Sunday, September 21, 2014

Aloha to New England - USS Cassin Young



The USS Constitution has company at the Charlestown Navy Yard - the USS Cassin Young.  From the National Park Service (link),

USS Cassin Young was built by Bethlehem Steel Corporation at San Pedro, California and commissioned on December 31, 1943. Assigned to the Central Pacific, Cassin Young first experienced combat in April 1944, attacking Japanese strongholds in the Caroline Islands. In June, the ship escorted American amphibious forces that invaded the islands of Saipan, Tinian and Guam. In August, the ship was reassigned to Task Group (TG) 38.3, which included several aircraft carriers. For the remainder of the Pacific war, Cassin Young would be in the forefront of the naval offensive against the Japanese.



The destoryer is named for an American Hero.  Again from the NPS (link),

USS Cassin Young bears the name of a navy commander awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Commander Young was in command of the repair ship USSVestal which was moored alongside battleship USS Arizona. When USS Arizona blew up, he was blown overboard along with many members of his crew. With USS Vestal taking on water from several hits and set afire from the blazing inferno that had been USS Arizona, the remaining crew began to abandon ship. 


Just as the first of the crew began to flee "a figure, like some sea creature, rose from the water and stood athwart the gangway. It was Ted Young... 'Where the hell do you think you're going?' he asked the first sailor. 'We're abandoning ship,' the sailor replied. 'Get back aboard,' Young roared, 'You don't abandon ship on me!'" Commander Young got the fires under control, picked up survivors from USS Arizona and managed to move USS Vestal across the harbor where he beached her for later salvage.


After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Cassin Young was promoted to captain and given command of the heavy cruiser USS San Francisco. On the night of November 12-13, 1942, during the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, Captain Young died amidst an avalanche of shellfire from three Japanese warships. For his conspicuous gallantry in the face of the enemy, he was posthumously awarded the Navy Cross. USS Cassin Young (DD793) was commissioned in 1943, honoring this gallant officer.


Above is the officer's mess.  Below is a peak down in the sailors' bunks.



Learn more about the USS Cassin Young at this link.


The Charlestown Navy Yark is now a National Historical Park. From its website (link),

Established in 1800, Charlestown Navy Yard served the fleet with distinction--especially proving its worth in each of the nation's wars--until its closing in 1974. The men and women of its workforce built more than 200 warships and maintained and repaired thousands. From its inception the yard was in the forefront of shipyard technology, from building the Navy's only ropewalk to making itself a center of missile and electronics conversions. In its 174-year history, Charlestown Navy Yard played an important role in the birth, growth, and continued effectiveness of the U.S. Navy.


When the Charlestown Navy Yard closed in 1974 after nearly 175 years of serving the fleet, 30 acres became part of Boston National Historical Park. The National Park Service now maintains an important part of the ship yard, and as part of the Park Service's interpretive program, USS Constitution, in connection with the United States Navy, and USS Cassin Young are preserved as representatives of the kinds of vessels built in this yard. Together they represent a 200-year-old tradition of building fine ships for the Navy.


The Marine Barracks are now serve as Administrative Offices for the National Park Service.   The Commandant's House (above) has been preserved for meeting space. 

Do you know any Navy sailors - past or present?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.   Comments are open through Saturday, September 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 28.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Charlestown Korean War Memorial

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Aloha to New England - USS Constitution (part 2)



Old Ironsides offers self guided tours ... with one sailor providing tutorials below deck.


This active duty sailor, in period costume, was very animated in sharing his knowledge of this historic ship.


He suggested MASTER AND COMMANDER as an authentic movie of the high seas ...


... rather than PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN.


I thought he would make the perfect cover model for a historical romance!


Do you have a favorite seafaring movie?  My favorite is BATTLESHIP (link).  Comments are open through Saturday, September 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 28.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City 

From my Hanscom Days, we invited the 
USS Constitution's First Lieutenant to our Dining Out (left).   
I served as his escort (second left).




Friday, September 19, 2014

Aloha to New England - USS Constitution (Part 1)


Hubby and I drove by the house I rented with two other Lieutenants from 1989-1992 - we paid $400 each for this Victorian home.  It was perfect for Halloween Parties ... and walking distance to the T, Boston's subway. 



We took the Orange Line to downtown Boston and walked over to the Charleston Navy Yard, home of the USS Constitution, the oldest ship in the US Navy.   From its website (link),

Following the American Revolution, the United States' Continental Navy was disbanded, leaving the new nation without a credible seapower to defend its interests abroad. Signed into law on March 27, 1794 by President George Washington, the Naval Armament Act called for the construction of six frigates, to be built at shipyards along the eastern seaboard. The 44-gun USS CONSTITUTION, built in Boston, was launched on Oct. 21, 1797.



At the outset of the War of 1812, USS CONSTITUTION had already won all of her engagements in two wars: the Quasi War with France (1798-1801) and the Barbary Wars (1801-1805). During the War of 1812, to the surprise of both the Americans and the British, she defeated four English warships, earning each of her three captains a congressional gold medal. Upon returning to Boston from each victory at sea, the ship and her sailors were honored with parades and public adoration, and her legend grew into the national icon that “Old Ironsides” remains to this day.

 

The USS Constitution remains a fully commissioned US Navy Ship.  From Wikipedia (link),

Constitution's stated mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy's role in war and peace through educational outreach, historic demonstration, and active participation in public events ... her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping the ship open to visitors year round and providing free tours. The officers and crew are all active-duty US Navy personnel and the assignment is considered special duty in the Navy. 



Old Glory flies proudly on Old Ironsides!


We liked the oriental lion carved into the pulley system.



 That's a big wheel ... 


... and miles of rope!  



Below deck, we found more cannons ...



... and a list of the first lieutenants in the officer mess.   One of hubby's high school friends is on the list.



One more deck down, we found the sailers' swinging hammocks.



Have you visited a historic ship?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 27, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 28, at SOS Aloha.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Aloha to New England - Minuteman National Historcal Park


The Minuteman National Historical Park brings Colonial history to life.  From its website (link),

MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK is located 22 miles outside of Boston within the towns of Lexington, Lincoln and Concord, Massachusetts. The park commemorates the opening battles of the American Revolution on April 19, 1775 by protecting, preserving and interpreting the significant historic sites, structures, landscapes, events and ideas embodied by these events.

Above is the Captain William Smith House.  Captain Smith was the commanding officer of the Lincoln, MA Minute Men and was also the borther of Abigail Adams.


Below is Hartwell Tavern - a restored 18th century home on the Battle Road:

On the night of April 18th, an advance guard of British soldiers captured Paul Revere and William Dawes just down the road from the tavern.


Dr. Samuel Prescott of Concord, who was riding with them, escaped by leaping his horse over a stone wall and fleeing through pasture and swamp. He emerged at the Hartwell Tavern.


Prescott awakened old Ephraim Hartwell and told him that the British regulars on the march.


Mary Hartwell then took over and relayed the message to Captain William Smith, commanding officer of the Lincoln Minute Men.


Thus the Lincoln Minute Men were warned in time, and arrived at the North Bridge before the British soldiers got there.


Are you a horse rider?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book chocie from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Nathan Meriam's House along Battle Road

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Aloha to New England - Historic Concord


Concord is another historic town near Hanscom AFB.  From its Visitors' Center (link),

Incorporated in 1635, the town was the first Massachusetts settlement away from the tidewater on a non-navigable river. It was settled by the English as a frontier outpost of the Massachusetts bay Colony and was the first interior, non-tidal water town in Massachusetts. On April 19, 1775, it was the scene of the first battle of the War for Independence—the American Revolution. During the middle of the nineteenth century, a period aptly called “The Flowering of New England,” Concord was home to some of the greatest minds in America. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, lived, talked, and wrote in Concord. Because of them, visitors, both literary and transcendental, flocked to this town which became an American Athens.


The Colonial Inn celebrates its patriotic roots.


The Masonic Lodge overlooks Concord center.



The War Memorial honors its hometown heroes ...



... including Captain Hudner, Medal of Honor recipient.



This is a creative wall planter.



Glad to see literacy ...


... and arts alive in small towns!   Today's comments are open forum.  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, September 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City

 A pumpkin patch with sunflowers!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Aloha to New England - Lexington Green


While I worked on Hanscom AFB, I often joined friends for lunch in Lexington - a town steeped in American history.  


Lexington honors the ships named after the town.


USS Lexington (1776), a brigantine 
USS Lexington (1825), a sloop-of-war
USS Lexington (1861), a timberclad gunboat 
USS Lexington II (SP-705), later USS SP-705, a patrol vessel 
USS Lexington (CC-1), a Lexington-class battlecruiser
USS Lexington (CV-2), a Lexington-class aircraft carrier 
USS Lexington (CV-16), an Essex-class aircraft carrier


Massachusetts celebrates April 19 as Patriots' Day.


From the History Place (link),

April 18, 1775 - General Gage orders 700 British soldiers to Concord to destroy the colonists' weapons depot.

That night, Paul Revere and William Dawes are sent from Boston to warn colonists. Revere reaches Lexington about midnight and warns Sam Adams and John Hancock who are hiding out there.

At dawn on April 19 about 70 armed Massachusetts militiamen stand face to face on Lexington Green with the British advance guard. An unordered 'shot heard around the world' begins the American Revolution. A volley of British muskets followed by a charge with bayonets leaves eight Americans dead and ten wounded. 


Lexington Green is home of Captain John Parker.


One of my friends married in the First Parish overlooking Lexington Green.


Oh, another book store! 


What is your favorite book store?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a book choice from my convention stash.  Comments are open through Saturday, September 20, 10 pm in Baltimore.  I'll post the winner on SOS Aloha on September 21.

Mahalo,

Kim in Baltimore
Aloha Spirit in Charm City