Sea History 167 - Summer 2019

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Turmoil at Sea D-Day Remembered Smugglers’ Blues Artist Maarten Platje 30 Years After Exxon Valdez

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You can own this spectacular scene of summer sailing by acclaimed artist Russ Kramer and support NMHS at the same time.

The Joy of Sailing: Herreshoff New York 30s by Russ Kramer

Owner Stuyvesant Wainwright helms Cara Mia in early competition against Nautilus and Neola II. N. G. Herreshoff built eighteen New York 30s in 1905, and they became instant classics. Image size: 30” x 21” • Signed and Numbered Limited-Edition Print of 500 • Price: $450; Remarqued Edition of 50 with an original pencil sketch by the artist: $700. Also available on canvas. Russ Kramer, a past president of the American Society of Marine Artists, is widely regarded to be among America’s leading marine artists, specializing in historic yachting scenes. He was the featured cover artist for Sea History 158 (Spring 2017) and author of “The America’s Cup: Personalities, Passion, and Privilege” in that same issue. You can view that issue online at

To order call 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0

No. 158








G 2017

ADVEN America’s TURE, Mallows Cup $4.95 LORE Bay & LEA Confeder Ghost Fleet RNING ate Sub OF THE H. L. Hun SEA ley

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No. 167



10 NMHS Legacy Society­—Planning Your Legacy, by Jessica MacFarlane A planned gift included in a will, living trust, or life insurance policy can be an effective way of supporting the National Maritime Historical Society without a negative impact on your finances today. uscg photo

14 Turmoil at Sea, by Austin Dwyer Was SS Flying Enterprise carrying a secret cargo, and does that explain the unusual response to its captain’s distress call? Artist Austin Dwyer captured the drama in a series of paintings and recalls the story that held the public in rapt attention in January 1952.


18 30 Years After the Exxon Valdez Disaster—The Coast Guard’s

Environmental Protection Mission, byWilliam H. Thiesen

The grounding of the Exxon Valdez in the pristine waters and wilderness of Prince William Sound in Alaska became a catalyst for change in the US Coast Guard’s mission.

28 Smuggler’s Blues: The Coast Guard’s Debut in the War on Drugs,

charlie bozeman

22 The Navy’s D-Day, by William S. Dudley To mark the 75th anniversary of the world’s largest naval undertaking, Dr. William Dudley, NMHS trustee and the former director of the Naval Historical Center examines the enormous and complex undertaking that was the invasion of Normandy. 28

by Daniel A. Laliberte

After Prohibition, the US Coast Guard enjoyed a respite from major illicit maritime trade, until the war on drugs in the 1970s pushed drug smuggling into American coastal waters.

38 San Salvador—Setting a Course for the 16th Century,

maarten platje

32 M arine A rt: Maarten Platje’s Early History of the US Navy, by Jon Swanson A lifelong painter of the sea, ships, and seascapes, artist Maarten Platje developed a fascination with the subject of early US Navy action after a visit to USS Constitution in Boston and other historic ships and sites in the US. You can view his latest works at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum for a limited time. 32

by Susan Sirota and Raymond Ashley

A handful of lucky individuals will be able to join the ship’s crew and several world-renowned maritime historians in sailing the 16th-century recreation San Salvador on a voyage exploring the cruising grounds explored by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542.

photo by jerry soto

Cover: The Flying Enterprise by Austin Dwyer, (See pages 14–16.)

DEPARTMENTS 4 Deck Log and Letters 8 NMHS: A Cause in Motion 42 Sea History for Kids 46 Maritime History on the Internet

48 Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News 55 Calendar 56 Reviews 64 Patrons

Sea History and the National Maritime Historical Society Sea History e-mail:; NMHS e-mail:; Website: Ph: 914 737-7878; 800 221-NMHS MEMBERSHIP is invited. Afterguard $10,000; Benefactor $5,000; Plankowner $2,500; Sponsor $1,000; Donor $500; Patron $250; Friend $100; Contributor $75; Family $50; Regular $35. All members outside the USA please add $20 for postage. Sea History is sent to all members. Individual copies cost $4.95.

38 SEA HISTORY (issn 0146-9312) is published quarterly by the National Maritime Historical Society, 5 John Walsh Blvd., POB 68, Peek­skill NY 10566 USA. Periodicals postage paid at Peeks­kill NY 10566 and add’l mailing offices. COPYRIGHT © 2019 by the National Maritime Historical Society. Tel: 914  737-7878. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sea History, PO Box 68, Peekskill NY 10566.


Deck Log We watched in horror along with the rest of the world as the magnificent spire of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, consumed in flame and smoke, collapsed into the inferno below. The 850-year-old cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an iconic symbol of Paris and France. As some breathed a cautious sigh of relief when it was reported that much had been saved, within hours it was also reported that a number of uber-wealthy in France had pledged in excess of one billion dollars to restore their beloved Notre Dame. As much as the response is one of gratitude, we also began to wonder where these generous patrons were before the fire. Notre Dame has, for some time, been reportedly in dire need of repair and restoration, and funding to achieve this work was considerably shy of what was required. It is easy to draw an analogy to the historic structures the maritime heritage community feels so strongly about. We have a number of historic ships in dire straits, iconic vessels that represent our national and world history. As much as the dedicated individuals who are working to save them can do with labors of love, heart and soul, in the end these ships and the organizations tasked with their preservation need money. It is out there, but why do we wait for tragedy to pledge these funds? Millionaires and billionaires, could you come forward now, before our great historic ships degrade to the point where the only option is to tow them out and sink them as artificial reefs or in deep water where no one will ever see them again? Falls of Clyde, the only remaining ship of her kind, is desperate for funds to transport this iconic ship from Hawaii to Scotland, where a group is standing by to restore her. The record-breaking ocean liner SS Falls of United States, the pride of the nation, has been barely Clyde holding on for years at a dock in Philadelphia; ex-USS Olympia is still afloat, but her future is less than certain. And there are so many United States others. Those who have the resources at this level are but a small segment of our population, but just think what a lasting and far-reaching contribution that saving an important historic ship can do for current and future generations. Imagine our horror to wake up one day and Olympia hear that any of these historic ships caught fire or sank or was quietly towed to the scrapyard. It has happened before; let’s not wait until it is too late. We need to save our historic vessels, great and small, and we need our citizens of means to help us do it now before they are gone forever. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President

chas tilford

ssus conservancy


antoninnnn via wikipedia commons (cc by-sa 4.0)

Saving Our History While We Still Can


NATIONAL MARITIME HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLISHER’S CIRCLE: Peter Aron, Guy E. C. Maitland, Ronald L. Oswald OFFICERS & TRUSTEES: Chairman, Ronald L. Oswald; Vice Chairman, Richardo R. Lopes; President, Burchenal Green; Vice Presidents: Jessica MacFarland, Deirdre O’Regan, Wendy Paggiotta, Nancy Schnaars; Treasurer, Howard Slotnick; Secretary, Jean Wort; Trustees: Charles B. Anderson; Walter R. Brown; Christopher J. Culver; William S. Dudley; David S. Fowler; William Jackson Green; Karen Helmerson; Denise Krepp; Richard M. Larrabee; Guy E. C. Maitland; Capt. Brian McAllister; CAPT Sally Chin McElwreath, USN (Ret.); Michael W. Morrow; CAPT James A. Noone, USN (Ret.); Richard Patrick O’Leary; ADM Robert J. Papp Jr., USCG (Ret.); Timothy J. Runyan; Richard Scarano; Philip J. Shapiro; Capt. Cesare Sorio; William H. White; Chairmen Emeriti: Walter R. Brown, Alan G. Choate, Guy E. C. Maitland, Howard Slotnick FOUNDER: Karl Kortum (1917–1996) PRESIDENT EMERITUS: Peter Stanford (1927–2016) OVERSEERS: Chairman, RADM David C. Brown, USMS (Ret.); RADM Joseph F. Callo, USN (Ret.); George W. Carmany III; Clive Cussler; Richard du Moulin; Alan D. Hutchison; Gary Jobson; Sir Robin Knox-Johnston; John Lehman; Capt. James J. McNamara; H. C. Bowen Smith; John Stobart; Philip J. Webster; Roberta Weisbrod NMHS ADVISORS: George Bass, Francis Duffy, John Ewald, Timothy Foote, Steven A. Hyman, J. Russell Jinishian, Gunnar Lundeberg, Conrad Milster, William G. Muller, Stuart Parnes, Nancy Hughes Richardson, Joyce Huber SEA HISTORY EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD: Chairman, Timothy Runyan; Norman Brouwer, Robert Browning, William Dudley, Daniel Finamore, Kevin Foster, John Jensen, Joseph Meany, Carla Rahn Phillips, Walter Rybka, Quentin Snediker, William H. White NMHS STAFF: Executive Director, Burchenal Green; Director of Development, Jessica MacFarlane; Membership Director, Jean Marie Trick; Membership Coordinator, Nancy Schnaars; Comptroller, Anjoeline Osuyah; Staff Writers: Shelley Reid, Julia Church; Executive Assistant, Heather Purvis; Marketing Director, Steve Lovass-Nagy; Membership Assistant, Irene Eisenfeld SEA HISTORY: Editor, Deirdre E. O’Regan; Advertising Director, Wendy Paggiotta Sea History is printed by The Lane Press, South Burlington, Vermont, USA.



Amphibious Warfare Training Sites on American Soil Regarding Mark C. Wilkins article about The Solomons [Maryland] Amphibious Training Base, there was also a base established to train soldiers for amphibious landings near Carrabelle, Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. Camp Gordon Johnston opened in September 1941, originally named Camp Carrabelle. It was later re-named for Johnston, a native of nearby Alabama who served in the Spanish-American War and World War I and who received the Medal of Honor in 1910. The camp occupied some 165,000 acres and miles of beachfront and served as an amphibious training base for approximately 10,000 troops at a time, rotating between 24,000 and 30,000 soldiers from 1941 through 1946. The nearby islands of Dog Island and St. George Island were used as landing points for exercises. C. Henry Depew Tallahassee, Florida From State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory: A marker later placed at Carrabelle reads, “In late 1943, Carrabelle Beach and Dog Island, while they were a part of Camp Gordon Johnston, were used by the US Army 4th Infantry Division to train for the Normandy Invasion on D-Day, June 6th, 1944. The Amphibious Training Center had been officially closed, but it was reopened and staffed for the purpose of training for this important mission. Although the troops had trained for over three years, the amphibious training conducted on this site was the last step before shipping out to England for the invasion. On D-Day, the

Please email correspondence to:

fl state archives, florida memory

German Navy Nomenclature In reference to the book review of Churchill And Fisher: Titans at The Admiralty by Barry Gough (Naval Institute Press) published in the last issue of Sea History, the reviewer refers to Germany’s World War I Navy, as the Kriegsmarine. In the First World War, however, the Imperial German Navy was known as the Kaiserliche Marine. The Germany navy was only called the Kriegsmarine during the time of the 3rd Reich; in between these two periods (1919– 1935), it was known as the Reichsmarine. Marc J. Cohen Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

We Welcome Your Letters!

Training exercises on Carrabelle Beach— LCPRs land soldiers ashore while barrage balloons fly above, ca 1943. first amphibian infantry assault teams to arrive on French soil were from the 4th Infantry Division at Utah Beach. Recognizing the Security Threat at Old River Control While visiting New Orleans in March, I persuaded three siblings and our father to join me on an expedition to visit the Old River Control structure between Lettsworth and Vidalia, Louisiana. If you want to get people to join you on an eight-hour field trip, you need a compelling story. Mine is this: Old River Control is the single most important piece of infrastructure in the United States. It is also the most vulnerable. Old River Control is not an app. It’s not ironically hip. It’s not even very big. It is a collection of rather drab, utilitarian engineering projects built in the 1950s and ’60s to keep the Mississippi River from flowing into the Atchafalaya.

The Atcha-who-dat? as a Saints fan might ask. A bit of hydrology: Rivers like the Mississippi meander—that is, twitch back and forth across the landscape in geological time. Like people—and governments—rivers are inherently lazy. Via the Atchafalaya River, it’s only about 140 miles to the Gulf of Mexico, versus 315 via the Mississippi. The water would like to take the shortest route to the Gulf. The problem is that for the past 300 years, the people of Louisiana have staked their future on the lower Mississippi’s staying where it was when Europeans started building permanent structures. The stretch of river below Baton Rouge to New Orleans and the Gulf is home to the bulk of the country’s petrochemical industries, and four of its largest ports: the Port of South Louisiana, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Plaquemines. In 2016, 4,400 oceangoing vessels and more than 63,000 barges called at the sprawling Port of South Louisiana alone. Left to its own devices, the Mississippi River would meander over to the Atchafalaya watershed, so the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) built Old River Control, as well as the nearby Morganza Spillway, to keep the relative volume of water in the lower Mississippi and the Atchafalaya at a ratio of about 70-to-30. If you read about the Old River Control, the focus of concern

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If the Mississippi changed course it would turn the present river channel into a saltwater estuary and the effects on southern Louisiana would be catastrophic. Corporations have constructed billions of dollars worth of petrochemical plants, refineries, grain elevators, and fossil fuel and nuclear electrical generating plants, most of which depend on fresh water for their manufacturing process, along both banks of the Mississippi River. Also, cities below Baton Rouge, including New Orleans, would be hardpressed to find drinking water. (…/Old RiverControlBrochure.pdf) This is to say nothing of the loss of those four ports—and their customers from Pennsylvania to Minnesota to Kansas who would be left high and dry. But the shortterm consequences of a failure of Old River Control would be devastating not just to the industry, shipping, and people living between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and beyond. Doubling the volume of the Atchafalaya in an instant would cause devastating floods across south central Louisiana, wash out Interstate 10 and innumerable petroleum facilities, and drown a good part of Morgan City, among other places. The loss of life would be incalculable. It would take decades to rebuild. The American economy would be a shambles. The Corps’s focus on its tango with Mother Nature is a quaint holdover from a more innocent time. While the engineers of the USACE do an impressive job with their mandate, you have to wonder about 6


photo by whiton paine

courtesy lincoln paine

is always whether it can be overwhelmed by “the next big flood,” like the one that overwhelmed the Great Plains and Upper Midwest this winter. The concern is more than justified. As a USACE flyer puts it:

the Army of the USACE. What is truly disturbing about visiting Old River Control is that the whole complex employs fewer than forty people, and there is absolutely no security. The two-lane Louisiana Route 15 runs over the Old River Lock, the Auxiliary Structure, the Low Sill Structure, and the Sidney A. Murray Hydroelectric Station— all of which control the flow of water from the Mississippi to the Atchafalaya. None of this is a state secret. That USACE flyer quoted above is available on the internet, complete with maps and driving directions from Baton Rouge. And people write about this constantly, no one more engagingly than John McPhee, in a 1987 New Yorker article entitled “Atchafalaya,” republished in his collection, The Control of Nature (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1989). Given what we know of terrorism, foreign and homegrown, and the ease with which one can turn a car or truck into a bomb—think back to the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993, and especially the 171 killed in the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995—the fact that anyone can freely drive across what McPhee likened to “surgical tape” on a wound in the Mississippi is incomprehensible. This is not to say that the authorities are completely unconcerned with security. An orange sign wired to a chain link fence reads: “Call 1-800-CallSpy if you see suspicious activity.” If the federal government considers national security as something more than just a political talking point, it should be infinitely harder for anyone to get anywhere near Old River Control by car, truck, or boat than it is to board a plane at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport or enter the average Manhattan office building. Out of sight, out of mind may be all right for the average citizen. But for the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security to overlook the vulnerability of Old River Control to manmade destruction is criminal. Lincoln Paine Portland, Maine


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A CAUSE IN MOTION The 2019 National Maritime Awards Dinner he US Coast Guard Cadet Chorale had just finished singing, master of ceremonies Gary Jobson had wished us a “Good Night,” and within minutes VADM Al Konetzni, USN (Ret.), our dinner co-chair, reserved the first table for our 2020 dinner. This, from the gentleman who had just returned from Guam where he attended the dedication of the VADM Albert Konetzni Submarine Squadron Fifteen Headquarters Building, was testimony enough that the evening was an extraordinary success. We are honored by Admiral Konetzni’s support of NMHS; as Admiral Jay Johnson said of him, “Big Al, the Sailor’s Pal, is one of the most beloved men ever to wear the uniform… a finer leader and shipmate you could not have.” This event had everything in its favor. We had partners in the National Coast Guard Museum Association and the Naval Historical Foundation, two superior organizations working diligently to promote The US Coast Guard Academy Cadet Chorale performs for the stories of these services. The guests were a refreshingly eclectic the guests of the National Maritime Awards Dinner. mix, from military leaders and political appointees to educators and historians, shipbuilders, and professional mariners. Generous underwriters—Dominion Energy, Exelon, Admiral Johnson, CACI International Inc. & Dr. Jack London, Howard Slotnick, and Wynn Resorts—helped make the evening possible. Dinner co-chairs Denise Krepp and Admiral Al Konetzni, along with founding dinner chairman Philip Webster and a committee comprising leaders from all aspects the maritime field, worked for many months in planning the event, assuring it would be a resounding success and a night to remember for all the right reasons. Behind the scenes, NMHS staff worked countless hours preparing for the event down to the smallest details. National Maritime Awards Dinner event manager Wendy Paggiotta, who doubles as Sea History’s advertising director the rest of the year, deserves special thanks for her dedication and extraordinary efforts to make it all come together. Admiral Jonathan Greenert, USN, 30th Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), and Hon. John Lehman, former secretary of the navy were on hand to present this year’s NMHS Distinguished Service Award to Admiral Jay Johnson, USN, (Ret.), 26th CNO. The (l–r) National Maritime Awards Dinner co-chair VADM Al Konetzni, USN National Coast Guard Museum Association (NCGMA) (Ret.); NMHS chair Ronald Oswald; NCGMA chair Susan Curtin; Gov. Tom Alexander Hamilton Award was presented to Governor Ridge; past and current USCG Commandants ADM James Loy, ADM Karl L. Tom Ridge, first secretary of homeland security by Schultz, and ADM Robert J. Papp Jr.; master of ceremonies Gary Jobson, and Admiral James Loy, 21st commandant of the US Coast NMAD co-chair Denise Krepp.

photos by joe rudinec


The National Press Club • Washington, DC • 2 May

Guard, and Susan Curtin, chair of the NCGMA. The NMHS Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education was presented to Williams–Mystic: The Maritime Studies Program of Williams College and Mystic Seaport, and was accepted by executive director Tom Van Winkle and presented by Thomas B. Crowley Jr., chairman and CEO of Crowley Maritime Corporation. A special Ships of Glass model was presented to the program founder Ben Labaree, by Mystic Seaport president Stephen White and Williams College provost David Love. Gary Jobson is always the quintessential master of ceremonies, and as a special extra, he treated us to a video introduction about yacht racing he had ADM Jonathan Greenert (center) and Hon. John Lehman (right) present ADM Jay Johnson with the 2019 NMHS Distinguished Service Award. 8


A highlight of the evening is the Invitational Art Gallery with several of the artists in attendance, including (l–r) Len Mizerek, ASMA president Lisa Egeli, the exhibition chair Patrick O’Brien, and Nicolas Fox.

photo by carolyn mizerek

put together. Award-winning documentarian and NMHS vice chair Rick Lopes presented video introductions about each recipient, and their showing is considered a highlight of NMHS awards events. Admiral Robert J. Papp Jr., 24th commandant of the Coast Guard, and Ronald Oswald, NMHS chair, introduced the partnering organizations. The Coast Guard Academy Cadet Chorale, under the direction of Dr. Robert Newton, performed nautical and patriotic music, and the Navy Color Guard presented colors. Just a few blocks from the White House and a home base for awardwinning journalists past and present, the National Press Club is an iconic Washington venue that is an experience in itself. For our event, we also featured original contemporary works by artists from the American Society of Marine Artists (ASMA) as part of the Invitational Art Gallery, organized by acclaimed marine artist Patrick O’Brien. The dinner is an opportunity for organizations of the maritime heritage community to join together to make important inroads in procuring federal funding for maritime heritage projects and organizations, and serves as a significant component of our advocacy efforts. But more than all this were NCGMA chair Susan Curtin and ADM James Loy present the remarks from the podium, offered with humor, with some irreverence, Gov. Tom Ridge with the Alexander Hamilton Award and but always fascinating. This year’s honorees come from diverse backgrounds a stunning glass model of the USCG Barque Eagle, made in the maritime sector, but all share a dedication to the sea and seafaring, by Ships of Glass craftsman Don Hardy. and bring perspectives that can enlighten us all. Dr. James Carlton, director emeritus of Williams–Mystic, “We live in an era of changing oceans, with seas that are warming and rising. These changes affect billions of people who depend on the sea for food and livelihood…these changes affect all of humanity. Our core mission at Williams-Mystic is creating citizens who will become profound stewards of the oceans.” Admiral Greenert described how, as CNO, Admiral Johnson fostered a spirit of great pride in the Navy. During his confirmation as CNO, Johnson pledged that, under his leadership, the Navy would steer by the stars, and not its wake. Admiral Johnson summed up his time in the service: “The Navy is part of everything I do every day, and that experience has informed the rest of my life.” Admiral Loy described Governor Tom Ridge as a remarkable leader who, at a time of great crisis and strife after 9/11, succeeded in setting up the newly established Department of Homeland Security by articulating a clear vision that would transform twenty-two federal agencies into an effective new entity. Governor Ridge stated that Williams-Mystic faculty, alumni, and staff turned out in force to celebrate the program, with no disrespect for the Navy, Air Force, Marines winner of the NMHS Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education. and the Army (in which he served), the Coast Guard, “pound for pound, person for person, man and woman, is the most effective, efficient organization in the government. And still they have no museum.” With that he entreated us all to support the plan to build a National Coast Guard Museum. Our maritime heritage has shaped our culture and continues to shape our future. When leaders in the disparate fields associated with ships, seafaring, and the marine environment gather together, we learn so much from each other. Be sure to check out the photos from the gala on and consider attending the National Maritime Awards Dinner in 2020. It is an event with such purpose and a great evening you won’t want to miss. —Burchenal Green, NMHS President


NMHS Legacy Society— Planning Your Legacy Gift Since its beginnings, the National Maritime Historical Society has been all about telling the stories, great and small, that make up the wondrous panorama of our maritime history. Since 1972, hundreds of thousands of readers have discovered in the pages of Sea History magazine a treasure-trove of stories that captivate, inspire, and educate Americans about the vital role of the sea—and those who have sailed upon it.

The lessons that our seafaring heritage can teach—courage, ingenuity, self-reliance, and resourcefulness—are timeless. It is more important than ever to bring these lessons to young people—both tomorrow’s maritime leaders and informed citizens. Now you can create a legacy for the next generation to ensure this important part of history is not lost. Maritime history is world history, but fewer and fewer people are aware of this. Making a legacy gift to the National Maritime Historical Society is a deeply personal and effective way to support our work and makes an invaluable contribution to our efforts to promote our maritime heritage and inspire future generations. There are several different ways in which you can make a planned gift to NMHS. A gift in your will or living trust is one of the most effective ways to provide for the Society’s future, and allows you to retain your assets during your lifetime. Alternatively, naming the National Maritime Historical Society on a portion of a retirement or life insurance policy is a simple way to provide for NMHS’s future without writing or re-writing your will or living trust. We are happy to assist as you consider a gift to NMHS. Please visit us at for more information or call wardship Ste ’s eer gin En us (914) 737-7878, ext. 227. SS United States NATIONAL MA




No. 160





t2 Jones Act, Par Later lifax, 100 Years Explosion in Ha ditch’s Numbers Bow l nie tha Na vel Tra ce Spa for Sail Training

Have you already made a legacy gift? We hope you will notify us when you have included us in your future planning so that we may thank you and welcome you as a new member of our NMHS Legacy Society. —Jessica MacFarlane, NMHS Director of Development 10


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UPCOMING EVENTS “Along the Hudson River Greenway Trail,” Courtesy of John Resch. Lake Union Boats Afloat Show

September 14-17

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Fiddler’s Green


We, at the National Maritime Historical Society, along with our board of trustees, are deeply saddened by the passing of our longtime overseer James J. Coleman Jr. He was an inspiring leader and visionary, whose support of the US Coast Guard and leadership in the efforts to establish the National Coast Guard Museum earned him the 2014 NMHS Distinguished Service Award. A native of New Orleans, James J. Coleman Jr. attended Princeton University, graduating with a BA in 1963. He studied law at Oxford University, and earned a JD degree from Tulane University in 1968. Mr. Coleman served as chairman of International-Matex Tank Terminals (IMTT), a family-run company engaged in the handling, storing, and transshipment of bulk liquids. Mr. Coleman was also managing partner of the New Orleans law firm Coleman, Johnson, Artigues & Jurisich, LLC, and president of Coleman Development Company. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1986, and was recognized with the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s President’s Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2010 and the US Coast Guard Spirit of Hope Award in 2012. In 2015, he received the first Alexander Hamilton Award from the National Coast Guard Museum Association for his leadership, vision, volunteerism, and support. Mr. Coleman had a lifelong interest in sailing, yachting, and fishing, and served on the boards of the US Navy League–New Orleans and the International Yacht Restoration School in NMHS Overseer James J. Coleman Jr. (left) receiving the 2014 NMHS Distinguished Newport, Rhode Island. He was a longtime mem- Service Award from NMHS Trustee and National Coast Guard Museum Association ber of the New York Yacht Club, the Southern Vice Chair Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG (Ret.). Yacht Club in New Orleans, the Ida Lewis Yacht Club in Newport, and the Royal Nassau Sail Club in the Bahamas. He started sailing in a 5.5 meter Luders boat in New Orleans, and one of his last projects was restoring Blue Dolphin, a fifty-year-old Beale’s Island lobster boat. His fascination with the maritime industry began at the age of seven; his grandfather, a Crescent City river pilot, took him along on piloting jobs. Recalls Mr. Coleman: “[He] would take me with him on his trips down to Pilot Town at the mouth of the Mississippi River, and we would sleep there. [From there] he piloted the ships for ninety miles to New Orleans. I heard all of the stories how it was bringing ships up the river before radar.” Mr. Coleman dedicated himself to honoring the US Coast Guard, and served on the Coast Guard Foundation board for more than twenty years. As chairman of the National Coast Guard Museum Association, founded in 2001 to raise funds for and oversee the construction of a museum honoring the US Coast Guard in New London, Connecticut, he laid the groundwork for the national museum. For more information, please visit the website of the future National Coast Guard Museum at Mr. Coleman is survived by his wife, Mary, and son, Jamie. The National Maritime Historical Society expresses deepest sympathies to the entire Coleman Family.


photo by allison lucas

James J. Coleman Jr. (1941–2019)

Artist’s rendering of the future National Coast Guard Museum in New London, Connecticut, home of the US Coast Guard Academy and homeport of the Academy’s training ship, USCG Barque Eagle. SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

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he year was 1955. I remember hanging over the rail on the tanker’s transom; it was one of the only places aboard the ship where we were allowed to smoke. The sun had just left a low-lying blanket of clouds and dropped below the horizon. I could smell the ocean air as I exhaled a stream of smoke and flicked the cigarette butt into our wake. I could feel the ship rise from the swell below us and slowly ease back down into the trough. It was a time to dream. I knew that this was the area of the Atlantic where SS Flying Enterprise had descended into the black raging sea just a few years before. The ship’s career had been short. Built early in 1944 for use in World War II, the Type C1-B ship was launched from the Consolidated Steel Corporation shipyard in Wilmington, California, originally christened SS Cape Kumukaki. After the war, the ship was sold to the Isbrandtsen Company and re-registered in New York under the name Flying Enterprise. I lit another Player’s cigarette through cupped hands and took a deep drag. I tried to imagine being aboard the ill-fated vessel and what it must have been like. The ship had sunk only three years earlier and was still a regular topic of conservation, especially in merchant ships whose routes brought them into the Western approaches to the English Channel.

written and illustrated by Austin Dwyer

naval history and heritage command


Turmoil at Sea

In the distance at left is SS Flying Enterprise, listing heavily to port in stormy seas in the northeastern Atlantic, as seen from USS General A. W. Greely (T-AP-141), circa 29 December 1951. At right is a lifeboat returning to the Greely with survivors from the Flying Enterprise. A merchant tanker is standing by, ready to assist. Our radio officer was an Australian chap from Sydney named Ray—and after fifty years I am fortunate to remember that much, as he was only known to his shipmates as “Sparks.” Earlier that evening over

supper, Sparks had been delivering his version of the story. He enjoyed his relevance to the saga in that he had been on the scene, onboard another merchant vessel not far away when the Flying Enterprise issued an S-O-S. We actually had a bar onboard the tanker (imagine that today!), and it was there, over a Guinness, that Ray continued his story. Friday, 21 December 1951: Flying Enterprise put to sea from Hamburg, Germany, bound for America under the command of Captain Kurt Carlsen. Her manifest recorded an assorted cargo of pig iron, coffee, peat moss, antiques, Volkswagen cars, musical instruments, and typewriters. She was manned by a crew of forty, and she also had ten passengers aboard, which was not unusual. Four days out from Hamburg, the Enterprise encountered the beginThe tug Turmoil with Flying Enterprise in tow. Captain Carlsen and Turmoil’s chief mate, Kenneth Danby, were still aboard the stricken cargo ship at this stage.



The crew aboard USS General A. W. Greely stand by to receive the crew from Flying Enterprise, who abandoned their ship at the command of their captain and transferred to the Greely via open lifeboats. ning of what would be one of the fiercest storms in fifty years recorded in the English Channel. I can imagine the state of the passengers’ anxiety as the ship rolled, and especially when she shook every time her screw pitched out of the water, accelerating in the open air. She was being hit broadside continuously by enormous waves. In time, the constant beating caused major structural damage and the nearly 400-foot ship developed a 45-degree list to port. The heavy list caused cargo in the hold to shift and the ship then failed to answer her helm, exacerbating their situation. Carlsen recognized that his ship was in peril and broadcast an S-O-S on 28 December. The next morning, MV Sherborne, a British freighter, was the first on the scene, and other ships would soon arrive, ready to assist. The crew and passengers were taken by small boat to the waiting vessels. All

survived except Nicolai Bunjakowski, a passenger who drowned during the transfer to the American ship USS General A. W. Greely via lifeboat. Although the Sherborne had been the first to arrive on the scene, Captain Carlsen was reluctant to relinquish his passengers to the British ship. Later, it was rumored that the captain waited for the arrival of an American ship because, in addition to the Enterprise’s unassuming freight, it was also carrying a secret cargo of zirconium. Zirconium would have been instrumental in the development of USS Nautilus, which had just been authorized by Congress a few months prior to be built as the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine. Once the General A. W. Greely was on the scene, Carlsen oversaw the transfer of the entire ship’s company minus himself. Carlsen would have understood that if he abandoned the ship, there

was a good chance it would be boarded and potentially claimed as salvage. The captain remained onboard the stricken ship and maintained radio contact with all ships in the area. Arrangements were made via radio for a tow, and on 3 January the tug Turmoil arrived from Falmouth. She was one of many Bustler-class rescue tugs. After many failed attempts in rough seas, it seemed like it would not be possible to get a towline over to the foundering ship. By the next day, the seas were cresting at thirty and forty feet and the tug maneuvered dangerously close to the crippled Enterprise. Turmoil’s first mate, Kenneth Dancy, tried repeatedly to get a towline over to Carlsen, who was hanging perilously on to a bollard at the bow of the pitching ship. The tug’s skipper, Captain Parker, nudged the tug closer and the two ships touched, allowing


Before returning to my cabin from the open air of the fantail, I paid my respects to Captain Carlsen and offered a little prayer, for it was exactly in that spot of the ocean that his ship slipped beneath the waves and where, many years later, his cremated remains would be scattered.


stated that the cargo was classified and could not be confirmed. Journalist Frank Delaney’s book on the sinking, Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea (Random House, 2006), discusses the zirconium rumor and presents it more as fact. Some have offered that Captain Carlsen would have stayed with his ship as long as it was still on the surface no matter what the cargo, as a true and brave professional who took his responsibility as a shipmaster very seriously, as well as his dedication to his employer to make every attempt to salvage the ship and its cargo.

Kenneth Dancy (left) with Captain Kurt Carlsen (right) upon their arrival in Falmouth, England. Carlsen was a veteran mariner, who had trained aboard square-riggers as a youth. Kenneth Dancy was already a ship master by then and was only filling in for Turmoil’s first mate, who had taken ill that day. In recognition of their efforts to save the Flying Enterprise, Carlsen and Dancy were honored with a ticker-tape parade upon their arrival in New York. Dancy was later awarded a medal for Industrial Heroism by the Daily Herald and an Illuminated Citation from the American Institute of Marine Underwriters. Capt. Carlsen was awarded a Lloyd’s Silver Medal for Meritorious Services and was later offered $250,000 for his story by the Daily Express in the UK, and twice that much by a Hollywood producer. He declined both offers and went back to sea, where he spent the rest of his career. Carlsen died in 1989 at the age of 75. At his request, his ashes were spread at sea in 1990 at 49° 38’ N by 4° 07’ W, the location where Flying Enterprise had slipped beneath the waves thirty-eight years before.

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Dancy to leap across to Enterprise’s deck with the towline in hand. With Dancy’s help, Carlsen eventually managed to get the wire hawser shackled to a bollard on the bow. Turmoil’s crew ran out an ample 3,600 feet of line and the big freighter began to move slowly, headed to the safety of the harbor at Falmouth, England. The Flying Enterprise was resisting the tow in the heavy sea state, and her list increased to sixty degrees. Just forty miles from safety, the towline parted. Soon the Turmoil was joined by two other tugs but it was too late for the stricken vessel. Enterprise lay over on her side, allowing the sea to pour into her funnel. Carlsen and Dancy crawled to the edge of the stack and were rescued by Turmoil’s crew. The Flying Enterprise sank at 1610 hours on 10 January 1952 to a valiant salute of whistles, sirens and foghorns from the surrounding flotilla. Ray was not one to question Carlsen’s valor, however he did remark about the foolishness of risking one’s life over a merchant ship with a hold full of pig iron and Volkswagens. This gave fuel to the aforementioned rumor, and other questions remained: Why were there so many American destroyers dispatched to the scene? Also, why did the FBI later question some of the sailors involved in the rescue? Fifty years later, a Danish documentary, Det Skæve Skib (English title: “The Mystery of Flying Enterprise”) that aired in 2002 speculated about the zirconium rods but

Austin Dwyer is a Fellow and past president of the Puget Sound Group of NW Painters. He is also a signature member of the American Society of Marine Artists and former member of its board of directors. A native of County Tipperary, Ireland, Dwyer’s experience includes service in the US Air Force, a career in advertising as co-founder of CohenDwyer Advertising and Marketing in Seattle, and as an instructor of illustration and design at his alma mater, the Burnley School of Professional Art. Since his retirement from Cohen-Dwyer in 2005, he has been actively making art, writing and illustrating books on maritime subjects, and exhibiting his paintings in galleries throughout the United States and Europe. He recently co-founded the Pacific Rim Institute of Marine Art, of which he serves as president. The story and art of the Flying Enterprise and Turmoil incident is one of many told and illustrated in Ships to Remember: 1400 Years of Historic Ships by Mr. Dwyer and Rorke Bryan (The History Press, 2016). You can view— and purchase—the original painting at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport.



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30 Years after the Exxon Valdez Disaster: The Coast Guard’s Environmental Protection Mission by William H. Thiesen, Historian, Coast Guard Atlantic Area

(left) Oil tanker Exxon Valdez aground in Prince William Sound, Alaska, in 1989, where she spilled fifteen million gallons of crude oil.


twentieth century. Throughout the 1800s, coal had been the most regular fuel cargo carried by merchant ships, but this solid fuel did not pollute water like oil does. In 1885, construction of the first purpose-built oil tanker, Glückauf (German term meaning “good luck”), marked the beginning of shipping oil and other bulk chemical cargoes. Ironically, in 1893, the Glückauf also marked the beginning of US oil spill history when she came ashore at Fire Island, off Long Island, New York. Throughout the twentieth century, oil and chemical shipping grew in importance and liquid petroleum products became common as both fuel for ships and fuel carried by ships. The Coast Guard’s role in oil and chemical spill response officially began in 1924, when Congress passed the first Oil Pollution Act. This legislation included the first federal statutes regulating the discharge of fossil fuels from seagoing vessels. During World War II, the US government paid little attention to oil spills

on the high seas, but after the war numerous oil spills occurred as the shipping of oil increased dramatically. One of the first major spills was the 1967 Torrey Canyon wreck in European waters, which spurred development of the first National Contingency Plan in the United States. By the 1970s, large tanker oil spills averaged nearly eighty per year worldwide. With these frequent environmental disasters came greater regulation of oil tankers and improved technology for responding to spills. Congress tasked the Coast Guard with monitoring unauthorized substance discharge, enforcing ballast water regulations, and ensuring that commercial vessels met US environmental safety and maintenance standards. The Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, or the Clean Water Act, established the Coast Guard’s National Strike Force (NSF). The NSF began with three strike teams: Atlantic Strike Team, Gulf Strike Team, and Pacific Strike Team. In the 1970s and 1980s, the NSF’s oil and chemical spill responsibility expanded under several more environmental protection laws passed by Congress. In spite of increased legislation concerning oil spills, Congress mandated no changes in tanker wikipedia


hirty years ago on Good Friday, 24 March 1989, the 987-foot tanker Exxon Valdez steamed into a reef at twelve knots, opening eight of her ten oil storage tanks to the pristine waters of Prince William Sound, Alaska. The resulting spill of 15 million gallons of crude oil would be the largest discharge of oil in US waters until the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010. The incident occurred in US navigable waters, and thus the response was overseen by the United States Coast Guard’s OnScene Coordinator. The Coast Guard would soon monitor no fewer than ten federal agencies and organizations involved in the immediate response and cleanup. Nearly 170 years before the Exxon Valdez ran aground, the federal government assigned the US Revenue Cutter Service, predecessor of the modern Coast Guard, stewardship of the nation’s marine environment. In 1822, Congress passed legislation tasking the Revenue Cutter Service with protecting federal preserves of live oak in Florida that were set aside for use in building US Navy warships. During the 1800s, the Revenue Cutter Service’s protection of living marine resources expanded to more species on shore, in the air, and at sea, including migratory seabirds and countless forms of marine life. The US Revenue Cutter Service’s mission grew even further during the early

uscg photo

(below) The 1967 wreck of the Torrey Canyon off the coast of Cornwall, England.

(left) The 2,700-ton tanker Glückauf (meaning “good luck”) on the beach at Fire Island, Long Island, in 1893. SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

uscg photo

construction design. Such was the regulatory environment in which the singleskinned supertanker Exxon Valdez was launched from a San Diego shipyard in 1986, the largest vessel built on the West Coast up to that time. The Exxon Valdez oil spill occurred in the confined waters of Prince William Sound, a delicate but healthy marine ecosystem surrounded by pristine wilderness. Within thirty minutes of the grounding, a Coast Guard investigator arrived on-scene and spill contingency plans were put into effect. The Coast Guard’s response comprised four cutters, four buoy tenders, nine aircraft, six oil skimmers, and six Air Deployable Anti-Pollution Transfer Systems (ADAPTS). Developed by the Coast Guard Exxon Valdez, aground and spilling oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska. The emergency response, led by the US Coast Guard assisted by numerous federal and local agencies and outside non-governmental organizations, helped mitigate the disaster. Nevertheless, the damage to the environment was catastrophic and had lasting and—in many cases—permanent ramifications ashore and at sea. (above) Coast Guard personnel with coastal clean-up crews in Prince William Sound.

in the early 1970s, ADAPTS is still used today. Using a high-volume diesel pump and equipment, it pumps oil or other chemicals from compromised tanks into support vessels or safe storage tanks. At the height of the Exxon Valdez response effort, nearly 2,000 men and women participated in the cleanup. A fleet of 450 vessels of all kinds and more than forty aircraft supported the abatement process. With the tiny airfield at Valdez overwhelmed by nearly 1,000 flights per day, the Coast Guard cutter Rush (WHEC-723) served as a floating air traffic control center. The response effort also included forty skimmers and 300,000 feet of containment

booms. On Tuesday, 4 April, two weeks after the incident, Exxon Valdez’s tanks were emptied of oil and the stricken tanker refloated. The next day, she was towed to San Diego and soon thereafter drydocked. After $30 million in repairs to her hull, she was returned to service as the Exxon Mediterranean, working overseas shipping routes for twenty more years, but she never returned to American waters. Oil spill response and recovery improved greatly after Exxon Valdez. The disaster led to the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90). OPA 90 regulations created the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund and codified the “polluter pays”



(below) Shoreline cleanup operations in Northwest Bay, West Arm, June 1989.


principle. OPA 90 also required alcohol and drug abuse monitoring of licensed mariners, and established legal penalties and a claims system for oil spill remediation. It also phased in double-hull construction for tankers transiting US waters and increased federal oversight of maritime oil transportation. Enforcement of OPA 90 and protection of US territorial waters became a vital part of the Coast Guard’s mission set, leading to a more robust response capability. For example, the NSF’s Atlantic Strike Team had been de-commissioned in 1986, but it was re-commissioned in 1991. That same year, the Coast Guard established the National Strike Force Coordination Center (NSFCC) increasing the NSF’s level of responsiveness and support. After the Exxon Valdez disaster, Coast Guard assets and personnel responded to all sorts of oil and hazardous material releases, even some beyond US territorial waters. These events included the sabotaged Prince William Sound, August 2010. Capt. James Cook entered the sound in 1778 and named it Sandwich Sound, after his patron, the Earl of Sandwich. The editors of Cook’s maps changed the name to honor Prince William, who would later become King William IV. 20

oil rigs of the 1990 Persian Gulf War and consequent oil spills—one of the largest discharges of oil in history. Other spills included those caused by hurricanes Floyd, Katrina, and Rita; barge and tanker oil spills of the 1990s and early 2000s. Other hazardous duties have included responses to aviation accidents, such as the 1999 Egypt Air and 2000 Alaska Airlines crashes; the 2001 anthrax attacks and 9/11 terrorist attacks; and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Coast Guard units, including the

William H. Thiesen, PhD, is the Atlantic Area Historian for the US Coast Guard. A regular contributor to Sea History, Dr. Thiesen was awarded the 2017 Rodney N. Houghton Award for the best feature article in Sea History. His articles appear weekly in the online history series “The Long Blue Line,” featured on the Coast Guard Compass website. For more information on USCG history, visit

photo by carol m. highsmith, library of congress

uscg photo

An April 2010 photograph of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig after the explosion that set it on fire and caused its record-breaking oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

NSF, also played a leading role in the containment and cleanup of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. No single event has had a more dramatic and lasting impact on the Coast Guard’s environmental protection mission than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The consequent regulations regarding the protection of US territorial waters and the marine resources within them have become the Coast Guard’s greatest law enforcement mission since fighting the Rum War of Prohibition. Today, as part of its homeland security mission, the service minimizes human and environmental impacts of oil discharges, hazardous material releases, and other natural and manmade disasters. The United States Coast Guard remains Semper Paratus, “always ready,” to adapt and expand its environmental protection mission to the ever-changing natural and manmade threats to the nation and its marine environment.


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The Navy’s D–Day

images and captions courtesy naval history and heritage command


everal years ago, it was brought to the attention of the Naval Order of the United States (NOUS)1 that over the many years since the end of World War II, no monument had been erected to commemorate 1,068 American sailors who had died on the first day of the invasion of Normandy, 6 June 1944. This seemed a grievous omission, since the fallen of many other military services and nations had been so recognized. Since the Naval Order’s chosen mission is to recognize and promote the history of the US Navy, the implication was obvious. The Naval Order took on the task in 2005. After a challenging three years of creating a design, fundraising, finding a sculptor, casting, and transporting the monument, it was set in place and unveiled overlooking Utah Beach near Ste. Marie du Mont, Normandy.2 It seems appropriate on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of D-Day to offer this brief appreciation of what the US Navy accomplished that day, on behalf of those who sacrificed their lives. The war to defeat Germany’s domination of Europe began in 1939. Five years later, after the loss of millions of lives, the Allies had invaded Africa, Sicily, and Italy. The one remaining redoubt was Hitler’s massive “Atlantic Wall,” built along the coast of France. To stage a successful amphibious invasion would require a cast of tens of thousands from all services and

by William S. Dudley, PhD

Landing ships putting cargo ashore on Omaha Beach at low tide during the first days of the operation. Among identifiable ships present are LST-532 (in the center of the view); USS LST-262 (3rd LST from right); USS LST-310 (2nd LST from right); USS LST-533 (partially visible at far right); and USS LST-524. Note barrage balloons overhead and Army “ half-track” convoy forming up on the beach. LST-262 was one of ten Coast Guardmanned LSTs that participated in the invasion of Normandy, France. several nations. The D-Day invasion became the world’s largest naval operation. It required a vast armada manned by 124,000 US Navy sailors (75%) and Coast Guardsmen (25%) who had assembled in England. Of those, 15,000 were attached

to combat ships, 87,000 to landing craft, and 22,000 at naval bases and other training sites. The American ships included in the Western Naval Task Force, which carried the assault troops across the English Channel and supported the landings on Utah and Omaha beaches at the foot of the Cotentin Peninsula. The Royal Navy, moving in coordination with US Navy, led the Eastern Naval Task Force that landed and supported the British, Canadian, and other allied troops who landed on Gold, Juno, D-Day morning broke over the Normandy coast to find USS Arkansas (BB-33), matriarch of the battle fleet, conscientiously banging away at the beachhead with her main battery guns. To seaward, the French cruisers George Leygues and Montcalm sent shells hurtling into their captive homeland. Assault waves of landing craft streamed toward the beaches while attack transports filled the horizon. This was the view of the “Arkie” as seen through binoculars from the bridge of USS Emmons (DD-457) at a bombardment station farther inshore.



and Sword beaches. To support the landing forces, the US Navy contributed three battleships (Nevada, Arkansas, and Texas), three cruisers (Augusta, Tuscaloosa, and Quincy), thirty-one destroyers, 168 LSTs, and more than 1,600 other landing and small craft. Opposing the allied landing forces, the Germans had erected formidable defenses all along the European coast from Spain to Norway, but had concentrated their efforts at the most obvious, closest landing point, the Pas de Calais, though they built strong points along the Normandy coastline on the Bay of the Seine. The enemy’s resources were relatively thin but still potent. Germany’s troops were committed in Italy and the Balkans, and were on the retreat in the USSR. What remained of the Luftwaffe was primarily fighter defense used against the roundthe-clock bombing raids staged from England. This left General Irwin Rommel’s Seventh Army charged with coastal defense in Normandy. He reinforced the Atlantic Wall shore battery fortifications, built beach obstacles, laid naval mines, readied torpedo craft (E-boats), and held Panzer (tank) units back from the coast so they could be thrown in wherever the invasion threat materialized. Had German intelligence units been more alert, they might have realized that the real threat was not an invasion at the Pas de Calais, but at Normandy.3 After a day’s delay due to bad weather, the invasion fleet approached the Normandy coast during the night of 5–6 June, with minesweepers preceding the troop transports and gunfire support ships by several miles. As they swept mines and cleared the channels selected for the landing beaches, the first naval casualties occurred. USS Osprey (AM-56) struck a floating mine and sank with the loss of six crewmembers. Despite continuing efforts to clear the waters, German mines of all types would account for the majority of ship losses during the operation. The battleships, cruisers and larger troop ships anchored at sea several miles out. The transports transferred their troops, tanks, and other vehicles to smaller amphibious vessels that were to make the long, dangerous voyage to the beaches and the enemy weapons

USS Arkansas (BB-33) fires her 12-inch guns at German positions, while supporting the Omaha Beach landings, 6 June 1944. that awaited their arrival. Timing of the landings was crucial, not only for the element of surprise, but also because the tide had to be right. The Germans anticipated the landings to take place at high tide to reduce the distance the invaders have to make to dry land, but the Allies timed their arrival for low tide, so that the enemy’s beach obstructions would be visible and could be destroyed before the landings took place. To cope with this dangerous task, they collaborated in the formation of 32 joint gap assault teams made up of Army Engineers and Naval Combat Demolition Units, originally part of the Navy’s Beach Battalions. Each team included 42 men divided into two mine-clearing crews and two demolition crews, commanded by naval officers. These teams landed early on 6 June on both Utah and Omaha beaches and worked effectively to clear lanes to the beaches, but they took heavy casualties. The Omaha Beach units had a 52% casualty rate, with 31 naval demolition men killed and 60 wounded. Off Utah Beach the casualties were far fewer, with just six killed and eleven wounded. Meanwhile, the gunfire support ships began their bombardment. Decades later, the soldiers and crews of the landing craft, who had made their way through the still rough waters, could recall with chilling detail the great tremors felt by concussions of the 14-inch guns of the battleships and the 8-inch cruiser batteries. US and Royal Navy destroyers and landing craft equipped

with rocket launchers let loose from distances of 5,000 to 7,000 yards until small landing craft made it past them. While this was happening, a German 210 mm battery let loose on USS Corry (DD-463). Her commanding officer ordered evasive action, but the ship then struck a mine, which exploded below her engineering spaces and all power was lost. Within minutes, she had broken amidships and her main deck was under two feet of water. The order was given to abandon ship, and her survivors treaded water some two hours under constant shelling until they were rescued by Fitch (DD-462), Hobson (DD-464), Butler (DD-636), and PT-199. Of her crew, six were killed, sixteen were missing, and another thirty-three were injured. The ships of Destroyer Squadron 18 were first assigned to screen positions to protect the heavier anchored gunfire support ships. Soon, however, they were sent in closer to the beaches at about 1,000 yards off to provide close support off Omaha and Utah beaches. Here they became the key to troops breaking through and taking control of the beaches. The Germans had machine gun nests with intersecting fields of fire crisscrossing the beaches; lower on the cliffs the Germans had built pillboxes with more powerful weapons that targeted the LCVPs and LCTs as they approached the shore. Once landed, many soldiers were pinned down, wounded, or killed in the surf and on the sand before they had a chance to get organized. Those who did


and were able to approach the cliffs on Omaha Beach had great difficulty moving up the steep slopes. At one point, General Omar Bradley, on board USS Augusta, heard such disturbing reports that he considered withdrawing the troops and moving them to Utah Beach where there was less opposition. At about 0900, Captain Harry Sanders, Commander Destroyer Squadron 18, embarked in USS Frankford, saw what was happening and ordered his destroyers

As the destroyer proceeded toward the western end of the beach, I continued to watch her and wondered how she could be so close without taking any artillery or mortar hits. I watched her go farther and farther from me and expected to see her pull out to sea at any moment, when suddenly I realized she was backing up and her guns had yet to pause since commencing fire. She backed up to almost where she had started—still to my knowledge without

USS Frankford (DD-497)

to move in closer to assist the troops. Admiral C. F. Bryant, commander of the Gunfire Support Group, issued his own exhortation to all gunfire support ships at 0950, “Get on them men! Get on them! They are raising hell with the men on the beach, and we can’t have any more of that! We must stop it!”4 Sergeant James E. Knight of the 299th Combat Engineer Battalion was an eyewitness of what happened next. As a member of a special demolition team, his mission was to blow 50-yard gaps in rows of beach obstacles facing the 1st Infantry Division’s eastern half of Omaha Beach. One of many men pinned down on the beach for several hours would later write, “all of a sudden at about 1000 or 1030, I guess, a destroyer loomed out of a sea swarming with dozens of landing craft and DUKW amphibious vehicles. She was heading straight toward me. Even though she wasn’t listing or smoking, my first thought was that she had either struck a mine or taken a torpedo badly enough that she was being beached. While I was coming up with my reason for the destroyer to head in and before she completed her turn to be parallel to the beach, all her guns opened fire. At the same time I saw smoke leave the gun barrels, shells landed a few yards above my rock cover. 24

taking a hit—and again headed toward the other end of the beach, with all guns blazing. When she reached the western section of the beach she pulled out to sea.”5 This ship was USS Frankford (DD-497). She had come in as close as a ship could get without grounding, roughly 300 yards from shore, and made herself a sitting target for the enemy’s guns. Lieutenant Owen Keeler, Frankford’s gunnery officer, remembered that when his ship was released from the screen and went in to 1,000 yards, he could not contact the shore fire control party. Without communication and unable to identify the wellcamouflaged German firing positions, the ship’s commanding officer, Commander James Semmes, decided to press farther in to about 300 or 400 yards. He saw a disabled tank on the beach fire at a target. Frankford followed up with a five-inch salvo at the same target. The tank’s commander was so amazed he popped his hatch, waved at the ship, dropped down and fired at another target. The ship followed suit, thereafter, using the ship’s rangefinder optics until her ammunition was exhausted. The American troops began to move up the slope. Frankford then put out to sea with her crew pleased at having been able to help the troops out of their predicament.6

By this time, Admiral Bryant had become alarmed and ordered the other destroyers to take close-in positions. These included Baldwin, Carmick, Harding, Emmons, McCook, Doyle, Satterlee, and Thompson. One of the Thompson’s sailors was Dale K. Dirst, a Fire Controlman who kept a diary, written in pencil on the 4” x 6” pages of a “cash book.” His brother Charles recently shared the diary with NOUS. These are Dale’s thoughts: While still quite a few miles from France, we can see bomb flashes and can hear them burst. They are just beating hell out of the beach. We can see our target for the morning. It is a strong point on top of a 146 foot high cliff, Point Purcee [Pointe de la Percee]. There is an assortment of targets, at least three 75 mm guns, one six-inch gun, and a bunch of little AA guns. Also pill boxes. We are to go in to 2,000 yards and open fire—this is a damned dangerous job— we are liable to get our ass shot off—but then I’m not alone—there must be thousands of others who feel the same way—especially the Rangers and rest of the troops. At 0550–we open up on the beach. 0630–the troops go in. The Heines are wise and don’t open fire till our troops are on the beach and then they give them hell. Throughout the day we see bodies of Soldiers and Sailors who never reached the beach. Many of our LSTs & LCI have been hit and are burning. We fired upon targets throughout the day and nite [sic] — Our planes came over again tonight & blasted the beaches and German fortifications. Resistance on the beach is very stiff—many US soldiers are being killed. We can see the beach very plainly. There are many of our tanks and trucks on the beach out of commission. June 7—troops and material continue to pile ashore—we have expended 1,027 rounds of ammunition and are leaving for Portland England to reload and get fuel.7 USS Harding’s gun crew took out the steeple of a church in Vierville, where German spotters had been directing fire on the SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

beaches; McCook actually supervised the surrender of a group of Germans to a squad of Rangers; Emmons destroyed a church tower in Colville-Sur-Mer; Thompson destroyed a German radar station west of Pointe de la Percee and a villa from which guns were firing on the beach. Of all these plucky ships, only Baldwin sustained gunfire damage from shore batteries, but even that was superficial. They all went to within a few hundred yards of the beach, where only a few feet or sometimes inches of water kept them from grounding. Harding actually touched bottom (or a sunken ship), and but for the alertness of sonarman Don Krebs, might have lost her sonar gear.8 Harding got off, but not without damaging her screws. They pounded gun emplacements in the cliffs until the rock and concrete caved in or the guns were put out of action. At the end of the day, senior Army officers gave credit where it was due. When Major General Huebner of the 1st Division got ashore, he described the destroyers’ actions to Major General L. T. Gerow. He in turn sent Lieutenant General Omar Bradley the message “Thank God for the United States Navy.”9 Among other Navy and Coast Guard units that gave of themselves, with many members making the ultimate sacrifice, were those called Beach Battalions. The 2nd, 6th, and 7th Navy Beach Battalions were those assigned to Omaha and Utah beaches. Their mission was that of reconnaissance and demolition, communications, evacuation of wounded, and unloading supplies on the beach. A typical beach party or platoon comprised forty enlisted men: ten corpsmen, ten signalmen, ten motor machinist mates, and ten men of the hydrographic corps. They trained with and were later put under the control of an Engineering Special Brigade, US Army. They boarded vessels called Landing Craft Infantry (LCIs) or Landing Ship Transport (LSTs), later disembarking into LCVPs for the voyage to the beaches early on 6 June (H+65 Min.). Once ashore, they became the vital link between the land and sea forces. The 400-man Navy battalion was composed of three companies, including three platoons within each company. The commander of each company was called a “beachmaster,” whose role was similar to a traffic cop at a

busy intersection. The “hydrographic” sailors’ (demolition teams) jobs were to clear beach obstructions, the doctors and corpsmen attended the wounded, machinist mates repaired boat engines, and the signalmen conveyed information back to the units shipping men and material to shore. The beachmaster’s task was to control all boat traffic coming to the beach and to arrange for the evacuation of the wounded back to the ships. Former IRS Tax Commissioner Mortimer Caplin had been a member of the 7th Beach Battalion, which trained with the Army’s 6th Engineering Special Brigade. He described his particular D-Day experience as one where his unit was scheduled to land at H+8 hours, but due to confusion on the beach and enemy air action, the LST commander delayed debarkation until 0700 the next day. He and his shipmates debarked into an LCVP and jumped into waist-high water, holding guns and gear overhead. They zigzagged across the beach, dodging sporadic enemy gunfire. As soon as they could, they dug foxholes and took on the jobs they were trained to do. On Easy Green Beach, the obstacles had been blown away but broached rhino ferries, LCVPs, and LCTs [Landing Craft, Tank], as well as all

sorts of blown up and bogged down equipment blocked whatever had proven to be good channels. Dead bodies and organizational and personal equipment were strewn over the entire beach. Our efforts on D+1 were directed primarily toward clearing up all the wreckage, moving the dead bodies away from the channels and off the beach, directing bulldozers in pulling away obstacles where necessary explosive work had to be done, and aiding in the salvage of broached and wrecked craft. Throughout the clearing work, signalmen and radiomen were occupied in waving-in craft and contacting the control vessel in order to secure additional craft for further evacuations. The beaching of loaded landing craft was attempted at all stages of the tide at every possible channel. Our medical team was overwhelmed in caring for wounded found on landing. They continued this work for the next thirty days.10 Rapidly, the Allies created order out of chaos. Navy Construction Battalions built an artificial “Mulberry” harbor by sinking portable concrete caissons and scuttling old merchant ships in place. Britain’s

Forward 14/45 guns of USS Nevada (BB-36) fire on positions on Utah Beach.


view Utah Beach where the heroic statue of three sailors symbolizes the closely bonded interaction of officers and men fighting to prepare a pathway on Normandy Beach for the soldiers who followed. William S. Dudley, PhD, was the Director of the Naval Historical Center (now Naval History and Heritage Command) from 1995 to 2004. He is the original editor of The Naval War of 1812: A Documentary History, 3 vols. to date. He is the author of Maritime Maryland: A History and coauthor, with Scott Harmon, of The Naval War of 1812: America’s Second War of Independence. Dr. Dudley serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for Sea History and is a trustee of the National Maritime Historical Society.

The Mulberry artificial harbor off Arromanches in Normandy, September 1944. Royal Engineers sank a second Mulberry in their sector to the east of Omaha Beach. Each of them formed an artificial harbor, a complex of protected floating piers and off-ramps leading to the beaches. From there, ships could offload supplies directly in trucks that would be driven to the beaches from several hundred yards out, enabling rapid build-up of critical supplies, such as food, gasoline, ammunition, and medical supplies for delivery to the troops as they fought their way inland. Regarding human casualties on D-Day, the numbers vary, but it is generally estimated the United States suffered 6,000 killed from all services, including 1,068 naval personnel

(combined Navy and Coast Guard) or close to 18% of those killed in action. Those wishing to make a World War II tour of remembrance can do no better than to visit the Normandy Beaches from the Seine River to the Cotentin Peninsula, where they will see the beaches that brave soldiers and sailors reclaimed that day and in the many weeks that followed. There they will see the unforgettable American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, where the graves of so many soldiers and sailors are beautifully enshrined. Travelling then to the western end of the beaches, past the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc, they will come to the little town of Ste. Marie du Mont and

US Navy memorial at Utah Beach, Normandy, France.

Notes The Naval Order of the United States is a non-profit organization, established in 1890 to keep naval history alive through the restoration of historic artifacts, establishment of memorials at key sites and the collection of our shared history through academic papers, published works, and occasional unpublished works. Its membership comprises officers and enlisted who have served in the Sea Services of the United States. A portion of this article appeared in The Navy D-Day Monument published by the Naval Order of the United States in 2009. The Naval Order Commander General, CAPT Paul Crissy, USCG, has graciously granted permission to reprint this extract. 2 The sculptor of the D-Day monument is Stephen C. Spears of Loveland, Alabama. 3 Captain Jeff Subko, USNR (Ret.), “The US Navy and the D-Day Landings,” Background Paper, 7 September 2008. 4 Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. XI: The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944–45 (Little, Brown 1957, reprinted by Castle Books, p.143. 1


James E. Knight, “The Old Navy: The DD That Saved the Day,” Naval Institute Proceedings, August 1989, pp.124–25. 6 Owen F. Keeler, “From the Seaward Side,” Naval Institute Proceedings, August 1989, p. 126; another version is Thomas B. Allen, “The Gallant Destroyers of D-Day,” Naval History, Vol. 18, No. 3 (June 2004). 7 Dale K. Dirst, Diary, 5 June – 24 September 1944. Copy in possession of NOUS. Original has been donated to the Library of Congress, Veterans’ History Project. 8 Sonarman Don Krebs of Amherst, Ohio, joined the Naval Order Tour with his family on what would be his last visit to Normandy. He had made an earlier pilgrimage to Normandy some years before when he received the French Legion of Honor medal in recognition of his service in USS Harding. 9 Morison, Invasion of France and Germany, p.152. William B. Kirkland Jr., Destroyers at Normandy: Naval Gunfire Support at Omaha Beach, edited by John C. Reilly (Washington, DC, Naval Historical Foundation, 1994). 10 Mortimer Caplin, “US Navy Beachmaster at Omaha” Personal Recollection, remarks presented at NOUS Congress, Rosslyn, VA, 21 October 2006. 5





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Smuggler’s Blues:

The Coast Guard’s Debut in the War on Drugs


of his strategy was “supply reduction.” At the time, most illegal drugs—including almost all of the marijuana used in the US—came across the land border with Mexico, so Nixon chose to open his newly announced war on drugs by attacking the flow there. When Operation Intercept launched in September 1969, it essentially closed the border, as every northbound vehicle was searched intensively and crossing came to a near standstill. These efforts were scaled back after only ten days to restore commerce, but it effectively brought border scrutiny to a new level and succeeded in severely restricting drug smuggling by vehicle from Mexico.

trance to San Francisco Bay. The cutter transported US Customs agents to the former shrimper and they arrested the two persons aboard. Despite the attempt by Mexican marijuana growers to end-run the Customs Service, US-sponsored aerial eradication and an extended drought doomed their efforts. When they were unable to meet demand in the United States, Colombian and Jamaican growers quickly stepped in. The Mexican dealers would never regain market dominance. To transport marijuana from these new sources to American shores, entrepreneurial smugglers—at first mostly Ameri-



enn Shade could think of a thousand other places he’d rather be right then, over slamming through a short, choppy sea in almost total darkness aboard a 26-foot motor surf boat from the cutter Dauntless towards a sportsfisherman. As an ensign in the Coast Guard, he had completed hundreds of safety and compliance boardings in the eight months since he graduated from the US Coast Guard Academy, but this would be his first encounter with known drug smugglers. It was March of 1973 in the Bahamas, and this interdiction would be the US Coast Guard’s first encounter with any drug or liquor smuggling vessel in nearly forty years— since the last “rum runner” had been stopped following prohibition. As his boarding team clambered onto the Big L’s bow, Ensign Shade suddenly realized that he was scared to death. Nevertheless, after working his way aft, he faced four men mustered in the cockpit and announced, with more confidence than he felt: “I smell marijuana and you’re all under arrest.” This first seizure by the Coast Guard of a marijuana-laden vessel occurred more than decade after pot had become widely used in the United States. Many Americans had experimented with LSD, heroin, peyote, and psilocybin mushrooms during the 1960s, but the popularity of hard drugs had begun to wane by the end of the decade. Demand for marijuana, however, skyrocketed as many new users, wary of the physical toll of hard drugs, turned instead to the weed. By 1971 it was estimated that more than half of college students and 40% of 18-to-21-year olds nationwide had tried smoking pot. Many Americans then, as today, felt that it should not be considered in the same category as hard drugs, or even that it should not be illegal. Nevertheless, in response to the public’s increasing concern over rising drug use, the newly elected president, Richard Nixon, sought to make good on a campaign promise to get tough on drugs. A linchpin

by Daniel A. Laliberte

Massive traffic at the Mexican border when Operation Intercept was launched in 1969. Indications that smugglers were responding to this initiative by shifting to maritime routes began with rumors that pleasure boats had begun sneaking marijuana into California from seaward. Rumors were confirmed as fact in 1970 when authorities seized 900 pounds of cannabis aboard a barge at Long Beach, California. Further confirmation that the barge seizure was not a one-off came in May 1971, when 10,100 pounds of marijuana were found aboard a converted shrimp boat, Mercy Wiggins. In a controlled operation, USCG Coast Guard Cutter Point Barrow had intercepted the 57-foot vessel near the en-

cans—acquired small, US-registered sailboats, sportsfishermen, or cabin cruisers to head south through the Caribbean to take on illicit cargoes bound for South Florida. Initially, they found no opposition along this corridor. For forty years, Coast Guard men—and at that time only a handful of women—had been playing the good guys: rescuing vessels and persons from the perils of the sea, towing disabled boats, checking safety equipment, and counting fish. With the drug transportation network moving offshore, the US Coast Guard would again be thrust into the role of arresting bad guys at sea. SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

uscg photo

The first maritime law enforcement case involving a vessel carrying marijuana from one of these new source countries began in January 1973. A Florida-based drug dealer named Michael Parks offered Roy Warren $15,000 to take his fishing boat, Adventurer III, from Watson’s Island Marina in Miami to pick up a load of marijuana bales in Jamaica. Unfortunately for Parks, Warren almost immediately reported this transaction to the local office of the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD). Soon to be replaced by the creation of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the BNDD was at the time responsible for enforcement of laws related to depressants, hallucinogens, marijuana, narcotics, and stimulants. BNDD Agent Cook asked Warren to accept the offer and proposed a plan for a “controlled delivery.” The BNDD would finance Warren’s voyage and assign two undercover agents to serve as his crew aboard the Adventurer III. Upon the vessel’s return to Miami from Jamaica, the marijuana would be seized and the conspirators ashore arrested. Warren agreed. Once the BNDD had installed navigation and communications gear aboard his vessel, he sailed for Jamaica. There, he found that Parks had already flown in and arranged the cargo. More than a thousand pounds of marijuana was loaded and concealed aboard his boat. In short order, the BNDD’s plan to control the delivery began to unravel. Apparently, Parks was a little light on cash and the Jamaicans decided that two of their men would take advantage of the opportunity to ride aboard the vessel to “visit relatives” in Miami. Coincidentally, they would also ensure delivery of the load and payment of the balance owed. The BNDD learned that their plan had gone further awry when during the return trip Warren took advantage of a refueling stop at Grand Cayman to report that he was now to transfer the load to Parks aboard a second vessel at sea, rather than importing it directly to Miami. Agent Cook realized his plan was no longer feasible. To salvage the operation, the contact boat would need to be intercepted after it had loaded the contraband at sea, but before it could get to the US. Compounding the

Built by the American Ship Building Company in Lorain, Ohio, USCGC Dauntless was launched in October 1967 and commissioned the following June. She was homeported in Miami until 1993, when she was overhauled for a major refit and then sent to Galveston, Texas. She is still on active duty and was reassigned to Pensacola, Florida, in 2018. BNDD’s lack of maritime assets and expertise to make such an intercept, the Bureau’s agents lacked jurisdiction and arrest authority outside of the country and its customs waters, which extended only twelve nautical miles from the coast. To solve these challenges, Cook enlisted the cooperation of the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard’s authority was— and remains—perhaps the broadest of any American law enforcement entity. Its officers and petty officers are authorized to enforce all applicable US laws not only in our customs waters but worldwide on the high seas, and under certain circumstances, even within the territorial seas of other nations. This wide-reaching jurisdiction and experience in maritime operations were exactly what Agent Cook was looking for. Six of Cook’s agents met the Dauntless (WMEC-624) in her homeport of Miami Beach, Florida, on the morning of 8 March. The 210-foot long Reliance-class, mediumendurance cutter had just returned from two weeks of patrolling the Florida Strait, where it had been searching for Cuban refugees in the vicinity of Cay Sal, at the southwestern edge of the Bahamas. Under the leadership of Commander Chuck Mill-

radt, Dauntless’s nine officers and sixtythree enlisted men had already rescued several hundred migrants fleeing Castro’s Cuba in just over two months. Although one of these cases involved recovery of several grenades and an automatic pistol, the boardings had been friendly, with the Coast Guard viewed as a rescuer. According to the pre-operation brief, the case involving Adventurer III was likely to involve armed resistance. With the six BNDD agents aboard, Dauntless got underway just before 10:30am. The cutter proceeded southeast at about 12 knots, planning to rendezvous just after sunset with a Bahamian police boat southwest of the offload site. The police boat would stay out of sight over the horizon in case the pick-up boat, by now identified as the 38-foot sportsfisherman Big L out of Miami, tried to escape into Bahamian waters. Additionally, a BNDD aircraft would stand by high overhead, ready to provide intercept information if the Big L tried to flee. After the rendezvous, Dauntless extinguished all navigation lights—a condition called “darkened ship”—and headed north. A short time later, Warren radioed that the


uscg photo

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter approaches USCGC Dauntless during a training exercise in the Gulf of Mexico in 2016.

courtesy cwo-ret. charlie bozeman, uscg photo

marijuana bales had been successfully offloaded, but that the Big L’s engines had broken down. Adventurer III had taken the sportsfisherman in tow and was headed towards Miami. At this news, Captain Millradt ordered Dauntless to charge in at flank speed, nearly eighteen knots. When he had closed to a range of 600 yards, Millradt turned on his navigational lights and illuminated both vessels with the cutter’s twelve-inch searchlights, and directed the Adventurer III to heave to. They were in position 25° 29.3’ N 079° 09’ W, about thirty-five miles from the closest point on the Florida Coast and approximately twelve miles from North Cat Cay in the Bahamas.

One of the Dauntless’s small boats briefly examined the Adventurer III, then proceeded to the Big L. As his boat drew near, Ensign Penn Shade ordered the four persons aboard the Big L to muster aft in the cockpit, while Shade’s four-person team would board at the bow. Shade thought he heard splashes on the far side of the boat, and hoped that it was the sound of weapons being tossed overboard. Shade and Gunner’s Mate First Class (GM1) Charlie Bozeman were first aboard. As they worked their way aft on the narrow deck on either side of the cabin, both smelled the distinctive odor of bulk marijuana. Looking through the cabin’s windows, Bozeman could see bales lying in plain view. Bozeman had learned how to conduct a hostile boarding while serving aboard the USCGC Spencer (WPG-36) in the waters off Vietnam four years earlier. The Spencer had interdicted dozens of small vessels suspected of smuggling arms and ammunition from North Vietnam and detained fiftytwo suspected Viet Cong supporters for interrogation by the South Vietnamese military. It was the cadre of old hands like him who would ensure the safety of Coast Guardmen and women until the service could develop official doctrine and establish a program to train its law enforcement personnel in boarding tactics and procedures.

When Shade got back to the cockpit, he informed the smugglers that they were under arrest. One of them reached into a pocket. GM1 Bozeman immediately prepared to fire a round from his Remington 870 shotgun. Not once had Bozeman had to shoot anyone during a boarding in Vietnam, and he hoped he would not have to start now. To his relief, the smuggler shakily pulled out a cigarette lighter. BNDD agents were then ferried over to assist with handcuffing the prisoners and searching the boat. They would find a total of 1,130 pounds of marijuana bales in the cabin and engine spaces. With Roy Warren and the undercover agents still aboard Adventurer III, the Dauntless crew gave it a cursory look and then released them. After the prisoners were transferred to the Dauntless, Captain Millradt sent over a four-person custody crew led by his executive officer, LCDR Rob Swain, to navigate the vessel back to Miami. His student engineer, LT R. E. Cox, and Engineman First Class J. Miller were able to resuscitate one engine and keep it going for the 45-nautical-mile trip. Even with calm seas, the engine smoked excessively and the smell of diesel exhaust and smoldering oil-soaked insulation, not to mention the bales of marijuana that had been packed around the engine, made for an uncomfortable ride.

The Big L starkly illuminated by the Dauntless’s searchlight in the pitch black night just prior to being boarded. Two of the smugglers can be seen on the flying bridge. 30


Oddly enough, the absence of Michael Parks, the smuggling venture’s organizer, among those arrested went unnoticed by the BNDD agents on scene. Apparently, he had crossed from the Big L to the Adventurer III during the drug transfer and remained hidden there during the interdiction. He was not discovered by the authorities until the Adventurer III moored in Miami the next morning, where he was promptly arrested. All five smugglers were convicted in federal court after pleading “no lo contendere” to a charge of conspiracy to import marijuana into the United States. As the organizer and primary conspirator, Parks received three years. Stanton Davis, one of the Jamaicans who accompanied the cargo, and Saunders (no first name given), a Bahamian crewman aboard the Big L, each received eighteen months. Charles Towne, an American crewman onboard the Big L, received nine months, while Ashton Winter, the second Jamaican, received only six months. Four of the defendants later appealed their convictions based on alleged jurisdic-

tional defects. Parks and Towne argued that since the Coast Guard had seized the Big L outside of US Customs waters and only 11.9 miles from the Bahamas—inside the limit recognized by many nations as the extent of their territorial seas—their arrests were illegal. The court disagreed, noting the Coast Guard’s worldwide jurisdiction over American-flagged vessels and the fact that both the Bahamas and the United States claimed territorial seas of only three miles. Davis and Winter maintained that since they were foreign nationals, their arrests outside of the US were defective. The court ruled that because they were aboard a US-registered vessel and participated in a conspiracy originating and planned in the United States, they were subject to enforcement of US law by the Coast Guard. Although failing to save these appellants, the issues they raised continued to challenge enforcement of drug smuggling laws by the Coast Guard for several years. Smugglers quickly shifted to the use of foreign-flagged vessels manned by nonAmerican crews. While the seizures of any

illegal drugs found aboard were upheld, to force the forfeiture of the vessels and convict the crews, prosecutors had to prove intent to import the drugs into the United States. Changes to the law later corrected this loophole by the late 1970s. The Dauntless would go on to seize vessels carrying an aggregate of more than a million pounds of marijuana over the next eight years. Forty-five years later, the cutter is still in operation, based in Pensacola, Florida. Although smugglers’ preferred illicit cargo has shifted to cocaine, which is much more valuable per pound than marijuana, and their usual conveyance has become a “fast boat,” the Dauntless continues to successfully interdict drug smugglers throughout the Caribbean. Captain Laliberte served as an intelligence officer, maritime law enforcement officer, and a cutterman for more than thirty years in the US Coast Guard. He holds a master’s degree in strategic intelligence from the Defense Intelligence College. His articles have appeared in Sea History, Naval History, Nautical Research Journal, and Proceedings.




Maarten Platje’s

Early History of the US Navy by Jon Swanson, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, and Cavalier Galleries, Inc.

utch artist Maarten Platje was inspired by the sea at a very young age. Encouraged by his father, an officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy, Maarten grew up drawing and painting the shores, lakes, rivers, and canals that dominate the Dutch landscape and found particular inspiration in the various types of ships and boats that navigated across them. Formal training at the art academy Ars Aemula Naturae (“Art, the Rival of Nature”) in Leiden, the oldest society of visual artists in the Netherlands, tempered with his ongoing interest in maritime history and ship design, led to his development as a marine painter. His academic training was complemented by a four-year term as a sailor in the Royal Netherlands Navy, where he sailed most of the world’s oceans. “In the Dutch navy I experienced life at sea myself, and I have sailed the worldwide oceans for four years. During my development and cultivation as a marine painter, this personal experience has been of crucial importance.” In 1986, Maarten Platje began his formal career as a marine artist, and since that time he has received numerous awards and honors for his richly detailed, technically accurate, painstakingly researched paintings, and realistic portrayals of historic ships. Following in the footsteps of the famous Dutch marine painter Willem van de Velde (1611–1693), who served as the official artist of the Dutch naval fleet during the Second Anglo-Dutch War, Platje accepted an invitation by the Dutch navy in 1996 to embark on a frigate during NATO operations in the Mediterranean waters around the former Yugoslavia. This expedition resulted in a series of paintings illustrating various contemporary maritime actions and naval operations. These works are now on a permanent display at the Naval Museum in Den Helder and at the Museum of the Marine Corps of the Royal Netherlands Navy in Rotterdam. While he is chronologically a member of Generation X, Platje is inspired more by the centuries-old traditions of Dutch art. The formation of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (VOC), a.k.a. the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first publicly traded corporation specializing in global commerce, brought tremendous wealth to a great many people in Holland, who, in turn, commissioned artists to depict the ships that made their wealth possible. As a result, the seventeenth century, the “Dutch Golden Age,” produced myriad fine portraits of ships, seascapes, ports, and naval battles. For a limited time in summer 2019, visitors to the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, Minnesota, can view contemporary works by Maarten Platje, but with a twist on the long-celebrated Dutch tradition: Platje’s featured oil paintings depict the early history of the United States Navy, with a focus on critical sea battles from the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812, in which USS Constitution was a major player. Platje’s first visit to the United States in 1977 took him to museums and libraries that sparked a lifelong interest in American maritime and naval history. It was a 2008 visit to Boston and other historic sites that inspired him to create a series of oil paintings showing events during the first formative years of the US Navy. He explains, “I started to study the available literature and the idea was born of making a series of oil paintings depicting various historic encounters and battles in which the young American navy, in the early years of its existence, has been involved. I was convinced that the heroic naval actions of that time and the brave conduct of the commanders and sailors still have a strong appeal today.” Aside from his technical mastery of art techniques that make his paintings stand out among his contemporaries, Platje’s accuracy of detail will satisfy viewers with a critical eye towards historical information within the paintings. He investigates his subjects through contemporary records and images, such as official reports, eyewitness accounts, personal journals and diaries, admiralty records, maps, ships’ plans, contemporary sketches and drawings, period paintings, and ship models. Surviving historic ships—USS Constitution in particular—serve as primary sources as well as inspiration to convey the emotion and feel of ship and her crews at sea. His depictions of ships are technically detailed and accurate, and his renderings of water, skies, clouds, and water phenomena are based on studies of scientific data and observation. In all of his works, he strives for a “combination of an attractive composition and historical correctness. Artistic freedom may not hinder the historical correctness and vice versa.” 32


images of maarten platje and his art on loan from the artist and cavalier galleries, inc.

Opening Shots, USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerierre, (2018) by Maarten Platje, oil on linen Three of Platje’s recent paintings in the 2019 exhibition are set in the first years of the nineteenth century and feature the first US naval ships USS Philadelphia and USS Constitution at their duties in Gibraltar, Tripoli, and Malta during the First Barbary War (1801–1805). The remainder of his series focuses on the War of 1812 and the fledgling US Navy’s battles against the larger, more powerful and experienced British Royal Navy. At the outbreak of this war, the US Navy consisted of just sixteen seagoing vessels, while the British fleet could muster more than 600 warships for a conflict at sea. USS Constitution is featured in seven of these paintings and Platje believes his visit to “Old Ironsides,” the most prominent American ship during this war, in Boston was also very important to his motivation to cover this subject in his art and in getting the details right. By walking her decks and studying her physical structure, he could hone in on the physical specifics of the ship such as dimensions, masts, gunnery, rigging, and living spaces. “For me, it became clear that Constitution should play an important role in the series of paintings.” Opening Shots, USS Constitution vs. HMS Guerierre (above) celebrates the first significant victory for the United States in the War of 1812. The outcome of this early battle surprised both sides, and indicated the war might go differently than they initially predicted. The United States had assumed it had the advantage ashore, but that it would have a difficult time at sea against the superior forces of the Royal Navy. The larger, better-armed and well-manned USS Constitution’s early victory for the US Navy was an important win for the country, both strategically and emotionally. This painting shows both vessels in rich technical detail and showcases Platje’s mastery in rendering, light, wind, water, and atmosphere. SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019 33

USS Constitution vs. HMS Java (below) depicts the two warships during the height of their two-hour battle off the coast of Brazil in 1812. Both sides suffered heavy damage and casualties, but in the end the larger Constitution was victorious over the smaller frigate, and the inoperable HMS Java was scuttled the next day. This loss changed how the Royal Navy would engage larger American ships in the remainder of the conflict.

I invite the spectator to become an eyewitness of the war scenes that I depict in sparkling color and orchestrate in a very realistic and accurate composition. —Maarten Platje In addition to the US Navy-themed exhibition, there are other non-American naval scenes displayed. One of the featured paintings celebrates Platje’s native country and an artist considered to be the father of marine art. His large-scale work, the 39”x 78” oil painting The Council of War on Board De Zeven Provincien, 10 June 1666, is based on a pen-and-ink sketch by Willem van de Velde the Elder, who was an eyewitness to the battle. Both artists depict the flagship of Dutch admiral Michiel De Ruyter, who had called together his captains for a council of war on the eve of the Four Days Sea Battle against the British fleet on 10 June 1666. This sea battle was one of the longest naval engagements in history, involving about 200 ships in total. Although the battle did not have a clear victor, the Dutch inflicted significant damage on the English fleet, so it is regarded as a tactical and strategic victory for the Dutch. Platje’s technical mastery and understanding of period ships’ standing and running riggings, acres of sails, and naval architecture are on full display in this re-envisioned event. Platje’s composition is similar to Van der Velde’s drawing, but unlike the original drawing, he paints from an elevated view with realistic sea and sky.

USS Constitution vs. HMS Java (2018) by Maarten Platje, oil on linen 34


The Council of War on Board De Zeven Provincien, 10 June 1666, (2018) by Maarten Platje, oil on linen

courtesy riksmusuem, amsterdam, p.d.

Council of War aboard De Zeven Provincien, the Flagship of Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter, 10 June 1666, preceding the Four Days’ Battle: Episode from the Second Anglo-Dutch War by Willem van de Velde (I), (1666–1693), ink on canvas, 46 x 69 inches


Jon Swanson, Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Minnesota Marine Art Museum, joined the museum in 2006 and has created more than 125 diverse and unique exhibitions of great art inspired by water, which have included regional, national, and international artists, both contemporary and historic, exploring the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. He has an undergraduate degree in fine art, graduate degrees in art history and nautical archaeology and is a fine arts photographer. (Minnesota Marine Art Museum, 800 Riverview Drive, Winona, Minnesota; Ph. 507 474-6626;

photo by jon swanson

courtesy maarten platje

Maarten Platje: The Early History of the US Navy opened on 3 May and runs through 18 August 2019. Fifteen large paintings on loan from the artist and courtesy of the Cavalier Galleries (Greenwich, CT, New York, NY, and Nantucket, MA) are on display in one of the museum’s six large galleries, along with other Platje paintings from the museum’s collections. Platje’s works as part of the museum’s permanent collection have been visitors’ favorites since it opened in 2006, and this exhibition is a welcome opportunity to display new works by this popular marine artist. The Minnesota Marine Art Museum offers ten or more historical and contemporary exhibitions in its galleries, and hosts educational experiences for thousands of people each year. The museum’s initial collections focused on traditional marine or maritime art, however, through a collection on long-term loan, today the museum is home to a large variety of art inspired by water, including the greatest European and American masters. The MMAM is the public home to masterpieces by Turner, Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, Cassatt, Gauguin, Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, O’Keeffe, Homer, Andre and Jamie Wyeth, and many more. It is through this surprising diversity that the museum is not only describing what marine art is, but also is pushing the boundaries of what marine art can be. Learn more at

de wind is op! Climate, Culture and Innovation in Dutch Maritime Painting OPENS JULY 2, 2019



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1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA 92101-3309

619.234.9153 x 101


San Salvador—Setting a Course for the 16th Century by Susan Sirota and Raymond Ashley


Cabrillo had his galleon built on the Pacific coast of New Spain and sailed north in 1542 to explore the west coast of North America. He made it as far north as the Russian River in California, about sixty miles north of the Golden Gate. Each fall since her launch in 2016, the museum has sent San Salvador on a coastwise voyage to California’s ports and offshore islands, collectively known as the Pacific Heritage Tour (PHT). The ship is a mix of old and new, designed to serve her dual mission of interpreting this early part of Pacific Coast maritime history, while satisfying US Coast Guard requirements to earn and maintain a COI (Certificate of Inspection), which allows the ship to operate as a passenger vessel. Meticulously researched, designed, and 38 38


courtesy mmsd

There are more than a million place names of Cabrillo, making it one of the most common place names in the United States, and certainly in California.

ted walton photography

courtesy raymond ashley

he Maritime Museum of San Diego is a museum with no real estate but one that has a huge presence along the downtown San Diego waterfront. All of its exhibit space, library, workshops, and offices are housed onboard the museum’s large and eclectic fleet of historic ships and replica vessels, including two 19th-century sailing ships (the 1863 Star of India and Californian, a replica of an 1847 US Revenue cutter), two navy submarines (one American, one Soviet, both built in the late 1960s), a 279-foot steam ferry built in 1898, a 1904 luxury steam yacht, a PT Swift Boat and more. Through its mix of vessels, the museum seeks to present a chronological narrative of San Diego and Pacific Coast history, where each ship in its fleet is a chapter you step into, and in some cases actually voyage in. A chronological narrative only makes sense, however, if you have the first chapter, and that is where San Salvador comes in. For years, the museum was missing an important piece of the puzzle. One can hardly drive around the California coast without being bombarded with the name “Cabrillo” at every turn. From schools and parks, to insurance companies, theaters, hotels, yacht clubs and more, the name Cabrillo is everywhere. Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo was a Spanish explorer, the first European to sail the California coast. Even the state seal features an image of Cabrillo’s ship at its center, but nowhere could you find physical evidence or representation of his experience in California—until 2016 when the Maritime Museum of San Diego launched its full-scale replica of Cabrillo’s 200-ton galleon, San Salvador.

constructed by the museum over a six-year period, San Salvador is one of very few early modern replica ships in which members of the public can get a glimpse as to what seafaring beyond the known world was like half a millennium ago. The ship offers hands-on experiences to discover seafaring life and history while maintaining the highest of safety standards. This year also coincides with the 500-year anniversary of the beginning of the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan. As a unique commentary on these two voyages, for this year’s PHT program, San Salvador will set sail with a group of world-renowned historians, who will give lectures to the rest of the ship’s company, along with standing watch, steering, and sail handling side by side with expedition participants. And you are invited to join them. The onboard historians are: Dr. Carla Rahn Phillips, author of Six Galleons for the King of Spain and many other definitive works, is one of the world’s foremost experts on Spanish seafaring in the age of exploration. Dr. Phillips is the Union Pacific Professor (Emerita) in Comparative Early Modern History, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Dr. Alex Roland is co-author and editor of The Way of the Ship, A History of the US Merchant Marine, and Undersea Warfare in the Age of Sail. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Dr. Roland served as a historian for NASA and is one of the world’s leading experts on the history of technology, with an emphasis on military, naval, and maritime technology. Dr. Jim Cassidy is an archaeologist and expert on prehistoric maritime migrations to the Americas. He is a co-author of California Maritime Archaeology, and has published numerous articles on North Pacific maritime prehistory. Dr. Cassidy is a former Regional Archaeologist for the US Navy, is currently archaeologist for the Maritime Museum of San Diego, director of the museum’s docent training program, and serves as a crewmember for the museum’s fleet of historic vessels.


As much as participants will dive into 16th-century sailing—steering with a whipstaff, practicing 16th-century navigation methods, and handling the sails and rig—the experience will be considerably more comfortable than what Cabrillo’s men would have endured. At the very least, expect the food and sanitation facilities to be simple but still represent 21st-century sensitivites. Cabrillo’s crew would have prepared and eaten their meals on deck. Dr. Timothy Runyan, co-author of European Naval and Maritime History: 300–1500, has participated in numerous underwater archaeology surveys as former director of East Carolina University’s Program in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology and later as director of Maritime Heritage for NOAA’s National Maritime Sanctuaries Program. A professor of history and frequent lecturer, he serves as the chair of the Editorial Advisory Board for Sea History as well as a trustee of NMHS, which recently recognized him with a lifetime achievement award. Dr. Raymond Ashley is president and CEO of the Maritime Museum of San Diego and captain of the San Salvador. Dr. Ashley has been director of the museum since 1995, curator of historic ships, contributor to the museum’s academic journal Mains’ l Haul, and he spearheaded the San Salvador project. Dr. Ashley holds a US Coast Guard license for 200 tons – Master of Sail and teaches a class in the history of navigation for the museum’s educational program.

ted walton

Both Drs. Phillips and Ashley have been knighted by the King of Spain for their contribution to Spanish seafaring history.

Today’s San Salvador adventurers are full participants in operating the ship, using many of the same techniques and sailing in the same waters where the original San Salvador cruised in 1542.

The 2019 voyage will depart from Channel Islands Harbor and make stops in the California Channel Islands (which have arguably changed little since Cabrillo’s day), arriving in San Diego five days later. During the voyage, participants will be


maggie walton

fully immersed in operating the galleon, learning how to sail a vessel rigged as her sisterships would have been 450 years ago and steering with a whipstaff, as well as living communally with the ship’s company. Participants will visit prehistoric archaeological sites ashore, learn about the Cabrillo and Magellan voyages, and study sixteenth-century navigational techniques, ship construction, and naval warfare, including actual use of the San Salvador’s formidable battery of artillery. While she is built and operated along the lines of a sixteenth-century galleon, hidden below decks and low in the ship is a modern propulsion system. Standard USCG-approved navigational lights, typically out of sight while the ship is in port, are set up and used while the ship is underway. San Salvador is certified as a Subchapter T – Small Passenger Vessel Under 100 Gross Tons by the US Coast Guard.

A petroglyph composition from a remote location in the Jacumba National WilderThis expedition is truly an unprecedented ad- ness, which is believed to be a Kumeyaai contemporary depiction of Cabrillo’s exventure of a lifetime. The voyage starts on 8 Septem- pedition. If this is correct, then this is the earliest graphic rendering of a historic ber 2019 from the Channel Island Maritime Museum event by someone who witnessed it in American history. It would also be a rare in Oxnard, California, and wraps up at the Maritime depiction of a first contact event and thus a priceless element of the human record. Museum of San Diego on 13 September. Voyage cost is $1519 (Magellan embarked on his circumnavigation in 1519. Coincidence?). Details on the voyage and how you can participate can be found online at or by contacting Rebecca Saikowski at the museum at 619 234-9153 x111; Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 North Harbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92101; Ph. 619 234-9153.

courtesy mmsd

Susan Sirota is the vice president of the Maritime Museum of San Diego and a frequent member of the San Salvador sailing crew.



You can look forward to long summer days with a vision of things to come by renowned artist Donald Demers and support NMHS at the same time.

Summer Cruise by Donald Demers

Image size: 14” x 23.5” • Signed and Numbered Limited-Edition Lithograph of 500 Price $95 • Remarqued Price $250 Demers is a Fellow of the American Society of Marine Artists and has won a record seventeen awards at the Mystic International Marine Art Exhibition at Mystic Seaport. Demers has been a feature cover artist for Sea History issues 131, 148, & 156.

To order call 1-800-221-NMHS (6647), ext. 0

or visit our website at NYS residents add applicable sales tax. S/H add $20 within the USA. For international orders, please contact Wendy Paggiotta at


SEA HISTORY for kids

High-Tech Goes to Sea: the RCRV Project RCRV does not stand for Really Cool Research Vessel, but it could...


by Nancy Steinberg, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University

ne of the most important pieces of scientists are studying all aspects of the equipment used by oceanographers marine world, including, but not limited to, is the research vessel, a ship that marine biology and coral reefs studies, serves as a floating lab and a homegeology of the seafloor, climate change, away-from-home for marine scientists. bathymetry, geochemistry, and even shipWhile satellites orbiting the earth and wreck archaeology—you name it. buoys moored to the seafloor can collect Marine scientists are pretty excited oceans of data about our oceans, scientists about three new research ships that are still need to go to sea to collect the data being built right now with funding prothey need and make first-hand observations vided by the National Science Foundation to better serve their research questions. (NSF). Oregon State University is overseeResearch vessels range from small ing the design and construction of the vesinflatable boats that hold only a few people, The Albatross was a United States Fish Commis- sels, which will be the newest generation sion (USFC) research vessel built in 1882. An to massive polar ice breakers nearly 400 iron-hulled steamship rigged with auxiliary sails, of RCRVs for the United States scientific feet long. Somewhere in the middle is the Albatross was the first ship ever built specifically community. The first of the three 199-foot regional class research vessel (RCRV). This for marine research. ships will be run by Oregon State, with the type of ship typically operates in the coastal ocean, rang- others to be operated by research institutions and univering from nearshore to the edge of the continental rise sities on the East and Gulf Coasts. before the ocean floor slopes down to its deepest depths. Oregon State University’s new vessel will be named Oceangoing research vessels have come a long way in Taani, a word used by the Siletz people of Oregon the last couple of decades, from wooden sailing ships out- meaning“offshore.” Construction of Taani was started in fitted for distant deep-sea expeditions, such as HMS November 2018 in a shipyard in Houma, Louisiana. The ship Beagle, which carried Charles Darwin to the Galapagos and will be launched some time in 2020 and delivered to OSU around the world, to modern steel high-tech vessels for testing in 2021. Here are some of the features that will purpose-built for doing oceanographic research. Today’s make Taani and her sister ships so special. us bureau of fisheries

Gear Deployment/Recovery Equipment Research vessels need to be able to deploy and retrieve various types and sizes of equipment safely and accurately. The aft deck of Taani will be equipped with a flexible, multi-jointed “A-frame” crane for deployment of nets and other sampling equipment. Amidships on the starboard side (translation: in the middle of the ship on the right side), the ship will have an advanced robotic arm that, with a push of a button, will be able to deploy oceanography tools to measure temperature and salinity, or launch and recover underwater robots. Dynamic Positioning Many oceanographic operations require the ship to remain still or follow a precise straight path as data is collected, but this stability can be difficult to achieve because the ocean is always in motion. The RCRVs will include a state-ofthe-art system to help them hold still, to “hold station.” This dynamic positioning system will include two sets of twin thrusters—one in the stern and another in the bow—to increase its maneuverability. The computer-designed propellers on these thrusters will behave more like wings than traditional screw-type propellers and operate very efficiently.

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oregon state university

Datapresence Wouldn’t it be useful (and really cool) if you and your teachers could see and use the information being collected by scientists aboard Taani as it’s being collected? Or talk to the scientists aboard while they’re working? All of this will be possible, thanks to the advanced “datapresence” technologies installed on the ship, which will enable transmission of many kinds of data from ship to shore. Scientists on shore will be able to SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

oregon state university

participate in research projects remotely, and teachers— maybe yours!—will be able to display real-time ocean data in their classrooms or have direct interactions with scientists working at sea. U-Tube Anti-Roll Tank Being honest here—the rolling motion of a ship out at sea can cause even the most stout-hearted scientists to toss their cookies (that’s a technical term). Aside from people’s physical discomfort, rolling can also make it difficult and sometimes dangerous to deploy and retrieve instruments. To minimize rolling, a large, U-shaped tank within the hull will use gravity to slosh water from side to side, counter to the ship’s natural roll frequency. The shifting water weight minimzes the ship’s roll, making operations safer and more comfortable.

Bulbous Bow OK, we know. It looks a little like a clown nose, but it has a purpose. The ship’s protruding bow improves the vessel’s hydrodynamics, helping it move through the water more smoothly and improve its fuel efficiency. Centerboard Various sensors and instruments can be placed on this retractable centerboard, depending on the ship’s specific mission. These instruments can identify schools of fish and other organisms, measure currents, capture images of the bottom of the ocean, or even talk to swarms of small underwater robots.

Marine Science Opportunities for High School Students


ou don’t have to wait until college to start working in the marine science field, nor do you need to live anywhere near an ocean. There are more and more programs for high school students to study and get hands-on experience in marine science being developed through your school’s STEM or STEAM program. Remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs, are underwater robots that allow scientists to explore the ocean without actually getting in the water. ROVs are controlled by a person, usually on a surface vessel, using a joystick in a similar way that you would play a video game. A group of cables connects the ROV to the ship, sending electrical signals back and forth between the operator and the vehicle. ROVs range in size from that of a small computer to a small truck. The larger ones are very


heavy and need other equipment such as a winch or a crane to put them over the side of a ship and into the water. Each year, the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center sponsors ROV competitions all around the country, where student teams build their own ROVs, either from a kit or from scratch of their own design, and then compete against other teams doing a series of tasks, either in a pool or a tank. If your school does not have an ROV club, ask your science teacher if you can start one. The MATE Center offers regional mentors, kits, and information on their website at www.mar




by Richard King

his August 1st marks the 200th birthday of Herman Melville, author of one of the most famous novels ever written in the English language. Moby-Dick’s dramatic ending pits the great white whale against the maniacal Captain Ahab, and things don’t end well for Ahab, his ship, or his crew. The sinking of Ahab’s ship by a whale has been reproduced in cartoons, comics, fan fiction, and multiple feature films. But did that ever happen? Could that happen? Has a sperm whale actually sunk an entire ship? You may have already heard of the 1820 story of the whaleship Essex, the first and only well-known account of a sperm whale ramming and sinking a full ship, an event that Melville used for his fictional masterpiece. Essex’s first mate, Owen Chase, wrote that after the enormous bull sperm whale rammed the ship with its head, the animal turned and came back again directly at the ship. “The surf flew in all directions about him,” Chase wrote. “His head was about half out of water, and in that way he came upon, and again struck the ship.” On this second strike, the whale bashed a large enough hole in the hull to sink the Essex within hours. Melville also wrote in Moby-Dick of the whaleship Union, which sank in the Atlantic in 1807 after accidentally running into a whale “This sketch shows the ship at the moment of attack...” at night. He does not mention in the novel, however, three other Drawing by Thomas Nickerson, who was at the helm when events about which he almost certainly had not learned: in 1849 off his ship Essex was rammed by a sperm whale in 1820. the coast of Nicaragua, a ship named the Frederic sank after a collision with a whale; in 1850, in the midst of being hunted, a sperm whale rammed a hole in the hull of the whaleship Pocahontas, forcing the ship to run to safety into Rio de Janeiro; and, the same year, the whaleship Parker Cook was hit twice by an enraged whale, yet managed to float to safety. Then, shortly after the publication of Moby-Dick, Melville was thrilled to learn that a whaleship named the Ann Alexander had also been sunk by a sperm whale. Another ship later captured the same animal, identified with two of the Ann Alexander’s harpoons—along with shards of wood still stuck in its head. Historians have since found still more examples of whales ramming holes in wooden hulls of ships and fishing boats and even a couple modern accounts where sperm whales bumped into steel boats. So, yes, sperm whales did occasionally ram ships, and even sink them on occasion. Which brings us to: Why would they? Hitting a ship a second time, as in the case of the Essex and the Parker Cook, certainly suggests an animal is doing so on purpose. The first and most believable answer is that the whales were reacting to an attack in pain or in defense. Historians have dozens, if not hundreds, of examples of sperm whales crushing small whaleboats by using their heads, tails, and jaws after being harpooned (see “Do Sperm Whales Bite?” in Sea History 162). Many whale species, including

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classics illustrated, 1943

Detail of an illustration from Moby-Dick


nantucket historical association

Animals in Sea History

humpbacks, bottlenose dolphins, and killer whales, use their heads aggressively, either against other species or in male-tomale competition. Yet sperm whales have not been observed doing this. Biologists think that male sperm whales are far more likely to settle disputes with their loud clicks and clangs of echolocation. In Melville’s day, naturalists thought that individual large bulls served as the “guardians” of schools of sperm whale families, but we have learned since that is highly unlikely. Modern observers report that male sperm whales spend only very short times within groups of females and juveniles. Most biologists and whale watch operators today report that sperm whales are exceptionally passive—even skittish, as if they didn’t know their own might as the largest toothed predators on Earth. noaa fisheries Recently, scientists have been studying to determine if sperm whale heads have evolved for ramming behavior, especially for maleto-male competition. The sperm whale’s enormous rectangular head is larger by proportion in males than in females. The males’ skin is

Male sperm whales can grow up to at least 60 feet, with their heads taking up about a third of their overall length.

also thicker and tougher at the front, and they have fused neck vertebrae that might brace the whale and protect it against a head injury. A recent study from 2016 that consulted with a bioengineer in Japan found that, just as Ishmael claimed in the chapter “The Battering Ram,” the oily fluid structures within the head—the spermaceti and, especially the junk with its partitions—may serve as a shock absorber against ramming impact. Sailors and naturalists in Herman Melville’s time were actually somewhat mixed in their opinions and experience as to how timid and peaceful sperm whales are. But Melville knew a sperm whale’s head could smash a hole through an entire whaleship if the animal wanted. And that was plenty to fuel that little yarn he’d call Moby-Dick.


For more “Animals in Sea History” go to or

“Sea History for K ids” is sponsored by the Henry L. & Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation




by Peter McCracken

Identifying Reliable Information Online

ow do you determine the reliability of a particular information source? This question grows more important every day, as numerous organizations and bad actors seek financial and political gain through misrepresentation and misinformation campaigns. To be sure, reliable sources sometimes inadvertently provide inaccurate information, but nearly always, those sources will publicize corrections and rescissions when that happens. Nevertheless, an important part of finding and using reliable information involves locating and starting with trustworthy sources. The most basic form of information is data, such as statistical information collected about a particular subject. When looking for reliable sources of data-based information, I find it useful to consider the question “Who would collect this information?” followed by “Where would they publish it?” Statistics and data reflect those who collect it, and often no one has spent the time and money to collect the data that you might be seeking. Or perhaps organizations have collected the data, but they have no interest in sharing that information outside their organization. When data is available—oftentimes at a high cost—it may well come with extensive biases built in. As a hypothetical example, consider someone seeking information about the amount or value of goods being shipped from a given port. A company that offers shipping services might be inclined to under-report how much leaves the port in question to make their portion of it appear bigger. An organization trying to highlight environmental damage as a result of that shipping might lean towards over-reporting such information, to bring more attention to the issue. A chamber of commerce might also overreport, to improve outsiders’ opinions of the port. While government sources are certainly not infallible, they often provide the least-biased information and are generally in the public domain. For the presentation of scholarly information, the standard is peer-reviewed articles, which interpret the available data in ways that meet scholarly, academic, and scientific rigor. There’s no question that scientists and scholars get things wrong—sometimes intentionally, most times not—but a responsible publication will retract or revise articles that are found to be erroneous. Retraction Watch ( reports on such topics through regular and weekly updates. It can be surprising—and a bit distressing—to discover how many significant articles are retracted each year.

As described in my previous column about Open Access publishing, some disingenuous journals will publish anything, as long as the authors pay fees to get their articles published. The result is that these so-called “peer-reviewed” articles have not actually been reviewed by the author’s peers. Because of this, the journal’s history (and particularly the organization that publishes it) serves as an important indicator of the value of the content that appears in its publication. For those not familiar with a particular academic specialty, it can be very difficult to differentiate between valid journals and predatory ones. One identifier of a quality journal is if it has been indexed in major citation indexes, such as Web of Science, Scopus, or subject-specific indexes. An anonymous group called Stop Predatory Journals lists many of the fake journals at journals. When it comes to news, and especially information presented under the heading of opinion, the prospects are even worse. One of the best ways of identifying reliable sources is to look for a publication’s or a website’s corrections pages. While some might feel that the Corrections section is obvious proof that a resource is unreliable, in fact the organization that admits to its errors is one that can be trusted. The New York Times (https://www. and Wall Street Journal ( offer links from their home pages to corrections pages, but most other news resources do not. As we have all learned, automated tools can create and propagate false information to sway large groups of people. But technology can also be used to identify similar false information, whether produced en masse or by individuals. Reporter’s Lab, at, for example, identifies fact-checking tools from around the world, and that organization is developing its own tools to provide real-time fact-checking. The remarkable ease with which anyone can create content— sometimes based on nothing at all—makes it harder for us to identify the most valuable, accurate, and useful content. Every reader and every researcher should be as careful as possible when evaluating sources, to ensure they are working with accurate and reliable information. Suggestions for other sites worth mentioning are welcome at See for a free compilation of over 150,000 ship names from indexes to dozens of books and journals.

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new vessel could probably be dated to the 16th or 15th century BC, making it older than the Uluburun wreck, dating to the 14th century BC and hitherto referred to as the “oldest wreck in the world.” The team used sonar to scan the site and documented it photographically. The ship remains are located on an incline on the seafloor, and the team limited its diving explorations to a depth of 55 meters, necessitating a plan to return to the site and explore the lower portion in 2019. The shipwreck cargo is partially obscured by sand; the archaeology team observed and recorded the site but did not take samples so as to avoid disturbing it. They observed pillow-type ingots, presumably of copper, that might be Buchholz/Bass Type 1 ingots, which are typically dated to 16th and 15th century BC. It is the presence of these ingots in the cargo that led the team to believe that this wreck might be as old as they have stated. A closer investigation of the site—and carbon and lead isotope analysis—later this year should offer more definitive conclusions about the ship and its cargo. (You can view the Palestine Exploration Quarterly article through the Taylor and Francis Online website at It is an Open Access (OA) website.) … The Brier Foundation is seeking applicants for its Women in Maritime Transportation Scholarships. In 2004, aviator Pinky Brier (1909–2008) formed the foundation 48

to help women achieve their goals as they pursue careers in aviation and in maritime transportation. Each year, multiple scholarships between $3,000 and $5,000 are awarded to help young women get a head start and develop into productive, self confident, and independent professionals in an industry traditionally dominated by men. In the maritime category, the scholarship is intended for those seeking careers as a bridge officer; in the fields of navigation, naval architecture, or naval engineering; and applicants working towards a merchant marine license (USCG). (Details and applications are available online at www.the ... The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced in May the opening of its Virtual Archaeology Museum. In the course of its mission conducting underwater research and oil and gas exploration, BOEM has discovered numerous shipwreck sites. Collaborating with NOAA’s Office of Exploration and Research (OER), BOEM has been collecting data on these sites in the Atlantic and in the Gulf of Mexico. With the creation of the virtual museum, this data is being made available to the public, providing video, detailed three-dimensional (3D) models, and mosaic maps of shipwrecks from the 19th and 20th centuries. “With the ROVs we can clearly examine the artifacts in these shipwrecks up close, in thousands of feet of water. Through the use of the 3D models, we can see each

shipwreck site as a whole and monitor changes to it over time,” said BOEM Gulf of Mexico regional director Mike Celata. “The Virtual Archaeology Museum will serve as a valuable teaching asset in both school and university classrooms, and the data collected will be a focal point for underwater researchers, its online presence allowing collaboration worldwide.” (www. … Just in time for D-Day commemorations, the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum in Muskegon, Michigan, will be welcoming a new piece aboard their ship: a Bofors 40mm twin-barreled anti-aircraft cannon. The museum group has been looking for a Bofors cannon for more than a decade; they located one in a park in Illinois. The cannon arrived in Musekegon

uss lst-393 veterans museum

courtesy hakan Ö niz

In a paper published in the online journal Palestine Exploration Quarterly this April, Archaeologist Hakan Öniz reported the 2018 discovery of a new Bronze age shipwreck at the edge of the Ancient Lycia-Lukka Region in Kumluca on the west coast of Antalya, the same region where George Bass and Cemal Pulak located the Gelidonia and Uluburun wrecks. Öniz believes that the

last year, where it has been undergoing restoration. As of press time, the museum planned to feature the cannon restored to its post on deck by the 75th anniversary of D-Day on 6 June. LST 393 would have carried multiple Bofors guns into battle; the specimen to be installed on its deck was built in 1942 at York Lock and Safe Co. in York, Pennsylvania. The 18,000-pound gun was installed in the park in Oak Forest, Illinois, in 1976 along with other military equipment as part of the town’s observation of the American bicentennial celebration. A Chicago-area group called the Veterans Garage assisted the USS LST 393 Veterans Museum volunteers in transporting the weapon from Illinois to Muskegon. Having spent decades in the elements, the cannon then received a few new parts, some welding and a paint job. LST 393 participated in three battles during World War II, including D-Day at Omaha Beach, and was SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

subsequently used in Great Lakes shipping for over two decades; she was then brought to Muskegon to serve as a museum ship. Her six decks all feature displays teaching about American veterans. (USS LST 393 Veterans Museum, 560 Mart St., Muskegon, MI; Ph. 231 730-1477; www.lst393. org) … The non-profit USS Clamagore Restoration & Maintenance Association (CRAMA) is suing the Patriots Point Development Authority over the fate of the former USS Clamagore. At issue is

USS Clamagore whether Patriots Point, custodial organization for the submarine, has the legal right to sink Clamagore as an artificial reef. The South Carolina legislature’s spending plan for the coming fiscal year outlines a plan to sink Clamagore and to create a memorial ashore with rescued pieces of the vessel. Patriots Point asserts that routine necessary repairs to the submarine would cost about $7 million, more than the state can afford. CRAMA disagrees, estimating the costs of dry-docking and repair at around $300,000. Clamagore, a Balao-class submarine, was launched 25 February 1945 in Groton, Connecticut, and commissioned Clamagore (SS-343) on 28 June of that year. She was converted to a Guppy III (Greater Underwater Propulsion Power Program) configuration in 1948, and was decommissioned in 1975. She has been a museum ship at Patriots Point in Charleston, South Carolina, since 1981. The preservation group asserts that, as the last known remaining World War II submarine with the GUPPY-type conversion, the Clamagore should be saved. (CRAMA, POB 60388, North Charleston, SC; Patriots Point, 49 Patriots Point Road, Mount Pleasant, SC; Ph. 843 884-2727; ...

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(continued on page 51 SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019 49

Tall Ships America: Tackling the Difficult Questions by Dr. Kris Von Wald, Executive Director, Tall Ships America This year’s Annual Conference on Sail Training and Tall Ships, held this past February in San Pedro, California, included a general session presentation and overview of the results of the Industry Survey of Sexual Harassment & Assault in the Tall Ships Fleet, conducted in 2018. The conference also included panels and sessions addressing the topic from a human resources and legal perspective, providing opportunities for participants to ask questions and offer their perspectives as we strive to address, head on, a problem that is being discussed across all industries and work places. This focus followed an open and lively panel at the 2018 annual conference, where the topic was raised and issues of sexual harassment in the tall ships community were confronted. Dr. Kathleen Moore, assistant professor of intelligence analysis at James Madison University, who has a background in the tall ship fleet as well, volunteered to survey the community and analyze the results to move the conversation toward an evidencebased response. The purpose of the survey was to collect data on the experiences of members and former members of the sail training community. The survey was distributed through networks of members of the tall ships community and is a modification of the Cornell University Survey of Campus Sexual Assault. It included both qualitative and quantitative data, demographic information, and opportunities to provide general and specific comments in response to certain questions. Analysis of the data was done using software to evaluate and organize comments according to discernible themes. Overall, based on results of this survey, the tall ship industry appears to fall within the normal reporting ranges of sexual harassment and assault as reported generally to the United States Equal Opportunity Commission. Of the survey of aggressive activities, verbal harassment received the highest reporting rate (48%), falling within the normal range of general reporting (45%) to the USEOC as of 2016. There were a large number of respondents who reported being unsure as to whether they had to tolerate bad behavior, if bad behavior interfered with their or others’ work, or whether they felt a complaint was properly resolved. These responses may be speaking to issues of communication and understanding about policy and process when it comes to what constitutes sexual harassment and what can or will be done about it. Concerns were also raised about how those who are alleged or repeat offenders continue to work in the industry because the need for cap- Tall Ships America organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® tains and crew is high and reference checks are Series each year, where a fleet of sailing ships races between ports and not routinely performed. participates in maritime festivals in official host cities. This summer’s It is deeply concerning to learn that there series takes place in the Great Lakes. Visit the Tall Ships America are people who work in the tall ships fleet who website for details: have experienced sexual harassment in their workplace. Tall Ships America member organizations are working together to identify the issues and take an evidence-based approach toward resolving them. It is encouraging to hear that organizations say they have anti-bullying and harassment policies, but policies only take us part of the way. Following the conference, Tall Ships America supplied a resource packet containing the full survey report and relevant information and resources to conference attendees; this resource will be available to members through the Tall Ships America website. Safety across the tall ships fleet is the ultimate priority, and that includes physical, emotional, and intellectual safety for all who participate, work and volunteer in the industry. Working together is more likely to bring about the cultural changes that eliminate sexual harassment across the fleet. (Tall Ships America, 221 3rd St., Bldg. 2, Ste. 101, Newport, RI; Ph. 401 846-1775; 50 50


(continued from page 49) Friendship, the National Park Service’s replica of a 1797 East Indiaman, has returned to her homeport in Salem, Massachusetts, after an unanticipated extended shipyard period. The ship was hauled out in 2016 for routine inspection and repairs, but the expected four-month stint in Gloucester Marine Railways for

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Friendship in dry dock in 2016 hull work, engine maintenance, and mast seating repairs drew out as new problems were discovered, particularly below the waterline. In the end, the price tag for work done over more than two years out of the water amounted to $1.5 million. There is still much to be done—a complete deck replacement is planned for this fall/winter—but the people of Salem were thrilled to welcome home their tall ship to Derby Wharf. The original Friendship made fifteen voyages during her career to Batavia, India, China, South America, the Caribbean, England, Germany, the Mediterranean, and Russia. Built for the Salem mercantile firm Waite and Peirce in the South River shipyard of Enos Briggs, she ended her career as an American merchant ship when she was captured as a prize of war by the British Sloop of War HMS Rosamond in September 1812. The current iteration was built at Scarano Boat Building in Albany, New York, and arrived at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site in September 1998; further work on the ship continued, including stepping masts and installing rigging, through 2000. Friendship is part of the National Park Service’s Salem Maritime National Historic Site, sailing occasionally as Essex County’s flagship,



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Northern Sky Theater joining in maritime festivals and events. (160 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970; Ph: 978 740-1650; historyculture/friendshiphistory.htm) … Folks visiting Door County, Wisconsin, this summer will have the unique opportunity to see the original musical Windjammers performed under the stars at the Northern Sky Theater. Windjammers, a musical production with a maritime twist, premiered in 2013 and returns to the stage for a second season at the 650-seat Peninsula State Park Amphitheater in Fish Creek between June and August. Northern Sky Theater seeks to create and present professional musical and dramatic productions that will further the knowledge and appreciation of the culture and heritage of the United States. Written by Robin Share and Clay Zambo and inspired by tales and tunes of 19th-century Great Lakes sailors, Windjammers is a coming-of-age-yarn of

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courage and adventure amid high waves, fresh air, legend, and song. It was the first show to come out of the group’s ongoing collaboration with New Musicals, Inc. in Los Angeles. (Northern Sky Theater, 10169 Shore Rd., Fish Creek, WI 54212; Ph. 920 854-6117; … The San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site and the Battleship Texas State Historic Site re-opened to the public on 8 May after a recent fire in nearby Deer Park forced closure of the area due to air quality concerns. “After being away from the site for over six weeks, the staff are excited to again have the opportunity to share this site and our Texas heritage with the public,” said William Irwin, superintendent of the San Jacinto State Historic Site Complex. The fire erupted at a petrochemical plant on 17 March and burned for four days, the museum’s closing was one of many in the immediate area.

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For more information about the San Jacinto Battleground and the Battleship Texas, visit the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s website. (3523 Independence Parkway, South LaPorte, TX; Ph. 281 4792431; battleship-texas) ... The Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA) has received a challenge-match donation pledge of $200,000 from the Thomas Haas Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. WILSSA formed in 2011 to restore the former US Life Saving Service Station, built in 1908, with hopes of opening it to the public as a maritime museum. The life-saving station and tool shed were built by Sugden Brothers of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for the US Life Saving Service; they became property of the US Coast Guard when that organization was founded in 1915. The US Navy took over the station in World War II to protect submarine production at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, and then the site was included in the coastal defense system, protecting the area from German submarines. After the war, control reverted to management and use by the US Coast Guard. When the Coast Guard moved to a facility across the harbor in New Castle, New Hampshire, the land was surplused, changing hands a few times. It is now under stewardship of the town of Kittery. The years of disuse and lack of upkeep took their toll, until WILSSA stepped in, spending a total of $2.2 million thus far in hazardous material removal and restoration. The group has already raised approximately $50,000 to match the grant, and hopes that continued support will get them that much closer to their goal of opening the site to the public. (Wood Island Life Saving Station Association, PO Box 11, Kittery Point, ME 03905; email: … The Maine Maritime Museum broke ground in March on an ambitious program to transform the museum grounds, creating a five-acre space that will provide improved accessibility, river access, and opportunities for visitors to explore the museum’s unique environment. The landscaping project, titled “First Impressions,” will serve to reinforce the relationship between the museum and its location along midcoast Maine. New plantings of 73 native trees

Congressional Sail-In


by Salvatore Mercogliano PhD

n 6 March 2019, 150 representatives from the United States maritime industry—ship owners, union representatives, shipbuilders, and advocacy groups—made the trek to Capitol Hill to speak to 195 members of Congress regarding issues facing the American merchant marine. The Maritime Industry Congressional “Sail-In” is an annual event—now in its 10th year—to advocate on the issues facing the domestic shipping industry. The Sail-In, a direct response to the decline in the ocean-going fleet of American-flagged vessels, has grown over the years. At the end of the Second World War, the American merchant marine was the largest in the world. With the introduction of new registries and escalating costs to keep ships documented in the United States, the current fleet ranks 22nd in the world, with only 180 ships over 1,000 gross tons in service. This year, the delegates from the Sail-In focused on one major national challenge resulting from this decline in the merchant marine—the deficiency in qualified mariners to crew vessels in case of war or national emergency. In 2018, the current Maritime Administrator, Rear Admiral Mark Buzby, identified an 1,800-person shortfall in the event of a full and prolonged mobilization. Ships of the Ready Reserve Fleet and those maintained in a reduced operating status by the US Navy’s Military Sealift Command (MSC) require licensed mariners from the active fleet to crew these vessels. The decline in the unlimited tonnage category of the American merchant marine marks a significant concern for national security. To help offset this danger and to facilitate the growth of the American maritime industry, the representatives in the Sail-In advocated several actions. The first request was for better enforcement of cargo preference, under which a percentage of US taxpayer-financed exports and imports are transported in American ships. Sail-In participants requested that all military cargoes be transported in that way and in accordance with American laws. Second, they asked for members of Congress to affirm their support for the Jones Act, which requires American-built, American-owned, American-crewed, and American-flagged ships operating in the protected coastal—or cabotage—trade. Third, they supported efforts to encourage American vessels in the transportation of energy exports. Fourth, they aimed to garner support for the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD’s) Marine Highway Program to alleviate congestion on the nation’s highways and railways by shifting cargo afloat, using the nation’s rivers and coastal waterways. Finally, those participating in the Sail-In advocated the full funding of the sixty ships enrolled in the Maritime Security Program. Since 1996 and following the end of the operational differentials under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, the nation has supported these privately owned and military-useful ships as a key component of the nation’s commercial sealift capability. Some argue that the maritime transport covered by the Maritime Security Program, the Jones Act, cargo preference, energy exports, and the Marine Highway Program can be outsourced to foreign-flag shipping, such as those under open registries, such as Panama, Liberia, or the Marshall Islands. While foreign ships could provide the transportation for the United States commercial cargo, in times of war and national emergencies, this would mean endangering the nation’s seapower capability. All the great thalassocracies in the world possess not only military fleets, but also commercial abilities. Without a domestic merchant marine, the United States could find itself at the mercy of international corporations and foreign shipping lines during periods of extremis. This year’s Congressional SailIn aimed to promote not just the current state of the maritime sector, but its past and future. (



New York City Pickle Night Dinner 8 November 2019

This year marks the 214th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar, and the 15th New York City Pickle Night Dinner will mark this history-shaping event on Friday, 8 November at HMS Pickle the New York Yacht Club. Those who appreciate the historical significance of Admiral Lord Horatio Nelson and the lore associated with his life are invited to attend this special event. The dinner is named for HMS Pickle, the little schooner which participated in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 and which carried the news back to Great to Britain of Nelson’s victory and death in the battle. This event has been a perennial success, with guests from the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Switzerland and elsewhere. The keynote speaker is a senior Royal Navy officer who will be announced soon. Space is limited. For reservations: contact Sally McElwreath Callo, Ph. 212 972-8667.  

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(particularly species that were used in Maine’s historic shipbuilding tradition), 2,078 native shrubs and 1,446 native Maine perennials and grasses are planned. A boardwalk along the riverbank will provide views of the coastal wetlands, and a special garden honoring Navy families will complement the exhibit BIW: Building America’s Navy. The museum will remain open to visitors for the duration of the project, expected to be completed in spring 2020 in time for Maine’s bicentennial celebrations. First Impressions follows several other significant projects for the museum, including construction of the Kenneth D. Kramer Blacksmith Shop in 2014 and the introduction of the newly restored 1906 schooner Mary E. to its collection last year. (MMM, 243 Washington Street, Bath, ME 04530; Ph. 207 443-1316; www.mainemari … The Door County Maritime Museum (DCMM) celebrated the 100 th birthday of the tug John Purves on 1 May. The 1919 tug began as the Butterfield, a floating US Naval radio station in the Caribbean, and went on to perform many different tasks for different masters, including towing barges on Lake Superior, towing and salvage on

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the Great Lakes, and supplying US Army garrisons in World War II. She was donated to the museum in 2003 and restored to her 1960s-era appearance, when she was in the service of the Roen Steamship Company. The museum is marking the Purves’s centennial with a limited number of special “Nuts and Bolts” tours this season, allowing guests a peek at parts of the tug normally omitted from standard tours. (Door County Maritime Museum & Lighthouse Preservation Society, 120 N. Madison Ave., Sturgeon Bay WI; Ph. 920 743-5958; SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

CALENDAR Festivals, Events, Lectures, Etc. •WoodenBoat Show, 28–30 June at Mystic Seaport Museum. (75 Greenmanville Ave., Mystic, CT; www.mysticseaport. org. •Thunder Bay Maritime Festival, 4 July at the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center in MI. (500 West Fletcher Street, Alpena, MI; •Maine Windjammer Great Schooner Race, 4–5 July. Race day is 5 July; the race course goes from Islesboro to Rockland, ME. ( •24th New Bedford Folk Festival, 6–7 July in New Bedford, MA. (www. •Mariners’ Museum Lecture Series: 13 July, “CSS Hunley,” and on 10 August, “The Siege of Port Hudson,” both by John V. Quarstein, Director Emeritus, USS Monitor Center. (100 Museum Drive, Newport News, VA; Ph. 757 596-2222; •37th Antique & Classic Boat Festival, 24–25 August at Brewer Hawthorne Cove Marina in Salem, MA. (10 White St., Salem, MA; Ph. 978 448-6757; www.boatfesti •Lake Champlain Maritime Festival, 25–28 July along the waterfront in Burlington, VT. ( •Harbor Beach Maritime Festival, 11–14 July at Judge James Lincoln Park on Lake Huron. (1 Trescott St., Harbor Beach, MI; •Launch! A Maritime Festival, 12–16 June in Kennebunkport and Arundel, Maine. ( •Cruise with San Francisco Maritime: Guest Presentation by James Delgado, 25 July aboard the Red & White Fleet’s newest environmentally friendly vessel, Enhydra. Vessel departs promptly at 6pm from Pier 431/2 in San Francisco. (www. •Family Overnight Aboard the 1863 barque Star of India, 22–23 June at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. (1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA; Ph. 619 234-9153; •Portland SchoonerFest and Regatta, 21–24 June in Maine. Also, port visit and public tours of the Spirit of Bermuda, 5–8 July. (

•Windjammer Days Festival, 23–29 June in Boothbay Harbor, ME. (www. •Lake Union Wooden Boat Festival, 28– 29 September at the Center for Wooden Boats in Seattle. (1010 Valley St., Seattle, WA; •Tall Ships America–2019 TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series, 29 June–1 September in the Great Lakes. Participating ships will visit ports in both the US and Canada. (See page 50 for details. www. •Sea Shanty Sessions, the 3rd Sunday of each month at the Noble Maritime Collection, on the Sailors’ Snug Harbor campus on Staten Island. Co-sponsored by the Folk Music Society of New York. (1000 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY; Ph. 718 447-6490; E xhibits •Streamlined: From Hull to Home, 15 June–25 August at Mystic Seaport Museum. (75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, CT; Ph. 860 572-5388; www.mysticsea •Rum Runners, Sailors, and Prohibition, through October 2019 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. Also new at the museum, History of Oil in the Santa Barbara Channel. (113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara, CA; Ph. 805 962-8404; www. •The Photographer’s Brush: Watercolors by Norman Fortier, opens 7 June at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. Also, De Wind is Op! Climate, Culture and Innovation in Dutch Maritime Painting with a companion symposium being held at the museum on 18–19 October. (18 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA; Ph. 508 997-0046; •Art of the Sea and Sea & Shore, through 30 September at the Maritime Museum of San Diego. (1492 N. Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA; Ph. 619 234-9153; www.sdmari •Maritime Music, 8 June–20 October at the Maine Maritime Museum in Bath. Also, Shipwrecks & Salvage, through 3 November. (43 Washington St., Bath, ME; Ph. 207 443-1316; www.mainemaritime

•Maarten Platje: The Early History of the US Navy, through 18 August at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona (see article on pages 32–36). Also, Alec Soth: Sleeping by the Mississippi, through 1 September. (800 Riverview Dr., Winona, MN; •A Lasting Memento: John Thomson’s Photographs Along the River Min, until 17 May 2020 at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. (161 Essex St., Salem, MA; Ph. 978-745-9500; •Lighter, Stronger, Faster: The Herreshoff Legacy, through April 2021 at the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA. (265 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA; Ph. 617 253-5927; Conferences & Symposiums •Society for Historical Archaeology, 8–12 January in Boston, MA. Call-forPapers deadline is 30 June. Conference theme is “Revolution.” ( •Canadian Nautical Research Society Annual Conference, 22–24 August in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Conference theme is “Lower Lakes, Upper Lakes: Connecting Maritime Heritage—Part 2.” ( •“Port Cities in the Atlantic World,” Conference organized by the Carolina Lowcountry and Atlantic World Program (CLAW) at the College of Charleston 14–16 May 2020 in Charleston, SC, to mark the 350th anniversary of the settlement of Charles Towne, the 250th anniversary of the establishment of the College of Charleston, and the 25th anniversary of CLAW. Call for Papers deadline is 1 September 2019. ( •International Congress of Maritime Museums (ICMM), 15–20 September 2019 in Sweden and Finland. The Congress begins in Stockholm, then moves by Baltic ferry to Mariehamn. The Åland Maritime Museum will host the final days of the Congress. ( •McMullen Naval History Symposium, 19–20 September at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. ( tory/Symposium/) •American Historical Association 134th Annual Meeting 3–6 January in New York City. (



The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World by Maya Jasanoff (Penguin Books, New York, 2018, 400pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-0-14-311104-7; $18pb) For a professional seafarer who now writes and teaches almost exclusively about the sea, an apparent flood of recent books about the ocean and maritime literature raises some important questions. Is there really an unusual number of maritime books lately, or does it seem that way because that’s what I am used to reading? Do people who write about mountains see mountain books everywhere? I’ve wondered before how blockbusters like Sebastian Junger’s Perfect Storm, Nathaniel Philbrick’s In the Heart of the Sea, and James Cameron’s Titanic indicate a twenty-first-century return to the ocean as a subject of public interest, but Maya Jasanoff’s The Dawn Watch belongs to a slightly different genre. Like several recent very successful books that blend extensive research and personal travelogue—for instance Philip Hoare’s The Whale, The Dawn Watch is both Conradian literary biography and cultural history set within an unrestricting frame of memoir. Jasanoff, the Coolidge Professor of History at Harvard University, opens the book with a prologue provocatively titled “One of Us” (a reference to Conrad’s Lord Jim) with “[i]t was hard to get to Congo.” Beginning with details of her own difficulties traveling to the site of Conrad’s notorious Heart of Darkness, described by the Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe as “an offensive and totally deplorable book,” and which as a student young Barack Obama struggled to defend reading, is a further provocation. The Dawn Watch is an attempt to reintroduce Conrad’s work to a globalized and networked generation born after 9/11, but even more to demonstrate how the Polish-British expatriate seafaring writer whose career straddled the Victorian and modern eras can be read as “one of us”—an important contemporary figure. This effort is never heavy-handed but only partly successful: the past is still a foreign country, and they do things differently there, but the result is a much more enjoyable book. Rather than explicating a dense academic argument for Conrad’s relevance, Jasanoff brings a novelist’s sen56

sibility and a storyteller’s flair to her thoroughly researched biography. The advantage of her experience as a public historian (her previous books include Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750–1850, and Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World) is the ease with which she blends the details of Conrad’s life with both the genesis and

and they stay mostly in the background in the book, but her maritime experience is unquestionably an important element that will appeal to many. The (relative) ease of her travels provide an apt counterpoint to the difficulties of maritime travel during Conrad’s time and help her illustrate the global perspective of his work. It is to her credit that she resists generalizing those brief experiences as a passenger into sweeping claims about Conrad’s “magic monotony of existence between sky and water … the exactions of the sea, and the prosaic severity of the daily task that gives bread—but whose only reward is the perfect love of the work” (Lord Jim, Chapter II). A new paperback edition should make this award-winning book accessible to an even wider readership. Colin Dewey, PhD Vallejo, California Seapower States: Maritime Culture, Continental Empires, and the Conflict That Made the Modern World by Andrew Lambert (Yale University Press, New Haven, 2018, 424pp, maps, illus, notes, gloss, appen, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-30023004-8; $30hc)

content of his fiction, which she recognizes is a project begun by Conrad with his self-mythologizing works, The Mirror of the Sea and A Personal Record. Without diminishing their impact, Jasanoff makes an enjoyable and accessible page-turner of the complicated details previously available in dense standard biographies such as Zdzislaw Nadjer’s 1983, Joseph Conrad: A Life. The real genius of her book is in making the cultural history of Conrad’s century tangible to contemporary readers—even in the recognition, aboard the tiny river freighter Primus I on the Congo river, that “for all the analogies, the early twenty-first century isn’t the late nineteenth.” Jasanoff traveled from Asia to Europe as a supernumerary aboard the containership CMA CGM Christophe Columb, a voyage of four weeks, and less comfortably, 1,000 miles down the Congo River from Kisangani to Kinshasa, “with full-time escorts,” as part of her research to “better understand a central part of Conrad’s life and writing.” She wears her travels lightly

Ships were built at particular places as a result of national, political, economic, social, technological, and industrial dynamics. They created a maritime microcosm; a societal network of activities ashore to prepare them to cross seas and oceans, the side-effects of which were broad labor issues of maritime affairs. Their activities became maritime economics and commerce. Seagoing vessels enabled or precipitated naval, diplomatic, and military events leading to imperial expansion and global cultural interaction. The by-products were navigational science and technology, as well as maritime technological skills and usages. All of this was chronicled through maritime art and maritime literature. —Andrew Lambert, Seapower States Andrew Lambert presents a thoughtprovoking description of the historic rise and fall of sea power and seapower states. In this, his latest book, he initially eluciSEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

dates what each nation had in common during its respective time of prominence. Up front, Lambert defines several compound terms that he uses throughout the book. Sea control: domination of the sea’s surface to ensure its use to invade a hostile state, destroy marine trade, and deny these options to one’s enemy. Seapower: the appearance of medium-sized powers designed to exploit carefully planned economic advantages by use of a maritime force to enable them to act like a great nation-state. Sea power: (in contrast to “Seapower” above) the strategic advantage gained by domination of the oceans by means of an overwhelming naval force, a thesis promulgated by Mahan. Sea state: a nation dominated by a nearby sea that is the basis of its economic livelihood, security, and culture, but incapable of becoming a great power for want of scale. Superpower: an autarkic state that possesses abundant and superior resources and exerts leadership by forming coalitions of similar states. Armed with these definitions, Lambert takes his readers through meticulously written maritime histories of Athens, Carthage, Venice, the Dutch State, Russia, England, and what he describes as the mini-powers— Portugal, Genoa, and Rhodes—to show how they measured up against the five categories and speculates why each state either succeeded or failed. Many of these chapters are rather rambling with chronology sometimes switching abruptly, yet they

generally expose brilliant intellectually a strong case that the constantly repeated rewarding revelations and occasional sur- past, as delineated in this literary work, prising historical insights. One revisits the may be the prologue of the future. This three Punic Wars, the battles between book is at times challenging but nevertheRome and Carthage, the development of less a very rewarding read. rowed naval vessels along with wind-powDr. Louis Arthur Norton ered warships, and the use of a navy to West Simsbury, Connecticut defend or invade territory. A large army, usually conscripted or mercenary, was The Listeners: U-Boat Hunters During needed to control and occupy land masses the Great War by Roy R. Manstan (Wesand to maintain power over their conquests. leyan University Press, Middletown, CT, Pericles, Louis XIV and Napoleon are his 2018, 336pp, illus, biblio, notes, index, isbn repeated role models. 978-0-8195-7835-8; $34.95hc) Lambert makes several observations The Listeners by Roy R. Manstan is a that often elude the amateur historian. The perfect adjunct to Norman Polmar and great cities containing many canals such Edward Whitman’s two-volume Hunters as Amsterdam, Venice, and St. Petersburg, and Killers: Anti- Submarine Warfare (reThe Glencannon Pressviewed in Sea History 157, Winter 2016–17). for example, shared geographic similarities 4 col. (2.25 inches) in that they were built oninches marshlands or ax 4.5 Polmar and Whitman’s intensive presentacollection of low-lying islands. local and analysis Prefer rightThese hand page,tion bottom right.of antisubmarine warfare waterways were vital to their economies, in World War I is expanded and deepened even though their commerce was far-flung for the Great War years by Manstan’s dein time and place. tailed study. In another example, Lambert explains References to World War I encourage how an agreement between Portugal’s King visions of trench warfare and the massive Manuel I and the Spanish monarchs of casualties associated with it, but recent Castile and Aragon included the understanding that he would initiate the InquiTHE GLENCANNON sition in Portugal. Portugal had become home to a great navigation center estabPRESS lished under Infante D. Henrique (a.k.a. Prince Henry the Navigator) during the Maritime Books Age of Discovery. With the subsequent expulsion of the Jewish and Muslim populations, much of the brainpower behind NEW! Portugal’s technological innovations left The hisTory of The AssociAwith them and resulted in the country’s heretofore scientific advantage being squanTion of MArylAnd PiloTs dered. by Capt. Brian Hope The United States historically avoided becoming a naval and merchant marine A veteran pilot of more than 40 power because it saw its destiny in developing its western territory after the Louisiana years experience guiding ships Purchase and its subsequent expansive through Chesapeake Bay, conquests. Nevertheless, in Lambert’s careCapt. Hope chronicles the fasfully crafted conclusion, he argues that cinating history of this organineither Russia nor China have the significant maritime history to become a realistic zation from before the Revolusea power rival of the United States and its tionary War to the present. western allies. Seapower States explores events and FREE Catalog 1-510-455-9027 conflicts that are familiar, but from a Online at unique perspective and novel interpretation. It presents the reader with a different interpretation of world maritime history and



studies have illuminated the less known, less appreciated, and less understood naval conflict of the war. (See for example: Vincent P. O’Hara, Clash of Fleets: Naval Battles of the Great War, 1914–18, reviewed in Sea History 164 (Autumn 2018); Jan Rûger, Heligoland: Britain, Germany and the Struggle for the North Sea, reviewed in Sea History 161 (Winter 2017–18); and Douglas Carl Peifer, Choosing War: Presidential Decisions in the Maine, Lusitania, and Panay Incidents, reviewed in Sea History 158 (Spring 2017). With their backs to the wall, the Central Powers, with Germany in the lead, unleashed a brutal noholds-barred U-boat campaign designed to isolate the British Isles and the Allied armies on the Continent and to obstruct any United States efforts in support of the

Allied Powers. When the US entered the war, the U-boats were on the verge of succeeding in their goal. Great Britain was close to starvation and in great need of US support. The Allies behind the Royal Navy tried to starve Germany out of the war with a blockade of Continental ports. What the British failed to do with their surface fleet, the Germans nearly accomplished with their underwater navy. What sets Manstan’s work apart from most studies of the Great War is his explanations, not just what was done to overwhelm the U-boat menace, but also how it was done and who did it. The Royal Navy spurned input from academics on the grounds that pure theory would not help in a wartime environment; hard-nosed navy personnel favor hands-on and practical

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work and regarded scholars with disfavor with the desire of keeping them out of the way of progress. Even before the United States entered the war against the Central Powers, the US Navy was addressing the U-boat issue with the clear understanding that a solution to the elusive underwater predator was a matter of life and death for the Allies. No stone was left unturned. By the time the US was in the war, nobody was pushed aside by prejudice. Practical inventors—led by the most practical inventor of all time, Thomas A. Edison—were working on ways to uncover the invisible predator. Industrial scientists who would manage the transitions of ideas to manufacturing opened their laboratories to address the threat to Western civilization. And academic scientists were drafted into the search for a solution to the real-life threat. Overseeing the disparate characters in the great search was the US Navy, whose representatives would evaluate any advancement for suitability to searches at sea. A workable device that could detect a U-boat was useless if it could not be used under the harsh conditions of the ocean in the hands of sailors accustomed to working with sturdy equipment. Dozens of meetings and conferences were held to discuss the problems and potential solutions. Scores of committees were created to compartmentalize each facet of the problem. These gatherings of inventors, industrial scientists, and theoreticians in conjunction with the Navy produced practical devices that gave Allied navies eyes (aircraft equipped with antisubmarine SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

detection devices) and especially ears mounted on a wide variety of vessels, ears that allowed them to discover and pinpoint U-boats for destruction. Academic scientists left the campus to serve at the sites where ideas turned into detection devices that could be used to track the test submarines provided by the US Navy. Theories were drawn on to refine practical equipment, and industrial scientists took the most promising devices and prepared them for large-scale manufacturing. British, French, and Italian scientists and naval officers participated in the marathon effort to win the U-boat war. They brought their devices and expertise and experience to the United States, and American naval officers and scientists visited abroad where they were given access to whatever might contribute to the search for antisubmarine detection apparatuses. What might be termed Battle of the Atlantic I (WWI) was not won in the same clear-cut fashion as the Battle of the Atlantic II (WWII), but the tide appears to have turned from the Central Powers to the Allies. Detection devices in conjunction with mine fields and depth charges were creating havoc for the U-boats that kept them from their best hunting grounds, leading even to mutiny among some crews who refused to sail into near-certain destruction. The Listeners is well written and researched and a pleasure to read. Manstan maintains an air of anticipation despite his writing about events a century ago. His narrative is spiced with block quotations from contemporaries that give the work a feeling for the times and events under study. General readers will enjoy this book; those interested in problem solving, naval warfare and especially submarines and antisubmarine history will find it essential reading. David O. Whitten, PhD Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina Sea Otters: A History by Richard Ravalli (University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, 2018, 189pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-0-803284-401-1) At some point in your school years, a history teacher might have shared with you that an American sea captain opened up contact with China after learning that sea

otter pelts, in all their densely soft luxuriousness, were a commodity of interest to the traders of exotic goods in those ports. Or as a teenager you might have read Island of the Blue Dolphins (1960), in which sea otters are “the most playful animals of the sea”—yet maybe you paused to wonder what Russian and Aleutian hunters were doing off the coast of San Diego. Perhaps your travels have taken you to Fort Ross, less than two hours’ drive north of San

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Francisco, the southernmost Russian settlement in North America that was first established to grow food and chop wood for their sea mammal hunters to the north. So what was really going on here? And how has our human perception of the sea otter, Enhydra lutris, a mammal indigenous to most of coastal North Pacific, shifted over time? The sea otter is partly a success story, as it has come back from the brink of regional extinctions, but the cuddly conservation symbol is still very much an endangered species on the decline—and there’s a “trouble with cuteness.” Richard Ravalli, associate professor of history at William Jessup University in California, examines these questions with a focus on international networks of trade, exploration, and imperial and indigenous conflicts driven by Asian demand for sea otter fur. He emerges with some exciting stories that alter, expand, and complicate the way we think about Pacific history, environmental history, and our relationship

Neith, 1996, Cover photograph

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with animals. Ravalli’s particular strength here is in teaching about the earliest days of the otter trade in the far northwest Pacific, which had begun as early as the fifteenth century by way of the Ainu hunters in the Sea of Okhotsk and the Japanese hunters off Hokkaido, both sending their sea otter pelts south to China for their luxury trade. In 1751 the naturalist of the Russian Bering Expedition, Georg Wilhelm Steller, published the first descriptions of the sea otter that made it to Western eyes. Out of


necessity, the shipwrecked men had eaten sea otters and then, recognizing the enormous value of their pelts, crammed the skins back into their little leaking boat as they struggled to get home. Even in the eighteenth century, Steller could not avoid anthropomorphizing sea otters in a similar way to what we do today when we photograph them from an eco-tour boat, coo at them from behind the glass at an aquarium, or share the viral video from Vancouver of “Otters Holding Hands” (see YouTube, 2007, and note the number of views).

After the Bering expedition, Russian trade of sea otters and other marine mammals expanded rapidly across the North Pacific and eventually all the way down to southern California, largely on the backs of Aleutian hunters. News of depletions came early. After his expedition with Kruzenstern from 1803–07, the German naturalist Georg Heinrich von Langsdorff wrote of the Russian hunters off Alaska and the Pacific Northwest: “They have killed so many sea otters of every age that they are now either almost totally extinct or have moved farther south.” Early conservation efforts by Russian-led hunts were loosely enforced. Then came the “Boston Men” and other American hunters along the California coast, killing more animals and disrupting more indigenous cultures, as they sought to join the lucrative trade networks in Asia. Ravalli continues to trace human impacts on sea otters into the twentieth century, including nuclear testing on Amchitka Island, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the rise of conservation movements around the sea otter, and an enormous translocation effort that moved sea otters from the Aleutians to several new locations in southeast Alaska and along the coast on down to Oregon. Scientists today believe that about one in three sea otters that you can see along the North American coast descends from that “Amchitka diaspora.” Sea Otters could benefit from some maps to assist with the geography of lesserknown locations and to help visualize historical and current ranges of the animals, but the book is otherwise well-illustrated, chronologically showing how images reveal how the knowledge about these animals grew and impacted and reflected our perceptions of the species. (Even the painting on the cover, by Audubon’s son, is a perpetuation of a misunderstanding). Sea Otters is a careful, well-organized, and illuminating history of the sea otter trade, then tracing how this animal has become, as Ravalli puts it, an icon of cuteness. Indeed, as he argues, these “animals deserve broad, interdisciplinary attention” to add to our understanding of Pacific environmental history to inform 21st-century challenges. Richard J. King, PhD Mystic, Connecticut SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

The Sea in History, general editor, Christian Buchet, 4 vols. Martlesham, Suffolk, UK, and Rochester, NY: Boydell Press, 2017. isbn 978-1-78327-156-6; $780hc ($220/vol.). Vol. 1, The Ancient World, ed. by Philip de Souza and Pascal Arnaud, 738pp, 48 illus; isbn 978-1-78327-157-3 (hc), 978-1-78204-908-1 (eBook). Vol. 2, The Medieval World, ed. by Michel Balard, 1,086pp, 81 illus; isbn 978-1 78327-159-7 (hc), 978-1-78204-910-4 (eBook). Vol. 3, The Early Modern World, ed. by Christian Buchet and Gérard Le Bouëdec, 1,072pp, 22 illus; isbn 978-1-78327-158-0 (hc), 978-1-78204-909-8 (eBook). Vol. 4, The Modern World, ed. by N. A. M. Rodger, 814pp, 23 illus; isbn 978-1 78327-160-3 (hc), 978-1-78204-911-1 (eBook). The four-volume The Sea in History is the product of the Paris-based Association Océanides, which bills itself as a multidisciplinary project with three objectives: “to provide scientific proof that the oceans are at the heart of political, economic and social issues, to enhance the overall policy of the seas, and to train future generations.” Conceived in 2010 and published only seven years later, the set includes English and French essays by some 260 different scholars from forty countries. According to general editor Christian Buchet, professor of maritime history at Catholic University of Paris, the intent was not to write a maritime history of the world, but to answer three basic questions: “Is the sea the differentiating factor in the overall development of populations? What developments can be attributed to the sea, both in general history and in the history of specific entities, particularly political entities? How did the sea modify the course of history for the population in question?” As a reviewer of this quartet of books—3,618 pages, perhaps 1.7 million words—I had to devise my own set of questions. Chief of these is how well The Sea in History answers its own questions and, flowing from this, what is its intended audience, and how well do the books hang together. First, though, one must recognize that this is an unprecedented compilation of scholarship about how different people in different places and at different times have used—or prepared themselves and their communities to use— the sea. Buchet and his collaborators have done an outstanding job of recruiting many of the best maritime historians working today, and the erudition on view here is impressive. I learned a lot I never knew, and was reminded of much I had forgotten.

The authors were given free rein in how they approached their subjects, so some articles have an extremely tight focus, such as Giulia Rossi-Vairo’s biographicallyoriented “Manuel Pessanha et l’organisation de la flotte portugaise au XIVème siècle” (2.322–31), about a Portuguese admiral from Genoa, while others, like Richard T. Callaghan’s “The Taíno of the Caribbean: Six Thousand Years of Seafaring and Cultural Development,” are sweeping. Such variety gives the set an interesting texture, but it forces one to consider whether this is the best way to show that the sea is “the differentiating factor in the overall development of populations.” The Leading Question Certainly the sea is a differentiating factor in the development of people who live in proximity to it. But it is not necessarily, as Buchet asserts in his “General Conclusion” (published in French and English in each volume), “the single most powerful impetus to create a positive impact on historical trajectories.” There are many counter-examples. The settlement of Oceania by Pacific islanders proceeded by fits and starts over three thousand years. Periods of dramatic expansion and colonization of remote islands were followed by centuries of contraction, when long-distance voyaging, at least to undiscovered lands, was not the norm. Which periods should be regarded as positive, and which negative? More obvious, while Europe benefitted from reaching the Americas, the people of the Americas suffered a holocaust, and millions of Africans fared little better. There is even a clumsy attempt to prove this point about the “positive impact” of the sea by a negative. An article about the Mongol system of Central Asian post

roads talks about how the Mongols “treated, metaphorically speaking, terrestrial space as a maritime space” and claims that the sea didn’t attract the Mongols because, in part, “the maritime silk road was difficult and dangerous.” Buchet emphasizes this, and in so doing completely ignores Angela Schottenhammer, who writes “The Mongols who ruled China under the Yuan dynasty (1271/79–1367) actively promoted maritime trade relations and strengthened connections with merchants in the entire and Islamic and Turkic world,” and Gakusho Makajima’s “The Naval Power of the Yuan Dynasty.” The Sea in History does an excellent job of showing how people—usually operating as political entities—used the sea. Yet while evidence of the sea’s influence on “the overall development of human populations” crops up here and there, it is overshadowed by the attention to naval affairs and material trade and its administration (see Buchet, “General Conclusion”). There is little evaluation of the ways in which maritime enterprise has determined how art, literature, music, language, religion, law, philosophy, foodways, and other manifestations of our cultural life and humanity spread, mixed, and shaped societies and our impulses. More concerning, while Buchet shows a clear (if overly optimistic) appreciation of the environmental threats to the world ocean, only Patrick Alderton, “Oil and Water;” Ingo Heidbrink, “Fisheries;” and Mark Maslin “Climate Change and World Trade;” address these directly. Given Océanides’ mandate “to provide scientific proof that the oceans are at the heart of political, economic, and social issues,” and the parlous state of the world ocean—a problem to which maritime historians no less than industry, military establishments, and the


general public (if not politicians) have turned their attention in the past decade— this is a surprising shortcoming. The Audience As is evident from the retail price of each volume and the 60:40 mix of English and French essays, The Sea in History is not published for a popular audience. Most essays are written by specialists for specialists, and it is unlikely that many of the contributors will find chapters in any of the other volumes of interest or use. As a result, this collection is indistinguishable from other collections of monographs on maritime history published by Boydell and other academic presses. Here, the devil really is in the details. It is not clear that such a compendium needs more than one essay (much less three or four) on Venice, on Genoa, or on military orders to make the point that the sea was “the differentiating factor” in their histories. After all, in the case of these medieval entities, we are hardly in uncharted waters. A collection of this sort calls for a broader vision. What is possible in the scope of a survey is evident from several excellent articles that cover enormous swaths of territory and sweeps of time. Of particular interest for the parallels between them are Barry Cunliffe’s “The Importance of the Sea for Prehistoric Societies in Western Europe,” and Mark J. Hudson’s “The Sea and Early Societies in the Japanese Islands.” Two pairs of surveys offer comparable chronologies but overlap unnecessarily: Pierre-Yves Manguin’s “L’Insulinde et la mer avant l’arrivée des Occidentaux,” and John Miksic’s “Ships, Sailors and Kingdoms of Ancient Southeast Asia;” and, more curious still, two contributions by Emmanuel Desclèves, “Développement maritime de la civilisation océanienne” and “Le modèle maritime polynésien ou l’océan source de stimulation intellectuelle.” Both regions deserve a far more detailed examination than can be given in a dozen or so pages, even by leading lights in the field. But if they deserve two articles apiece, their scope should be more clearly defined. Nor must a survey cover long periods or vast areas. Sandra Blakely’s “Maritime 62

Risk and Ritual Responses: Sailing with the Gods in the Ancient Mediterranean” and Paul Kennedy’s “The Sea and Seapower within the International System” sketch large-scale topics in brief but vivid strokes. Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion? In his “General Conclusion,” Buchet wrestles with the rationale for dividing the series into four volumes based on a traditional Eurocentric chronology. As an alternative not taken, he suggests that “we can define not four eras but two which have presided over human destiny: the era of ‘the Mediterraneans,’ and the era of the Atlantic” (1.702). By Mediterraneans (plural), he means more or less discrete maritime regions the history of which have unfolded in more or less distinct ways. The problem with adopting either of these chronologies is that both are Eurocentric in the extreme. And while there are some fascinating articles on extra-European affairs— Alioune Dème’s “Fishing and interactions between the Middle Valley of the Senegal River and the Senegalo-Mauritanian Atlantic coast during the last millennium BC,” and Heather McKillop’s “Early Maya Navigation and Maritime Connections in Mesoamerica,” to give two of the more exotic examples—a Eurocentric bent is apparent across all four volumes. More than half the articles in The Ancient World deal with some aspect or other of the Mediterranean, compared with three articles on the Americas, one on northern Europe, nine on all of Asia (including Mesopotamia, which gets two), and one on Africa. In The Medieval World, 42 of the 75 articles concern Mediterranean and European maritime activities, while nearly two-thirds of the articles in The Early Modern World are about European maritime activities. The Modern World is more globally balanced, but the emphasis is on the perspective from nation-states. The organizing principles differ from volume to volume. The table of contents for The Early Modern World has a threetier hierarchy; The Ancient World chapters are divided among “Pre-historical Case Studies” and “Historical Case Studies,” and the latter are further divided by region. For The Middle Ages and The Modern World, the tables of contents are simply lists of

articles, with little logic of either theme or chronology, especially the latter. Early on in volume 4, for instance, we get the following sequence: “Germany, 1870–1914: A Military Empire Turns to the Sea” (Michael Epkenhans), “The Imperial Japanese Navy, 1937–1942” (Richard B. Frank), “The US as a New Naval Power, 1890–1919” (Kenneth J. Hagan), “World War Suspended and Resumed: Russia, 1919–1940” (Gunnar Åselius University), and “Freedom and Control of the Seas, 1856–1919” (Gabriela A. Frei). We then leap to “UNCLOS and the Modern Law of the Sea” (Sam Bateman), discussion of which began in 1956, revert in time to “New Navies and Maritime Powers” (Steven Haines), which treats the late nineteenth century, and then lurch back further still to “Britain, 1815–1850: Naval Power or Sea Power?” (Andrew Lambert) and “Free Trade, Industrialization and the Global Economy, 1815–1914” (Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke). This erratic organization makes it difficult to follow the various story lines, whether thematic, chronological, or geographic. This is exacerbated by the lack of cross-referencing (apart from Buchet’s “General Conclusion”), a hit-or-miss approach to notes and bibliography (it was at the authors’ discretion), and the lack of any sort of index, although this last issue is less of a problem for the eBooks of individual volumes. These criticisms aside, however, The Sea in History is a notable contribution to the study of maritime history, and the editors’ conclusions to the individual volumes offer especially valuable insights. Most academic libraries, especially those without robust maritime history collections, should certainly acquire The Sea in History. Yet an affordable one-volume collection of twenty-five or thirty of these essays—organized thematically—would also do much to further Océanides’ goal “to enhance the overall policy of the seas and to train future generations.” Lincoln Paine Portland, Maine A former editor at Sea History (1985–88), Paine is the author of, among other works, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World (2013). SEA HISTORY 167, SUMMER 2019

New & Noted Admiral Gorschkov: The Man Who Challenged the US Navy by Norman Polmar, Thomas A. Brooks, and George E. Fedoroff (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2019, 304pp, illus, maps, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-68247-330-6; $39.95hc) America’s Anchor: A Naval History of the Delaware River and Bay, Cradle of the United States Navy by Ennard R. Wiggins Jr. (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2018, 262pp, illus, appen, notes, biblio, index; isbn 978-1-4766-6636-5; $75pb)

British Blockade Runners in the American Civil War by Joseph McKenna (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2019, 217pp, illus, notes, biblio, index; isbn 978-1-4766-76791; $49.95pb) Confederate Ironclads at War by R. Thomas Campbell (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2019, 268pp, illus, notes, biblio, index; isbn 978-1-4766-7640-1; $49.95pb) The Culture of Ships and Maritime Narratives by Chryssanthi Papadopoulou (Taylor & Francis, Milton, Oxfordshire, England, 2019, 210pp, isbn 978-1-13805584-1; $140hc) Don’t Never Tell Nobody Nothin’ No How: The Real Story of West Coast Rum Running by Rick James (Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park, BC, Canada, 2019, 320pp, illus, appen, biblio, index, isbn 9781-55017-841-8; $32.95hc) Ironclad Captains of the Civil War by Myron J. Smith Jr. (McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2018, 262pp, illus, appen, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-4766-6636-5; $75pb)

Life in Jefferson Davis’s Navy by Barbara Brooks Tomblin (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2019, 336pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-68247-118-0; $39.95hc) Long Island and the Sea: A Maritime History by Bill Bleyer (The History Press, Charleston, SC, 2019, 160pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-4671-3862-8; $21.99pb)

Bloomsbury, New York, 2018, 256pp, illus, index, isbn 978-1-4729-5543-2; $35hc) Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren edited by Peter C. Luebke (Naval History and Heritage Command, US Navy, Washington, DC, 2018, 180pp, illus, notes, appen, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-943604-18-0; $29pb)

Men at Sea, a graphic novel by Riff Reb’s, translated by Joe Johnson (Dead Reckon-

The Sea Painter’s World: The New Marine Art of Geoff Hunt, 2003–2010 by Geoff Hunt (Adlard Coles/Bloomsbury,

ing, Annapolis, 2019, 120pp, illus, isbn 978-1-68247-387-0; $24.95pb)

New York, 2019, 144pp, illus, index, isbn 978-1-47296-980-4; $45hc)

News at the Ends of the Earth: The Print Culture of Polar Exploration by Hester Blum (Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2019, 298pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-47800-387-8; $26.95pb)

South: The Race to the Pole, edited by Pieter van der Merwe with Jeremy Mitchell (Conway/Bloomsbury Plc, London, 2018, 206pp, illus, crew list, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-84486-486-7; $26pb)

Pacific Exploration: Voyages of Discovery from Captain Cook’s Endeavour to the Beagle by Nigel Rigby, Pieter van der Merwe, and Glyn Williams (National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Adlard Coles, Bloomsbury, Publishing Plc, New York, 2018, 256pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-1-4729-5773-3; $30pb)

The Smugglers’ World: Illicit Trade and Atlantic Communities in EighteenthCentury Venezuela by Jesse Cromwell (University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill, 2018, 336pp, illus, notes, index, isbn 978-1-46963-688-7; $39.95hc)

Painting War: George Plante’s Combat Art in World War II by Kathleen Broome Williams (Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, 2019, 312pp, illus, notes, biblio, index, isbn 978-1-68247-426-6; $29.95hc) Picturing the Pacific: Joseph Banks and the Shipboard Artists of Cook and Flinders by James Taylor (National Maritime Museum Greenwich, Adlard Coles,

Stories from the Wreckage: A Great Lakes Maritime History Inspired by Shipwrecks by John O. Jensen (Wisconsin Historical Society Press, Madison, 2019, 288pp, isbn 978-0-87020-902-4; $29.95pb) War at Sea: A Shipwrecked History from Antiquity to the Twentieth Century by James P. Delgado (Oxford University Press, New York, coming out in August 2019, 432pp, maps, illus, biblio, index, isbn 9780-19088-801-5; $34.95hc)


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The Naval Order of the United States is a non-profit organization, established in 1890 to keep naval history alive through the restoration of historic artifacts, establishment of memorials at key sites and the collection of our shared history through academic papers, published works, and occasional unpublished works. Its membership comprises officers and enlisted who have served in the Sea Services of the United States. A portion of this article appeared in The Navy D-Day Monument published by the Naval Order of the United States in 2009. The Naval Order Commander General, CAPT Paul Crissy, USCG, has graciously granted permission to reprint this extract. 2 The sculptor of the D-Day monument is Stephen C. Spears of Loveland, Alabama. 3 Captain Jeff Subko, USNR (Ret.), “The US Navy and the D-Day Landings,” Background Paper, 7 September 2008. 4 Samuel Eliot Morison, History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, Vol. XI: The Invasion of France and Germany, 1944–45 (Little, Brown 1957, reprinted by Castle Books, p.143. 5 James E. Knight, “The Old Navy: The DD That Saved the Day,” Naval Institute Proceedings, August 1989, pp.124–25. 6 Owen F. Keeler, “From the Seaward Side,” Naval Institute Proceedings, August 1989, p. 126; another version is Thomas B. Allen, “The Gallant Destroyers of DDay,” Naval History, Vol. 18, No. 3 (June 2004). 7 Dale K. Dirst, Diary, 5 June – 24 September 1944. Copy in possession of NOUS. Original has been donated to the Library of Congress, Veterans’ History Project. 8 Sonarman Don Krebs of Amherst, Ohio, joined the Naval Order Tour with his family on what would be his last visit to Normandy. He had made an earlier pilgrimage to Normandy some years before when he received the French Legion of Honor medal in recognition of his service in USS Harding. 9 Morison, Invasion of France and Germany, p.152. William B. Kirkland Jr., Destroyers at Normandy: Naval Gunfire Support at Omaha Beach, edited by John C. Reilly (Washington, DC, Naval Historical Foundation, 1994). 1


Mortimer Caplin, “US Navy Beachmaster at Omaha” Personal Recollection, remarks presented at NOUS Congress, Rosslyn, VA, 21 October 2006.


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