Friends of Padre Steve’s World
Today a break from writing anything really new. For those that don’t know, I grew up as the child of a Navy Chief Petty Officer. Growing up around naval bases and naval air stations in the 1960s and 1970s I became enthralled by the Navy, ships, aircraft and naval history. I still am, though due to my writing on Gettysburg I have not done much new writing on the subject in the past year or so. This is an article from 2010 that I have updated today. It is about the U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. It is a “wave top” treatment, really more of an introduction than anything else. I followed it with a number of articles about the U.S. Navy carriers, as well as the British carriers of the 1920s, 1930s and early World War II carriers. Those articles can be found by clicking on the Warship and Naval Battles tab.
Have a great weekend,
On a blustery November 14th in the year 1910 a young civilian pilot hailing from Williamsburg Iowa became the first man to fly an aircraft off the deck of a ship. At the age of 24 and having taught himself to fly barely 7 months before Eugene Ely readied himself and his Curtis biplane aboard the Cruiser USS Birmingham anchored just south of Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads. Ely was there because he was discovered by Navy Captain Washington Irving Chambers who had been tasked with exploring how aircraft might become part of Naval Operations. Chambers had no budget or authority for his seemingly thankless task but hearing that a German steamship might launch and aircraft from a ship hustled to find a way to stake a claim for the U.S. Navy to be the first…
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