Washington Irving Chambers

Captain Washington Irving Chambers, USN (1856–1934) was a United States Navy officer who played a major role in the early development of naval aviation, serving as the first officer to have oversight of the Navy's aviation program.

Chambers was born in Kingsport, New York in 1856 and graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1876. He served in various sea and shore billets from that time onwards, including on the celebrated Greely Relief Expedition under Winfield Scott Schley. In 1907-09, he was Assistant Chief of the Bureau of Ordnance. Later on, he was placed in charge of the development of aviation in the Bureau of Navigation. Among his other accomplishments, Captain Chambers arranged for the first take-off and landing of an airplane on a ship, in collaboration with pioneer aviator Eugene Ely, pioneered work on torpedoes, and submitted one of the first American designs for an all-big-gun battleship.

Chambers Field in Norfolk, Virginia, dedicated in June 1938, was named in his honor, as is the dry cargo ship USNS Washington Chambers (T-AKE-11).

Many of his papers are held by the U.S. Library of Congress.

Washington Irving Chambers
Washington Irving Chambers
Captain Washington Irving Chambers
Kingsport, New York
Died1934 (aged 77–78)
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Navy
Years of service1876-1913[1]


  • On December 2, 2008, Secretary of the Navy Donald Winter announced that the eleventh ship of the Lewis and Clark class of dry-cargo-ammunition vessels (T-AKE 11) would be named for Captain Chambers.
  • On September 11, 2010 the USNS Washington Chambers was christened and launched. The ship's sponsor was Mrs. Loretta Penn. The Washington Chambers will be commanded by Captain Mike Flanagan.
Penn says I christen thee Washington Chambers


  • Stein, Stephen K. From Torpedoes to Aviation: Washington Irving Chambers & Technological Innovation in the New Navy 1876 to 1913 (University of Alabama Press, 2007)
  • Grossnick, Roy A. et al. United States Naval Aviation 1910-1995. Washington, D.C: Naval Historical Center, Dept. of the Navy, 4th edition [1997?]
  • Stein, Stephen. Washington Irving Chambers: Innovation, Professionalization, and the New Navy, 1872-1913, Ph.d. diss: Ohio State University, 1999.
  • [1], Washington Irving Chambers section
  1. ^ "Chambers History". Chambers History. William D. Chambers. Retrieved 13 October 2011.

External links

James E. Kelly (artist)

James Edward Kelly (July 30, 1855 – May 25, 1933) was an American sculptor and illustrator who specialized in depicting people and events of American wars, particularly the American Civil War.

Ludwig Obry

Ludwig Obry was an Austrian engineer and naval officer of the Austrian Navy who invented a gyroscopic device for steering a torpedo in 1895.

The gyroscope was invented by Leon Foucault in 1851 but industry ignored the device for nearly 50 years. In 1895 or 1896, Obry rediscovered Foucault's device and adapted it into a mechanism for steering a torpedo. This increased the weapon's accuracy from hundreds to thousands of yards. Obry then patented his device and sold the rights to Robert Whitehead, who incorporated the mechanism into the Whitehead torpedo. The device consisted of a bronze wheel weighing less than 1.5 pounds that was spun by an air jet.Obry's device was notable for solving many problems; how to get the gyroscope to begin rotating as quickly as possible, how to direct the vertical rudders and how to maintain the fast rotation of the rotor.

Mount Drygalski

Mount Drygalski (53°2′S 73°23′E) is an ice-free hill, 210 metres (700 ft) high, standing 0.7 nautical miles (1.3 km; 0.8 mi) southeast of Atlas Cove, near the northwest end of Heard Island in the southern Indian Ocean. The feature appears to have been roughly charted on an 1882 sketch map compiled by Ensign Washington Irving Chambers aboard the USS Marion during the rescue of the shipwrecked crew of the American sealing bark Trinity. It was more accurately charted and named by the First German Antarctica Expedition in 1902. Professor Erich von Drygalski, the leader of the German Expedition, was a member of the landing party which investigated the area between Rogers Head and the summit of this feature.

Naval Air Station Pensacola

Naval Air Station Pensacola or NAS Pensacola (IATA: NPA, ICAO: KNPA, FAA LID: NPA) (formerly NAS/KNAS until changed circa 1970 to allow Nassau International Airport, now Lynden Pindling International Airport, to have IATA code NAS), "The Cradle of Naval Aviation", is a United States Navy base located next to Warrington, Florida, a community southwest of the Pensacola city limits. It is best known as the initial primary training base for all U.S.Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard officers pursuing designation as Naval Aviators and Naval Flight Officers, the advanced training base for most Naval Flight Officers, and as the home base for the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the precision-flying team known as the Blue Angels.

Because of contamination by heavy metals and other hazardous materials during its history, it is designated as a Superfund site needing environmental cleanup.The air station also hosts the Naval Education and Training Command (NETC) and the Naval Aerospace Medical Institute (NAMI), the latter of which provides training for all naval Naval Flight Surgeons, Naval Aviation Physiologists, and Naval Aviation Experimental Psychologists.

With the closure of Naval Air Station Memphis in Millington, Tennessee and the transition of that facility to Naval Support Activity Mid-South, NAS Pensacola also became home to the Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Memphis, which relocated to Pensacola and was renamed NATTC Pensacola. NATTC provides technical training schools for nearly all enlisted aircraft maintenance and enlisted aircrew specialties in the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard. The NATTC facility at NAS Pensacola is also home to the USAF Detachment 1, a geographically separated unit (GSU) whose home unit is the 359th Training Squadron located at nearby Eglin AFB. Detachment 1 trains over 1,100 Airmen annually in three structural maintenance disciplines: Low Observable, Non-Destructive Inspection, and Aircraft Structural Maintenance.

NAS Pensacola contains Forrest Sherman Field, home of Training Air Wing SIX (TRAWING 6), providing undergraduate flight training for all prospective Naval Flight Officers for the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, and flight officers/navigators for other NATO/Allied/Coalition partners. TRAWING SIX consists of the Training Squadron 4 (VT-4) "Warbucks," Training Squadron 10 (VT-10) "Wildcats" and Training Squadron 86 (VT-86) "Sabrehawks," flying the T-45C Goshawk and T-6A Texan II.

A select number of prospective U.S. Air Force Navigator/Combat Systems Officers, destined for certain fighter and bomber aircraft, were previously trained via TRAWING SIX, with command of VT-10 rotating periodically to a USAF officer. Today, all USAF Undergraduate CSO Training (UCSOT) for all USAF aircraft is consolidated at NAS Pensacola as a strictly USAF organization and operation under the 479th Flying Training Group (479 FTG), an Air Education and Training Command (AETC) unit. The 479 FTG is a tenant activity at NAS Pensacola and a GSU of the 12th Flying Training Wing (12 FTW) at Randolph AFB, Texas. The 479 FTG operates USAF T-6A Texan II and T-1A Jayhawk aircraft.

Other tenant activities include the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, flying F/A-18 Hornets and a single USMC C-130T Hercules; and the 2nd German Air Force Training Squadron USA (German: 2. Deutsche Luftwaffenausbildungsstaffel USA – abbreviated "2. DtLwAusbStff"). A total of 131 aircraft operate out of Sherman Field, generating 110,000 flight operations each year.

The National Naval Aviation Museum (formerly known as the National Museum of Naval Aviation), the Pensacola Naval Air Station Historic District, the National Park Service-administered Fort Barrancas and its associated Advance Redoubt, and the Pensacola Lighthouse and Museum are all located at NAS Pensacola, as is the Barrancas National Cemetery.

Naval Aviation Hall of Honor

The United States Naval Aviation Hall of Honor, located at the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, recognizes individuals "who by their actions or achievements made outstanding contributions to Naval Aviation." Since its inception in 1979, the Hall of Honor has enshrined 80 people representing every element of the naval aviation family: U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Coast Guard, Civilian and every naval aviation warfare community. Selectees are chosen by a board appointed by the Director, Air Warfare Division, Office of the Chief of Naval Operations, sponsor of the Hall of Honor, and approved by the Chief of Naval Operations.

Richard Wainwright (Medal of Honor)

Richard Wainwright, Jr. (September 15, 1881 – March 28, 1944), was an officer in the United States Navy during World War I who received the Medal of Honor for actions during the 1914 Veracruz action.

South Carolina-class battleship

The South Carolina-class battleships, also known as the Michigan class, were built during the first decade of the twentieth century for the United States Navy. Named South Carolina and Michigan, they were the first American dreadnoughts—powerful warships whose capabilities far outstripped those of the world's older battleships.

In the opening years of the twentieth century, the prevailing theory of naval combat was that battles would continue to be fought at relatively close range using many small, fast-firing guns. As such, each of the ships in the United States' previous battleship class (the Connecticut class) had many medium-sized weapons alongside four large guns. This paradigm, however, was soon to be subverted, as American naval theorists proposed that a ship mounting a homogeneous battery of large guns would be more effective in battle.

As their ideas began to enjoy wider acceptance, the US Congress authorized the country's Navy to construct two small 16,000-long-ton (16,000 t) battleships. This displacement was roughly the same size as the Connecticut class and at least 2,000 long tons (2,000 t) smaller than the foreign standard. A solution was found in an ambitious design drawn up by Rear Admiral Washington L. Capps, the chief of the navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair; it traded heavy armament and relatively thick armor—both favored by naval theorists—for speed.

With their superfiring main armament, press accounts billed South Carolina and Michigan, alongside the British HMS Dreadnought, as heralding a new epoch in warship design. Both, however, were soon surpassed by ever-larger and stronger super-dreadnoughts. The class's low top speed of about 18.5 knots (21.3 mph; 34.3 km/h), as compared to the 21-knot (24 mph; 39 km/h) standard of later American battleships, relegated them to serving with older, obsolete battleships during the First World War. After the end of the conflict and the signing of the Washington Naval Treaty, both South Carolinas were scrapped.

South West Bay

South West Bay (53°3′S 73°22′E) is an open bay indenting the west side of Heard Island immediately north of Cape Gazert in the southern Indian Ocean. The bay was roughly charted on an 1860 sketch map compiled by Captain H.C. Chester, an American sealer. The name "S.W. Bay" appears on an 1882 chart compiled by Ens. Washington Irving Chambers aboard the USS Marion at Heard Island in January 1882. The bay name appears to have developed from an American sealer name, "Southwest Beach," in use about 1860 for the pebble beach at the north end of this bay.

USS Louisiana (BB-19)

USS Louisiana (BB-19) was a Connecticut-class battleship of the United States Navy. She was the second member of the class of six pre-dreadnought battleships, and the third ship to carry her name. Louisiana was laid down in February 1903, launched in August 1904, and commissioned in June 1906. She was a 16,000-long-ton (16,000 t) battleship capable of 19 knots (35 km/h; 22 mph). Her main armament consisted of four 12-inch (305 mm) guns supported by a mixed secondary battery of 7 in (178 mm) and 8 in (203 mm) guns.

Louisiana primarily operated along the east coast of the United States and in the Caribbean during her career. In 1908–09, she took part in the world cruise of the Great White Fleet. A pair of trips to European waters took place in 1910 and 1911. From 1913, she began to become involved in the Mexican Revolution, as the US Navy began to send ships to protect American interests in the country. This activity culminated in the US occupation of Veracruz in April 1914. During World War I, Louisiana was employed as a training ship before serving as a convoy escort in late 1918. After the war ended that year, she was used to ferry American soldiers back from France. With this work completed, she was decommissioned in October 1920 and broken up for scrap at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in 1923.

Whitehead torpedo

The Whitehead torpedo was the first self-propelled or "locomotive" torpedo ever developed. It was perfected in 1866 by Robert Whitehead from a design conceived by Giovanni Luppis of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. It was driven by a three-cylinder compressed air engine invented, designed, and made by Peter Brotherhood. Many naval services procured the Whitehead torpedo during the 1870s, including the US Navy. This early torpedo proved itself in combat during the Russo-Turkish War when, on January 16, 1878, the Turkish ship Intibah was sunk by Russian torpedo boats carrying Whiteheads, though this story has been disputed in one book.The term "torpedo" comes from the Torpedo fish, which is a type of ray that delivers an electric shock to stun its prey.

William P. Potter

William P. Potter was an admiral of the US Navy.

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