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CVE-20 U.S.S. Barnes - History

CVE-20 U.S.S. Barnes - History

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Barnes II

(ACV-20: dp. 7800; 1. 495'8"; b. 111'6"; dr. 2fi'; s. 17.6
k.; cpl. 890; a. 2 5"; cl. Bogue)

Laid down under a Maritime Commission contract, the second Barnes (ACV 20) was transferred to the Navy 1 May 1942; launched 22 May 1942 by Seattle Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma, Wash.; sponsored by Mrs. G. L. Hutchinson, widow of Lieutenant Hutchinson, and commissioned 20 February 1943, Captain C. D. Glover in command. Originally classified AVG-20, ~he was reclassified ACV 20, 20 August 1942; CVE-20, 15 July 1943; and CVE 20, 12 June 1955.

The major task of Barnes throughout World War II was the transporting of aircraft and personnel from the United States to the forward areas of the Pacific. In addition she served as a combat, training, and pilot qualifying carrier.

While performing these duties she launched her planes on several raids against Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands operation (20 November-5 December 1943); and provided invaluable aircraft replenishment to the various task groups of the 3rd Fleet during the western Caroline Islands operation (6 September-14 October 1944), and the Luson attacks ( l. October 1944).

Atter Japan's surrender, Barnes remained in the Far East on occupation duty until 3 November l945. Returning to the United States in March 1946 Barnes remained on the west coast for a period of time and then steamed to Boston, where she was placed out of commission in reserve 29 August 1946.

Barnes was awarded three battle stars for her service during World War II

  • Intrepid was instrumental in successful operations against the Japanese. Her operations took her throughout the Far Pacific to Truk, Kwajalein, Ennuebing Island, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Okinawa, Formosa, and more.
  • On Feb. 17, 1944, she suffered a hit from an aerial torpedo that partially flooded her and required major damage control efforts on the part of her crew. With the help of a handmade sail to keep her on course, she made it to Pearl Harbor a week later.
  • The Battle for Leyte Gulf, Oct. 1944: this battle included many ships from both the American and Japanese Navy and dozens of planes. Japan lost five ships the United States won.
  • Intrepid sustained a kamikaze hit Oct. 30 that killed ten and injured six.
  • In April of the following year, a Japanese plane crashed into the ship, killing 8 and injuring 21.
  • After the war, she supported occupation of Japan.

Vietnam War

In 1966, Intrepid set records for fastest launch times off the coast of Vietnam.

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb

The origins of the Manhattan Project go back to 1939, when Hungarian-born physicist Leo Szilard, who had moved to the U.S. in 1938 to conduct research at Columbia University, became convinced of the feasibility of using nuclear chain reactions to create new, powerful bombs. German scientists had just conducted a successful nuclear fission experiment, and based on those results, Szilard was able to demonstrate that uranium was capable of producing a nuclear chain reaction. Szilard noted that Germany had stopped the exportation of uranium from Czechoslovakian mines which they had taken over in 1938.

He feared that Germany was trying to build an atomic bomb, while the United States was sitting idle. Although WWII had not yet started, Germany was clearly a threat, and if the Germans had a monopoly on the atomic bomb, it could be deployed against anyone, including the United States, without warning. Szilard worked with Albert Einstein, whose celebrity gave him access to the president, to produce a letter informing Roosevelt of the situation. Their warning eventually resulted in the Manhattan Project. Bomb opponents argue that the atomic bomb was built as a defensive weapon, not an offensive one. It was intended to be a deterrent, to make Germany or any other enemy think twice before using such a weapon against the United States. To bolster their argument, thesecritics point out that ever since WWII, the weapon has been used only as a deterrent.

From 1949-1991 the Cold War was waged under the shadow of Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and even though the United States fought major wars in Korea (while Truman was still in office), Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, nuclear weapons were never again deployed. In other words, not using them in those wars has been an admission that they should never have been used offensively in the first place.

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb — Argument 2: Use of the Bomb was Illegal

On September 39, 1938, the League of Nations, “under the recognized principles of international law,” issued a unanimous resolution outlawing the intentional bombing of civilian populations, with special emphasis against bombing military objectives from the air. The League warned, “Any attack on legitimate military objectives must be carried out in such a way that civilian populations in the neighborhood are not bombed through negligence.” Significantly, the resolution also reaffirmed that “the use of chemical or bacterial methods in the conduct of war is contrary to international law.” In other words, a special category of illegal weapons had been recognized, a category today called Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD).

However, bomb supporters point out that since the United States was not a member of the League of Nations its laws did not apply. And anyway, the League had been disbanded in 1939, long before the atomic bomb was used. Additionally, the law did not specifically outlaw nuclear weapons. To that counter-argument, bomb opponents reply that since America presents itself to the world as a model for human rights, the U.S. should aspire to at least meet the basic code of conduct agreed to by the rest of the civilized world. They also point out that nuclear weapons were not specifically outlawed because they did not exist, but as a weapon of mass destruction, they most certainly would have been.

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb — Argument 3: Use of the Atomic Bombs Was Racially Motivated

Opponents of President Truman’s decision to use the atomic bomb argue that racism played an important role in the decision that had the bomb been ready in time it never would have been used against Germany. All of America’s enemies were stereotyped and caricatured in home front propaganda, but there was a clear difference in the nature of that propaganda. Although there were crude references to Germans as “krauts,” and Italians as “Tonies” or “spaghettis,” the vast majority of ridicule was directed at their political leadership. Hitler, Nazis, and Italy’s Mussolini were routinely caricatured, but the German and Italian people weren’t.

By contrast, anti-Japanese racism in American society targeted the Japanese as a race of people, and demonstrated a level of hatred comparable with Nazi anti-Jewish propaganda. The Japanese were universally caricatured as having huge buck teeth, massive fangs dripping with saliva, and monstrous thick glasses through which they leered with squinty eyes. They were further dehumanized as being snakes, cockroaches, and rats, and their entire culture was mocked, including language, customs, and religious beliefs. Anti-Japanese imagery was everywhere—in Bugs Bunny cartoons, popular music, post cards, children’s toys, magazine advertisements, and in a wide array of novelty items ranging from ash trays to “Jap Hunting License” buttons. Even Tarzan, in one of the last novels written by his creator Edgar Rice Burroughs, spent time in the Pacific hunting and killing Japs. Numerous songs advocated killing all Japanese. The popular novelty hit, “Remember Pearl Harbor” by Carson Robison, for example, urges Americans to “wipe the Jap from the map.” It continues:

Remember how we used to call them our “little brown brothers?”
What a laugh that turned out to be
Well, we can all thank God that we’re not related
To that yellow scum of the sea
They talked of peace, and of friendship
We found out just what all that talk was worth
All right, they’ve asked for it, and now they’re going to get it
We’ll blow every one of them right off of the face of the Earth

Americans didn’t like Mussolini, Hitler, and Nazis, but many hated the Japanese race. The official magazine of the US Marine Corps, The Leatherneck, in May 1945 called the Japanese a “pestilence,” and called for “a giant task of extermination.” The American historian Steven Ambrose, a child during the war, has said that because of the propaganda, he grew up thinking that the only good Jap was a dead Jap. That hatred began with Pearl Harbor and increased when news broke of the Bataan Death March, and with each act of defiance against America’s “island hopping” campaign. Killing became too easy, and the dehumanizing of the enemy commonplace. Some American soldiers in the Pacific sent home to their girlfriends the skulls of Japanese soldiers, to be displayed on their desks at work. American soldiers did not send home Nazi skulls as trophies or sweetheart gifts. In 1944 a US Congressman presented President Roosevelt with a letter-opener purportedly made from the arm bone of a Japanese soldier.

American racism led to a failure to distinguish between the Japanese government, dominated by hard-line militarists, and the Japanese civilian who was caught up in their government’s war. Racists viewed allJapanese as threats not because of their political education, but because of their genetics. As further evidence, bomb opponents point to US policy toward the Japanese-Americans living in California at the time. They were rounded up, denied their basic liberties under the Constitution (even though many of them were American citizens), and sent to isolated camps in the deserts, surrounded by barbed wire, until the war’s end.

Nothing on this scale was done to the Germans during WWII, or even during the First World War, when there were millions of German and Austrian immigrants and their children living in the United States. In May 1944 Life magazine reported on the hardships of George Yamamoto, a Japanese-American who had immigrated to the US in 1920 at the age of 17 to work on his family’s farm. In 1942 Mr. Yamamoto worked at a fish market, ran a sporting goods store, and was a solid member of his community, along with his wife and children.

They were interned, but Mr. Yamamoto applied for a relocation program, was cleared by the US government as loyal and trustworthy, and was packed off to Delaware to find work. He was run out of town before he could even start, and was relocated to New Jersey, where he was to work on a farm owned by Eddie Kowalick. But the citizens of New Jersey were no more accommodating. They feared an influx of Jap workers and didn’t want their kids sitting next to “yellow” children in school. A petition to evict Yamamoto was circulated, there were multiple threats of violence against him, and one of Mr. Kowalick’s barns was burned to the ground. After threats were made against the life of Mr. Kowalick’s baby, he felt he had no choice but to ask Mr. Yamamoto to move on. Three weeks after Life printed this story, they printed letters written in response. Most of those selected by the editorial staff for publication were supportive of Mr. Yamamoto and expressed embarrassment at the ignorance of some Americans. But the magazine also published this letter, written by William M. Hinds of Birmingham, Alabama:

Sirs, there are many of us who believe that the deceit, treachery and bestiality inherent in the Japanese we are fighting in the Pacific are traits not automatically removed from members of the race merely by accident of birth in the US. There are many of us who believe, quite sincerely and simply, that Japanese immigrants to the US and their American-born children will deliberately live an impeccable American life while awaiting an opportunity to perpetrate a Pearl Harbor of their own dimensions. Cheers for the public-spirited citizens of New Jersey who ran Mr. Yamamoto away.

While it’s easy to see that extreme racism toward the Japanese existed, it’s much more difficult to assess the role racism may have played in President Truman’s decision. However, there are a few instances in the historical record where the President does refer to the Japanese in questionable terms. In his July 25, 1945 diary entry, as Truman is writing about the bomb, he refers to the “Japs” as “savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic.” On August 11, after both Hiroshima and Nagasaki had been devastated, an American clergyman named Samuel McCrea Cavert wrote the President urging him to give the Japanese time to surrender before using any more atomic bombs. Truman replied, “When you have to deal with a beast you have to treat him as a beast.” Whether these comments are racist about the Japanese people, or only express the President’s opinion about the Japanese military is a matter of interpretation.

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb — Argument 4: There Were Alternatives

Supporters of President Truman’s decision to use atomic weapons against Japan tend to paint the decision as a difficult choice between two stark options—it was either American boys, or the bomb. Opponents of the bomb are adamant that there were other options available to the President, which at the very least should have been tried before resorting to the bomb.

Alternative 1: A Demonstration of the bomb

One alternative might have been to arrange a demonstration of the bomb. Although the U.S. and Japan had no diplomatic relations after Pearl Harbor, a demonstration might have been arranged discretely through some back channel, perhaps through the Russians. It was already known in Washington that the Japanese had reached out to the Russians earlier to try to arrange some form of mediation with the U.S. After the war, the United States did conduct numerous atomic bomb tests on small volcanic atolls in the Pacific. Such a site could have been prepared in 1945. If representatives of the Japanese government, military, and scientific community could have seen the bomb, it might have been enough to convince them of the foolishness of continued resistance. If not, at least the U.S. could say that they had tried, thereby maintaining the moral high ground.

Bomb supporters make several counter-points. Although the test in the New Mexican desert had been successful, the technology was still new. What if the demonstration bomb didn’t work? The United States would have looked weak and foolish. A failed demonstration might even serve to increase Japanese resolve. Additionally, the U.S. only had two bombs left after Los Alamos. If the demonstration failed to convince the Japanese to surrender, only one bomb would remain. Others would presumably be produced later, but there was no guarantee of that. One bomb, as it turned out, was not enough to force surrender.

A third counter-point is that a demonstration would eliminate the element of surprise, and the Japanese might use American POWs as human shields. The four cities on the target list had not been bombed with conventional weapons so that they might serve as accurate test subjects for the destructive powers of the atomic bomb. The Japanese would surely deduce American strategy, and might move Americans to those target cities. Finally, bomb supporters counter-argue that it was the opinion of Robert Oppenheimer and other scientists on the Interim Committee that a demonstration wouldn’t convince the Japanese to surrender. “We can propose no technical demonstration likely to bring an end to the war,” they wrote. “We see no acceptable alternative to direct military use.”

Alternative 2: Wait For the Russians
Military analysts working for the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC) in 1945 believed that two things must happen for the Japanese leadership to surrender. There had to be acceptance of the inevitability of defeat and a clarification from the Americans that “unconditional surrender” did not mean national annihilation. The JIC believed as early as April 11, 1945, that a Soviet declaration of war on Japan would satisfy the first necessity:

By the autumn of 1945, we believe that the vast majority of Japanese will realize the inevitability of absolute defeat regardless of whether the U.S.S.R. has actually entered the war against Japan. If at any time the U.S.S.R. should enter the war, all Japanese will realize that absolute defeat is inevitable.

A Strategy and Policy Group within the War Department arrived at the same conclusion in June, and their work was discussed between General Marshall and Secretary Stimson. The Americans also knew what the Japanese were thinking on this subject. Having long-broken the Japanese diplomatic code, the United States eavesdropped on conversations between the Japanese Foreign Minister in Tokyo, and the Japanese ambassador to the Soviet Union in Moscow. In a cable sent on June 4, the Foreign Minister wrote:

It is a matter of utmost urgency that we should not only prevent Russia from entering the war but should also induce her to adopt a favorable attitude toward Japan. I would therefore like you to miss no favorable opportunity to talk to the Soviet leaders.

The ambassador cabled back that there wasn’t much reason to hope, and that he had received reports of substantial Soviet troop and supply movements heading the east. He continued:

If Russia by some chance should suddenly decide to take advantage of our weakness and intervene against us with force of arms, we would be in a completely hopeless situation. It is clear as day that the Imperial Army in Manchukuo would be completely unable to oppose the Red Army which has just won a great victory and is superior to us on all points.

The Japanese had reason to fear. In the Second World War, the United States and the Soviet Union put aside their ideological differences to form an alliance against Nazi Germany. It was an uneasy alliance Joseph Stalin believed that the Americans and British had purposely delayed opening a second front in Europe (D-Day—June 6, 1944) so that the Russians would bear the brunt of defeating the Nazis. Nevertheless, in a secret meeting between President Roosevelt and Stalin at Yalta, the Soviet leader had promised that three months after the end of the European campaign he would declare war on Japan and move against Japanese forces in China.

In July, when President Truman traveled to Germany to meet his Allied leaders for the first time, pinning down Stalin on the exact date was at the top of his agenda. When Truman and Stalin met on the 17th, the Soviet leader confirmed they would declare war on Japan on August 15. Later that night, Truman wrote in the diary, “Most of the big points are settled. He’ll be in the Jap War on August 15th. Fini Japs when that comes about” (meaning, they’ll be finished). Some bomb supporters point out that according to post-war interviews of Japanese leaders, none of the high-ranking officials were of a mind that a Soviet attack alone would have convinced them to surrender. However, this is irrelevant if Truman believed it would, and if intelligence information at the time suggested it would.

To summarize, by July 17 the American military, the President, and at least some Japanese all were of a mind that a Soviet intervention in the war would prove decisive. And, a date for this intervention had been set. Bomb opponents thus question why the United States used atomic bombs on August 6 and 9, when they knew the Russians were coming a week later, and when Operation Torch wasn’t scheduled for months. Why not wait? Opponents believe they know the answer to that question, discussed below as argument #5.

Alternative 3: Let the Japanese Keep Their Emperor
The third and perhaps most important alternative to both the bomb and the land invasion was to modify the demand for unconditional surrender and allow the Japanese to keep their emperor. Of course, he would have to be demoted to a powerless figurehead (much like the Royal Family in Great Britain), but it was possible that this one condition alone might have been enough to satisfy the American War Department’s conclusion that it was necessary to convince the Japanese that they would not be “annihilated” if they surrendered. The American government clearly understood that if they harmed the emperor, whom the Japanese revered as a god, the Japanese would resist forever. And the key to this argument lies in the fact that the American government already planned on letting the emperor stay. All they had to do was find a way to hint their intentions loud enough for the Japanese to hear. On June 13, in a memorandum to President Truman from Acting Secretary of State Joseph Grew (former American ambassador to Japan), Grew wrote:

Every evidence, without exception, that we are able to obtain of the views of the Japanese with regard to the institution of the throne, indicates that the non-molestation of the person of the present emperor and the preservation of the institution of the throne comprise irreducible Japanese terms…They are prepared for prolonged resistance if it be the intention of the United Nations to try the present emperor as a war criminal or to abolish the imperial institution…Failure on our part to clarify our intentions in this regard..will insure prolongation of the war and cost a large number of human lives.

Secretary of War Stimson also argued that American intentions regarding the emperor should be made clearer. General Marshall referred to this as “giving definition to unconditional surrender” (ultimately resulting in the Potsdam Declaration). On the Interim Committee, he was joined in this point by Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph A. Bard. In a June 27 memo to Stimson, Bard wrote:

During recent weeks I have also had the feeling very definitely that the Japanese government may be searching for some opportunity which they could use as a medium of surrender. Following the three-power conference emissaries from this country could contact representatives from Japan somewhere on the China Coast and make representations with regard to Russia’s position and at the same time give them some information regarding the proposed use of atomic power, together with whatever assurances the President might care to make with regard to the Emperor of Japan and the treatment of the Japanese nation following unconditional surrender. It seems quite possible to me that this presents the opportunity which the Japanese are looking for.

But by the time Stimson pushed on this issue, the President was very much under the influence of former Senator James Byrnes, who had become Truman’s personal advisor and was soon to be named the new Secretary of State. Byrnes argued that the President would be crucified politically by the Republicans for “making a deal” with the Japanese. Byrnes won the argument and eliminated crucial language in the Potsdam Declaration about the Emperor, Truman gave a less-than-convincing excuse that Congress didn’t seem interested in modifying unconditional surrender, and the Japanese were left in the dark with regards to American intentions toward the emperor.

Although there was certainly no guarantee that taking this action would bring about a Japanese surrender, bomb opponents argue that it was at least worth a try (although bomb supporters counter-argue that doing so could have been interpreted as a weakness by the Japanese military leadership and could actually have emboldened the Japanese to fight on). Instead, the Japanese ignored the Potsdam Declaration, the atomic bombs were dropped, the Japanese surrendered, and the Americans, as planned, allowed the emperor to stay on the throne (where he remained until his death in 1989). This is the one area where Secretary of War Stimson had regrets. His biographer later wrote, “Only on the question of the Emperor did Stimson take, in 1945, a conciliatory view only on this question did he later believe that history might find that the United States, by its delay in stating its position, had prolonged the war.”

Alternative 4: Continue Conventional Bombing
Some military analysts were convinced in the summer of 1945 that Japan was very near surrender, that the pounding they were taking from conventional weapons would soon convince the Japanese cabinet that further resistance was futile. That position was bolstered when, after the war, Secretary of War Stimson commissioned a board to perform a detailed investigation into the effectiveness of Allied bombings during the war. They subsequently interrogated 700 Japanese military, government and industrial officials, and they recovered and translated documents related to the war effort. Their report, the Strategic Bombing Survey, makes the obvious observation that Japan might have surrendered earlier if they had had a different government. But it goes on to express a more startling opinion:

Nevertheless, it seems clear that, even without the atomic bombing attacks, air supremacy over Japan could have exerted sufficient pressure to bring about unconditional surrender and obviate the need for invasion…Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

Bomb supporters are extremely critical of this alternative. Specifically, they charge that information counter to the Survey’s conclusion was left out of the report, and that inter-service wrangling resulted in the Air Force over exaggerating its role in the war so as to secure a large post-war budget. They also point out that even if the Survey’s evidence and conclusions were accurate, it is illogical to criticize the Truman administration for not pursuing an alternative to the bomb that was based on information obtained only after the war was over.

The President had to make his choice based on information known to him at the time. More importantly, bomb supporters are critical of this alternative because despite the overwhelming naval and air superiority enjoyed by US forces at the end of the summer of 1945 those forces were still suffering significant losses. Kamikazes were still attacking American vessels. The USS Indianapolis, after delivering the Hiroshima bomb materials to Tinian island in the Marianas, was sunk on July 30. Of 1,196 crewmen aboard, approximately 300 went down with the ship. Of the remaining 900 men who went into the water, only 317 survivors were picked up when the wreckage was discovered four days later. The rest died from exposure, dehydration, and shark attacks. It was the single greatest loss of life in the entire history of the US Navy. Meanwhile, Allied casualties were still averaging about 7,000 per week. As war veteran and writer Paul Fussell later pointed out, “Two weeks more means 14,000 more killed and wounded, three weeks more, 21,000. Those weeks mean the world if you’re one of those thousands or related to one of them.” And Allied losses continued even after the atomic bombings. Between August 9 and the actual surrender on the 15th, eight American POWs were executed via beheadings, the US submarine Bonefish was sunk with the loss of its entire crew, and the destroyer Callagan and the USS Underhill were lost.

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb – Argument #5: Use of the bomb was more to scare Russia than to defeat Japan.

As discussed above, bomb opponents question why the United States used atomic bombs on August 6 and 9, when they knew the Russians were going to declare war on Japan a week later, and when Operation Torch wasn’t scheduled for months. Why not wait? Bomb opponents believe that the American government did not wait for the Russians because they were already thinking about the post-war world and how they could best limit Soviet gains when they redrew the map of Europe. They believed the shock-and-awe effect of using the atomic bomb against Japan would make the Soviet Union more manageable in post-war negotiations. (This argument had been made most consistently by historian Gar Alperovitz). There was certainly reason to be concerned about the Soviet Union. When Germany collapsed, the Russians had made huge advances. Russian troops moved into Hungary and Rumania and showed no inclination to leave there or the Balkans. But was it an acceptable trade-off to annihilate several hundred thousand civilians just so the Russians wouldn’t be able to get in on the kill of Japan, and so the U.S. might have the upper-hand in the post-war world? Bomb opponents are abhorred by the moral implications.

In the spring of 1945, as Germany surrendered, some of the scientists who had developed the new weapon as a Nazi deterrent started to have reservations about their invention. One was Leo Szilard, who had written the letter along with Einstein back in 1939 that had convinced Roosevelt to start the Manhattan Project. In April 1945 Einstein wrote a letter of introduction for Szilard, who was able to get a meeting with Mrs. Roosevelt on May 8. But then the President died. When Szilard tried to get a meeting with Truman, he was intercepted by James Byrnes, who received him in his South Carolina home. Szilard’s biggest concern was that the Soviet Union should be informed about the bomb ahead of time. He was afraid that the shock of America using the bomb on Japan would NOT make the Soviets more manageable, but would instead spur them to develop their own atomic bomb as quickly as possible, possibly igniting an arms race that could eventually lead to a nuclear war. But Szilard was talking to exactly the wrong person.

Byrnes told Szilard, “Russia might be more manageable if impressed by American military might, and that a demonstration of the bomb [on Japan] might impress Russia.” Years later, Szilard wrote of the encounter, “I shared Byrnes’ concerns about Russia’s throwing her weight around in the post-war period, but I was completely flabbergasted by the assumption that rattling the bomb might make Russia more manageable.” He later mused, “How much better off the world might be had I been born in America and become influential in American politics, and had Byrnes been born in Hungary and studied physics.”

Having met with Szilard, Byrnes was even more firmly convinced of the rightness of his own views. At the Interim Committee meetings, he cut off any debate about warning the Soviets, and Secretary of War Stimson gave in. When Stimson briefed Truman on June 6, he informed the President that the Interim Committee recommended he not tell their Soviet ally about the bomb, “Until the first bomb had been successfully laid on Japan.” But Stimson wasn’t sure how they should handle the meeting with Stalin at Potsdam. Truman replied that he had purposefully delayed the meeting for as long as possible to give the Manhattan scientists more time. Having been counseled by Byrnes, Truman was already thinking about how to handle the Russians.

According to historian Gar Alperovitz in the 1985 edition of his work, Atomic Diplomacy, when Truman was on his way to Potsdam, he was overheard by a White House Aide to have said during a discussion about the test bomb and what it meant to America’s relationship with the Soviet Union, “If it explodes, as I think it will, I’ll certainly have a hammer on those boys.” For decades now bomb opponents have cited this story as evidence of Truman’s true intentions. However, a close look at the sources raises questions about Alperovitz’s methods. That story was first told by the White House Aide himself, Jonathan Daniels, in a book published in 1950. Daniels says he had heard the story second-hand and he stated specifically that Truman had been referring to Japan. He only speculated that the President might also have had the Russians in mind.

While at Potsdam, Truman received a coded message confirming the success of the test bomb. According to Winston Churchill, it completely changed Truman’s demeanor toward Stalin made him more confident and bossy. Just before leaving Potsdam, Truman did feel obliged to say something to the Soviet leader. He writes in his diary, “I casually mentioned to Stalin that we had a new weapon of unusual destructive force.” But Truman did not say it was an atomic bomb. On his way back from Potsdam,Truman gave the order to use the new weapon (even though they had not yet issued the Potsdam Declaration).

But Leo Szilard wasn’t quite finished yet. Having been dismissed by Byrnes, he wrote a petition to the President of the United States, in which he warned that unless handled properly, the bomb might ignite an arms race that could result in “devastation on an unimaginable scale.” Dated July 17, the petition was co-signed by 69 Manhattan Project scientists. President Truman did not see the petition until after the atomic bombs had been dropped. It was intercepted and held back by General Leslie Groves, military head of the Manhattan Project and a key advisor to James Byrnes.

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb — Argument #6: Truman Was Unprepared for Presidential Responsibility

Another criticism directed toward President Truman is that he simply wasn’t ready for the responsibility of being president he didn’t understand the ramifications of his decisions, he delegated too much authority, and he was unduly influenced by James Byrnes.

Byrnes has been discussed in detail above, but a summary of the key moments where his influence was most critical is appropriate. He intercepted Leo Szilard and made sure the President never heard his views. He dominated the Interim Committee as Truman’s personal representative, where he stifled debate and pushed successfully for a recommendation to the President that the bomb be dropped without warning either the Russians or the Japanese. Additionally, Truman allowed Byrnes to erase crucial language in the Potsdam Declaration. The original draft specifically mentioned the bomb, and American intentions to allow the emperor to stay. The result was a final draft that threatened only vague “utter destruction,” and might have been interpreted as a threat to the emperor. Without the specific language regarding the emperor, the Japanese were left with the promise that justice wouldbe meted out to all war criminals. Critics argue that Truman, who stood so small in FDR’s shoes, was too inexperienced to form his own opinions, and too weak to resist Byrne’s dominance.

A second criticism of Truman is that he did not keep enough personal control over this terrifying new weapon. The military order to use the bomb, delivered before the Potsdam Declaration had been issued, is an open-ended order in which the Air Force had too much control. The aircraft group that included the Enola Gay was directed to deliver the first atomic bomb, weather-permitting, on any of the four target cities: Hiroshima, Kokura, Niigata, or Nagasaki, on or after August 3. The order goes on to say, “Additional bombs will be delivered on the above targets as soon as made ready by the project staff. Further instructions will be issued concerning targets other than those listed above.” In other words, the Air Force had instructions to bomb any or all of these four cities whenever atomic bombs were ready. If a dozen atomic bombs had been ready instead of only two, no further permission would have been required to use them. In fact, it took an order from President Truman to stop any further bombing after Nagasaki had been hit.

At the very least, critics argue, Truman should have required permission to use the second bomb. Originally, the second target was not scheduled to be attacked until six days after Hiroshima. But with bad weather in the forecast, and with the Russians suddenly declaring war on Japan after the Hiroshima bomb, General Groves moved up the date to make sure that the plutonium bomb was “field tested” before the war could end (Hiroshima had been hit with a Uranium bomb). Some critics have pointedout that three days was simply not enough time for the Japanese to even confirm what had happened in Hiroshima, which appeared to them to have simply blinked off the map. Although the Japanese leadership suspected the bombing was atomic in nature, they sent scientists to Hiroshima to confirm these suspicions and they had not even returned with their findings when Nagasaki was hit. There are some critics who support dropping the first bomb, but feel the second was completely unnecessary. Either way, critics of the dropping of “Fat Man” on Nagasaki blame Truman for a lack of leadership.

Some critics question whether or not Truman really understood the weapon, and the human consequence of his decision to use it. On July 25, Truman describes in his diary some of the details he had just received about the test bomb in Los Alamos. He then writes, “I have told the Sec. of War, Mr. Stimson, to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children.” On the 9th, the day Nagasaki was bombed, President Truman addressed the nation on radio. He said, “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.” Considering the nature of the weapon, the Interim Committee’s recommendation to use the bomb against “workers’ dwellings”, and that the center of the city was the aiming point for the bomb, these claims are jaw-dropping.

Either President Truman really did not understand the bomb, or he was covering his “posterity”. Either way, critics argue, it does not reflect well on the President. If the former is true, evidence suggests Hiroshima and Nagasaki quickly educated the president. On August 10, having received reports and photographs of the effects of the Hiroshima bomb, Truman ordered a halt to further atomic bombings. That night, Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace recorded in his diary, “Truman said he had given orders to stop atomic bombing. He said the thought of wiping out another 100,000 people was too horrible. He didn’t like the idea of killing, as he said, ‘all those kids’.”

Reasons Against Dropping the Atomic Bomb — Argument 7: The Atomic Bomb Was Inhumane

The logical conclusion to the list of arguments against the bomb is that use of such a weapon was simply inhumane. Hundreds of thousands of civilians with no democratic rights to oppose their militarist government, including women and children, were vaporized, turned into charred blobs of carbon, horrifically burned, buried in rubble, speared by flying debris, and saturated with radiation. Entire families, whole neighborhoods were simply wiped out. The survivors faced radiation sickness, starvation, and crippling mutilations. Then there were the “hidden cracks,” the spiritual, emotional, and psychological damage. Japanese outside of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scared and ignorant about radiation sickness, treated bomb victims as if they had a communicable disease. They were shunned and ostracized from Japanese society. Some blamed themselves for various reasons—like a woman who convinced her parents to move to Hiroshima before the bomb was dropped, or those who were the only survivor of a family, or of an entire school. Others, unable to cope with trauma left untreated, committed suicide. Radiation continued to haunt the survivors, bringing a lifetime of sickness, not the least of which was an increase in the rates of various cancers.

Birth defects for those pregnant at the time jumped significantly, and although the data on birth defects passed down through generations is inconclusive (Hiroshima and Nagasaki are ongoing laboratories of the long-term effects of radiation exposure), bomb survivors and their offspring continue to suffer anxiety about the possibilities. It is impossible to do justice to this argument in a simple summary of the arguments. A few specific first-hand accounts could be repeated here, but they would be insufficient. To truly grasp the magnitude of the suffering caused by the use of atomic weaponry on human beings, one has to be immersed in the personal. The cold statistics must give way to the human story. For some Americans that process began with the publication of John Hersey’s Hiroshima in 1946, and it continues today through such autobiographical accounts as Keiji Nakazawa’s epic manga series Barefoot Gen (all ten volumes of which were recently published in English by Last Gasp Press), and through stunning documentaries like HBO’s White Light, Black Rain(2007).

In 1945, not many Americans seemed to be thinking things through. Those cold statistics and that war-time hatred made using the bomb easy to rationalize. Leo Szilard was one of those few, when he worried that using it without any warning would hurt America’s moral standing in the world. In the years that followed, some Americans who were intimately involved with the atomic bombs did start to think things through. Admiral Leahy, President Roosevelt’s Chief of Staff, wrote in his memoir:

It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender… My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make wars in that fashion, and that wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

Even some of those who participated in the mission had regrets. Captain Robert A. Lewis, co-pilot on the Enola Gay’s mission over Hiroshima, wrote in his log as the bomb exploded, “My god, what have we done?” In 1955 he participated in an episode of the television show This is Your Life that featured a Hiroshima survivor. Lewis donated money on behalf of his employer for operations to help remove the scar tissue of young Japanese women horribly disfigured by the bomb ten years earlier.

America supposedly places a high value on life. To a significant portion of the country, protecting a fertilized human egg is so important they are willing to base their vote on this one issue alone. And humaneness extends to the animal world as well. People go to prison for being cruel to their pets. In a society that places so much value on life, how can the immense death and suffering of non-combatants caused by the atomic bombs be justified? Opponents of President Truman’s decision to use those weapons argue simply that it cannot.

CVE-20 U.S.S. Barnes - History

Black slave owners in the United States

Little has been published regarding those Blacks who owned Black slaves in the USA, however, more research is bringing this little-known subject to light.

Philip Burnham, in the article "Selling Poor Steven" published in the February/March 1993 issue of American Heritage, found that in the US Census of 1830 there were 3,775 free blacks who owned 12,740 black slaves.[32] Burnham wrote about the slave John Casor, who was denied his freedom by Black slave owner Anthony Johnson.

Carter G. Woodson, whose grandparents and father had been slaves, was one of the first to write about the Black slave owners. In Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830 (published in 1924) Woodson gives the names and number of slaves owned by free blacks counted in the U. S. Census of 1830, listing them by name and the number of slaves owned.[34]

Michael P. Tremoglie, in "The Black Roots of Slavery" also noted the issue of Black slave owners.

"There were many free blacks in the American colonies. They were enfranchised and as early as 1641, Mathias De Sousa, were elected to legislatures. These free blacks owned slaves - some for philanthropic reasons, as Carter G. Woodson suggests. However as John Hope Franklin wrote, ". free Negroes had a real economic interest in the institution of slavery and held slaves in order to improve their economic status."

The census of 1830 lists 965 free black slave owners in Louisiana, owning 4,206 slaves. The state of South Carolina, lists 464 free blacks owning 2,715 slaves. How ironic it is that so many blacks owned so many slaves in South Carolina. Yet, no one seemed to mention this during the flag controversy.

Some blacks served in the Confederate army, which is another omission in our popular culture. The movie Glory did not happen to mention that blacks served in the Confederate army. It did give the impression that the black soldiers in the 54th Massachusetts were former slaves - which was not true."[35]

Harry Koger, in Black Slave Owners. Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina, reported on the success of Black women in Charleston.

"By 1860, so many Black women in Charleston had inherited or been given slaves and other property by white men, and used their property to start successful businesses, that they owned 70% of the Black owned slaves in the city."[36]

From Kroger's work, it is noted that free Black slave owners resided in states as north as New York and as far south as Florida, extending westward into Kentucky, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Missouri. According to the federal census of 1830, free blacks owned more than 10,000 slaves in Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia. The majority of black slave owners lived in Louisiana and planted sugar cane.[37]

John Hope Franklin and Loren Schweninger, in Runaway Slaves: Rebels on the Plantation, revealed that conditions under Black masters could be such that slaves would run away.

"The largest black slaveholder in the South, John Carruthers Stanly of North Carolina, faced a number of problems in the 1820s in dealing with a slave labor force on his three turpentine plantations in Craven County. With a total of 163 slaves, Stanly was a harsh, profit-minded taskmaster, and his field hands would run away. Stanley dealt with this through his two white overseers and with a spy network that included a few trusted slaves. Brister, his slave barber in New Bern, was responsible for relaying to his owner rumors of planned escapes . Nor did Stanly have any pangs of conscience about selling children away from their parents or holding free blacks in bondage."

In "Dixie's Censored Subject: Black Slaveowners", published in The Barnes Review, Robert M. Grooms furnished several examples of Black slave owners in the USA.

"In the rare instances when the ownership of slaves by free Negroes is acknowledged in the history books, justification centers on the claim that black slave masters were simply individuals who purchased the freedom of a spouse or child from a white slaveholder and had been unable to legally manumit them. Although this did indeed happen at times, it is a misrepresentation of the majority of instances, one which is debunked by records of the period on blacks who owned slaves. These include individuals such as Justus Angel and Mistress L. Horry, of Colleton District, South Carolina, who each owned 84 slaves in 1830. In fact, in 1830 a fourth of the free Negro slave masters in South Carolina owned 10 or more slaves eight owning 30 or more.

. The majority of slaveholders, white and black, owned only one to five slaves. More often than not, and contrary to a century and a half of bullwhips-on-tortured-backs propaganda, black and white masters worked and ate alongside their charges be it in house, field or workshop. The few individuals who owned 50 or more slaves were confined to the top one percent, and have been defined as slave magnates.

In 1860 there were at least six Negroes in Louisiana who owned 65 or more slaves The largest number, 152 slaves, were owned by the widow C. Richards and her son P.C. Richards, who owned a large sugar cane plantation. Another Negro slave magnate in Louisiana, with over 100 slaves, was Antoine Dubuclet, a sugar planter whose estate was valued at (in 1860 dollars) $264,000 (3). That year, the mean wealth of southern white men was $3,978 (4).

Interestingly, considering today's accounts of life under slavery, authors Johnson and Roak report instances where free Negroes petitioned to be allowed to become slaves this because they were unable to support themselves.

. [regarding Black ex-slave William Ellison] As with the slaves of his white counterparts, occasionally Ellison's slaves ran away. The historians of Sumter District reported that from time to time Ellison advertised for the return of his runaways. On at least one occasion Ellison hired the services of a slave catcher. According to an account by Robert N. Andrews, a white man who had purchased a small hotel in Stateburg in the 1820s, Ellison hired him to run down "a valuable slave. Andrews caught the slave in Belleville, Virginia. He stated: "I was paid on returning home $77.50 and $74 for expenses.

. Following in their father's footsteps, the Ellison family actively supported the Confederacy throughout the war. They converted nearly their entire plantation to the production of corn, fodder, bacon, corn shucks and cotton for the Confederate armies. They paid $5,000 in taxes during the war. They also invested more than $9,000 in Confederate bonds, treasury notes and certificates in addition to the Confederate currency they held."[39]

As an interesting sideline to Black slave owners in the South of the USA, is that there were also an estimated 65,000 Southern blacks in the Confederate military, including over 13,000 who fought against the North in battle.[40]

A well-known and favourably reviewed novel, The Known World, by Black author Edward P. Jones, has tackled the issue of Black-owned slaves, much to the surprise of those readers who had never heard of Black slave owners.[41] However, the interesting story of Blacks who owned slaves is largely ignored by the media and educators.

Eyes on the skies𠅊nd the Soviets

Dr. J. Allen Hynek (right) pointing out a spot on a globe to fellow scientists while discussing the path of Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite launched into low Earth orbit by the Soviet Union, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, October 1957. (

Dmitri Kessel/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

In the late 1950s, the Air Force faced a more urgent problem than hypothetical UFOs. On October 4, 1957, the U.S.S.R. surprised the world by launching Sputnik, the first artificial space satellite𠅊nd a serious blow to Americans’ sense of technological superiority.

At that point, Hynek had taken leave from Ohio State to work on a satellite-tracking system at Harvard, notes Mark O𠆜onnell in his 2017 biography, The Close Encounters Man. Suddenly Hynek was on TV and holding frequent press conferences to assure Americans that their scientists were closely monitoring the situation. On October 21, 1957, he appeared on the cover of LIFE with his boss, the Harvard astronomer Fred Whipple, and their colleague Don Lautman. It was his first taste of the national celebrity, but wouldn’t be the last.

With Sputnik circling the earth every 98 minutes, often visible to the naked eye, many Americans began looking skyward, and UFO sightings continued unabated.

Max Fuller

Max is widely respected within the trucking industry as a true innovator, evidenced by his award for innovation from the Smithsonian Institute in 2000. Under his leadership, U.S. Xpress became the second largest privately-owned truckload carrier in the nation, surpassing $1 billion in annual revenue in 2004. As Executive Chairman, he remains a full-time executive officer, focusing on long-term strategy, industry innovation, talent development, and equipment.

In addition to guiding U.S. Xpress to the forefront of the industry, he serves the community on several Boards of Directors and regularly accepts requests to share his insights at speaking engagements, including lending his expertise to presentations to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of Transportation.

Five Things to Know About U-20 MNT Attacker Luca de la Torre

After providing the USA with a critical, late equalizer to earn a 3-3 draw against Ecuador in the opening game of the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup, midfielder Luca de la Torre continues to prove his ability to prove to be a dependable playmaker for the United States.

Here are five things you should know about the U-20 MNT and Fulham midfielder:


Before arriving at Craven Cottage, de la Torre was born and raised in San Diego. Growing up, he enjoyed going to the San Diego Zoo, Legoland, Westfield UTC mall, and getting his dose of Mexican food at Roberto&rsquos in La Jolla. His favorite San Diego restaurant, however, is Urban Plates, also in La Jolla, a place he most enjoys going with his mother.


An only child to Juan de la Torre and Anne Bang, de la Torre&rsquos parents are smart, to say the least.

Anne, who received her Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California-San Diego, is currently the Director of Stem Cell Biology at the Conrad Prebys Center for Chemical Genomics of the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. In her role, Dr. Bang leads efforts to develop patient cell-specific and human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based disease models for drug screening and target identification.

Juan, who received his Ph.D. from Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, is currently a professor in the Department of Immunology and Microbiology at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. The institute is a nonprofit medical research facility that focuses on research and education in the biomedical sciences.

WATCH: De la Torre Strike Rescues U.S. Point in World Cup Opener vs. Ecuador


Before setting a new record for the latest goal scored by a U.S. player at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, de la Torre also found the back of the net in a few other critical Youth National Team moments while donning the red, white and blue.

After the U-20 MNT suffered 1-0 loss to Panama to open the 2017 CONCACAF U-20 Championship, the U.S. found itself tied 1-1 with Haiti in their following group game, desperately needing a go-ahead goal to keep their World Cup hopes alive. Just after halftime, de la Torre put the U.S. ahead for good by smashing a deflected corner kick into the back of the net.

Faced with another high-pressure situation in the penalty shootout of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Final 12 days later, de la Torre nestled his fourth-round attempt home on the way to a 5-3 shootout victory against Honduras and the first U-20 CONCACAF crown in U.S. Soccer history.


Including his two seasons spent playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for Nomads Youth Soccer Club (2011-12) and San Diego Surf (2012-2013), de la Torre also grew up playing for Carmel Valley Sharks and the Carmel Valley Manchester Soccer Club.

When he wasn&rsquot at soccer practice, he spent any extra time he had training with his dad, who hails from the Spanish Canary Islands. Growing up in a border city like San Diego, de la Torre also acknowledged the influence his Mexican friends and teammates had on developing his style of play.


Shortly after his freshmen year at Torrey Pines High School, de la Torre made the move to become a professional soccer player, taking his talents to London. By signing with Fulham, de la Torre joined a long lineage of U.S. Men&rsquos National Team players that made their way at Craven Cottage, including Clint Dempsey, Carlos Bocanegra and Brian McBride.

In his three seasons in London, de la Torre has passed through the club&rsquos youth ranks, moving from U-18&rsquos to U-23&rsquos. The 2016-17 season provided him with a professional breakthrough, when he made his first-team debut in an early round EFL Cup match on Aug. 9, 2016.

Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1940-1945

Click on "CVE-##" for link to page with specifications, history, photographs (where available).

Long Island Class:

  • Displacement: 14,055 tons (full load)
  • Length: 492'
  • Beam: 69' at water line
  • Draft: 25'6"
  • Speed: 17 knots
  • Armament 1 5"/51, 2 3"/50 DP, 10-20 20mm, 21 planes
  • Complement: 1970
  • Sun-Doxford diesel engines, 1 screw, 9,000 h.p.
  • Maritime Commission hull

No. Name Comm. Notes (: Lost)
CVE-30 Charger 3 Mar 42 Used in a training capacity
CVE-1 Long Island 2 Jun 41

Bogue Class:

  • Displacement: 15,200 tons (full load)
  • Length: 495'8"
  • Beam: 69' at water line
  • Draft: 26'
  • Speed: 17 knots
  • Armament 2 5"/38 DP, 10x2 40mm, 27 20mm, 28 planes
  • Complement: 890-1205
  • Geared turbines, 1 screw, 8,500 h.p.
  • Max cruising radius: 22,500 miles @ 17 knots 26,300 @ 15 knots
  • Seattle-Tacoma built C3-S-A1 type hulls

No. Name Comm. Notes (: Lost)
CVE-18 Altamaha 15 Sep 42
CVE-20 Barnes 20 Feb 43
CVE-21 Block Island 8 Mar 43 29 May 44 torpedo in N. Atlantic
CVE-9 Bogue 26 Sep 42
CVE-23 Breton 12 Apr 43
CVE-11 Card 8 Nov 42
CVE-12 Copahee 15 Jun 43
CVE-13 Core 10 Dec 42
CVE-25 Croatan 28 Apr 43
CVE-16 Nassau 20 Aug 42
CVE-31 Prince William 9 Apr 43 Prince William class -- CVE-32-54 transferred to UK

Sangamon Class:

  • Displacement: 23,350 tons (full load)
  • Length: 553'
  • Beam: 75' at water line
  • Draft: 32'
  • Speed: 17 knots
  • Armament 2 5"/38, 7x2 40mm, 2x4 40mm, 21 20mm, 30 planes
  • Complement: 1080
  • Geared turbines, twin screws, 13,500 h.p.
  • Max cruising radius: 20,000 miles @ 17 knots 23,900 miles @ 15 knots
  • Converted Cimarron class Fleet Oilers

No. Name Comm. Notes (: Lost)
Sangamon Class
CVE-28 Chenango 19 Sep 42
CVE-26 Sangamon 25 Aug 42
CVE-29 Santee 24 Aug 42
CVE-27 Suwanee 24 Sep 42

Casablanca Class:

  • Displacement: 10,982 tons (full load)
  • Length: 512'3"
  • Beam: 65' at water line
  • Draft: 22'4"
  • Speed: 19 knots
  • Armament 1 5"/38 DP, 8x2 40mm, 20 20mm, 28 planes
  • Complement: 860
  • Skinner Unaflow reciprocating engines, twin screws, 11,200 h.p.
  • Max cruising radius: 10,200 miles @ 15 knots 7,200 miles @ 19 knots

No. Name Comm. Notes (: Lost)
CVE-99 Admiralty Islands 13 Jun 44
CVE-55 Alazon Bay
8 Jul 43
3 Apr 45

CVE-102 Attu 30 Jun 44
CVE-95 Bismarck Sea 20 May 44 21 Feb 45 bomb at Iwo Jima
CVE-100 Bouganville 18 Jun 44
CVE-88 Cape Esperance 9 Apr 44
CVE-57 Coral Sea
27 Aug 43
15 Sep 44

CVE-58 Corregidor 31 Aug 43
CVE-70 Fanshaw Bay 9 Dec 43
CVE-73 Gambier Bay 28 Dec 43 25 Oct 44 gunfire at Leyte Gulf
CVE-60 Guadalcanal 18 Sep 43
CVE-75 Hoggatt Bay 11 Jan 44
CVE-97 Hollandia 1 Jun 44
CVE-69 Kasaan Bay 4 Dec 43
CVE-76 Kadashan Bay 18 Jan 44
CVE-68 Kalinin Bay 27 Nov 43
CVE-71 Kitkun Bay 15 Dec 43
CVE-98 Kwajalein 7 Jun 44
CVE-56 Liscome Bay 7 Aug 43 24 Nov 43 torpedo off Tarawa
CVE-94 Lunga Point 14 May 44
CVE-91 Makassar Strait 27 Apr 44
CVE-93 Makin Island 9 May 44
CVE-61 Manila Bay 5 Oct 43
CVE-77 Marcus Island 26 Jan 44
CVE-101 Matanikau 24 Jun 44
CVE-63 Midway
St. Lo
23 Oct 43
15 Sep 44

25 Oct 44 bomb at Leyte Gulf
CVE-59 Mission Bay 13 Sep 43
CVE-104 Munda 8 Jul 44
CVE-62 Natoma Bay 14 Oct 43
CVE-74 Nehenta Bay 3 Jan 44
CVE-79 Ommaney Bay 11 Feb 44 4 Jan 45 bomb at Lingayen Gulf
CVE-80 Petrof Bay 18 Feb 44
CVE-103 Roi 6 Jul 44
CVE-81 Rudyerd Bay 25 Feb 44
CVE-82 Saginaw Bay 2 Mar 44
CVE-96 Salamaua 26 May 44
CVE-83 Sargent Bay 9 Mar 44
CVE-78 Savo Island 3 Feb 44
CVE-84 Shamrock Bay 15 Mar 44
CVE-85 Shipley Bay 21 Mar 44
CVE-86 Sitkoh Bay 28 Mar 44
CVE-67 Solomons 21 Nov 43
CVE-87 Steamer Bay 4 Apr 44
CVE-89 Takanis Bay 15 Apr 44
CVE-90 Thetis Bay 21 Apr 44
CVE-64 Tripoli 31 Oct 43
CVE-72 Tulagi 21 Dec 43
CVE-65 Wake Island 7 Nov 43
CVE-66 White Plains 15 Nov 43
CVE-92 Windham Bay 3 May 44

Commencement Bay Class:

  • Displacement: 24,100 tons (full load)
  • Length: 557'1"
  • Beam: 75' at water line
  • Draft: 32'
  • Speed: 19 knots
  • Armament 2 5"/38, 3x4 40mm, 12x2 40mm, 20 20mm, 30 planes
  • Complement: 1066
  • Geared turbine engines with 2 screws, 16,000 hp

No. Name Comm. Notes (: Lost)
CVE-116 BadoengStrait 1945
CVE-115 Bairoko 16 Jul 45
CVE-106 Block Island 30 Dec 44
CVE-109 Cape Gloucester 5 Mar 45
CVE-105 Commencement Bay 27 Nov 44
CVE-107 Gilbert Islands 5 Feb 45
CVE-108 Kula Gulf 12 May 45
CVE-120 Mindoro 1945
CVE-122 Palau 1946
CVE-119 Point Cruz 1945
CVE-113 Puget Sound 18 Jun 45
CVE-121 Rabaul 1946
CVE-114 Rendova 1945
CVE-117 Saidor 4 Sep 1945
CVE-110 Salerno Bay 19 May 45
CVE-112 Siboney 14 May 45
CVE-118 Sicily 1945
CVE-123 Tinian 1946
CVE-111 Vela Gulf 9 Apr 45

Return to HyperWar: World War II on the World Wide Web Last updated: 1 September 2002

‘Melee-like conditions’

The discovery also offers a chance to re-tell the epic Battle off Samar, one which was as ferocious as it was unexpected for American sailors in the early hours of that October day. The Imperial Japanese Navy was making one last push to defeat the Allied ships off the island of Leyte in the central Philippines. In a surprise maneuver, a heavy task force of four Japanese battleships, six heavy cruisers, two light cruisers, and 11 destroyers swung into a lightly defended American sector of Leyte Gulf, according to an official U.S. Navy account of the battle.

When the two fleets met in the early hours of October 25, Johnston led its fellow destroyers, the USS Heermann and USS Hoel, into enemy guns, and the Johnston actually managed to damage a Japanese heavy cruiser. While the Johnston itself was also heavily damaged by 6- and 14-inch shells, the psychological blow dealt to the Japanese force made it well worth the effort.

“The determined, aggressive attacks of the three U.S. destroyers, coupled with the ongoing air attacks on his ships, tended to confirm [Japanese Vice Admiral Takeo Kurita]’s erroneous assessment that he was facing a strong carrier task force,” wrote expert Carsten Fries in an article for the Naval History and Heritage Command. “The second U.S. torpedo attack would only strengthen this impression.”

Battle of Leyte Gulf, Battle off Samar, October 25, 1944. USS Hermann (DD 532) and a destroyer-escort lay a smoke screen to protect their escort carrier group from attacking Japanese surface ships. Photographed from USS White Plains (CVE 66). (Navy photo)

The conditions were “melee-like,” Fries wrote, as U.S. and Japanese ships zig-zagged and shot guns and torpedoes at each other. But Johnston put out such heavy fire that Japanese sailors thought she was a heavy cruiser, he said.

As the battle raged on, Johnston ran through all of its torpedoes, so instead it fired its 127mm guns at the Japanese cruisers. The American destroyer somehow managed to repulse a wave of enemy ships, but by this point Johnston was limping on one engine. Japanese destroyers concentrated fire on the damaged ship, leaving it dead in the water, and Evans gave the order to abandon ship at 9:45 a.m. Though fatal, Johnston’s fight helped save the American landing force sent to invade the Philippines.

“Evans’s aggressiveness, along with that of other American destroyermen and aviators … led the Japanese to believe they were facing a much larger force and caused them to turn away,” wrote Robert J. Schneller, Jr. in a blog for the Naval Historical Center

The fight is even more remarkable considering that Johnston’s skipper gave his life for a country which often discriminated against him simply because he was Native American.

Commander Ernest Edwin Evans, U.S. Navy (1908-1944), was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for giving his life as the Commanding Officer of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Johnston (DD-557) during the Battle off Samar, 25 October 1944. (Navy photo)

20 U.S. Cities That have the Worst Food Imaginable

No matter where you go in the world, you will be disappointed by something you eat. You will swear that some places have the absolute worst food in the world, and you will love the food you find in other places. It’s just one of those things but according to a LivingSocial survey of around 4,000 people some of the cities you might not consider have the absolute worst food in the world. Other cities on this list have so few options and so few people that you are actually afraid to eat there. And finally, each of these cities are rated so low because there is so little choice, so little option and nothing to brag about. Find out which cities are the worst for dining out across the country.

San Bernardino

Voted by the people of the country one of the worst places in the US to eat, it’s just because there are so few selections in comparison the number of people that live here. It’s also not a very good place to raise a dog according to other data we’ve recently gathered. This location is just not much in terms of the things that many households look for when choosing a place to live. The food here is just not that good in comparison to other cities around the state, and that is an issue for some.

As a city in Virginia, one might assume that this location has great food. Close to the ocean so it should have amazing seafood, and all that. But it’s not. It’s actually been voted on numerous lists as one of the worst cities for food in the entire country, which is just not an honor that any city wants to boast on its city hall newsletter at any point. Fresh seafood aside, the choices here are very limited and that has made people feel that the food in their own back yard is just not that good and not worthy of their time and effort.

Detroit is on the top of numerous lists, including those that name it one of the most dangerous cities in the country and those that name it one of the most crime-ridden cities in the country. There is a huge drug problem in the city and many people that live here live well below the national poverty rate, which is not a good thing in any way, shape or form. This is a city with very little going for it anymore, and food is just another thing that the people of Detroit can add to their city’s list of shortcomings anymore.

North Las Vegas

For those that are not familiar, North Las Vegas is very different from regular Las Vegas. If you can’t tell by the fact that this place is even listed here, it’s so different. Regular Las Vegas – the one made of casinos and slot machines – is filled with amazing restaurants. North Vegas, however, is not. It’s actually so sad that when it comes to eating here, the residents and locals have voted it one of the worst places ever to get a meal. It’s not a place with good food, but Vegas itself has plenty of good food, so try that instead.

Garland, Texas

Have you ever heard of this small town? Us either, and that’s probably exactly why it is on this list. The area does not seem to have much in the way of dining options, and that’s probably why the people that live and eat here rank it among the worst cities in the country for diners. Apparently the biggest choice you have when you dine here is which really awful dish to order.

El Paso is known for many things, but good food is not one of them. However, it is a city that is over the border from one of the most dangerous Mexican cities, and there is a huge drug ring around here thanks to access that traffickers have from across the border. So if you’re not looking for good food, you might still be able to find something you want around here. Or maybe you’ll just drive through as quickly as possible and just get out.

Laredo, Texas

The selection here is just not that impressive, and it’s led the people that live in the area to vote it one of the worst cities in the US for food. That is one of those things that you just can’t deny when the people have spoken. It’s not just one or two bad reviews, either, it’s thousands. What this means is that it’s really not a good place in which to get a good plate of amazing food. Keep driving and see what else you can come up with.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Since Corpus Christi isn’t exactly small, it is one of those places in which people do not seem that impressed with the food. It’s not very good here, and it seems that those who have dined here on a regular basis will attest to that fact with a few facts of their own. For one the food is not that good. It’s been said by some that the best thing you can get here to eat is the worst dish of food in the world. That’s a pretty big non-compliment.

It’s so close to Dallas that apparently it’s just not good. The people who eat here are not impressed with that has been offered to them in terms of restaurants. The good news is that Dallas is not that far away, which means you can keep on driving and end up somewhere much better if what’s offered to eat in Fort Worth just does not do it for you. And for many, it really just does not do it for them.

St. Petersburg

As someone who lives about an hour from St. Pete and has her entire life, I can agree with this one. It’s not that the area isn’t fun to visit, it’s just the selection is very minimal and the choices are very boring. But Tampa is just a quick drive from St. Pete, and that means that you’re going to find more choices and a lot of much better food to enjoy. There are plenty of upscale, high-end restaurants in Tampa and they completely make up for what the lack of restaurants in St. Pete have to offer those who want to dine on the beach.

Better known for rain and coffee, the people of Seattle believe that they don’t have much to choose from and what they do have to choose from is not as good as they would like. It’s been voted one of the worst cities in terms of food, and that is a lot to consider when you think about the size of the city and the number of people who live here. But, I guess when you all agree that the food is not that good, it’s probably really not that good.

Sacramento isn’t known for being a high-class location in the state of California, but it is known for being a place in which you will find it difficult to eat. It’s got fewer choices than people care for and the food as a whole is apparently not that good in comparison to other locations across the country. That means that if you’re in the area and you want a good meal, you’re probably not going to find exactly what it is you are looking for in the area.

Friona, Texas

Now, you’ve never heard of this place and there is a reason for it. It’s in the very northern section of Texas a few hours from Amarillo. The last time I was there a few years ago, you had your choice of sitting outside with the flies from the cows while eating Sonic fast food or you could go into Dairy Queen. There was a burger place on the corner in a little trailer and a little ice cone place down the street from that. Otherwise, that’s all you’ve got. I did hear the locals raving about the gas station hot dogs, though.

Hereford, Texas

It’s the cow capital of the world or something to that effect. You have your choice between the Holiday Inn Express whose signs are on the rear end of faux cows or what looks like a 100-year-old Best Western or Red Roof Inn, and that’s about it. Otherwise, there is a McDonalds and a steak house that always looks closed, and a few other hole in the wall type places, but that’s about all you’re going to find when you come here, so that leads me to believe that the food is not all that good.

Jackson, Mississippi

Jackson is where Bruno Mars is headed in his stretch driven by Julio, but it appears he might go hungry here. According to several sources, it appears that the lack of good food around here is quite prominent and that most people are desperately unhappy with their lack of choice. This means that most people will not want to sit down here for a meal and make it their own. So keep on driving and see what else you can find along the open road.

Inglis, Florida

One of the smallest places ever, it’s right off the Gulf of Mexico and there are a handful of little restaurants that look to be so old you might not want to go into them. While I’ve heard a few of them are actually not bad, there are more complaints about the food – or lack of food – here than anything else. And that is why this place makes the list of worst cities in the world for food.

Mobile, Alabama

The people of Mobile have spoken and they have voted that the food here is among the worst in the country. There are many reasons why, including the fact that many people do not believe that the selection is good enough, that the food is good or that there are enough restaurants in the area. Some believe there are too many fast food restaurants and not enough real ones, and that’s an issue for some people. So the people have voted and the food here is just not that good.


California is known for having good food as a whole, but the people of Bakersfield are not holding up their end of the deal with food that has been deemed less than delicious. It happens. Someone has to be the worst of the food in the state with some of the best food, and it looks like this little town is one of the ones that just cannot boast good food no matter how hard they try. It’s fine and it happens, and it’s just one of those things.

Lubbock, Texas

A small town in Texas, there is really just not much in terms of selection here. It appears that the food here is just not all that abundant and the regular fast food and chain restaurants are the ones that are easily found. Some people don’t care for that and would much rather find a location with more to offer, perhaps a bit more fine dinging or other more enjoyable establishments would make this little town rank a little better on a different list of food.

Birmingham, Alabama

It all comes down to selection when you think of Birmingham. Those here are not overly impressed with the offerings, and that’s just how it happens sometimes. Sometimes people just need more to choose from if they are going to make good food choices, and they aren’t given that option around here. It’s not that there is anything wrong with the people of Birmingham they just want more to choose from when they are out and about and ready to have a good meal.

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  1. Ea

    Understand me?

  2. Usama

    very good piece

  3. Din

    Well, I've already seen something like this

  4. Gror

    Paraphrase please

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