Archive for November, 2018

Flashback History of the Submarine Insignia

Today we are flashing back to September 1924 and January 1961 and the history of the Submarine Insignia

Evening star. [volume], September 28, 1924, Page 11, Image 57
Army and Navy News by M. H. McIntyre

Announcement was made this week by the Bureau of Navigation, Navy Department, prescribing the qualifications for officers and enlisted men for wearing the submarine insignia, which was approved by the Secretary of the Navy last March.”(a) Officers qualified for submarine command in accordance with chapter 3. Paragraphs 203-209, Submarine Instructions, November. 1919,”are authorized to wear this insignia. The insignia will be worn at all times by the commissioned personnel as specified in (a) while they are attached to submarine units or organizations ashore or afloat, but it may not be worn at any time by officers when not attached to submarine organizations.


The following enlisted men are authorized to wear this insignia: (a) Men found qualified for submarine duty in accordance with chapter 3. Paragraphs 214-215. Submarine Instructions, November, 1919, whose certification of qualification appears on their service records.
(h) Men who prior to the issue of Submarine Instructions, November 1919 were found qualified for submarine duty and whose certification of qualification appears on their service records.

One of the earliest versions of the submarine warfare insignia, circa the 1920s. https://theleansubmariner.com/2018/10/19/submarine-dolphins-part-three-the-artists-that-created-the-insignia/

As specified in (a) and (b) the insignia will be worn at all times by enlisted men while attached to submarine units or organizations, ashore or afloat. Enlisted men will not be authorized to wear this insignia if they are not attached to submarine units. A change in the Uniform Regulations covering the details of the insignia and the manner of wearing it is in course of preparation and will be issued to the service shortly.
These qualifications will be incorporated in the Bureau of Navigation Manual when reprinted.

ALL Hands Magazine JANUARY 1961
Dolphins

“A high point in the career of many a Navy man occurs when he becomes a qualified submariner. At that time he is authorized to wear dolphins.
The correct name for the dolphins is submarine insigne. It is one of the items of uniform included under the category of breast insignia, including naval aviator, aviation observer and parachutist insignia, among others.
The submarine insignia came into use in the Navy nearly 37 years ago. It was on 13 Jun 1923 that the commander of a New London-based submarine division, took the first official steps—by way of an official recommendation. That officer was Captain Ernest Joseph King, USN, who later became Commander-in-Chief U.S. Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations.
Captain King recommended that a distinguishing device be adopted for qualified submariners, both officers and enlisted men. With his recommendation he submitted a pen-and-ink sketch of his own. The sketch showed a shield mounted on the beam ends of a submarine, with dolphins forward of, and abaft, the conning tower. The recommendation was strongly endorsed by Commander, Submarine Divisions, Atlantic Fleet, the following day and sent on to the Chief of the old Bureau of Navigation.
Over the next several months the Bureau solicited additional designs from various sources. Several were submitted. Some combined a submarine-and-shark motif. Some showed submarines and dolphins. Some used a shield design.

On 20 March 1924, the Chief of BuNav recommended to the Secretary of the Navy that the dolphin design be adopted. A few days later the recommendation was accepted by Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., Acting SecNav.
The final design shows the bow view of a submarine proceeding on the surface of the sea. Her bow planes care rigged for diving. Flanking the submarine are stylized dolphins in horizontal position with their heads resting on the upper edge of the bow planes.
As with other breast insignia (and enlisted distinguishing marks), qualifications are outlined in the Bupers Manual, while the method of wearing, a description of the design and an illustration of the design are to be found in Uniform Regulations.
The submarine insignia in the early days were awarded only to those officers qualified for submarine command. Later the criteria became “Qualified in sub- marines.” Also in the early days, the insignia were worn (both by officers and enlisted men) only when attached to submarines or submarine organizations. Under current directives however, once qualified, the insignia may be worn regardless of the duty being performed.
As first authorized, the insigne for officers was a bronze, gold-plated metal pin. Later, both a gold embroidered insigne and a gold-color metal pin became authorized.
Today enlisted submariners may wear either a silver-color metal pin or an embroidered dolphin. The latter is either white or blue, depending on the uniform worn.
Originally, the embroidered insigne was worn on an enlisted man’s right sleeve, midway between the wrist and elbow. To day it is worn on the left breast.”

A Navy Thanksgiving Menu

With Thanksgiving tomorrow, we think about all those who are currently deployed and unable to be with their families for the Holiday. While nothing can replace being with loved ones, the Navy does its best to make it feel as much like a holiday as possible. However, what does a Navy Thanksgiving menu look like?

NORFOLK (Nov. 23, 2017) Command Master Chief Huben Phillips, command master chief of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), serves turkey at a Thanksgiving meal held aboard the ship. The ship hosted Sailors and their family members at the event held on the ship’s mess decks. The ship is in port in Norfolk, Virginia, conducting routine maintenance after a seven-month deployment in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Sean Hurt/Released)

For more than 100 years, the Navy has included roast turkey on its Thanksgiving menu. In 1905, the USS Raleigh’s Thanksgiving menu listed: creamed asparagus bouillon; celery; creamed potatoes, young onions a la hollandaise, steamed cabbage, and white sauce; oyster dressing; cranberry sauce; assorted nuts; and—of course—roast turkey. No feast would be complete without dessert. In 1905, pumpkin pie, mince pie, and fruitcake topped off the holiday meal.

Head table with guests at the Thanksgiving dinner with the First Regiment, U.S. Naval Training Camp, Charleston, South Carolina, c. 1917
Photo Taken from the National Museum of the United States Navy Facebook page

In a release from the US Navy in 1969, a transcript of a film wrote:
“November 25, 1969
SERVICEMEN AROUND THE WORLD HAVE THANKSGIVING TURKEY
(Official U.S. Navy Film Released by the Department of Defense)
Hundreds of thousands of U.S. military men and women around the world will receive their Thanksgiving turkey, even men in remote posts in Vietnam.
With the official menu announced by Department of Defense including the traditional bird and all the fixings, only those personnel assigned overseas and on board ships will enjoy shrimp cocktail due to the devastation of most of the U. S. gulf coast shrimp during Hurricane Camille last August.
These men, stationed at Little Creek, Virginia board LCU (Utility Landing Craft) 1625, partake of just a portion of the holiday foods which will be served to the American fighting men and women around the world.
A total of approximately 2,800,000 pounds of turkey, 192,000 pounds of shrimp, 787,500 pounds of potatoes, 383,933 pounds of cranberry sauce and 350,000 pounds of fruitcake await the U.S. military personnel on this American holiday.
According to the Department of Defense, the same basic menu will be served on Christmas Day.”

Below you will find Thanksgiving Menus from Naval Submarine Base in Pearl Harbor from 1941:

Last year the Navy estimated that 89,000 pounds of turkey would be served to the Navy forces. The below graphic was posted on the navy.mil site to show the amount of food it takes to make a Thanksgiving feast happen for our sailors:

According to the National Museum of the United States Navy, this year is shaping up to be another large feast:

For service members deployed during Thanksgiving, the Defense Logistics Agency has shipped over 300,000 pounds of traditional Thanksgiving food worldwide, from the Middle East to Europe, Africa, Texas, and Arizona.

This year service members received:
-9,738 whole turkeys
-51,234 pounds of roasted turkey
-74,036 pounds of beef
-21,758 pounds of ham
-67,860 pounds of shrimp
-16,284 pounds of sweet potatoes
-81,360 pies
-19,284 cakes
-7,836 gallons of eggnog.

From all of us here at the Submarine Force Library and Museum we want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

USS Tecumesh

Submarine Highlight- The USS Tecumseh (SSBN 628)

The USS Tecumseh was a James Madison- class ballistic missile. Built by Electric Boat in 1962, she was commissioned in May of 1964. Her crews would complete 21 patrols within her first five years in commission. Originally, SSBN- 628 was named William Penn but was renamed on April 11, 1962. Her new name would be to honor a Shawnee Indian chief- Tecumseh

.

Tecumseh was a renowned warrior who devoted his life to preserving his tribe and protecting them from the advancement of white settlers. He believe that land in North America, especially the Ohio Valley belonged to its tribal ancestors, thus finding that any sale of territory to be invalid.  Fighting for the British in the War of 1812, Tecumseh would die at the Battle of the Thames in 1813. Circumstances surrounding his death are still unclear with multiple stories and multiple people claiming to have taken the Shawnee chiefs life.  Tecumseh’s life long goal was to keep tribal lands with their rightful owners. He promoted tribal unity and believed that the land belonged to them collectively.  After his death, the remaining land east of the Mississippi River would be ceded to the U.S. government giving up any hope of retaining control of the Old Northwest Territory. His dream of a pan-Indian confederation would not be realized until 1944. After his death, Tecumseh took on folk status. A statue of the Shawnee chief stands today at the United States Naval Academy.  It is said that if a midshipmen is looking for luck, they will provide an offering of pennies to Tecumseh while not stepping on the USNA seal, which Tecumseh’s stature guards. It is said that

Statue of Tecumseh at the United States Naval Academy

The original wooden figure was salvaged from the ship-of-the-line Delaware, which was sunk Union forces in 1861 at the Norfolk Navy Yard to prevent her falling into Confederate hands. Brought to the Naval Academy in 1866, the figurehead was intended to portray Tamanend, the revered Delaware chief who welcomed William Penn to America when he arrived in Delaware territory in 1682.When the wooden bust arrived, midshipmen widely referred to the statue as several other names, such as Powhatan, King Phillip and finally Tecumseh, in reference to the brave and skillful Shawnee warrior.[1]

After being decommissioned in 1993, Tecumseh had her two starboard torpedo tubes transferred to the U.S. Naval Undersea Museum for installation in there torpedo exhibit. As a James Madison- class sub, she held four Mark 65 torpedo tubes. Most weapons are usually launched hydraulically but the Mark 65 had a swim out capability that allowed a weapon to leave the tube under its own power.

The insignia for SSBN-628 was adopted in 1963. According to Naval History and Heritage Command:

Its design ties the life of Tecumseh with the mission of the ship that bears his name. The insignia’s background is in the shape of an Indian arrowhead, and also represents the United States Shield. The panther symbolizes one translation of the name Tecumseh: “Crouching Panther.” The crossed Polaris and Indian items are placed in the shape of the British Union Jack, while the Fleur-De-Lis Represents France. Both nations had great influence on the Northern Indians and are present day allies of the United States. The motto stands for both Tecumseh’s attempts to unite the tribes against the white setters, and the unity of NATO today.[1]

[1] https://www.history.navy.mil/our-collections/photography/numerical-list-of-images/nhhc-series/nh-series/NH-65000/NH-65727-KN.html

[1] http://usnhistory.navylive.dodlive.mil/2016/08/26/annapoliss-relics-of-luck/

The Men With the Unbreakable Code

The Code Talkers of World War II

My wartime experiences developing a code that utilized the Navajo language taught how important our Navajo culture is to our country. For me that is the central lesson: that diverse cultures can make a country richer and stronger. – Chester Nez, Navajo Code Talker

Carl Gorman- Navajo

https://americanindian.si.edu/education/codetalkers/html/chapter4.html

 Gorman joined the United States Marine Corps in 1942 when he learned they were recruiting Navajos. He went through all the difficult training and was one of the original 29 Navajos who were given the secret mission of developing the Navajo code. Carl answered one of his officers who had asked why Navajos were able to memorize the complex code so quickly: “For us, everything is memory, it’s part of our heritage. We have no written language. Our songs, our prayers, our stories, they’re all handed down from grandfather to father to children—and we listen, we hear, we learn to remember everything. It’s part of our training.” (Power of a Navajo: Carl Gorman, the Man and His Life, by Henry and Georgia Greenberg,1996) Carl served in four important Pacific battles: Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Tinian, and Saipan. In 1942, Carl was stricken by Malaria, a severe tropical disease, yet he continued to fight. In 1944, Carl was evacuated from Saipan suffering both from the effects of Malaria and shell shock. Shell shock is the psychological effects of being in extremely stressful and dangerous situations, such as combat. Malaria is an infectious disease caused by a parasite spread through the bite of a mosquito. Malaria was a common disease in the Pacific islands where much of the war against Japan was fought. He had to be hospitalized and took many months to recover. [1]

Charles Chibitty- Comanche

“Well, I was afraid and if I didn’t talk to the Creator, something was wrong. Because when you’re going to go in battle, that’s the first thing you’re going to do, you’re going to talk to the Creator.—Charles Chibitty, Comanche Code Talker, National Museum of the American Indian interview, 2004

Charles Chibitty was one of 17 Comanche men who served as Code Talkers in World War II. In 1941, when he learned that Comanches were being recruited to speak their language, he volunteered for the United States Army. Mr. Chibitty helped develop the code that the Comanches used and participated in some of the fiercest fighting of the war, including the D-Day landing in Normandy. He attained the rank of Corporal.

https://www.army.mil/article/90294/Charles_Chibitty__Comanche_Code_Talker/

Chester Nez- Navajo

Chester Nez was in 10th grade at the time that the military began recruiting Navajo code talkers. He became one of the first 29 men chosen to join the 382 Platoon- the all Native American Unit of the Marines. At the end of the war, Nez reenlisted and served in Korea. He retired in 1974 after 25 years of service. Until 1968, Nez was unable to tell anyone, including his family, about his contributions during WWII. In 2014, he came the last of the original 29 code talkers to pass away, at the age of 93.  Nez said of his time in the war, “When bombs dropped, generally we code talkers couldn’t just curl up in a shelter,” Nez wrote in his book. “We were almost always needed to transmit information, to ask for supplies and ammunition, and to communicate strategies. And after each transmission, to avoid Japanese fire, we had to move.”[1]  He also stated that “Our Navajo code was one of the most important military secrets of World War II. The fact that the Marines did not tell us Navajo men how to develop that code indicated their trust in us and in our abilities. The feeling that I could make it in both the white world and the Navajo world began there, and it has stayed with me all of my life. For that I am grateful.”[2]

Joe Housteen Kellwood- Navjao

Kellwood was born in Arizona in 1921 and would later be sent to a school on an Apache reservation run by the US military. He would enlist in the Marine Corps after reading about the efforts in the Battle of Guadalcanal. He was unaware of the top-secret code talkers’ programs when he enlisted. During his training he learned Morse code, radio and of course the Navajo codes.  After the war, Kellwood would settle in Sunnyslope, Arizona. He was extremely close with his brother Roy who also served – in the US Army Air Force. Joe passed away only three days after his brother Roy in 2016. Roy’s son said of his father and uncle “They were Navajo warriors – that’s what everyone calls them. They defended the country, not just for the US, but for the Navajo nation and the Navajo people.” [1]

Frank Sanache- Meskwaki

The eight Meskwaki code talkers – Edward Benson, Dewey Roberts, Frank Sanache, Willard Sanache, Melvin Twin, Judy Wayne Wabaunasee, Mike Wayne Wabaunasee and Dewey Youngbear

Frank Sanache was one of eight Meskwakis trained to use code in World War II. The Meskwaki tribe is based in Tama County and was among the 18 tribes that contributed code talkers in the war. Sanache unfrotantly had little opportunity to use his language skills after being shipped to North Africa were there were few Meskwaki code talkers for him to work with. He was captured after just five months at war and would spend 28 months as a prisoner of war. Describing his time as a POW, Sanache said A cup of hot water in the morning for coffee. A little bowl of soup at noon, then two potatoes at night. That’s what you live on. That’s what I lived on for three years.—Frank Sanache, Meskwaki Code Talker (discussing the meals provided for him as a prisoner of war), National Museum of the American Indian interview, 2004[1] In 2013, the eight Meskwaki Code talkers were posthumously awarded the  Congressional Gold Medal.

This is only a small list of those that served.

[1] https://americanindian.si.edu/education/codetalkers/html/chapter4.html

[1] https://www.cnn.com/2016/09/07/us/navajo-code-talker-joe-hosteen-kellwood-obit/

[1] http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/04/decoding-history-a-world-war-ii-navajo-code-talker-in-his-own-words/

[2] http://inamerica.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/04/decoding-history-a-world-war-ii-navajo-code-talker-in-his-own-words/

 

[1] https://americanindian.si.edu/education/codetalkers/html/chapter4.html

The Code Talkers of WWII

November is Native American Heritage month and the Navy is celebrating the achievements of American Indians and Alaskan natives within its ranks. As of June 2018, they make up 2.3% of the Navy’s total force. In World War II, 44,000 served in the armed forces, 15,000 in Korea and more than 42,000 in Vietnam. One of the most notable stories about their contributions is that of the code talkers in World War II. These code talkers and their code remained secret until 1968.
During the height of the war in the Pacific, Japanese troops were intercepting messages sent by American forces. It wasn’t until after the war that the Japanese admitted that they were unable to break the Navajo code used by the Marine Corps. Navajo code talkers took part in every major assault that the Marines conducted in the Pacific. The idea to use native code talkers came from a son of a missionary to the Navajos, Philip Johnston. Raised on a Navajo reservation, he was one of a few outside of the tribe who spoke the language fluently. While many believe that the Navajo code talkers were the first, Johnston knew of Native American languages used during World War I to encode messages.
Why was the Navajo code so unbreakable? Its syntax and dialects make it unintelligible to anyone without extensive training and exposure. There is no alphabet or symbols and at the start of WWII, less than 30 non-Navajos could understand the language. Within two weeks of being given permission to do a trial run, Johnston had assembled four Navajos to meet his superiors to perform a demonstration. Johnston told his commanding officers that despite many Navajo’s to recruit, their reservation was isolated and largely inaccessible land. Their language was preserved with theme truly unbreakable to outsiders. According to archives.gov, prior to the demonstration on February 28, 1942,” General Vogel had installed a telephone connection between two offices and had written out six messages that were typical of those sent during combat. One of those messages read, ‘Enemy expected to make tank and dive bomber attack at dawn.’ The Navajos transmitted the message almost verbatim.” A week later, Vogel recommended the initial recruitment of two hundred Navajos for the Pacific Fleet. Vogel was impressed by the fact that the language was completely unintelligible by other tribes and the larger public. He was also impressed by the fact that it was also one of the few tribes that had not been infiltrated by Germany posing as students and art dealers.

Figure 1 First 29 Navajo U.S. Marine Corps code-talker recruits being sworn in at Fort Wingate, NM, in 1942. (National Archives Identifier) 295175
Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/world/last-of-original-group-of-navajo-code-talkers-dies/article/385626#ixzz5WCzRzEHT

The Navajo code talkers were required to attend basic training and meet strict linguistic qualifications in English and Navajo. On May 5, 1942, the first twenty-nine Navajos arrived in San Diego for basic training. After training, they moved to Fleet Marine Training Center at Camp Elliott where the first Navajo code was created. The code was 211 words- Navajo terms that were given new military meanings. There was also a system that signified the twenty-six letters of English alphabet. The program would go on to be so successful that an additional two hundred Navajos were recruited. As the program grew, so did the code. The original 211 vocabulary would eventually expand to 411. Into 1943, an additional 303 Navajos were recruited at 50 men a month for six months. The primary strength of the code talkers was the amount of secrecy and versatility with which they could be used. Capt. Ralph J. Sturkey called the code “the simplest, fastest, and most reliable means.” It is estimated that between 375 and 420 Navajos served as code talkers. Official Marine Corps records contain very few battle reports related to the code talkers, due in part of keeping their code secret. The code talkers served in all six Marine divisions earning praise for their work in the Solomons and the Marianas and on Peleliu. Operations in Iwo Jima were completely directed by Navajo Code. Fifth Marine Division Signal Officer Major Howard Conner said that “During the two days that followed the initial landings I had six Navajo radio nets working around the clock…They sent and received over 800 messages without an error. Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.”

Figure 2 President George W. Bush presented the Congressional Gold Medal to Navajo code talkers on July 26, 2001. (White House Photo Office)

After the war, the Navajo code talkers went unrecognized. Unlike other veterans, they returned home on buses without parades and were sworn to secrecy in case the Navajo code was ever to be needed again. In 1992, an exhibit was created at the Pentagon in order to recognize the contributions of code talkers. Thirty-five code talkers attended the dedication of the exhibit which includes photographs, equipment, and the original code. In the summer of 2001, twenty-nine Navajo code talkers received the Congressional Gold Medal with others receiving the Congressional Silver Medal. A large committee from the Navajo nation came to support those who were receiving the awards. Many of the recipients were wearing their Navajo Code Talkers Association regalia. Five of the original twenty- nine code talkers were still alive at the time of the ceremony. Family members represented those that had already passed. Those present were Allen June, Lloyd Oliver, Chester Nez, and John Brown, Jr. Members of Congress shared their gratitude to the code talkers with President Bush saying that these men “who, in a desperate hour, gave their country a service only they could five.”

Excerpts from the Navajo Code, Part 1; Folder 6, Box 5; History and Museums Division; Records Relating to Public Affairs; USMC Reserve and Historical Studies, 1942 – 1988; “C” Course to Wash. Daily News; Records of the US Marine Corps, Record Group 127, National Archives at College Park.

English Letter   Navaho Word        Meaning
A                       Wol-la-chee            Ant
B                        Shush                     Bear
C                       Moasi                       cat
D                          Be                         Deer
E                         Dzeh                        Elk
F                        Ma-e                        Fox
G                      Klizzie                       Goat
H                       Lin                           Horse
I                         Tkin                          Ice
J                      Tkele-cho-gi            Jackass
K                     Klizzie-yazzie              Kid
L                     Dibeh-yazzie             Lamb
M                  Na-as-tso-si               Mouse
N                   Nesh-chee                   Nut
O                   Ne-ahs-jah                  Owl
P                     Bi-so-dih                     Pig
Q                    Ca-yeilth                   Quiver
R                       Gah                         Rabbit
S                     Dibeh                        Sheep
T                    Than-zie                     Turkey
U                   No-da-ih                      Ute
V               A-keh-di-glini                Victor
W                Gloe-ih                        Weasel
X                Al-an-as-dzoh                Cross
Y                   Tsah-as-zih                 Yucca
Z                Besh-do-gliz                   Zinc

English Word           Navaho Word          Meaning
Corps                           Din-neh-ih                Clan
Switchboard               Ya-ih-e-tih-ih            Central
Dive Bomber               Gini Chicken             Hawk
Torpedo Plane            Tas-chizzie               Swallow
Observation Plane        Me-as-jah                 Owl
Fighter plane               Da-he-tih-hi        Humming Bird
Bomber                           Jay-sho                Buzzard
Alaska                              Beh-hga            With-Winter
America                        Ne-he-Mah             Our Mother
Australia                       Cha-yes-desi            Rolled Hat
Germany                  Besh-be-cha-he            Iron Hat
Philippines                Ke-yah-da-na-lhe       Floating Land