Fireworks and Facts
With Independence Day right around the corner there will be plenty of red, white and blue, and thanks for our service members, but how much thought will be given to history? With that in mind we decided it would be fun to find some U.S. Navy facts that you can share at BBQs and tail-gate parties.
1. A favorite of U.S. Navy Sailors, “Anchors Aweigh,” was written after Midshipman First Class Alfred Hard Miles requested a new march of Bandmaster, Lt. Charles Zimmerman in 1906. Miles was a member of the Class of 1907 and said that he and his classmates “were eager to have a piece of music that would be inspiring, one with a swing to it so it could be used as a football marching song, and one that would live forever.” It’s said that Zimmerman wrote the music and Miles penned the original lyrics at the Naval Academy Chapel organ in November 1906.
2. There’s a special Navy Marine Mammal Program dedicated to studying, training and deploying dolphins, sea lions and other marine mammals that are uniquely effective at locating sea mines.
3. Today’s Navy includes 34 wooden hull ships. You read that right, wooden hull ships. These wooden hulls are sheathed in fiberglass and belong to Mine Countermeasure Ships that find, classify, and destroy mines in vital waterways.
4. “Damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead!” is the now famous statement attributed to Adm. David Farragut but he was also the Navy’s first vice admiral, a rank created for him by President Abraham Lincoln, and was later made the Navy’s first admiral by Congressional Act.
6. While under attack from a German submarine Oct. 16, 1917 Gunner’s Mate First Class Osmond Ingram of Pratt City, Ala. saw an approaching torpedo and realized it would hit close to the explosives aboard the ship. He rushed to jettison the ammunition, and was blown overboard and killed, when the torpedo struck. Though Ingram was killed while trying to save his shipmates and their vessel, his selfless acts led to him being the first enlisted namesake of a ship. Ingram was also the first enlisted man killed in World War 1.
PEARL HARBOR (July 4, 2010) Fireworks at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH) explode over two Aegis-class cruisers, USS Chosin (CG 65) and USS Lake Erie (CG 70). Thousands watched as service members and their families enjoyed 4th of July celebrations honoring America’s 234th birthday. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Mark Logico/Released)