United States Navy History, focusing on the Atlantic, 8th, 2nd and 4th Fleets
Part 2 of 4 (1919 to 1989)
A Sailors tale of his Tour of duty in the U.S. Navy (August 1977 to February 1983) Operation Evening Light and Eagle Claw - 24 April 1980
Book - ISBN NO.
EBook - ISBN NO.
Operations Evening Light and Eagle Claw (24 April 1980) Iran and Air Arm History (1941 to 1980)
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United States Navy History, focusing on the Atlantic, 8th, 2nd and 4th Fleets
Part 1 of 4 (1778 to 1918)
Part 2 of 4 (1919 to 1989)
Part 3 of 4 (1990 to 2011)
Part 4 of 4 (2nd, Fleet Forces Command & 4th Fleet
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“First flights were made on April 12 (NC-2), April 23 (NC-3) and April 30 (NC-4), NC-2 having been modified with its engine mounted as tandem pairs was found to be an unsatisfactory configuration, while the other two aircraft retained the between-wings separate tractor layout of three engines and had the fourth mounted, as a pusher, at the rear of the hull. It was decided to enter the Navy-Curtiss machines for the transatlantic attempt, for which they were redesignated NC-TA.
On March 27th, the NC-1's right wing had sustained storm damage, and was given the wing from NC-2. The NC-2 whose engine layout had proved unsatisfactory was again cannibalized to supply parts for the NC-1, when its left wing was damaged by fire on May 5th, in a hangar at Rockaway, New York” (Ref. 313Z4).
Treaty of Versailles, 1919 – Ref. 313XAA
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“On Thursday morning, May 8th, NC-1, NC-3, and NC-4 took off from Rockaway for Halifax, Nova Scotia, on the first leg of the transatlantic journey. The flight was under the command of John Towers, who was also commanding officer and navigator of NC-3. NC-4 was commanded by Lieutenant Commander Albert C. Read, and NC-1 by Lieutenant Commander Patrick N. L. Bellinger.
Offshore of Cape Cod, NC-4's center engine failed—she landed at sea and taxied to the Naval Air Station at Chatham, Massachusetts, for repairs. NC-3 and NC-1 arrived at Halifax without incident, but next morning serious cracks were discovered in their propellers, and a day was lost replacing them” (Ref. 313Z4).
The NC-2 in its original configuration. The third engine mounted as a pusher on the center nacelle. It was later modified with tandem engine pairs and found to be an unsatisfactory configuration - Ref. 313Z4
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“On the 10th of May 1919, NC-1, and NC-3 continued their flight to Trepassey, Newfoundland, the jumping-off place for their spanning of the Atlantic.
At Trepassey, a small fleet had gathered to support the transoceanic flight. When the NCs took off across the Atlantic, twenty-one destroyers would be on station at 50-mile intervals between Cape Race, Newfoundland, and Corvo, the westernmost island of the Azores. The destroyers were to serve as visual and radio navigation aids and communication links. They were also to provide weather intelligence, and if necessary, rescue service.
The security of having twenty-one destroyers strung out between Newfoundland and the Azores may give the impression that the flight was a very simple affair. But in 1919, when aerial navigation across a great trackless sea was not yet an art, much less a science, when aircraft radio was primitive and unreliable, and when many flight instruments had yet to be invented, it was not easy to zero in on nine tiny islands scattered over several hundred square miles of ocean. If an eastbound pilot missed the Azores, his next landfall was Africa, hundreds of miles away.
Repairs were completed on NC-4, but she was kept at her Chatham mooring by gale-force winds and rain. There was concern among NC-4's crew that, if Commander Towers received a favorable weather forecast, he would feel obliged to take advantage of it and "go" for the Azores without them. Newspapers were calling NC-4 the "lame duck" and circulating ill-founded rumors that she would be withdrawn from the flight. The weather cleared on the 14th, however; NC-4 flew to Halifax and arrived at Trepassey the next day.
Towers had received a favorable weather report on the 15th and decided to go—without NC-4. But NC-3 and NC-1 proved to be overloaded with fuel and could not get off the water. The forecast for the 16th was even better, and none had wanted to leave NC-4 behind—now all three could go together.
On Friday evening, May 16, the three NC boats roared in turn down Trepassey harbor and flew off into the gathering darkness over the Atlantic. The evening takeoff was necessary so that they could reach the Azores after sunrise next day and enjoy daylight landing conditions” (Ref. 313Z4).
The NC-1 in its original configuration, with the pilot and copilot in the main hull. Later to conform to the NC-3 and NC-4, the crew was shifted to a cockpit located in the center nacel - Ref. 313Z4
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“The night passed without incident. The fliers flew over the destroyers on their ocean stations with reassuring regularity. During the night the three planes broke from their flight formation to avoid the risk of collision. Furthermore, each airplane had its own flying characteristics and cruising speed—NC-4 was the fastest and NC-1 the slowest of the three.
Troubles came with the dawn, and sunrise was closely followed by the onset of fog.
In NC-3, Towers spotted a ship on the foggy horizon that he took to be one of the station destroyers and altered course accordingly. It proved to be the cruiser Marblehead returning from Europe, and this misidentification produced an erroneous bearing that took NC-3 far off course. Finally, with fuel running low, and determining by dead reckoning that he was somewhere close to the Azores, Towers decided to put down long enough to obtain a navigation sight. The seas were running high and the landing was so rough that the impact collapsed the struts supporting the centerline engines. In this condition, NC-3 would go no farther—except as a surface craft.
Bellinger was having similar difficulty, but landed NC-1 without accident. Once down however, she could not get off again through the 12-foot high waves that were running, and would indeed be lucky to survive them.
Read, in NC-4, had also "run out of ships" and was virtually lost in the fog, which one time was so thick that the crew could not see from one end of the plane to the other. The pilot became totally disoriented and almost put the big plane into a spin. Ensign Herbert Rodd, the radio officer was successful however, in picking up radio bearings and weather information from the destroyers hidden below by fog and clouds.
After more than 15 hours in the air, Read's dead reckoning and Rodd's radio reports gave assurance that NC-4 was very near the Azores. A sharp lookout was kept by all hands. Suddenly island greenery appeared through a small break in the fog. It was Flores, one of the western Azores.
With Flores as a checkpoint, Read swung NC-4 eastward for the islands of Fayal and Sao Miguel. The fog began to thin, but soon thickened again, and Read settled for immediate haven on Fayal. NC-4 landed in the harbor of Horta a bit before noon. Within minutes a great bank of fog blotted out the port completely.
Upon boarding the cruiser Columbia, base ship for the NCs at Horta, the first thought of Read and his men was to ask about NC-3 and NC-1.
It was soon apparent that NC-1, trapped and pummeled by the great waves, was lucky to stay afloat let alone take off. The Greek freighter Ionia appeared out of the fog and rescued Bellinger and his crew. Attempts to salvage the derelict NC-1 were thwarted by the heavy seas and she finally sank three days later.
The fate of NC-3, after remaining a mystery for 48 hours, proved to be a saga of the sea. Before leaving Trepassey, Towers had jettisoned the emergency radio transmitter to reduce weight for takeoff. Thus NC-3 could receive radio calls but was "voiceless," and pure seamanship had to take over. Towers figured that within two or three days the NC-3 would drift in close to the island of Sao Miguel in the eastern Azores. His estimates were proved correct on Monday afternoon, May 19th when NC-3, battered and almost derelict, sailed into the harbor of Ponta Delgada.
For almost three days NC-4 rode her moorings at Horta, kept there by high seas, rain, and fog. On the 20th, the weather cleared enough to permit takeoff, and in less than two hours she reached Ponta Delgada. Read planned to take off for Lisbon the next day, but weather and engine troubles delayed the departure for a week” (Ref. 313Z4).
Selective Service Act or Selective Draft Act of 1919
“The Selective Service Act or Selective Draft Act (Pub.L. 65-12, 40 Stat. 76, enacted May 18, 1917) authorized the federal government to raise a national army for the American entry into World War I through conscription” (Ref. 313Z5).
National registration days and termination
During World War I there were three registrations - Ref. 313Z5 & 313Z6
The first, on June 5, 1917, was for all men between the ages of 21 and 31.
The second, on June 5, 1918, registered those who attained age 21 after June 5, 1917. A supplemental registration, included in the second registration, was held on August 24, 1918, for those becoming 21 years old after June 5, 1918.
The third registration was held on September 12, 1918, for men age 18 through 45.
“The act was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in the Selective Draft Law Cases, 245 U.S. 366 (1918). The Solicitor General's argument, and the court's opinion, were based primarily on Kneedler v. Lane, 45 Pa. 238, 252 (1863), and Vattel's The Law of Nations (1758)” (Ref. 313Z5 & 313Z6).
“After the signing of the armistice of November 11, 1918, the activities of the Selective Service System were rapidly curtailed. On March 31, 1919, all local, district, and medical advisory boards were closed, and on May 21, 1919, the last state headquarters closed operations” (Ref. 313Z5).
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“The men of NC-4 were up before dawn on Tuesday, May 27, 1919. Lieutenant James L. Breese and Chief Machinist's Mate Eugene S. Rhoads diligently pampered the plane's engines. Herbert Rodd bestowed equal care on his indispensable radio set to ensure that it was ready to go. At word from Read, Lieutenant Elmer Stone advanced the throttles and sent the big flying boat charging down the harbor in a great V-shaped wedge of spray, lifting off at 08:18 hours.
Another chain of destroyers extended between the Azores and Lisbon. As NC-4 over flew them, each ship radioed her passage to the base ship Melville at Ponta Delgada and the cruiser Rochester in Lisbon, who in turn reported to the Navy Department in Washington. Finally word came from the destroyer McDougal, last ship in the picket line, that completion of the flight was only minutes away.
In NC-4 all eyes peered eastward where the horizon was fading into the deep purple of twilight. Then at 19:39 hours, from the center of that darkening line, there flashed a diamond spark of light—Cabo da Roca lighthouse—and the westernmost point in Europe had been sighted. Minutes later NC-4 roared over the rocky coastline and turned southward toward the Tagus estuary and Lisbon. According to Read, a man of few words, this moment was "perhaps the biggest thrill of the whole trip." Each man on board realized that "No matter what happened—even if we crashed on landing—the transatlantic flight, the first one in the history of the world, was an accomplished fact."
At 20:01 hours on May 27, 1919, NC-4's keel sliced into the waters of the Tagus. The first transatlantic flight was indeed an accomplished fact.
After two days in Lisbon, where all three NC crews were generously feted by the Portuguese government and the city of Lisbon, NC-4 continued her flight to Plymouth, England, to the port whence the Pilgrim Fathers had left for America 299 years before” (Ref. 313Z4).
The NC-4 triumphantly arrives in Lisbon, Portugal May 28, 1919 - Ref. 313Z4
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“On the morning of May 29th, she departed Lisbon, but a few hours later off Monedego River, she was forced down by engine trouble. This was soon repaired, but the day was spent and Read refused to risk a landing at Plymouth in darkness. So NC-4 flew only to El Ferrol, Spain, for the night. The next day NC-4 made the final leg of her flight. NC-4 landed in Plymouth harbor early in the afternoon of May 31st, after being escorted into the harbor there by three Felixstowe F.2A flying-boats of the Royal Air Force. During the twenty-four days of this transatlantic flight, it invariably held the front page banner space of American newspapers. But other remarkable Atlantic flights followed, and the world soon forgot the triumph of NC-4 and the skill and sagacity of her crew. But no one again could be first. That honor belongs to Lieutenant Commander Albert C. Read, his crew of five, and the United States Navy's NC-4. The NC-4 made a triumphal return to the USA later, ending a celebratory tour of the eastern and southern seaboard by flying up the Mississippi to St. Louis. Here it was handed over to the Smithsonian Institution. Later it was given to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, Florida and is currently on display” (Ref. 313Z4).
Chronology of Events - Ref. 313Z4
Treaty of Versailles, 1919 – Ref. 313XAA
“World War I was one of the most destructive wars in modern history. Nearly ten million soldiers died as a result of hostilities. The enormous losses on all sides of the conflict resulted in part from the introduction of new weapons, like the machine gun and gas warfare, as well as the failure of military leaders to adjust their tactics to the increasingly mechanized nature of warfare. A policy of attrition, particularly on the Western Front, cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers” (Ref. 313XAA).
“Allied delegates in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles witness the German delegation's acceptance of the terms of the Treaty Of Versailles, the treaty formally ending World War I. Versailles, France, June 28, 1919. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, Md” (Ref. 313XAA). http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/media_ph.php?ModuleId=10005425&MediaId=1630
IMPACT OF WORLD WAR I
“World War I was one of the most destructive wars in modern history. Nearly ten million soldiers died as a result of hostilities. The enormous losses on all sides of the conflict resulted in part from the introduction of new weapons, like the machine gun and gas warfare, as well as the failure of military leaders to adjust their tactics to the increasingly mechanized nature of warfare. A policy of attrition, particularly on the Western Front, cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers.
No official agencies kept careful accounting of civilian losses during the war years, but scholars suggest that as many as thirteen million non-combatants died as a direct or indirect result of the war. The conflict uprooted or displaced millions of persons from their homes in Europe and Asia Minor. Property and industry losses were catastrophic, especially in France, Belgium, Poland, and Serbia, where fighting had been heaviest” (Ref. 313XAA).
Treaty of Versailles, June 1919
“A formal state of war between the two sides persisted for another seven months, until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles with Germany on 28 June 1919.
Some war memorials date the end of the war as being when the Versailles Treaty was signed in 1919, which was when many of the troops serving abroad finally returned to their home countries; by contrast, most commemorations of the war's end concentrate on the armistice of 11 November 1918. Legally, the formal peace treaties were not complete until the last, the Treaty of Lausanne, was signed. Under its terms, the Allied forces divested Constantinople on 23 August 1923” (Ref. 313M & 313XAA).
TREATIES OF SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE, TRIANON, AND SEVRES
“After such a devastating war, the victorious Western Powers imposed a series of harsh treaties upon the defeated nations. These treaties stripped the Central Powers of substantial territories and imposed significant reparation payments. Seldom before had the face of Europe been so fundamentally changed. As a direct result of the war, the German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, and Ottoman Empires ceased to exist.
The Treaty of Saint-Germain-en-Laye of September 10, 1919, established the Republic of Austria, consisting of the truncated, German-speaking regions of the Habsburg state. The Austrian Empire ceded crown lands to newly established successor states like Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. It also relinquished the South Tyrol, Trieste, Trentino, and Istria to Italy, and Bukovina to Romania. An important tenet of the treaty barred Austria from compromising its newly formed independence, which effectively barred it from unification with Germany, an aspiration long desired by “Pan-Germanists” and an aim actively advocated by Austrian-born Adolf Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi) Party.
The other portion of the Dual Monarchy, Hungary also became an independent state: under the terms of the Treaty of Trianon (June 4, 1920), Hungary ceded Transylvania to Romania; Slovakia and Transcarpathian Rus to the newly formed Czechoslovakia; and other Hungarian crown lands to the future Yugoslavia. The Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Sèvres on August 10, 1920, ending hostilities with the Allied Powers; but shortly thereafter a Turkish War of Independence began. The new Republic of Turkey, established in its aftermath, signed a superseding Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, effectively partitioning the old Ottoman Empire” (RRef. 313XAA).
“On 11 July 1919, the Naval Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1920 provided for the conversion of the collier Jupiter into a ship specifically designed to launch and recover airplanes at sea — an aircraft carrier — later to be named Langley. The engineering plans for this conversion were modified in November and included catapults to be fitted on both the forward and after ends of the "flying-off" deck” (Ref. 68).
Selective Service Act or Selective Draft Act of 1919
“The Provost Marshal General was relieved from duty on July 15, 1919, thereby finally terminating the activities of the Selective Service System of World War I” (Ref. 313Z5).
Air Detachment Pacific Fleet Established
US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft
Cruiser and Transport Force served in Atlantic waters during World War I
“The Cruiser and Transport Force served in Atlantic waters during World War I moving the American Expeditionary Force to Europe. United States Battleship Division Nine joined the Grand Fleet in the UK” (Ref. 313B; 313B1 & 313B8).
History shows a continuation of the title Commander in Chief, Atlantic Fleet, until late 1922 when the title Commander Scouting Force was used.
General Order 94 abolished the Atlantic Fleet, renaming it as the U.S. Fleet
“Early in December of 1922, General Order 94 abolished the Atlantic Fleet, renaming it as the U.S. Fleet. The U.S. Fleet was organized into the Battle Fleet, the Scouting Fleet, the Control Fleet and the Fleet Base Force. These four elements were defined as "the principal naval force of the United States"” (Ref. 313B6).
Navy-Curtiss NC-4 Flying Boat - USA - Ref. 313Z4
“After the Armistice the Naval Aircraft Factory at Philadelphia built six more NC-type flying-boats. These were built initially as tri-motors, but four were later converted to an NC-4-type four-engined layout, the other two meanwhile having been lost. The converted aircraft served during 1920-22 with the US Navy's East Coast Squadron before being retired” (Ref. 313Z4).
US signs a treaty with thee Republic of Turkey 24 July 1923, at Lausanne
“By 1923, treaties with Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire had been signed with the U.S. However, the negotiation of the latter treaty with the Ottoman Empire was followed by strife (the Turkish War of Independence), and a final peace treaty between the Allied Powers and the country that would shortly become the Republic of Turkey was not signed until 24 July 1923, at Lausanne” (Ref. 313M).
US Atlantic Fleet was reorganized into the Scouting Force in 1923
“The Atlantic Fleet was reorganized into the Scouting Force in 1923, which was under the United States Fleet along with the Pacific Fleet. Eight years later, on Dec. 10, 1930, another reorganization was made when the U.S. Fleets subordinate fleets were renamed forces creating the Battle Force, U.S. Fleet; the Scouting Force, U.S. Fleet; and the Base Force, U.S. Fleet. Ships assigned to these forces were assigned on the basis of mission and not as to the type of ship involved.
Also, the Navy subdivided into squadrons, with those units operating off the east coast of the United States coming within the Atlantic Squadron. This subdivision can be seen as the seeds of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet as we know it today. World War II began in Europe in 1939 and in response. the Atlantic Squadron, United States Fleet, was formed” (Ref. 313B6).
“The aircraft carrier USS Ranger (CV-4) was transferred to the Atlantic Ocean, to join three battleships. Vice Admiral Alfred Wilkinson Johnson commanded the squadron” (Ref. 1-Ranger & 313B; 313B1 & 313B8).
“Areas under direct Allied control of Britain and France included Canada, Bermuda, many of the West Indies, British and French Guiana, islands in the South Atlantic, much of the Atlantic seaboard of Africa, and the fortress of Gibraltar. The one major defensive gap was the lack of bases in Eire to cover the Western Approaches to Britain. In contrast Germany was restricted to short North Sea and Baltic coastlines, and its exits to the Atlantic passed through the North Sea and the Allied controlled English Channel, which American ships and troops would come to know so well four and a half years later. However Britain's survival, and ultimately Allied success in Europe, depended on the Atlantic trade routes. Germany's did not. The primary maritime tasks of the Allies were based on the assumption that Britain and France would face the European Axis powers of Germany and Italy. The British Navy was responsible for the North Sea and most of the Atlantic, and both Allies shared in the defense of the Mediterranean. Mussolini did not go to war for another nine months.
Declaration of War - Following the German invasion of Poland on the 1st of September, Britain and France demanded the withdrawal of German forces. The ultimatum was rejected, and the Allies together with Australia, New Zealand and India declared war on the 3rd. South Africa followed on the 6th and Canada on the 10th. Italy announced her neutrality.
Neutrality Announced - On the 5th President Roosevelt declared the neutrality of the United States in accordance with the 1937 Neutrality Act. This included a ban on the sale of arms and munitions to all belligerents. Military Strength - On the 8th the proclaimed a "limited national emergency" and increased the strength of the armed forces. This included Naval enlisted men from 110,000 to 145,000 and Marine Corps from 18,000 to 25,000. Retired Navy and Marine officers and men could also be recalled to active duty as needed.
Neutrality Patrol - The President also ordered the organisation of a Neutrality Patrol to protect the neutrality of the Americas and report any movement of belligerent forces towards the coasts of the United States or the West Indies.
The Neutrality Patrol was formed on the 12th under the command of Commander Atlantic Squadron (Rear-Adm A W Johnson). Organised into eight groups consisting mainly of cruisers and destroyers, some with patrol aircraft support, it covered the coast from Canada down to the Caribbean. Battleships and a carrier were held in reserve” (Ref. 313B6A).
Hostilities in Europe in September 1939 spurred the rebuilding of the Navys battleship forces
“The opening of hostilities in Europe in September 1939 spurred the rebuilding of the Navys battleship forces” (Ref. 313B6).
“No new battleships were commissioned from 1923 to 1941” (Ref. 313B6).
EQNEEDF Note: Hope and Change, OBAMA’s new era, the U.S. Navy has been shelved for a new era Navy, the Navy of China, partnering with the Socialist Republic of the United States of America under OBAMA, LEADING THE WAY, DELIEVERING TECHNOLOGIES TO ENHANCE THE VIALIBALITY of the Chinese Navy aircraft carrier fleet).
I’ve heard that aircraft Carriers need a few ship’s in company, yet a smaller Navy means fewer deployments and just because the U.S. Navy has 11 eleven aircraft carriers, it doesn’t mean they could all operate at the same time, with Summer Pulse 2004 a rare opportunity rather then the norm.
I’ve rewritten some history here in these reports. Made an attempt to be more accurate then any individual source on the internet in hopes someone in the congress will step up and listen to and accept from the U.S. Navy a report of necessities.
“The first battleship Type Command (TyCom) was established on Nov. 1, 1940, with the formation of Battleships, Patrol Force, U.S. Fleet. With the Navy reorganization in February 1941, the TyCom became Battleships, U.S. Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313B6).
On 7 December 1941 the Fleet comprised eight separate components. Battleships, Atlantic Fleet was made up of Battleship Division Three
“On 7 December 1941 the Fleet comprised eight separate components. Battleships, Atlantic Fleet was made up of Battleship Division Three (BB-40 New Mexico, BB-41 Mississippi and BB-42 Idaho) and Battleship Division Five (a training division made up of the older battleships BB-34 New York, BB-35 Texas, and BB-33 Arkansas. The other components were Aircraft, Atlantic Fleet, which included Carrier Division Three with USS Ranger (CV-4) and USS Wasp (CV-7), and additionally Yorktown and Long Island; Cruisers, Atlantic Fleet, Patrol Wings, Atlantic Fleet (Patrol Wings 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9); Destroyers, Atlantic Fleet, Submarines Atlantic Fleet; Train, Atlantic Fleet, and Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet (PHIBLANT, COMPHIBLANT)” (Ref. 313B5).
The Japan Imperil Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941
“The opening of hostilities in Europe in September 1939 spurred the rebuilding of the Navy's battleship forces but would not commence until the Japan Imperil Navy attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.Eight of the Navy's battleships were sunk or damaged at Pearl Harbor. Six of these were subsequently repaired and returned to service.
The nature of the war in the Pacific altered the battleships role forever. The Battle of Midway showed that it was no longer necessary for battlewagons to stand toe-to-toe and slug it out in the contest for supremacy at sea. But battleships performed a number of vital tasks during World War II: from escorting convoys to providing anti-air defense to providing necessary gunfire support to troops ashore” (Ref. 313B6).
During World War II "Transports, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet" was part of this command (ComTransPhibLant)
“During World War II "Transports, Amphibious Force, Atlantic Fleet" was part of this command (ComTransPhibLant). Smaller units included the Antisubmarine Development Detachment, Atlantic Fleet (ASDEVLANT) located at Quonset Point, Rhode Island. The detachment was responsible for the study and development of antisubmarine gear during World War II. The Commander of the detachment was known as COMASDEVLANT” (Ref. 313B; 313B1 & 313B8).
Admiral King was appointed Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet after the attack by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor
“Admiral King was appointed Commander-in-Chief, United States Fleet, on 20 December 1941. Rear Admiral Royal E. Ingersoll was designated, with the rank of Vice Admiral, to relieve him as Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313U1& 313B9).
“He took command on 1 January 1942, and was advanced to the rank of Admiral on 1 July 1942. To carry out this mission and other tasks CinCLant had in the meantime been reorganized, as of 1 March 1941, into ten task forces (commanded by flag officers) numbered from one to ten and named according to their intended employment. Task Force One was the Ocean Escort Force, TF2--Striking Force, TF3--Scouting Force, TF4--Support Force, TF5--Submarine Force, TF6--Naval Coastal Frontier Forces, TF7--Bermuda Force, TF8--Patrol Wings, TF9--Service Force, and Task Force 10, 1st Marine Division (commanded by a Brigadier General)” (Ref. 313U1; 313B; 313B1 & 313B8).
“ADM Ernest King, Commander in Chief, United States Fleet, established numbered fleets in 1943 as a basis for task force designations and for specific geographic areas. Even-numbered fleets served in the Atlantic, odd-numbered fleets operated in the Pacific. King designated 5th Fleet to operate in the Central Pacific Ocean. When major offensive operations began in the Central Pacific in the summer of 1943” (Ref. 313V & 313U1).
“The United States Eighth Fleet was a fleet of the U.S. Navy established 15 March 1943 from Northwest African Force. It operated in the Mediterranean Sea during World War II with a main mission of amphibious warfare” (Ref. 313U1 & 313T).
“In 1941, the forces that eventually evolved into the Eighth Fleet were designated Amphibious Forces, Atlantic Fleet, under the command of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, who took command in April 1942. This force, also called Task Force 34, became the U.S. component of the Operation Torch landings in November 1942. The force was then renamed U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest Africa Waters or COMNAVNAW” (Ref. 313U1 & 313T).
“In 1941, the forces that eventually evolved into the Eighth Fleet were designated Amphibious Forces, Atlantic Fleet, under the command of Admiral H. Kent Hewitt, who took command in April 1942. This force, also called Task Force 34, became the U.S. component of the Operation Torch landings in November 1942. The force was then renamed U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest Africa Waters or COMNAVNAW.
VADM Raymond A. Spruance became both Commander, Central Pacific Force, and Commander, 5th Fleet, retaining only the 5th Fleet title by August 1944. As naval activities in the Central Pacific increased and operations diminished in the South Pacific, the 3rd and 5th Fleets melded into a single organization, but the title varied, depending on whether VADM William Halsey, commander, 3rd Fleet, or VADM Spruance, Commander, 5th Fleet, exercised command. Leadership and the fleet number varied, because while one admiral commanded the fleet in a specific operation, the other admiral served ashore with his staff planning the next major offensive” (Ref. 313V & 313U1).
1. Sean Maloney, To Secure Command of the Sea, thesis, 1991, p.25.
2. Thomas A. Bryson, 'Tars, Turks, and Tankers: The Role of the United States Navy in the Middle East,' Scarecrow Press, Inc., Metuchen, NJ, and London, 1980, 89-90.
TyCom, the Battleship-Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet
“On Nov. 15, 1945, two months and a day after the Japanese announced they would accept the terms of surrender, the battleships were combined with the cruisers in a new TyCom, the Battleship-Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313B6).
Commander Minesweeping Forces, Atlantic Fleet (ComMinLant) was activated to command minesweepers assigned to the Atlantic Fleet
“On 1 January 1946, Commander Minesweeping Forces, Atlantic Fleet (ComMinLant) was activated to command minesweepers assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. The Commander, Mine Forces, Atlantic was responsible for all Fleet minecraft operations. Units under his command were divided into Minesweeping Squadrons (MineRons)” (Ref. 313B6).
“On February 1, 1946, U.S. Naval Forces, Northwest African Waters, was redesignated U.S. Naval Forces, Mediterranean (313U) which later became the United States Sixth Fleet.
Still under Hewitt's command, the renamed Eighth Fleet supported the landings in Sicily, Operation Husky, and at Salerno, Operation Avalanche, the first sustained land assault and invasion of the European mainland in World War II. Eighth Fleet then supported the August 1944 landing of Allied troops on the coast of southern France, Operation Dragoon, with heavy naval gunfire and naval air attacks. Hewitt remained as the fleet commander until 1945, when he moved on to chair a Pearl Harbor investigation.
With the reorganization of the Navy after World War II in December 1945, Eighth Fleet was reactivated on 1 March 1946 under the command of Admiral Marc A. Mitscher. Under the overall command of Commander, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, Eighth Fleet was the heavy striking arm of the Atlantic Fleet. It consisted of the preponderance of Atlantic Fleet aircraft carrier assets, initially including the new fast carriers Midway and Franklin D. Roosevelt, their escorts and support ships. These latter did not include the fast Battleship Division (Battleship Division Two?) made up of USS Wisconsin and Missouri, retained under direct command of Atlantic Fleet. In January 1947, the US Eighth Fleet was redesignated as the Second Task Fleet, a part of the Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313CH).
Unified United States Atlantic Command was established, with headquarters co-located to those of U.S. Atlantic Fleet
“After the end of World War II, the organization of the United States Armed Forces was reviewed with a view toward reorganization after the turbulent war years. On 1 December 1947, under a reorganization act of the Armed Forces approved by Congress, the unified U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) was established, with headquarters co-located to those of U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Admiral William H.P. Blandy, USN, Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, became the first Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, a title that remained dual-hatted (and would later become triple-hatted)” (Ref. 313B2).
“The United States Eighth Fleet was a fleet of the U.S. Navy established 15 March 1943 from Northwest African Force. It operated in the Mediterranean Sea during World War II with a main mission of amphibious warfare, and then was active in 1946-47 as the heavy striking arm of the United States Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313T).
US Battleships were mothballed or sold
“During this time many of the battleships were mothballed or sold as memorials to the various states whose names they carried. Only a few of these majestic ships remained in service until 1948 when the last active battleship was redesignated a training ship and the Battleship-Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, was renamed Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313B6).
Headquarters for the Fleet Commander in Chief
“From April 1941 to April 1948, four flagships served as headquarters for the Fleet Commander in Chief: USS AUGUSTA (CA-31) from April 1941 to January 1942; the historic spar-decked corvette/sloop USS CONSTELLATION (launched in 1855) from August 1942 to May 1946; and USS POCONO (AGC-16) from May 1946 to April 1948” (Ref. 313B2).
Headquarters for the Fleet Commander in Chief move
Unified commands were responsible for a geographical area
“During the peace that followed World War II, the military applied lessons learned from the war, adopting a new system of organization under a single secretary of defense. The system established the US Air Force, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and new commands made up of components from more than one military service. These new multi-service or unified commands had broad, continuing missions and were intended to ensure that forces from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps would all work together.
The unified commands were either responsible for a geographical area (like Europe or the Pacific) or a specific function, such as transportation. USJFCOM was originally formed as US Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM), the unified command with responsibility for the Atlantic Ocean geographical region. Due to the maritime nature of its missions, USLANTCOM was integrated with the Navy's existing Atlantic Fleet and was primarily staffed by Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Its initial mission was to guard sea lanes between Europe and the US East Coast” (Ref. 313B15aa).
As the Cold War heated up during the second half of the century, USLANTCOM's mission proved crucial protecting sea lanes in the Atlantic.
After the onset of the Cold War, USLANTCOM played a critical role ensuring NATO forces would be able to move troops and supplies across the Atlantic without Soviet intervention. Cooperation with NATO enabled the Command to form a coalition of strategically located bases and operational forces in the North Atlantic that could provide continuous protection and surveillance operations throughout the Cold War.
Although the Soviet surface navy did not pose a considerable threat in the Atlantic, their submarines threatened NATO's defense of Western Europe. Consequently, USLANTCOM aircraft, ships and submarines were continually deployed to monitor and deter Soviet submarine operations in the Atlantic. Additionally, because of the dangers of Soviet air attack, the Command maintained a line of radar stations from Greenland, through Iceland, to the United Kingdom. From bases in Iceland, Air Force units assigned to USLANTCOM (through the Iceland Defense Force) intercepted Soviet aircraft in the North Atlantic” (Ref. 313B15aa).
“The U.S. Second Fleet traces its origin to the reorganization of the Navy following World War II in December 1945 and the formation of the United States Eighth Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral Marc A. Mitscher. In January 1947, Eighth Fleet was renamed Second Task Fleet. Three years later, in February 1950, the command was redesignated U.S. Second Fleet. Second Fleet’s area of responsibility included the Atlantic coast of South America and part of the west coast of Central America” (Ref. . - Lt Col Ronald H. Spector, U.S. Marines in Grenada 1983, History and MUseums Division, HQ USMC, 1987, 1.of 313U1).
Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic
“In the early 1950s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decided to establish a new major command, that of Allied Command, Atlantic under the command of a U.S. four-star admiral with headquarters in Norfolk, VA. Since this was primarily a naval command responsible for allied defense of the North Atlantic, the decision was made to colocate this organization with that of the U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to form a tri-hatted command. On 10 April 1952, Admiral Lynde D. McCormick, USN, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, assumed the title as the first Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic” (Ref. 313B2 &313B15aa).
“The battleships returned during the Korean Conflict (1950-1953) for use in shore bombardment. The Battleship-Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet as a TyCom was resurrected on Oct. 15, 1952.
With the Korean armistice and by 1957, the battleships began being decommissioned again.
By Mar. 8, 1958, there were no active battleships and the type command reverted to Cruiser Force, U.S. Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313B6).
USLANTCOM acquired operational management of the nation's newly-formed underwater nuclear arsenal
“In addition, U.S. Atlantic Command (USLANTCOM) (Atlantic Fleet) had been tasked with unique responsibilities. As Cold War tensions mounted at the end of the 1950's and nuclear missile silos were built across the country, USLANTCOM acquired operational management of the nation's newly-formed underwater nuclear arsenal.
The Navy established stewardship of a portion of America's nuclear weapons in the late 1950's after accelerated development of the Polaris missile, a submarine-launched intermediate range ballistic missile. Though the Navy was responsible for providing and supporting the submarines, operational control for launching the Polaris missiles during a crisis was directed through Commander in Chief, Atlantic Command (CINCUSLANTCOM)” (Ref. 313B15aa).
CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion
“For most of the 20th Century, the US had used bases in Cuba and Puerto Rico to maintain a constant force in an area that was critical to the country's security and shipping. When Fidel Castro's communist regime developed an alliance with the Soviet Union after taking control of the island in 1959, USLANTCOM suddenly had one of the Cold War's hottest spots within its geographical area.
In 1961, the command found itself involved in the failed, CIA-sponsored Bay of Pigs invasion. Not informed of the invasion until the last moment, the Command's leaders made what they considered to be the best possible decisions for a mission they felt was flawed. The command shifted naval forces and a battalion of Marines to an area that might influence the invasion, but did not participate. In the end, forces from the Command helped evacuate remaining rebel Cubans who had not been captured by Castro's government” (Ref. 313B15aa).
“The Bay of Pigs invasion met its ignominious end on the afternoon of 19 April 1961” (Ref. 313W1).
Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962 – Ref. 313W2
Annual Report of the Secretary of Defense: July 1, 1962, to June 30, 1963, extract.
“In 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis drew USLANTCOM forces into one of the Cold War's most dangerous episodes. After the CIA confirmed the presence of Soviet nuclear missiles on the island, President John F. Kennedy ordered the Command to form a 500-mile "quarantine" to interdict all ships entering Cuban waters. Concurrently the command prepared amphibious forces for a possible invasion. From 22 to 28 October 1962, the Command's naval forces engaged the Soviets in a tense confrontation at sea, backed by land and air forces of each nation. After Soviet withdrawal of its missiles from Cuba, tensions diminished and both sides stood down following return to the Soivet Union of 42 IL-28 medium-range bombers” (Ref. 313B15aa & 313W2).
“Their removal entailed further diplomatic negotiations that were not concluded successfully until November 20. The return of these bombers to the Soviet Union was checked as carefully as that of the missiles. All of them left Cuba on December 5 and 6, loaded on three Soviet ships. Concurrently with the Soviet commitment on the IL-28's, the United States Government announced the end of the quarantine effective at 6:45 p.m. (EDT), November 20, 1963. Fifty- five Cuba-bound merchant ships had been checked during the 4-week quarantine; none was found to carry any prohibited material. With the end of the quarantine, the ships of Task Force 136 as well as those of the more recently formed Inter-American Quarantine Force, composed of Argentinian, Dominican, Venezuelan, and United States units, returned to normal duties.
The special alert activities of our armed forces at home and abroad gradually were reduced, and the units no longer required were returned to their permanent stations. The Air Force Reserve units called to active duty were released by the end of November, and the extension of tours of duty for Navy personnel, ordered on October 24, was canceled. Only aerial reconnaissance sorties were continued, since the on-site verification of the removal of all offensive weapons, originally agreed upon by the Soviet and the United States Governments, continued to be opposed by Cuba.
Commander in Chief, Atlantic (CINCLANT), Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet retained control of all naval components involved in tactical operations and responsibility for Army and Air Force components was assigned to the Continental Army Command (CONARC) and the Tactical Air Command under the designation of Army Forces, Atlantic (ARLANT), and Air Forces, Atlantic (AFLANT) in 1962
“The general purpose forces of the Army, Navy, and Air Force began to be reorganized in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis on 16 October 1962. The command organization, as finally developed, called for the Commander in Chief, Atlantic (CINCLANT), Admiral Robert Dennison, to provide the unified command. He also retained control of all naval components involved in tactical operations, as the Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet. The responsibility for Army and Air Force components was assigned to the Continental Army Command (CONARC) and the Tactical Air Command under the designation of Army Forces, Atlantic (ARLANT), and Air Forces, Atlantic (AFLANT)” (Ref. 313B; 313B1 & 313B8).
United States occupation of the Dominican Republic
“Another major crisis during the Cold War was the second United States occupation of the Dominican Republic began when the United States Marines Corps entered Santo Domingo on April 28, 1965 in the Dominican Civil War. They were later joined, beginning the following day, by most of the United States Army's 82nd Airborne Division and its parent XVIIIth Airborne Corps.
The intervention ended in September 1966 when the 1st Brigade of the 82nd Airborne, the last remaining American unit in the country, was withdrawn. The occupation occurred at the same time that the United States was expanding its military role in Vietnam” (Ref. 313B19).
“The commander of the Army XVIII Airborne Corps was designated Joint Task Force Commander to plan for any joint operations that might become necessary. Over-all direction was exercised by the President and the Secretary of Defense through the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who named the Chief of Naval Operations as their representative for the quarantine.
Major elements of the Strategic Army Corps were designated for use by ARLANT and placed in advanced alert status. Logistic support for the more than 100,000 men involved was directed by a newly established Peninsula Base Command. Preparatory steps were taken to make possible the immediate callup of high priority Army National Guard and Army Reserve units. U.S. Air Force air support for the ground forces was provided by Tactical Air Command, which moved hundreds of tactical fighter, reconnaissance, and troop carrier aircraft to the southeast. To make room for all these units, the bombers, tankers, and other aircraft not required for the current operations were ordered to other bases in the United States” (Ref. 313B11).
“USS New Jersey (BB- 62) was brought back into service in 1968 and served as a gun platform off the coast of Vietnam. Her nine 16-inch guns could throw a 2,700-pound projectile more than 20 miles. The ship was again decommissioned in 1969” (Ref. 313B6).
“From the late 1960s, nuclear ballistic missile submarines of the fleet began to make thousands of deterrent patrols” (Ref. 313B12).
Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic was formed on 1 July 1975
“Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic incorporated a number of previous separate smaller commands - mine warfare vessels/units, service vessels, and frigates, destroyers and cruisers, along with associated destroyer squadrons and cruiser/destroyer groups” (Ref. 313B14).
Sir Eric Gairy, Grenada's first prime minister was ousted – Ref. 313B4bb
“On March 13, 1979, the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (New Jewel) movement ousted Sir Eric Gairy, Grenada's first prime minister, in a nearly bloodless coup and established a people's revolutionary government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop, who became prime minister. His Marxist-Leninist Government” (Ref. 313B4bb).
USS New Jersey (BB-62) was recommissioned in 1982
When militant communists in Grenada staged a coup, installing up their own government in October of 1983, the US was alarmed that another Communist bastion was evolving just miles from American shores. Believing the new communist government was not legitimate and fearing for the safety of American students on the island, President Ronald Reagan ordered military intervention to stop consolidation of the new regime. A USLANTCOM Joint Task Force, commanded by Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf with Army Major Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf as ground operations adviser, invaded Grenada on 25 October 1983. Army and Marine Corps units, in conjunction with forces from other Caribbean nations, overwhelmed Cuban and Grenadian resistance forces. Before long, the Command task force established order and laid groundwork for democratic elections” (Ref. 313B15aa).
“Although the mission was ultimately a success, in the months after Operation Urgent Fury, politicians and military officers alike criticizing deficiencies evident upon analysis of the invasion. The most glaring problem, inadequate communication and coordination between the services, led to demands for improvements in joint operations. In the years that followed, lessons learned from Operation Urgent Fury and desire for seamless joint operations would become a major issue for USLANTCOM” (Ref. 313B15aa).
Operation Urgent Fury – Ref. 313B4bb
The Planning and Execution of Joint Operations in Grenada
12 October - 2 November 1983 – Ref. 313B4dd
Grenada, 1983: Operation "Urgent Fury" – Ref. 313B4ee
“Grenada, one of the smallest independent nations in the Western Hemisphere and one of the southernmost Caribbean islands in the Windward chain, has an area of only 133 square miles. The population is 110,000. But size is not necessarily the determining factor when governments consider strategic military locations. The Cuban government knew the value of Grenada's location when it decided to utilize the former British colony as a holding place for arms and military equipment, complete with a major airport. Eastern Caribbean nations fully understood the implication of the communist threat and called upon the United States for help. The response was Urgent Fury, a multinational, multiservice effort.
In October 1983, a power struggle within the government resulted in the arrest and subsequent murder of Bishop and several members of his cabinet by elements of the people's revolutionary army.
Following a breakdown in civil order, U.S. forces, in conjunction with contingents of the security forces of several neighboring Caribbean states, invaded the independent state of Grenada on October 25 in response to an appeal from the governor general and to a request for assistance from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The mission was to oust the People's Revolutionary Government, to protect U.S. citizens and restore the lawful government.
Not until about 40 hours before H-hour were commanding officers of the US Navy ships told what the mission in Grenada would be--to evacuate U.S. citizens, neutralize any resistance, stabilize the situation and maintain the peace. That didn't leave much time to get the ships ready. On board USS Guam (LPH-9), flag ship of Amphibious Squadron Four, Aviation Ordnanceman Third Class George Boucher Jr. staged ammunition for vertical replenishment to the other four ships of the Marine amphibious group--USS Barnstable County (LST-1197), USS Manitowoc (LST-1180), USS Fort Snelling (LSD-30) and USS Trenton (LPD-14). He wondered why Marine CH-46 pilots were flying in unfavorable winds on that dark night of Oct. 24; the helicopters had trouble lifting the pallets as the ships rushed through the water” (Ref. 313B4dd; 313B4cc & 313B4ee)
“Down in the flag spaces, the operational commander, Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf III, and his staff studied the plan for Operation Urgent Fury.
“Stateside, Army Rangers and 82nd Airborne Division paratroopers assembled and prepared for departure to Grenada. Out of sight in the darkness, the USS Independence (CV-62) task group, including USS Richmond K. Turner (CO-20), USS Coontz (DDG-40), USS Caron (DD-970), USS Moosbrugger (DD-980), USS Clifton Sprague (FFG-16) and USS Suribachi (AE-21), steamed into position off the coast of Grenada.
To secure objectives in Grenada and to facilitate operations, the island was operationally split in half. The Marines covered the northern half of the island while Army rangers covered the south. The invasion in the south focused on an unfinished runway at Point Salines.
The 22d Marine Amphibious Unit was diverted to Grenada while en route to Lebanon. The Marine amphibious unit conducted landings as part of Operation Urgent Fury at Grenada on 25 October and at Carriacou on 1 November.
The first heliborne landing force launched before dawn from Guam's flight deck. When the helicopters touched down at Pearls Airport at 5 a.m. on 25 Oct., the PRA--People's Revolutionary Army--greeted the Marines with bursts from small arms and machine guns. In pairs, the Marines scrambled out of the helos and immediately dug in, waiting for the choppers to leave. Three Soviet-made 12.7mm guns on a nearby hill fired at helicopters bringing in the second assault--Marines of Fox Company--to the town of Grenville, just south of Pearls, at 6 a.m. Sea- Cobra [two-bladed, single turbine engine] attack helicopters were called in to silence the guns and Fox Company landed amid light mortar fire. Echo and Fox companies moved slowly and cautiously after their landings; after a couple of hours, most of the resistance at Pearls and Grenville was beaten down.
Preceding the operations in the north and south, Navy seal teams were airdropped near St. Georges to secure the safety of the Grenadian Governor General who was being held under house arrest by opposing forces in the governor's mansion and to capture the government radio station at St. Georges. A Navy SEAL team which was to have provided intelligence on the airfield at Salines was unable to get ashore.
At 0534 the first Rangers began dropping at Salines, and less than two hours elapsed from the first drop until the last unit was on the ground, shortly after seven in the morning. Army Rangers, arriving in four-engine turboprop C-130 Hercules aircraft, met much stiffer resistance than the Marines encountered at Pearls.
To avoid the anti-aircraft fire, the Rangers jumped from a very low altitude--500 feet. Machine-gun fire blasted at aircraft and Rangers on the ground. But US Air Force four-engine turboprop AC-130 Spectre gunships silenced the hostile fire with devastatingly accurate blasts.
After the rangers had secured the runway, 800 more troops would land, freeing the rangers to press northward where they were to secure the safety of American medical students and bring under control the capital of St. Georges. At the end of the first day in Grenada, the Rangers had secured the airfield and True Blue Campus at a cost of five dead and six wounded. Once the Rangers had secured the runway, elements of the 82nd Airborne Division landed, and late in the evening of the 26th the 82d Division's 3d Brigade began to deploy across the island. In the north, 400 Marines would land and rescue the small airport at Pearls.
Even before securing Point Salines airfield on the first day, Rangers had moved to evacuate American students at the True Blue campus of St. George's Medical Center. The campus, located at one end of the 10,000-foot runway the Cubans had been building, was reached easily and the students were rescued. A second campus at Grand Anse was farther away, and retreating Cubans and PRA units blocked the Rangers from the students. By afternoon the Point Salines air field was secured from all but sporadic mortar and small arms fire, and Rangers were moving against PRA positions near St. George's, the capital. Other Rangers removed obstacles on the Point Salines runway, and elements of the 82nd Airborne Division flew in to add more people and heavier weapons to the assault.
During the evening, Marines of Golf Company, from the tank landing ships Manitowoc and Barnstable County, landed at Grand Mal beach, just north of St. George's, with 13 amphibious vehicles and five tanks. Throughout the first night, a constant stream of logistics aircraft landed and took off from the partially completed runway at Point Salines. Gunfire roared from ships and aircraft. At first light on the second day, Marine armor supporting the Rangers and 82nd Airborne began final assaults on Cuban and PRA positions around St. George's. With close air support from Navy attack aircraft from Independence, Golf Company captured the governor's residence at 7:12 a.m., freeing several civilians and Sir Paul Scoon, governor-general of Grenada and representative of Queen Elizabeth.
On the morning of the third day of operations, Rangers and Marines, with close air support from the carrier Independence, attacked heavily fortified positions at Fort Adolphus, Fort Matthew and Richmond Hill prison above St. George's. U.S. aircraft flying in the vicinity during the first two days had met a torrent of anti-aircraft fire; three helicopters had been shot down. One of the heavily defended positions in the area later turned out to be a hospital.
The 82nd Airborne, with close air and naval gunfire support, moved against the Calivigny military barracks east of Point Salines. The assault completed the last major objective for the peacekeeping forces. After wards, the Rangers were airlifted out of Grenada.
The next day--Oct. 28--the 82nd Airborne and Marines linked forces at Ross Beach. They secured St. George's and began mopping up the last few pockets of resistance scattered around the island.
From 22 October-4 November 1983, Eighth Air Force sent its KC-135 and KC-10 tankers to provide refueling support for the US assault on Grenada. Eighth Air Force tankers, operating from several stateside locations, refueled various fighters, reconnaissance planes, and other aircraft for URGENT FURY. They completing all assigned missions without degrading their ability to perform their strategic mission. General Charles A. Gabriel, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, recognized all participating units for their efforts.
By Nov. 2, all military objectives had been secured. Next day, hostilities were declared to be at an end. Grenadians went about putting their country back in order--schools and businesses reopened for the first time in two weeks or more.
By 3 November, the Marine amphibious unit was reembarked aboard its amphibious shipping and had resumed its passage to Lebanon.
Urgent Fury was a success, but not without the inevitable tragedies of battle. People did get hurt and die. At the end of the operation, 18 American men had died and 116 were wound ed. Guam had treated 77 wounded, and many others had been sent to Roosevelt Roads Naval Station, Puerto Rico.
In total, an invasion force of 1,900 U.S. troops, reaching a high of about 5,000 in five days, and 300 troops from the assisting neighboring islands encountered about 1,200 Grenadians, 780 Cubans, 49 Soviets, 24 North Koreans, 16 East Germans, 14 Bulgarians, and 3 or 4 Libyans. Within three days all main objectives were accomplished. Five hundred ninety-nine (599) Americans and 80 foreign nationals were evacuated, and U.S. forces were successful in the eventual reestablishment of a representative form of government in Grenada.
That is not to say, however, that the invasion went without challenge. The first challenge was the lack of good intelligence data. For example, at Point Salines operations bogged down because resistance was much greater than expected. In attempting to rescue the Governor General, American forces were stymied by larger Cuban and Grenadian forces than anticipated.
By listening to Cuban radio broadcasts, it seemed that the resistance was being directed from a place called Fort Frederick. As it turned out, but not previously known, Fort Frederick was the nerve center for the Cuban and Grenadian forces and once it was destroyed resistance simply melted away.
The invasion force lacked precise data on the location of the American medical students they were to rescue. One account noted that attack planners did not realize that the American medical students were spread out over three locations.
The final challenge to invading forces was the lack of a fully integrated, interoperable communications system. Unlike the fighting elements which were organized to conduct operations independent of one another, communications systems were not allowed such freedom. Communications was to have been the glue that would tie together the operation of the four independent United States military service elements. Unfortunately, communications support failed in meeting certain aspects of that mission. It cannot be said that communications capability itself was abundant. Several participants cite shortages of communications.
Shortages were not the only communications problems found during the invasion of Grenada; interoperability was another. For example, uncoordinated use of radio frequencies prevented radio communications between Marines in the north and Army Rangers in the south. As such, interservice communication was prevented, except through offshore relay stations, and kept Marine commanders unaware for too long that Rangers were pinned down without adequate armor. In a second incident, it was reported that one member of the invasion force placed a long distance, commercial telephone call to Fort Bragg, N.C. to obtain C-130 gunship support for his unit which was under fire. His message was relayed via satellite and the gunship responded.
Several factors have been cited as the cause of the communications problems which were confronted in Grenada. Among them were insufficient planning for the operation, lack of training, inadequate procedures, maldeployment of communications security keying material for the different radio networks, and lack of preparation through exercise realism. One of the more noted intelligence shortcomings of the operation was the lack of up to date topographical information (maps) on Grenada. When adequate maps were found, they apparently had to be flown to the Grenada task force rather than being sent by electrical transmission.
No journalists were on the island of Grenada to provide live reporting on the invasion, nor had any been taken along with the invading force. Vice Admiral Joseph Metcalf, in charge of the operation, had originally planned to exclude the media completely from the operation until he was convinced that they could do no harm. As word of the imminent invasion spread, hundreds of journalists moved into the area but were blocked from proceeding to Grenada. Indeed, there were no first-hand reports from Grenada until 2 days after the operation began.
The media, citing the American people's right to know, and frustrated at their inability to provide the current reporting that they would have liked, protested loudly about the military's gross oversight in failure to permit journalists to accompany the operation.
An advisory council, named by the governor general, administered the country until general elections were held in December 1984. The New National Party (NNP), led by Herbert Blaize, won 14 out of 15 seats in free and fair elections and formed a democratic government. Grenada's constitution had been suspended in 1979 by the PRG, but it was restored after the 1984 elections” (Ref. 313B4dd; 313B4cc & 313B4ee)
The New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (New Jewel) movement ousted Sir Eric Gairy, Grenada's first prime minister
“On March 13, 1979, the New Joint Endeavor for Welfare, Education, and Liberation (New Jewel) movement ousted Sir Eric Gairy, Grenada's first prime minister, in a nearly bloodless coup and established a people's revolutionary government (PRG), headed by Maurice Bishop, who became prime minister. His Marxist-Leninist Government established close ties with Cuba, the Soviet Union, and other communist-bloc countries.
In October 1983, a power struggle within the government resulted in the arrest and subsequent murder of Bishop and several members of his cabinet by elements of the people's revolutionary army.
Following a breakdown in civil order, U.S. forces, in conjunction with contingents of the security forces of several neighboring Caribbean states, invaded the independent state of Grenada on October 25 in response to an appeal from the governor general and to a request for assistance from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States. The mission was to oust the People's Revolutionary Government, to protect U.S. citizens and restore the lawful government” (Ref. 313B4bb).
The United States Navy began recalling the remaining Iowa-class battleships for active duty
“In May 1984, the United States Navy began recalling the remaining Iowa-class battleships for active duty, following modernization and updating. These weapons platforms were needed for an expanded 600-ship Navy to lead battle groups and help establish the U.S. naval presence around the globe” (Ref. 313B6).
The Goldwater-Nichols Act for Homeland Security of 1986 separated the U.S. Atlantic Command from the U.S. Atlantic Fleet
“After the end of World War II, the organization of the United States Armed Forces was reviewed with a view toward reorganization after the turbulent war years. On 1 December 1947, under a reorganization act of the Armed Forces approved by Congress, the unified United States Atlantic Command was established, with headquarters relocated to those of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Thus Admiral William H.P. Blandy, USN, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, became the first Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command, a title that remained dual-hatted (and would later become triple-hatted) until another reorganization of the Armed Forces from 1985 to 1986 (the Goldwater-Nichols Act) separated the U.S. Atlantic Command from the U.S. Atlantic Fleet” (Ref. 313B1 & 313B2).
“From 1947 and or 1985 to 1986, the Commander, Mine Forces, Atlantic fleet command was no longer mixed in with the United States Atlantic Command. Units under his command were divided into Minesweeping Squadrons (MineRons). On 1 January 1946, Commander Minesweeping Forces, Atlantic Fleet (ComMinLant) was activated to command minesweepers assigned to the Atlantic Fleet. The Commander, Mine Forces, Atlantic was responsible for all Fleet minecraft operations” (Ref. 313B6).
“Between 1947 and or 1985 to 1986, the fleet command was a concurrent appointment with the United States Atlantic Command. On 5 April 1948, the HQ moved into the former naval hospital at Norfolk, Virginia, and has remained there ever since” (Ref. 313B; 313B1; 313B2 & 313B8).
Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic
“In the early 1950s, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decided to establish a new major command, that of Allied Command, Atlantic under the command of a U.S. four-star admiral with headquarters in Norfolk, VA. Since this was primarily a naval command responsible for allied defense of the North Atlantic, the decision was made to colocate this organization with that of the U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, to form a tri-hatted command. On 10 April 1952, Admiral Lynde D. McCormick, USN, the Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command and U.S. Atlantic Fleet, assumed the title as the first Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic” (Ref. 313B1).
“Like U.S. Atlantic Command, Allied Command Atlantic remained intact and part of a tri-hatted command organization until a congressionally mandated reorganization of the U.S. Armed Forces occurred during 1985 and 1986, which separated command of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet from the other two commands with its own four-star admiral. Admiral Wesley L. McDonald, USN, was the last U.S. Navy admiral to command all three organizations at the same time. He relinquished command of U.S. Atlantic Fleet to Admiral Carlisle A. H. Trost, USN, on 4 October 1985.
Under the 1985 to 1986 reorganization of the U.S. Armed Forces, the admiral filling the post of Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Fleet, would also fill the position of Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command. This role for CINCLANTFLT continued until the Secretary of Defense, in 1986, approved a separate billet for the Deputy Commander in Chief, U.S. Atlantic Command. On 16 September 1986, Admiral Frank B. Kelso II, USN, relinquished the Deputy USCINCLANT post to Major General Thomas G. Darling, USAF” (Ref. 313B2).
“The Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT) was traditionally a Navy four-star admiral who also then held the positions of Commander-in-Chief United States Atlantic Command (CINCLANT) and NATO's Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic (SACLANT). But after a major reorganization of the U.S. armed forces structure following the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, CINCLANFLT was separated from the two other billets. The admiral commanding the Atlantic Fleet was designated as the Deputy Commander in Chief of the Atlantic Command until 1986” (Ref. 313B; 313B1; 313B2 & 313B8).
Goldwater Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986
Introduction – Ref. 313W4
“The Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986, sponsored by Sen. Barry Goldwater and Rep. Bill Nichols, caused a major defense reorganization, the most significant since the National Security Act of 1947. Operational authority was centralized through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs as opposed to the service chiefs. The chairman was designated as the principal military advisor to the president, National Security Council and secretary of defense. The act established the position of vice-chairman and streamlined the operational chain of command from the president to the secretary of defense to the unified commanders.
Since 1986, Goldwater-Nichols has made tremendous changes in the way DOD operates-joint operations are the norm-Arabian Gulf, Zaire, Haiti, and Bosnia. Implementation of the act is an on-going project with Joint Vision 2010 (1996) and Joint Vision 2020 (2000). Both documents emphasize that to be the most effective force we must be fully joint: intellectually, operationally, organizationally, doctrinally, and technically. The joint force, because of its flexibility and responsiveness, will remain the key to operational success in the future” (Ref. 313W4).
99th Congress Goldwater Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization and Act of 1986 – Ref. 313W4
“United States. Congress. House. H. R. 2165. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Strengthen the Position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to Provide for More Efficient and Effective Operation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ninety-Ninth Congress, First Session, April 22, 1985.
United States. Congress. House. H. R. 2265. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, To Strengthen the Position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and to Provide for More Efficient and Effective Operation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ninety-Ninth Congress, First Session, April 29, 1985.
H. R. 2710. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Strengthen the Position of Chairman o f the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Reform the Operation of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Ninety-Ninth Congress, First Session, June 11, 1985.
United States. Congress. House. H. R. 3622. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Strengthen the Position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Provide for More Efficient and Effective Operation of the Armed Forces, and for Other Purposes, Ninety-Ninth Congress, First Session, October 24, 1985. 1985. [ FULL TEXT ]
United States. Congress. House . H. R. 3622. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Strengthen the Position of Chairman o f the Joint Chiefs o f Staff, to Provide for More Efficient and Effective Operation of the Armed Forces, and for Other Purposes.
United States. Congress. House. H. R. 3622. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Strengthen the Position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Provide for More Efficient and Effective Operation of the Armed Forces, and for Other Purposes, Ninety-Ninth Congress, First Session, November 22 (Legislative Day, November 18), 1985. 1985.
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H. Res. 322. Providing for Consideration of the Bill (H. R. 3622) to Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Strengthen the Position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Provide for More Efficient and Effective Operation of the Armed Forces, and for Other Purposes.
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United States. Congress. Senate. S. 2295. To Amend Title 10, United States Code, to Reorganize and Strengthen Certain Elements of the Department of Defense, to Improve the Military Advice Provided the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense, to Enhance the Effectiveness of Military Operations, to Increase Attention to the Formulation of Strategy and to Contingency Planning, to Provide for the More Efficient Use of Resources, to Strengthen Cicilian Authority in the Department of Defense, and for Other Purposes, Ninety-Ninth Congress, Second Session, April 14 (Legislative Day, April 8), 1986. 1986.
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Reagan, Ronald. Message From the President of the United States, Transmitting His Views on the Future Structure and Organization of Our Defense Establishment and the Legislative Steps That Should Be Taken to Implement Defense Reforms. Washington, DC: GPO, 1986.
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