December 28, 1942 The U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Northwind, which would have an eventful career under various names and in the service of different nations as well as military branches, was launched just after noontime at Western Pipe & Steel Corporation’s shipyard in the Los Angeles community of San Pedro. Mrs. R.B. Lank, the... Continue Reading →

During World War II, a unique and far-flung reserve force of volunteers under the command of the U.S. Army took shape in the then-U.S. territory of Alaska. The Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG) was established in 1942 in response to both the attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and the occupation of parts of Alaska by... Continue Reading →

Joseph Tezanos was born in the city of Santander in Spain in 1920. At an early age, he moved with his parents to the United States and grew up in western New York. After graduating from high school, Tezanos found work as a crane operator at the Bethlehem Steel Corporation’s plant in Lackawanna, New York.... Continue Reading →

June 22, 1927 The ocean liner SS Île de France embarked on her maiden voyage from the French port of Le Havre to New York City by way of the then-town of Plymouth, England. Those on board for this transatlantic journey included Myron T. Herrick, U.S. ambassador to France and a former governor of Ohio;... Continue Reading →

Aviation pioneer Ben Kuroki was born in Gothenburg, Nebraska. His parents were Japanese immigrants. Kuroki grew up in the Cornhusker State, graduating from high school in 1936. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Kuroki’s father encouraged both him and his brother Fred to join the U.S. military. The brothers were turned down... Continue Reading →

Influential novelist and short story writer Ernest Hemingway acquired a 38-foot (12-meter) boat that would become an important part of his life and legacy. The boat had been constructed by Wheeler Shipbuilding of Brooklyn, New York, at the company’s Coney Island yard. Hemingway, who paid $7,495 for the customized boat, assumed ownership of the vessel in... Continue Reading →

The twin-screw turbine steamer SS Ben-my-Chree was launched at North West England’s Cammell Laird shipyard, where she had been constructed. The steamer was the fourth Cammell Laird vessel to be named Ben-my-Chree, which means “girl of my heart” in the Manx language that is native to that region’s Isle of Man. This latest version of... Continue Reading →

[Unfortunately, no pictures of HMSAS Africana exist.] After several years of military service that included life-saving actions during World War II, HMSAS (His Majesty’s South African Ship) Africana was decommissioned. The ship, which was launched in 1930, spent most of her existence as a South African vessel at a time when the country had semi-independent... Continue Reading →

Margaret “Maggie” Gee became an aviation pioneer during World War II when she was one of only two Chinese-Americans to serve in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). The organization, which was formed in August 1943 from both the Women’s Auxiliary Flying Training Detachment and Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron, consisted of female pilots who performed... Continue Reading →

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