Saturday, May 7, 2016
Tensions between Spain and Britain over Gibraltar have been rising in recent years, and Spain claims sovereignty over the British overseas territory. Gibraltar's authorities say that low-level confrontations between the nations' maritime assets have become common, and that Spanish government vessels trespass into their waters on a regular basis.
In February, the Spanish corvette Infanta Elena sparked a diplomatic incident when it allegedly entered Gibraltar's waters with its weapons uncovered. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) protested the alleged incursion, describing it as "dangerous,” "provocative," and a violation of Gibraltar's sovereignty and of UNCLOS. The Elena is alleged to have maneuvered in a manner that risked a collision with a Royal Navy patrol boat.
The diplomatic language in the Elena incident mirrored that from August of last year, when Spanish government vessels pursued alleged drug-runners into waters around Gibraltar, sparking British protests. "These repeated incursions into British Gibraltar territorial waters are a clear violation of UK sovereignty by another EU country and we will be raising this as a matter of urgency with the Spanish authorities," said the FCO.
But despite the recent tensions and close-quarters interactions, it is unusual for a Royal Navy vessel to fire flares to warn off a Spanish counterpart, defense officials said.
Britain's armed forces declined media requests for comment regarding the Floridaincident. But an unnamed source told the Sun that "this is not only a very dangerous game for the Spanish to play, but it is unbecoming of a NATO ally to treat the US Navy with such contempt."
The once famed HMS Endeavor, Captain Cook's ship as he claimed Australia for the British, later renamed something boring and sunk as part of the Royal Navy's blockade of Newport, Rhode Island, has sort of been found! The British scuttled 13 ships to block the harbor, and research has shown a ship formerly known as Endeavor, was sank in a group of 5 recently identified wrecks. One of them is almost certainly Cook's ship.
Via Sky News:
Lead investigator Dr Kathy Abbass told Sky News: "We may have been looking right at her without even knowing it.
L’Etoile, built by the French Navy, will be docked at Penno’s Wharf in St George’s for four days as it takes a break from a journey across the Atlantic.
It has been invited to Saint Pierre and Miquelon for the bicentennial of the return of the archipelago to France, setting sail from Brest on Wednesday, March 20, and scheduled to return to her home port next July 14.
This is the third transatlantic crossing by the vessel since it was built in 1932.
Nicole Haziza, Bermuda’s French Consul, said in a statement: “The Naval Academy’s sailing crews have very fond memories of their first port of call in Bermuda in 2009.
“Indeed, the French Naval Academy sailing crews are looking forward to next week’s call at St George’s and to spending some time in Bermuda.”
LISBON, Portugal (May 6, 2016) The Los Angeles-class fast attack submarine USS Springfield (SSN 761) arrives in Lisbon, Portugal for a scheduled port visit May 6, 2016. U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts the full spectrum of joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied, joint, and interagency partners, in order to advance U.S. national interests and security and stability in Europe and Africa. (U.S. Navy photo/Released)
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Friday, May 6, 2016
Captain Jack “Dusty” Kleiss, USN (Ret.), a VS-6 Dive Bombing pilot that served during the battle of Midway, passed away last week at the age of 100 at his residence in Texas. The Kansas native was the last surviving pilot of his kind that fought in arguably one of the greatest naval battles in human history. He is remembered for his heroism and unwavering humility in the pivotal role he played during that battle.
By Matthew T. Eng
Before I accepted my current position as the Digital Content Developer for the Naval Historical Foundation, I cut my teeth working for several years in the education department of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. As a lifelong resident of Hampton Roads, I wanted to stay close to Norfolk after graduate school and learn more about the area’s strong connection to the Navy. While there, I had the opportunity to work with the finest set of museum staff I have ever met. One of those staff members who came shortly after I started as a contract educator was Laura Orr. Laura was a seasoned museum educator with loads of experience and moxy. It was the beginning of a friendship and working partnership that continues today.
Around 2011, she informed he that she would be working with her husband, Old Dominion University History Professor Dr. Timothy Orr, on a new writing project about about a Battle of Midway veteran. At that point, I was still a young greenhorn in naval history whose knowledge barely extended beyond the American Civil War navies and the 19th century. He was certainly a household name among veteran circles and WWII aficionados.
Over the course of the next few months, Laura and her husband traveled down to San Antonio, Texas, to meet Dusty and write down his story. What an extraordinary story it was. The museum was fortunate enough to have Dusty write about his personal experiences in the Navy, specifically at the Midway. His excellent article is included in the 2012 Special Midway edition of The Daybook, the Hampton Roads Naval Museum’s quarterly publication. I often dig back into my issue I keep in my library and read about his miraculous exploits. This particular section of his article details his experience scoring a direct hit on the Japanese carrier Kaga as a member of USS Enterprise’s Scouting Squadron Six (VS-6):
For his actions at Midway, Kleiss received the Navy Cross. He also received a Presidential Unit Citation in 1944. He also received the Distinguished Flying Cross for action at the Marshall Islands.
Wade McClusky waggled his wings and, in our Scouting Six planes, we followed him into a dive on Kaga, the closest carrier. This was the perfect situation for dive bombing: no Zeros, no anti-aircraft fire. McClusky and our Scouting Six dive bombers attacked Kaga. Bombing Six planes attacked Akagi. Earl Gallaher scored the first hit on Kaga. I watched his 500-pound bomb explode on the first plane starting its takeoff. It was the only plane on Kaga’s flight deck. His incendiary bombs also hit the gas tanks beside it. Immediately, the aft-part of the ship was engulfed in a huge mass of flames. I scored the next hit. My 500-pound bomb and two 100-pound incendiaries landed on the rear edge of the large red circle on the bow of Kaga. The bombs set fire to the closely-parked airplanes below deck, filled with gasoline; a huge fire started. (Note: my bombs hit the target at 240 knots, and exploded 1/100th of a second later!) I had dropped my bombs at 1,500 feet, and I pulled out at 9g, just barely skimming above the water.
A Zero came speeding for us. I gave my gunner John Snowden a good angle, and in two seconds, no more Zero! I sped past numerous ships shooting AA fire at me, so I changed course and altitude every second. I finally made a half circle, heading towards Midway. I looked back and saw three carriers in flames: many bombs from Scouting Six and Bombing Six had hit Kaga; three bombs from Bombing Six had hit Akagi; and bombs from Yorktown’s dive bombers torched Soryu. Only Hiryu, twenty miles away, was unharmed.
On 7 March of this year, Dusty and I celebrated the same birthday. I blew 32 candles out on my birthday cake; Dusty had 100. I got a birthday call from my parents. Dusty got phone calls from John McCain, Ash Carter, George H.W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Each of the phone calls apparently thanked him for his service and his courage during Midway. Yet it is likely that he shrugged off the praise he had likely heard for nearly 70 years. “I’m anything but a hero,” he said to CNN reporter Richard Roth, “I was only doing what at the time was the proper thing to do.” Laura and Tim Orr asked him about a sentimental photo of Kleiss with his new wife Jean taken after his return back to the states. After receiving one of the most prestigious medals in the United States military, all Dusty could say was “Who would ever look at a Navy Cross with the most beautiful girl in the world doing her stuff?” Those words are still some of the most sentimental I have ever heard, and my heart still flutters every time I read it. Romance authors could not write a better line if they tried. War is hell, but love and duty are eternal. Dusty was a master of both.Dusty would retire from the Navy as a Captain in 1962. He went on to work for the aerospace industry. He remained active in the community and had written or posted about his experiences on several websites on the Internet. He also made several noteworthy television appearances. Sadly, Dusty passed away last week. He had told those closest among him that he wanted to make it to 100. Strong willed and determined, Dusty did just that – one last mark on the greenie board of a life well lived.
So often we write about figures of naval history that were towering figures who made the big decisions that turned the tide of conflict. That kind of attention is usually reserved for high ranking officers, men of the WWII era with names like Nimitz, Leahy, Halsey, and King. Dusty never wore stars on his shoulders, but you can believe his character and demeanor was worthy of five stars. It is highly doubtful that monuments will be built in his honor. Dusty would want it that way. So in my own small way, this is but one of many tributes to a great American who exemplified honor, courage, and commitment.
In life or death, his story will continue to inspire generations of Sailors coming into the U.S. Navy. I never knew the man like Laura or Tim did. I can only imagine what it must have been like to sit next to someone who took part in such a harrowing event only to push it aside as merely doing one’s duty. That is the true mark of a hero. But he was more than a hero to me. He was a different caliber of human being. We can only hope to all live close to the potential of Dusty. My heart goes out to the Orr family and anyone who knew him well. Your lives have been undoubtedly enriched by the experience.
Fair winds and following seas, Sir. You are our hero, and we all owe you a debt of gratitude.
Dusty Kleiss: A Hero of Midway Remembered was published by the Naval Historical Foundation and originally appeared on Naval Historical Foundation on April
Huddersfield soldier Frederick Pickup survived four years on the World War One frontline only to be taken prisoner just months from the end of the conflict that changed the world.
But he then survived captivity to return to his home town and a life with his beloved fiancee, Kathleen, who became his wife.
The couple had three sons – the late Peter, Stephen – and the youngest, Arnold, who went on to become well-known in Huddersfield for running charity marathons.
Arnold, now 84, of Dalton, has always been intrigued by his father’s war service and done his best to piece it together.
Among his father’s belongings were photographs and a Christmas card sent to frontline soldiers by Edward, Duke of Windsor, who went on to become Edward VIII from January 1936 until abdicating in December the same year due to his love for American divorcee Wallis Simpson.
Despite this, Edward witnessed trench warfare first-hand and attempted to visit the frontline as often as he could for which he was awarded the Military Cross in 1916. His role in the war, although limited, made him popular among veterans of the conflict. Edward undertook his first military flight in 1918 and later gained a pilot’s licence.
But quite why he sent Frederick a Christmas card remains unclear.
Frederick was born in North Yorkshire in 1896 but the family soon moved to Huddersfield where his brother, Walter Pickup, established a successful tailoring business in Upperhead Row.
After the war Frederick joined him as a tailor’s cutter.
Frederick joined the 1/5th Bn of the Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in 1912 and was sent to France in April 1915.
The battalion was then involved in some of the deadliest battles of the war – including Ypres, Somme and Passchendaele – before it was disbanded in January 1918 and Frederick joined the 8th Durham Light Infantry.
Frederick was captured by the Germans and wrote a postcard to his then fiancee Kathleen in August 1918 which read: “My dearest Kathie, you must excuse me for not letting you have a line before now but I suppose you will know through one of them at home where I am. I am still keeping myself in good health and also longing for the day to come when I will be with you again. Hoping you are keeping in good health. Yours always, Frederick.”
He was freed at the end of November 1918 and the couple married in April 1919. They lived first at Hollin Terrace in Marsh and then in Alder Street, Fartown.
Arnold started to run long distances when he was 53 and notched up 50 marathons, 112 half-marathons and other 5km and 10km races to make a total of 434. His final race was the York 10k last August and he has now retired from running.
Arnold, who served in the Merchant Navy from 1948-1953, raised well over £20,000 and ran for many charities, but mainly the military limbless veterans charity Blesma.
He has six grandchildren, many grandchildren and lives with Gillian Cunliffe, his partner for 35 years.
In 2010 he won the Services To Charity award at the Huddersfield Examiner Awards.
A French crewmember patrols the deck of the French Navy Ship (FNS) Guepratte (F714) at a port in Manila, Philippines, May 4, 2016. The FNS Guepratte F714, under the command of its first female skipper, is described as a multi-mission Lafayette-class stealth frigate of the French Marine Nationale (French Navy). The ship is in Manila for a goodwill visit until May 7. (EPA)
Captain James Cook observed the transit of Venus from the shores of Tahiti, ran aground on the Great Barrier Reef and claimed Australia for the British crown. He fought the French in the Americas, circumnavigated the world and died trying to kidnap a king of Hawaii.