The Christy Collection

Military Stories and Articles

Service Reflections of SMC Rick N. Riggins, U.S. Navy (1973-1997)

Service Reflections of SMC Rick N. Riggins, U.S. Navy (1973-1997)

My decision to enlist in the Navy was solely based on the draft that was in effect at the time, and I went in knowing that my number would be called. The funny thing is after I enlisted, the draft was abolished, but it was the best decision I ever made. My family’s history was Army, and I really wanted to change the paradigm, so I went into the Navy.

Those along the way influenced me, like BM1 Mundell, who retired as either a BMCS or BMCM, as he could see something in me that others at the time could not. Also, SMSN Booker T. Arradondo and SN Cap Tasali were with me on my first unit, the USS Tripoli (LPH-10). SMSN Arradondo challenged me at all times to be the best I could be while we were together at our watch station. SN Tasali was always even-tempered, quiet, and a kind shipmate and I learned a lot from him as well. Later in my career, our paths crossed again along my military journey.

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LTJG Neil Alden Armstrong, U.S. Navy (1949-1952)

LTJG Neil Alden Armstrong, U.S. Navy (1949-1952)

Neil Alden Armstrong who served in the US Navy between 1949 and 1952, is better known as the first man to walk on the Moon. His iconic announcement ‘One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind,’ and first steps on an extraterrestrial body were broadcast to over 650 million people: around a fifth of the total world population. Armstrong’s path to becoming the most iconic and famous astronaut of all time began near Wapakoneta, Ohio. Neil Armstrong’s Military Career Born on August 5,...

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No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog by Will Chesney, Joe Layden

No Ordinary Dog: My Partner from the SEAL Teams to the Bin Laden Raid is the powerful true story of a SEAL Team Operator and military dog handler, and the dog that saved his life. Two dozen Navy SEALs descended on Osama bin Laden's compound in May 2011. After the mission, only one name was made public: Cairo, a Belgian Malinois and military working dog. This is Cairo's story, and that of his Handler, Will Chesney, a SEAL Team Operator whose life would be irrevocably tied to Cairo's. The Story...

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American Nurses in WWI

American Nurses in WWI

As a German plane buzzed overhead, nurse Helen Dore Boylston dropped face down in the mud. Boylston, an American nurse, serving at a British Army base hospital near the Western Front in 1918, had been running between wards of wounded patients that night, trying to calm their nerves during the air raid. Now, all she could do was brace herself for the hissing bomb that hurtled toward her. She covered her eyes and ears against the deafening roar and "blood-red flare." About a half-hour later,...

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The Loss Of Coast Guard Cutter USS Tampa

The Loss Of Coast Guard Cutter USS Tampa

USS Tampa's short story began on August 9, 1912, when the U.S. Revenue Service Cutter (UCRC) Miami, built by the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Corp, was commissioned at Arundel Cove, MD. The ship was named for the Miami Indian tribe rather than for the then little settlement in South Florida. At the time, several revenue cutters were named after Indian tribes. The Miami was 190 ft long, with a 14.6-ft draft and a displacement of 1,181 tons. Her normal crew complement was 70 Officers...

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WWI Military Technologies Still in Use Today

WWI Military Technologies Still in Use Today

WWI military technology evolution is an ongoing process, and breakthroughs in new weapons and defensive systems make the news every year. However, many modern warfare staples have their roots over a century ago - in World War I. From deadly drones to invaluable radio systems, five technologies developed in the Great War are still used today. WWI Military Technologies: Tanks British Mark IV tank with Tadpole Tail, introduced in 1917 and used during the latter part of the First World War. The...

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Japanese Tried A Second Raid on Pearl Harbor

Japanese Tried A Second Raid on Pearl Harbor

Everyone knows about the first bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Less well known, however, was the second attack. And there was almost a third. The first one was just a warm-up. The Imperial Japanese Navy planned several more attacks on the U.S. mainland - starting with California and Texas. It was called Ke-Sakusen (Operation Strategy), better known as "Operation K." Its aim was four-fold: (1) to assess the damage at Pearl Harbor; (2) to stop the ongoing rescue and salvage...

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Lieutenant Mark Baden – Heroic Pilot Just Managed to Land and Save His Buddy’s Life

Lieutenant Mark Baden – Heroic Pilot Just Managed to Land and Save His Buddy’s Life

Being launched off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier is a normal routine, but adrenaline junkie pilots love the radical feel of about 4 Gs. On July 9, 1991, an A-6 Intruder modified to be a refueling aircraft was shot off the Abraham Lincoln in the Persian Gulf. Lieutenant Mark Baden was the pilot and had his friend and navigator (BN), Lieutenant Keith Gallagher beside him. It was Gallagher's birthday, and he advised Mark Baden when they returned it would be his 100th trap recovery on an...

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Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, U.S. Navy (1942-1946)

Lt. Henry Fonda, of the US Navy between 1942 and 1946, interrupted a prominent career as a film actor in order to serve his country when it needed him most. Fonda’s commanding screen presence made him a favorite of theatergoers for five decades, culminating in an Oscar for his final performance. Henry Fonda’s Stage Beginnings Born in Grand Island, Nebraska, in 1905, Fonda was the son of a printer. Raised in Omaha, he witnessed and was profoundly affected by the horrors of the Omaha race riot...

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80th Anniversary of The Pearl Harbor Attack

80th Anniversary of The Pearl Harbor Attack

Marking the 80th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor The United States will be marking the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 2021. Eighty years prior to this date, the Imperial Japanese Navy and Air Force launched a surprise attack on the United States’ naval base on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Over 2,400 people were killed during the Japanese attack, mainly US Navy personnel, but also over 60 civilians including firefighters who came to the aid of the US armed forces. Eight of the...

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Heroes of The Coast Guard

Heroes of The Coast Guard

Within days of their Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Imperial Navy occupied scores of islands throughout the western Pacific Ocean. Japan's goal was to create a defensive buffer against attack from the United States and its Allies - one that would ensure their mastery over East Asia and the Pacific. It wasn't until the United States' strategic victories at the Battles of the Coral Sea (May 4-8, 1942) and Midway (June 4-7, 1942) finally halted the Japanese Empire's...

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