<![CDATA[Project USS STRONG DD 467 - Project 467 History Blog]]>Wed, 17 Jan 2018 18:33:12 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Presentation of papers on ESMERALDA in New Orleans by David Mearns and expedition team]]>Sun, 14 Jan 2018 23:33:03 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/presentation-of-papers-on-esmeralda-in-new-orleans-by-david-mearns-and-expedition-teamBack in March of 2016 I posted a couple of blogs about the location of part of Vasco da Gama’s fleet off the coast of Oman by David Mearns of Blue Water Recoveries, LTD working for the Ministry of Heritage and Culture. Da Gama’s uncles, Vicente and Bras Sodre were responsible for the fleet. The ships found were the ESMERALDA and SAO PEDRO, both Portuguese naus. Naus were 3 or 4 masted sailing ships developed during the 14th and 15th centuries. They were used primarily to sail the African coasts before branching out to India and the Americas. Both were lost in a violent storm in May 1503 at Al Hallaniyah island with much loss of life including Vicente. In the first week of January (3rd-6th) after the new year David and the archaeological team from the expedition attended the Society for Historical Archaeology Conference in New Orleans. A paper detailing the history of the fleet, the process of the expedition and the artifacts found was presented by David and his team and can be downloaded and read on the website at this link: http://esmeraldashipwreck.com/archaeology/

Not only can you read the paper, but there are some amazing video links at the bottom of the page. Watch how they move huge heavy boulders from the site under water. Hear and see David as the Omani military helicopter delivers a new air compressor to the group.  He takes a pretty good pelting from rocks and sand trying to video the event!

For more videos of other parts of the expedition, follow this link: http://esmeraldashipwreck.com/videos/

To me, it’s fun and fascinating to watch them work underwater, to see the equipment they use and to make some amazing discoveries of rare artifacts. Many of the videos are narrated by David and his excitement in the work is palatable. Personally, I’d love to be on the deck of the ship hunkered over a screen pulling out artifacts and working on a little sorting and cataloging. I have some experience with this being my degree is in anthropology and archaeology (hint, hint). Just sayin’.  :o)
While David was in New Orleans he had the pleasure of a couple of meetings with Kevin Wheeler, son of Lt. Jg. Virgil Wheeler, a gunnery officer on STRONG. My husband Greg and I met Kevin in December and were able to help set this up. Anytime we meet a new family member it reinforces what we’re trying to do here. We’re honored to add Kevin to the STRONG family, and to have helped him meet David.

If we do manage to get to STRONG one day, David will be the guy.  Our goal this year, the 75th anniversary of the sinking of STRONG is to be more pugnacious in pursuing some funding and sponsorship of the expedition. Anyone with ideas or connections to philanthropic organizations who might want to help out, let me know.  We have some ideas and connections that may be helpful, but any new input is welcome. Perhaps when David comes over to promote his book The Shipwreck Hunter in mid-summer, we can make some good connections.

Enjoy the videos and reading about this amazing expedition!


Map below from ESMERALDA expedition website.
Photo of Portuguese nau from Wikipedia.

<![CDATA[National WWII Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana]]>Sun, 17 Dec 2017 23:42:43 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/national-wwii-museum-in-new-orleans-louisiana Sometimes it takes a while to get your thoughts together. It's easy to get distracted by other things once you are back from a memorable vacation, too. With that said let me just say New Orleans was eye opening. We arrived December 4th to 78 sunny degrees and took a long stroll through the French Quarter. A lovely lunch at Pere Antoine's and dessert at Cafe du Monde topped off the first day there. The next day we visited the reason we even went.
The National WWII Museum (https://www.nationalww2museum.org/) takes up several city blocks off of Magazine Street a stone's throw from the Mississippi River.  Doors opened here in June of 2000 and in 17 short years the facility has grown like proverbial weeds. Now, it's the #2 museum in the country and #2 in the world. It clearly earns every accolade. The exhibits are built in the quality of Hollywood sets and are so completely realistic you feel as if you're there. It would take days to view all the film reels and movie clips they have secreted in walls, panes of glass, projected on table tops and inside suitcases. Reading all the storyboards from the various exhibits inside the multiple buildings would be many more days. Inside the entrance above your head hangs a C-47 Skytrain airplane. A Howitzer and Higgins boat are underneath. A passenger train provides space to introduce you to a solider, sailor or other person from the WW2 era and to follow their history throughout the exhibit. There is a 4D film presentation produced by actor Tom Hanks, "Beyond All Boundaries". You will experience the sensation of bomb blasts, snow falling from above and the movement of bomber planes in action as you watch the engrossing film.
Active exhibits include: the D-Day Invasion of Normandy; Arsenal of Democracy; the John E. Kushner Restoration Pavillion where the PT 305 Higgins boat was fully restored; BB's Stage Door Canteen where the Victory Belles perform; Ralph
E. Crump Merchant Marine Gallery; US Freedom Pavillion: The Boeing Center; the USS Tang Submarine Exhibit; the Road to Berlin and the Road to Tokyo. We spent two days there, even attended the Pearl Harbor Day ceremony. Needless to say we
need to go back as we missed a few things. The museum is constantly adding on and currently building a new exhibit space. A canopy will cover the entire complex and protect visitors from the sun and inclimate weather. Across the street they have broken ground for a hotel complex that will open in May of 2019. As soon as I'm able, I'm booking a room!
If you have artifacts, oral histories or any documents/photos from your man or woman who served in any capacity during WW2, the museum would love to take donations of original items or copies for their archives. The person to contact to discuss any donations is Toni Kiser at toni.kiser@nationalww2museum.com. Toni is also available to help with any research. At present, I've given her some STRONG documents for their archives, as they had none. I plan on giving her more in the future. Many of you have shared information with me that includes documents and photos. If I may have your permission to share this with the museum, please let me know.
By the end of the week it was 40 degrees with rain. They even had to de-ice our wings on Friday as we were heading home! In spite of the dramatic weather change I wouldn't have missed this trip for anything and can't wait to go back. If you plan on heading to New Orleans and need recommendations about the museum or places to stay, pop me a note. And remember, Kevin Wheeler is ready to be your host and meet any and all STRONG family members who come to visit. Contact him at kwheeler@taggartmorton.com.

<![CDATA[Honor for a friend, a ship named for Robert Goldman]]>Sat, 02 Dec 2017 22:17:14 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/honor-for-a-friend-a-ship-named-for-robert-goldmanPicture
Hi families,

On Monday we're off to New Orleans, mainly to visit the National World War 2 Museum. I've long wanted to visit and now seems the right time. I'll be meeting with a person on the curatorial staff and doing a bit of recon work at the museum, checking out how a researcher gets access to their collections and artifacts. Should be very moving and lots to learn at the #2 museum in the world! We'll also be meeting for the first time the son of Lt. Jg. Virgil Wheeler, a gunnery officer on STRONG. Kevin, we're so looking forward to meeting you!

A friend has had a particular honor bestowed upon his family and it's something I feel needs sharing. I've known Yale Goldman for many years now, as we both also have a hobby dealing with amber, a natural and semi-precious stone. As Yale travels to the Dominican Republic to replenish his amber stock from time to time, it was he I enlisted to help me track down the daughter of Captain Wellings a few years ago (hello Anne!), and this he did excellently. I had no idea though, of Yale's WW2 history regarding his own father, Robert Goldman. Robert was a pharmacist's mate with the Coast Guard on the LST 66 and involved in the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Philippines on November 12th of 1944. Though severely injured, he managed to tend to his fellow wounded and dying after the ship took a kamikaze hit. In his honor, the Navy recently notified the family that a ship is to be named in his honor. How could I not share this wonderful and touching story? To read about Robert and his bravery, visit this link: http://coastguard.dodlive.mil/2017/07/tlbl-robert-goldman-lst-66-kamikaze-crash/

Yale lost his Dad years ago and is sad he's not around to realize what's happening. My feeling is, he knows. 

<![CDATA[National World War 2 Museum in New Orleans and Resources]]>Tue, 14 Nov 2017 01:39:50 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/national-world-war-2-museum-in-new-orleans-and-resourcesThose of you who have visited my website know I have a page dedicated to resources that can help you research your veteran and their time in the military, Navy Links & Research. Recently the National WW2 Museum in New Orleans (a fantastic and wonderful place that I will be visiting soon!) released a guide in PDF available to any and all who need help in researching their men and women who served in WW2. The link to the guide asks you for your name and email address, then the name of your veteran. Once you hit the submit button, an email with a link to download the 19 page guide is sent to you. Click the link and download the guide to your hard drive. The link: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/research-veteran

Also, the museum has an extensive archive of information on all things WW2. When we visit in December, I hope to learn more about how they make materials available to individuals and researchers. I've made a contact in the curatorial department who has agreed to meet with me. I hope she's up to answering all my questions! For more information on what they have, here's a link to their Center for Collections and Archives: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/about-us/notes-museum/center-collections-archives?tm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=social

<![CDATA[Keeping up with David Mearns, the shipwreck hunter]]>Thu, 26 Oct 2017 15:12:25 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/keeping-up-with-david-mearns-the-shipwreck-hunter​Today David Mearns is giving a talk in London at a forum called Icons Interviewed. I so wish I could be there to hear him answer questions and listen to him discuss his work in shipwreck hunting. Here's hoping there might be a link to share of a recording of the appearance! Congrats David and hope you have a great time!

In the meantime, here's a link to a recent BBC article on the finding of an ancient astrolabe in the wreck of the Esmeralda: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-41724022?SThisFB

There will be so much more news to come as the time approaches for his book release here in the US next year. Also holding out for news from Stephen Harding on the latest about The Castaway's War and any possible screenplay. He's looking forward to the beginning of production for The Last Battle in Europe next year. 2018 could prove to be very interesting for the STRONG family and beyond!


Photo courtesy of Icons Interviewed website: ​https://spark.adobe.com/page/oTJ7CAhOAASZP/?w=3_3106
<![CDATA[Release of The Shipwreck Hunter in the UK, and an article mentioning STRONG!]]>Thu, 05 Oct 2017 13:33:04 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/release-of-the-shipwreck-hunter-in-the-uk-and-an-article-mentioning-strongToday is the much anticipated release in the UK of David Mearns' The Shipwreck Hunter! In addition, there is an article by the BBC News online about one of the ships in the book, the ATHENIA. Included within the article is a list of the top 5 ships that David wants to find. Number 2 is STRONG. David is remaining steadfast in his pursuit of helping us close this chapter on the men of STRONG. At the top of my bucket list is the desire to be sitting in the control room of a research vessel (and yes, I have one in mind) watching the monitors as an ROV locates the wreck of STRONG on the sea floor of the Kula Gulf. We can then lay a plaque at the site as a memorial to the grave site that it is - and let them know they were not forgotten.

To access David's article, which includes a link to a live recorded interview, click here: Athenia article BBC


Image below accessed from BBC.com website and article.
<![CDATA[A few images from the 2017 Reunion at Virginia Beach/Norfolk]]>Tue, 26 Sep 2017 01:22:25 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/a-few-images-from-the-2017-reunion-at-virginia-beachnorfolk
We had a great week together, visiting Norfolk Harbor for a tour of the river and the USS Wisconsin. Later that week we hit Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown. Our yearly meeting and banquet on Saturday night allowed us to pay tribute to Jim Merriman, the face of the DD 467 for so many years. Andy Hoder delivered a heartfelt and sweet tribute to our lost sailor who will not be forgotten. We miss you Jim and you will always be with us!

On to plan for next year in Annapolis, Maryland!

<![CDATA[Today in Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown]]>Sat, 16 Sep 2017 00:57:05 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/today-in-colonial-williamsburg-and-jamestown
Another warm and beautiful day in Virginia! The group first spent about half the day at Colonial Williamsburg soaking up history and spending money in the shops. The bookstore at the College of William and Mary took a chunk of my change, and it was worth it. I visited here in 2003 and was so thrilled to come back, but never had enough time to really go through the area and see everything. We need to come back and spend a couple of days taking everything in. The photos above are of a period tavern and a young Captain Innes who regaled us mightily with his tale of defeating the British at sea and thanking our brave Navy men for their service and sacrifice.

​Next, on to Jamestown settlement where again there needs to be more time spent in the spectacular and huge museum and visitor center they have set up there. At the pier are replicas of the three ships that brought the settlers to Jamestown, including the mothership the Susan Constant pictured above. When I asked the guide about the authenticity of the ships, the Susan Constant is closest to reality. Evidently there were some legal issues involving the ship back in England and 400 year old insurance records had details about the ship that aided in her recreation. Incredible!

​We have the board meeting and raffle tomorrow that raises money for the STRONG Association scholarship fund. Tomorrow night is the banquet, and then we go home for another year. Seems the time passes quickly, but it's always a good time. I'll post more photos later from home. Thanks to all for tuning in!


<![CDATA[Hello from Virginia Beach!]]>Tue, 12 Sep 2017 16:27:20 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/hello-from-virginia-beachPicture
Hello and welcome from Virginia Beach/Norfolk! People are arriving and getting ready for the 2017 reunion. We are right on the beach here with an amazing view. Hurricane Irma is making her presence known with some back winds and rough surf, churning the waters. We are so looking forward to the week and seeing old friends. Lots of interesting places to go and things to do. I'll post more updates as the week proceeds. Again, we truly miss the presence of big Jim Merriman. He's here in spirit, I know for sure. 

​Lots of fighter jet flyovers from the Norfolk Naval Base close by and they rattle the windows. As loud as it is, it's good to feel safe with them close by. Below is what we woke to this morning. More later!

<![CDATA[USS Indianapolis broadcast Wednesday September 13th]]>Sun, 10 Sep 2017 14:21:24 GMThttp://projectuss-strongdd467.com/project-467-history-blog/uss-indianapolis-broadcast-wednesday-september-13thTomorrow the hubby Greg and I head to Virginia Beach/Norfolk for the 2017 reunion. We're really looking forward to seeing everyone again. Before we head out though, I wanted to post some information about an on line event happening this Wednesday. 

A couple of weeks ago Paul Allen's Vulcan Inc. group announced they found the wreck site of the USS Indianapolis. The Indy was the ship that delivered the bomb parts that once assembled was dropped on Hiroshima by the Enola Gay. She was hit and sunk on her way back to port. There were nearly 2000 men on board. 316 men survived after 4 days in the ocean, wounded and fighting shark attacks. The wreck is located in the Philippine Sea. Allen's group will have a live internet broadcast on Wednesday evening of September 13th at 10:00 pm EST. If you are on Facebook, use this link to access the broadcast: https://www.facebook.com/PaulGAllen.Ideas/?hc_ref=ARTWoZ2SL7P7LdLn8vVx3arEZJvCPj-xmUe8UbL29KHevIQfjUOXtiD7lwcOP9R27v0&pnref=story

If you are not on Facebook, you may be able to access the broadcast from Paul Allen's website here: https://www.paulallen.com/

I'll be posting updates through the week. If you are in the path of Irma, please stay safe. Thoughts and prayers are with you!