US Naval History (Part 2)

wopodeke's version from 2016-06-07 02:49


This is a guide to the history of the United States Navy based on the information in the July 2009 revision of the Navy Recruit Trainee Guide. This guide will be divided into multiple parts. This part covers important people, ships, missions, innovations and events from World War I to the Vietnam War.


For the Revolutionary War to the transitional period after the Spanish-American War, see US Naval History (Part 1)
For the Persian Gulf War to the War on Terrorism, see US Naval History (Part 3)
For the relationship between the Navy Core Values and U.S. Naval history, the mission of the U.S. Navy, the mission of the U.S. Navy in the future, according to the Sea Power 21 plan and the mission and components of the U.S. Navy Reserve, see US Naval History (Part 4)

World War I

The U.S. entered the war in 1917 largely due to the unrestricted sinking of merchant ships by German submarines.


Question Answer
What was the role of the Navy in World War I?Transported soldiers and supplies to Europe in convoys. Conducted antisubmarine warfare.
When was the Naval Reserve founded?March 1915
How many Reservists served on active duty in World War I?330,000
When did the Navy authorize the enlistment of women for shore duties?March 1917
Who is Loretta Walsh?Walsh was a civilian clerk at a Philadelphia recruiting station when she enlisted in the navy. She was the first enlisted member of the U.S. Armed Forces.

After World War I (1919-1938)


Question Answer
What was the first ship to be designed and built from the keel up as an aircraft carrier?USS Ranger
When was the USS Ranger built?1934

World War II (1939-1945)

World War II started because Japan, Germany, and Italy were expanding their empires by attacking and overrunning other countries. It was fought on the Atlantic Ocean against Germany and Pacific Ocean against Japan.


Question Answer
Where did the Germany Navy use U-boats (submarines) to sink Allied ShipsAlong the U.S. east coast, some within sight of U.S. shore. In the Caribbean Sea.
How many personnel served with the United States Navy?800,000 active duty, three million Navy reservists and thousands of Department of Defense civilians.
What was the role of the Navy in World War II?Conducted antisubmarine warfare. Used ships to bombard enemy land targets. Participated in amphibious assaults. Used aircraft launched from carries to attack enemy targets. Attacked enemy warships and merchant ships.
What happened on December 7, 1941?The Japanese Navy conducted a surprise air raid on Pearl Harbor, HI bringing the U.S. into World War II.
What were the results of the Attack on Pearl Harbor?This was the first time in history that an attack was conducted solely by carrier-based aircraft. All Pacific Fleet Battleship were either damaged or destroyed. The battleship USS Arizona was sunk and remains at the bottom of Pearl Harbor as a memorial.
When did the Battle of Coral Sea take place?May 1942
What is the significance of the Battle of Coral Sea?It was the first Naval battle that was fought entirely by carrier based aircraft. It halted Japanese advances in the southwestern Pacific Ocean.
What were the results of the Battle of Coral Sea?One Japanese aircraft was sunk, another was badly damaged. The USS Lexington was lost.
When did the Battle of Midway take place?June 1942
What were the results of the Battle of MidwayFour Japanese carriers were sunk and the USS Yorktown was sunk. The Japanese Navy received its first decisive defeat of the war.
When was the Women's reserve of the Navy established?July 1942
What was the Women's reserve of the Navy renamed?Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service (WAVES)
Who were the Golden Thirteen?The Golden Thirteen were the first African-American officers. The 12 ensigns and one warrant officer were commissioned March 1944. Building 1405 at RTC Great Lakes is dedicated to the Golden Thirteen.
When was D-Day?June 6, 1944
What happened on D-Day?It was the largest amphibious assault in history. Allied forces landed in Normandy, France using amphibious assault. Navy ships bombarded German land targets. The landing allowed the Allies to take the fighting to Germany.
When did the U.S. drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan?August 1945
What was the result of the bombing?World War II ended
On what ship did the Japanese surrender?USS Missouri
Who signed the surrender on behalf of the Navy?Fleet Admiral Nimitz.
Where is the USS Missouri displayed?Battleship Row in Pearl Harbor, HI to symbolize the end of World War II while the USS Arizona symbolizes the beginning.

Cold War with the Soviet Union (1945-1990)

Began at the end of World War II with the Soviet Union extending its control into Eastern Europe.


Question Answer
What was the Navy's role during the Cold War?The U.S. Navy enforced the U.S. policy of containing the Soviet threat by preventing an attack on the United States and its allies.

Korean War (1950-1953)

In 1950, the U.S. entered the war because North Korean forces invaded South Korea. For the first time, the Navy used jet aircraft in combat. 130,000 Naval Reservists served on active duty. Naval Reserve aviators made up a significant percentage of Navy pilots engaged in conflict.


Question Answer
What was the Navy's role in the Korean War?Air strikes. Shore Bombardments. Amphibious assaults. Blockade of North Korean ports.
When was the amphibious assault on Inchon, Korea?September 1950
How did the amphibious assault help the war?It led UN forces to advance to the Korean-Chinese border.
Describe the fighting of Korean WarEach did made advances and then retreated over three years of fighting.
When was the armistice to end the fighting signed?July 1953

Transitional period after the Korean War (1954-1963)


Question Answer
What was the first nuclear-powered submarine?USS Nautilus
When did the USS Nautilus begin operations?January 1955
What was the first nuclear-powered surface ship?USS Long Beach
When was the USS Long Beach commissioned?September 1961'

Vietnam (Second Indochina) War (1957-1975)

Began when Communist-led rebels mounted terrorist attacks on South Vietnam. Hostilities evolved into a war between North and South Vietnam.


Question Answer
What was the U.S. Navy's role in the Vietnam War?Gunfire support of land forces. Carrier operations. Mining harbors. Bombarding shore targets. Combating the enemy using coastal and river craft.
When did the U.S. Navy become involved in combat with the North Vietnamese?1964
How did the Navy get involved in combat?Forces shot down Navy aircraft. Patrol boats attacked a U.S. destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin.
When was the first Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Navy appointed?January 1967
Who was the first Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Navy?Master Chief Gunner's Mate Delbert Black
What was the title Senior Enlisted Advisor of the Navy changed to?Master Chief of the Navy (MCPON)