August 27, 1943 In the midst of World War II, the ship Cape Leeuwin was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) to assist with Australia’s efforts on behalf of the Allies in their fight against Japan. A lighthouse tender, HMAS Cape Leeuwin had been designed and built nearly two decades earlier to provide supplies and... Continue Reading →

During the final year of World War II, the Red Ball Express proved to be a vital truck convoy system after the Allies broke out from the D-Day beaches in Normandy and steadily advanced towards Germany. The Red Ball Express was formally launched by the U.S. Army Transportation Corps on August 25, 1944, and over... Continue Reading →

SS Booker T. Washington, which had been built by California Shipbuilding Corporation, was launched at the company’s yards in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Wilmington in September 1942. The ship though it was only one of more than 2,700 standardized, mass-produced Liberty ships built in the United States during World War II to serve as cargo... Continue Reading →

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 →

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