The Fearless Frogman

It was thirty miles offshore, and stormy, but the daredevil swimmer plunged into the Atlantic with a crisp “Goodnight, ladies and gentlemen!” Our author recalls bold Captain Boyton, a mixture of Jules Verne, Tom Swift, and a bit of Walter Mitty.

Well out to sea from New York and bound for Liverpool, Captain Bragg, master of the steamer Queen, was consternated one October evening in 1874 to see a figure clad in rubber from head to foot appear suddenly from under a lifeboat and waddle purposefully toward the rail.

 
 
Read more »

“General” Eaton And His Improbable Legion

Weary of his humiliating job—American pay-off man to the piratical Arab states—this bold Yankee civilian raised his own army and won our strangest foreign war

When he wrote his classic History of the United States the Administrations of Jefferson and Madison seventy years ago, Henry Adams was inclined to look with mild disdain upon some of the sudden and uncertain forays in the foreign ReId undertaken under Jefferson in particular. Moreover, this most fastidious of the Adamses was generally not an admirer of the martial spirit.

 
Read more »

“The Isles Shall Wait For His Law”

So the Bible said, but American missionaries found Hawaii a paradise where pleasure reigned, and the sense of sin was difficult to teach

Almost lost in the general rejoicing over the admission of Hawaii as our fiftieth state was a unique fact: unlike any other United States possession, this string of beautiful islands was first turned toward America neither by money nor by force of arms, but by an entirely unselfish impulse.

 
Read more »

Death Of A Dirigible

“Come and see the boiling cloud, ” said a woman on the ground; aloft, the slender Shenandoah headed straight into the eye of the vicious squall

Over Lakehurst, New Jersey, the sky was unsettled on the afternoon of September 2, 1925. At times it was almost clear; then ominous clouds would scud across the field of the Naval Air Station and disappear as quickly as they had come. The airship Shenandoah , nose to her high mooring mast, was floating gracefully with the variable breezes. Her twenty gas bags were about 91 per cent full, her tanks loaded with 9,075 pounds of water and 16,620 pounds of gasoline. Sailors were riding up the elevator to the top of the mast.

"I Fired The First Gun And Thus Commenced The Great Battle”

When the Monitor and the Merrimac fought the world’s first engagement between ironclads at Hampton Roads, Virginia, on March 9, 1862, the executive officer of Monitor was the very junior Lieutenant S. Dana Greene, 22 years old and only three years out of Annapolis. When Monitor’s commander, Captain John L. Worden, was wounded during the engagement, Lieutenant Greene succeeded to the command; and a few days later he wrote to his family giving a detailed account of the battle. Read more »

One Who Survived

SEAMAN HEYN’S STORY
FROM THE NAVAL ARCHIVES OF WORLD WAR II

Day after day, the sun, the sea, and the sharks cut down the men who clung to the “doughnut” raft

 
Read more »