I. For this action he was awarded the Médaille militaire and the Croix de guerre. On Sept. 23, 1916, during a fight with a German two-man reconnaissance plane, Rockwell was shot through the chest by an explosive bullet and killed instantly. He became the second American airman to die in combat in France, and was buried with military honors.
May 14, 1908
Charles Furnas became the first airplane passenger when he rode aboard an aircraft flown by Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
May 15, 1963
At 8:04:13.106 a.m., Mercury-Atlas 9, carrying NASA astronaut, L. Gordon Cooper aboard Faith 7, lifted off from Launch Complex 14, Cape Canaveral AFB, Florida. Cooper reported, “The liftoff was smooth, but very definite, the acceleration was very pleasant. The booster had a very good feel to it and it felt like we were real on the go, there.” The maximum acceleration experienced during launch was 7.6 Gs. Read more about this mission HERE. Cooper, who would retire from the Air Force as a colonel, was a Daedalian Life Member.
May 16, 1927
“Wings,” a Paramount Pictures silent motion picture directed by William A. Wellman, won the first Academy Award for Best Picture at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood, California. The silent movie about combat pilots of World War I was filmed on location at Kelly Field, Texas, at a cost of $2 million. More than 300 pilots were involved, and 3,500 extras in the land battle scenes.
May 17, 1943
The flight crew of the B-17 Memphis Belle completed their combat tour of 25 bombing missions over Western Europe with an attack on the massive Kéroman Submarine Base at Lorient, France. The bomber was a U.S. Army Air Force B-17F-10-BO Flying Fortress, serial number 41-24485, assigned to the 324th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 91st Bombardment Group (Heavy), VIII Bomber Command, based at Air Force Station 121 (RAF Bassingbourne, Cambridgeshire, England). The aircraft commander was Capt. Robert Knight Morgan, Air Corps, United States Army. The Memphis Belle is now on display at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. Learn more HERE.
May 18, 1953
On his last day of combat, Capt. Joseph C. McConnell, Jr., a fighter pilot with the 39th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, flew 2 sorties in which he shot down 3 enemy MiG-15 fighters, bringing his total to 16 aerial victories. He was credited with damaging 5 more enemy aircraft. McConnell was the leading American ace of the Korean War. He had scored all of his victories between Jan. 14 and May 18, 1953. For his actions on this date, Captain McConnell was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross.
Some news from around the world
USA—Air Force Adds F-35 Aggressor Squadron Air Force News Service | 05/13/2019 The U.S. Air Force is reactivating the 65th Aggressor Squadron and transferring 11 F-35A Lightning II fighters to Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., as part of efforts to improve training for fifth-generation jets, reports the Air Force News Service. Gen. Mike Holmes, the head of Air Combat Command, had recommended enhancing training and the development of fifth-generation fighter tactics and close air support by adding F-35s to the fourth-generation aircraft currently used as adversaries. The service has decided to create a fifth-generation aggressor squadron at Nellis AFB and will move nine non-combat capable F-35As from Eglin AFB, Fla., to the squadron. The new squadron will employ early production F-35s to help train pilots for high-intensity warfare, said Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson. The older F-35s will not move from Eglin AFB until they are replaced by new aircraft, the Air Force said. Two F-35As from Edwards AFB, Calif., will also join the 24th Tactical Air Support Squadron at Nellis, an F-16 unit that is focused on supporting and performing close air support training.
USA—Aircraft Carrier To Join Northern Edge Drills Air Force Times | 05/13/2019 For the first time in a decade, the U.S. Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to the Air Force-led Northern Edge joint exercise in Alaska, reports the Air Force Times. The biennial drills, scheduled to run from May 13-24, will involve around 10,000 personnel and 250 aircraft from the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, as well as five naval vessels, according to a Pacific Air Forces release last week. Participating in the exercise are units from the continental U.S., the Asia-Pacific region and some that will take part from elsewhere in the U.S., the newspaper said. The drills are designed to prepare joint forces to respond to crises in the Indian and Pacific oceans. It covers tactical combat skills, command, control and communications and joint planning, said PACAF.
USA—Rolls-Royce Touts New Power System For Laser Weapons Defense News | 05/13/2019 Rolls-Royce's LibertyWorks division in Indianapolis, Ind., has successfully developed a new power system designed for laser weapons, reports Defense News. The integrated power and thermal management system, developed and tested over the last decade, can power a 100-kW-class laser weapon, according to LibertyWorks officials. The system uses the company's M250 helicopter engine, which supplies about 300 kW of electrical power and 200 kW of thermal management capacity. A battery is fitted so that the engine does not have to run all the time. The user can begin operations on the battery and then switch over to the turbine engine once its running, said Mark Wilson, the chief operating officer of LibertyWorks. The engine then recharges the battery. The engine supports continuous operations so long as it has fuel, enabling "an endless magazine of laser shots," Wilson told the newspaper in an interview last week. The power system is designed to fit inside the same vehicle as the laser weapon. Current laser demonstrators use off-the-shelf diesel generators that require a separate trailer. Rolls-Royce plans to complete another round of testing before supplying the system to Lockheed Martin for field-testing with its laser weapon.
South Korea—Missile Defenses To Be Strengthened In Response To Latest N. Korean Tests Yonhap | 05/13/2019 South Korea will continue to enhance its missile defense capabilities following recent missile tests by North Korea, reports the Yonhap news agency (Seoul). The defense ministry is developing its missile defenses based on the Patriot system, a spokeswoman said on Monday. Seoul is looking at solutions to counter North Korea's short-range cruise missiles as well as any other threats that could arise, she said. Officials said on Sunday that they were working to identify the systems used in last week's launches. Initial analysis suggested a resemblance to Russia's Iskander ballistic missile but some have cautioned that these similarities may be cosmetic. Pyongyang also launched unidentified projectiles on May 4 into the Sea of Japan. U.N. Security Council resolutions bar North Korea from test-firing ballistic missiles.
Philippines—Four Explosions Strike Maguindanao Province Ahead Of Polls Manila Bulletin | 05/13/2019 A series of explosions have struck cities in the southern Philippine province of Maguindanao ahead of midterm elections on Monday, reports the Manila Bulletin. On Sunday, an explosion took place near Datu Odin Sinsuat, said Maj. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, the commander of the army's 6th Infantry Division. Two more blasts were reported near the city hall in Cotabato on Sunday night. A fourth explosion was reported on Monday morning near Datu Odin Sinsuat. The blasts occurred in open areas that are not known gathering points and no casualties were reported. Sobejana said troops were dispatched following the explosions, reported the official Philippine News Agency. The explosions may have been intended to scare voters from participating in the midterm elections, said military officials. Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde denied that there was any link to the elections, reported the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
India—ISIS Declares New Province In India After Fighting In Kashmir Press Trust Of India | 05/13/2019 The Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS) claims to have set up a new branch in India, reports the Press Trust of India. On Friday, the terrorist group's Amaq news agency announced the "India province" (Wilayat Hind) following clashes between militants and security forces in Kashmir. A senior police officer in Jammu and Kashmir rejected the claim. ISIS said its fighters fought with security personnel in Amshipora in the Shopian district, resulting in one dead ISIS fighter and undisclosed casualties among government troops, reported Reuters. The statement did not indicate when the fighting occurred. The slain militant identified by ISIS was known to police and had a history of attacks on security forces. He may have been the lone individual with ISIS sympathies in the area, said one military official. ISIS has lost its primary territorial holdings in Syria and Iraq and is looking to claim disparate provinces to maintain credibility, said analysts. The militant group began claiming attacks against Indian security forces in 2017, which were linked to its Khorasan Province branch that covers Afghanistan, Pakistan and other nearby countries.
Pakistan—Baluch Separatists Claim Deadly Hotel Attack Dawn | 05/13/2019 Separatist militants in Pakistan's Baluchistan province have taken responsibility for an assault on a hotel in the port city of Gwadar that killed five people, reports the Dawn (Pakistan). On Saturday, three gunmen attacked the Pearl Continental hotel, shooting and killing a security guard before entering the building, officials told the newspapers. The attackers, who were heavily armed and wore military uniforms, moved to the upper floors, killing three hotel employees and wounding two more with indiscriminate fire, said Inter-Services Public Relations, the media wing for Pakistan's military. Police and military units were dispatched to the site and launched an operation to clear the militants. Security forces were able to defuse explosives planted by the terrorists and kill all three militants in the rescue operation. One navy sailor was killed, while two army and two navy personnel were wounded in the operation. The Baluchistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack. It is the fifth attack in the southwestern province in the last month.
Yemen—Houthis Withdrawing From Ports, Says U.N. Agence France-Presse | 05/13/2019 The United Nations says that the withdrawal of Houthi rebels from several Yemeni ports is proceeding as planned after months of delays, reports Agence France-Presse. On Saturday, the rebels began unilaterally handing over facilities in Saleef, Ras Issa and Hodeidah, and called on the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to take similar steps as required under last year's cease-fire agreement. Officials from Yemen's internationally-recognized government accused the rebels of simply reshuffling its forces in the ports. Lt. Gen. Michael Lollesgaard, the head of the U.N. Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC), confirmed the withdrawal and handover to professional coast guard personnel, reported BBC News. The coast guardsmen were responsible for administering the facilities before the Houthis overran much of the country five years ago. All Houthi fighters are expected to be withdrawn by Tuesday. The Security Council is set to be briefed on the situation on Wednesday. The three ports, all of which were controlled by the rebels, were supposed to be handed over under a deal agreed to in December. Efforts to implement that agreement stalled due to disputes over the administration of the ports and accusations of cease-fire violations.
United Arab Emirates—Commercial Ships Sabotaged Outside Fujairah Emirates News Agency | 05/13/2019 Four merchant ships have been damaged in sabotage operations near Emirati territorial waters in the Gulf of Oman, reports the Emirates News Agency (WAM). Two Saudi ships were "sabotaged" on Sunday in the waters off of Fujairah, including a tanker that was headed to Ras Tanura to be loaded with oil, said Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih as reported by the Saudi Press Agency. There were no reports of casualties but the Saudi ships were said to be significantly damaged. Abu Dhabi denied reports in Iranian and Lebanese media that the port of Fujairah was targeted with explosives, reported the National (U.A.E.). There were no immediate claims of responsibility. Iran has repeatedly threatened to stop oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in response to U.S. sanctions. While acknowledging that the events had not been confirmed, the U.S. Maritime Administration urged shipping firms to exercise caution near Fujairah.
Nigeria—Nearly 900 Children Released From Militia In Northeast UNICEF | 05/13/2019 The Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) militia in northeastern Nigeria has released another 894 children from its ranks as part of its commitment to stop the recruitment and use of children, reports the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF). The CJTF was formed in 2013 to assist government security forces in the fight against the Boko Haram terrorist group. The just-released youths will participate in reintegration programs to help them return to civilian life. Children in northeastern Nigeria have been used by armed groups in combatant and non-combatant roles, said UNICEF officials. More than 3,500 children were recruited and employed by non-state armed groups in the region between 2013 and 2017. A total of 1,727 children and youths have been released since the CJTF signed an agreement to end the use and prevent the recruitment of children in September 2017. The militia has not recruited any children since, according to the U.N. agency.
Burkina Faso—2 French Commandos Killed In Rescue Op Cable News Network | 05/13/2019 Two French special operations soldiers have been killed in a raid that rescued four hostages in Burkina Faso, reports CNN. On May 10, troops from the Hubert naval special divers unit led a rescue operation, with Beninese, Burkinabe and U.S. support, reported France 24. Two French commandos and four militants were killed in the operation. The captives included two Frenchmen, a South Korean and an American. On May 1, the Frenchmen were kidnapped in Pendjari National Park in neighboring Benin. Their guide was killed in the attack. Authorities believed that the kidnappers would hand the abductees to the Macina Liberation Front, a member of the Al-Qaida-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims (JNIM) that is based in Mali. The U.S. provided overhead intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance support for the mission, said American officials.
Burkina Faso—6 Killed In Attack On Church In North Agence France-Presse | 05/13/2019 At least six people have been killed in a militant assault on a church in northern Burkina Faso, reports Agence France-Presse. On Sunday, gunmen entered a Catholic church in the town of Dablo during worship, reported the official Burkina Information Agency. The attackers ordered the women and children to leave and killed five male parishioners and the priest, said the mayor. The militants burned the church as well as nearby shops and a cafe and looted a health center. Security sources said between 20 and 30 gunmen were involved in the assault. This was the second attack on a church in Burkina Faso in less than a month. Attacks against civilians and security personnel have been increasing. Security forces are in the midst of Operation Ndofou, which targets Islamist militants, some of whom are affiliated with Al-Qaida and ISIS.