American History: June ’99 Letters

NAME THE SHIPS

Having served in Korean waters, I found the article on the USS Missouri ("The Last Battleship," February 1999) especially interesting. Had it not been for ships such as the Missouri and many others, including two ships I proudly served on, the USS Helena and the USS Princeton, the United States would have had many more casualties during the Korean conflict than the approximately 137,000 it suffered. The navy not only gave fire support and helped with invasions, it also helped evacuate thousands of military and civilian personnel.

I was particularly interested in the photograph of ships from the 7th Fleet in Sasebo Harbor featured on pages 20 and 21. I wonder if the other ships in the photograph could be identified?

B.E. Hall
Las Vegas, Nevada

 

Editor’s note: The photograph’s caption supplied only the name of the lead ship, the USS Missouri. We contacted Paul Stillwell of the United States Naval Institute in Annapolis and the author of our Missouri article. Mr. Stillwell pulled out his magnifying glass and checked the original print of the photo, but the numbers on most of the ships were too indistinct to identify. He discerned that the two aircraft carriers are the Valley Forge (45) and the Philippine Sea (47). Just astern of the Missouri is either a repair ship or destroyer tender. Farther back in the line are a couple of heavy cruisers and a light cruiser. In the background, closer to the shoreline on the right side of the photo, are some amphibious warfare ships.

TOO HARD ON HARDING

The Warren G. Harding article ("The Dark Side of Normalcy," April 1999) emphasized the negative aspects of his presidency, with only one paragraph at the very end noting the accomplishments of his administration. Please allow me to add a few more: the China Open Door Policy, formation of the Budget Bureau, the signing of the peace treaty ending World War I, the unemployment conference, development of the Federal Radio Commission, the reduction of the 12-hour work day to 8 hours, the United States’ request for membership in the World Court, and vice presidential presence at all cabinet meetings.

John E.G. Murphy
Ridgewood, New Jersey

 

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