Friday, November 6, 2015

Episode 289 (11-9-15): For Veterans Day 2015 - The U.S. Navy at 240

CLICK HERE to listen to episode audio (4:25)

Transcript of audio, notes on the audio, images, and additional information follow below.

All Web addresses mentioned were functional as of 11-6-15.


From the Cumberland Gap to the Atlantic Ocean, this is Virginia Water Radio for the week of November 9, 2015.

MUSIC – ~ 8 sec

This week, in honor of Veterans Day on November 11, the music of “Anchors Aweigh” opens our focus on the U.S. Navy, which on October 13, 2015, celebrated the 240th anniversary of its establishment. We start with a series of excerpts from the Navy’s “All Hands Radio” to show some of the range of modern-day Navy experiences and activities. Have a listen for about 75 seconds.

SOUNDS and VOICES – ~ 76 seconds

The U.S. Navy began in 1775, during the Revolutionary War, with a resolution by the Continental Congress establishing a “Continental Naval Force.” The Navy started with just two ships, but by March 1776 Congress had authorized 17 more and authorized those ships to capture and confiscate all British armed vessels, transports, and supply ships, and to—quote—“cruise on the enemies of these united colonies.” Two-hundred and forty years later, the Navy has over 272 deployable ships and over 3700 aircraft, along with over 400,000 active-duty members and reserves and nearly 200,000 civilian employees. Its mission now is worldwide, part of the global reach of U.S. economic, diplomatic, and national security interests and activities.

Back here in the Old Dominion, the Hampton Roads area and the Chesapeake Bay have a history of naval activity going back to the Revolutionary War, and today Virginia is home to 10 naval installations, including Naval Station Norfolk, currently the world’s largest naval base.

Thanks to Navy veterans and current personnel everywhere, and we close with another few seconds of “Anchors Aweigh,” played by the U.S. Navy Band.

MUSIC = ~ 13 sec

For more Virginia water sounds, music, and information, visit us online at, or call us at (540) 231-5463. Virginia Water Radio is produced by the Virginia Water Resources Research Center, part of Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment. Thanks to Stewart Scales for his banjo version of Cripple Creek to open and close the show. In Blacksburg, I’m Alan Raflo, thanking you for listening, and wishing you health, wisdom, and good water.


The U.S. Navy Band’s recording of “Anchors Aweigh” was accessed at

Audio clips were from the U.S. Navy’s “All Hands Radio” archive of podcasts, online at The excerpts were from the following podcasts (listed in the order heard in this episode):
10/21/15 – “In Harms Way” (a Navy Museum curator describing the range of the Navy’s activities).
10/7/15 – “Cranking” (about a sailor from Alabama starting out as a dish-washer).
10/27/15 – “Focus on Fleet” (about an immigrant from Tibet joining the Navy).
10/15/15 – “Mobile Diving Salvage Unit One” (about recovering a fighter jet).
11/03/15 – “70 Year Journey Home Search remains for fallen Airmen.”
10/12/15 – “The Last Uniform” (about Navy personnel at the Dover, Del., Mortuary, working with families of sailors killed in action).
10/2/15 – “Frogmen Falling From the Sky” (with a Frogman’s comment about the Navy as a whole).

IMAGESThe following four images are from U.S. Navy/Naval History and Heritage, “Navy Birthday Highlights and Images,” online at, accessed 11/6/15.

CNS (Continental Navy Ship) Mosquito and CNS Fly. Oil on canvas by William Nowland Van Powell, 1974, depicting the first two ships in the U.S. Continental Naval Force in October 1775. U.S. Navy Art Collection/Released
The Ironclads. Painting by Raymond Bayless, depicting the March 9, 1862, Civil War battle in Hampton Roads, Va., between the Union’s USS Monitor and the Confederacy’s CSS Virginia (known as the USS Merrimac before it was captured by the Confederates). U.S. Navy Art Collection/Released.
USS California sinking, USS Shaw burning in the floating dry dock in the left distance, and USS Nevada beached in the left-center distance after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. U.S. Navy photo/Released.
At Bonel, Haiti, on January 19, 2010, a Haitian boy watching as rigid-hull inflatable boats from the amphibious dock landing ships USS Fort McHenry (LSD-43) and USS Carter Hall (LSD-50) arrive ashore as part of a humanitarian assistance mission to Haiti following a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kristopher Wilson/Released.


On November 10, 1775, Congress authorized the first two battalions of marines, and the Marine Corps was established in July 1798. The Marine Corps was officially part of the Navy until Congress affirmed it as a separate branch in 1947. Source: U.S. Marine Corps/History Division, online at

The following are the Navy installations in Virginia as of November 2015, according to, “Military Bases in Virginia,” online at, accessed 11-4-15.
Medical Center Portsmouth
Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek in Norfolk
Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach.
Norfolk Naval Shipyard in Portsmouth
Naval Station Norfolk
Naval Support Activity Norfolk
Naval Support Activity Northwest in Chesapeake
Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Surface Combat Systems Center Wallops Island

SOURCES USED IN AUDIO AND FOR MORE INFORMATION, “Military Bases in Virginia,” online at

U.S. Navy, “Status of the Navy,” online at; and “Strategic Documents/Sailing Directions” online at

U.S. Navy, “Anchors Aweigh,” online at

U.S. Navy/Naval History and Heritage Command, “Wars, Conflicts, and Operations,” online at

U.S. Navy/Naval History and Heritage Command, “Hampton Roads Naval Museum,” online at

U.S. Navy/Naval History and Heritage Command, “Navy Birthday,” online at See particularly “Birth of the U.S. Navy,” online at


Previous Veterans Day-related episodes are the following:
U.S. Armed Forces | EP187 – 11/11/13
U.S. Coast Guard | EP239 – 11/10/14

All Water Radio episodes are listed by category at the Index link above (


This episode’s audio or sources may help with the following Virginia’s 2010 Social Studies Standards of Learning (SOLs):

Grades K-6 Civics Theme
3.11 – basic principles that form basis of republican government, including recognizing that Veterans Day and Memorial Day honor people who have served the country.

Virginia Studies Course
VS.5 – role of Virginia in the American Revolution.

United States History to 1865 Course
USI.2 – water features important to the early history of the United States.
USI.7 – challenges faced by the newly independent United States.

United States History: 1865 to Present Course
USII.5 – changing role of the United States from the later 19th Century through World War I.|
USII.7 – major causes and effects of the American involvement in World War II.
USII.8 – economic, social, and political transformation of the United States after World War II, including role of U.S. military.

World Geography Course
WG.2 - how selected physical and ecological processes shape the Earth’s surface, including how humans influence their environment and are influenced by it.

Virginia and United States History Course
VUS.9 – emerging role of the United States in world affairs in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
VUS.11 – causes and events of World War II.
VUS.13 – U.S. foreign policy since World War II, including the role of the military.

Government Course
GOVT. 12 – role of the United States in a changing world, including responsibilities of the national government for foreign policy and national security.

Virginia’s SOLs are available from the Virginia Department of Education, online at