Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima
is an iconic photograph taken on February 23, 1945 by Joe Rosenthal
. It depicts five United States Marines
and a U.S. Navy corpsman
raising the Flag of the United States
atop Mount Suribachi
during the Battle of Iwo Jima
in World War II
. The photograph was instantly popular, being reprinted in hundreds of publications. Later, it became the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography
in the same year as its publication, and ultimately came to be regarded as one of the most significant and recognizable images in history, and possibly the most reproduced photograph of all time. Of the six men depicted in the picture, three (Franklin Sousley
, Harlon Block
, and Michael Strank
) did not survive the battle; the three survivors (John Bradley
, Rene Gagnon
, and Ira Hayes
) became suddenly famous. The photograph was later used by Felix de Weldon
to sculpt the USMC War Memorial
, located just outside Washington, D.C.
The Attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. It was launched by the 1st Air Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy of the task force Carrier Striking Task Force  on the morning of Sunday, December 7, 1941 (Hawaii time). The attack targeted the Pacific Fleet of the United States Navy and its defending Army Air Corps and Marine air squadrons, as a preventive strike against the US Pacific Fleet and was intended to neutralize American forces in the Pacific, thus increasing Japan's chances of seizing natural resources in Southeast Asia. Pearl Harbor was the first of several military and naval installations attacked, including those on the other side of the island, and others across the Pacific.
Of eight American battleships
in the Harbor, the attack destroyed one (the USS Arizona
), sank two at their moorings (the USS California
and the USS West Virginia
), capsized one (the USS Oklahoma
), forced another to beach (the USS Nevada
), and left three damaged but afloat. the only other permanent loss was the former battleship USS Utah
. Additionally, the attack severely damaged 9 other warships
, destroyed 188 aircraft
, and killed 2,403: 2,335 US servicemen and 68 civilians. However, the Pacific Fleet's three aircraft carriers
were not in port and were not damaged, nor were the base's oil tank farms, Navy Yard and machine shops, submarine base, and power station. As well, the Headquarters Building (home to the crypto-intelligence unit HYPO) was not damaged. These provided the basis for the Pacific Fleet's campaign during the rest of the war.
USS Wisconsin (BB-64) is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was built at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and launched on 7 December 1943.
During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theatre of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications during the Battle of Leyte Gulf, and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions. During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "mothball fleet." She was reactivated 1 August 1986 and modernized as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and participated in the 1991 Gulf War.
was last decommissioned in September 1991, having earned a total of six battle stars
for service in World War II and Korea, and a Navy Unit Commendation
for service during the 1991 Gulf War, and currently functions as a museum ship at Nauticus, The National Maritime Center
in Norfolk, Virginia
was struck from the Naval Vessel Register
(NVR) 17 March 2006, and is currently awaiting donation for permanent use as a museum ship
The Battle of Midway was a pivotal naval battle in the Pacific Theater of World War II. It took place from June 4 to June 7, 1942, approximately one month after the Battle of the Coral Sea, and six months after the Empire of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor that had led to a formal state of war between the United States of America (U.S.) and Japan. During the battle, the United States Navy defeated a Japanese attack against Midway Atoll (located northwest of Hawaii) and destroyed four Japanese aircraft carriers and a heavy cruiser while losing a carrier and a destroyer.
The battle was a crushing defeat for the Japanese and is widely regarded as the most important naval battle of World War II. The battle permanently weakened the Japanese Navy, particularly the loss of over 200 naval aviators. Strategically, the U.S. Navy was able to seize the initiative in the Pacific and go on the offensive.
The Japanese plan of attack, which included a secondary attack against the Aleutian Islands
by a smaller fleet, was an attempt by the Japanese to lure America's few remaining carriers into a trap and sink them. The Japanese also intended to occupy Midway Atoll to extend Japan's defensive perimeter further from its home islands. This operation was considered preparatory for further attacks against Fiji
, as well as the invasion of Hawai’i. After scoring a clear victory, American forces retired. Japan's loss of four fleet carriers stopped the expansion of the Japanese Empire in the Pacific.
USS Missouri (BB-63) ("Mighty Mo" or "Big Mo") is a U.S. Navy battleship, and was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Missouri. Missouri is the final battleship to be built by the United States, and among the Iowa-class battleships is notable for being the site of the Japanese surrender at the end of World War II. Missouri was ordered on 12 June 1940 and her keel was laid at the New York Navy Yard in the New York City borough of Brooklyn on 6 January 1941.
During her career Missouri saw action in World War II during the Battle of Iwo Jima and the Battle of Okinawa, and shelled the Japanese home islands of Hokkaidō and Honshū. After World War II she returned to the United States before being called up and dispatched to fight in the Korean War. Upon her return to the United States she was decommissioned into the United States Navy reserve fleets, better known as the "Mothball Fleet" in 1955. She was reactivated and modernized in 1984 as part of the 600-ship Navy plan, and participated in the 1991 Gulf War.
was decommissioned a final time on 31 March 1992, having received a total of eleven battle stars
for service in World War II, Korea, and the Persian Gulf. She was maintained on the Naval Vessel Register
until January 1995, when her name was struck. In 1998 she was donated to the Missouri Memorial Association, and is presently a museum ship
at Pearl Harbor
The Medal of Honor
is the highest military decoration
awarded by the United States
. It is awarded "for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty, in actual combat against an armed enemy force." Three different medals currently exist for each of the major branches of the U.S. armed forces
: one each for the Army
, Navy (pictured)
, and Air Force
. Since the beginning of World War II
, only 851 have been awarded, 525 of them posthumously. The Medal of Honor is often presented personally to the recipient or, in the case of posthumous awards, to survivors, by the President of the United States
. The rare soldier who wears the Medal of Honor is accorded special privileges that include higher pay, supplemental uniform allowance, special entitlements to air transportation, preference for their children at the U.S. military academies
, and the respect and admiration of all other service-people. It is an informal rule that Medal of Honor recipients, regardless of rank
, are saluted by all other service members, including the Commander-in-Chief
. The Medal is one of only two American military awards worn around the neck
; the other is the Commander's Degree of the Legion of Merit
. The Medal of Honor
is the only service decoration that is singled out in federal law
to protect it from being imitated or privately sold. All Medals of Honor are issued in the original only, by the Department of Defense
, to a recipient. Misuse of the medal, including unauthorized manufacture or wear, is punishable by fine and imprisonment. The Navy Medal of Honor was first awarded to Seaman Benjamin Swearer during the American Civil War
and was last officially awarded to Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class David R. Ray
for action that occurred during the Vietnam War
The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program (NMMP) is a program administered by the U.S. Navy which studies the military use of marine mammals — principally Bottlenose Dolphins and California Sea Lions — and trains animals to perform tasks such as ship and harbour protection, mine detection and clearance, and equipment recovery. The program is based in San Diego, California, where animals are housed and trained on an ongoing basis. NMMP animal teams have been deployed for use in combat zones, such as during the Vietnam War and the Iraq War.
The program has been dogged by controversy over the treatment of the animals and speculation as to the nature of its mission and training. This has been due at least in part to the secrecy of the program, which was de-classified
in the early 1990s. Since that time there have been ongoing animal welfare
concerns, with many opposing the use of marine mammals in military applications, even in essentially non-combatant
roles such as mine detection. The Navy cites external oversight, including ongoing monitoring, in defence of its animal care standards.
The Iowa-class battleships were the biggest, the most powerful, and the last battleships built for the United States Navy. Four were built in the early 1940s for World War II; two more were laid down but were scrapped prior to completion. The four were decommissioned, then recommissioned in the 1980s, and decommissioned again in the 1990s.
Built with cost as no object "The Iowa-class fast battleships were arguably the ultimate capital ship in the evolution of the battleship." Yet even as these behemoths entered service they were being eclipsed by aircraft carriers as the most important naval vessels.
-class battleships improved upon the earlier South Dakota class
with more powerful engines, longer-caliber guns giving greater range, and an additional 200 feet (60 m) of length for improved seakeeping. The Iowa
s are widely considered to be amongst the most attractive battleships ever built, with a long, narrow, elegant bow and three powerful gun turrets
. While excellent sea boats, the ships are quite wet forward
owing to the long bow. Like all American battleships of their generation, their armament was laid out in two turrets before the superstructure and one after ("2-A-1"), with the 5 inch dual-purpose secondaries (anti-ship and anti-aircraft) flanking the superstructure.
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, sometimes referred to as the Third Battle of Savo Island or, in Japanese sources, as the Third Battle of the Solomon Sea, took place November 12–15, 1942, and was the decisive battle in a series of naval battles that took place between Allied (primarily U.S.) and Japanese forces during the months-long Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands. The battle consisted of a sequence of combined air and sea engagements spread over four days, most of them in the vicinity of Guadalcanal. All of the engagements were directly related to a single effort by the Japanese to reinforce their land forces on Guadalcanal, and are all therefore considered to be different parts of the same battle.
In two extremely destructive nighttime surface warship engagements, both adversaries lost numerous ships. Also, U.S. daytime air attacks over several days sank or damaged a number of Japanese warships and transport ships. The sum of these engagements was that the U.S. was successful in turning back Japan's last major attempt to dislodge Allied forces from their positions on Guadalcanal and nearby Tulagi. Thus, the battle resulted in a significant strategic victory for the U.S. and its allies.
The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal was the last major attempt by the Japanese to seize control of the seas around Guadalcanal or to retake the island. From then on, Japanese air and naval operations around Guadalcanal were defensive in nature.
The Battle of Hampton Roads
, often called the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimack
, was a naval battle
of the American Civil War
, famous for being the first fight between two powered iron-covered warships, or "ironclads
", the USS Monitor
, an entirely new design, and the CSS Virginia
(which had been rebuilt from the burned-out hull of the USS Merrimack
, hence the multiple names). The principal confrontations took place on March 8 and March 9, 1862 off Sewell's Point
, a narrow place near the mouth of Hampton Roads
The naval battle lasted two days. The first day saw the debut of the Virginia and was fought without the Monitor. Havoc was wreaked upon the wooden Union ships and the day ended with the Confederate side at a decided advantage. However, on the second day the Monitor arrived and initiated the famous action known as the duel of the ironclads. Although the battle was inconclusive, it is significant in naval history. Prior to then, nearly all warships were made primarily of wood. After the battle, design of ships and naval warfare changed dramatically, as nations around the world raced to convert their fleets to iron, as ironclads had shown themselves to be clearly superior.
The wreck of Monitor
was located off Cape Hatteras
, by a team of scientists in 1973. In 1987, the site was declared a National Historic Landmark
, the first shipwreck to receive this distinction.
USS Nevada (BB-36)
, the second United States Navy
ship to be named after the 36th state
, was the lead ship
of the two Nevada-class battleships
; her sister ship was Oklahoma
was a giant leap forward in dreadnought
technology, as she showcased four new features that would be included on almost every subsequent U.S. battleship: gun turrets with three guns, anti-aircraft guns, oil in place of coal for fuel, and the "all or nothing
" armor principle. All of these new features resulted in Nevada
becoming the first U.S. Navy "super-dreadnought
served in both of the World Wars: during World War I
was based in Bantry Bay, Ireland
, for the last few months of the war to support the supply convoys that were sailing to and from Great Britain. In World War II
, she was one of the battleships that were trapped when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor
on 7 December 1941. Subsequently salvaged and modernized at Puget Sound Navy Yard
served in four amphibious assaults: the Normandy Landings
and the invasions of Southern France
, Iwo Jima
, and Okinawa
. At the end of World War II, the Navy decided that Nevada
was too old to be retained in the post-war fleet, so they assigned her to be a target ship
in the Bikini atomic experiments
of July 1946. After being hit by two atomic bombs
, she was still afloat but heavily damaged and radioactive. She was sunk during naval gunfire exercise in 1948.
The Phantom remained in production from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built, and was used by the U.S. military from 1960 to 1996, serving with the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force.It was used extensively by all three U.S. services operating in Vietnam, ending the war as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles.
The Phantom continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 80s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force and the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy. It remained in service in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War.