The National Maritime Historical Society

September Seminar – U Boats in the Bahamas with Eric Wiberg

The National Maritime Historical Society
“U-Boats in the Bahamas” Seminar and Book Signing
with Author Eric Wiberg
Saturday, 23 September 2017

Hendrick Hudson Free Library, 185 Kings Ferry Road, Montrose, NY 10548
Continental Breakfast & Registration at 10:30 AM; Lecture at 11:00 AM

Please join us as author, maritime attorney, historian and avid sailor Eric Wiberg presents his book U-Boats in the Bahamas, the never-told story of the 112 German and Italian submarines that sank 130 Allied ships in World War II in the Bahamas area where the author grew up. Merchant mariners heroically put themselves in danger as they performed the critical task of moving the military and civilian supplies vital to ultimate victory. Book signing will follow.

The Public is invited. Please contact NMHS at 914-737-7878, ext. 0, or email if you plan to attend. A $5 to $10 donation is appreciated. After the lecture, NMHS will host a luncheon—$25 prepaid with cash bar. Reservations required.

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In the Pages of Sea History 160

Sea History 160 is in the mail and on the newsstands. Just look at what’s in this issue:

Austin Dwyer

Collision in the Narrows: the 1917 Halifax Harbor Explosion, by Roger Marsters
The most powerful man-made explosion before the Atomic Age came with little warning on a cold December morning in Halifax, Nova Scotia, when a collision between two cargo ships in the harbor set off a catastrophic chain reaction, catching all in its radius in its devastating blast.

To Boldly Go…” NASA Astronauts Taking the Lessons of Sail Training into Space, by Bert Rogers, with Mark Scibinico
The link between ocean voyaging and space exploration might be closer than you think. NASA astronauts find the lessons from sail training aboard the 1877 barque Elissa valuable in their preparations for space flight.

Arader Gallery

A New Look at Nathaniel Bowditch, Nineteenth-Century America’s Numbers Man, by Tamara Plakins Thornton
Mariners know his name from their well-used navigational “ bible,” The New American Practical Navigator, but Nathaniel Bowditch’s obsession with numbers and order left a legacy in other fields few would realize came from his work.

The 2017 National Maritime Historical Society Annual Awards Dinner, by Julia Church
NMHS will recognize three deserving members of the maritime heritage community this fall. Here’s a sneak peek at the gala celebration.

State Historical Society of Wisconsin

Probing the Mysteries of the Jones Act: Part 2, by Michael J. Rauworth
Mike Rauworth breaks down the origins and modern-day ramifications of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920 in this second installment of a two-part series on the Jones Act.

On WatchSS United States Engineer Bob Sturm Still Serving the “Big U,” by Bill Bleyer
More than a half a century after he signed off as a junior engineer aboard the famed ocean liner SS United States, Bob Sturm returns to serve his old ship—this time in the archives.

US Coast Guard Collection

Coast Guardsman Robert Goldman, and the Kamikaze Attack on LST-66, by William H. Thiesen
After a Japanese Zero fighter attacked their ship, a burned and badly injured pharmacist’s mate rushed across the burning deck to the aid of his wounded shipmates. Learn about the heroics of this young Coast Guardsman and his dedication and sacrifice for his shipmates, his ship, and his nation.

National History Day Prizes in Maritime History, Sponsored by NMHS
More than half a million students participated in National History Day competitions this year. NMHS encourages students to pursue topics in maritime history and recognizes outstanding projects in state competitions. Learn more about NHD and this year’s award winners.

Plus, you’ll find the regular features you look forward to in every issue:

Deck Log
NMHS: A Cause in Motion
Marine Art News
Sea History for Kids
Ship Notes, Seaport & Museum News
Maritime History on the Internet
Book Reviews

On our cover this issue: Diamond Jubilee, by Robert Semler.

Click here to learn more about Sea History magazine.

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Time Running Out on Battleship Texas

photo: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Supporters of the battleship Texas warn that there isn’t much time left to save the ship, a veteran of two world wars. The hull is becoming more and more difficult to patch, due to the weakness of the steel surrounding the holes that develop; the Battleship Texas Foundation reports that 300,000 gallons of water a day are pumped out of the ship. The best course of action, the group says, is to dry berth the ship, creating a system around the vessel allowing restorers to control the amount of water surrounding the hull. The cost of such a project is estimated at $40 million.

The State of Texas owns the battleship, currently berthed in the Houston Ship Channel. The Battleship Texas Foundation is urging people to reach out to their representatives to ask for additional funding to save the ship.

Launched in 1912 and commissioned in 1914, Texas took part in President Woodrow Wilson’s intervention in Veracruz, Mexico. After the outbreak of World War I, she trained Naval Armed Guard gun crews. After an overhaul in 1917, she was sent to protect troop convoys in the North Sea. In the Second World War, she participated in the battle of Iwo Jima and the Normandy invasion. Today, she is the country’s only remaining World War I-era dreadnought battleship.


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Save the Date! NYC Pickle Night is 11 November

The event is held each year to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar and the death of Admiral Lord Nelson. It is named for HMS Pickle, which participated in the battle and was the messenger ship that carried the news of the victory and of Nelson’s death back to England. This year’s honorary chair woman of the dinner is Antonia Romeo, British Consul General in New York. Commodore Jerry Kyd, Commanding Officer of the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and Commander Carrier Strike Group, will be the main speaker.
Friday, 11 November 2016
New York Yacht Club
37 W 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
Space is limited. For reservations contact Sally McElwreath Callo at or by phone at 917 536-1077.
Ticket price is $295 per person. Dress is black tie or military equivalent. The event is sponsored by the American Friends of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, with additional support from The Nelson Society, The 1805 Club, and the National Maritime Historical Society.
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Tall Ship Lynx Seeks a Deckhand

photo courtesy Tall Ship Lynx

photo courtesy Tall Ship Lynx

The Lynx is seeking a motivated, personable individual to fill a paid deckhand position, beginning immediately. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in traditional sailing and education. Lynx will be conducting educational programs and daysails in Nantucket through September, then moving south to the Chesapeake this fall. To apply, email a resume and cover letter to Captain Jesse Doucette at

To learn more about Lynx and the educational program, visit their website at




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South Street to Receive $10.4 Million for Superstorm Sandy Repairs

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) and the South Street Seaport Museum announced that the museum will be receiving $10.4 million in federal funds from the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The grant from FEMA’s Public Assistance Program has been awarded as part of federal efforts to assist in repairing damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Photo courtesy of South Street Seaport Museum

Photo courtesy of South Street Seaport Museum

“After Hurricane Sandy, we fought to secure the necessary emergency funding to help New York recover,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler. “Lower Manhattan was badly hit by the storm and the downtown community continues to struggle to rebuild. Allocating $10.4 million from FEMA to the South Street Maritime Museum—which is the Congressionally-designated National Maritime Museum—is a positive first step in supporting such an important site to the history and culture of New York City and the nation, and I am glad to see the progress being made in securing the long-term health and prosperity of the museum.”

“We’ve been working for more than two years to secure funding for Sandy recovery. This grant is a strong step in the right direction for the Seaport Museum,” said Captain Jonathan Boulware, the Museum’s Executive Director. “Congressman Nadler’s support of our efforts has been meaningful and we’re encouraged by this news as we undertake larger efforts to improve and expand Museum programming.”

In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Seaport Museum with floodwaters. Although the fleet of ships sustained little damage, the buildings were inundated with up to 7 feet of salty water. Elevators, escalators, electrical equipment, and heating and cooling systems were all destroyed. Since that time the Seaport Museum has made significant progress toward recovery. Notable achievements include revitalized education programming (with tripled attendance over last year), increased membership (more than doubled), and the reactivation of the 1893 schooner Lettie G. Howard as a sailing school vessel. In addition, the museum has begun a $10.6 million City-funded restoration of the 1885 ship Wavertree, to be completed next year. “While there is a great deal yet to do, with this support from FEMA we can continue to build toward a bright future for the South Street Seaport Museum,” added Boulware.

For more about the museum, visit their website.

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Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery Annual Exhibition and Sale

The Plein Air Painters of the Maritime Gallery
Exhibition and Sale
Through September 20 at Mystic Seaport Museum

Thirty artists gathered for five days in July on the grounds of historic Mystic Seaport and the nearby coastal marshes, beaches and towns. Following the tradition of the en plein air painters of the 19th and early 20th centuries, the artists could be found at their French easels creating the 114 paintings now on display. Featured artists this year include David Bareford, David Montiero, Neal Hughes, and Bill Hanson.

The exhibition and sale is open to the public at the Mystic Seaport Maritime Gallery and will continue through September 20. The online exhibition can be viewed on Mystic’s website.

David Lussier, “Seaport Morning”, OIL, 11 x 14

David Lussier, “Seaport Morning”, OIL, 11 x 14

“This annual exhibition and sale, now in its 19th year, showcases paintings by many of the top maritime artists working today and illustrates why Mystic Seaport is so beloved by artists as a place of inspiration,” said Monique Foster, Director of the Maritime Gallery. “These paintings are remarkably affordable considering the quality of the work and the renown these artists have among collectors of maritime art.”

The Gallery is open daily from 10 am. to 5 pm. Admission is free. For more information, call 860 572-5388 or visit the Gallery’s website.

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Are You Following NMHS on Facebook?

fb-artThe NMHS Facebook page is where we share news stories, photos and video clips that we think will interest you: news of new discoveries in marine archaeology, sail training, naval history, historic ship preservation, shipbuilding and much more. If you haven’t been following us on Facebook,  here’s a brief look at some of the stories you might have missed out on:


"HMS Hood (51) - March 17, 1924" by Photographer: Allan C. Green 1878 - 1954; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

“HMS Hood (51) – March 17, 1924” by Photographer: Allan C. Green 1878 – 1954; Restoration: Adam Cuerden

The recovery of the ship’s bell from HMS Hood, the British warship sunk in May of 1941 by the Bismarck with a loss of over 1,400 crew members. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen led a crew to recover the bell, which will be conserved and then displayed as a tribute to the fallen crew.

A tribute to the US Coast Guard on the event of their 225th birthday.


"Amundsen Maud 1998-06-28" by Ansgar Walk - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

“Amundsen Maud 1998-06-28” by Ansgar Walk – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons

The refloating of the Arctic exploration ship Maud, which Roald Amundsen took on his second expedition.  The remains of the ship, which was scuttled off the coast of Nunavut, will be returned to Norway.



The departure of the replica ship San Salvador from her construction site in San Diego. Originally scheduled to launch in April, San Salvador was significantly heavier than anticipated, and the logistics for getting her on the water necessitated additional heavy equipment and planning. She was floated on a barge to a Chula Vista shipyard for the final stage of her construction, and her public debut is slated for next month.

And this cool video of the Great Barrier Reef, with a turtle as our guide.


Please Like our Facebook page and Follow NMHS to continue to see the maritime headlines, videos and photos from all around the web. Join in the discussion on the Comments section, or Like individual posts to let Facebook know you want to see all of what NMHS has to share. We hope to see you there!










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