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USS Monaghan (DD-32) before the First World War

USS Monaghan (DD-32) before the First World War

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U.S. Destroyers: An Illustrated Design History, Norman Friedmann .The standard history of the development of American destroyers, from the earliest torpedo boat destroyers to the post-war fleet, and covering the massive classes of destroyers built for both World Wars. Gives the reader a good understanding of the debates that surrounded each class of destroyer and led to their individual features.

USS Monaghan (DD 354)

USS Monaghan during the Second World War

After her commission, USS Monaghan served in the Atlantic as a training ship. Then she was relocated to the Pacific, and on Dec 7, 1941, she was stationed in Pearl Harbor, she was about to join USS Ward in pursuing some unidentified submerged vessels (the attacking Japanese midget-subs) at the entrance of the harbor, when the first wave of aircraft stuck Oahu. She opened fire with her AA guns, then a lookout spotted a midget submarine inside the harbor. Monaghan rammed the sub, then finished it off with two depth charges. After the attack Monaghan left Pearl Harbor, escorting the Lexington to relieve Wake, but they were late, and had to turn back. On the way home while protecting the capital ship, with two other escorts Monaghan chased away and possibly damaged a Japanese submarine. Apart from a brief escort duty, she spent the rest of the spring in the task force around the Lexington.

At the Battle of the Coral Sea, the day before the major engagement Monaghan carried messages, keeping this way the radio silence, and missing out on the thick of the battle. With the loss of the Lexington, she was attached to the screen of the Enterprise. In the Battle of Midway she was ordered to save a downed pilot, when she came across the badly damaged Yorktown, and joined other escorts to prevent the Japanese to inflict further damage to the ship. However, one of Japan's most skilled sub-skippers, Cmdr Tanaka manages to sinks the Yorktown and the destroyer Hammann.

After the battle she was sent North, to the Aleutians, where in bad weather she collided with another vessel, forcing her into the repair dock. On 17 November, near the Fijis she suffered damage again, bending her propellers in shallow waters. After repairs she was sent again to the Aleutians, participating in the battle off Komandorski Islands. She spent the summer cruising around the Aleutians. On 20 June, she fought an unidentified foe, without seeing it, directing her fire solely based on information from the radar. 2 days later she pursued and attacked a submarine, wich ran aground in the shallow waters, and was abandoned. She was identified as the I-7. After she escorted convoys, then she was attached to three escort carriers, and took part in the invasion of Tarawa. The following months she fulfilled convoy escort duties, as well as screening task forces, engaged in landings like Kwajalein, Truk and Saipan.

USS Monaghan sinks during a typhoon on the 18 Dec, with two other destroyers, east of Samar, Philippines in position 14º57'N, 127º58'E. Only six of her crew were ever found by the destroyer USS Brown. Amongst the 257 crew who died was the Commanding officer Lt.Cdr. Floyd Bruce Garrett, USN). The six survivors were transferred to the hospital ship USS Solace on Christmas eve. They had been in the water for 4 days. All were treated for shock, exposure and dehydration otherwise in fair shape considering their experience.

Before her loss, USS Monaghan received 12 Battle Stars for her services.

Commands listed for USS Monaghan (DD 354)

Please note that we're still working on this section.

1Lt.Cdr. Daniel Fisher Worth, Jr., USN10 Jun 19385 Sep 1939 ( 1 )
2Kenmore Mathew McManes, USN5 Sep 19397 Jun 1940 ( 1 )
3Lt.Cdr. Nicholas Bauer van Bergen, USN7 Jun 194027 Sep 1941 ( 1 )
4Lt.Cdr. William Page Burford, USN27 Sep 19412 Feb 1943 ( 1 )
5T/Cdr. Peter Harry Horn, USN2 Feb 194321 Dec 1943 ( 1 )
6T/Lt.Cdr. Waldemar Frederick August Wendt, USN21 Dec 194330 Nov 1944 ( 1 )
7Lt.Cdr. Floyd Bruce Garrett, Jr., USN30 Nov 194418 Dec 1944 (+) ( 1 )

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Notable events involving Monaghan include:

Lt. Cmdr Garrett was Exec Officer on the USS Cowell (DD 547) in 1943 - 1944 prior to assuming command of the USS Monaghan. He served also as the ship's navigator, and as QM2C,I was fortunate to be assigned duty as his assistant and spent much time with him taking star sights, calculating our position, maintaining charts, etc. After being detached to take over command of the USS Monaghan, on his first cruise as Captain and sailing with a task force off the Philippines, his ship ran low on fuel during the onset of a typhoon. With the ballast pumped out in anticipation of refuelling, the ship was top heavy and could not handle the heavy waves and capsized, with the loss of its Captain and all but six hands of his crew. This tragic information was received on the USS Cowell shortly after the disaster, whose crew was greatly saddened by the unexpected loss of its former Executive Officer - a slender, short man but a seasoned naval officer who was much respected by the entire crew of the Cowell. ( 2 )

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From: The Lost Submarines of Pearl Harbor:

Much has been written about the construction, characteristics and equipment of the Type A kō-hyōteki. The description that follows is based on Japanese sources, the archival records from the disassembly and analysis of the midget submarines HA-14 and HA-21 in Australia, and HA-19 in the United States, and archaeological documentation of HA-8 in Groton, HA-30 at Kiska, the three-piece mini, and the mini sunk by USS Ward.

The story of the last battleship to see combat, ill-tempered USS Wisconsin

It was one of the largest warships ever built by the United States Navy- with enough firepower to level a city, a hand in.

It was one of the largest warships ever built by the United States Navy- with enough firepower to level a city, a hand in three armed conflicts and over six decades of service life.

Despite being part of a dying breed, the USS Wisconsin (known as “Wisky”), was a legend that stood out from many battleships, particularly when it came to dealing with incoming fire.

Named after the state of Wisconsin, Wisky was initially planned before the war, but would not be ready to go until Dec. 7, 1943, the second anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

A floating tub of armor bristling with cannons, the Wisconsin was equipped with nine 16-inch (406 mm)/50 cal Mark 7 guns, which could fire 2,700 lb (1,200 kg) armor-piercing shells hurtling some 20 miles across the land or sea, often with stunning accuracy. In addition to the Mark 7s, the ship also sported 20 5-inch (127 mm)/38 cal guns in ten twin turrets, which could fire at targets up to 10 miles away.

Coming into a world where air power was quickly becoming the dominant factor in sea combat, the Wisconsin had a defensive array of 20 and 40mm guns to ward off enemy planes. Later on in her life, she would be outfitted with Phalanx CIWS mounts for protection against enemy missiles and aircraft, as well as Armored Box Launchers and Quad Cell Launchers designed to fire Tomahawk missiles and Harpoon missiles at various surface targets.

Setting sail in September of 1944, the Wisconsin set sail from the East to West Coasts via the Panama Canal, eventually catching up with Admiral William F. Halsey’s 3rd Fleet on December 9.

On December 18, the Wisconsin the rest of Task Force 38 were caught by Typhoon Cobra, which swept over seven fleet carriers, six light carriers, eight battleships, 15 cruisers, and about 50 destroyers, all while they were attempting to refuel at sea. After a particularly harrowing battle against Mother Nature.

The storm was so vicious that three US Destroyers -the USS Hull, USS Monaghan, and USS Spence- capsized beneath the pounding waves, killing almost everyone aboard. Planes were swept off carrier decks, fires broke out on ships, and 10 vessels were seriously damaged.

By the time Cobra passed, 790 men were lost and 80 were injured. Despite having two sailors injured, the Wisconsin managed to power through the typhoon unscathed.

As the rest of TF38 recovered, the Wisconsin hungered for combat but was often stuck protecting carriers. However, there was good reason for this.

No small vessel, the Wisconsin measured 887 feet and 3 inches in length and 108 feet, 3 inches at the beam. It had a displacement of 45,000 tons and could reach relatively quick speeds in excess of 33 knots. Faster than any battleship the Japanese had, the Wisconsin was smaller than ships of similar class in the Japanese Imperial Navy, but could easily outrun them.

Already two battle stars in by the time the Battle for Iwo Jima took place, the Wisconsin’s guns finally got to sing with a frequency she desired, and would sing even more when the assault for Okinawa began. By the end of World War II, she would earn five battle stars, travel 105,831 miles, shoot down three enemy planes, assist in four shoot-downs, refuel 150 destroyers and take part in every sincle Pacific naval operation from December of 1944 onwards.

From the end of World War II until its first decommission in 1948, the Wisconsin would be used to train Naval Reservists. Once mothballed, it seemed Wisky was doomed to retire in peace and quiet.

Then, of course, the Korean War took place- and it would be in Korea that the world would learn just how tough the Wisconsin was.

Reactivated and deployed to Korea in October of 1951, the Wisconsin would provide seemingly constant bombardment until 1952.

It was in March of that year that the Wisconsin would sustain its one and only direct hit, a 155-millimeter shell that would strike the shield of a starboard-side 40mm gun mount.

In response, Wisky avenged her three injured crewmen with a salvo from her main guns, obliteratting the artillery piece and all around it.

Amused by the lopsided exchange, the USS Duncan is reported to have signaled a message to the Wisconsin: “Temper, Temper.”

Duking it out for a while longer, the Wisconsin was eventually withdrawn from Korea, earning a sixth battle star. In 1956, she would collide with the destroyer USS Eaton, resulting in major bow damage to both vessels.

A resourceful Lieutenant aboard the Eaton saved her by securing bow to stern with anchor chain, all while closing the watertight door beside his room.

The Wisconsin’s bow was heavily damaged and a necessary “graft” from the bow of the incomplete USS Kentucky was required, and took sixteen days to complete.

Going back into “mothball” status in 1958, the Wisconsin would sleep peacefully until the 1980s, when ane electrical fire would ravage her and leave her in dire condition.

Despite the damage caused by the fire, the Wisconsin would recover and eventually be reactivated in 1986, as part President Ronald Reagan’s effort to create a �-ship Navy.”

Modernized for a new age of combat, Wisky would participate during the 1991 Persian Gulf War, firing missiles and her big guns with such precision and fury that Iraqi troops surrendered to a drone launched by the ship, a first in the history of warfare.

The battleship USS WISCONSIN (BB-64) fires a round from one of the Mark 7 16-inch/50-caliber guns in turret No. 2 during Operation Desert Storm. The ship is firing at Iraqi targets in Kuwait.

Just prior to a cease-fire, Wisky fired the last naval gunfire support mission of the Gulf War, making her the last battleship in world history to see combat.

Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, the Wisconsin was retired for good and converted into a museum.

Despite being relegated to the role of living history, Wisky remains in a sort of silent readiness in Norfolk, VA, ready to go should the Navy ever need her guns to sing once more.

Japan’s Midget Submarine Attack on Pearl Harbor Was a Suicide Mission

On Dec. 7, 1941, the aircraft of the Imperial Japanese Navy rained devastation upon the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. But Japanese warplanes didn’t actually fire the first shots that brought America into a massive Pacific War.

An hour before the air attack, a squadron of tiny Japanese midget submarines attempted to slip into the harbor’s defenses, like burglars in the night, to wreak havoc on Battleship Row. Unlike the aerial assault, the sailors failed spectacularly — and the story is often forgotten.

By the 1930s, Imperial Japan and the United States were set on a collision course. Tokyo’s decision to invade China in 1931 and intensify its brutal campaign six years had provoked ultimately irrevocable tensions.

The United States responded to the incursion into China with increasing sanctions, culminating with an embargo on petroleum in July 1941 that crippled Japan’s economy. Japanese military leaders had wanted to capture the Dutch East Indies to secure its oil wealth, but knew it would trigger war with the Unites States.

While U.S.-Japanese negotiations came within striking distance of a peace agreement, Roosevelt was a hard bargainer, demanding Japan’s leaders order a complete withdrawal from China. They refused.

Thus, Japanese Adm. Yamamoto began planning for a “short victorious war.” The key to this idea was knocking out the battleships of the U.S. Pacific fleet at their home base of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to buy the Japanese Army time to complete the conquest of the Western Pacific.

Althought a massive air strike from a Japanese carrier task force would constitute the main attack, the Navy coordinated the undersea assault using midget submarines.

During World War II, Japan, England, Italy and Germany all employed midget submarines to stealthily infiltrate shallow, defended harbors and attack vulnerable capital ships. The Japanese Navy’s midget submarines had hidden their developments by calling the ships Type A Kō-hyōteki , or “Target A”

Japanese officials hoped the designation would deceive foreign analysts into believing the 78-feet long submarines were actually mock ships for naval gunnery practice. In reality, each of the 46-ton subs had a crew of two and was armed with two 450-millimeter Type 97 torpedoes with 800 pound warheads.

The little submarines could sprint up to 26 miles per hour submerged, but could not dive deeper than 100 meters. More importantly, the Type As had no engine and ran purely on batteries.

This gave the diminutive vessels a maximum endurance of 12 hours at speeds of 6 miles per hour. The subs often ran out of power much faster in real combat.

As a result, a larger submarine mothership had to bring the Type As close to the target area. Even so, the battery limitations made it unlikely the midget sub could make it back to safety. Each one had a 300-pound scuttling charge as a self-destruct device.

Just getting to the target area was difficult enough. Since the small boats were difficult to control even while swimming in a straight line, crews had to manually move lead weights backwards and forwards to stabilize the vessel.

With these obvious issues, on Oct. 19, 1941, the Japanese Navy began modifying five Type A subs with improved pneumatic steering devices, as well as net-cutters and guards for fending off anti-submarine nets. Workers at the Kure Naval District painted over the submarine’s running lights to help hide them from enemy spotters.

Afterwards the midgets went to the Kamegakubi Naval Proving Ground and crews loaded them onto the backs of five large Type C-1 submarines, the I-16, I-18, I-20, I-22 and I-24. On Nov. 25, 1941, The motherships set sail for Pearl Harbor.

While on route, the so-called “Special Attack Unit” received the coded message “Climb Mount Niitaka 1208.” This meant authorities in Tokyo had not found a diplomatic solution and signaled the go-ahead for the Pearl Harbor attack.

On Dec. 6, 1941, the C-1s swam to points within 12 miles of Pearl Harbor. Then, between the hours of midnight and 3:30 A.M. the next day, the ships released their deadly payloads.

For the crews, getting inside Pearl Harbor posed a serious challenge. Ships could only enter the port through a 65 foot-deep channel guarded by an anti-submarine net 35 feet deep.

Boats on either side of the nets tugged them apart to allow friendly boats to pass through. On top of that, American destroyers prowled in a five mile arc around the harbor entrance, assisted by watchful eyes on orbiting PBY Catalina maritime patrol planes.

On paper, the Japanese intended for the submarine attack to work like a well-planned heist. The midget subs would sneak in by following American ships passing through openings in the anti-submarine net.

Then the subs would lay low until the air attack sowed chaos throughout the harbor, at which point they would unleash their torpedoes at any American battleships that survived the bombing. Afterwards, the midget subs would slip away to Hawaii’s Lanai Island.

The submarines I-68 and I-69 would wait no more than 24 hours to pick up any surviving crew. The Japanese did not plan to recover the Type As themselves.

If everything worked out right, American officials would only receive the Japanese declaration of hostilities mere moments before the attack commenced. However, things didn’t go according to plan.

Just before 4:00 A.M., the minesweeper USS Condor spotted the periscope of the midget submarine Ha-20 and called over the destroyer USS Ward to search the area.

Just over an hour and a half later, crew aboard the Ward spotted a periscope in the wake of the cargo ship Antares as it passed through the anti-submarines nets. While a PBY Catalina patrol plane dropped smoke markers near the sub’s position, the Ward charged the sub.

Gunners fired two shots from the ship’s 4-inch main gun at less than 100 meters and followed up with four depth charges. The Type A vanished into the water.

The destroyer USS ‘Ward,’ which fired the first shots by U.S. forces in World War II. U.S. Navy photo

Depending on if you taking into account American actions in the Atlantic while the country was still technically neutral, these were the first shots fired in anger by U.S. forces in World War II. In 2002, a research submersible located the remains of Ha-20 and found Ward’s shells had struck the conning tower, killing the crew.

As the destroyer USS Monaghan joined Ward in searching for additional subs, the first of a total of 353 Japanese warplanes began their attack. Torpedoes slammed into the battleships sitting motionless at their docks while armor-piercing bombs plunged through deck armor.

By then, Japanese Navy Lt. Iwasa Naoji and the Ha-22 had made it inside Pearl Harbor and launched its first torpedo at the seaplane tender USS Curtiss. The projectile missed the mark, blowing up the dock behind the American ship.

Curtiss and the nearby tender USS Tangier returned fire with their 5-inch main guns, scoring at least one direct hit. From the decks, U.S. sailors raked the sub’s hull with .50 caliber machineguns.

At 8:45 A.M., the Monaghan’s captain sighted the sub as well and gave the order to ram it. Instead of fleeing, the iron-nerved Iwasa swung his sub around and fired his remaining torpedo at the charging destroyer — and missed by just 20 yards, passing parallel to Monaghan’s hull.

The destroyer slammed into the now unarmed submarine and unloaded depth charges for a good measure. The back blast from the depth charges thrust the destroyer’s bow out of the water and propelled it out of control into a collision with a nearby derrick.

Meanwhile, Japanese Navy Ensign Kazuo Sakamaki and Chief Warrant Officer Kiryoshi Inagaki had piloted Ha-19 right into trouble. Suffering from a broken compass, the two sailors repeatedly struck the coral reefs surrounding Pearl Harbor and eventually grounded the ship on the entrance to the bay.

A quarter-hour later the destroyer USS Helm spotted the Type A and opened fire — inadvertently blasting the sub free from the reef. The unfortunate sub managed to dodge a second attack from the American ship before grounding itself two more times on the reefs.

Ha-18 recovered by USS ‘Current’ off of the Keehi lagoon in 1960. U.S. Navy Photo.

Taking on sea water caused the batteries to spew out deadly chlorine gas. A depth charge attack finally knocked out the periscope and disabled the midget submarine’s remaining undamaged torpedo.

Sakamaki decided to try and sail their stricken craft back to the mothership. He and Inagaki passed out as the choking gasses filling the inside of their ship.

The two managed to regain consciousness in the evening and decided to ground their sub near the town of Waimānalo to the east. However, they crashed on yet another reef.

A patrolling PBY bomber dropped depth charges on the crippled submarine. Sakamaki decided to abandon ship and attempted to detonate the scuttling charge — but even the ship’s self-destruct device failed to work.

Sakamaki succeeded in swimming ashore and promptly fell unconscious. His crewmate drowned.

The following morning, Hawaiian soldier David Akui captured the Japanese sailor. The first Japanese prisoner of war of World War II, Sakamaki refused to cooperate during his interrogation, requesting that he be executed or allowed to commit suicide.

The Japanese military became aware of his capture, but officially claimed that all of the submarine crews had been lost in action. A memorial to the Special Attack Unit omitted his name.

The crew of Ha-18 abandoned ship without firing either of their torpedoes after falling victim to a depth charge attack. Nineteen years later, the U.S. Navy recovered the sub from the floor of Hawaii’s Keehi Lagoon and ultimately shipped it off for display at the Japanese Naval Academy at Etajima.

The fate of the fifth submarine, Ha-16, remains controversial. At 10:40 P.M., the crew of the I-16 intercepted a radio message that appeared to repeat the word “Success!” A few hours later, they received a second transmission: “Unable to navigate.”

The belief was that Ha-16 transmitted these alerts. In 2009, a Nova documentary crew identified three parts of the midget submarine in a navy salvage pile off of West Loch, Hawaii.

A popular belief is that Ha-16 successfully entered the harbor and fired off its torpedoes. Then the crew slipped out and scuttled the sub off of West Loch island before perishing of unknown causes.

U.S. Navy salvage teams probably later scooped up the sub amidst the wreckage of six landing craft destroyed in the West Loch disaster of 1944. They then proceeded to dump the whole pile of debris further out at sea.

That no one ever found the Ha-16’s torpedoes gave rise to the theory that the midget submarine might have successfully torpedoed the battleship USS Oklahoma. The USS West Virginia was another possible target.

A photo taken from an attacking Japanese torpedo bomber at 8:00 A.M., which appears to show torpedo trails lancing towards Oklahoma without a corresponding splash from an air-dropped weapon added more weight to the idea. In addition, the damage to the Oklahoma, and the fact that it capsized, suggested to some it was struck by a tiny sub’s heavier torpedoes.

Ha-19 on display at Mare Island. US Navy Photo.

However, this theory is dubious. The Oklahoma capsized because all the hatches were open for an inspection at the time of the attack. The heavy damage can be explained by the more than a half-dozen air-dropped torpedoes that hit the ship.

It is more likely Ha-16 launched the torpedoes at another vessel. At 10:04 A.M., the light cruiser USS St. Louis reported it had taken fire from submarine, but both torpedoes missed.

In the end, the air attack accomplished what the midget submarines could not. Japan’s naval aviators sank three U.S. battleships, crippling another five, blasted 188 U.S. warplanes — most sitting on the ground — and killed 2,403 Americans, including service members and civilians.

Unfortunately for officials in Tokyo, the Japanese Navy had struck a powerful blow, but not a crippling one. The bombardment failed to hit the repair facilities and fuel depots, which allowed the U.S. Pacific fleet to get back on its feet relatively quickly.

Just as importantly, not a single U.S. aircraft carrier was in Pearl Harbor at the time. The flattops would swiftly prove their dominance over battleships in the coming Pacific War.

Despite the debacle, the Japanese Navy continued sending Kō-hyōteki into combat. As at Pearl Harbor, the submariners in their tiny ships had very limited successes in operations from Australia to Alaska to Madagascar.

War World II’s Pacific theater consumed many of the survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack. The Japanese lost all five of the Japanese Type C submarines that transported the Special Attack Unit in action. The destroyer Ward, which fired the first American shot of World War II, sank in December 1944 after kamikaze attack off of Leyte Gulf in The Philippines.

The same month, the destroyer Monaghan capsized in the devastating Typhoon Cobra in the Philippine Sea. All but six sailors died.

David Akui, who captured of the first Japanese POW, went on to serve with Merill’s Marauders in Burma, a storied U.S. Army unit that eventually lent its history to the famous 75th Ranger Regiment. He survived the war.

So did Kazuo Sakamaki. Despite suffering from both his own guilt over his capture and an at times hostile reception in Japan after the war, he went onto become an executive for Toyota and eventually wrote the memoir I Attacked Pearl Harbor.

As for Ha-19, the U.S. military grabbed the wreck during World War II and took it on a drive across the United States to encourage Americans to buy war bonds. Today, it resides in the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg, Texas.

On the 50th anniversary of the attack, Sakamaki finally reunited with his ship while he was attending a conference. The sole survivor of his unit, he was moved to tears.

USS Monaghan (DD-32) before the First World War - History

Historical Sketch of USS Monaghan (DD-354)

Named for Ensign John R. Monaghan, (1873-1899) who was killed in action against natives in Samoa, standing steadfastly by his wounded superior, Lieutenant Lonsdale, against a score of attackers. The second to bear the name, Monaghan (DD-354) was commissioned 19 April 1935. Thereafter, she operated primarily in the North Atlantic.

On 7 December 1941, however, Monaghan was ready duty destroyer in Pearl Harbor, and at 0751 was ordered to join Ward , who had just sunk an unidentified submarine off the entrance to Pearl Harbor. Four minutes later, before Monaghan could get underway, the Japanese air attack began. Monaghan opened fire, and at 0827 was underway to join Ward when notified of the presence of a midget submarine in the harbor. Monaghan headed for the trespasser, rammed and then sank the submarine with two depth charges. She headed on out of the harbor to patrol offshore for the next week and then joined Lexington in an unsuccessful attempt to relieve doomed Wake Island.

Monaghan's first major action came 7 May, when U.S. naval forces successfully threw back a Japanese fleet, including several transports guarded by the light carrier Shoho that was attempting to enter the Coral Sea. In early June she participated in the critical battle of the Pacific War, the Battle of Midway. Through the first 2 days of the battle, Monaghan screened Enterprise (CV-6). Then, on the evening of 5 June, she joined the group of destroyers struggling unsuccessfully to save the badly damaged aircraft carrier Yorktown, and guard her from further damage.

Monaghan served in the Aleutians, Gilberts and Marshall Islands operations, during which she guarded the carriers. From 13 April to 4 May 1943, she covered the Hollandia landings, and struck at Satawan, Truk, Ponape, and Saipan. On 11 November 1944 Monaghan served as escort for three fleet oilers bound for a rendezvous 17 December 1944 with TF 38, whose planes had been attacking central Luzon in support of the Mindoro invasion. The fueling day was the first of the great typhoon that struck the 3d Fleet and claimed 790 seamen and sank three destroyers, including the Monaghan. Six survivors, rescued after drifting on a raft for 3 days, reported that Monaghan took roll after roll to starboard, before finally going over. The tragedy, Admiral Nimitz said, "represented a more crippling blow to the 3d Fleet than it might be expected to suffer in anything less than a major action." Veteran of so many actions against a human enemy, Monaghan fell victim to the sailor's oldest enemy, the perils of the sea. Monaghan received 12 battle stars for her World War II service.

Update to 30 April 2016 at HistoryofWar.org: US Interwar tanks Ancient Greece USAAF Fighter Groups, French campaign of 1814, Monaghan class destroyers, Ago aircraft of the First World War

Welcome to our somewhat belated April update. This month we look at a series of US medium tanks of the 1920s and early 1930s, largely developmental models. In Ancient Greece we look at some of the Spartan battles during their period of dominance, as well as the leaders Lysander, who played a crucial role in the rise of Sparta, and the Theban Pelopidas, who was equally important in her fall. In the air we begin a short series on Ago aircraft of the First World War, mainly covering reconnaissance aircraft as well as the S.I ground attack aircraft, and we continue our series on USAAF fighter groups. At sea we move on to the Monaghan class destroyers, which played their part in the anti-submarine campaign of the First World War. Finally we look at the battles of Napoleon's 'Six Day's Campaign' of 1814 and the victories against the Austrians that followed soon afterwards. We also include a new selection of book reviews.

US Interwar Tanks

The Christie M1928 was the first armoured vehicle to use the famous 'Christie suspension', and was thus the origin of a large number of later tanks.

The Christie M1931/ Medium Tank T3/ Combat Car T1 was the first of Christie's tanks to be accepted for production by the US Army, and was used in small numbers by the infantry at the Medium Tank T3 and the cavalry as the Combat Car T1.

The Christie Medium Tank M1919 was designed in an attempt to produce a tank that could operate on wheels or tracks, in order to reduce the number of vehicles breaking down before getting into action.

The Christie Medium Tank M1921 was a greatly modified version of the earlier Christie Medium Tank M1919, and was a turretless tank designed to be operate with or without its tracks.

The Medium Tank M1921 (Medium A) was the first new tank design to be built by the US Ordnance department after the First World War, and suffered from a lack of engine power.

The Medium Tank M1922 was a variant of the earlier M1921 adapted to use an experimental cable suspension system.

Lysander (d.395 BC) was a Spartan general who was largely responsible for the Athenian defeat in the Great Peloponnesian War, but whose harsh rule helped to trigger a series of revolts against Spartan authority that eventually triggered the Corinthian War and played a part in the decline of Sparta.

Pelopidas (d.364 BC) was one of the main Theban leaders during his city's brief period of dominance in Greece, after playing a major role in freeing his city from Spartan rule in 379 BC.

The siege of Mantinea (385 BC) saw the Spartans take advantage of their dominant position in Greece after the end of the Corinthian War to attack one of their long standing local rivals and a half-hearted ally in the recent war.

The siege of Phlius (381-380/379 BC) saw the Spartans besiege one of their allies in order to restore the rights of a group of exiled oligarchs, one of a series of heavy handed Spartans interventions in the internal affairs of other Greek cities that came in the aftermath of the end of the Corinthian War.

The Olynthian-Spartan War (382-379 BC) saw the Spartans intervene in northern Greece in an attempt to limit the power of the Chalcidian League.

The battle of Olynthus (382 BC) was a near defeat for a Spartan army that had been sent north to more vigorously conduct the war against Olynthus that had begun earlier in the same year.

German First World War Aircraft

The Ago C.I was a twin-boomed pusher observation aircraft that was the first C-type aircraft to enter service, and that was a moderate success.

The Ago C.II was a development of the successful Ago C.I twin-boom pusher, and was produced in several different versions.

The Ago C.III was a smaller version of the Ago C.I twin boom pusher reconnaissance aircraft.

The Ago C.IV was an armed reconnaissance aircraft with unusual tapered wings that entered production in 1916 but that was unpopular with its crews and was only produced in small numbers.

The Ago C.VII was a modified version of the unsuccessful Ago C.IV reconnaissance aircraft, with a number of structural improvements.

The Ago C.VIII was a modified version of the unsuccessful Ago C.IV, but with a modified tail and a more powerful 260hp Mercedes D.IVa engine.

The Ago S.I was a single seat ground attack aircraft that was still under development at the end of the First World War.

The Monaghan Class Destroyers were a virtual repeat of the previous Paulding class, but with Thornycroft boilers in place of the Normand boilers used in the previous class.

USS Monaghan (DD-32) was the name ship of the Monaghan class of destroyers. She served off the US East Coast and then from Europe during the First World War, and with the Coast Guard in the 1920s.

USS Trippe (DD-33) was a Monaghan class destroyer that took part in the intervention in Mexico in 1914, then operated from Queenstown during 1917-18 before finishing her active career with the Coast Guard in the late 1920s.

USS Walke (DD-34) was a Monaghan class destroyer that served during the US interventions in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, from Queenstown during 1917 and off the US East Coast during 1918

USS Ammen (DD-35) was a Monaghan class destroyer that took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914 and was then based at Queenstown, Ireland, during 1917-18. In the 1920s she served with the 'Rum Patrol', before being sold for scrap in 1934.

USS Patterson (DD-36) was a Monaghan class destroyer that took part in the US intervention in Mexico in 1914, was based at Queenstwon for almost a year from June 1917, then operated with a hunter-killed antisubmarine group off the US east coast. After the was she spent several years operating with the US Coast Guard.

Napoleonic Wars - France 1814

The battle of Champaubert (10 February 1814) was the first significant French success during the campaign of 1814, and saw Napoleon defeat an isolated Russian division at the start of his impressive 'Six Day's Campaign'.

The battle of Montmirail (11 February 1814) was the second of Napoleon's victories during the Six Days Campaign, and saw him prevent the westernmost part of Marshal Blucher's fighting its way east to rejoin the main army.

The battle of Chateau-Thierry (12 February 1814) was one of the great missed chances during Napoleon's defence of France in 1814, but was also a French victory that forced Marshal Blucher to retreat east away from Paris.

The battle of Vauchamps (14 February 1814) was the last French victory during Napoleon's 'Six Days campaign', and saw the French defeat Blucher's attempt to block their path south towards Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia, which was advancing on the Seine front.

The engagement of Mormant (17 February 1814) saw the French defeat part of the Allied cavalry at the start of Napoleon's most effective attack on Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia during the campaign of 1814.

The engagement of Valjouen (17 February 1814) was the second of two French victories on the same day that caught Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia just as it was preparing to retreat to avoid being caught by Napoleon.

The 362nd Fighter Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force, and took part in the D-Day invasion, the advance across France, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

The 363rd Fighter Group/ 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group (USAAF) served with the Ninth Air Force, changing role half way thorough the campaign in north-western Europe.

The 365th Fighter Group served with the Ninth Air Force, taking part in the D-Day campaign, the advance across France, Operation Market Garden, the battle of the Bulge and the invasion of Germany.

French Warships in the Age of Sail 1786-1861, Rif Winfield & Stephen S. Roberts .
An impressive reference work covering the last major wars of the age of sail, the early years of steam power and the introduction of the Ironclad. Focuses on the design, construction and statistics of the warships, with a brief service history and a look at their fates (often to be captured by the Royal Navy in the earlier part of the book).
[read full review]

Marching to the Sound of Gunfire - North-West Europe 1944-1945, Patrick Delaforce .
Contains hundreds of short first-hands accounts that illustrate aspects of the British Army's battles between D-Day and the end of the Second World War in Europe. Most useful if you are already familiar with the events being described, in which case it helps put the human face on these battles. Also includes a number of passages written by the author himself, who served as a junior officer during the campaign.
[read full review]

Dawn of the Horse Warriors - Chariot and Cavalry Warfare 3000-600BC, Duncan Noble.
Looks at the history of chariot warfare in the pre-classical world, a period in which chariots were found across a vast area stretching from the edges of the Greek world south to Egypt and all the way to China. Written by an experimental archaeologist who has been involved with reconstructing chariots, and so combines a good use of the ancient sources with an understanding of what was actually possible.
[read full review]

Ghosts of the ETO - American Tactical Deception Units in the European Theatre, 1944-1945, Jonathan Gawne.
Mainly looks at the tactical deception unit committed to the fighting in north-western Europe in 1944-45, with a brief look at the second unit sent to Greece. Includes detailed accounts of each of their missions, with an analysis of the lessons learned and the possible impact on the Germans.
[read full review]

Bushmen Soldiers: The History of 31, 201 & 203 Battalions during the Border War 1974-90, Ian Uys.
Looks at the history of two battalions of Bushmen soldiers who served with the South Africans during the Border War in Namibia/ South West Africa, after fleeing Angola at the end of Portuguese rule. Somewhat uneven in place, and in need of more background material, this is still an interesting account of a fascinating unit and its men.
[read full review]

Trail of Hope - The Anders Army, an Odyssey across Three Continents, Norman Davies.
Looks at the epic journey of the Poles who formed the 'Anders Army', a journey that began with brutal exile inside the Soviet Union, the formation of Polish military units after the German attack on the Soviet Union, the move out of Russia and into British hands, the eventual commitment to combat in Poland and the crushing disappointment at the end of the war.
[read full review]

Aircraft Wrecks The Walker's Guide - Historic Crash Sites on the Moors and Mountains of the British Islands, Nick Wotherspoon, Alan Clark & Mark Sheldon .
Focuses on sites where there is still something to be found, mainly on areas with public access, spread out across the high ground of Britain and Ireland. Includes accounts of the causes of the crash, the fate of the crew and their passengers, descriptions of the location of the crash sites and what will be found on them.
[read full review]

Luftwaffe Mistel Composite Bomber Units, Robert Forsyth .
Starts with a brief look at the pre-war origins of the idea of guiding one aircraft from another one mounted above it, before moving on to the German development of this into a potentially potent weapon, and finishing with a detailed account of the very limited impact the Mistel weapons actually had in combat (so typical of German wartime weapons programmes).
[read full review]

RHNS Averoff - Thunder in the Aegean, John Carr.
An unusual ship history in that for most of her existence the Averoff had little military role, but was instead involved in the woeful series of military coups that so blighted Greece. The first half covers the main part of her active military career, and in particular the First Balkan War, the second the period when her officers and crew was more involved in politics than naval matters.
[read full review]

Alaska at War, 1941-1945

 Dean C. Allard            Naval Views on the North Pacific before and during the World War IIWilliam A. Jacobs            American National Strategy in the Asian and Pacific WarM.V. Bezeau

Strategic Cooperation: The Canadian Commitment to the Defense of Alaska in the Second World War

 B.B. Talley and Virginia  M. Talley            Building Alaska&rsquos Defenses in World War IIAdmiral James Russell            Recollections of Dutch Harbor, Attu, and Kiska in World War IIWilliam S. Hanable            Theobald RevisitedFern Chandonnet            The Recapture of AttuAlastair Neely            The First Special Service Force and Canadian Involvement at KiskaGalen R. Perras

Canada&rsquos Greenlight force and the Invasion of Kiska, 1943

 Zachary Irwin            Search and Rescue in the Air Transport Command, 1943-1945Chris Wooley and Mike Martz            The Tundra Army: Patriots of Arctic AlaskaRay Hudson            Aleuts in Defense of their Homeland 

Roadside Development along the Alaska Highway: The Impact of World War II on Military Construction on the Alaska Highway Corridor


 David A. Hales            World War II in Alaska: A View from the Diaries of Ernest GrueningStephen W. Haycox            Mining the Federal Government: The War and the All-American CityBob King            The Salmon Industry at WarMichael Burwell            The SS &ldquoNorthwestern&rdquo: The Ship that Always Came BackFrank Norris

Hollywood, Alaska, and Politics: The Impact of World War II on Films about the North Country

W. Connor Sorensen            The Civilian Conservation Corp in Alaska and National PreparednessHelen Butcher            My Alaska War Years, 1941-1946Gaye L. Goerig            The Civilian Population&mdashSeldoviaTimothy Rawson            World War II through &ldquoThe Alaska Sportsman&rdquo MagazineRonald K. Inouye

For Immediate Sale: Tokyo Bathhouse&mdashHow World War II Affected Alaska&rsquos Japanese Civilians


 Lael Morgan            Race Relations and the Contributions of Minority Troops in AlaskaCharles Hendricks            A Challenge to the Status Quo?Sylvia K. Kobayashi            I Remember What I Want to Forget


 Dean Kohlhoff            &lsquoIt Only Makes My Heart Want to Cry&rsquo: How Aleuts Faced the Pain of Evacuation            The Politics of RestitutionHenry Steward            Aleuts in Japan, 1942-1945Marie Matsuno Nash, Office of Sen. Stevens            An Alaskan Who Was Interned Introduces Remarks by Senator Ted StevensFlore Lekanof Sr.            Aleut Evacuation: Effect on the People 

 Larry Murphy and Daniel Lenihan            Underwater Archeology of the World War II Aleutian CampaignCharles E. Diters

Attu and Kiska, 2043: How Much of the Past Can the Present Save for the Future?

Linda Cook            The Landscape of a Landmark: Strategies for PreservationBarbara S. Smith            Making it Right: Restitution for Aleut Churches Damaged in World War IIJack E. Sinclair

Turning the Forgotten into the Remembered: The making of Caines Head State Recreation Area

Right Before your Eyes: Finding Alaska&rsquos World War II Records in the National Archives

Northern Shield and Drawn Arrow: Alaska&rsquos Role in Air ForceReconnaissance Efforts, 1946-1948

Janice Reeve Ogle            The Air Route Nobody Wanted: Reeve Aleutian AirwaysLeo J. Hannan

A Legacy of World Warf II: Alaska Territorial Guard/Alaska State Guard

Other Pacific operations [ edit | edit source ]

After the victory, the force returned to Pearl Harbor on 13 June. Monaghan was sent north to aid in countering the Japanese threat in the Aleutians. Damaged by collision in the heavy northern fog, Monaghan repaired at Dutch Harbor and Pearl Harbor, then escorted a convoy to the west coast en route to the Mare Island Naval Shipyard at Vallejo, CA for a repair period. Monaghan returned to the South Pacific at Nandi, Fiji, 17 November. In the harbor of Nouméa she bent her propellers on an underwater obstruction, and had to return to Pearl Harbor on her hastily replaced port screw for permanent repairs, completed 21 February 1943.

Once more in the Aleutians, Monaghan joined TG 16.69 a scouting force built around cruisers Richmond and Salt Lake City. On 26 March this group engaged the Japanese in the Battle of the Komandorski Islands. Although outnumbered, the Americans fired guns and torpedoes so effectively that the Japanese were driven away. Patrol and occasional shore bombardment missions throughout the Aleutians, along with escort missions, continued through the summer. Highlights were a radar-directed surface engagement with an unidentified target 20 June, and a chase of a Japanese submarine two days later that resulted with the submarine being driven up on rocks and abandoned. She was later identified as Japanese submarine I-7, engaged in evacuating troops from Kiska.

After escort duty to Pearl Harbor and San Francisco, Monaghan sailed to San Pedro, California, to escort three new escort carriers to the Gilbert Islands operation, for which they sailed from Espiritu Santo 13 November. The escort carriers launched their planes against shore targets and protected convoys offshore through the invasion of Tarawa. Returning to the west coast on escort duty, Monaghan rejoined the escort carriers after extensive exercises out of San Diego, California, and prepared for the invasion of the Marshalls, during which she guarded the carriers northwest of Roi as they flew air support and strikes for the landings there. On 7 February 1944 she entered Majuro, then escorted Pennsylvania to Kwajalein, where she joined the transport screen for the capture of Eniwetok. On the night of 21/22 February, she joined in an all-night bombardment on Parry Island, then spent a month on patrol and escort duty in the Marshalls.

On 22 March Monaghan put to sea in the antisubmarine screen for the fast carriers, bound for strikes on Palau, Woleai, and Yap, returning to Majuro 6 April. The next sortie, 13 April to 4 May, was to cover the Hollandia landings, and strike at Satawan, Truk, and Ponape. After preparing at Majuro, the force now sailed for the invasion of Saipan, against which the first strikes were flown 11 June. While the fliers of TF 58 soundly defeated the Japanese in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, Monaghan's group patrolled off Saipan guarding against a possible breakthrough by the enemy. They next steamed to Eniwetok to prepare for the assault on Guam, for which they sailed 14 July, Monaghan again in the antisubmarine screen protecting the carriers. Assigned to cover the work of underwater demolition teams off Agat on the night of 17/18 July, Monaghan furnished harassing fire until daylight, firing again on the island during the early morning of 19 June. She continued bombardment and screening missions until 25 July when she sailed for Pearl Harbor, and an overhaul at Puget Sound.

Statue honors naval officer

Landmarks is a regular feature about historic sites, buildings and monuments that often go unnoticed – signposts for our local history that tell a little bit about us and the region's development.

If you have a suggestion for the Landmarks column, contact Stefanie Pettit at [email protected]

One of Spokane’s largest downtown statues stands as a century-old testament to the community’s strong connections to the U.S. Navy.

On a small island at the intersection of Monroe Street and Riverside Avenue, between the Spokane Athletic Club and the U.S. Courthouse, stands the statue of John Robert Monaghan, a Navy ensign who gave his life to help a fallen comrade.

Monaghan was born in Chewelah, Wash., in 1873. The son of regional pioneer James Monaghan, he was among the first students in 1887 to enroll in the newly founded Gonzaga College in Spokane. (The family home on east Boone Street now serves as Gonzaga University’s music building.) John Robert Monaghan has the honor of being the first person from Washington state to graduate from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md., in 1895.

First dispatched to the cruiser Olympia, flagship of the U.S. Asiatic Station, he then served on the monitor USS Monadnock and gunboat USS Alert along the west coast of the Americas.

He was assigned in 1899 to the battleship USS Philadelphia, which was sent to the Samoan Islands, where rival chieftains were engaged in combat.

Monaghan was part of a unit of American, British and Samoan forces that came under attack by another Samoan group on shore near Apia.

When the ship’s executive officer, Lt. Philip Van Horne Lansdale, was wounded during the retreat, Monaghan remained behind and tried to protect him. But they were overrun and killed on April 1, 1899.

In autumn 1906, the statue honoring Monaghan was unveiled in downtown Spokane, with a reported crowd of 10,000 on hand.

The plaque reads: “During the retreat of the allied forces from the deadly fire and overwhelming numbers of the savage foe, he alone stood the fearful onslaught and sacrificed his life defending a wounded comrade, Lt. Philip V. Lansdale, U.S. Navy.”

On the east side of the pedestal is a bronze bas-relief depiction of the battle, titled “The Death of Monaghan,” by sculptor A. Asbjornsen and cast by the American Bronze Foundry Co. in Chicago.

Two Navy ships have been named for Monaghan.

The first one, in 1911, the USS Monaghan (DD-32), a modified Paulding-class destroyer, served in World War I. It was assigned later to the Coast Guard, operating out of New London, Conn., and Boston, enforcing prohibition laws against rum-running vessels. It was sold in 1934 and scrapped.

The second USS Monaghan (DD-354) was a Farragut-class destroyer that went to sea in 1935 and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. The vessel fought in several key battles of World War II, including the battle of Midway, then foundered off the Philippines during a typhoon in December 1944. Only six sailors survived.

In addition, one of the eight silver panels on the Spokane Naval Trophy contains an engraved representation of Monaghan. The trophy is awarded annually to the Pacific Fleet surface ship that demonstrates overall excellence in warfare readiness (see the Aug. 23 Landmarks column).

While two ships bore John Robert Monaghan’s name, three naval ships were named for Lansdale, who was a native of that other Washington – Washington, D.C.

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Watch the video: USS Monaghan (July 2022).


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