Water Landing

Can a helicopter land in the ocean? Meet a pilot who did just that.

The Heavy Cruiser

Hard-hitting combatants before the missile age, the heavy cruisers were prized in any fleet.

Savo Island

To get to Guadalcanal, the Japanese launched a night raid that shocked and pummeled an Allied fleet.

Navy Missile Launcher Would Take Out All The Squirrels In My Yard

When I was a kid, Nerf sold a multi-barrel rotary cannon that fired foam missiles at unsuspecting schoolyard bullies. The launcher was pretty cool. So why do I suspect that a brilliant engineer of comparable age has applied Nerf tech to the latest Navy weapons project?

The Chemical Ship

Chemical weapons are treated like nuclear or biological weapons. Somebody has to handle, transport, store, and dispose of them in a tidy fashion. A single mishap can be deadly, for any damage caused by such weapons is measured in kilometers. In 2013, the Syrian government surrendered its chemical armament to an allied coalition that will,…

Farewell, Enterprise

USS Enterprise (CVN-65) was the spearhead of the 1960s nuclear navy. The mighty aircraft carrier offered Cold War technology and capability hardly rivaled until the launch of the Nimitz class. Years ago, my cousin gave me a Navy ball cap with the likeness and hull number of CVN-65 embroidered on the front. Now I want…

Pearl Harbor Revisited

Be it Norfolk, Portsmouth, or Vladivostok, the naval base is a nerve center for ships and sailors. They have been built and rebuilt many times over. Their berths have seen every type of vessel, from the ironclad to the guided-missile cruiser. But some naval bases have also weathered ferocious attacks in the history of war….


Over the long weekend, I watched a film on Ballard’s 1989 discovery of the sunken German battleship Bismarck. The British struggled to bring that monster to ruins in the treacherous North Atlantic. Yet the loss of over a thousand German sailors, which followed the loss of sailors from HMS Hood, only accents the horrid toll of…