Originally published 07/08/2013
PHILADELPHIA — Caretakers of a deteriorating piece of maritime military history hope to have its future secured by next summer and continue working to ensure it stays afloat in the meantime.The USS Olympia, a one-of-a-kind steel cruiser from the Spanish-American War, ideally would have been dry-docked every 20 years for maintenance but has not been out of the water since 1945. Since taking stewardship of the National Historic Landmark from a cash-strapped nonprofit in 1996, the Independence Seaport Museum has spent about $5 million on short-term repairs, inspections and maintenance but cannot afford to keep the ship.A field of six organizations initially vying for the Olympia has been narrowed to two preservation groups — one in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the 5,500-ton warship was launched in 1892, and one in Port Royal, S.C., a strategic support post for the Atlantic fleet during the Spanish-American War....
Originally published 05/21/2013
Lt. Cmdr. Benjamin Amdur got to see how much of a difference 50 years could make to nuclear submarines when he got to his new command.Amdur had previously served as the engineering officer of the Virginia-class submarine North Dakota, which will become the service’s newest sub when it is delivered in 2014, a Navy release said. On Tuesday, he became the officer-in-charge of the Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered ship, during a ceremony in Groton, Conn.“I’m amazed every day at how far we have come in 50 years of nuclear power, and, as a credit to the original nuclear designers of Nautilus, I am also amazed on a regular basis at the similarities between them. How many things they got right the first time,” Amdur said in the Navy release....
Originally published 05/20/2013
SAN DIEGO — In the ocean off Coronado, a Navy team has discovered a relic worthy of display in a military museum: a torpedo of the kind deployed in the late 19th century, considered a technological marvel in its day.But don't look for the primary discoverers to get a promotion or an invitation to meet the admirals at the Pentagon — although they might get an extra fish for dinner or maybe a pat on the snout.The so-called Howell torpedo was discovered by bottlenose dolphins being trained by the Navy to find undersea objects, including mines, that not even billion-dollar technology can detect....
Originally published 03/22/2013
The exciting discovery of a damaged copper sleeve at one end of the spar on the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley has overturned conventional wisdom about how the vessel became the first submarine to sink an enemy vessel in combat. The new information was revealed at a Jan. 28 press conference at the Warren Lasch Conservation Lab where the recovered submarine is being conserved....
Originally published 02/13/2013
A new 3D state-of-the-art sonar map released by NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, ExploreOcean, Teledyne BlueView and Northwest Hydro shows never-before seen details of the USS Hatteras, the only Union warship sunk in combat in the Gulf of Mexico during the Civil War. The map was released on the 150th anniversary of the ship sinking on Jan. 11, 1863, after fighting the raider CSS Alabama approximately 20 miles off the coast of Galveston, Texas. The Hatteras was a 210-foot-long iron-hulled steamship the U.S. Navy converted into a gunboat. Its wreck is largely intact 57 feet under water in sand and silt....
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