Naval History - Summer 1990 - Nightmare at Port Arthur

Summer 1990 Naval History Magazine

Cover: Aviation artist Bill Phillips's lifelong love of aircraft comes through in his work. Here he shows an F4U-4 Corsair from the VF-791 Fighting Rebels firing its rockets at a target hidden in the snow-covered mountains of Korea. To see more of his paintings, turn to pp. 45.

Issue: Naval History, U.S. Naval Institute, Vol. 4, No. 3, Summer 1990

The Summer 1990 issue of Naval History Magazine feature articles include: Unseen Persuaders, Anglo-American Naval Cooperation, Nightmare at Port Arthur, Stick Wavers, Deflektor Defector, Marshals of the Seas, and More.


10 Unseen Persuaders
By Rear Admiral Brooks Harral, USN (Ret.)
Submarine skipper Harral calls for historians, planners, and politicians to appreciate more fully the ultimate strategic effect of these menacing silhouetted weapons of war against enemy fleets, especially in light of their performance in World War II.

14 Anglo-American Naval Cooperation, 1798-1801
By Michael A. Palmer
Despite many flaws, the quasi alliance between the United States and Britain enriched and benefited the former's fledgling Navy in the Quasi-War with France.

21 Nightmare at Port Arthur
By William H. Honan
When the smoke cleared from the Imperial Japanese torpedoes fired on 8 February 1904 on Russian battleships, the surprise attack's success was revealed to be only transitory.

28 The Stick Wavers
By Master Sergeant Clay Barrow, USMC (Ret.)
The art of the interview: never interrupt and dodge all flying objects! General Julian Smith wisely critiques Barrow, who challenged the irascible General David Shoup.

33 The Deflektor Defector
By Commander Tyrone G. Marlin, USN (Ret.)
The stuff spy movies are made of, Soviet Yuri Petov’s tale of defection in 1966 evokes suspense and intrigue among the Somers's crew members and beyond.

37 Marshals of the Seas
By Captain John M. Waters, USCG (Ret.)
Alexander Hamilton’s vision for the Coast Guard has been realized in its industrious, sometimes swashbuckling, career among pirates, slave ships, enemy ships, seal hunters, Siberian reindeer, rum runners, and drug smugglers.

49 Market Street Commandos
By Theodore C. Mason
San Francisco’s Embarcadero was a far cry from Midway, but its pace was nearly all the creaky old Pennsylvania could handle in the spring of 1942.


  • In Contact 2
  • In Profile: William S. Phillips 45
  • Technical Report: Inside the Alabama54
  • The Old Navy: Revenge at the Coral Sea 58
  • Special: Don’t Crucify the Boatswain's Mate 62
  • Book Reviews 64
  • Bibliographic Review 69
  • In Progress 70
  • Museum Report: Buffalo's Naval Park 75
  • Notebook 79

Publisher’s Page

An interest in history can be a family affair. One of the founders of the Naval Historical Society was Admiral Joseph Strauss (1861-1948), a distinguished naval officer noted for many accomplishments, including direction of the laying of the North Sea Mine Barrage in World War I and service as four-star Commander in Chief U.S. Asiatic Fleet in the 1920s.

The admiral’s memory was honored in the naming of the USS Joseph Strauss (DDG-16), which recently left the active fleet after nearly 30 years of service.

The ship had a Naval Institute connection in that her first skipper was Commander William M. A. Greene, who took command in 1963 after leaving his post as secretary-treasurer of the Institute.

A later commanding officer was Commander Linton Wells, a long-time contributor to the Proceedings and one of the winners in the 1985 Arleigh Burke Essay Contest.

I spent many days in company with the Joseph Strauss on northern SAR station in the Gulf of Tonkin when I was executive officer of the Henry W. Tucker (DD-875).

Carrying on the family tradition is Rear Admiral Elliott B. Strauss, USN (Ret.), who is now chairman of the board of the Naval Historical Foundation.

Coincidentally a 1923 Naval Academy classmate of Arleigh Burke, Elliott Strauss, like his father, has made a number of contributions to the Proceedings.

Now he makes his debut as a Naval History author (pages 62-63). In the course of his oral history with the Naval Institute, Admiral Strauss mentioned that he had done some informal oral history of his own back in the 1920s when he was serving in the survey ship USS Hannibal (AG-1).

He listened to wardroom bull sessions about the bizarre activities of the ship's recently departed commanding officer. Those memories have been combined with material from a 1924 court of inquiry to produce the story in this issue.

The court transcript has now been declassified by the Navy, more than 65 years after the fact. It was classified secret in 1924, presumably to prevent it from falling into the hands of that era’s counterparts of Jack Anderson. Thanks to Admiral Strauss’s efforts, the intriguing tale is now made public.

Three members of the Naval Institute staff went to Baltimore in late May to present a signed, remarqued print of our winter issue cover painting by Tom Freeman.

The recipients were members of Project Liberty Ship Baltimore, now in the process of restoring the SS John W. Brown. One goal of the group is to steam the old Liberty ship to Normandy for the 50th anniversary of the 1944 D-Day landings.

On hand for the Maritime Day presentation were dozens of merchant marine veterans and Navy armed guard members, including several crewmen who made the first voyage of the John W. Brown in 1942. Naval and maritime history continues to be a living thing.

Publisher Information

The U. S. Naval Institute is a private, self-supporting, nonprofit professional society, which publishes Proceedings magazine as a forum for the sea services, and professional books.

The Institute is not part of the U. S. Government. Naval History is published quarterly by the U. S. Naval Institute. 2062 Generals Highway, Annapolis, MD 21401. The opinions and assertions herein are the personal ones of the authors.

Second class postage paid at Annapolis. MD, and at additional mailing offices. Annual subscription rales: USN1 member, SI2.00; USNI non-member, $24.00. International subscribers add $4.00. Copyright © 1990 U. S. Naval Institute. Copyright is not claimed for editorial material in the public domain.

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