Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 36

The USS Greer is fired upon on September 4, 1940 - Enter United States into Europe World War II.

The USS Greer is fired upon on September 4, 1940 - Enter United States into Europe World War II.

The USS Greer is fired upon: On this day in 1940, the American destroyer Greer becomes the first U.S. vessel fired on in the war when a German sub aims a few torpedoes at it, sparking heightened tensions between Germany and the United States.

It was a case of mistaken identity. As the Greer made its way through the North Atlantic, a British patrol bomber spotted a German sub, the U-652. The British bomber alerted the Greer, which responded by tracking the sub. As the American destroyer approached Iceland, the area in which the sub had been spotted, a British aircraft dropped a depth charge into the water, rocking the sub.

The U-652, believing the Greer responsible for the charge, fired its torpedoes. They missed. The Greer made it safely to Iceland. Although the United States was still officially a neutral country, Roosevelt unofficially declared war on anyone who further attacked American vessels in the North Atlantic: “If German or Italian vessels of war enter these waters, they do so at their own peril.” History Channel / Wikipedia / United States Navy

Wikipedia  Painting: U-boat sinking a troop transport ship, Willy Stöwer

WWII Photos (click): Bombing of Dresden in World War II; August Schreitmüller's sculpture 'Goodness' surveys Dresden after a firestorm started by Allied bombers in 1945. USS Bunker Hill was hit by kamikazes piloted by Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa and another airman on 11 May 1945. 389 personnel were killed or missing from a crew of 2,600; Ensign Kiyoshi Ogawa, who flew his aircraft into the USS Bunker Hill during a Kamikaze mission on 11 May 1945; Kamikaze Missions - Lt Yoshinori Yamaguchi's Yokosuka D4Y3 (Type 33 Suisei) "Judy" in a suicide dive against USS Essex. The dive brakes are extended and the non-self-sealing port wing tank is trailing fuel vapor and/or smoke 25 November 1944.
German V1 flying-bomb and V2 Rockets - Preparations for a Salvo Launch of V-2 Rockets in the Heidelager near Blizna (Poland) (1944), credit German History in Documents and Images GHDI.

Eastern Front (World War II); Germans race towards Stalingrad. August 1942; Soviet children during a German air raid in the first days of the war, June 1941, by RIA Novosti archive; Soviet sniper Roza Shanina in 1944. About 400,000 Soviet women served in front-line duty units Caucasus Mountains, winter 1942/43; Finnish ski patrol: the invisible enemy of the Soviet Army with an unlimited supply of skis; Men of the German Engineers Corps cross a river which is swollen after the first autumn rains, to strengthen bridges linking the German positions on the central front in Russia. by Keystone / Getty Images. October 1942; Russian snipers fighting on the Leningrad front during a blizzard. Photo by Hulton Archive / Getty Images, 1943; German soldiers surrendering to the Russians in Stalingrad, the soldier holding the white flag of surrender is dressed in white so that there could be no doubt of his intentions, a Russian soldier is on the right of the photograph. by Keystone / Getty Images, January 1943.

Understanding Military Terminology

Understanding Military Terminology - end evening civil twilight

(DOD) End evening civil twilight: The time period when the sun has dropped 6 degrees beneath the western horizon; it is the instant at which there is no longer sufficient light to see objects with the unaided eye. Light intensification devices are recommended from this time until begin morning civil twilight. Also called EECT. (U.S. Naval Observatory.Navy / Wikipedia)

The Taking of the English Flagship the Royal Prince (Willem van de Velde the Younger, 1666)

The Old Salt’s Corner

“Zulu” time is that which you might know as "GMT" (Greenwich Mean Time). Our natural concept of time is linked to the rotation of the earth and we define the length of the day as the 24 hours it takes the earth to spin once on its axis.

As time pieces became more accurate and communication became global, there needed to be a point from which all other world times were based. Since Great Britain was the world's foremost maritime power when the concept of latitude and longitude came to be, the starting point for designating longitude was the “prime meridian” which is zero degrees and runs through the Royal Greenwich Observatory, in Greenwich, England, southeast of central London. As a result, when the concept of time zones was introduced, the “starting” point for calculating the different time zones was/is at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. When it is noon at the observatory, it is five hours earlier (under Standard_time) in Washington, D.C.; six hours earlier in Chicago; seven hours earlier in Denver; and, eight hours earlier in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately the Earth does not rotate at exactly a constant rate. Due to various scientific reasons and increased accuracy in measuring the earth's rotation, a new timescale, called Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), has been adopted and replaces the term GMT.

The Navy, as well as civil aviation, uses the letter "Z" (phonetically "Zulu") to refer to the time at the prime meridian. The U.S. time zones are Eastern ["R", "Romeo]; Central ["S", "Sierra"]; Mountain ["T", "Tango"]; Pacific ["U", "Uniform"]; Alaska ["V", "Victor"], and Hawaii ["W", "Whiskey"].

The Department of the Navy serves as the country's official timekeeper, with the Master Clock facility at the U.S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D.C.. United States Navy / Wikipedia

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

A Fool and his money can throw one heck of a party.

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“The faintest ink is more powerful than the strongest memory.”

~ Old Chinese Proverb

“What I Have Learned”

Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else.

~ Thomas Robert “Tommy” Dewar (January 6, 1864 – April 11, 1930)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Silent disco “too loud” for Salzburg

Silent disco “too loud” for Salzburg

SALZBURG, Austria - Walter Purkhart, who has been running a weekend “silent disco” in Salzburg, Austria, for four years, was denied renewal of his business permit in July, supposedly because his parties were too loud. At a silent disco, each dancer wears headphones to hear radio-transmitted music; to those without headphones, the roomful of swaying, swinging dancers is eerily quiet.

Salzburg Mayor Heinz Schaden said it was still too loud. “The noise . . . is keeping [the neighbors] up.” The Local (Vienna, Austria)

Where Did That Saying Come From? “BLUE-BLOOD”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

BLUE-BLOOD:” This means aristocratic. For centuries the Arabs occupied Spain but they were gradually forced out during the Middle Ages. The upper class in Spain had paler skin than most of the population as their ancestors had not inter-married with the Arabs. As they had pale skin the 'blue' blood running through their veins was more visible. (Of course all blood is red but it sometimes looks blue when running through veins). So blue-blooded came to mean upper class.Wikipedia

Wikipedia  Image: Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry (The Very Rich Hours of the Duke of Berry) (Wikipedia)

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Ding: Similar to “hit”. Also, to cause minor damage to something (Ex. He dinged his aileron when he had a bird strike on final to the boat.)

Helm: Steering wheel of a ship

Nuts to Butts: To stand close together in line (in the old navy), where sailors would stand so close together that their nuts would be up against the butt of the sailor in front of him.

Shit River: The creek that divided the base from the civilian side, in the Philipines, Between Olongopo City and Cubi Point Naval Base. So named because the local sewage from Olongopo flowed into this river, and it stunk to high heaven. When you crossed the bridge to go on liberty, you had to hold your breath the entire length of the bridge.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines

Just for you MARINE

Charlie: A word or phrase given by a sentry to someone approaching his or her post. The person approaching must give the password or the sentry will assume that the person approaching is an enemy or an unauthorized person. Also Challenge Coin - a coin shared by members of a specific organization which is used to identify a member of that group to another member of the group.

CHAMPUS: Civilian Health And Medical Program of the Uniformed Services. (The military HMO) - now TRICARE.

Chaplain: A religious leader commissioned into the Navy to provide religious services to and for members of the Naval establishment. They are addressed as Chaplain regardless of rank.

Military Acronyms

Navy Acronyms

MILSTRIP - Military Standard Requisitioning and Issue Procedures

MIPR - Military Interdepartmental Purchase Request

MNAAPC - Management of the Naval Aviation Acquisition Process Course

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

HSC-21 - Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 21: “Blackjacks” NAS North Island, California

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

“Reasons for Admission” to West Virginia’s Hospital for the Insane in the Late 1800s

What is this a list of?

● Asthma.

● Bad Company.

● Bad Habits.

● Bad whiskey.

● Deranged Masturbation.

● Desertion by Husband.

● Egotism.

● Fever and Jealousy.

● Fighting fire.

● Gathering in the head.

● Greediness.

● Hard Study.

● Hereditary Predisposition.

● Imaginary female trouble.

● Intemperance and Business Trouble.

● Jealousy and Religion.

● Kicked in the head by a horse.

● Laziness.

● Marrige of Son.

● Novel reading.

● Political Excitement.

● Rumor of Husband Murder.

● Seduction and Disappointment.

● Snuff eating for 2 years.

● The War.

● Time of Life.

● Vicious vices.

● Women Trouble.

Answer: “Reasons for Admission” to West Virginia's Hospital for the Insane in the late 1800s. The Disinformation Company


Ten Baseball Hall of Famers pose outside the museum in Cooperstown, June 12, 1939. Front row; Eddie Collins, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Cy Young. Back row: Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Napoleon Lajoie, George Sisler and Walter Johnson

Sports 1939 Wikipedia

Note - Several annual sporting events did not take place in 1939, because of the outbreak of World War II

World Series Champions: The New York Yankees defeat the Cincinnati Reds 4 games to 0

Hall of Fame election The goal of 10 initial inductees from the 20th century is finally met

NFL Champions: Green Bay Packers defeat the New York Giants 27–0

NBL Champions: Akron Firestone Non-Skids win three games to two over the Oshkosh All-Stars

Stanley Cup Champs: Boston Bruins defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4 games to 1

U.S. Open Golf: Byron Nelson

U.S. Open Tennis (Men/Ladies): Robert “Bobby” Riggs / Alice Marble

Wimbledon (Men/Women) (Men/Ladies): Robert “Bobby” Riggs / Alice Marble

NCAA Football Shared Champions: TCU Horned Frogs win 15-7 over the Carnegie Tech Tartans in the Sugar Bowl

Tennessee Volunteers win 17-0 over the Oklahoma Sooners in the Orange Bowl

NCAA Basketball Champions: Oregon

Kentucky Derby: Johnstown

Image: Ten Baseball Hall of Famers pose outside the museum in Cooperstown, June 12, 1939. Front row; Eddie Collins, Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Cy Young. Back row: Honus Wagner, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Tris Speaker, Napoleon Lajoie, George Sisler and Walter Johnson. (Google Image Search)

Famous Quotes 1939: ● “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” ~ Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939, to the 62,000 who attended Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, at Yankee Stadium.

Famous Quotes 1939 Wikipedia

● “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

~ Lou Gehrig, July 4, 1939, to the 62,000 who attended Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day, at Yankee Stadium.

● “There's no place like home”

● “Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore.”

~ Judy Garland in “The Wizard of Oz

● “Better living through chemistry”

~ DuPont

● “Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn”

~ Clark Gable in “Gone With The Wind

Image: “Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Lou Gehrig



James Dean was the first actor to be nominated for an Oscar posthumously in 1956. Dean was killed in an auto accident six months earlier, only a few days after he completed filming on Giant, the film for which he received his nomination. Dean did not win; Yul Brynner was the winner of the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in the musical The King and I

● The first Harley Davidson motorcycle was built in 1903, and used a tomato can for a carburetor.

● A nylon fiber is stronger than a steel wire of identical weight.

Answer to Last Week's Test

What did Google’s creators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, use to build a cabinet for the ten 4-gigabyte hard disks they had assembled in creating their search engine in 1996?

Answer: Lego building bricks

Joke of the Day

Two Buddies were drinking in a bar one night and became extremely drunk. One guy was so drunk that he had got sick all over his shirt. He looks at his buddy and says "My wife is gonna kill me when I get home, this is a brand new shirt! His buddy looks at him and says “Don't worry, just put $20 in your front pocket and tell her that some guy got sick on you and gave you $20 for the cleaning bill.”

The guy thinks this is an excellent idea and continues to drink. He closes the bar down and heads home. When he arrives and opens the front door his wife is standing there waiting on him. “Just look at you, you drunk bastard! You even got sick all over yourself.”

The man replies “No baby, it isn’t like that, some guy got sick on me and look here he gave me $20 for the cleaning bill.”

She pulls the money out of his pocket and counts it and says “Wait one minute there’s $40 here!”

The guy looks at her and says “Oh yea, he shit in my pants too!”