In the early part of 1942 – not long after the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allies -- the Kaiser Shipbuilding Company established an emergency shipyard along the Columbia River in Vancouver, Washington, to construct vessels for the global fight against the Axis powers. The Vancouver Shipyard started out... Continue Reading →

March 14, 1918 The first seagoing American ship made out of concrete was introduced. This ship, a steamer called SS Faith, was launched from Redwood City, California. Concrete ships had been around since 1848, when one was built in France. In addition, the first ocean-worthy vessel of that type made her debut in Norway in 1917. SS... Continue Reading →

February 4, 1883 Stephen Latchford, a U.S. diplomat who became one of his country’s foremost authorities on aviation law and a key influence when it came to that mode of transportation, was born in Annapolis Junction, Maryland. Perhaps Latchford’s birth in a community that owed its name to being a rail junction presaged a transportation-themed career... Continue Reading →

January 12, 1933 The ocean liner SS Lurline left New York City for her maiden voyage. She subsequently traveled to San Francisco via the Panama Canal and then to Sydney, Australia, and other ports in that region of the world.  This luxurious ship was the third Matson Lines vessel named Lurline. She also had the... Continue Reading →

December 16, 1944 The transport ship USS Queens (APA-103), which had been named after one of New York City’s five boroughs, was commissioned for service in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Captain John J. Mockrish of the U.S. Navy Reserve became the first commanding officer of this vessel. After a period of testing... Continue Reading →

December 7, 1941 Without a formal declaration of war or any other explicit warning, the Empire of Japan attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in what was then the Territory of Hawaii. The Japanese Imperial Navy’s surprise strike left in its wake a staggering number of deaths and injuries – both military and... Continue Reading →

During World War II, Thomas “Tom” Oxendine became the first Native American to be commissioned as a pilot in the U.S. Navy. Oxendine was a member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Most of the members of this tribe have lived in Robeson, Cumberland, Hoke, and Scotland counties in North Carolina. Oxendine was born... Continue Reading →

November 15, 1947 Standiford Field airport in Louisville, Kentucky, was opened for commercial flights, replacing Bowman Field as the main airport for the Bluegrass State’s largest city. Bowman Field had been providing plane flights for passengers since 1924. With the introduction of passenger services at Standiford Field, just about all of the commercial airline operations... Continue Reading →

October 25, 2016 Robert Anderson “Bob” Hoover, a longtime pilot with a wide range of aviation achievements, died in Los Angeles at the age of 94. He had been born in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1922. Hoover learned to fly at Berry Field (present-day Nashville International Airport). He worked at a grocery store to help pay... Continue Reading →

October 21, 1922 The ocean liner RMS Franconia was launched at the John Brown & Company shipyard in the town of Clydebank, Scotland. Operated by the Cunard Line, this ship was the second one named Franconia to serve that company. (The original version of RMS Franconia had been launched in 1910 and was sunk by a German... Continue Reading →

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