F35 RN Carrier

F35 RN Carrier

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Sunday Ship History: Operation Market Time Vietnam 1965 - 1973

Operation Market Time, Gene Klebe; 1965

One of the interesting aspects of the Vietnam War was the substantial naval effort to stop the sea transport of arms and other material to enemy forces in South Vietnam. This effort include aircrat, naval and Coast Guard vessels. As set out in Operation Market Time it was largely successful in cutting off the supply from the sea.
The Navy established Operation Market Time (March 1965-1972) to prevent North Vietnamese ships from supplying enemy forces in South Vietnam by sea. The Coastal Surveillance Force (Task Force 115) used a system of three barriers to patrol the South Vietnamese coast. Patrol aircraft covered the outermost barrier to identify, photograph, and report suspicious vessels and U.S. Coast Guard cutters stopped and searched cargo vessels in the middle barrier forty miles off the coast. The South Vietnamese Navy, the Junk Force, and U.S. Navy Patrol Craft Fast (PCF( Swift boats cruised the coastal waters of the inner barriers. By 1968, these forces stopped virtually all seaborne infiltration from North Vietnam to South Vietnam. The blockade forced the North Vietnamese to rely on the Ho Chi Minh Trail and the Cambodian port of Sihanoukville to transport supplies to the Viet Cong.

A longer history and analysis of Market Time can be found at the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command here in a paper prepared by Judith C. Erdheim of the Center for Naval Analysis in 1975. That report follows below.

Operation Market Time by lawofsea

And a look at the U.S. Coast Guard involvement:

Update: Navy War College Review article "The U.S. Coast Guard in Vietnam: Achieving Success in a Difficult War" (1998)

Update2: A 1970 fight between Market Time wooden hulled U.S. Navy minesweeper USS Endurance (MSO-435) and a metal hulled NV trawler in the "Sea Battle off the Cua Co Chien River" as depicted by Richard DeRosset as used in part as the cover illustration for David Bruhn's Wooden Ships and Iron Men: The U.S. Navy's Ocean Minesweepers, 1953–1994:

Thursday, November 25, 2021


Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

While our kids are spread from coast to coast and in between, we have one of ours and his family on their way down to share dinner with us. My daughter-in-law's brother and his wife will join us, too.

No one deployed.


All adults and grandchildren healthy.


We have so very much for which to be thankful.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

On Midrats 21 November 2021: Episode 609 - The Fat Leonard Podcast with Tom Wright

If you thought you missed a live Midrats podcast on 21 November 2021 - you are absolutely correct. Due to our guest being in Singapore, we had to record the episode and post it later. So, if you go here you will find Episode 609, which is about the man on the right, Leonard Glenn Frances and, well, corruption.

If you are even remotely connected to the US Navy you have directly or indirectly been impacted by the "Fat Leonard" scandal.

A husbanding agent who used every tool in a very old book - greed, sex, power, influence, and envy - managed to have have naval officers and high ranking law enforcement officers become party to his drive for wealth and influence.

One of the best places to find the details of the scandal and to hear from Leonard Glenn Frances himself, is in "The Fat Leonard Podcast."

Our guest today will be the podcast's creator, Tom Wright, the coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale and the cofounder of Project Brazen, a journalism-focused production studio.

Tom worked for the Wall Street Journal for over twenty years. He’s a Pulitzer finalist and has won numerous journalism awards, including the Gerald Loeb award for international reporting. In 2020, Stanford University honored Tom with its Shorenstein award in recognition of his services to journalism in Asia.

Sunday Ship History - The American Frigate "Alliance" Mutiny of 1779

Interesting bit of U.S. Naval past from James Fenimore Cooper's History of the Navy of the United States of America (1853):

The year 1779 opens with the departure of the Alliance, 32, for France. It has already been stated that the command of this ship had been given to a Captain Landais, who was said to be a French officer of gallantry and merit. Unfortunately the prejudices of the seamen did not answer to the complaisance of the Marine Committee in this respect, and it was found difficult to obtain a crew willing to enlist under a French captain. When General Lafayette reached Boston near the close of 1778, in order to embark in the Alliance, it was found that the frigate was not yet manned. Desirous of rendering themselves useful to their illustrious guest, the government of Massachusetts offered to complete the ship's complement by impressment, an expedient that had been adopted on more than one occasion during the war ; but the just-minded and benevolent Lafayette would not consent to the measure. Anxious to sail, however, for he was entrusted with important interests, recourse was had to a plan to man the ship, which, if less objectionable on the score of principle, was scarcely less so in every other point of view.

The Somerset 64, had been wrecked on the coast of New England, and part of her crew had found their way to Boston. By accepting the proffered services of these men, those of some volunteers from among the prisoners, and those of a few French seamen that were also found in Boston after the departure of their fleet, a motley number was raised in sufficient time to enable the ship to sail on the 11th of January. With this incomplete and mixed crew, Lafayette trusted himself on the ocean, and the result was near justifying the worst forebodings that so ill-advised a measure could have suggested.

After a tempestuous passage, the Alliance got within two days' run of the English coast, when her officers and passengers, of the latter of whom there were many besides General Lafayette and his suite, received the startling information that a conspiracy existed among the English portion of the crew, some seventy or eighty men in all, to kill the officers, seize the vessel, and carry the frigate into England. With a view to encourage such acts of mutiny, the British Parliament had passed a law to reward all those crews that should run away with American ships ; and this temptation was too strong for men whose service, however voluntary it might be in appearances, was probably reluctant, and which had been compelled by circumstances, if not by direct coercion.

The plot, however, was betrayed, and by the spirited conduct of the officers and passengers, the ringleaders were arrested.

On reaching Brest, the mutineers were placed in a French gaol, and after some delay, were exchanged as prisoners of war, without any other punishment; the noble-minded Lafayette, in particular, feeling averse to treating foreigners as it would have been a duty to treat natives under similar circumstances.

More of interest on Alliance here

Saturday (and Sometimes Sunday) Is Old Radio Day - Fibber McGee & Molly "Thanksgiving" (1935)

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

The Distinction Between Theory and Practice Writ Large

CDR Salamander pointed this video out, so full credit to him, but it's too important not to put up here, too:

LTG McMasters expresses a large amount of hard-won knowledge. Falling in love with theory instead of dealing with reality is a path to ruination.

For a further look at this, you might want to listen to our Midrats show about the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan: Listen to "Episode 607: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan - Hopes & Lessons" on Spreaker.

Saturday, November 13, 2021

Saturday Is Old Radio Day; Richard Diamond, Private Detective "8 O'Clock Killer" (1950)

5th Circuit Blasts Biden Admin "Malarkey" in Vaccine Mandate Effort

I don't practice law anymore, but every now and then I read a court ruling for some reason or another.  It's not often that such a ruling is as interesting and readable as the one you can find here, portions of which are pasted below, without footnote numbers and with emphasis added.

Nov. 12 Fifth Circuit Rulin... by Daily Caller News Foundation

Not many punches pulled in this one:

Many of the petitioners are covered private employers within the geographical boundaries of this circuit. Their standing to sue is obvious— the Mandate imposes a financial burden upon them by deputizing their participation in OSHA’s regulatory scheme, exposes them to severe financial risk if they refuse or fail to comply, and threatens to decimate their workforces (and business prospects) by forcing unwilling employees to take their shots, take their tests, or hit the road.


We begin by stating the obvious. The Occupational Safety and Health Act, which created OSHA, was enacted by Congress to assure Americans “safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” See 29 U.S.C. § 651 (statement of findings and declaration of purpose and policy). It was not—and likely could not be, under the Commerce Clause and nondelegation doctrine—intended to authorize a workplace safety administration in the deep recesses of the federal bureaucracy to make sweeping pronouncements on matters of public health affecting every member of society in the profoundest of ways. ....

On the dubious assumption that the Mandate does pass constitutional muster—which we need not decide today—it is nonetheless fatally flawed on its own terms. Indeed, the Mandate’s strained prescriptions combine to make it the rare government pronouncement that is both overinclusive (applying to employers and employees in virtually all industries and workplaces in America, with little attempt to account for the obvious differences between the risks facing, say, a security guard on a lonely night shift, and a meatpacker working shoulder to shoulder in a cramped warehouse) and underinclusive (purporting to save employees with 99 or more coworkers from a “grave danger” in the workplace, while making no attempt to shield employees with 98 or fewer coworkers from the very same threat). The Mandate’s stated impetus—a purported “emergency” that the entire globe has now endured for nearly two years, and which OSHA itself spent nearly two months responding to11—is unavailing as well. And its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority.</p>


After the President voiced his displeasure with the country’s vaccination rate in September, the Administration pored over the U.S. Code in search of authority, or a “work-around,” for imposing a national vaccine mandate. The vehicle it landed on was an OSHA ETS. The statute empowering OSHA allows OSHA to bypass typical notice-and-comment proceedings for six months by providing “for an emergency temporary standard to take immediate effect upon publication in the Federal Register” if it “determines (A) that employees are exposed to grave danger from exposure to substances or agents determined to be toxic or physically harmful or from new hazards, and (B) that such emergency standard is necessary to protect employees from such danger.” 29 U.S.C. § 655(c)(1).

As the name suggests, emergency temporary standards “are an ‘unusual response’ to ‘exceptional circumstances.’” Int’l Chem. Workers, 830 F.2d at 371 (quoting Pub. Citizen Health Rsch. Grp. v. Auchter, 702 F.2d 1150, 1155 (D.C. Cir. 1983)). Thus, courts have uniformly observed that OSHA’s authority to establish emergency temporary standards under § 655(c) “is an ‘extraordinary power’ that is to be ‘delicately exercised’ in only certain ‘limited situations.’” Id. at 370 (quoting Pub. Citizen, 702 F.2d at 1155).

But the Mandate at issue here is anything but a “delicate[] exercise[]” of this “extraordinary power.” Cf. Pub. Citizen, 702 F.2d at 1155. Quite the opposite, rather than a delicately handled scalpel, the Mandate is a one-size fits-all sledgehammer that makes hardly any attempt to account for differences in workplaces (and workers) that have more than a little bearing on workers’ varying degrees of susceptibility to the supposedly “grave danger” the Mandate purports to address.


We next consider the necessity of the Mandate. The Mandate is staggeringly overbroad. Applying to 2 out of 3 private-sector employees in America, in workplaces as diverse as the country itself, the Mandate fails to consider what is perhaps the most salient fact of all: the ongoing threat of COVID-19 is more dangerous to some employees than to other employees. All else equal, a 28 year-old trucker spending the bulk of his workday in the solitude of his cab is simply less vulnerable to COVID-19 than a 62 year-old prison janitor. Likewise, a naturally immune unvaccinated worker is presumably at less risk than an unvaccinated worker who has never had the virus. The list goes on, but one constant remains—the Mandate fails almost completely to address, or even respond to, much of this reality and common sense.

On Midrats 14 November 2021 - Episode 608: Time for a Maritime Department?

Please join us at 5pm EST on 14 November 2021 for Midrats Episode 608: Time for a Maritime Department?

All you need to do is look at a map to tell that we are a maritime nation. A strong Navy is only part of being a maritime power. As everyone is starting to appreciate as they look at empty shelves, rising prices, and fleets of merchant ships waiting for their turn off overburdened ports - the other side of a maritime power can impact everyone's quality of life overnight.

If most Americans knew the relative weakness - and in areas complete absence - of America in the maritime trade that keeps up employed, fed, and secure, they would probably have a mild panic attack.

Is part of the problem simply that we lack a national focus? Could a solution be to establish a cabinet-level Maritime Department with a mission of integrating applications of national power to ensure maritime security and prosperity?

Making a return to visit, our guest for the full hour will be Lieutenant Commander Jimmy Drennan, U.S. Navy, and we'll use his recent article, Beyond Defense: America's Past and Future Interests at Sea" as a starting point for a broad ranging discussion.

Jimmy is a surface warfare officer and the soon to be outgoing president of the Center for International Maritime Security - a topic we may discuss as well.

If you miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to you use Apple Podcasts here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Veterans Day

 U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joshua J. Wahl

Sunday, November 07, 2021

Sunday Ship History: "Indians in the War" (WWII) (1945)

IndiansInTheWar_997 by lawofsea

Oddly enough, no mention of CDR Ernest E. Evans, Medal of Honor awardee, so here's a link to the story of Commander Ernest E. Evans of Johnston (DD-557).

On Midrats 7 November 2021 - Episode 607: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan - Hopes & Lessons

Please join us at 5pm EST for Midrats Episode 607: The NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan - Hopes & Lessons

In what history will show was a failed effort, for almost two decades, the most advanced military and police forces in the West tried to build a security force for the people of Afghanistan, an effort that took off with great urgency towards the end of the first decade of the conflict. A cornerstone of that effort was NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan (NTM-A).

Our guests to discuss this effort and what lessons it holds for the future will be Dr. Martin Loicano and Dr. Craig C. “C. C.” Felker. Using extensive research and two combined years in Afghanistan, they've documented the 2009-2010 effort in their book, No Moment of Victory: the NATO Training Mission in Afghanistan from 2009-2011.

Dr. Loicano served as chief historian, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE). In that capacity, he advised the SHAPE commander and also was part of the SHAPE Strategic Planning Group. Previously, he was an associate professor in the Department of Strategy at the Air War College (AWC). Prior to joining the AWC faculty, Dr. Loicano served with the NATO Training Mission–Afghanistan from 2010 to 2012. He holds a PhD in history from Cornell University, specializing in Cold War conflicts, Southeast Asia, and China.

Dr. Felker is a retired Navy captain and author of Testing American Sea Power: U.S. Navy Strategic Exercises, 1923–1940. He received his PhD from Duke University in 2004 and afterward served as a permanent military professor in the History Department of the United States Naval Academy, chairing the department from 2014 to 2016. He is currently the executive director of the Society for Military History.

If you miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to you use Apple Podcasts here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Friday, November 05, 2021

Friday Film: "Firefighting Aboard Aircraft Carriers" (1969)

Firefighting techniques have improved greatly since 1969. However, the lessons are the same, everyone on a ship on fire needs to know how to respond.

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday Ship History: Radar Pickets and Methods of Combating Suicide Attacks Off Okinawa March-May 1945

Radar Pickets and Methods of Combating Suicide Attacks Off Okinawa March-May 1945 by lawofsea on Scribd

See also Sunday Ship History: Radar Picket Ships and Submarines.

The preceding document was declassified pursuant to DOD DIR 5200.9 and can be found at the Naval History and Heritage Command here and at UNC's Ibiblio Hyperwar site here. Ibiblio notes that

All software, documentation, research data, and other materials (Materials) submitted for installation on the ibiblio.org Internet Server will be deemed in the public domain, except for any express restrictions included in such Materials by the submitting party.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

U.S. Navy Office of Naval Intelligence Worldwide Threat to Shipping (WTS) Report, 22 September - 20 October 2021

U.S. Navy Office of Naval I... by lawofsea

Another interesting site regarding the Gulf of Guinea is a joint effort of the Royal Navy and the French Navy MDAT-GoG, with a live map here. Sample screenshot below:

Maritime Domain Awareness for Trade – Gulf of Guinea (MDAT-GoG) is a cooperation centre between the Royal Navy (UKMTO) and the French Navy (MICA-Center) in support of the Yaounde Process. This centre has been in operation since the 20th June 2016.

The primary output from the MDAT-GoG is to contribute by maintaining coherent maritime situational awareness in the central and western African Maritime areas, with the ability to inform and support industry. It contributes to the safety and security of the Mariner in the regional maritime domain. The information supplied by vessels will be treated as commercially confidential.

Of course, the longer running mappping program concerning maritime piracy and armed robbery is that of the ICC CCS IMB Piracy Reporting Center here

Friday, October 22, 2021

Friday Film: "Wings Over Leyte" (1945)

On Midrats 24 October 2021 - Episode 606: China's Dangerous Decade with Andrew Erickson

Please join us at 5pm (EDT) on 24 October 2021 for Midrats Episode 606: China's Dangerous Decade with Andrew Erickson

What are the of economic, demographic, and political forces driving China through this decade?

What direction is her growth heading and where will she find herself at the end of the decade?

Are the forces in play likely to move her towards a more peaceful or a more militaristic stance?

Using the recent article he co-authored with Gabriel Collins in Foreign Policy, A Dangerous Decade of Chinese Power is Here, as a starting point, returning to Midrats for the full hour this Sunday from 5-6pm Eastern will be Andrew S. Erickson.

Andrew is a professor of strategy in the U.S. Naval War College's China Maritime Studies Institute and a visiting scholar in full-time residence at Harvard University's John King Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies. His research website is www.andrewerickson.com.

If you use Apple Podcasts, and miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Quote of the Day: Economics Isn't Rocket Science

From Joe Biden, Milton Friedman, and the Tyranny of Tiny Minds

Friedman used to say, “Everything we know in economics we teach in Econ 1, and everything else is made up.”

As we see inflation taking off, and some odd economic theory that taking money from people to pay for government - um - projects doesn't "cost" anything, it's good to back to Econ 101:

... Friedman’s observation that “Inflation is always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon.”

What Friedman meant was, prices rise and fall according to all kinds of market forces, but inflation is what happens when government prints money faster than the economy generates new wealth.

We’ve been printing money by the trillions, and Biden wants to increase that by endless trillions more — all while using the federal bureaucracy to impede the creation of new wealth.

It’s a recipe for inflation, and anyone sensible — including Democratic economist Lawrence Summers — has been warning Biden of just that.

Friday, October 15, 2021

On Midrats 17 October 2021 - Episode 605: The Navy in Afghanistan at Flood Tide - PRT Khost

Please join us at 5pm on 17 October 2021 for Midrats Episode 605: The Navy in Afghanistan at Flood Tide - PRT Khost

Afghanistan is a landlocked nation, but in the USA’s two-decade presence in that country, her Navy was there from the beginning to end serving along with her sister services.

Many are familiar with the untold number of Individual Augmentation (IA) assignments Navy active duty and reserve component personnel filled, Navy Corpsmen serving with USMC units, and even SeaBee deployments to Afghanistan, but there were other units with a large US Navy presence, a few of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT).

This Sunday we’re going to take a snapshot of this part of the Afghanistan conflict from its high-water mark - 2010 and 2011 - with our guests Captain Steve Deal, USN (Ret.) and Command Sergeant Major Alexander Barnett, USA (Ret.). They served together as the Commanding Officer and Sergeant Major of Provincial Reconstruction Team Khost in 2010 through 2011.

Captain Deal had extensive experience in command. In addition to his tour as Commanding Officer, PRT Khost, he commanded Patrol Squadron 47 in Ali AB, Iraq (2007-2008) and Patrol and Reconnaissance Wing TEN in Whidbey Island, WA (2012-2013).

Command Sergeant Major "Beau" Barnett impressive experience as senior enlisted leader in addition to his tour in Khost included Operations Sergeant Major and Command Sergeant Major at Battalion level and as a USASMA Instructor, Command Sergeant Major for the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division and concurrently the Regimental Sergeant Major of the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment. His final assignment prior to retirement the 189th CATB CSM at JBLM Tacoma Washington.

If you use Apple Podcasts, and miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Friday Film: "Amphibious Warfare: The Salvage Boat" (1944)

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Establishment of the Navy, 13 October 1775

This resolution of the Continental Congress marked the establishment of what is now the United States Navy.

"Resolved, That a swift sailing vessel, to carry ten carriage guns, and a proportionable number of swivels, with eighty men, be fitted, with all possible despatch, for a cruise of three months, and that the commander be instructed to cruize eastward, for intercepting such transports as may be laden with warlike stores and other supplies for our enemies, and for such other purposes as the Congress shall direct.

That a Committee of three be appointed to prepare an estimate of the expence, and lay the same before the Congress, and to contract with proper persons to fit out the vessel.

Resolved, that another vessel be fitted out for the same purposes, and that the said committee report their opinion of a proper vessel, and also an estimate of the expence."

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Repeat It: "Freedom = I Won't"

When confronted by an overbearing version of group think and increasingly instrusive political demands of power seekers, it is always an option to refuse to participate in the way demanded. Refusal to play along with the zillion gender game, the ignorance-based economic guilt trips, and the pressure to conform to rules that seem to change with the wind direction - is resistance at the highest level.

Some people talk about going "John Galt", others suggest forceful confrontation. What really infuriates the bullies is passive resistance to their demands. Simply refusing to conform to someone else's idea of how you should live and think. Passive resistance requires courage but can be extremely effective. Unlike John Galt, who disappears to make his point, passive resistance requires confrontation.

For some fun thinking on how passive resistance works, see Eric Frank Russell's "And Then There Were None"

“What does this F. — I.W. mean?”
“Initial-slang,” informed Baines. “Made correct by common usage. It has become a worldwide motto. You’ll see it all over the place if you haven’t noticed it already.”
“I have seen it here and there but attached no importance to it and thought nothing more about it. I remember now that it was inscribed in several places including Seth’s and the fire depot.”
“It was on the sides of that bus we couldn’t empty,” put in Gleed. “It didn’t mean anything to me.”
“It means plenty,” said Jeff. “Freedom = I Won’t!”
“That kills me,” Gleed responded. “I’m stone dead already. I’ve dropped in my tracks.” He watched Harrison thoughtfully pocketing the plaque.
“A piece of abracadabra. What a weapon!”
“Ignorance is bliss,” asserted Baines, strangely sure of himself. “Especially when you don’t know that what you’re playing with is the safety catch of something that goes bang.”
“All right,” challenged Gleed, taking him up on that. “Tell us how it works.”
“I won’t.” Baines’ grin reappeared. He seemed to be highly satisfied about something.
“That’s a fat lot of help.” Gleed felt let down, especially over that momentary hoped-for reward. “You brag and boast about a one-way weapon, toss across a slip of stuff with three letters on it and then go dumb. Any folly will do for braggarts and any braggart can talk through the seat of his pants. How about backing up your talk?”
“I won’t,” repeated Baines, his grin broader than ever. He gave the onlooking Harrison a fat, significant wink.
It made something spark vividly within Harrison’s mind. His jaw dropped, he dragged the plaque from his pocket and stared at it as if seeing it for the first time.
“Give it back to me,” requested Baines, watching him.
Replacing it in his pocket, Harrison said very firmly, “I won’t.”
Baines chuckled. “Some people catch on quicker than others.”
Resenting that, Gleed held his hand out to Harrison. ‘Let me have another look at that thing.’
‘I won’t,’ said Harrison, meeting him eye to eye.
‘Hey, don’t start being awkard with me. That’s not the way—’ Gleed’s protesting voice petered out. He stood there a moment, his optics slightly glassy, while his brain performed several loops. Then in hushed tones he said, ‘Good grief!’
‘Precisely,’ approved Baines. ‘Grief and plenty of it. You were a bit slow on the uptake.’

So, when someone says, "Comply or else!" There is response that defeats their goal of your submission.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

On Midrats 10 October 2021 - Episode 604: October Natsec Free-For-All

Please join us at 5pm EDT on 10 October 2021 for Midrats Episode 604: October Natsec Free-For-All

From the fleet parked off Long Beach, to the already forgotten Afghanistan, to the particular aspirational desires of the latest 30-year Shipbuilding Plan - and whatever else comes across then quarterdeck - Eagle One and Sal are back LIVE for an October maritime and national security discussion.

As with all free for alls, the chat room will be open as will the studio phone lines … come join us this Sunday starting at 5pm Eastern.

If you use Apple Podcasts, and miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Sunday Ship History: Nixon's Trident - Naval Power in Southeast Asia 1968-1972

A publication from the Naval History and Heritage Command by John Darrell Sherwood published in 2009.

Nixon's Trident: Naval Power in Southeast Asia, 1968–1972 by lawofsea on Scribd

Sunday, October 03, 2021

Sunday Ship History: A Short Look at the Korean War and Navy Surface Forces

Most Americans don't have knowledge of the 1950's Korean War or its background.

Few know that Japan annexed Korea starting in 1910 after a 1905 treaty which made Korea a protectorate of Japan.

At the end of WWII, Soviet Russia gained control of what is North Korea and American forces took over South

Korea, with the 38th parallel being the dividing line.

On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces invaded South Korea and drove very deep into South Korea, by early August only leaving what became known as the "Pusan Perimeter" in U.S. and South Korean hands.

In order to relieve the pressure on the Pusan Perimeter in early September 1950, General MacArthur, acting as UN Command, organized an successful amphibious assault on Inchon ("Operation Chromite"), "110 miles behind enemy lines" (see here) in one of the most amazing feat of arms ever accomplished.

The success of MacArthur's plan was reliant on a strong and coordinated sea, air, and land force. The Inchon invasion demonstrated how naval forces can be a decisive factor in littoral operations. The 230 ships of Vice Admiral Arthur D. Struble's Joint Task Force (JTF) 7, with the aid of Royal Navy and other Allied warships, established superiority in the Yellow Sea as well as the air over it. The continued presence of U.S. and Allied naval forces acted as a deterrent to Soviet and/or Chinese intervention. The element of surprise was essential to Operation Chromite.

On 13 September 1950, the naval forces in JTF 7 led by Admirals Struble and James H. Doyle, began their attack against Inchon. Carrier-based aircraft squadrons, destroyers, and cruisers battered North Korea's fortifications, coastal artillery batteries, and supply points for two days. On 15 September, 1st Marine Division assaulted three beaches and quickly seized Inchon. General MacArthur signaled that "the Navy and Marines... never shone more brightly" than at Inchon.

By 19 September, the Marines had captured Kimpo air base, into which flowed Marine close support aircraft and U.S. Air Force supply transports. U.S. Army troops advanced from the beachhead and linked up with their comrades advancing north from the Pusan perimeter. Marine, Army, and South Korean troops captured Seoul on 28 September 1950.

Another phase of the war began in October 1950, with a planned amphibious assault at Wonsan on North Korea's east coast which left the U.S. Navy and its allies with a valuable lesson as set out below:

The great success of the Inchon Invasion led General MacArthur to order a second amphibious assault, targeting Wonsan on North Korea's east coast. After landing there, Tenth Corps could advance inland, link up with the Eighth Army moving north from Seoul and hasten the destruction of the North Korean army. Wonsan would also provide UN forces with another logistics support seaport, one closer to the battlefronts than Pusan and with greater handling capacity than tide-encumbered Inchon.

Since the enemy army's coherence collapsed much more rapidly than expected, by the Wonsan operation's planned execution date of 20 October 1950, its immediate strategic goals had been overtaken by events. However, the forces landed there proved valuable in the push up North Korea's east side, and the captured port did fulfill its intended mission.

Wonsan's greatest value, though, was unintended: it gave the U.S. Navy a painfully valuable reminder of the fruits of neglecting mine countermeasures, that unglamorous side of maritime power that, when it is needed, is needed very badly. As Admiral Forrest Sherman, the Chief of Naval Operations at the time, remarked "when you can't go where you want to, when you want to, you haven't got command of the sea". This experience provoked one of the greatest minesweeper building programs in the Navy's history, one that produced hundreds of ships to serve not only under the U.S. flag, but under those of many allied nations. (emphasis added)

At the time, the lesson was painfully learned by the damage to or loss of ships. Not all damage was caused by mines - the risk of inshore operation from gun batteries has been well known for hundreds of years, but it came back in 1950.

From the Naval Heritage and History Command this partial list of Ships Sunk and Damaged in Action during the Korean Conflict, the U.S. Navy lost 5 ships to mines, four minesweeping units and one fleet tug
(see here).

USS Magpie (AMS-25) blew up after striking a mine off the coast of Korea on Sept. 29 1950,
claiming the lives of 21 members of the crew. Ships hitting mines during the Korean Conflict would also cost the U.S. Navy the USS Pirate (AM-275), USS Pledge (AM-277), USS Sarsi (ATF-111) and USS Partridge (AMS-31). Mines continue to be the biggest threat to the world’s navies and account for most ship losses other than accidents.

Another 87 ships were damaged, either by mines or by engagement with shore batteries with last damage occurring in 1953.

Now, about that lesson regarding mine warfare . . .

Another aspect of the Navy's involvement in the Korean War was the sea-borne evacuation of both military units and civilians from North Korea after the Chinese Army entered the war in massive numbers. As set out in Edward J. Marolda's The Hungnam and Chinnampo Evacuations:

The Hungnam Evacuation by the U.S. Navy from North Korea of troops under the U.S. X Corps, including the U.S. 1st Marine Division, 7th Infantry Division, and 3d Infantry Division, and the Republic of Korea I Corps, including the 3d and Capital Infantry Divisions, took place from December 9 to 24, 1950. When the People's Republic of China intervened in the Korean War in late November 1950, its 250,000 ground forces threatened to cut off and destroy UN units operating in the mountains of North Korea. To prevent that catastrophe and to concentrate UN units in more easily defended terrain further south, on December 9 General Douglas MacArthur, Commander in Chief, United Nations Command, ordered evacuation by sea of the U.S. X Corps.

Vice Admiral C. Turner Joy, Commander Naval Forces, Far East, had already alerted Rear Admiral James H. Doyle, his amphibious commander, to prepare for such a contingency and begun deploying naval forces to waters off Hungnam on the east coast of North Korea. He dispatched other units, under Rear Admiral Lyman A. Thackrey, to Korea's west coast to handle evacuation from Chinnampo and Inchon, in company with British, Australian, and Canadian ships, of U.S. Eighth Army and allied forces. The mission at Chinnampo was accomplished between the 4th and 6th of December, although most of the allied forces made their way south in vehicles or on foot. In addition, during December and early January 1951, Thackrey's ships pulled 69,000 military personnel, 64,000 refugees, 1,000 vehicles, and more than 55,000 tons of cargo out of Inchon.

As the marines and soldiers, in biting cold and wind, fought their way out of encirclement at Chosin Reservoir and elsewhere in northeast Korea during December, several hundred Navy and Marine aircraft operating from airfields ashore and from the ships of Task Force 77 (aircraft carriers Philippine Sea, Leyte, Princeton, and Valley Forge, light carrier Bataan, and escort carriers Sicily and Baedong Strait) pummelled enemy ground troops. Other U.S. planes airdropped supplies. Conducting round-the-clock air operations from snow and wind-swept carrier decks and from unimproved airstrips ashore demanded the most of the sailors and marines working feverishly to help bring their comrades out of the frozen hills of North Korea.


In an orderly fashion, on December 10th the ships under Rear Admiral Doyle, Commander Amphibious Force, Far East (Task Force 90), began embarking the withdrawing ground troops and their equipment from Hungnam (and some ROK 3d Division troops from Wonsan further to the south). The marines, who had endured the hardest fighting, were the first men to board the evacuation ships. They were followed by the ROK units on the 17th and the U.S. Army divisions during the third week of December. By Christmas Eve 1950, Task Force 90 had embarked 105,000 military personnel, 17,500 tanks and other vehicles, 350,000 measurement tons of cargo, and 91,000 Korean civilians. Marine and Air Force transports airlifted out another 3,600 troops, 196 vehicles, and 1,300 tons of cargo.

More here

Generally described as an "amphibious operation in reverse", the evacuation of Hungnam encompassed the safe withdrawal of the bulk of UN forces in eastern North Korea. It was the largest sealift since the 1945 Okinawa operation. In barely two weeks, over a hundred-thousand military personnel, 17,500 vehicles and 350,000 measurement tons of cargo were pulled out. In comparison with the retreat in central and western Korea, little was left behind. Even broken-down vehicles were loaded and lifted out. Also departing North Korea through Hungnam were some 91,000 refugees, a large number, but not nearly as many as had gathered to leave.

These evacuations were not only carried out by U.S. forces, but by chartered merchant ships, and by allied ships, including but not limited to Japanese manned LSTs.

Another reference to the LST force here

There were a total of 40 LSTs and 75 marine transports used during the evacuation of Hungnam. All ships making multiple trips from Hungnam and Wonsan to various ports in southern Korea and parts of Japan.

Early in my research I managed to find a list of US LSTs involved in the Korean War – some 40 LSTs. As part of this process I also found that a lot of Japanese and a few Korean LSTs were used. There were a total 40 LSTs used at Hungnam, 11 US, a large number of Japanese LSTs and a few Korean.

The importance of the evacuation is well stated in the following video:

Friday, October 01, 2021

Don't Trust China: China's Harvesting American Genetic Information is a Threat According to the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC)

In all the post-election excitement, perhaps you missed this Feb 2021 report from the National Counterintelligence and Security Center (NCSC).

What use can China make of such information? Let your imagination work out the possibilities, but I don't think they are up to any great good things.

National Counterintelligenc... by lawofsea

UPDATE: Some in Congress are on the issue: See here for a press release from Senator Cotton and Rep Gallagher:

BGI also attempted to take advantage of the pandemic to acquire U.S. data, reaching out to the governors of six states with offers to build advanced COVID-19 testing labs before top U.S. intelligence officials convinced states to reject BGI’s offers. Most recently, reports revealed that BGI was selling prenatal tests to pregnant women around the world and using the tests to collect vast swathes of genetic data on different populations.

The Party’s focus on biotech also extends to biotech’s potential military applications. The former head of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) National Defense University identified biology as one of seven “new domains of warfare,” including the possibility of “specific ethnic genetic attacks,” in a 2017 publication.

BGI has a history of collaboration with the PLA and serving the PLA’s interests. A review of 40 publicly-available research papers demonstrates BGI’s work on PLA priorities, such as improved high-altitude soldier performance, neuroscience, and pathogens. BGI’s worldwide prenatal test was itself developed in collaboration with the PLA. BGI has also partnered with the PLA’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) to advance bioinformatics research and leverage supercomputers for biological research. Joint BGI-PLA research could have an application in future bioweapons—which is especially concerning because BGI’s national gene bank is presumably made available for military research.

Given BGI’s and other Chinese biotechnology companies’ support for and collaboration with the PLA, I urge you to include BGI and other Chinese biotech companies on the NS-CMIC List, the Entity List, and the Section 1260H Chinese military companies list. The United States must not turn a blind eye to the threat posed by Chinese biotechnology companies operating at the CCP’s behest. Blacklisting BGI and its fellow biotech companies will help the United States counter the Chinese Communist Party’s efforts to capture Americans’ most private information—their DNA. (emphasis added)

Friday Film: Fog (1943)

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Revisiting an Important Topic: Midrats Episode 358: Seapower as a National Imperative, with Bryan McGrath

Listen to "Episode 358: Seapower as a National Imperative, with Bryan McGrath" on Spreaker.

Sunday Ship History: Voyage of USS Enterprise - Survey of the Amazon in 1878

This resumption of Sunday Ship History posts begins with Commander Thomas Selfridge taking the 1874 version of USS Enterprise into the Amazon basin in 1878 and his report to the Secretary of the Navy, which can be found at the U.S. Navy's Naval History and Heritage website at Survey of the Amazon- Selfridge

...No nation is more directly interested in the prosperity of Brazil than ourselves. Our geographical situation brings us nearer than Europe, and her coffee, sugar, and raw products of the forest we need in exchange for the manufactures and food we can furnish to her agricultural population. * * *


In 1867 Brazil declared the Amazon open to the commerce of the world. But there is not much inducement to take advantage of this liberality, for the present steam tonnage is too large for a profitable business; and so far from being an opening to the flags of foreign nations, it is my opinion that some of the present force will have to be withdrawn unless the railway project around the falls of the Madeira proves a success.


Though generally known under the sole name of Amazon, this magnificent river, at least twice the size of any other in the world in volume, not excepting the Mississippi, is locally divided into three parts under different names. The Amazon proper extends to its juncture with the Negro, near Manaos, the capital of Amazonas, 874 miles from the sea. From this point to the Peruvian frontier at Tabatinga, 1,000 miles away, it is known as the Solimocus and in Peru as the Maranon. Either of its two large tributaries in Peru, the Ucayali or the Huallaga might lay claim in size to be the parent river, but at Nauta the junction of the Ucayali and Maranon Rivers, it becomes then immeasurably and incomparably the peer of all others. As far as the function of the Tio Negro it is navigable for a line-of-battle ship at all seasons of the year. There is, however, one point about 10 miles below the Negro where a ledge or rocks extends across, on which it is said there is found but 18 feet of water at extreme low water, but I doubt the accuracy of it, for at the time I passed over this spot there was a depth of 36 feet.


It has been shown time and again that the United States is the commercial ally of brazil. We can furnish everything the country requires, and as cheaply and of better quality than those of Europe. But the entire lack of facilities has turned the channel of trade completely from us. It is estimated that on an average there is at least an arrival of one steamer a day in Brazil from England.

It is vitally necessary, if the United States will take its share of the foreign business of Brazil, to create avenues of trade by which such will flow to our shores.

These are first of all a well-established steam line, with feeders to different ports. Such line must in its infancy be fostered by the government in order to compete with the old established European lines, until the trade directed by them to our country will enable them to take care of themselves.

There should be direct telegraphic communication between the two countries. To the energy of our own countrymen we are indebted for the first successful Atlantic cable, and why cannot one be laid to Brazil?

A bank through which exchanges could be favorably made is also very necessary for the easy flow of commerce.

I would strongly urge upon those American firms that manufacture or sell goods required by Brazil that they should act in concert, and establish sample houses in the important centers of trade. They should be represented by enterprising agents, speaking the language and acquainted with the wants of the country. Such should be encouraged by liberal commissions rather than salaries.

Our products can better be introduced in this manner through native houses than by attempting to establish large concerns in rivalry with them. But especially it must be remembered that steam communication is absolutely necessary first of all, no matter how high and excellent our manufactories may be.

All of which is a reminder of one of the great missions of a strong navy - to visit other countries, show the flag, and share knowledge. Or, as a fictional Enterprise had it, "To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no one has gone before!"

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Wednesday Econ Lesson: "I, Pencil" An Animated Version

UPDATE: In this spirit, a history of toilet paper *I note that modern day long distance hikers use a variation on that Deuteromony peg thing to this day.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

On Midrats 19 September 2021 - Episode 603: September Maritime Melee

Please join us at 5pm on 19 September 2021 for Midrats 29 August 2021 - Episode 603: September Maritime Melee

Sal and EagleOne are tanned, rested, and ready to dive in a … well … where does one start for the last couple of weeks.

Australia pivots strong to China with here plans to move to SSN, France gets grumpy with the Anglosphere as a result but still kills a baddie for us, fleets of container ships are haunting out ports, and we’re all digesting what happened in Afghanistan. That’s just a start.

Join us for the full hour LIVE Sunday. The chat room will be open and the studio line too.

If you use Apple Podcasts, and miss the show live, you can pick up this episode and others and add Midrats to your podcast list simply by going to here. Or on Spreaker. Or on Spotify.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Countering Drones: U.S. Surface Navy Getting a New Tool

Reported at USNI News Navy Arming Surface Ships with Drone Repellent System:

The Drone Restricted Access Using Known Electromagnetic Warfare system, or DRAKE, built by Northrop Grumman and originally used on Humvees during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now used across the Navy’s surface fleet.


“What this essentially does is it works like a normal jammer. So whenever we have a drone that gets a little bit too close, or flies somewhere that it shouldn’t be, or is in any way, shape or form a risk to us, we can just turn on our DRAKE and the DRAKE will basically keep it from coming close to the ship,” he added. “So it projects basically like an umbrella. So when the drone flies in, this will just cut off the signal.”

Variation on a ground based system.

A 2106 video from Northop Grumman shows DRAKE in operation:

DRAKE is not the only system out there - like RAFAEL's system shown in this video:

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Saturday Is Old Radio Day: 9-11-2001 Don Imus Live

Update - revised to the actual radio show. Heard this live while driving home from taking my younger daughter to school.