14 June 1942

14 June 1942


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14 June 1942

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Mediterranean

RAF bombs Taranto and Crete, while the Fleet Air Arm directly protects the two convoys heading for Malta



June 14th

1954 : As the continuing Cold War jitters hit America in the 1950s a large scale nationwide civil defense drill is held where the simulation of over 12 million Americans die in a mock nuclear attack. The event stood as a stark reminder that the United States and the world was now living under a nuclear shadow. This in turn did help to get the leaders of the worlds 2 largest nuclear powers to work together to stop the spread of nuclear proliferation and eventually to agree to dismantle many nuclear weapons . At that time many believed that any nuclear war would end in both countries being destroyed with no winner only losers.


In the American League.

Boston Red Sox slugger and American patriot Ted Williams enlisted in the military as a Naval aviator on June 2 nd . He was able to finish the season, as did many other players who enlisted or were awaiting the draft, which moved at a very slow pace despite the early discouragements of the war. American League regulars who were also enlisted at the time included Johnny Rigney, Joe Grace, Johnny Berardino, Cecil Travis, Bob Feller, Pat Mullin, Buddy Lewis, Sam Chapman and Johnny Sturm.

On June 6 th , Gene Stack of the Chicago White Sox became the first Major League draftee to die on active duty after suffering a heart attack following an Army ball game.

The New York Yankees infield combined to turn seven double plays (a Major League record) during an August 14 th , 11-2 massacre over the Philadelphia Athletics. All-Star catcher Bill Dickey gunned down two runners following third strikes and Phil Rizzuto, Johnny Murphy and Red Rolfe combined on five others. The Yankees went on to finish the season with one-hundred ninety double-plays just missing their previous record of one-hundred ninety-four that was set in '41.


This Day in WWII History: Jun 4, 1942: The Battle of Midway begins

On this day in 1942, Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo, commander of the fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor, launches a raid on Midway Island with almost the entirety of the Japanese navy.

As part of a strategy to widen its sphere of influence and conquest, the Japanese set their sights on an island group in the central Pacific, Midway, as well as the Aleutians, off the coast of Alaska. They were also hoping to draw the badly wounded U.S. navy into a battle, determined to finish it off.

The American naval forces were depleted: The damaged carrier Yorktown had to be repaired in a mere three days, to be used along with the Enterprise and Hornet, all that was left in the way of aircraft carriers after the bombing at Pearl Harbor.

On the morning of June 4, Admiral Nagumo launched his first strike with 108 aircraft, and did significant damage to U.S. installations at Midway. The Americans struck back time and again at Japanese ships, but accomplished little real damage, losing 65 of their own aircraft in their initial attempts. But Nagumo underestimated the tenacity of both Admiral Chester Nimitz and Admiral Raymond Spruance, commanders of the American forces. He also miscalculated tactically by ordering a second wave of bombers to finish off what he thought was only a remnant of American resistance (the U.S. forces had been able to conceal their position because of reconnaissance that anticipated the Midway strike) before his first wave had sufficient opportunity to rearm.

A fifth major engagement by 55 U.S. dive-bombers took full advantage of Nagumo's confused strategy, and sunk three of the four Japanese carriers, all cluttered with aircraft and fuel trying to launch another attack against what they now realized—too late—was a much larger American naval force than expected. A fourth Japanese carrier, the Hiryu was crippled, but not before its aircraft finished off the noble American Yorktown.

The attack on Midway was an unmitigated disaster for the Japanese, resulting in the loss of 322 aircraft and 3,500 men. They were forced to withdraw from the area before attempting even a landing on the island they sought to conquer.


When the Eclipse Happened Worldwide — Timeline

Lunar eclipses can be visible from everywhere on the night side of the Earth, if the sky is clear. From some places the entire eclipse will be visible, while in other areas the Moon will rise or set during the eclipse.

EventUTC TimeTime in Voronezh*Visible in Voronezh
Penumbral Eclipse began14 июн 15:34:1114 июн 18:34:11No, below the horizon
Partial Eclipse began14 июн 16:44:1914 июн 19:44:19No, below the horizon
Full Eclipse began14 июн 17:53:1614 июн 20:53:16Yes
Maximum Eclipse14 июн 18:38:4914 июн 21:38:49Yes
Full Eclipse ended14 июн 19:24:2414 июн 22:24:24Yes
Partial Eclipse ended14 июн 20:33:2214 июн 23:33:22Yes
Penumbral Eclipse ended14 июн 21:43:2615 июн 00:43:26Yes

* The Moon was below the horizon in Voronezh some of the time, so that part of the eclipse was not visible.

The magnitude of the eclipse is 1.398.

The penumbral magnitude of the eclipse is 2.466.

The total duration of the eclipse is 6 hours, 9 minutes.

The total duration of the partial phases is 2 hours, 18 minutes.

The duration of the full eclipse is 1 hour, 31 minutes.

An Eclipse Never Comes Alone!

A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.

Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.


14 June 1942 - History


Essex class fleet aircraft carriers

Displacement: 34,881 tons full load
Dimensions: 820 x 93 x 28.5 feet/250 x 28.3 x 8.7 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 872 x 147.5 x 28.5 feet/265.8 x 45 x 8.7 meters ("Long Hull" types: 888 x 147.5 x 28.5 feet/270.6 x 45 x 8.7 meters)
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 8 565 psi boilers, 4 shafts, 150,000 shp, 33 kts
Crew: 2,631
Armor: 1.5 inch hangar deck, 2.5-4 inch belt
Armament: 4 dual, 4 single 5/38 DP, 18 quad 40 mm AA, 61 single 20 mm AA single 20 mm AA replaced late WWII/postwar by 35 dual 20 mm AA
Aircraft: 100

Concept/Program: Conceived as a Yorktown modified to include better underwater protection. As war drew near and treaties became less of an issue, the design was allowed to grow into a large, powerful, and versatile ship. The first units were initially scheduled for completion in 1944, but production was rushed due to war. These ships formed the mainstay of US WWII fast carrier forces, and the US postwar carrier fleet. All ships served in the Pacific from completion to the end of hostilities.

Class: During 1943 an AA improvement program was undertaken, resulting in the "long hull" group. These ships had a slightly shorter flight deck, a slightly longer bow and other changes to allow a larger AA battery. Ships involved in this upgrade were those which were at an early stage of construction, so they could be altered without delaying completion. During WWII and in postwar upgrade programs the "long hull" and "short hull" ships were considered to be interchangeable. There is some evidence that the "long hull" ships were officially known as the Ticonderoga class, but these ships are far more commonly known simply as the "long hull" Essex class, and this list continues that convention.

The post-war reconstruction programs resulted in these ships being broken up into several different classes. The final class separations were as follows.
Intrepid Class (SCB 27C/125/125A): CVS 11, 14, 16, 31, 34, 38
Essex Class (SCB 27A/125): CVS 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 33
Antietam (prototype SCB 125): CVS 36
Lake Champlain (SCB 27A): CVS 39
Boxer Class (LPH): CVS 21 (LPH 4), CVS 37 (LPH 5), CVS 45 (LPH 8)
(all LPH conversions were previously of the spartan CVS configuration.)
Spartan CVS Conversion (no SCB): CVS 32, CVS 40, CVS 47
Unmodified: CV 13, CV 17

Design: The Essex design was in general superb. The ships were able to absorb massive increases in AA guns, ammunition allowances, aircraft munitions and equipment, etc. Postwar they could accommodate rebuilds that allowed them to operate modern jet aircraft throughout the Cold War. The only real weakness in the design was the wooden, unarmored flight deck, which made the ships very vulnerable to aircraft attack. This was considered an acceptable tradeoff, compared to the RN's armored flight decks and much smaller air wings. One flaw in the design was the ventilation system, which allowed smoke to rapidly spread throughout the ship. This problem was fixed during postwar reconstructions.

Variations: See "long hull" description above. Some units were completed with athwartships catapults in the forward hangar bay, but these were soon removed in favor of additional AA guns. Postwar reconstructions lead to major variations within the class and within each rebuild configurations.

Modifications: Numbers of .50 cal, 20 mm, 1.1 inch and 40 mm weapons varied throughout the war therefore only the ultimate numbers of guns are listed. Some ships were completed with .50 cal and 1.1 inch guns, but these were replaced with 20 mm and 40 mm guns early in the war. Postwar the 20 mm guns were removed in ships remaining active into the 1950's dual 3/50 AA mounts replaced quad 40 mm guns. As time went on the gun batteries were gradually reduced until ships carried little, if any, gun armament.

Modernization: Following WWII most ships underwent extensive upgrades under several programs.

SCB 27A: First major upgrade program applied to Essex class. This was a general, all-around upgrade, including a completely rebuilt and reconfigured island, new arresting gear and hydraulic catapults, new aircraft fueling arrangements, and all deck-level 5 inch guns removed. The gun armament was reduced to 8 single 5/38 DP and 12 to 14 dual 3/50 AA the gun battery was gradually reduced over time. The rebuild did not include an angled flight deck. Displacement was 40,600 tons.

SCB 27C: This program replaced the SCB 27A, and went one slightly further. Most details were the same as SCB 27A, but the ships carried steam catapults rather than hydraulic, and had only 4 5/38 guns. The change to steam catapults was a major operational improvement, and allowed the ships to operate much larger and heavier aircraft. Displacement was 43,600 tons.

"Ultimate" Reconstruction: This was a never-realized program to upgrade Essex class ships to a final, completely modern configuration. The SCB 27A/27C programs were seen as a temporary measure pending development of an "ultimate" configuration for the class. Ships of this configuration would have operated with the "supercarrier" United States in large nuclear-strike groups. The design would have been completely flush-decked, with no island at all. With the death of United States and the development of the angled deck, the "ultimate" plan was reconfigured but probably stayed alive. It is unclear when it was realized that the "ultimate" modernization of Essex class ships should be dropped in favor of SCB 125 and new construction. Two ships were excluded from other modernization programs to make them available for the "ultimate" conversion -- Bunker Hill and Franklin . These ships had been heavily damaged near the end of the war, fully repaired, and laid up in excellent condition. Ultimately they went to the breakers unmodified.

SCB 125: This program was applied to ships already modernized under the SCB 27A/27C programs. The principal change under SCB 125 was the addition of an angled flight deck to replace the old axial deck arrangement. Other features of the ship, includung the hydraulic/steam catapult separation between SCB 27A and SCB 27C, were not changed. In some cases this modernization was performed at the same time as an SCB 27A/27C conversion, leading to confusion between the two programs. The prototype conversion for this program was applied to an otherwise unmodified ship, yielding an odd ship with all her WWII features intact, but with an angled deck.

SCB 125A: This was a slightly more advanced version of the SCB 125A program, the main difference being use of an aluminum flight deck to replace the old wooden deck. This modernization also included replacement of the SCB 27A's hydraulic catapults with the steam catapults of SCB 27C.

CVS Conversion: This conversion was applied to SCB 27A and SCB 27C ships as they left the front-line fleet and assumed ASW duties. Conversion, which was not always done at the same time as redesignation to CVS, included outfitting the ships with an ASW command center, additional communications, support facilities for ASW aircraft and helicopters, etc. The early CVS conversions, from unmodified axial-deck (non-SCB) ships, were far less extensive and are best classed as a refit rather than a full conversion.

LPH Conversion: This conversion was applied to unmodified, axial deck ships that had previously served as CVSs. Most guns and radars were removed, 4 of 8 boilers were deactivated, and troop berthing spaces and equipment storage spaces were added. Speed was 25 knots most ships carried 2 dual and 2 single 5/38 DP.

FRAM II: This was a general update and life extension overhaul applied to some late CVSs and LPHs. The CVSs received a hull-mounted sonar, and all ships had their service lives extended by 5 years.

Classification: Initially classed CV all reclassed CVA in 1952. Various ships reclassied CVS or LPH as they were modified some changed to CVS while in reserve. Unmodified ships laid up in reserve eventually became aircraft transports (AVT). Some ships remaining as CVAs in 1975 were reclassed CV, but no change of role resulted.

Operational: These ships saw extensive service over a span of nearly 50 years and in at least a half-dozen roles.

Progression of Roles: Following WWII most of the older ships, which had seen extensive war service, were decommissioned to reserve. Ships completed near the end of the war and postwar remained in service with minimal modifications, mostly reduction of light AA, etc. Starting in the 1950's the older ships were put back into service after going through massive upgrade/reconstruction programs, starting with the SCB 27A program. The SCB 27A ships took the front-line attack roles, reducing the unrebuilt ships to duties as ASW carriers, in turn replacing CVEs and CVLs that had served in the ASW role. The SCB 27C program followed the 27A program, and these ships took over the front-line attack roles as they came into service. With the introduction of the 27C rebuilds the 27A ships moved to ASW roles, and the unrebuilt ships moved from ASW to service as amphibious assault ships (LPH), or to retirement. Eventually the war-built carriers serving as LPHs were replaced by purpose-built ships, and the SCB 27C carriers were reduced to ASW roles or served as light attack carriers as more "supercarriers" came into service. Finally the end of the Vietnam war spelled the end for ships operating as light CVAs, and age caught up with the other ships.

Other Notes: During the 1980's reactivation of one or more mothballed Essex class ships was considered, but the idea did not proceed. The ships were considered to be too old and in poor condition, and there were few aircraft suitable for operation from their small decks.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 28 April 1941, launched 31 July 1942, commissioned 31 Dec 1942.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Hit by kamikaze 25 Nov 1944. Decommissioned to reserve 9 Jan 1947.

SCB 27A reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard started 1 Sept 1948, completed and recommissioned 1 Feb 1951. Redesignated as attack carrier (CVA 9) 1 October 1952. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at Bremerton Navy Yard 7/1955 to 3 Jan 1956.

Redesignated as ASW carrier (CVS 9) 8 March 1960. FRAM II life extension 3/1962 to 9/1962. Decommissioned to reserve 30 June 1969, stricken for disposal 1 June 1973, subsequently sold and scrapped at Kearny NJ.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 1 Dec 1941, renamed to honor CV 5 26 Sept 1942, launched 21 Jan 1943, commissioned 15 April 1943.

Served with the Carrier TF until replaced by Franklin and sent to Bremerton Navy Yard for refit 8/1944 to 10/1944. Decommissioned to reserve 9 Jan 1947.

SCB 27A reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard started 5/1951, completed and recommissioned 2 Jan 1953. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 10) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at Bremerton Navy Yard 3/1955 to 15 Oct 1955.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 10) 1 September 1957. Scheduled for FRAM II life extension in 1966, but cancelled due to ship's poor condition. Decommissioned to reserve 27 June 1970, stricken for disposal 1 June 1973. Preserved as a museum at Patriot's Point (Charleston), SC.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 1 Dec 1941, launched 30 Aug 1942, commissioned 16 August 1943.

Served with Carrier TF during WWII. Torpedoed 2/1944 during Truk raid, kamikaze 10/1944, kamikaze at Luzon 25 Nov 1944 with severe damage, kamikaze 3/1945, kamikaze at Okinawa 16 April 1945 with severe damage, repaired 3/1945 to 7/1945. Decommissioned to reserve 22 March 1947.

SCB 27C reconstruction at Newport News started 9 April 1952, completed and recommissioned 20 June 1954. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 11) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at New York Navy 9/1956 to 2 May 1957.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 11) 31 Mar 1962. FRAM II life extension 3/1965 to 10/1965. Operated as light attack carrier with CVS designation off Vietnam. Decommissioned to reserve 15 March 1974 was last CVS in service. Ownership transferred to Sea*Air*Space Museum 27 April 1981, stricken upon transfer of custody to museum 23 Feb 1982. Preserved at Sea*Air*Space Museum in New York City.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down early 1942, but work was soon stopped and keel lifted out of the dock to clear the dock for LST construction. Work resumed 3 Aug 1942, renamed to honor CV 8 22 Jan 1943, launched 30 Aug 1943, commissioned 29 Nov 1943.

Typhoon 6/1945 buckled flight deck. Decommissioned to reserve 15 Jan 1947.

SCB 27A reconstruction at New York Navy started 12 May 1951, completed and recommissioned 1 Oct 1953. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 12 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at Bremerton Navy Yard 1/1956 to 15 Aug 1956.

Redesignated an ASW carrier (CVS 12) 27 June 1959. FRAM II life extension 6/1964 to 2/1965. Decommissioned to reserve 26 June 1970. Stricken for disposal 25 July 1989. Sold for scrapping 14 April 1993 and towed to San Francisco, but scrapper defaulted and ship was repossessed. Preserved by the Aircraft Carrier Hornet Foundation as a museum at the former NAS Alameda 26 May 1998.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 7 Dec 1942, launched 14 Oct 1943, commissioned 31 Jan 1944.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Kamikazes at Luzon 15 Oct 1944 and 30 Oct 1944. Hit by numerous bombs off Kyushu 19 March 1945 during a raid on the Japanese home islands. Bombs and fires caused massive damage, completely destroying the hangar and flight deck ship had a serious list due to firefighting water. Over 700 crew died. Temporarily repaired at sea and was able to return to New York Navy Yard under her own power for permanent repairs most seriously damaged carrier to reach port. During repairs everything from the hangar floor up, except the island and forward flight deck, was removed and replaced.

Did not resume flight operations following repairs, decommissioned to reserve 17 Feb 1947. Was in excellent condition and held in reserve for potential "ultimate" Essex class conversion.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 13) 1 October 1952, as an ASW carrier (CVS 13) 8 Aug 1953, and as an aviation transport (AVT 8) 5/59, all while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 October 1964, sold for scrapping 7/1966, scrapped at Norfolk VA 1966-1968.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 1 Mar 1943, renamed 1 May 1943, launched 7 Feb 1944, commissioned 8 May 1944.

Kamikaze off Formosa 21 Jan 1945, serious damage. Decommissioned to reserve 9 Jan 1947.

SCB 27C reconstruction at New York Navy Yard started 1 April 1952, completed and recommissioned 1 Oct 1954. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 14) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard 8/1956 to 1 April 1957.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 14) 21 Oct 1969. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 16 Nov 1973. Sold for scrapping 15 Aug 1974 and subsequently scrapped.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 10 May 1943, launched 29 June 1944, commissioned 9 Oct 1944.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Kamikaze 11 March 1945 while at anchor at Ulithi, serious damage to aft flight deck. Decommissioned to reserve 25 Feb 1948.

SCB 27A reconstruction at Newport News started 1/1952, completed and recommissioned 1 July 1953. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 15) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at Norfolk Navy Yard 8/1955 to 12 Feb 1956.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 15) 31 Mar 1959. FRAM II life extension 1960-1961. Decommissioned to reserve 13 Feb 1969. Stricken for disposal 1 June 1973 and subsequently scrapped.

DANFS History

Built by Bethlehem Quincy. Laid down 15 July 1941, renamed 16 June 1942 to honor CV 2 (yard workers petition), launched 26 Sept 1942, commissioned 17 Feb 1943.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Torpedoed off Kwajalein 4 Dec 1943, kamikaze 5 Nov 1944. Decommissioned to reserve 23 April 1947.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 16) 1 October 1952 while in reserve. SCB 27C reconstruction and SCB 125 angled deck modernization carried out during one yard period at Bremerton Navy Yard starting 1 Sept 1953, completed and recommissioned 1 Sept 1955.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 16) 1 October 1962. Assigned to training duties starting 29 Dec 1962, replacing Antietam . Redesignated as training carrier (CVT 16) 1 Jan 1969 CVT designation rerated as auxiliary 23 Sept 1970. Redesignated as auxiliary aircraft landing training ship (AVT 16) 1 July 1978.

Decommissioned 26 Nov 1991, stricken for disposal 30 Nov 1991 was the last Essex class in commission, and the last Essex on the Naval Vessels Register. Preserved at Corpus Christi, TX. Holds record for the most arrested landings in history, 493,248 in all.

DANFS History

Built by Bethlehem Quincy. Laid down 15 Sept 1941, launched 7 Dec 1942, commissioned 24 May 1943.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Hit by Kamikaze off Okinawa 11 April 1945 causing massive fires and extensive damage. Rebuilt postwar but did not resume flight operations. Decommissioned to reserve 1/1947. Was in excellent condition and held in reserve for potential "ultimate" Essex class conversion.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 17) 1 October 1952, as an ASW carrier (CVS 17) 8 Aug 1953, and as an aviation transport (AVT 9) 5/59, all while in reserve. Stricken 1 November 1966 but employed as an electronics test hulk at San Diego until 12/1972. Sold 11/1973 and towed away for subsequent scrapping.

DANFS History

Built by Bethlehem Quincy. Laid down 18 Mar 1942, renamed to honor CV 7 26 Sept 1942, launched 17 Aug 1943, commissioned 24 Nov 1943.

Damaged by bombs off Kyushu 19 Mar 1945. Decommissioned to reserve 17 Feb 1947.

SCB 27A reconstruction at New York Navy Yard started 9/1948, completed and recommissioned 28 Sept 1951. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 18) 1 October 1952. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at San Francisco Navy 3/1955 to 1 Dec 1955.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 18) 1 Nov 1956. FRAM II life extension 1967. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 July 1972. Subsequently sold and scrapped at Kearny starting in 1973.

DANFS History

Built by Bethlehem Quincy. Laid down 26 Jan 1943, renamed 1 May 1943, launched 24 Jan 1944, commissioned 15 April 1944.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Damaged by explosion 21 Jan 1945, kamikaze 7 April 1945. Decommissioned to reserve 9 May 1947.

SCB 27C reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard started 5 Dec 1951, completed and recommissioned 1 March 1954. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 19) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at San Francisco Navy 13 April 1956 to 15 Nov 1956.

In later years served as a light attack carrier off Vietnam. Redesignated as a multi-mission aircraft carrier (CV 19) 30 June 1975, but role did not change. Decommissioned 30 Jan 1976, stricken for disposal 31 Jan 1976. Subsequently sold and scrapped.

DANFS History

Built by New York Navy. Laid down 15 Dec 1942, launched 26 Feb 1944, commissioned 6 Aug 1944.

Typhoon 6/1945 buckled the flight deck. Decommissioned to reserve 8 Nov 1946.

SCB 27A reconstruction at New York Navy Yard started 10/1950, completed and recommissioned 30 Nov 1951. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 20) 1 October 1952. Serious catapult explosion 6/1954, repaired during SCB 125 angled deck modernization at New York Navy Yard 6/1954 to 15 April 1955.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 20) 30 June 1959. FRAM II life extension 9/1962 to 5/1963. Decommissioned to reserve 15 Jan 1970. Stricken 20 Sept 1989. Sold for scrapping 12 Jan 1994, superstructure demolished in the US, then towed to India for scrapping.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Laid down 13 Sept 1943, launched 4 Dec 1944, commissioned 16 April 1945.

Served with the Carrier TF during WWII. Damaged by explosion 8/1952. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 21) 15 Nov 1955. Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 4) 30 Jan 1959. FRAM II life extension FY 1962.

Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 Dec 1969. Sold for scrapping 2/1971 and subseqeuently scrapped at Kearny NJ.

DANFS History

Built by New York Navy. Laid down 1 Feb 1943, launched 29 April 1944, commissioned 26 Nov 1944.

Decommissioned to reserve 9 Jan 1947. Recommissioned for Korean War service 15 Jan 1951 without significant modifications.

SCB 27C reconstruction and SCB 125 angled deck modernization carried out during one yard period at San Francisco Navy Yard started 14 May 1952, completed and recommissioned 1 Nov 1955. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 31) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul.

Decommissioned to reserve 2 July 1971. Stricken for disposal 20 Sept 1989. Sold for scrap and subsequently scrapped at San Pedro starting in 1992.

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Leyte
ex- Crown Point
"long hull" group
CV 32 - CVA 32 - CVS 32 - AVT 10
Photos: [ Leyte as completed], [As ASW carrier].

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Had been assigned to New York Navy Yard shifted to Newport News 23 March 1943. Laid down 21 Feb 1944, renamed 8 May 1945, launched 23 Aug 1945, commissioned 11 April 1946.

Replaced in SCB 27 program by CV 39 received no major upgrades. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 32) 1 October 1952. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 32) 8 Aug 1953.

Decommissioned to reserve 15 May 1959 and redesignated as an aviation transport (AVT 10) same date (possibly 1 May 1961). Stricken for disposal 1 June 1969, sold 9/1970 and subsequently scrapped.

DANFS History

Built by New York Navy. Laid down 1 Mar 1943, launched 5 May 1945, commissioned 2 Mar 1946.

Decommissioned for reconstruction 16 June 1950. SCB 27A reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard started 6/1950, completed and recommissioned 1 Mar 1952. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 33) 1 October 1952. SCB 125 angled deck modernization at Bremerton Navy Yard 7/1956 to 31 Jan 1957.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 33) 1 Oct 1958. Decommissioned to reserve 13 Feb 1970. Stricken for disposal 1 May 1973. Sold for scrapping 18 Jan 1974, towed away for scrapping and subsequently scrapped.

DANFS History

Built by New York Navy Yard. Laid down 1 May 1944, launched 13 Oct 1945. Construction suspended 22 Aug 1948 when 85% complete pending redesign to allow operation of modern aircraft. Torn down to 60% complete, rebuilt and commissioned 25 September 1950 in SCB 27A configuration as prototype for class rebuild.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 34) 1 October 1952. SCB 125A reconstruction (SCB 125 angled deck modernization, SCB 27C catapult retrofit & aluminum flight deck) at San Francisco Navy Yard 1/1957 to 29 May 1959. Seriously damaged by fire 26 October 1966 off Vietnam forward third of hangar deck level gutted.

In later years served as a light attack carrier off Vietnam. Redesignated as a multi-mission aircraft carrier (CV 34) 30 June 1975, but role did not change. Decommissioned to reserve 15 May 1976 was last Essex in commission as a warship. Stricken for disposal 25 July 1989. Sold for scrapping 26 Jan 1993 scrapper defaulted and ship was repossessed without having left Navy custody. Resold for scrapping 29 Sept 1995, towed to San Francisco 1 May 1996 subsequently moved to Mare Island for scapping, but scrap contract revoked 1 July 1997. Towed to Beaumont, Texas for storage, 4/1999.

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Reprisal
"long hull" group
CV 35
Photos: none available


Built by New York Navy. Laid down 1 July 1944, cancelled 11 Aug 1945 when 52.3% complete. Launched 1946 to clear slip. Used for explosive tests 1946-48. Inspected for possible completion as a CVA, but deemed beyond salvage. Sold for scrapping 2 August 1949 and scrapped at Baltimore 11/1949.

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy. Laid down 15 Mar 1943, launched 20 Aug 1944, commissioned 28 Jan 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 21 June 1949. Recommissioned for Korean War service 17 Jan 1951 without significant modifications. Fitted with experimental angled deck at New York Navy Yard (prototype SCB 125) 9/52 to 19 Dec 1952. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 36) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 36) 8 Aug 1953. Replaced Saipan as training carrier in 1957. Replaced as training carrier by Lexington 29 Dec 1962, decommissioned to reserve 8 May 1963. Stricken for disposal 1 May 1973. Sold for scrapping 28 Feb 1974 and subsequently scrapped at Kearny NJ.

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Princeton
ex- Valley Forge
"long hull" group
CV 37 - CVA 37 - CVS 37 - LPH 5
Photos: [ Princeton as completed], [As ASW carrier], [Converted to assault ship].

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy. Laid down 14 Sept 1943, renamed 21 Nov 1944, launched 8 July 1945, commissioned 18 Nov 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 21 June 1949. Recommissioned for Korean War service 28 Aug 1950 without significant modifications. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 37) 1 October 1952. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 37) 12 Nov 1953.

Redesignated as an amphibious assault ship (LPH 5) 2 March 1959 converted at Long Beach Navy Yard 3/1959 to 5/1959. FRAM II life extension 10/1960 to 6/1961. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 30 Jan 1970. Subsequently sold and scrapped starting 9/1973.

DANFS History

Built by Norfolk Navy. Laid down 15 Jan 1943, launched 24 Feb 1944, commissioned 15 Sept 1944.

Decommissioned to reserve 7 Nov 1947. SCB 27C reconstruction and SCB 125 angled deck modernization carried out during one yard period at Bremerton Navy Yard, starting 7/1951 completed and recommissioned 1 Feb 1955.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 38) 1 October 1952 while in overhaul. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 38) 30 June 1969 but operated as a light attack carrier with CVS designation. Decommissioned to reserve 30 June 1971. Stricken for disposal 15 July 1982. Sold for scrapping 9 Aug 1988 and subsequently scrapped in Taiwan.

DANFS History

Built by Norfolk Navy. Laid down 15 Mar 1943, launched 2 Nov 1944, commissioned 2 June 1945.

Decommissioned to reserve 15 Feb 1947. SCB 27A reconstruction at Newport News started 8/1950, completed and recommissioned 19 Sept 1952. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 39) 1 October 1952.

SCB 125 angled deck modernization cancelled only SCB 27A/27C not modernized under SCB 125. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 39) 1 Aug 1957. Conversion to LPH cancelled. Decommissioned to reserve 2 May 1966 last axial deck carrier in US service. Stricken for disposal 1 December 1969. Sold for scrapping and subsequently scrapped at Kearny NJ in 1972.

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Tarawa
"long hull" group
CV 40 - CVA 40 - CVS 40 - AVT 12
Photos: [ Tarawa as completed], [As ASW carrier].

DANFS History

Built by Norfolk Navy. Laid down 5 Jan 1944, launched 12 May 1945, commissioned 8 Dec 1945.

Served as a training carrier and deployed to the Far East three times. Decommissioned to reserve 30 June 1949. Recommissioned 3 Feb 1951 as a training carrier, then served as an attack carrier. Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 40 ) 1 October 1952.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 40) 1/1955, but initially operated as a training carrier. Later operated as an ASW carrier, then as an amphibious assault ship while designated CVS. Decommissioned to reserve 13 May 1960. Redesignated as an aviation transport (AVT 12 1961 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 June 1967. Sold 3 Oct 1968 and scrapped at Baltimore.

DANFS History

Built by Philadelphia Navy. Laid down 7 Sept 1945, launched 18 Nov 1945, commissioned 3 Nov 1946.

Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 45) 12 Nov 1953.

Converted to amphibious assault ship 3/1961 to 7/1961 redesignated LPH 8 1 July 1961. FRAM II life extension, date unknown. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 15 Jan 1970. Sold 29 Oct 1971 and subsequently scrapped.

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Iwo Jima
"long hull" group
CV 46
Photos: [ Iwo Jima after cancellation].
Laid down at Newport News 29 January 1945. Cancelled 11 August 1945 and scrapped on the building slip.

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Philippine Sea
ex- Wright
"long hull" group
CV 47 - CVA 47 - CVS 47 - AVT 11
Photos: [ Philippine Sea as completed], [As an ASW carrier].

DANFS History

Built by Bethlehem Quincy. Laid down 19 Aug 1944, renamed 12 Feb 1945, launched 5 Sept 1945, commissioned 11 May 1946.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 47) 1 October 1952. Redesignated as an ASW carrier (CVS 47) 15 Nov 1955. Decommissioned to reserve 28 Dec 1958. Redesignated as an aviation transport (AVT 11) 15 May 1959 while in reserve. Stricken for disposal 1 Dec 1969. Sold 23 March 1971 and subsequently scrapped.

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Cancelled ships, no names assigned
"long hull" group
CV 50 through CV 55

CV 50 Would have been built by Bethlehem Quincy.
CV 51 Would have been built by New York Navy.
CV 52 Would have been built by New York Navy.
CV 53 Would have been built by Philadelphia Navy.
CV 54 Would have been built by Norfolk Navy.
CV 55 Would have been built by Norfolk Navy.
All cancelled 28 Mar 1945. No names had been assigned and no construction work had been carried out.

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Midway class large fleet aircraft carriers
Displacement: 59,901 tons full load
Dimensions: 900 x 113 x 32.75 feet/274.3 x 34.4 x 10 meters
Extreme Dimensions: 968 x 136 x 32.75 feet/295 x 41.5 x 10 meters
Propulsion: Steam turbines, 12 565 psi boilers, 4 shafts, 212,000 shp, 33 kts
Crew: 3,583 (as planned in 1943, was over 4000 by completion)
Armor: 3.5 inch flight deck, 7.6 inch belt
Armament: 18 single 5/54, 21 dual 40 mm AA, 28 single 20 mm AA (as planned)
Aircraft: 137 initially

Concept/Program: These ships were a new, much larger design intended to correct certain problems in the Essex class design. They had armored flight decks, requiring a much larger hull and lower freeboard, to reduce topweight. They also carried a very heavy AA battery of 5/54 weapons. The armor requirement was originally meant to counter 8" cruiser gunfire, but by the time the ships were laid down the focus had shifted to defending against aircraft attack. The ships entered service soon after WWII. In their early years they were the only ships capable of operating nuclear strike aircraft.

Design: An all-new design. These ships were very wet, very crowded and quite complex these problems were never solved. The design made them difficult and expensive to modernize or upgrade. In later years these ships were limited by low freeboard, severe crowding of crew and equipment, low hangar clearances, poor seakeeping and extreme age they were unable to operate the latest and largest aircraft. Overall they must be considered to be a less than satisfactory design, but they had long service lives because of the urgent need for large carriers.

Variations: Configurations varied as completed only Midway was completed to the original design. Roosevelt and especially Coral Sea carried fewer guns at completion. There were major differences following the 1950's reconstructions.

Modifications: All ships had their gun batteries gradually reduced over time. All ships were upgraded in 1947-48 with strengthened flight decks, 10 dual 3/50 AA fitted in place of 40 mm guns, facilities for nuclear weapons, and other improvements. Continual updating of electronics outfit.

Modernization: Underwent major reconstructions during the 1950's, but no two ships were reconstructed to the same standard. These rebuilds were the equivalent of the SCB 27C/125 reconstructions in the Essex class.

SCB 110A: ( Coral Sea ) A more extensive version of the SCB 110 applied to the other ships of the class. Aviation features and electronics were further improved, and gun battery was further reduced.

SCB 101: ( Midway ) A second reconstruction meant to be applied to all ships, to upgrade them beyond the SCB 110/110A configuration. This reconstruction included a longer flight deck, new catapults, and general all-around improvements. Due to the cost of this work, only one ship was upgraded under this program.

After SCB 110A Coral Sea was the most capable of the ships, but Midway surpassed her with the SCB 101 reconstruction. In addition to the SCB reconstructions, each ship received at least one major overhaul/upgrade, the details of which varied.

Classification: Initially classified as CV, but changed to CVB prior to completion, and CVA postwar. Returned to CV classification in 1975 when modified to operate ASW aircraft.

Operational: Saw extensive service as tactical and strategic platforms. Operational lives continually extended due to force level build-ups and lack of replacements.

Departure from Service/Disposal: Roosevelt was in poor condition when she was discarded in 1977. Others remained in service long pasts their intended retirement dates. Coral Sea replaced and retired in 1990 Midway retired without replacement in 1992, due to force reductions.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Designation changed from CV 41 to CVB 41 15 July 1943. Laid down 27 Oct 1943, launched 20 Mar 1945, commissioned 10 Sept 1945.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 41) 1 October 1952. SCB 110 reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard started July 1955, completed and recommissioned 30 Sept 1957. Second reconstruction, SCB 101 at San Francisco Navy Yard, started 15 Feb 1966 completed and recommissioned 31 Jan 1970.

Forward deployed in Japan from 1973 to decommissioning. In 1975 she disembarked her air wing at Subic Bay and embarked transport helicopters to assist in Operation Frequent Wind, the evacuation of US personnel from South Vietnam. She returned to Subic Bay carrying over 100 helicopters and other aircraft which had escaped from Vietnam, and hundreds of evacuees.

Redesignated as a multi-mission aircraft carrier (CV 41) 30 June 1975, but she did not embark anti-submarine aircraft. Final overhaul in 1986 in Japan new bulges were added to improve freeboard and seakeeping. The bulges actually made the problem worse, making flight operations impossible in 6-10 foot seas. This problem was never corrected. From the late 1970's on this ship was subject of frequent replacement proposals, but she continued in service as carrier force levels were increased.

Was one of the primary ships involved in Operation Fiery Vigil, the evacuation of Subic Bay, Clark AFB and Cubi Point following volcanic eruptions. Replaced as forward deployed carrier by Independence in 1991 and returned to the US for decommissioning. Decommissioned to reserve 11 April 1992 retained as a potential replacement training carrier. Inactivation overhaul included stripping all electronics and weapons systems. Stricken for disposal 17 March 1997 remains stored at Bremerton pending disposal. May be preserved at San Diego, CA.

Characteristics immediately prior to decommissioning: 69,873 tons full load displacement, 976 x 263.5 x 35 feet/297.5 x 80.3 x 10.7 meters extreme dimensions, 2 8-cell Sea Sparrow launchers, 2 Phalanx CIWS, 75 aircraft.

DANFS History

Built by New York Navy. Designation changed from CV 42 to CVB 42 15 July 1943. Laid down 1 Dec 1943, launched 29 April 1945, renamed to honor deceased President 8 May 1945, commissioned 27 Oct 1945.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 42) 1 October 1952. SCB 110 reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard 23 April 1954, completed and recommissioned 6 April 1956. Second rebuild (SCB 101) cancelled due to cost. Received austere overhaul in 1968 to correct some of the most serious deficiencies.

Redesignated as a multi-mission aircraft carrier (CV 42) 30 June 1975, but she did not embark anti-submarine aircraft. During her last deployment she operated AV-8 Harriers on a trial basis, to test the possibility of including VSTOL aircraft in carrier air wings. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 1 Oct 1977. Sold for scrapping 11 April 1978 and scrapped at Kearny NJ in 1980.

DANFS History

Built by Newport News. Designation changed from CV 43 to CVB 43 15 July 1943. Laid down 10 July 1944, launched 2 April 1946, commissioned 1 Oct 1947. Gun battery was much reduced at completion compared to other ships of the class.

Redesignated as an attack carrier (CVA 43) 1 October 1952. Underwent short refit 9/1955 to 2/1956. SCB 110A reconstruction at Bremerton Navy Yard 3/1957, completed and recommissioned 25 Jan 1960. Second modernization (SCB 101) cancelled.

From the late 1970's on this ship was subject of frequent replacement proposals, but she continued in service as carrier force levels were increased. Redesignated as a multi-mission aircraft carrier (CV 43) 30 June 1975, but she did not embark anti-submarine aircraft.

Began deactivation and stripping 10/89 at the start of the post-Cold War carrier force level drawdown. Decommissioned and stricken for disposal 30 April 1991. Sold for scrapping 30 March 1993. Scrapped at Baltimore starting 1993 scrapping was been delayed by numerous financial, legal and environmental issues finally completed 8/2000.

Characteristics immediately prior to decommissioning: 65,200 tons full load displacement, 1003 x 236 x 35 feet/305.7 x 72 x 10.7 meters extreme dimensions, 3 Phalanx CIWS, 65 aircraft.

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Cancelled ship, no name assigned
CV 44

Never ordered. Cancelled 11 Jan 1943 because there was no building dock available. Would have been built by Newport News. No name assigned.

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Cancelled ship, no name assigned
CV 56 - CVB 56

Designation changed from CV 56 to CVB 56 15 July 1943. Cancelled 28 March 1945 no name had been assigned and no construction work had been carried out. Would have been built by Newport News.

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Cancelled ship, no name assigned
CV 57 - CVB 57

Designation changed from CV 57 to CVB 57 15 July 1943. Cancelled 28 March 1945 no name had been assigned and no construction work had been carried out. Would have been built by Newport News.


The sugar that saturates the American diet has a barbaric history as the ‘white gold’ that fueled slavery.

By Khalil Gibran Muhammad AUG. 14, 2019

Domino Sugar’s Chalmette Refinery in Arabi, La., sits on the edge of the mighty Mississippi River, about five miles east by way of the river’s bend from the French Quarter, and less than a mile down from the Lower Ninth Ward, where Hurricane Katrina and the failed levees destroyed so many black lives. It is North America’s largest sugar refinery, making nearly two billion pounds of sugar and sugar products annually. Those ubiquitous four-pound yellow paper bags emblazoned with the company logo are produced here at a rate of 120 bags a minute, 24 hours a day, seven days a week during operating season.

The United States makes about nine million tons of sugar annually, ranking it sixth in global production. The United States sugar industry receives as much as $4 billion in annual subsidies in the form of price supports, guaranteed crop loans, tariffs and regulated imports of foreign sugar, which by some estimates is about half the price per pound of domestic sugar. Louisiana’s sugar-cane industry is by itself worth $3 billion, generating an estimated 16,400 jobs.

A vast majority of that domestic sugar stays in this country, with an additional two to three million tons imported each year. Americans consume as much as 77.1 pounds of sugar and related sweeteners per person per year, according to United States Department of Agriculture data. That’s nearly twice the limit the department recommends, based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Sugar has been linked in the United States to diabetes, obesity and cancer. If it is killing all of us, it is killing black people faster. Over the last 30 years, the rate of Americans who are obese or overweight grew 27 percent among all adults, to 71 percent from 56 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control, with African-Americans overrepresented in the national figures. During the same period, diabetes rates overall nearly tripled. Among black non-Hispanic women, they are nearly double those of white non-Hispanic women, and one and a half times higher for black men than white men.

None of this — the extraordinary mass commodification of sugar, its economic might and outsize impact on the American diet and health — was in any way foreordained, or even predictable, when Christopher Columbus made his second voyage across the Atlantic Ocean in 1493, bringing sugar-cane stalks with him from the Spanish Canary Islands. In Europe at that time, refined sugar was a luxury product, the backbreaking toil and dangerous labor required in its manufacture an insuperable barrier to production in anything approaching bulk. It seems reasonable to imagine that it might have remained so if it weren’t for the establishment of an enormous market in enslaved laborers who had no way to opt out of the treacherous work.

For thousands of years, cane was a heavy and unwieldy crop that had to be cut by hand and immediately ground to release the juice inside, lest it spoil within a day or two. Even before harvest time, rows had to be dug, stalks planted and plentiful wood chopped as fuel for boiling the liquid and reducing it to crystals and molasses. From the earliest traces of cane domestication on the Pacific island of New Guinea 10,000 years ago to its island-hopping advance to ancient India in 350 B.C., sugar was locally consumed and very labor-intensive. It remained little more than an exotic spice, medicinal glaze or sweetener for elite palates.

It was the introduction of sugar slavery in the New World that changed everything. “The true Age of Sugar had begun — and it was doing more to reshape the world than any ruler, empire or war had ever done,” Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos write in their 2010 book, “Sugar Changed the World.” Over the four centuries that followed Columbus’s arrival, on the mainlands of Central and South America in Mexico, Guyana and Brazil as well as on the sugar islands of the West Indies — Cuba, Barbados and Jamaica, among others — countless indigenous lives were destroyed and nearly 11 million Africans were enslaved, just counting those who survived the Middle Passage.

“White gold” drove trade in goods and people, fueled the wealth of European nations and, for the British in particular, shored up the financing of their North American colonies. “There was direct trade among the colonies and between the colonies and Europe, but much of the Atlantic trade was triangular: enslaved people from Africa sugar from the West Indies and Brazil money and manufactures from Europe,” writes the Harvard historian Walter Johnson in his 1999 book, “Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market.” “People were traded along the bottom of the triangle profits would stick at the top.”

Before French Jesuit priests planted the first cane stalk near Baronne Street in New Orleans in 1751, sugar was already a huge moneymaker in British New York. By the 1720s, one of every two ships in the city’s port was either arriving from or heading to the Caribbean, importing sugar and enslaved people and exporting flour, meat and shipbuilding supplies. The trade was so lucrative that Wall Street’s most impressive buildings were Trinity Church at one end, facing the Hudson River, and the five-story sugar warehouses on the other, close to the East River and near the busy slave market. New York’s enslaved population reached 20 percent, prompting the New York General Assembly in 1730 to issue a consolidated slave code, making it “unlawful for above three slaves” to meet on their own, and authorizing �h town” to employ 𠇊 common whipper for their slaves.”

In 1795, Étienne de Boré, a New Orleans sugar planter, granulated the first sugar crystals in the Louisiana Territory. With the advent of sugar processing locally, sugar plantations exploded up and down both banks of the Mississippi River. All of this was possible because of the abundantly rich alluvial soil, combined with the technical mastery of seasoned French and Spanish planters from around the cane-growing basin of the Gulf and the Caribbean — and because of the toil of thousands of enslaved people. More French planters and their enslaved expert sugar workers poured into Louisiana as Toussaint L’Ouverture and Jean-Jacques Dessalines led a successful revolution to secure Haiti’s independence from France.

Within five decades, Louisiana planters were producing a quarter of the world’s cane-sugar supply. During her antebellum reign, Queen Sugar bested King Cotton locally, making Louisiana the second-richest state in per capita wealth. According to the historian Richard Follett, the state ranked third in banking capital behind New York and Massachusetts in 1840. The value of enslaved people alone represented tens of millions of dollars in capital that financed investments, loans and businesses. Much of that investment funneled back into the sugar mills, the “most industrialized sector of Southern agriculture,” Follett writes in his 2005 book, “Sugar Masters: Planters and Slaves in Louisiana’s Cane World 1820-1860.” No other agricultural region came close to the amount of capital investment in farming by the eve of the Civil War. In 1853, Representative Miles Taylor of Louisiana bragged that his state’s success was “without parallel in the United States, or indeed in the world in any branch of industry.”

The enslaved population soared, quadrupling over a 20-year period to 125,000 souls in the mid-19th century. New Orleans became the Walmart of people-selling. The number of enslaved labor crews doubled on sugar plantations. And in every sugar parish, black people outnumbered whites. These were some of the most skilled laborers, doing some of the most dangerous agricultural and industrial work in the United States.

In the mill, alongside adults, children toiled like factory workers with assembly-line precision and discipline under the constant threat of boiling hot kettles, open furnaces and grinding rollers. 𠇊ll along the endless carrier are ranged slave children, whose business it is to place the cane upon it, when it is conveyed through the shed into the main building,” wrote Solomon Northup in “Twelve Years a Slave,” his 1853 memoir of being kidnapped and forced into slavery on Louisiana plantations.

To achieve the highest efficiency, as in the round-the-clock Domino refinery today, sugar houses operated night and day. “On cane plantations in sugar time, there is no distinction as to the days of the week,” Northup wrote. Fatigue might mean losing an arm to the grinding rollers or being flayed for failing to keep up. Resistance was often met with sadistic cruelty.

A formerly enslaved black woman named Mrs. Webb described a torture chamber used by her owner, Valsin Marmillion. “One of his cruelties was to place a disobedient slave, standing in a box, in which there were nails placed in such a manner that the poor creature was unable to move,” she told a W.P.A. interviewer in 1940. “He was powerless even to chase the flies, or sometimes ants crawling on some parts of his body.”

Louisiana led the nation in destroying the lives of black people in the name of economic efficiency. The historian Michael Tadman found that Louisiana sugar parishes had a pattern of �ths exceeding births.” Backbreaking labor and “inadequate net nutrition meant that slaves working on sugar plantations were, compared with other working-age slaves in the United States, far less able to resist the common and life-threatening diseases of dirt and poverty,” wrote Tadman in a 2000 study published in the American Historical Review. Life expectancy was less like that on a cotton plantation and closer to that of a Jamaican cane field, where the most overworked and abused could drop dead after seven years.

The Enslaved Pecan Pioneer

Pecans are the nut of choice when it comes to satisfying America’s sweet tooth, with the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season being the pecan’s most popular time, when the nut graces the rich pie named for it. Southerners claim the pecan along with the cornbread and collard greens that distinguish the regional table, and the South looms large in our imaginations as this nut’s mother country.

The presence of pecan pralines in every Southern gift shop from South Carolina to Texas, and our view of the nut as regional fare, masks a crucial chapter in the story of the pecan: It was an enslaved man who made the wide cultivation of this nut possible.

Pecan trees are native to the middle southwestern region of the Mississippi River Valley and the Gulf Coast of Texas and Mexico. While the trees can live for a hundred years or more, they do not produce nuts in the first years of life, and the kinds of nuts they produce are wildly variable in size, shape, flavor and ease of shell removal. Indigenous people worked around this variability, harvesting the nuts for hundreds and probably thousands of years, camping near the groves in season, trading the nuts in a network that stretched across the continent, and lending the food the name we have come to know it by: paccan.

Once white Southerners became fans of the nut, they set about trying to standardize its fruit by engineering the perfect pecan tree. Planters tried to cultivate pecan trees for a commercial market beginning at least as early as the 1820s, when a well-known planter from South Carolina named Abner Landrum published detailed descriptions of his attempt in the American Farmer periodical. In the mid-1840s, a planter in Louisiana sent cuttings of a much-prized pecan tree over to his neighbor J.T. Roman, the owner of Oak Alley Plantation. Roman did what many enslavers were accustomed to in that period: He turned the impossible work over to an enslaved person with vast capabilities, a man whose name we know only as Antoine. Antoine undertook the delicate task of grafting the pecan cuttings onto the limbs of different tree species on the plantation grounds. Many specimens thrived, and Antoine fashioned still more trees, selecting for nuts with favorable qualities. It was Antoine who successfully created what would become the country’s first commercially viable pecan varietal.

Decades later, a new owner of Oak Alley, Hubert Bonzano, exhibited nuts from Antoine’s trees at the Centennial Exposition of 1876, the World’s Fair held in Philadelphia and a major showcase for American innovation. As the horticulturalist Lenny Wells has recorded, the exhibited nuts received a commendation from the Yale botanist William H. Brewer, who praised them for their “remarkably large size, tenderness of shell and very special excellence.” Coined “the Centennial,” Antoine’s pecan varietal was then seized upon for commercial production (other varieties have since become the standard).

Was Antoine aware of his creation’s triumph? No one knows. As the historian James McWilliams writes in “The Pecan: A History of America’s Native Nut” (2013): “History leaves no record as to the former slave gardener’s location — or whether he was even alive — when the nuts from the tree he grafted were praised by the nation’s leading agricultural experts.” The tree never bore the name of the man who had handcrafted it and developed a full-scale orchard on the Oak Alley Plantation before he slipped into the shadow of history.

Most of these stories of brutality, torture and premature death have never been told in classroom textbooks or historical museums. They have been refined and whitewashed in the mills and factories of Southern folklore: the romantic South, the Lost Cause, the popular “moonlight and magnolias” plantation tours so important to Louisiana’s agritourism today.

When I arrived at the Whitney Plantation Museum on a hot day in June, I mentioned to Ashley Rogers, 36, the museum’s executive director, that I had passed the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center about 15 miles back along the way. “You passed a dump and a prison on your way to a plantation,” she said. “These are not coincidences.”

The Whitney, which opened five years ago as the only sugar-slavery museum in the nation, rests squarely in a geography of human detritus. The museum tells of the everyday struggles and resistance of black people who didn’t lose their dignity even when they lost everything else. It sits on the west bank of the Mississippi at the northern edge of the St. John the Baptist Parish, home to dozens of once-thriving sugar plantations Marmillion’s plantation and torture box were just a few miles down from Whitney.

The museum also sits across the river from the site of the German Coast uprising in 1811, one of the largest revolts of enslaved people in United States history. As many as 500 sugar rebels joined a liberation army heading toward New Orleans, only to be cut down by federal troops and local militia no record of their actual plans survives. About a hundred were killed in battle or executed later, many with their heads severed and placed on pikes throughout the region. Based on historians’ estimates, the execution tally was nearly twice as high as the number in Nat Turner’s more famous 1831 rebellion. The revolt has been virtually redacted from the historical record. But not at Whitney. And yet tourists, Rogers said, sometimes admit to her, a white woman, that they are warned by hotel concierges and tour operators that Whitney is the one misrepresenting the past. “You are meant to empathize with the owners as their guests,” Rogers told me in her office. In Louisiana’s plantation tourism, she said, “the currency has been the distortion of the past.”

The landscape bears witness and corroborates Whitney’s version of history. Although the Coleman jail opened in 2001 and is named for an African-American sheriff’s deputy who died in the line of duty, Rogers connects it to a longer history of coerced labor, land theft and racial control after slavery. Sugar cane grows on farms all around the jail, but at the nearby Louisiana State Penitentiary, or Angola, prisoners grow it. Angola is the largest maximum-security prison by land mass in the nation. It opened in its current location in 1901 and took the name of one of the plantations that had occupied the land. Even today, incarcerated men harvest Angola’s cane, which is turned into syrup and sold on-site.

From slavery to freedom, many black Louisianans found that the crushing work of sugar cane remained mostly the same. Even with Reconstruction delivering civil rights for the first time, white planters continued to dominate landownership. Freedmen and freedwomen had little choice but to live in somebody’s old slave quarters. As new wage earners, they negotiated the best terms they could, signed labor contracts for up to a year and moved frequently from one plantation to another in search of a life whose daily rhythms beat differently than before. And yet, even compared with sharecropping on cotton plantations, Rogers said, “sugar plantations did a better job preserving racial hierarchy.” As a rule, the historian John C. Rodrigue writes, “plantation labor overshadowed black people’s lives in the sugar region until well into the 20th century.”

Sometimes black cane workers resisted collectively by striking during planting and harvesting time — threatening to ruin the crop. Wages and working conditions occasionally improved. But other times workers met swift and violent reprisals. After a major labor insurgency in 1887, led by the Knights of Labor, a national union, at least 30 black people — some estimated hundreds — were killed in their homes and on the streets of Thibodaux, La. “I think this will settle the question of who is to rule, the nigger or the white man, for the next 50 years,” a local white planter’s widow, Mary Pugh, wrote, rejoicing, to her son.

Many African-Americans aspired to own or rent their own sugar-cane farms in the late 19th century, but faced deliberate efforts to limit black farm and land owning. The historian Rebecca Scott found that although 𠇋lack farmers were occasionally able to buy plots of cane land from bankrupt estates, or otherwise establish themselves as suppliers, the trend was for planters to seek to establish relations with white tenants or sharecroppers who could provide cane for the mill.”

By World War II, many black people began to move not simply from one plantation to another, but from a cane field to a car factory in the North. By then, harvesting machines had begun to take over some, but not all, of the work. With fewer and fewer black workers in the industry, and after efforts in the late 1800s to recruit Chinese, Italian, Irish and German immigrant workers had already failed, labor recruiters in Louisiana and Florida sought workers in other states.

In 1942, the Department of Justice began a major investigation into the recruiting practices of one of the largest sugar producers in the nation, the United States Sugar Corporation, a South Florida company. Black men unfamiliar with the brutal nature of the work were promised seasonal sugar jobs at high wages, only to be forced into debt peonage, immediately accruing the cost of their transportation, lodging and equipment — all for $1.80 a day. One man testified that the conditions were so bad, “It wasn’t no freedom it was worse than the pen.” Federal investigators agreed. When workers tried to escape, the F.B.I. found, they were captured on the highway or “shot at while trying to hitch rides on the sugar trains.” The company was indicted by a federal grand jury in Tampa for �rrying out a conspiracy to commit slavery,” wrote Alec Wilkinson, in his 1989 book, 𠇋ig Sugar: Seasons in the Cane Fields of Florida.” (The indictment was ultimately quashed on procedural grounds.) A congressional investigation in the 1980s found that sugar companies had systematically tried to exploit seasonal West Indian workers to maintain absolute control over them with the constant threat of immediately sending them back to where they came from.

At the Whitney plantation, which operated continuously from 1752 to 1975, its museum staff of 12 is nearly all African-American women. A third of them have immediate relatives who either worked there or were born there in the 1960s and �s. These black women show tourists the same slave cabins and the same cane fields their own relatives knew all too well.

Farm laborers, mill workers and refinery employees make up the 16,400 jobs of Louisiana’s sugar-cane industry. But it is the owners of the 11 mills and 391 commercial farms who have the most influence and greatest share of the wealth. And the number of black sugar-cane farmers in Louisiana is most likely in the single digits, based on estimates from people who work in the industry. They are the exceedingly rare exceptions to a system designed to codify black loss.

And yet two of these black farmers, Charles Guidry and Eddie Lewis III, have been featured in a number of prominent news items and marketing materials out of proportion to their representation and economic footprint in the industry. Lewis and Guidry have appeared in separate online videos. The American Sugar Cane League has highlighted the same pair separately in its online newsletter, Sugar News.

Lewis has no illusions about why the marketing focuses on him, he told me sugar cane is a lucrative business, and to keep it that way, the industry has to work with the government. “You need a few minorities in there, because these mills survive off having minorities involved with the mill to get these huge government loans,” he said. A former financial adviser at Morgan Stanley, Lewis, 36, chose to leave a successful career in finance to take his rightful place as a fifth-generation farmer. “My family was farming in the late 1800s” near the same land, he says, that his enslaved ancestors once worked. Much of the 3,000 acres he now farms comes from relationships with white landowners his father, Eddie Lewis Jr., and his grandfather before him, built and maintained.

Lewis is the minority adviser for the federal Farm Service Agency (F.S.A.) in St. Martin and Lafayette Parish, and also participates in lobbying federal legislators. He says he does it because the stakes are so high. If things don’t change, Lewis told me, “I’m probably one of two or three that’s going to be farming in the next 10 to 15 years. They’re trying to basically extinct us.” As control of the industry consolidates in fewer and fewer hands, Lewis believes black sugar-cane farmers will no longer exist, part of a long-term trend nationally, where the total proportion of all African-American farmers has plummeted since the early 1900s, to less than 2 percent from more than 14 percent, with 90 percent of black farmers’ land lost amid decades of racist actions by government agencies, banks and real estate developers.

“There’s still a few good white men around here,” Lewis told me. “It’s not to say it’s all bad. But this is definitely a community where you still have to say, ‘Yes sir,’ ‘Yes, ma𠆚m,’ and accept 𠆋oy’ and different things like that.”

One of the biggest players in that community is M.A. Patout and Son, the largest sugar-cane mill company in Louisiana. Founded in 1825, Patout has been known to boast that it is “the oldest complete family-owned and operated manufacturer of raw sugar in the United States.” It owns three of the 11 remaining sugar-cane mills in Louisiana, processing roughly a third of the cane in the state.

The company is being sued by a former fourth-generation black farmer. As first reported in The Guardian, Wenceslaus Provost Jr. claims the company breached a harvesting contract in an effort to deliberately sabotage his business. Provost, who goes by the first name June, and his wife, Angie, who is also a farmer, lost their home to foreclosure in 2018, after defaulting on F.S.A.-guaranteed crop loans. June Provost has also filed a federal lawsuit against First Guaranty Bank and a bank senior vice president for claims related to lending discrimination, as well as for mail and wire fraud in reporting false information to federal loan officials. The suit names a whistle-blower, a federal loan officer, who, in April 2015, “informed Mr. Provost that he had been systematically discriminated against by First Guaranty Bank,” the lawsuit reads.

(In court filings, M.A. Patout and Son denied that it breached the contract. Representatives for the company did not respond to requests for comment. In court filings, First Guaranty Bank and the senior vice president also denied Provost’s claims. Their representatives did not respond to requests for comment.)

Lewis is himself a litigant in a separate petition against white landowners. He claims they “unilaterally, arbitrarily and without just cause terminated” a seven-year-old agreement to operate his sugar-cane farm on their land, causing him to lose the value of the crop still growing there. Lewis is seeking damages of more than $200,000, based on an independent appraisal he obtained, court records show. The landowners did not respond to requests for comment.

But the new lessee, Ryan Doré, a white farmer, did confirm with me that he is now leasing the land and has offered to pay Lewis what a county agent assessed as the crop’s worth, about $50,000. Doré does not dispute the amount of Lewis’s sugar cane on the 86.16 acres. What he disputes is Lewis’s ability to make the same crop as profitable as he would. Doré, who credits M.A. Patout and Son for getting him started in sugar-cane farming, also told me he is farming some of the land June Provost had farmed.

Lewis and the Provosts say they believe Doré is using his position as an elected F.S.A. committee member to gain an unfair advantage over black farmers with white landowners. “He’s privileged with a lot of information,” Lewis said.

Doré denied he is abusing his F.S.A. position and countered that “the Lewis boy” is trying to “make this a black-white deal.” Doré insisted that 𠇋oth those guys simply lost their acreage for one reason and one reason only: They are horrible farmers.”

It’s impossible to listen to the stories that Lewis and the Provosts tell and not hear echoes of the policies and practices that have been used since Reconstruction to maintain the racial caste system that sugar slavery helped create. The crop, land and farm theft that they claim harks back to the New Deal era, when Southern F.S.A. committees denied black farmers government funding.

“June and I hope to create a dent in these oppressive tactics for future generations,” Angie Provost told me on the same day this spring that a congressional subcommittee held hearings on reparations. “To this day we are harassed, retaliated against and denied the true DNA of our past.”

Khalil Gibran Muhammad is a Suzanne Young Murray professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University and author of “The Condemnation of Blackness.” Tiya Miles is a professor in the history department at Harvard and the author, most recently, of “The Dawn of Detroit: A Chronicle of Slavery and Freedom in the City of the Straits.”


14 June 1942 - History

On this day in 1942, the Battle of Midway--one of the most decisive U.S. victories against Japan during World War II--begins. During the four-day sea-and-air battle, the outnumbered U.S. Pacific Fleet succeeded in destroying four Japanese aircraft carriers while losing only one of its own, the Yorktown, to the previously invincible Japanese navy.

In six months of offensives prior to Midway, the Japanese had triumphed in lands throughout the Pacific, including Malaysia, Singapore, the Dutch East Indies, the Philippines and numerous island groups. The United States, however, was a growing threat, and Japanese Admiral Isoruku Yamamoto sought to destroy the U.S. Pacific Fleet before it was large enough to outmatch his own.

A thousand miles northwest of Honolulu, the strategic island of Midway became the focus of his scheme to smash U.S. resistance to Japan's imperial designs. Yamamoto's plan consisted of a feint toward Alaska followed by an invasion of Midway by a Japanese strike force. When the U.S. Pacific Fleet arrived at Midway to respond to the invasion, it would be destroyed by the superior Japanese fleet waiting unseen to the west. If successful, the plan would eliminate the U.S. Pacific Fleet and provide a forward outpost from which the Japanese could eliminate any future American threat in the Central Pacific. U.S. intelligence broke the Japanese naval code, however, and the Americans anticipated the surprise attack.

In the meantime, 200 miles to the northeast, two U.S. attack fleets caught the Japanese force entirely by surprise and destroyed three heavy Japanese carriers and one heavy cruiser. The only Japanese carrier that initially escaped destruction, the Hiryu, loosed all its aircraft against the American task force and managed to seriously damage the U.S. carrier Yorktown, forcing its abandonment. At about 5:00 p.m., dive-bombers from the U.S. carrier Enterprise returned the favor, mortally damaging the Hiryu. It was scuttled the next morning.

When the Battle of Midway ended, Japan had lost four carriers, a cruiser and 292 aircraft, and suffered an estimated 2,500 casualties. The U.S. lost the Yorktown, the destroyer USS Hammann, 145 aircraft and suffered approximately 300 casualties.

Japan's losses hobbled its naval might--bringing Japanese and American sea power to approximate parity--and marked the turning point in the Pacific theater of World War II. In August 1942, the great U.S. counteroffensive began at Guadalcanal and did not cease until Japan's surrender three years later.

Jun 4, 1989: Tiananmen Square massacre takes place

Chinese troops storm through Tiananmen Square in the center of Beijing, killing and arresting thousands of pro-democracy protesters. The brutal Chinese government assault on the protesters shocked the West and brought denunciations and sanctions from the United States.

In May 1989, nearly a million Chinese, mostly young students, crowded into central Beijing to protest for greater democracy and call for the resignations of Chinese Communist Party leaders deemed too repressive. For nearly three weeks, the protesters kept up daily vigils, and marched and chanted. Western reporters captured much of the drama for television and newspaper audiences in the United States and Europe. On June 4, 1989, however, Chinese troops and security police stormed through Tiananmen Square, firing indiscriminately into the crowds of protesters. Turmoil ensued, as tens of thousands of the young students tried to escape the rampaging Chinese forces. Other protesters fought back, stoning the attacking troops and overturning and setting fire to military vehicles. Reporters and Western diplomats on the scene estimated that at least 300, and perhaps thousands, of the protesters had been killed and as many as 10,000 were arrested.

The savagery of the Chinese government's attack shocked both its allies and Cold War enemies. Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declared that he was saddened by the events in China. He said he hoped that the government would adopt his own domestic reform program and begin to democratize the Chinese political system. In the United States, editorialists and members of Congress denounced the Tiananmen Square massacre and pressed for President George Bush to punish the Chinese government. A little more than three weeks later, the U.S. Congress voted to impose economic sanctions against the People's Republic of China in response to the brutal violation of human rights.

Names of Known Tiananmen Square Victims

Per Remember64.org program
An Ji
Bai Jing Chuan
Bao Xiu Dong
Ben Yun Hai
Bian Zong Xu
Cao Zhen Ping
Chen Lai Shun
Chen Sen Lin
Chen Zhong Jie
Chen Zi Qi
Cheng Ren Xing
Cui Lin Feng
Dai Jin Ping
Dai Wei
Dong Lin
Dong Xiao Jun
Du Guang Xue
Du Yan Ying
Duan Chang Long
Gao Yuan
Gong Ji Fang
Guo Chun Min
Guo An Min
Han Jun You
Han Qiu
Han Zi Quan
Hao Zhi Jing
He Guo
He Jie
He Shi Tai
He An Bin
Hu Xing Yun
Huang Pei Pu
Huang Tao
Huang Xin Hua
Jiang Jia Xing
Jiang Jie Lian
Kou Xia
Kuang Min
Lai Bi
Lei Guang Tai
Li Chang Shen
Li Chun
Li De Zhi
Li Hao Cheng
Li Hui
Li Li
Li Meng
Li Ping
Li Shu Zhen
Li Tie Gang
Li Zhen Ying
Li Hui Quan
Liang Bao Xing
Lin Ren Fu
Lin Tao
Liu Chun Yong
Liu Feng Gen
Liu Hong
Liu Hong Tɑo
Liu Jian Guo
Liu Jin Hua
Liu Jing Sheng
Liu Jun He
Liu Qiang
Liu Yan Sheng
Liu Zhan Min
Lu Chun Lin
Lu Xiao Jun
Lu Jian Guo
Lu Peng
Luan Yi Wei
Luo Wei
Ma Chene Fen
Ma Jian Wu
Mu Gui Lan
Nan Hua Tong
Ni Shi Lian
Peng Jun
Pu Chang Kui
Qi Li
Qi Wen
Qian Hui
Qian Jin
Ren Jian Min
Ren Wen Lian
Shi Hai Wen
Shi Yan
Song Bao Sheng
Song Xiao Ming
Su Jin Jian
Su Sheng Ji
Su Xin
Sun Hui
Sun Tie
Sun Xiao Feng
Sun Yan Chang
Tao Mao Xian
Tao Zhi Gan
Tian Dao Min
Wang Chao
Wang Dong Xi
Wang Fang
Wang Gang
Wang Hong Qi
Wang Jian Ping
Wang Jun Jing
Wang Nan
Wang Pei Wen
Wang Qing Zeng
Wang Tie Jun
Wang Wei Ping
Wang Wen Ming
Wang Yao He
Wang Yi Fei
Wang Ying
Wang Zheng Sheng
Wang Zhi Ying
Wei Wu Min
Wen Jie
Wu Guo Feng
Wu Xiang Dong
Xi Gui Ru
Xia Zhi Lei
Xiao Bo
Xiao Jie
Xie Jing Suo
Xiong Zhi Ming
Xu Jian Ping
Yan Wen
Yang Han Lei
Yang Ming Hu
Yang Ru Ting
Yang Yan Sheng
Yang Zhen Jiang
Yang Zi Ping
Ye Wei Hang
Yin Shun Qing
Yin Jing
Yu Di
Yuan Li
Yuan Min Yu
Zha Ai Guo
Zhai Shun
Zhang Fu Yuan
Zhang Jia Mei
Zhang Jian
Zhang Jin
Zhang Lin
Zhang Luo Hong
Zhang Ru Ning
Zhang Wei Hua
Zhang Xiang Hong
Zhao De Jiang
Zhao Long
Zhao Tian Chou
Zheng Chun Fu
Zhonq Jun Jun
Zhong Qinq
Zhong Gui Qing
Zhou De Bao
Zhou De Ping
Zhou Xin Ming
Zhou Yong Qi
Zhou Yu Zhen
Zhuang Jie Sheng
Zou Bing
Zou Zuo Wu


History of the Army's Basic Branches

Ten companies of riflemen were authorized by a resolution of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1775. However, the oldest Regular Army infantry regiment, the 3d, was constituted on June 3, 1784, as the First American Regiment.

Adjutant General's Corps, June 16, 1775

The post of Adjutant General was established June 16, 1775, and has been continuously in operation since that time. The Adjutant General's Department, by that name, was established by the act of March 3, 1813, and was redesignated the Adjutant General's Corps in 1950.

Continental Congress authority for a "Chief Engineer for the Army" dates from June 16, 1775. A corps of Engineers for the United States was authorized by the Congress on March 11, 1779. The Corps of Engineers as it is known today came into being on March 16, 1802, when the President was authorized to "organize and establish a Corps of Engineers . that the said Corps . shall be stationed at West Point in the State of New York and shall constitute a Military Academy." A Corps of Topographical Engineers, authorized on July 4, 1838, was merged with the Corps of Engineers on March 1863.

Finance Corps, June 16, 1775

The Finance Corps is the successor to the old Pay Department, which was created in June 1775. The Finance Department was created by law on July 1, 1920. It became the Finance Corps in 1950.

Quartermaster Corps, June 16, 1775

The Quartermaster Corps, originally designated the Quartermaster Department, was established on June 16, 1775. While numerous additions, deletions, and changes of function have occurred, its basic supply and service support functions have continued in existence.

Air Defense Artillery and Field Artillery, November 17, 1775

The Continental Congress unanimously elected Henry Knox "Colonel of the Regiment of Artillery" on November 17, 1775. The regiment formally entered service on January 1, 1776.

Armor, December 12, 1776

The Armor branch traces its origin to the Cavalry. A regiment of cavalry was authorized to be raised by the Continental Congress Resolve of December 12, 1776. Although mounted units were raised at various times after the Revolution, the first in continuous service was the United States Regiment of Dragoons, organized in 1833. The Tank Service was formed on March 5, 1918. The Armored Force was formed on July 10, 1940. Armor became a permanent branch of the Army in 1950.

Ordnance Corps, May 14, 1812

The Ordnance Department was established by act of Congress on May 14, 1812. During the Revolutionary War, ordnance material was under supervision of the Board of War and Ordnance. Numerous shifts in duties and responsibilities have occurred in the Ordnance Corps since colonial times. It acquired its present designation in 1950.

Signal Corps, June 21, 1860

The Signal Corps was authorized as a separate branch of the Army by act of Congress on March 3, 1863. However, the Signal Corps dates its existence from June 21, 1860, when Congress authorized the appointment of one signal officer in the Army, and a War Department order carried the following assignment: "Signal Department--Assistant Surgeon Albert J. Myer to be Signal Officer, with the rank of Major, June 27, 1860, to fill an original vacancy."

Chemical Corps, June 28, 1918

The Chemical Warfare Service was established on June 28, 1918, combining activities that until then had been dispersed among five separate agencies of Government. It was made a permanent branch of the Regular Army by the National Defense Act of 1920. In 1945, it was redesignated the Chemical Corps.

Military Police Corps, September 26, 1941

A Provost Marshal General's Office and Corps of Military Police were established in 1941. Prior to that time, except during the Civil War and World War I, there was no regularly appointed Provost Marshal General or regularly constituted Military Police Corps, although a "Provost Marshal" can be found as early as January 1776, and a "Provost Corps" as early as 1778.

Transportation Corps, July 31, 1942

The historical background of the Transportation Corps starts with World War I. Prior to that time, transportation operations were chiefly the responsibility of the Quartermaster General. The Transportation Corps, essentially in its present form, was organized on July 31, 1942.

Military Intelligence, July 1, 1962

Intelligence has been an essential element of Army operations during war as well as during periods of peace. In the past, requirements were met by personnel from the Army Intelligence and Army Security Reserve branches, two-year obligated tour officers, one-tour levies on the various branches, and Regular Army officers in the specialization programs. To meet the Army's increased requirement for national and tactical intelligence, an Intelligence and Security Branch was established in the Army effective July 1, 1962, by General Orders No. 38, July 3, 1962. On July 1, 1967, the branch was redesignated as Military Intelligence.

Aviation, April 12, 1983

Following the establishment of the U.S. Air Force as a separate service in 1947, the Army began to develop further its own aviation assets (light planes and rotary wing aircraft) in support of ground operations. The Korean War gave this drive impetus, and the war in Vietnam saw its fruition, as Army aviation units performed a variety of missions, including reconnaissance, transport, and fire support. After the war in Vietnam, the role of armed helicopters as tank destroyers received new emphasis. In recognition of the growing importance of aviation in Army doctrine and operations, Aviation became a separate branch on April 12, 1983, and a full member of the Army's combined arms team.

Special Forces, April 9, 1987

The first Special Forces unit in the Army was formed on June 11, 1952, when the 10th Special Forces Group was activated at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. A major expansion of Special Forces occurred during the 1960s, with a total of eighteen groups organized in the Regular Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard. As a result of renewed emphasis on special operations in the 1980s, the Special Forces Branch was established as a basic branch of the Army effective April 9, 1987, by General Orders No. 35, June 19, 1987.

SPECIAL BRANCHES:

Army Medical Department, July 27, 1775

The Army Medical Department and the Medical Corps trace their origins to July 27, 1775, when the Continental Congress established the Army hospital headed by a "Director General and Chief Physician." Congress provided a medical organization of the Army only in time of war or emergency until 1818, which marked the inception of a permanent and continuous Medical Department.

The Army Nurse Corps dates from 1901, the Dental Corps from 1911, the Veterinary Corps from 1916, the Medical Service Corps from 1917, and the Army Medical Specialist Corps from 1947. The Army Organization Act of 1950 renamed the Medical Department as the Army Medical Service. On June 4, 1968, the Army Medical Service was redesignated the Army Medical Department.

Chaplains, July 29, 1775

The legal origin of the Chaplains is found in a resolution of the Continental Congress, adopted July 29, 1775, which made provision for the pay of chaplains. The Office of the Chief of Chaplains was created by the National Defense Act of 1920.

Judge Advocate General's Corps, July 29, 1775

The Office of Judge Advocate of the Army may be deemed to have been created on July 29, 1775, and has generally paralleled the origin and development of the American system of military justice. The Judge Advocate General's Department, by that name, was established in 1884. Its present designation as a corps was enacted in 1948.

Civil Affairs, August 17, 1955

The Civil Affairs/Military Government Branch in the Army Reserve Branch was established on August 17, 1955. Subsequently redesignated the Civil Affairs Branch on October 2, 1959, it has continued its mission to provide guidance to commanders in a broad spectrum of activities ranging from host-guest relationships to the assumption of executive, legislative, and judicial processes in occupied or liberated areas.


This Day in Black History: June 16, 1942

Known for his raspy and passionate vocals, the O'Jays' lead singer, Eddie Levert, was born on June 16, 1942, in Bessemer, Alabama. Arriving in Canton, Ohio, at the age of six, Levert began singing at school performances and in the church choir before seriously considering a professional singing career as a teen.

Levert recruited his fellow high school classmates Walter Williams, William Powell, Bobby Massey and Bill Isles to form the Triumphs in 1958. The group received their major break after performing at every available opportunity in Canton, culminating in a prosperous meeting with King Records President Sid Nathan. After signing to Nathan's label, the Triumphs became the Mascots and gained major radio airplay on Cleveland stations. In 1963, the group members made a final name change to the O'Jays.

The O'Jays' debut album, Let Me Touch You, climbed to number three on the R&B charts, with the hit single "Lovin' You" becoming the number one R&B hit the summer of 1987. As the lead singer and frequent writer and producer, Levert drew in listeners with his husky voice, which boasts an impressive range from alto to second tenor, and his sensual performance style. He has garnered a long list of achievements and awards both through the O'Jays and as a solo artist, including four Grammy nominations, four American Music Awards, a 2009 BET Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2011 Trumpet Lifetime Achievement Award.

In addition to his work with the O'Jays, Levert mentored and recorded several songs with his sons, Sean and Gerald, both of whom formed the platinum-recording R&B group LeVert. Gerald and his father would go on to record hit songs like "Baby Hold on to Me" (1992) and "Already Missing You" (1995), as well as the successful album Father & Son.

Tragedy struck when Levert lost both of his sons to complications involving prescription medicine in 2006 and 2008, respectively. He and his late son Gerald were honored with the "Best Duo or Group" Image Award in 2008.

Having left an indelible mark on R&B music, Levert continues to tour the world with the O'Jays and performs as a solo artist with Johnny Gill, Keith Sweat and other legendary singers.

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